Date: Sun, 23 Jun 1996 14:14:35 -0400
From: "Phyllis C. Petree" <ppetree@EMAIL.UNC.EDU>
Subject: The Torch - WHTM
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L <WORDS-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>

As Giggles said earlier, the torch came through the Triangle this weekend. It was going to be in Downtown Chapel Hill, right under my office window, a shortly after 12 noon.

I had given up on seeing it since I needed to be dragging things over to my house & didn't want to fight the traffic. Plus, Sears couldn't find my house to deliver my refrigerator on Friday and they had promised to bring it this morning & I HAD to be at the house.

The fridge arrived about 10:45, I unpacked a while longer and forgot all about the torch. I needed to go to The Home Depot & it was time for lunch, so I hopped on I-40 and headed for US 15-501.

When I got to the stoplight at the end of the 15-501 exit ramp, I saw Highway Patrol & Police cars everywhere. There were crowds of people milling around & cars parked by the sides of the road. I looked North to toward Durham and saw more cops with blue lights flashing & a whole lot of cars with their lights on. I had stumbled across the torch after all.

By the time I parked my car traffic was stopped in both directions, there were at least a gazillion more cops cruising around, and I dashed across the highway just before the lead car came through. There were several Georgia State Trooper cars leading the way - BMW 500 series State Trooper cars, two big TV's painted w/Coca-Cola emblems, lots of LEO's on big motorcycles, and the torch.

One of the troopers - with a stentorian voice was using his loud speaker to announce - " The torch is on the back of the bicycle; look on the back of the bicycle." He could have passed for the voice of God.

The torch itself isn't much to look at; it's an aluminum tube with the fire at one end. But I felt foolishly happy and it seemed I had been given some sort of serendipitous gift. If I had been 15-20 seconds later, I would have been stuck in the traffic jam and would have missed the whole thing. Plus, I found most of what I needed at Home Depot.

- phyllis_petree@unc.edu