Way back when

By contributing writer David Gregory
For as long as I can remember, during my early years, my dad was a volunteer fireman in Bowie. When I was in high school he became a paid fireman and we lived over the fire hall. In our apartment was a regular telephone and also a red phone that rang when a fire was reported . If the red phone rang In the night he jumped into his
bunker suit with rubber boots attached on his way to answer. If it was someone reporting a fire he grabbed his coat and helmet as he ran down the hall and slid down the pole to the ground floor. He pulled down the handle on the control to turn the siren and by he time he got into the fire truck he was buttoned up and ready to roll. The City of Bowie had two paid firemen who were on duty 24 hours a day. A City Marshal and a Constable kept the peace in Bowie. Arrest of criminals was a rarity but there
was one merchant who always got drunk by the time his store closed on Saturday evenings. The Marshal walked and assisted him to the jail where he spent the night. Nether the Marshal or Constable were furnished a car by the city. The jail was in the back of the fire hall. If the prisoner got too noisy he would be wet down with a water hose. The next morning after he sobered up he was released. No charges were ever filed. To my knowledge no women were arrested in Bowie. It was a peaceable little town.
The Constable, Edd Raines sometimes called Stumpy by some, was a little old man who wore a suit with coat and vest winter and summer. I’m sure that occasionally he would serve a writ or some court order but his main activity was paying a visit to every store in town daily and keeping those who double parked on main street moving.

To read more pick up the March 2014 issue of North Texas Farm & Ranch.

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