Ol’ Guffaw has his routines. Routines are comforting, because they provide order and structure in an otherwise disorderly world. I like my routines.
I’ve been ‘carrying a gun’ now, on-and-off since 1974. Thirty nine years. That’s a long time. And since Arizona has had CCW laws in place, almost daily, unless I was severely restricted (like at my former workplace). I carried. Of course, I did carry to-and-from the workplace. Don’t tell anyone.
It’s part of my routine. Shower, dress; put wallet in one pocket, keys, cellular telephone, speed strip and folding knife in another, the snub in her holster in another. (Unless I’m carrying the 1911 IWB). I’ve taken to carrying the snub more. Laziness, I guess. It’s my routine.
Unless I’m distracted. My roomie had to work late, so, I was on my own for din-din, a rare occurrence. Not my normal routine. A distraction. Went to Ted’s, a Buffalo NY origin hot dog place (charcoal-grilled, don’t ya know!). Then to an event at a nearby public library (I know, I’m wild and crazy!)
Upon arriving at Ted’s, I did the usual self-frisk, checking to have keys before locking the car, wallet, knife, and sidearm. (This is known in my circle as ‘spectacles, testicles, wallet, watch’, if you know the joke.)
And I had no firearm! For some reason, I simply didn’t gear up before leaving home! I had my wallet, keys, cell, speedloader and folder. No gun.
I thought, “Oh, well, I have my knife” (like I’m a freakin’ ninja!) and had dinner @ Ted’s, then went to the library thing. The usual door was locked, with a sign reading, “Must Enter By Front Door”. So, I had to walk all the way around to the front, a semi-serious distance for a disabled guy like me.
And I asked at the information desk. Seems they are now locking secondary entrances after 1830, due to increased crime in and around the facility! WTF? Fortunately, nothing happened. (There was a security guard who looked up from her smart phone long enough to see I was in the building, then went back to more important stuff.)
And tonight’s the night I was the opposite of vigilant! What a maroon I am!
It’s gonna be ‘spectacles, testicles, wallet, watch’, with more emphasis on the watch, in the future!(FTC – Ted’s gave me nothing – I paid for good food, myself. WB didn’t either. You’re maroons, too!)
A NC Gun Blog recently posted a post entitled The sap is a fun and interesting defensive tool. This got me to thinking. When I was in private security, I used to carry both a nightstick AND a sap. And I had two saps, one of woven leather straps wound around a cylindrical spring (with a bulbous lead end); the other flat steel – beavertail shaped – with a lead-weighted tip, as well. It was fortunate early on my partner Ron showed me all about knees and collarbones, otherwise I might have inadvertently killed someone!
In my early days of private security, sometimes, we were not allowed to carry firearms. So we carried these assorted striking implements. (This doesn’t mean that we also didn’t have firearms – shhhh!). I remember Ron responding to drunken altercations in the exclusive country club where we worked. He’d pop open his Samsonite briefcase and take a half-second to decide which sap was the best, then head out. It was almost like Arnold Palmer deciding which iron to use.
As one of the other blogs said, I never considered carrying a sap as a primary tool before. But where the prohibition is against firearms and/or knives, this might work (?)
Bells A Ringing reminisces about teen-aged pranksters, and possible consequences.
And reminded me of a similar incident.
When Bob P. and I were guard supervisors (he a Captain, I his Lieutenant – woo hoo! /sarcasm) we would patrol to each of the contract guard posts and check to determine if the guard assigned was awake, alert, doing his/her job, or even there. Sometimes, they weren’t!
One late afternoon, we went to a cafeteria-style restaurant, largely for Bob to flirt with the cashier. This was in our area, but not a guard post. Just a place to stop and get a bite or a soda. And Bob liked to talk to the girls. I was happily married, so I didn’t care.
The cashier animatedly and laughingly told us that about five minutes earlier, a masked individual had approached her and stuck a revolver in her face, and demanded money! She laughed, because after the initial shock, she recognized the voice as that of her boyfriend! And it was Halloween.
Good thing we weren’t early. Bob and I would have walked in and simply shot him.
Sounds like a Darwin Award candidate to me!
h/t kx59, Southernbell
Back in the early 80′s, I was working as a security guard supervisor for a small, mid-West security company. They had a satellite office in Phoenix, and a few security guard contracts.
As a supervisor, my job was to maintain payroll, staffing and scheduling – which meant if someone failed to show up to a guard site, if I couldn’t
blackmail cajole bribe sweetly convince an off-duty guard to fill the void, then it was up to me to do it.
