Saturday, January 10, 2009

From Judy

                                                 Indiana Winter Poem

It's winter in  Indiana

And the gentle breezes blow

Seventy miles an hour

At twenty-five below.

Oh, how I love  Indiana

When the snow's up to your butt

You take a breath of winter

And your nose gets frozen shut.

Yes, the weather here is wonderful

So I guess I'll hang around

I could never leave Indiana

'Cause I'm frozen to the ground!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009

Lost Dutchman State Park and Tortilla Flats

As the day went on, it got to be close to 75 degrees in the sun, and Sid was happy to take off the sweater!
View of Weaver's Needle where we had often hiked.

Sid eating Prickly Pear Cactus ice cream at $3 a scoop!

A short walk into the Superstitions.
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Late 70's to 1983~~~~3104 East Broadway, Mesa, AZ

We spoke to the current owner of #117 and the original home that Sid had purchased was destroyed by fire over 50% about 10 years ago. Over the last 25 years there has only been three owners. The park is well-maintained, and license plates were from all over the US and Canada.

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Surveillance of Nuns

As noted elsewhere, I was the one person FBI Security Squad in South Bend, Indiana. Among other duties when Iron Curtain personnel came through Indiana on Indiana toll road, I, with possibly agent assistance, was to put a surveillance on the diplomats and record all their activities. During this period of time, as I recall, the diplomats were required to stay on main highways, such as the toll road and not enter any towns or cities thereabouts. Also, during this period of time, the youth and some of their elders, were greatly opposed to the Vietnam War and as such would often break-into the FBI sub-offices or draft board offices. I did not recall the year of the following event, but it was probably during the mid 1970s, in Pennsylvania the FBI sub-office had been raided and much of the written material on file taken therefrom.

The bureau had somehow learned that the perpetrators were two or three Catholic nuns had raided a draft board and were proceeding west via on the main highways in an old VW "beetle". Some other agents and I were assigned the task of meeting the Toledo, Ohio agents at the Ohio/Indiana border and take over the surveillance. All went well with the surveillance, but we later learned, a couple of the agents had attempted to lift fingerprints from the door of the ladies' restroom in one of the stops on the toll road. This happened to be a very busy time of the year and the demand on the toilet facilities was extraordinarily heavy. The agents in lifting the prints had to shut off the access to the ladies room and thus leaving the ladies who were already desperate for the facilities in even more desperate state. However, the agents did manage to lift some prints, but unfortunately, there was no way of telling whether those particular prints were those of the Catholic nuns.

The surveillance proceeded to the City of Chicago where the surveillance was to turned over the the Chicago agents.

I have no further knowledge of this incident.

Slow Down Buddy

As I have noted elsewhere in this blog, I was transferred to South Bend, Indiana in the fall of 1948 where I became the one man Security Squad. All was not as calm and quiet as it might have been in the chasing down of individuals or organizations whose loyalty to the United States was in question. An amusing incident is recalled, I had a contact in Michigan City, Indiana - a town about 35 miles west of South Bend. Located on the Indiana toll road and continuing all the way across northern Indiana, one day perchance I had a contact in Michigan City and thereafter in Elkhart, Indiana located about 45 miles from Michigan City and only a few miles south of South Bend, however I had scheduled the contacts with insufficient time and as I left Michigan City on the toll road, I "pressed pedal to the metal" and navigated at least part of the toll road at a pace considerably over the speed limit. However, as I was only a few miles west of South Bend, I noticed an Indiana State Trooper coming up behind me at an even faster pace than I was going. I immediately slowed down to the legal speed limit, which as 70 MPH, the trooper passed me and exited the toll road in South Bend. I again "pressed the pedal to the metal" with the thought that I still could make the Elkhart contact on time. However, no sooner had I resumed my over-the-speed-limit pace than I saw the same trooper coming up behind me again. I slowed down to the legal limit again, but the trooper had his lights and siren on to pull me over. We both pulled over and I displayed my badge to the trooper, I had a contact in Elkhart that I simply must make. The trooper waved me on and I did make the contact in Elkhart as planned. Obviously, the FBI agents and Indiana state troopers were on very good speaking terms with each other.


