Google+ Badge

Translate

ALCOHOL...MY ENEMY


                                                    ALCOHOL YOU ARE MY ENEMY

Summer 1956


          It was a beautiful, summer morning in 1956.  The hour was eleven o’clock in the morning, and our family was anticipating a day of shopping and visiting Grandma in Albuquerque.  Our station wagon headed out of Socorro.  Near the outskirts of town was a small tavern with one pickup parked in front.

          “There’s Tom’s pickup.  I wonder if he’s still planning on taking that job in Australia.” Deryl asked.

          “Pull in and we’ll talk to him,” Mom suggested.

          I groaned outwardly.  “Ah...come on...you’ll be in there forever.”

          “We’ll only be a few minutes,” Mom said as Deryl stopped the car in front of the tavern.

          I threw dagger stares as they entered the small block building.  One blackened window stared back mockingly with bold red letters: Bar.

          I slid down in the seat angrily and folded my arms.  I hated bars!  I hated alcohol!  They were both exercising more and more influence over our lives!

          The sun was hot as it shown through the open windows of the station wagon, and a small breeze swept the leaves of a tree near the tavern.  One lone fly buzzed and landed on my sweaty legs, which were beginning to stick to the warm upholstery.

          Our car and Tom’s pickup were the only two vehicles parked in front of the establishment.

          After we had waited nearly an hour, Bronco became fidgety and ventured into the bar.  I sat brooding.  We’d be lucky if we ever made it to Albuquerque.  Why did they have to stop?  I knew they were in there drinking!  Alcohol was becoming an increasing problem.  Before, Deryl and Mom only drank when they went out, but recently, they had begun drinking at home.  I could still remember the first evening I noticed Mom mixing their drinks.  I had a nervous, sickening feeling and instantly disliked the new routine!  My concern was confirmed by a couple of incidents.  One of them happened late at night.  Mom locked Deryl out of the house, and he stood outside their bedroom window, swearing, while Mom was on the inside yelling out.  I lay in bed, covering my head with my pillow, muffling the sound, and the embarrassment I felt at the thought of neighbors being disturbed.

          After alcohol invaded out home, martinis became a usual evening habit.  The drinks were used to unwind from the day and to have a time of fellowship together.  Supper would be cooking, Deryl had just showered from work, and Mom would fix the martinis.  The meal would be delayed as voices and laughter rose in volume from the kitchen.  Bronco and I waited in front of the television in the living room.  Some nights, if an argument erupted (which was happening frequently) supper would be ruined, and all that filled one’s stomach was nervousness, anger, resentment and fear!

          An old blue Oldsmobile pulled up beside our station wagon and a man entered the tavern.  On the highway, vehicles sped by for their destinations.

          I cracked my car door, allowing the warm breeze to blow through.  Bronco ran out of the bar and stood outside the car.  He picked up a handful of rocks and began tossing them toward the edge of the driveway.

          “What are Deryl and Mom doing in there?” I asked angrily.

          “Oh, just drinking and talking with that Tom, guy,” Bronco answered nonchalantly.

          Time dragged by.  The afternoon sun was penetrating more heat, and the lone fly had a companion.

          I thought of walking home. It was only a couple of miles, but I knew that if I did Mom would be angry.

          I stepped out of the car and stretched my legs.  My shorts and blouse were wet from perspiration.  I felt as if I’d ridden to Albuquerque and back twenty times, and I hadn’t been there yet!  I slammed the car door and marched toward the tavern.  I hated the place with every step I took! 

