"My wife and I were sitting at a table at her high school reunion,
and she kept staring at a drunken man swigging his drink as he sat alone at
a nearby table. I asked her, 'Do you know him?' Yes,' she sighed, Yes He's
my old boyfriend...I understand he took to drinking right after we split up,
those many years ago, and I hear he hasn't been sober since..'
My God!' I said, 'who wouldn't think a person could go on celebrating that
long would you?'
Doctor says I will be alright but would probably always walk with a limp"...
I don't know if I ever told yawl about me taking Billy Jean
Ledbetter to the drive-in. My Daddy had a A-Model back in 1949, the back had
been cut off and made into a pick-up, the seat was a folded up blanket. I
had never carried Billy Jean to the drive-in so it would be a first for both
of us. I never carried her again, I'm getting ahead of myself. The
Ledbetter's lived out in the country near Soso,Ms. Her Daddy hunted
squirrels with a single shot 22, they always had plenty of squirrels to eat
folks said. Her Daddy was cleaning that rifle on the front porch and he told
me, " Be sure Billy Jean don't get fooled-with, I know where you live, boy".
That kept pounding in my head all the way back to town. We had no more than
got parked at the drive-in, and Billy Jean lit-in after me. I was in no mood
for romance, I felt my life depended on my ability to fight her off and not
graze her or pull a button off her blouse. We had to get out and fold that
blanket back up at least a half dozen times, I didn't care, I needed the
respite. I felt if I could keep her eating chili dogs I could distract her,
that worked only while she ate the chili dogs and drank R C cola. Two chili
dogs and a R C cola was a quarter in those days. I made a lot of vows that
night, few I kept except the one to never carry a girl to the drive-in that
out weighed me and was much stronger than I was. I knew I would not keep the
one about staying clear of moon-shine but I was in a desperate situation. I
was in a mood to swear celibacy for the rest of my life and never touch
"shine" again if It would spare me getting gun shot.
I knew I was fighting for my life, I felt like Jacob wrestling with
that angel at Jacob's Ladder, I prayed I would not leave with a limp, like
Jacob did. As long as I could keep her distracted with Chile dogs I could
rest up for her next round of attacking me, I began to realize I had already
spent half my life's saving and Billy Jean was just getting stronger. A
couple times I worried that we might turn that A-Model over. Somehow my shoe
got caught in the steering wheel and went flying across the parking lot. I
got home limping after all, some low class stole my shoe. Next day I was
wearing one brown shoe and one black shoe. I lost the other black one trying
to help my Uncle Cooter catch a hog, none of us had ever seen a hog would
eat a shoe before. I finally got her home, I stopped at a Billups gas
station for her to freshen up, I told her to take her time. They only had
one key to the bathroom and it was hooked to a boat paddle, they did that
back then. I never got shot but I sure spent a lot of time explaining in
church that my vows were made in jest.