When you hear the word, minor, do you think baseball?
When you hear the word, minor, do you think coal?
When you hear the word, minor, do you think underage drinking?
When I hear the word, minor, I think of the word miner which is minor with the letter “e”; miner.
Miner reminds me of the name, Lieutenant Tom Miner. Tom Miner was a class AAA law enforcement officer who rose from the rank of deputy to second in command of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.
Miner reminds me of Tom Miner’s brother, John Miner, who was a lieutenant with the Redmond Police Department. After two pedestrian deaths in a Redmond crosswalk, Lieutenant John Miner created Crosswalk Enforcement School. I was one of his students.
Yes, both Miner brothers were police lieutenants at two different police departments at the same time. The Miner brothers may well be in Guinness World Records. Can you imagine what it must have been like at family holiday dinners for the two lieutenant brothers?
Miner reminds me of Bill Miner, who has been a close personal friend of mine since 6:30p last night. We met at a festive Italian Christmas party hosted by mutual friends. There is nothing like Italian hospitality when it comes to enjoying stimulating friendships and good food.
Bill and I have enjoyed 16 hours of rock-solid friendship with never a cross word between us. Our wives even get along. Of course, I have not yet tried to borrow any money from Bill Miner.
Bill Miner and I hit it off and traded stories during the evening. Time ran out before we could tell each other all of our stories, but not before Bill Miner told me about Bill Miner.
Before this gets confusing, allow me to clear up what I mean by the Bill Miner – Bill Miner story. Bill Miner’s story about Bill Miner had to do with the prodigious train robber, Bill Miner, who came into prominence in the 1800s and early 1900s.
Bill Miner was born Ezra Allen Miner on December 27, 1846. Ezra Miner did not like his given name, so he went by Bill Miner and a list of other aliases.
He was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky a little over 110 miles from Tom Canary’s home. Tom Canary has been designated a national asset by the World Peace Foundation, but that is another story for another time.
The Bill Miner pictured above thought he was on the right track when he started robbing trains because that was where he could get his fists on money and gold.
During Bill Miner’s junior robber training days, he robbed stagecoaches. Known for his unusual politeness during robberies, he garnered a series of nicknames such as Grey Fox, Gentleman Robber, and Gentleman Bandit.
Here is the exciting part of the story and my original inspiration for writing about Bill Miner. Bill Miner is given credit for having originated the phrase, “Hands up.”
I am confident any of you out there in reader-land who have curious minds, always wondered aloud, “Who invented the phrase, ‘Hands up’.” Now you know. It makes you feel kind of smart, doesn’t it?
In and out of numerous prisons including San Quentin, Bill Miner moved to Canada and staged British Columbia’s first train robbery on September 10, 1904.
Bill Miner became known as an old west Robin Hood because of his penchant for robbing the rich and giving to the poor.
Bill Miner had another talent that fascinated the public. He managed multiple escapes from various prisons.
It is now 104 years since Bill Miner died on September 2, 1913. Bill Miner is the kind of infamous hero who has life beyond death. It is rumored that Bill Miner hid a cache of loot about 22 miles east of Vancouver, British Columbia.
I have an idea. Maybe the modern day Bill Miner and I will go looking for the train robbing Bill Miner’s hidden stash. Who knows, we might cross paths with Bill Miner’s ghost.
How much of this is true and how much is fiction? I cannot tell you. I can tell you this. Even though my new friend, Bill Miner, has never robbed a train, robbed a stagecoach, or escaped from prison, he is still a fascinating guy.
The next time I run into Bill Miner, maybe instead of greeting him with a hello, hi, or what’s happen-in, I will bark out, “Hands up.” Or, I might use the Spanish form, àrriba las manos.
Larry King says
How about “Reach for the Sky!” Where did that one come from?
Joseph G. Boyle says
You pose an excellent quesstion. I did not want to address that issue in my original article for fear of appearing braggadocio. But now that you have asked, actually I, Deputy Joseph Boyle, Retired originated “Reach for the Sky!”.
I remember one time when I caught a prolific bank robber at the Lakewood Towne Center. I pointed my Sig Sauer 45 semi-auto at him and yelled, “reach for the sky”. He hit the pavement with hands up in the air and yelled back, “Deputy, you got me fair and square.”
Thanks for asking.