Friday, February 17, 2012


Recently, in the news has been a sad story of a vehicle that lost
control on Jefferson Street and plowed into the cemetery there and
destroyed many grave makers, some because they are so old, it is
difficult to contact the descendents. This is not an article about right
or wrong, it just brought up a story about that cemetery.

Back in the beginnings of the 1970's, the City of Newnan was in the
process of making Bullsboro Drive to connect to the new I-85, which
ended at Palmetto at the time and did not resume again until the Alabama
State Line.

Part of that process was to move part of the Cemetery to be able to
 widen the road in the name of progress. It happens all the time. I think if
 done with respect, it a good thing.Lord knows I would not want my dead
 body keeping someone from getting to Wal-Mart on time.

The part of the cemetery that was to be moved was not just ordinary citizens
 who had passed. NOOOO! It was the CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS section.

Saying that in today's climate would not even raise an eyebrow. However,
 this was a time when feelings for the OLD SOUTH and all things Southern
still ran deep, very deep in Newnan, Georgia.

This was a time when most, if not all, the
hands on labor was done by the black community.  Back in this era, the
Blacks were very weary and respectful  of the dead. Getting Black men to
exhume a grave was tenuous at best, getting them to exhume Confederate
Soldiers, I am told, had the air electric with emotions.


The City of Newnan Police Dept. was there to keep things moving along,
or so it was supposed. There were the usual curiosity seekers who tend
to get in the way, concerned citizens, and others for various reasons,
all of whom slow down the work.

Having the onlookers
sufficiently out of the way, AND  out of ear shot, one particular Police
Officer decided to have some fun. The men would dig down to the
appropriate depth, usually finding nothing of the casket or skeleton,
since the bodies had been buried in wooden boxes over 100 years ago. I
am told a metal detector was used to find buttons, buckles, swords,
anything metal that could be transferred to the new resting place.

As this was the last grave, the Officer on Duty could not let the opportunity to have a little fun.

Every day at noon, work would stop for an hour for everyone to rest and
have lunch. Even the onlookers would take a break. The only one left
was the Officer on Duty to guard the open grave against an accident or
theft. The Officer on Duty decided it would be fun to play a little
trick on the grave diggers, as he knew them all and everybody worked
together. He went down the ladder, put his back-up walkie-talkie in a
paper bag and lightly covered it with dirt. He then went back up the
ladder and waited. When the men came back from lunch, they assumed their
usual duties. The lead man would go down with the small metal detector
and small hand trowel to find the objects, the second man would be half
way down the ladder to take whatever was handed to him, the third man
stood at the top of the grave to receive the items, and 3 or 4 peered in
watching and waiting until it was their turn to fill in the dirt.

Just as the lead man ran the metal detector across the hidden
walkie-talkie and a loud squeal erupted, the Police Officer spoke into
his other walkie-talkie, "Get that damn contraption out of my face Boy, I
am a Confederate General!"

I don't know if it is true or not,
but it was told that the lead man in the bottom of the grave past the
man on the ladder as he was getting out of the grave and the whole gang
ran as if their lives depended on it.

In the confusion, the
Officer went down and retrieved his radio and acted as dumbfounded as
everyone else. He said that they had to hire a whole new crew to finish
the job.

The Officer that told me that story is dead now and I
would not tell anything that he could not confirm or deny on his own.
He always said it was not him, but with that tinkle in his eyes, well, I will go to
to my grave knowing that he was the rascal that he was.


The Dairy Bar-Home of the Plenty Burger!

There was a time long ago when the world had not heard of Buffalo Wings.

Ed had the best fried chicken. You could get a breast, leg, or thigh. Why? "Cause that's all that people ordered back then.

What happened to the rest? Well, Ole Ed did like most folks back then
and bought whole chickens and cut them up himself. He would give away
the neck, back and wings. Lot of meat left there.

When you
have a family of five to feed, things like that go a long way to stretch
the budget. We quietly ate pounds of wings because we could not afford a
whole chicken.

