Sunday, April 15, 2007

Field of Dreams...........

I think most people today drink some sort of "light" beer, if they do drink beer that is. What's so funny about that is, when we were growing up, people used to poke fun of three-two beer!
That is to say, beer with an alcoholic content of 3.2 %. But with the stiffer DUI penalties and all, it has become quite popular. And you know as well as I do, that you can still get pretty hammered on "light" beer.....
Flash back to 1968. The G-Man was a senior in high school. Now this is a true fact....I never once skipped any classes in school. Not Once!..That is until my last Thursday as a high school student.
Even back then, G-man was the great party planner. Our class wanted to go out with a bang, so we decided to have a huge post graduation bash after commencment. We needed a location, and we needed "Party Favors"! This is where my older age finally paid off. You see, I had turned 18 in December of 67, and this was June of 68. You had to be 21 in Michigan, to drink and buy booze of any kind. But in Ohio, you could buy 3.2 beer when you were 18 years old!
So on that Wednesday of graduation week, I hit up all of my classmates for their allowance and lunch money. On Thursday, G was gonna take a little "Road Trip"!!!
I had it all planned out perfectly, I had a 3rd hr study hall, Lunch, I had 5th hr Gym class, but I was also the Varsity wrestling Mgr and if I did all my work, I could dick around all that I wanted to without reporting to anyone. So the way that I figured it, we had about 3hrs and 20 minutes to drive from Flint to Toledo, buy some beer, and drive back before 6th hr...NO PROBLEM!
I picked my partner in crime perfectly...My buddy Jim Sarter. We were good friends, but he also had a 1964 Buick Skylark Convertable, with a 400 Cubic Inch V-8 engine..True it only got about 12 miles to the gallon, but gas was only 21.9 cents a gallon, so big deal!
As soon as the bell rang that ended 2nd hr, we were off.....5 minute drive to the E-Way, 23 south that is, and we was cruisin at about 95 mph!! I had family in Toledo, so I knew my way around pretty well. BOOM! 58 minutes later I was showing my 18 yr old ID to Edna, at Edna's Corner store. Four Cases of Buckeye Beer at 4 bucks a case later, we was headed back to school at a cruisin speed of about 97 MPH. We pulled into the school parking lot just as the 6th hr bell was ringing....

So Fridays Commencment Ceremony went off without a hitch. As was every Saturday night in 1968, we all made up some lame excuse to our parents to get out of the house for a little while.
We were supposed to "meet" at a local pizzeria, but instead of going in to eat pizza, we all hung out in our cars until everyone involved showed up..OMG!! In just 24 short hours, word of mouth spread like wildfire, and about 30 cars full of kids showed up and wanted to party with the G-Man..Well that parking lot certainly was not the spot, just then I got a brain-storm!
I gathered all the drivers together and said' follow me'...One by one we all pulled slowly out of the Pizzeria Parking lot and in a single file procession, we trekked about 5 miles across town to a field that we used to rabbit hunt in. I knew of a tiny dirt one lane that went about 1/4 mile off the main drag of Miller Rd..Man was it bumpy! But because of that fact, we knew that no cops would be back there. I had my bud stop his car, I jumped out and started to direct traffic. In about 10 minutes we had all 30 cars in a perfect circle with all headlights pointed toward the center. I had all the drivers roll their windows down and turn the radios on the same AM station, WTAC 600, The Big Six!! So here we were.... in the middle of a secluded field, a perfect June night, All the radio's blaring out shit like "Groovin" by the Rascals, "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" By the Tempts, "Dancin In The Street" by Martha Reeve and the Vandellas, on and on and on.....100 or so kids, 96 bottles of Ice Cold Buckeye 3.2 beer.... No school on Monday ever again for some..... And a very uncertain future!! It was just like a scene from American Graffitti!!
Only this was no movie, it really happened. Some of those kids are still my friends, some of those kids got killed in Nam, some got married, some got divorced, some have died of cancer, some are Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, and some are even retired now.........
But it was a night to remember. One last glorious going away party to ourselves, before the "Reality of Life" kicked in.

That field is no longer there. It's all built up with buildings, concrete, strip malls, and restaurants. But I think of it often, and I go to that place at least once a week, not to reminisce, but to drink coffee. You see, that field is where Border's is now....Still, my favorite spot!!
Thanks for taking this long ass trip down Memory Lane again...... Peace... Galen

29 comments:

S said...

ooh see what happens when you fall asleep with your kid then wake up and 1:30 am? First first first even before the easties! yay!

Even before Mona too! Yay!

Well, I didnt have them kind o memories....I wasnt allowed out o the house, ever...I will spend the rest of my life rebeling....
If I post this, will it wake you up?

S said...

