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Big Trouble at Tice Grocery Store and Gas Station
This Introduction Will be
so easy. So pleasing to you because in simple terms, I care for you. Plus I know that by the time you are reading this piece, a slice of my early teen life, 1971, true from every angle, and you work at a job that requires you to put in long hours . . .so you deserve a break to just put your feet up, sip that cup of fresh, hot coffee and read a piece that is very near and dear to me. Your wife of 19 years loves you very much.
On highway 43 north out of Hamilton, Ala., my family and I lived (and you'll love this) in yet another despicable shack-of-a-home that sat on a hill adjacent to this busy highway. 43, to be exact. I guess by now, if you have been keeping up with my early life, you have already labeled us as "Movers," people who do some share-cropping, and when the share-croppers sell the harvest, they move to another share-cropping opportunity.
Not this time. From the time my dad had moved us from the famous Verta Dobbs Farm in the New Hope Community, on highway 29, out of Hamilton, he had us living in a tin-roof shack with no bedrooms, but had a fireplace. Goodie! This hub is where I shared the annoying landlord, "Bud," who loved to drink illegally-distilled booze and "Clyde" another drinker, whom I quickly met (and got away from) on that dangerous gravel road just off of highway 43. This gravel road was really the "Road to Hades," and we did not live that long in Satan's backyard.
When our dad Moved
us from "Moonshine Valley," "Bud," and "Clyde," we journeyed further north to the Shiloh Community on highway 187 eastward (now) to settle into a fairly-decent house that had asphalt shingles that didn't leak. This frame-type home had two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a small pot-bellied coal heater in the living room. Guess whose job it was to keep the coal in stock?
An old man, "Mr. Hampton," not his real name, was our landlord and he was mostly quiet spoken and man, was he ever tall. "Mr. Hampton's" wife's name was, "Edelene," also not her real name, and a really crotchety old lady who didn't like me when we met her. I knew that look of hatred well when I made eye contact with her. I learned about hateful eyes when I met our first greedy landlord in 1960, in our first real shack northwest of Hamilton and my dad paid a "Mr. Malone" ten or twelve hard-earned dollars to pay this elderly jerk just so we didn't have to live in the barn where our mule, "Gray Bones" lived.
"Mr. Malone" literally zero'd into my eyes and if his eyes had been an acetylene torch, my eyes would have been empty sockets. Sad, folks, but very true.
And all Rural
communities (in places where we lived) there was the proverbial rural country store and gas station. When we needed some grocery item, my dad, mom, and myself would travel down highway 187 all the way down to highway 43 south to a place called: Tice's Grocery Store and Gas Station. A fitting name because this was mainly what a Mr. Tice sold six days a week. Groceries such as freshly-cut bologna, hoop cheese, canned goods, and other food necessities. And that famous Texaco gasoline where his two modern gas pumps sat in front of his store. But sadly, the time of those five gas station attendants that early television viewers had become used to seeing, were no longer there. Just "Mr. Tice," who I describe as semi-old, but not old enough to pump gasoline
The first time that my dad, mom, and myself entered Tice's establishment, my dad did some negotiating and in a few minutes, dad had secured credit for our needed groceries and gasoline that we might need during the week. When my would get paid on Friday's, he would "settle up" with "Mr. Tice," honestly a fair-dealing man.
For a short while, life was not good, but decent. I think that my head had a Life Quality Meter and when I heard a crackling, that that of an open camp fire, my meter would be registering good, decent, or just plain awful when it came time to live in a rented house. Now you understand why I suffered so many migraine headaches during my younger years living in these "Rat Holes." Medical Science had yet to discover the Life Quality Measure that was under the top layer of skin on top of my head.
months from getting to know Mr. Tice, and doing business with him on a frequent basis, we drove up one Saturday evening and there it was: Something had changed. Something scary. Something that would not fly, a term that I learned in reading about business dealings. This "something" that was so scary turned out to be "Mr. Tice's'" brother from Vicksburg, Miss., who had "hit it big" in the soybean business. My dad, who loved to talk to people, talked to the younger Tice brother, "Maul," not his real name, and he in turn shared every detail of his life--from how long that he lived in Vicksburg to him owning over 1,000 acres of soybeans that provided him a tidy profit which led to him in buying the orginal "Mr. Tice," the quiet-spoken, fair dealing man and sadly, just took over the store and every square inch of what used to be a thriving rural grocery store and gas station.
