This is an adventure I had with one of my friends that I ran around with in my teen years. Kevin and I were and still are good friends. Unlike me, he is still in the Missouri Ozarks. This is a place I have great memories of and miss a great deal. In the area where we lived, it was almost impossible to get to someone’s house without driving on a dirt road. My house was no different. We lived at the bottom and in between two hills. One was steeper but shorter, the other was quite a bit longer but not as steep. This longer route was the one that was used the most because it emptied out on a blacktop road. The other went into another dirt road before it hit blacktop. The shorter of the two was also the wrong way to go in the winter because it was so steep and snow and ice would make it incredibly slick.
All of us at the time did a lot of engine work on our vehicles to make them faster than stock, and Kevin’s truck was no different. Of course, at our age, getting on dirt was a reason to spin the tires. Asphalt tears up tires, but a good dirt road is fun without the cost of tearing things up, usually. We all worked on our own vehicles and helped each other out when we could. Kevin was very good at mechanics, so his vehicles always ran top-notch.
Up at the top of the hill, close to the paved road, there was a man that lived in a ground set trailer. It sat back, maybe two acres off the dirt road. He kept pretty much to himself, except he really didn’t like when we drove past his house kicking up dust. I kinda considered him more of a city man instead of a country man. He really didn’t belong there. I never really had many dealings with him because he didn’t do any kind of farming, and he didn’t want to have anything to do with us farmers. Like I said, he didn’t fit in.
I’m not sure if we were coming home from school, but that is how I remember it. On this day, when we pulled off the paved road onto the dirt road, Kevin gave a little more throttle to his Chevy than was needed, and it caused the truck to slide sideways. It wasn’t a full on rip up the road kind of thing. It was just enough to make the truck “fishtail” to one side and make us both laugh. I was a little upset that he didn’t give it more gas then he did. We headed on down the hill to my house. My dad was out front working on a tree he had just planted. Kevin and I went into the house to get something to drink.
It was maybe fifteen minutes later and my dad yells for us to come outside. We went out and there was a cop talking to my dad. Oh no, what’s going on?, I thought to myself. This officer asked why we had been doing doughnuts at the top of the hill. Kevin and I looked shocked. We both denied it. Kevin told the officer that maybe he was going faster than he should, but we weren’t doing doughnuts. I agreed with him and said if we were doing doughnuts, the tire tracks would most definitely show. The officer told us that he knew the guy at the top of the hill was a grouch and for us to please slow down going past his house. We said we would, and the cop shook our hands and left.
After the cop left, my dad looked at us and asked what we really did. I had probably the best dad ever. Anybody that knew him would agree that he was one of a kind. Kevin and I both told him about the small fishtail we had done and dad just said don’t do it again. It wasn’t long after that that Kevin went on home. After Kevin left, my dad asked me again what we had done. Again I told him what had happened and said if he wanted to, we could go up and look at the tracks. He said, “ok, let’s go.” This came as a bit of a surprise to me, but it is what it is I guess. We went to the backyard and got into my Ranchero and I drove us up to the spot, so my dad could look at the tracks. We both got out and looked. It was a little worse than I thought, but it was still a fishtail to one side like we had said. Dad told me to get in the passenger side, so he could drive. I got in and dad got behind the wheel.
Then it happened, my dad put the car in first gear, slammed on the gas pedal, let out the clutch and did three perfectly executed doughnuts in the middle of this dirt road, directly across from the man’s house that had called the cops on us. After, he stopped the car, he got out and yelled at the man. “Hey stupid! You see that? That’s a doughnut! Now call the cops you moron!” We went home and I was in awe of what my dad had just done. He told me that we were wrong to spin the tires like we had done and not to do it again. I answered, “Yes sir, but what about what you just did?” Dad explained, “I just wanted to make sure that idiot knew what a doughnut was!” Then he smiled and said, “Maybe next time he will come talk to me so I can handle it, instead of calling the cops like we live in the city or something.” That man never called the cops and he made sure to always wave politely anytime we drove past. I guess he figured he didn’t want to mess with dad. Kevin and I kept our promise to the cop and to dad, we never spun our tires in front of this man’s house again. Oh, we wanted to real bad, but we didn’t.
I hope you enjoyed this story from my youth. I have many more to come in the future. Sometimes I wonder why I ever grew up. These were good times, but the past is the past, and we must move on. Take care and remember, we are all in this together.