Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Old Photo Albums
...yield the strangest things.
This was taken in 1972. I was 20 and visiting my Grandparents in Cabot, Arkansas (just north of Little Rock). 1972. Little Rock. Arkansas....
I was sitting at a McDonalds, outside at a wooden picnic table eating a Big Mac and sweating so much my hair was dripping. It was probably 98 degrees and 90% humidity. I didn't think it wise to eat inside the way the diners were looking at me.
Can you say "Deliverance"?
Anyway, I'd been there maybe ten minutes and a police car pulls in and circles the parking lot once. Twice. Three times. Ring around the hippie.
The car stops at the curb and the cop gets out of his car. He was the "Southern cop cliche". Aviator sunglasses. Big gut. Swagger. He steps up to my table. I look up at him. He drawls, "Yew 'bout done?"
"Um...just about," I say half cheerfully, trying not to sound sarcastic.
He tugs at his belt as if his pants are going to fall down. "Mebbe yew didn't git it...Yew 'bout done?"
I got it. "Yessir, I'm done." I start wrapping my burger up and stuffing it in the bag.
"Good. " He looks around slowly and says staring off into space without looking at me, "It's kinda busy round here and we need places fer folks to sit."
I look around. I'm the only one sitting outside. "Yessir. I see that. I'll make room right away."
"Awright. And it stays pretty busy here, so I wouldn't come back anytime soon, y'hear?"
"Got it. Thanks for the warning."
I get in my 1968 Volkswagon Beetle with the smiling sunrise painted over the back license plate light and head to my grandparent's house. He sits in his car and watches me drive away. I watch my rear view mirror to make sure he stayed put.
I suppose I was lucky he didn't see a tail light out or something that might warrant an arrest somewhere along the ten mile stretch of highway between Little Rock and Cabot.