Deer Run Trail, By David R LewisNodaway Trail, by David R LewisOn the Calico Trail, by David R LewisOn the Payback Trail, by David R LewisOn the Ogallala Trail, by David R LewisOn the Killdeer Trail, by David R LewisOn the Cutthroat Trail, by David R LewisGlory Trail, by David R LewisEndless Journey Toward an Unknown Destination, by David R LewisIncidents Among the Savages, by David R LewisFear of the Father:  Call Me Crockett, by David R Lewis

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Parking Problem

Back in the days when I was a rookie cop in 1968, I encountered a parking problem.  The city cop shop had a very small parking lot, inadequate to handle the number of cops’ cars near shift change from the day shift to the three to 11 trick.  When it was deemed I was not a huge danger to myself or others, I was assigned to the three to 11 shift, and faced with the problem of having nowhere to park when I came to work, except at a metered space on the street.  It was not a big deal to do so and walk a block to HQ, but, there were only two-hour meters in the area and they were active until 6 p.m.  I would park at around 2:30, which meant I needed to feed the meter one more time each day.  Most of the guys on the shift avoided that situation by having a day shifter drop by their home and catch a ride to the station with another cop in a patrol car, but I lived outside the city and could not avail myself of such a service.  Consequently, from time to time, when my meter expired, I would be someplace, on city business, crushing bad guys to their knees or some such, and not be able to get back to the meter to feed it on time.  Because the meter maids, who also worked out of the same building as the cops, were always in abundance in close proximity to where I would park, they would pounce on an expired meter like robins on a worm.  I got tickets.  In those days, keeping the meter fed would cost around 20 cents.  A ticket for an expired meter was five bucks.  By my reasoning, since I was employed by the city, if the city sent me on some sort of city police errand that did not allow me to feed the city meter on time, it was not my fault should the meter expire, and the city should allow me to pay the city the standard city fee for city parking instead of leveling a city fine upon a city employee since it was their fault I could not return in time to feed the city meter.  I saw no fault in my reasoning.  The city did not agree.  Actually, it wasn’t the city that I had to deal with.  It was a newly hired civilian who changed his title from Personnel Manager to Human Resources Director that called me into his office one morning at 10.  He was not a nice man.  A bit pompous and full of himself and his position, he inquired as to why I had not paid my outstanding parking tickets.  I told him I would be happy to pay them at the standard parking meter rate, but that the fines were out of line.  I then explained to him my reasoning.  Several times during the explanation he snorted at me.  I thought I caught the scent of an alcoholic beverage.  When I finished, he actually laughed.

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