I’ve Fought the Law, and the Law Won ..P2.. A  Treasure Box Story

23 Jun

The Chief told the girls they could make one call to their parents and explain what was going on.  My friends girlfriend immediately got on the phone and call her mom, the GF explained the problem in great and accurate detail.  Bill had been stopped for speeding, and allowed the cop to search the trunk.  The cop found the fireworks and moonshine and haul us all off to the Mayberry jail.  The Police Chief was threatening Bill with possession of illegal alcohol, possession of explosives with the intent of transporting them across state lines, and both Bill and my BF, the Mann Act for bringing her and my GF into Tennessee for “unknown” reasons.  My friend’s GF must have spoken for 20 mins and then listened to her Mom for another 15, before hanging up.  My friend’s GF convinced my GF to pass on making a call, so my GF didn’t.  My friend and I were not offered the opportunity to make a call, but knowing who my Friend’s GF was, we didn’t push.  I am going to use Marge to refer to my friend’s GF from this point forward because her and her family plays a major role from this point. 

I had been best friends with my Friend for a couple years; Marge was the only girl I have ever known him to date.  They were married as she began her Junior year of High School, let me be perfectly clear, she was not repeat was not pregnant at the time of their marriage, nor did she lose a child prior to marriage, they were in love as much as I have ever seen two people, except for maybe my brother John and his 1st wife.  Marge’s family was not rich, but they had influence and pull, and they had a ton of that. 

Marge’s mom was a lovely woman, and one of the warmest people I have known.  She fully embraced me into their family because of my best friend.  Marge’s older brothers protected me because I was the runt.  And after my GF and I broke up (Marge never really liked her) Marge would set me up with her friends and cousins. But is a chapter left untold. Anyway back to her Mom.  Mrs. Marge was big in the Democratic Party in northern KY and southern IN.  When I say big I mean really really big, she knew people, and those people owed her, some owed her a lot, some not so much, but a bunch of folks in high and higher positions knew her and would quickly bend over backwards to do her a favor.  Mr. Marge was a very important field engineer for one of the Nation’s major gas and oil companies he was responsible for the Northeast, but had influence deeply into the south as well. 

To this day I don’t know all the details of what transpired.  But within 2 ½ hours there was a lawyer there at the Mayberry Jail, to pick up both my GF and my friend’s GF. The girls were released and were never charged with anything.  The Chief also apologized for detaining them. Upon leaving the jail they were taken to Nashville and then flown back to Louisville in a private plane (owned by Major gas and oil company), my GF was delivered to her home by private car before curfew. 

My friend and I while not being allowed to leave the jail were treated very well and fed very well.  The Chief did inform us that the details for our release were being worked out, and to make ourselves comfortable because it could take a day or so.  With the next day being Sunday, my friend and I didn’t expect much to happen.  My car had been moved to protected storage, and we relaxed pretty all day Sunday.  The same lawyer that got the girls out Saturday afternoon came and visited with us mid-afternoon Sunday.  He explained that we wouldn’t be charged and would be released early on Monday.  He had to visit with the local judge face to face before the necessary paperwork was signed.

At 9am on Monday, the attorney came gathered us up and walked us to my car.  The Chief was trailing along behind and seemed in a good mood.  As we got into the car, the Chief ambled over and told me to be careful and to make sure I didn’t do any more speeding in the State of Tennessee.  The attorney just shook his head, and advised us that we might be well served to stay out of TN for a bit.  That was advice we took to heart, and it was years before I ventured into TN again. No more than 20 minutes after leaving the jail we were back in the State of KY.  The tank was still reading full, it was a bright and sunny day, the top was down and we drove back to Louisville without incident.  

Upon arrival back home we checked the trunk and found much to our surprise the fireworks and moonshine were still in the trunk.  We got rid of the stuff as fast as possible and laid low.  We never volunteered to do that again.  Besides only a few months later I was in the Navy, and not long after that my friend and Marge were married.  I haven’t talked to either in a few years now, but the last time I did talk to them they were still happily married. 

