As a teenager, I grew up near Philadelphia watching CHiPs, the Dukes of Hazzard, and several other Hollywood television shows and movies. I never thought I would ever end up in California, or meet anyone famous.
However, working for the Highway Patrol afforded me some great opportunities.
I was an extra in the CHiPs ’99 movie and on the set of The Dukes of Hazzard Reunion show where I met all the cast members. I became good friends with Robert Pine, Erik Estrada, Charlie Napier, Ed Snider, Johnny Owens, and John Schneider.
I was on three details with Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. I attended Nancy Reagan and Buck Owens’ funerals, and I had my picture taken inside the Space Shuttle Endeavor right after it landed.
I always sent the pictures to my parents. One day, my Dad showed the pictures of me with Wayne Gretzky, Charles Bronson, Taylor Swift, Buzz Aldrin, Crystal Gayle, the Beach Boys, and several others to his friend. The guy looked at the pictures and asked, “Yeah, but has he ever met Clint Eastwood?” My Dad then told me I had to meet Clint Eastwood.
A couple of weeks later, as a Captain, I had to go to a meeting with an Assistant Chief (GE), when I heard Clint Eastwood was in town. The Assistant Chief and I went to see him. When we arrived, Mr. Eastwood actually saw us and approached.
We spoke for quite a while. He was very friendly and a great guy. Of course, I had to get our picture taken. I sent it to my father and he wasted no time showing his friend. Of course, I always did as my father said.
The author, Brian Smith, served four years in the United
States Marine Corps, and retired as an Assistant Chief with
the California Highway Patrol. He resides in Bakersfield,
CA. If you have a personal “Coptale” to share, please
contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org