I doubt very seriously that there would be many people who loved their teenage years as much as I did. From what I’ve been told, there are many who found those years to be awkward and filled with disappointments. I had reasons to feel the same way. Somehow, though, the good times had a habit of outshining the bad times.
When I was 16, my father bought me a car that had been deemed totaled. He repaired the body and the mechanical damage that had been done to it. It was a 1968 Toyota Corolla. It could seat 4 people comfortably, 6 tightly and 8 if people sat on other’s laps.
During that summer, along with “the gang”, I had nothing but fun. We went to Red Rocks and climbed. We had beer parties in empty field just south of the city. We went to places like Heritage Square and the Pearl Street Mall.
Late in July that year, four of us found out about the birthday of one of the other ones, a girl named Cathy. Life at home for her was a little tough. She was the oldest of 3 girls and there was just her mother as a parent. We had no idea where her father was. We were pretty certain that there wouldn’t be much of a party at home for her sweet 16th birthday.
We decided we’d throw a party for her. We got the hot dogs, hot dog buns, the potato chips, raw vegetable sticks, Kool-Aid and, of course, the cake. Our only problem was that we had a terrible time finding a container for the Kool-Aid. We had already spent most of our money on everything else and we needed gas money to get to the park we wanted to celebrate at, Washington Park where most of the hippies hung out.
One of the four of us planning this party, Danny started rummaging through all the cupboards in his mom’s kitchen looking for a container that would suffice. Finally, he found something we all thought would work, an old wine bottle with a lid that screwed on. Danny mixed up the Kool-Aid powder with water in a large bowl and then poured it into the wine bottle using a funnel.
On the day of Cathy’s birthday, the entire gang piled into Danny’s truck and my car, both vehicles carrying some of the goodies. I followed Danny’s truck to the park. As we entered on one of the main roads within the park, a cop stopped Danny. I stopped behind him, completely bewildered by what had transpired. Why would Danny be stopped? None of us had anything illegal with us.
The cop asked for Danny’s credentials. Then he went to the passenger’s side of the truck, asked that Rick get out, and bring the wine bottle with him. By this time, Danny and Rick figured out what might have been the problem. The cop was thinking there was wine in that crazy bottle. Rick started to open the wine bottle saying, “Officer, it isn’t wine. Really! It’s Kool-Aid. We came to the park to have a birthday party. Have a sip.”
Of course, the cop was skeptical and agitated. Who did we think we were fooling? Dave got out of my car and went to talk to the cop. He convinced the cop to smell the opening of the container and to take just a taste.
After doing so, the cop demanded that all of us get out of our vehicles and stand just beyond the curb on the grass. He gave us a ten-minute lecture on proper containers, closed containers and being minors with containers.
He let us go and even let us have our wine bottle with the Kool-Aid in it with the clear understanding that the bottle goes into the trash before we leave the park.
BTW, we had a fantastic time celebrating Cathy’s birthday. 😀