I was young and living on Madison Avenue when the township purchased its first fire truck. Because the township had no place to house the truck, it was parked at Bob Boggs’ automotive garage, which was just about a half-block from our house.
The department was totally volunteer at that time. The volunteer on duty as the driver would get a call at his house and then drive to the garage to get the truck. After closing time at the garage, Mr. Boggs would also get a call.
During that time Indianapolis had defined boundaries. The Indianapolis Police Department only patrolled the streets of Indianapolis proper, while it was the responsibility of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department to cover all the outlying county. So, Perry Township was covered by the Sheriff’s Department and the state police. That didn’t change until the implementation of Unigov, at which time IPD began to patrol the entire county.
As I remember there was usually only one sheriff deputy on duty at anytime in the township. I learned about this after my father opened his Sunoco station on Madison.
On occasion a deputy would stop into our station for a brief break. We found out that two of the deputies assigned to our area were the Edwards brothers.
It didn’t take long for my dad’s business to take off. In addition to selling gas, we washed and serviced cars and did tune ups and brake jobs.
Since I wasn’t old enough to have a driver’s license at the time, I rode my bike to work during the summer, after school and on weekend. In order to have the station open by 6 a.m., we had to get there by 5:45 a.m.
I remember Dad driving the service truck home one night – it was usually left at the station – and he asked me if I would drive it back to work the next morning because it had to be there when we opened.
I had been driving vehicles on our business property so I was sure I had the skills to do that. I drove those 5 blocks the next morning with no problems.
Shortly after opening the station, one of the deputy brothers stopped by for a cup of coffee. As we were talking he commented that he saw me driving to work earlier and was surprised because he didn’t know that I had my driver’s license.
I smiled at him and nodded as I ran out to pump some gas. There’s only one deputy sheriff on duty in the entire township and he sees me drive 5 blocks. Lucky for me, by the time I returned the conversation had changed to something else.