Monday, June 01, 2015

my night in juvie

juvie for me is Hillcrest Juvenile Detention Facility in san mateo. somewhere near the end of my senior year in high school, 1960, three of my pals and i were parked up in the hills overlooking san mateo one fine evening. we were discussing some important something. and drinking beer. we had one (1) sixpack for four (4) of us.

suddenly, from our perspective, there were flashlights shining in on us from both sides. uh oh. the cops. they got us out of the car. took the beer that was unopened and dumped the open cans. then they decided that we had to go to jail so they took us to the san mateo police station. by the time we got there we had calmed down and thought…  beer. big deal.

they took us into the the big cop room and had us stand in front of the guy in charge. sensing that we were not yet properly serious about the situation he began lecturing us. “i’ve seen your kind. punks. you’ll be back here soon enough for something much more serious. no respect for the law.” he went on like that for a while.

as we tried to look serious and even maybe contrite we could see the other cops in the background smirking and laughing and almost daring us to laugh along. that was the hardest part of the whole thing. keeping straight faces.

by and by he ran out of steam and they determined that as we were all seventeen that they couldn’t put us in jail. we had to go to juvie. they put two of us in one car and two in another. i was in a car driven by one of the cops who pinched us. he told us that he would have just dumped the beer and sent us on our way, but it was our bad luck that he was patrolling that night with a sergeant who was strictly by the book. he also showed us that he could go 80 miles per hour on the dark two-lane road up the hill to juvie.




not exactly as i remember, but close enough for dramatic effect


as the place was almost empty they put us each in a cell alone. the place looked more like a mental ward than a jail. concrete rooms. windows with bars. heavy door with a small window. i slept in my clothes. in the morning we were released to our parents.

my father came to pick me up. he looked unhappy but not really angry. it was just beer. and a small amount. when i got my possessions back my father was handed my cigarettes, because i was under eighteen. as we walked to the car he handed them to me.

when i got home i was reminded that today was the day to have my senior picture taken for the yearbook.



ahh yeah. a night in stir and then a picture for my permanent record. nice hair.










20 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. thank you. it was fun remembering.

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  2. Probably still comes up in job interviews.

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    Replies
    1. i don't often bring it up. maybe i should list as a learning experience.

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  3. They were a bit OTT, never like that here back then, more likeley to join you for a beer

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  4. They should have thrown the book at you. Little hoodlums. I know the type. I know the type. I AM the type. ;-)

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  5. So that explains the sense of humor expressed in your face in your senior picture (-:

    Now that I know the story that goes with the photo, you appear to me to be a lively and confident 17-year-old young man experiencing relief after an overnight learning experience at Hillcrest. Without the story, I would never have guessed that you had spent the previous night at Hillcrest!

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  6. how long have I know you? and you've never told me the juvie story before! shame on you! It's hilarious.

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    Replies
    1. i may have other stories you haven't heard... or not.

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  7. A bit of bad luck about the by the book officer but it gave you a great post years later. You didn't look the least bit haggard in your picture after your night in juvie. Nice recovery.

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    Replies
    1. my parents were nice about it. gently chiding me for stupidity, not going ballistic

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  8. Ha! Who would have guessed that you have a record? But then, all the good girls really go for the bad boys.

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    Replies
    1. alas, i did not know that then.

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  9. I didn't have to go to jail, but when I got ticketed for driving through a fire zone -- my girlfriends were in the car, and they swore they saw a body tied to the side of the fire truck, and when we went back around for another look, I thought that cop was waving his flashlight to go around the truck (rather than the "turn left" that he intended). And let me just say, my girlfriends did not help matters when they collapsed on the floor laughing after I got pulled over.

    But the real problem, I later learned, is that my dad told me I had to go to court for the ticket. And then he told the judge to "throw the book at her." Which in that particular instance meant a stern lecture, and I had to pay the fine. Which I could have paid by mail, as it turned out. Guess I learned a few things, but probably the ticket would have been enough, thanks.

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  10. seems like a good way to get attention.

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  11. "no respect for the law." Felt that way at 15 and still feel that way at 70.

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