October 8, 1992
I went to work in the sheriff’s office in the fall of 1946. I worked as secretary, associate tax collector and radio operator. I liked my job and as time went on, I began to look forward to going to work each day. Some amusing things happened , a few of which I remember.
On this particular week, court was in session and Judge Ayres of Jonesboro was presiding. One morning he was in the sheriff’s office. I was standing at my desk with my back to the door of the adjoining room in which he was sitting. Just as His Honor arose to come in. I whirled around and started out and wham! I collided right smack into him! We both gasped a polite “Pardon me” in unison. I am sure that his courtly dignity was jarred to a considerable degree.
When I had recovered my balance and a part of my composure, I could hardly keep from laughing aloud. I am sure he was not accustomed to having young ladies charge into him with the force of an army tank going into action.
Every fall a carnival would come to town during the parish fair. Naturally, people from all over the Unites States were employed with the carnival in one capacity or another. There was no telephone at the fair grounds, so all long distance calls were sent to the sheriff’s office if any one wished to contact the carnival people. It was a mile from town out to the fair grounds and the sheriff or his deputies were always carrying messages out and try to locate some person for a phone call. It was quite a nuisance and the patience of the sheriff was at an all-time low when the carnival finally moved on.
Just as I walked into the office one morning the telephone rang. It was a long distance call trying to locate someone with the carnival. I advised the operator that I thought the carnival had moved out the night before. She asked me to verify this with the sheriff. He said, “Yes, thank goodness they are gone.”
I gave this information to the operator. She then told me to ask him if he knew where they went. I did. Said he, “Tell her I don’t know, I hope they’ve gone to ….!” I passed along this message, after changing a couple of words.
During this time, the state troopers worked in and out of the sheriff’s office. There was one family in town whose two boys were quite often in trouble. They were not criminals but they would get drunk and try to drive at the same time. One night the trooper had to arrest them both and put them in jail. An angry mother came up to see about getting them released. She became so angry at the trooper that she tore his shirt almost to shreds.
The next day the lady came into the office still angry. She said to me, “Do you know what that trooper called me?” I assured her I did not. “Well, he called me an old sow.” Later while talking with the trooper, I told him what she said and then I asked. “Did you really call her that?” He said, “If I didn’t, I sure as the devil meant to.”
Well, the sheriff, the lady, the trooper and many other are now gone but the memories do remain.
George Miller Edwards (above) served as Sheriff at the time of Miss Ruby’s writing. Deputies were Jurd Stewart, John Lee Albritton and Caldwell Harris and the state trooper she mentions was M. P. Dean.