Cruising through spring fever

It happened again the other night, I shouldn’t have been surprised, it’s been happening since my mid-teens, but this year it kind of snuck up on me.

I was heading for the grocery store to replenish some of the supplies that need replenishing, you know, coffee, toilet tissue, kitty litter and oatmeal, I asked Telly, my trusty canine companion, if he’d like to go for a ride, silly question! Casper, our new automobile companion was looking especially good, squatting obediently as a good little Kia should, awaiting our company for a nice early evening romp. I had washed and waxed him earlier in the day and you could just tell that he was feeling frisky.

We completed our appointed tasks, and were about to pull out of the store parking lot when it happened. There came a low rumbling sound and out of the gathering dusk came a shining blue 67 Chevelle. The kid driving it was no kid, he appeared to be close to my age. He looked like a kid though, slumped down with a proper slouch in the driver’s seat, left arm resting on the open window frame, right wrist draped over the top of the steering wheel. Telly, Casper and I watched as he rumbled by, bass engine sounds mingling with the blaring sounds of old time rock and roll. Cool!

That’s when it happened, Spring Fever. Some folks get it when they hear the first peepers singing in the swamp or when they see the first spring blooms, for me it’s the return of the cruisers. Once you’ve been there, done that, there’s no escape. Once a cruiser, always a cruiser. Back in the day, it was one of the rites of spring, load your car up with buddies, pool your cash, gas up and cruise.

Cruising doesn’t have a destination. We used to slowly travel up and down the main street, looking for carloads of those of the female persuasion. When we located a car full of young ladies, we’d follow them all over town, yelling cool comments at them. Usually they pulled into the A & W Root Beer Stand for a cold one, we’d pull in and park next to them, try to look cool while ordering from the frazzled looking car hop who took our order. We would then try to strike up a cool conversation with the car full of young ladies next to us. No one ever got out of a car that I remember, we’d finish our root beer and leave. We’d continue to follow the girls up and down Main Street until gas started getting low or our bedtime curfews neared then we’d head for home totally satisfied with our evening. Ahh, memories!

The car behind us beeped his horn since we were blocking the exit while all this remembering was going on. I rolled the window down, flipped my collar up in the back, pushed the radio button that connected us to the golden oldies station that both Telly and I like. I hung my arm out the window, hooked my right wrist over the top of the steering wheel and headed for Main Street. We made three trips slowly up and down Main, while I tried to explain to Telly what we were doing and why. He didn’t really understand but since he’s my buddy, he went along with the whole thing. Casper got into the whole scene, even tried to make an engine rumble sound which was kind of pitiful but sweet.

The trip back home was a happy one, we enjoyed the peepers as we cruised past the swamp, me and my buddies, on the road again.

Thought for the week — Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog’s face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

Reach Dick Brooks at

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