To continue I will now attempt to relate to you the background and actual activity of the only honest to God shoot-out I was involved in during my entire career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. As you are probably aware, I was a Special Agent with the FBI from July 1947 to January 1972. During that period of time I was assigned to Houston, Indianapolis and South Bend; spending a majority of this time in South Bend.

While I was assigned to the Bureau in Indianapolis we had a major case come up of a bank robber named Clyde Milton Johnson who had not only robbed some banks in Florida, but had escaped from the Dade County (FL) jail. Somehow or somewhere we had received a tip that Johnson and his girlfriend, name not recalled, were in Indianapolis and holed up in the Washington Hotel located in downtown Indianapolis. It was about dusk that a group was assigned to go to the Washington Hotel and check out this matter to see if the two were actually registered there and if so, use every possible means of apprehending him and putting him back in jail. A group of six or eight agents departed from the FBI office where the Washington Hotel being only about two blocks apart. Upon arriving at the lobby which was not particularly large, we agents situated ourselves in various positions where we would be most effective if our subjects should attempt to leave the hotel via the elevator.

We were in place only a relatively short time when the elevator door opened and out walked our Clyde Milton Johnson by himself. As the agents moved into arrest him, he ran out the front door in a westerly direction. This activity being on Market Street. I had been assigned the task of arresting the female companion in the event she was also staying in the hotel. As I moved toward the elevator, I heard a series of gun shots on Market Street as I left the hotel, running, I could see that the gunshots were coming from the pistol of Johnson. Johnson continued to fire as he ran toward the Monument Circle in the center of downtown Indianapolis. By the time I arrived at the circle, Johnson had run across the street and was firing from behind a lamp post in the circle. After two or three additional shots, he ran east across the streets of the circle and commandeered a taxicab that was parked right on the edge of the circle. At that point, an old-time of an agent, Tom Everson, jumped up on the back bumper of the cab and fired a couple of shots through the back window. The remainder of us agents commandeered another cab as both vehicles sped east on this street. We urged the cabdriver, at gunpoint, to run the traffic lights so we could catch up with the fleeing cab, however our driver, even at gunpoint, refused to break the law and we very shortly lost him in the traffic. A little later we learned that Everson's shots and wounded Johnson and he was then at a local hospital. A group of agents then proceeded to the hospital to make the arrest. A couple of other agents and I returned to the hotel and I got on the phone calling the room Johnson and girlfriend had occupied. The phone was answered by a female voice and she acknowledged she was associated with Johnson. I told her we were coming up after her and not to display any weapons of any type. I told her, in conclusion, that when the agents arrived, I wanted her to not display any weapons, and back out of the room and have her hands in the air. I then added, "Obey or we'll blow your head off." She protested that she was in her underwear. I told her to do as ordered. We proceeded immediately to the floor and stationed ourselves outside the hotel door. I knocked on the door, telling her to come backing out the door. She was dressed only in her panties and bra. We held her at gunpoint while a couple of agents went into the room to get her some sort of robe. She was taken to the Marion County jail where she remained until her companion was transferred back to Florida.

After Johnson had been apprehended and his injuries treated our agent in charge, Harvey Foster, had all of us who had participated in the incident write up his own account. I, among the others, did so, and I noted in my memo that I had fired my pistol four times, but obviously had not injured our subjects. However, the various shots fired by both Johnson and the agents had penetrated the buildings fronting on the circle, fortunately, the shoot out had occurred late in the evening and outside of a few broken windows, nothing else disastrous had happened.

I do not recall the incidents surrounded Johnson and his girlfriend although I had heard via the grapevine that Johnson had been convicted in Dade County and been sent to Alcatraz. The rumor also noted that Johnson had attempted to escape and had drowned in the water of San Francisco Bay in which Alcatraz is located.

This incident had occurred in the summer of 1948 and it was also fortunate that all of us agents escaped censure by the headquarters due to our random firing.

Shortly thereafter I was transferred to South Bend where I remained until retirement. In South Bend I was assigned to the Security Squad which consisted of only one person, Hayes S. King. During the ensuing many years until retirement, I had more than reasonable success in developing informants and keeping headquarters abreast of any threats to its security.