I know with a lot of people, summer time means watermelon, but for me it means peaches. I suppose I have a fondness for white peaches …
One summer my parents loaded my sister and me into the used early-1960’s Chrysler New Yorker that my dad had recently bought from his boss. My dad hated that car. He said it was ugly and that it drove like a giant boat. This particular summer vacation, we headed from South Florida to a cabin in North Carolina which belonged to a friend of my dad’s.
I’ll never forget driving up the highway, when my sister who was about 8-years-old at the time, asked my dad “Daddy! Is the car supposed to be making black smoke out the back?” My dad cursed, and we ended up staying three days and nights in a Holiday Inn in Valdosta, Georgia. This was back in the late-1960’s, and my dad tells the story about going with the local mechanic after he got off work to some juke joint to find the mechanic’s brother who had a junk yard and who might be able to supply a couple of needed parts. My dad, however, had to wait at the bar in the old rural joint while the mechanic and his brother attended their weekly Ku Klux Klan meeting in the back room. I think my dad won a few dollars in a dice game that night, but hearing him retell the story some 40-years later, he will tell you that he was scared to death, and couldn’t wait to put Valdosta in the rear view mirror.
While my dad was working at getting the car fixed, my mom, sister and I hung out at the wonderful swimming pool, and I even made a few dollars giving little kids swimming and diving lessons.
When the car was finally fixed, my parents reloaded us into the car and we headed toward the remainder of our vacation. We stopped somewhere in South Carolina, and my mom bought a bushel of fresh white peaches. Its the first time I remember ever eating a white peach. It was one of those seminal moments! Peaches come in white! Who knew!
By the time we made it to the cabin, which was up a very steep and winding road, and required my dad to do some amazing maneuvers to get the car into the driveway, my sister and I had eaten about half of the peaches. We were covered from head to toe in sticky peach juice and I thought my mom was going to kill us for eating so many of the peaches. This transgression was completely forgotten when my mom tried to open the front door to the cabin. The door would not budge. It was one of the first times I ever saw my mom have a meltdown. My dad got the door open after about 10 minutes of struggling, pulling, and swearing. Mom’s meltdown was right up there with my dad’s when he realized the case of Carling’s Black Label Beer he had loaded into the car in Florida was almost gone, and that we were spending the rest of the week in a cabin on top of a mountain in a dry county.
So, there we all were. My mom with a migrane and really pissed off at my father, my dad thirsty and without a beer in sight, all of our vacation money was used to purchase a gasket for a car that my dad really hated, my sister and me sharing a queen sized bed in a room with spiders on the ceiling, and a bathroom without any hot water.
Two things that saved the vacation from being a total disaster for me was the stash of really racy romantic novels I found in the bedroom closet, and the remainder of the bushel of white peaches.
Photo Courtesy of Fir0002/Flagstaffotos