where i spent many hours of my childhood

famous to many as a woodward drive-in restaurant and hot rod cruising spot back in the day

famous to me as the scene of many family dinners and celebration spot

and that one suumer day

when my older sisters and i walked up to ted’s

all on our own

the hostess seated us in a booth

feeling very grown up

 pooling all of our change

looking at the menus

ordering 2 plates of french fries and lots of ketchup to share

when we finished, so proud of ourselves

the waitress dropped off our bill

my older sisters knew math

 realizing that we didn’t have enough money to pay the bill

my sisters somehow negotiated with the waitress

 to leave me in the booth while they ran home to get more money

 i sat in the booth quietly waiting for their return

feeling what it meant to be a hostage

without ever having heard the word in my young life

i’d still like to know

how they got the waitress to agree to this

how they talked my mom into letting us go up there alone in the first place

perhaps we snuck up there

and what they told my mom when they returned home without me to get more money?

i’ll ask my sister the next time we meet.

not at ted’s.

“every happiness is a hostage to fortune.”

-arthur helps

83 responses »

  1. What a wonderful story, Beth. But now you have raised questions I am desperate for answers to. I would love to hear the details of exactly how your sister pulled this off. I think my brother would have been bright enough to handle the negotiations, but not reliable enough to come back with the needed funds.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. What a darling story told in such charming verse 🙂 It made me laugh out loud.
    You do have the innocence of a child. Working with kids must be such a blessing, every single day. I hope you’re gonna remember more of your childhood adventures and share them with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beth, I think we actually told the waitress you would wash dishes in order to pay the bill. We didn’t think you’d mind, was there a problem? Forgive and forget already! Wasn’t Ted’s great? I didn’t realize it was the first drive-in in Michigan, historic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thank you for clarifying, my sister. glad you still have your sense of humor ) yes, I loved ted’s, it was such a big. part of our childhood. I’m going to grill you in person next time I have the chance – be ready! )

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great story, Beth and one from a childhood of times gone by. Sometimes I think of the things we were allowed to do as kids and I realize that they would just never happen now. I’m anxiously awaiting what your sister reports to you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. how nice to have such wonderful memories. who knew fries could be so expensive!

    but they key thing is your sisters were were honest, and they came back for you; who knew it would lead to a blog a few years later…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I wish there were footage of this event as the camera pans to you, and the reporter says, “We’re here at Ted’s Drive-in where there’s an active hostage situation in progress. It seems that Beth is being held against her will while her sisters try to come up with the ransom money.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a story! I hope you post the answers to your questions once you talk to your sisters! I remember once walking to a playground with my best friend, finding a quarter under the monkey bars, and going to the Baskin-Robbins for one scoop of ice cream to share. Realized years later the worker must have taken pity on us and not charged us tax…


  8. I grew up with the same kind of drive-in, Dwights. The hot rods, meeting friends and checking out the boys. I think if the same thing had happened to me, the waitress would have let my sister run home to get the money. I love those memories.

    My one memory of Ann Arbor at that time was playing the radio at night when we could get better reception and the New York stations. ‘Cousin Brucie’ told everyone over the radio that the parents of kids in Ann Arbor banned them from listening to the black groups. I was shocked, and I remember that radio broadcast and where I was in my bedroom like it was yesterday.

    My childhood memories are clear, and I remember that at school. What I do or say can be a strong memory for a child. Thank goodness for ‘Jennie Stories’.

    Liked by 1 person

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