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Growing up in Texas, a brief episode with the law in an adjourning county.
Raised in Texas, grew up alone, moving from family at the age of 16, yet continuing on through highschool. Marines in 1969, many different jobs throughout life, returned to college at the age of 43 to get an AAS in Drafting. Loved and lost, married three times, 4 children and 6 grandchildren. Beginning to put all the pieces together to write.
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
During my junior year in high school, my best friend came running up to me.
“There’s a powder-puff football game at Bremond tonight!” was Bob’s great news. “We just have to go!”
So we began to plot our evening. We had to get him out of the house, for his father frowned on out of town excursions, thinking it more necessary to stay close to home. But since we had the opposite view, we were pretty experienced at figuring out ways to go as we wished. The fact that it was Friday night helped quite a bit, for Bob’s father usually spent those at the local bar. Since he would have the car, we needed transportation. My old pile of bolts was all right for bouncing around town, but this was not only out of town, but also out of county. We lived in Falls County and Bremond was in Robertson County. We needed something with a little more style.
Carol was a friend of ours, a really nice young lady who had a weight problem, and access to her mother’s year old dodge. Even better, she was twenty-one years old and could always be counted on to purchase beer for us. A quick phone call and the evening was set. Carol would pick me up and then we’d get Bob and go find the game. Of course, there would be the all-important stop at the liquor store for beer.
I hadn’t finished shaving when I heard Carol at the door, so I yelled for her to come on in, that I was almost ready. She moved some clothes aside and sat in the single chair in the living room.
I lived alone in a little two-room house, which I rented for next to nothing down, by the RR tracks. I had left home at the age of fourteen and had never gone back, living at first with a cousin, then at sixteen, out on my own. I paid rent with a job first at a gas station and later at the turkey farms. As long as I managed to stay in school, no one seemed to mind. I even wrote all my own notes for absenteeism at school. I had the world by the tail, no one to answer to but me.
We picked Bob up as planned, his dad already gone to the bar and left a note that Bob would stay at my house that night. Carol went in and got the beer for us and away we went, spending some time cruising around town in case Bob’s father asked anyone if they had seen us. The beer was cold and had a crisp, sharp taste that night that I’ll never forget. We even went back to the liquor store for more.
As the sun was setting, we lined out on the highway toward Bremond. The drive was uneventful, filled with idle talk, cigarettes, radio blaring, and that good, cold, crisp beer.
Our arrival at Bremond made us realize that we didn’t have the foggiest idea of how to get to the football field. But what the heck, we can see the stadium lights, we’ll find our way. We started off by going directly toward the lights, but ran into a dead end. We turned around and went back to the highway, drove down about four blocks and again turned toward the stadium lights. Again we ran into a dead end. By this time, Carol was determined to get us there. She wheeled back out on the highway and drove past the stadium lights, then turned. After zigzagging through several blocks, it became apparent that we were going to come out at the end of the field, and that is exactly where we came out, with a goalpost directly in front of us. We sat there for a few moments and finished the open beer. Bob got another beer and got out of the car to stand by the fence.
“Carol, you left your lights on.” He said.
She giggled and turned them off as Bob walked up to the fence, sipping on his brew. I started to get out of the car and suddenly; there were bright lights all over me. Then the police turned on their red lights like a revolving accusation. We were busted.
They took us down to the police station and photographed us. Bob and I were charged for Minor In Possession, and they stuck Carol with Contributing To a Minor…two counts. They confiscated our beer and cooler. Then they turned us loose.
Nobody said a word on the trip back; each of us lost in our own thoughts. I don’t think the radio was even turned on.
Bob could turn to his father for help. He’d be mad as can be, but he would help Bob. It was the same with Carol. Her mom would be hopping mad, but she’d help Carol. Then there was me. Free spirit, living on my own, nobody to report to, and no one to turn to, either. I was gonna be hung.
We checked our tickets and we all had the same court date and time, so three days later, we all loaded up in Carol’s mother’s car and went back down there. I must have smoked a dozen cigarettes. My mouth and throat were so dry; I felt that I’d have to prime myself to spit.
We found the courthouse without any problem. We walked right in and showed the policeman behind the desk our tickets and he ushered us into a small room right outside the courtroom door. We could hear everything that was going on inside.
The judge had this deep, rumbling voice that made windows rattle when he spoke and he was in the process of sending someone to the penitentiary for crimes unknown, and seeming to relish it. When he was through with that, he growled, “What’s next?”
“Just them folks from Falls County we caught down here drinking.” Came the reply.
The three of us stood up and straightened our clothing. I looked longingly at the water fountain as we marched into the courtroom. I sneaked a peek up at the judge as the court officer shuffled the papers and handed them to him. He had dark bushy eyebrows beneath a scowling forehead.
Suddenly the toes of my shoes became very interesting to me. How did these shoes get so dusty already? They had been gleaming that morning. And the hardwood floor had huge cracks in it.
“You people from Falls County come down here drinking, huh?” the Judge thundered.
I was certain the cracks in the floor were getting larger with every syllable.
“Yes sir.” squeaked three voices in unison. I couldn’t believe it, was that us?
Silence. Then a huge squawk as the judge’s chair was pushed backwards as he leaned over the top of his bench to glare at us. The toes of my shoes were absolutely filthy. The cracks in the floor were almost big enough to fall into.
“Listen close.” He boomed, setting off a new window rattling. “I’m gonna let you people go this time. But don’t you EVER come back to Robertson County drinking again.”
“Yes sir. No sir we won’t be back.” We babbled like school kids.
“Remember that, because I will and you don’t ever want to come back before my bench again.”
“Yes sir, we will. Yes sir. Yes sir.” We were stumbling all over ourselves, couldn’t say it fast enough.
We signed the papers and got out of there before he could change his mind.
To this very day, I can’t see a sign that says Brenham or Robertson County without that incident coming to mind. Oh yes, and should I go through a corner of Robertson County, I do not drink or speed or anything that may put me in front of that judge’s bench again.
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