Me and Carol
Me and Carol and the Log Truck
Carol and I were inseparable growing up. Several times a week we would spend the night with each other. We were together on the weekends, too. Carol’s daddy was a cousin to my daddy. We lived just down the road from each other. Carol’s daddy was a logger. He had a big old two ton log truck that he used for his logging business. He would go up on
, cut a load of trees, and haul them back down the mountain to a little place across the road from his brother’s grocery store (Latham’s Grocery). He hired people to split the logs or posts. Skyline Mountain
Carol and I loved that truck. The truck was our only means of transportation. We would beg her daddy, whose name was Dick, but we called him Peter Dick just for meanness, to let us take the truck to Joan’s house. Joan was the preacher’s daughter who lived up the road about a half of a mile from us. We would say that we had to go borrow paper from her. Peter Dick trusted the preacher’s daughter so he would let us use the truck to go up there. We were about fourteen or fifteen years old. Of course, we never went to Joan’s house. We would head straight for town and ride around the square. Back in those days, everyone hung out on the town square. The courthouse was in the middle of the square and the thing to do was ride around that square. You would get drunk from riding around the square so many times. We would look for some of our friends – boys of course.
One night we thought it would be clever to get a bunch of boys on the back of the log truck and dump them off. We drove around and around the square until some of the boys that we saw some of the boys that we hung out with sitting on the square in their car. We pulled up in the truck and Carol revved the motor. “Yawl wanna ride on the back”, Carol asked. They were eager to ride on the back of the truck. They thought it was kind of like a hayride with no hay. We rode around the square a time or two and Carol kept trying to work the dump. She was also smoking a cigarette which sometimes we would do. She kept working the dump and I kept looking back but the truck wasn’t lifting up.
After awhile I smelled something burning. “What’s that I smell,” I asked. “Turn the radio down,, I really smell something burning,” I yelled.
Yes, Peter Dick had finally installed a radio in the truck for us. I guess he thought we needed a radio for our nightly jaunts to Joan’s house.
“Check the ashtray,” Carol giggled.
Carol checked the ashtray. “Are you sure you put your cigarette out? She questioned. “Did it go in the seat?”
“No, I am telling you it ain’t no cigarette I smell”, I quipped.
One of the boys starting yelling and screaming, “Trucks on fire” as they pounded on the rear window of the truck.
We pulled over on the square and climbed out. There was a fire underneath the truck. One of the boys yanked his shirt off and crawled underneath the truck and put the blaze out. What a brave soul. It is a wonder that the gas tank didn’t explode sending all of us to Jesus. As it turned out, Carol wasn’t fooling with the dump thing after all. She had somehow managed to get the emergency brake on and it burned out.
As we started for home, I reminded Carol that we would have to tell her daddy. “What, have you lost your mind,” she said. “He will never let us have the truck again”.
“Well, do you wanna see your daddy go flying off that mountain with a load of logs and get himself killed?” I asked.
“Good point,” she remarked. “You’re going in with me,” she ordered.
“Ain’t dun nit” I cried. “He’s going to beat the living daylights out of us”. My voice was shaking. I was scared to death to tell him. We got home and of course, Peter Dick was in bed. He got up with the chickens and went to bed wit them. Chickens went to roost early, you know. When we got home, we went to her daddy’s bedroom and I lay down on one side of the bed and Carol got on the other side.
“Peter Dick,” I gently called in a shaky voice. Carol picked up the story from there and told him what had happened. Now, she did not say that we were messing around with the emergency brake. She told him, “You see, daddy, Joan was out of paper so we had to go to town. We went to a store to get paper, and I don’t know how the emergency brake got on, it just caught fire”.
“Should have let he damn thing burn,” he retorted. “I have good insurance; I could have got me a new truck.”
That is the easiest we ever got out of anything, you can trust me on that one.