Paranoia strikes deep in the heartland

Fredonia, NY – July 17, 2016

The Wife had made all the travel arrangements for our vacation, and she was pretty successful, except for that Ramada near Ashtabula, OH . To quote Elizabeth Taylor, who was quoting Bette Davis, “What a dump.”

But something was amiss with our reservation in Fredonia, NY. We’d be traveling much of the day, and it was already 8 pm. While the Wife and Daughter went into the hotel, trying successfully to get a room, I sat in the passenger seat in the car.

And for some reason – probably watching the news too much, with black men getting killed, police getting killed – I started wondering what would happen if a police officer happened to come by, wanting to know what I was sitting there. Now I’ve waited in the car for years, without incident. Why it was an issue at that moment was probably because it was getting dark, and/or from fatigue.

I realized that if a cop HAD come up to me, I couldn’t roll down the window. We used to have two of those car fobs, but one got lost, and I didn’t have it.

In short order, I came up with all sorts of scenarios by which I could get shot because my hands couldn’t be seen. I bolted out of the car in a near-panic. To distract myself, I pulled out my tablet and played hearts.
The Daughter came back, and yelled, “Did you get it?” I didn’t know what “it” was. “It” was the sunset, which was gorgeous, and I was utterly oblivious to it.

She mocked me for playing my game, but I was in a whole ‘nother head.

A few weeks later, I was at work when I got a notice that there was a bank robbery in a building within the visual range of my office. The suspect was a black male in his 40s or 50s. I’m in my 60s, but I was nearby. I recalled this article. That same wave of discomfort ran over me.

So who can identify the source of the lyric that is the title of this piece? (Besides Dustbury.)

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