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Thursday, September 15, 2011


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It was during the Second World War; my parents were separated and eventually were divorced.

My father had been working overseas when he came back to America. I was about fifteen and going nowhere, just trying to survive when my dad decided to try to help me with a trade. He came to where I was staying and announced that I was leaving Tennessee and going to California with him.

He also wanted the family car, a 1941 Chrysler which was a very nice car at the time. There was one problem, the tires were no good and there were none available; for you had to have a special ration stamp in order to even buy a recap.

We finally started out on our journey having to stop very often to repair flats. After much cussing and demeaning my mother which she didn’t hear for she was left in Tennessee; we found a man who said he would rent us some tires but would have to have $25.00 deposit on each tire and a promise to return them when we were through with them. Of course he knew we would never bring them back but that was his way to circumvent the laws at that time. The cost of tires was about $4.00 so he was making a big profit.

Then something happened that spoiled my trip. A woman was hitchhiking and my dad decided to give her a ride. Because of the difficulty in travel many people were hitching a ride especially service men. After all these years I remember the sequence of events that happened.

She (the woman) got in the back seat and started up a conversation with my dad. The weather was hot and she was dressed for the weather. As to makeup, let’s just say she was made-up.

The next thing I knew I had to get in the back seat at my father’s command which I hated. As the day wore on; mile after mile she moved closer and closer to my dad.  Her arm slid around his shoulder, caressing the back of his neck.

While having a good view of what was happening I was getting quite distressed. Stopping for gas, food and visiting the relief stations still wouldn’t allow me to return to the front seat.

It seems that there things unsaid and signals passed that my father understood better than I and darkness was coming upon us. Though I missed it there was an offer made (not of money) for her nights lodging.

We came to the town where we would spend the night and my dad drove to the edge of town to a well lighted place and told this lady she could get a ride there. She got out and I regained my rightful place in the front seat. The last thing I saw her do was to walk toward a serviceman who was hitching and she said; “Hey soldier!”

After a good nights rest we continued on our way and sometime later my dad somewhat nonchalantly said, “That old gal thought she was going to spend the night with me.”

I thought somewhat reflectively “I wonder what would have happened if I was not along.
It was as if a wind had blown in and then blew on its way.

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