Tow Truck Toni

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 3 (v.1) - The Last Dance

Submitted: December 17, 2016

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Comments: 1

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Submitted: December 17, 2016



When you are young you assume the world will stay the way it is forever.  Some things did stay the same.  I’m 63 years old now and I still work at Wells Salvage and Towing.  I haven’t towed in a long time but I run the office and take care of the books.  Daddy comes by when he feels up to it but a lot of times I catch him taking a nap in the back room.


I’m still married to Ronnie.  He surprised me, Daddy, and most of Johnson City when he went to college and graduated.  He worked as a Registered Nurse in Mobile until he retired.  We have three awesome children, a dog and a cat, and a grandchild on the way.


But the Governors are long gone.


The political climate changed in the 1980s.  The mayor, the city council and the sheriff, they all made it clear.  They wanted the Governors out of Baldwin County.  When the new Highway 172 bypass would be built, an interchange would sit on top of their property.


Johnson City is small and not much happens.  We love our gossip.  When word got out about the Governors, rumors abounded.  The most popular was that the bikers were looking for revenge and were about to cut a swath of violence through the town.  I knew better and got the truth when Curly came by the office.


The Governors had sold their vending machines.  They were packing up and would soon head out.  


Curly wouldn’t say where, just “west”.  There was one more thing he wanted.  He said, “This will square the books between us.”  I smiled when he told me.  I said, “Daddy and Ronnie and I will be there.  We’ll bring what we need.”


We made a small convoy, heading down Highway 172 toward the clubhouse.  I was in front, driving the pickup truck.  I carried the grill, a smoker, and a pair of gas stoves.  Ronnie followed in a rented refrigerator truck.  Daddy brought up the rear.  He drove the big truck and was hauling the backhoe-loader.


We cooked up a lot of food.  While everyone ate, Ronnie played guitar and sang.  He’s really good, that is why I fell for him so long ago.  He’s got his weak points but when you put him in front of a microphone, people pay attention to him.


I was drinking some of Daddy’s white lightning, hoping it would keep me from thinking about how this might be the last time I’d ever see any of the Governors.  It worked until Carlene gave me a hug, then we both started crying like babies.


Daddy came over and put his arms around both of us.  “If you ladies don’t settle down, I will have to separate the two of you.” 


We were putting up the cookware when Curly said, “Give us a few minutes to pay our respects to the clubhouse, then we’ll be ready.”


The Governors stood in a row and watched as Daddy maneuvered the loader.  The clubhouse was a small frame building, maybe a thousand square feet.  In a few minutes it was reduced to a pile of wood, shingles, and concrete blocks.  


He used the backhoe to dig the pit.  By then it was dark.  The Governors lined up their bikes and turned on the headlights.  An eerie shadow was cast on the trees as Daddy buried the remains of the clubhouse.


Curly gave me a hug, then shook Ronnie’s hand.  He tried to shake Daddy’s hand but Daddy insisted on a hug.  


Then they were gone.  We stood and listened as the rumble of the Harleys faded away.  We never saw or heard from the Governors again.


When I got home I noticed something sticking out from under the door mat.  An envelope.  Written on it was: for my friend Antoinette.


“Damn, I am going to miss Curly.”

© Copyright 2018 Serge Wlodarski. All rights reserved.


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