In late summer in 1957, my wife and I and our young son had spent
the weekend with friends in Front Royal, Virginia. After a weekend of
too much laughter and too much food, we reluctantly said good-bye and
prepared to for the drive back that night to my parentís home between
Rockbridge Baths and Kerrís Creek, Virginia.
On a whim at the last minute we decided we would travel back to
Lexington by the Skyline Drive. It was early on the Mid-September
evening when we drove onto that beautiful, (but slow), highway. Warm, as
September nights can be, and peaceful, as the Virginia mountainís are
when one has been away, we slowly made our way along the mountain tops
toward Rockbridge County.
We had, that spring, bought a new Ford Convertible, and the top was down
at every opportunity. As the night became deeper and the moon came out,
the evening fogs began to form in the valley below. Our son was safely
sleeping in the back seat, there was our kind of music everywhere one
tuned the radio. There was almost no traffic sharing our road, and at 40
miles an hour driving was not difficult.
Below us the Valleys of Virginia filled with fog, wisps of mist drifted
across the road and off in the distance in the moonlight the crests of
the mountains stood like islands in the fog. My dear wife slid to the
middle of the seat and leaned her head onto my shoulder as sweethearts
sometimes do, and as sweethearts sometimes I put my arm around her
shoulders and drew her near.
Life was good, we were young and we would live forever, and I wished
that night would never end.
I still have the wife, I still have the son, I still return to family in
the valley, and we still occasionally drive those mountaintops. The
convertible is gone, as is the youth, but the memory of that night will