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.
XI. Deputy Sheriff "Dick" Barbour and the PossumDeputy Sheriff R. K. "Dick" Barbour was a Henry County (Martinsville) Deputy Sheriff under Morton Prilliman when I met him. I worked with Dick for years after I became a police officer in North Carolina. Dick would go out of his way to pull off a good gag. One of Dick's favorite targets was his buddy, Deputy Victor Flannigan, Vic was a really big boy too. Vic was fastidious about his patrol car and his uniform. One night in years past, Dick had a rookie riding with him on the night shift and was supposed to be relieved by Flannigan on the day shift. On their way in, a huge possum ran across the road and Dick slammed on the brakes and ordered the rookie to catch the possum and hold it by the tail until they passed Flannigan's house. Dick said he pulled past Flannigan's house and took the possum by the tail and walked into the driveway, opened the door to Flannigan's patrol car, inserted the possum and went along his way home.
A possum is nocturnal and when the sun began to come up, he sought a place under Flannigan's dash to sleep. Flannigan came out and opened the door to his patrol car and saw a lot of "possum mess" in his seats. He waltzed around about twenty minutes, cleaning up the mess and got in his car and checked on duty. Flannigan then started the engine and reached to release the emergency brakes. He twisted the handle and as the handle receeded under the dash, the possum's tail dropped down and wrapped around his wrist...........total, complete panic ensued!!! Flannigan jerked his hand back and pulled the brake assembly and the possum out from under his dash, the possum landed in his lap and tried to bite his stomach....pandimonium occurred as a three hundred pound deputy tried to climb out his car window. Five minutes later ....it was, " 13 to Henry County."..........13 go! " Call Dick Barbour at home, tell him...if I ever find out for sure...I am going to kill him".....Flannigan never found out !!! Dick made sure of it.
Michael D. Martin
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