The rectangle of light would move across Daddy's face, perfectly framing his Sinatra blue eyes. They always seem like they were looking right through you, then smiling at you as the cars passed ahead of us and the lighted box would disappear into the crimson bright tail lights ahead. I never fail to think about Daddy driving with windows down and a short military buzz cut when I see the light dance reflection across your face from the rearview mirror.
Mama, Daddy and and I were driving back from the Gas Light Inn on the South Carolina coast, back when it took five or more hours to reach the sea. I was folded in the back of my Dad's black, two door Honda Prelude (1987); covered a propped with sojourning pillows and blankets. Blonde streaks of hair fell over my forehead and I never heard the sirens or saw the royal blue lights.
__Do you know how fast you were going?
__Is that your daughter in the back?
The cop let Daddy off with only a warning and I rubbed my sandy feet together on the cloth of the back seats too young to know I'd been his free ticket.
I went to court with him on another occasion and the judge lessened the speeding sentence. I wore a filly lavender dress. As I got older Daddy returned the favor as he stood beside me for an underage drinking ticket. I faced other trials alone, but I always felt his Southern strength bracing me.