Back by popular demand, well OK, at least one of you asked for these stories... Make sure you come back next Friday nite, and the Friday after,and the Friday after, ad infintum, cuz I have two new stories written, I think you'll like them... R- Without further adeux, let the madness begin: LIFES A THRILL! American Graffiti the movie fiction art imitates life real life? Think George Lucas made up that story? Naw. It happened all of it. That film/story was about me and my pals and the rest of the country that actually lived those glory days the stuff legends are made of the stuff they make movies about. Even tho Lucass story was set in California, anywhere east of there it played out identically. The part of the movie that sticks out as the way it all went down was the drag race between Milner in his coop and Bob Falfa in the 55 during the waning hours of late evening/early morning. Id swear that was ripped right out of my life sort of like esp (extra sensory perception) Lucas tapped into, leftover from 1962. But thats another story, for another time. No, Im not gonna ask where were you in 1962? (I just did.) I was in Fremont, Nebraska, enjoying my new-found post-high school freedom no parents, no curfews, no car payments, no nothing party-time big capital letters: P-A-R-T-A-Y TIME!!!! Met Sam there and his younger brother, Curt. Sam owned the 60 Plymouth with the Sonoramic Commando dual four engine I told you of last week brute of a car. Curt rode a lot his after school job wouldnt support a car payment so he pal-ed around with the rest of us. Occasionally, hed finagle Sams car, when Sam was working, for an afternoon cruise (to the local high school ya know, where the girls were?). I worked strange hours at the supermarket got off early afternoon just in time to cruise past the HS, and the parking lot, as seniors, of the female persuasion, were getting out. Always could impress most of them with my cool 57 but then again, maybe it wasnt an impression to them hmmmmmm and maybe I wasnt so cool! Thot I was. Curt swung by the supermarket in Sams 60 one spring afternoon asked if I wanted to cruise the HS parking lot with him and grab a Coke at the local hang-out drive-in down on Highway 30. Not one to miss a chance to ride shotgun in the killer blue and white Plymouth, I jumped in. Curt had a way with females dont think he ever took Sams car without loading it with four or five girls somewhere along the way Id be a fool to turn down a ride with Curt. With all the windows down on that warm afternoon, the dual exhausts sounded sweet. Curt wasnt the type of driver to slowly pull away from a light hed nail it and wed both listen to the 383s (I think) duals scream as it slammed into second. Plymouth duals sounded much better than ratty old Ford exhaust. Dan had a Ford a 54 a Victoria with duals and an obviously warmed over 312 small block Ford in it and a three-speed on the floor. Nosed, decked, dropped (wasnt called slammed then), WWs, Olds Fiesta flippers, skirts, Lakers and painted a very light Ford Green with a white top. Nice car it ran well. We motored on down to the drive-in, one of the few times Curt had no luck with the girls, but the Cherry Coke was cold and went fast. Not wanting to sit when he could be cruising, Curt rolled the Plymouth out of the drive-in and headed east on Highway 30, toward Arlington. Just driving the Plymouth was Curts passion. Only took about 30 seconds to get to the outskirts of Fremont once past the town limit sign, Curt nailed it hard. Both four barrels sucked massive amounts of 27 cent a gallon Ethyl, the engine roared, the duals wailed and the car started floating the joints in the concrete highway. If I remember correctly, the Plymouth had a flat speedometer that lifted up little blocks in 5 mph increments. Green blocks lifted up until 70 mph, after 70, the blocks became red. Course, we knew red didnt mean danger red only meant the engine was starting to breathe starting to live. Check it out, Curt said. 120, with no effort. The car accelerated I was impressed my 57 would do 110 on the down side of a hill it never got that fast on a flat surface that quik. The Plymouth flew effortlessly at speed. The wind whipped in the side windows, into the rear seat and around the back light and made a lot of noise so much so that trying to talk was futile. Curt loved it so did I. Nothing quite like the feel of controlling a monster. About five miles out we came upon Dan in his Vicky. Curt flashed his headlights and slid into the oncoming lane we went around him so fast Im sure we were a blur and that was all Dan needed. Curt slowed cuz he was pushing his luck Highway 30 