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Thursday, June 4, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Deputy Nabs Pair Blinded By Angling Amour

By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Revie

I had a productive day last Saturday. I went fishing, caught some cutthroat, and led a Shoshone County (Idaho) sheriff’s deputy on a three-mile high-speed chase.

Yes, for the first time in my life, I did something worthy of being excerpted on “America’s Most Exciting Police Chases.” I’d like to say that I was racing to save the world from certain destruction at the hands of the evil SMERSH, or that I had been kidnapped by Bonnie and Clyde and forced to drive the getaway pickup.

The truth is a lot more prosaic, and a lot more embarrassing.

Let me put it this way. I now have something in common with Pierce Brosnan. We have both been nailed for speeding in Shoshone County.

Mike, my 17-year-old son, and I were tooling along the Coeur d’Alene River, on our way to a day of fly-fishing.

As we approached Prichard (pop. 25), we were in good spirits, the kind of good spirits that can only come from being together on a perfect June Saturday, with a fine trout stream sparkling into the distance, the Allman Brothers on the tape player, and a full day of messin’ around in the mountains ahead of us.

As we rolled into the town, if town is the correct word, we were preoccupied with figuring out the correct fork of the highway to take. Mike, my navigator, was busy looking at the map; I was salivating over the crystal-clear condition of the river. The Allman Brothers were wailing away on “Statesboro Blues.”

Which explains why, I guess, I didn’t see the sign which dropped the speed limit down to 35 mph through Prichard. I suppose it also explains why I didn’t notice the Shoshone County sheriff deputy’s vehicle pulling out behind me.

And possibly it explains why I didn’t see those lights on top of the vehicle, the kind that flash and whirl and generally do a disco routine. And maybe it also explains why we didn’t hear the siren screaming away right behind us.

No, Mike and I were just cheerily rolling along, commenting on the beautiful river, eyes peeled for a sign that would confirm we were on the right road. It was a cool morning, so our windows were rolled up, and “Statesboro Blues” was building to a big slide-guitar climax.

So when when the siren switched to full-throated howl, we thought it was Duane Allman, playing a particularly tasty lick. That Duane, he could play the blues, couldn’t he?

We buzzed along, 5 miles over the speed limit, happy as people can be who have no idea that the law is two feet from their bumper.

Somewhere along the way, I glanced up in my rear-view mirror and saw that I was being tailgated. I could see that it was a late-model sports-utility vehicle, although I couldn’t see anything above the mid-windshield level because he was so close and my little pickup has a canopy that cut off the view higher up. This tailgater irritated me, and I thought briefly about tapping my brakes to get this hotheaded teenager, or whoever he was, off my tail.

Instead, though, I decided I’d just placate him by speeding up a little bit. I had no idea what the speed limit was, but we were on a good road and I figured the speed limit was - what? - maybe about 55 mph?

But I just couldn’t shake that tailgater. Before long, I just decided to ignore him.

“The river is still pretty high, but it sure has cleared off nicely,” I said.

“Perfect,” said Mike.

Meanwhile, the increasingly agitated deputy was flashing his headlights in alternating rhythm.

“There’s a nice little riffle right there,” I said.

“Beautiful,” agreed Mike.

Imagine my surprise when that tailgater pulled up even with me, blasted me with a banshee siren, and gestured angrily at me to pull over.

I pulled up on the shoulder, and watched the deputy exit his vehicle, giving my little pickup the kind of stare he normally uses on punks who have vandalized the local church altar. I looked at Mike, and said, “He looks really steamed. What is he so mad at me for?”

“I have no idea,” said Mike.

We soon found out. The information was conveyed to us in a series of brisk questions:

“Didn’t you know I’ve been following you for three miles?”

“Didn’t you hear my siren?”

“Didn’t you see my lights flashing?”

“Didn’t you look in your rear-view mirror?”

“Didn’t you know the speed limit back there was 35?”

His mood didn’t exactly improve when my answer to all of these questions was, “No.”

His mood improved only when he finally became persuaded that I wasn’t trying to elude him, and that I wasn’t Timothy McVeigh with a pickup full of fertilizer.

So he let me off easy, with just a $103 speeding ticket.

I learned a few lessons from this incident, which I pass on to you:

Keep an eye out for those speed limit signs.

Check your rear-view mirror often.

Check the side mirrors, too, just for the heck of it.

A police siren harmonizes quite attractively to “Statesboro Blues.” I believe they are in the same key.

, DataTimes MEMO: To leave a message on Jim Kershner’s voice-mail, call 459-5493. Or send e-mail to jimk@spokesman.com, or regular mail to Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

To leave a message on Jim Kershner’s voice-mail, call 459-5493. Or send e-mail to jimk@spokesman.com, or regular mail to Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

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