Back in the day, oh, 200, 250 years ago, our west was opened by stout hearted pioneers following the sun across unbroken, pristine prairies in their canvas covered schooners… oxen slowly pulling the load, chicken in coops tied to the side, Momma in her calico dress and Dad in his floppy hat there on the front seat of the covered wagon, children in the back or walking along side with a dog… moving maybe ten, fifteen miles a day… camped at night with family fires here and there cooking supper vittles… trail boss coming by each group checking on ‘um, seeing that things were all right. Stars out. Wolves occasionally howling in the distance.
Tough, with few creature comforts, but must have been mighty nice for those brave folks moving slowly forward with great hope and purpose.
Not unlike a young CIA case officer taking his family to Africa for a two year assignment in say, the late 1970s.
Well, maybe close.
When I got orders for case officer work in Africa, there was an immediate cause for celebration in my little Parker clan… “We’re goin’ out there again, this time to the dark continent,” I said. “Yes siree. Hard to know exactly what’s goin’ happen there, but something good for sure… so get ready family.”
Everyone’s chores around the house in northern Virginia suddenly were more deliberate because this move wasn’t goin’ to happen by itself.
At work someone told me that I needed to buy a new car to take over, because where we were goin’ there weren’t many reliable auto repair shops, or parts, or autos really. Lot of jeeps and four-wheel drive things, but cars? Not so many. An older car might break down and it could take a 6 month wait for parts. And they were goin’ to be expensive.
So my 7 year old son, Joe, and I started looking for a new car to buy.
Brenda and our daughter, Mim, had the big job of separating all our stuff – every single thing we called our own - into 7 general categories.
1) Throw away,
2) Give away,
3) Store in Northern Virginia,
4) Take to our parents in North Carolina,
5) Send over in a sea shipment,
6) Send over as air freight and
7) take with us in the allowable two suitcases per person.
Now while Joe and I were busy looking at new cars, reading up on new cars, test driving new cars, that kind of thing… Brenda and Mim did the tagging of our household effects for the 7 categories.
But Jesus H. Christ early on you’d have thought that they faced with moving an Army Division the way they moaned and complained. We would have liked to have helped them more, but I was busy at work reading in for the new assignment, closing the books on my previous Hqs job, and like I said, with Joe, spending much of our limited free time looking at new cars.
Renting our house was no problem. I think we had it placed with good tenants the day we put it on the market.
But then passports became a problem. The kids, adopted in Thailand, had to be naturalized, official papers issued, visas obtained and re-obtained because of some glitch with Joe’s name. Just took forever… and summer was closing in, which for some reason was a time some necessary people in this process went on vacations. This caused me to say time and again, “You mean there is only one person in the whole universe to sign off on this single little piece of paper? One?? And he’s gone fishing?”
This passport thing wasn’t something that I did by just filling in info on some gov’t form, adding some pictures and then sending it all off for processing, like film at the drug store. No, this is the CIA and I had to carry the stuff from desk to desk located on all points of the Hqs compass.
Until finally, finally the family’s passport and long term visa package was all together, all signed and everything and all left to do was to get it printed up. Just a matter of days they said before I’d have them in my grubby little case officer hands.
Separately Joe and I finally decided on a brand spanking new Pontiac. Brenda and Mim kicked in some druthers as to colors and I don’t know, headlight mascara or something like that, womeny car stuff.
At home Brenda and Mim’s 7 piles were getting higher, and the dinner meal was getting crazy.
I checked around one time. Most case officer goin’ overseas, just gave their perishable food to the neighbors.
But for Brenda that would take making a new sub-pile and she didn’t have time or room. And although she was good friends with all our neighbors, she didn’t want to just “give” food away. It was something she considered personal and revealing, like used underwear. Anyway in her give away pile there was just mostly old shoes. It wasn’t the prize pile. Brenda doesn’t give away much.
So we ate supper meals like freeze-burned Brussels sprouts with egg salad and jello on the side, plus a choice of boiled hot dogs or some unidentified meat. Tang or prune juice to drink. Desert? Rock candy or toast with jelly.
Most of our cache of potato chips, crackers and old bread went to the birds outside and word soon got around in the northern Virginia bird community that there was some good eats at the Parker house and they came by the dozens. Hell by the dozens of dozens. Woke us up one morning pecking on the window wanting to know when breakfast crumbs were being served. Also if memory serves, this large crumb offering attracted the notice of neighborhood rats.
