Saturday, March 7

June 1949 ... JoAnn, Joyce and myself are trying to find something to do until time to go down by the Sweet Shoppe, find us a booth, and play some good music while eating one of Nell’s good hotdogs. We had been to Steele’s Drug earlier and had us a good cherry coke and thought since we had made the rounds we would go up to my house on Liberty Street, and hope that Dwight Gross would come by. He was one of our favorites to keep company with. One thing about Dwight he was so bashful and we always hugged on him making him turn so beety red.We heard a odd sound coming from East Main and lo and behold it was Dwight turning up toward Liberty Street. The odd sound was coming from his brand new 1949 125 Harley Davidson Motorbike or Motorcycle. We had heard that he had bought it June 3, 1949, so it was brand new, at least to us, for we had never seen it, or really had never seen up close one of those machines.My granny was sitting on the front porch smoking her old clay pipe muttering to herself, “what is that honery critter doing, and I think a feller sots upon it, Idy, one would likely get kilt on that whatever you call it.” I told Granny that was only Dwight Gross coming to show us his new bike and to give us all a ride. Down off the porch we go, Jo Ann in front and she hopped up behind Dwight before he could say, “You all want a ride on my new Harley?” Joyce and I watched as they sped off, Jo Ann waiving at us left behind. Joyce asks me if I was going to take a chance and ride on it. I told her I definitely would not turn a ride down, but I was thinking about asking him to let me take a turn at taking it for a spin just me and his new Harley.I thought they were gone a little long but I reckon they had made a complete round of East Main down to Collins’ Market, turning in to Maple Street, whizzing on up Maple, to the Dr. Pepper Plant, then turning back down East Main Street and finally stopping between Joyce and I. Joyce decided she did not want to ride at this time but would try one later. That left me and I asked Dwight to let me take a stab at riding this Harley by myself. Now, he had just come from delivering papers up on Laurel Street, Pine Street, Lyttle Blvd. and Cedar Street and I knew he was tired. I told him he could rest and talk to Jo Ann while I rode just a little piece up Liberty Street and I would make a turn at the Liberty Street School House and come back down. Bless his heart I could tell he was wanting to turn me down but he let me go, and I had no trouble getting in the seat and starting it up, and I told him I would go slowly because all the neighborhood kids were out playing in the road and I surely didn’t want to skin one of them. What a ride, I had learned to get upon the bike, turn it on, but did not ask how to start and did not know the first thing about stopping this thing. I slowed down to almost a stop and knowing I had to stop I chose to siddle up to the steps of the Liberty Street School which not only slowed me down, it completely stopped me, skining the right side of my leg a little but when I picked up the bike, to my amazement and lucky, Dwight’s Harley was a little dusty but no dents as I could tell.I slowed down to a crawl and Dwight stepped out in front of me to stop me for I reckon he knew I didn’t know how to stop it. Granny was hollering over the bannisters, “Idy, git off that honery critter, fer you don’t have no insurance for riding something like that and if you break your limbs won’t you be a pretty sight all stoved up?” Granny always made sure she was in on what was going on on Liberty Street as all the neighbors will attest to. I threw her a big kiss into the air and she grunted a little and went right on back to rocking and smoking.Such was a priceless day marking memories with my friends, Dwight Gross, Jo Ann and Joyce in the Summer of 1949 ... (Update: Dwight married Janice Hurt and they live in Alabama. He worked for government contractors on space projects until he retired. Joyce passed away, leaving her husband, Jack Bellis, of Lexington, Ky. And JoAnn lives in Louisville, Ky.)

No comments:

Post a Comment