True stories by Murl Harpham
































A cop’s nightmare.  A call from the department that one of your kids is in jail.  One night I received such a call from Sgt. Fredrickson.  Sgt.  Fredrickson is a cowboy.  My son had worked on his ranch during the summer while in high school.  After school he became a full time cowboy. One day my son and his partner had spent a long day in the brush on horseback rounding up cattle that had gone wild.  They had been hired by a rancher to capture the cattle.  It was late when they got done and loaded the horses into the cattle truck and started back to their ranch.  They stopped for a beer in a honky-tonk type bar.  After a few beer he related a story  that Sgt. Fredrickson had told him about riding a horse into a bar in a small mountain town in his younger days. 

Well, someone dared my son to try it.  So, out of the cattle truck came his horse.  He put on his chaps and proceeded to ride through the bar to everyone’s delight.  Then came  another challenge.  Ride through the Old Town Bar and Grill.  He did and some woman who had never seen a horse before (at least in a bar), freaked out and called the police. 

Officer Sonja saw the horse and rider galloping down the street and gave pursuit.  After a chase of several blocks, Sgt. Fredrickson told her to just go to Second and C and wait for his return.  He had spotted the cattle truck and knew he’d be back.   They were waiting for him and Sgt. Fredrickson started to chastise him and my son said, “Sarge, don’t YOU say a word.” They took him to the station and called me and told me what had happened.  I had them put him on the phone and the conversation went something like this.

“What on earth are you thinking,” I asked.

“The town was dead so I figured to liven things up a bit,” he replied.

“Well, your little trick landed you in jail,” I said.

“Am I in jail, for what?” he asked.

“How about riding a horse while drunk,”  I  shot back.

“The horse only had two beers,” he said.

I had him put Sgt. Fredrickson back on the phone and told him to lock him up until morning.

That was over twenty years ago and he hasn’t gotten in trouble since.

Murl Harpham