Death Valley Days:
Valley Police Department, Summer 1990
It was difficult not to refer the Town Celebration as Death Valley Days…

While the City of Valley was platted in 1864 with the coming of the Union Pacific Railroad, it was not incorporated as a City until 1890. One of the Civic Leaders observed this date, and suggested that it would be good and proper that the City of Valley have a town celebration to mark the Centennial of its official birth! The celebration was simply called, Valley Days, but it was difficult not to refer the Town Celebration as Death Valley Days!

I have to admit, they did the celebration right! They had parades, a big carnival, sport tournaments, a big ice cream social at the town’s museum, special events at the local business, brass bands, a barbecue and a beer garden.

Dignitaries from all the other local communities were invited to attend the opening ceremonies and the parade. Even the Mayor from my old place of employment, Arlington, Nebraska was there. The person who was Mayor while I worked there no longer held office, but the office was now occupied by a former City Councilwoman, whom I referred to in another story as “Emily Litella.” This person and I rarely saw eye to eye when I was Chief of Police at Arlington, so it was no surprise to learn that while she was seated on the Grand Stand near my current Mayor, she looked over the top of her eye glasses toward where I was working traffic control across the street, and commented, “How’s that problem child getting along..?”

My Mayor replied, “Randy Schulze? He’s one of the finest police officers we’ve ever had!” (The Mayor himself told me about that conversation…)

The Beer Garden was set up very well. State Law had very specific requirements regarding points of entry and exit, and to make certain that no alcohol beverages could be passed outside of the beer garden premises. The City Park had a large tennis court with room for two separate playing courts, all contained inside a twelve foot cyclone fence. At one end, of the courts, a large tent roof was set up to provide shade during the day, and the other end had a stage set up for live entertainment. Between the stage and the tent, were a dance floor, and an area with tables and chairs. It was a pretty classy setup!

State Law also mandated that some form of formal security had to be present in the beer garden. To meet this need, one of us cops would come off the street to pull a two hour turn working in the beer garden. This wasn’t too bad, as everyone was happy and was enjoying themselves. We might have to step in and advise a few good ‘ol boys to settle down if they started getting rowdy, but we had no fights or violence.

On a Saturday Evening while I was in the beer garden was after a big, men’s softball tournament that had occurred during the day. There were probably a couple hundred softball players from teams all across the region drinking in the beer garden. The restrooms were in a building located just outside the beer garden fence, and I was standing near the gate to make certain no one was taking any booze out of the premises. Eventually, this ball player works his way to the gate with a big cup of beer. He appeared that he might have had several big beers before he came this far, as it looked like he was pretty drunk. As he got to the gate, I stopped him and said, “Wait a second, partner. You can’t take your beer out side of the fence…”

He stopped, looked hard at me, and said, “I’m just going to the restroom…”

I said, “That’s cool! If you want, you can leave your beer here on the table, I’ll watch it for you until you come back…”

His eyes rolled around in their sockets, before he asked, “Can I drink my beer before I go out the gate?”

I said, “Sure!”

So the ball player is holding his red Solo Cup with both hands like he cradling the Holy Grail. He brings it to his lips, hold his head back, and starts chugging his beer… About that time, one of his team mates runs up from behind, and grabs the hem of the drunken ball player’s shorts, pulling them down! This guy’s still chugging away on his beer, standing in his t-shirt and jock strap, when he finally notices a change in temperature down below… While he’s looking around, trying to figure out why, one of the women from his group comes running up to me laughing, and says, “Officer! Are you going to arrest that guy for indecent exposure?!”

I replied, “I can’t. I just can’t! Lack of evidence!” The whole crowd busted out in laughter!

The drunk looks at me and says, “I think you might be a son-of-a-bitch!”

I reply back, “Well, between you and me, I guess we’re both sons-of-bitches!”

He says, “I’ll drink to THAT!” and finished off his beer.

Everyone had a good time…

Back To:
Purple Sage Law Enforcement

Copyright © 2003 - 2019
Purple Sage / Schulze Web Sites
All Rights Reserved