Paradise by the Dashboard Light

Ain't no doubt about it, we were doubly blessed

Ain’t no doubt about it, we were doubly blessed

It’s time for another Kim Saga story, (or as she’s known here, her alias name Sheila).  When we left off in the last story, it was the Fall of 1975.  There was much more action in the summer, fall and winter of that year.  This chapter is mostly the Fall and Winter, late 75.  What is it about hormones that drives teenagers nuts, (or adults for that matter).  Oh, by the way, if Sheila’s mom has stumbled onto this story, leave.  Go watch a video on Facebook, one featuring cute kittens or something like that.  This story shouldn’t be read by parents.  Gone now?  Ok, where was I?

Oh, yes….1975.  Well ’75 was stressful for us since we weren’t allowed to see each other.  I wrote about some of this in the last chapter about revenge dating (link).  But ’75 was largely a year of trying to feel our ways into adulthood.  I shared with you some of this when I wrote about my friend Terry Staton (link).  Sheila and I were also trying to feel our way through the muck of being not allowed to see each other.  Want to ensure your kids do everything they can behind your backs just so they can be with each other and feel defiant, in charge of their own lives?  Well then tell them that they are forbidden to see each other.  It works wonders!

She was a beauty

She was a beauty

On almost a daily basis, we would bolt out the doors of our final class of the day, meet up at our lockers and then race to the parking lot so we could be one of the first cars out.  Sheila had one of the fastest cars in Hamiltucky at the time, a genuine 1970 Formula 400 with the fiberglass partial body.  It could burn so much rubber that it could throw the smoke in through the front air vents.  On queue, we’d hightail it out the exits and head up a Eaton Road hill and within 8 minutes, (seven if we were really anxious…which was often), we’d be driving in through the unpaved entrance to Four Mile Creek Park – teenager make out heaven.

Paradise by the dashboard light video

For some unknown reason, Sheila was always a bit too tired to give it her all for those afternoon high school softball practices, (oh and don’t think for a moment that I didn’t spot the icy glares directed my way by her coach, Pat Sword).  We had our priorities in place, let’s see – sex, grades, um more sex, skating, friends, maybe a little more sex, oh yeah and then there was after school athletics.  See Pat?  We didn’t let you down, Sheila was a superwoman and could do it all!

The afternoon memories made by jackrabbits on a date in Four Mile Creek Park are still one of my fondest teenage fantasy memories.  Let me tell you, you have to be very creative, (and flexible), to have a date in the back seat of a tiny 1970 Firebird.  A 1967 Pontiac Bonneville, now that’s a different story.  After I finally got my boat, (the Bonneville – link), we felt like we had just moved from our tiny 1 room apartment into a Beverly Hills Mansion, (well, space-wise that is).

Looked a LOT like this one!

Looked a LOT like this one!

Our privacy was never invaded in the Firebird so perhaps we should have kept our lucky streak going.  The Bonneville was a different matter.  One episode in particular occurred at Four Mile late one evening.  We were parked as usual.  It was customary to see other headlights come into the park as this was a favorite spot for necking.  I guess we should have popped our heads up at every headlight but we had become comfortable with passing lights.  Flashlights aimed at our naked butts, now that’s something new.  But sure enough, there was Mr Park Ranger, a 60+ old, standing by the driver’s side with his flashlight, us scrambling to get our clothes back on and Mr Ranger being patient while we dressed (flashlight aimed on Sheila of course).

After dressing, I got out of the car to go speak with the ranger, beg for forgiveness, I guess.  This is pretty much how the conversation went:

Ranger – I don’t want you two coming back to this park.

Me – You’re not going to report this to our parents, are you?

Ranger – Are all young people like this?  (Evidently we weren’t the first young couple to go skinny dipping in his park)

Me – well….yes, I guess.  (Even then I couldn’t resist a smartass remark)

Ranger – I wish I had me a movie camera. 

This period of time, at least for me, was a period of growing clarity.  I knew I had found my mate in life.  One day in between classes, I was standing in the hallway, chatting with my good friend, Joe.  Sheila came walking up to us, wearing a blue sun dress that showed off her tanned brown skin.  We three laughed and chatted together and then Sheila announced to us that she had to get going else she would be late for class.  After she was out of hearing distance, I turned to Joe and said simply – I’m going to marry her someday.  I was 17, soon to turn 18, but I was never more certain of anything else ever in my life.  Many years later, Joe would recount that moment, still surprised that all had played out as I had ‘predicted’.

Sheila’s mom had finally agreed to allow us to begin dating again.  Her logic was sound for the times – you both will be 18 soon so I figure you’re old enough to make your own decisions.  I know you’re still seeing each other anyway.  (Kid translation – I surrender, you win)

Our first real date was the high schools’ day at Kings Island.  We were an official couple now, blessed by the parents.  Ok, so maybe ‘blessed’ is not the right verb here – how’s “tolerated”?  As we stood together at the top of the Eiffel Tower, we held hands and then we kissed.  Perhaps Sheila was day dreaming at the time, wondering what the future held for her.  For me, the future was a canvas that was only semi blank.  I didn’t know where we were headed, but I did know who I was headed there with.  Anything, or anyone, worth having is worth working hard for.

Ain’t no doubt about it, we were doubly blessed.  ‘Cause we were barely seventeen and we were barely dressed.

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