I wrote about how Marty and I met here. During our Easter break from school Marty decided it was time to take me to Wyoming to meet his family. I still could not drive his car, a 1974 Firebird, at that time so he drove the whole way from Phoenix, Arizon to Torrington, Wyoming (well...almost to Torrington). I slept for a lot of that trip. I remember waking up once and the car was stopped and we were in a rest area and the front end was jacked up. I poked my head out the window to see what was up. Apparently the wheel berrings needed repacked and that's what Marty was doing. ??? I went back to sleep. I think that's when I decided that was going to be a long trip. I had no idea what was in store!
I remember falling in love with the beauty of Colorado. To this day I'd love to go explore Colorado and see more but have yet to have the opportunity to do so.
Remember being young, in love, and how invincible (stupid??) you felt? Well that summed us up too. We were driving with expired car registration and we didn't bother renewing it because we thought it would just be easier to renew it in person while we were in Wyoming, since the car was registered there anyway. See? Stupid. I can say that now....it was just over 17 years ago!
We were driving the "home stretch" -- only 12 miles from Torrington, where Marty grew up, where his brothers and his parents all lived. I was getting a little (ok...a lot) nervous about meeting all these people. I've always been pretty shy and awkward and meeting new people still makes me very nervous. We got behind a very long line of very slow moving cars. We were very impatient to be at the end of our trip and after following this line for miles, Marty decided to just go around them all. So, he did. At the front of that long line of cars....a police car. He didn't see that until it was too late. At least he slowed down so fast they were unable to clock his speed when it was 80 mph...the boy was in a hurry to get home!!! So, we were pullled over and we sat for what seems an eternity. I started looking around and pointed out to Marty that there were more police cars coming from up ahead. Soon after I looked over at Marty and asked him, "Do police in Wyoming always pull out guns for expired tags and speeding tickets????" At that point a policeman said, "Driver please throw the keys out the window." "Passenger please stand in the borrow pit." I had no shoes on (because I do not travel with shoes on unless I'm driving) and there was a little bit of snow on the ground and I HAD NO IDEA WHAT A BORROW PIT WAS!!!! Marty says to me, "Just go stand in the ditch!" So I did. Barefoot, in the snow, and left my jacket in the car...
The officers arrested Marty and one came over to talk to me to let me know what was going on. He told me the car's been reported stolen and that I will have to ride into town with him. I said, "Stolen? I have the title, it's in the car!" Apparently that doesn't matter to them and they hauled Marty away in one car in handcuffs and I took my first and only ride ever in a police car. I was not handcuffed nor did I have to sit in the back. But I was still one nervous, scared girl. They did let me get my shoes and jacket and purse out of the car before they towed it away.
Once we got into town, Marty called his dad and let him know what happened. Steve and Theresa came right away to try to straighten things out. So...I met Marty's dad and his girlfriend Theresa at the county jail. We explained once again that we have the title in our possession and it's in the car, but to no avail. We were told, "that's no proof of ownership." What???? We were able to talk to Marty through a teeny tiny window in the jail. Apparently some man in Walsenberg, Colorado had reported Marty's car stolen. See, when Marty moved to Arizona he broke down in Walsenberg, Colorado and had to store his car there and take a bus the rest of the way to school. Over Thanksgiving break he'd made arrangements to pick up the car. He'd mailed the man who was storing the car a money order and called him and told him he'd be driving up to get the car over Thanksgiving break. The man said he wouldn't be home, he would be out fishing. Marty told him that would be fine, just to move the car outside the fence and lock it and put the key under the mat after he recieved his money order. That was agreed upon and Marty and Tree had gone to pick up the car, finding it outside the fence as had been requested. End of story, right? No. Apparently when the man returned from his fishing trip he didn't know whether Marty had picked up his car or if someone else had so he reported it stolen.
Because it was Friday night there was nothing that could be done to get Marty out of jail. The judge wouldn't be in until Monday so we'd have to wait. So, Marty spent the weekend in jail and I went home with Steve and Theresa. I called my Mama in Missouri and just told her we made it safely to Wyoming and that all was fine. Yes, I lied to my Mama. I just could not tell her Marty was sitting in jail. Sorry Mom!!!
I met Marty's mom, Billie, the next morning when Steve and Billie and I went for breakfast and they could try to figure out what to do about Marty. Then we went to see Marty. Again through a teeny, tiny window.
I spent the weekend with Steve and Theresa, getting to know them and Marty's brothers Rick and Andy. It was a very long weekend and first thing Monday morning we all met with the judge. He said, "I understand this is YOUR car?" Marty explained that yes it was and what happened and that we had the title in the car. I was sent outside to where the car was being stored to retrieve the title and bring it to the judge. He shook his head, sent Marty home and said enjoy the time with your family while we contact this man in Walsenberg and get this straightened out. He said to be back Thursday. So, they let him go until Thursday and we spent the next few days roaming around Torrington, looking up some of Marty's friends, visiting his old stomping grounds. The car remained in storage so we borrowed his mom's car.
Thursday we returned to court where the judge said the man in Walsenberg had produced nothing and would not communicate so Marty was free to go spend what was left of his break with his family. He did however lose his driver's license for too many moving violations. We went straight to the tax office to sign the title over to me so we could get new plates on the car so we wouldn't risk a repeat of the whole mess, especially since we'd be driving right through Walsenberg to go back home to Phoenix.
The remainder of our time in Wyoming was spent getting to know Marty's family and when I met his Grandma 'Raine she asked if I'd drive her in her car to Worland and Thermopolis, Wyoming (5 hours away) to meet the family members that lived there. So, off to Worland we went after a quick trip to Scottsbluff, Nebraska to the mall to buy swimsuits so we could go swimming at the hotspring in Thermopolis. Because who'd have thought I'd need a swimsuit in April in Wyoming???? I met tons more people (who knew I'd eventually marry a man with a larger family than mine???), we swam in the hotsprings, and spent the weekend back in Torrington with me getting more driving lessons (I posted here about not knowing how to drive a stick shift). I had the hardest time learning to drive that Firebird! But I had no choice because Marty lost his license and I had to get us back to Phoenix.
This is Marty and me (on the left) with his family: Steve and Theresa, Andy and Rick and Theresa's son Dillon.
This is me with Marty's aunt Mary Sue's baby Douglas.
A picture of Wind River Canyon, between Shoshoni and Thermopolis, Wyoming.
Easter Sunday I called my Mama again and then told her about EVERYTHING that had happened. I don't remember her exact reaction but I know my dad enjoyed calling us Bonnie and Clyde from then on!
Soon after the LOOOOONG drive back to Phoenix Marty set to work putting an automatic transmission in his car for me!