Now, I could host a Super Bowl Party with 10 pounds of wings that we regularly kept in the refrigerator.

I know I told you before, but let me tell you again: THANKS ED, YOU ARE A GREAT GUY!



A Great American and a Great Man by the name of Ed Anderson owned and operated THE DAIRY BAR-Home of the PLENTY BURGER!

When I worked on the Police Dept. for Newnan, Georgia, the Dairy Bar
was located on Greenville Street next to Weddington Chevrolet.

A police officer on duty never had to pay over half price for his meal.
If you were short on cash, you didn't have to pay at all. Ed would not
let an officer go hungry.

I once got a call from Shirley(one
of the girls who worked there) who said a drunk had bumped into the
building with his car after picking up his order at the window and was
parked in the parking lot.

When I arrived, she pointed him out.
I walked over to the open car window on the driver's side and
immediately smelled the tell-tale odor of alcoholic beverages(that's the
way you word it to get a conviction, as alcohol does not smell).

"Sir, have you been drinking alcoholic beverages tonight?"
"You mean bourbon and stuff?"
"Yeah, like that."
"Sure(with a slurred chuckle)."
"Sir, you need to step out of the car."
"Can't do it!"
"Put your d..... feet on the ground right now(blood beginning to boil)!"
"You got it!"( some shuffling about as if he were unbuckling his seat belt.

The out the window drops TWO ARTIFICIAL LEGS!!!
"What else can I do for you, FLAT FOOT?"

Then the Sherlock Holmes in me kicked in and I noticed that he was driving a car with hand controls.

He refused to put his legs back on, so I had another officer assist me
in loading him into my patrol car and later helping me set him at the
intoximeter at the station house.

While we had been at the Dairy Bar, the LT. had driven by to make sure
everything was OK. It took a short while to wait for a wrecker to come
and impound the vehicle.
In the meantime, the LT. had gone back
to the station and began to tell the new civilian dispatcher, that I
had gone ballistic and had threatened to rip that drunk's legs off if he
didn't co-operate.
The dispatcher/booking
officer had been out of the room when we arrived. The LT. had told him
to go to the bathroom because we were going to be busy and he would not
have a chance later. As he sat down at his desk, I tossed both legs into
his lap, saying tag those as property.

He jumped up, screamed like a little girl and run out of the station, not to be seen again that night.
I ended up dispatching for the rest of the shift. I later got my revenge on the LT.!


When I went to work at Newnan Police Dept. there were already black police
officers there. As a matter of fact, Sgt. Moses Martin was my mentor and friend and years later, when he died, I cried for our loss.

However, there was a big push to hire more "minorities". It is not a
good idea to hire quantity instead of quality. One case in point,
Cornell Copeland, the sorriest man to ever put on a uniform, of any race. He single-handedly added to stereotyping his race.

When he wasn't sleeping on the job(which we all did-more on that in a
minute), he was very arrogant, had a chip on his shoulder, and yes,

Back to sleeping. Most, if not all, police officers had
two or more jobs to make ends meet. Naturally, when the third shift
rotated around, we caught up on our sleep if it was a quite night. We
had a simple unwritten rule. If two officers were in the same car, after
checking the first round, the rider would catch some sleep while the
driver kept an eye out. After mid-shift, the two would change, and then
the driver would catch a few winks. In Newnan in those days, there was
not one single business open after 11pm, so things were very, very quite
during the week.

Well, Officer Copeland would jump into the
passenger seat at the beginning of the shift and proceed to sleep the
entire night. No amount of reasoning on my part mattered to him. I
really did try!

Newnan Water Works has several lakes inside the
city which most people at that time had never seen, especially black
people. The property was posted and off-limits to everyone except Water
Works employees and the Police. At the upper lake there is an overflow
with an asphalt underlayment to prevent erosion. At 1am in the morning
that asphalt with 3 inches of water rushing over the top of it looks to
be bottomless. You would routinely drive thru it and continue your

Officer Copeland had never seen that little piece of
Newnan, so when I woke him out of sound sleep, at the edge of the
spillway, and told him I thought I could jump it in the patrol car, well
his baby brown eyes got big as saucers!

