Dreams, cars and a mountain vacation were on my mind when Grandson Jack, a new teenager, came for a visit this past weekend.
I was relaxed, rested and tanned, looking forward to his visit. Jack and I joke all the time about interpreting dreams, so he brought me a book titled, “50 Dream Interpretations And Themes” we could enjoy during his time with us.
Jack has a variety of interests, as young men sometimes do, but his prime love at this time is super cars. His dad bought an impressive Mustang a couple years ago, which had aroused Jack’s appetite for nice cars.
Last weekend he and I traveled to Columbus for the Columbus International Car Show, where a fine-car aficionado might heighten his automobile dreams.
We first traveled to Dublin to the “Million Dollar Mile” where five or six luxury auto dealerships were located. The dealers had every “super car” imaginable. We saw several McLarens, a Ferrari, two Lamborghinis, a blue Porsche convertible, a silver Lotus, along with a Rolls Royce and Lexus models.
“Grandpa, do you think I could sit in the Lamborghini?” Jack asked. The salesperson overhead Jack’s question and said, “Sure, son. Hop in and take some pictures if you like.”
Jack slid into the driver’s seat and I slipped along side him on the other side. It was a warm and bright afternoon in the showroom as we pretended to pull out of the display room and turn south on Interstate 71, heading toward Lexington, Ky.
As we crossed the Brent Spence Bridge into Kentucky I asked Jack how the car was handling. “Smooth as silk, Grandpa. Smooth as silk.”
Twenty minutes later we were approaching Walton, Ky. We stopped near our favorite spot along the railroad to watch trains. It wasn’t long before a CSX freight train blew its whistle and approached our crossing. The engineer saw us sitting in the Lamborghini and gave us several toots of his horn.
“Look, Grandpa. There’s Lexington,” Jack said, as we pulled into the driveway of Leestown School. Just as we pulled in front of the building, the bell rang and hundreds of Jack’s classmates came running out and made a direct route to the Lamborghini.
Finally, it was time to leave. As we slowly started to pull away, Jack downshifted the smooth machine.
“Grandpa, I want to take you somewhere first,” Jack said.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“Let’s go see Jesco White in West Virginia!” Jack replied.
Jack had heard his dad, Greg, talk about Jesco White, the “Dancing Outlaw,” and wanted to go see him down in the hollers of West Virginia. I said OK, and we were quickly on our way.
Jesco White was born in Bandytown, a tiny community located in the Appalachian Mountains of Boone County. White’s father was a mountain Flatfoot and Tap dancer, and Jesco was following in his footsteps, so to speak, before his dad’s untimely death.
Jack slowly pulled the Lamborghini around mountain curve after mountain curve until we came to a worn and battered-down house sitting across a creek that we had to drive through to get to the residence. The White homeplace was hard to describe. There were old skinny coon dogs, barking at an invisible moon.
Sitting in the front yard were four old junk cars. One was rusted, with all the windows broken out.
“Jack, how are you doing? Long time no see,” Jesco said, as he stumbled out the front door. “I see you have Grandpa Pat with you.”
I looked at Jack. “How does he know us?” Jack shrugged.
“Boys, that’s a mighty fine looking machine. I have one just like it in the garage. Do you mind if I give it a spin?” Jesco asked, as Jack and I looked at each other uneasily.
“OK Jesco, but just around the yard,” I said.
Jack and I got out of the car, and Jesco slipped behind the wheel and quickly sped down the highway. Twenty minutes later, Jesco’s brother showed up. We asked him if he had seen Jesco. “Yes. He is down at the river near the auto compactor. He just had a car he was driving shredded for cash.”
Jack and I looked at each other and almost fainted.
About that time, Jesco pulled up into the front yard, laughing and yelling. “Boys, that was just a joke. You have a mighty fine car there,” he said as we hopped back into the Lamborghini and headed back to Columbus.
“Grandpa, are you awake? You fell asleep as we were sitting in the car in the showroom. You were dreaming. You were yelling the name Jesco!” Jack said.
“Maybe it was the White Castle I had for lunch,” I said. “Sometimes they make you dream.”
“I don’t understand,” Jack said.
“You will when you get older,” I said, as I stepped on the gas and headed back to Wilmington.
Pat Haley is former Clinton County commissioner and former Clinton County sheriff.