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[ North Carolina, USA  |  June 1976 ]

     “Davey-Boy! Don’t dawdle now Son!  Come along and Hurry-up!”


     "Yes’ir!  I’m coming Pa!”  The boy screeched, as he raced and slid toward the giant Oak at full speed.  He was of course, Richard Lee Petty, the best NASCAR driver of all time and he was rounding the last turn, of the last lap, at Charlotte Motor Speedway; ‘Come on Man, Let’s GO!’ he smiled between clenched-teeth, as the toes of his soft white canvas sneakers, dug into the North Carolina dirt.  Dropping gears, he lowers his left shoulder and hunkers-down, a finely-tuned ‘NASCAR-Sponsored’ suspension as he hurls himself around the tree and sprints full-on past the creek lined with a blur of ruby and pink magnolia in his peripheral.


     “Davey! I swear, If you dirty those new white sneakers your Mother is gonna kill us Both! Could you just keep them clean for the weekend, at least until Sunday-School?!  I swear, that’s all I ask Son - ” Daniel pleaded, wiping sweat from his forehead with a soft white handkerchief, eyes squinting and retreating from the afternoon sun.  As his glasses fell into their natural lay upon the bridge of his  broad and bulbous nose, his son was now coming into focus and plunging straight toward, him…


     Ugh!  He tumbles to the ground, the boy on top of him wailing and laughing hysterically now!


     “Hahahaha!  Pa, you never even saw me comin’ without your spectacles on - hahahaha!”  The youth wailed at the man's chest, desperately trying to catch his breath as he nimbly rolled away to land flat on his back and face the stark-blue Carolina sky.


     Lying shoulder-to-shoulder now, they both attempted to shield their eyes from the waning sun, melting ever lower on the horizon; the boy’s fathom-deep, Steel-Blue eyes, squinted and blinked through young-thick black lashes, the man' (in contrast) could only remember a whisper of the vibrancy that was youth, as he raised a burley hair covered sun-bronzed forearm to shield his equally deep, yet greyish-blue eyes.  They both lay there for a second, silent and unmoving, reveling in the the contrast that was the warmth and power of the Sun on their faces, and the cooling comfort of the grass bed that was the Mother at their backs.


     Reaching over to pick up his now strewn spectacles, and lazily placing them upon his broad chest, he turns to face his son, still flushed and trying to catch his breath, almost  indistinguishable now from the blushing Magnolia.

     “So, how long you been here, anyway? Your Mom called the Station and told me to pick you up on my way home. Since she wasn’t sure where you were, and it’s been a while since I had a day off so, I figured I’d oblige her and go find you,” he continued, shifting his gaze toward the youth, but not his head. “Seein’ as how I got the next two days off and all, I figured that’d give me enough time to locate you…” he lowered his head now and grinned.

     “Really, Pa?!  The whole weekend?! What we gone do?  Oh I know, you wanna go Fishin'?!  Me and Mark found a nice spot, down at the cross in the crick’!  Fish are practically jumpin’ into the fryin’-pan, Paw!  It’s like I said, and then there’s the County-Fair this weekend of course, and they supposed to have way better rides than last year! Besides I was only 7 then, but I’m 10 now and well… I’m not afraid of the "Big-Ripper" like I was before…”

     “Woah, woah! Hahaha, slow down Son.  It’s only one weekend! How ‘bout we choose just one of those things?”

     He could see the disappointment begin to shutter the boy’s face.  “I mean, well… I guess we could go fishin’ in the morning, and the Fair at night…”

     “That’s Perfect!”  the boy exclaimed, “But early though! We gotta get ‘em soon as they wake-up fugh’ breakfast! Right, Paw?!”

     “That’s right, Son!” He squinted at the sky, as it parallaxes and covers them both with a vibrant yet soothing turquois-blue.


You remembered.  

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