Cruising The UT Drag

The spring of 1971 found Jimmy Frasier and me in Austin one Friday afternoon. Probably for no other reason than hoping to find some excitement.

I had a brand new Chevrolet pickup. We decided a drive down to the Drag was in order. When we got as far a 34th street on Guadalupe, heading south when we stopped for a red light. A couple of pretty young UT gals were in the right lane, with us in the left. Paying more attention to the girls than to driving, when the light changed as they eased off. So did we. The only problem was an old woman in a Chrysler New Yorker that was in my lane, stopped, waiting to turn left on 34th Street

The beers we had sitting up on the dash (why were they sitting up there-?) flew back and completely soaked us both. We had an almost full case of beer sitting in the seat between us. Things weren’t looking too good for the Marble Falls boys about then.

The very well dressed older woman got out carrying her little poodle dog. She seemed more concerned about pooch than anything else.

She said she needed to go get her husband. They owned a business just a couple of block north of there. She took off running down the sidewalk to get her husband. I can still see her running with those rather large hips swaying with a tight knee length skirt with high heels on, carrying the dog.

So that left Jimmy and me in charge of the scene. I looked at Jimmy. I could tell we were of one mind. Everyone else had moved on it appeared, so we both eased into the pickup, nonchalantly. When the traffic was all clear we made a quick right turn and headed out of town.

I never realized how many back streets and roads there were getting the heck out of Austin. Somehow we weaved and dodged our way out by Mt. Bonnell until we finally got out to FM 1431 at White Stone. We hadn’t had the good sense to ditch the case of beer, not wanting to waste it I guess.

By the time we made it to Lago Vista, we both had worked up a dandy appetite. So I pulled in and had a nice steak at a restaurant that was next to the old country store. In typical Jimmy Frasier fashion, he caused a bit too much confusion and they tossed us out of that place and threatened to call the law. Not wanting to take a chance of an encounter with the cops, we loaded up and we were soon back in Marble Falls on our home turf.

A few weeks later I was passing the beer joints out at the county line on my way in from San Antonio, late on a Friday afternoon. I pulled in to see who all was out and about. There was my buddy Jimmy “Feline” Frasier. We sit around and told the whole bunch that was gathered around the table about our close call in Austin a few weeks earlier.

Everyone seemed to get a leg slapping laugh out of our story.

Afterwards I headed home to Smithwick. When I came in my mother handed me a letter that had arrived a couple of days earlier. It was official looking, from the Austin Police Dept. It was a notice for me to come to the police department, no later than a date, the next Wednesday I believe. They were requesting that I bring with me my drivers license, insurance policy and the plates off of the 1971 Chevrolet Pickup.

Nervously I didn’t wait until Wednesday. On Monday I called and spoke to the Police Sargent that I was told to contact. I arraigned a time for later that day and went in for a visit. He was really nice. He wanted to know why I had fled the scene that Friday afternoon.

My best explanation was I thought it was just a light tap and didn’t think it did any damage and I thought the old woman was just being hysterical. When she ran away, I thought maybe I needed to leave in case her husband was as crazy as she was.

He seemed to understand my point but just asked that if that ever happened future, that I would need to hang around until an officer arrives. I told him I certainly would, if it ever happened again.

The Sargent explained that when his traffic officer had gotten to the scene and I had left, he was called. The people working at the adjacent Conoco Station had copied down my license plate number.

He said he actually hadn’t personally seen enough damage to warrant all the fuss. He took my insurance information and I was on my way.

My insurance company paid off the claim and everything worked out. And we didn’t get thrown in jail. What better outcome could I have wished for?

This is a letter I received, showing the case has been dismissed.

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