California Highway Patrol Officers Jon Baker and Frank Poncherello stopped in their tracks and turned around, Ponch’s hand resting on the door leading out to their motors.
“What’s up Sarge?” Jon asked.
“The CHP Peer Outreach Program has been approved by Sacramento on a trial basis. They want two volunteers from each station.”
Jon and Ponch looked at each other and sighed. “And you want us to volunteer, right?” Ponch asked.
“Finally Frank, we understand each other.” Joe Getraer smiled.
“Wait a minute Sarge-” Jon protested.
“Let’s talk about this in my office, shall we?” Continue reading
“What for?” the driver snapped. “What did I do?”
“You were doing 65 sir. That’s 10 miles over the speed limit. I’m going to have to cite you.” Jon explained as politely as possible.
As the driver handed over his license and registration, he let loose with a stream of obscenities that made Jon wince. The blond officer walked back to his motor, shaking his head at his partner, Frank Poncherello.
“Some people.” he muttered, reaching for his radio.
Ponch just grinned. “Hey partner, it takes all kinds.” Continue reading
“Morning Ponch, Jon. You guys got any plans for the long weekend?” the husky officer replied.
“Yeah, work!” Jon exclaimed.
“Don’t tell me you actually got Memorial Day weekend off?” Ponch added.
“Yep. Carol and I are going to take a drive up the coast.”
“Hey, that’s great Grossie. Just keep it under 55, okay?” Ponch said with a wink.
“Very funny Ponch.”
Sargent Joe Getraer walked in, looking harried. He set his notebook on the podium with a thump.
“Okay, listen up. Item one. You all know this weekend is a holiday weekend. The Patrol has added extra men on all shifts. Prepare to be extremely busy folks. Overtime is a distinct possibility.” Continue reading
“Hey, what’s wrong?” Ponch asked.
“Would you believe they lost my uniform?” Jon exclaimed.
“Yeah, they said it will probably show up in the back.”
“Well then, it will.” Ponch grinned and started his motor.
* * * *
“Catch ya later ol buddy.” Ponch called to Jon as they headed home after their shift ended.
“Later Ponch.” Jon waved and took a left turn as Ponch continued down the street. He was almost home when he spotted a man fiddling with a flat tire near the shoulder. He sighed and pulled over. Continue reading
“Betty, I told you it’s okay. I understand. Tell your sister congratulations from me. No I’ll be fine. Yes, I think I can manage feeding myself. I love you too. Bye.”
Joe sighed again as he hung up. Just great, he thought. He and Betty were supposed to be leaving on their second honeymoon next week. Two weeks in Hawaii. No kids, no phones no-
“Hey Sarge! Front desk said you had a message for me?” Frank Poncherello interrupted.
“As a matter of fact Frank I have several. From a “Darlene”. She was wondering when ‘Sergeant Poncherello’ would be in. Now you wouldn’t have any idea where she might have gotten the idea that YOU are boss around here now would you?”
Ponch put on his best innocent look. “No way Sarge-not me.”
Joe tossed the pile of messages to him. “Go on, take these and get back on your beat.”
Ponch grinned. “Sure thing Sarge, right away.” He reached for the pile of messages and walked out.
Joe sat back in his chair and returned to his moping. He loved his sister-in-law Elizabeth, but why did she have to have her baby 3 weeks early? Now Betty would be spending their second honeymoon with her and her husband in Santa Fe, and he’d be spending it by himself. Timmy and Christopher were away at camp. It would be just him and two weeks of daytime TV. Was it too late to cancel with the department? Continue reading
Synopsis: It’s 1977 and President Carter has announced he is granting a full presidential pardon to all Vietnam draft dodgers. Jon struggles to deal with his feelings about it, and finds himself on a very special journey…..
California Highway Patrol Officer Jon Baker sat by the side of an overpass, enjoying the early morning sunshine as he kept an eye on the traffic below and waited for his partner, Frank Poncherello to arrive. He’d just pulled a rag out of his saddlebag to polish his windshield when the roar of a motor announced his partner was here.
“Morning partner! Sorry I’m late. “Ponch parked beside him and reached into his saddlebag for a Ding Dong.
Jon winced. “How can you eat those things at this hour?”
“What are you talking about? This is the breakfast of champions!”
“Yeah, whatever.” Jon grinned and shook his head. “Let’s go. We’ve got briefing.”
Ponch stuffed the rest of his Ding Dong into his mouth and got ready to follow him.
“What did you have for breakfast?” he asked.
