After mom and dad met the relationship quickly blossomed. Dad was smitten. He worked for his brother Tommy in Oklahoma City on a paving crew during the week. On Friday night he would fire up his ’56 Ford and head out Highway 9 towards his hometown of Eufaula where my mom worked in her family’s cafe on Selmon Avenue (Highway 9 going into town). (The cafe is still there today – J&M Cafe. Of course that was before the Selmon brothers of OU Football fame made Eufaula famous, so not sure the name of the street back then.)
His 1956 Ford was no normal automobile. It had a Ford Interceptor engine. This hot rod motor was put in at the factory and typically used for police cruisers. In addition, dad had made a slight modification to the car – he had added aftermarket exhaust known as “Steel Pack Smitty’s”. And they were loud. REALLY loud.
Mom would be working at her family’s cafe and knew about when my dad should arrive on Friday evening. She would hear the roar of those Smitty’s as he rounded the bend west of Eufaula and backed off the throttle, the Smitty’s popping and snapping as the unburnt fuel exited through the red hot exhaust pipes. Mom would grab her purse and run out the door and stand on the sidewalk. As dad screeched to a halt he would reach over and open the passenger door, allowing the momentum of his stop to fully open the door. He would look at mom in her tight blue jeans and cotton shirt and think “man, she sure is pretty”. As the Ford would slide to a stop on the loose gravel in front of the cafe, Smitty’s clinking and clicking as they cooled, mom would jump in the door dad had swung open, give dad a quick kiss, and dad would hit the accelerator, peeling out in a cloud of dust as the Smitty’s barked and echoed off the downtown Eufaula buildings. Another weekend had just begun for the two love birds.
As dad retold this story during his hospital stay, he assured me that “the rest of that story you are NOT going to here!”
PS: Mom said she hated the sound of those Smitty’s, so her and dad’s mother took the car one day to the local garage and had them cut off the Smitty’s and replace them with something a little less
obnoxious loud. Dad was none too pleased when he came home, fired up the Ford, and didn’t hear what he considered the sweet sound of Steel Pack Smitty’s.