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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines


Oh, how my Sunday afternoons have changed … and not for the better. I no longer participate in long, leisurely Sunday drives. Those constituted the pinnacle of a blessed and unburdened childhood. This particular process actually began on Saturday. I rode shotgun with my father as he steered our family sedan to the DC service station on First Avenue in Evansville. When I say “service station“ the emphasis is on service. As we rolled into the lot bells sounded, alerting members of the neatly uniformed staff to our arrival. As they hustled into place the captain of the crew shouted: “What can we do for you, Mr. Bridge?“ “Fill ‘er up, fellas!“ Dad replied. One guy nudged a nozzle into the tank; another added air to our tires; a teen wielding a squeegee wiped the windshield; and yet another industrious individual popped the hood to check the oil. It was a sight to behold. We began Sunday morning with a visit to Salem Methodist Church. A fabulous feast followed in the kitchen of the Bridge abode. I would provide details but I’m afraid I’d slobber on the laptop’s keyboard. After allowing ample time for the fried chicken, buttered corn and sun brewed tea to settle in our tummies, Dad would summon us to the sedan for our much anticipated sightseeing tour. All four windows were rolled down to allow the fresh air of the forest and fertile fields to fill the car’s interior with a succulent, summer scent. My friendly demeanor dictated that I moo at every cow and wave to neighbors and strangers alike. It was good to be alive. In the evening we shared a bowl of popcorn while watching “Bonanza” on television. Invariably, I would sing along with my favorite commercial … “See the USA in a Chevrolet …” The most distinctive difference between then and now? Gas cost right at 30 cents per gallon. And, no one was feverishly typing on a smartphone. Have you never been mellow? Bob welcomes comments at 812-276-9646 or

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