We have stretches of years when snowstorms create havoc for the boys high school basketball sectionals, and when I owned my Thunderbird, things were no different.
I was dating a wonderful gal, Eloise Richardson, who lived on Dudley Avenue just west of Madison. She was a couple of years behind me, and we had a lot of mutual friends. She and her family hadn’t lived in our area for long. I believe they had moved here from New Albany, Ind.
I think it was after my senior year at Southport that Eloise explained to me that she and her family were moving back to New Albany.
I drove down to visit a couple of times, but I don’t believe I had purchased my 1956 T-Bird yet. They had a great house that was at the top of a long, windy road.
Along came late February and the basketball sectionals at Southport Fieldhouse, where we would enjoy home court advantage. I had my tickets for the entire event, as did most of my buddies.
When I heard that Eloise was coming up for the weekend, I made plans with her to go to the games. I picked her up in my sporty T-Bird at the home of her girlfriend.
The games were great, but a near-blizzard had blown in during them. During the somewhat long walk back to my car, I noticed that no snow plows had been through the intersection of Banta Road and Shelby Street. When I tried to make it through that messy crossway, the undercarriage of my low-riding car stuck on a pile of snow; my front and back wheels were off the ground.
My attempts to shove the car off the pile were in vain. Since Eloise was skilled in operating a car with a standard transmission, she hopped in the driver’s seat, and we worked together until the car finally broke free.
We headed toward my parents house at a snail’s pace in the snowstorm. I recall not getting upset when I got stuck in my parents’ driveway; I was just glad to be home.
Eloise slept in our living room that night. The remainder of that weekend is a blur.
I reconnected with her a couple of months ago on Facebook. She lives in Florida. It would be interesting to see if and how she remembers that weekend.
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools.