Funny, Funny Stories From my days at Eden, P.D.

By Michael D. Martin, E.C.P.D. Retired

About the author...Michael Martin (pictured front row, far right in the 1981 photo) is a retired veteran of 25 years on the Eden City Police Department, and has penned a number of anecdotal writings recalling his experiences.

VIII. Why We Made The Big Bucks

I suppose when Ken Carter said I could post my stories on, he had no idea how many stories were in my head, lots and lots of them were funny and a few were so scary I still have nightmares. one of the scary ones.


     This was 1966 and I was a Spray Police Officer, My partner was Clarence W. "fat" Vestal, the finest "street cop" that ever lived. Fat and I worked third shift because we both worked day jobs, our average week was 56 hours and I took home $53.00 a week (looking back, that in itself was kinda scary)

Old man John Gallimore was the Rockingham County Deputy that worked our area, John was a fine man I am proud to have known. John was an older fellow and when things got quiet in the mornings, John would say, "Ya'll boys look after things for me, I am going home and get some sleep." And John would just go home!! There would be no Sheriff working in Leaksville Township. If they needed him, they could call him, Usually, he would instruct his dispatcher to route any of his calls to Vestal and Martin. To look at it now....I do not believe what i am writing but we loved the old man and we covered for him.....It was an Andy Griffin sort of thing. About two am Fat would crawl into the back seat and say, "ride me easy boy, I gotta sleep a few hours, and I had the whole "shebang" I rode the old man easy, but I knew I had him close if I needed him.


     On this particular morning, the dispatcher at the Sheriff's Department got a horrible call. A long distance truck driver that lived just outside of the Spray Town limits had returned that day from a cross country trip. Back then, there were no limits on the hours a man could drive and he had eaten black beauties to stay awake the whole trip. When he got home he poured a pint or so of liquor down trying to unwind the effects of the "uppers" just didn't work that way and at three am he was wild. He shot at his wife and he shot at his own children and mother in law, they all managed to escape and were calling for help from a neighbor's house. I woke the old man up and we rolled into the area and met the wife, we took her to the station and there was no Justice of the peace we could find to write a warrant. Back then, no officer would enter a man's house without a warrant. It was four am before we got a JP up to write the warrant and no one was answering the phone at Gallimore's house. It was up to us to go serve the warrant. 

We both knew the man, we had drunk coffee with him the week before, but we both knew how Chief Race Clark had been killed, shot thru the door while serving a warrant in a similar situation. We drove to the area and parked away from the house and walked in. We got to the porch and Fat said "Boy, this is why we make the big bucks." Fat reached up and opened the door and we rushed in, our man was sitting on the living room couch mostly asleep, there was a rifle and two pistols on the coffee table in front of him. Fat cleared the distance in a half second as the man raised up and reached for the guns.

When Fat hit him, it sounded like the crack of lightening, I grabbed the coffee table and threw it away from him and in less than two seconds, we had cuffs on him. I started to gather the guns and Fat said "leave them, it ain't gonna work out in court the way you think, this is a good man." Old Fat was right. The man went to court at Recorder's Court in front of Judge Herman Peters and pled guilty to a much lesser offense, he sold all his guns and lived a fine life after that, we drank coffee with him and the matter was never mentioned again.

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