A ‘Brooks Tale’
‘Come in for supper’, mom called as she pushed open the screen door.
I was not ready for supper.
I had been riding my three speed bicycle…all over town, and I felt like I was the mayor.
My three speed and me…had it all worked out. We went where we wanted to…and did not come back until we darn well pleased.
Although, we lived in the country and it was about a mile’s ride into town…I never got weary of the thrill of the open road.
At times, I would stop and chat with my friend Steve, who lived just on the outskirts of town, and we would commiserate about; school and sports and girls and country life.
I loved to stop at Carters and Choissers Drug Store for a nickel root beer. It came in a giant frosty mug and it had a foamy head on it that made a great root beer mustache.
Often I would take in a movie at the Orpheum Theatre…they all knew me there…I was a regular patron.
Movies cost thirty five cents…and you could stay all day and re-watch the film as many times as you desired.
Mom would give me a dollar, and I had money for a coke and popcorn and sometimes a candy bar. It was heavenly.
Sometimes, my buddy, Dennis, would come along…and afterwards we would ride over to the Dairy Queen and purchase a pack of Marlboro cigarettes and two bags of barbecued potato chips.
We, then, rode our bicycles down the railroad tracks…and smoked…and coughed…and smoked some more…until the twenty Marlboro’s were gone.
Then, we ate the barbecued chips…to mask the odor of the cigarettes…we were not of age to smoke…but it did not seem to matter much to the Dairy Queen proprietor.
Once, the old man, that usually waited on me at the Dairy Queen, told me that I did not hardly look old enough to smoke Marlboros.
I responded that they were for my Dad…and that I would just have to go back and tell him that the Dairy Queen would not sell him any smokes.
The old man said, ‘Oh forget it buddy…I was just teasing you,’ and I paid the money and received the counter band…and the barbecued chips.
Earlier that day, Jim had pulled up to the Orpheum in his convertible. He was wearing a cowboy hat and cowboy boots and he parked his big ragtop and staggered in to the theatre.
The owner of the Orpheum, who was always there…along with his wife…who sold the tickets, stopped Jim…just as he entered, and told him, firmly, that he would have to leave because he was drunk.
Jim protested the eviction and struggled some…but the owner, who was much older than Jim, removed the intoxicated interloper…with ease.
The Orpheum, had a room that was upstairs, called the Crying Room. I believe that this was the room that the film projector was in? I considered the Crying Room to be a profound mystery of the Theatre.
Mom extolled, hurry up Jay and get in the house…it is almost dark…and I do not like those horrible lights coming from the sky.
Dad responded, as he sauntered in from the garage, which was his home away from home, that it is probably more explosions.
I could plainly see Phobos and Deimos…in the sky…and the air had become chilly…as we watched the explosions…from Earth.