“I guess they’ll have to take TK 6,” Theresa said the words from just out of my sight.
My co worker and I looked at each other quizzically, wondering, “What in the world…”
I was 16 years old and working on the set up crew at the Thelma Keller Convention Center. We hauled tables, chairs, dance floors and such. And vacuumed. I was paid $4.50 an hour for my services. My 18 year old co-worker and I had been called from our small smoke-stained office in the back hall behind the restaurant to the hotel front desk.
On the day in question, an off site party was happening. The wait staff was already there with the catering van and had forgotten the speaker and extension cord that had been promised to the client.
I don’t know why we couldn’t just drive our own cars. Our supervisor, Theresa, was managing a bunch of unruly teens and twenty somethings but seemed like a pretty serious “boss” to all of us. So, Theresa said those words: “I guess they’ll have to take TK6.”
“THERESA. They can’t take TK6!” An exasperated male manager whisper shouted, in the most serious way.
“What else are they gonna do? We have to get that stuff over there.” Theresa was cool and calm.
My co worker and I were uneasy. And confused.
“Thereeeesa! That. Was. Thelma’s. Car.”
There was a pause. Then Theresa walked out from the back with keys. She explained to us where to find TK6 and that we should just be careful. Don’t goof around too much and get back ASAP.
Male-manager-guy watched in disbelief and horror, shaking his head as Theresa handed two kids the keys the the late great Thelma Keller’s car.
We left the lobby with a sense of nervous anticipation.
We found the car in the parking lot. The license plate read: TK 6. A well kept 1985 Buick Regal. The seats were red cloth. A feathery necklace hung from the rear view mirror. Thelma, the convention center namesake, had left her enormous sunglasses in the center armrest. Rest in Peace, Thelma. In my memory, everything about this non descript car was 1980s brown and red. It was…fine.
We were expecting a remarkable sports car. Maybe the Batmobile. It was just a normal 12 year old car. We didn’t take it for joy ride or drive it into a field. I think we drove 5 over the speed limit and maybe took a slightly longer route home than necessary. And so goes the tale of TK 6.
For the month of March I’m participating in the Two Writing Teachers 31 day Writing Challenge. Find out more at twowritingteachers.org