February 9, 2012

Driving Around My Childhood Towns

I want to believe that my children were more well behaved than I was. That may just be considered denial. Things for sure have changed. Changed for the better in many ways. The traffic laws are one thing we can all be thankful for. In the day when people drove when they were drinking the penalties were nothing compared to what they are today. The changes started just as I was becoming an adult. My teen years where drivers were concerned were much like the Dukes of Hazard. My cousin and brother were Bo and Luke Duke dead out. The Rogersville, Lexington and Anderson Police could have all been Boss Hog and Roscoe P. Coltrain. My family was as tight when it came to the law as Uncle Jesse was with the Duke boys. Shoot why don't you just call me Daisy Duke. I kinda like that, even though I have never thought that before. My grandmother was the Garner version of Uncle Jesse sometime. The boys were her pride and joy always and did no wrong. We all started driving before we could see over the stearing wheel of the truck, car or tractor. We had motorcycles along with the automobiles that carried us to the pool in Lexington and my little brother, to work for Alvin Poss and J.C. Romine at their hog barns. We also had the chore of carrying my daddy and uncle to the bootleggers. We have even ventured taking them to Minor Hill; across the stateline for beer at what was then Parkers Place. That is now Larry Long's. Daddy had a car wreak hitting a Mr.Walker while he was drunk one time. He went to jail, but only for the night and that was the extent of it. He had no money even to pay the man for damages. Today that would be, and should be, a much stiffer sentence. My little brother was not left out when it came to driving the drinking men around. On one occasion Daddy was getting off a drunk, but was wanting some hair of the dog to help. The journey lead them close to Anderson where the local Roscoe P. Coltrain was Robert Newton. It was not legal to have a ten year old driving his dad around even in nineteen seventy something. The ironic thing about this was that the trip was to find a beer for Daddy to make it past his drunk sickness. He could not find the remedy even though it was right in front of him in the glove box of the Dodge Dart that my little brother was driving him around in. It took the law searching the car to find what my daddy could have got and not even left the driveway. There were three beers in the glove box that he had forgotten. Not a big deal if the beer had been Alabama beer, but it was Tenneessee beer, this made an arrest possible even in the early seventies. Daddy went to jail in Anderson and the law brought my little brother home. That's all about that.
My little brother worked everyday after school. I drove him, and my grandmother was the co-pilot. She made sure that I did not get over 30 mph. One time I got up to 40 and she 'bout freaked. The job that he had made it possible for him to save money and before he was old enough for license he was planning his car purchuse. He worked on the hog farms and I did the work at home on the little farm we had. Our farm was twenty acres of pasture with twelve or so cows. I feed them and worked the garden. He made money and shared with me so that I could have confection money at school. He still to this day has my back. I still to this day need him to have my back.
Before the car was the brand new motorcycle. It was a blue Honda street bike. It was transportion to anywhere we needed to go. Thing was, to drive a motorcycle you had to be 16 and have a license, even way back then. I don't know how many times that Welsy Mashburn brought my little brother home in the backseat of his police car, from Lexington. A couple of times Daddy had to go pick him up at the city hall because he had been showing out while riding. Once he was throwing eggs, which was at one time a form of entertainment for teen boys.

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