promqueenJerry's friend Okie married a woman named Temple, who lived in Chesapeake. Temple had a friend, Pam, who was moving from Tidewater Virginia to Washington to take a job with the Justice Department. Okie and Temple introduced Pam to Jerry. Pam was pretty and sophisticated--more like a prom queen than the hippies Jerry hung out with. Jerry found Pam so appealing that he started bringing her around. I had never before seen him accompanied by a woman who was not part of the Arlington crowd.

Pam liked Jerry, too. After it was all over a few years later, I asked her what attracted her to him. "Danger," she said. She related the story of their first date, when she and Jerry stole a car and went joyriding in it. "I'd never EVER done anything so exciting." It was probably a better strategy for impressing a woman than shooting Ronald Reagan. Pam said they dropped the stolen car in back of the Hechingers at Bailey's Crossroads and walked back to her car--a big white two-door with chrome-spoked wheels and a hot engine. Jerry's dad, famous for being hell on wheels, drove the engine out of Pam's car a few months later. Oddly, the man never made it right and Pam had plenty of difficulty because of it.

Jerry showed up at our house one afternoon with a goldfish swimming in a plastic bag of water. "What for?" I asked. "I'm going to ask Pam to marry me," he answered. I blurted out that it was the dumbest idea he'd ever had because he really needed freedom. Apparently he didn't think so. They were married before the summer was out.