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The Roadhead Chronicles

By Mike Marino

Sample Chapter: Where Cool Was Born

Page 7 of 8

The drive-in was a proletarian paradise of pavement, pompadours and poodle skirts, but there was an air of royalty in she who reigned and ruled over the fast food kingdom. Destined for legend, she was more regal than Marie Antoinette could ever hope to be in her let them eat cake lifetime. Queen Elizabeth paled in comparison to her. She possessed the beauty of Cleopatra, and the magic of Aphrodite and was Queen of the Asphalt Amazons. She had power to spare and could whip Xena in a fair fight, and for an air of sheer mystery and adventure, Laura Croft, Tomb Raider was a rank amateur. She was all that and more, much more, more than much more. She was the angel of the frosted mug and extra napkins. She was...The Carhop.

There was, of course, Venus in blue jeans, and then there was the goddess in Capri pants, who absolutely, ice cream floated gently past our windows. Tray aloft and laden with treasure, a graceful vision, compelling, haunting and capturing our attention and opening the doors of our vivid imaginations. Hell, she was better than a cheerleader, better than the queen of the hop. She was so much more, she was in fact, our root beer muse and we succumbed to her magic spell and were never the same again.

The drive-in was also the grand concourse of the souped up coupe's. Shining beasties from the '32 legends, to the fashion statements of Fifties finned flair. Mirror polish and chrome and exotic cherry colors, these powerful road steeds had big, beautiful barking engines, alive and growling with machismo, ready to tear apart the next contender with pit bull tenacity. Roaring and revving, look, but don't touch. It was an unwritten Roadhead rule that you never, ever touch one of these wonder machines unless you owned it, or the boys got testier than a Texan chasing rustlers across the high and the low plains.

Ducktails and ponytails in full rut, answering the mating call of the wild to ensure the backseat survival of the species. Greasers and frats, hipsters and square's, neon night sinners and saints, roadheads and dharma bums, all vying for attention in the spotlight of Saturday night. Preposterous pompadour hairdo's, ratted and sprayed, and as impenetrable as the Great Wall of China itself, and those wildebeast greaseball waterfall's, cascading Niagra's piled high to dizzying, death defying Brian Setzer heights, threatening at any moment to topple over and crash to the ground.


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