“We do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”
I will never forget my daddy’s expression when I came home that morning.
I never told what happened to me that night; only my daddy knew.
It was June 6th 1960 and I’d taken my sweetheart, Norma Jean to the drive-in movies in Greensboro.
I was driving my daddy’s pick-up truck and Norma Jean she was sitting up close to me and we had been neckin’
and foolin’ around and stuff which caused Norma Jean to keep lookin’ in the mirror.
She must have asked me at least twenty times about her hair.
I told her her hair was O.K. but she kept a brushin’ it till I pulled up to her house.
I jumped out my daddy’s truck and I opened the door for Norma Jean and she took my hand as I helped her down.
Norma Jean’s momma and daddy walked out onto the porch too and Norma Jean’s momma smile up at her husband and said,
“Amos is such a nice boy.”
Norma Jean kissed me on the cheek then walked back inside the house with her momma and daddy.
Once I got back in the truck I opened up the glove compartment and there was my daddy’s big ole .44 magnum.
I pulled the gun from the glove box and laid it on the seat next to me.
I thought about the KKK, my daddy told me terrible stories about how the Ku Klux Klan would go around burning crosses, burning down the homes of black families, hanging black boys and black men from a tree. The worst is, they actually bombed a black church killing everybody inside.
If I ran across the KKK I would not hesitate to shoot them som-bitches!
I pulled out my pack of Camel cigarettes from my shirt pocket and I pulled a stick from the pack with my lips.
I reached down and grabbed the truck’s cigarette lighter and as I lit my cigarette the lighter slipped from my fingers and fell underneath my shirt. The hot metal lighter made contact with my chest and stomach burning me at each tumble.
I hollered worse than a scald cat from boiling hot water.
I let go of the truck steering wheel to remove the hot burning metal from my stomach.
My daddy’s truck swayed wildly to the left, then to the right, then bounced hard off the road and sent me flying off into some bushes.
It was pitch dark and the moon seemed to be hidden by strong storm clouds.
I lifted up my head slowly and then I began to feel a sensation of spinning; I closed my eyes and a flash of red-pink appeared in my mind’s eye.
I felt myself slipping helplessly into blackness.
In the morning when I awoke my daddy’s truck was gone!”
“Damn!” I cursed.
My daddy’s gun was gone too.
I wiped the mud and dirt from my face and as I stood up, I thought to myself…
A long road home.