          The interior was semi-dark, and it took my eyes a few minutes to adjust.  “Why are these places always so dark?” I asked myself.  The bartender stood behind the bar, serving another beer to the man from the Oldsmobile.  Deryl, Mom and their friend were sitting around a table in the center of the room.  Before them, on the table, were a number of empty glasses.  Their voices were loud and boisterous.
          “I’m tellin ya...ther’s money down under...yesireee.... Australia...that’s the land of opportunity.” Tom bellowed.
          “How much money you planning on making?” Deryl asked, with a thick tongue.
          “Why, thousands more than I’m making around here,” his friend bragged loudly.
          I walked up behind Mom and touched her arm.  She was engrossed in the conversation and turned toward me, annoyed.  When I saw her displeasure, my own aggression melted.  Mom had never hurt me physically, but when she drank,  I was leery of this strange person who emerged.  She was so different from the mother I knew when she was sober.
          “Mom, when are we going?” I asked, with all the courage I could muster.
          “Pretty soon."  Go on...we’re talking business!” she said impatiently and turned back to the conversation and her companions.
          “Yea, our glasses are empty...let’s have another drink!” Tom roared as he brought his hand down on the table, causing the glasses to shake.  “Hey, Shorty, three more over here!” he yelled over his shoulder to the bartender.
          I turned to walk away and my eyes met the clock on the wall.  It was 2:45!  We had been there almost four hours!  Anger and frustration were building up inside me as I stepped back into the sunlight.
          Bronco had tired of throwing rocks and was inside the station wagon leaning against the door.  He looked like he could fall asleep.  I slid into the back seat across from him.
          The fly had two more pesky friends.  The warm breeze had stifled and the interior of the car was hot!  And, I was steaming!
          “They’re just lucky I’m only thirteen or I’d be gone!”  I growled to Bronco, releasing some of my pent up emotion.  One of the flies lit on my leg.  I swatted at him and he flew out the window, deserting his other winged friends.  I slid down in the seat, completely frustrated!
          Another hour passed...I heard voices and rose up.  Deryl, Mom and Tom were coming though the tavern doorway.
          “Finally!” I said in disgust.  Bronco sat up.
          “See ya, buddy,” Deryl yelled at his friend, as Tom pealed his pickup onto the highway toward Socorro.
          Deryl and Mom were obsessed with Australia, and their voices were in full volume as they got into the car.  I knew we would never move to Australia.  It was just another dream image.  An idea that would never take place.  Deryl and Mom were always looking for the pot of gold at the end of a distant rainbow, or greener pastures just over the next hill.  Discontent and continuous upheaval was our way of life.  If contentment and peace had met us face-to-face we probably wouldn’t have recognized them.  They were foreign commodities in our lives.
          I don’t know what triggered the argument, but Deryl and Mom were yelling at each other.  The scenery outside was a blur as it flew past the station wagon window.  I peeked over Deryl’s shoulder: the speedometer read, ninety-five miles an hour and was climbing.
          “Deryl, slow down!  Do you want to kill us all?” Mom screamed, “Slow down!  My kids are in this car!”
          “Woman, what’s your *******  ***** problem?” Deryl swore.
          “Stop this car and get out!” Mom shouted and shoved him.
          The car swerved, slowed and came to an abrupt, screeching sideways halt by the side of the road.  Deryl opened the car door and Mom pushed him out.  They were still yelling.
          Mom slid behind the steering wheel and locked the car door.  Deryl was swaying and swearing outside the door.  Mom started the engine, and we pealed rubber onto the highway.  Deryl was left behind in a cloud of dust.  I looked back and watched him turn, with a posture of dejection, and stagger toward Socorro.
          We were on our way to Albuquerque, but it was late afternoon.  Mom was driving over the speed limit.  Bronco and I were holding on in the back seat and Deryl was still in Socorro.
          As the miles sped by, Mom sobered up and slowed the speed of the car.  She was still angry with Deryl, and the atmosphere was tense.
          Evening shadows were falling over Albuquerque, and a New Mexico sunset lit the western sky. We drove up Central Avenue towards Grandma’s store.
          Mom and Grandma sat at the kitchen table and had a long discussion.  Grandma, who hated alcohol almost as much as I did, exhorted Mom to abstain.  She also blamed Deryl for the problem.  I often wondered if Grandma realized that Mom was as much a culprit in drinking as Deryl.
          The next morning, Deryl showed up at the store.  It wasn’t long before he and mom made up.  When they were sober, they were completely different people.  They could be giving and loving. ( Although Mom had been changing toward me, and I felt distant from her...and wasn't feeling love from her.).
          The four of us traveled back to Socorro.  We were drained emotionally and relieved the upheaval was over.  I, for one, hoped and prayed there would never be another occurrence.  Time would pass, and then, without warning, the old serpent of drunkenness would surface again.  Underneath the veneer of our lives, alcoholism was undermining the support beams, deteriorating the structure, and chipping away at the very foundation of our lives!   The devilish fiend.... Alcoholism...the disease...the thief...our       
Enemy!!!

