So, here I am in the mid-1980’s, ‘working’ as a private investigator. And I find myself in Phoenix Police HQ (7th Ave/Washington).
No, I hadn’t been arrested.
The shoe leather part of the job. This, of course, was pre-Internet.
And I needed a copy of a motor vehicle accident report to get info on a participant. Their name, address, DL#, DOB, and if/how they were cited in said accident.
Which of course, they were.
SO, I’m standing at the counter in the main lobby, along with other ne’er-do-wells (lawyers, insurance adjusters), when a voice calls out my name.
“GUFFAW!” (Of course, he really didn’t yell Guffaw, as if commanding the people around him to laugh. :-))
I turn around, and here’s my Criminalistics professor from college! He was one of the criminalists at PPD. I was surprised he recognized me – it had been maybe 7-8 years since I had seen him.
He asked if I were busy. I responded not particularly, and he offered me a tour of the PPD crime lab!
You must remember, this was before all the CSI-based TV; the procedurals where the cops catch and convict bad guys based on scientifically-determined physical evidence. It was many times asking questions and shoe leather which ruled the day.
But, I still thought it was cool!
The water-filled bullet trap they shot into to obtain exemplars of spent bullets. The cool old photos of how it was back in the day. The wall of firearms!
Yes, they had (and presumably still have) a wall with just about every model of gun you could imagine. For comparisons, testing, all manner of stuff. Most had been confiscated from arrestees.
So they were mostly junk – the good stuff having been returned to their lawful owners or sold at auction.
They even would sometimes loan firearms to the undercover guys, to strengthen their street cred. No police .38/.357 revolvers for these guys! (It WAS the 80’s)
And there she was, a shotgun. Short enough to conceal under a knee-length coat. An over/under 12 gauge.
Sawn off to maybe 14 inches! With a hacksaw!
A Diana-grade engraved shotgun! Looked like it had been hand sawn and then dragged behind a car! No doubt recovered from some hood.
I was almost in tears.
He did tell me that one officer went undercover and carried her. No one ever thought he was a cop until it was too late – I mean, what cop would defile such a fine machine like that?
(Truly, I cannot believe it’s been Twenty Years!)
There are things that are good to remember; things bad to remember; and things important to remember.
The crummy part of all this is sometimes my brain is not too good at discerning which is which, or what goes with what.
My character (being flawed and neurotic as it is) has a tendency to default to the bad.
A shrink, I’m certain, would say it’s all about low self esteem, negative messages from childhood, etc. The reasons don’t matter.
Twenty years ago, today was the accident in which our daughter Molly was killed.
I was driving – this makes me ultimately responsible, as I was The Dad. The Protector. The fact the other driver ran the red light while speeding is of no consequence.
I carry a sidearm. I’ve done so for 41 years. Long before I even met Molly’s mother, I chose to do whatever I could to protect myself and my family and friends. It’s a roll I haven’t taken lightly.
And I took my assignment as Protector even more seriously when I became a father. It’s what father’s are supposed to do!
We were making a left turn from 44th Street, East onto Thomas Road. A little after 1 PM. Going to Monkey Wards after an earlier visit to Famous Footwear @ 20th St. and Camelback. Saturday’s with 12 year old daughters meant shopping! The signal didn’t have a left turn arrow back then. It was just like in the movies – in the midst of completing the turn, I sensed something was wrong. Based on the estimated speed of the other car, we were pushed across the intersection in about one-tenth of a second.
And many lives changed forever.
I’ve no memory regarding what happened next. Nothing to recall on the witness stand months later. I was told I regained consciousness enough to give my estranged wife’s phone number to the ambulance guy, when I was asked if there was anyone he could call.
I had early drugged hospital memories of being on board a ship(!) Not enough consciousness to ask why I was on a ship. Turned out, with one (now re-inflated) collapsed lung and the other half filled with fluid, County Hospital had me on a pneumatic bed which kept hissing and rolling, to keep fluids from settling in my damaged lungs. Ribs pushed into a lung. Broken collar bone. Broken arm. Tube up the nose, and IV morphine/ativan drip.
My sister, wife and friends were there, being supportive and keeping loving watch as much as they could. Not wanting to answer the obvious question: Where was Molly?
