My wife, Donna Joy Hyland, and I began dating in 1959, when we were seniors at Garinger High School in Charlotte. Sometimes –OK, pretty often– we parked on some quiet residential street after the movie, held hands, and counted stars.
Sometimes we dated in a 1951 Plymouth named “Suzie” that Dad drove back and forth to work. Sometimes we went out in her car, a heavier than lead ’49 Chevrolet she called the “Gray Ghost.”
One evening, after we had finished counting, her car wouldn’t start.
This was a problem, not because we were so far from her house — we were only a mile, mile and a half away. It was a problem because of where we were parked. How was I going to explain that to her father, who had greeted me after one date holding a shotgun — Donna said he was just teasing.
What I had to do, I decided, was push the “Gray Ghost” to a commercial area.
So I started pushing. Donna steered.
When we finally got to The Plaza, I thought, heck fire, why not push it on across Independence Boulevard?
And I did. And, by then, we were only two blocks from her street, Chesterfield Avenue. And from there it was downhill most of the way. So I pushed her car all the way back home.
No explanation required.
Coming Monday: Jail Party