My sophomore year in college, I roomed with Matt. Matt was an army brat, and had a ROTC scholarship that he was already convinced that he wished to default on. Apparently at the time, if you flunked out by the end of your sophomore year, you had no obligation to the Army and would not have to enlist. So I had a roommate who was bound and determined to spend the entire year flunking out, and seducing as many women as possible. Meanwhile, I had a workload of organic chemistry, and differential equations, and classical physics, and other light fare that I had to concentrate on. I've already written a post describing our experience with streaking in the spring of 1974.
For spring break of that year, we went down to the Rio Grande valley, where my roommate's father, a retired colonel, had settled down to live. We were to go down with my roommate's freshman roommate John, and the sister of the guy who lived in the room across from us in the dorm. Sue was going down to meet her snowbird grandparents, and travel back up with them. Our driver John had flunked out after his freshman year, and his pride and joy was the 1962 Chevy Impala that he had outfitted with oversized tires, and had installed these humongous air shocks to enable the car's frame to clear the huge tires. We started out, intending to drive all night, and made it a few hundred miles until somewhere in Kansas, the air shocks blew. We slowed to a stop and pulled over to the side of the road. Fortunately, John had stored his old tires in the trunk (those old cars had immense room in the trunks), so we swapped out the tires, and continued on our way, without shocks. We found ourselves in Dallas early in the morning, and ate at a southern cafeteria in downtown. Upon leaving downtown, all of a sudden I got a chill and the hair on my arm stood up as I realized that we were driving through Dealey plaza, just about where Kennedy had been shot.
We made it through much of Texas until we got to Waco, and there on I-35 in the middle of town, one of the tires blew. John and Matt went out to try to get assistance, and it took hours before they came back and we got a tire to replace the blown one. We found something to eat, then my roommate said that he knew a girl at Baylor University, and we should go there. We pulled into a parking lot, and Matt took off to find his friend. Hours passed, and we saw no sign of Matt, and eventually it grew dark. There we were, two men and a girl, inside of a car in a parking lot of one of the most culturally conservative colleges in the nation. What could go wrong?
Well, actually, nothing did that night. We eventually fell asleep inside of the car, and campus security never did bother us. Matt finally came back in the morning after having spent the night with the girl he knew (he was amazing in his ability to talk the shorts off of women). We finally made it down past the King Ranch and through the scrub country, until we encountered the irrigated agricultural land of the Rio Grande Valley. We delivered Sue to her grandparents, none the worse for wear, and made it to Matt's house. Ah! The joy of picking a Ruby Red grapefruit off of the tree in the yard for a breakfast! Unfortunately for us, that week was almost a complete washout as far as beach weather. Rain every day save one. We did make it over to Reynosa, where we visited a brothel with a saloon up front, and wooden walkways along the side of the building with doorways opening into small chambers for, well, you know. None of us availed ourselves of the opportunity to catch a venereal disease, though, and we walked back out of "Boy's Town", past the single-cell jail where drunks would have been processed, and eventually back across the bridge to the US. Now this was in a different era, where a US driver's license was all you needed to cross the border, so we were able to just show our license and make it back to the US.
We did have one day where it dawned clear and hot, and we made it over to South Padre Island where I learned that it can be dangerous to body surf as I just about broke my neck getting caught up in a wave and slammed headfirst into the sand. Lucky me, though, no damage other than the blistering sunburn I got from the one day at the beach.
Going back up to Nebraska was uneventful. John managed to get new shocks in Oklahoma City, and put his oversize tires back on. We made it a few hundred miles, until some place in Kansas, where the air shocks blew (these shocks were only supposed to be at about 50 psi, but John needed to inflate them to 90 psi to get the clearance he needed for his tires). So this time, we changed the tires back, in the middle of a cold rain at night. After all, it was still March in the mid-west, and we were lucky it wasn't snowing.
This story didn't have nearly the sex and rock and roll of the other stories I've seen, but it was my life at the time. Some folks had a more interesting time growing up than I did.
This post not originally posted on my blog at https:/evenabrokenclock.blog. Also, names may have been changed (or not)