It was mid June 1970. I had just graduated from 6th Grade and had said good-bye to all my friends at Trinity Lutheran School in Orlando (who I never saw again spare one). It was time to fly up to New York to be with Dad for the summer.
Mom drove me to McCoy Airport in Orlando for my flight up. When we pulled up to the curb for Eastern Airlines departures, we looked at each other. “Mom, do you have my ticket?” She shouted something to the effect that she thought I had it. We had 30 minutes until the flight left. It was a 20 minute drive one way to get home. “Put your seat belt on,” she said to me. And then she hit the gas, real hard.
Traffic was moving serenely on I-4 that afternoon. Except for one crazy lady in the brown Mercedes with the “lead foot.” She drove hard on the left lane, up to the bumper of the car ahead. She honked and shouted, “move it asshole!” If asshole moved, she would race up ahead to the next asshole. If asshole did not move, she would glance over her right shoulder, signal, and then the brown Benz would lurch over to the middle lane and race around asshole.
Not many people drove like that around Orlando. Mom was the only one who ever honked. I watched her masterfully maneuver the Benz like General Norman Schwarzkopf in the first Persian Gulf War; over, around, under any obstacle. We reached our house, I raced inside, grabbed the ticket, and then back again to the car. She roared down I-4 to chase more assholes down to McCoy. I made the flight just in time. I looked at my Mom with pride. Homegirl could really bring it when needed.