Category Archives: THE CRAB DIARIES (Maryland)

Life experiences from our time while living in, and anything while associated in Maryland. Posted every calendar scheduled full moon as of March 2016.

THE CRAB DIARIES: THE BLACK SON

MARYLAND-PENNSYLVANIA TRAVELS

For many years, since our second marriage ceremony back in December 2008 in front of our friends and family, people have been wondering when we are going to welcome a child into this world. The truth is that we are not sure that might even happen, with my wife dealing with her lupus, which by itself makes it harder to conceive.  So while my wife deal with the never ending wishes of others to press her to have a child, our conversation was more towards having a fur child in the home for the time being.  My wife was more of a cat person, which I am not too fond of, and I was more of a dog person since I grew up with them all my life.  For about two years, on and off, we had this conversation about which four legged companion we would have to become part of the family.

When it was agreed that we would add a dog to the family, our search was on to see which breed and the limit on how old we wanted the dog to be. I don’t remember how long our search was, but I knew it wasn’t long before we found the one dog that we wanted.  Once we found the one we were interested in getting, we saw that we would need to go somewhere outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to an Amish community.  Then the next thing was to decide when to go get him and if we would bring anyone with us.  Well, we ended up bringing my wife’s mother and step-father with us for a road trip, which was Thanksgiving Day weekend since they came down to visit anyway.  It was that Saturday after Thanksgiving, in November 2012, that we all piled in my car and drove at least two hours to the farm.

When we first saw our new family pet online, he was named ‘Augustus’, which we did not fall in love with at all. During our trip up to Pennsylvania, we were so excited that we were taking the next step to expand our family and have one more thing to be responsible for.  I felt like we were ready, but of course, my wife was a little nervous since she didn’t grow up with dogs and that she is also allergic to them as well.  But, she took a leap of faith and went with me on this endeavor and years later she loves it!  Once we got to the farm, we met with the breeder who immediately went and brought out Augustus and his two brothers for us to look at.  After they were placed in a small circular area where they were surrounded by a thin wired fence, I stepped closer to see which one would be the lucky one.  I looked down and noticed that Augustus was trying to climb over fence to get to us.

I pointed him out and told the breeder Augustus was the one I wanted! So right then and there I purchased Augustus from the farm and we made the trip back home to Laurel, Maryland.  Augustus, who was renamed Romeo days later, sat in the backseat obviously scared and nervous.  However, we wouldn’t make it home just that easy.  I believed it happened as we were coming back through Baltimore County, but didn’t realize until we were just a few miles away from our apartment.  On the final stretch of our trip home, I noticed the car was driving funny and quickly realized that I had gotten a flat tire!!  Oh boy!  Of course, not the way you want end your road trip and not the way you want to start out with your family addition.

We eventually got the tire changed and got back home safely. The first night Romeo stayed in the corner, underneath our computer desk, and starred at me all night long.  It took him about a couple of days before he finally broke out of his shell and began to being the playful Lab that he is today.  I was lying on the floor, on my back with my arms out to the side, when I felt a snip at my fingers and saw Romeo jump behind the wall.  Of course, once he saw me respond to him in an acceptable way, he just lapped it up!!  Nearly four years later he is the smartest dog that I have ever owned and can determine when I am coming home and loves routine.  Romeo has turned four years old, back in July, and is already showing some grey hairs, which makes us kind of sad because we know he is getting old on us, but he hasn’t lost a step yet.

So for now, Romeo is our son and pretty much acts like a child without being able to speak English. We have had him with us for such a long time that I can barely remember sometimes about our life before we brought him along for the ride.  Lots of memories have been spurred since we got ‘the bud’ and I’m sure many more will come as the days, months and years past.  Love you boy!!

Henry Scott

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THE CRAB DIARIES: JUST HANGING AROUND

BLADENSBURG, MARYLAND (1st Hometown)

Once again I’m back in my old neighborhood of Bladensburg, Maryland, however, this is not such a good story either. Believe me, we had good times while living there, but for some reason a lot of the not so good times I remember easier.  Maybe we had more bad times than good, I don’t know, but I do remember some of the good times while being there.  This is not only a not so good time in my life, a minor incident, but something that still kind of make me feel a little weak.  I don’t think a lot of people know about this one, probably not even my mother, but nevertheless this one is a painful one.

At our house in Bladensburg, we had a pretty huge yard that was fenced in and pretty long. We had this one massive oak tree in the rear corner of our backyard where we kept one of our dogs chained up too.  I’ll tell you more about that dog we called ‘Bruno’ in another story sometime in the future.  I think you might find that pretty hilarious when I get to it.  We had a neighbor to our left and to our right, if you are facing the house.  To our left the neighbors were nice, but we think they had issues with drinking and not really giving their kids a jolly life, but when you are that young how do you know for sure what a jolly life is.

