|Waskom is a little town. It's not far from the Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center, which offers free directions and lots of interesting "stuff." It's not far from the Texas/Louisiana border on Interstate Highway 20.
If you leave Dallas, on an excursion into the nearest world of casinos, you'll drive through the municipality of Waskom, Texas.
Don't blink your eyes, or you'll miss it. The population is 890 families.
As a cultural group of people living together, I'd say it's your basic very small Texas town. I'm sure everybody knows everybody else's business. Could it be a modern day Maybery?
The city police officers DO issue traffic citations when their radars get a speeder.
The officer's radar clocked me at 84 mph.
I wasn't looking at my speedometer at the time. I was paying attention to traffic, which was getting faster and heavier. I was trying to figure out how close I was to my destination.
I was traveling at the mid- to tail-end of an Interstate Highway 20, modern day, cattle stampede. One either travels with the flow of traffic in the right-hand lane, or one gets run over.
I was focusing my attention on not getting run over, until I saw the red and blue lights flashing behind me. I took my foot off the accelerator, and proceeded to pull safely to the side of the road.
I got a ticket.
I'm pleading not guilty, I think. All this has to work out, somehow, in the next 10 days, because I don't want a warrant issued for my arrest in the state of Texas. Ask the Husseins about pissing off a Texas lawman.
I haven't ever had a probelm with the law. I have received only two parking tickets in my entire driving history, that's all. More often the police have helped with me with break-ins, my car being stolen, and providing security at work, as well as coming and going. I figure they are on my side.
The officer was responsible, but he scared the shit out of me.
Is it my right as an American to be issued a traffic citation, without having ths shit scared out of me?
Has the twenty-first century's civilization evolved to the point that we must comply to demands of an officer of the law without first, at least, verifying that he is an officer of the law?
I'm not paranoid, but I do admit to being perhaps over-cautious. Over-cautious people live longer than impulsive hot-heads. That's just my theory.
He stood about 5' 10, about 190, with a powerful-looking chest, broad shoulders and arms bulging from beneath an often washed gray t-shirt, bearing an unidentifiable dark colored emblem. His movements suggested blue jeans and sneakers completed his attire for the evening. He did not move like a police officer in a uniform, or perhaps I just couldn't imagine anything except for dealing with the situation I now found myself in.
I just asked for this police guy to show me some official police ID before I got out the car from which I was securely locked in. That's one of my "rules of life" I've made for myself as a 48 year old single female.
Women shouldn't have less of a life, just because they don't have a man. I try to be independent and safe. It's often a "gray area" challenge, not all matters being black or white.
I had rolled down my window when I saw the red and blue lights flashing in my rear view mirror, and pulled over to the grass growing on the side of the road. Any female traveling alone, at 11:10 pm, on a Friday night, can't be too careful.
He asked for my insurance card and driver's license, and after a little purse shuffeling, I found them, and handed a paper and a card to him. He returned to his patrol car, and returned to my car only after what felt like a very long time. I had left my home in Dallas as the sun was setting, almost three hours earlier.
I said to myself, "Shit, shit, shit. Damn!"
I was within 15 minutes of my destination-- checking into the Isle of Capri Inn, in Bossier City, Louisiana, and finding a generous slot machine to fill my pockets with riches. I had just wanted to break the routine of my life for one night.
He hollered, "GET OUT! The lights are enough!"
I got out, praying that this fellow was really a police officer, and we were both on the same side of the same God.
There was no moon. The night was black, except for the patrol car lights, and those of the many other fleeting vehicles, zooming past us on an otherwise lonely stretch, of the lonliest side of the highway. I walked to the rear of my vehicle, a '95 Mercury Cougar.
to be continued . . .