Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Back to Summer Stories

The first leg of my 1974 summer adventure started right after school let out. I rode with Dan and Jody to their first home in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Dan had started doing AmWay, a motivational company selling soap and other products. They were gun-ho and since it stood for American way, Dan wanted to drive a red, white and blue Cadillac. The dealer talked him out of the three colors, so it was a gorgeous boat of a car, red and white- white leather seats, luxurious. So I encounter Virginia this time in style. Jody loved driving this vehicle. With her youthful personality, people stared at her in this car. She'd say, "It's my daddy's."
The apartment was the garden style popular at that time with a balcony. I had my own bedroom. A large living room with an attached dining room and the kitchen more like a wide hall was the floor space for the rest of the apartment. No TV, which I didn't miss as we had so much fun. Although the last day of vacation we visited an Amway lady and I found myself absorbed in the TV, to the extent I seemed rude by not answering her question. I was so embarrassed. I hadn't realize the power of TV until that day. I never wanted to be ruled by it again.
Dan and Jody had made friends in the apartment complex with other Marines and their wives. One day, three of us, Jody, a Venezuelan, Maria, and myself, took a day trip to Virginia Beach.  I thought for sure I liked crabs, although, I'm not sure I had ever ate them before. They came in a brown paper bag. I'm almost certain Jody had driven the VW camper, as I picture ourselves sitting in it eating these soft shell crabs. We watched Maria, as she seemed to understand this food. Jody exclaimed, "What is this yellow shit?"
Maria, innocent to the swearing, stated, "It es shiet."
One night the neighbors played spoons. If someone lost they had to do something crazy. Dan had to lead us in the parking lot, yelling through a traffic cone. Jody thought that up.
Another night, we could see an encompassing glow on the horizon. Jumping in the Cadillac that could hold six people comfortably, we chased around to try to find out where the fire was. Of course, we weren't allowed near it, but it was exciting and fun for a thirteen year old.
I went to the Amway meeting with them, too and caught the zealousness of the company. I loved the southern drawls. I was most interested in the make-up, but I was sold on L.O.C., too.
The week was over and they drove me home. I spread out in the back of that Caddy and enjoyed all the music, like the Hollies-All I Need is the Air that I Breathe and To Love You. I enjoyed my week, but was glad to be home for a week before my next leg of my summer adventure.
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