It was a strange sight this morning. Traffic was backed up for several blocks and I could see police cars in front of the jam, lights pulsating. An ambulance was also parked nearby, with EMT's standing close, their eyes trained on the road.
Oh no, I thought. An accident, and it looks like it must be bad.
Cars were very slowly being directed around the disturbance in the road. When I got close enough to see, there was no overturned car, no glass in the road, in fact nothing like that at all.
It was a lone elderly man, steering his motorized scooter squarely down the middle line of the road. He was wearing a hospital gown and had a small U.S. flag flying from an antenna on the back.
Two policemen on either side walked alongside, talking and gesturing intently at him. The old man sported only a toothless grin on his face and looked resolutely forward, as if the cops didn't exist. It was when I spotted the van from a local nursing home parked on the side of the road that it began to make sense.
The little man had made his escape from the nursing home, riding as fast as his small scooter chair would allow.
The policemen, to their credit, were trying to reason with him to get him to stop, instead of using brute force.
Oh, how I wish I'd had my camera or my phone with me.
By now, a few people had lined up on both sides of the road. They clapped and cheered the man as he moved past them. That made him raise his hands in a Rocky type victory salute as he momentarily loosed his grip on the steering handle.
My last view of him before I had to turn off the road was of his bent back, still moving forward in the chair, the sweating cops still walking beside him, and his American flag, still fluttering proudly in the breeze. He was celebrating his moment of freedom, no matter how brief.
Let freedom ring! Happy Fourth.