Lesson In Integrity…………..#63 (the 50’s)

The Iconic Fox Theatre in San Francisco

A very frustrating situation for a sixteen year old,  having a driver’s license and not having a conveyance to register it with,  the use of the family car was ambiguous at best.  Gary was hoping that his Dad would  establish a set of parameters so he could determine an advantageous means of circumventing the rules.  He never subscribed to the axiom,  ‘rules are made to be broken’,   a better aphorism,  “rules are made for reflection ”  or “if at first you don’t succeed try and try again” especially  if you find a need to question.  The youth discovering in formulating specifics, there always exist the possibility of alternatives,  especially with a little improvising.  His Dad implementing a request and  use rule,  meaning you have to ask and you have to state your purpose.

With the advent of his senior year,  Gary discovering himself devoid of a transit convenience to  school.   His portage provider and best friend Hank Ball having graduated and moved on to college in Illinois.   Gary having  to approach his Dad as his only provisional transportation benefactor, his mother a non-driver, the families 48 Chevrolet sitting idle at home, Dad traversing  to  work in the pickup.   The senior entering into a father son discussion presenting his circumstance and to his surprise, an agreement coming to fruition.  His Dad laying out two prerequisites that would be augment his use of the family car for school transportation.  The first was to offer to give his sister Kay a ride to and from school, the second stipulation was dreaded, the car would be parked upon his return from school.  Gary concluding that his Father’s decision was paradoxical,  good in the respect that he would have transportation, bad that he couldn’t cruise after school, at least for very long.

Dale Spady

The back way to Castro Valley on Lake Chobot Rd.

The back way to Castro Valley on Lake Chobot Rd.

His friend Dale Spady having moved to Castro Valley had a different a set of circumstances.   The difficulty accosting him being his mother was a driver thus limiting the use of her car.   Dale finding a remedy, procuring a two-wheeled motorized appliance,  a used 5 horsepower Cushman motor scooter,  which in the proper weather conditions provide dry transportation.   When Dale visited,   Gary found there was room  to sit on the rear jump seat,  not exactly cool but still a means for the journey between their two homes.  Although the Cushman speedometer registered as much as 60 mph, in reality top speed was about 45, so when traveling to Castro Valley they would stay off  MacArthur Blvd and the Highway 50 interchange,  taking the back way, up Estudillo Ave. in San Leandro to Lake Chabot Rd and around the lake.


Walt Disney’s Fantasia

On occasions Dale would spend a weekend night with Gary in Oakland and for some reason Dale would never accompany Gary downstairs through the darken basement to his room, preferring to go outside and enter through the outside door entrance.  Apparently Dale had a fixation about walking through a darken basement late at night.  Spending the night at Dales in Castro Valley was a totally different experience.  Dales bedroom was just off the dining room and on a Friday night Dale could roll their dining room TV into the doorway and the two could watch Johnny Carson.  Dale wasn’t a musician and for the most part kept his music choice to himself  but Gary found they something in common, they both admired Richard Strauss’s Suite from Der Rosenkavalier.   Walt Disney’s Fantasia was showing at the Castro Valley Theatre, Gary was familiar with much of the music, Paul Dukas, The Sorcerers Apprentice, Beethoven 6th, the Pastoral and the endowed conductor Leopold Stokowski.  Gary and Dale deciding to attend, surprisingly before the showing,  the theatre made an announcement that fantasia was basically two hours of animated classical music and a refund was available for those who wanted to leave.  The two watched as a good portion of the audience, mostly teenage, filed out.

Dale’s mother 1954 Dodge

San Leandro Lutheran Church

Gary having spent Saturday night at Dales, the two having formulated a plan to ask for the use of Dales’ Mothers four door 1954 Dodge.  Dale mentioning that he would like to attend the Lutheran Church in San Leandro,  the one the family attended  in the past when living in Oakland.  Dale parents agreeing to the use of the car for the boys to attend.  Sunday morning found the two sitting through the first service of the San Leandro church, but  before the start of  the second service deciding to leave, an hour to kill  cruising before arriving back at Dales residence at the appropriated time.  The two deciding to get somewhat innovative telling Dale’s parents they were going attend the services of some of the other church denominations,  Gary detecting some skepticism.    The teens finding it easy to verify their attendances,  upon entering they were handed a printed program of the Sunday Service, returning to Dales at the appropriate time they would causally lay the church service program down in plain sight for Dales’ parents to see.  All was well with the Sunday morning cruising until Dale’s Dad unknown to the boys performed an audit of the fuel consumption and mileage of his wife’s car,  the boys being told  if they wanted to attend church they could joined the family for Sunday Services.   The Teens feeling amiss for their deed,  but because they were never really questioned and  no answer had to be given, they came to the conclusion their act of duplicity ended up a lesson in integrity.

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