THE LONGEST WALK (What were we thinking???)

The Button Box

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It was normal for the girls in my class (graduating class of 1966) to get into trouble some time during the evening when we had a slumber party. It just came natural I guess, we just couldn’t seem to help it. One night it didn’t take long to come up with something to get us all in trouble big time with our parents

We all met at my best friends house that night, and after supper, her parents went upstairs to get away from us. We played some games for awhile, but we quickly became bored with the normal routine. About 7:00 we decided to do something different.

Since it was summer, we told her parents we were going outside to play ditch-um and we would be back around 10:00. They were not concerned about us in our small town, so off we went. I think we had every intention of doing just what we had proposed, but a short time after we left her house the whole plan changed. I don’t know who came up with the idea, but it was unanimously approved.

The new plan was to walk to the next town of Greensburg, which was 10 miles away. We wanted to go to Sadie’s Drive in for her wonderful curly fries and a coke. We must have been in the 8th grade; old enough to know better than to try this, but off we went. It didn’t seem that far at the time.

No one considered that it would be getting dark in a couple of hours and that we would be walking down one of the busiest highways in the state and that it would take us at least 2 hours to reach our destination.

As you leave our small town of Mullinville and head east you are going up hill for at least 1 mile and then over a large overpass that traverses the railroad tracks and highway 54 as they head west. About 1 mile from the west side of the overpass the road from town joins highway 54 and heads east.

We all felt the burn when we reached the top of the overpass, but thought it was all down hill from there, and decided to continue on. 8 young girls in their shorts and tank tops and sneakers walking beside a busy highway heading east as the sun was setting in the west behind them.

About a mile to the east of the overpass sat the Northern Natural Booster station. There were 5 houses sitting just off the highway at the station, and any one of the parents would have taken us back to town if we had asked, or if they had seen us. We picked up the pace as we went past the station, because we didn’t want anyone to stop our adventure that night.

Once past the station the road dropped down into a little valley and then climbed back up onto level ground. Once on the level we had to walk about 1 mile to the large curve in the road that curved to the north. The road ran north for about 1 mile before turning back to the east with another wide sweeping curve.

From there the road ran straight into Greensburg. About 2 miles down the road to the east was another little valley that we had to walk down and then up again to level ground. It never seemed that deep when riding in a car, but at that point we were beginning to get a little tired. Once we were on level ground again it was another 4 miles to Greensburg.

All the time it was a constant battle to stay out of the way of the cars and trucks that were speeding by. It must have looked a little strange to see that many girls of that age walking down the highway as it was getting dark.

Just 1 mile outside of Greensburg there is a large intersection where two major highways meet. As we arrived at the intersection, we knew we had 1 mile to go and a short walk through town to Sadie’s drive in. Suddenly we had unwanted company. A car slowed down and started to shadow us. No one wanted to look to see who it was; we just kept our eyes on the town ahead of us.

Then we heard the siren of the Highway Patrol car, and the lights came on. When he pulled up beside us we all bunched up together on the side of the road. He crawled out of the car and looked huge as he stomped over to us in his uniform with the gun holstered on his side. “WHERE DO YOU GIRLS THINK YOU ARE GOING?”

We all just stood with our mouths open, looking back and forth at each other, wondering what would be the best story to tell him. Finally someone spoke up and said we just wanted to see if we could make it to Greensburg on foot. We wanted to go to Sadie’s and get some curly fries and cokes (although I am not sure anyone had any money with them). Everything in Mullinville closed at 6:00PM, and we wanted something to eat. He wouldn’t know that there was lots of food back at our friend’s house waiting on us.

He did not have room for all of us in the patrol car and no one wanted to get in, so he followed us into town. We never made it across town to Sadie’s and her wonderful curly fries; he made us wait just inside the city limits for our parents.

The patrolman was from Greensburg and knew some of our parents and he called someone to come get us. We had to stay on the west side of town and wait for them and the reprimands that were going to come. The slumber party ended on the outskirts of Greensburg that night and we all had to go home when our parents were informed of our walk to Greensburg.

That was the longest walk we had ever gone on, and the last time we tried something like that. We would walk home on Saturday morning from one of the country girl’s homes after a slumber party, but never tried the walk along the highway again. To contact Sandy: [email protected]

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