Extra Story For “Labor Day”

Nappy’s Caddy

When I first became a cop in the early 70’s, HPD and Organized Crime had an unusual relationship. At least I always thought so.

OC figures were well known, their pictures prominently displayed in the Main station squad room, and they (the OC) didn’t even try to stay low key.

A lot of the time OC figures rolled in big black 4 door Caddy’s or Merc’s, usually 2 or 3 at a time with “the boss” in the back seat.

These guys were well known, Alema, Alvin, Roy, Chico, Larry and of course Nappy. Or course this is not a full list by any means. And I’ll never mention full names. Most of them have passed, so what difference would it make. Back then, they were men to be feared and respected.

Most of them had “made their bones”, which is to kill someone. Most were union organizers or held some other position in the labor, carpenters, mason or electricians unions. Not really sure if they had ever worked as a carpenter, electrician  mason or laborer, but they had “a job” when it was needed.

Now these were just men, some were tougher, some had someone else do their fighting, some would have no association with cops or “civilians”, and some even had a sense of humor.

High school football is a big thing in Hawaii. In fact, where you went to high school is sometimes more important than any other item on your resume! Local crime figures would bet big dollars on Friday games, and there would always be large groups, from different factions, sitting at opposite sides of the field. Cheering “their” team.

During championship games, the old Honolulu Stadium at Isenberg and S. King would be filled to overflowing. And there would be no parking for more than a mile in any direction. And on those nights, the traffic bureau made a lot of money.

Parking ticket books came in lots of 25 citations per book. On those big game nights we’d get dropped off by the stadium, 4 to 6 of us, each given a section of streets and once you emptied 2 or 3 books, you could “watch the game”. Or whatever you wanted to do until the game was over and we had to direct traffic. You’d then be done for the night. That meant sometimes you got off 1-2 hours early. Sometime you just kept walking and writing tickets because you had no interest in the game.

Once in a while you’d radio for a registered owner and hit the jack pot.

“Fourth-31” (Fourth watch number 31) “R.O. please. XXX123” (not the real license plate.)

“Fourth 31- RO is OC figure “Nappy Jones (Not his real name) Any passengers and what is your location.””

“Central, no passengers. Location is Date just Ewa of Isenberg . Requesting tow wagon.”

There was a sort of pause when the dispatcher finally responded, “Fourth 31, you are requesting a tow wagon? For that vehicle?”

“10-4, vehicle is blocking a fire hydrant and needs to be towed.”

Again the silent pause and then when she replied you could hear the rolling laughter in the dispatch room.

“10-4 Fourth-31 sending tow wagon for XXX-123, registered owner Napoleon Jones , vehicle blocking a hydrant”.  She barely got all that out before the laughter over took her as well.

The wagon arrived, hooked the car up, and towed it off with the $150.00 ticket under the windshield wiper.

As far as I know nobody remembers the game that night.

Nobody remembers who won or what the score was.

But lots of people seem to remember “the Night Pritchett towed Nappy’s Caddy”.

And most of them smile.

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