Maury's Run In With the Law in Eureka, Nevada
How I met Sheriff Ken Jones

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NOTE: Since the time this story took place, Ken Jones has retired. I wish him the best during his retirement. I learned about this on my second trip through this fun little town.

This is a story that takes place while I was cruising along on highway US 50 across Nevada going west. It was a spring day in June of 2009. I was driving my 2008 Corvette that is painted Velocity Yellow which makes it very easy to see it coming.

As I entered the town of Eureka, I saw a sign that said, "You are entering the friendliest town on the loneliest road in America." Right away I liked the look of this little town. It was like a lot of places I've visited on the back roads of America. I like seeing historic buildings that give the downtown area a sense of character of what the town was like and often still is.

Shortly after entering town I saw an old building (the general store) that I tried to photograph as I cruised past. The building was on the opposite side of the street from me. Just as I was about to click off a photo a big truck rolled by, blocking my view. So I continued on down the street while soaking up the charm of this little town.

I looked for a place to turn around so I could go back to get another shot at the old building. I located a wide spot where I could make a U-turn safely and head back to the south side of town. As I drove toward the end of town I noticed that there were probably a half-dozen cars behind me. After passing the building of interest, I found a wide place on the shoulder of the road to pull over to let the traffic pass me so I could make another U-turn.

While the cars behind me passed by, I saw the front of a white, Dodge Charger that pulled off the road and stopped next to the driver-side of my car. When I looked over at the vehicle that was blocking me from making a U-turn, I saw on the side of the car, big letters that said, "SHERIFF." Suddenly my mind went into high-gear trying to think of something I did that would attract the attention of a Sheriff Deputy.


The voice from inside the car had bad news

The passenger window of the sheriff car went down and all I could see was a dark silhouette of the officer at the wheel of the car. I ran my driver side window down and the officer spoke to me. He said something like, "I've got some bad news; I'm going to have to impound your car." Now my mind was really flipping out with me rewinding my memory of all my time in Eureka trying to figure out just what I had done that was so wrong.

Only a few seconds had passed, but it seemed longer when the officer said, with a little bit of a smile, "The good news is that you get your car back on Monday." Suddenly I realized that my "chain" had really been "yanked" and the officer broke out in a bigger smile. This was intriguing to me; a police officer with a sense of humor. I had to know more.


Ken Jones, Sheriff of Eureka County, Nevada (Now retired)

I got out of my car so I could lean in the passenger window of the officer's car thinking I would talk with a Sheriff's Deputy. When I leaned into the car, the officer inside the car changed from a silhouette to a real person. I was then surprised to see four stars on the officer's collar. I asked a silly question, (my mind was still spinning) I said, "You are more than a deputy aren't you?" I was then told that this man was THE Sheriff of Eureka County, Nevada. We began talking when I learned that the good Sheriff is not only a car guy, but he owns Corvettes. Now I understood his little joke on me. This is how I met Ken Jones, Sheriff of Eureka County, Nevada.


Building I wanted to photograph
my first time through town

As it turned out we are both U.S. Navy veterans. In fact our ships may have been in the same area when we were both on board our respective vessels. We talked for a few minutes about things we had in common and I felt a kinship of sorts with Sheriff Jones. We both really like Corvettes of any vintage.

As we talked I noticed the patch on the upper-sleeve of Ken's uniform. The patch was shaped like the state of Nevada with various images of state attributes such as snow-capped mountains and mining. It was like a small piece of artwork. I made a comment about how much I liked the patch and with that the Sheriff asked me to follow him back to the office.

As I followed Sheriff Jones, I clicked off a few photos as I drove along. And I did get the picture of the general store that I wanted in the first place. The Sheriff's office was at the other end of town. When I went inside the Sheriff introduced me to his staff and I asked one of the ladies to take our picture with my camera. So now I have a selfie with the good Sheriff.

The Sheriff gave me a patch like the one I admired on his uniform. That is a very special gift he gave me and it will hold a place of honor in my collection of patches I’ve picked up during my world travels.

This short visit to "The Friendliest town on the loneliest road in America" turned out to be one of those unexpected pleasures that happens occasionally on the back roads of America. I enjoyed the historic look of this little town and I especially had fun talking with Sheriff Ken Jones, another Corvette guy.


Maury with Sheriff Ken Jones

When I began my trip on the Lincoln Highway — US-50 — back in Kansas, I thought I would drive this route only once so I could say I drove on the "Loneliest Road in America." However, after meeting Ken Jones, I will return for another visit to this great little town of Eureka, Nevada.

 


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