Way on back in the summer of 1978 while attending the University of Montevallo, I stumbled across this guy.
He introduced himself to me as Henry.
All his friends, which pretty included every breathing being in Shelby County, called him BlueJohn.
His Mama'n'em called him Lin.
It would be fair to say I took one look at this man with all those names and that was all she wrote.
He had a car at that time that he fairly well loved.
She was a 1974 Spirit of America Chevy Nova.
And inside this car was one of these.
For those who are too young to remember having to get up to walk across a room to turn the TV down, this is a CB radio. With these things you could tune in to a channel and find other people who were in their cars or trucks or big rigs (that would be an 18-wheeler, child) and talk to them.
While you were DRIVING. Like, down the road.
It was a marvel, let me tell you.
Folks didn't use their names on these things, of course.
They had "handles," which were, I suppose,
the early incarnation of "screen names."
Henry/Bluejohn/Lin had a handle.
It was Captain America.
I did not have a handle, until he gave me one.
It was Kid. As in "young goat." As in stubborn.
I do not know why.
What I do know is that we still call each other Cap and Kid, but he's picked up a couple other names since then.
He answers to all of them. He is not, as they say, "particular."
Tonight we are going to see Captain America at the movies. We'll have fun. We don't travel, so movies are our vacations. We'll share the largest box of popcorn we can carry and whatever candy off the top row of the candy counter appeals to us,
and we will call that supper.
And I'll remember the good ol' days, and that old Chevy Nova and that CB radio, and be so very, very grateful for the summer of '78.