A VOID...LOOKING FOR GOD



                                      I opened the heavy wooden door and peered inside the
 Catholic Church.  It was shady and cool as I entered, placing my scarf around
 my head.  There were dim lights burning near the front of the sanctuary.  It 
was quiet, peaceful and empty.  I sat in a back pew and listened to the hush. 
few minutes passed before a priest came through a side door.  I hurriedly 
slipped out of the heavy front door into the bright sunlight.  The priest might 
have asked me why I was there and what I wanted.

       “What did I want?  What was I searching for?  I was curious about the large, impressive structure that bore a cross on its steeple.  I had started bringing a scarf to school with me, because I had seen my friends wearing scarves as they entered their church.  On my way home from school I slipped unnoticed into the church.
          Most of my friends were catholic, and they would talk about going to mass.  They seemed to enjoy their religion, and if anyone asked them what church they belonged to, they would proudly say, “I’m Catholic”.  Our family had not attended church since we left Philipsburg.  Mom said a person could worship anywhere and especially in the great out of doors.  However, we never worshipped in or out of doors.  I felt a void...something was missing.  I had made up my mind!

          “I’m going to become Catholic,” I announced to Mom when I got home.  Mom’s eyes widened and it took her a few minutes to find her tongue.
          “You can’t!  We’re...we’re Presbyterian,” she stammered.
          “We never go to church.”
          “I want you to talk to a minister!” Mom said firmly.
          The next day, after school, Reverend Whitney came to our house.  He was the Methodist minister.  (Later when I asked Mom why he wasn’t Presbyterian, she said the denominations believed the same.)
          “Gloria, have you been baptized?” the balding man asked, as he studied me through thick glasses.
          “You mean in water?”
          “We don’t immerse, we sprinkle with water.  Have you ever been baptized?”
          “No sir.”
          “Your mother tells me you want to become Catholic.  Is that right?”
          “Well, yes sir...I’ve been thinking about it,” I answered.
          “Gloria, beginning next week on Tuesday evenings, I’m going to have a two hour study on Catholicism.  Will you come?”
          “Well...I don’t know, “I hesitated.  I had no desire to sit for two hours and listen to a study.  I turned toward Mom.  She shook her head to the affirmative.
          “I guess so,” I sighed.
          “I strongly urge you Gloria, to be baptized in your faith.  Has everyone else in the family been baptized?” he asked Mom, as he peered over his spectacles.
          “No.”
          “The rest of the family should be sprinkled also,” he said firmly.
          The following Tuesday evening, under Mom’s insistent urging, I sat with six other people and listened to the minister expound against Catholicism.  He spoke of atrocities performed through history. But, he never mentioned other barbarism done in the name of Protestantism.  His gaze, through his thick glasses, kept returning to me, as if he wanted to be sure I was getting the message.  I listened, but what he was saying didn’t sound like my Catholic friends!
          Two weeks later, on a Sunday morning, Mom, Deryl, Bronco and I stood in front of the Methodist Church.  I was holding the new white Bible Mom and Deryl had given me.  Our family vowed our belief and was sprinkled.  We attended faithfully, until Deryl was asked to be a deacon a few months later.  We quit attending.  Deryl and Mom said, “They expected too much too soon!”

