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My Life 1967-1973
- Part Four
Michael D. Holcomb
Sometime in January I received a letter from Sharon stating her dad lost his
civilian job at Martin-Marietta and they would be moving to Easley, South
Carolina. This news was devastating to me... here it was already impossible to
see her at 400 miles away, now at 600 miles my dream girl was forever lost it
After she moved a few letters were sent back and forth but the girl I had known
since the age of 13 was becoming a memory now.
In my group of friends Robert would be the first to turn 16 in January. Finally
someone with a car. No more taking the bus to School and walking the two miles
home in the afternoon. His parents had given him an old Cadillac to drive. It
had power everything. When you have a car girls seem to come next.
During this Sophomore year I was taking R.O.T.C. This class was ok except for
having to wear the uniforms every Wednesday. Most kids were against the war and
wearing the uniform just made you look like a dork, although some girls liked to
see us in dress blues.
In March 1970 my buddy Robert and I met up with two girls at the Wednesday night
Church service - yes going to church was a part of my life. The Youth Services
at this church was a popular thing with the teenagers. Afterwards we gave them a
ride home. Robert had to show off and do a burn-out in front of their house on
Lone Oak Drive and as luck would have it, a Leesburg Cop saw it and pulled us
over on South Street. The officer was Frank (I forget his last name but he
recently retired from Sprint) and lives just down the road from me.
Anyway he noticed Robert's eyes were bloodshot and thought he was on drugs or
had been drinking. I have known Robert since the 6th grade and his red eyes were
common. Down at the Police station they had us in separate rooms and one officer
asked me if he was on drugs... I told him about my buddy's condition being
normal. The Cops let us go but made our parents come to the station.
Now back to these Church girls; they weren't exactly the ones you would take
home to momma. Sometimes during the Sunday night and Wednesday night meetings we
would skip Church and just park in the back of the parking lot where it was dark
and mess around. These events lasted for a while but soon one of the church
ladies put a bug in mom's ears about what was going on. Mom never mentioned it
to Dad but I wasn't allowed to attend night services. My parents didn't go to
Church at night and must have been suspicious of my interest. Plus my folks were
dealing with my brother and his upcoming Shot-Gun Wedding and wanted to prevent
#2 son from following the same path.
I remember missing the next meeting only to hear Robert telling me at school the
next day that Evelyn was sitting in the back of his Cadillac wearing some new
panties that she wanted to show me. We still had rendezvous after school,
sometimes parking at the Lone Oak Cemetery under the shade trees or Crest
Drive-In, to name a couple of make-out spots.
One day after school we were at their house (they were step-sisters) when
Evelyn's dad came home from work. At first he was mad but after drinking a beer
or twelve, and kicking off his work boots, he seemed to mellow and wanted Robert
and myself to quit school and go to work for him in construction. From there on
we watched the clock a little better and were gone before he was due home.
Sometime later that household broke up and the girls moved away. This was
probably for the better for all of us.
July 7, 1970 was my 16th birthday and I got my driver's license right away. I
took the driving test at the Florida Highway Patrol Station on highway 27. In
those days you had to parallel park properly to pass the test. My parents saw
the advantage with me having a license; now I could do little errands for them
and take Mom back and forth to work.
Early on I tested my driving skills and nearly killed myself. I chose to drive
70 mph on a dirt road (Cherry Lake Road) lost control and skidded sideways and
came to a stop just barely tapping a telephone pole. The only damage was the
passenger door knob, which rubbed against the pole... I was very lucky.
Being a young man with a car really changes things - your batting average with
the ladies dramatically improves - no more double dating with a friend unless
you want to. I was actually ready to start my Junior year because now I would be
driving to school.
Summer of 70 went pretty smooth as far as I can remember. Stayed out of trouble,
spent a lot of nights at the Crest Drive-in. Brother Bob and his wife were about
to have their first child.
September started the 11th grade and driving to school... entered 2nd year of
R.O.T.C... second year cadets took a field trip to Warner Robbins A.F.B in
Living quarters was in the barracks with morning inspections of bunk making,
shoe shinning and uniforms. Out on the rifle range we got to shoot an M-16 and
the grand finale was going up in a B-17 plane... we each got a turn in the
co-pilot seat steering the plane putting it in a climb and descend.
By your Junior year animosity has pretty well been established with some of the
teachers. It was get even time. By that I meant destruction of personal
property. My buddies and I evened the score by doing burn-outs in front yards,
throwing duck eggs at their cars and dumping water melons on front porches. This
one teacher who should have been long retired liked to quiz his students. By
that I mean he would give the class a reading assignment as homework and the
next day call on students at random to explain what something in the material
You had to orally explain this in front of the class. If he felt you didn't
explain it correctly he would tell you to join him after school for more ORALS.
If you didn't show up you would get a zero for the day. Many of us would come in
after school and sit there reading over the material again and wait his or her
turn to be called on. This Chemistry teacher was nuts - he'd sit their and sniff
his ammonia bottle saying it cleared his sinuses. Needless to say this old
teacher took the blunt of the punishment when pay back time came around.
The Colonel and the Sarge took it a little easier on the 2nd year ROTC students.
Sometimes the whole hour class discussion was rather or not you should have oral
sex. The black boys would get grossed out just talking about it. We had the most
fun in this Class - again the drawback was wearing that uniform on Wednesdays.
The 1970 year closed out unremarkable and I don't recall any events of the
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