I thought that was an odd reply. They are obviously soaken wet, it’s aftermidnightand there’s nothing around for miles, why on Earth wouldn’t anyone take advantage of a warm, dry place to spend the night? I really didn’t care if they had a license or not.
He took another step towards me, and this time, just as he began to speak, a voice called out from behind, one of his mates was just cresting the upper dune, however, this voice didn’t call out in English, the words were German
The man now standing less then two feet in front of me seemed to gain a great deal of confidence-quickly. To be honest, his newly found confidence was overpowering my still-lingering fear, but I knew I couldn’t show it. I stood still and secured my grip on the flash light.
He broke the eye contact between us and like a cobra, whipped his head towards the German voice and yelled at the second man, “You damn fool! Go back to the others!” I could just make out the second man and saw he was about to counter act with a bark of his own, until he realized his associate wasn’t alone. We both watched Second man slink away, back behind the dune and out of sight.
I’m so glad my wife, nor anyone I know, was able to see my face at that moment, for I’m sure all of the fear on planet Earth had made its way into my body and up into my eyes. The only one who did see this, and obviously pick up on it, was this tall, wet, intimidating Nazi, standing two feet in front of me.
Before I could say another word, the tall, wet, now very agitated Nazi asked me, “Do you have a mother, a father?” Apparently I nodded yes because he then said, “Well, I wouldn’t want to have to kill you.”
I’m not sure what, if anything he said after that, till I saw a wad of cash in front of my face. “Forget about this, take this money, and go have a good time,” he said as he shoved the wad into my hand.
It was at that moment I became angry, not at him but at the government, our government. Fellas in the army, marines and even the navy get pistols when they’re on patrol, we get flash lights. I had a beach full of Nazis, what was I going to do with a beam of light, shine it in their eyes?
Just then the intimidator took another step forward and this time I really wanted to step back, but I didn’t. Some might say I was paralyzed with fear, but I like to think I was brave. And when I realized I couldn’t, I mean didn’t, move, my thought was, maybe he’ll think I’m tough and holding my ground.
Well, what ever he though didn’t matter much, cause two seconds later, with the speed of Jessie Owens, and the strength of Joe Louis, he grabbed my hand and pulled it up so the light beam was pointing directly into his own face. He held my wrist tight and asked “Do you know me?” Naturally I thought he was threatening me, and by that point I knew he wasn’t alone, and we both knew all I had for protection was a flash light, most of which he was presently controlling, so I told him, “No sir, I never saw you before in my life.” And then he said the damndist thing, “My name is George John Davis. Take a good look at me. You’ll be meeting me inEast Hamptonsometime.”
By this point I was totally confused, I didn’t know if he was a Nazi or a nut. But either way, I knew he wasn’t alone and had at least one mate with him, who spoke German, and may have had a weapon. I figured it was time to be smart, the hell with brave any longer.
“Okay” I told him, and instantly his shoulders seemed to drop five inches. His toughness even softened, and he seemed to have a look of “thanks” on his now-dry face. And that was it. He released the Joe Louis grip on the light, turned and slithered back into the darkness.