Grand Traverse Woman
a son 's perspective GUEST COLUMNIST KENDALL CHAPPLE
FIRST NIGHT OUT IN MY FIRST CAR SIRENS Although the music was loud and my hearing was impaired, my vision was not. I saw a bunch of people pull to the side followed by some red lights. Ambulance! I pulled to the side and thought: Wow, on my first go, I get an ambulance. I unfortunately did not know what else was to come.
“You look like a dad," my friend Blade told me, as he opened the door to get into my “new” car. We were going to Buffalo Wild Wings. I had just gotten my license, and it was our first time with this kind of power. “I kind of feel like a dad, to be honest,” I said. “The glasses tie it all in with that collared jacket of yours,” he said. “Just shut up and get in the car,” I replied. “Did you bring money?” He nodded his head, and we took off. Yeah, sure, it was a tad shaky at first but hey, give me a break; it was my first time driving with a friend. It was about five minutes in when Blade asked the long-awaited question: “Yo, can you pass the aux cord?” I could tell he was about to play those banger songs that would define these memories for us when we are older and would recall vague moments of our “glory days.” The first song was one everyone knows every word to: “Take Me Home, Country Roads” blasted through the speakers We belted out every verse. I thought to myself; this is what I came for. We made our way downtown, and this is where every possible experience happened to me, a newly fledged driver, in the space of a few minutes. The kind of things that would happen to an adult over the course of a few years.
We reached the four-lane road by Grand Traverse Mall, and this is when I became kind of nervous because I knew how it worked, but I also didn’t. I soon came across my second new experience of the night. I was in the left lane going the speed LIMIT, and yes that’s considered the “fast lane,” but, hey, I didn’t know I was supposed to go 55 in a 45. I heard a long honk and looked in the rearview mirror to see a few cars behind me trying to/already passing me. Blade and I looked at each other, and I am here to say I have never switched lanes faster in my life (yes, it was safe.) Again the thought came to mind: first night out, first the ambulance and now a bunch of angry drivers? Dang, tonight is something to remember. I kept telling myself that I was almost there, Buffalo Wild Wings was not far away now.
INTERSECTIONS A few minutes passed with no issues and, honestly, a wave of relief came over me when I pulled up at the last intersection near the mall to turn left. But, oh boy, it wasn’t over. The light turned green, and I started to turn left, only to slam on the brakes, as I watched this rundown truck with half of the truck bed hanging off cooking it through the red light directly into our path. “That guy has the IQ of a loaf of bread,” I said as we pulled into the parking lot, a little shook up. Dinner was exciting because it’s a Friday night, plus sports and food come into play and that will ALWAYS be a good time. And, not to mention, there were free refills. To be completely honest, this night will always be remembered by Blade and me as a “remember when…” type of story, and that’s all that really matters to me. It won’t be forgotten that’s for sure.
Kendall Chapple is a sophomore at Traverse City West Senior High School. He is the son of Kandace Chapple, editor and publisher of Grand Traverse Woman Magazine. He hijacked his mother’s usual motherhood column for this issue.
May/June '19 57