Walking into the diner, I hollered at Mama Nina.
"Hey, what's the menu special blue plate for today, Mama?"
"Hey, back at 'cha, Zebbie! How about a nice plate of my special spaghetti? With some nice buttered toast?"
"Hmm, sounds great! Ya seen Sarge yet?"
I felt someone clap me on the shoulder and turned around to see Jackson smiling at me.
"Hungry, huh? So, tell me, how did your first morning go? Who's the instructor?"
"A Captain Wintermeyer is. We have ten students, including me. One of them, I want to ask you about. His name is Bobby Joe..."
"Odum!" We both said simultaneously.
"Oh! You know him? Who is he, anyway?"
"Did you notice, when I introduced you to Captain Shannon in his office, and that young woman with the baby came in, how much younger she is than the Captain? Yet, she is his wife."
"Well, yes, come to think of it; she was much younger than he."
Speaking in a very low voice, Jackson replied, "It so happens she is his second wife. His first wife passed away about three years ago. The Captain met this one when her brother was brought in on a drunk and disorderly misdemeanor. Somehow, she decided to appeal his case to the Captain, over the arresting officer's head. She wanted the brother's record expunged, because she wanted it not to follow him around. It seems that she really appealed to the Captain in such a winning way that about ten months later, we all got an invite to their wedding."
"So, her maiden name was Odum."
I slapped my forehead. "Oh, man! Of course! No wonder Wintermeyer defers to him somewhat. I knew Odious wasn't kidding when he said he 'knew someone'. I just didn't realize how high it went. Poor Wintermeyer; well, I'll bet he's not going to take as much guff as Bobby Joe thinks he will."
By that time our plates were in front of us and after saying a brief grace, we dug in.
As we stood up, I noticed Jackson rub his left side. When I started to say something about it, he waved my question away with a shaking of the head and smiled.
We soon left and were back on the way to our respective places.
The afternoon was filled with our learning more about use of the baton, as we practiced. The last hour was spent learning to safely load and unload a shotgun.
"Men, come prepared to do some running in the morning. Fitness is a very important part of being a policeman. There are standards for fitness as well as other standards. Odum, you please remain for a few minutes; everyone else, you may leave."
Oh, boy, I would love to have been a fly on that classroom wall.
(To be continued)