Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fat Mike's

After my brother got a driver's license he discovered girls. He probably suspected previously that such sweet things existed, but it was his driver's license and attendance at the local church CYO that introduced him to a group of women who attended one of the local Catholic high schools. To the consternation of my mother, he and his male friend Lou would cram twenty of these future home makers into our father's 1958 Ford Fairlane and go to places like Fat Mike's Italian Ice. This would be illegal under current driving laws. In some ways, things are stricter today.

Why I was invited on these outings I can't fathom. Apparently the twenty girls thought I was cute. "Oh please, let's bring your adorable little brother along!" they would say. In addition to Italian ice places, diners like the Bendix Diner, Harry Tack's and other places would attract us and other damsel filled cars with their young chauffeurs.

Also popular for young people who lived in New Jersey was driving to New York to buy beer. The drinking age was eighteen in that hedonistic state. Being a child with a rather large mouth at the dinner table, I was not invited by my brother on those forays.
editor's note: the photo is of Johnnie's Hot Dogs in Butzville New Jersey. Strictly speaking it was too far away for my family but is representative of the sort of place that has has attracted teenage drivers on their late night drives since the invention of the automobile.

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