I have clear recollection of the kids sitting down to supper and looking around at the odd assortment of food as Brenda cleaned out the refrigerator and then up at us as if they didn’t think this was goin’ to work if they had to endure a couple years of watermelon sandwiches.
We bought the car, and because of the womeny specs, it had to be ordered from the factory, but there was plenty of time the car salesman said for it to arrive before we left.
And when I checked on the passports, the little old lady with that CIA concession told me to hold my water and not get my shorts in a wad, they’ll be here before we left.
Brenda kept a notebook with things to do. Every day in the morning she wrote at the top, “Passports? Car?”
Every night, “No passports. No Car.”
The kids were spending a lot of their free time in front of the TV. Anytime I said something about this they would say, look ‘boss, we are just days away from NO TV LAND. This was before VCR and CD players.
A week or so before we were to leave the movers came and took piles 3, 5 and 6. We took the mostly old shoes in pile 2 to the Salvation Army and moved into a hotel that allowed dogs.
Five days before we left the car arrived in Baltimore. I took a whole day off to take the train to Baltimore, a taxi to the car port, and then drove like a sumbitch to deliver it to the Agency logistic people in DC by 5 pm. Brenda made a big deal of finally marking off “Car?” from her list.
Three days before we were to depart I said my good-byes in Headquarters. Last stop before I left the building was to go by the passport office. The little old lady I was coming to know so well there did not think I should have been as anxious as I seemed. Happens all the time, she said. “They’ll come in, honey. Just go on down to North Carolina and have a good time.” She said. “Relax. They’ll come in and I’ll send them down to you. It’s goin’ be OK.” I told her this wasn’t like in the James Bond movies where some woman just handed James his stuff as he walked out the door on a mission. I was thinking that she didn’t look like the movies either.
For the next two days we’d leave the hotel in the morning and go back to the house where Brenda and Mim worked Joe and I like dogs to make up for the time we had spent “looking at cars.” I offered my managerial and organizational know-how, but I found basically I was just one more item for Brenda to deal with, to get as much scrubbing of the floors out of me that she could.
The day before we were to leave, she had two pages of things to do. And like I said she didn’t particularly appreciate my advice and I hadn’t taken naturally to floor scrubbing. So I told her I was taking the kids to the book store to buy something to read on the trip. She said, “Oh thank you, Lord. Thank you.”
Stay with me, we almost got this thing set up.
On the way back from the book store I stopped at McLean Hardware and purchased rods to fix atop our Barracuda car for the drive to our parents homes in North Carolina. We were going to have a lot to put in that car the next morning, including hard-to-pack house plants, plus we had other stuff to leave in North Carolina and our 8 suitcases for the Africa trip. You can almost fill up the back of a pickup with 8 suitcases, so I got reasonably priced – but large – rooftop luggage holders and some rope.
I figured with the 8 suitcases on the top, there would be plenty of rooms for me and Brenda, Mim and Joe, the family dog and all those plants inside the car. The next morning – D-Day, or “Do-Do Day” as Mim called it – we checked out of the hotel and at the house I started putting plants and other things Brenda had placed by the door in the car. And she kept bringing stuff to the door and bringing stuff to the door and more stuff. The house was empty, I thought. Where da’ hell did she keep getting this stuff?
I had started packing with the back seat up for the kids to sit in, but soon found I had to put those seats down in the Barracuda hatchback to give me more room for all this crap that kept appearing by the front door. Packed and packed and packed the car, the 8 suitcases sitting off to the side, until finally we had everything in… but it was going be with the dog sitting in the foot-well on the passenger side, the two kids, 7 and 8, sitting in the passenger bucket seat; Brenda riding the console.
All that’s OK – Brenda’s discomfort for the 5 hour drive not withstanding - if I could just get all the suitcases on those two rods on the roof. So as a family we started placing them on top and as impossible as it might sound we got all eight suitcases up there, stacked two high. And I started to tie them down.
There wasn’t enough rope.
We had killed an extra hour so far that morning packing the car and unpacking it and then repacking it and there was no way I was goin’ drive down to the hardware store and buy more rope. So we lashed the suitcases only in the back – so that wind hitting them from the front wouldn’t push them off. It was not a rope tying thing any cowboy would have been proud of but it was North Carolina country boy functional.
