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.


Benedict Seraphim said...

What a walking cliche you were!


Seriously, though. Wow. That was doubtless an anxious and stomach-churning moment. I thought stuff like that was only in the movies.

s-p said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
s-p said...

Yeah I was pretty far out, huh? LOL!
The only thing I was missing was my antique gold rimmed John Lennon glasses which were broken so I had to wear my "corporate America round rip offs". This is why I didn't get too wierded out by my kids' clothing and fashion rebellions. Been there, done that, still do that. :)
And yeah, after seeing "Easy Rider" being a lone long hair in the deep south on a blank stretch of highway wasn't exactly a pleasant Sunday sightseeing drive. click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bwpqlX1n8c for the ending to Easy Rider (which was one of Jack Nicholsen's first movies!). At the end of the movie there was dead silence in the theater. As we were walking out someone said, "Let's go kick the sh.. out of a farmer, man."
Those were the days.

s-p said...

...and here is the "cliche"
The Dodge Sheriff who made his debut in 1970. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1WICosbX8k&feature=related

Mimi said...

Far out, dude. My father tells similar stories of driving while young and hippy.

Philippa said...

First of all, you were one happen' dude!

Second of all, I canNOT believe that happened to you. Unbelieveable. Geesh.

Grace said...

What a great story! Well, great because the guy didn't actually beat the crap out of you.

Actually, in that picture, you remind me of the guy singing that song called "Signs." I'm sure you know the one: And the sign said "Long-haired freaky people need not apply"
So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why
He said "You look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you'll do"
So I took off my hat, I said "Imagine that. Huh! Me workin' for you!"
etc. etc.

Anyway, thanks for this. I didn't have a story as good as this, but I decided to scan in an old picture as well.

Bob & Jackie said...

I've completely enjoyed reading your stuff that I stumbled upon by accident. My wife and I are Cathecumens at St. Justin the Martyr in Jacksonville, FL. By the way, ever been arrested in Defuniak Springs, FL? 1971, driving back to FL from a CA surf trip with 4 other long hairs in a 56 Chevy wagon. Didn't even do anything. Sound familiar? Blessings, Bob, but U don't know me anyway....

s-p said...

Hi Bob,
Thanks for the kind words. I had my share of pointless traffic stops even in Phoenix in those days. Don't you wish you still had the '56 Wagon? I think of all the "classic cars" I owned and virtually gave away...sigh.
Welcome to my blog.