Sunday  April 8, 2001


San Lovisa's Angels

After they met during a ride-along, Officer Richard Hodge became something of a mentor to Bill Sage. Bill modeled more than a few of Morning's mannerisms on Hodge's. Hodge also showed up on set frequently and shared anecdotes about his life as a cop and offered advice on police procedure, language, etc.

For the last couple of weeks of shooting, Richard promised he would have us all out to his house for a barbeque. On the Sunday following our last day of filming that day finally came, so Billy D., Lisa and I all trundled into my rental car and drove the hour to Hodge's house in rural Seguin, TX. Unfortunately, Bill Sage had to leave town for another job, so he couldn't attend.

Hodge is a tough-ass cop, but of all those SAPD guys he was definitely the most grounded and sane. He also had just recently slaughtered the beef we ate, so I knew it was going to be some fine barbecue.

Bill, Lisa and I arrived at 9:30 AM and were joined there by Sam, another cop, and Hodge's wife and kids. Hodge immediately offered beer, which I politely refused (a bit early yet). At 10:00 he offered again. That seemed about right, so we started drinking. He then asked if we wanted to do some shooting. After spending five weeks filming cops, the temptation to actually shoot something was overwhelming, so I readily agreed.

Hodge set up a standard police target in the yard -- a silhouette of a torso with a 4" bullseye at the center of its chest and a smaller 3" bullseye in the belly. He paced off 25' in the yard, the standard maximum distance for the police target range, and handed Billy Dawes his police issue Glock 9mm.

Bill was a pretty good shot; he got most within the torso, but a few of his shots missed the target altogether. Lisa was not bad (and struck some excellent Charlie's Angels poses). Then it was my turn. I have never shot a Glock before, or a pistol of any kind (except an air pistol, which hardly counts). I took careful aim and nailed the target right between the eyes. My second shot was an inch from the first. I then took aim at the bullseye in the chest and got within two inches of the center. My fourth shot landed absolutely dead in the center of the bullseye. I emptied the remainder of the clip into the torso. Sam told me I was good enough to be an instructor at the range. Now that felt good.

We then got to shoot a .357 Smith & Wesson and, best of all, a police/military issue semiautomatic assault rifle. That was real fun. I have never considered myself a fan of guns, but there is something indescribably great about blasting holes in stuff with high powered weapons. And it's even better with a mess of beer and barbecue. Y'all.

- Joseph Pierson


Copyright 2001 Cypress Films, Inc. All rights reserved.