Originally created 09/30/03

Scott brought gentlemanly touch to police force

He was so generally civil that nobody thanked him for it.

- Samuel Johnson

Thirty years in this business, and only once did I ever encounter a public official with an open Bible on his desk.

That official was former Augusta Police Chief A.L. Scott, who died last week at age 80 and was buried Sunday.

When I asked him about his reading choice, he made some modest remark like, "In this job, you need that." He then went back to politely answering my questions with the courtesy of a gentleman.

Law enforcement around here a quarter-century ago was rambunctious. Two sheriffs ended up in custody themselves. Others, while effective, could be intimidating and difficult.

But Chief Scott was always accessible, responsive and patient, particularly with a young reporter whose image of law enforcement came from popular TV shows.

Augusta then, as now, was a political town, and one didn't become police chief without playing the game. But A.L. Scott was a delight to write about and a nice fellow to know.

In this job, you need that.

  • POSTCARDS: Summer's gone, but the vacation postcards are still coming in. Harry Mercer sends a card from Italy - Milan, I think - and asks, "Is there any place in The Chronicle for good poetry?"

    (Probably not, Harry.)

    Dot Jones and Terry and Tara Hendrick send a card from Albuquerque, N.M., which they call "a unique place!"

    Janny and Kathy Bijas of Aiken send four cards from Aruba, Curacao, St. Martin and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    Helen Mills of Augusta sends a card from Branson, Mo. And Bill Bross of Thomson sends a card from Portland, Ore., where he's attending a Lions Club forum.

  • HERE'S THE PITCH: Baseball friend Lloyd Creech, of North Augusta, correctly pointed out that I switched the World Series winners in 1908 and 1918 in Friday's column. The Cubs won the first, the Red Sox the latter. He adds that my wistful contemplation of a Boston-Chicago World Series actually took place in 1918, with the Red Sox coming out on top.

    Their star? A wonderful young pitcher named Babe Ruth, who could also hit a little bit.

  • TODAY'S JOKE: A little girl was diligently pounding away on her father's word processor. She told him she was writing a story.

    "What's it about?" he asked.

    "I don't know," she replied. "I can't read."

    Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or bill.kirby@augustachronicle.com.


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