Categorized | Opinion

I Need a Permit

By Otis Griffin

Otis Griffin poseWe were all the same growin’ up in the metropolis of Rosemark.  Yep, just plain ‘pore’.  But no one knew the difference.
Most families only had a truck but some had a car that was only used for special occasions.  The car was always shiny and ready for a funeral, a ball game, a grocery trip, a Sears and Roebuck excursion or the most important trip to uptown Sunday church. Otherwise the bolts set there preparing to be a classic.
Today’s youngsters wouldn’t understand me and all my friends were not allowed to drive a car for dates, just cruising, maybe going to Ormans’ Dairy Queen at Millington or a burger joint.  As you get a little older when you think back you realize just how smart yo’ Momma and Daddy actually were.  Of course sometimes I just knew I was a lot more intelligent though not ever given credit.
Beloved, on our front porch talks later in life I understood a little more.  As my country folks lazily recall some of the reasons for not shifting all over the country side were listed.  Insurance and maintenance on the Detroit hammer knocker.  As Daddy always called gasoline (not GAS) and oil causing wear and tear.  “Go ahead and walk or ride yo’ bicycle if you just got to go but get back in time to get yo’ rest.”  “Work day tomorrow and don’t stay out too much past dark.”   Boogers will get you.
Friends, I wanted a permit which allowed driving with a grownup in the vehicle, or required a five-star general and his tank in the backseat with maybe a goat herder slinging a shaft but that dog didn’t hunt either.
My permit came when Daddy decided to do a permit, which didn’t work at all.  So I thumbed.  All of the above reasons totaled why I couldn’t drive however the biggest reason and actually the only one that really counted was, “because Daddy said SO”.  End of the conversation, if there ever was one.
Emerson, Arvis, Phil, Tommy, Edward Neal, big Paul, Don and Wayne all went through the same torture.  Youthful incarceration.  Maurice, Jimmie and Lynn fought the same battles to no avail.  Marshall, George Robert and ‘Bub Fred’ did remind us with, “you could have ridden a blue-gummed, sway-backed mule!”
Maybe some have wondered how in the world did we get to Bolton High school way back when?  Very, very simple!
We rode a school bus.  Believe it or not, but I had to lower myself to ride with all my friends in a hard bouncing, cold cast iron seats, snorting, smoke belching, loud gear grinding piece of equipment designed to transport aliens from Mars and the north.  I guess we should have been embarrassed but we didn’t know any better.  Matter of fact we were thrilled not to have to cantor.
Neighbor don’t you just hate to ease by school parking lots at fifteen miles per hour and see more vehicles than in the mall?  Just plain ruthless!  Yesss Suhhh a few things
have changed.  But for the better?  (Found in Momma’s wrinkly cook book listed
in nineteen thirty seven…chuck roast…15 cents a pound?)  Some redneck traveling  memories…Glory!
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June 2015
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