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Story ID:9303
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Middleburgh New York USA
Person:frightened housewife
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By Fred Wickert

I served for five years as a small town police chief in up state New York. One never knew what the day was going to be like. It was always interesting. Some days were mildly quiet and others you thought were never going to end. Sometimes all was quiet until quitting time and then all hell broke loose. You just never knew what to expect.

I am reminded of one day that was routine in almost every way until I got a call from the Sherriff department. It was in a rural county and the Sherriff department was the dispatcher for all departments in the county, including the state conservation officers, except for the state police who had their own radio network.

They had a stack of Jury Duty summonses that had to be served. They were asking for each department to serve the ones in their towns. I went to the Sherriff Dept. office to pick them up and then began serving them. I served the ones North and East first and then concentrated on the ones South and West.

I pulled in to one driveway South West of town. It was a quiet and peaceful looking place snuggled back in to the trees with a small stream running close by. I shut off the car and got out, taking the summons with me. I had taken only one or two steps towards the front of the house when the door burst open and a woman in her middle thirties came flying out the door running towards me. Instinctively I braced for trouble and became fully alert.

This was out of the ordinary and I instantly wondered what I was getting myself into now. The woman began screaming, “What happened to my husband? What happened to my husband?” Somewhat to my surprise, I replied, “Well nothing that I know of Ma’am.”

“Your not here because of my husband?”

“No Ma’am. I’m just here to serve a jury duty summons.”

“Don’t scare me like that. I almost had a heart attack. My husband has been away all week and he is due back any time now, and when I looked out the window and saw the police car I imagined the worst!”

It has been my experience that most people who are served with a summons for jury duty are not very happy about it. Some even get downright hostile and angry over it. This lady was very happy about it and thanked me repeatedly. She was so happy that I had not come to tell her some tragedy had befallen her husband.

As I drove away with a smile on my face, I thought to myself how lucky that guy is that his wife cares so much about him. I knew when he arrived home later that day he was sure to have a warm and loving welcome.

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