Anyway, the neighbor to our right was more of a loner and very anti-social. I remember speaking to him a few times, but he was definitely not an open person and by the look of his yard, you would get that.  Along the fence that separated our properties, he had some wild bushes growing that appeared to be at least ten feet tall or higher.  A few branches of these massive bushes would stick over into our yard and scratch the hell out of you.  I soon became aware that the bushes he had growing near our yard were thorn bushes.  I don’t think I have ever seen thorn bushes that tall or big before, until my mother planted one at old home in Largo, many years later.  The bushes were so thick that you couldn’t peep through them easily to see what was going on in his yard.

I would soon become friends with these thorn bushes in a way that I hope to never experience again. While outside playing by myself I remember kicking around a soccer ball off the fence and tree on the side of the house.  Well, one of my kicks was too hard and it went over the fence and right in the middle of the thorn bushes.  My heart immediately sank when I knew that the mysterious neighbor would not be able help me like he did once before when I mistakenly knocked a ball over.  The only thing that saved me some pain was that the soccer ball fell in a gap where I could climb over the fence and easily retrieve it.  However, this would be anything but an easy rescue mission of my beloved soccer ball.

What I didn’t mention to you is that the fence that separated our properties didn’t have the metal bar that you would normally see lining the top of the fence. So that meant that the points of the linked fence were easily exposed and very sharp.  Unable to get anyone to help me to retrieve the ball, I ultimately knew that I had to get it myself.  That decision would nearly cause me more pain than what was needed.  I finally gained the courage to climb over the fence without stabbing myself on the points, and without the neighbor knowing about it.  With a quick motion towards the soccer ball, I grabbed it while getting scratched the hell up by these thorn bushes.  Some of them got caught on my t-shirt and ripped a few small holes.  However, I was able to grab the ball and quickly toss it over the fence back into our yard.

I looked back to see if the neighbor was looking or outside, but I couldn’t see anything. As I went to climb back over the fence, I slipped after I got halfway over and felt one of the chain link points penetrate the back of my left knee.  Obviously, the pain was just nearly unbearable for a young kid, but what really frightened me more was the way I was positioned.  I was still supporting myself with my hands, but I was partially upside down with only one leg back over the fence.  I hung there for a few minutes in pain and thinking of how to get myself free from the situation.  Deathly afraid of letting go and just knowing that the fence would dig deeper into my leg causing me more agony and grief.  I take one more look behind me, upside down, and over to my mysterious neighbor’s house and still no one around.  Finally, I was able to gain enough strength to pull myself up and release my leg from the top of the fence.

A great relief overcame me when I finally got all the way over, but not knowing how I was going to explain to my mother why I am bleeding behind my knee. I was wearing jeans, so hiding it was impossible with a huge hold ripped out partially stained with blood.  I don’t remember what happened after I told my mom, but I think she scolded me for a minute of going over the fence into that man’s yard.  We all knew he was weird and had this notion that he would hurt people for violating his personal space.  Not sure how long it took me to recover from my wound, but it was pretty deep according to my mother.  Needless to say I never attempted that move again, and if anything went over the fence, which many things did, either we would let it be or he would be nice enough to throw it back over.  This weird petifile smile with his yellow teeth and bald head was just monstrous to me.  I think it was mentioned to us that he was a cancer patient, but I can’t say for sure.  Boy!

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES: NO LAUGHING MATTER

LARGO, MARYLAND (1990’s)

It has been so long since I remember this situation, but I remember what I saw and who I saw.  I barely remember who was with me when we saw this happening in front of us, but I can say seeing her years later doing her thing made me feel somewhat good.  However, I have no idea what mental scars she is or had been dealing with since that day, but it seems like from the outside she’s doing pretty well.  The situation that I am referring to is witnessing a girl, average age around early twenties, being pushed out of a car and left on the side of the road in our neighborhood.  I only remember seeing a black car, sedan, speeding through, opening the rear door and girl being pushed out of the car.  Then the car sped off to never be seen again.

When we saw this happening, you can imagine our young minds couldn’t make out in detail what was going on.  A few of us went sprinting up the street towards her to see if she was okay, which she was, but didn’t expect to see the condition she was in.  Once we got to her, we could see that her pantyhose were ripped, snot or mucus bubbling out of her nose, laughing uncontrollably, feeling sad and then happy, her blouse was ripped, missing a shoe and noticed that a few toes were broken.  I have to say this was something none of us have ever seen before, but we knew that she needed help and that we needed to make sure she didn’t come into anymore danger.  I have no clue what would’ve happened if the car came back to either finish her off or to get rid of witnesses.

