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Thursday, December 3, 2020

The Museum Minute: Xpressions we fondly remember


Xpressions by C. A. Moore

Courtesy of Eddie Herrman Archives


C. A. Moore’s wit and humor and compassion and positive twists on life in Butler and Bates County continue to be missed even though he’s now been gone several years.  There was no one who loved Bates County stories like C.A. except perhaps Eddie Herrman.  Thankfully the two of them left a legacy that has become one of Bates County’s real treasures.  As I looked through Eddie’s archives I came upon this gem by C. A. that was dated December 5, 2003.  He begins the article telling of an encounter with a ‘relative newcomer to town’ and how he realized he ‘was probably boring this person to death and promptly signed off.’  The second part of the article is a funny re-telling of a great story…as only C. A. could tell.  Enjoy!


“Years ago…
Our police force consisted of two, maybe three officers at most.  One was the elected city marshal and the other a hired subordinate.  Nightly one or the other would go on foot patrol around the square, switching off lights in store windows being the main duty.  Except for an occasional shoving match at one of the saloons, most everyone else in town went to bed with the chickens.  So, there was little to worry about crime wave wise.


Squad cars were the officers’ own private vehicles, one of which was usually a pickup.  There was no in-vehicle communications as we know it today so for the most part the cop would have to drop by the police station for updates or trust that his colleague would run him down should an emergency arise, which seldom happened.


One evening the subordinate was cruising what is now known as the ‘strip,’ or old Highway 71 in town.  He backed his car in front of the Kahn Chevrolet dealership supposedly to observe traffic, dogs crossing the street, or whatever.


Presently a car whizzed by faster than the norm – of 15 MPH, that is.  Remember, there was no such thing as radar.  Promptly the eager cop sprung into action.

ONLY PROBLEM, in his haste he shifted into reverse instead of forward, and his squad car vaulted trunk first through Kahn Chevrolet’s showroom window.