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Road Trip Run-ins with The Law
You recently asked for stories about vacation encounters with the police. I do a lot of recreational driving on vacation, and have had my share of run-ins with The Law - run-ins like these...
In 1986, I was driving from Van Wert, Ohio to Detroit in a brand new Chevrolet Cavalier that I had just bought that day. I was tired and started to fall asleep - head-bobbing-chin-on-the-chest asleep. Apparently, I crossed the yellow line on a two-lane section of US 30.
Minutes later, I was awakened by the lights and sirens of an Ohio state trooper, who pulled me over and asked me to join him in the front seat of his car. I gave him my ID, and then immediately nodded off.
The trooper let me go with a warning. He probably saved my life, and at the very least, he taught me an important lesson. I pulled over and caught some Zs.
I also had an encounter with Virginia state troopers on another trip. I was driving from Michigan to South Carolina on Easter Sunday. Just west of Charlottesville, Virginia, I overshot my exit and drove another 50 miles before I realized my mistake. I had to backtrack, and I stupidly decided to go 15 miles per hour over the speed limit to make up the lost time. Just past Charlottesville, a state trooper pulled me over. No doubt about it: I was speeding.
The trooper admonished me for driving so fast on Easter Sunday and gave me a ticket for the full violation. He said he was tempted to be more lenient given that it was a holiday, but since the University of Michigan defeated Virginia Tech in the NCAA finals the night before, there would be no break on the ticket.
And who said timing isn't everything?
The Muse Strikes Abroad:
Listener Travel Poetry from Greece
If we hadn't set out to the Plaka still high
from our Acropolis climb
& wandered the winding streets past
souvenir stalls next to treasure troves,
inspecting the bounty of Athens, the beads &
baubles, gods & goddesses,
perfumes in pots, T-shirts & tiles;
If the Plaka hadn't seemed a kaleidoscope of
merchandise, flowers, fragrance & flavors;
If we hadn't bought gifts (most for ourselves),
counted our drachmas & asked
How much in dollars, please? If we
Hadn't joined the tourist parade,
chanting tourist hymns in tongues;
If we hadn't stopped every ten feet to fix on film
the Athenian scene; If plump stone churches
& ancient stone walls hadn't punctuated
shop-lined streets; If we hadn't walked
five hours, then thrown ourselves,
limp & rubbery, onto the bus,
dripping with bags & boxes & cameras,
Then my feet wouldn't be so swollen & slow,
I wouldn't feel so achingly tired, inspired,
Susan Sachs Fleishman