I backed up about 20 feet, gunned the engine, took off, slinging gravel, and doing the Rebel Yell at the top of my lungs.

Copeland thought we were seconds away from drowning. He started
screaming, cussing, threatening to to shoot me, and crying a little.
Just as we drove through the water, that nut(him not me) opened the door
to jump out, but we were on the other side before he had time to jump.

We both got soaked, but it was worth it. For some reason, he refused to
ride with me again. The Lt. put him on foot patrol when it was his turn
to ride with me.

A short time later he was caught with a
stolen gun and went to jail, but not before we had a few more good times
at his expense. No, I am not sorry.


Well, who doesn't like to screw with their co-workers!?

To set the stage, there is a type of fireworks called a BOOBIE-TRAP, a
little firecracker with strings on both ends, when pulled sharply,
explodes with the sound of a BLACK CAT firecracker.

Now, if you
take fishing line(nearly invisible) and extend each end of the TRAP,
you can position it to explode, oh I don't know, next to the driver's side window? Now this does not make sense to you now, unless you know what I did for many years--Police Patrolman(in a very, very rural area).

Both the city officer and the Sheriff's patrol office had to check the
security of all businesses late at night. This was very routine and VERY
boring. Well enter ME!

First, after the deputy had called in
the building he had just checked(in code so that criminals could not
come in behind him and rob the place), I would hurry out into the county
to the same building and string up the Boobie-trap.

just to add a little spice to night, since we did not have 911, I would
get the clerk at the all night convenience store to call in and say
that she had just driven past the rigged building and thought she saw
someone trying to break in. Since she would call the Jailer at the
Sheriff's office, in those days, there was not Caller ID(you have to
cover all the bases).

Of course the unsuspecting deputy would
rush to the building, expecting the worse. If the Trap was at window
height, he may temporarily loose control of the steering wheel(since
that deputy has passed away, yes I caused you to dent the right fender
of your patrol car--sorry).

The most fun was to put it at ankle height around the dark side of the building. I can claim that I made one guy pee his pants.

If I had patrolled in a larger city, I would not have been so mischievous.

Well, actually that's not true. I worked in Newnan and had many more uniformed victims!

Oh, and in closing, SAD FACT #927: Boobie Traps seldom involve Boobies!


 Let's relive a favorite(or dark) memory from our childhood--PRANKS PLAYED ON US BY
SOMEONE WE TRUSTED!(and yes, brother, I am talking about you).

As a child growing up in Hogansville, there was less
than nothing to do. Even if all the toys and games that exist today had
been on the shelves back then, who the hell could afford them on cotton mill salaries(of our parents)?

So we played games. Some we made up after watching whatever B MOVIE had
just played at the ROYAL THEATER last, or many times we played games
that had been handed down through the generations.

Case in point:   SNIPE HUNTING!
As those of my age know, you get a gullible small child(me), give him a
burlap bag as dusk, have him get on his hands and knees at the end of a
small gulley, open the bag and wait for the other person to flush the
snipes down to you. Of course while you are kneeling there in the dark
terrified with all kinds of thoughts going through your head;
1. What if there are more than the sack will hold, with they be disappointed in me?
2. What if something OTHER than a snipe gets in the bag?
3. What if I catch more than they ever caught, will that make them mad at me?
4. It is REALLY DARK now!
5. What was that noise?

Had I had the experience of years, I would have figured out what just
happened to me by my tormentors laughing like a pack of hyenas. Instead,
when I asked what was so funny, my brother said one of the other boys
had just told a joke and this seemed not to be a good night to catch

So they took me out the next night!!!  Yes, yes, I was slow to learn back then.


