Thursday, September 18, 2008
Escape from Mathews: Part Two
Driving back from Bethel Beach the other day, I took a back road I'd never been down before, because I was feeling brave and wanted to outwit the horseflies dive bombing my car. I slammed on brakes and gasped when I saw this beauty hiding in the woods. The picture does not do it justice. I would pay good money (where good money equals whatever spare change happened to be gunked up with coffee in my cup holder) to go inside this house. I really wanted to go in this house.
Below is the second installment of the college essay I wrote about Mathews and what I thought of it as a teenager. My opinion has drastically changed, although some of the nuances of our habits described here are unchanged.
Escape from Mathews
"I remember when I was in high school, all my friends and I ever wanted to do was ride up and down the road all day long. A car is a must in Mathews because it's the only way you can see anybody. Every weekend the teenagers pile into their cars, buy a few six-packs, and ride up and down the Main Strip, which is the stretch between the Tastee Freeze and the one and only grocery store, A&P.
Everybody knows everybody else by the cars they drive. I could be driving down the road and a friend's blue Pinto would be approaching. We'd blink our headlights on and off, which meant, "Meet me at the Tastee-Freeze." There we'd line up our cars just so, roll down our windows and catch up on the latest gossip.
The four main topics of conversation had to do with who was pregnant, who was getting married, who was getting divorced and who had died. (Occasionally we'd talk about who'd been in a fight recently, but we could always read about that in the Public Record of the county newspaper.)
This was our idea of an exciting Friday night."
-Chesapeake Bay College Brat
This Friday night ritual was then--and is still now--referred to as "going up the road," although I am reasonably sure more was discussed than gossip (she says in horror, because now she is so averse to gossip). Another signal we had--and the old timers still use--is tapping your break lights when you pass a car you recognized.(I could write a novel on this subject of communicating via car in those days before cell phones. We were nothing if not creative.)
Have I mentioned what an odd bunch we were?