Every time I think of the water fountain/horse trough that stood in front of the town hall it revives an old memory of mine.
It was the night I was locked up in one of the cells in the police station. I was just 16 years of age and gullible.
Stan Pitts, one of my two mentors in the newspaper business, had instilled in me the importance of seeking leads for new items. One of these places was the local cop shop and as a result I would visit the police every morning and night checking on any news that was about to break.
I was always looking for that big "scoop" newspaper reporters are forever seeking.
The one night that stands out most in my mind was hot and humid and as I was about to go into the station, I heard a voice call "Hoop!"
I looked around and heard my name called again then noticed the voice was coming from the Police Cruiser parked in front of the station.
I approached the car and two officers, Russ Hargrave and Jack Nesbitt, were sitting in the front seat. They invited me to hop in the back.
My first question to them was whether they had any leads I might follow up.
"No, we just thought we'd save you a trip into the office" replied Nesbitt.
Well, we sat there for about half an hour kibitzing and horsing around, when I suddenly decided to reach forward and tip their caps off their heads. I reached for the handle on the back door intending to make my escape, but much to my surprise both the handles for the doors and window's had been removed. This was done to prevent a person from escaping from the back seat.
Nesbitt and Hargrave hopped out of the front of the cruiser. Between them they hauled the pride of the Watchman-Warder out of the back of the car where they grabbed me by the back of the neck and my belt. They then proceeded to carry me over to the horse trough where they dunked my head in the water a couple of times.
The two of them then carried me into the police station cell, locked me up, and told me that I was being charged with assaulting two police officers and to cool off!
Not knowing what was going on I sat in the cell for over an hour.
When they came back after doing their rounds, they opened the cell door and told me to get back into the cruiser and then drove me home.
"Better get in the bath tub, soak for a while and shampoo your hair "Hoop" and remember never to assault a police officer again" they cautioned.
I must admit I always enjoyed my visits to the local "cop shop" where I continued to have many a laugh and great news leads from all the constables.