Keep Smilin’ with Rosie Preston – Truth and consequences, 1960s-style


I’ve found in my personal life that if someone takes forever to tell you their excuse about a situation, the more likely that said excuse is being made up as they speak.

Do I sound negative? It’s surely not intentional, but it does bring back memories of when I was a teenager and a senior at Gadsden High School.

My dad had bought me a 1964 Comet Convertible, and since school only had two more weeks before graduation, my friends Susan and Cherie and I decided to skip school and take a little trip to Birmingham. What were we thinking? Luckily, the car did not break down and we eventually made it to downtown Birmingham where my aunt worked at Newberry’s, retail a store. As a child, I had always loved that store and I was excited to surprise my aunt.

Everything went as planned until we discovered that I had an empty gas tank. I hated to ask my aunt for money, but we had to get home. When I explained the situation, thankfully she gave me $10. So, after shopping in the store, we knew we had enough time to make it back to school. We laughed and cut up and put the convertible’s top down, so our hair blew in the wind.

Upon arrival at Gadsden High, I let Susan and Cherie out to go to their own cars to head home. I got home just in time to where my parents would not ask any questions about my day. Little did I know that the guidance counselor had called about me being absent from school. Trouble was coming.

Among other things, my dad wanted to know why I was absent and where I went. But his most important question was, “Did any boys go?”

“No, Daddy,” I replied.

This answer seemed to satisfy him and baffled me. Did he really think I was that stupid?

There were consequences for our little trip to the Iron City, however, as all three of us were grounded for a while. In addition, my 1964 Comet Convertible just sat in the driveway and would not start during our last two weeks of school. My dad drove me to school until our last day.

I’ve looked back many times and was thankful that the car made it home and did not leave us stranded out of town. I’m also glad my daddy did not issue corporal punishment, although I knew that he was quite furious.

I have a 17-year-old granddaughter who has started driving to school. I look to the heavens every day and pray for her to have a safe ride there and back home. So far, we have been able to trust her when she tells us something. I often find her truths to be brutally honest, then I remember that that’s a good thing in today’s world!

Keep smiling, Rosie

Contact Rosie Preston  at

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