Just a block away from Hazelridge is Florist Road. On one side of the road is the city side and on the other side of the road is the county side. A lot of times the county residents in that area would venture into the city. On their return they would travel down Hildebrand to Curtis to Hazelridge, then to a side street that connects to Florist. Needless to say, quite a bit of traffic traveled through that gave us plenty of targets to throw at.
With our line of sight through the trees we could easily see a vehicle making their way down Curtis. However, what we discovered though was that it was much easier to hit the cars traveling towards Hazelridge, therefore we primarily focused on them.
For the most part we pretty much bombed indiscriminately at almost every car coming down Curtis, including a particular Pontiac Bonneville.
“Here comes one now,” was usually the signal for us to lock and load our hands with ammo. “David, its your parents,” Chris would say. With them coming down Curtis in the afternoon meant that they had been at the Thunderbird Club drinking all afternoon and now they were pretty sauced up.
“Fire at will!” I would say in my battlecry and the three of us would unleash our ammo at their vehicle. Usually when we hit one of the passing cars, one of two things happened. Either they didn’t realize that their vehicle had been struck with a flying mud patty and kept going like my parents did, or they slammed on the brakes.
Whenever there was an instance of someone slamming on their brakes, we would jump out the tree and hide out of sight. Once they realized it was either nothing but a bunch of mud that had hit their car, or they drove off after they couldn’t find the culprits responsible.
Except for one guy.
This guy happened to drive a souped up blue Nova that he obviously spent some time and money on. Just like the rest of the innocent drivers who drove down Curtis, he got bombed. He did what so many other people did before him and stopped to investigate. Unlike the others, he stayed there for a few minutes with his car idling. Then suddenly, he sped down the road and around the block to the cul de sac where he just stopped and idled again. Finally, after sitting there for a moment he just drove off.
Wouldn’t you know it, Nova man was back the very next day. We was about to bomb him again when he started slowing down right before he was about to pass us.
“Abort! Everybody out of the tree now! This guy is stopping,” Chris yelled and we suspended our bombing mission until he drove off.
Sure enough like clockwork, Nova man was back the very next day. This time he didn’t bother slowing down.
Splat! One of us had just scored a direct hit to Nova man’s car. Again, Nova man laid on the brakes and stopped the car. This of course prompted everyone to follow our normal protocol and vacate the tree. Everyone but Joey that is.
Nova man jumped out the his car and began heading towards Joey who was still standing his ground in the tree.
“You think you’re cute, you red-headed little snot. You wait until I get my hands on you!” Nova man said.
“What makes you think that you can catch me?” Joey said with sass. With that being said, he swung out the tree and ran to where we was hiding.
Nova man wasn’t about to let him get away. He sprinted back to his car, peeled some rubber, and raced around the block to the cul de sac. Then he jumped out the car and headed briskly in the direction we were at.
We didn’t have much of a choice but to run for it. If we would’ve stayed he would have found us for sure. Luckily for us though, Nova man wasn’t much of a runner. It wasn’t for a lack of trying, he just wasn’t any match for us. Funny that Nova man didn’t drive down Curtis Street anymore after that.
Other than our close call with Nova man, our car bombing campaign continued on for several weeks with the three of us in cahoots together. That is until Joey had to go and get grounded.
“I don’t feel like bombing any cars today,” Chris told me. “It just doesn’t feel right with Joey not being here.
“Well, I am going to bomb some cars. With, or without you,” I replied.
“Suit yourself. I am going to lay right here in the grass and watch the clouds.”
Moments later, I spotted my very first target of the day. I cocked my arm back and side armed the mud patty… way too early. It hit the windshield and splattered all over it. The lady in the car slammed on the brakes, jumped out the car, and ran over to the fence where she saw Chris lying in the grass in the backyard.
“I didn’t throw it, but the kid that did ran that way. If you’re lucky you can catch him,” Chris said mockingly.
She didn’t have to chase me. Her husband was Detective Troutman * of the Youth Division for the Roanoke City Police Department. Unlike Ernie and his parents, he canvassed the neighborhood that very same day until he found out where Chris and I lived.
* Name changed
Next in the series – Against the System: The Enterpriser – Part 1
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David Bomber #1130793
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