The first "Mr. Tice", we had learned, had received all cash from his brother, the Tice from Vicksburg when he bought the store. That seemed fishy to me. And I was just 13 years of age and my voice was in the process of changing. I hated it. When I would start to talk to girls, they would all laugh and run off from me. I wasn't really jumping to talk to the "Soybean King, Tice" as the first time I heard him talk, that did it.
All this Tice man could say was, "Yeah, I own quite a few thousand acres of soybeans," "Got to spend the loot to make the boot," and the he would stop suddenly and let out a banshee-type laughter that scared most of the rural customers and made some younger children cry. Tice was not a people person. All that he cared about were: smoking his cigar, talking about nothing, and bragging to his customers. Honest. That's all that I heard him do. I did not see him pump one drop of gasoline, sweep any floor in his store building, empty the trash or answer his phone. Talk about rural arrogance.
My dad and mom were ultra-conservatives to begin with, and I thought that the boisterous, fat-bellied Tice man, the "Soybean King," would not set well with my parents and we would get to shop in the big metropolis of Hamilton just down highway 43 south. In downtown Hamilton, we had a Foodway store--one of the biggest grocery stores in the county. And you can believe this or not, but my mom persuaded my dad to start shopping at this Foodway just to see if we were saving or splurging grocery money.
But Soon dad was Back to
Tice's Grocery Store and Gas Station where someone had hung a large, long white banner that hung over the parking lot the words in red: "Under New Management! Shop Now And Save!" Not flashy, but it got the job done--for almost every rural friend of the Tice man, "Soybean King" was doing business with him, his daughter and his brat-of-a son. And brat is a mild adjective. And to say that Tice's business was "thriving," really doesn't describe how busy things got during business hours of his store. I think it was that banner. I also realized that at age 13, advertising does pay.
Tice's Grocery Store and Gas Station, like the adage: "all good things come to an end," is not completely true. Sure, Mr. Tice, "Soybean King," did have huge amounts of business, but his demeanor was not that good. Let me explain. "Soybean King," always had a half of cigar (not lit) stuck in the right side of his mouth. Strange, but I lived and let live. I didn't want to be a troublemaker. "Soybean King" when he roamed the aisles of his store or when he was manning his dinging cash register would talk non-stop--somewhat like a tobacco auctioneer. His tone, although monotone, was more like a buzzing sound like that of a chainsaw cutting timber. And remember, I said non-stop--for when you thought that he was finished with one topic, out came another barrage of talk about another topic, mostly talk about his loot from selling massive bushels of soybeans. I started thinking, just how many bushels of soybeans does this transplanted grocer have?
A Sample of "Mr. Tice's" Non-Stop Talking Ability
MR. TICE (in front of his counter in the store) "Hello, glad that you came by. (said this to a few rural customers). My name's Tice, "Maul" Tice . . .(and here we go) . . .I bought this little store and, ahh, Buzzzzzzz--ahhhh-buzzzzzz-ah-buzzzzz-ah-buzzzzzzzzzzzz, yeah. You got that right. Buzzzzz-ahhhh-buzz-ah-buzzza-ah-buzzzzzzzzzzz." Just multiply "Maul Tice's" dialogue here by 1000 times. No tobacco or cattle auctioneer, in my humble opinion, could ever "hold a light" to "Tice."
Aside fromTice's gift of continual gab, for some reason, vanity I guess, he always kept his huge stomach sticking out over his work pants which I didn't know the brand and for that matter, didn't really care. But I can attest that at no matter when my dad or all of my family would patronize Tice's store, there was that annoying talk, mostly guff that I am sure these rural folks who lived on highway 43 grew weary of his vocal fluidity, but seemingly, they didn't. Maybe these middle aged to senior citizens liked Tice's windbagging because they didn't own a TV or radio, but that was silly. These folks had worked hard and saved their money--surely some of them had TVs or our local radio, WERH, (which is now out of business) to hear the obituaries, farm and livestock reports, and old fashioned Country Music. Could these folks really be that starved for entertainment as to be drawn (like a magnet) to hear Tice's one-sided conversation with himself? I never found out the truth. Better said, I didn't want to know the truth. I feared that he had an audio affliction birthed in his brain when he was a toddler and dropped on his tongue by a drunken uncle from St. Louis who loved to visit to just bum his family's food and extra bed that was kept upstairs.
