August 16, 2006

Justice was served.

'A pattern is emerging' said Agent Cooper, ominously. 'Dormant contacts are being renewed.' Firs and sycamores billow in the wind. Sparks fly as the teeth of saw blades are ground and the river flows.

I am hearing from folks I haven't heard from in years. It started with Country Boy who entered Long Burn at the end of 2005, just before he shipped out for Afghanistan. In the last few weeks I have heard from Mr. Billcox, Camel Two, Woody and Pink Floyd. It's true, the friends you make when you're young stay with you for life.

Camel Two sent this item from the Owatonna People's Press:

Sheriff candidate claims campaign yard posters are being stolen on a regular basis
By MOLLY BECK, Press staff writer
OWATONNA -- Frustrating. That's how Troy Matejcek describes the last few days of campaigning for sheriff as more than three dozen of his campaign signs have been taken off Steele County yards.

Matejcek, a Sheriff's Office investigator, is running for Steele County Sheriff against the incumbent, Gary Ringhofer. In the last four days, Matejcek says, he has lost more than four dozen campaign signs.

"This is getting ridiculous," Matejcek said. "As I go out to replace a few signs I drive down the street and see two missing, turn the corner and two are missing there, too."

Repeated calls to Sheriff Gary Ringhofer were not returned.

Jason Ringhofer of Owatonna -- a nephew of the sheriff who is campaigning for Matejcek -- said his large Matejcek sign was stolen from his home on 14th Avenue Southeast on Tuesday and spray painted "don't vote for Matejeck" and set up on County Road 45 South.

"This is just underhanded," Jason Ringhofer said.

But police officials said that, at least at this time, there are no plans to investigate the thefts. Owatonna Cheif of Police Shaun LaDue said both candidates have lost signs thus far in the election race.

"This is pretty commonplace and unless we have any suspects, then we won't be investigating," LaDue said. "We have a lot of other priorities to deal with that take precedent."

LaDue said every election year stolen campaign signs become a problem and unless officers catch sign thieves red-handed the cases will be red lined, or not investigated.

That last bit caught my eye, 'unless officers catch sign thieves red-handed'. Woody, Camel Two and Pink Floyd (along with Fish, Kabanger, Eric the Red and the cast and crew of A Little Bit Touched) are sure to agree. And it's true, after a short low-speed chase past the farm impliment dealer's lot on the edge of town we were caught red-handed with a few dozen lawn signs in the trunks of our cars, on a wet autumn night over twenty years ago. Judge Cashman was not impressed by the mitigating circumstances-- that political yard signs are just plain annoying and have little impact on the outcome of elections, that >95% of the signs we had taken belonged to one arch-conservative candidate who held the coveted position of High School Health Teacher, that the intended targets of the signing (Marxner's front pasture and Svendby's place) had it coming (as Clint Eastwood said in Unforgiven, 'Kid, we've all got it coming.'), or that for the most part we were good kids. None of it mattered. I remember the officer's flashlight shining into the back seat of the car. And us carrying the signs from the cars and setting them in the corner of the police station garage. And calling my parents and asking them to pick me up. A couple of weeks after the hearing a letter arrived from the county that said I was a Juvenile Delinquent. The sentence was community service which was spent cleaning up under the stands after a hockey tournament, and filling bags with groceries for the food shelf.

Our records were expunged when we turned 18. Me and my homeys tested our mettle and made some grist for the hometown mill.


At August 17, 2006 4:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matthew J, it is SO good to hear of your mis-spent youth. Back in those days, I was also in a mob of ill doers, my only salvation: not getting caught. Reading the names and nicknames of the crowd you slummed around Owhatatowna with was also illuminating since I only recognize but a few. I assume this is a combination of protecting the innocent (ha!) and resurrecting the countenence of your collective past. I enjoyed your take on justice immensely.

At August 17, 2006 1:25 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...

The stories I could tell.
Yes, a combination of resurrection and protection. I am guessing that you are Pink Floyd? Have we been sailing and canoeing together?

At September 11, 2007 12:40 AM , Blogger the nightstalker said...

Tahe best sign that I found in the trunk of your car that night was "Nightcrawlers, 50cents per dozen."

It was fun dealing with you that night... the nightstalker


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Web Counter
Web Site Counter

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]