It would be years before I attended church again.

Deryl
         
      Mom took the pictures. Our house in Socorro, New Mexico. We were all going to be baptized 
Bronco and Gloria
(Not immersed) at the Methodist Church. I was holding my little white Bible.                                                     


                                                                      .


                       


LONGING TO BE LOVED AND HEARD

AM I LOVED?

          The three of us walked toward the Socorro square after school. For .35 cents we could get a chili hot dog and a coke. Mom had given me the money before school.

          We scooted our skirts into the booth of the Drug Store.  We had to wear dresses to school…no pants allowed.

          I wasn't in any hurry to get home. I had a heavy heart but I would never share it with my friends.  My mother had put a "code of silence" on me.  "Gloria, you never tell anything that goes on in this house."

          Our hot dogs and cokes were set before us.  My two friends were in a conversation concerning "mothers." Just, what I didn't want to hear. (But they didn't know that.)

 I was so tired of hearing…"I tell my Mom everything. She's really my best friend.".... If only, I thought.

          I spent a lot of time at my friends houses. Socorro was small enough we could walk to each others homes .  Jill's Mom was very nice. I also loved to go to another friends house.  She was Spanish. They were a big family. The home was always lively and her mother made the best Mexican food. Her mom was always glad to see me. My friend and I talked about her church. She was Catholic. Many of my friends were Catholic…except for Jill.


          Even though Jill was my best friend I could never tell her the things my mother had said to me.

 

          I didn't understand my mother. She would be nice to me one day and then say something terrible the next day.


          Yesterday was the worst.  Her eyes looked into mine. "It’s probably your fault Slim didn't hear the man yell he was turning on the juice (electricity). He was probably thinking about you, because you knew he wasn't your real dad. "

   

         If she had stuck a knife in me it wouldn't have hurt any worse.

          I was speechless. How could Mom try to blame me for Daddy Slims death? I knew it wasn't true. I knew it had been an accident. It had nothing to do with me.

 

      It was such a cruel, venomous thing to say. And from my own mother. Did she want to hurt me? Yes, I felt she did and I did not understand it.

 

          When she spoke of my birth, it was never joyful. She said, "I looked down at you and I said "you little Indian". (My mother's father was part Cherokee Indian.) She also told me I had ruined her body when she gave birth to me.

      

    There was no way I could tell her anything. I tried to talk to her about staying in one school and not moving. I was happy in Socorro. I had many friends. I wanted to stay in one place. In one house. In one school.

 

          "I moved all the time when I was a kid. I had it worse than you," was her answer.

 

          One day, when I was really feeling down, she asked me what was wrong.

          "I can't talk to you Mom."


          "Write me a letter."


          I sat on my bed and wrote her a long letter.  When I took it to her she refused to read it. Was she afraid to hear the truth?


          Yes, my friends loved their Moms. I loved my mother too.  The question was…did she love me?


          The terrible thought would come in my mind and continued for years…"If your own mother doesn't love you."

 


Post note: Years later I learned that abortion had been discussed. My Mom decided to give birth to me. My Aunt Ruby, a few years before she died, told me that if it hadn't been for her and Grandma I probably wouldn't have made it as a baby...(when Mom brought me home from the hospital.)  
             

DOES ANYONE OUT THERE CARE?

