I’m danged if I can remember how I met those two old drunks, Maybelle and Mr. Bob. Maybe hitching on the highway from Oak Hill to Fayetteville. It was the summer I quit school in Florida and took off for Oak Hill, homesick for my girlfriend. She was by then a mother, made pregnant by the fullback of the football team, I found out, and had given up the baby to the father’s family. On top of that she was now dating my cousin and was having a fling with Millard. Millard told me this as he showed me how his Hudson Hornet could do a complete U-turn on the two lane highway down to Glen Jean.
So I was off to check out Betty Tiggs over in Fayetteville quite a bit, and hitched back and forth pretty much every day.
If it wasn’t there I met them, it might have been Bill and Lorena in East End who introduced us. Or Carlee and Lee, Bill’s parents, all of them frequenters of the only bar in that part of town.
Not that it matters all that much when you get right down to it. Anyways, we met, and May Belle and Mr. Bob hired me to drive them down to a town in Kentucky just over the border where they planned to get married.
Down in Florida I took the test and got my driver’s license on the first time around. I had been illegally driving Mom’s ’46 Ford long before we moved to Florida, so I knew pretty well how to drive, it was just a matter of passing the theory which was pretty simple. Ten questions, and if you failed they told you what you got wrong. Then they gave you fifteen minutes to study and take the written test again.
Carl, at Carl’s Furniture where I had been working, still wouldn’t let me drive the delivery van, but sometimes Sonny would let me if we were making a distant delivery, say up to Sanford. I reckon if I could hold that thing on the road with the front end wobbling on loose tie rods, I could drive anything.
This excerpt is from a collection of files Patrick called Scattered Notes.odt dated from 2014 to 2016. I’ll continue to add other segments as time allows.
Patrick Meadows 1934 – 2017.