Summertime and we were ready for the beach! This particular day we were planning a whole day out on the water in my cousin Derald's boat. I had waited for this all week and I was ready!
Derald, my best friend, Ladonna, my husband, David, and I headed out to Folly Beach towing the boat behind us when all of a sudden, the tire blew on the boat trailer.
Bad news… no spare.
It was Sunday and the only place open with the type of tire needed for the trailer was Sears and it would take quite a while to go pick up the tire and get back to the boat. Afraid to leave the boat unattended, Ladonna and I agreed to stay and protect it... with that one small weapon—a puny knife.
So, with Ladonna and I dressed only in our bikinis, perched high in the boat, the men drove away leaving us to protect the boat. “Don't get into any trouble,” David said.
Ladonna said, “I can take care of us...” and she showed the puny knife to David.
“Famous last words,” he said, “Oh, and smirked as they drove away.”
In a moment, a patrolman passed by and through his open window asked if we were okay and wanted to know if we needed anything. He said he would keep an eye on us as he drove up and down Folly Road on patrol. He rolled up his window as he left… and we waved.
And just a few moments later, a car pulled up with two guys in it, looking at us and just grinning... Not paying any attention to where they were going, they drove straight into the ditch! They got out of the car to assess the situation and, still grinning, decided they could not get out of the ditch by themselves. In the meantime, a guy in a truck noticed what had happened and decided to stop and help.
He hooked up a rope to the car to help the guys out of the ditch. As he did, his wheels just spun and dug deep into the mud! A traffic policeman showed up and started directing traffic around the cars because Folly Road, at that time, was only 2 lanes. The other patrolman drove up… and we waved.
So... we have: LaDonna and I still in the boat, the guys who had pulled off to help still in the ditch, the guy in the truck who had pulled off to help the other guys now stuck in the mud, the traffic cop directing traffic, and the patrolmen passed by again... And, again, we waved.
Because of the two vehicles in the ditch, a tow truck was called. The tow truck arrived, connected the chain to the car in the ditch—and what do you think happened?
The tow truck caught on fire.
That's right, folks! The tow truck is now on fire… and LaDonna and I are still sitting in the boat observing all that is going on around us with one puny little knife for protection.
Someone called for a fire truck because the tow truck was on fire. A guy in a red car, seeing all the commotion, stopped to help. He had a fire extinguisher and so he put out the fire on the tow truck. So LaDonna and I are still sitting high in the boat on the side of the road, still observing the car in the ditch, the truck in the mud, the burned tow truck, the traffic policeman directing traffic on Folly Road, the Good Samaritan in the red car who put out the fire and the fire truck that had been called.
Once again, the patrolman drove by… and we waved.
When David and Derald came up Folly Rd toward where they had left us, they spotted the police lights, the emergency vehicle lights, the hazard lights on the tow truck and David said, “See, Derald, we couldn't leave them alone for a minute without them getting into trouble!”
So… they tooted the horn and drove on by pretending not to know us.
The patrolman who we had waved at, finally came back and stopped. He approached the car in the ditch and noticed the car had a crack in the windshield larger than allowed by law. He proceeded to write them a ticket for the cracked windshield. Ladonna, seeing what was going on with the guys in the ditch hopped out of the boat (without the puny knife) and ran over to the patrolman, pleading with him not to give the guys in the ditch a ticket!
David and Derald finally turned around to come back to where we were through all the traffic that was now backed-up all the way down Folly Rd.
I'm sitting high up in the in the boat—by myself—in my bikini with the puny knife for protection in my hand observing: the guys in the ditch, the truck stuck in the mud, the traffic policeman directing traffic, the burned tow truck, the Good Samaritan with the red car, the passing patrolman, LaDonna still
pleading with the cop trying to avoid the ticket, and now – my husband and my cousin looking at us shaking their heads.
I still haven't said a word...
Never got out of the boat.
LaDonna, being the “cutie pie” that she was and is ends up talking the policeman out of giving the guys in the ditch the ticket.
Finally, after all is settled, each one was on their merry way, the guys in the ditch drove over to LaDonna and I—I'm still in the boat—and invited us to their party on Folly Beach… while David and Derald finished changing the tire on the boat trailer.
It was a long, long day. We didn’t get to the beach, we didn’t get to the party, but we did get to work on our tans!
(Photo Credit - Brian “Kentucky” Ross)