|Postcard of High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia.|
It was the summer before my freshman year in high school and the last thing I wanted to do was to ride with my father in a hot car across the country. He wouldn't let me use my Sony Walkman! He wanted a fully functioning co-pilot: awake, alert, and counting mile markers along the Interstate!
In the back of the Trooper was Bob's mini-cooler stocked with Bob-delicacies: aerosol cheese, crackers, and soda, lest we become overcome by hunger on the road!
We stopped at many rest stops, collecting bundles of tourist brochures and maps. We had quite a collection, which I would peruse through every evening, back in our motel, plotting out the next day. I was in charge of finding coupon deals for the next Econo Lodge down the line. This was the summer I learned it was "eee-con-o" (as in economy) and not "ek-a-no" --- after my father had let me continue the mispronunciation for awhile.
We safely arrived in Atlanta without my father strangling me, though I suspect it may have crossed his mind more than once.I sulked most of the trip, riddled with teen angst of the worst kind.
Out of all the tourist pamphlets I had selected, I decided the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia was the one place I wanted to visit in Atlanta. I had never been to an art museum and I thought it far more impressive than looking at steam engines in Chattanooga (which I had done, begrudgingly) or hanging out at the bar near our motel (which I had also done, begrudingly).
On the morning we left on the MARTA from I remember not where we stayed, my father didn't blink an eye at my attire. It was a bright yellow t-shirt but he paid no attention to the scribble-scrabble scrawled on the front of it. It was a t-shirt, which was acceptable attire for a teenager. It didn't help Bob that I tried to never directly face him and obfuscated the front of my t-shirt as much as possible. If I could make it all the way to the museum, what could he do about it, then?
Of course, I wanted everyone else to see it, aside from my father. By pulling this shirt over my head, I was instantly transformed into cool!
Ah, but as we approached the High Museum, it all went down.
"What does your shirt say...? What the hell are the 'Sex Pistols'...?! You can't wear that shirt to the High Museum of Art! Or ever!"
Bob immediately unbuttoned his own dress shirt and insisted I cover myself in it as he marched me back to the MARTA --- so that he could bring me back to the motel --- so that I could change my t-shirt.
You can trust that I never wore this shirt again.