Archive for July, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Goodbye Mayberry, Hello Garden Of Good and Evil


Once again we’re packing up and moving out. My office is already losing its “at-home” feel. Book shelves are empty. Papers have disappeared. The fountain has been drained. And the old blue lava lamp burns no more. All that remains is the need to write.

Living in North Carolina has been wonderful. After all, I finally had the chance to set foot in the town where a lot of my memories live—Mt. Airy, the hometown of Andy Griffith. Mt. Airy is also the town that gave birth to the idea of Mayberry, N.C. And, of course, that’s where Gomer made his famous citizen’s arrest. It’s where Ernest T. Bass broke nearly every window in town. And it’s the place where cops did the right thing, treating people with dignity and respect. And that’s what they received in return. Yep, the world needs more officers like Sheriff Andy Taylor and his deputy, Barney Fife. But we also need more citizens like Floyd the Barber, Aunt Bee, Helen, and Thelma Lou. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if kids today were more like Opie. No pants hanging off the butt. No hats on backward. And no F-bombs in every sentence.

But, it’s time to move on. This is the weekend. This is it. We’re heading for…

Moving to a new location can be stressful. New jobs, new ways of life, and new people. However, I’ve already been in contact with several writers in the new location and they went to work lining up places to live, recommended Realtors, and clued us in on the local hot spots. So it almost feels like home already. Yep, there’s no denying it…writers are good people.

By the time you have your Sunday morning cup of coffee we’ll be following in the footsteps of these guys. I hope we make it there before midnight…



PostHeaderIcon Friday’s Heroes: Remembering The Fallen

The Graveyard Shift extends our condolences to the families of each of these brave officers.

Officer Carlos Ledesma, 34

Chandler Arizona Police Department

July 28, 2010 – Officer Carlos Ledesma, a full-time undercover police officer, was shot and killed during a drug operation.  When attempting to exchange $100,000 in cash for a large quantity of marijuana, the suspects opened fire. Two other undercover Chandler officers were wounded during the gun battle. Two of the six suspects were killed.

Chandler officers receive the news about their fellow officers during a press conference – East Valley Tribune photo.

Officer Ledesma leaves behind a wife and two children.

Inspector Timothy Charles Barnes, 38

North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles License and Theft Bureau

July 28, 2010 – Inspector Barnes had been with the NC Division of Motor Vehicles just nine weeks when he suffered a fatal heart attack during the physical training portion of department’s basic training program. He’d served as a deputy with local sheriff’s office for ten years prior to moving over to NCDMV.

Deputy Sheriff John Willis, 31

Greene County North Carolina Sheriff’s Office

July 28, 2010 – Deputy John Willis was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance. Deputy Willis entered the home and was immediately met by gunfire. The suspect, a man with an extensive and violent criminal history, then turned the gun on himself. He too died at the scene. Deputy Willis was not wearing his vest at the time. He leaves behind his son and daughter.

Deputy Sheriff Samuel A. Smith, 23

Franklin County Kansas Sheriff’s Office

July 23, 2010 – Deputy Samuel Smith was responding to assist another deputy at a domestic dispute when he lost control of his car and struck a tree. He was wearing his seat belt, but died at the scene.

Deputy Smith had only been with the department for nine months.

Chief of Police Daniel K. Duncan, 55

Lake Oswego Oregon Police Department

May 20, 2010 – Chief Daniel Duncan was in a meeting when he heard a call for assistance. He responded, running down several flights of stairs and across the building, to help his officers with apprehending the suspect when he suddenly felt ill. He went home to rest and was found dead the next morning from an apparent heart attack.

Chief Duncan died just six days prior to retiring after serving 34 years as a police officer.

Detective Lieutenant Liusila Brown, 44

American Samoa Department of Public Safety

July 22, 2010 – Lt. Liusila Brown was working court security when he was shot and killed by a criminal suspect. The man, a gang member and member of the defendant’s family, shot Lt. Brown several times and was then heard screaming obscenities at the officer as he lay dying on the ground.

Officers in American Samoa are not permitted to carry firearms.

Audio of the horrific shooting can be heard here.

*Thanks to ODMP

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