The other day, as I was driving, Diane and I noticed a nearby church festival and a nicely attired band about to play. Loving band music, I slowed down and asked Diane to lower her window so we could listen as we drove by. Just as she did, a young man sped by in the inner lane.Baseball cap backward, he had his windows open and his radio booming a loud, rhythmic beat. Predominated by a bass drum, probably the biggest one ever recorded, and not the one in the parade, it shook the street and rattled our innards. It ‘hands-down’ would have drowned the drumbeat of the awaiting band.
The driver was rockin’, lovin’ his music, bopping his head and rhythmically rotating his shoulders. He was into it and wanted us to appreciate the music and his taste. The beginning band music by the church vaporized in the tumult of his broadcast. “That’s annoying and aggravating,” I blurted.
“Why, you didn’t do that when you were a teenager?” I loved Diane’s gently pointed rhetorical question, which meant “C’mon, I did that when I was a kid, and so did you.”
Smiling, I replied, “Yes, I sure did.”
“To what songs did you bare open your soul and your car windows?”
“Why, Marty Robbins’ A White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation and Earth Angel by The Penguins. And, oh yes there was, I’m Walkin’ by Fats Domino.” The Fat Man could rattle the car while I kept the beat, knocking the heel of my hand on the steering wheel.
I remember taking a walk on our quiet Bristol street early one Sunday morning. In the distance and out of view, I heard the detonations from a car radio. As the driver turned the corner, my mustard flared and I (stupidly) strolled to the center of the street to stop the young man. “Yes, Sir.”
“Do you have any idea how loud that is? Do you know there are nurses who worked all night saving lives and are trying to sleep?” (A little fib to make a point).
“I’m sorry, Sir (that Sir thing again). They’re not even the best speakers, ya know.”
“OK. Keep it down if you can.” Off he went.
Summer meant windows down and radio dials up. It was even better when you had a date sitting close, enjoying the music, enjoying each other.
Sure, I was an offender those many years ago, but I used nothing more than the installed, non-supplemented speakers of my Dad’s Pontiac’s radio. I doubt the sonic waves traveled more than to the curbside.
Maybe today, the speakers are too big; the bass too high. As I get older, it seems the levels of noise can be extreme. Nonetheless, I realize that what we all did may have been a distraction, if not to those on the sidewalk, perhaps more likely to me as I pushed buttons to find my favorite songs.
Who could deny being entertained by Fats Domino when I drove by?
** Published 8/26/2019 GoLocalProv