My Brushes With the Law … and a Rapter

cuffs and keyboard


It was pretty damn cool.

I was a reporter on the University of Texas at Arlington student newspaper.

And the Secret Service wanted me, sort of.

I had to be credentialed if I wanted to be in the press briefing later that year when President Reagan flew into DFW Airport.

Even though no one in our typically pinko newsroom was a Reagan supporter, the fact that the Secret Service was checking us out was sort of cool.

It was a pretty straight-forward process for everyone but me.   As I recall, the Junior G-man had to call Washington to decide what to do with my application.  It called for 10 fingerprints, but I could only offer five.  He improvised.

Brothers-in-Law Enforcement

us marshal


Two legendary brothers were U.S. Deputy Marshals when I was a reporter in Waco.  To put that in perspective, in the law enforcement community, they were just below God in their standing and power.

The day-side police reporter had developed a good relationship with them – a first — which led to us being invited one year to The Shoot.  This invitation was only slightly less prestigious than winning a Pulitzer, at least to us.

The event was held way out in the boonies and entailed shooting just about every weapon this side of the Death Star.  It was big fun and left me with a few abiding memories.

When I emptied my handgun into the seven-zone of a bad guy target, one of the local cops who hadn’t previously liked my kind, said “remind me to call you next time I get into a gunfight.”

I blew the absolute crap out of the grass just in front of me with a sub machinegun.  I was afraid it would kick me backwards, so I had aimed way low before pulling the trigger.  I was humiliated.

The last totally-off-the-record memory was the fact that we were asked to leave before adult beverages may have been consumed while an old car was stuffed with explosives and blown to bits.

CIA Raptor

raptor 2

I never had any relationship with the “The Agency”, although I did work for Hill & Knowlton P.R. in Singapore (and H&K has always been “linked” to the Agency, ahem).

I never personally saw any cloak and dagger stuff there. But I did know of a guy in the oil bidness who, it is said, would get a cryptic teletype every now and again, then disappear into the bowels of Asia for a few months, doing who knows what.

But when I returned to the States, after three years in Singapore, the CIA was very interested in making my acquaintance.

While in Washington, D.C., I responded to a CIA ad for an “editor.”  The actual interview still creeps me out to this day.

The woman who interviewed me was the oldest, most evil looking meat-eater I have ever seen. She did not answer my questions. She did not look me in the eye. She just chain-smoked cigarettes and blew smoke through her nicotine-stained, raptor teeth. Scary.

After about five minutes, I realized that The Agency didn’t really want to use my journalistic skills as an “editor”.  They were thinking of something in the field.  I will never forget the Raptor shooting an evil sideways glance at me when I finally figured out what this was all about and bid a hasty retreat. Yeesh.

Nowadays, the closest I get to The Law is when a speed camera clicks me as I zoom by, and Johnny Law sends me a bill for $60. Not nearly as much fun as The Shoot, but way better than having a CIA raptor rip the flesh from my cold, dead body.


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2 Responses to “My Brushes With the Law … and a Rapter”

  1. Lillian L.. says:

    You really have led a widely varied and interesting life. Not bad for a fireman’s kid from Norman, Oklahoma. Proud of you to this day!

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