Recuerdos del Norte "Oso Peligroso"
by Dick Mauer
Back in the late 60s the Buffalo Sector and Station was located in a dilapidated brick building on Niagara Street near the Niagara River. One howling January night with about a foot of snow on the ground and the temperature and visibility hovering near zero, the midnight shift PI had decided to spend the shift in the building under the "Better Safe Than Sorry" doctrine. The radio room was in the front of the building and the PI had stationed himself about midway between the radio operator and the coffee room while he dry fired towards the Radio Tech's shop. After a considerable amount of this fire arms drill, during which the radio monkey had become increasingly nervous, the PI took a break to refill his cup. The PI drank his coffee while regaling the radio operator with yet another story of valor and daring before resuming his dry firing practice. Needless to say he had forgotten that he had taken the precaution to reload while getting coffee and the resultant explosion scared the crap out of both the PI and the radio monkey. The .357 round went into the Tech's tube locker, (the radios had tubes in those days) leaving a nice neat hole but doing little other observable damage. Thinking quickly, (?) the PI found a .357 sized pencil and cut off a piece which he glued into the hole and then colored it to match the cabinet door. After swearing the shaken radio operator to silence the PI went whistling out the door at end of shift, 7am.
The Tech arrived at about 7:15am along with the Chief and Deputy. All hell broke loose when the Tech unlocked and opened the cabinet for the day and found broken tubes and the back wall of the cabinet blown out (not to mention the large hole in the wall of the adjacent men's room). You can just imagine our surprise when the radio monkey broke as soon as the Chief fixed his baleful stare on him. The PI was summoned back to the office (not on UOT) to stand in that vale of tears in front of the Chief's desk. The Chief, Bill Eatmon (who we called Oso Peligroso for obvious reasons) was an old pistolero himself and apparently appreciated the PI's dedication to firearm training, marksmanship, and resourcefulness. Besides threatening him, the Chief was not too hard on him, as I recall. So went another midnight shift in January in Buffalo.