With my apologies to Double Tap for the delay...
Saturday 11/10 was the day a lunch meet-up was scheduled at River City Diner to honor and remember our fallen friends Peter Nap, Skidmark, and now Grapeshot. I was determined to make this an "all OC everywhere day" in honor of my friends. It was also the day of the Richmond Marathon and the course goes right past my house! If I don't make arrangements, I am stuck in my home from about 9 to around 11. No vehicles allowed.
About 8:30, I moved my car the two blocks to the escape route and walked back to get wifies car. She had to work, at 11 I believe. As I walked back past my corner where the Richmond Police officer was stationed for traffic control, he asked me what I was carrying. I raised the E-cig device in my left hand and asked "You mean this? E-vaping device." No he said motioning toward my hip. I responded "Oh, .40cal Beretta" and continued into my driveway. He said "Nothing wrong with that."
Drove Mrs. Riverrat's car to the escape point and again walked past the officer who had been joined by a female officer in an unmarked car. She may have been the one who threatened me with arrest a few years ago when wife and I were a few minutes late leaving during the marathon. Wasn't sure and did not inquire.
By 9, the leaders had passed, and the rest of the body nazis were coming hard. I needed to go to bank so left and walked past the huffing and puffing mass of humanity to the car, OC'ing in front of literally hundreds. Did my banking, indifferently carrying; I think Grapeshot used the same bank and may have changed after they became pissy about OC.
Walked back to the house through the now howling, barking, crying and hallucinating horde, collected a rake, and started raking leaves in my front yard, still OC'ing. Hundreds staggering past.
Walked my wife to her car, kissed her goodbye and wished her a good day. Walked through the now hysterical throng back to the house to shower and get ready for lunch.
Now cleaner in body if not in mind, stopped for fuel at Wawa and headed over to River City Diner for lunch. Food was good, I enjoyed seeing everyone. I had hoped more would attend.
Back home, collected my fuzzy doggy and went OC'ing to Lowes as I had broken a key off in a lock earlier that morning. No issues at all. After that on to Food Line (although their service has been much better lately due to competition from Publix). I think they are getting used to me there.
Think that is about it for the OC day. It did remind me of times past hanging out with Peter, Skid, and Grape at public events and festivals. It has been some time since so many people, including leo's, had seen me open carrying. Overall, I would call it a successful day of advocacy.
But I do miss my friends.
edit to add: hope to see folks at the O'Charleys on Gaskins this afternoon at 4, to celebrate what would have been Grapeshots 80th birthday yesterday. Munchies and birthday cake will be available in the event room.