Saturday, May 5, 2018
The Sheriff took his time getting out of the car. He was a big man who moved slowly most of the time, but as some found out, he could move quite quickly when needed. He had been following this kid on a German made motorcycle for a few miles. The kid was not doing anything wrong, but Will Donegal didn’t get paid to not stop strangers who came into his county. Besides, he wanted to get a closer look at this motorcycle.
He closed the police cruiser’s door and slowly walked over to the kid who had gotten off his motorcycle. The kid looked very young and was waiting patiently for the Sheriff to explain what he had done wrong. There was no aggressive body language or nervous mannerisms in the kid, which of course, made the Sheriff even more curious.
“What’s your name son?”
“James Crenshaw, Sir.”
“’How old are you son?”
“Sixteen huh…You sure look big for your age. Are you a draft dodger son, and what are you doing with a great big motorcycle like that so far from Washington D.C.? That’s a far piece from Brown County, Indiana. Did you know you were in Brown County, Indian son?”
“Why, no Sir. I was just on my way to Bloomington and really didn’t know what county I was in.”
This went on like this for a good five minutes with the Sheriff returning to the “draft dodger” theme before the Sheriff really got to the point.
“What is a young man like you doing driving such a fine motorcycle and if you are only 16, where are your parents?”
“Back in Washington, Sir”
“Son, we are just going to have to take you in and see what this is all about. If you are truly 16… a youngster of your tender age should not be so far from home on such a fine motorcycle. It just doesn’t add up. We have to get to the bottom of this with a phone call to your parents. Now don’t do anything foolish but you just hop back on your bike and follow me to the station. We’re going to call your parents and find out what this is all about…come on now…get on and let’s go.”
The Sheriff finally made it to his cruiser and drove past Jim and waved him to follow him. Jim did as he was told and they were soon at the Sheriff’s station. They didn’t lock Jim up but did look through his belongings and found the file marked “Top Secret”. Jim’s heart sank. How was he going to explain this away?
The Sheriff and his deputy had never seen a real Top Secret file and they didn’t become overly concerned. In truth, the pair did not comprehend what exactly it was they had found.
The deputy looked at the contents and started to laugh. Then he showed it to the Sheriff, who also started to chuckle. Having no idea what the contents were really all about, they just put the file back and made the phone call to the number Jim has given.
Jim’s father answered and the conversation was short and sweet. According to the Sheriff, Jim’s father had kicked Jim out. It was good riddance and yes, the motorcycle belonged to him.
Jim’s father’s final words concerning his son were…
“Tell that son of a bitch never to come home again.”
The Sheriff hung up. He thought about his own father and how the same thing had happened to him at age 15.
He sat down across from Jim.
“Son, is there anything you want to tell me?”
Jim was taken aback and uttered “No, Sir.”
Son, I had a father a lot like yours. I was kicked out at the age of 15. I know just what you’re going through. You have to make some very big choices from here on out.”
He paused for emphasis.
“And I’m going to let you make them. Now get on that fancy motorcycle of yours and get on about your business.”
“Yes, Sir. Thank you, Sir…can I ask one question please?”
“Yes, of course you can son.”
“What part of town does the faculty of the University of Indiana live?”
“Why in the best part of town of course.” Was the reply.
Jim thanked everyone, walked out the door and got on his motorbike, riding off to find Dr. B.F. Skinner’s house in Bloomington, IN.
Back in the sheriff’s office, the Sheriff and his deputy were having a good laugh at what they had read in the supposed “Top Secret’ file. Neither believed it was a real file, not after reading part of its contents. This running joke would go on for years amongst the Sheriff departments throughout Indiana. It was Sheriff Donegal’s favorite story and he told it to all. No one else got the significant of the file either. The subject matter was so ridiculous as to be total fiction.