Thursday, August 1, 2013

Parties of My Youth

My friends loved my Daddy. Early on (as in starting when I was 5) he would throw these great parties for me. Some were for my birthday, like the wonderful surprise birthday party he threw for my 15th birthday, thinking the tradition was "Sweet 15". Then when some one corrected him that it was "16" not "15", he threw the same party the next year "to make sure he got it right". Needless to say, I was very surprised the second time. But, I digress.

There were others. One year, he decided to give a Halloween party for my friends. He staged the affair in our basement. He had a cauldron of dry ice, spooky noises, friends of his dressed up as witches and ghosts. He went all out.

When I was a teenager, he suggested one fall that I have a hay ride. So I invited about 25-30 of my friends. Daddy had one of his buddies who was a local farmer bring one of his big trucks full of hay over to the house. We had all gathered there early in the evening. Everyone loaded up. It was a great night for a hay ride with chilly weather, clear skies, and the moon was full.

While we were having a grand time in the back, Dad and his friend were having a "Large" time in the cab. After we had driven through the country for a while, the truck stopped. Daddy got out and yelled, "Y'all want to go through town?" Of course, everyone yelled, "Yes." And, we were off on our way to main street. We had just passed the town square when we heard sirens. Thanks to the three foot side walls around the truck, we couldn't really see what was going on, which at this point was probably for the best.

It was the police and when the officer approached the cab of the truck and said something to Dad's friend who was driving the truck, Dad's friend suddenly got very belligerent toward the officer. We were all just sitting very quietly in the hay, hoping the police would not even know we existed. The two exchanged heated words for a minute or two. Finally Dad's friend just said, "Officer, all I'm doing is taking these young folks on a hayride." "A hayride? You cannot do that in the city. We have an ordinance against that." "Well officer, I did not know that." "Who is in charge of this any way?"

Oh God, I thought, they are going to arrest my Daddy right here. What am I going to do? About that time, Dad's friend yelled out my name, "She's the one in charge. If anyone is at fault, it is her." "And, just where can I find this young lady?" He indicated I was in the back of the truck. The officer called my name and told me to show myself. After seeing my life flash before my eyes and hearing murmurs then snickers from my friends, I stood up. The officer shined his flash light in my face. "Young lady, I understand you and your friends are cavorting around town in this vehicle."

I stuttered a "Yes sir." He just smiled and said, "Well, y'all just be careful and have a great time." Then he turned to my Dad's friend and said, "OK, y'all carry on now." The officer went on his way and we settled back down in the hay and made our way back to my house. When we got there, the truck stopped. Dad got out and told us to sit tight. About that time we heard a motor start and the back of the truck started to tip. Before we knew it, we were dumped, hay and all onto our lawn. Later on, while everyone enjoyed the hot chocolate and goodies Mama and I had baked for the party, I was picked on me unmercifully about our run in with the city police. 

Later on Daddy confessed that he had called the police and asked if they would "participate" in part of the evening's fun. They were more than happy to do so - at my expense. Daddy looked at me and said, "Well, I promised I'd do better next time." "Well yeah, but you still embarrassed me in front of my friends." "But, the head master wasn't involved this time." "Oh. no. Now you've stepped it up a notch and involved the police."

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