Early, early in the dark morning of October 31 in 1997, Ted and I packed up our extended family in a rented van to drive to Ohio so we could move Gen. The extended family consisted of Paul and my childhood friend, Alicia, who came to Virginia for a visit after their jobs ended when Yellowstone National Park closed for the season. They were accompanied by two of their Yellowstone friends, Ken and Valine.

Ken was a drifty sometimes-engineer of pollution control systems for the electricity-generating industry, in his late-30s or early 40s, and suffering from either alcoholism or chronic depression or both. He had been working in Yellowstone as a cook.

Valine was a just-barely-19-year-old big-haired Mormon girl from Jordan, Utah. She was sweet, naive, and industrious, just the way a Mormon girl should be. Valine was a housekeeper in Yellowstone and worked under Alicia's supervision. She was a good kid.

Ken and Valine were not a couple, which was probably a very good thing for Valine, but a source of discomfort for Ken, who complained of boredom because there was nothing to do (i.e., no bars) in our remote Virginia community. He also complained about having to go to Ohio. You just couldn't please the guy.

On Gen's end, Carole had arranged for a U-Haul truck for Gen's stuff. Gen's part was to have everything packed and ready to load. The guys would pick up the truck as soon as we arrived at Gen's house and we would all work to load as much as we could into the truck that evening. We expected to finish up in the morning, then hit the road back to Virginia.

Washington's Mormon TempleEverything went more or less as expected on the trip out. I was still commuting every day to my job in Washington, so I was accustomed to lengthy pre-dawn driving and took the wheel of the van. Ted sat up front with me and navigated. Everybody else went right back to sleep.

Valine wanted to be awakened when we approached the Washington, DC Temple of the Latter-Day Saints, of which there is a spectacular view from the Capital Beltway. The group tried to wake her up, but she wasn't willing and ended up being disappointed to miss the sight when she finally came around several miles past Moroni.

Nobody was particularly enthusiastic about the drive and the job we had to do. Ken would soon be further irritated at the absence of bars in Harpster, OH.

By the time we were on the Ohio Turnpike, I was starting to wink out. When I opened my eyes as the van approached the rumble strip, I figured I'd better get out of the driver's seat. Alicia asked from the back, "Did she just go to sleep at the wheel?" Ted took us the rest of the way to Gen's.