In my few awake moments, I remember asking about the funeral, desperately wanting to be well enough to attend.
My wife was told Sunday morning there had not been any brain activity, and had the courage to disconnect life support. Had our roles been reversed, I don’t think I would have had the bravery. I am forever grateful to her for this. A number of folks benefited from her decision.
The funeral was that following Tuesday. I was largely unconscious in ICU at County for another two weeks.
Ultimately, after being moved to Good Sam, being given Tylenol in lieu of the morphine/ativan drip (!) and weeks in the regular hospital and rehab, I was able to walk and breathe again.
I was deeply depressed and pretty much just counting the days.
Until I could pay my respects.
That came weeks later.
I’ll say it again, as long as I take breath – Tell your family and friends you love them, right now!
Because you may never get another chance.
AND be an organ donor.
I try to remember the good times. The IMPORTANT ONES. It’s what has kept me alive for the past twenty years.
My thanks to all of you, family and friends, for holding me up, until I could stand on my own.
(Commentary has been turned off – I know how you all feel. Thanks, again.)
Being on minimal disability, I cannot afford to ‘do much’.
This is not a bleg for money (although your kind generosity IS appreciated), but rather an observation. An expression of lust.
Regular readers know I’ve a beater car, that sometime runs w/o dashboard warning lights on. Or not. With no A/C. In AZ. I rent a room from a good friend, because I lost my home of 18 years due to my reduction in income on disability.
Yes, I’m fortunate and grateful! Seriously.
And, the Internet and television are my portals to the outside world. Women (did I say I’m
single divorced?), guns, cars. All for my viewing pleasure.
And I’m generally okay with this arrangement.
But today, something caught my attention. No, not a vehicle. Not a woman (surprised?)
I’ve always wanted a Texas Border rig, such as this. With an appropriate BBQ gun – I’m certain Sheriff Jim Wilson doesn’t want to part with his (above), though.
Of course, this is wrong-sided.
I’ve no place to wear it, anyway (would probably sell it to get the A/C in my car repaired!)
One of Europe’s most prominent Jewish organizations is petitioning the European Union to pass new legislation that would permit Jewish community members to carry guns “for the essential protection of their communities,” according to a letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Sadly, a leader in the European Jewish community NAMED COOPER (ironically), disagrees.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said that while guns could help Jews defend themselves against an individual attack, only authorities can protect them against a mass attack like those carried out in France.
“As to personally being armed, such a move could help when a Jewish person is threatened by thugs, but won’t help if G-d forbid, Charlie-type terror attacks are launched,” Cooper said.
And, of course, the ever more anti-Semitic Europe will continue to debate this, while not only the Jewish community, but most Europeans, are unable to defend themselves against crime or terror.
Except, of course, the Swiss!
While France, in response to the recent attacks, pushes for MORE gun control laws!
“Court documents say both men were at a party when Saye suggested trying Russian roulette after a game of beer pong. Authorities said Saye put a handgun, loaded with five rounds, to White’s head and pulled the trigger, killing him. Court documents say other party-goers warned Saye that a semi-automatic pistol would not work for the game.“
The Firearms Blog just advised me I’ve been saying at least SOME of these names incorrectly. Some, I have gotten correct.
Where do YOU stand? Or do you care?
Of course, I knew a guy years ago who pronounced another brand SMITH AND WESTERN! :-)
The Duck muses she might be a Russian anti-aircraft gun(?)
All I know is I want one…
h/t Maddened Fowl
The Taurus Curve
Both Jennifer and Caleb trounce this newcomer .380 as poorly-thought-out and inherently unsafe. She is striker-fired, and designed (recommended by the factory!) to be carried in the pocket sans holster!
Can we say an accident waiting to happen? Sure we can!
Not to mention (but, going ahead and mentioning it, anyway) WHAT ABOUT WE LEFT-HANDERS?!
I suggest, if their going to do such a thing, it should be at least in a larger caliber (9mm? .45 ACP?) AND have a graphene frame, so it can curve either direction!!!
For the record, I was never a big fan of Taurus, although they used to have a no-nonsense replacement factory warranty(?) Might still. Never owned one. And, I’m a Sagittarian. :-)
THIS is why we’re winning the argument, and they are looking unscientific, at best!