Digital ramblings without my Dixon Ticonderoga...

Blue Light Special

Growing up I loved watching the movie Smokey and the Bandit. The Bandit would play an elaborate game of hide and seek with Sheriff Buford T. Justice as Cledus bootlegged something cross country. My life is similar to the Bandit’s in that I have had many encounters with the local, state, and federal law enforcement officers. Let’s say I love getting places in a timely fashion, and America’s finest like to keep an eye on me.

I have a long list of blue light stories, countless stories of me doing something stupid or simply speeding. I am sure I could write a book or entertain you for hours with roadside stories of me and a police officer chatting. David Letterman contacted me a few years back for a top ten list, but there was no way I could cut the list to just ten. ESPN wanted to do a highlight segment, but Texas State Police didn’t want to release some of the footage. I inadvertently made the blooper reel of America’s Most Wanted once in Kentucky.

Joking aside, safety should always be your first focus on the road. If you are not using a mobile device while driving to read this blog, please enjoy a laugh on me with one of my favorite blue light stories.

If you have ever traveled along U.S. 61 or U.S. 49 through the Mississippi Delta you will know that it is easy to move fast like a bunny rabbit. Most Delta roads are flat and straight. A driver can see all the way to the Mississippi river levee on a clear day. A driver can break a variety of land speed records if a tractor or cotton trailer doesn’t get in your way. Being a graduate of Delta State University I know first hand how the flatlands can lull a driver into a supersonic trance. I have many, but I think the following is the best.

I was on my way to my dad in the field with a part for his cotton picker. I was driving my silver Pontiac on a clear day. I don’t remember how fast I was going but it had to have been close to Mach 1 based to what the trooper said to me. Once I saw his bright blue flashing lights I knew that today wasn’t my lucky day.

The trooper waddled his way to my window and with a thick drawl said, “Missy I am going to need to see your pilot’s license because you were flying back there.” Being the smarty pants that I am, I reached in my flight bag, pulled out my pilot’s log, and handed the trooper my FAA private pilot’s license. He chuckled like Santa Claus and left me to sweat in my car for a few minutes as he retreated to his car. As he walked slowly he only had my driver’s license in his hand. The officer let me off the hook for my speeding. However, he strongly encouraged me to follow the posted speed limit on the ground.

Since then I have had many other blue light stories. But in all of my stores I was at fault. Sometimes I received tickets and sometimes I was let off the hook. But each time officers were doing their job to keep people safe. Whenever we are running late, worried about time, or just foolishly speeding we are putting ourselves and others in dangers. I can chuckle about some of these stories, but if there was an accident where someone was injured there would not be any laughs. Drive safe, follow the laws, and buckle up!