Thank You For Visiting

Texas Bob's World

 

 

Listen with Windows Media Player Plug-in


 

A FIRST DATE

 

I HAD DROPPED TO MY HANDS AND KNEES TO PICK UP THE BOXES OF TIDE WASHING POWDER I HAD KNOCKED OFF THE PYRAMID DISPLAY AND SCATTERED ALL OVER THE AISLE WHEN I SAW THESE RED HIGH HEEL PUMPS. THEY HAD FOUR INCH SPIKE HEELS AND FEET IN THEM WITH THE TOE NAILS PAINTED THE SAME COLOR AS THE SHOES. WHEN THE SOAP FELL I SAID, "I ALMOST GOT YOU DIDNíT I," TO THE GIRL STANDING THERE IN THE AISLE. SHE ANSWERED, "NOT YET", AND WALKED OFF. I DIDNíT KNOW IT AT THE TIME BUT HER NAME WAS "JOHNNIE."

I WAS WORKING AT HIGGS GROCERY STORY ON THE GILMER HIGHWAY IN GLADEWATER. I WORKED FOR THREE HOURS AFTER SCHOOL MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY AND ALL DAY SATURDAY. I WAS MAKING 45 CENTS AN HOUR AND HAD FINALLY SAVED ENOUGH MONEY TO BUY ME A CAR. IT WASNíT MUCH OF A CAR BUT IT RAN. IT WAS A 1937 CHEVROLET FOUR DOOR SEDAN. IT HAD BELONGED TO A MAN DAD WORKED WITH BY THE NAME OF MR. WILSON.. YOUíVE GOT TO PUT ALL THIS INTO PERSPECTIVE. IT WAS 1950 AND I WAS 18 YEARS OLD. WHEN MR. WILSON HAD BOUGHT A NEW CAR IN 1949 HE PUT THE OLD 1937 CHEVY ON BLOCKS IN THE TRUCK SHED AT THE OIL CAMP YARD WHERE HE AND DAD WORKED.

I BOUGHT IT FROM HIM FOR $100. THIS WAS IN SEPTEMBER OF 1950 AND I WAS A SENIOR AT GLADEWATER HIGH SCHOOL. YOUíVE GOT TO REMEMBER THAT PRICES AND WAGES WERENíT ANYTHING LIKE THEY ARE TODAY. WELL ANYWAY I BOUGHT THE OLD CHEVY FROM MR. WILSON AND WHEN I WENT AFTER IT I HAD TO GET IT OFF THE BLOCKS. BUT BEFORE I DID THAT I HAD TO TAKE A HAND PUMP AND PUMP UP THE TIRES. WHEN I GOT ABOUT 20 POUNDS OF AIR IN EACH TIRE I HAD HAD ALL OF THAT HAND PUMP I WANTED. THEN I HAD TO JACK UP EACH CORNER OF THE CAR AND KICK THE BLOCKS OUT FROM UNDER IT. THIS SET THE CAR ON THE GROUND AND SET ME DOWN AT THE FRONT OF THE SHED FOR A REST. WELL I FINALLY GOT THE OLD CHEVY RUNNING, BUT HOW I DID IT IS A WHOLE NOTHER STORY FOR A DIFFERENT TIME.

I WAS TELLING YOU ABOUT WHEN I WORKED AT HIGGS GROCERY. THERE WAS ANOTHER BOY THAT WORKED THERE ON FRIDAY AFTERNOONS AND SATURDAYS. HIS NAME WAS JAMES ROWAN. JAMES HAD A GIRL FRIEND THAT LIVED AT EAST MOUNTAIN. THAT WAS ABOUT 9 MILES AWAY. JAMESí GRANDPARENTS LIVED UP THERE AND THE ONLY TIME HE GOT TO SEE THIS GIRL FRIEND WAS WHEN HIS MOTHER WENT HOME TO SEE HER PARENTS. JAMES KEPT AGGRAVATING ME ABOUT TAKING HIM TO SEE HIS GIRL FRIEND. ITíS SURPRISING HOW POPULAR YOU GET WHEN YOU GET A CAR. I KEPT TELLING HIM "SOME DAY."

IN THE MEAN TIME BILLY OíBRIAN AND I DECIDED TO GO TO LAKE CHEROKEE FISHING. LAKE CHEROKEE WAS A FAIRLY NEW LAKE AT THE TIME AND MY PARENTS OWNED A WATER FRONT LOT ON THE LAKE. WE KEPT A SMALL WOODEN BOAT AT OUR LOT. WE HAD A THREE HORSE JOHNSON OUTBOARD MOTOR WE USED ON THE BOAT. THAT MORNING LONG BEFORE DAYLIGHT WE LOADED THE OUTBOARD MOTOR, OUR RODS, AND OUR TACKLE BOXES IN MY OLD CHEVY AND HEADED FOR THE LAKE.

