I forget the exact date, but I lived in or near, Savage Maryland off and on from about 1971 to about 1988. And while I was in College at the University of Maryland in the late 70's I worked at the Savage IGA, which was where the WAWA is now off of Main Street. It was run by a nice man who's name I can't recall and I was there part time stocking his shelves, cleaning and sometimes helping the Butcher. I remember his wife, who filled in for him on weekends so he could go to Shul. And his daughter who he put through college so she wouldn't have to run a grocery store. I also remember his butcher, a man named Izzy who seemed old as sin to me and had numbers on his arm, at the time, but was probably actually younger than I am now. Anyway I still remember one weekend day working there as clear as a bell. It was the Weekend Savage got invaded by the Marines.
It was a beautiful day. Not super hot. The kind of day when people came to Savage to take advantage of the mild rapids in the town where the water moved fast enough to avoid leaches and bugs, but was safe enough so that people could swim with a relative lack of fear. People came from miles around to swim there and party. It was a hangout for redneck and hippy type alike. And also got some pretty wild people. But that day I wasn't enjoying the water, but a few local marines were. They went down to the Little Patuxent that we affectionately called "The Savage River" to swim. Parked their jeeps and went into the water.
Apparently a few of the local bullies harrassed and attacked them. I don't know which bullies they were but I can guess as I had a few run ins with them myself. The bullies beat up one of these three marines and they beat a retreat back to Fort Meade. We all knew that Fort Meade contained the National Security Agency and were proud of our non-existent agency and it's mission to keep us safe from the evil Communist menace, and I was too. So were the Marines who then provided the NSA security detail.
The three came back with a small army. I don't know how many jeeps, but they came in with a battallian strength hunting for the bullies who attacked that Marine. One Jeep pulled up to the Store and a few tough looking and angry looking guys asked me if I knew what was going on. I didn't, and they kept on going. I hear they caught the three guys who'd attacked one of their own a few minutes later. I don't recall how the administrative justice went. But I don't feel sorry for the guys who attacked the marines.
I actually thought the whole thing was funny. To me it will always be "the day the Marines invaded Savage."
The Marines eventually were replaced with Federal Protective Service officers. And eventually the existence of Fort Meade was hidden behind new roads, bypasses and the relocation of soldiers to other bases unless they were involved directly in NSA operations. But I was thinking of the story because today is a beautiful day like that, and I wanted to write the story down. Savage is normally a peaceful place, but there were a few wild people and most of them aren't around anymore or would like people to forget they once thought they were bad arses.