Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tales of the Highway Patrol, The Wreck on the Highway

State Trooper Leonard Vaughn had picked me up in the late afternoon.  It was in the early '70's.  It was a pretty non eventful time that afternoon.  He was patrolling Hwy 71 from Oak Hill out to the lake.  Dinner time came around and we decided to eat at Cowtown BBQ.  It was about 5 or 6 miles down Hamilton Pool road from Hwy 71.  It's a Mexican food restaurant now.  Sonny and Ruth Heffington owned the place.  We were about through with dinner when Leonard got a call.  It seems that there was a wreck on 2222.  Now I got to tell you that was a long ways from where we were at.  Leonard was the only State Trooper west of I-35 that night and he had to respond.  The wreck was reported as serious with mutliple injuries.  At that time, 2222 was pretty far out of the city limits.

Well I went on the ride of my life.  We tore out of Cowtown BBQ with lights and sirens.  It was just about dark, so he had his headlights on too.  Now 620 was just a 2 lane road back then and quite curvy.  Leonard was pushing that old Plymouth for all it was worth.  This old car was not in real good shape.  We had stopped earlier in Oak Hill at the County Barn and filled it up with gas.  He also had to fill it up with motor oil.  DPS was testing some of these cars with a synthetic oil and it wasn't working out too well.  When Leonard filled up with gas he also has to fill up with oil.  That car used more oil than any car that I had ever seen.

I got real quite while we were traveling down 620, cause at times I would look over at our speed and the old needle was as far to the right as it would go and that was past 120 mph.  We flew across Mansfield Dam. I had gone fast before but not for an extended period of time and at this point I was white knuckled.  Just hanging on to anything that I could grab on to. 

We got to 2222 and Leonard did not slow down.  We were flying.  Then it happened.  We topped a hill and was headed down the hill.  We used to call that hill, Tumbleweed Hill, because the steak restaurant at the top of it was named Tumbleweed.  The speedometer was buried.  Does anyone remember this hill?  At the bottom of the hill on the right heading into town was a little gravel place on the side of the road that people used as a turn around.  Remember we were going over 120 mph with lights flashing and the sirens on.  Guess what?  Somebody decided to turn around at the bottom of the hill.  Now that's a big hill and it's a long way to the bottom, but not at over 120 mph.  I remember looking at Leonard and all he said was "Oh, S$#^.  I was so brave that I covered my eyes.  Leonard kept going straight and thankfully the car at the bottom of the hill didn't stop.  We flew right beside them.  I could feel my heart beating in my fingers.  When I was finally able to talk, I told Leonard to slow down.  He did, but I think it was because it scared him too. 

We finally got to the accident and some Travis County Sheriff's were already there.  It turned out to be a minor fender bender and there were no injuries.  I rode with Leonard many times, but that was by far the scariest ride of my life.  Well that's my first story of the Highway Patrol.  My road trip at over 120 mph in a gas guzzling, oil leaking old Plymouth. 

I thought the following song was appropriate for this story.. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Birthday Cake, Mom gave to Carla and I on our 40th Birthday

This was the birthday cake that my mom got for Carla and I on our 40th Birthday.  It was actually about a week before our birthday.  I was going to leave town because of the practical jokes that Mom would play on special birthdays like the 40th.  I am one week older than Carla, we got this cake together.

I remember calling Mom and telling her that Chad Hudson's band was playing at the Little Wheel (think it was called something else by this time) and that we were going to go watch him.  Mom said, "Oh, okay but I don't know if we are going to go." 

The Little Wheel is only about 5 1/2 miles from our house so we were a little late getting there.  When we drove up, I saw the black ribbons flying from the posts outside.  I told Carla, we ought to go back home.  Well, when we got inside, there was a surprise birthday party waiting for us.  Lots of our friends and family were there.  The normal party stuff was there too.  "Over the hill" posters and Ben Gay.  I thought to myself, well this isn't so bad and started to relax and enjoy myself.  All of a sudden someone shows up with our Birthday Cake.  As you can see, it was a white sheet cake with a black padded potty seat on top of it.  In silver ink on the top, it said: "Happy Birthday, Mike and Carla".  You can see what happened when we raised the lid.  There is a white plastic bowl under the potty sead and those are either Baby Ruths or Butterfingers floating in beer.  Needless to say not many people ate any cake.  It stopped the show at the Little Wheel as people from everywhere were taking pictures.  Mom had gotten me again.

Well as the party went on Mom wanted me to dance with her.  I told her "No" because I didn't trust her at this time.  She kept on and on until I finally said "Yes".  I told her that she had to behave herself  while we were dancing or that I would just leave her on the dance floor.  Well we had danced a couple of times around the dance floor.  We got right up in front of the band.  Chad Hudson was about 6 feet away from us.  Mom started pulling tube socks out of her bra and was tossing them at Chad.  Well, that's what she was doing the last time I looked because I was high tailing it off of that dance floor. 

It was a good laugh and now a great memory.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Click on the Title (Gran) to see the video of Beverly's..

Gran (George Christopher Callan, Sr.) was my mom's dad. We called him Gran. We lived next door to him and as kids got to see him and Nannie almost every day. We had a trail that went from our house through the vacant lot between us and right up to their driveway. Gran was wonderful to us kids, but mom says he was a stinker.

She told me this story about Gran. I must have been a very small child at the time.

My grandmother (Nannie) and her sister went to New Mexico to see her Uncle Fred White. He was her mother's brother. At one time he was the sheriff of Tucumcari, New Mexico. He's another story.

We lived on the north side of my grandparents and my Uncle George lived on the north side of them.

My Uncle George called my mom one afternoon and asked if she had seen Gran. He told Uncle George that he was going to the store for a loaf of bread and that had been several hours earlier. Mom said no. They went looking for Gran and my mom's other brother (Uncle Dan) found him at Beverly's on South Congress.

Uncle Dan went in and found him flirting with some woman at the bar. He was dead drunk. Uncle Dan basically drug Gran out of the bar. Gran was about 5'6'' and my Uncle Dan is 6'6''. Well Uncle Dan finally got Gran back home and put into bed. Gran was cussing and fighting all the way.

Mom and Dad, Uncle Dan and Uncle George were standing around in the backyard, just wondering what was going to happen next. It was quite for a good while.

As of a sudden they heard thrashing and crashing coming from the house. Then Gran, still staggering burst out the back door waving a set of keys. He said; "You dumb son bitches, I got another set of keys" and he was intending on going back to Beverly's.

After another struggle they finally got Gran to sleep for the night. Mom tells me this story but it doesn't sound like Gran to me, but mom swears he was a toot.

Attached is a link to a video of Beverly's by WiseGeorge. Mom thinks it was called Beverly's back then and that had to be over 50 years ago.