True meaning of Blue Knights

An Experience from Blue Knights from Indiana and Ohio

In the past Rita and I have been able to aid fellow Blue Knights who broke down or crashed in the Indianapolis area.  It felt great to know that we could be of help to fellow Blue Knights (family &Police Officers).  We also were able to make new friends and assist their families.  Now we were on the receiving end.  

From Left to Right: Jim, Deb Gebhart Ohio III, Jim “Cat Daddy” Malone & Barbara “Sunshine” Tolbert Tennessee I, and Mike, Rita Hornbrook Indiana III

New Blue Knights Family

Mike & Rita Hornbrook Indiana III and Jim & Deb Gebhart of Ohio III were on vacation and headed Southwest to tour New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado.  We started southbound on I-65 and would take I-40 West to our destinations.  We wanted to see some of the sites from the movie “Wild Hogs” such as; the town of Madrid, the biker bar, and the tall bridge.  Then we would head to other sightseeing areas.  About 500 miles into our trip it came to an abrupt halt.  In my 37 years in Law Enforcement I had seen a lot of things on the roadway, but never a hood off of a vehicle.  Brake lights came on cars veering right then left, which forced other vehicles to veer right or left.  I never had time to forewarn Jim of the hazard.  I braked hard and locked up the brakes and started skidding.  I let off and veered to my left and a white car pulled in front of me.  I had a small slot that by the grace of God I was able to slide through.  I looked in my rear view mirror and saw that Jim and Deb had went down.  I ran back and thank God they were up and moving about.  I called 911 and within a short time the Memphis Police and Fire Department arrived on the scene.  Everyone was extremely professional and took good care of Jim & Deb Gebhart.  Rita & I followed the ambulance to the hospital.  We did not realize it at the time but they were at one of the top 3 Trauma Hospitals in the US.  The paramedic was told that we were Blue Knights and police officers.  After they were taken into the emergency room one of the paramedics came out and was talking to me.  His name was Timmy Davis.  He gave me his cell phone number and said if we need anything to give him a call (what a guy).  

I called John Gordon GLRC International Rep and told him what happened.  Within one hour we had two Blue Knights arrive at the hospital.  Their names were Barbara (Sunshine) Tolbert and James (Cat Daddy) Malone from TN I.  Here is where it gets funny.  Both Sunshine and Cat Daddy were African American.  They walked up to the desk and told them that they were there to see family.  The lady asked what their names were.  She told the Jim and Deb Gebhart.  She looked up puzzled and said “you know their white”.  Sunshine said yes and they are family, and once again she said “are you sure you know their white”.  We all got a good laugh out of that one, they just don’t understand the Blue Knights Family.  It is hard to explain to anyone that race is nothing, it is that thin blue line that makes us all brothers and sisters.  They made sure that we were okay and stayed with us for a good period of time.  They saw that Jim and Deb were doing well and the hour was late.  We told them to go home and get some sleep.  Sunshine gave us her cell number and told us to call at any hour if we needed anything at all.  If I would not call and check in, Sunshine would call to find out what was going on.  Sunshine and Cat Daddy said that they had an apartment that was about 2 blocks away and that we could stay there waiting for Jim and Deb.  I used the line out of Top Gun movie, “I’ll  never leave my wing man”.  But in thinking about that line is that not true about the Blue Knights, when someone is hurt there is always a Blue Knight that will arrive in short order.  Rita and I would not leave and then Sunshine and Cat Daddy would not leave until they knew that Jim and Deb were okay.  Even then they would check on all of us.

The Sergeant who covered the accident came to the hospital and asked what we were going to do and were we would be staying.  He said his Lieutenant wanted to know and wanted to insure that we would have some where to stay and were safe.  What great guys.  Jim and Deb were finally released from the hospital at about 5:30 AM nearly 12 hours after the accident.  The Doctors recommended a hotel (Holiday Inn Express) that was close and was near I-40.  Debbie called Sunshine around 5:45 AM to let them know that they had been released.  We all went to bed and slept for a good period of time.  

Jim and Debs son was going to come down on Sunday and take them back home on Monday.  Jim called the wrecker lot and was told that civilians were not allowed on the lot until Monday after 9:00 AM.  Jim called Sunshine and that was quickly resolved.  Cat Daddy and Sunshine was at the motel in no time.  They ran us to the wrecker lot and we loaded up his SUV and headed back to the motel.  They ask Jim and I what we were going to do for supper.  We both said probably just order pizza.  They both said no way, we are taking you out for a good meal.  We had a great time with or new Blue Knight Family.  We laughed we talked and they took really good care of us.  Debbie brought up that we had been in Tunica, MS and went gambling.  Sunshine and Cat Daddy both said that is close.  If we want they will run us down there and we could store everything at their house including our motorcycle and trailer.  Jim and Deb were feeling good enough and we still had vacation left, why not salvage some of it.  Cat Daddy and Sunshine were talking about a ride that they were putting together for breast cancer.  I told them that I could not make it back for the ride, but we would support their ride and gave them the entry fee.  Jim and Deb did the same.  

Rita and I rode and followed them down to Tunica and we all checked in at Samstown.  Cat Daddy and Sunshine made sure we were checked in, took Rita to get some more beverages.  They stayed and had supper with us again.  They also told us that they would be coming down during the middle of the week to check on us.  They said that if we needed anything to just give them a call. 

We found out that Sunshine and Cat Daddy had a Blue Knights meeting and had some new members present.  They told them about us and explained what they were doing for us.  The new members were in awe and have learned very quickly about the motto of the Blue Knights.  They were truly impressed.  We are hoping that we can meet some more members from TN 1 before we head home.  I now feel that we are members of not only the GLRC but the Mason Dixon Conference as well.

Many thanks to Sunshine and Cat Daddy for all their help.  

Blue Knights do “RIDE WITH PRIDE”

Mike Hornbrook

Indiana III 

Vice President

 © Michael Hornbrook 2013