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Daddy did not know… (community correspondent)

By Scarlett Teel

Back in the early 1960s, my boyfriend bought a beautiful shiny black 1960 Ford Starliner—a car dear to any young fellow’s heart for it was loaded with all kinds of chrome, fancy hubcaps and a high performance engine—way too much motor for the road!

Back then, the teenagers cruised from the Dari Delite on Highway 31 South in Clanton to Highway 31 North to Bob’s Restaurant to visit and show off their cars and girlfriends.

One Saturday night after a movie at the Clanton Drive-In Theater, he drove us around to Bob’s. One of his buddies passed on the word to him that a young man from Tuscaloosa was in town looking for him and his car to challenge him to a drag race.

Looking back: Teel’s father sought to protect her daughter from drag racers, not knowing she had participated in such a race.

Looking back: Teel’s father sought to protect her daughter from drag racers, not knowing she had participated in such a race.

Pretty soon, contact was made, and the two decided to meet on Highway 22 West near the old Baker School location to race.

Of course, dumb and happy, I went along for the ride and made no plans to get out when the race was run. The two boys lined up their cars on the road and with friends flagging and counting, they took off with the Ford Starliner winning without any problem!

Pretty soon, we went back to Bob’s to talk about the win and wait for time for me to go home.

Little did I know that at the same time that I was helping to drag race on Highway 22 West, my sweet little daddy, Mr. Lee Roy Ray, was taking care of his baby daughter the only way he knew how! Drag racing teenage boys had been there using our drive-way off Enterprise Road to start and end a series of drag races.

Daddy had approached them and told them, “You boys have to leave now. My baby will be home soon, and you might hurt her!” Needless to say, when mama and daddy told me what had happened at the house that night, I kept my mouth tightly shut and never told my daddy about when I went drag racing.

But, you know what, until the day he died, he always called me “my baby.”

Scarlett Teel is a community correspondent. Look for the next installment of her column in a future edition of The Clanton Advertiser.