The following “letter” is part of the continuing series from the unpublished novel by James Garrett, “Benicia Letters Once More”. He does not plan to publish the book but instead is choosing to share the letters with the readers of the Benicia Herald. The letters continue the storyline of Garrett’s first novel “Benicia and Letters of Love”. Each “letter” tells of love in one of its many forms from a separate point of view. Benicia is represented prominently in the letters because of Garrett’s deep fondness for the city of Benicia. He hopes readers see themselves or others they know in the letters because the concept of “Love” is universal.
One night I was at the drive-in on Benicia Road with the then current love of my life when a car with another couple I knew pulled up next to us. I rolled down my window and was as sociable as the moment required, but basically I was more interested in my date.
Then the driver of the car got out and opened the trunk of his car. He reached in and removed a blanket and held it up like he was refolding it. To anyone watching it probably looked like he and his date were cold and needed a blanket.
As he held up the blanket more feet started appearing by it. About two minutes after he opened the trunk there were five people standing behind the car and the driver was still folding the blanket.
A moment later I was saying “Hello” to a guy and the three girls with whom he had been stuffed in the trunk.
To tell you the truth I was envious. There had to be a lot of up close and personal contact to get all four of them in that trunk. It stimulated me to further efforts with my date.
I remember the guy’s laugh when he told me about his plan. I don’t think I could have done it. To meet three girls on Main Street and get a guy and his date to take all four of them to the drive-in in the trunk of his car took some quick thinking and some guts. I was impressed.
Nobody caught the guy and the girls. I saw all of them crowded in the back seat watching the movie. They all were having a good time in a wholesome, friendly way. I didn’t get more than a few kisses from my date. I think she felt a little awkward. I don’t think the guy from the trunk did anything but enjoy the joke and the company of those around him.
None of the four in the trunk went to the altar with one of the others. Still though, I love the story. All of us were just kids being kids. If any of the guys had a car, the best place to get away with a date or double-date was the “passion pit”, officially called the drive-in. Whatever any of the dating partners did with each other at the drive-in is their business as far as I’m concerned. I only hope nobody got hurt in any way or did more than they wanted to and regretted it.
It was a good night of at least “puppy love” with some Benicia kids. Right in front of where my date and I sat, we saw two couples double-dating. The couple in the front seat did get married. The couple in the back seat loves each other to this day but never married each other. There are good memories all around though.
James Garrett is a lifelong resident of Benicia and a former teacher at Benicia High School. He is the author of the following novels: “Benicia and Letters of Love,” “The Mansion Stories,” “Chief Salt,” and “One Great Season, 9-0!” He also compiled a three-volume work titled “The Golden Era: Benicia High School Football, The 1948 through 1960 Seasons, “A” History with Comments.”
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.