Editor's Note: This week's 'Behind the Badge' will feature '21 Things You Might Not Know About Me: Al Hobbs' due to Al suffering a recent heart attack. Al Hobbs' 'Behind The Badge' will return next Monday.

  1. Although I go by Al, my name is Allen. Only my Mom & whoever she introduced me to calls me Allen, I am named after my great-grandfather. When someone I don’t know calls me Allen, I know it was a friend of my Moms.
  2. My Granddaughter Ella is named after me, or so says I. Her middle name is Nicole so with her middle initial and “Ella” backwards its Allen. My daughter, says this is not why, but this is my 21 things, not hers.
  3. On my Mothers side, my brothers and I are descendants of Fredrick Hesser. George Washington’s drummer boy often depicted in drawings and paintings along with his fife playing brother Raymond Hesser marching with General Washington. They were riflemen (soldiers) in General Washington’s 3rd Infantry, the original Old Guard. They learned how to play the drum and fife while guarding Hessian (German) soldiers they had captured. The prisoners had played both prior to capture. The fife and drum were used to communicate orders to the troops. The Old Guard, 3rd Infantry is the same unit that my Son Ryan served in which provides soldiers at the Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery.
  4. Shhhhhhhh..... Don’t tell anyone, but Gilmore Girls was one of my favorite modern TV shows. I really appreciated the innocence of it. Going a bit further back in time, it was the original Doctor Who #3 and #4 of the 60’s.
  5. I enjoy all music, but really love the 40’s, the big band era. I also enjoy the old-time Radio Classics, The Shaddow, Jack Benny and the likes.
  6. As a kid I got my hand stuck in a grocery store checkout conveyer belt. I’m playing with the belt and next thing my right hand is wrapped backwards between the roller and the belt! Broke several fingers and it took them about an hour to free my hand.
  7. Although not truly an “Eidetic” (photographic) memory, I remember almost without fail anything heard or seen. I close my eyes and can replay the situation word for word. The exception is names, I can not remember names to save my life. I can always remember their face and what they wore years prior, just not their name.
  8. I want to do a Drydenwire Dock Talk, I love coffee and the whole setting. But until Ben Dryden lets me, I have to settle for coffee while writing 21 Things.
  9. I think my older brother Terry has it in for me. I heard tell that he dropped me on my head as a baby, which if you knew me would probably explain a lot! Then many years later slammed my hand in a car door getting out at church one Sunday. Both on accident of course.
  10. I’m scared to death of bees and wasps. As a kid, I stepped on a ground nest in bushes trying to retrieve a football my brother Mike and I were tossing about. My foot caught in the underbrush and I received 72 stings in the face, ears and neck area. I didn’t stand up to a bee for the first time until I was an adult in defense of my newborn daughter. Even watching bees swarm on TV causes my heart to race. For me, it’s the swarming, not the actual stings. I once had a wasp fly into my police car. I stopped the squad right there in the middle of the road, hit the lights and directed traffic around me until it flew back out!
  11. Two of the dumber things I have said; In Japan, I asked if any of the steak houses in the area were Japanese steak houses, my translator said it’s Japan, all steak houses are Japanese. The other goes back to bees. In South Africa working with the South African Police Service (SAPS) I was outside enjoying morning coffee when a very insistent and aggressive bee kept dive bombing me. I said I wondered if it was an “Africanized” bee? I was told the obvious by my SAP partner who said, Um, yeah, considering you're in Africa, it’s not like we bring them over from Texas!
  12. My Mother, who passed in 2007 at age 82, was my hero. As a teenager, she had to quit school in the 9th grade to care for her ill mother while her 7 brothers served in WWII and her only sister earned money for the family. As an adult, she raised 5 boys pretty much on her own. She dealt with the death of one of her sons, my brother Bill when he was only 18. She worked 2 or 3 jobs to put food on the table for us and rose to executive level positions in the Centel telephone company (bought by Sprint many years ago) all with only a GED. Unknown to us, she would eat popcorn and drink water, just so she could give her boys the little food we had, and ended up in the hospital as a result. She was probably the best, most loving and kindest person I have ever known - my mother or not.
  13. My brothers and I were all born in different states from East to West. If I remember correctly they were; Bill-Pennsylvania, Mike-Arkansas, Jeff-Kansas, Terry-California and me in Illinois.
  14. I love boating and until recently had a cabin cruiser, Big Jake IV, named after my beloved Rottweiler. I kept her on Lake Michigan in Kenosha. I’ve boated all over the Great Lakes, and many oceans of the world while traveling for work. I would spend a few extra days and work out an arraignment with local boaters to captain their vessels long enough to have them sign my log book. Sometimes it was by working on their boat, or helping on the dock or just talking with them. Sadly I accidentally lost that log book when I gave up my boat.
  15. I was assigned as a Marine Unit Deputy for many summers, running a 41-foot rescue patrol boat on Lake Michigan. Great duty during good weather, some harrowing times during storms.
  16. Died for 7 minutes during my heart attack in 2011. My daughter Brittany saved my life! She likes me!! The ER doctor was amazed my body showed no signs of the 2 or 3 times he had to zap me back to life. BTW you can’t get a prorated life insurance payout - I tried :)
  17. I loved riding my motorcycle, a 1995 Harley Ultra Classic. It’s gone now and the size of a small nick nack since being totaled in a M/C accident in 2015. A car changing lanes clipped my front tire, putting me down at 45mph. Broke 7 ribs, shattered my shoulder blade and head to toe lacerations. My nephew Ben once burned his hand very badly on my bikes hot pipes after I rode up to Shell Lake from Chicago. Just pulled up and he was excited to see me, ran up and grabbed the hot exhaust. OUCH!
  18. I am very fair and have a unique ability to see and understand both sides of any issue, even if I don’t agree with them. I still make my stand on my beliefs, but I can understand all sides.
  19. I am a very good active listener. I don’t spend the time while you are talking to form my counter-argument, I actually listen and try to absorb everything you are saying and then form my opinion or retorts.
  20. I still remember the phone number I had as a small child in Chicago, 312.726.4229, over 50 years ago! But of course, as I mentioned above, I can’t remember the guy's name I met yesterday!
  21. I wrote this for Drydenwire while recovering from yet another heart attack suffered 2 weeks ago on August 7th. Who says stress doesn't kill! 


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