Feel like driving a car today?” I asked my son on the telephone.
Several minutes earlier, one of the local car dealers had telephoned and asked if I might pick up a new car in 1)Vidalia and bring it back to 2)Brunswick.
“Always use a little extra Christmas money,” replied Roger Junior. “Let me change clothes and I’ll be over in a few minutes,” he said.
It was about 6:30 in the morning when we made our way onto the 95 interstate freeway, heading 3)northbound. As we traveled along it was suggested that I buy breakfast for the two of us. Being a little hungry, I agreed and 4)pulled off at the next exit.
Very carefully, I pulled into a parking space located right next to a handicap spot. I smiled back as one of the two women said “Good morning” to us as they were unloading a wheelchair from the side of a large white van.
Sitting in the wheelchair was a gentleman dressed in a military uniform. I looked down and noticed that both his pant legs were folded beneath his knees. I also noticed officer’s 5)bars on his uniform.
“Good morning, Captain,” I said as I 6)saluted him.
“And a good morning to you, sir,” he replied back.
The five of us traveled up the narrow walkway to the door of the small restaurant. Not thinking, I stepped up a three-inch cement 7)curb and opened the door for the Captain and the two women.
“There’s a wheelchair 8)ramp located on the other side of the building,” said a large man with a 9)nametag, who came walking very quickly out the front door.
“In the last two years I’ve 10)scaled walls higher than this building, ran up and down 11)rubble piles higher than three of my vans piled atop one another. I think I can make it over this curb,” said the officer.
“I’m sure you can, sir,” said the man, as he also saluted the Captain.
Roger Jr. and I grabbed hold of the wheelchair handles and, as the soldier pushed forward on the wheels of his chair, Roger and I pushed forward. Up and over the cement 12)hump he went, with no difficulty, whatsoever.
As one of the women pushed him through the doorway of the restaurant, the large man wearing a nametag 13)snatched a small sign down, which had been 14)taped to the glass door.
“I saw that,” said the Captain, as he laughed.
“This sign was never meant to include heroes,” said the manager, as he hid the sign behind himself. “In fact this sign will never appear in this doorway, ever again,” he continued, as he 15)wadded up the piece of paper.
“I am a writer. May I have that, please?” I asked the man. Slowly, he handed me the wadded up piece of paper, which I stuck into my pants pocket.
The sign read: “No Shoes—No Shirt—No Service.”