“When someone steals your horse, you have to do something about it.”
Those are words that could have been spoken on Main Street in 1891, or even 1911. But it is hardly a sentence you expect to hear on Main Street in 2011. Unless, that is, you live in Martinez, where the unexpected is, well, expected.
A few weeks back, as the Hopeful Romantics strummed their Americana tunes during a Fridays on the Main event, and a grateful crowd gathered to appreciate their stunning songs and soaring harmonies, former City Councilman Julian Frazer, who rides his horse Joey everywhere, hitched his critter to a post and engaged in some conversation with folks.
Meanwhile, a hornswaggling homeless horse thief unhitched Joey and rode him down Main to Ferry Street and finally to Escobar. Frazer followed close behind, and caught up with the scruffy scoundrel.
After forcing the man to dismount, a crowd gathered outside of the The Station to watch the goings on.
“Horse thief,” they yelled. “Hang him.” And then, of course, peals of laughter. Again, this is Martinez, and people are used to seeing strange things going on.
Frazer, extremely unamused by the antics of the guy who stole his horse and rode away, introduced said individual to the pointy end of his cowboy boot, several times, and invited him in most emphatic terms to seek another community in which to practice his low-down horse-thieving ways.
I spoke about this a few days ago to Frazer, and he really didn’t want me to write anything about it. He prefers to keep a low profile, but as I tried to explain to him, if you go everywhere around town on a horse, the odds are against you keeping a low profile. And if your horse is stolen in front of half the town, the odds go even lower.
There are probably several morals to this story. Certainly, one of them is, do not ever steal a person’s horse. Another could be to keep a close eye on your critters when they’re parked at a public event. Maybe a third could be: Keep the pointy end of your boots sharp, just in case.
TODAY IN HISTORY (from Wikipedia):
1846 - The Smithsonian Institution is chartered by the U.S. Congress after James Smithson donates $500,000.
1949 - President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act Amendment, streamlining the defense agencies of the United States government and replacing the Department of War with the Department of Defense.
1977 - In Yonkers, N.Y., 24-year-old postal employee David Berkowitz ("Son of Sam") is arrested for a series of killings in the New York City area over the period of one year.
1988 - Japanese American internment: President Ronald Reagan signs the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, providing $20,000 payments to Japanese Americans who were interned in or relocated by the United States during World War II.