Now a little back story.  Our release was engineered by Mrs. Marge.  I always knew she was a player in the Democratic Party, I just never realized the level of her game.  Clearly it was at a level beyond anything I have encountered since.  Remember the only reason I was stopped was because I was speeding, and it wasn’t by as much as I would normally be speeding.  Apparently the cop that stopped us had no probably cause to search the trunk.  Anyway Mrs. Marge tentacles reached all over the three state area.  She knew someone, who knew someone, who could get to Mayberry and straighten and clean up whatever mess there was.   While she was doing that, Mr. Marge was arranging transportation for the girls.  I’m not sure if the trip to Nashville and return was company supported or not, and that’s not my problem.  It happened and the girls got to ride in an airplane home. 

The girls only had to spend 3 hours in a jail cell with an unlocked door and complete access to the restroom.  My friend and I biggest issue was we had to wear the same cloths all weekend, but this was 1968, and it wasn’t the 1st time I had spent an entire weekend in the same cloths.  The Mayberry jail was small, only a couple cells and we were the only occupants Saturday and Sunday nights. And we got to keep our purchases.  I thanked Mrs. Marge a bunch, and I loved her like a mom.  Also to her credit, she had to help out my friend and me a couple more times before I was off to the Navy.  I will say it is nice to have friends in high places even when you don’t know they are. 

So ends my tale of getting to spend two evening in a TN jail as a visitor, (I was never charged or arrested for anything), so I must have been a visitor.  I hope you enjoyed the story.  If you have any questions, concerns or comments, please feel free to ask, and thank my wife for suggesting I tell this story.  Take care, Bill

PS – This was not the only time I have driven Fireworks across a State line for a friend.  A few years ago, just before I moved to Florida permanently a good friend asked me to stop someplace along my way back to his house in Northern VA and purchase $500 in fireworks.  He had a specific list, brand names, gauge, and estimated cost.  When the guy I was travelling with suggested we call it a night, we stopped at the 1st SC exit, that sold fireworks, checked into a decent place, had dinner, and then bought 500 dollars’ worth of fireworks.  We carefully laid them on top of our golf clubs, and pulled the cover over the back.  When back to the hotel had a couple drinks called it a night and completed the trip without incident the next day.  So I can buy and transport fireworks without getting in trouble, so there LOL LOL.  Take care, Bill


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22 responses to “I’ve Fought the Law, and the Law Won ..P2.. A  Treasure Box Story

  1. Chatter Master

    June 23, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill…. I am so able to picture this story all the way through. Including the Mayberry jail. I’m glad the outcome was so favorable. I was wondering all the way through if the items would still be in the trunk. Surprise!!!! This was a great story and I hope Cari loves it! (Some day!)

    • FlaHam

      June 24, 2014 at 6:05 am

      Colleen, As I was writing the story, the Mayberry jail was the only logical choice to describe the setting. So many of us can picture Andy in Mayberry with ease. But it was my 1st real 1st hand knowledge of the power of politics, even though at the time it didn’t seem that way. The best part was I lost a GF, without getting into trouble, or a big breakup scene. Take care, Bill

      • Chatter Master

        June 24, 2014 at 7:57 pm

        So you never heard from her again? Or did the parents make you break up?

        • FlaHam

          June 25, 2014 at 6:09 am

          Colleen, Yes we did see each other after the incident, but the teen age relationship was just about over before, the excitement of the day, the social power involved all impressed her, but the relationship was over. We dated maybe for a month afterwards. BTW her parents knew she was riding down to TN and the purpose for the trip, her dad had made a specific order. I was 18 and she was 15 it just wasn’t working. Hell, the 1st time Marge met her, Marge said “Hammie, she isn’t right for you.” I didn’t listen. Smiling, Take care, Bill

  2. benzeknees

    June 23, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    The things we do in our youth when everything seems so simple & easy!