Obama was quoted as saying that he was going to speak on the (Warren) BUFFET
RULE (?), well, here's the thing, Ole Warren goes around saying that he
is paying a lower tax rate than his secretary. If you just listen to the words and don't do the math, it sounds like he is saying that he pays
LESS than his secretary, however, 15% percent of $75,000(I am just
making up her salary for a point) is  $11,250, whereas, 15% of $750 million is $112.5 million. The Damn-ocrats throw
percentages out to make their sheep think that the highly motivated,
risk-taking, hard working, put-it-all-on-the-line folks(vilified as
RICH) are some how cheating. I have my own small business and constantly have people come to my booth and ask, "if I buy more, do I get a
discount?" I then ask if they are democrats, and almost to the last
person, they say yes. Take what you will on that story.
Sadly, envy
is one of the SEVEN DEADLY SINS, whether you you believe in such things
or not, and it is very easy to use such things to spread discontent
among the people.
The honest thing to do is make jobs available for
those who want to work, succeed, and have all the EXTRAS in life, while
providing a threshold for existence for those who do not.
lastly, yes there are dishonest, crooks, mean, evil,___________(use your
favorite word) in WALL STREET, just as many or more as there are ing

IF I LEAN.....

I don't use this word, but this is funny!


The family wheeled Grandma out on the lawn, in her wheelchair, where the activities for her 100th birthday were taking place.
Grandma couldn't speak very well, but she would write notes when she needed to communicate.

After a short time out on the lawn, Grandma started leaning off to the
right, so some family members grabbed her, straightened her up, and
stuffed pillows on her right side.
A short time later, she started leaning off to her left, so again the family grabbed her and stuffed pillows on her left side.

Soon she started leaning forward, so the family members again grabbed
her, and then tied a pillowcase around her waist to hold her up.

A nephew who arrived late came up to Grandma and said ....
'Hi, Grandma, you're looking good! How are they treating you?'

Grandma took out her little notepad and slowly wrote a note to the nephew......

'Bastards won't let me fart!


I know that any employer in America will need to advertise for help from time to time, and certainly the CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY is no exception. It is where they advertised that amused me.

I had heard their ads on WSB-750 Radio several weeks ago. I laughed out loud and let my fertile brain run with thoughts of the kinds of people that would apply.

If you are not familiar with this station, it is a talk radio station and it is conservative. When I say conservative, I mean far, far right, and that's OK. Everyone is entitled to give their views and have their audience. I am told that there are liberal radio stations, although I would find it hard to believe that Bert and Ernie would take time off from Sesame Street to do such a show.

I do not know what other stations, or on which other shows that the CIA advertise, as I listen to Neal Boortz. Well, actually, I listen to get the morning traffic every 6 minutes(invaluable if you drive in Atlanta), and Neal's show is on. 

Now think about it. Advertisers "target"(no pun intended) their market, looking for a certain type of person. Neal is hard core far right. At the end of the commercial is the legal tag, "The CIA is an equal opportunity employer without regard to race, religion, sex, age, or ethnic background." YEAH, RIGHT! 

I can not see:
a liberal agent saying, "Can't we all get along?" 
a religious agent saying, "Let us pray over this, Bin."
a female agent saying, "Really? Really that's your excuse!?"
a young agent saying, " Like WOW! Cool torture devices!"
an old agent saying, "In my day we just shot 'em like a dog!"
a black agent saying, "What did you call me?"

You get the idea. And what about the kinds of programs that the CIA might advertise on; The Rick and Bubba Show? Let your mind wander as to the caliber of agents these would be. I am thinking at least 12 gauge. 

I can see a covert mission with to good ole boy agents, sleeves cut out of their shirts, two deer rifles in the gun rack of the camouflaged, muddy pick up, rolling up to a mosque and asking, "Any y'all fellas seen Bin Laudin round these parts?" 

Does the 700 Club advertise for the Company? Lord help us if they do!

Monday, February 6, 2012


In the rural West Georgia region known as Heard County, in the late '70's, it was a much different world than anywhere else at the time and certainly no resemblance to anything today.

Law enforcement was most definitely not the same as any other city that had more than two traffic lights. Yes, not only did I work in a town that had only 1 traffic light, it was the only traffic light in the entire county. As a matter of fact, Franklin was the only real town in the whole county. We had a police department consisting of a chief and 4 patrolmen. We worked on rotating shifts, with 1 officer on each shift and the 4th on his days off. The Chief would work day shift on Sat. and Sun. having the day man work a 12 hour shift Fri. and Sat. nights, overlapping the 2nd and 3rd shifts so that 2 officers could handle the weekend mischief.