was a narrow two lane, with sloping concrete curbs on each side, and, the Hiway Patrol headquarters WAS on this side of town back in Fremont. By the time we slowed to legal speed, we were several blocks ahead of Dan. Didnt matter. Dan didnt even see us, did he? I asked. Yeah, he did. Hes coming. Hold on, Curt said, watching his rear view mirror. I turned to look out the rear just in time to see Dan slip into the oncoming lane to pass. The Plymouths dual fours suddenly went waaaaaahhhhh and I was plastered back into the seat. Curt dropped it into second as Dan got alongside the Plymouths huge fins. The Fords momentum carried him past us in a rush of wind and Ford exhaust, Dans middle finger waved over the top of his car in a salute! Hed gotten by us. But not far enuff ahead to see us in his mirror. Curt was like his brother he didnt like being bested, even if it was in a playful jest. Dont pull back in, he yelled. I didnt know who he was yelling at or what he meant. The Plymouth gathered speed and gained on the Ford. From my vantage point on the passengers side, in a few seconds, the Fords rear fender was just off the hood of the Plymouth. Curt buried his foot farther into the floor and the Ford lost a bit more ground. Curt laid on the horn as a warning. The Fords tinny dual exhausts echoed in the side windows and bounced around in the interior of the Plymouth. The dual four barrels wailed. Curt gained. Side by side, Dan looked over his shoulder. Curt grinned, took both hands off the steering wheel and gave Dan a double-fingered salute. Curt edged the Plymouth past the Fords front fender and Dan knew then the contest was lost. He was still watching us when Curt motioned for him to look up the road. An oncoming car flashed its headlights several times. Obstinacy ran in Curts family. He wasnt the type to give up a hard fought battle and didnt make a move to slow. Besides, he was in the correct lane...Dan was at fault. We saw the expression on Dans face change from a grin to oh shit! when he spotted the approaching car. The Ford immediately nose-dived and tires squealed. I watched Dan fight the wheel as the Ford fishtailed trying to scrub off enuff speed to drop in behind Curt. Hope he gets that P.O.S. Ford behind me in time, Curt said, watching the oncoming car approach us, headlights flashing crazily. When I last saw Dan out the side window, he was fighting the wheel trying to keep that Ford from locking up the brakes and still get in behind Curt. The concrete curbs on Highway 30 were an engineering screw-up at anything approaching 50 mph or above, if you put a bias-ply tire up on the curb, you were immediately pulled off the highway onto the three-foot narrow shoulder, no matter how tight you held onto the steering wheel. It was everything you could do to hold the rest of the car on the highway, keep yourself from going into the ditch and try to ease the car back onto the highway. Curt wasnt going to move over and chance that, not with his brothers car and NOT at that speed. The oncoming car slowed, flashed its lights rapidly and slipped up on the narrow shoulder. A collision couldnt be avoided becuz there was nowhere the oncoming car could go what with the ditches filled with standing water. With barely seconds before the collision, Dan whipped the Ford in behind us. Rocks and gravel flew from behind the oncoming car up on the shoulder and the driver angrily waved his middle finger at both of us. Curt knew the afternoon romp was a bust and he was in trouble if the driver of the car had recognized the Plymouth as Sams. We took an immediate right at the next county road intersection and drove into Fremont the back way to avoid the Hiway Patrol if wed been reported. Not much was said as we headed home. It was a close one for Dan. Curt dropped me off at the supermarket and roared off to give the car back to Sam. Weeks later, at the drive-in, he and I laughed about that afternoon. Dan didnt think it was a bit funny, saying he almost got killed, but chalked it up to experience and living in the fast lane. Sam never got a visit from the Hiway Patrol about endangering oncoming traffic, so Curts secret afternoon race was safe. Dan never got reported either. Im not sure, to this day, if Curt ever told Sam about that afternoon. Truth be known, I never told anyone I was scared speechless. Copyright 10-11-02 R.A.Jetter/Aden Rush Originally posted on The Jalopy Journal 10-11-02 Did you like this story? If so, theres 25 similar stories about the 1960s in my book: Bangin Gears & Bustin Heads autographed, personalized and available from my website. PayPal is accepted, so is Money Order, Visa, MC and CASH!!!