    • FlaHam

      June 24, 2014 at 5:59 am

      Benze, Smiling, some of us never really grow up, my wife reminded me that just a few years ago, I bought all those wire works for a friend and transported them across 2 states. At least that time I didn’t even get slowed down. I hope you have a great day, please take care. Bill

  3. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    June 23, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Fireworks and moonshine! What a great story. The things we get in to and the laughs at the memory recall. And it sure does bring back some of my own. Really good one, my friend. Hugs! ❤

    • FlaHam

      June 24, 2014 at 5:43 am

      Paulette, It is all part of my sorted past. LOL I wasn’t looking for trouble (well kinda maybe), but I located it with ease. My sweet lady your last sentence almost implies you had a bad girl streak in you, you must share that LOL. Take care, Bill

      • The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

        June 24, 2014 at 9:27 am

        Bad girl? Hmmm, interesting concept. I think more ordinary teenage stuff. We’ll talk. I start my new job today so hopefully soon. ❤

        • FlaHam

          June 24, 2014 at 4:25 pm

          Paulette, smiling I am looking forward to that conversation. I hope your 1st day on the new job was great. Take care, Bill

  4. kgbethlehem

    June 24, 2014 at 12:02 am

    after reading all of that, felt like i was transported in 1950s in Arkansas. nice read, really enjoyed that and glad everything is alright for the most part..

    • FlaHam

      June 24, 2014 at 5:50 am

      Kay, I am truly glad you enjoyed that little slice of my past, and welcome to my world. Everything is just fine. I hope you continue to enjoy the stories I share. The wayback machine is still working just fine. Take care, Bill

      • kgbethlehem

        June 24, 2014 at 7:56 am

        Haha. How I missed that. Thought you were still a rebel. Nice story

        • FlaHam

          June 24, 2014 at 4:27 pm

          Kay, I am glad you enjoyed it, I am glad I survived it, and I am happy to have had the opportunity to share it. I do hope I can keep you interested in future stories. Take care, Bill

  5. kanzensakura

    June 25, 2014 at 12:23 am

    I always knew you are a wild man. And Brad wonders why I was so nervous travelling back home with a trunk full of HIS fireworks…..I told him when we got home, if he was arrested while shooting them off, he was one his own. and to think, in 1968 I was arrested for having a roach in my jeans pocket. Yeppers Bill, those were the days indeed. Hugs to you.

    • FlaHam

      June 25, 2014 at 6:14 am

      Kanzen, LMBO, you were a flower child, ain’t that something. Smiling. I will neither confirm or deny my level of wildness in the 67-69 time frame, but the cumulative effect of my fooling around during that period had me in the Navy in April 69. Smiling a roach in your pocket, why didn’t you just eat it? Kanzen, I can only imagine the truths that would come out in a long private conversation, LOL LOL. Have a great day, and take care. Bill

  6. Brenda Davis Harsham

    June 26, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    This is so typical, except for Ms. Marge, who really was excellent deus ex machina. Most people ignore those pesky little laws. They must because I see people setting off fireworks all over MA where they are illegal. LOL

    • FlaHam

      June 26, 2014 at 10:36 pm

      Brenda, Mrs Marge was the coolest lady, at this point it was almost 50 years ago, and I may have had a tiny bit of a crush on her. But my imagination and time can play tricks. LOL I just remember her as an extremely nice lady. Take care, Bill

      • Brenda Davis Harsham

        June 27, 2014 at 11:20 am

        LOL You are adorable, and I’m sure she like you, too. Or she would not have helped you.

        • FlaHam

          June 28, 2014 at 10:32 am

          Brenda, Yes I am LOL LOL. Thanks for noticing, take care, Bill

  7. Clowie

    June 28, 2014 at 7:22 am

    I hope you at least got a glass of the moonshine for your trouble!

    • FlaHam

      June 28, 2014 at 11:08 am

      Clowie, I didn’t get a glass that trip and I am grateful I didn’t. I had a glass long before that trip, and that one glass taught me that I needed to keep the skin on my throat, and that it only took one big shot, to make me real stupid. I learned from moonshine that I enjoyed bourbon much much better. LOL LOL. And drinking bourbon didn’t slowly peel this skin from my throat. But I have found some great uses for moonshine, it’s great if you need to build a big fire, or remove old anything from old anything. Take care, Biped Bill


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