Thursday, January 20, 2011

First Ernie Story on this Blog - Winter 1967

I missed my own self imposed deadline of Sunday, but I will share a story this week.

Since we are in the dead of winter I thought I would share a double edged story this week. As usual, I will share what I think I remember and invite anyone who knows more, knows better, or just heard the story another way to chime right in.

One more aside that I just realized; many of Dad's stories had several different versions. Some versions were G rated and some; probably the more accurate versions were R or worse. There were also versions that developed over time, different things being highlighted, emphasized, or exaggerated as benefited the story. I would like to capture all the possible versions of stories. I think it adds to the enjoyment and shows the skill of the master story teller.

So, anyways, Dad always talked about the blizzard of '67. I was only a few months old so Dad was a brand new Father remember. He liked to boast that the whole city shut down and he walked to work down the middle of the expressway. I believe that he worked at the 11th district at the time so he would have had to walk down the Kennedy to the Eisenhower. According to Google Maps, that would be nearly 9 miles in the worst snow storm in Chicago history. That's a long walk.
I'm not sure if this next part was during that storm or some other time, but it involves his partner Ernie.

Ernie is a legendary figure of Dad's stories. Some day I will have to look up and see when exactly they were partners and what Ernie's last name was, or is, Dad never said (at least to me). There are many Ernie stories, and they usually lead one after another, but for this post I'm going to stick to just the one. You will get only the barest inkling of an idea of the character (if not the actual man, who may be lost to hyperbole by now), but I assure you that the other stories will be coming and you will get as much as I know of the legend.

Ernie and Dad were assigned two other guys to go around with them in their patrol car. I don't know who they were but I remember that they weren't Officers from 11. I have the feeling that they were from Police Headquarters or FBI or something similar. They weren't familiar with Ernie, that much is certain.

There were driving around for a while, getting in and out of the car for whatever reason. Ernie was driving and the two other guys were in the back.

At some point Dad or Ernie asked them how they were doing, or maybe if they were warm enough. One of the guys said that they were doing fine, "But it would be really nice if there were a drain in the floor. The snow from my boots has melted and it formed a pretty good sized puddle." He splashed in it for a bit of emphasis.

Dad thought to himself, "Oh no."

Ernie pulled out his pistol, leaned over the back of the seat and shot two rounds through the floor, between the guys feet.

Then he turned to the other guy, "You want a couple of holes too?"

"No! No, I'm fine, I like the water."

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