Just the Facts, Ma'am

Thonie Hevron; bringing you the stories behind the badge

The $50.00 Tomato

Thonie, I started out writing family stories and then progressed to Ramblings.  I still write a family story once in a while.  I wrote this in July.   Hal

By Hal Collier


Hal's $50.00 tomato

Hal’s $50.00 tomato

Did you ever see a $50.00 tomato?


I’m a humble man, I drive a 10 year old car and a 13 year old truck. I live on a fixed income and my Social Security check which will disappear when I have to sign up for Medicare. I’m not poor, but I’ll admit I have underwear that I bought during the Clinton administration. Hey, they still fit.

So people ask why would anyone be a cop?  Well, I’ll tell you in the next few paragraphs. My dad was great with his hands and could make or fix anything. I took shop classes in school and everything I made was an ash tray. Don’t laugh. I have an ash tray with an electrical cord I made in electric shop. Photos available for a nominal fee.


So I made a nice living being a cop. Since retirement I have spread out my interests. I did some wood working in the garage. Want a wood ash tray?


I next tried gardening. How hard could that be? Go to the local hardware store and buy an already grown plant. Take it home and replant it in your back yard. Easy—right? Wrong, if you have an orange thumb as my wife describes my gardening talents. I’ve planted flowers, roses, vegetables, fruit and cactus. I have eventually killed them all—even the cactus.


Every spring, I think this will be different. I’ll get mature tomato plants, buy new soil, free from contaminates of previous failures. I’ll tend to them and make sure that this year will be different.


With new enthusiasm I drive to OSH.  My wife’s proud of me when I walk right by the tool sale and BBQ supply section. We head directly into the garden. We pick out three nice tomato plants. We’re not going to put all our eggs in one basket so to speak. We buy three different kinds of tomato plants. One cherry, one beef steak and some exotic tomato that has different colors inside when you cut it open.


We next pick up two bags of dirt and a jug of vegetable plant food and three large planting pots. We head home. I plant the tomatoes and I even read the instructions, full sun, and water every few days until plant is established.


Flash forward one month. The tomato plants are growing and flower buds are sprouting out.  I’m going to beat the orange thumb curse. Another two weeks later I have six small tomatoes, three each on only two plants. The third plant seems to be dying from the inside out. The curse returns.


I’m going to spare you the slow death of my tomato plants and the few that survived my orange thumb. The bottom line is I spent about $50.00 on plants and supplies and got the tomato pictured. Don’t even ask me how it tasted, I put it up for sale on E-Bay to try and recoup my expenses. Hurry you only have one week to bid on my tomato.


Now you see why I was a cop.





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This entry was posted on September 4, 2013 by in Law Enforcement, Ramblings by Hal and tagged , , , .

Cop Talk

For all things about cop culture-the work, the family, the days off.

The purpose of this page is to educate writers of all genres to be accurate in their portrayal of law enforcement professionals. This includes meter maids (I was a "lovely Rita" many years ago), dispatcher, patrol officers, detectives, and administrators.

I have many resources in my 35 year career in California law enforcement. I index and explain common errors that found in all media. Guests will also post about police professionalism today and tomorrow as well as historical articles about the way things used to be, "back in the day".

Examples of police media myths: missing persons cannot be reported by anyone but the family; missing persons reports can't be taken until the subject has been missing 24 hours; all cops eat donuts.

You get my drift.



Just the Facts, Ma'am posts Sundays and Fridays. Sundays scheduled writers Hal Collier, Ed Meckle, Mikey, and John Schick take us through the days and nights of those who protect and serve.
Friday postings feature authors sharing their thoughts about this journey we call authorship.
Extra postings will include California 'Officer Down' notices or something special. I will update progress of my current literary project as they develop.
--Thonie Hevron

Just the Facts, Ma’am copyright

© Thonie Hevron, Just the Facts, Ma'am 2010-present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thonie Hevron with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Thank you.


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