Tuesday, December 9, 2008

We survived

I’m going to relate some more personal recollections today. I’m sure most of you could add to this list, but it should be a fun exercise. At least for me.

Back in the fifties the cars didn’t have seat belts. I think race cars might have had them, but the regular production vehicles were not equipped with them. I don’t even think they were an option. But we survived.

My two younger sisters and I used to ride in the back of our dad’s Ford pickup — flying down the highway at 70 miles per hour, sitting on those wheel wells that were inside the truck bed. There was no camper cover on it. The wind blew through our hair. (I actually had hair back then for the wind to blow through.) Except it didn’t blow around too much because I had it pretty well locked into place with Brylcreme. (A little dab’ll do ya.) But we survived.

We had bicycles back then, too. And we didn’t have helmets or elbow pads, or knee pads. I don’t think they even made them back then. In fact, my bicycle didn’t even have a chain guard. It was one of those cheaper models that didn’t even have a coaster brake. As long as the rear wheel was turning, the pedals turned. I remember the day I got the leg of my jeans hung up on the front sprocket. I was heading down Peck Drive at somewhere close to a million miles an hour when the sprocket snagged my cuff. My leg just went around and around as the sprocket kept turning, winding the leg of my jeans tighter and tighter around my ankle. I finally crashed on the side of the street. I think we had to cut my jeans out of the sprocket. But I survived.

That summer Jimmy, Larry, and Ronnie Smith and I walked up to the little Diary Queen that was at the top of the hill on 24 highway to get some lunch. Ronnie was the youngest, and you’ll understand why I’m telling you that in a moment. Jimmy and Ronnie and I each ordered a hamburger and a coke. When it was Ronnie’s turn he asked the lady how much a hamburger cost. She told him. He counted his money. He didn’t have enough. So he placed his order. “I’d like a baloney sandwich and a ten cent malt.”

But we survived. At least so far.

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