It was fall 1993; a friend and myself were going from LA to North California to attend an old buddy’s (from our college days) wedding. We made it through the LA traffic without incident. About 50 miles south of San Francisco we were getting low on fuel. I made a lame joke about not running out of gas at 2:30 AM in Oakland, a notorious gang and crime-ridden city at that time. But, sure enough, the tank was on empty, it was 2:45 AM and we were forced to pull over to a gas station just off the freeway. I stayed with the car while my buddy went inside to pay the cashier. Immediately I noticed movement off to the left.
Three males in baggy clothing emerged from behind a large propane tank. They started to circle around our vehicle, when the “Alpha Dog” says to me, “Hey man, you got any spare change?” I noticed he had something in his right hand, partially hidden behind his back. I replied, “Don’t have no money, but I got something for you!” I drew my legally carried Colt .45 ACP Series 70 from the glove box and showed it to the would-be stick-up man.
I said, “You guys can walk away… or be carried away, it’s your call!” I saw my antagonist’s eyes grow as big as milk saucers, when he commented about how he didn’t want NO trouble! Then he threw down the very large knife he was hiding behind his back and took off running for parts unknown.
His two pals did the same thing. One thing was for sure… those three guys weren’t out collecting for the local Catholic charities! Thank God (and John Moses Browning) I had my beloved Colt with me that long-ago night… or I might not be here now to pen these words!