ITíS ONLY ABOUT 12 MILES FROM MY HOUSE TO THE LAKE BUT BACK THEN MOST OF THE ROADS WERE DIRT ROADS. YOU COULD ONLY DRIVE ABOUT 20 TO 30 MILES AN HOUR ON THESE ROADS. BUT THATíS ALRIGHT BECAUSE THATíS ABOUT ALL MY OLD CAR WOULD RUN. WE WERE CHUGGING DOWN THIS DIRT ROAD WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN THE LIGHTS WENT OUT AND THE MOTOR DIED. I GOT THE CAR STOPPED WITHOUT RUNNING INTO THE BAR DITCH. I TURNED TO BILLY AND SAID, "NOW WHAT?" I TRIED TO START THE MOTOR AGAIN AND "NOTHING!" EVERYTHING WAS DEAD AS A DOOR NAIL.

I SIT THERE A FEW MINUTES THINKING ABOUT IT. THEN I DECIDED TO CHECK THE BATTERY TO SEE IF ONE OF THE CABLES HAD COME LOOSE. NOW IN 1937 CHEVROLET MOTOR COMPANY HAD PUT THE BATTERY UNDER THE FLOOR BOARD UNDER THE DRIVERSí FEET. IT WAS ACCESSIBLE BY PULLING BACK THE CARPET AND LIFTING A METAL PANEL OUT OF THE WAY. THE BATTERY SET ON A THIN METAL STRAP WITH THE POSITIVE CABLE GOING OVER TO THE STARTER AND THE NEGATIVE CABLE ATTACHING TO THE FRAME FOR THE GROUND.

WHEN I RAISED THE METAL PANEL TO LOOK AT THE BATTERY ALL I SAW WAS ---THE GROUND! THERE WAS NO BATTERY! THERE WAS NO METAL STRAP! THERE WAS ONLY THE GROUND! I SAID BILLY OUR BATTERY IS GONE! WE WALKED BACK DOWN THE ROAD A FEW YARDS AND FOUND THE BATTERY LAYING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. THAT STRAP THE BATTERY HAD SAT ON HAD RUSTED THROUGH AND BROKE. THE BATTERY HAD FALLEN TO THE GROUND JERKING THE CABLES LOOSE AND THIS CAUSE THE LIGHTS TO GO OUT AND THE MOTOR TO DIE. WE CARRIED THE BATTERY BACK TO THE CAR AND PUT THE CABLES BACK ON. WE GOT SOME WIRE OFF OF A BARB WIRE FENCE BESIDE THE ROAD AND WIRED THE BATTERY BACK IN PLACE. WE STARTED THE CAR AND WENT ON TO THE LAKE TO GO FISHING.

WHEN WE GOT TO THE LAKE WE PUT THE OUT BOARD MOTOR ON THE BOAT AND WENT TO THE UPPER END OF THE LAKE WHERE THERE WAS A LOT OF THICK BRUSH WITH ABOUT SIX FEET OF WATER. I HAD FISHED THERE BEFORE AND THERE WERE A LOT OF BASS THERE. BUT THATíS NOT ALL WE FOUND THERE THAT MORNING. WE WERE WORMING OUR WAY THROUGH THIS THICK BRUSH CATCHING A BASS NOW AND THEN WHEN WE FOUND SOMETHING ELSE. AS WE PUSHED THROUGH SOME EXTRA THICK BRUSH WE PUSHED THE BOAT RIGHT NEXT TO AN ALLIGATOR, AND WHAT AN ALLIGATOR!

HE WAS TEN FEET LONG. OUR BOAT WAS ONLY TWELVE FEET LONG. THE ALLIGATOR WAS LAYING ON TOP OF SOME BRUSH AND ABOUT HALF OUT OF THE WATER. HIS BACK WAS DRY LIKE HE HAD BEEN THERE A LONG TIME. I KNEW THE LAKE WARDEN HAD BEEN SHOOTING SOME OF THE GATORS WITH HIS 30-30 . A BUNCH OF THE LADIES DIDNíT LIKE THE IDEA OF GATORS IN THE LAKE WHERE THEY WERE SWIMMING AND SKIING.

