I went fishing yesterday. I use to fish all the time, but for about the past 5-6 years, I haven't done no fishing. I bought my license, got my rods out of the building, cleaned them of spider webs, and made sure they still cast and reeled. But I didn't think of testing the line. That would come back to haunt me.
I even bought a new broken-back minnow lure. Went to local pond and casted about three times and sure enough, a nice little bass grabbed hold and after showing me how pretty he was, he broke my line. A rookie mistake and my fishing getaway was over. Not a problem, I'll just buy myself some new line, re-reel and go back tomorrow I thought.
And that is what I did. I was so excited, I got to the pond and got my stuff from the back seat and pushed the door close, and immediately I had the overwhelming thought go through my head. You may have guessed. I won't hold you in suspense, yes I locked myself out. But I decided I'll fish first, worry later. Didn't catch anything but I still enjoyed the quietness of the location.
I contacted my wife who in turn contacted locksmith and after a little while he showed up and within two minutes my door was opened. The locksmith looked very familiar and I asked his name and as soon as he said his name my heart "felt strangely warm." "I'm Billy Tucker."
Billy is the father of an old friend of mine and a hero to many of us who fought the "War on Drugs" of the late 80s and the 1990s. His son was Donald Ray Tucker who served on the Clinton Police Department and was loaned to another county to work undercover. He was murdered my two dealers while performing his last undercover action of the operation.
Donald was a uniform city officer while I was serving as an uniform deputy. Late at night when things were quite and about all assignments were finished, I would "sneak" back into Clinton and Donald and I would play our version of "hide and seek." We would try to find each other and when we did we would hit our siren to let the other know, "I found you." Just a little fun to pass the time, and it was fun.
I stopped by Donald's grave site over at Bearskin Church about six months ago just to say hey and to let him know I still thought about him. Those days were tough days in the battle against drugs. They were days of dirt and grime against the dirt and grime of society. Knowing someone like Donald who gave it his all because he believed any drugs we got off the street, was drugs that wouldn't end up in a child's hand, made us work harder and stay more determined to succeed. And we did succeed. We succeeded every time we went to work and kept pushing, and when we made it home. We considered an honor to be able to serve the people we served and we treated people with honor, even the bad guys if they showed the same respect. The badge to us was a badge of honor and a privilege to wear, not just a job. We knew we weren't any better than the people we served.
I think a lot of that sort of honor of the badge has disappeared today, but anyone who knew Donald can tell you that he always treated people with dignity, respect, and honor. He didn't deserved to die the way he did, but he died the same way he lived; with honor.
His funeral was held at Sampson Middle School (today its called Sunset School) and his burial was at Bearskin, about 10 miles or so away. When I parked about 1/4 mile away from the grace site that day, the officers directing traffic at the school radioed that cars were still pulling away from the school area. A line of patrol cars with blue lights flashing, 10 miles long. I remember saying "This is for you my friend."
He probably is laughing at me right now for locking my keys in my car this morning knowing that I was going to see his dad because of it. That's ok. One of these days we'll play "hide and seek again".
When you lock your keys in your car, don't sweat about it. When you get it opened you never know what other doors will be opened also.--Bobbyology