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Pops and the girl with scissors

Bail Bonds in Houston Texas have changed a bit in the last 30 years.

Our story takes us to August of 1982. The Texas heat was a scorcher that year and temperatures were reaching the 100's.

Our Houston Bail Bonds office was a tiny little hole in the wall underneath the Lawndale Hotel. There were two offices; the front office had just enough room for a row of 5 chairs on one side of a ten foot walk path and large desk on the other. A half wall partitioned the rest of the room and two more desks were on the other side of the wall. An even smaller room behind the first desk was where the managers office was located, no doors.

A huge room air-conditioner was snug between the ceiling and the top of the entrance door and we had the door propped open because the old A/C unit had decided to give out. It was unbearable inside the office and to top it off we had to figure out how to remove this monstrosity of an air-conditioner and replace it with a new one.

There were three of us; all wearing long sleeve shirts and ties, all standing on chairs; the weight of this thing was on the outside so we put the muscle on two chairs out on the sidewalk, all squeezed together with everyone praying that when we pushed it out no one would end up being crushed. Somehow we were able to get it to the ground and we drug it out to the curb.

We were all covered in sweat, and now quite dirty from the years of dirt that had built up on the outside of the A/C unit. We no longer felt at all like working in the office and really didn't want to lift this thing into the back of a pickup truck, but you do what you have to do.

We had all gone inside to sit and smolder and wait for our office manager, we will call him "Pops" for this story, to show up with his pickup truck, seriously dreading the idea of having to lift the thing again.

Pops refused to stay at the office that day so we sat and waited. Just as he had pulled up the biggest man I have ever seen stuck his head in the door, he had to dunk to get his head in, and in a very deep voice said, "Are y'all going to throw away that air-conditioner?"

Drumming up as much sincerity as I possibly could I said, "You can have it if you want it, but it if it isn't gone by the end of the day then we are going to haul it off."

At the time I remember praying that he would come back and get it and then to the shock of everyone the big man walked over to this huge, heavy, piece of junk and picked it up with one hand and then proceeded to walk down the sidewalk with it as though he were carrying a piece of luggage.

All three of us stepped out, Pops was walking up and the four of us watched as he walked a block and then disappeared around the corner. Pops looked at me and said, "Who the hell was that?" I told him, "I didn't know but I like him." Pops said, "If you ever see him again find out if he needs a job."

The next day on my way to work I saw him walking several blocks from the office and so I pulled over and asked him if he remembered me, "I was the guy that gave you the old air-conditioner." Again in his deep voice he says, "You told me I could have it."

"Yes, that's no problem at all," I said, but I just wanted to talk with you. I asked him if he was working anywhere and he told me that he was working out of a labor pool in the downtown area, and he told me that he was living in one of the older downtown hotels. I asked him if he would consider going to work for the bail bond company. I told him that he would carry a pager and if the pager went off that meant that he would have to come to the bonding company immediately. I told him I understood that he might be working another job and so it wouldn't always be possible for him to make to the office but that I would guarantee him a hundred dollars a week to be available when he could be. I also told him that from time to time he could make some pretty good money if he was interested.

He replied, "What do I have to do?"

I said, "Just come when the beeper goes off, then walk through the door and say, "Stand and face the wall, and put your hands behind your back." We both laughed and struck a deal for one hundred and fifty a week. The guy gave me his name then said that everybody called him Junkyard.

The following week a girl missed her court date. Now 30 years ago things were a little different, our office manager was what people back then called a character. He was in his late fifties, wore a very respectable cowboy hat, carried a 357 at all times, and was well known by many who found themselves in regular need a bail bondsman in Houston, Pops was not somebody to fool with.

Pops called the person who had signed to guarantee the bond and under no uncertain terms made it crystal clear that the man had better have the girl in our office by noon or that he was going to come looking, not for her, but for him. This man had known Pops for many years and had no intention of having Pops come looking for him.

A little before noon the man walked into our tiny office with the girl. The man was about 5' 7" and skinny, the girl was at least 6' 2" and very husky. When they came in Pops called me into his office and said, "I just beeped Junkyard, go and lock the front door."

I had to squeeze past our guests in order to get to the door and then I locked it. The girl immediately turned to the man and said, "What the (blank) is going on!"

The man looked a little shaken and started backing up with his hands out in front of him and said, "I'm sorry baby but you're going to have to go to jail." The girl called him a couple of names and then to our amazement hit him so hard in the face that it knocked him to the ground.

Back then we didn't have computers so everything was done on paper, we had thick check-in cards in a small 3x5 file box and that's how we kept track of everyone we had on bond. We had these cards printed, three on one form and we would cut them into three separate cards by hand with a huge pair of scissors, the scissors were laying on top of the desk and the girl reached down and picked them up and then in a very menacing way held them up as though she might stab anyone who got near her.

Everyone in the office took a couple of steps back, Pops had appeared at the door opening from his office and her boyfriend was digging his heels in the carpet crawling backwards. We had old heavy wooden chairs for people to sit on and I grabbed the back of one of them with my right hand and had my back up against the glass entry door that was now locked.

The whole scene was a little tense to say the least and then the girl said, "I'll kill myself!"

It was strange how those three words gave everybody a small sigh of relief.

I heard the door unlock from behind me and the door opened, I felt a huge hand grab me by my belt from behind and then lift me off of the ground, in an instant both me and the chair that I had a grip on were sitting outside on the sidewalk.

Junkyard dunked down to get into the office and took up every bit of space between her and the door, then in a booming deep voice said, "Stand and face the wall and put your hands behind your back!"

The girl was already standing, (LOL) but she took one look at this huge man and the scissors dropped from her hand and she turned and faced the wall and put her hands behind her back, Pops had the handcuffs on her within a second afterwards and that ends this little story.
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Bada Bing Bail Bonds
803 W. 20th Street
Houston, Texas 77008
Harris County Lic.# 74531
Fax: 713-864-2475
Tel: 713-864-2464
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