NOW WE ARENíT SIX FEET AWAY FROM THIS BIG GATOR. I KEEP LOOKING FOR A BULLET HOLE BUT I CANíT SEE ONE. BILLY AND I TALK ABOUT THE GATOR AND HE KEEPS TELLING ME TO LEAVE IT ALONE AND LETíS GET OUT OF HERE. I KEEP TELLING HIM HOW VALUABLE A GATOR HIDE THIS BIG IS AND WE SHOULD TIE ON TO HIM AND DRAG HIM BACK TO SHORE. IíM SITTING IN THE BACK OF THE BOAT SO I PICK UP MY PADDLE AND PADDLE THE BACK OF THE BOAT UP TO THE HEAD OF THE GATOR. THE ONLY THING WE HAD IN THE BOAT TO TIE ONTO THE GATOR WITH IS THE SAFETY CHAIN ON THE MOTOR. THIS IS A PIECE OF SMALL CHAIN ABOUT SIX FEET LONG THAT IS TIED TO THE MOTOR ON ONE END AND THE TO THE BOAT BY THE OTHER. THE PURPOSE OF THIS CHAIN IS TO SAVE YOUR MOTOR SHOULD YOU HIT A STUMP OR LOG AND KNOCK YOUR MOTOR OFF THE BOAT.

WELL AS I SAID I HAD PADDLED THE BACK OF THE BOAT TO WITHIN 12 INCHES OF THE GATORS HEAD. I INTENDED TO TIE THE GATOR TO THE BACK OF THE BOAT WITH THIS SAFETY CHAIN. BILLY SAID, "LOREN ARE YOU ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, 100% SURE HE IS DEAD." I STOOD UP TO GET A BETTER LOOK AT HIM, HOPING TO SEE A BULLET HOLE. NO BULLET HOLE. I TOOK THE PADDLE AND HIT HIM ON THE HEAD SEVERAL TIMES. NOTHING. I SAID, "SEE BILLY HEíS DEAD." BUT BY THIS TIME BILLYíS DOUBTS HAD BEGUN TO SOAK INTO MY MIND.

I DECIDED TO TEST THIS GATOR ONE MORE TIME BEFORE I TIED HIM TO THE BOAT. I TOOK THE CORNER OF THE PADDLE AND POKED HIM IN THE EYE. THAT DEAD ALLIGATOR CAME ALIVE IN A HURRY! HE TURNED AROUND 180 DEGREES AND SWAM OFF IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE. IN THE PROCESS HIS TAIL HIT THE BACK CORNER OF THE BOAT AND BROKE THE 1 Ĺ INCH OAK BOARD THAT WAS THE TRANSOME AND FILLED THE BOAT Ĺ FULL OF WATER.

IíM STANDING THERE WATCHING THIS TRAIL OF BUBBLES GOING AWAY FROM THE BOAT. WELL, STANDING IS NOT ACCURATE. IíM TO SCARED TO SIT DOWN AND TO WEAK TO STAND UP. IíM SORT OF DRAPED OVER THE PADDLE LOOKING SICK. VERY QUIETLY BILLY SAID, "LOREN IíVE GOT TO GO HOME AND CHANGE MY PANTS." WELL THAT ENDED OUR FISHING TRIP FOR THAT DAY. COME TO THINK ABOUT IT BILLY NEVER WENT FISHING WITH ME AGAIN. I WONDER WHY?

THE NEXT WEEK AT WORK JAMES STARTED IN ON ME AGAIN. THIS TIME HE SAID HE WOULD GET ME A DATE WITH HIS AUNT THAT LIVED AT EAST MOUNTAIN IF I WOULD TAKE HIM TO SEE HIS GIRL FRIEND. WE COULD DOUBLE DATE AND GO TO LONGVIEW TO THE DRIVE IN MOVIE. HE WOULD BUY ME A TANK OF GAS AND PAY FOR THE MOVIE FOR ALL FOUR OF US. I FINALLY TOLD HIM OK. YOU SET IT UP FOR THIS COMING SATURDAY NIGHT AND WE WOULD GO. IíM NOT SURE ABOUT THIS OLD MAID AUNT STUFF BUT I CAN USE A TANK OF GASOLINE.

SATURDAY EVENING WE GOT OFF WORK AT 6:00 PM AND HEADED FOR EAST MOUNTAIN. WHEN WE GOT TO JAMESí AUNT LEONAS' HOUSE WE FOUND THAT JOHNNIE HAD FORGOTTEN ALL ABOUT THE DATE. SHE HAD BEEN WORKING IN THE BIG GARDEN HER BROTHER-IN-LAW AND HER SISTER LEONA HAD. WHEN WE DROVE UP JOHNNIE RAN IN THE BACK DOOR OF THE HOUSE AND DISAPPEARED. JAMES WENT INTO THE HOUSE TO SEE WHAT WAS GOING ON. HE CAME BACK IN A COUPLE OF MINUTES AND SAID SHE WOULD BE READY IN A LITTLE WHILE. I SHOULD COME ON IN AND MEET HIS OTHER AUNT AND HER FAMILY.

