Searchfortreasure's Blog

…a Bible student's notes…

Love, toll roads, and chocolates…

Conversations with my GRANDdaughter, part 21
Well, it seems that I am doing all the “talking.” I’m good at that and I realize this is a very long answer to “What was it like to be 16?” I am attempting to cover each area of my life back then. It’s fun for me and one day you will enjoy reading it to your GRANDchildren!
Today? How ’bout the story of Eugene. He fell in love with me when I was 16, going on 17 – and he was twice my age and three inches shorter than my 5′ 8”. He even asked my dad for my “hand in marriage.” He was well-mannered and “well-to-do,” as my mom would say.
Let’s see, I am a little sketchy on how all this began. He knew my dad through work, I believe. Eugene lived in New York City, however. So, I am not quite sure how their relationship evolved. Anyway, he was a likeable fellow, very interested in pleasing us as a family. He invited us to New York to stay with him at his flat. He had a rather large apartment home for NYC. Space is at a premium there. We did have to sleep in his big living room area on “Baptist palets,” as my mom used to call them – blankets, sleeping bags, etc. We didn’t mind that, but my mom and dad’s snoring kept me awake all night. And, I could have been excited about seeing “My Fair Lady” on Broadway the next evening. Eugene was treating all of us to a wonderful weekend. However, I was not aware that he was in love with me – or my family, really – at this time. Since we had driven up, I learned about his proposal on the way home in the car.
When I thought back on it, I remembered that he stayed close to me and was very attentive. Hey – I’m 16, I considered him “old.”
My dad and mom never told him, “No;” but they distanced themselves from him more and more. And, although I do not recall ever seeing him again, he did send me flowers and boxes of candy to my dorm when I entered Carson-Newman College. I’m pretty sure I wrote him once. I really liked the chocolates. Flowers, I could not eat, but the chocolates were excellent. I don’t care for flowers to this day, but GRANDdad can give me chocolates any time! (I am so sorry that you missed getting the “chocolate gene.”)
Driving to New York City was actually the fun part. I do not remember the highways we had to take and, you need reminding that freeways and toll roads were just coming into style. Somewhere along the way, we took a toll road. It might even have cost a dollar, perhaps two quarters – but, dad gladly took it. Oh, boy, a short cut—- that was short-lived.
Road construction detoured us shortly after paying the toll gate guy and mom helped dad read the signs and low and behold! Same toll gate, same guy.
Paid again.
Took same detour.
Same toll gate, same guy.
This time, as my dad is handing over the toll fee, he asks the guy for a discount, or could this one be free, because he was gonna’ make a lot of money off of us!
Laughter by all – and for many years ahead, as this was told over and over.
There was another fun driving story in New York City. The Holland Tunnel. It is under the Hudson River. It also had a toll fee. Quote:
The Holland Tunnel was the first mechanically ventilated underwater tunnel in the world and remains the model for tunnels like it all over the wor
The Holland Tunnel was the first mechanically ventilated underwater tunnel in the world and remains the model for tunnels like it all over the world. From: http://www.panynj.gov/bridges-tunnels/holland-tunnel.html
Windows down, all of us wonder-eyed inside this huge, brightly-lit tunnel, we heard a cop whistle – a vigorous cop whistle. Looking for the source of this noise, we spied a policeman using strong body language and hollering between “whistling,” “HURRY UP! MOVE FASTER!”
My dad loved this story because it was the first – and only – time a policeman told him to go faster, and, for a Georgia boy, this was a treat.

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July 27, 2011 - Posted by | Conversations with my GRANDdaughter, Uncategorized

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