I don’t remember when the help got there, but I remember her being picked up by the ambulance crew and hauled off to the hospital.  Either county or state police responded, but I don’t remember anything of the interview and what was asked.  I just know that we left the scene feeling good about ourselves because we felt like we just saved someone’s life.  After that day we never saw or heard anything about her for months and even a few years.  All of us remember seeing her around the neighborhood numerous times, but we never really interacted with her on a regular basis.  Then one day, years later, I saw her walking down the same street we found her on in a work uniform, listening to headphones and just minding her own business.  I often at times wanted to approach her and talk to her but not knowing if she would even remember or want to rehash the situation.  So for the longest time I would just see her walking down the street and not even talk to her about it or if the people involved were ever caught.

I don’t regret not ever knowing about her resolve with the whole situation, but I was just happy to know she continued to do her thing.  Many months and years later I’ve moved up north and don’t know if she is still living in the same neighborhood.  I just know her name as either Tori or Lori, but outside of that I have no clue of her well-being.  I think at the moment we found her it was our first time we saw a victim of a sexual assault and possibly drugged out of her mind.  Years later I can still hear the laugh she was bellowing out, mumbling words and her lying on her back just rolling around.  No one should have to witness that and especially young kids who are still gripping about how to feel about themselves and gain their own personality.

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES – DIRTY MONEY!

OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM - Money Run 1

OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM (2003/2004) – Kabul, Afghanistan

I spent about 8 ½ years in the military with the Maryland Army National Guard – 290th Military Police Company, and one adventurous mission we had was our time in the desert!  Our mission began in August 2003 and ended around April 2004, but not without our own stories and excitement to last us a lifetime.  If you want to know where I am in this picture, I am the only black soldier in this photo, but if you still need help to locate me – I’m in the front row all the way to the left.  The weapon you see me holding is a M249 S.A.W. (Squad Assault Weapon) and my official position during this tour was – gunner.  I was the soldier you see poking through the top of the Humvee with my face covered to avoid being plucked by dirt, sand and flies.

The information behind this particular photo was taken prior to our money run mission in Kabul, Afghanistan.  For those that may not understand what that means, it pretty much meant we escorted millions and millions of dollars from our hands to the Afghanis and vice versa.  I can’t state how much was transported at any given time, but needless to say a person who won the lottery would be set for life – if the money was spent properly that is.  These missions didn’t generally last very long, but certainly long enough to make you think when someone or some group attempt to hijack the convoy will.

What you have to remember and keep in mind is that our Humvee, which is behind us in the photo, was not armored and definitely not suited for the service in the desert.  However, the Humvee did pretty well during the tour considering the sandstorms we had and the horrible heat waves at times.  As the gunner poking through the top of this Humvee, my concerns were always will I get shot by a sniper, if we get into an ambush will I make it out alive and/or lose my legs because of nothing to protect them from an IED or VBIED.  These thoughts went through my mind several times as I was traveling through the city and countryside.  What made it even worse was that the SUV’s that we escorted weren’t armored either so if an ambush did occur we were at the mercy of our enemy.  Thank God we never had that happen to us and everyone came back alive and well!

The other guys with me in the photo are pretty cool guys, and I still keep in contact with all these years later.  I wasn’t a police officer then in the civilian world, but I was in the police academy before we got called by Uncle Sam to serve our country.  The killer was that I was in my last week of the academy before I got yanked out to fight an enemy amongst the fly heaven sand pits.  Thankfully I wasn’t forced to restart the academy, but just finished up the last two to three weeks with another academy class when I returned.  I think I returned to soon, but I surely wasn’t going to wait a whole year or pay my way through another academy just to get my certification.  It would be about another 2 ½ years before I finally fulfilled my obligations and received an honorable discharged in October 2006.  I had already had two interruptions of the military prolonging the beginning of my police career, and wanted to get out and actually focus on that alone without any more disruptions.  It wouldn’t be very long before my departure that the unit would be sent to Iraq.  It was put on my heart that they would be going back over before I left and boy was I right.

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES: TUG OF WAR

Now that things in my life has settled down some, I can get back to my writing and get back to entertaining you with my stories; sometimes funny and sometimes gut-wrenching. This one today is a reminder of how families on different levels of understanding can be a detriment and make tensions last for a very long time.  The memory of this small, but significant incident, in my life comes back from time to time when I see kids of other families being caught up in the nasty and unforgiving game of tug of war.  Growing up in the small town of Bladensburg, Maryland, I think I had a pretty normal life as a kid and enjoyed being a kid with a girl next door being my “girlfriend”.  Outside of that things within the family, just like other families in this world, were unsettling at times, but like the saying goes ‘you can’t chose your family, you can choose your family’.  Just like anyone as time goes on, and you live through this life, things will burn a memory stump in your brain and that you will never forget.  Well, this is one of them, however, I do want to say that no-ill feelings are still present, but like another saying goes, ‘Forgive, but never forget!’

