For the last week or so going to work and coming home, I’ve passed a dead skunk on the side of the road. Man it still stinks! Today, there was another one dead somewhere. I never saw it, but I could smell that horrid smell that is stonger than the one that’s been there a week! My A/C pulls the smell in and I have to roll down the windows to let the smell out.

As awful as it smells, it brings back memories that make me laugh. Growing up there were so many of us kids that we had to have a large vehicle to carry us in. Way before the days of SUV’s there was the Station Wagon and we had more than one. I remember once we had two identical white ones. Then we had one with the fake wood siding that seemed so uptown at the time.

Big family…no problem

One of those white ones, the transmission went out and went couldn’t go forward, so my dad drove in reverse to go somewhere. LOL!

Going to the store, we were quite a sight. Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s, we didn’t go into the store when mom shopped, we’d be parked in the store grocery parking lot with the windows down and noise (I’m sure) pouring out of those open windows. If we weren’t half hanging out the windows we were torturing each other by playing “Pass it down.” A game where you’d do something like punch an arm or pull a nose or hair and then pass it to the next kid. It would start out innocent enough, but as things do, it would get out of hand and a punch would become too hard. Then the pushing would start and eventually, we’d become a sight to see while sitting in that parking lot.

On those rare occasions when we’d actually take a vacation to go somewhere, mom and dad would load the car to the hilt and still have to get all of us in there. I often wondered as a child why we always started our trips out late in the evening. Mom and dad planned it strategically. It was easier to drive, when all of us kids were sleeping. I never figured that out as a child.

The back seat of the station wagon would fold down and we had a foam mat that fit the space. Like sardines, mom could pack three or four of us back there when we were little. The others sat in the middle seat, where they’d sleep sitting up. With seven kids and two adults, we filled up that car.

Our vacations usually consisted of us camping somewhere. I’m sure we had tents, but I don’t remember them. Did we sleep in the car? When we’d go visit our grandparents, even though it was just a few hours away, we’d go in the evening. I sometimes remember my mom rolling down the window and whistling. Now I understand that she was trying to stay awake.

I can’t ever remember stopping to eat at a restaurant. We’d stop at one of those mom and pop grocery stores. Mom would buy a loaf of bread, a jar of mustard, sliced bolonga with the red band around it and half moon cheese. I’m not sure we even stopped to eat. She’d mustard the bread, put cheese and bolonga and pass it back. You just kept passing to the rear of the car until everyone had a sandwich.

On a trip, I’d love when we’d get candy. Somehow it seemed we always got those caramel Slow Poke’s on a stick. Sometimes, we’d get M&M’s and we’d put them in our hand and say the slogan, “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.” If they did melt, we’d say we didn’t get the ‘good guys.’

When the back seat was up in the station wagon, we’d sit backwards facing the cars behind us. I think we might have once had those seats where we faced each other, but mostly, I remember riding backwards. It wasn’t unusual to have the back window down. It seems like the wind was always blowing when we were in the car. We didn’t have seat belts. Sometimes we’d lay down in the floor board to have a place to stretch out in. Anything to break up the bordom.

Not us, but I’m sure this is what we were doing.

We’d play with each other in the car. Small horses, indians, or army men seemed to come with us. Sometimes, we just aggervate each other by leaning onto each other when the car turned. I remember watching the phone poles pass by, counting train cars, and watching the stars in the night sky on trips.

The smell of the dead skunk always made us sing the song, “Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road.” We usually only sang the chorus and I remember singing it. “Dead Skunk in the middle of the road. Dead skunk in the middle of the road. Dead skunk in the middle of the road and it’s stinkin’ to high..high..heaven.” Actually…it only has one ‘high’ in it.

Crossin’ the highway late last night
He shoulda looked left and he shoulda looked right
He didn’t see the station wagon car
The skunk got squashed and there you are

You got yer
Dead skunk in the middle of the road
Dead skunk in the middle of the road
You got yer dead skunk in the middle of the road
Stinkin’ to high Heaven

Take a whiff on me, that ain’t no rose
Roll up yer window and hold yer nose
You don’t have to look and you don’t have to see
‘Cause you can feel it in your olfactory

You got yer
Dead skunk in the middle of the road
Dead skunk in the middle of the road
You got yer dead skunk in the middle of the road
Stinkin’ to high Heaven

Yeah, you got yer dead cat and you got yer dead dog
On a moonlight night you got yer dead toad frog
Got yer dead rabbit and yer dead raccoon
The blood and the guts they’re gonna make you swoon

You got yer
Dead skunk in the middle of the road
Dead skunk in the middle of the road
You got yer dead skunk in the middle of the road
Stinkin’ to high Heaven

C’mon stink

You got it
It’s dead, it’s in the middle
Dead skunk in the middle
Dead skunk in the middle of the road
Stinkin’ to high heaven

All over the road, technicolor man
Oh, you got pollution
It’s dead, it’s in the middle
And it’s stinkin’ to high, high Heaven

Loudon Wainwright – Dead Skunk Lyrics
Artist: Loudon Wainwright

Yes, slightly pass the Sonic on Highway 80, there’s a smell that makes my nose wrinkle up and makes me smile.


  1. This song was one of our favorites to when the kids were growing up too. I love reading your stories! God has blessed you with such a special gift! Thank you for sharing with us!!


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