Smokey and the Bandit: One Last Ride

I do not own Smokey and the Bandit

Universal Pictures does

Authors Note: This is a one piece tribute to Legendary Actor Burt Reynolds. I will always miss the man for not just who he was, but what he has done and hope that todays performing artists take a moment to reflect on the lessons that he left behind. It was once said that by a Hollywood Director to both he and Clint Eastwood that they would never make it big. I guess both proved him wrong. This is in memory of one I remembered only as 'The Bandit'.

Jupiter, Florida

Shock. That was what he was feeling at this moment. He stood behind an entire body of people that was his family as his bodies functions ceased. He noticed as he slowly began to unconsciously walk backwards without even knowing he was until the image of his beautifully aged wife Carrie and the rather large family and friends surrounding his body became as if a distant scene, that he was wearing familiar attire not worn since he first met his lovely wife, Frog. Red long sleeve shirt and blue jeans. He reached up and felt the familiar tell tell tan hat that became the signature headgear he wore many years ago when he first met the love of his life whom became the mother of his children, and eventually the Grandmother of his many Grandchildren.

Taking it off, he held it out in before him with one hand as with the other, his hand brushed over the rough texture of the hats surface. Memories surfaced from the last time he wore it as he smiled in fondness.

It was then that he knew. He'd seen enough films and television programs to know an out of body experience to know that that was what he was now experiencing now.

He also noticed that time seemed to begin to gradually slow down as those whom he passed were slowing down physically.

'Oh Lord, so that's how these things play out.' he thought to himself as he then placed the hat back upon his head and turned away from the shrinking room, a curved corner aiding him in leaving the scene or 'image' of his lifeless body being mourned over by those he cherished even after his death. As he walked through the halls of the Hospital, he soon found himself looking upon what appeared to be a set of double doors.

The important thing about the double doors were that they were glowing as if with ethereal, heavenly light. He felt himself drawn to the doors as he moved forward.

A few moments later as he walked through the said doors that his eyes took a moments to adjust to the bright light, he noticed he was in what seemed to be the parking lot of the Hospital.

His eyes began to return to normal when the sound of a familiar engine sounded off to his left. The roar of an W72 Performance package drew his attention as a 1977 T-Top Trans-Am pulled up in front of him. With its famous black paint with gold trimmings and Phoenix, it was truly a thing of beauty.

Sitting in the drivers seat as the engine was shut down, was none other than his old friend, Cledus 'Snowman' Snow, donning a familiar attire that he once wore when both were young and in their prime, with another familiar individual or basset hound sitting in the passenger seat, with its long tongue out and ears drooping on either side of its head.

"Cledus?!" he said in surprise. Looking down at the dog in the passenger seat, he smiled in great fondness as he stepped up to the side of the car, scratching the hounds right ear, "Fred!"

"Wwweeellllllll, looky what we got here."

"Hello Snowman."

"Hello to you too, Bandit!" the man returned as he opened and exited the Drivers Seat of the Trans-Am. Cledus Snow came around and stopped before him.

Both men seemed to remain silent for a few moments before Cledus began to chuckle that then turned into a full blown laugh. Bo followed suit less than a second later as both embraced one another, hands clapping each other on the back.

After another few moments passed, both men took a step back, arms still attached to each other as both men shared a few tears and passive chuckles.

"It's good to see you, Cledus. It's been a long time."

"Ten Years, Bo." his friend acknowledged and agreed with a nod.

"I see you brought ol' Trigger with you."

"Couldn't just let you enter the Pearly Gates without myself, Fred," he nodded his head toward the car, "And of course your favorite ride being there right with you."

Bo 'Bandit' Darville turned to and walked up to the Trans-Am, resting his hands over the hood of the car, feeling the smooth painted plexiglass. He then began to walk around and trailed a single hand until he came around to the drivers side.

Opening the door, he slowly sank down into the drivers seat. His hands grasped the steering wheel, slowly running his fingers over the leather bound wheel.

Cledus watched as his old friend re-familiarized himself with the second love of his life. Just observing Bo took him back to the good old days when things were much simpler.

An unknown amount of time passed before he looked up at the smiling visage of Cledus Snow. "What you smilin' about?"

"Nothing. Just taking a moment to watch you get used to the ol' girl once more. How does she feel?"

"Like she never forgot about me." he exhaled a deep breath. He then looked passed Cledus as he thought back to Frog and how much she meant to him.

Cledus looked in the same direction as the Bandit as his mind caught onto the same initial thought as his friend. "Frog?"

Bo nodded.

"You'll be there when it's her time."

"Like you were for me?"

"Yes sir. Fred, move over will ya?!" Cledus called out as he opened the passenger door and pushed the dog over a bit until he was able to settle himself in the passenger seat, only to then grab ahold of Fred and pull him onto his lap after closing the passenger door.

"So, you ready to go home?"

"Yeah. Just one thing is missing."

"One thing, or some one?"

"Breaker, Breaker to the Bandit." a familiar Texan voice called out over the CB Radio.

Bo raised an eye brow as he looked at a now wide smirking Snowman. Grabbing the receiver, he pressed the button, "This is the Bandit. Is that Sheriff Buford T. Justice of Texarkana, Texas I hear?"

"It sure is, you 'Som Bitch', and I'm tail grabbing your ass with the intent to give you an escort home."

"Did he just say he was giving me an escort home?" Bo asked as he looked behind him and the Trans-Am. Lo and behold, the man known as Buford T. Justice, former Sheriff of Texarkana, Texas sat in his Police issued 1977 Pontiac LeMans, waving his chubby fingers and smiling as if he had caught his favorite catch of the day.

"You know, I believe he did."

Pressing the button again, Bo replied, "Then come on Buford. Catch me if you can, haha."

With a turn of the ignition key, the engine came to life with a mighty roar. Shifting the Trans-Am into gear, Bo 'Bandit' Darville floored the gas pedal, leaving a trail of tire smoke behind him a second later.

As the vehicle known as 'Trigger' accelerated, the LeMans wasn't far behind.

With the Trans-Am now on the main road, we watch as the Smoky begins again the pursuit that he never truly finished as both cars ride towards a set of golden Gates that opened upon their arrival. As the back of the LeMans entered the light, the Gates of Heaven closed, permitting its new resident a warm welcome home.

I couldn't imagine a better ending for three of Hollywoods Legendary icons. I hope it is a fitting one shot for the likes of Burt Reynolds, Jackie Gleason, and Jerry Reed. Like Robin Williams, they made me laugh, even today when I watch the DVD's that contained their great works. More to come for my other work. Let me know what you think. Until next time.