On the day before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in my first year driving for Coronado Livery, I was dispatched to the Naval Amphibious Base to pick up two passengers going to the airport. It was the Mohammed party.
We loaded the van to the gills with huge suitcases, stuffed duffel bags, and all sorts of equipment, filling the substantial luggage compartment from top to bottom and stem to stern. When we were good to go, we got underway, off to Lindbergh Field. All along the way, the pair spoke to one another in Arabic.
When we arrived curbside, they paid the $10.00 tariff with a crisp C-note, stiffed me on the tip, and were gone, leaving on a jet plane, to quote the 1966 song penned by the late John Denver. But I digress.
The following day, following the infamous 9/11 terrorist attacks, I contemplated who my passengers might have been, and how fortunate they were to get out of Dodge just before all the airports closed. I wondered to myself, “Who were those guys?” At best, they were a couple of our Kuwaiti friends who’d been training with the SEALs. At worst, only Allah knows.