Truly, Tice knew everything for he talked 24/7 about everything. One time his yakking was about Nuclear Power and Why The Fed's Wanted to Sweep it Under The Floor to Las Vegas Prostitution and the Tax Burden Being Placed on Nevada's Tax Structure--in truth, Tice might not have knew everything, but he surely talked about everything--and sounded like he was sincere. He never smirked, winked, or got upset while doing his orations. But he did slip in a few "Hell's" that he prefaced when he really wanted to stress a point. (e.g. "Now you take my 1000 acres of soybeans. Dadgumit, I can keep my guys, 'Lee-Roy' and 'Gruber,' who has worked for me over 12 years, busy day and night planting soybeans, the new Cash Crop of Mississippi.") Did you understand how that one Dadgum it solidified his truth in what he was talking about--and all while he was talking, that half-cigar never left his mouth.
One Evening on Another Visit
by my parents and myself to Tice's Grocery Store and Gas Station, I decided that I was tired of listening to "Soybean King" and his windbag performing, so I sat in the car while my dad and mom picked up a few groceries. For nothing else to do, I decided to count the cars that rolled in either for gas for groceries. One-by-one, the cars and trucks came by, bought gas and left. Or parked and the people got out and shopped in the store. All in all, I came up with 24 total vehicles in a time span of two hours. That is a sharp ratio of business. I know that I was only 13, but I grew to observing the things that are not as obvious to most people. 24 vehicles. That must have added up to: $200.00 plus dollars, not counting the goods placed on credit. Tice, no doubt, was on the verge of taking over another kingdom besides being the "Soybean King" from Vicksburg, Miss., but soon he would be the "Rural Grocery King" in Marion County. Yes, sir. It was a sure thing.
The majority of kings, "Soybean King," included, have saw their share of nay sayers talking behind their royal backs and talking so much "nay-saying," that the king(s) never saw their foundations begin to feel that first rumble that ultimately led to their falling and who would? A king, any king worth his robe is busy with his kingdom-based details to manage. His royal butt has not got time to intervene in every minute detail. This is why the king has lackeys to take care of those asinine things like no salt being in the king's silver shakers. Thing like this, although mostly obscure, can be the most frightening when added to other asinine details.
This is where "Soybean King's" wife, daughter, and spoiled-brat-of-a-son came to light. "Soy," my nick-name for "Soybean King," was wise enough to dictate that his family would be the managers of his rural grocery store and gas station kingdom--and still maintain that perpetual talking about various subjects that popped into his head. Now I think that maybe this talking handicap might have been due to a war injury in WWII from his grumpy, hung-over "Sgt. Dogg," who bashed "Soy's" head on a Howitzer's barrel during a tense brawl that happened inside a fox hole when "Soy" and his buddies were pinned down by a German machine gun and "Sgt. Dogg" snapped because of the stress of having barrages of bullets singing about his head. The only one person to take the stress out on was "Pvt. Soy," who did know how to handle himself, but "Dogg" blind-sided him with a right cross sending him to the ground out cold.
"Soybean King," (because it sounds better), ordered his brat-of-a-son to be the Parking Lot Manager, but no further than inside the two Texaco gas pumps. His daughter, mainly a shy young girl, "Soybean King" dubbed her as the Inside The Gas Pumps Manager while his wife, (forgot her name), was the Floor Manager inside the store and "Soy" was not only the owner and king, but the Brigadier General Manager of the entire shooting match. "Tice's" Family-Style Management Style worked like a Leprechaun dancing on a pretty girl's charm bracelet. For a while. You knew that this was coming.
First to Fall on his Face
and whine like a little girl was "Soybean King's" brat son who had a bad habit of running his mouth (sound familiar?) to customers who only came by to get a tankful of gasoline or maybe a pound of bologna. That's it. No added talking entertainment. These rural people worked (those who were not retired) worked in and around Hamilton--mostly in the available mobile home manufacturing facilities that helped Hamilton's economy strong. After a tough day of building mobile homes, they stopped by Tice's Grocery Store and Gas Station to get just the necessities of life and head home for supper and a long res
Tice's spoiled son, owned, or said that he owned, a 1970 Ford Gran Torino. He told everyone that his dad bought it new from the Ford showroom in Vicksburg. This caused me to wonder if that (one) Ford showroom at that (one) Ford dealership was the only Ford dealership in the huge Vicksburg city? The spoiled brat had a bad habit of leaving out such details.
