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Richie and Me, Part 8



Buster McGuire lived across the street and two houses up from us on Brookside Drive. We all loved Buster and Miss Nina.

They had two fine children, Colin of “Big C” fame and pretty Caroline. I take credit for naming Colin, Big C, because from birth he was “Big C.”

Buster’s most fun thing to do was to catch us boys in something and make a good story out of it embarrassing us.

One day soon after my parents’ returned from the Torch Club Convention, daddy and I met Buster coming out of the Country Club as we were walking in.

Buster stopped us for a minute and asked daddy about the trip. “How was the trip Gene? Y’all have a good time, any travel problems?” that kind of stuff.

Buster was a writer and editor for The Montgomery Advertiser and later the Director of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce.  He was always a fun guy and friend.

After asking daddy about the trip, he turned to me and asked, “Carter, did you get the Playboy Club closed down before your momma and daddy got home?” I was speechless, speechless and probably pale. My dad looked at me, smiled, and never said a word.

On another little outing, just Richie and me, we spotted Richard (Dooni) Saunders riding through town with a date. It’s not as if Dooni didn’t have dates, it’s just that we didn’t often see him riding around with one.

We gave chase and he ran. He had a 1961 Ford, three speed manual transmission, big motor two-door hardtop, black with red interior. Now that was a hot car!

We were both speeding through town, slowing enough at stop signs to make sure no one was coming.

All of a sudden that ever-present black Ford police car came from nowhere down Oak Street, flipped on its red light and started after us.

We had just eased through the stop sign at Kay Watts’ house. We turned off our lights, turned left on Fort Dale, left on Hamilton Street and drove right into Richie’s yard.

We ran up to the side door, we were getting away, but the door was locked. That door was never locked.

The spotlight on the police car caught us on the steps and we were asked to step out to the police car.

Chambliss and Heartsill (again) asked just what we thought we were doing. They had not seen Dooni so we told them we were trying to catch Dooni.

I apologized and told them I had just not thought about the danger we were causing. Richie said, “That’s not true, I was driving.”  I said, “No, I was driving.”

We were both scared to death because we had broken some serious traffic laws. Maybe they thought they could not decide who to pin this on so they let us go with a warning and a lecture equivalent to the beating of a rented mule.

After this little event, we realized the authorities in Georgiana and Luverne would not have been nearly as lenient as Chambliss and Heartsill were in our hometown.

It really made us think we weren’t invincible after all. We stopped our forays into other cities, other counties, and began to date two of the prettiest, sweetest and smartest girls in Greenville.

They were best friends and had the finest parents in the world. With their being best friends and our being best friends we were often together and double-dated.

It was fun for all of us and left us with some great high school memories. (to be cont.)

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