As a First District Court judge chambered in Sibley County, I have often been assigned to other courthouses when there is no court in Gaylord. For the first 15 years or so of my judicial career, I averaged three different courthouses every week! So, I had a lot of time to catch up on news and music while traveling to different courthouses many mornings a week!
One Monday morning, I was driving to court at Glencoe, in McLeod County, listening to The Morning Show on Public Radio (I still haven’t forgiven MPR for taking that show off the air!), when one of the hosts announced a request: A person named “Jim” had called in, saying he was driving to Court in Glencoe and asking for a song dedicated to him.
The host, Jim Ed Poole, said, “Boy, he must have done something really bad if he has to drive all the way to Glencoe to go to Court.” He went on to say that “Jim” was a musician – a drummer – and played an old Rock’n’Roll song for him: “Tell it to the Judge”.
As was typical in those days, I didn’t know which of the two calendars I would be hearing in Glencoe that day. I said to myself, “Please, let me have the arraignment calendar in McLeod today!
It turned out that I did. I scanned the list of persons who were scheduled to appear before me, and found that there were two men named James on the list. The very last person called that morning was Jim.
He had been charged with two misdemeanors, if a recall correctly: underage consumption of alcohol and possession of a small amount of marijuana. He pled guilty to both and I must confess, I gave him a little break on the fines.
I then said, “I’ll bet you’re a musician, aren’t you?”
“How did you know that?”
“And, I’ll be you play the drums.”
“How did you know that???”
“And, I’ll be you made a request on Public Radio this morning….”
“Ah! That’s how you know that!”
I gave him a few more parting words about staying out of trouble, and sent him out to pay his fines. I hope that’s the last time he had to appear in court!
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Next week: Sorry Doesn’t Make It Better