Of course we looked like travelling gypsies or vagabonds from a Steinbeck novel. But that wasn’t new. Our two North Carolina families in fact were used to our oddly packed family automobile coming into the yard from far places. Brenda’s sister called us the Farkle family.
I got in, Brenda took her place on the console between the two bucket seats, the kids got the dog in, and then they climbed in and shut their door. I turned on the car and we launched towards Africa.
And hell, after we got going, it was fun. We sang, Brenda said that she was so relieved to be on the road again, if only we had the passports. The kids said one was touching the other or something.
The dog looked up at us from the dark passenger side foot-well amid the kid’s feet. He was not at all sure if he was in favor of all this.
As time went on and we stopped singing the silly songs Brenda said the dog needed to pee. We were on I-95 north of Richmond, near Kings Dominion at the time.
I pulled over to the far right lane and off on the shoulder enough so that I could open my door without fear of being hit by on-coming traffic. Got out, got the dog and we took a walk down a short embankment to a fence. Sure enough the dog took a mighty pee. I yelled up to Brenda who was stretching by the car that she was right about the fellow and that it would be a much better trip for him here on out. But I’m also thinking, how the hell did she know the dog had to pee?
Back in the car, I started the engine and was turning around to look at traffic to find it was almost bumper to bumper, four lanes going south. I was looking for an opening talking with Brenda who had decided to ride the console like a cowboy rather than side-saddle like a cowgirl and she had her feet on both sides of the transmission thingee that separates the front bucket seats. One foot on the kids side, with the dog, and the other on my side, with the accelerator and she was squishing her butt into the pillow on the console when her foot hit the accelerator.
One moment we were idling on the side of the crowded I-95, and the next moment we are shooting into traffic, going over one lane, then two, picking up speed, miraculously not hitting any cars – coming very, very close, but not hitting any… when I slammed on the brakes… and all the suitcases on top went shooting off the car in the direction we were going.
“Holy Shit!…. Shit… Shit…AHHHHHHHH SHIT!!!!!!”
All around us cars swerved to miss us and our laundry. In front, several of our suitcases had spit open throwing underwear and suits and stuff all across all the remaining lanes. Brenda said, “Ooops,” as I turned quickly and glared.
Somehow we got the car back to the shoulder of the road. Brenda and I went out in traffic to retrieve our suitcases and in some instances underwear showing tire marks.
I still didn’t have any more rope, so I angrily tied the suitcases down as best I could and then ran the rope in the front windows of the car and out the back window. This of course tied us in, or out to be more correct, and when the job was done I had to crawl in the window. Plants in the back had been slammed to the front so the driver’s seat was surrounded by foliage.
I was crawling into the car in all that foliage, dirty, sweaty, still flustered by our close call with death, when Brenda stated laughing. She knew she shouldn’t. She had caused the problem, but there was no major damage and there I was half in the car and half out, my feet sticking up in the air outside, my face in her plants, busted and dirty suitcases with clothes sticking out the sides tied helter skelter on top - some even hanging off the side with the rope just through the handle – and she couldn’t stop laughing.
I saw nothing funny and the more she laughed the madder I got. This mad/funny thing went on for the duration of our trip. At times I could feel Brenda’s body shaking – her face turned away from me – as she tried not to laugh.
We had three weeks scheduled with our parents in North Carolina and at my parent’s house for the most part it was sitting around drinking iced tea and watching the kids play. It was all very comfortable down-home lollygagging. We played bridge, my sisters and their kids came over occasionally, and we’d just drive around sometimes. Visited Aunt Wilma.
It was a little different at Brenda’s parent’s house. Her extended family was rambunctious. There were always relatives bringing food and talking ‘bout things. There were hellacious meals; Mrs Denton was always cooking. The kids got a lot of attention, though they took time to watch TV at every spare moment. Joe liked to go fishing with his uncle, Brenda’s brother in law.
But three weeks was a long time to make small talk, and Brenda and I were anxious to get going. Every other day or so I’d call Headquarters about the passports and every time they’d be some excuse why they weren’t ready. Finally, our last week, they said the end was in sight, the one man in the passport office who does this kind of thing, was coming back in off some emergency leave and could process them the day before our tickets had us leaving JFK airport in New York City for Africa.
