During the time that I owned that vehicle, my father operated the Sunoco station on Madison Avenue in the Edgewood area. Since we had experienced a couple of overnight burglaries, Dad was advised to install an alarm system.
He decided on one that was offered by the telephone company. A private telephone line was installed from the station directly to our house. An open microphone was installed at the station and a speaker at our house. At bedtime the connection was opened so Dad could hear any noises that emanated from the station.
It took our family a while to get acquainted with the sounds coming from the speaker. Sometimes it was a long night if one of us forgot to unplug the loud bell that alerted us when someone drove up to the gas pumps or shut off the air compressor.
One night I was awakened by Dad running through the house yelling that someone had broken a window at the station and was robbing it. He got dressed, jumped into his car and headed to the station.
I figured he would surely need my help. I pulled on some clothing, jumped into my Thunderbird and was hot on his trail. I was traveling west on Banta and flew across the railroad tracks as I was approaching Madison. I made a fast right turn onto Madison and headed north. My little T-Bird was purring nicely.
Just then, red lights started flashing on a car that I pulled out in front of; it was a Marion County sheriff’s deputy. I showed him my license and tried to explain what was going on.
He told me to get into his car so he could check out my story. Upon arriving at the station, my father was standing beside his car, and his double-barreled shotgun was laying across the hood.
The deputy and I saw that a window in one of the overhead doors was shattered. Dad started explaining what was going on. He was excited and talking fast.
When the deputy had a chance to speak, he told my dad that I had already explained all of that to him. Dad asked him where he had encountered me, and the deputy said I was sitting in the passenger seat of his car.
When Dad stepped closer and leaned down to look inside the deputy’s car, he had the gun in his hand and forgot proper shotgun etiquette. As the gun became pointed at the deputy, shouting began. But things quickly calmed down. Apologies were offered and accepted.
We discovered that the station had been robbed again. Dad and I boarded up the broken window, and he drove me back to get my car.
After we reviewed the events of that evening, some changes were made to our modus operandi. A call to the sheriff’s office would be the first action taken when we heard glass breaking.
Those were the days. …
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools.