Gar Austin Thursday, 1/2/03, 12:49 PM
BILL WHITE'S REVENGE. O.K. After emails urging me on, here it is. Just before change of shift I was in the WC's office when I heard the sound of rapid gun shots. I grabbed my gun and headed for the sound. The hall was clear and as I went inside the locker room door I was followed by the desk Deps. who had also grabbed guns to respond. We went in the door and someone called out "Code 4". There stood Big Bill White at his locker half dressed with a s.e. grin. A few feet away stood Doug Travis, his ruddy complexion looked pale as if all the blood had drained from his face. The rest of the story comes from witnesses and my conversation with Doug and Bill. Big Bill, rest in peace, had his locker just inside the door of the locker room. His buddy Doug Travis knew Bill was "goosey" and nailed him everytime he passed buy when getting ready for their shift and Bill would jump a foot off the ground. This time when Doug nailed him again as he passed, Bill reached onto the top shelf of his locker, pulled out a pistol and said "@#$% Travis I told you to stop that. I've had enough". Bill then fired two quick shots at Doug striking him in the chest. Doug was sure he had just been shot as he felt the impact on his chest. It turns out Bill had used blank cartridges in a starter pistol but the wadding struck Doug and shocking him and everyone nearby. Thank God no one overreacted and Doug quickly obs'd the starter pistol and realized he hadn't really been shot. After the obligatory ass chewing in my office re: the extreme hazard of the prank of shots fired in the Station. Doug burst out laughing and said "Bill you SOB. You really got me" and threw his arms around Bill hugging him. They remained the closest of friends and needless to say Doug tred lightly as he passed Bill's locker from that day on. True to FPK tradition that story stayed in house. No harm, no foul.
Dates at FPK: 1962-1963
Harry Penny Friday, 1/3/03, 3:04 PM
Gar-Really enjoyed your story on Doug and Big Bill. That story had been around the station when I first was an academy cadet then as a newbie from HOJJ in '65. There is also a story that was true in the sense that a SGT accidentally shot one of the deputies in the leg in the locker room. I won't mention their names as I don't know if they would appreciate it. Brad Mills and I were changing to go on shift and were on the next row of lockers. (2nd row I think, but after 37 yrs I could be mistaken). Anyway, the SGT was interested in buying a .25 auto from the deputy. The deputy was placing it in the top of his locker when the SGT reached up and pulled it out. The deputy said loudly "It's loaded!" The Sgt replied "I know what I'm doing". The next thing was BANG!!! and a yelp. The bullet struck the deputy in the leg, went through and out then bounced on the cement floor, caromed off a locker up to the ceiling then came down in the next row of lockers and landed on the floor, right under the wooden bench that Brad and I had taken cover under, and landed right between Brad and I. Talk about a pucker factor! Brad and I quickly departed for briefing and have no knowledge of what transpired after that. Didn't want to be near the SGT. that's for sure. But later at a briefing the story about Doug and Bill surfaced again. Can you imagine what would happen if that occurred in the present tense?
Dates at FPK: 65-67
Gar Austin Friday, 1/3/03, 10:57 PM
Last of my stories about Bill White. Bill usually arrived at the Station at the last minute due to his long drive from Orange County. On one EM shift the call to briefing came out just as Bill came running through the swinging doors. He rushed into briefing about one minute later. Everyone noticed that Bill was wearing his raincoat and rubber boots. The only problem was that it was clear outside. As the snickers filled the briefing room. I said "Bill why don't you take off your coat and be confortable" With his sheepish grin he stood up and opened his coat like a flasher and as everyone had suspected he only had on his jockey shorts beneath the coat. But he was on time for briefing. You have probably figured rightly that Bill White was high on my list of likeable and unforgetable top men at FPK. His memory is even more lasting due to the most gut wrenching shift of my tour there. I was the EM WC when he and Bob Melendrez were broadsided while answering a call, and Bill was fatally injured. The story of that tragedy has been previously related on this site. I later had the sad duty of responding to the coroner's office to make the identification that his wife had requested to save her the distress of doing it at that time. Bill made a lasting impression on everyone that knew and worked with him. There were a lot of men and women like that at the Station, that's why it has such a tradition.
Dates at FPK: 1962-1964
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