Date: September 13, 2021 09:52PM
I said something that I didn't think was funny or flippant, but "Moose", the Clark County Sheriff's Sgt who'd been called by the deputy for guidance, thought I was trying to be a smart ass, so I got to spend the night in jail and got to eat french toast with a big spoon, lest I use a fork to wreak havoc amongst the prisoners and guards.
It was in the summer of '64. I was mooning over a member of Las Vegas mormon royalty. I got off work at the Thunderbird Hotel and knew she might be at her summer job, as a clerk in a drug store on the Strip (The Strip is so totally different now!), south of the T-bird.
I drove down to the drug store and found her car parked in the back lot, so I thought I'd wait for her to get off work and talk to her. I had about 40 minutes to wait.
10 minutes into the wait, a Sheriff's patrol car (back then there were two separate police agencies, the Sheriff and the Las Vegas City police; they combined a few years later) rolls by and the deputy stops and engages me in conversation. I did not want to tell him that I was waiting for a girl to get off work so I could talk to her.
His main concern was, "Hey, where were you last night around 8:30 p.m.?" I told him that I'd been on an informal date, at a dress rehearsal of the re-opening of Flower Drum Song, to which all the Thunderbird hotel employees who wanted to could attend for free.
But he was really bugged because I wouldn't tell him exactly why I was there in the parking lot. Of course, I was totally embarrassed about the possibility of him dragging me into the store and confronting Sis. Royalty!
So then he asked to search my car and I told him to have at it. He apparently thought that a length of rope that I had in the back, maybe 1/2-inch by maybe 12-feet was suspicious...
About this time I brought up the issue of what had I done to warrant being detained, searched, and questioned? He flipped open a notebook and said that at roll-call that evening, they'd been told to be on the lookout for a young male Hispanic, about 5'9", 150 pounds, black hair, black-rimmed glasses, and devastatingly handsome. I had to agree with him that it sure sounded like me...
Then he radioed in and asked to have "Moose" meet him at his location. A few minutes later "Moose" rolled up, and lined up, 'patrol car driver's window to patrol car driver's window'. I was sitting in the right front seat of the deputy's car...
Moose listens to the deputy explain what's been going on and references the gas station armed robbery that my doppelganger had committed the previous night. After which, Moose looks past the deputy, gives me a stare, and asks me where I'd been at the time of the robbery. To which I responded, "On a date with the Mayor's daughter..." Moose looked back at the deputy and uttered a simple contraction of two words: "Book'em!" And then rolled off into the night.
So the deputy handcuffs me and then we have to wait for a tow truck to come to impound my car... during which time, oblivious to what's going on, Sis. Royalty gets off work, gets into her car, and drives off.
When we got to the county jail, I had to drop my britches and get squirted with flea powder, then I was placed in a cell, where I didn't really have any trouble falling asleep. The next morning I got the opportunity to go to breakfast with all the other guests, after which I called my mom and I told her what was going on and to call the Bishop, who called the Stake President, who called the Undersheriff, Sis. Royalty's uncle and he sprung me. Of course, he had no idea I'd been wanting to talk to his niece...and truthfully, I have no idea what his opinion was anent Lamanites mixing with Tender Mercies.
They never did call the Mayor's daughter, who'd been a very close friend the last two years of high school and whom I really, truly had taken to the Flower Drum Song rehearsal the night before.
In retrospect, it would have been a lot smarter for me to have prefaced my response to Moose with, "Look I know you're going to find it hard to believe, but I was out with Mayor Gragson's daughter last night. Honest!"