Captain Clint Peoples – head of the Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers are an elite law enforcement group.  They were originally started to protect the early settlers from the Comanches Indians on the frontier.  Then they were assigned to protect the people along the Mexican border from raids by bandits coming across from Mexico.

In my soon to be published book, I have a whole section on the Texas Rangers with some of their amazing true tales and exploits.

For many years I had a large office in downtown Dallas in the Adolphus Tower.  It had lovely parquet wood flooring with lush deep green carpeting.  There were big green leather chairs and beautiful western art on the walls by famous western artists.  I had a faithful secretary who could take short-hand dictation and could check the accuracy of complicated bond and stock prices.  I also had two young male assistants who traveled across the country finding specific real estate for purchase.

A few blocks up the street was a large, famous gun store.  It was across the street to the north from the Dallas police station.  Lawmen from all across Texas would come there to buy their guns which were priced at a large discount to them.  It was so interesting to visit there since when some old gun collector would die, his widow would not know what to do with all those guns.  However, this store would buy the whole collection and exhibit it.

I would sometimes go up there on my lunch hour and visit.  On one particular day, while I was there, Captain Clint Peoples come in.  He had just retired from being head of the Texas Rangers for many years.  The people at the store made a big fuss about him being there.  However, as head of the Texas Rangers he talked to almost no one in the media, and was still not accustomed to talking to people.

At that time my father was President of Central Freight Lines which just dominated the LTL freight business across Texas.  One reason that businesses liked to use Central was that it was the only large freight lines business in the whole United States that was never in a union.  Most all in the US were dominated by the Teamsters Union, controlled by Jimmy Hoffa and his thugs.

Central Freight Lines was a particular challenge to the Teamsters, being the only one not in their union.  They continually put enormous pressure on Central to get them into their union.  And in those days, the Teamsters would not fool with a National Labor Relations Board election to get them in, which was the proper legal process to go through.  They would just kidnap the President’s son and hold him until they got a union.  If it was taking too long for the company to capitulate, they would start sending back ears and fingers to accelerate the process.  As the son of Central’s president, that is why I had to carry a gun for much of my early life.  It was another reason that I liked to visit that famous gun store.

Anyway, as I mentioned, the folks at the store were so thrilled that Captain Clint Peoples had come in.  They implored him to please wait for a little while.  They explained that Captain Will Fritz had just retired and was living in a hotel suite just down the street.  They wanted to go get him.

So, I decided to wait too, and see these two famous lawmen visit with each other.  You have heard that name…….Will Fritz, but you can’t remember where.  Well, he was the Captain of the Dallas Police Detectives when Kennedy was shot.  He was the one who arraigned Oswald when he was taken into custody…….the only one who talked with him.

You have also seen the film showing Will Fritz many times.  He was the fellow in the white hat just to the left of Oswald when Jack Ruby shot him in the basement of that Dallas Police building.

Anyway, I was not disappointed when Fritz came into the store to meet-up with Captain Peoples.  Peoples knew that Fritz would never talk to the media about anything associated with the assassination, much to their consternation.  They always wanted to know what Oswald may have told Captain Fritz.

So, Captain Peoples said:  “Will, are those people still bothering you?”  

“Oh yea, Clint.  A few weeks ago the Washington Post said that if I would not answer their questions, they were going to have me investigated by the FBI!”

To which Peoples said with dripping sarcasm:  “I’ll bet you were just scared to death weren’t you, Will.” 

Those two old dudes were so very entertaining.

However, here is what I wanted to tell you:  When the store folks went to get Will Fritz, everyone walked off and left Captain Peoples and me just sitting alone on couches across from each other.  It was rather awkward, so I thought that I should introduce myself to Peoples.  But he stopped me!

He said:  “Don’t bother, I know you Ronald.”

“You know me Captain Peoples???”

And he said:  “Son, I have protected you your whole life, but you never knew it.

I was so overwhelmed that I almost cried.

Later I realized that Waco was Captain Peoples home-town and Central’s headquarters, and that it was a matter of principle with him that those Teamster thugs would never kidnap and harm me. 

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