Roger Powell: Hated to see carvnival arrive

Published 11:55 pm Friday, January 17, 2014

Roger Powell recounted the early days of juvenile court, which began in 1976.

“I started to work Jan. 5, 1976,” he said. “I had not a clue what to do. But. Nobody else in the courthouse did either, so I was in good company.”

Powell went to work for then Judge Clyde Love.

“I was responsible for providing supervision to children who ran away from home, or didn’t go to school,” he said. Some of his responsibilities were shared with Pensions and Security, the forerunner of today’s Department of Human Resources. Among his responsibilities were children in need of supervision.

“A mother would bring in their 17-year-old daughter and say, ‘There’s nothing I can do about my child.’ I can’t tell you what Clyde Love would say about that. This is a PG group.”

Powell said Judge Love was “quite infamous for taking out his false teeth and holding them in his hand. He would straighten a gem clip and dig around in his ear. Then he’d clean his teeth.”

When students skipped school, Powell would pick them up and take them to class.

“I don’t think the school was glad to see them,” he said. “You were not supposed to keep children in jails, but it was done. That was always difficult to me, to see 13, 14, or 15-year-olds locked up.”

He said he was responsible for transporting young people to and from youth facilities, and often chased them on foot.

But it wasn’t chasing people that he most disliked about the job.

“I always hated to see the carnival come to town,” he said. “Because when the carnival left, so did two or three girls with carnival workers.”