One year, shortly after my father had retired, he and mom decided to take a rare vacation together. Since there had been nine kids in the family it wasn't often that they got time to themselves, but now all the kids had grown and it was just my two sisters and me at home so they had a chance to get away for a week. My sister had a new van that she let them use, which was good because dad never had a new car and the ones he had were frequently at risk of breaking down. I'm not sure where the went, exactly, but it was out west somewhere. They got back late at night and mom told me something that had happened-or almost happened-to them. They were at a rest stop in Iowa having a picnic lunch when a man walked up to them and started talking. Mom said he was dressed nicely and had a southern drawl that she always loved. At one point he ask if that was their van, and she said it was. He then said "We're gonna take a ride". Mom froze, petrified because she knew he wanted the van for...whatever reason. My father, who was hard of hearing, still sat eating as he hadn't heard what was said. The guy repeated himself and dad heard, but didn't comprehend what was taking place, and said something like "No, we're going to finish eating". The guy then told them to get up and walk to the van. Mom thought maybe he had a gun in his pocket, and was naturally terrified. Dad now caught on and, being the stubborn person he was, grabbed a butter knife and stood up, saying"No we aren't. We're not going anywhere!". Mom said the guy looked confused and scared then, and ran off, getting in his car and leaving. They stopped a state trooper a little ways down the road from the rest stop and told him what happened. He took off in the direction the guy went, and shortly thereafter several more patrol cars passed them with sirens and lights going. They never did find out who the guy was, or what became of him. Mom said he probably saw them sitting there and thought they would be an easy target, two old people with a new van. But...He made the mistake of misjudging my father.