Ain’t Hidin’ No More
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Below.
As my daughter reminded me a couple of years ago, when I picked her up from school and was playing some NIN at a piercing you’ll-be-deaf-at-my-age decibel level, that modern cars aren’t soundproof. Yeah, and that’s when I drove a Mercedes. Then again, in spite of the TV commercials, I don’t think cars ever were soundproof.
On my commute home from work, I heard an oldie but a goodie on the radio— Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz” from 1973. It reminded me of a very embarrassing moment where the embarrassment was well after the fact.
My parents had a 1971 or 72 Chevy. A good, solid car. A good place to hide. A safe car to sing in.
As good Southern Baptists, we graced our little Georgia church every time the doors opened, be it Sunday School, training union, Sunday morning or evening ser- vices, Wednesday night prayer meeting, or choir practice 4 times a week. And every night of any revivals. But the Sunday night ritual (er, routine) was to attend training un- ion, choir practice, and then Sunday night services, after which my parents stood around outside of the church for the next hour and socialized with this little group or that.
Actually, they all stood there and gossiped about grown-up stuff like which girl had gotten herself in trouble or whose son had been caught smoking and expelled from school or which deacon had liquor on his breath or which hussy in the choir had the hots for the preacher and vice-versa. All pretty boring for a kid when all the other kids had gone home.
So by the time I was 10 or so, my parents okayed me to wait in the locked car 50 feet away in the church parking lot where they could see me at all times. Drugs were just threatening the local high schools in those days, so my parents and their fellow congregants naturally had to discuss it for another two hours while I waited, bored, hiding out in the car.
So I would sing. “Fox on the Run,” “Ballroom Blitz,” “Wig-Wig-Bam,” lots of Sweet.
In the privacy of the car.
At the top of my lungs. For hours.
And when I’d see the church group break up and go their separate ways, I’d go quiet and be waiting, bored in the car, at the moment my parents reached the back bumper.
It wasn’t until years later that I realized I was serenading the church and the entire neighborhood every Sunday night.
Today, I sang along with Sweet to “Ballroom Blitz” on my drive home. At the top of my lungs. Even louder every time I passed a church.
As my Georgia kinfolks would say, “I ain’t hidin’ no more.”