The day before, I asked? Now how are you going to get them to us if you don’t have them until the day before? That started what was to be an hour or more on the telephone re-arranging our domestic tickets so we could pick up the passports. I would be leaving early on the morning of our departure for Washington’s National Airport, take a taxi from the airport to the downtown passport office. Pick up our passports, and take another taxi back to the airport for a flight to JFK. Brenda would leave later in the morning from North Carolina with the kids and the dog for a direct Eastern flight to JFK. She would get to the airport an hour or so before I arrived. We would all come together at the departure gate for the Pan Am flight to West Africa.
Complicated, last minute, but workable.
Early the morning of the flight, before the sun came up, Brenda drove me to the Raleigh-Durham airport. I told her I’d see her later in the afternoon at JFK in New York and we kissed good-bye.
Brenda got back home about dawn with plans to go back to bed for a few more hours of much-needed sleep… but then the relatives arrived. They came by the car load and the truck load. Plus neighbors, friends, old classmates. The Denton house was full. There was food and laughter and a general air of excitement. Brenda was just tired. Kids had a ball, though.
Finally Brenda, who was keeping an eye on her watch, said that they should be getting to the airport. She had been working hard toward this day for months and she just wanted to go. There was a cry throughout the house “On to the airport…” and people starting heading out to their cars to line up for the convoy north to the airport and Brenda started running around saying, “No, no… please you don’t have to go. Really, you don’t… Please.” Her sister finally told her that this was all pretty exciting for them, seeing Brenda Joyce Denton Parker off – going to Africa for years. This was for them probably more than it was for Brenda and the kids. There was nothing she could do anyway, so she sighed deeply and said “OK.” Maybe ten cars were in the convoy. The kids in one car with cousins, Brenda and the dog with her sister and brother in law in another, someone in a pickup taking the suitcases, other cars strung out behind, occasionally blowing their horns, yelling out the window at stop signs.
Like goin’ to a football rally.
They got to the airport and Brenda checked the 8 bags all the way through to West Africa. She checked the dog and was down just to the kids, her big purse, a big bag of popcorn someone had given her and Joe’s fishing poles… and all those Dentons.
In the middle of her family, holding the popcorn and fishing poles, Brenda was approached by her Aunt Georgie. A short older woman, her mother’s oldest sister, she tended to fade in and out. Sometime she was with us, participating in conversation, lucid and witty, and sometimes – more and more it seemed now - her mind was adrift, not tethered to reality.
This only occasionally caused problems.
Like…. a couple of years before Aunt Georgie said her stomach hurt and she was taken to the hospital. By the time she got there she was bent over in pain and was admitted to intensive care where they brought in an X-ray machine and took some pictures of her abdomen.
The attendant left and then came rushing back in the room pulling an emergency room doctor with him.
The doctor asked Aunt Georgie, “Ma’am, when did you swallow that watch?”
Aunt Georgie just looked at him.
“Ma’am, I asked you when you swallowed that watch?”
And Aunt Georgie said, “Doctor, I don’t remember so good at times, but I think I’d remember if I swallowed a watch or not, and I ain’t swallowed no watch.”
“Well just look ahere,” said the doctor. Brenda’s sister BJ was in the room and like everyone else she looked at the x-rays over the doctor’s shoulders, and sure enough right there in Aunt Georgie’s stomach was a watch.
Doctor said, “You ain’t going to pass that watch, so we are going to have to operate.”
And he left to get things ready for surgery.
BJ later told Brenda that she didn’t know who did it but the room was full of Dentons so it could have been anyone. Someone felt under the mattress of that emergency room gurney and wouldn’t you know it, there was a watch, right below Aunt Georgie’s stomach.
BJ took the watch out of the room to show the doctor. She said his eyes got real big as she came walking up with it.
So anyway in the Raleigh-Durham airport there Brenda stood amid her family with Aunt Georgie, maybe 4 foot 10 inches tall looking up at her, and Aunt Georgie smiled and said “Watch out for Gittee-up.” And Brenda looked down at that good old farm woman and said she would. And then she started talking with another relative before she fully realized what Aunt Georgie had said. So she’s nodding at this other relative but in her mind she’s going over what she heard… “Watch out for Gittee-up.” She tried to put the phrase in different contexts that would make sense to her tired mind, but Aunt Georgie’s comment needed some more explanation, so she turned and looked back down at that smiling old lady and asked, “What?”
