In my last post I mentioned that i did a little time in jail, which is true, and my friend Sharon asked about the story. I was hoping someone would because it’s kind of a good story. Summer of 1977, July 3rd, after returning home to Cocoa Beach from my first year in school, my girlfriend to be and I were out at a little beach bar called The Thirsty Turtle shooting pool. I was winning because I hadn’t learned yet to let the girls win one once in a while. Might have been around 10 pm and in the middle of Sweet Home Alabama on the juke box when I made a killer jump shot. I looked up to make sure Heather had seen my billiard brilliance but she missed it because she wasn’t there. For that matter, most of the rest of the bar had left the building as well. Being a tad curious, I walked out with cue stick in hand (it was my lucky cue stick after all)) to see what was going on. I was so focused on my game, I missed the fact that there was a riot in progress in the parking lot, started apparently with one thrown beer bottle to the windshield of a police car. The police called for reinforcements, the drunk squad called all their stupid buddies and before I knew anything had happened there was a full on melee out side.
Scanning the lot for my girl, I see her yelling terrible things at the police as they were dragging people off in a most emphatic way. Two seconds later one of the men in blue was draggin her by her hair, I’m guessing for some violation of the clean language act of 1973. Now, I’m not a violent guy, I fall more into the buddhist/coward category when it comes to confrontation. In fact, I’m about as good at confrontation of any sort as I am with the cello. My idea of a fight involves me saying nothing then leaving. However, seeing Heather clearly being rough handled by a guy twice her size got my hackles up so I went up to the policeman grabbed her by the hand not holding her hair and said to the officer, something along the lines of “you probably should let her go.” The fact that I was holding a cue stick like a caveman with a club might have altered the context of my statement somewhat and within seconds I was jumped on by several cops, cuffed and tossed in the back of the car with the other stupid people. Off to the unhappy place.
One situation at the time saved my ass from spending more than two hours in the slammer, my father was the mayor of our little town. The chief caught wind of this, gave me a lecture and sent me on my way with the charge of inciting a riot. Inciting a riot. That was a riot in and of itself. Couple weeks later I went before the judge with my girlfriend and got the lecture from Judge Judy but I got off without offically being identified as a menace to society. Heather, understanding that I had defended her honor, was starry eyed for me and we became boyfriend and girlfriend in a big way. A relationship that lasted for the better part of a week. I was wondering if my mugshot is out there somewhere still, that would be cool.
ps. my dad was really really really pissed and I got a write up in the local paper on the front page of the local section. I still think I did the right thing.