Other than the weekends, 2nd and 3rd shifts were very lonely. Your only company was the lone deputy at the Sheriff's office.

Don't get me wrong, things happened in that county thru the years that I worked there, but not the non-stop action as you see on TV shows. Even in large towns and cities there are times when nothing happens. In a rural town there is more nothing than something.

About 8pm on Summer's evening, I observed a car approaching at well over the speed limit. As it got closer, I recognized the young man and even knew his parents. He was a good kid and his parents were hard working people, the kind you would like to have for neighbors.

Well "Little Sonny Boy" usually drove the speed limit and obeyed the law. Judging from the bouncing around in the passenger's seat, I surmised his friend was egging him on. Wonton criminal behavior was not to be tolerated in Franklin, Ga.--not on my watch!

As the car approached and saw me, it began to slow down. I turned on the blue lights, just to let them know what was about to happen. A short distance down the road, we pulled to a safe shoulder, where I walked up to the driver's side.

I stood there and just shook my head, waiting for a good story. I really did not like to write tickets. I thought it was better to convince, in one way or another, the offender to obey the law. I must say that I was a little surprised when this pipsqueak stuck his head out of the window and said, "You gotta problem?"

"Did I have a Problem?" I had more fire power than anyone in the entire county. I had all the modern communications. A small army of like armed men were at my call. Hell No, I did not have a problem!

Doing the math quickly in my head, ticket, towing, court costs, etc., I know his folks could ill afford that mountain of cost. What could I do that would solve his problem and mine. 

I quickly opened his door, took him by his left arm, stood him in front of me at the back post of the car, out of sight of his friend. I instantly swung my right arm in a wide arch, hitting the bill of the ball cap he had on backwards, knocking it over the hood of the car. At the same time I slapped my thigh with my left hand, sounding for all the world like I had rattled the wise-ass kids brains.

The kid was so confused that he was not sure whether I had really popped him or not. The now terrified sidekick sat motionless. "Get back in that car, slow down, and mind your manners."

Just as I was about to walk back to my vehicle, I turned, went to the passenger's side and took out the passenger, stood him erect, then slapped his cap off.

"Mr. Officer, Sir, why did you do that?"

"I'll tell you why. You wanted me to. You would not have gotten two blocks down the road when you would have turned to your friend and said, 'I wish he had hit me like that!'"

Those two are grown with kids of their own now and I never did have a minute's trouble with them.



When I started at Newnan PD sometime in 1971, there was a local character known as LeRoy Evans. Ole LeRoy was Black and a Transvestite. Being from tiny Hogansville, I personally had never knowingly met such a person. Leroy's alter persona was LeRhonda(not a lot of thought went into the name). LeRoy/LeRhonda was routinely being caught shoplifting women's underwear. It did not help that he was born and raised in Newnan and everybody knew him/her by both names. Most ladies wear shop owners just went ahead and called the Police Dept. as soon has she/he walked in, because he/she/whichever was going to try to steal something. The officer on call would always find something on him/her and cart him/her off to jail where upon he would plead guilty and be put on "run around" status. A "run around" is what a "trustee" is called at Newnan PD. That meant he would get credit of two days for every one he served. Their jobs consisted of helping the on duty officer go get meals, washing police vehicles, cleaning the office, cut grass, and LOCK UP THE CEMETERY AT NIGHT!

Now let's tie Leroy/LeRhonda, Asst. Chief Theo "Fat" Austin, and the Cemetery together.

Chief Austin had been with Newnan PD or years. He was the Asst. Chief and was in charge of the day to day operation of officers. He was from the Old South and definitely did not have a good relationship with blacks. When it came to LeRoy, I had heard him on several occasions that if he could get away with it, he would should shoot him on the spot! LeRoy/LeRhonda believed him and was afraid of him until the day Chief Austin died and beyond!

