Another story from long, long ago.
I was only 19 and not all that savvy in the ways of the world. I sat between Frenchie and Bill in the front seat of my used '59 Studebaker. The car was a hulk on wheels. Looked like a linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings, except it was baby blue. I bought the car with the money I saved up working at the bakery and paid a whole, big $50.00 to my cousin Pete for the "cast iron cutie", so aptly named because whatever I bumped into was always the loser and the car had nary a dent. I felt safe driving that car.
We were going to get a friend from the train station. This kid was a bit of a "hooligan" and had always caused some hate and discontent to arise wherever he went. He married my best friend the day after we graduated from high school and was coming home on leave from an 18 month tour of Vietnam. He was a communications specialist in a forward unit and had been wounded. That was why he had come home. My girlfriend couldn't get off work in time to pick him up so that is why we were heading downtown.
As usual Frenchie had made us late by talking to my folks. He loved to "irk" my Dad and just kept on and on until Bill threatened to break his neck if he didn't shut up and let us get to the train station. Frenchie and Bill were friendly rivals when it came to my attentions and I just let that play out because I really couldn't make up my mind which one I liked more. They both were cute, funny and loved to dance. What else could a 19 year old girl want in a boyfriend or two?
If it hadn't been Halloween night, we wouldn't have been in such a rush. We wanted to get through doing our "good deed" and get to the club on the Air Force Base before we missed any of the fun. Bill drove like a mad man. I think I remember him running a couple of lights even. By the time we got to the station, we were at least 30 minutes late. Looked up and down the patio outside the building but didn't see our friend. Went inside and still no friend. We decided to go around the ends of the building. Frenchie and I went north and Bill went south. Still no friend. By this time, I'm thinking we've really messed up and missed him. He probably started walking towards the Heights and home. But which way would he have gone?
We called to Bill. No answer. Walked to the southern most part of the building and no one. Frenchie then said we should go to the car and wait. I didn't much care for that idea. It was dark in the parking lot and my car was only one of 4 parked there. But reluctantly, we headed in that direction.
We got about two thirds of the way to the car, when out of nowhere, I saw this flash of clothing, and motion to the left of me. Frenchie screamed something and I saw the glint of metal just as someone grabbed me from behind, covering my mouth. I was dumbstruck. All I could think to do was to fall to the ground. In doing so, I pulled the would be assailant to the pavement with me. I jumped to my feet and began to run as fast as I could.
Then I heard laughter coming from behind me. I stopped, turned around and there were the three idiots with big ole grins on their faces, guffawing and almost rolling on the ground with earth shaking laughter. I feigned laughter too as I strolled back to the car, all the while feeling like I was going to kill one or all three of them.
Instead, I calmly got into the car, started the engine and left the three idiots standing in the parking lot. I know they thought I would turn around and come and get them. They tricked me and now it was my treat. And then I caught my breath......
Bill never did have a good grasp of just how mad he made me that night or how scared I had been. Frenchie laughed about it for years and when we would talk, he always brought up the night I left his sorry butt at the train station. Our friend had a good visit with his wife, once he got her to come and get him. The last I heard they were living in California on an avocado farm.
Halloween night, when I was nineteen.