Many double shifts were worked, and many guards convinced to take an extra shift, because they were offered 10 cents more an hour for that shift. Sometimes a nickel more. Seriously.
It was the height of the recession, and finding warm bodies was often difficult. Most security work was not rocket surgery, however.
We used to joke about trolling The Deuce for warm bodies to put guard suits on to fill the vacancies.
If you ever saw the movie Armed and Dangerous, all those characters really exist. They worked for me.
One of my warm bodies I had worked with a few years earlier at the Legend City amusement park. His name was Nick Teslevich and he was an old Ukrainian guy. He had a very heavy accent, and the joke was Nick spoke 12 languages, unfortunately, none of them was English. He didn’t have a car, so, if you wanted him to fill a spot, you had to go get him and take him to the guard post.
Another was, for lack of better description, a biker chick. Muscles, tattoos, the whole bit.
Because she wore clogs and carried a machete (!) she was only assigned to construction sites. At night. Low public visability.
I certainly didn’t want to mess with her. (Sorry, Dave, I cannot remember her name!).
One of her charms was a small cadre of friends with whom she ran. Many would sometimes accompany her to the office to pickup her paycheck.
One was a kinda scruffy dude, skinny, dirty, uninteresting. The rumor was he was a poor little rich boy who had been cut off from the family fortune and was slumming with the biker chick and her machete.
Later he cleaned up his act, put some weight back on and got back in the family’s good graces. He was quite an accomplished musician, and had previously done much work in Hollywood. He also sang as part of “The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen Chorus” on Frank Zappa‘s triple album Joe’s Garage (1979)
Eventually, he owned and managed the Wrigley Mansion (and the Wrigley Mansion Club) in Phoenix.
His name was ‘Geordie Hormel’, heir to the meat-packing family fortune. He passed away in 2006.
Not everyone was just a warm body. I never hired him, though.
Back when I was working for Bob Powell @ B**** Security, we had the latest technology.
I was an assistant guard supervisor. My job was to patrol the guard posts and make certain our security guards were both present and awake.
This didn’t always happen. Sometimes, they’d call in sick. Sometimes, they wouldn’t call in – just not show up.
As such, my job was to try to connect with the guard, determine why he wasn’t at work, and get another
minimum wage sucker warm body guard to come in to cover the shift. By telephone. This was before cellular phones existed.
And, because we had contracts we needed to fulfill, I got to race to the guard post and fill-in for the missing guard, until a replacement could be found. I worked many seven days-in-a-row, many of my days off. Many lonely guard posts, located at
BFE the middle of no-where. With no telephone.
I carried the latest in communications technology. A beeper. Not just a beeper, but a voice pager! This meant Bob or the office could call me and speak a message to me.
drones answering service would often call. They had a standard message, “Call the Office! Call the Office!” What was the point? Why not just a beep?
And sometimes, just like the cell phones of today, you wouldn’t hear the message. Just static.
Regardless, you had to find a pay telephone and call in.
Bob liked to play jokes. One of his favorite movies was Close Encounters of The Third Kind.
I was filling in at a construction site West of Buckeye (30 mi. W. of Phoenix). Freezing to death in the desert.
Even in the car with the heat on, long underwear and heavy jacket, I was shivering. It was in the 20′s.
And my beeper/voice pager goes off. “Beep – SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH”. Nothing but static.
This, of course meant I had to go to the nearest pay telephone, about a mile South of the site, and call the office. It might be important. At least actually driving made the engine warmer, and the car’s heat worked a little better.
I arrived at the phone booth (that foreign-looking contraption pictured above), and called the office. Finally Bob is on the end of the line.
He says, “Did you get my message?” chuckling. I say, “No, static, what’s up?”
And he tells me how he qued up the (in)famous Five Tones used to communicate with the aliens in Close Encounters, and played them into the voice pager for me! John Williams ‘Close Encounters’ 5 Tones
At least I was warmer during the ride to and from the site.
Oft repeated in these pages, I’m Old School.
My first police flashlight (from John’s Uniforms, of course!) was a 3-D cell Kel-lite. (1974?) And the first ‘tactical’ technique I learned was to hold the flashlight with my weak hand straight out to the side from the shoulder.
The idea was if fire was sent toward the source of the light, it wouldn’t be toward the center-of-mass. (Questionable, anyway, for a lefty like me!)
Shooting was still accomplished one-handed. Not a very solid shooting platform. And difficult to move down a dark, narrow hallway. (I’ve since adopted better tactical techniques!)
