Thursday, November 16, 2006

Yellville, Gotta Love It

I'm so proud of the people of Marion County for voting overwhelmingly to go wet. In fact, I'll drink to that!

I loved living in Yellville. It was a happy time. There were only two lawyers in the town, DJ and KS, and somebody had to be the Municipal Judge, so DJ won the toss. Well, they didn’t really toss a coin for it – other than to decide which one of them would run for the post and which one would run for the State Legislature. Being Municipal Judge didn’t take up much of his time, so DJ was able to carry on his regular practice at the same time.

This was back in the 60s, and we had our own version of Deputy Barney Fife, in the person of one – well, I guess I should just call him Barney, because to tell the truth, I can’t remember his real name. Barney had a slight speech impediment, which caused him a lot of embarrassment, and afforded the town some comic relief. Even the lawbreakers surrendered, laughing helplessly, when he hollered, “Top or I’ll Toot!”

Anyway, Barney took his job every bit as seriously as his Mayberry namesake, and diligently watched for any infraction by the townspeople. The town had only one stop light, and if memory serves, (and it doesn’t always), it only blinked red.

One day, Barney dashed into DJ’s office, with a gentleman in tow who just happened to be passing through. “Where’s Judge A?” asked Barney, with emphasis on the JUDGE part. I explained that DJ was out of town taking depositions, or something, which deflated old Barney, so he whined, “Well, this guy ran the stop light. So, what do I do now?” The “guy” in question was a bit pale, at this point, having realized that he could very well be in one of those nightmarish situations you read about where some small town deputy throws the perp in jail, and he languishes there until the judge comes back to town or Hell freezes over.

I said, “Barney, JUDGE A won’t be back until tomorrow, and this gentleman looks pretty remorseful (the perp nods), I’m sure he will be more careful about stopping at red lights in the future (the perp nods faster), so, just this one time, why don’t you issue him a warning (perp is vibrating and nodding), and let him be on his way.”

And so it was that Barney’s first and only capture of a bad guy, “from off” had to be let go. I’m not sure either one of them ever got over the experience.

18 comments:

Annie said...

There's a good Arkansawyer story, Betty. I identified with the quivering perp in this story. Boy, would I have been happy to have had you advocate for me so I wouldn't have had to spend the night (or nights, as the case might be) in the Yellville jail.

Kell said...

You should be a judge!

I love Yellville stories.

Alan G said...

Your preliminary staging to the event was set up quite well. I could completely visualize the whole episode....lol

Dogwalkmusings said...

Great story.

Tink said...

LOL! Not only do I love your stories, but I love how you tell them. "Top or I'll toot."

Drunk Drama Queen said...

Poor Barney,
Letting his perp go...

and Top or I'll Toot.. made me spray iced tea all over my monitor... gotta quit reading while I am sipping...
lol
thanks for the laugh!

willi said...

Great story. Did Barney have a gas problem or speech problem?

Betty said...

Willi: As far as I know, it was a speech problem. lol

gawilli said...

You are a good storyteller! Poor Barney finally had one and had to let him go. Thanks for the giggle!

susan said...

That perp was so lucky you were there to save him!

Do you think he ever ran a light again?

Chancy said...

I like your story and the way you told it; "Judge Betty"

Ch3ll3 said...

Does the opening line mean that you're not in a dry county anymore?

SongBird said...

Love this story!!

Betty said...

ch3113: No, Boone County is still dry, but all the counties around us are wet, and we'll have to give in one day, or dry up literally. We're already missing out on lots of good restaurants.

Anonymous said...

There must be SOME benefit to staying dry otherwise it would be voted out. What prevents the change?

Anonymous said...

I feel the urge to drink to this funny and wonderful story.....

dc said...

Think I will ad your site to my favorites to read. I like your spunk. I live in a neighbor state. So I will be checking in on you. DC

patsy said...

where in the cat hair are you bet?