Decker hold (1 year)

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Now Decker is something else. I was told early in my career that if you do something real stupid or real good, do it in private or you’ll be notarized for it. No one pays any attention to what you do that’s okay. So just do okay and you’ll be okay. But don’t ever do anything great good or great bad and be witnessed or people will talk about you.

So Decker — the Decker hold, I think about the most magnanimous one I’ve heard, Decker involved it himself. He was sitting in his office in the Allen court. They had the hall that came out of the jail behind him. He looked up and a couple of his deputies came out, and they looked much the worse for wear. He didn’t say anything, just a sole finger (motioning “come here”). He comes walking over. He says, “What happened?” He says, “Well, we executed a warrant on this old boy, and he fought us.” “Bring him down here.” They went back up to the 7th floor, got the boy out of jail, brought him downstairs. Decker took him in the office and said, “My men tell me you fought them.” “Yes, sir.” “Do you think that was right?” “No, sir.” “I don’t appreciate that.” “No, sir.” Take him back upstairs and put him in for me. They did. Well, they didn’t know what to do with their warrant. They just put it back in the file and waited.

About a week or two went by and finally went in there and said, “Sheriff, this old boy you had us put back in jail, what do you want us to do about him?” “Do you think you need to tell me how to run my business?” “No, sir.” Just motioned them out. To shorten a long story — the hour is late — it was about a year later. Decker called these officers in, and says, “Go upstairs and bring that boy down.” He had been in a holdover cell solo. He had been taken out for an occasional bath. He was fed. He hadn’t had a haircut. He hadn’t had a change of clothes. He was sitting in their cooling his heels for all these months. Decker says, “Now do you think you’re going to fight my boys?” And he says, “No, sir.” He says, “I tell you what. I’m going to help you, relieve you of the opportunity. I’m going to cut you loose now, but you get out of town. I don’t ever want to see you again.” And word has it that they took him to the edge of town and set him out on the road and he started walking away from town, and nobody has heard anything out of him since then.

You can take a little bit of that and say it’s colored this way and a little colored that way and maybe it didn’t happen quite so, but any part of that that holds true — and I’m sure that knowing Decker most of it did hold true — that was what a hold for Decker was. You just didn’t get away from him. You couldn’t write a writ on it. And Decker had that kind of whatever.

Charlie, I don’t know. Maybe it is better to get away from that and maybe it isn’t. I just abstain from voting and let the world tell me later what it was about.

But I answered on this little chart that you were referring to, “If you had it to do all over again, what would you do?” I answered, and I’ll tell ya’ll the same. I’d do it all over again. It’s been great. Thank you.

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