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Cruisin' the Drag

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This poem was inspired by a FB  group I belong to as we reminisced about cruising back in the day. The places mentioned were real places in San Angelo, Texas where I grew up, although most of them no longer exist as the original business. In any case, the experience and the stereotypical characters will be familiar to anyone of that era. The poem pokes gentle satire at the days of the early 60's and the style is a parody of Kipling's style and rhyme scheme. Hope you enjoy.

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 fly-boys 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 there 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 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 were all for sharing, (especially when 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, unchaperoned 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

Copyright © | Year Posted 2012

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Date: 6/30/2015 6:38:00 PM
Roy, Congratulations on your old favorite poem. Always ~LINDA~
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Date: 6/28/2015 10:39:00 AM
This poem also took me along for the ride, and I thank you kindly !! I love thinking about my own days of youth, when the world seemed as if it were safer, and less complex place to have a dream. Sigh.... A lovely poem, Roy!
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Date: 6/28/2015 9:11:00 AM
This makes me reminisce, what a great bit of story telling Roy. Congratulations, love it!
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Date: 6/28/2015 1:02:00 AM
Roy, Congrats on your win......Love SKAT
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Date: 6/27/2015 9:20:00 PM
Roy, this is a terrific poem, a beautiful journey into the past,7 and congratulations on your wonderful placement in Shadows contest
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Date: 6/27/2015 8:00:00 PM
Roy, this is a fantastic write! The descriptive language you used, the slang make this a stand out poem. Congrats on your well-deserved 1st place win! Wow! Love, Kim
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Date: 6/27/2015 5:42:00 AM
kudos Roy what a fantastic pen the rhyming and metaphors perfectly executed going straight into my favourites Congrats on placing a well deserved 1st hugs
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Date: 3/9/2014 10:51:00 PM
Roy, awesome trip down memory lane, very rich with detail
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Date: 3/30/2013 8:24:00 PM
Lots of memories and colour in this one Roy. It brings to mind American Graffiti and American Pie. Great work. Congratulations. -Red.
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Date: 3/29/2013 8:41:00 PM
Roy, Congratulations with your "Any Poem Goes" in my contest. It was an honor in hosting this contest once again. Take care and enjoy the up coming Easter Holiday. Goodnight*Always*LINDA
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Date: 2/21/2013 9:07:00 PM
My son graduated from highschool in 1961, so this took me back to those days when i was a very involved bystander to the teen scene. In fact I sold tickets and chaperoned a teen-age dance every Friday night. So I remember the music. Great writing. Joyce
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Date: 2/2/2013 4:56:00 PM
Wow memory lane again. I do wish I knew the correct terms and ways you are trying to teach me. Patience...or maybe I'll just be the wanna be... you are great!
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Date: 1/26/2013 6:55:00 PM
Roy; I just had to come and rtead your first poem. I loved it. You are one fine writer. Thanks for sharing. god bless. Lucilla
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Roy Jerden
Date: 1/27/2013 4:08:00 AM
Thanks, Lucinda. Actually, the roughneck poem is my first, but doesn't seem to get much traction, maybe because of the subject matter. Cheers, Roy
Date: 12/30/2012 12:19:00 PM
Brilliant - both the play on Kipling (love his rhythmic style) and the reminiscence.
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Date: 12/2/2012 7:35:00 PM
Roy,, nice to see this one again ,,, congratulations with your poem featured on the soup home page... love it~ LINDA
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Roy Jerden
Date: 12/3/2012 5:20:00 AM
Thanks, Linda. I combined all my longer poems which were in two parts when I became a premium member, so maybe that allowed the entire work to be featured. I also sanitized this poem just a bit by replacing two words that might have offended the church ladies (although they are heard everyday on TV). Cheers, Roy
Date: 8/11/2012 6:44:00 PM
Roy, I read both parts... your thoughts and story was outrageous... glad i decided to cruise on in.....xox~pd
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