All tagged runaway

  I’ve always liked “Runaway Bride” stories. It’s a genre unto itself. As my wife and I meandered down the winding, narrow canyon drive, I began to imagine a runaway bride, who was lost and running out of gas in one of the many rustic campsites along Oak Creek.

            In this genre—actually a sub-genre within romantic fiction—brides run away for all sorts of reasons. I imagined that the bride in my story was running away from an arranged marriage. I pictured her in a car she had stolen from the gentleman whom she was being forced by her family to marry. She was coming from Texas and going west to California. I saw her ending up in a campsite of a man who was coming from California and going east to Texas.

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“Sir, you don’t understand! They’re going to find me and drag me back to Albuquerque.”

“Miss Dalton, I’m a combat veteran—from the war in Korea. ... And I assure you: No one will drag you away ... not while you’re under my protection, which you are—as of now. So come and eat breakfast.”

“Can we at least hide the car first and cover it so it can’t be seen from the road?”

“Get behind the wheel. I’ll push. We’ll park it on the other side of my army truck and I’ll cover it with a tarp. ... Then come and eat. I’m starving for my trout. And if you want, I’ll scramble you some eggs and make some toast. If you like potatoes, I’ll fry some. And I have orange juice. I myself will just have trout—nothing else to spoil the taste of the trout.”

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It was 7:00 a.m. on May 30, 1955, Decoration Day— or Memorial Day as the federal holiday was becoming known—in honor of soldiers who had died while serving in the nation’s armed forces. Recently mustered-out Korean War veteran Captain Silas A. McGuiness was smartly crossing through the parking area of his campsite alongside Oak Creek in the Coconino National Forest of central Arizona. His large officer command tent, which was set up at the back of the site and under the shade of tall oak trees, was proudly decorated with a U.S. flag hanging from the left flap of the tent’s entrance. His olive-drab U.S. Army M35 two-and-a-half-ton 6x6 cargo truck—with a big white star on either of the cab doors—was parked to the right of the tent.

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