"The Car Trunk"
When I was about 10 years old I remember how wonderful it was to be asked to go somewhere with a friend. My friend Kevin seemed to always be going someplace exciting with his mom.
Kevin called one day and said that his mom was headed to Bradlee's in Torrington. Would I like to come? Well of course I'd like to come, but this would take some work. First I'd have to clear it with my grandmother who lived with us and took care of me while my mom worked. Once I explained exactly where we were going and who was going and promised that I wouldn't get in trouble I would be cleared for the next step.... calling mom at work.
Mom was the bookkeeper at a small manufacturing company two towns away in Cornwall. She was also one of three office people, and she was assigned the task of answering all incoming calls to the company. The owners of the company worked in the next office but micromanaged the office and the few workers that were there. They certainly didn't like anyone to take personal calls. Knowing this, my call had to be fast, and give all the needed information to minimize her questioning.
The call would have gone something like this... "Mom! Kevin just called and his mom is going to Torrington to Bradlee's and she said that it was ok for me to come along and I already checked with Gramma Fraher, and she said it was ok as long as I called you. It's only going to be Kevin and me, and we won't get in trouble. We'll do whatever his mom asks, and we'll be good. CAN I GO PLEEEEEZE????" This paragraph was delivered in approximately 15 seconds. I could have been auditioning for a telemarketing position given the speed in which it was delivered - except that telemarketing didn't exist in those days! Mom would whisper a couple of pointed questions, essentially confirming the facts already presented. "Only you and Kevin? Nobody else? .......... OK, but be careful!..."
I probably walked to Kevin's house that day and hung around until his mom was ready to go. She drove the 6 miles from our little town to the "big city" of Torrington. Torrington had not one, but TWO shopping centers. Bradlee's was in the same plaza as FINEST supermarket and THE LITCHFIELD FARM SHOP. I'll have to write another story about the burgers at the Farm Shop... Oh My Goodness!
Kevin's mom parked the car and asked if we were going to come inside. Kevin said: "No. We're just gonna sit in the car and talk." His mom headed into the store.
The car was a "new one". That means it was "new" to the family, but no one I ever knew got a NEW NEW car. That just didn't happen. The car was a Lincoln Continental. Kevin's dad LOVED Lincolns, and that Continental - well - that's the way to say: "I've made it in this world." I remember looking at all the buttons and switches in the darn thing. There were lots of them!
I remember Kevin saying: "You wanna see something REALLY COOL?" and of course my answer was: "YES!" Kevin pulled a knob on the lower left part of the dashboard, and bang - the trunk popped open! I had never seen anything like that in my LIFE. Wow.. That's so cool!!! And then Kevin said: "I want to get in the trunk. You close the lid and then I can see how dark it is in there." Well... That seemed Reasonable...
Kevin jumped in the trunk and I obediently closed the trunk tight. Kevin and I probably talked back and forth for a moment or two. Then he said: "OK. Pop the trunk." I went to the dashboard and pulled that lever.
I pulled again....
Kevin started yelling.... "GET ME OUTTA HERE!!!" but there was no way that trunk was popping open again...
Oh yeah. I forgot to tell you that this was the middle of summer. HOT. HOT. HUMID. Apparently, the trunk had already been warm, just sitting in the parking lot sun, but now it was getting hotter - quick.
Kevin screamed: "GO GET MY MOM!!! GET ME OUTTA HERE BEFORE I DIE..." It's important that you know that I had no desire to be a murderer at the age of 10. This was scary! I felt like I was Lassie and Timmy was IN THE WELL! I ran to the Bradlee's as quickly as I could... I had so much adrenaline pumping - I'm pretty sure I ran in circles, and up and down aisles searching for his mom. It took a couple of minutes to find her. I quickly explained the predicament that Kevin had put himself into. His mom, a good Irish Catholic woman, took the name of the LORD in vain and started naming all the saints as she put down all the clothes she was planning on buying and ran out of the store - back to the parked car. She pulled the knob. NOTHIN'.... KEVIN WAS SCREAMING words that we shouldn't have known at that age.... His mom finally thought to start the car. As soon as she did - the knob worked again. KEVIN WAS ALIVE!
I don't think we were ever allowed to stay in the car again while his mom shopped. I'm pretty sure Kevin heard a lot more about this escapade when his dad got home.
By the time they dropped me off at my house, my mom was home from work. When I went through the door, she said: "How was Torrington?"
My answer: "Good...."
"Did you see or do anything special?"
I don't think my parents ever found out about the car trunk. I'm pretty sure I'd remember if they did....
I wish you a wonderful, joyful, productive, and prosperous week.
Till Next Week!