It has now been about 37 years and yet it is still crystal clear in my mind and will probably be there forever. Let’s go to June of 1985 and it was an absolutely beautiful day and I was coming back from hanging out at Opryland.
My senior year was approaching and I had no worries and was really enjoying the summer. I was heading home and turned onto Two Rivers Parkway near McGavock high school. On the right side was the wave pool, it was packed and was really was the perfect day.
Until it wasn’t.
He was just sitting there. His motorcycle off the side of the road and he had something in his hand. Before I realized what and who it was, I was toast.
A motorcycle cop running radar.
It was the worst feeling. He waved me over and I waved back, pretending I didn’t see him. I just kept on driving, hoping he was just out to wave at people and wish them a good day. After all, he was just outside the wave pool.
I kept on driving, got to the corner of McGavock and Two Rivers, took that right and was a nervous wreck but feeling good because he was not behind me.
Then there he was, motioning me to pull over and let’s just say, he was not happy. Ten minutes later, I had my first speeding ticket. I put it in my glove box and kept on going. I literally pretended it didn’t happen. I was 16 and knew everything an if I put it in the glove box then it would all be forgotten and nothing to worry about
Fast forward two months.
“Joe, come here please.”
“Yes Mom, what?”
“What is this?”
“Looks like a letter.”
“You got a speeding ticket and didn’t pay it, nor tell me?”
Cue the second worst feeling ever.
To this day, how my mom did not banish me to Elba, I will never know. I write this because my son turns 16 soon and I have told him this story countless times with the hope he will not speed and more importantly, not be me.
Funny, every time since that day when I am driving down Two Rivers Parkway, I never go over the speed limit and I always imagine that cop standing there, just waiting on me all these years later.
Sadly, it was the first of many tickets I would get over the years and you still get sick to your stomach, but the only one I really truly remember is that first one.
It will forever be the worst feeling.