Next, we picked up Buster. He was hitching with a towel wrapped around him. Once aboard, it was obvious the towel and his wallet was all he had. He had be relieved of his pack while swimming. Luckily, he managed to stash his wallet and towel separately. He was intent upon leaving the Keys right away and none of us minded having a naked man riding in the back seat. Buster was a loose cannon. Just past Big Pine Key we boarded Seven Mile bridge. This two lane highway offers no place to pull over or turn around. Unbeknownst to me, Buster climbed out the rear window and onto the roof. When I first noticed him, he was descending onto the hood. I felt any sudden change in movement might eject him onto the roadway. So, I maintained speed and steadiness while he practiced being a hood ornament. A police car passed in the other direction. I could tell by the look on the policeman’s face, we better retrieve our naked life size decoration. Fortunately, the cop would not be able to turn around and pursue us until he got off the bridge. As soon as I could, I pulled over and got Buster back in his seat. He seemed pleased with himself. Since he had no destination nor dress, I figured there might be a remnant of clothing for the taking at Grassy Key and headed there.
We arrived at the beach at the tale end of a drinking party. Hawk was the center of attention. His claim to fame was opening coconuts by using only his mouth. He loved showing how he could strip the husks with his bare teeth and throw us the nut. He already provided us with a few. He soon realized he had to go home and get ready for work, Home and work for him was Homestead Air Force Base. He got into his car and pealed out. He went speedily up the sandy, rutted and bumpy road full of turns. He did not make the first turn, but ended up front end down into a large ditch. He gunned the engine several times trying to extract himself, but only managed to spin the tires off his rear wheels. He got anxious about not being able to get to work.. Apparently his behavior was causing him problems and one more night of missing his duty station would land him in trouble. We were headed his direction so added one more to our party of wayward souls escaping the Keys. We got him home with time to spare. He offered to let us stay in his apartment for the night. A small military barrack seemed better than an even smaller car at the mercy of ravenous Everglades mosquitoes. We all settled onto the living room floor, grateful to have escaped with our persons intact.