To find out Aunt Georgie thought Brenda and family were going to Libya, the only place she knew in Africa, and the leader there, Kaddafi, or as Aunt Georgie pronounced it, “Gittee-up” was one bad dude. Someone Brenda should keep an eye on.
Finally, finally, there was a PA announcement from an Eastern Airlines lady with a strong southern accent that started with “May I have your ‘ttention please, Eastern flight somethingorother is now loading for New ‘ork. All passengers with small children please come on over here so that you can be seated ‘for anyone else.”
Brenda kissed everyone on their cheek. Some started crying. The kids moved ahead first, then Brenda comes with fishing poles and popcorn, she handed all the tickets to the smiling Eastern Airlines people, turned and waved good bye to the reception area full of Dentons and she went up the gangway to the plane.
Buckled in to a window seat she saw all her kin there in the airport, some waving, some talking amongst themselves, some crying, some with their faces pushed up against the window and she was so very relieved to be on her way.
She checks the kids were buckled in, took a deep audible sigh and started to fall asleep.
She woke up slightly as the plane was jetting down the runway, and then up in the air, wheels were up and Brenda looked out the window, sighed again and started to drift back asleep when a stewardess appeared near her row to welcome everyone on this flight to Newark. Brenda was suddenly wide awake. “Newark? NEWARK?” she half-screamed. She tried to get up, but her seat belt held her down, she fumbled to release it, mumbling “Ne…ne….ne… ne…wark?” She finally jumped up, banged into the overhead and leaned out towards the stewardess.
“What did you just say?”
Startled, the stewardess says “You mean the part about welcoming y’all on this flight to New ‘ark, New Jersey? That, honey?”
“Auugggy. I can’t be on a flight to Newark, I’ve gotta be on a flight to New ‘ork.”
One of the stewardess said, “Not anymore you ain’t gotta be going to New York City. ‘Cause you’re going to New ‘ark, New Jersey.”
“Auugggy,” Brenda moaned as she fell back in her seat.
As it turned out the Eastern flight Brenda and the kids had gotten on by mistake had a stop in Washington, DC National Airport en route Newark and the stewardesses were very helpful when they understood Brenda’s desperate plight of getting to JFK airport for the flight to Africa. They called ahead and made arrangements for the family on the next shuttle from Washington to La Guardia airport and then did the math on the arrival of her flight in to New York and her travel time – probably by taxi – from La Guardia over to the international JFK where I would be waiting.
“You can do it, ma’am,” one of them said. “You can. Now please stop squeezing my arm. It’s going to be OK. ”
“Man, this is so cool,” Joe said.
For myself, I had arrived in Washington on schedule, took a taxi to the passport office, saw the individual I was supposed to see, who had the passports. I was inside the office no more than fifteen minutes. Went back outside with plenty of time to get to the airport for my flight directly to JFK.
I got to the airport, got on my flight and headed north, job done.
At National Airport in WDC – where I had just been in the past hour – Brenda and the kids sprinted from the gate where they disembarked from the North Carolina flight to the shuttle terminal. There an Eastern ground person had their tickets already printed. There was a short wait, then, still carrying the bag of popcorn and the fishing poles, Brenda led the kids aboard, taking the first seats so that they’d be the first out at La Guardia.
On the flight Brenda told the man across the aisle about her misguided morning and he volunteered to get her from the plane to curbside where she could get ground transportation to JFK. He also figured the time, smiled at her in a comforting way, and said, “You’ll make it. It’ll be tight, but you’ll make it.”
After the plane landed in La Guardia, Brenda, the kids and the good Samaritan sprinted through the terminal and outside where buses and taxis were picking up passengers. Brenda thanked him and turned to the task of getting a ride.
Within seconds a limo pulled up, the driver jumped out and Brenda explained her haste for getting to JFK. Driver looked at his watch, whistled and said, “We can do it. Get in.”
Inside the limo Joe started playing with the intercom, “Boy, just take a look at this. Cool.”
The driver hustled around and started to open his door to leave, when a bus pulled up behind and the bus driver jumped out. “Hey you guinea ass-hole fucker,” the bus driver said to the limo driver. “You’s can’t be pouching on my customers. I sees her standing in my Bus Pick-Up zone. I sees you. Give me back my customer.”
