Phoenix

DesertExile: Prom Car

11 February 2007

Prom Car


In 1959, we were seniors in Kingman High School. Very strange, but in the summer of 1958, I had a dream about a girl in my class.
Her name was Evelyn. I dreamed that I went to the Prom with Evelyn.
Now, I knew this was "just a dream" because Evelyn was about the most popular girl in school, although she wasn't a raving beauty.
However, when we began the senior year, with a class of 53( Yes, I know--High School classes in most places are in the thousands), I was elected Class President only because I was not afraid to talk to the principal and teachers, or to give speeches to assemblies and the speech at graduation.
Evelyn was elected Class Treasurer, and given charge of assembling the yearbook. We began to do things together.
The Prom was coming. I was almost ashamed to ask her, because:
In those days NO student had a car. Hell, I didn't have a driver's license. My folks would not sign a paper taking responsibility for me.
It was beneath my pride for her to drive ME in her mother's car.
I had a best friend, John Hopeman. John's father was the chief of the Ford Test Track west of Kingman, and had allowed John to BUY a car from Ford after testing was done on it.
I talked to John and said " What am I going to do?"
John said " Take my car".
We did.
After the Prom, we drove out a way from Kingman, stopped, and just had the radio on and talked.
It got time to go. I turned the key and NOTHING. OH-God! Am I going to be in trouble--and we were ten miles from anything.
Evelyn calmly said--It has to be in Park. ( I wasn't familiar with automatic transmissions--I had driven tractors and jeeps on the ranch. )
It started and we went home.
The greatest gift that night was: I was with my dream girl, and she didn't belittle my for my ignorance.

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