Back In The Day - Tales from the Hood


hot summer nights pt.1

It was a long hot summer that year, i remember the warm nights and it was boring! Me and two of my close friends were trying to think of something to do that would be a thrill and at the same time travel the whole city from one end to the other. The answer was obvious,We need transportation! We were around the neighborhood looking for some wheels and as a youth with too much time on my hands had plenty of experience "hot-wiring" cars. The easiest were always chevys,if the key knob isn't turned into the LOCK POSITION then it was a canidate voted for a "joy" ride.
So if you have a older chevy...Lock-it! Now Fords were the ones to hot-wire, it meant you would have to pop the hood and hook up a wire to the solenoid etc.
Remember back then there were NO noisey car alarms or clubs so basically it didn't take a professional thief to do it just a bored 15 year old with bored friends ready to learn.

That night we found our "first" ride to freedom, anywhere out of Echo Park was a treat for us. So without going into detail, we were now driving down Sunset blvd.and everything was cool.
As we cruised on over to here and there we had our close calls with passing police cars,but they kept on and just to be on the safe-side we would turn off into a side street for a detour. Well that night was non-eventful. We soon got tired and it was late and not too many cars were on the road so it was time to head back and find a good spot to park it. We found that a certain local hospital had a secluded back parking lot,that was to be our secret hiding place. The next night to come would be a very interesting and exciting time.

It had just turned nightfall and we were ready to cruise....but the guys decided that each one of us should have his own car. So we came up with a plan, we would go to local outside areas and find a car that was available , take it and bring it back to park at our "spot" then go out and do it again only now a little to the south or where-ever. We were having so much fun that night ,we didn't stop til it finally became too late to continue. We each had taken turns doing this and one of the guys was a little on the dumb side and he would make noise and attract attention. He also really didn't know how to drive too well either but we let him continue for the most part. By the end of the night we had a few cars parked side by side, and thats the way we left 'em.

The next day was a beautiful one, it was nice and hot! A good day for the beach!
How there was only one problem... actually two...Who was going to drive? (who looked older) and just which car would we take? It was a hard decision.
Here we had all these cars and couldn't make up our minds,but we knew it could only be one, at least until we got back and it was night,the best time to drive the big streets and in the day all the little back ones. The only problem....IF you run into a cop, they would quickly spot you as being too young to drive and then a chase or just busted with no chase either way it was risky! We went to the beach,had fun,came back.

Now for the real fun! We had accumulated a total of 11 cars,we were short by one(our goal). Each one had his own car and we followed eachother around, played chicken up in Griffith Park, nearly ran off the road a time or two and if we were lucky...ran out of gas! Remember the one who couldn't drive too well? Yeah..Well..he lived.
Some of the cars weren't as lucky. By the end of THAT night we had no more to drive but wait...still two were left! I can remember the colors and years cause they were almost identical, and both were stick shifts (3-on the tree) if you even know what what is. Unfortunatly I knew how to drive a stick, so i knew the difference between the clutch and the brake, My friend didn't! We went up a hill and then started going down a hill, i was following by myself and as i watched them go up and over he swerved
into a narrow side street never putting on the brake but instead the clutch.

The parked car on the corner was rear-ended hard! They jumped out and into mine and we headed back to the spot. The passenger busted his lip and had a bleeding nose ,the driver was just shooken-up. We heard the sirens in the distance and we knew. We decided to lay low the rest of the week,but not for long..remember we were bored juvenile delinquints looking for something to do and cars seemed to be our only vise.


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