Sadly, eventually, the D dry cells leaked, and I tossed that flashlight away. Subsequently, I found out the switch mechanism could have been repaired. Oh, well.
I now have a 3-D cell Mag-lite. As I’m no longer performing private security, it’s standing on the floor, adjacent to my night table. But, it’s rarely used. And dusty.
My go-to flashlight is a Streamlight Scorpion. It sits on top of my night table, right near the drawer wherein the Bob Hall Signature Model 1911 lives at night.
Small, handy, and rubber-coated, it’s getting worn after it was purchased in 2004. It runs on 2-CR123A lithium batteries.
It’s not as cool as the $100+ tacticool flashlights in the same size, but, it works, and was only $35.00 at the gun show! I bought a second one for my then girlfriend, who still carries hers in her purse (with her Nighthawk, of course!) Can’t be too careful.
If you’re familiar with lithium batteries, then you know they are not like the traditional dry cell. Dry cell light begins to fade, warning you might have a few minutes of illumination left.
Lithium batteries work great-they they don’t. Boom. No warning.
So, I always try to keep a few batts in reserve, because, when they fail, it never fails, you need it.
I recently went to Battery Junction.com and bought 2 boxes of 12 CR123A batteries, as I was getting low.
One box for me, one for the ex-g/f. She uses hers mostly to locate keys and other flotsam/jetsam in the deep recesses of her purse. So, she uses more batteries than I do.
My one complaint is on level surfaces, the flashlight is apt to roll. I need a square rubber washer (or something) to stop it. (Looks like the newer models have an octagonal gizmo-good for them!)
Other than that, it’s great!
FTC – no funds were exchanged. I purchased the flashlights and batteries retail. Good day!
Back when I was contracted to perform private security at the old country club, there were a number of regularly scheduled events. One of these was a famous golf tournament (years later moved to another venue) and various other sundry events for society and charity. We provided security for all.
One of the lesser known events was a private card game in the club room, almost every Sunday night. I never knew when it began, but it usually ran way past closing and the clubroom grillman always had to stay to make certain the participants were properly fed and watered. And boozed.
One of these regulars was a nephew of famous Senator, famous himself in California politics, another a local businessman in the construction business, the owner of the business. The third, yet another local luminary.
And they’d meet almost every week to play cards.
Usually they’d sneak out some one-way exit without security knowing, but every so-often they’d ask for a security escort to their cars.
One early Monday morning, about 0300 as I recall, they called security asking for just such an escort.
I arrived quickly to the clubroom, the grillman gone, the game just ending.
They were ‘settling up’.
“Let’s see, that’s five thousand to you, and eight thousand to you.” one said! These weren’t matchsticks or pennies. And out came the rolls of bills.
Soon, we were on the way to the parking lot. A couple of Mercedes and some other luxury car. One of the guys tried to tip me, but I declined, as that wasn’t allowed (and I thought would be poor form, anyway).
I was glad none appeared impaired, as I’d hate to have let them on the road in such condition. Rich and drunk. They were just rich, at least by my standards.
I was bringing down $90.00 a week! (1975)
The old country club where I was ‘security supervisor’ had (and has) a number of famous (infamous?) members.
I came on-board expecting run-ins with them, just because they were who they were and I was not.
Mostly, my perception was wrong.
Rich people are just like us – only with more money.
The same likes, dislikes, foibles – only with more money.
Working 12 hour shifts takes it out of you, and in addition to working three shifts, I also was ‘managing’ the other guards, their schedules, time off and correcting errors on the job.
There was a short span – a couple months – when I had a good crew and nothing much happened. Of course, this never lasts for long.
One of the guard duties first thing in the morning was to raise the American and Arizona flags in front of the club.
When my turn came, I always took pride in doing this. Raising them smartly, crisply, then tying them off, stepping back and saluting. One of those feel good moments.
One night, I came in for my 1900-0700 shift after a couple days off. As usual, I checked the Orders of the Day to see if any problems had occurred in my absence.
We had one infrequent, famous visitor who took offense to our flags. Who could this be? Members of the country club were not the flag-dishonoring type. What had happened?
Further investigation determined an inexperienced guard had raised the flags, on schedule, as instructed, the day before. He was from somewhere in the Midwest, and had just moved to Arizona to attend college.
He raised the flags on time and per instruction. With one exception. He raised the Arizona State Flag inverted!
How could this happen? Well, a visitor new to the state might think the sun’s rays going upward are actually furrows in farmland. Especially if he hailed from farm country.
