††††††††††††††††††††††† By Robert Owens FPK 69-71
This may sound like "BS" but it is absolutely true, every word of it.
And this is a very special story, in this case, because you've walked over
the ground it happened on, many, many times and you may enjoy knowing how
it all came about........so here goes
In 1969 I read in Popular Science/ or was it Popular mechanics, (I
really cannot remember at this point, which publication it was, but that is
not critical to the story,)and here is the story.. One of those
publication/s ran a story on the California Highway Patrol, testing a
steam powered Mercury Marauder, on the streets of Los Angeles?!!?,
I really did not know, which area of Los Angeles, was germane to
their test program................Hold that thought........
.....Letís jump back to the South Pacific in 1963. I was a Crash
Fireman, manning a Crash Truck, at the RAF (Royal Air Force Base)
landing strip on Christmas Island, in the South Pacific. I was in
the U.S. Air Force, on TDY (temp. Duty) on that island in support of
C-124 Globe masters, flying into that base, every hour on the hour,
during daylight hours. We were working very closely with the
RAF, because they were using antiquated, World War 2, Fire
Apparatus, that could barely get up to speed, and they
desperately needed our assistance. I started to get close to some
of their Firemen, inside the RAF compound, because we were†
spending so much time with them. I started to mimic
some of their speaking habits and listened to them cuss in the
British fashion. These "BLOKES", did not use the word "F**K", in
their part of Great Britain. But they did use two words that forever
stuck in my mind, "BLOODY" this-n-that and everything else, and the
word "CHIPPY", was bandied about much in the same way.
These words, Chippy or Bloody, were used for virtually all of
their requisite speech, because either of those words
punctuated and emphasized nearly everything that came out of their
mouths. The word Bloody would be the same as "F**K", here in America.
And Chippy would be the same as "ASSHOLE", but many of the
British, liked the word as it was originally coined, and it means "CHEAP WHORE".
Now if we move this chain of events forward to the early part
of 1970, I was a Deputy assigned to Firestone Station, and I had just
arrived for the PM Shift, and parked in the station lot near the west wall.
As I strolled across the parking lot towards the rear station entrance, I
glanced to my right to watch a brand new Mercury Marauder, being driven
by a lone, Anglo, CHP officer and he was backing into a spot near the
south station driveway. As I got closer, he was now out of the car, but we
were still some distance apart, and I hollered over to him "hey, is that one
of those new steam powered cars"??? He snarled at me and his mouth seemed
to form the words "F**k You ass hole"! The words were not audible but I
did get the message. I looked at the door of his car and those initials
C----H----P--- jumped out at me, and in the flash of one billionth of a
second, the word "CHIPPY" was clanging in my head. It was f**king
perfect, fit like a glove............I walked straight into the 1500 hrs
briefing, that was just concluding, and announced in a loud voice "that Chippy
Ass hole outside, just told me to get f**ked!!!"...............and that my
friend started the whole "CHIPPY" thing in Southern California, when
other agencies refer to the California Highway Patrol, I don't have to tell
you what word they use. The CHIPPIES, did not know for the longest time,
how that all got started. But in a moment of generosity, I took the time to
explain it to a CHP motor cop.
The story has a part two, and here it is..........Rick Rosner,
the signature dude who is credited with creating the TV show
"CHIPS", rode with me at Malibu Station, in the '73-'74 period.
Rosner, was one of many "HOBBY COPS", assigned to Malibu Station.
He was good friends with Van Williams, of the "GREEN HORNET"
TV show, who was also a Posse man, Regular Reserve, etc., who rode
once a month at Malibu, to keep their "CCW" status in good
stead. Rosner, had never heard the expression "CHIPPY", until he became
a Malibu Station Mounted Posse. These guys were not at the station
to become professional cops. They had their reasons, but they
did not have the desire or instincts to become
valuable to the complement of deputies assigned there. One evening over
dinner at "TEDS RANCHO", a restaurant perched right on the strand, (now
a parking lot) at Coastline Drive & PCH, he wanted to hear the story
about how the words "CHIPPY", came into existence, and how it all related to
California Highway Patrol.........(the initials on the car doors did
not stimulate his imagination in the same way it did mine) anyway, he heard
the story and he was stricken with glee. "Thatís the greatest story I ever
heard!" (his quote, not mine).........Rosner, had a an acquaintance,
living on PCH, almost directly across the street from VENDOME Liquors, near
Malibu proper, by the name of Cy Chermak. Rosner, asked me drive by Chermak's,
house if we happened to pass near there. Cy Chermak, is a TV & Movie
Producer. Earlier, as I was relating the "chippy" story to Rosner, he was
formulating a movie script in his mind, and he stated "You've
given me an idea that I have to try out on some one I know, who likes stuff like
this". Well, I guess Chermak, really did like the whole concept and
decided it had sufficient merit to develop the concept into a television series
with a comical side note. Chermak, did not like the idea of using the
word "Chippies", after he was told the actual meaning of the word but
"Chips", was not offensive and the Highway Patrol, was already quite used to
being called "Chippies", and the CHP Commissioner, gave his approval for the
uniforms and actual door seal and badges to appear in the programs...
.....Rosner, took the ball and ran with it...He never looked
back, and no longer needed his LASO Reserve status. He became a big
movie producer himself and had no use for the mundane lives he left
behind.......... So there you have it. The entire evolution and the
actual origin of the word and how they got labeled with it....