Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Roadtrip 307


Roadtrip 307

5/10 Tuesday

10:30 is a good wakeup after a late night visiting friends, right?

Entenmann’s blueberry muffins and, echoes of my childhood, Borden’s Dutch Chocolate milk. The dad of one of my friends in grammar school was a delivery driver for Borden’s. Like many people in the 50s, we still had milk delivered to our house when I was a kid, until we got too sophisticated for that. And I sure remember the taste of Borden’s Dutch Chocolate moo juice. There was also a Borden’s outlet, or maybe it was their main distribution center, I dunno, near us and once in a while we’d go there for ice cream cuz they had a retail service counter. The surest way to make that happen was to get the youngest, Judy, to beg dad to take us. That almost always worked.

The other big dairy in the city in those days was Brown’s Velvet. Their store was on Carrollton Avenue, IIRC. Before we moved to the suburbs, we lived near the intersection of Carrollton and St. Charles and I started school at Mater Dolorosa on Carrollton, making Brown’s Velvet my home dairy in those years. Brown’s Velvet figured into my later life in senior year of high school when one of my classmates went a little crazy and held it up at gunpoint then sat on their banquette and waited for the cops to arrive and take him away. I think he got the mental help he needed after that. I hope so. He was an ok guy.

And Sealtest. I forgot about Sealtest Dairy.

He wasn’t the only one who got wound a little too tight and snapped in response. Some of us got accepted to that school in 8th grade, making senior year our 5th year there. One kid from somewhere down the bayou with a noticeable Cajun accent finally had enough of the bullshit and in the Spring of senior year gave one of the priests a memorable what-for in an enthusiastic word salad of English and French. He was expelled after four and three-quarters years there when he was a gnat’s whisker from graduation. Interesting that by that time he had more than enough credits for a high school diploma. One of my other five-year buddies was asked to not return for senior year after his junior year because he’d been out sick so much. At least, that’s the story I heard. He transferred to another school and in order to graduate from there he took one class, guitar, the whole year, just to have actual hours at the school he graduated from. He had a nice senior year there, he and his wonderful car, the “Blue Goose.” We had some good times in that Blue Goose.

My favorite memory in that vein (losing fellow students after four years or more but before graduation) was the “cafeteria incident.” The setting: Senior year. Spring. The cafeteria. A kid whose dad was a federal judge and whose house had every room covered in religious murals (I went there for a party once. The mom had us all kneel and pray before the party started. Thus, the scene for rank insanity is set.) was in the lunch line when someone cut in front of him. How do you respond to that kind of aggression? Well, that particular day, that kid’s response was to slam his fork firmly into the offender’s neck. Firmly. And fully. Full fathom five thy father lies? Nah, full tine deep thy implement to assist mastication pierces yon offensive stalk holding the brigand’s meon clear of his arrogant shoulders. That’ll teach ya, muthafuckah! NO CUTS!

But apparently stabs are optional.

He finished the year in a psychiatric facility but still got his diploma. Unlike the Cajun kid. Yes, it pays to be connected, moreso in New Orleans than in most places, I think.

A donation to the building fund? Why, thank you, Judge. Of course, we understand about your son and we hope he’s getting the help he needs. No, no, graduation is not a problem; we were almost done with the year anyway. Your continued support is always appreciated, Your Honor.

Tell me if you think the kid who held up the Browns Velvet Dairy whose parents were not “important”, or big donors to the school, got the same consideration. Maybe it was the Sealtest Dairy rather than Brown’s Velvet. Memory fades.

We woke this morning to discover that a squirrel had chewed a hole in the screen material next to our food bins. That screen is about four feet off the ground above the slick, hard sides of the trailer; but he got to it, chewed through, and munched through a couple of packages to get at the delicious interiors, e.g. loaf of bread, plastic container of cookies. The attached gas BBQ is near there. Apparently he managed to climb up onto it and got to the screen from there. Little bastard. Guess we’ll hafta us the old NASA fix – duct tape. That’s gonna look pretty tacky. Oh well.

It’s supposed to be cooler today than yesterday. More accurately it’s supposed to be less hot. Not bad so far. I need to wait until the belly of the afternoon when it’s at its hottest before I go brave the Shower of the Frost Giants. It seems wrong to be pissing icicles when it’s in the mid-80s under a glaring sun.

Ok, so, less-that-cool stuff while travelling. We heard noise from the right wheel of the trailer. Hmmmm. Bearing, brakes? Diagnosis. Didn’t seem like the bearing. Not the usual bad-brakes noises, either. I crawled under the trailer to check the inspection port. Not much to see but there’s a LOOSE spring lying at the bottom of the drum. I don’t think that’s a stock setup. So tomorrow we’re gonna close up, hitch up, and drive to a wheel/tire/brake place on the outskirts of Charleston nearest us and have ‘em open up that hub and take a look. Electric drum brakes. Crossed fingers on this adventure.

We’ve had good luck finding tasty corn on the cob lately. Had some tonight with rice and BBQ chicken breasts. I am full and satisfied. Just anxious about the brake thing. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Tonight, like last night, we have a Carolina moon, In Carolina no less. How nice. How appropriate.

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