Bronco visited Grandma and Grandpa Williams in Magdalena for the weekend.
          “Mom, Bronco has family on his father's side that he belongs to.  I don’t have anyone,” I said sadly.
          “What if I write Linda lee’s mother, and see if the two of you can meet? Mom suggested.
          “Really, can you do that?  Do you know where they live?  What if her mother doesn’t want us to meet?  What if Linda doesn’t know about me?” I bombarded Mom with the questions in rapid succession.
          “I’ll send the letter to the last place they were living, and then we’ll just have to wait and see.”
          We waited, but never received a reply.
          “If they didn’t get the letter, it would have been returned,” Mom said.
          I was disappointed!
          One weekend, during the following month, we took a short trip into Arizona.  Outside Holbrook, Mom turned in her seat.
          “Your grandmother lives here.”
          “What grandmother?” I asked, surprised.
          “Lucky’s mother, Mrs. Murphy,” Mom answered, “She and her husband run a restaurant in Holbrook.  Would you like to meet her?”
          I nodded my head yes, and my stomach knotted nervously.  As we parked outside the cafe and got out of the car, I wondered what would happen.  I had often daydreamed of meeting Lucky’s mother, and in my imagination, a loving grandmother was overwhelmed to see me.
          We entered the small, air-conditioned restaurant and sat at a table.  A waitress took our order, and I noticed a dark haired woman staring at us from behind the lunch counter.
          “That’s your grandmother,” Mom whispered.
          “After the waitress took our order, the woman walked over to our table.
          “Hello Mrs. Murphy,” Mom said pleasantly.
          “I thought I recognized you, Wanda.”
          “Mrs. Murphy, this is Deryl my husband, Bronco my son, and Gloria.”
          Mrs. Murphy had been glancing at me, and now her blue eyes never left.  I felt like she was studying me.
          “How old are you now, Gloria?”
          “I’m thirteen.”
          “How is Kenneth?” Mom asked.  (I noticed she didn’t call him, Lucky.)
          “He’s doing just fine.  He’s in California.  He and his dad are in business together out there.”  She turned toward me, “Would you like to see a recent picture of him?”
          I nodded my head and she disappeared through a swinging door into the kitchen area.  When she returned, she handed me a billfold size studio photo.  I stared intently at the man’s profile in the black and white picture.  He was smiling and his black hair waved back from his forehead.  I studied the photo trying to see if there was any resemblance between him and me.
          “Does Kenneth have any more children?” Mom asked.
          “No. You know how Kenneth feels about children,” Mrs. Murphy replied, and from her tone, I new it was negative.
          As we left the cafe, I could still sense Mrs. Murphy’s eyes on me.  I felt empty!  My daydream had not come true, and now I remembered another frequent fantasy.  I would walk up to a dark haired man and say, “I’m Gloria, your daughter.”  His arms would reach out in recognition, as a broad smile of joy spread across his face.  When I walked into his embrace, he would tell me...he had always cared!
          But now, Mrs. Murphy’s voice echoed in my mind, “You know how Kenneth feels about children!”  I remembered Mom’s words long ago when I was ten, “He didn’t care about you or he would have contested the adoption!”
          Evidently Mom had been right...he didn’t care.  Puff...my daydreams vanished! The reality of what I had just heard, from my grandmother, hurt.
           Would I ever meet this mystery man of my life? Didn't he even care?  Did he ever think about me?  I wanted to know the answers to my questions.
But, who could tell me?
Someday I would go to California and find him, I decided.
The Mystery Man...Warren Kenneth Bolding...my biological father


My Grandma Gertrude Louise Storie Bolding Murphy. I would only see her once. She at one time played guitar and sang on the radio.

