By Dee-Dee Diamond
I’m a fraidy- cat, a wimp…but not a kill joy! So, against my deep reservations, I go along with another stupid dangerous plan. Its 2015 now, and I’m here to document it, so I survived this 1965 thrill!
Arthur, my husband, and I went to visit Bubba and Jenna Flowers in a small North Caolina town. My husband was a clothing salesman; Bubba was a buyer for Belk’s Dept. Store. The two men were business friends and I had to be “fun”.
I and Arthur were New York City natives accustomed to only autos, buses, and subways.
The Flowers were gracious country hosts until they announced the surprise, they made for “Ya’ll city folk”.
We four would rent 2 motorcycles and ride through the rural countryside of this Southern farming city.
My macho husband is gung-ho. He doesn’t say we’ve never been on a motorcycle.
Of course, he knows better than to ask me. My insides raged with terror, at the prospect. I looked at my 215lbs. spouse and my 150lbs. self to be on that roaring 2- wheel monster.
Arthur gave his rigid with fright wife these instructions; “Hold onto me tightly, and” Do Not Shake the Bike”!
Off we zoomed with me glued, (for dear life) to Arthur’s broad back, as we climbed the mountainous, unpaved gravel or dirt roads. We followed the Flowers with growing distance between us. Sometimes we didn’t see them. We would ride lost until they’d come in to view once more around a bend in the winding road. All while I was silently praying. My city girl eyes with panic, noting not a human anywhere to be seen for all the distance we had covered. In that state of mind, I thought I heard a dog barking above the din of the bike and as it hit the rough gravel roads.
Then I spotted one, and then 2, then they grew into a pack of fanatically barking dogs, chasing us at full speed.
I was screaming in terror! Arthur yelled a warning, “DO NOT SHAKE THE BIKE”!
Well, how could I not shake the bike when I was shaking myself in fright?
Of course, in hysterics I did shake and over we spilled!
I hit the road, but Arthur used his leg to keep the motorcycle from toppling on me.
I got minor scrapes, but his leg got a burn.
The violence of the accident, my loud crying, Arthur’s shrieking and the Flowers roaring bike coming to the commotion, scared the pack of dogs away.
Bubba helped us get on our bike, because we were in the middle of nowhere (this was before cell phones), believe me I didn’t want to get back on that thing, but I had no choice. Thank Goodness, we finally made it back. We returned home to literally lick our wounds.
Arthur had to stay off his leg as part of his healing and not go to work. All this he blamed on me.
One hot afternoon, when he couldn’t take the idleness anymore, he hit on his dream to learn to play the saxophone. That same day the rental store delivered a saxophone and beginners sheet music with “Mary Had a Little Lamb”.
Now all day he lay on the sofa and practiced “with gusto”, the blasted sax as he tried to master the song.
Over and over each time he hit the wrong note, ( which was often), he’d start, once again.
I was going mad!
After about a week or so, our neighbors invited a group of us to a barbeque. Since we had cabin fever, and my husband was feeling better, we went.
We drank and ate and laughed together. The party thought the motorcycle story and me shaking the bike a riot.
Then over coffee our host Tony complains to the group and us, that recently some rotten, untalented brat moved into the neighborhood. Whoever he is doesn’t stop playing, “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, over and over, again.
“Wait ’til I find him! He’s driving all of us crazy”!
Not a word out of me, or my macho spouse as we listened.
Next morning, sore leg and all, Arthur stole out of the house with the camouflaged saxophone and destroyed sheet of “Mary Had…. back to the rental shop.