De' fliengde Vuogtlänn'r

Observations, rants, etc. from a guy who really gets around.


From sea....

There were lots of little side trips when I was a kid. I remember going down to Washington when I was still in elementary school, but the only thing I remember of that trip was visiting the FBI building and watching some guy fire off a .45 caliber Thompson sub-machine gun. Afterwards, he gave each of us a spent casing. I seriously doubt that I still have it, but it wouldn't surprise me all that much if I do.

Being situated on Chesapeake Bay, trips to the beach were the norm. As well as trips to Fort McHenry. During high school, we went every year to Ocean City, MD. We'd leave really early in the morning and get back after dark. Sunburned, of course.

But the best trips to the beach were after I graduated from high school. Two friends and I rented a room in Ocean City for a couple of days and drove down there and bummed around, celebrating. It was pretty tame, really, since none of us drank. Well, not until I got home. It was late and I hadn't eaten much, and my brother thought it would be funny to get me drunk. Not so funny when I tossed my cookies, though.

In August of that year, my best friend and his family went to Brigantine, NJ (just north of Atlantic City). I like his family, and it was cool to spend a week with them. What really makes me feel stupid is that I never got to know his kid sister. I guess I just wasn't smart enough to appreciate her. Looking back, she was pretty cool.

Somewhere along the way, Joe suggested we drive over to Philly, where he had grown up. I said "OK, just clear it with your old man." The day came, and we got into my Dad's '63 Rambler American and headed off to Philly. After a really enjoyable day there, we were driving back and all of a sudden, Joe says "We didn't go to Philly today". I'm like "Huh? What was that where we just were?" Then the light went on. Uh-oh.... I asked him if he had told his old man where we were going. Yup. Asked him what his old man had said. He had said "I'd rather you didn't." Now, I Joe Sr's language, "I'd rather you didn't" means "Don't you dare, or I'll break your legs".

We got back and Joe make up some cock-and-bull story about where we had gone. I feigned exhaustion and went to bed. OK, maybe I didn't have to do much feigning.

A few days later, we were all talking and in the middle of conversation (the subject of which escapes me), Joe's mother looks at me and says "Have you ever been to Philly?". Caught me completely off-guard. I just stood there with this blank look on my face and said "Uh....... no!" Afterward, Joe and I went for a walk down on the beach and as soon as we were out of earshot of the house, Joe says "They know". I just kind of winced. AFAIK, he never got in any serious trouble over it. At least, I never heard any more about it.

At the end of the stay, the rest of them went back to Baltimore, but I drove over to the bustling metropolis of East Stroudsburg, PA to visit a girl I had met on the beach. Yeah, you probably know all about E. Stroudsburg, since it's so world famous for ... uh, nothing. Nice trip, though. Slept in the Rambler and drove back to Baltimore with my back all kinked up.


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