I recall a certain dialogue that I overheard while sitting in the backseat of our car while my parents were inside "Soybean King's" store to buy a few canned goods and some hoop cheese.
SPOILED SON: "see this Ford Gran Torino?"
CUSTOMER: "yep. What about it?"
SPOILED SON: "my dad bought it for me--paid cash too."
CUSTOMER: "is that right?"
SPOILED SON: "that is right--all mine."
CUSTOMER: "did that rusty pipe under your car come as standard equipment?"
SPOILED SON: "errr, that? Uhhh, well, that pipe is a special pipe that helps the exhaust system get more of the exhaust out of my high-performance Torino."
CUSTOMER: "let's hear it run."
(The Torino was tough for spoiled son to get it started.)
Blammm! Blubber! Bubbaaaa! Bubb, Bubba, Bubba . . .
SPOILED SON; "there it goes! That engine is so powerful that the pipe sounds like a train coming at you."
"what a liar," whispered the passing customer who went into "Soybean King's" store and left after buying a Coke and a pack of Camels.
Spoiled son kept at it day after day and once I asked him (to just see what he would say) if he went to school and he laughed at me and bragged . . ."my dad's got so much money that I don't need school. My dad told me that in a year or so, that he will turn this store over to me and well . . .I will be richer."
And the loud Torino kept blubbering and sometimes the spoiled son would get behind the wheel and make the tires squeal and burn rubber making a cloud of blue smoke as he drove wide-open, without looking for oncoming traffic, smack dab in the middle of highway 43. Spoiled son was not just stupid, but a liar with a big mouth: Three deadly combinations. You can't blame this adolescent idiot. He learned that braggadocio way of talking from his dad, "Soybean King."
It Wasn't Long Before
spoiled son, being left to his own thinking and not given the proper discipline from Mr. and Mrs. "Soybean King and Queen," he was soon having run in's with the law ranging from speeding, suspicion of theft in rural Hamilton as well as being negligent about getting out of bed each morning to attend school. Spoiled son's main hang-out was Tice's Grocery Store and Gas Station, his favorite place for killing time, offended customers with his smart alec mouth and taking things from the store shelf when he was hungry and filling this Tornio with gas all on the house and when his mom would ask him about the pay, he would laugh that stupid laugh and reply: "It's on the house--'Daddy Soybean King' said it was okay." No telling how much spoiled son took from Tice's pocket.
This type of selfish behavior was just the beginning of the end for Tice's Grocery Store and Gas Station. Mr. Tice's daughter although a year or so older than spoiled son, had a chronic case of laziness. It followed her everywhere she went--school, home, and when her mom was forced to threaten her from talking on the phone to her two girlfriends in Vicksburg, Miss., and running up a hefty phone bill (people had to pay for long distance in 1971), she would just lay on her bed and look at the messy conditions of her bedroom caused from her laziness. One person who was formerly one of the original Tice who owned the store, and was run off due to the spoiled son's vulgar mouth, told that the daughter might have to be admitted to the local hospital, Lister Hill Hospital, Hamilton, Ala., for malnutrition. She was just too lazy to eat.
So now, Mr. Tice, the Brigadier General Manager of Tice's Grocery Store and Gas Station, had yet to fully-grasp how serious it was when his own children, being given important management titles, were now just names on their birth certificates. Tice at least paid the two out of his own pocket and always in front of customers to impress these rural neighbors who still bought things from his store. One of these citizens, an "L.B. Pirekins," a good-hearted guy who minded his own business, overheard and seen Mr. Tice stand his children (in front of store packed with customers) and let him give them their weekly pay. Brat and spoiled son was given $300.00 cash and lazy daughter was given $320.00 cash and given a bigger amount because she was the oldest of his two siblings.
People in this rural community whispered while sitting on their front porches that Mr. Tice's two kids loved their wages more than their dad. And this was so sad for Tice was never aware that his children were taking him for every cent that he and some hired hands made from the raising of soybeans.
I can now share with you the ultimate in embarrassing events ever to occur at Tice's Grocery Store and Gas Station--an event so stupid and yet so accidentally humorous that people talked about this event for months.
