Sunday, December 30, 2012

Jenny says. . .

"I certainly wasn't what you'd call a "regular" on Peoria in the mid 60's - I didn't even own a car! But I was able to borrow the family wagon - a 1960 Chevrolet station wagon named "The Enterprise" [after the aircraft carrier - Star Trek wasn't quite around yet] occasionally on the weekends. Naturally, when I could, I loaded up a couple of friends and we headed across the river to Peoria. It was quite a treat to have the car, a couple of friends and a little money from odd jobs for gasoline and food on a summer evening!

My memories of Peoria probably aren't much different from most people. We drove up and down the street, listening to the radio, talking, and looking at all the cars going up and down the street. Lots of people parked in some of the parking lots and just sat on their cars with the radio going, just sort of taking it all in. I always preferred KELi [make sure its spelled right!] to KAKC, but it seemed that when we pulled into Pennington's , KAKC was coming from nearly every car there! But it didn't matter - that shrimp basket and the blackbottom pie were such a treat there could have been opera going on and I wouldn't have cared! And those rolls...
While there were indeed lots of really cool cars, it seems like most of the kids I knew were in borrowed family cars like me or old clunkers when I was there. Lots of big old sedans and station wagons rolled up and down Peoria. The guys in the really cool cars were definitely in a different social class! The boys I knew could all tell you everything about every neat car that went by. Us girls just looked at the shapes and the colors, and of course the drivers. And secretly hoped that someday we might be riding in one of them...
Remember what we called the family wagon? Well, there was a reason ; what a boat! That thing was huge and I swear you could land an airplane on the roof. It wasn't easy to maneuver around, but it served our family of five well. My most vivid memory of "Cruising the strip" centers around that car.
 A friend of mine and I were in Pennington's fairly early on a Saturday evening, June 15th 1968. Lori and I had finished eating, and had finished our second cherry Dr Pepper. We were laughing about something as I started to back out of the space when I felt a bump and heard the sickening sound of crunching metal. Then I heard a voice yelling not very nice things at me as I nearly fainted; What had I done? My folks would kill me!
The voice belonged to one of those cute boys in a cool car. A yellow and white 55 Chevrolet to be exact, that now had a huge dent in it just behind the door. When he came up to my door and saw I was a girl, he calmed down and stopped yelling at me. He was naturally angry and upset, but when I started to cry, he got real nice and assured me it would be OK. We exchanged information, and he asked if I had insurance. He said he really needed to get his car fixed fast as he was to report to the Army on July 1st! Poor boy - first he had gotten drafted, and then I wrecked into his car. Fortunately, Dad had insurance and they got the boy's car fixed. I was in trouble, got grounded and had to pay to get our car fixed. There wasn't hardly any damage to our car other than a bent bumper, but it took me quite awhile to save up enough to pay for it!
A little over two years later, I had graduated and was working at TG&Y, still living at home and just three months shy of my 20th birthday. One Saturday afternoon, just as I was coming in the door from work, the phone rang. It was the boy with the yellow Chevrolet! He had recently gotten home from the Army, fortunately never having been sent to VietNam, and wondered if I might like to go see a movie and maybe get a shrimp basket at Pennington's! Glad he didn't hold a grudge!"

Thanks for the great story Jenny. Jenny also said in her email - " My grandson found your website while he was looking for things about Pennington's, KELi, 55 Chevies and cruising Peoria for a "powerpoint [I think he calls it] presentation" he put together for Mike's and My anniversary party last weekend." Yep. Mike had a yellow and white 55...
Jenny also said that she read some of the other stories, and wondered if there was a particular 'horn sequence' for Webster as in the post by Driller? Anybody know?
Don't know about you, but YrHmblHst just loves happy endings. Of course, now I've got that Cowboy Mouth song stuck in my head, but thats OK...

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