The police blotter is always a well-read feature in the newspaper, even back in the early 1970s. Then, as now, truth is often stranger than fiction.
I recently acquired a copy of this small booklet, printed in 1973: “Where But In Alaska: People in Conflict as shown on the Police Blotter Of Fairbanks, Alaska & Related Stories.” This is a compilation of police blotter reports in Fairbanks by Thomas A. Snapp, the former editor of Jessen’s Weekly and founder/editor of the Pioneer All-Alaska Weekly. The Fairbanks police blotter was carried in both newspapers.
There’s the report of the city police officer who arrested Santa Claus for drunken driving: ‘The rosy cheeks were described as flushed and the twinkling eyes as watery.” The report of a porcupine on Eighth Avenue, resulted in the animal getting a new home at the Alaskaland Zoo. Here are a few more excerpts:
Just Send An Ambulance: “A man on First Avenue called the department saying he was going to be sitting up all night in his place and if the vandalism that occurred last week occurred again, then he stated, “If I call, don’t send an officer, just send an ambulance.”
Working Late: “A man called from a local bank and said he would be working late and not to worry if he was seen leaving the building with a shotgun.”
Turn Off Burner: “A woman from 19th Avenue requested an officer to go to her residence and turn the burner off that she left on. The task was given to the day shift.”
Donuts on the Grille: “A man was arrested on a hit and run charge — smashing his vehicle into a bakery and doing about $3,000 damage and then attempting to leave. Police located his vehicle, a total loss about a half block away and arrested the driver. There were donuts on the grille of the car and a loaf of bread on the front seat.”
Ticket Asked: “A man from the 300 block Wendell Street came to police headquarters and requested a free plane ticket to Seattle. He was advised that the police do not give free plane tickets.”
Garage Door Trouble: “A man from the 300 block of Minnie Street reported each time a patrol car uses its radio near his house his garage door flies open. A police corporal told him to contact the Overhead Door Company to change the frequency on his door. Reportedly Unit 22 was causing the trouble.
Lady Godiva: “A local artist with blue eyes and long blonde hair created quite a sensation just at bar break on Friday night. Without a stitch of clothing, she rode side-saddle on a dazzling white horse down Second Avenue. She turned down Lacey Street, proceeded on First Avenue, then back up Noble, turning again onto Second Avenue. By that time there were hundreds of people in the streets waving and shouting as she tied up her horse to a parking meter.”
Work Brought to Fire Department.
“Say, how do you call the fire department?” asked a pedestrian on 3rd and Cushman of Sig Wold yesterday just before the noon hour.
“Why, step into my store and use the telephone,” Wold said.
That’s what the chap did, but he returned almost immediately and exclaimed, “I can’t get central!” Wold then asked him where the fire was
“Why right there inside the big contractor’s truck,” was the reply, so Wold looked inside the houselike affair and, sure enough, saw flames.
“Why don’t you drive the truck away from here?” he asked. “H—, It don’t belong to me,” the pedestrian replied.
Thereupon, Wold jumped into the cab and drove it down to the fire department, ran into the building and shouted, “Fire.” Down the brass pole slid fireman after fireman, and they queried, “Where’s the fire?”
“Out in the street, boys,” Wold answered “I brought her to you.” The blaze was put out without too much damage to the truck.
A good sized crowd had followed the truck to the department and got quite a bang out of the whole affair.
Reach columnist/community editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.