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An Ice Cream Summer Day
One hot summer afternoon I got a terrible hankering for some ice cream. I knew we had none but I had some money if I could only get to town. Big brother Ike was off in his truck somewhere and dad and gramps went to a livestock auction in the next county. I could drive myself in but Ike's car was tore apart and dad had the keys to his Buick. That still left two tractors that both ran.

Back in the '40's and '50's it was common to see kids driving tractors on country roads and tractors on streets in town were common. I was big and husky as a kid so I was taught to drive as soon as I could reach the pedals.

I looked around to see who might be watching me. Mom, granny and Angel were in the house cutting material and making Angel some new dresses. Daryl was around somewhere out of sight. As quietly as I could I filled the gas tank on one of the A C's, started it and drove out onto the road from one of our fields away from the house, hoping no one would notice.

My drive into town was without incident. I parked the tractor in an empty space in front of Lisle's drug store and soda fountain, on the town square. At last, I could smell and almost taste the ice cream as I walked in the door. Seating myself at the bar, I ordered a banana split. That first taste sent me right to heaven.

As I ate, Joylynn and her little sister entered. Joy was about my age, cute, almost red hair and went to my church. Somehow, I summoned up the courage to speak to her. I ended up buying her and her sister ice cream sodas. We were having a time joking and laughing when I felt a slap on the back of my head. It was Ike. He had been at a bar a few doors down and saw the tractor go by with me driving. 'What the h**l you doin' here'?

After I explained everything, Ike suggested I get home before dad and gramps or I'd be in trouble, again. Ike also told me to drive his truck home, he would bring the tractor. If he got home after dad and gramps, he'd just tell them he brought the tractor in to see if a used loader would fit that the implement dealer in town had.

Everything went fine. I got home before dad and so did Ike. We were eating supper and dad was telling about the cattle he bought at the auction, to be delivered the next day. Daryl started babbling about where did I go on the tractor that afternoon? Why did Ike bring it home? I wanted to strangle the little fart. Where in h**l was he that he saw me? Mom, granny and Angel looked at me. By then they heard all about it but said nothing to dad. Dad looked at me with that familiar 'what now' frown of his. Gramps looked at me with a half grin. Ike just sat waiting for the explosion.

I explained everything. Surprisingly enough, nothing much was said. I think dad was just happy that nothing got broke, the sheriff was not involved and no one was hurt or killed. Just another hot summer day in a young boy's life.

Submitted By: Hop from IA on 2008-10-14

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