Those were the days…I was willin’

On the first Friday of April in 1974, I had been living in my folks back room in Farmington, MO for a few months, but I was heading back to college in Cape Girardeau the next week.
About to receive an undergrad education degree, I had just finished my 8 weeks of student teaching at Farmington High School…teaching math under he who shall remain nameless. My only sister was in the senior class.
Farmington’s population was just over 7K.
Today a sign says 18,355.
(Note: I did NOT say “the sign” as there are at least three [3] different population counts as one enters the city limits.)
I’d had a few dates with the woman who I would be married to for a shade under 40 years.
Later that summer of 74 she and I were accurately described as hot and heavy. Or horny…loaded…wasted…high…and did I mention horny?
There was an “epidemic” that spring 44 years ago. Here’s how Wikipedia describes it:
“A ‘streaking epidemic’ hit Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, with streakers being seen in residence halls, at football games and at various other on-campus locations and events, including Spring graduation…”
A local D.C. area reporter at the University of Maryland “whose voice was broadcast live over the station via a pay phone connection exclaimed… ‘they are streaking past me right now. It’s an incredible sight!’ The next day it was out on the Associated Press wire as “streaking” and had nationwide coverage.”
That April the fifth, we came back into Farmington at about 11 pm after a couple of hours of grabbing a pizza at the Grecian Steak House 7 miles, and loading up the juke box with lots of quarters in order to keep “dark side of the moon” on repeat.
“We” was my future brother-in-law Ronnie and a friend of Ronnie’s, who was providing the wheels for the evening. I can never remember his name…but he was teetotaler and a dandy designated driver. I do remember that.

That night, as we returned from Flat River, it was a fine night weather-wise. High was 77. We took a quick cruise on Main Street, but it was uncharacteristically dead.
But Farmington was abuzz!! Everyone had their car’s windows or the top down.

A couple of guys had streaked from the city park across a section of “the strip” and near a packed Hunts Dairy Bar at about 8 . It was the first known streaking incident south of STL that spring. People were guessing and speculating, but nobody knew who had stripped and sprinted.
Note: we were behind the times in rural Missouri….heck, we still are. No streakers in our little world until that first friday of April ’74….while over 1500 had streaked at the University of Georgia a month earlier, and a fourth of the student body of a small college in South Carolina had bared all.
We had been back on the streets of Farmington for about 30 minutes and traffic was crawling. Lots of chatter inside and between cars. People were guessing and speculating, but nobody knew who had stripped and sprinted.

And then it happened. Two naked blondes came from out of nowhere and crossed Columbia Street a couple of blocks just west of the county courthouse. They got tied up with traffic and people identified them easily enough.

I knew those bodies.
One was my former girlfriend, who had “dear johned” me while I was at Ft. Bragg. The other was her younger sister…who I had played huggy-bear-kissy-face with a few times recently.

The younger sister was surprised a couple of hours later when I told her that I knew who the two guys were from earlier in the evening.
People had all kinds of theories.
Nobody had it right.
Nobody was guessing that it was the guy who had just wrapped up 8 weeks student teaching math.
Yep, I “buried the lead.” Ronnie and I were nekkid and hauling ass.

Linda Ronstadt didn’t release “Willin” until later in 1974, but I had played the first Little Feat album often back in the barracks.
I’m not sure what got into me that night that prompted me to strip down to my sock and shoes and sprint the 175 yards that night. (I stepped it off last Friday….)
But I’m pretty sure that there had been “weed, whites and wine”….and a “what the fuck…let’s do it!”

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