Me and the Police—Part One

I have had conversations with fellows wearing badges three times since moving back to Missouri in 2011. Two of them are a tad bit bizarre. The other was mundane….I was clocked doing 78 in a 60 in Highlandville on our way home from The Rock House. The only story there is what I coulda done with the $217.50 that it cost me…
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The most recent event was just three days ago…and will be the subject of Part Two.

What follows is copy-and paste, word-for-word from my journal entries for June 16 & 18, 2013…including spelling errors, incomplete sentences, lack of capitalization, profanities. I did delete the portions of the journal from those dates which don’t relate to my stroll. The words in quotation marks are 99% accurate….
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ok. so this story is gonna be a doozy.

I go for a walk on varvera road, and it ends with me having to pull dad from the dinner table with my dying mother to talk with a deputy sheriff.

I had been walking for over 30 minutes, talking on my cell to my uncle john the entire time. Doing laps up and down the road. Just racking up steps. Having a really good conversation…talking about our gardens and dad’s garden….talking about the weather….talking about fishing….talking about them selling their business, ways to structure the sale, and tax consequences of the alternatives.

I’m on a lap heading toward the highway when a huge black truck stops and the driver rolls down his window….i ask john to hold on.

Are you OK?
Yeah, i’m just fine.
Are you sure you’re OK?
Yeah. I’m just taking a walk and talking to my uncle on the phone….my dad lives just down the highway.
And you’re sure that you’re OK?
Yeah, I am sure that i’m AOK. Thanks for asking.

They drive off. I start joking with my Uncle John.

Do I have crazy eyes? Do I look like i’m not Ok? That was strange. If somebody messes with me, I might get crazy eyes!! I’ve got a long fuse, but if somebody messes with me, i’m sure i’ll get the crazy eyes….

we both laughed and kept talking about the possible sale of their business….

about 15 minutes later the black truck passes again, this time headed south on varvera road. We wave at each other.

A few minutes later i’m almost back to 221 and I spot a sheriff’s car turning onto varvera road. I make some flip comment to john. well now I guess the sheriff is gonna ask me if i’m ok….jeez.

the deputy stops, rolls down his window and says what are you doing?
i’m taking a walk and talking to my uncle. (john is still on the phone)

you can’t walk on this road.
it’s a public road isn’t it?

no it’s a private road, and the owner doesn’t want you walking on it.
Who are you, and where are you from?

i’m visiting my dad. He lives right there. Dad had that house built almost 25 years ago.
where do you live?
i live in springfield.

why are you walking this road?
I lift my shirt and show him my pedometer hanging on my belt.
i’m pretty serious about walking. I’ve been walking this road every time I visit him for months now.

well you can’t walk this road. You need to go home.
WTF?? I need to go home??? this guy is an asshole!!

I walk off. And continue talking to uncle john, who was still on the call.

did you hear that?
sort of…
he says it’s a private road…and then tells me I need to go home???

I start walking east on 221, on the other side of the road from the folks’ house, and walk past their driveway. The deputy is still sitting on varvera road. He can see that i’ve walked past dad’s driveway.

I tell john what i’m doing…that i’m going to walk to the bridge to look at doe run creek…that I can’t get to the creek on dad’s land because the guy who called the sheriff on me has messed everything up so that there is lots of standing water on dad’s land….and the creek is messed up too.

I think about continuing to walk east on 221, but realize that I don’t have my wallet or ID on me, so I cross the road at the bridge and start walking back toward the house.

The deputy pulls onto 221…in front of another car and moves slowly. the asshole is also a bad driver!! I tell john that he is creeping along and say if he pulls over and hauls me off, it will cost you money because i’ll fill a wrongful detention suit against your county….and i’ll win!!

the deputy pulls into dad’s driveway, just barely off the road and stops at the gate. He is glaring at me.

i told you that you needed to go home. Do you live here?

again with the go home???
and i’ve told this guy that i’m visiting my folks.

this is my dad’s place. I told you that. I told you that I live in springfield. I’m visiting him on Father’s Day.
not only is he an asshole. he’s as dumb as a box of rocks.

is that your car?
yes. The vehicles in the garage are my dad’s {my car has florida plates}

I walk off and head into the garage. uncle john is still on the phone.

one more time with this ‘go home stuff?? what the fuck? does he think i’m lying and walking into a stranger’s garage.

I walk to the back of the garage and tell john that the deputy can’t see me back there…
i bet he drives up here to check on me!!

and he does. Un-fucking-believable!!!

I tell uncle john that I need to hang up and go get dad.

I open the door. Mom and dad are at the dining room table. Dad is on the phone with paula. I tell him that I need him to come outside and tell the deputy that I am his son and that i’m just going for a walk.

Dad goes out and talks to the deputy. He tells him that I am indeed his son. That paula and I have been walking on this road for quite awhile. The deputy says he needed to check on my story and that I shouldn’t be walking on this ‘private road.’

The deputy leaves. finally.
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Text to Shelly on 6/16/13 at 7:53 pm. You won’t believe what i just went thru on my walk…it involves a deputy sheriff. Unbelievable!!

From Shelly on 6/16/13 at 7:54 pm. Oh no! Are you in jail?
To Shelly on 6/16/13 at 7:55 pm. No…but i’m righteously indignant!!
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I called Uncle John back. i only get one call, and i’m using it to call you…. we both laughed.

I told him that I was going to find out if it was a private road. He said that the county commissioners could find out for me, and that one of them goes to his church. He suggested that I contact Patrick Mullins….and I will.

it all comes down to the way the deputy handled it….being gruff, accusatory, and telling me that I needed to go home. WTF??!!

If he had been pleasant and simply said, it’s a nice day for a walk, but this is a private road and the owner has asked me to tell you that he’d like to walk elsewhere I would had said ok, walked in and asked Dad if he thought I was a private road…and either way i’d have still followed up to find out.
But the guys attitude, and especially telling me that I need to go home did not set well with me. he’s got a badge, a bad attitude…and no brains.
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{what follows is from the 6/18/13 journal entries}

it’s almost noon…just got out of the shower. I was sweaty after my long walk…..on varvera road.

Earlier I called and left a message for county commissioner patrick mullins. He was out….they took a message…and he called me back in just a few minutes.

I told him that I was related to john stevens, and that I need to know if varvera is a county or private road. He said he could find out, but that if it was ok with me he would pass this to the commissioner who represents this part of the county. I said sure…i would like that.

a couple of minutes later the phone rings and it was the guy in charge of the county road department. He told me that varvera road is public…he also suggested that I speak with the county commissioner based on the way the deputy handled the situation.

He passed me to gay wilkinson, who confirmed that the road is public…and that he was surprised that the deputy didn’t know that. He said I should feel free to walk the road any time I want, and that if anybody said anything that I should have them contact him. He gave me his cell number, and said that either I or the person questioning me could call that number at any time.
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While the 2013 journal file was open, so that I could copy-and-paste the above journal entries, I scrolled down a bit. Here’s what I wrote early on the morning of June 30, 2013:

scurrying to hit the road for doe run…
for a family get together. 🙂
and to watch Mom die. 🙁

she died at 1:21 pm on July 1, 2013. I’m sure that she didn’t think it was all that funny to see a sheriff’s car in the driveway.
I didn’t. I still don’t.
Some people who have badges are arrogant assholes. Most aren’t….like the guy I’ll write about in Part II.
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This song is about the city cop in Highlandville with the ticket pad…. I can’t have a blog post without some music.

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