Monday, April 28, 2014

Memory Monday #56

     Last week I left you hanging with my criminal escapades!  Well, as my friends and I cruised around the square...wrong way...with the carload of boys from out of town following came the local Police!! Lights and sirens blaring!
1950's  Police car
So of course, we both pulled over! And reluctantly received our citations!!  Then the not so friendly officer explained to us that if we wanted to take care of the situation right now, he would escort us to the local justice of the peace and we would not have to appear in court.
      Now I am not sure if any states still have a justice of the court system...but in Illinois at that time, JP's were legal representatives of the court...not necessarily having absolutely any legal education or former experience...not sure how they came about the position but I think they were elected...and could perform minor legal functions...collect for citations, marry people, etc.
     Thinking this might be a good way to take care of the situation and bypass the need to mention the occasion to my parents, we followed the policeman to our local JP's home. Those "wonderful" persons were available night or day!!  The boys also followed...and I was "fortunate" enough to have just gotten paid that afternoon for my little job at the swimming pool!
    When we get there, the boys pleaded that they didn't have any money on them at the time, but if the officer would let them go, they would come back the next day and pay up. Did I mention the boys were not only from out of town, they were also from across the state line/Mississippi River into Missouri.  My home town was only 20 miles from the Mississippi River so it was not uncommon for us to have friends in the nearby towns, albeit from another state.
    When the JP asked me how much money I had (my friends had none!! Nobody else was working that summer) I honestly told him exactly what I had! And would you believe, that is EXACTLY what my ticket would cost!  Looking back, I cannot believe how naive I was...just a babe in the woods! So I paid up; we left to continue with our night out, probably had to go drown our sorrows in Cokes!!  And the boys hightailed it back across the river, never to least not in that car!  Being out of state the police weren't about to waste energy on chasing them down!!
     Thinking the whole episode was past, I leisurely took everyone home and headed back to my house.  Who should meet me at the door, but my father!  Seems he knew all about my wild least the getting stopped by the cops thing!  Apparently some well meaning (nosy) citizen had seen our car being stopped on the square and felt obligated to call my dad out of concern!!  My dad was a neat guy...he was angry at me, not for getting the ticket...the result of an innocent prank which he would have probably done in his youth, but because I didn't come straight home afterwards to tell him about it!  Then when I confessed up the JP part, he was no longer mad at me, but was furious with the police and JP.  He went to confront them, ticketing and fining a minor, but of course there was no record of the affair!  I am sure they split the cost and pocketed it the proceeds...not an uncommon practice in small town USA back then...but I had no receipt...nothing but my word!
     And I am not being paranoid when I tell you I was now in a marked car!  I got stopped for the most piddling of infractions for the rest of my Senior Year!

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