I have a childhood memory I consider special. Although, it is a little odd really.

As I recall it was a short ride with daddy. Probably no more than a half mile from home since the only thing separating us from our destination was the Oak Hill Cemetery whose fence was comprised of old wooden posts strung with rusty barbed wire.  Was the goal to keep people in or out? Should a child wonder such things? Perhaps. I loved the beautiful fountain at the entrance of the graveyard. Especially at night. The waters were aglow with underwater lights. Grand it was! It was as beautiful as the fence was ugly.

I was about three years old. I say “about” based on the fact I could stand between daddy and his friend without hitting my head on the interior of the car.  Daddy drove a red 1959 Cadillac with a soft top. As a car salesman he had the option of driving his car of choice off the lot. This car fit his personality to a T, classy and quick.  The front seat was the equivalent of a well-padded pew and had a rear view mirror in which I could see my entire head of curly locks. I could also see the cold bottle of beer between my two little hands. I held it high so it wouldn’t spill and felt very important.

Although I can not recall how I ended up going with him mama says it was the night she went for chow and a Frank Sinatra concert with her sister. She had hired a babysitter to care for my little brother and me which was exceptional since she was a homebody. No doubt a long overdue night out.  In her absence he dismissed the sitter and took me with him leaving my sleeping sibling alone. Daddy was happy and singing to Bobbie Darin’s Mack the Knife as his friend climbed from the car at his destination, an old trailer court. He laughed from the affects of many beers. His party buddy stumbled from the car with a “ciao,” and we set off for home.

As we pulled into our driveway our home’s entrance was decorated with mama’s petite and graceful silhouette. Even in the most trying of circumstances mama stayed calm most of the time, but this was an exception. They shared a few somewhat heated words. But all ended well.

I got to carry daddy’s beer bottle for him, we made it home safe, my little brother was still asleep, my parents stayed together another five years and I have this lovely yet perplexing memory.


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