Dating Safely

As many of you will recall, I was in a Fraternity called Alpha Sigma Delta or just "Sigma" fraternity. Well, our colors were Blue and Gold. That background, here goes:

I, too, often found myself either in downtown Birmingham at night parking in the "free" spots and walking to the movies with a date, and sometimes there'd be "hoods" (guys with black leather jackets) hanging around the parked cars in a deserted parking area as I returned from the movies. Most of the troubles came as you got into the car, and they'd either block your departure, or start "cat calling" you and your date as you prepared to leave.

Now, just one I could handle, but not a gang of two or three. So, by just way of preparedness (and since I'd never even think of carrying my .22 auto pistol in my car - that thought just never crossed my mind) but I would have carried some "brass knucks" if I could have found any. Since those were not available, I made a miniature baseball bat on my father's lathe. (Thank you Mr. Bob Moore for teaching me how to use one so effectively). After making the little hardwood bat, about 12" long, I drilled out a 1/2" hole in the end, perhaps 5" deep. I melted some old plumbers lead my dad had, with his acetelene torch and poured it into the hollow end of the little bat. I carefully sanded it flush with the bat and then painted it a nice Royal Blue with a gold "ASD" decal on the side of it.

Well, anytime I wanted to brag about being prepared for a "rumble", I just showed everyone my little lead filled bat and said that was as good as any policeman's "night stick". It had a leather loop that fit around my wrist, so it could not be pulled from my grasp in the confusion of a real fight. I wondered if it would split and the lead come out when I had to lay it hard against some hood's head, but I never had the occasion.

I kept it in the glove compartment of my '57 Ford Fairlane 500 (two tone blue and white) that I drove during those years. It was a wonderful conversation piece and I imagined it made my dates feel safe when we were out parking in deserted areas before going home. My dates didn't act like they felt all that safe, but it was not clear if it was concern about the "hoods" rolling up, or ME.

M.D. Smith