My first encounter with the police, 'way back in the 60s
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Thread: My first encounter with the police, 'way back in the 60s

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    My first encounter with the police, 'way back in the 60s

    It was back in the 60s in Lawton, OK. We lived in a middle-class addition of the city just south of town populated entirely by blacks (housing segregation was still a very real thing), but mostly of black senior military personnel from Ft Sill (like my father) and other middle-class blacks.

    I was just shy of 16 with a driving learner's permit. My cousin, who was spending some time with us, was the same age and also had a learner's permit. My father was overseas on that sunny Saturday afternoon, and my mother was driving my father's car, leaving hers in the garage.

    Well, my cousin and I got bored. Using teen-aged male logic, we calculated that two learner's permits equaled a driver's license, so we decided to take my mother's car on a careful cruise around the block. My cousin was driving, and as he turned a corner, he passed just a hair too close to a parked car and ripped off the chrome side strip. We stopped the car to see what had happened. The owner came boiling out of his house, hopping mad. He ran back in and called the police.

    We stood their waiting until the cop drove up and got out of his car. He was a huge white guy actually dressed stereotypically in a Smokey Bear hat and dark sunglasses, with high leather boots and a huge chromed .357 magnum (had to be a six inch barrel--one of those engine-block busters) in a basket-weave black Sam Brown belt.

    He dressed us down thoroughly, ticking off five or six offenses that he said would put us in juvie for a long, long time. I think I may have passed out for an instant. I remember the lights going dim.

    Then he peered closely at us and said, "Hmm. I don't know you boys. If you were troublemakers, I'd know you."

    He put us in his car and took us home. My mother was back by then, wondering where we--and her car--were. The officer explained the situation to her and ascertained that she'd accept responsibility for the damages. She said, "Just one minute" and came back with a broomstick in her hands and fire in her eyes.

    The officer cocked his head again, and said, "Well, then, ma'am, I'll leave these boys in your custody."

    So my cousin and I didn't get police records that day. We went on to go to college, have successful military careers, successful subsequent careers, and have both retired in good health and what we expect to be decent comfort.
    Last edited by Ralph_Kirk; 06-01-2020 at 04:53 PM.
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    Mirrors many of my early teen years run ins with Wichita PD and sheriff's officers. I did get to spend some over nights in lockup, and yes got a beating when released, My Mom loved belts. At least until I got to big to beat, then she just left me in Jail. Thank goodness all my crime occurred while still a Juvi. Went to college and didn;t have time to goof off any more.
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    Inquiring minds want to know what your mom did with that broomstick?
    "Color Me Proudly Deplorable!"

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    Kool Hand Luke. He wants it that way, he gets it.
    You get what ask for. If you are stupid enough to mess with a bull with horns you are stupid enough to mess with people who can't defend themselves from your stupidly. Better the police than you. I guess that's all going to change now. Turn back to anarchy and vigilantly groups because the police will be ineffective because of "I can't breve".
    Gang violence? Americans will be an outlaw gang now as why both to call the police. They will not be able to arrest them and if they do they are out in an hour or given a ticket to appear? Pig farming will be a big business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake3501 View Post
    Inquiring minds want to know what your mom did with that broomstick?
    Sounds like he turned out a good man, so I think I know what she did with it.
    ​All you need for happiness is a good gun, a good horse, and a good wife.

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    I pray to almighty God that the America you speak of still exists somewhere. I believe it does, I hope it does, but I'm gonna keep praying.

    God, please bless America. She needs it.
    "It is wonderful, in the event of a street fight, how few bullets seem to hit the men they are aimed at." Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail, Theodore Roosevelt, 1888

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    My mom had a stare that could stop you in your tracks and turn you into a block of ice, God Bless her. Today would have been her 89th birthday God rest her soul.

