My father had a phenomenal ability to remain calm, especially having so many children in the house. Screaming and fights to the death were usually stopped easily by a quiet word from him, such as “OK guys, that’s about enough.” That was enough to stop anything going on, unlike mother who could be screaming louder and higher than dogs could hear, which did nothing. A quiet word from Daddy would. He rarely raised his voice. Except once.
We were all at the beach except for Daddy. We were in the house down on St. Andrew’s Bay, playing, swimming, just having a fine time. I was in the house, and the phone rang.
“Hello son, it’s Dad.”
I started out for a nice conversation with him and was summarily cut off.
“Please put your mother on the line… Now please,” he said in a quiet even tone.
He was much more curt than I had ever heard.
“Mama, Daddy’s on the phone”
Mama came to the phone, with a big smile on her face.
“Hello Sweetheart, how are you?
She started to listen and her smile began to fade. As she continued to listen, her smile turned into thin, pursed lips. Then they pressed together as her teeth were biting them from inside.
“Yes. About 30 minutes. Right, no problem.”
Mom got into gear. “Children, get everything, I don’t care if it’s wet, dry, throw it into bags, whatever you can find, we have to leave in 30 minutes to be back in Montgomery.”
We started asking questions and she said she would tell us later and just get going.
Once we had gotten everything in the car (it looked like we had loaded it with a pitchfork), we took off. Mother usually drove the speed limit. Not that day.
It seems that Daddy was having a nice Saturday. He loved to work in the yard, mow, tend the roses and he got to do it without all of us!
As he wheeled the mower around the edge of the yard, he noticed City of Montgomery Police cars pull up. He thought something must be wrong at the Coca-Cola Plant and they were coming to tell him. He shut off the mower, pushed the sweatband off of his forehead and walked over to the officers.
One spoke immediately. “Are you Gilbert William Hitchcock?” Daddy replied that he was. “May we please see your identification?” He happened to have his wallet in his pants and showed them his driver’s license.
“Mr. Hitchcock, you are under arrest. Anything you say may be used against you.” And they completed his Miranda Rights.
After they finished, Daddy asked them what in the world this was about.
“Mr. Hitchcock, our records show that you have 28 library books checked out in your name some of which are over five years overdue.”
Daddy thought a minute. “Library books? But I don’t even have a card.”
“The cards are in your name. Mr. Hitchcock, but it was actually your wife and children who took out the books.”
Daddy asked if he could make his one phone call and they said yes. He called the Chief of Police who happened to be one of his best friends. As Chief Swindall tried to restrain his laughter when Daddy told him the story, he asked to speak to the officers. Daddy could hear their end of the conversation.
“Well yes sir, you are right, he does look like a dangerous criminal, but I agree that this is a low charge and we can release him here on his own recognizance as per your authority. Yes Sir. Yes Sir. Thank you Sir.”
The policemen informed Daddy that he was not under arrest, but would need to appear in court on “X” date to handle this.
About three hours later, our Ford LTD Wagon pulled into the driveway. Daddy immediately presented us with a list of the books that were outstanding.
“I first want ALL of the library cards brought to me, including yours he said,” pointing to mother. “Then I want this house turned upside down until they are all found.” I noticed that he didn’t even grin.
We found the books and were spared Mother’s wrath as she herself had four books outstanding. Daddy returned the books, paid the fine, cancelled Christmas that year, went to court, and all was fine.
Three months later, two City of Montgomery cars pulled up, the officers got out of their car and rang the doorbell. “Are you Gilbert William…”
Somehow the warrant had not been expunged from the system, Daddy again called Chief Swindall, was read his rights, had to go BACK to court where they apologized for their error.
We were not allowed to even read the labels on cans for two years.
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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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