I had been away at college for nearly four years. I was sometimes home on the weekends but most of my weekends were taken up visiting with friends. I did work at the store on Saturdays but some people had not seen me in years.
Suzanne and I had just gotten married. We had a break in at the store soon after Suzanne and I got married and we were trying to find a way to stop them. We had a new alarm installed at the store. I had a C. B. Radio in the Galaxy and I also had a C. B. walkie talkie that I left at the house with Suzanne.
The Western Auto was just outside of the city limits of Iva. This meant that the Iva Police Department had no jurisdiction to respond. We had to rely on the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department which was not much more than useless. There was an old joke that was more true than joke that a Sheriff’s Department investigation ended when the deputy taking the report said, “Call us if you hear anything.” So, we knew that if anyone was going to catch anyone breaking into the store that we would have to be the ones to do it.
My father and I had decided that when the alarm company called us that I would go around the back of the store (a road ran behind the store) and that he would go around front of the store and that maybe we would catch them in between. One night the alarm went off and I went to the back of the store and started looking with the flashlight to see if I saw any obvious points of entry. I did not so I started to go around front.
There is a bar across the street from the Western Auto called Snuffy’s. Now this is about as rough a bar as you can imagine. If you read my story about the pool cue you will get a little glimpse at what I am talking about. One of the bar patrons yelled to my father “You aren’t going in there by yourself are you Bruce?” It appears that the good old boy patrol was going to provide back up for my father.
About that time I rounded the corner of the store and I heard the unmistakable sound of shotgun slides being racked. The sound was deafening as what seemed like a hundred or so pump shotguns racking a shell. I laid down on the ground and threw up my hands. My pistol laying out beside my flashlight. I yelled, “I am David. I am Junior. I am Bird. I am supposed to be here.” My father yelled to the crowd, “That is David!” We had a posse go in the store and walk with me around the back of the store. We searched the building from top to bottom and found nothing.
The alarm company automatically called the sheriff’s office so once they were called someone had to be there to fill out a report. I called Suzanne and Papa and I waited for over an hour before the deputy arrived to take the report. As he left he said, “Call us if you hear anything.”
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