I am not exactly sure how this whole thing started, but I do remember my father wanting to take me my grandmother’s house, God rest her soul, when she was living in NW D.C. Now, this is something I know for sure I didn’t want to do, but at a young age your voice in certain situations don’t really matter.  As this whole situation is unfolding right before me, I remember my mother being very against of making me go to grandma’s house since I didn’t want too.  Well, as tensions rose, of course, mom and dad got into an argument about whether I was going to stay home or go to D.C.  The next thing I know is that I was in between my parents with mom having one arm and dad having my other arm.  Both are yanking on me back and forth, which was very terrifying and caused me to begin crying uncontrollably.  After a few seconds, which felt like an eternity, I heard one of my sister’s yell out ‘you’re hurting him!’  At that point my mother reluctantly let go of my arm and the next thing I remember is in the car with my father very scared.  I don’t remember much of the ride to my grandmother’s house and what transpired while being there, except for one incident that caused me to burst into tears once more.

Don’t remember whether I was told to go upstairs or I went up on my own, but sometime later I crept back down the steps about halfway. It was at this time I heard my mother being talked about, which would make any kid upset.  Thank God I don’t remember what was exactly being said, but I do know that whatever was being said made me upset and almost caused me to yell out to them at the top of my lungs to make them stop.  It was like God Himself, put his hand over my mouth to keep me from saying anything and to not make the situation worse for myself.  After that time of being on the steps, I don’t remember what happened later that night or the next morning.  I just know for a long time after that night, I held a lot of anger, which thankfully over time dissipated, but like coming out of surgery and going through the healing process, scars are the result.  Nowadays, in my older years (LOL) I can look back at that time and almost laugh how things transpired and wondered how I didn’t hold hatred later in my years.  God is the only way on that front.

I realize that some people close to me, and/or in the family may read this and have their own opinions. I respect that and that is why no names are being stated in this story, however, if you are close to the family you know exactly who was involved and how things went.  I am a much happier man in my older years and barely hold any of those negative emotions towards anyone anymore.  Oh well!  Time and life goes on!

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES: WAR IS COMING

DAY 2 – 18 (09/12/01 – 09/30/01)

It was around 5:00 am when all commotion started with people yelling and talking loud, the lights above on the drill floor came on and the first sergeant trying to get everyone’s attention.  Our marching orders came that we would be going to the Pentagon to assist in the search and rescue and recovery efforts going on.  From that point to the time we actually left the armory was kind of a blur for whatever reason, but once our military equipment was loaded up we hit the road.  We ended up getting a police escort from the armory all the way down to the Pentagon reservation.  Maryland State Police, United States Park Police, Washington Metropolitan Police (when we entered D.C.) and a few others joined in on the escort.  During the escort we nearly lost one of our vehicles to an idiot not paying attention or in a rush.  It was one of our school buses that we used for troop transport and other things, which at that time had most of our equipment.  I just remember hearing tires locking up and the bus on two wheels, but the driver recovered and was able to continue down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

When we entered Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Police joined the escort and took over most of the escort in blocking traffic.  However, I remembered as we were coming down the road, going under a bridge, there was a car exiting off the ramp coming towards us.  One D.C. Police cruiser came up along side us and partially blocking the ramp to slow down the car from impeding the escort.  Well, I don’t know who this person was, but they didn’t slow down fast enough and didn’t listen to the direction that the officer was telling them.  So the officer kept going and ever so close drove the other car nearly into the jersey barrier and I can tell if the car didn’t stop in time, he would’ve literally rammed the car into the jersey barrier and kept going.  Luckily for them they did stop in time and I have no clue what happened if anything did.  We kept going and several minutes later we drove up at the Pentagon where we met the Pentagon Police.  Some time went by before we were given orders to secure the crime scene as chaos was still the leader of it all.