When it came time to lock the cemetery, there was a crossroads where you would take 2 chains and lock them to a third post. Right next to that post was the tombstone and final resting place of Chief Theo "FAT" Austin. Many officers would take the opportunity to tell LeRoy when he was next to Fat's grave to be on the lookout, Fat may get him. LeRoy always stepped lively!

Around 1975, the Sheriff's office and Jail moved from East Broad Street, abandoning a very spooky building. An old jail makes a very good haunted house. I bring this up to introduce costumes that are important to the story. I was in charge of the Jaycees Haunted Jail that was upcoming and had just gone to Atlanta and picked up a truck load of scary, scary costumes.

Those costumes were in my truck as I was patrolling with another officer, also named Cook. Officer Winford Cook(nicknamed Wimpy) was always up for a prank. We came up with a plan to have some fun with LeRoy. Just before time to lock the cemetery, Wimpy dropped me off at Fat's grave with the costume I had picked up earlier. The plan was that he would signal me on my walkie-talkie just before he came into sight with the run arounds. 

Everything was going as planned. Wimpy was letting the two guys lock chains in order as usual. When I got the signal, I crouched down behind the tombstone of our beloved Chief Theo "Fat" Austin, in full custom, waiting to scare the hell out of LeRoy/LeRhonda Evans!

The moment of truth! Leroy had one chain and Lamar Haynes, the other run around, approached the post with the second chain. Just as I heard them attempting to lock both chains together(probably less than 10 feet away from me), I vaulted over the tombstone and sticking my landing in the middle of the narrow drive like Mary Lou Retton(hard to imagine at my advanced age today)!

 In my best "straight from hell" voice I yelled, "L-E-R-O-Y! This is FAT and I have come for you!"  

Wimpy had quietly moved the patrol car down several feet and locked the doors. Well, I don't know who screamed the loudest, LeRoy or Lamar. LeRoy dropped his chain, ran to the car and tried every door to get in. When Wimpy would not open the doors, LeRoy jumped on the hood and tried to pull the windshield wipers off to defend himself from the Ghost of Fat. Lamar, scared out of his wits, took off running for the car as well. The only problem was, Lamar forgot to let go of the chain.  It looked like slapstick comedy, until we found out that it dislocated poor old Lamar's shoulder.

Laughing so hard that I could barely see, I went to the car. When LeRoy saw me coming, he screamed again and took off running down the drive. Wimpy and I were laughing uncontrollably until Lamar brought us back to reality. "That damned fool is going to run across 4 lanes of traffic--if he makes it!"

Lamar and I got in the car as quickly as we could and Wimpy "laid rubber" in an attempt to overtake LeRoy. By ordinary rights, LeRoy would have indeed run into 4 busy, busy lanes of traffic, almost assuredly going on to be with Fat.


LeRoy had run full-bore until he reached the edge of the part of the city cemetery that honored the Confederate dead. It was if ole LeRoy had hit an invisible wall. He was jogging in play, crying, and cussing Wimpy and me for all we were worth! After a huge amount of pleading from Lamar, LeRoy finally got in and we took him back to the station. As we drove off to attend Lamar's injury, LeRoy/LeRhonda was telling us what he thought of us.

Luckily for me, the emergency room nurse was the wife of one of the Lt.'s, hated LeRoy, loved me, and loved a good prank. We slipped Lamar in one of the exam rooms and the doctor on duty put his shoulder back in place. Nell, the nurse, shuffled the paperwork, and we back to the station with Lamar pumped full of pain-killers and happy as a clam. Back at the station, we gave both guys a cartoon of cigarettes each, which amazingly, satisfied them both.

A short time later Wimpy and I were coming out of the locker room on the way back to the patrol car when we past the CHIEF! "Hey, the Cook Brothers, step into my office NOW!-' My heart was in my throat! "If I hear about this from the Mayor or City Manager, or Lamar's family files charges, your butts are gone! But DAMN! I wish I could have seen it! Now get the Hell out of my office."