Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Lesson Concerning Gravity

It is the most beautiful car in town…. a 68 Camaro, metallic green with white bumble bee stripes around the front end. The whole town is a little bit mystified by its purchase. The couple who bought it traded in a white over yellow cream puff of a two door Impala for it. They have two teenage sons. There is no way the whole family can fit into that Camaro. Surely they won’t let the older of the boys, the one who is just about to get his driver’s license terrorize the town in that thing!

As I have written before, this is a tiny town. Three farm to market roads meet here. We are off the beaten path to say the least. There are very few strait stretches of road in these parts. One of these rare strait stretches begins, after a few curves, just out of town and heads due north for several miles. It is called Jones Lane. I am not sure why. I suppose someone by that name lived there when names were being handed out. Several of the high school kids have older (and perfectly kept) cars. One has a 55 Chevy. A couple of others have 57s. One has a 56. You get the picture. The boys spend a lot of time tuning their motors and adjusting their glass packs so that each car has its own unique sound. Most of the girls can tell which boy’s car is heading out Jones lane by hearing the sound it makes when the driver stomps on the gas coming out of the last curve.

When the skating rink isn’t around, the only action of any kind in this place is at the snow cone stand. It is at located in the front corner of one of the old storefronts downtown. There is a vacant gravel lot between the snow cone stand and the drugstore.
You can park there, but usually, everybody just street parks along in front of the stand or the drugstore. The snow cone stand closes at six o’clock so we try to get there just in time to get something sweet and cold then hang out a while. Everyone usually scatters not long after dark on these long summer days. Everyone has things to do tomorrow unless it happens to be a weekend, in which case most of us will be off somewhere to a rodeo or driving around the Sonic in Paris.

However, there are occasions when someone has made a trip across the river and come back with contraband, bottled and distilled contraband, to be exact. See, this is a dry area. The whole county, as well as the surrounding counties, is dry as a bone on the floor of Death Valley. You will not get a legal drop of alcohol around here. No siree! For that you have to cross the Red River into Oklahoma which is about twenty- one miles or so to the north. Now, this involves some risk because 1) Texas wants to get its share of tax money on alcohol sales and 2) theses boys are underage and 3) the places that will sell booze to them are quite dangerous…. gun and knife dangerous. These dangers do not deter certain brave souls who willingly risk arrest or at least having their prize confiscated by an officer of the Liquor Control Board or other branch of the law. I know of a couple of guys who sneaked across the river through a less traveled route. They stopped on the Oklahoma side, raised the hood of the GTO they were driving and ingeniously wired a case of beer into the space between the grill and the radiator before crossing back into Texas. Much to their disappointment, an LCB officer had been hiding on the Texas side watching them. He fined them on the spot and made them pour out all the beer in front of him. As I said, these dangers did not deter certain brave souls and brewed and distilled nectars make their way into this tiny burg on occasion.

The girls don’t usually hang around late enough to witness the goings on when the booze comes out. We either have ridiculously early curfews or we are extremely careful of our reputations. No one wants to be known the rest of her life as the girl who got drunk one time when she was a teenager. In a town this size, she would never live it down. Therefore, no girls were present the night that the oldest son drove the Camaro downtown. I guess he was being extra careful about parking because he parked it in the space between the buildings. Someone must have just returned from a trip across the river. Either that, or boredom just got the better of any sense those boys have. Oldest Son and some other guys climbed up on top of the drugstore and commenced to horse around. The top of the drugstore is rimmed with huge stones. They must be two to two and a half feet square. I was not there. I don’t know exactly what happened. All I can say for sure is that now there is a stone missing from the top of the drugstore and the right front fender and the adjoining part of the hood of the former most beautiful car in town look like a boulder fell on them.

If I could add a sound track to this post it would be Whiskey to Go from Michael Elwood and Beth Galiger's Rolling Valentine cd. I thought it might be unavailable but found that you can listen to it here:
It takes just a few seconds to load.
and buy it here
Michael does the story coming from the other direction but there is such a thing as poetic license.


heartinsanfrancisco said...

I'm glad your reputation is still intact. Just imagine being known forever as the girl who got drunk one night.

Will there be a follow-up post about what happened to Older Son when his parents saw their boulderized Camaro?

seventh sister said...

I have no recollection of what if any consequences were visited on him. I'm sure there was a price to be paid, though. He probably had to work off the cost on the repairs on his father's farm or something. I never was clear as to whether he took the car with or without his parent's permission.

seventh sister said...

I have no recollection of what if any consequences were visited on him. I'm sure there was a price to be paid, though. He probably had to work off the cost on the repairs on his father's farm or something. I never was clear as to whether he took the car with or without his parent's permission. I am sure that he was wheelus lackus for quite some time.

MsLittlePea said...

Wow. I almost feel sorry for the car.

seventh sister said...

I did feel sorry for the car. That thing had a soul.

tammy vitale said...

haven't visited for a while - saw you over at Christine Kane's with the original W List...the new one is all marketing but the originator gave me a shout out...you were quiet for a while. Good to see you back! And what a story. Me and 1st husband had a 56 chevy that we called The Beast. It had a 62 corvette engine and died the day he let someone pull a wheelie in it and broke back axles or something- what do I know, I'm just a girl. I know I cried!

seventh sister said...

Hi Tammy,
A 56 with a 62 Corvette engine? I bet that thing ate some asphault.

I really haven't gone anywhere. I have been posting vignettes of childhood memories and they take a while to become clear enough to write about.

Anyway, thanks for the shout out. Good to hear from you.