Not too long after we arrived most of us was just in awe at the destruction we saw in front of us.  I just remember staring at it for a while and just thinking about the last moments of the passengers and employees lives.  How scary that could’ve been knowing that your last moments here on earth was crashing into the Pentagon, and others who might’ve seen this coming while still in the building.  As we could see people running around with their head chopped off, we tried to get ourselves together to firmly secure the scene from any further contamination.  I don’t know exactly when this happened or how soon this happened after we arrived, all over a sudden we heard someone yell “ANOTHER PLANE COMING!!” and everyone running past us to a hill at the end of the parking lot.  Firefighters sliding down the ladder off the roof of the Pentagon with the quickness to join the others.  As most of us was about to join them we then received orders to stay put and not to leave!  Yeah!  I was thinking about my life flashing before my eyes if another plane came in to finish off the Pentagon while we are still here.  I heard a fighter jet scream over head in the direction of the incoming plane, which was determined to be a FEMA plane coming from Tennessee.

A few hours later we saw them coming to the Pentagon with small smiles on their faces knowing that they dodged one from being shot down.  This was not the only screw up that happened within the first week after the attacks.  A federal jurisdictional battle ensued between the EPA, FBI, Pentagon Police and the military department.  It was finally taken over by the FBI, who announced that they would have full jurisdiction and investigative authority.  In the days that followed to the end of the month, better things came about when Outback, McDonald’s and other restaurant companies brought trailers full of food and employees.  Free food every morning, afternoon and evening gave us decent morale to deal with the darkness that loomed over.  I am, however, blessed that our unit was not given the detail to go inside the Pentagon to do the recovery mission.  The stories I heard about the recovery efforts inside was just hard to hear and hard to imagine.  Bodies froze in place for whatever they were doing at the time of the attack, bodies burnt to a crisp at a conference table and a partial body found with no shoulder and head.  Body parts were found floating on the bottom floor in jet fuel and water.

My closes detail to seeing anything like this was when I had to protect a small alley way from being invaded by reporters and onlookers.  This is where they were bringing out partial full body bags and just tossing them to each other as they put them in the back of a truck.  I could almost look at the body bags and tell which body part it was being tossed between the recovery team members.  I don’t know what detail was worse, recovery team, the detail I had or the morgue detail that was created on the other side of the Pentagon away from the media and others trying to see what is going on.  Outside of that others were arrested at the Pentagon and soon released when it was figured out that many of them were trying to take advantage of the situation by stealing artifacts and items from the scene.  A few might’ve even been blocked from trying to commit another attack on a much smaller scale, but that was never released to the public.  Having numerous police and fire department agencies arriving at the scene from all over the place was pretty cool to see.  Some came as far as North Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and even upstate New York.  Too much of a surprise the Pentagon is actually in Arlington County, Virginia not Washington, D.C. like so many thought.  I was told that Washington, D.C. owns the property which the Pentagon sits on, but has no authority over.

Slowly for the remaining two weeks of September things began to get organized and things began to run much more smoothly.  Another bombshell was dropped on us as we approached the end of the month, which also spelled out the end of our detail at the Pentagon before going back home.  However, going back home was not going to happen as we all gathered at a day room on Ft. Myers, where we were staying, and got word that our next mission was either in Seattle, Washington or Ft. Stewart, Georgia.  It was quickly followed that our next mission would take us a year away from home beginning from October 2001 to October 2002.  It might’ve been days or hours before our actually departure date from D.C. that we were going to Ft. Stewart, Georgia to replace the 3RD Infantry Division (Rock of the Marne).  Once we got down to our final destination, we ended up staying at a hotel as our barracks were being built to make room, which I didn’t care about.  Staying at hotel rooms for the two months were there was awesome and once again gave some credence to our mission there.  However, we would never see Ft. Stewart, Georgia as our home for the next 12 months.  We began our law enforcement tour of duty there in October and left in December to head back to the Pentagon to complete our remaining ten months.

Being present when this flag was flown and draped over the edge of the Pentagon was absolutely a proud and defining moment.  Complete silence for the entire compound as we saluted the flag was astonishing and something I will never forget.

pentagon-american-flag

About ten months after our year tour at the Pentagon and Ft. Stewart, Georgia ended, we were once again called back up to serve our country in need.  Kabul, Afghanistan would be our next destination for the next nine to ten months, but not all over us would serve in the same country.  Our last tour was under Operation Noble Eagle and our next tour would be under Operation Enduring Freedom.  Once again my career on the civilian side of law enforcement was delayed as I was in the police academy when our overseas orders came in and yanked just one week short of graduation.  When 9/11 happened I was at the beginning stages of trying to start my career when my application was in and I was halfway through the process.  Another chapter in my life was beginning and how I would respond coming back from a foreign conflict would soon come to pass.

