This year was a big birthday year because Stuart’s age went from a single digit (9) to a double one (10). If my father, Floyd “Red” Shonk, had still been with us, he would have moved to triple digits.
Lyn and I thought a trip to Ritter’s Frozen Custard was in order. Stuart really enjoys the dog dish treats that Ritter’s provides to its canine customers.
As we were preparing to go we discovered a small problem, well, actually three small problems. Our newest family members, Alberta, Betty and Jackie, our chicken hens, were out of their fenced area and didn’t want to be penned up. Therefore, I offered to go by myself and return with the custard.
As I climbed into my car I noticed that the passenger window was down. I figured that Stuart had been with me on my last outing. He enjoys poking his nose out window. Stuart didn’t go on this trip because I would have needed to put custard in the trunk to keep it away from him.
About halfway to the store as I was making a left turn from McFarland Road to Southport Road, our adventurous neighborhood feline, Guessie, really surprised me as he hopped up from the back seat and landed on the storage compartment between the front seats. “Meow,” he exclaimed. Although a bit startled, I was able to complete the turn without a major problem. Guessie had been taking one of his afternoon naps in the backseat.
I saw no option other than turning around and returning him to our driveway. Back in our driveway, I opened the passenger window and had to asssist Guessie to the ground.
I was off again to purchase some custard. Once home, I carried the custard to the backyard. Stuart was quite a distance away from me, but he noticed that I was carrying something.
You would have thought that he had just won the lottery the way he came running wide open. The birthday boy was excited. Needless to say, we all enjoyed our treats.
The occasion brought back of memories of my youth and going to the Dairy Queen near the point of U.S. 31 and Madison Avenue. Our family and our neighbors and great friends the Johnson family had a blast going there. Larrie “Bud” Johnson, his brother, Mickey, and I would scamper over to the used car lot that was next to the Dairy Queen and inspect all the cars, even though we weren’t old enough to drive.
I have no clue what the other Johnson kids, Judy, Eddie and Margie, or my younger sister, Kathy, did besides enjoying ice cream during those visits. Those are some wonderful memories.
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.