Wildcat Has a Party
Cruisin Central

©2003, by Charlotte Webb. All rights reserved.

Wildcat Has a Party

With no particular place to go
It's early on a Thursday evening in August. The sun is low in the west, lavender-pink clouds streaking the deep blue sky, and the various factions are starting to congregate on Central.

Freddy and the Bodoni brothers have arrived at McDonald's in Joey's Desert Sand 1953 Pontiac Chieftain named Let's Dance. Watson pulls in on the Metallic Green Triumph Bonneville. Petey and Suzy have escaped from their respective parents, ostensibly to go to a movie, but instead heading straight for Central in Suzy's Impala.

"Wildcat gets off work at nine, so he's having a party tonight," Freddy reports.

"Let's go tell Berling and Angelo," says Petey.

Watson, not wanting to let Suzy out of his sight, offers to go with them. Suzy gives Petey a high sign and Petey heads for the Impala which is parked in the back forty, while Suzy says they're gonna order hamburgers. Watson isn't paying enough attention, and Suzy peels out, behind Compton's Car Wash, onto Indian School Road, hangs a right into the center lane of Central, and is long gone while Watson sits, unsuspecting, under the "Over 1.2 million sold" sign.

Sandi and Bunny are in the Leghorn Cream 1957 Coupe de Ville, heading for Sarge's Cow Town. At the Osborn light, Petey yells out the window, "Metropolitan Life!" and signals for Sandi to follow them.

Maggie Lincoln is waiting at the Encanto stoplight, in the white 1959 Fiat with the suicide doors, heading for Central and McDowell. Well, the Fiat is a foreign car, so it could qualify as a sports car, and she's dying to see Angelo, who's hoping to see Bunny tonight. Hey, Stymie's in Hawaii with his folks, so while the cat's away . . .

Tom Kuhlman and Larry Melior, cruising with the top down on the Signet Red 1958 slushbox Corvette with the white fendercoves, stop next to the Fiat at the light. Melior yells, "Hey, bay-bay!" just as the light changes, and Maggie sees Suzi's Ermine White Impala with the custom lavender trim-streaks glide past, thirty miles per hour in the right-hand lane, followed by Sandi's yellow Cadillac. Maggie ignores Melior. It's Angelo she wants tonight, and now there's no time to waste. Suzy's out of her usual territory. There's only one place that she could be heading, and Maggie needs to get there first.

Berling and Angelo, in the Iris Blue 1960 MGA Twin-Cam Four, are shooting the breeze with Skip Brody and a few other sports car guys in the Metropolitan Life parking lot.

Breaking all speed limits, Maggie Lincoln skids into Metropolitan Life first.

Skip takes pity on Angelo and waylays Maggie. Suzy's Impala pulls up next, with Sandi's Cadillac right behind her. Angelo ignores Maggie, and makes a great fuss over Bunny. Kuhlman, hot on Maggie's tail, arrives last. Melior jumps out, and now Maggie is trying to shake both Skip and Melior, so she can get to Angelo who is holding hands with Bunny who thinks she's merely doing him a favor because of Maggie Lincoln's proximity.

Berling opens the door of the Impala for Petey, smiling at her. He puts one hand on her bony waist, kisses her on the mouth, and says, "Hey!" They've been an item lately, but nothing intimate. Petey's in love with Berling this week. That real date at the Kiva last weekend did it.

Sandi and Bunny get directions to Wildcat's party, and then doppler off to Sarge's for awhile. Angelo decides to be Suzy's "date" for the party, so he can catch up with Bunny later. He tosses his car keys to Berling who will be taking Petey to Wildcat's in the Twin-Cam Four. Angelo jumps into the Impala, and Skip revs the Gulf Blue Volkswagen, and they all take off for McDonald's, leaving Maggie to fend off Melior by herself, and try to remember how to get to Wildcat's pad. Maggie tells Melior and Kuhlman that she wants to go to the party, hoping that they know where it is. She follows them, but they get lost in some road construction on Moreland, and end up at the gravelly deserted end of North 32nd Street, just beyond the canal.

Well, I'll be John Brown
The sun has set, and Park Central is taking on another life. The shoppers have gone home and the stores are closed for the night. In the southeast quarter of the parking lot, the Maryvale punks are already playing the role. The Mau-Maus are gathering in the northeast section, giving the Maryvale punks a wary eye.

At nine-thirty, two cats from the Gauchos' car club, in an Eggshell White-and-gold 1956 Plymouth Fury called Moon Dog, drive up to Park Central and announce to the various convocations that a midnight drag race will be held on the desert at 35th Avenue and Bell Road.

Three cars from the Vipers car club take their place at the main entrance to Park Central, and you can feel the tension building in the air. The Maryvale punks and the Mau-Maus strike at the same time, and a rumble ensues. A siren pierces the air, but the paddy wagon from which it emanates is stuck in traffic several blocks away. Someone from Maryvale pulls an onion peeler out, and a Viper is stabbed in the arm. The parking lot is deserted when the paddy wagon arrives.

Laredo, David, and Calypso tear out of Park Central, via 5th Avenue, heading for an alibi in South Town at the Silver Dollar Drive-In. They stop at the Arctic Circle and pick up a couple of chocolate milkshakes.

"Hey, David! Do you see what I'm seein?" says Laredo as they enter the theater parking lot.
"No way! It's Freddy the Ghoul! All alone on the back row!"

Laredo parks his black-and-white 1956 Dodge Custom Royal Six, with the upswept tailfins, on the driver's side of the Fontana Rose 1955 Chevy Bel-Air with the black-tinted windows. They watch the show for about ten minutes, and then Laredo lobs his milkshake with a perfect hook shot over the roof of his car. It lands on the roof of the Chevy. Instantly, Roy and Chuy, who had borrowed Freddy's car for the evening, are onto Laredo and David. They tromp the Maryvale punks and leave before the security guards are even aware of the fight.

You come in the house with your hair on end
Calypso failed the polygraph test that Judge Angelo ordered, and wound up at 35th and Durango for making a false statement to the police about Freddy and Chuy and Roy. She would have gone to the Shepherds, but she copped a plea in exchange for some information about drug activity at North Mountain High, most of which turned out to be hearsay.

Cruisin Central Main Page |Glossary

Cruisin Central © 2003, by Charlotte Webb. All rights reserved.
Except as permitted under the Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this web page may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the author.