We want Miss America, not Ms. Flamingo Park
In less than 24 hours of hitchhiking, my sister & I wished for and got breakfast, wished for and got some cold beer (wished for and avoided being murdered), and now, a third of the way to California, we really, really hoped the next car that stopped to pick us up was a hippie, with long hair, smoking pot.
And . . . just as the rednecks’ car went out-of-view . . . we got our next ride: a driver with long hair heading to Jackson, Tennessee to see his girlfriend, who instantly fired up a joint. At that point we weren’t wishing for any more great adventures. Relaxing in a safe ride, sharing a joke, and re-telling our adventures, was plenty enough.
The driver was very friendly, liked us, wished he could have been protesting with us in Flamingo Park, and invited us along to his girlfriend’s . . . but he didn’t tell us she was a rich Southern Belle and that he wanted to shock her parents by bringing along some hippies. Her house (her parents’ house) was a southern plantation, complete with a long, winding, tree-lined driveway and the house (mansion) had a wide veranda with white-washed pillars rising three stories.
His girlfriend invites us in and her parents were polite, although not hospitable. When we got in the kitchen, it was clear why hippiedom would be a blow to their designs for their daughter, why we weren’t really welcome, and why we needed to keep our story short.
Even with our own parents, Murph and I would leave out the guns and drugs. With these parents, to be most considerate we might avoid talking politics altogether, although you would think most moms & dads would love to hear how their kids actually spent an hour chatting on a park bench in Flamingo Park with Dr. Benjamin Spock who wrote the second greatest selling book of all time (next to the Bible) titled Baby and Child Care, and maybe even tell about meeting Ron Kovics, famous for his book and movie, Born on the Fourth of July.
But, once we saw the clipping on the fridge, I said to our friend, “Hey, let’s get out of here.” The clipping had two photos, one a female protestor from Flamingo Park in a tie-dyed shirt, and the other a beautiful southern belle in a long dress, and the caption said “We want Miss America, not Miss Flamingo Park.” At least it wasn’t a picture of Murph.
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