When his daddy died and left the land to him, my daddy turned cow pastures into a golf course. When I became a mother, we built a house on the fringes of the golf course, close enough to Mother and Daddy’s house to feel safe letting the chiclets walk over for a visit, far enough back from the road to worry about golfers heading to or from the 19th hole as they did.
I was up early, preparing to teach a full-day workshop on bookmaking when the dog’s incessant barking woke the children. Frustrated that my quiet time was snatched away, I readied the children, picked up Laura The Babysitter, and headed off to my workshop. Daddy called on my way out to tell me to keep the doors locked because the golf course had been robbed and to let me know that law enforcement were combing the area in search of the bandits. I relayed this information to Laura and went on my way. It was before cell phones appeared anywhere but in comic books, so it was much, much later when I learned the rest of the story . . .
Two detectives with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office take a golf cart and head down my way in search of the thieves, or at least some clues that would help them in their investigation, while Daddy and the Sheriff get in another cart and ride in the other direction in search of the same thing. Meanwhile back at the ranch, Laura takes the chiclets outside to play on this sunny morning.
As the detectives top the hill in the golf cart, they see somebody (it’s actually Laura The Babysitter, who, at the time, is built like a highly sought-after linebacker) chasing the children back into the safety of the house because Laura The Babysitter has seen two unidentified men wearing bluejeans and t-shirts headed her way in a golf cart, and for all she knows, they are the robbers.
“We have the thief on the run,” one detective radios the Sheriff. “He’s at Jeanne’s house, and he has the children.”
“Roger that,” says the Sheriff as he turns the golf cart around. “Proceed with caution.”
In a most unfortunate turn of events, Laura brought the children out through the basement, leaving the front door – the nearest, of course – locked. The children, still thinking they’re playing a game, run into the basement and get under the sewing machine as directed.
By this time, Daddy has taken the radio from the Sheriff and contacted the detectives to let them know that the person they saw chasing his grandchildren is Laura The Babysitter. So here we are: the children are hiding under the sewing machine that’s right under the window, and just outside are two plain clothes detectives, their guns raised, looking through the window from the outside, telling Laura The Babysitter “No” as she dials the phone.
“Hello, Mom, it’s me, Laura. The golf course was robbed this morning, see, and there are two men outside the window here. I don’t know what to do because while they’re showing me their badges, they also have their guns raised, are wearing t-shirts, and are telling me ‘No’ through the window. What should I do?”
Jane, her mother, tells Laura to stay on the phone and calls the Sheriff’s Department on her other line. Meanwhile the detectives figure out that the raised guns could pose a problem, so they holster them while continuing to show their badges and say “No, put the phone down” through the window.
“Can we look? Can we look?” ask the children, who still think it’s a game, just a different one now.
Jane comes back on the line to tell Laura it’s okay, they really are detectives, these two, so Laura lets the kids pop up out from under the sewing machine to take a quick look. Laura is making her way to unlock the basement doors when Daddy arrives, letting himself through the front door with his key. Introductions, apologies, and explanations are shared, the children get their cookies early and get to share them with their beloved granddaddy and his friends with guns, and best of all: everybody was alive to tell me all about it when I got home.
Even after all this time, the two detectives – Larry W. and Tommy N. – are not nearly as amused as I am when I see them in public and hug and thank them for not shooting my babysitter.
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