Cruising the Drag

Written by: Roy Jerden

Sipping cherry limeade, driving in the car parade, 
We're cruising in the Lone Star state
Didn't want a bucket seat; the thing it couldn't beat, 
Was sitting up close to your date
One hand on the wheel of daddy’s Oldsmobile, 
My arm around my brown-eyed girl
Feeling pretty sporty, radio on top forty, 
I was cooler than the Duke of Earl

The lady of the cruise had her penny loafer shoes, 
Her bobby socks were turned down twice
With a little eyeliner, she couldn't be much finer
Too much and it wouldn't be nice
There’d be no wild oats under those petticoats
She’d never go all the way
Just a perfect flip-up 'do and cute look number two
Practiced in the mirror all day

Hear those tires squeal when I make the rubber peel
For the flyboys waiting on the bus
To take them to the base where they don't feel out of place
Not cruising like the rest of us
I was the drag's head honcho as we pulled across the Concho
And we saw the lights along the riverside
We'd had quite a lark at Neff's amusement park
Playing putt-putt and going on a ride

The cheerleader squad rode a killer hot rod
With a spinner on every rim
A perfect tuck and pleat on every single seat 
Courtesy of Wanda's Auto Trim
Candy apple red, it would really knock you dead
It was a drop-top Pontiac
One was there to steer and three were in the rear
Posing up on the back

Those football beauty queens in their skin-tight Levi jeans
Were followed by their biggest fan
Checking out those lasses in his Buddy Holly glasses 
Was the nerdy little Aqua Velva man
In his stainless steel braces he grinned up at their faces
They iced him with a haughty air
He never would forget it; they would later on regret it
When he became a multi-millionaire

A four girl bevy in a big finned Chevy 
Were riding west on Sherwood Way
Four guys right behind in a pick-up state of mind
All ready to make their play
Thought they were the smartest cruising pick-up artists
But those gals were pretty astute
When they stopped and the guys started telling all their lies
The chicks started putting on the cute

We turned the car around and headed back downtown
Cruising down the boulevard 
Stay cool daddio, bear right at El Patio
And take it down Beauregard
There were lots of pleated skirts and those button-down shirts
The flattops were everywhere galore
From a Lincoln Continental, we heard an instrumental
Mister Acker Bilk's “Stranger on the Shore”

We slowly pulled through BJ’s, listening to the deejay’s 
Announcement of the next hit song
Leaning on their doors with their Brylcreem pompadours
Two hoods were playing Mr. Wrong
Completing their disguise, they slouched with narrowed eyes
And did their best at looking mean
With a twist of his pelvis, one was doing Elvis
The other did a fine James Dean

Like a sweet potato vine, the bride of Frankenstein 
Was entwined around the Marlboro man
With the passion of their make out, they should have gotten takeout 
And opted for a bigger floor plan
With her big black beehive hair and his fancy western wear
They were putting on quite an awesome scene
I had to give a chuckle at his huge silver buckle
But those M.L. Leddy boots looked mighty keen

I pulled the Olds on through, and we bid BJ’s adieu
And I put us back onto the street
With those four whitewall tires, we made for McIntire's
To get ourselves a bite to eat
We stopped for some fuel, over near the school
In those days they came right out to you
Best place on Earth, ‘cause with a dollar’s worth
They’d check your oil and clean your window too

The drive-in, painted green, was quite the social scene
With people mingling car to car
Everyone was caring; the drinks they were for sharing
Especially when they were in a mason jar
She ate a big banana split, and then left me for a bit
To comfort an old friend not feeling right
A moment more to linger with that final steak finger
Then I took her home and called that one a night

That was many years ago, but some things you don’t outgrow
And I think back to when I was a teen
When doors were left unlocked, and children safely flocked
Unchaparoned at night on Halloween
And sometimes at night, when the stars are big and bright
And I’m deep in a Texas state of mind
I think of that lass who was in my high school class
And I wonder if she thinks of me in kind

August 10, 2012