Last week I mentioned former Missouri Circuit Judge Winston V. Buford in a post regarding a really bad decision that he made back during the 1970's. Judge Buford sentenced a college junior to twelve years in prison after the youth admitted trying to sell five dollars worth of marijuana (one-half ounce) to an undercover cop. The case made national news and helped fan the flames of the movement to reform marijuana laws. It was even profiled in Playboy Magazine. (Don't ask how I know that!)
As I was writing that piece, I remembered a personal encounter that I had with Judge Buford.
Our family was having a yard sale in the spring of 1983 as we were preparing to leave Mountain View. Yard sales were (and still are) a very popular cultural activity in this part of the state, and they usually draw big crowds. I was working at getting fresh merchandise out for that particular sale when I looked up and noticed Judge Buford sorting through some of our family knickknacks. (I recognized him from his picture in the press.) Being pushy, I walked over and shook the jurist's hand and asked him how things were going. We chatted for a few minutes before he left - empty-handed.
The fact that Judge Buford didn't buy anything at our yard sale might be an indication that our stuff wasn't up to his high standards, but I like to think that it more likely represented his continuing lack of good judgement!
Judge, if you are still around, I am thinking about having another yard sale over the Labor Day weekend. It will be a reader's bonanza. Books, books, and more books!