Mack Williams: Nighttime tour of Salisbury memorable
One night in 1970, my college roommate and I had partaken of a little too much wine, when I got the the idea of driving from Appalachian down to Salisbury so I could show him my hometown. We left Boone around midnight, with my roommate bringing along his unfinished bottle of wine. I knew better than to literally drink and drive at the same time, but he was guilty of ědrinking while passengering.î
While driving down the mountain, I told him about Granite Quarry School, East Rowan, and on a sadder note, my fatherís death four years earlier when I was 15. Although Lord Salisbury was before my time, I even talked about him (probably evidence of the wineís lingering influence).
Upon reaching our destination, we slowly made our way up West Innes Street toward the Square, there being no other traffic except a pair of headlights behind us which seemed to match our slow and steady pace.
Red lights began flashing (back then they were red instead of blue) and a Salisbury policeman pulled us over, approached on foot, and inquired as to what we were doing.
I told him of our departure from Boone (minus the part about the wine) and my desire to show my hometown to my college roommate. I even dropped a few names of local places and people as proof of my Salisbury-Rowan credentials.
The officer was an older man and seemed to believe us. In mentioning his age, I am not disparaging him, but justifying his belief in my story, in that a man who has been around for some time knows that something strange-sounding is more often the truth.
He did, however, ask to see my driverís license which I readily produced, but the carís registration wasnít in its usual place in the glove compartment. I reached under the seat and pulled out assorted trash, but no registration, while my roommate did the same, making a low-volume expletive and quickly shoving something which he had extracted, back under his seat.
The registration finally turned up and the policeman, leaving, told me to drive carefully. I proceeded to give my roommate a driven nocturnal tour of Salisbury, then headed down the Old Concord Road to show him my home. Since it was past 3 a.m., we didnít stop, as I didnít want to alarm my mother (if a phone call in the wee hours usually means that someone has died, a knock at the door could possibly mean worse).
Going down the road, my roommate told me the reason for his earlier, muffled expletive. During the course of pulling out things from underneath his seat in an attempt to help me to locate my car registration, he had pulled out his empty wine bottle, then quickly shoved it back, making his utterance. With his telling, he repeated that utterance much louder, but its nature will remain unmentioned here. We headed back toward the mountains, stopping for him to say hello to his North Wilkesboro girlfriend, later arriving at Boone in the morning sun.
The sights of ěnewerî Sarum and Rowan County are many, and a thorough and most informative tour is offered on an annual basis at decent hours of the day. I donít know whether or not wine is served anywhere along the route, but if it is, I am sure that the serving is done in tastefully measured amounts.