By Norris Chambers

             Someone asked me if I had any wild tales to tell about dating experiences in the long-ago days. I thought about it for a minute or two and told him, ďI remember those old days very well but donít ask me to remember if it rained yesterday or not.Ē

            Usually a date involved a trip to a little town that had a movie theater. Casual dates were usually on a Saturday night and followed a pretty normal agenda. The first item was to go to the show and splurge on a sack of popcorn. Of course a coke or other soft drink was required to keep the popcorn company. After watching the show and doing a little hand holding in the dark it was real refreshment time. A carton of ice cream with a wooden spoon was the after the show treat. There was still time for a long visit in some secluded spot where the couple was not likely to be disturbed.

            When a dating relationship became more serious a Friday night was added to the big Saturday night affair. Eventually, if all went well, all three weekend nights were made dating events. Sometimes the wild spending had to be curtailed if too many dates were occurring. After all, the great depression was on and money was very scarce.

            On one of these wild escapades when Clyde , my nephew, and I were double dating, we decided to go to a gravel pit across a field and up on a big hill. We took off that way, and after getting about half way across the field, we started sinking in sand. If you have never been stuck in sand, then you have never been stuck. The car differential was on the sand, and the wheels were turning freely without any forward or backward motion. I got out the trusty shovel, and we started digging. Clyde walked several hundred yards into the dark searching for something to put under the wheels. I began trying to jack up the car. The jack would go down in the sand, but the car didn't move.

            Finally Clyde came back with a couple of fence posts. After another trip or two, we got enough timber to jack the machine up and get the wooden posts under the back wheels. We moved back the full length, and the car immediately sank again. In the next two hours, we repeated this process many times. Finally we got on firm enough ground to get back to the highway. If this hadnít occurred after the show we would not have seen one that night. The moral of this story is, don't drive across a sandy field to get to a gravel pit on a hill.

            The two girls took this very well. I don't remember any complaints.

On another Saturday night Clyde went with me to date a friend of Ellaís, Gladys Spurlock. Gladys lived on a sandy lane a short distance off of the Brownwood highway. We got there some time after dark, and as I recall, there must have been a dozen sisters or brothers or both.

            We had a nice evening and took the girls home about midnight. On the way home, somewhere between Uncle Billie's farm and Williams School , we ran upon a big herd of horses or mules. Clyde was driving, and was moving along at a pretty fast pace. There was no way he could get stopped in time, so he started turning right and left and dodging them. It seemed there were horses everywhere. I kept waiting for the crash, but he steered us through the whole wild bunch. I guess they might have been doing a little dodging, too. Anyway, we were pretty shook up about it for awhile.

            Another time we journeyed east for a date with Ella and Gladys. I don't remember the reason, but somehow we did not go anywhere that night. It might have been the weather, or her folks might have said "No, no go!" But we stayed home. We conversed a lot, and Clyde and one of the brothers got into a hot checker game. I don't know who won, in fact, I don't think they ever said. They just played.

            Finally, one of the boys said: "I guess we better go to bed so they can go home. We took that as pretty good advice, and closed the double date at that point. I think that was probably the last time Clyde went with Gladys. He started going with Ruby Ragland about that time, and they got married later. Ella and I also married when she graduated from high school. Gladys married someone I didnít know. Heís probably still playing checkers with one of her brothers!  

            Did we have fun on those dates? Of course Ė all dates are a lot of fun!