Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tripping Around the Panhandle

We didn't go too far from Fort Walton Beach. We made a few trips to Pensacola. One evening to the mall there. My eyes opened wide as we crossed a high, huge bridge, the sun settling into the Gulf. The mall provided much walking. I bought Paper Moon. In my mind Addie Pray's adventure and mine are intertwined. I always think of the southern heat and road trips.
A Sunday we went to the naval base. I love forts and we walked through the old one on the coast, with the coolness of the stone walls, hiding us from the hot summer sun. We looked around the museum, too, about naval history.
We made a few trips to Eglin Air Force Base, Diane and I. I couldn't get into the commissary, even with an officer's wife. I watched all the children hold up their ID's and I stood there like a fish out of water. So while Diane shopped, I sat in the old Ford, listening to the radio. I felt very cool, except I didn't know about the battery and had the car running. We were almost out of gas when Diane returned with her groceries. I learn a big lesson that day.
Another trip to the base was after I stepped on a rusty nail at the beach. The doctor did treat an officer's sister-in-law without an ID. I got a tetanus shot in that institutional room. The foot healed with no problems.
Mostly we went to the beach almost every day. The Air Force beach was the most natural. The Gulf is like a bathtub, clear, calm and warm. We would often see sharks or dolphins way out. About every other day, we read in the paper about shark attacks. This was before Jaws by a year.
One day Diane and I walked through the downtown shopping district. Great Gatsby promotion at the local movie theater had a large cutout old car. Very cool. The Exorcist was another movie advertized. We got many beeps and hoots. Diane taught me to be cool and not let that turn my head. But I felt good, being noticed.
In the evening I either rode Herman's moped or bike around the local area. I relished that summer night feel of coolness, street light and people mulling around. Was this like American Graffiti? I don't think that had come out, yet, either.
We ventured to a drive in movie. It had William Shatner and Angie Dickenson, so Diane thought it should be good. Big Bad Momma was anything but good. Herman couldn't believe we were watching it. Even though it had some scenes that were eye openers to a young thirteen year old, the story, acting was poor. A debate whether to stay through the bitter end because it was paid for or to leave because it was so bad. I can't remember what we did decide.
The next time I post I'll write about games and neighbors.
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