Mr. Tice aka/"Soybean King"
came to his wife, the Inside Floor Manager, spoiled son and lazy daughter for an important store meeting. Tice was one who loved to not only live the good life, but talk the good life each opportunity that God sent to him. This idea at first looked sensible. And even as the moving parts of this event: "Tice's Grocery Store and Gas Station Grand Opening Days," were being set in motion, they even looked good. But seeing and knowing that something is good are far apart.
Mr. Tice, the brains behind the grand opening days at the store was quick to tell his family that it was "his" idea to promote this great event to make their store a household word by all of the rural neighbors up and down highway 43. Do you remember his non-stop talking? Yep. His talking with from high gear to overdrive and the more adrenaline that went into his bloodstream the more excited that he became. Tice even started darting inside and outside of the store snapping photos of each area of the store to be placed a two-page, color ad inside the area newspaper. Tice had the money to afford such things as a double-page ad that run about $750.00 and he felt that by running such an ad to promote his grand opening idea, it would double the amount of customers.
Even Mr. Tice's euphoria was catching as spoiled son and lazy daughter were smiling more than usual. But Mr. Tice was way too busy to notice the change in his children. His wife, who was wiser than she looked, had a terrible feeling in her gut about the big grand opening plans that Tice had made, but kept it to herself. Could be the wisest thing that she could have done under the circumstances which were about to happen in just a few short days.
"Maul Tice," the owner of Tice's Grocery Store and Gas Station had spoiled son, string up a few of those colorful streamers on the carlots that were so many in number in the 1950s. Lazy daughter hand-rolled a few thousand candy balls (that Tice had in surplus stock), while his wife just decorated as best she could in the inside of the gas pumps and kept the oil and grease cleaned up from in front of the store. Spoiled son, the Parking Lot Manager was quick to tell his own mom that he was in charge of the parking not, not him, and for her to just get her elderly butt back in the store where she belonged. NOTE: I never proved it, but judging by his bully demeanor and attitude, I would not have doubted that he went on to serve a long stretch of prison time when he was an adult. I would also state, allegedly, that none of the prisoners with life sentences (with nothing to lose) were always plotting ways to make prison a darker place for him.
But "THE" most, outlandish, unwanted and unheard of advertising gimmick to ever come out of a person's mouth was: "Maul Tice," who by now let his reputation spread about him being "loaded" with money, (not guns), and went to hire a start-up Country Music band made up by mostly a gorgeous singer, 15, (but looked 20) "Cheryl," not her real name, her brother, "Jerry," on the one snare drum, bass drum and single cymbal and her dad,"Clovis" on lead custom guitar. All together they made up "The Callen's," available for reunions, anniversaries, wedding receptions, and most truck stops who are employed by two or three bouncers who work for extra money when they are not going on secret operations from the Navy SEALs.
The Main Draw for "The Callen's"
was the lead singer, "Cheryl," who had streaked blond hair, five-foot one, a knock-out of tan, eyes that were made for bedrooms, and the most sultry voice of any female--young or old that this area had ever heard. When she spoke, people shut up immediately. "Cheryl's" voice was natural. Not fake. Not a high-pitched tone, but a soft, innocent, school girl in junior high type of voice. What made her look so well was she never wore pants, shorts, slacks or jeans--but dresses or skirts. That was it. And with that killer tan also on her Blue Ribbon legs, the guys who "The Callen's" were booked for a gig, never complained if her singing was good enough for a record deal or not. Men loved "Cheryl," and the women loved how innocent she was. No joke. She was a good girl. And was quick to tell the male bullies who tried to crash the "Callen's" FREE store concert that was held inside the drive-thru in front of Tice's Grocery and Gas Station.
My parents and I went by to check out the big grand opening festivities. The parking lot was packed. "Maul Tice's" double ad with color (in the local paper) worked better than an uncorked genie with three wishes. "Cheryl" and her band sang, I counted, eight songs in a row. Songs from: "Stand By Your Man," to "Coal Miner's Daughter," I had a feeling that "Cheryl's" dad, who did have a dab of early show business when he played bass with some up and coming Country Music singer who drank himself to death. A sad event, but "Cheryl's" dad was sharp as a new tack in telling his pretty daughter to only sing female-related songs. The females in the crowd loved every song. The men loved how "Cheryl" would sometimes sit on the fender of a car that was parked near the store and since her skirt was short, not mini in length, the guys acted like a pack of hunting dogs that were starving to be fed.
