For our last date as singles, we moved our belongings into the house-trailer we rented. This is where we planned to live while Dan finished his senior year of college.
At this stage of our lives, we didn’t have much to move. Dan borrowed his brother’s pickup, packed his belongings and the shower gifts from his hometown and drove 80 miles to my parents’ house. We loaded my belongings and shower gifts from my hometown and headed for Southwestern State at Weatherford, Oklahoma.
As we started out, Dan told me we needed to get things unpacked as fast as we could because the borrowed pickup had a taillight out. It seemed like we had plenty of time. However, we had no experience in unloading and and setting up a home in a small house-trailer. So, everything took longer than we thought and it was dark way too soon.
We’d been on the road awhile before we saw flashing lights in the rear view mirror. Dan pulled over and waited for the officer.
“Did you know you have a taillight out?”
Dan shook his head and told one of the few lies I’ve ever heard him tell. “No, sir. This is my brother’s pickup. We’re getting married tomorrow and I borrowed it to move our things to Weatherford.” Dan accompanied the officer to the rear of the pickup to observe the broken taillight.
“Did you know the license tag is out of date?”
“No!” Dan said and I’m quite sure he was telling the truth this time. “Buford probably just forgot to change it. It’s probably in the cab. Let me look.”
Dan came around to passenger side and had me move over so he could look under the seat. There was no new tag there and we couldn’t find the current registration. But there was a gun. A .22 pistol!
“Here. Sit on this.” Dan pushed the pistol toward me. (Don’t know where the Patrolman was.)
“No!” I said to the man I would promise to love and obey in less than twenty-four hours. I was 5’6″ and 110 pounds. My tush wasn’t big enough to hide that pistol even if I was willing.
Dan grabbed the keys and locked the pistol in the glove compartment and we offered a silent prayer that there would be no need to search the vehicle.
“I’m going to have to take you in,” the officer said. “Do you want to call a tow truck or follow me?
And so we had a police escort to the county seat where Dan began trying to call his brother, Buford. But Dan’s family lived in a rural area and didn’t have a phone. He tried to call one of his uncles who lived in town but there was a revival going on and everyone was in church.
So, we waited while the sheriff checked the registration. We could see the cells and I was pretty sure the wedding was about to be postponed until the bride and groom served their time. If that wasn’t enough, I was not too pleased at the thought of calling my dad to bail us out.
While we fretted, the patrolman and the sheriff decided to go across the street for coffee and left us to answer the phone. Buford finally called while they were gone and gave Dan the new tag number. We worried that they wouldn’t believe us when we told them the call had come through.
After a few minuets that seemed like hours, the officers came strolling back into the county jail. Dan told them the call had come through. The sheriff asked Dan how far he was going and he told him he had about a three hour drive to get back to his parent’s home. The sheriff gave him a note to give anyone who might stop him again. And, that’s the story of our last date, the most memorable one. An ordinary day that something made special…