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    I had a similar incident that could have irrevocably changed the course of my life drastically, and for the worse. I think I was about 15 years old, so this would have been mid 80's. A friend of mine I went to school with was a year older and had just gotten his drivers permit, and decided he was going to take his fathers Cadillac for a joy ride. I was young and dumb, and high at the time, so I figured that sounded like fun. Another of our friends also joined us, and he was an electrician apprentice who probably spent just as much time working with his father in his electrician business as he did going to high school. That friend had just got paid for the month, with some back pay apparently because he had several hundred dollars in his pocket, and decided he was going to treat us to lunch. The friend in his fathers Caddy had a big bag of weed on him, because that's how he spent pretty much any money he got, that and old engines to fix up. Unbeknownst to all of us, his father had a bowling ball bag in the backg seat with a unregistered .38 (this is in MA, so feel free to quake in your boots as it's appropriate) in it. Also unbeknownst to all of us, the Caddy had been sitting in the driveway for a couple weeks now for a reason, apparently it was unregistered and uninsured.

    So here we are, driving a car we shouldn't have been driving that wasn't legal to be on the road, all of us high, a bag of weed and wad of money and a gun all in the car with us. We decide to drive into Cambridge, and we had the windows down and the music blasting. A cruiser pulled up alongside of us at a light, the officer leans out his window and tells us to turn the music up. My friend driving, decided to do just that... Well the next thing we know the blues go on, and we're getting pulled over. Now I in particular am damn near in hyperventilation mode, because it finally dawned on me not only the seriousness of what it was we dumb kids were doing, but also the fact that we had for some reason that now escapes me, driving around in Cambridge, where my father worked, and to the best of my knowledge was working dispatch at that very moment as well. We get moved out of the car, asked for ID, asked about what it was we were doing, where we were going while we're standing up against the big iron fence in front of Harvard University. One Officer asked my name and when I told him his eyes kind of lit up when he heard my last name. "Hey you wouldn't be the son of..." Well now I know, I'm doomed, there goes my life, getting carted off to jail right now would be the best thing that could ever happen to me because when my father hears this, and that was probably him on the radio they were talking to, I might as well just jump in front of the first bus that comes along. The officers conferred together momentarily while I stood there with my life passing before my eyes.

    Mercy was given, because apparently the officer knew that too and decided to play the professional courtesy card for my father. He told us to get whatever we wanted out of the car and go home, but we couldn't take the car because he couldn't let us drive away in an unregistered and uninsured vehicle. I didn't see my friend who took his fathers car for at least a week, the whole time I'm waiting for the hammer to drop on me. It never did. Took me about 20 years before I finally told my father that story, and he laughed after the shock because he said whoever it was I was talking to kept their mouths shut and never said a peep to him about it. Man how bad things could have gone then, especially with the gun and the weed (this was the war on drugs days and the police did not play). Lesson learned. I did plenty of things that were stupid after that, just never quite that stupid.
    Last edited by Zen Ape; 06-01-2020 at 06:50 PM.
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    My first time In the back of a cop car was 1974-75. Our town was to small for police so it was a dept. Sheriff. The tallest Black man you'll ever see. Think Bubba Smith. I was 14-15 I don't remember. But I remember I was in big trouble. My best friend and i had just scored a six pack of beer from the 7-11. An older friend bought it for us. We went across the street to the dark ball park to sit In a dugout and roll a joint. I was sitting my open beer down to get my nickel bag when this flashlight blinds us. " You Boys get that beer and get in the car"
    My knees were Rubber. When we got to Hwy90 is when we got sick. Instead of turning right going to town and the Sheriffs office we turned left! The only thing to the left is miles of hwy and dark woods. About the time I wondered if my mother would ever find my dead body, the deep voice from the front seat says " give me the beer " . He pops the top on one and hands the sixer back to us? He tells us he knows we hang out at the store and ball park and needs our help. What... Armed Robbery of 7-11 was just becoming a thing back then. And the guy he was after was working the county over and had pistol whipped a clerk. He said if we see a car we don't know casing the store call him asap. Told us we were good kids and said hang on! He flipped the blue lights on and did a sliding U in the median of hwy 90 burning rubber and hauling it back to the ballpark. He put us back in the dugout minus one beer. My buddy Dean said nobody would believe us if we told them.
    Soon after that two way mirrors were put on the office or drink cool doors of 7-11 with a sign that read armed guard on duty three days a week. Pick your day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake3501 View Post
    Inquiring minds want to know what your mom did with that broomstick?
    I'm a guessin' she didn't fly on it. Sounds like a great woman. Too bad there aren't more parents like that today. Kids are a bother, not a blessing.
    daytonaredeye likes this.

 

 
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