by Trent Rosser
(The antics that were pulled in this column were done by 2 stupid kids. Do not try to re-enact. They were mostly by accident, and we were lucky that no one was seriously hurt.)
The New Year is now here, and I have been reflecting on the past. Not the bad things of the past, but the good things. I have been reflecting on some of my childhood friends. One in particular has been my best friend since 1986. His name is Charlie Newton. You might be thinking that you have heard that name before. You have. Charlie was named after his uncle, Master Sgt. Charles Newton of Canadian. He was identified as MIA from Canadian, Texas during the Vietnam War. His remains were recently found and identified in 2009. After 41 years, the family finally had closure. He was finally laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on October 5, 2011.
Now Charlie and I had a lot of fun when we were younger. He had a car, an old Dodge Aspen. Then he had a Jeep, then a Chevelle, then a Monte Carlo. Come to think of it, he went through vehicles like underwear. We put a lot miles on those cars. We did a lot of stupid things with those cars also! Did you know that it is NOT a good idea to take a 1977 Dodge Aspen going off road at the river? We tried. Now with his 1979 Jeep, we spent many hours out at the river. I have not been out there in many years, but when Charlie and I first went there we found a very large hill that was called “the Widow Maker”. Last time I went out there it was not near as steep as it was back then. Charlie wanted to try to go up it in the Jeep. He pulled up to the base of it and we looked up. Nearly straight up! I wanted no part of it! I jumped out and told him," I will wait right here for you to roll back down.” He put it in gear and took off. I watched as he climbed and spun out halfway up. After a little time and some spinning of the tires, he finally made it up. He then turned around and came back down. He made it to the bottom and I jumped back in. I looked at him and said, “That was pretty cool!” He looked at me, gave me an evil grin and as he was putting the Jeep back in gear. He replied, “Now let’s go up it in reverse!” At this time I should point out that Charlie did not have regular car speakers in the Jeep. No, he had home stereo speakers. The ones that weigh about 80 lbs and stand about 4 feet tall. As he hit the gas, one of speakers hit me in the back of the head and then my head is smashed against the windshield. I manage to push my head back and look up and see that we are going up…. Backwards! I’m screaming, Charlie is laughing and Def Leppard is blaring in my ear! We made it up, and back down, but it was one of the scariest times of my life! We flooded the Jeep out at the river many times, but with Charlie’s driving skill, we were never stuck for too long.
That Jeep was rolled once at John Stiff Memorial park one night also. Charlie picked me up one cold winter Friday night. Not a lot of people were out that night, thank goodness. He was having problems with the Jeep and when I jumped in I noticed that he only had one stereo speaker in the back seat. His door was closed and would not open and he had the passenger door pulled shut with a large chain. His door would not open and my door would not shut. We went out to the park, just “cruising” and wasting gas. He pulled into the parking lot and he thought that he seen someone from school that he knew. It was not them, so he said, “Hold on, tight turn.” I grabbed the bar in front of me and was looking out the window and noticed that the little rocks in the pavement were getting closer, and closer, and closer and suddenly they are right against the window, then they are gone, then the moon, then it was gone. Then the rocks again, and they stay there. I had a seatbelt on, Charlie didn’t. I looked up just in time to see Charlie’s butt come down right on my face. He pushed hard enough to get his door open and we crawled out. Fortunately we were ok. With the help of a few people who saw us, we were able to push the Jeep back on its wheels. It started right up. All was good. The surprising thing was the speaker bounced from window to window and nothing broke. When it was all said and done, we lost our dignity and now his door would not shut, and mine would not open!
We chased a lot of girls, also. Unfortunately, when we finally caught the girls, our brains motor skills forgot how to work. We could not make a complete sentence to a girl to save our lives. We sounded like we were speaking in tongues or some weird language. When we did say something… It was usually something very stupid and it ran the girls off. It didn’t matter, we kept chasing them. There were many embarrassing moments. Charlie did finally find his girl and they ended up with 2 great kids.
He moved out of state a few years ago, but we kept in contact. Through the years, we had quite a few good times. We did some really stupid stuff and I am amazed that we are actually alive with some of the things we pulled when we were young. Later this year my wife and I plan on going to see him and his girl Cari. Of course, now that we are older, we will probably just sit around and talk about the “good ole days”. We are going to try to stay for a few days, but, if I hear Charlie say, “Hold on, tight turn”. We will be coming home immediately.