A RUMBLE IN THE HALLWAYS

CATS, STOMPERS AND NEUTRALS
          Socorro’s schools were predominantly Spanish, and there were racial problems.  The school was divided into three groups: the Cats, the Stompers, and the remaining neutral students.  The Stompers were white boys (Anglo’s).  Their hair was short and they dressed in western shirts, Levi’s and leather belts with large belt buckles.  The girls, who ran around with the Stompers, dressed in western attire off the school grounds.  (Only dresses were worn at school.)
          The Cats were mostly Spanish.  The boys wore their hair longer and slicked back on the sides.  Their style was: Ivy League shirts, baggy pants that were inches too long and hung low with on their hips.
          I belonged to the neutral group who had friends on both sides. (Although away from school, I often wore my western clothes and my leather belt with a 4X4 buckle.)
          There were stories circulating of Stompers ganging up on Cats and visa versa.  One day
between classes in the High School hall, someone locked the instructors in the teacher’s lounge, and the Stompers and Cats had a free-for-all.
          There were bodies hurled against lockers and fists thrown into chins and stomachs, as feet hit shinbones. One Spanish girl picked up a small, Stomper boy and threw him down the hallway.
          The Junior High had not been involved in the upheaval, but we were included in the school assembly that followed.  The School Superintendent paced in front of the student body, as he threatened, exhorted and expressed his approval.  The angry, red-faced principal followed his speech.  The last speaker was the Chief of Police.  They all repeated the same warning...
          “This type of behavior will not be tolerated!  If another incident occurs, there will be stronger measures taken!”
          There wasn’t another “incident”, but the coolness of a cold war remained.  Toward the end of the school year, something happened that united the student body (at least for a time).  Two football players, Bob Price and Herman Aragon, were in a car wreck.  Herman, a popular Spanish boy, was killed.  Bob Price, a white boy, who all the girls swooned over, was left paralyzed from the waist down.  Jill and I attended Herman’s funeral at the Catholic Church.  Once more I was faced with the realities.  Life was full of uncertainties!  No one knew what would happen around the next curve in the road or in a river swim.
My 4x4 belt buckle...stomper style (although I was neutral)


GROWING UP IS HARD TO DO

8th Grade. Socorro, New Mexico

                                                         1956
There was some tension around our house.  Deryl and Mom were over the “honeymoon, lovey-dovey stuff” and were adjusting to another stage of married life.  Bronco was having some difficulties in school; and I had returned to my disrespectful moody ways.
One day, Mom came home from a meeting with Bronco’s schoolteacher.  She was upset!  Her face became a picture of anger as she yelled at me, “You are part of Bronco’s problem!  If you don’t straighten up, I’ll send you to live with Grandma Underwood in Albuquerque!”
I ran to my room, threw myself across the bed and sobbed.  After the cry, I laid brooding.  I knew it!  Mom didn’t love me!  She only loved Bronco!
If she didn't want me...I didn't need her!
          Mom and I were stale mated again.

          I matured early.  Mom said it was a "miracle". I found it was a nuisance. The girls at school made fun of me and the boys made snide remarks. Because the high school was attached to the junior high, I had many older friends. (Jill Hollinger was one of them.) There were many who did not realize I was 12 yrs old.

          Mom decided I should learn to drive a car…a stick shift. "You should learn on a stick shift." she said. 
          Deryl sat patiently by me as I pushed in the clutch and ground the gears to his car. Eventually I got the hang of it. (I'm sure Deryl was relieved to get out of the car, when we got back.)
           A week later..."Why don't you take Deryl's car for a drive," Mom said as she handed me the keys.
          Of course I snatched them right up.
        I opened the door of Deryls car, sat in the seat and scooted it forward. Turning the key, I pushed in the clutch and jerked forward as I tried to get it in gear.
         After a few tries I accelerated and drove onto the alley.  It was great fun.
        Mom had told me to just stay in the alleys, not to get on any main streets.
         I didn't have a license, I was only 12 yrs old.
        A half hour later I drove onto our gravel driveway, in back of our house.  I decided I had driven in too close so I shifted into reverse and backed up.
        "Crash"
        I had backed Deryl's car into a telephone pole. There was a dent in the bumper.
        My step dad , when he got home, was not happy.  Typically, he never lectured me, but he was very tight lipped. (I didn't know if he knew it was Mom's idea or not.) I was sorry I had dented his car.
        Mom never handed me the keys to Deryl's car again.

