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