Both were Viet Nam veterans and claimed they only wished some Vietnamese would move nearby. They stated a desire to murder any that they could find. If only they lived near Galveston Texas they would have that chance. Some Army buddies of theirs told them plenty of Vietnamese were now fishing Gulf waters. On the way we stopped at their shop tool shed. There Mark fished out a revolver from his toolbox. He proudly displayed the tool he would use to eliminate any Vietnamese who ventured into his hometown. He told me, “It don’t matter, all them gooks are Viet Cong. I’ll kill them over here just like I did over there.” What could I say, “Nothing.” I wondered why this display and why me. But in my travels it was not uncommon for males to want to show off their weapons. It seemed to have psycho-sexual overtones. Or were they just trying to rattle my pacifist nature? Besides having a stated intent to engage in homicide, both Mark and Paul were pleasant folks and they did give ride to a stranger. Next they offered me a ride downtown so I could see Logan’s Farmer’s Market. Mark assured me there would be an array of fresh goods to eat.
I was dropped off amidst the bustle of Saturday morning Market that seemed to leak over onto side streets from Main and Stratton streets. Mark was correct; there was an abundance of fresh picked and baked goods to choose from. My only problem was I had no cash. Farmer’s Markets seem to not be good places to beg or panhandle and most vendors looked like they had enough hands. So not having opportunity to eat, I walked out of town hoping to get a ride out of the mountains. Wow, did I get one. I climbed into the backseat of a late model Thunderbird.
My driver was Cheryl, her boyfriend, Wayne rode shotgun. Cheryl gunned the engine and we were off to Baltimore. She drove much like the ride I got yesterday morning--too fast for conditions and occasionally drifting across the center line. The only difference was yesterday’s driver was a local and knew the roads. Cheryl looked much younger and learned to drive in Baltimore. In between gasps for air, I got her story. Her aunt had left this car and Cheryl just the day previous passed her road test and obtained her license to operate. I do not know how. I tired minor interventions like, “ Did they teach you to drive this fast.” She would only nod her head and say, “ Yup.” Wayne, seemed to agree and wore the look that trying to change her would be of no avail. I just held on. It took less than forty five minutes to cover the forty five or so miles until we hit the Interstate. We shot up the ramp then Cheryl brought the Thunderbird up to speed. We had a short run south on I-77 before we could head north on I-81. At no time did we travel less that 100 MPH. Traffic was light, so Cheryl would just zoom around or weave through it. Even though it was unnerving for both Wayne and I, Cheryl did handle the car expertly. Perhaps there was some NASCAR genes in her pool.
We were able to almost eclipse Virginia before one of her finest pulled us to the side of the road. A State Trooper approached the driver’s window and Cheryl piped, “ Did I do something wrong, Officer?” She acted demure but there was an honesty in her question and perhaps she thought her driving normal. The Officer was decent and explained patiently the meaning of speed limit signs. He offered her a ticket and informed her since Maryland and Virginia had reciprocal agreements, he would not have to haul us to jail. She could pay her fine through the mail unless she wanted to contest it . He also offered it would not be not be worthwhile to argue a 110 MPH speeding ticket. We proceeded onward to Baltimore at just slightly above the speed limit. When we got home, Wayne offered me a place to stay at his mother’s house. He also try to convince me to get a job and stay around. Perhaps he liked the way I didn’t try to handle Cheryl.