(Day 66) Kingtones Memoirs
April 11, 1964 (Saturday)
We got up at 4:30 A.M. Our room had little to no heat and we were freezing. We decided rather than go to the office and complain, we would just leave for home. We stopped for breakfast just before Chattanooga. It was not good. My sausage was raw in the middle and my grits were hard. The biscuits were soggy and the cream curdled in Bob’s coffee. Needless to say, we went away hungry and not happy.
As we continued on our way, we had to stop for a new tire for the van. The tire was quite worn out and the van was starting to shimmy. We stopped at a garage in Chattanooga and bought a used one for $4.00. Tennessee had a lot of souvenir and fire cracker stores. We stopped at a couple different ones and bought fire crackers. Mike bought a real musket gun that was in very good condition.
Phil and Mike wanted to get going, so they took off. As we went to our vehicles, and saw the dust fly from behind Phil’s car, we realized that they had gone down the wrong road. Bob, Pete and I continued on our way, down the right road. We never saw Mike or Phil again on our trip home.
We finally stopped at a “restaurant,” to eat lunch. It was strictly a vending machine operated restaurant. No waitresses, no cooks, no cashier and no menus. If you didn’t have change to put in the vending machine, they had a machine that would turn your dollars into quarters. Then you took the change and put it in the food vending machines. Bob and I were so upset with this modern “Star Trek” restaurant, we refused to buy anything. Pete, however, bought two dishes of macaroni & cheese. Bob and I sat there watching Pete eat, wanting to swallow our pride and eat something, also. But no, we weren’t going to give in. So we left the “restaurant,” with Pete smiling and full and Bob and I complaining and starved. We finally stopped again in Dayton, Ohio, and ate at a place that looked like Big Boys.
We were so tired of traveling that we started following trucks that were going over the speed limit so that we could get home quicker. Because we had lost Phil, and he was the keeper of the “kitty” money, I was paying for all the gas that we put in the van. I kept all the receipts. I figured it would be easier for one of us to collect from Phil, than all three of us.
To the best of my memory, I pulled into Pete’s driveway somewhere between 8:00 and 11:00 P.M. that night. I turned the engine off while Pete gathered up his luggage. When he finally got out and I started up the van, I had a small carburetor fire. I quickly turned the engine off and smothered the small flame. This was not something new for the van. This had happened several times before. I waited three to four minutes and started it up again. This time, there was no fire.
I can remember saying to myself that I was not going to write into my journal that night. I hated writing in it. I had never kept a journal before our Florida trip, and I never kept one after. I figured that someday, as uneventful as it probably was, I would enter the last day’s happenings. Forty-eight years have passed since then, however, and all I can remember of that last night is what you have just read in the last two paragraphs of this page.
The Kingtones continued to play for 50 years. But most of those years would never compare or be considered as memorable as our Florida Spring break of 1964.