I BEGAN TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS OLD MAID AUNT I SUPPOSEDLY HAD A DATE WITH. HER NAME WAS JOHNNIE KATE AND SHE WAS 17 YEARS OLD. SHE WAS A SENIOR AT EAST MOUNTAIN HIGH SCHOOL AND SHE WAS CUTE (MY OBSERVATION) EVEN BARE FOOTED AND DIRTY FROM WORKING IN THE GARDEN. SHE STAYED WITH HER OLDER SISTER LEONA SOMETIMES. THIS HAPPENED TO BE ONE OF THOSE TIMES. HER OLDER SISTER HAD ONE SON NAMED RAY. HE WAS 14 YEARS OLD.

AS JAMES AND I SAT THERE WAITING FOR JOHNNIE TO GET READY, RAY AND HIS MOTHER SAT THERE IN THE FRONT ROOM WITH US. JOHNNIES' SISTER WAS SEVERAL YEARS OLDER THEN JOHNNIE AND ACTED MORE LIKE A MOTHER THAN A SISTER. SHE WAS GIVING ME THE THIRD DEGREE ABOUT WHO I WAS AND WHO MY PARENTS WERE. WHERE I LIVED AND IN GENERAL WHAT MY INTENTIONS WERE ABOUT HER LITTLE SISTER?

AFTER ANSWERING ALL HER QUESTIONS THE CONVERSATION CAME TO A HALT. I SAT THERE WITH MY COWBOY HAT IN MY HANDS WORRYING IT ROUND AND ROUND. THE ONLY THING I COULD THINK OF TO TALK ABOUT WAS MY FISHING TRIP WITH BILLY. SO I STARTED TELLING ABOUT THE BATTERY FALLING OFF THE CAR. THEN HOW WE FINALLY GOT TO THE LAKE AND WAS OUT IN THE BOAT FISHING. AS I CAME TO THE PART ABOUT THE ALLIGATOR I REALIZED THAT MIGHT NOT BE THE SMARTEST THING TO TELL. ESPECIALLY TO JOHNNIEíS OLDER SISTER WHEN JOHNNIE AND I WERE ABOUT TO HAVE OUR FIRST DATE. BY THIS TIME I HAD ABOUT RUINED MY COWBOY HAT I WAS SO NERVOUS.

I REALIZED I WAS INTO MY STORY TO DEEP TO STOP NOW. DAMN THE TORPEDOES---ER ALLIGATORS, FULL SPEED AHEAD. I TOLD ABOUT THE ALLIGATOR. JOHNNIEíS SISTER STOOD UP AND EXCUSED HER SELF AND LEFT THE ROOM. I BET SHE WAS THINKING THIS BOY IS THE BIGGEST LIAR OR THE CRAZIEST PERSON SHE HAD EVER MET. RAY JUST SAT THERE ON THE FLOOR AND SAID, WA-HOO! I THOUGHT TO MYSELF THAT DID IT BOY, THERE WONT BE ANY DATE TONIGHT!

ABOUT THAT TIME JOHNNIE CAME INTO THE ROOM AND ANNOUNCED SHE WAS READY TO GO. ME AND MY POOR COWBOY HAT WERE TOO. JAMES, JOHNNIE, AND I GOT INTO MY CAR AND DROVE OVER TO JAMESí GIRL FRIENDíS HOUSE. HE WENT IN TO GET HER AND JOHNNIE AND I WAITED IN THE CAR. JAMES WAS BACK IN 3 MINUTES BY HIMSELF. HE SAID HIS GIRL FRIENDíS DADDY WOULDNíT LET HER GO. HE WOULDNíT EVEN LET JAMES TALK TO HER. JAMES SAID HE TOLD HIM TO GET BACK IN THAT CAR AND GO, AND DONíT BOTHER TO COME BACK, EVER! I THINK JAMES TOOK HIS ADVICE BECAUSE THE NEXT TIME JAMES TALKED ABOUT A GIRL FRIEND IT WAS A DIFFERENT GIRL.

