WOW...now my 57 year old memory is getting jarred. When I was 14 my buddy and I went halfer's on a 1954 Chevy 4 door. The battery had a hole in it so it needed to be push started, the brakes where well, for lack of better terminology, only working at 50% capacity (because the driver's side, front and back had the steel lines pinched to avoid the metal on metal sound when you applied the brakes). It was green with a bunch of fluorescent Orange graffiti all over it. All this for $5.00.
First thing we did was push start it to get it going and drove it to my Dad's shop about 4 miles away in the country and parked it until we could get enough gas money to go joy riding. Three days later, I had $3.00 for cutting grass, my buddy had a $5.00 bill he rifled out of his mother's purse I'm sure...but he had $5.00 non the less. We took my Dad's 5 gallon Jerry can he used for the lawn mower and put $2.00 worth of gas in the can and it almost filled the gas can. We took turns carrying the gas can the 4 miles to the shop and poured in into the tank of new 1954 Chevy.
Stupid us, we had parked it in a field that was full of weeds and couldn't push it quite as easily as if it was on pavement...Of coarse, I had an idea...my Dad had a shop truck and the key was always hidden under the floor mat...just borrow the truck to push start the 54 and we are then cruising. I jump into the shop truck, fire it up, my buddy is behind the wheel of the 54, I start pushing the car, my buddy pops the clutch, the old car fires up, goes sideways and takes out the headlight, headlight door and puts a dent in the front fender. Not a big deal, we got the car running.
We start driving down a country road (we chose this road because nobody used it any more) having a blast and all of a sudden coming over the top of a hill what do we see but a truck coming right at us...My buddy was driving, hits the brakes, the car pulls hard to right (only had brakes on one side) and we end up in the ditch...we wave the truck driver on saying we're OK (we didn't want any witnesses...Stupid or what) not thinking of how are we going to get this hulk running and out of the ditch. Well if we weren't the two luckiest guys you could imagine...the car started for the first time, the one and only time, off the battery.
I thought to myself that if I had been driving this wouldn't have happened so I insisted that I drive the car back to my Dad's shop. Now my Dad's shop was about 70 feet off of a major Highway, with only a gravel service road leading to the shop, I pull into the service road and what do we see...on the Highway an RCMP patrol car driving along looking for speeders. We weren't speeding, but we didn't have any plates either so we hurried to get the car to my Dad's shop with the RCMP right behind us. We park the car and where invited to sit in the back seat of the cruiser. I am now at the point of wondering what could possibly happen to us and I was the one caught driving so I would get the brunt of whatever punishment was going to be dealt out.
I start pleading with the RCMP officer to please don't take my drivers license away, thinking that I'm 14 years old, the legal age to get a driver's license was 16 years old, they might make me wait until I was 18 years old...(it's amazing what goes through a condemned boys mind at 14). One RCMP officer, of coarse the one that well over 7 feet tall, at least he looked to be that tall at the time, turns to me and says "take your license away, take your license away, your 14, you don't have a license to take away". We did however, both get a summons to appear in court the following Tuesday with one of our parents. I picked my Mom...My Dad volunteered.
My Dad in his wisdom, suggested that we go to the shop and move the eye sore of a car from the front of his shop and move it to the back where it couldn't be seen and to then hand the keys over to him and he would dispose of the car. We headed to the shop and of coarse the car wouldn't start...it needed a push start...with the shop truck...with the busted out headlight and broken headlight door and dented fender....and green paint from the Chevy all over the damaged area. About now I thought that not only would have been better to take my license away until I was 18, it would have been better to give 4 years in the Provincial Penitenitiary so I wouldn't have to deal with the wrath of my Dad.
I looked at my Dad...do any of you remember the cartoons where one of the character's gets angry and he turns red until steam comes out of his ears...he was getting redder and redder...everything but the steam. He walked away, sat in his car (he was driving a 67 Chrysler 300 with the 375 HP 440 CID at the time, beautiful car) for what seemed to be forever. He finally gets out of the car, very calmly gets in the truck, tells me to get in the Chevy and once we get it going to park it in the back, come back to the shop and hand over the keys...which I cheerfully did with a yes sir, three bags full sir, anything you want sir...I walked back to the shop and my Dad told me to get in the car. I started to apologize and he just looked at me which was enough for me to know that he wasn't in a chatty mood at the moment.
Tuesday comes along, I've been dying inside...what's going to happen...are they going to suspend my ability to get a license until I'm 18 years old, is there going to weekend jail time, what in God's name is going to happen to me...we go to court, the judge hears the story...looks at both my buddy and I, and we looked very remorseful and then looks at both parents and says, boys will be boys, if you promise not to do this kind of thing again, I'll suspend sentence...I didn't know what that meant, all I knew was that the judge didn't say anything about no license until I was 18 and I never heard a thing about weekend jail time so I was good...My Dad on the other hand said to the judge, "that's it?" Now I'm thinking, Dad, I'm your son, don't throw me under the bus. The judge told my father that just because he suspended sentence didn't mean that my Dad had to.
OK jail on weekends doesn't sound to bad now...seeing that I worked for my Dad evenings and weekends anyway, how about I work evenings and weekends for free until the $175.00 required to repair the shop truck was worked off and he had a dozen trees that needed to be cut down, stumps removed and back filled with top soil that he would think I would be happy to do seeing he had to take time off from work to hear a judge suspend sentence. I agreed and felt the punishment fit the crime.
You know, when I think back, my Dad took it pretty good, at the time I thought my life as I knew it was over.