Slowly recovering all of my lost info for the phone! BUT, had to run downtown this morning. And…..
Weeellllll… Friends, neighbors and even an attorney or two finally convinced me, I”d better just pay the (*&^%$#)!!! fine. “What if the jury and the judge hates dogs? What if the judge is having a bad day? What if a bank robber angered him before my case is called? Judges and juries are only human” Between “donations”, some art sales and gathering up the change on the kitchen table, I had the $198.00 gathered together in preparation for trial, thinking “If they find me guilty, I’ll at least have it with me on trial day…” As that day has neared, I’ve been nervous about the possibilities of going to jail. For new readers, refer back to, “Skip May Go To Jail”.
Determined to fight injustice and governmental suppression, I knew in my heart that one man and his dog could make a difference in the system. As I have angrily insisted that I would fight for what was right, my neighbor Tom and some other friends reminded me; “Didn’t the judge tell you at the first hearing that the fine could be as high as $5,000 if you go to trial and loose?” That AND, if the prophets of doom were correct, I may very well be the one going to jail. NOT Skip. I’d have to find her a foster home… Make reservations for her in Boys Town? Adopt her out? Besides, I don’t savor the idea of spending 6 months in an orange jump suit, behind fences with razor wire! All for my 13 pound dog.
Sooooo – 3 days before the trial date, I’ve driven back downtown with another pocket full of parking meter change, with my ticket and my $198.00 I’d saved up in hand. I’d put together this money, sadly thinking, “This STILL isn’t right, but I just can’t run the risk… I have enough problems as it is.”
Went up to the bullet proof window where tickets are supposed to be paid, handed the woman my ticket through the slot and told her, “I need to change my plea and pay this.” Behind the bullet-proof glass I couldn’t hear everything that was going on. She looked up my case on the computer, then called a co-worker over. I DID hear her say to the other clerk, “He wants to change his plea and pay…”. I saw the second woman shake her head, point to several things on the computer screen, saying something and then walked away.
The lady smiled politely and said, “I’m sorry, it’s too late to do that.” “Too late?” I asked. “Yes, it’s too late to change your plea. There isn’t enough time to notify the witness and the prosecutor’s office. They have already subpoenaed their witnesses and it is too late to notify them that the trial has been canceled” “What? What witnesses? How many witnesses? Who?” I asked, “Four total on record” she replied.
As I walked out of the building and back to the car, I’m thinking, “Witnesses? Subpoenas? Are they serious? All of this over a 13 pound dog?” THAT thought was racing through my head, getting into the car. And Arlo Guthrie’s album I used to own, “Alice’s Restaurant“. To quote ‘ole Arlo, “…With tears in my eyes I proceeded to sit on the Group W bench…” We, Skip and I, I reckon are in “Group W” crowd now…
“And I, I walked over to the, to the bench there, and there is, Group W’s where they put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army after committing your special crime, and there was all kinds of mean nasty ugly
looking people on the bench there. And they was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on then bench next to me.”
From Arlo Guthrie & “Alices restaurant”
I suppose the three policemen and the idiot Animal Control Officer are the ones that will be there to testify against Skip and I. I had asked a couple of neighbors if they could come to court with me on trial day, and testify on my behalf, as to what a great dog Skip was. But they have to work that day and I understood their hesitation to not become involved. Soooooo, it’s going to be me, still with no attorney against “the system”…. “The Man…” God Bless Abbie Hoffman.
I also thought back to the days when Luke, my Boys Town counselor always referred to me as THE non-conformist Rebel of Boys Town. Even though I made Cottage Commissioner and the City Council, and was supposed to be a leader and a role model, I raised a bunch of non-conformist hell in my day… My nickname back then was “SuperHip” (Super Hippie). Ed Marsh came up with that when we were still in Building 4 (Ryan Hall). My friend Ron, shortened it to “Hip”. I grew up in the era of Abbie Hoffman and “HIP” was the name on my application to the “Yippie” organization! Little did I know my future fight against the system wouldn’t be over civil rights, freedom of speech or feminism as we fought for in the 60’s and 70’s. MY current fight is over a 13 pound dog crossing the street!!!
Soooooo. I guess I come BACK downtown in a few days and go to trial.. I need MORE parking meter change dammit……. Power To The People….
“Revolution is not something fixed in ideology, nor is it something fashioned to a particular decade. It is a perpetual process embedded in the human spirit.”