It was the summer of 1953, when I was eighteen, I left Providence at ten in the evening in my 1951 Plymouth Cranbrook. I drove up College Hill, down Waterman Avenue and past the East Side Diner where, on occasion, I stopped for a hot waffle with a topping of vanilla Ice cream. I then continued over old Red Bridge to Massasoit Avenue, Broadway and Newman Avenues through Rumford to home. Driving about in my ’51 Plymouth was a dream.
On this particular night, with windows open and feeling good, I progressed up College Hill where, lo and behold, on the corner of Waterman and Benefit Streets, sat a Providence police car with two police officers standing in front of it. The traffic lights were flashing, so I kept rolling. I spotted the two police officers scrambling to get into the cruiser. I thought, “They want me.” I was a kid driving a car with a Massachusetts plate. Guilty! I pulled over on Waterman Avenue behind a parked car and, in a flash, the cruiser barreled by. Whew!
Now I had the problem of getting to the Red Bridge, the Providence and East Providence line about a five minute drive. As I proceeded, thinking they would never believe me if I were caught. But, believe what??
Where at one point, I thought I’d never get the waffle with ice cream, I soon realized it was only a bit of an eighteen year old’s paranoia that prevailed. The Red Bridge never looked so beautiful.
This eighteen year old kid got home safe and sound with two police officers maybe scratching their heads. I certainly was.