Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Former North Franklin Speedway

That indicates there used to be a North Franklin Speedway, and you can bet there was. A darned good one, at that. Thinks of cars racing down your residential street, with drivers noticing the red light changing to green and, doing some quick mental math, knowing that it will go red again unless they hit the gas.

Which they do. Foot down, engine noise up, front bumper moving faster and faster with the rear bumper and everything between them straining to keep up. The green flag is waving frantically, cross traffic is held by the constantly-aging red light and you’re banging through the intersection like an express train crossing another main line with its trains being held for yours.

As you scream through the cross street, you are invited to meet The Hill, perhaps the steepest in the city. It ends as the high point of three streets, making a T and you are at the base. At the top? A stone wall with pieces of glass embedded in it, because others before you have made a “Hey – watch this” decision.

You are going too fast to stop.

As you pass an apartment house, someone on the porch mutters, “Ain’t gonna make it.” You hit the brakes at about 55mph hoping they and the rest of the hill will come to your aid. The car squeals as it pulls out across the cross road and ends up just short of the stone wall. “Shouda hit it,” I think, heading inside.


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