Before I Became Civilized

Back in high school driving around and drinking beer or even stronger libations was a common practice. Most all the nights run together, one not being different from the other. Occasionally something happened that sets certain nights apart.

Getting intoxicated and left up at Roadside without any clothes on, ending up in jail for the night, now that was memorable.

A night when a quite a bit older fellow decided I needed to be taken down a notch or two, so we met up in the Lakeland Minimax parking lot and entered into an extended slugfest that could have lasted for 20 or 30 minutes. Everyone stopped and gathered around to watch. I actually don’t believe I was taken down that notch by Ol Roy Tatum. Actually we both were probably a notch or two shorter by the time that was over.

I guess we each were satisfied with the outcome, because I don’t remember us ever repeating that performance.

The one event that remains very clear in my mind was a group of us were riding around. Sammy Hall and a couple of others and I were in the back seat all crowded together.

I was bad about picking on people back then. Sammy was my target that night. He was the only black kid in our class. I made a few racial slurs that were directed at him.

We were out west of town, just past Granite Mountain and it became time that the whole car load of boys needed to relieve ourselves. We pulled off at the road that went to the old Honeymoon Camp.

Sammy and I were standing at the back of Larry Joe Brown’s Mercury Meteor. I continued to poke and jab at Sammy, both physically and verbally.

It was a very dark night with no lights anywhere. All of a sudden it was like a bolt lightening flashed before me. Then another. Sam had heard enough out of me. Every time I’d say something, he would pop me again. Those punches were landing in my eye sockets. After a few of those I figured out that keeping my mouth shut was my best plan of action

My eyes were pretty much swelled shut and it took a few days for things to return to normal.

I don’t remember Sammy and I ever having a conversation concerning this. That is until the the past decade or so, which was 40 years later.

He is not willing or able to recall how it happened or that it actually did. He can’t believe that he treated his friend that way. I can’t believe I talked that way to my friend.

For some reason it’s easy enough for me to remember that big beat down. A life long lesson was learned.

Oh well it’s a different time and we are mostly different people.

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