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The Journey . . .

   Smokey and the Mlyneks

by Maricia Mlynek

     

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Today, our goal was to cross Texas. We have had some inclement weather. Colorado showed her brunt with four feet of snow and New Mexico chased us with ice and sleet. After viewing the lunar eclipse from “The Land of Enchantment,” we were ready to head East. Hoping for clear skies in the Lone Star state, we packed up and hit the road.

The weather was fine, but a storm of another sort was brewing. Let me begin this tale by stating that Andy and I are law abiding citizens. We appreciate and respect those who enforce the laws, but for some unknown reason, we keep running into trouble with those protectors of justice.

As we rolled along Interstate 40, an unexpected flashing of lights filled our rearview mirror. I quickly remembered our run-in with the law at Hoover Dam, and I confess that I was beginning to feel a bit frustrated with that sight.

I looked at my husband, who was calm and unflustered. I, on the other hand, was feeling infuriated. I was preparing to give this lawman a nice piece of my mind. I was tired of the unnecessary badgering of innocent West Virginians trying to cross the country. Andy quickly gave me the look that said--be still and don’t talk.

The “Texas Mountie” swaggered his way up to my side of the truck, but I obediently held my tongue. Buford T. Justice would have been proud of this Smokey. His Southern drawl was slow and deliberate as he declared our sin against his fine state. “No mud flaps!”

Andy politely explained that we were mere travelers headed home and that this problem would be rendered on our arrival into West Virginia. He smiled as he took our paperwork and headed back to his vehicle. At this point, I figured there would be no harm in asking the officer one innocent question and I was given the go ahead from Andy.

The trooper handed Andy a warning for his infraction. Since he showed this act of kindness, I knew he would answer my question. He gave us great directions to the desire of my heart--the Country Barn Barbecue. Thanks to a violation in Amarillo, we had the best Barbecue in all of Texas. It was delicious! Isn’t it wonderful how things work out?

We decided not to linger in Texas. We knew there were more “County Mounties” out there looking for violators of their laws. As the Bonnie and Clyde of this journey across the country, we aimed to escape Texas and all chance encounters with Buford T. Justice.

We were grateful for the good food and good story that came with this close call, but, to paraphrase a song line--“We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there. We’re east bound and down, so watch these Mountaineers run.”

This Week's Editorial:

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