True stories by Murl Harpham





























One warm night in the summer of 1957,  I was on patrol in the Second Street area shortly after 2 a.m.  The streets were crowded, as the 17 bars in the two-block radius had emptied.  At Second and E streets a woman standing in the street flagged me down.  At the driver’s door of a 1952 Ford  Coup stood a man with a bloody arm.  I noted that the window was badly broken. Car windows in those days were constructed of  heavy cellophane with a pane of glass on each side.  They were very difficult to break out.  The man had punctured a small hole in the window and had cut his arm on the glass. The woman begged me to help them finish breaking out the window so she could drive her husband to the hospital.  She explained that the key had not worked in the door.

I asked if it was their car and she indignantly replied, “Of course, it is!”   I could not get the key to work in either door also.  So, using my new baton, I proceeded to smash out the rest of the window and reached in and unlocked the door. After clearing the glass off the seat the woman got in and the key would not work in the ignition either.  I again asked, “Are you sure this is your car?”  The husband got out and walked back to the rear of the vehicle and stated that it was their vehicle as he recognized the license number as he read it aloud, “BTX 243.”  “That’s not our license number,” the wife exclaimed, “ours is BXT 243.” 

I found their car around the corner.  An exact duplicate except the license number.  I never told anyone on my watch that story out of embarrassment. 

Murl Harpham