A 70s Reminiscence

In 1975 I was living in Richland, PA, and working in the hardware store that my parents had recently purchased.

One problem with Richland was that there was no good place to buy records. I’m talking about vinyl LPs, which is how we bought our music in those days before CDs or streaming music became available. LPs were a terrible way to listen to music; not only were they bulky to store, but every time you listened to one, the very fact of running a stylus through its grooves would cause a certain amount of deterioration, which is one of the many reasons why I cannot fathom why LPs have made a comeback in recent years. But that’s a subject for another post.

Sam goodyThere was no place in Lebanon County or nearby Berks or Lancaster Counties that stocked a wide selection of the kind of music I liked to listen to. The nearest place was a Sam Goody store in King of Prussia, which was nearly 90 minutes away. So I’d watch for the Sam Goody ads in the Sunday New York Times, and when they had some labels on sale that appealed to me, I’d plan on making the trek.

Which is how I found myself one fine Sunday morning driving through Norristown, PA, en route to King of Prussia, hoping to find some bargains at the Sam Goody outlet.

I was pretty much minding my own business when I heard the sound of a police siren. Looking in the rear view mirror, I saw a police car looming up behind me. Was he after me?

Hmm, I had been doing between 40 and 45 mph and the speed limit was, what? Oh, yeah, 35 mph. Maybe he was coming after me. So I slowed down and pulled over to the side of the street. I realized I should have been more careful.

I lowered my window and a uniformed officer walked up, took a look around, didn’t say much other than to ask for my license and owner’s card, and returned to his car and began to write up a ticket. He was an older man, thick around the middle, and all he needed was a Southern drawl to come off as a stereotypical Southern cop. Happily he did not have a Southern accent. 

Presently he was joined by a much younger police officer and they conferred for a few minutes. Then I saw the older cop hand a paper to the younger one and the senior cop got back in his vehicle and drove off.

The young cop approached me, and I realized the paper he had was my ticket. As he handed it to me, he said the usual things that cops do about watching your speed, etc. I accepted the ticket, replied only when asked a direct question, rolled up my window, and watched him walk back to his vehicle.

Then I glanced at the ticket.

To my horror, I wasn’t charged for doing 45 in a 35 mph zone, which would have meant a fine.

No, I was charged for doing 62 mph! In other words, instant loss of license!

To be continued

Leave a Reply