After "The Callen's'" FREE concert (that lasted four hours) was over, I saw "Maul" sneak by the audience now just milling around talking and going into his store to get a Coke or Buddy Bar, to give "Cheryl" a white envelope which I deduced was cash for her and her band. I never knew how much. Or cared. I did know that in about three weeks from that great FREE concert where "Cheryl" outshined the great Kitty Wells', "(I Didn't Know) God Made Honky Tonk Angels," trouble was only a breath away from being afoot. "Maul Tice" was oblivious of the trouble that was coming because he was rich and things at the store were going like gangbusters. If any problems arose, he would either buy them off or just deny that the trouble just never happened.
Yep. "Maul" had thought of everything. But his wife. Yes, his wife, the quiet-spoken girl he married from Mississippi. And he actually loved his wife. You could tell it by his big eyes that were magnified by his Coke bottle glasses. He kept her secret about when they were newlyweds and he was just starting out to farm for a living in The Magnolia State, she had a fiery temper. Not a mild jealousy that her husband caused by just winking at a pretty girl, but a fiery temper that put the fear of God and the I.R.S. into "Maul" by just softly threatening about a certain set of taxes that were never paid in one of his last huge soybean sales. Talk was later that "Maul" was slick as a salamander in the Buttahatchee River near Hamilton.
After "The Callen's" FREE concert and "Maul" enjoying the hordes of customers, little by little, business began to drop off. Gas sales started to decline and because the gas stations in Hamilton had learned that they could sell gasoline for a dime cheaper on the gallon, and for the working folks around Hamilton and on highway 43, a dime was big money in 1971. "Maul," knowing that his business was not prospering, sent his spoiled son and lazy daughter home for not being able to pay them.
But Kenny, you Have Already Told us
that "Tice" was richer than Jed Clampett. More or less. "Tice" was rich, but not in literal cash. He only used a small loan from his bank down in Vicksburg to buy the grocery store and put a few hundred bucks in his pants for showing people how wealthy soybeans can make a man. And to pay his children some cash also for appearances.
His wife, who never told anyone (I.R.S. included) about that certain set of taxes on one of his last huge soybean sales, or the small loan "Maul" took out at his bank to buy-out his older brother, "Dadey" and wife, "Pearnie," in their small grocery store and gas station. "Maul" had to put something up for the mortgage at his bank in Vicksburg to secure this loan to buy "Dadey's" store. Now it was time for "Maul," and his family to depart from Hamilton and highway 43, probably in the dead of night and take what profit that they did make and head back to Vicksburg to get started back to sowing and raising soybeans.
"The Callen's" and Cheryl did have a few gigs around Hamilton. But the best part of this entire story was getting to meet "Cheryl" near the back of my school bus on one Thursday evening and had on a red and white lace dress that came to mid-thigh and that tan, are you kidding me? She and I hit it off and I really did like her. But in my senior year of high school, I found out that she had left town. She left with no hide or hair. No one, including her brother or dad knew where she went. This was so sad for she was so innocent when we met on the school bus. And so, so pretty. It took me a good five years to get over her.
And on the way back to Vicksburg, "Maul" and his wife and children were driving back home. "Tice" and his soft spoken wife in his 1969 Chevy truck that just barely ran and spoiled son and lazy daughter riding in back of them in spoiled son's Gran Torino that was headed for repossession on the next Monday. While "Maul" and his wife were riding along listening to a good Country Music station, a news break came on to tell people that the Stock Market saw (that day) the biggest drop in soybean markets across the United States . . .and the bigger soybeans farming operations down in Mississippi were saying that they might see their farms being sold to pay back the millions in loans that these huge soybean farmers owed.
This Soybean Sales Decline might have caused a major economic tragedy seen in the Crash of 1929, but thank God for the super-big soybean farmers in other states besides Mississippi who lent these Mississippi soybean farmers a helping financial hand. Crisis voided.
The news report went on to say that those smaller soybean farmers would probably hit rock bottom if a miracle did not happen. "Tice" and his soft-spoken wife looked at each other. And never said a word.
"Tice's" wife just looked out of the pick-up window. Spoiled son and lazy daughter in the Gran Torino just sped by his mom and dad--people knew how selfish their son was and as they went by, you could hear that rusty pipe blubbering underneath the car. Some kids. They never even stopped to find out why their parents pulled off of the highway.
"Tice" pulled off of the highway, put his face onto the steering wheel on his hands and cried . . .and cried . . .
© 2017 Kenneth Avery