Innocent mistake. Certainly. Except for one thing. The famous, infrequent visitor.
Senator Barry Goldwater.
Up until about 30 years ago, weapon retention was not a big subject in civilian police training.
Then, weapon retention was mostly about brute force, not thinking smart.
This meme probably quadruples with regard to non-police civilians, especially with regard to Open Carry. With many more States now authorizing ordinary citizens to carry concealed and even openly, certainly this is to become an issue.
If you don’t have a military or police background, have you even thought if you were open-carrying how you’d react and respond to someone trying to relieve you of your sidearm?
I only had one experience with this: I was working private security at that urgent care facility – graveyard shift.
Some patient was brought in by ambulance transport, with his friend. The friend was drunk. . Busy night, tight quarters, multiple persons. Other patients already upstairs.
We all took the elevator upstairs to the triage area, patient on a gurney. Upon exiting the elevator, I was directing the EMTs where to turn when I felt a pronounced tug on my Sam Browne belt, at the holster!
I was using a black leather Safariland Velcro pant belt/duty belt arrangement, with a Safariland thumb-snap revolver holster. High ride design. The top edge of the .357 stocks were at my elbow. Reflexively, I bent my arm, trapping the hand in place, and spun on one foot away from the hand’s owner.
The guy yelled (guess I almost broke his wrist) and released the gun.
I didn’t see weapons in his or anyone else’s hands, and it was tight quarters with lots of people, so, I didn’t break leather.
I really wanted to shoot the bastard! By now, he was looking at me, holding his wrist and whimpering.
And he said, “I just wanted to see it!”
By now the nurse and medical assistant were dealing with the patient. I asked the staff if he should remain, or should I escort him elsewhere. They gave him a once-over and said if he sat down and was quiet, it was okay for him to stay.
I waited another few minutes, then went back to my station.
I’d had no weapon-retention training. Some karate basics with some trapping/sticky hands work. That, and the high-ride holster saved the day.
Do some reading. Get some training. Even some familiarity with a few moves is better than looking down the barrel of your own gun.
I’ve a blue gun, just for that reason. Do you?
The second time I went to work for B***s Security, I was assigned to an urgent-care medical facility, just West of Good Samaritan Hospital. Graveyard shift. All the transients, drunks, ne’er-do-wells, sick and injured and cute nurses one could ask for.
The guard post itself was inside the lobby of the building, at the information desk. We had the usual stuff, a log to complete, rounds to make, a telephone to check in or call the PD on, and a post firearm.
This was a blued Colt Police Positive 4″ revolver, in .38 Special. Five rounds of .38 round-nose lead 148 grain ammunition were also provided. Not six, five. The idea was if one were to drop the gun on the hammer, it would go off. So one less round, none under the hammer. No reload ammunition was provided.
This was probably just as well, as the five rounds were green from age.
Wikipedia tells me this model was produced by Colt from 1907 through 1947. My suspicion is this particular revolver squeaked out of the factory in 1908.
There’s an old military/police joke about weapons inspection. The sergeant looks down the barrel and proclaims, “Recruit. there’s a spider in this weapon, and he has hash marks on his sleeve!” Hash marks delineating years of service.
This barrel had a squadron of spiders resident therein.
The internal lockwork seemed fine, but, the exterior parts did concern me.
One could hold the gun in a standard grip, grab the barrel with the opposite hand’s thumb and forefinger,
and wiggle the barrel vertically and horizontally while it was attached to the frame. Perhaps 3/4 of an inch at the muzzle! I dared not to pull on it, lest it separate completely!
I was using Dave-the-mechanic’s Ruger Security Six as a house gun (as I was gun poor), and obtained permission from management to carry that firearm, in lieu of the
company revolver I.E.D.
During my tenure there, guard supervision changed. My new boss was Bob Powell, one of many Bobs to cross my path. It was Bob who eventually put me in his position, as a patrolling supervisor, so he could get a day off.
Bob called me one day and said he wanted me as his ‘partner’ to assist him in another management task. It seemed he was checking company records, and many guards who were no longer on the company books, still had company-issued revolvers! Previous supervisors obviously hadn’t been doing their job.
So we were working clean-up.
We rode around the Valley, finding old-men guards, most in possession of the missing hardware. No trouble getting them back. Ultimately, I think there were two guys/guns we couldn’t locate. Out of 75 missing guns!
I’m certain, in today’s world, with State training requirements to even possess a company weapon on post, that things are much safer. NOT!