“Ah fuck-you,” said the limo driver. “Yea, you spick prick, I’ll give you a fuck-you. I’ll bust you frigging head, slime ball. I got your license number. You don’t give me back my passenger, I’m reporting your ass and I guarantee you ain’t going to be stealing no more bus customers. You hear me? Huh? Huh?”
The bus driver said this as he walked to the back door of the limo. “OK lady, out. You’s my customer. That guy’s a bum. He ain’t got no insurance. Nothing. Come on.”
“Look, I don’t know from nothing ‘bout whose customer I am. I just got to get to JFK in like twenty minutes. I gotta.”
“Mom,” Mim whispered, “he said the ‘F’ word. You heard him?”
“Lady I’m goin’ to JFK right now. Here I’ll help you with your popcorn.” So Brenda and the kids got out of the limo, and got into the half-filled bus. They sat near the front and as the bus moved out into traffic Brenda went into exacting detail with the bus driver about her morning. He never looked at her, although he occasionally made sounds like “Un huh,” and “Yea” as if he was paying attention.
To Brenda, the trip took an enormous amount of time. She looked at her watch once and it said 3:25. She thought about her work in closing out the house in McLean, about the trip home with the luggage, her day, which had begun some twelve hours before, and what the consequences would be if she missed the flight. She also worried that I might have gone to the airport authorities because she and the kids weren’t at the Pan Am gate like they should have been. She looked back at her watch. It was like three minutes had passed. It was 3:28.
Finally she saw the signs indicating JFK was a few miles ahead and she sighed. And there was the turn off and she could see the terminal. “Pan Am. We’re going to the Pan Am gate,” she told the driver.
“Yea, well it’s down the end. I gotta drop off these passengers at their gates first.”
My flight from Washington got to New York on time, but then there was a stack up of air traffic caused by some bad weather somewhere in the NE. So the plane circled and circled and I began to worry that I might be delayed and would miss the flight. I wondered what Brenda and the kids would do. Probably they’d have to go on. The bags had been checked through, I assumed. The dog. I would just have to take a later flight. I started to ask the stewardess about calling the Pan Am gate to let my family know that I would be late, when the pilot announced that we had been cleared to land.
I disembarked the plane at the gate and sauntered over to the Pan Am area and found the gate for the flight to West Africa. Somewhere I had picked up a newspaper and an apple. I was looking forward to joining back up with the family and the long relaxing flight ahead. According to my watch as I walked along we were good with time, just a good plan coming together. The stack up over NYC had caused me some time, but I knew Brenda would not let the plane take off until I arrived. I knew she’d do something. But that crisis wasn’t necessary. I was late, but on time.
By the time I got to the gate most of the passengers on our flight had already boarded. I handed the agent standing by the gangway my ticket and went aboard. Brenda was not sitting in her assigned seat. There was no Joe. No Mim. Flight was almost full. No family. They should have been in JFK an hour earlier. Now they weren’t in their seats. Maybe they were looking for me, I thought. So I walked back outside telling the stewardess by the door that I was looking for my family and would be right back. She said fine, but they were closing the door in five minutes.
Still eating my apple I went back to the waiting area and then out to the corridor. I looked one way.
Nothing. I looked the other and saw way, way down, far away, as the hallway turned, there were some people sprinting in my direction. In front were a couple of kids running in the almost coordinated way 7 and 8 year olds run. And behind them was this tall, gangly woman, running like tall gangly stork. She had a bag of something that was sending what looked like white puffs of steam behind her and she was carrying sticks so even as she busted through groups of people, you could follow her progress. She was weaving and bobbing around singletons. Her mouth was open, her eyes wide. Not a stork anymore, she was a petrified ostrich in full panic mode.
Ah, my family. Brenda saw me and her eyes got even bigger as if she saw the finish line to her race.
Mim reached me first and had the biggest smile on her face as if she was having the grandest time. Joe pulled in next, smiling too.
Brenda kept running until she got to me and then she stopped. After dropping her bag of what was left of the popcorn and her fishing rods, she bent over and grabbed her knees. She was breathing deep. It had all happened so fast - there wasn’t a break in the action - that I was still trying to figure it out, where they were coming from, and why.
Brenda was exhausted, Mim had enjoyed the excitement but was happy to be there. Joe?… His eyes were big and said to me sort of in confidence that they met this man, “and he said the F word in front of Mom!!! I heard him.”
See, just like the pioneers of old, hitching ‘um up and moving ‘um out… only different.