Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

April 5, 2014

RAY DAY: My best girl, '46 Dodge

Kokomo Tribune

---- — A reader asked me to go back to the good old days and write about my time as a person dating and being with other teenagers.

He said that lately I was talking about life today and he had always looked forward to the days of old and those things we did no one does anymore. So let’s get going on my ride back to those days when we found joy in doing the things that made our day.

I start when I first had a date with the lovely young lady who one day would be my soul mate and wife. Her name is Ramona, and at the time she was a slim, long-legged, blue-eyed brunette with bangs across her forehead. We would start our day taking a ride in my car that Ramona named Betsy.

It was a green, ’46 Dodge, and it had a big horn on the front left fender. Boy, that horn could be heard several blocks away.

We always drove to just about every eating place there was in that day. Starting at her house, we went west to the B&K root beer stand and then headed south on Washington Street to The Hob Nob on Markland and Washington to get a Coke.

We left The Hob Nob south down Washington to The Lighthouse on the point. Then we would turn back north and head toward Vic’s on the road that turned out to be the old U.S. 31 bypass. We’d sit there in the car after ordering a Coke and giving the carhop some change to put in the jukebox.

Then it was across the road to Crume’s that later was Henry’s and now is McDonald’s.

Then it was down Markland west to the A&W Root Beer stand and, after that, it was on to Lennon’s.

We would take a ride out Ind. 22 west to Burlington, through some areas that had bridges and curving roads. That was pretty country back then.

Then it was north to Galveston, where at the time there were some very curvy roads, and to Peru, where we would stop at a drive-in and buy a water burger to split.

After the burger, it was getting late and this young fellow needed to get some rest before going into the mill to my job. So we headed south to take my beauty home and get her in the house before her dad would wonder where she was.

One night, it was cold so after getting her home I kept the car running. Her dad hollered out to shut that loud motor off because he was trying to get some sleep. So I turned it off and walked her up to the back door.

Well, the car would not start so I had to go knock on the door. Her dad said he would take me home. I don’t think he was very happy because he had to get up early to go to work too.

After getting home with Mom waiting at the door wanting to know where the car was, I got some sleep and then Dad took me back to get the car. He lifted up the hood of the car and did something and the car started right off. He never did tell me what he did and I knew better than ask him.

Ramona and I went on a lot of rides together after that, and to this day we remember all the places we ate yet never gained any weight. These days, we just look at food and we gain a pound.

Ray “Uncle Ray” Day is a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at uncleray@earthlink.net.