STAY AWAY FROM DRIVE IN MOVIE THEATERS.
        His hands gripped the steering wheel, eyes straight ahead. If he had planned it, the evening didn't go as he thought.  I knew when he got me home; he wouldn't walk me to the door.
        It all began when Mom told me a boy, who was a clerk at a store, wanted to meet me. "He's such a nice boy. Nice looking too."
        I liked him right away. Actually, I was smitten. The only problem was…he was 15 yrs old and I was 12 yrs. Old.
        As I walked to the high school, before class, I saw him waiting for me. My heart did a pitter patter. I was flattered that an older boy was interested in me, and a good looking one at that. (I was sure the girls in my class were jealous.)
        Every morning we met and talked.  He was a "cat." (Which I will explain later). His entire group of buddies hung around the same area.
        "Would you like to go steady?" he asked me with a big smile.
        I wasn't quite sure what "steady" was. "I better ask my mother," I answered.
        "No, you are too young."  Mom' said..
        I honestly did not care, but she didn't know that. I acted upset and ran to my room.
        "Okay, if it means that much to you…you can go steady." Mom conceded.
        I had a ring on a chain around my neck. I wasn't supposed to like any other boys.  That was all I knew about "going steady."
        I put on my flowered dress. I was going on my first date.
        My "steady" came to the door and we walked out to his mother's car. She was behind the wheel because he didn't have a drivers' license. I felt so grown up that night.
        All went well until I turned 13 and my steady turned 16. He had his drivers license.
        He picked me up, with the keys to the car, in his hand. We were going to the drive in Movie Theater…alone. "Be sure and get her home by eleven," Mom had said.
        I received my first kiss. But then came another one…I was being pushed down on the seat.
        "No!" I yelled. "Stop!" 
        That wasn't in his vocabulary evidently. I didn't know I had so much strength. My adrenaline kicked in and he was shoved backward.
        He was angry! He scooted behind the wheel and started the car.  He never spoke another word to me on the way home. He stopped the car in front of the house. I opened my door, got out and he drove off.
        On Monday morning I walked to the high school side of the building. There he was with his "buddies."  He walked over to me: no smile.
        "He nudged his head toward his friends."The guys asked me if we've ever done anything," he said with a scowl. "I said no…you wouldn't give. I want my ring back."
                           ( So much for going steady!)
        I never told Mom, and she never asked why he wasn't coming around anymore.

DON'T WALK DOWN A DARK HIGHWAY
        Angie, her cousin Barry and I drove into the Socorro drive in movie theater. It was a double feature, but we were only staying for one movie. Barry was older then us and had his license and a car.
        When the first movie ended, Barry turned the key in the ignition…"chugs…chug."  "I think the batter is dead." Barry said . "I'll go to the concession stand and see if I can get someone to jump the battery."
        Angie and I sat and sat and sat. I was getting worried. I knew if I didn't get home soon I'd have to deal with Mom.
        The drive in was outside Socorro…close to a half mile.
        "Come on Angie…let's walk home," I said.
        Angie was hesitant…"What about Barry?"
        "He'll figure it out," I said.
        We walked through the exit of the drive in onto the road.
        "Won't Barry be surprised when he comes back to the car," I laughed
       I could see the lights of Socorro in the distance as we continued down the dark highway.
        A pickup passed and then a car. The back lights of the pickup turned red as it stopped. The car following it did the same.  Both vehicles backed up. Angie gripped my arm.
        A man came from the pickup and another man from the car.  I knew they were drunk.
        "Well, what have we got here?  Some little cuties."
        Suddenly, boldness came over me. I didn't even look at the men. Angie's eyes were as big as saucers as I took her arm and turned her.
        "Come on Angie…let's get back to the drive in."
        We walked back up the highway. We never looked back, and we were not followed.
        Barry's car was running when we got inside the drive in. "Hey I was just coming to look for you two."
        We never told Barry what had happened. (unless Angie told him later.) And I certainly never told Mom.