The action focuses on the strategic importance of the ferry crossing that would one day become Columbia, situated between George Washington's army at Valley Forge and the Continental Congress in York. The fates of the town-to-be and the nation-to-be are interwoven, with local historical figures playing significant roles. General Thomas Conway, plotting to overthrow George Washington, tries to seize the ferry between George Washington's army at Valley Forge and the Continental Congress in York. But he underestimates the determination and resourcefulness of Susannah Wright, owner of the ferry, and her nephew Sam, future founder of Columbia.
The setting is basic training at Fort
Polk, Louisiana, in the summer of 1970. The trainees are all
reservists, with the exception of four black draftees. The
draftees have deliberately failed basic training to avoid Viet
Nam. For the reservists, basic training is a brief but painful
interruption in their lives. If nothing major goes wrong, they
will return home. But the disappearance of one of the draftees
threatens everyone in the platoon. This screen play is based on the novella The Barracks,
which is included in Saint Smith and Other Stories.
An ordinary ride down a crowded super
highway becomes surreal when the drivers realize that they
have no control over their vehicles.