|My first stylin' ride|
Parking was on the street. Angle only.
I know this doesn't seem to have much to do with my story, but wait for it . . .
Mom usually came into town once a week to do the grocery shopping.
For me, it was a magical time. Mind you, I was born with unfettered enthusiasm.
For me, everything was magical. But I digress . . .
On this particular occasion, my brother George was with us.
The two of us had been separated because he was causing fights.
So George was in the back seat and I was in the front.
Mom parked the car in front of the AGT building and got out.
When we made to follow her, she put out her hand and told us to stay where we were.
As punishment for being so disruptive on the trip into town, both of us were forbidden from going into the store.
George pouted. Arms crossed, face fixed in a frown of displeasure.
I did gymnastics.
I should probably point out here that the seats of our late-model Pontiac could easily have doubled as twin beds. They were wide. And long. And bouncy.
I should point out here that, in the 50's, crime hadn't been invented yet. It wasn't unusual for people to leave their kids in a car. With the keys in the ignition.
And the car running.
Don't condemn my Mom. She was a product of her time.
And then . . . one bounce too many. I came down on the gearshift.
The car lurched into action, bouncing over the curb and across the sidewalk on fat, whitewall tires.
I think I screamed, but I can't be sure. It all happened so fast.
There was a distinct 'crunch' and the car came to a sudden stop.
I picked myself up off the floor and began to cry.
And suddenly, my Mom was there. Holding me in her arms and telling me that everything was all right.
Mom was really, really good at that.
After she had calmed me down, she set me back on the seat and put the car into reverse and edged back off the sidewalk. Then she put it into park and, this time, shut it off.
The bumper had pierced the stucco, leaving a half-moon crescent in the wall of the building, just below the front windows. Where the entire office staff had assembled.
They waved, cheerfully.
Mom sighed and towed us into the office to explain.
The office workers were remarkably forgiving of the whole incident. Even laughing about it.
Red-faced, Mom was soon able to drag George and I back to the car.
The mark I had made in the wall remained there for many, many years. Until the building was renovated and re-faced, in fact.
Some time after my escapade, a second crescent appeared in that same wall, just a few feet from mine, obviously from a similar source.
I examined it carefully. It was a good attempt.
But mine was better.
|2011 AD (After Diane) Note the damage . . . or not|