Back when I was there, South New Hope Road was a long, straight and lonely road. The blacktop surface was just like new. The lanes were wide. The shoulders were quite ample and gently sloping too. Right out in the middle of nowhere, stood an old tall concrete silo. In years gone by, it must’ve been used for grain storage by a local Farmer, but now it just silently stood there surrounded by woods. Off the road and to the left it stood, as one headed South on New Hope Road. It was the local landmark. Even when our Dispatchers would give us a call for anything nearby, they’d simply say … “Near the Silo.”
I had just been issued a new Patrol Car and was eager to check it out. So just after dark, I headed for my favorite proving grounds … That isolated area, near the Silo.
There weren’t any houses anywhere around, probably, within a mile or so, and I was having a really big time, just me out there, tearing up the road. I’d been bootlegging it around from the left shoulder, and then I’d tried a reverse turnaround or so. I was really eating up the rubber, but I wasn’t worried. How could anyone know? I was right in the middle of high-speed turnaround, when my Dispatcher called out on the radio…
“Gaston County car working New Hope Road. Speeding and Reckless Driving reported … Near the Silo!”
Nervously, I looked around. Not another soul was in sight! I sure didn’t want to answer that radio. Just for the heck of it, I did one more turnaround, and then I didn’t wait for the grass to grow … I got out of there! Again the Dispatcher called. And this time there was no ignoring him. Without beating around the bush, he called me specifically…
“H-140! (my call number) 10-20? (What’s your location?) Check out Speeding and Reckless Driving, at or near the Silo!”
I don’t recall all the details, but I can tell you this. I didn’t give my true location and as far as my Dispatcher was concerned, I was unable to locate any violations down there.
But for a stroke of luck, I would never have known the whole story … Of that night, long ago, near the Silo. More than fifteen years later, I stopped by to see an old friend of mine. When I’d last seen him, he was a Gaston County Rural Police Detective. Now, he’d taken on the position of Chief of Police, in a small Gaston County town. As we sat there reminiscing, somehow I began talking about that night I was trying out my new Patrol Car, near the Silo. As I spoke, his eyes got bigger, and then he told me … He was also there, at the same place, at the same time. Matter of fact, he’d called in the complaint!
Back then, he was single. He’d hooked up with his girlfriend (they were married now) and they were back
in the woods, in his Patrol Car, near the Silo. All the squealing tires and burning rubber distracted them, and not being willing to stop whatever he was doing to check it out, he’d simply called the Highway Patrol Dispatcher to have it stopped. It worked!
It took us years to get together.
It took us years before we’d know.
But there was one who saw it all.
Yep! You’ve got it…
That lonely ole concrete Silo.