“Nothing special,” Jon shrugged. “Cornflakes with a banana and some orange juice.”
“Baker, I’ve really gotta loosen you up, you know that?”
“Why? What’s wrong with cornflakes?”
“Nothing, if you’re an old man.” Ponch flashed his dazzling grin.
“Yeah, well the kid likes cornflakes okay?” Jon smiled at him and started his motor. “Let’s go.”
They were still teasing each other when they walked into briefing. Bonnie, Bear, Fritz, and Baricza were already there, gathered around Grossie, who had the morning paper in his hands.
“Hey guys, how’s it going?” Ponch said cheerfully.
“Hey Ponch, hey Jon. Did you hear what President Carter did?” Grossie asked, folding the paper.
“No, but I bet you’re gonna tell us.”
“He gave a full pardon to all the draft dodgers. You know, from Vietnam?” Grossie waved the paper at them, the headline screaming “CARTER GRANTS PARDON.”
Jon’s smile faded. “What?” Continue reading
“Earth to Jon.” called Ponch over the roar of their motors.
Jon looked over at his partner and grinned apologetically. “Sorry Ponch.”
“Hey man, me thinks you’re already on vacation!”
“Yeah, something like that.”
“Well ol’ buddy, you’re on Getraer’s time for 3 more hours.”
“So, you got any big plans for your week of freedom?”
“Not really. I’m just going to visit some old friends.”
* * *
Jon found his seat and sat down with a sigh. Looking out the window at the
rainy morning, he watched as the plane took off, then reached into his bag
and pulled out a dog- eared book. He opened it to the place he’d marked and
began to read. Continue reading
“Attention all units: be on the lookout for a white, late model Oldsmobile two door, license number 6 Ida William Charles 9-2-6 last seen traveling southbound on the Harbor Freeway near Greendale. Suspect is wanted in connection with a hit and run that occurred 15 ago.”
California Highway Patrol Officer Jon Baker felt his heartbeat quicken. As he and his partner Frank Poncherello took in the call and responded, he could feel a rush of adrenaline wash over him. 12 years on the patrol hadn’t made him any more used to this. Glancing over at Ponch, he knew he wasn’t alone. Ponch’s swarthy features were set in a grim stare as he rode alongside Jon, his jaw tense and twitching slightly.
“Nothing!” he called as they rode past the Greendale off ramp, “you think he pulled off somewhere?” Ponch asked.
“Maybe….either that or-” he was interrupted by the coarse buzz of an engine pushed beyond its limits. Suddenly the Oldsmobile appeared on the opposite side of the freeway.
“Ponch! Over there!” he yelled over the roar of his motor.
“Son of a- he must have turned around back there!” Ponch replied as they made a U-turn on the grassy shoulder, kicking up a cloud of dust and dirt. As they rode over to the northbound side, Jon reached for the radio.
“L.A.,7-Mary-3 and 4 are in pursuit of hit and run suspect, now going northbound on the Harbor Freeway!”
As they sped after the car, their speedometers inched higher and higher. Jon clenched the handlebars of his motor so tightly his hands hurt. Ponch’s mouth began to feel like cotton as he inhaled clouds of dust and exhaust. Suddenly the Oldsmobile swerved over and sped down an off ramp. Continue reading
Synopsis: (this takes place where the episode left off-Jon, fed up with the delays in getting Ponch’s trailer repaired, loses it and decides to live in the trailer, giving Ponch the keys to his car and apartment. Ever wonder what happened after that??)
Jon waved goodbye to Ponch, closed the curtains and sat down. Finally! Peace and quiet! His momentary satisfaction gave way to disgust as he looked around the trailer. How does he live like this? Clothes, empty wrappers and assorted clutter filled the small space, a layer of dust over it all. He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. Me and my big mouth.
Meanwhile, Ponch headed back to Jon’s place, excited. Jon’s place and all his beautiful friends! Mine! He grinned as he pulled into the complex and parked. Once inside the apartment he walked into Jon’s bedroom.Unsurprisingly it was neat as a pin. Ponch sat on the bed and smiled to himself. Goodbye couch! His smiled faded as his eyes fell on Jon’s dresser. Among the cologne, family photos, jar of spare change and a worn brown cigar box was a photo in a silver frame. It was of the two of them, taken the day Ponch had graduated from Motor School. Ponch’s glee faded as he laid back on the bed and closed his eyes. Damn it! Jon is the best friend you’ve got and you’ve gone and screwed it up. Continue reading