Linda was a freshman that summer and and would start 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.
Linda looked forward to her date to see The Miracle Worker, the story of Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller.
Jeff picked her up, drove to the outdoor movie theater, parked the car, fiddled with the speaker and then asked Linda if she wanted a soda.
“No thanks,” she said.
“Okay,” Jeff said, body slamming her down against the white leather seat.
Not too smooth. He was all over her like bad breath.
Linda kneed 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. She walked down a major thoroughfare to her house. It took about twelve minutes.
When Linda walked in the front door, 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 never would have forgiven Jeff for that and would’ve refused to date again. Worst of all, she would’ve missed out on a therapeutic dinner with her dad.