Ricky Harpole column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 15, 2011

‘Christian-minded outlaw from Arkansas’ rides to rescue

I have been accused of having led a colorful life and it cannot be denied that a checkered past is a part of it.

The list of characters that float up from time to time are more likely to be found on a parole officer’s list than a dean’s list. Usually when one of them resurfaces, the results tend to be embarrassments if not outright mayhem. You never know where or when one of ‘em might pop up.

Some of these occasions arise from the fairly simple mantracking hobby I used to have. Some of them concern ex-wives or girlfriends. But the worst of the villans are invariably lawyers, club owners, and employees involved in the music industry.

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For example on Halloween Eve Ms. Rita and I had an appointment at a recording studio to lay down a few tracks on a gospel song she wrote I arranged. We were guided to the studio via telephone and land mark and eventually arrived at our destination. The studio had a man on the street to signal us in.

Well, we were there but were unfortunately parked in the wrong driveway. The fact was soon underscored by the arrival of three or four officers of Batesville’s finest and also an ominous looking tow truck. After a prolonged explanation the truth did out and was verified to be a simple mistake.

The patrol officers were satisfied. The property owner was satisfied, but the tow truck operator felt he was missing out of his fee and demanded cash that we did not possess.

That’s when one of those old Arkansas outlaws incidentally showed up with his daughter on a totally unrelated mission. He had heard somewhere that we were at a Chad’s studio and decided to drop by and pay their respects and invite us to an Arkansas shindig they had in the works.

At the precise moment that the operator had started dropping chains to process our ride into the system (read impound) old Johnny showed up and paid the wrecker fee, thereby rescuing our transportation. I hadn’t seen him in 10 years.

What were the odds that a Christian-minded outlaw from Arkansas would show up out of a Halloween sky and charge in, wearing tarnished armor. Perhaps God in his wisdom wanted that song to be documented, perhaps it was a wake up call to get GPS on our phones, but anyway we were glad to see old “outlaw Johnny” turn up.

Thank you Johnny and a thank you to the other property owners, thank you to the BPD officers involved. As for the tow trucker, I hope you have a flat on Christmas day!

Oh well, all’s well that ends, well especially on Halloween. I hate to think what April Fools Day might bring.

Going turkey huntin’

Ricky Harpole
(Contact Harpole at www.facebook.com/harpolive or www.colespointrecords.com)