Henry Scott

 

 

 

THE CRAB DIARIES: THE DARKEST DAY

OPERATION NOBLE EAGLE

DAY 1

On the morning hours of September 11, 2001, I was on my way to work in Tysons Corner, Virginia when I heard the radio broadcast about the Twin Towers in New York City being hit by two passenger planes.  Just like other several citizens realized after the second tower was struck, I started to think that this was done on purpose.  That same morning I almost took the route pass the Pentagon to go to work, which sometimes was much easier than cutting straight through D.C.  I can’t tell you how many times I thanked God for not allowing me to do so or maybe I wouldn’t be hear today or very deeply scared mentally, emotionally and physically of the plane striking the Pentagon.

I finally arrived at work and could just feel the heaviness of the mood sitting in the air and everyone just stunned at what was happening.  The next thing I remember after getting to work was seeing the Pentagon burning from the ninth floor of the KPMG building where I was working as a mail clerk at the time.  For the next few hours majority of the employees in the building had left to go check on their family and loved ones who worked at the Pentagon.  In that same time span I was asked numerous times did I receive a call from my National Guard unit, which never came until later.  I must’ve waited until after noon when I finally left and headed back home to my parents house.  Just before I got back home I was at the gas station in my home town refueling my car when I finally heard the State of Emergency being announced for the state of Maryland.  I remember, after I got home, watching the Twin Towers on live television and the voices of horror from the news reporters after the second plane hit and when the towers collapsed.

I never understood what took Maryland so long to announce a state of emergency after D.C. and Virginia had already done so hours prior.  At that point I knew I had to hurry home, which almost immediately after I entered the door I got that call from my unit to respond to the Baltimore Armory.  At the time I got the call it was not mandatory to come in, but it that didn’t matter.  My response was something like “HELL YEAH I’m coming in!” and I quickly packed a bag of my military gear, kissed my mother and two sisters before flying up the highway to Baltimore.  My first sight when I rolled up at the entrance to the Parkville Armory was a Deuce and a half blocking the driveway with two of our MP’s standing in full battle gear with M-16’s ready for battle.  One of the them requested to see my military ID before allowing me on the property.  Several minutes later I heard that it was then mandatory for everyone to come in and report ASAP!  Images of people rushing in from work, home or wherever was just amazing to see, but also let me know how more real this was.

It was talked amongst all of us that we just knew we were heading to New York where we believed they needed the most help.  Our mental and physical preparedness was ready for that reality, which wouldn’t come until the following morning around 0500hrs.  The chaos going around on the drill floor woke everyone and quickly our focus was on our first sergeant who gave us the marching order of the day…our next destination was the Pentagon where our help is needed immediately.

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES – MARYLAND FOOTBALL

Byrd Stadium
CAPITAL ONE FIELD @ MARYLAND STADIUM

I remember working many day and night games at this stadium during my tenure from March 2003 to March 2014.  When I first started working these games, I was naive and not knowing that working these games would be tiresome at times.  I was so excited to work a football game and knowing that I had the benefit of working and watching the game at the same time.  Although it wasn’t working a professional football game, the atmosphere at the beginning for me was pretty awesome.  At the time I took this picture back in October 2012, it was still named Byrd Stadium.  Now that the name has changed to Maryland Stadium it hasn’t changed the nostalgia of the stadium or feeling; at least I don’t think it has.

It wasn’t long before I started working the games that I found myself on the football field behind either the away bench or home bench.  Looking up into the crowds to make sure they were behaving was less appealing and not as much fun as to watch the game live happening in front of you.  Sometimes your fun was disrupted by a complaint coming in from either a fan or you was dispatched to handle a problem.  More than likely your issue was dealing with someone throwing objects, being belligerent due to alcohol, which led to them being tossed out and medical emergencies.  Often times at the beginning of the game, or just before kick-off, I would work the gates and make sure people didn’t trample each other entering the stadium.  Sometimes that alone would make for an interesting duty.

Too many times we would work the stadium gates and have to respond to a complaint because the ticket taker was having an issue with a patron.  I couldn’t say for sure if our problems were mostly home fans or the visiting fans from other universities and regions.  I do know that when we ever had West Virginia and Maryland play each other, our problems always doubled from our previous game.  For whatever reason the people of WV and MD don’t like each other and can’t sit and enjoy a game without having a good time, and just cheer for your team!  Nope!  Fights and disturbances always reign between these two universities, but more so for the fans than the players on the field themselves.  Many issues at the stadium gates between these two loyalists and dealing with ticket scalpers added to the problem at times.  Just dealing with ticket scalpers period was a tough issue and could be a pain in the ass.  Some would respect the rule of being at least 300 feet away from the stadium, but you had some that just didn’t give a damn!

