Clyde, Where's the Turkey?
It wasn't my fault. For one of the few times in my life I was innocent as could be when everything turned sour. Jackie often says that from the moment I was born I have never been innocent, but she's wrong. This time I was innocent.
All I wanted to do was go to a football game, the Steel Valley Bowl game pitting Youngstown South, the city champion, against Struthers, the top finisher in the Steel Valley Conference. It was scheduled to begin at 10:30 on Thanksgiving morning.
The problem was my old beater couldn't be counted upon to get out of the driveway, much less travel forty miles to Youngstown and forty more back again. So I called my dad, Ol' CBS, and asked to borrow his Oldsmobile. As I knew he would, he said yes. Why not, when along with a few friends I would be having Thanksgiving dinner at my parents house?
It was an exciting game played in a downpour of cold rain that fell from start to finish. Soaked to the skin, I headed home with an appetite. Unaware, as it turned out, that the real drama had taken place when my mother said it was time for Ol' CBS to get the turkey.
She was never overly patient with him so when she saw him standing empty handed in the kitchen doorway a few moments later she said, "Clyde, where's the turkey?"
His reply: "In Youngstown."
It seems the bird was too big for the refrigerator so it had spent the night in the trunk of the Oldsmobile.
So Ol' CBS was ordered to go out and find a replacement. Fortunately I had left the keys to my decrepit heap in the ignition. If someone was foolish enough to steal it I wasn't going to make it difficult for them.
So off he went in search of a grocery that was open on Thanksgiving morning. It seemed there were none. He drove to a dozen or more before finding one that was, a hole-in-the-wall place miles from home. One turkey remained, a gaunt old bird about six inches wide, six inches high and three feet long. Even though it was the last turkey in town, my mother was less than thrilled when Ol' CBS carried it in the door.
But how was I to have known any of that? How was I to have known I had a passenger on my drive to and from Youngstown? I was innocent, yet my protests to that effect fell on deaf ears and to his dying day Ol' CBS felt it was just another of my pranks. Then, too, it wasn't just that he had been put to all that trouble, it also meant the big bird that had accompanied me to the game had to be cooked the next day so in one form or another Ol' CBS was eating turkey for nearly the entire month of December.
I borrowed his car a few times after that. For some reason he never was quite as gracious about it as he had been on that long ago Thanksgiving morning.