By Nicholas Contompasis
As I drove my sports car down the street of my well healed bedroom community, in the San Francisco Bay area, I kept hearing Rick's words playing over and over again in my head;
Rick: "If it's December 1941 in Casablanca, what time is it in New York? "
Sam: "What? My watch stopped." Rick: "I'd bet they're asleep in New York. I'd bet they're asleep all over America."
As the Vichy French Government sold out the French People to Nazi Germany, Casablanca became the last port of departure for freedom loving people. It was the last stop before America. Some made it, some didn't!
Rolling to a stop to let some local shoppers cross, my eyes drifted, I could almost hear "La Marseillaise " playing in the background.
Who was Rick? He was that guy that always fought on the side of the underdog, the guy that always fought for the freedom of others. He was that forgotten freedom fighter in foreign lands who put his life at risk so that others could "feel freedom."
My mind kept drifting from fantasy to reality and back again. Not knowing what was real or just a memory of a movie.
Was I now living in the fantasy that was once pre World War II or was it actually happening......, again!
Was I actually driving down Main Street Casablanca with a Nazi, or are they U.N. troops, on every corner? It seemed so !
Rick's one true love entered back into his life "As Time Goes By" and left for America as they "rounded up the usual suspects." A love he would never forget and a love that was symbolic for "freedom", that he would never let die.
As I pointed my car out of town, with the government news spouting the regular lies on my radio. I heard Rick say to Louie, " I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship", as they slowly strolled into the mist, just over there.
For it was on that bright day in Northern California, I realized the strength of my faith, patriotism and love for my country.
My country was now under siege, that sunny day in Casablanca, as I drove into the mist, with Louie and Rick. - N.P.Contompasis