WELL WE WERE OFF TO LONGVIEW. INSTEAD OF A MOVIE WE DECIDED TO GO BOWLING. AFTER BOWLING SEVERAL GAMES WE WENT TO THE LOCAL DRIVE-IN WHERE ALL THE TEENAGERS HUNG OUT. AT THAT TIME THEY HAD CAR HOPS SO WE PLACED OUR ORDERS AND SAT IN THE CAR AND LISTENED TO THE LOUISIANA HAY RIDE ON THE CAR RADIO. THE LOUISIANA HAY RIDE WAS A PROGRAM OF COUNTRY AND WESTERN MUSIC COMING FROM A LIVE STAGE IN SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA. FEATURED ON THE SHOW WERE SINGERS LIKE HANK WILLIAMS, PORTER WAGGONER, PASTY CLINE, KITTY WELLS AND MANY OTHERS THAT WENT ON TO BECOME FAMOUS IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY. ELVIS PRESSLY AND WILLIE NELSON EVEN APPEARED ON THE LOUISIANA HAY RIDE IN THEIR EARLY DAYS.

WELL JOHNNIE FINALLY SAID IT WAS TIME FOR HER TO GO HOME. I SAID OK AND FLASHED MY HEAD LIGHTS FOR THE CAR HOP TO PICK UP OUR TRAY. I TURNED OFF THE RADIO AND STEPPED ON THE STARTER. THE BATTERY SAID UG-UG-UG-Ooo AND DIED. HUH-O THAT RADIO HAD BEEN ON TO LONG. JOHNNIE AND JAMES HAD TO GET OUT AND PUSH. I PUT THE OLD CHEVY IN SECOND GEAR AND POPPED THE CLUTCH. IT STARTED! I TOOK JOHNNIE HOME. WHEN I WALKED HER TO THE DOOR I ASKED HER IF SHE WOULD LIKE TO GO OUT AGAIN THE NEXT FRIDAY. I TOLD HER I WOULD HAVE A NEW BATTERY IN MY CAR BY THEN AND SHE WOULDNíT HAVE TO PUSH IT ANYMORE. SHE SAID YES AND I WAS ON CLOUD NINE. I THOUGHT MAYBE THIS DATING OLD MAIDS WASNíT SO BAD AS LONG AS THEY WERENíT OVER 17 YEARS OLD.

THAT NEXT FRIDAY NIGHT I FOUND MY WAY BACK TO EAST MOUNTAIN WITHOUT JAMESí HELP. JOHNNIE AND I WENT OUT AND HAD A GOOD TIME. WHEN I WAS DRIVING JOHNNIE HOME SHE WAS SITTING CLOSE TO ME, VERY CLOSE! I TURNED MY HEAD TOWARD HER TO SAY SOMETHING JUST AS SHE TURNED HER HEAD TOWARD ME. OUR LIPS MET IN A KISS! MY FIRST KISS! AND ALL I COULD SAY WAS "YOUR NOT HELPING MY DRIVING ANY." BOY WAS THAT DUMB OR WHAT? JOHNNIE SCOOTED OVER TO HER SIDE OF THE CAR AND SAID, VERY COOLLY, "WELL IíLL GIVE YOU ALL THE ROOM YOU NEED." WELL THAT DATE DIDNíT END AS HAPPY AS THE FIRST ONE AND I WAS AFRAID TO ASK FOR ANOTHER DATE THAT NIGHT. I WAS AFRAID SHE WOULD SAY NO.

DURING THE NEXT WEEK AT SCHOOL I KEPT ASKING JAMES IF HE HAD HEARD FROM JOHNNIE. HE KEPT TELLING ME NO. FINALLY AT WORK ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON HE SAID JOHNNIE WAS COMING TO SPEND THE WEEK END WITH THEM AT GLADEWATER. JUST AS SOON AS HE SAID THAT I TOLD HIM I WOULD GIVE HIM A LIFT HOME AFTER WORK. WHEN WE GOT TO JAMESí HOUSE I SAW JOHNNIE OUT IN THE BACK YARD. I WENT BACK TO SAY HI. WE TALKED FOR A FEW MINUTES AND I FINALLY GOT UP ENOUGH COURAGE TO ASK HER FOR A DATE THE NEXT NIGHT. SHE HESITATED FOR WHAT SEEMED LIKE SEVERAL MINUTES THEN SAID, "OK."

LOREN AND JOHNNIE'S FIRST DATE

WELL IíVE BEEN DATING JOHNNIE FOR 50 YEARS NOW AND EACH DATE JUST GETS BETTER THAN THE LAST ONE. OF COURSE SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY WE GOT MARRIED, BUT THATíS A WHOLE NOTHER STORY FOR A DIFFERENT TIME!

 BY LOREN MOORE

1999

 

 

 JOIN OUR FREE MAIL LIST?

  CLICK ON THE RED HEART

.

I would love to hear your comments on the pages we prepare  and recommend, we enjoy doing it for your pleasure, our pleasure is receiving your comments.

Page design By: Texas Bob

Visitors to the site since 7-12-03

free web counter