cropped-015.JPG-21-e1338061358983.jpgOver on the Face Book page,  “If Your From Delmar , New York You Remember ??” a member recently posted, “Ok, let’s give it up. Which Bethlehem police officer gave you the biggest break? Details not necessary, but it will make fascinating reading!”

Yea, I got some breaks a few times; but that FB post triggered memories of encounters with BPD of a different matter than traffic violations. I remember two instances that happened a few years apart, but were of a very similar nature, and occurred a mile apart.

Let’s start with


Those of you who know me, know that back in the early 1960s, I ran some beef cattle and dairy replacement heifers in Glenmont, NY, on the former Normanskill Dairy Farm #2.

Today, you would recognize it as the site of Wal-Mart’s, Lowes, and a few other businesses on the west side of NY Route 9W. Or if you’re an outdoorsy person, you may have hiked the part known as Shiffendecker Farm. Now you all know.

It was a Friday morning, this I remember because I was also working for the Geurtzes at Woodridge Farm, and Fridays meant I delivered eggs in the tri-village area of Bethlehem.

Sometime midmorning, one of my customers told me to call Joan. You read that right! Remember, this was 30 years before the modern technology of the cell phone began to blossom.

Joan told me that Bethlehem PD had contacted her that MY cows cows 4were out of the pasture, and roaming on the grounds of Glenmont School, across from the farm. And you thought the cops didn’t keep tabs on you back then. She told me that it was OK to skip out from my route and take care of the bovine matter.

On 9W, between the barn and Bender Lane, I saw a NYS trooper guiding 2 or 3 cows toward the fence. I told him that I was probably the person he was looking for. He smiled and helped me guide the still uneducated critters to a walk thru gate leading to a small yard next to the barn. Cows secure, trooper thanked me for my assistance, got in his car and left.

Walked the cows thru the barn and out to the big barnyard leading to the pasture, and off they went to joint the rest of the herd that was content to be uneducated. Did a quick walk around, and fixed the spot where the wannabe students had embarked on their short voyage to an elementary education. Situation under control. Time to go back to work and peddle the eggs.

As I turn around from closing the gate to the big barnyard, a Bethlehem PD car pulls in.

“All taken care of, officer,” which it was, and figured I’d get a Great, have a good day, reply.

“The chief wants to see you”, and he got back in his car and waits for me to get into my vehicle.

Ok, Freddie, let’s think about this. I was in Delmar when my boss alerted me to the errant cows, guessing that I hadn’t been to a certain customer’s house yet. PD is located in Delmar. State Trooper had already got the cows off the school lawn and across 9W by the time I got there. And he left. I found and took care of the spot where the cows got out of the pasture. Everything’s taken care of and cricket. They’d known about it longer than I, and NOW the BPD shows up? No sense arguing. Do what you’re told.

So, I headed up Bender Lane, and let my mean streak set in. With BPD following me, I STOPPED for  EVERY intersection between 9W and Bethlehem Town Hall on the corner of Delaware and cow 9Adams. EVERY should be defined as ANY side street that entered the route I was traveling on, even though there were no stop signs or traffic lights, or legal requirement to do so. I figured that if I had to take time to visit the “station” when a NYS Trooper hadn’t said anything to me, and BPD showed up after the incident had been corrected, I’d get my personal bit of satisfaction.

Finally, at the station, I parked on Adams and crossed the street to talk to the chief, who was out on the sidewalk talking to a couple of people. He turned to me.

With my lip zipped, I listened to him go on and on and on about what would happen the next time that my, or any of the neighboring farmers cows got out, knowing full well that what he was telling me was akin to what a male bovine leaves behind after food digestion has taken place. (You do understand that, don’t you readers?)

Holding my tongue until I was sure he was ALL done, I asked, “What about the people who live in the house there, opened the gate, to go into the pasture to burn their household trash, and left the gate open?”

The chief and the officer looked at each other, and without either saying a word, the officer got in his car, and peeled, yes, peeled rubber out of Adams St.

Don’t know what transpired at the house, but I do know the “burn gate” was never left open again!!!!


cows 5Three or four years after I sold my cows, I got this surprise call. It was a Sunday morning and my wife and I were dressed and ready to walk out the door for church, when the phone rang. “Mr.Dunn?”


“This is xxxx, Bethlehem Police.”

“Yes, xxxx, what can I do for you?”

“I just talked to your brother, and he wants to know if you can help him get some cows off the by-pass?”

Chuckling, “xxxx, you know I don’t have a brother. That was my uncle and you want my dad. Tell you what. You call my dad, and I’ll go see what I can do. OK?”

“OK. Thanks.”

Told my wife what was going on. That I(we) would miss church. Changed into work clothes. Jumped in the car, pulled the four-way flashers on, and headed for the by-pass.

When I got there, the BPD officer had the cows along the fence. We quickly found where the critters had gotten out. Walked them thru the gap, and patched it up. All’s good.

With that, my dad pulls up in his car, gets out and heads over to us. He looks at me, “How’d you get here”, meaning how did I know about the incident.

Sometimes, I’m a man of few words. “Fast”, was all I said.

I thought the officer was going to split his uniform, he was laughing so hard.

cows 6And there were some instances when I got calls that my cows were out that I questioned. W-h-e-r-e?? W-h-a-t color? Knowing they weren’t, and couldn’t possibly be mine, I still went and checked the situation out just in case I could help.

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