*Disclaimer: I won’t say if parts of this story are based in truth or fiction, or possibly a mixture of both. Any similarity to any actual event or to any person may be totally coincidental. Also, it’s easier to write myself into the story to tell it in both first and third person 🙂 Other parts to follow . . .
It was a February night in the Midwest. That meant dark at 4 pm and cold to the bone. The day was already gone when the police arrived. Two, straight out of high school, strap on a badge and a gun, take an oath on a Bible, and pretend you’re a cop kind of guys. Typical bullies in school, bullies in uniform as cops. But they arrived at an awkward time. To say the least.
The death in the family was just beginning to set in. My father’s uncle had passed away. Complications from a broken hip. A pulmonary embolism. The General was gone.
So, the words of these DF cops kind of bounced off my dad as they were screaming at him. “You can’t hide him forever!! We’ll be back!” “Him” was my brother, Ray. These cops, no class. Not a hint of professionalism.
It seems someone ratted Ray out over a minor drug sale. One domino fell, and that one hit the next, and the next and then “him.” But where was he?
While my father was grieving the loss of one of the family’s heroes, Ray was out raising hell with friends.
Major player in WWII, my Great Uncle. Tactical Air Force. Commanded the 9th flying cover for Hodges’ First Army. Later commanded the planes supporting MacArthur in the Korean War. A lot of family history permeated the chain of descent. Up to my generation anyway.
Two hits tonight.
My brother got home about 6 the next morning, and the adolescent badges showed up about 7:00. No one was hiding anyone.
After giving the cops a couple of hours to process my brother and finding out what it’d cost to bail him out, I rode with my father to the police station. It was midway down the quarter-mile, one-way main street in this backwater town.
The police station was right next door to Bob’s Butcher Shop. It had been robbed twice on consecutive nights that month. The burglars were right. The cops were too stupid to catch them the first time and were too predictable for the second. No one would suspect they would hit the same place two nights in a row. But next to the police station? Come on! Barney Fife was a genius compared to these guys.
Officer Pond motioned to us to come back down a hallway once my father identified himself. Ray was in his office and his interrogation was over.
Pond opened his office door a crack and motioned for my brother to come out. As Ray exited, he pulled the door closed behind him and whispered, “Let’s get the hell out of here.” Later he would tell me why he was in a hurry.
It seems that after a night of partying with various substances and alcohol, and being drug down to the police station without any time to recover, Ray was pretty sick. And when that moment of peristaltic pyrotechnics came, he covered Pond’s desk completely, paperwork and all, with quite a viscous, bile-laden puke.
Pond hadn’t seen his surprise yet, but it was something he’d remember 5 years later, when his service weapon was leveled on my back . . .
To be continued . . . Maybe 🙂
Photo: The local police make an appearance.