Thurman P. Woodfork

A TALE OF VESPAS AND SWAHILI

Thurman P. Woodfork: A Tale of Vespas and Swahili
I remember street scenes like this…
I remember those little Italian Vespa motor scooters that were all over Spain when I was stationed there from ‘59 to ‘63. The ladies used to ride sort of sidesaddle behind los hombres. It’s been a long time, but I think they were Vespas.

Thurman P. Woodfork: A Tale of Vespas and Swahili
… but where was I when this was going on?
I was meandering along toward my favorite Barcelona watering hole one soft summer night when these two sailors separated on a narrow street to let a scooter pass between them. Suddenly, they reached out, each hooked the scooter driver under an arm and lifted him clear of his machine, which continued, driverless, on its way until it hit a bump and toppled over. The two miscreants dropped their victim on his bum and fled into the night, cackling like two maniacs as a torrent of Castilian maledictions poured after them. I was in civilian clothes, so I suddenly forgot how to speak English and became an African tourist. I was pretty sure nobody in the immediate vicinity would understand my “Swahili.”