If I remember correctly I had one arrested in one of my final years there, and discovered that he had an open warrant! HAHAHA!!  Of course, the beauty of working at the stadium was that if an arrest was made you called a patrol unit to handle the case for you, all you did was give them the summary of what happened.  The downside to working the stadium, or any athletic event, was you could be the single contact person for any students that needed discipline.  That duty sucked balls!  However, I lucked out one briefing when I was picked to be that contact person, but I was saved by God Himself when another officer came into briefing later than me and was named the OSC (Office of Student Conduct) Referral contact person.  You know I dodged a huge bullet there!  So I went through my eleven years of only being the contact person for student discipline ONCE!  Instead of this role being rotated it was more used as a form of punishment for officers who were in need of discipline.

The best part of working inside the stadium was that you got to work the alumni sections, and not have as many problems.  Once in a while you would have someone that needed to be ejected or be talked to, but it was usually quiet in the sense of having problems.  When I came back from Afghanistan though I had to request that I be placed on the opposite side of the stadium of the celebration cannon.  That loud blast and concussion of being near the cannon was just too much for me to deal with, especially if the Terrapins scored all the time!  My goodness the cannon would just go non-stop sometimes.  Because of my tour overseas I had to stop working overtime events on the 4th of July!  The fireworks do the same thing and it appears to have gotten worse as the years go by.  However, the food at the stadium was okay, but never try to eat a funnel cake when it is windy!  Food for thought.  Trying to avoid that powdered sugar from being placed all over your uniform is very difficult when suddenly winds pick up prior to a storm.

When the stadium put in the new field, which is depicted in the photo above, it did not make things easier for us standing on the field.  Especially if you are the not so lucky ones to be standing on the black portion of the field, where the temperatures skyrocketed and displayed much hotter than the air temp.  Thankfully I only had to deal with that new design for about one season before turning in my stuff and coming north.  Even though I don’t have the worry of working the stadium and football games anymore, I often think of just going back home to enjoy watching a game.  Sitting in the very stadium that I once worked week in and week out from late August to November.  This stadium hosted more than just football games.

If you never heard of an event called the “Art Attack” then don’t feel bad.  However, even people who were not from the area knew what it was and discovered that other places around the country host the same event.  Having brand name artist and bands coming to the area only spiked up the people who wanted to attend.  Of course, when the Art Attack came to town WEED was the choice of nearly everyone’s activity to enhance the fun.  Sometimes you would see the smoke just hover over the crowd and drift down on to the field, penetrating your sense of smell.  Situations like this never made sense for us to go after people who were smoking it because of the crowds, little to no light and if shit popped off it would be very difficult to get to you.  However, if we found someone who was in possession of it or selling it, and they were within arms reach, they got yanked up and either cited and released or taken to see the steel bars.  I hated working the Art Attack events, and sometimes just hoped that I was working patrol instead but that wasn’t always a good thing either.  Dealing with the crowds leaving the stadium and dealing with issues in the parking lots was just as bad if not worse.

If you didn’t enjoy working the games, which pretty much every officer on the roster did whether it was your day off or not, you sometimes had to choose the lesser of the two evils for yourself.  For me, I’d rather work the interior of the stadium than work the traffic control details, which many stayed after we all left the stadium.  Dealing with the jammed traffic and impatient motorists was sometimes a task in itself, but never a dull moment.  You worked the stadium, and after the game was over, you may be done once the crowds leave the premises, but might get lucky and stay behind to watch the concession money that is being collected.  Working traffic control was a pain in the ass most times, but depending on the event wasn’t the worse detail in the world.  When I was working I always thought about how it would feel to finally watch a game on television and not work it or worry about working it; that day has finally come and it is great!

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES: CAR WASH & SHOWER

SHOWER @ CAR WASH

It’s not normal to expect to get a brief shower when you are running your car through the car wash, but that indeed happened.  Just before I get into that story, we should all know when you purchase a used car or truck that there is risk.  Believe it or not some dealerships will still sell you a vehicle that they know for sure will not pass inspection, but once you drive it off the lot all the problems underneath become your problems.  Some used car dealerships will fix your newly purchased vehicle just enough for it to only break down or give you headaches thirty days later.  This appeared to have happened to us while we were living in Frederick County, Maryland.

My wife and I looking to save money or for our money to go much further, we decided to go the used car route.  I had a 2007 Dodge Charger prior to this decision and had to return it back to the dealership two and a half years later due to the car payments being too high.  No one would help me refinance the vehicle and Chrysler was not of help in that endeavor.  Unfortunately, it had to be returned to the dealership, and when you are constantly thinking about either paying your car payment or your rent each month, things need to change ASAP.  So this was part of our decision to get two used vehicles and keep them for as long as we want before changing.

