More brain dredging about my life as a child…
It seems I had a new “2nd best friend” every school year. Cliff was my best friend, but I’d meet a new kid every year. We’d hangout together, do sleepovers and such, you know, kid stuff. When I was about ten, I met Glen.
Glen had quite a setup at his backyard, a tree-house, swing-sets and such and we got along together fairly well. His folks had money, his mother was a diehard Elvis fan. They also had a PPV (people powered vehicle), it looked like one of those paddle boats you see, except this had wheels. With the both of us pedaling our little asses off, we would terrorize the neighborhood with it.
He had a “girlfriend,” I’ll call her Julie. The three of us would hang out sometimes. Julie was a good looker and used to give us “peep shows” in the tree house. My that was much for my little 10 year-old brain.
Well, anyways, one day I went over to Glen’s house after school. We’d setup to meet and hang around together. Glen and Julie were on the front porch. As I walked up the yard, he came down off the porch to meet me. As he came up to me he sucker-punched me right in the stomach. I never did figure out a reason for that. Maybe he was showing of his girl. Whatever the reason, I went home, gasping for breath and cried a little. Wondering what I had done to him, for him to treat me like that. I never have told anyone else about this, certainly not my folks. I was a shy, skinny kid who tried to be friends with everybody, who could not fight and had no concept that people could be like that.
Eventually I got over it, I lived in that city for two more years and never even talked to Glen after that. He had tried to make up to me but I had been betrayed and never did forgive. If that had been all the excitement I had in my life, the incident would soon be forgotten. But, unfortunately, things can always get worse and usually do.
I’ve been hinting about the “Return of the Goat!” Well, let’s get down to it!
Dad sold the Catalina shortly after he bought the wagon. He went through several other vehicles that he used to commute with. He had a motorcycle, an old BSA, for a while. He had a Triumph Spitfire for about a year. It was a convertible with a “rust-brown” paint job. Eventually he sold that, too (do you know how hard it is to get three kids in a Spitfire?).
His last car was, you guess it, a ’65 GTO. The Goat had returned, this time in a fire-engine-red hardtop incarnation. My dad and I put in lots of hours keeping up the maintenance on that beast. I loved that car and much as my dad did and made every effort to ride in it when I could. It was not as fancy as the old Goat, but it had plenty of power and Dad was never afraid to lead foot it around town. Before we left VA, he had to sell the Goat. We were moving 6000 miles away and the Goat couldn’t come. Waaahhh!!
Next: Other memories and leaving VA…