Ahem! I am NOT on your blogroll! Ahem!

cathy said...

third, I'll settle for bronze.

cathy said...

Did you have to do such a long post on Sunday! My bath water is getting cold! I'll be back later to do this justice

cathy said...

So many stops along the way to full maturity.You finish school and you are officially an adult, all grown up but still a kid. For me though two events mark that transition most indelibly. The first is when one of your peers dies and you realise that you are not after all immortal. The second, and I am speaking as a woman here, is when you hold your first born child in your arms and realise that you can never again put your own needs first, someone else will always be more important.

Will somebody please tell me who designated this soul search and introspection week, I for one am emotionally exhausted!

MONA said...

Perhaps I was the Avante Garde the trendsetter this time cathy...
Didnt get it?...dont worry, nobody got it..
Not even ME!

Susie, could have been the first but for current faliure :(

But then after all, the world is round, and after sometime it becomes difficult to tell whether the tail is following you or you are following the tail :)

Galen, Good morning. I LOVE that post. & now that it has officially been declared a philosophical week of ponderings & critical appreciations by our Professor Cathy here, I cant help but add a rejoinder from my side
To remember the way you have traversed, the most important thing is to remember the Turns.

O no!..we have JUST crossed into next week!...seems the trend's going to continue...

& I am still pondering over my new post that I have YET to type out,If there is no more electricity failure tonight. My home electricity generator too has conked out!

MilkMaid said...

Memory lane is the very best place to be. Love it. I could see the dust rising in the beams of the headlights...great story!

lime said...

what a WONDERFUL story. and i love that it's where your borders is now. i mean it would be cool if it were still a feild but that's it's a place where you still go enjoy yourself week after week is a terrific thing. i hope you've told your boy that story.

i'm so glad you shared it with us. i'm feeling it, g-man. i'm feeling it.

Cazzie!!! said...

BORDERS...my favourite place to be :)

Strumpet said...

Rabbit hunt?

Rabbit hunt??

Ack!

I never cut class either. Never served a detention. Okay, I cut class once...but it was to go to the Sit-in we had because they changed the school dress policy and would no longer let us wear hats. So, we staged a sit-in in the gym and we were allowed to wear hats after that...cos only the smart kids organized it and went and they realized that none of us were going back to class until we got what we wanted. It was like our one and only chance to rebel.

That was towards the end of my Senior year so it felt like I had to do it just for the experience of not going to class. But, seeing as we didn't even leave campus and it only lasted for three classes one of which was my gym period anyway...it didn't feel as good as I thought it would.

None of us got into any trouble and I had told my mom I was doing it ahead of time. I think she was somehow excited for me cos she never liked that I was a goody-goody anyway. She was always gettin' in trouble in high school and I never got into any. So she was happy I was finally doing something 'wrong.'

Even though it wasn't.

As far as drinking goes...I was a goody-goody in that respect too. I never touched any vice until I was well-past the legal age of doing so...then it was all downhill from there. Now I'm a pothead lush.

Hee.

Among other things...

That's a great story, Galen. I especially enjoyed how you directed traffic until all the cars were in a circle blasting the radios on the same station! Ingenius!!

That's like a fucking movie...in fact..

It was all very Dazed and Confused to me which is one of my favourite flicks.

Galen has always rocked.

xoxo

Thanks again for listening yesterday.

G-Man said...

Lady S, I gotta tell you,
Your avatar is driving me nuts. It's a well known fact that I love coffee and pretty feet...
No sound card on this home PC so you can ping away in silence..
And the blogroll? Susie I can't do it myself, Signgurl does all my techno-crap. I'll ask her when she feels better OK...Thanks..G xox

Cathy, unfortunatly growing up in the U.S. in the late 60's, you realized adulthood every day that an ex-classmate came home in a body bag!
AND, trips down memory lane are fun aren't they?

Mona, Thank you so much for your words of wisdom.
Boy, between you and Cathy, My post is turning into an On-Line classroom of sorts!
I rather enjoy it.....
You have no electricity?
Has it been storming there Mona?
Happy Vishnu!!!..Galen xo

Milkmaid...
The perfect image!!
Thanks for painting it..
Galen xoxox

G-Man said...

Good Morning Strumpet,
I love other peoples memory jogs as well. Thats what makes blogging so much fun!!
God, I bet you looked sooo cute in your hat.
A hat sit-in?
At least you got your objective realized....Good Job!

We actually had a name for the nocturnal drinking hook-ups, we called them "Grassers".

And Chandra,no problem sweetie, thats what friends are for....G xox

G-Man said...

Good Mornin Trini, I thought you'd appreciate the irony here.
Michelle? I'm feeling it too baby!
Thanks Limey, You Rock!
xoxoxoxox

Good Morning Cazzie,
They have Border's down under? I bet it serves Fosters too!
Thanks for stopping by sweetie...xo

SignGurl said...

