the summer of 1990 was slated to be all about my new driver’s license, high-school prep, and cruising through Dallas in my new ride bumping Hammer, BBD, and Public Enemy.
all these things were fresh and I wanted to be fresh right along with them.
stacks high, color spray poppin, and trimmed out from head-to-toe in a colorful, rayon, outfits from Rave.
..and you know I had to have those rockin’ patent leather Dillard’s shackles to match while everyone else was sportin’ jellies.
I was ready!
I stayed ready though.
and my crew was ready too…
Mason, Tamara, Juice, and Dutch were my main crew members. We were all about to turn 16, ready to kick it, had a little change, mostly from our parents except Juice and Dutch; they had “other” kinds of money, and slated to turn Dallas out.
We were a tight ass crew.
We were tighter than Sister Mabel’s coffee stockings from Fred’s. And if you know Sister Mabel like we knew Sister Mabel, then you know her stockings were pretty damn tight.
..and with friction, simmering warmth, and sometimes coupled with the freshness of a dusty hymn book.
..the hardback kind.
I know I’m not suppose to talk about elders but Sister Mabel had such a way about her and a not so complementing aroma.
But I digress.
..back to my crew
me, Mason, and Tamara were all from Plano. We met Juice and Dutch at a local back-to-school party in Irving that Mason’s cousin invited us to. Mason’s cousin Trammel lived just over the bridge in Shorter Gardens. I never told Mason that I couldn’t stand his old, stuttering, musty ass cousin much but I heard he had live parties, so I pushed my dislike to the wind and went. Truth be told though, I was scared as hell to go to that party because it wasn’t exactly in McCain like I they first said it would be, it was in the infamous Shorter Gardens. Thank goodness Mason volunteered to drive his mother’s Astro Van because I couldn’t see taking my new sleek Civic to Shorter Gardens and Mason preferred driving anyway. I think he liked driving so he could put Poison and Do Me on repeat. That boy loved BBD more than they loved themselves. It was hella funny. He sang all of their songs, all the time, had them on his answering machine, wore bagging jeans with a hat to the back, but with a twist. Mason was heavy into graphic crop tops with all the BBD lingo printed on them. In the spring of 90, it became his trademark even. You’d never catch Mason without some type of BBD paraphernalia on.
I didn’t care though because Mason was comical and his stunts led us to meet Juice and Dutch. When we arrived to Trammel’s stankin’ party in Shorter Garden, they were standing in the only available parking space. So, Mason honked his horn at them, got out, handed them his keys as if they were valet, then signaled for me to get out the car. I thought we were going to be mowed down right then and there. We kept walking and all I heard was guys busting up in the parking lot. I asked Mason if the thought that they’d roll out with his mom’s van and he said, “They better not”. He kept pushing like nothing matter. It was his bold, curt, matter-of-fact ways that kept us guessing and in stitches.
…and like he said, Juice and Dutch didn’t roll out with the car and even brought the keys in eventually.
…they were still laughing. From that point on, Juice and Dutch rolled with us.
So that’s Juice, Dutch, and Mason; me and Tamara were home girls from our days playing softball at Rosedale Park. We’d played together since we were six years old and barely old enough to hold a bat. We had nine years on the diamond and we were the queens of ball. The team that we played for, the Chiquita’s, dominated every inning, game, tournament, and playoff. We were beginning to grow out of ball though. We were ready for high school and other interests plus ball was for upcoming lames. We had hundred of wins, trophies, had traveled to Houston, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Missouri. We’d earned it all as far as softball goes.
We’d sat softball on the back burner during the summer of 90, snatched up a part-time job flipping burger, got new rides, tossed the cleats, and packed our social calendar.
If you know anything about summers in Dallas, you know the social activities go hard. We have everything from Riverfest, Juneteenth Festivals, Big Daddy’s Cookout and Parade and we’d heard that they were bringing something new to the city called Hype Night 90. It was on all the radio stations. It was supposed to be rappers from the Bronx, they were going to have beatbox contests, poppin, and all the local celebrities were going to be there. It was scheduled for August 4, 1990.
A day I’d marked on my calendar early on.
..even before the school year ended and I started my new job, flippin burgers, chatting up my co-workers and customers in the drive-thru.
My part-time job had become a bit of a social event in and of itself.
Those older high school kids and college boys who were home for the summer made working there fun. We cracked jokes all night long, had the music bumpin in the back, made all kinds of crazy meals because the manager, Marty, was never there.
We kicked it.
Well, as much as you can kick-it at a burger joint.
It was a place that I’d met a lot of new people outside of my school friends and the people in my neighborhood.
I’d happened upon some other people there too, like Danna.
Danna was this older broad with a long auburn curl. She told people that she had “good hair”. I knew it was a curl though ’cause it smelled like a curl. Once you’ve had curl, you’ll always know that jheri curl smell.
…and I really didn’t dig the slow talking broad.
She thought she was sexy in those tight work pants, and unbutton shirt. She thought she was the queen bee because she could do all the jobs and the manager let her.
…they even let her do the schedule.
Like the real schedule, where I needed to be off August 4, 1990.
Part I – The End
*Events and characters are may change in the final publication.