I entered the address into my tomtom and headed towards the town that made me cringe. I pulled up to what I could have sworn was the wrong address because I was sitting in front of the police station. I though that maybe the court was held at the back of the station and so I walked in. Assuring myself, I asked the others waiting if this was traffic court. They assured me it was and so I sat down. Looking around I couldn't help but be amused at what I had expected and what was before me.
The only place I had seen the inside of a court room was on TV. I pictured a tall wooden structure that a judge with a black robe would sit behind with his gavel clinched in his hand. I would think a police officer would be standing directly next to it and would only move to transport paper work from the defendant to the judge. What I saw was a bit different.
I sat down in surprisingly nice chairs and we all waited for our unknown "Judge" to walk in. Where we waited would be considered the waiting room of the Calvin police department. There was a fake ficus tree over in the corner. Across the room in the other corner was a soda machine that would dispense a soda for 50¢. In the middle of the room was a big table where more chairs sat around. One of the lights was flickering giving the room an eerie feeling all together. A woman came into the station and walked behind the counter and grabbed a rather large book, placed it on the counter and looked through it. I was surprised to see that she would work here considering her appearance. She was wearing blues jeans and sneakers with a blue t shirt that had unicorns on it. The door opened again as we thought this would be the judge, but to our dissatisfaction the police chief who had written us all our tickets came walking in looking like he rather be anywhere but here. We all could agree. After being in the station for 5 minutes the police chief received a call that there has been a wreck. He had to leave which for me made the wait a little less stressful. Finally our judge pulled up in his vehicle which was a pickup truck that had to be 10 years old if not older. He walked in wearing a fleece jacket and blue jeans with sneakers. I was starting to see this was not a formal affair as the only person who was dressed differently was the police chief, but again he had other duties to answer to. he judge was very friendly as he apologized for being a little late and he explained how traffic court will happen and got right down to business.
He would call everyone up case by case and asked what their plea would be. He offered deferments to many people and was surprisingly quick with each case. He didn't try to intimidate or bully anyone, he just got on with it. The woman who had her note book was like the secretary which would write down any information that the judge was giving to the "offenders". My turn was last and I was there to simply show I had paid off my ticket, and I had not received any tickets in my "probation" time.
To say "It was what I expected" would be an overstatement. It was not what I expected at all though I hope I never have to repeat it. The judge whom I thought would be the most intimating, was the nicest person there. The police officer who will still give me goosebumps if I drive through that town was as he seemed the first time I saw him: grumpy,mean, and sarcastic. I do not want another ticket but if I were to get one I would pray I would treated with the same amount of respect and generosity that the judge from Holdenville showed me.