Great post, G! I feel like I was with you in your circle of friends. Great writing style.

Thanks to all of you for you thoughts during the last week. It means so much.

I've missed you.

Strumpet said...

Ms. Sign is back!

Yay!!


Galen,

I actually didn't wear hats back then. It was the principle of it.

I do, however, wear a pageboy a lot nowadays. It makes life easy when I don't feel like putting my hair up.

G-Man said...

YAY!!!!!

My technical advisor and social director, and blogging mentor, and one of THE most favorite people in my life.
Jenn the Signgurl!!
Is back and recovering just fine...

(Minus her gall bladder of course)

Hi Jenn!!
We ALL love you!!


Strumpet?
Then, as is now, you always want to do the right thing!
Thats one of the many reasons that make you so very special...
Pageboy Hat wearing
Squirt girl wanna-be
Shit-Knowin
Chode Lovin
Playa Extraordinaire!!!
You Rock!!
xoxox

S E E Quine said...

` Wow!! That's a wonderful story - the kind that makes me wish I'd gone to school! Amazing!
` ...Especially the part about gas being less than a quarter ;)

` So, was three-two beer the same as near-beer?

G-Man said...

No Spooney, near beer is more like O'Douls..
And during a "gas war" once I remember it being, 17.9. Crazy Eh?
Thanks for visiting today..Galen xo

Tina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tina said...

Gee I was a barrel of laughs this morning! Sorry about that but I think I've got it out of my system.
I'm having a beer now in honor of your memories. If you think about it on a cosmic level we were all there with you that night,tied by the thread of this story yet to be told.cheers Galen!

cathy said...

That wasn't Tina it was me.
Tina was signed in on my pc and I forgot.

barman said...

Never cut class... well until Senior Skip Day that was true of me. Of course ours was unofficial as what it the point of taking the official one.

You know I had no idea what had happened. In 1971 they lowered the age to vote to 18. Part of the pressure that built from that they lowered the drinking age to 18 on January 1, 1972. See now graduating in 1975 I had no idea it had not been 18 all along. I fell into that tiny window of people (January 1972 to December 1978) that started drinking at 18 so what you shared had less meaning to me. My Sister, pour soul, was able to drink at 18 and then they pulled the rug out from under her and she had to go a little over a year without being able to drink (yea right). Now that I think about it I do have memories of a certain trip from Flint to Jackson going down the 23 where the cruising speed was a bit over 90. It must just be that road.

I had a memorable little spot myself, off a short little trail. Up in a tree ... that was where I had my first kiss. That area has long since been built up but the memory does remain. I guess that was my little field.

Thanks for the memory.

wmy said...

Well, you have done it again...awesome story! I skipped on my senior skip day...I was such a nerd!

Hi signgurl!!

The gathering of friends...the whole circle thing...classic..classic!

G-Man said...

Wait Cathy!!!
Tina looks kinda hot!
Is she a friend of yours?
Does she like old Bikers?
Does she drink beer?
She doesn't puke easily does she?
I'm just teasing....
Thanks for tipping one for the G-Man Cathy...
Your OK!!

Barman!! Whats happenin?
Yeah that window of 18 year old drinkers, missed out on an awful lot of intrigue...
So instead of a field of dreams, you had a tree of dreams?
Thanks as always, for the contribution...
You da Man!!

Wendy, you always say the kindest things about my stories...
As a fellow Michiganian, you know how short and precious the Summer is..
Thanks baby,.....xoxoxox

jillie said...

You know...I can just picture it. My sister graduated in 69 so I have a feel of what you did and what you were like. I now see why you go there...what a very cool blog Galen! Groovin....on a Sunday afternoon...

We use to have parties in the corn field as well but luckily enough our drinking age back then was 18 for whatever the hell you wanted.

Dancin dancin in the streets!!

xoxo

G-Man said...

Hi Jillie,
Our little Angel of Mercy!
It's great to have you back home..

Boz Skaggs.....Lucky Dog!

Thanks Jildo, xoxoxox

Autumn Storm said...

What a wonderful post! May not have been a movie scene, but it was so perfectly nostalgic, one of those times when had everything been choreographed into a musical where everyone starts singing and dancing on cue, it couldn't have worked out better. You're a true story-teller, I can almost feel the breeze and see the stars. :-)

Happy Monday to you.

G-Man said...

Thats so sweet Autumn, thanks for reading the whole thing..Hahaha

Soooo? You get to meet our Jillie soon?

I'm really jealous....G

cathy said...

Tina is a close friend and we see each other every day, she is new to blogging and still feeling her way around. The rest of your questions you will have to address to the lady herself:)