Steve was always the one who'd get the rest of us out of jail. He had a knack for slipping away just before the police closed in, to find the lawyers, round up bail, or whatever else it took. Must have sprung me a couple dozen times.

Just before the Republican National Convention in Kansas City, I'd gone out to pick up one of our folks stranded hitchiking in a massive thunderstorm 30 miles out. I got lost, and in attempting a 3 point turn, got my van stuck in a yard in Raytown. The homeowner came out, naturally upset that my spinning wheels were chewing up his lawn. By this time I'd blown the radiator and flattened a tire, he called the cops, and I was hauled downtown on a damage to property charge.

Raytown was national headquarters for the Minutemen, not directly related to the anti-immigration zealots of today, but in their rabid anti-communism a similar social set, and this was reflected in their localpllitical establishment. The Raytown cops had such a bad reputation that the Kansas City Police Chief had not included them in his callup of suburban departments for Convention duty.

My initial bail was $1,000, but before the night was out,the Raytown Justice of the Peace raised it to $10,000, serious money in those days.

Steve got on local talk radio early the next AM, threatened "If they don't release Ben by sundown, we're going to have a march on Raytown Saturday with a thousand Yippies."

The Raytown Chief of Police called on Chief Joe McNamara in Kansas City, again via talk radio, for help stopping the tide at his City limits. Mcnamara was then quoted "Raytown got themselves into this problem, they can get themselves out."

We didn't actually know the part time Justice was in the insurance business, but apparently he stood to take a substantial hit, and he may well have guessed that while the local cops were tied up at the city limits, the local kids, who'd long suffered at the hands of the powers that be, would be wrecking the downtown, as I later heard from the towtruck operator when I rescued my van.

In any eevent, charges were dropped before Steve's sundoiwn deadline, I attempted to pay the property owner for repairs to his yard, he refused to take my money, but eventually agreed to take $50 from my attorney.