My daughter and son-in-law have a tradition of not exchanging gifts for Christmas. Instead, they find ways to contribute dollars or preferably time to folks in need. I think that might change a bit now that they have a child, but David suggested I spend time writing my and my family’s history into my blog instead of my giving Ellie a present. In a way, I understand as I too want her and Stephanie to know more about our history. Our living family that we know about is small and somewhat estranged, so it is important that I try to capture as much family history as I can while I can. Today I heard a 1960’s song that brought me quickly back to this topic. The 1962 song was Loco-motion by Little Eva: (Note: this was not a line dance back in the 60’s). Steph’s mother and I had just started dating when this song was released. Although we knew each other for several years before we started dating at Banks High School, we were just friends. I played football and she was a majorette in the band so we went to every football game “together”. She was dating a good friend of mine, Phillip Mikul, a tackle on the team and I first really got to know her well our junior year when double-dating, as was quite common back then. Not everyone had a car in high school then, believe it or not. I was a lucky one; my grandfather Travis gave me his old car for my 16th birthday (http://takemeback.to/02-December-1962#.VJjy2d0N5A ) the year before asking that I pay $1.00 for it (a silver dollar he had also given me many years earlier for another birthday). The car was a 1952 Plymouth, 4-door sedan. The picture below (from Google) believe it or not is almost identical with the car I had.
That color blue was not a standard Plymouth blue. The car as I got it from Travis was a pale washed out blue and I immediately had it repainted this almost blue-green metallic color using birthday money from my Bubba. I then changed the original hub caps to “moonies” or sometimes called “smoothies.” That made it quite a cool car for the times.
But back to the original story. Phillip did not have his own car – he was in a large family and had to share access to the family car. So most often, I would be in the front with my date and Phillip and Cyndy would be in the back seat. Believe it or not, I was quite a talker back then and sometimes got into trouble with my dates for spending too much time batting it back and forth with Phillip and Cyndy. Over the course of many double dates with them, I found myself being attracted to Cyndy. True, she was quite a beauty and I began to feel a little jealousy driving while Phillip and Cyndy made out in the back; I could see most everything they did in the rear view mirror – watching the back seat was not a cool thing to do, but I did it anyway. Some time in the early summer of ’62, the “thing” between Philip and Cyndy began to cool and we three spent more time talking during the dates than they did making out. Then in July, Phillip called me for a double date as he needed a ride but I did not have a girl at the time and really was not inclined to rush out looking for a date. Instead, I suggested I chauffeur Phillip and Cyndy for the date. And again, we spent the entire date talking amongst the three of us; there was no making out for Phillip that night. I am not sure what happened between them after that date, but it was the last time we doubled dated. I guess I knew what was going on but one day just before the end of summer football practice, Phillip told me he had broken up with Cyndy. I think I waited about a week and then called Phillip and asked him if he would mind if I asked Cyndy out. Back then that was the gentleman’s way of doing that. I called Cyndy and asked if she would go out with me after the kickoff rally at school that Friday night and she said yes. I can remember the pep rally being in the parking lot next to the gym and I stood with the football team wearing my white letter sweater even though it was still August. And that was the start of our long, good, loving relationship. More later.