Wooing the Ladies
There comes a time when guys start noticing the girls and back in the late sixties there were many beauties in Soutwest Baltimore. Looking back, it seemed that there were three main strategies that the guys used to get the attention of the fairer sex. Some would do it with toughness, as there were quite a few guys that had reputations for being good with their fists. Others would use beautiful muscle cars and other ornaments as a means of calling attention to themselves, and lastly, if you were neither a bad ass or had a sporty car, you could always rely on looks and charm. Every so often you would find someone that had all three of these things going for him, but that was about as rare as a two dollar bill, as God didn’t seem to grace many with all these attributes.
There was always a few guys in the neighborhood that had reputations for being ‘bad’, guys that you didn’t want to mess with. Being a young teenager, it was somewhat intimitating running across these guys. While I won’t mention any names, most of us knew who these guys were. While there was always an abundance of guys who were willing to fight, a few were at the top of the pecking order. They would usually test each other from time to time, beating each other up when one would catch another in a compromised position,(like being intoxicated) but usually the one who took the beating would have an opportunity to turn the tables on the other. While it wasn’t always the case, most of the toughest were good sized guys, as they say strong as a ox(and nearly twice as smart), and this appealed to some of the girls. Being the girlfriend of Joe Knuckles meant that none of the other guys would mess with you, and frankly, I believe there were some girls that liked the idea of having their brute fight over them.
Another strategy that caught the attention of the ladies was having a sporty ‘Muscle Car’. I remember guys back then having a souped up ‘GTO’, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Plymouth Barracuda, Shelby Cobra, Olds 442, Pontiac Trans AM, and others. They were beautiful cars, and definitely caught your eye. I imagine it was quite appealing for a young lady to be sitting in the passenger seat of one of those beasts. The guys would test themselves on the streets, drag racing at different places. Having one of those beauties also meant that you had potential as one worthy of being a ‘keeper’.
Lastly, if you had neither pugilistic skills and didn’t have an attractive car, you could try and rely upon your good looks and charm. There’s always an abundance of good looks at that age, and if you had the rap to go along with it, well it could take you a long way. There was a couple of guys back then, one in particular who did the Elvis thing as Elvis was quite popular back in the 60’s. He would dye his hair jet Black and whenever he ran across a girl that interested him, he would start crooning an Elvis song, and would usually add a patented Elvis move for added effect. Yep, being blessed with good lucks and a rap could often supplant the absence of the others.
It’s a different world now, as it seems boys can’t decide whether they want to be a boy or a girl, and vice versa. Back in the sixties, it was a much simpler time, and the rules seemed pretty straight forward; you either attracted the ladies with your brawn, a fancy car, or charm. Growing up, I didn’t enjoy fighting, couldn’t impress the girls with my ten speed bicycle, and had no charm to speak of, so this boy wasn’t getting any action with the ladies. If only I had been as strong as an ox, although I am almost twice as smart.
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