Linda was going into high school in the fall. She was doing summer stock at the Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa. The play was Bye Bye Birdie, and she was playing the part of a show girl. Jeff, one of the good-looking stage hands, drove a blue ’66 Cadillac convertible with a white top. Thinking she was older, he asked Linda on a date to the drive-in movie. Although Jeff was a twenty-one year old man, Linda’s dad said okay. He knew Linda could handle herself.
Jeff picked her up, parked the car, fiddled with the speaker and then asked Linda if she wanted a soda. She was looking forward to The Miracle Worker story about Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller.
“No thanks,” she said.
“Okay,’ Jeff said, body slamming her down against the white leather seat.
He was all over her like bad breath.
Linda knee’d the guy, slapped him, and got herself out of the car, slamming the door. She had no dime to call her dad and was too mad, anyway, to wait around for a ride. Linda walked out of the drive-in lot and down a major thoroughfare to her house. It took about twelve minutes.
When Linda walked in the door to her house, her dad had just put his freshly cooked sirloin on a plate. He took one look at his daughter and knew better than to ask any questions.
“Want some steak?” he asked.
Linda was grateful that her dad didn’t pry and that she could just chew the fat with him for a while.
Couldda Wouldda Shouldda
If Linda would’ve stayed in the car with Jeff, she would’ve had to fight off his advances for the whole movie and would’ve ended up missing Patti Duke in her best role ever. Linda would have never forgiven Jeff for that and would’ve refused to date him again. Worst of all, she would’ve missed out on a therapeutic dinner with her dad.