Just another Luling Saturday night

By Edward Forbes / The Bulletin

It was supposed to be a fun evening with friends.

They were all classmates of my brother - Donnis Tomlin, Tommy Wells, John Wallace and Billy May. We had already acquired the paper route and a 1961 Chevrolet Biscayne to deliver the papers.

We had no specific plans, just the usual ride on Hwy. 90 from one end of town to the other.

We were cruising down Hwy. 90, approaching the intersection with Hwy. 183 when Tommy picked up a rolled newspaper we had left in the car. He saw a guy in the phone booth at Hendrick’s gas station and let it fly. The paper went into the phone booth with some poor guy.

“Tommy, what the hell are you doing” I yelled.

“I didn’t think I could make it,” he replied.

“Didn’t you stop to think that they will know where it came from as we throw that paper all over the entire town?” I asked.

The silence lasted about three minutes before we all had a laugh about the guy trying to levitate out of that phone booth. We kept on going `til we passed the Blackwell’s Dairy Mart and turned left, driving past schools and the football field.

We drove on residential streets back to Hwy.183, left to Hwy. 90 and headed back over our last path. At some point, a local tough with a Corvair Monza Spyder drove by us, and either John or Billy yelled: “What a piece of crap.”

The Corvair’s driver took offense and began pursuing us, dogging our trail and gesturing for us to pull over. The word spread and soon many other cars were following us.

We went down by the football field, and I finally pulled over. I told Donnis, Tommy, Billy and John to stay in the car.

The Monza’s driver was slightly built, about 5’ 9 or 5`10 tall and wore big old work boots. An older guy, he was known to use speed and boots. He had a reputation as a tough and frequent fighter.

“I want whoever in the back seat who smarted off about my car,” he said.

I had already assumed the role of protector for younger kids at home, and this carried over to the younger guys in my car. “I’m driving the car; the kids in the back were just mouthing off,” I replied.

“I don’t care. I want them out here now,” he insisted.

I assured him that wasn’t going to happen, and he assured me that if it didn’t, he was going to kick my butt.

“I don’t want to fight you, but I’m not going to let one of these little guys get out here with you, either,” I told him.

About this time Luise Tiller and a bunch of others rushed up. “Eddie, you don’t want to fight this guy. He’s bad news,” they warned.

“I don’t want to fight him, but he’s not given me much choice,” I replied.

I didn’t want to fight, didn’t want to get beat up, but didn’t want to back down either.

After Louise negotiated, the tough guy agreed that he would let it slide. He came over and shook my hand, which surprised me.

Whenever I saw him after that, he would nod at me. I don’t remember any conversations, but he was always cordial.

I don’t remember who all was with Louise in her station wagon or any of other cars that pulled up to the scene, but I was glad they did.

I don’t remember the rest of that evening, but I’m sure we bought drinks at the Dairy Mart and split a couple of orders of fries.

The rest was peaceful and a normal Luling Saturday night.