An Arresting Adventure
My wife and I dated for a very short period of time before we tied the knot.
During this courting period, we tried to spend as much time together as possible. It was an adventure for sure.
Yes, it was that kind of love that makes everyone sick.
You know, because we still liked each other.
When Lindsay watches old videos of our honeymoon, she says that we hardly knew each other. This may be true, but I feel like you don’t necessarily have to know each other well, to know that you’re right for each other.
However, I may have tested our relationship with some of the great choices I’ve made.
Before I get into that, I must explain, I have a bit of a checkered past. Lindsay knew this about me but accepted me anyways. She was able to see past my history, to know that it wasn’t going to be my destiny.
Or should I say OUR destiny.
You see, I spent three years in the US Army’s prison at Ft. Leavenworth Kansas, and it had been about six or seven years since my release back into the free world.
Well, I had the great idea of driving down there since it was only a three hour drive from Omaha. We could have each others undivided attention and I was curious to see the prison again, from the outside. It was an over 150 year old historical building and Lindsay seemed to be interested in the trip.
So, we got in my Civic and jumped on the interstate in the direction of Kansas. I don’t remember much of our conversation on the way down there, because I was enamored by my future wife’s beauty. I’m sure, much of the trip was spent on trying to get her to like my kind of music in the role of driving DJ.
My six CD changer worked on overdrive, shuffling songs by some of my favorite bands. Depeche Mode, The Cure, The Smiths, New Order and Sisters of Mercy. An assortment of New Wave and Goth selections that prompted me to belt out lyrics.
If you’ve ever heard me sing, which you haven’t, you know that the fact that she is still with me is a miracle.
Today, when I ask her if she likes a particular song in these genres, she will reply, “It reminds me of you…”
This is wife for, I hate this song but I still love you.
Back to the trip…
As we got closer to the Army post, we encountered a billboard with the Monopoly, get-out-of-jail-free-guy on it that read, “Visit historic Leavenworth.” We both laughed. It seemed pretty comical especially since there are five prisons there.
Pulling into Ft. Leavenworth, we got out the map to find the confinement facility and were able to drive right up to it. It’s an ominous sight to say the least.
One thing for sure is that I never want to step foot inside ever again.
To the west of the prison I spied a parking lot that seemed like it would give us a great view, so I drove in and parked. We both got out of the car and stood staring at the ancient facility in awe. From our position, we couldn’t see any inmates, just brick walls, guard towers and the main structure known as the castle.
There was a huge metal door at the west gate that was large enough to let vehicles inside the prison. As we stood there, a truck pulled up and the door began to slide open.
This struck me as interesting and so I grabbed my VHS-C camcorder out of the car and started to record the event. After the truck entered, I panned across the entire prison complex from one side to the other.
All of a sudden, I heard a voice shouting in our direction, “Hey, you! Stop what you’re doing!”
Looking towards the voice, a soldier was moving quickly toward us with a hand-held radio in one hand, waving at us with the other. When he approached us he announced, “You are not supposed to record video of the prison.”
I told him that we were sorry, I didn’t know about this rule and that we would just be on our way.
He shot back with, “No, please do not move, I called the Military Police.”
This was not the adventure I planned.
As I looked over at Lindsay with sincere apology in my eyes, she looked back at me with sheer terror, having not moved an inch since we were approached.
We complied with the request and waited for the cops to show up.
In a moment of quick thinking and with a great deal of stealth, I rewound the VHS-C tape to the beginning, aimed the camcorder at the ground and began recording over the prison footage. The detaining soldier never noticed.
A military vehicle pulled into the parking lot and another soldier got out of the car. He had an armband covering his bicep with the two letters, MP boldly embroidered on it. He was intimidatingly polite while asking us some questions.
We played the innocent tourist role. While profusely apologizing for my ignorance of this no recording policy, my goal was to never reveal that I had spent time inside the prison. One could imagine the conspiracy of a former inmate, recording the opening and closing of the gate.
He seemed to buy it. However he told me, “I am going to have to confiscate the tape.” With having erased the recording, I gladly handed it over. The MP mentioned that if nothing was found on the tape, he would mail it back to me and so he needed my address…
Crap! Now they will surely find out I once lived behind those walls!
After writing down my address, he issued a proclamation that I had heard years before and never thought I would have to hear again, “You are free to go.”
The Ride Back
During the ride back to Omaha, our conversation was a little less energetic, what with escaping arrest and all.
Since my goal was not to have us intentionally get arrested, and she found me so irresistible, Lindsay forgave me for this little SNAFU.
Little did she know that marrying me would lead to a life of similar adventures.
A couple of weeks later, I received a package from the Ft. Leavenworth Military Police.
Enclosed was the confiscated tape and no one ever showed up to question me any further.