We ended up purchasing two used vehicles, a 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP and a 2000 Ford Explorer, which was our first truck purchase together.  I drove the Grand Prix mostly and it was one of my dream cars, which I sometimes miss.  However, the Ford Explorer gave us headaches time and time again, and at times made us feel like we made a bad investment.  One day suddenly the Explorer didn’t want to start and this happened numerous times to my wife while she would either be at work or out somewhere else.  Often this would take place while I was at work and I couldn’t help her right away, but she would figure it out and get home safely.  I can’t tell you how many times I worried about her taking this truck to work and getting stuck, and sometimes I would take the truck to work, but rarely had issues with it.

One time that we actually had to laugh at was when we took our truck to the car wash.  This particular afternoon I believe we were going to run errands and just enjoy our day together since I was off, which was at times rare.  As we pull into the car wash, we did the normal of putting the gear in neutral and allowing the tracks to push the truck through.  Somewhere along the line, maybe halfway through, we were talking and out of the blue the interior dome light came on followed by a ding.  For this split second we both looked at each other and looked up at the light trying to figure out why did the dome light just come on!  As I am trying to figure this out, the answer to my question would soon be revealed when I hear my wife scream trying to hold the driver side door closed.  When I shifted my attention towards her struggling with the door, the mechanics of the car wash got loud immediately!  Within the few seconds that this happened, I began to feel water splashing inside the truck all over the dashboard, interior parts of the windshield and mostly soaking the driver side from head to toe.

Silly me didn’t realize the door was open and that is why the car wash got really loud all of a sudden.  I saw her struggling with the door to close it while water is splashing in, but I quickly realized I couldn’t help her!  I just sat there trying to dodge these soapy water pellets flying in the truck while she’s screaming.  Finally, she was able to get the door closed and save us from getting a full scale wash down.  This became our running joke for days, weeks and months, and still gives us a laugh till this day.  One of our many adventures together, regardless of how small or insignificant it is.  This moment will go down in our history as one of the funniest moments we have ever encountered.  I believe it was during the summer time so my wife dried off pretty quick, but pride, man, was tainted for a bit!  We finally figured it out somehow by accident that the driver side outside door handle was way too loose.  The water pressure would get up underneath the door handle and pull the door open.  So each time we went to the car wash we would have to grab the door from the inside to keep it from flying open.  I know you are probably thinking why not just lock the door, but our locks didn’t always work and they would sometimes work too well!

However, it was a fun truck to own despite her quirks and headaches once we figured out it was her neutral safety switch that was giving us startup problems.  What happened to our vehicles and why we no longer own them is a whole jacked up story that I am far enough removed from to share.  Stay tuned for that story coming up, which will probably be told under the title “The Adventures of D & T”!  We were embarrassed about this for a while, but a brand new car came out of the deal with that later down the road.  I think my temporary position as a detective was somewhat tainted because of it, but I think I was purposely set up to fail regardless, but that’s for a later topic under the crab diaries.

Do you want to share your funny and/or embarrassment stories about any of your used cars?

Henry Scott

 

THE CRAB DIARIES: ALMOST MY SUPER MODEL

Wifey's Winter Picture - 1

This awesome picture, which is one of my best photos of my wife, was taken back during the winter season of 2007 in Ellicott City, Maryland.  When I took this photo of her helping me clean my car off, I had no idea that this particular photograph would get the attention that it got.  At my previous agency, before things went to hell, I had this photo as my background whenever I would sign into the computer to check emails and do reports.  Some of my coworkers when they first viewed the picture thought that she was holding a rifle or some type of long gun.  Yeah, I don’t think that would’ve went over well with other people in the apartment complex seeing me taking a picture of my wife holding a rifle or shotgun and just CHEESING ear to ear! Lol!  However, the jokes didn’t stop there, but it was all in good fun!  A great group of guys I worked with and probably the tighter bunch of guys I’ve ever worked with.

Not only was this picture a platform for messing with me, but this particular photo was in the running to be on a cover of a reputable magazine!!  I wish I could remember the name of the magazine at this moment, but it was one that we all know and have seen in our homes.  They wanted to use this picture for their winter catalog of 2007/2008, but unfortunately she wasn’t chosen.  We would’ve gotten paid, obviously, for this picture and probably our life going in a different direction.  Only God knows for sure where our life could’ve gone if she was picked for a catalog cover; it might’ve gone very bad, not changed at all or in a different direction that we didn’t think about.  Although we didn’t make the cut, it gave me some encouragement that I have the potential to snap great photographs that can be desirable by others.

I certainly have no desire to pursue a photography career, but this goes to show you that one picture you take can change things in an instant.

Henry Scott