Harry N. Jackaway remembers the day he received a $1 million check in
the morning for selling a bowling alley and a $100 check in the
afternoon to "defend a cow."
That kind of day is par for the course for a small-town
lawyer, Jackaway says.
"You just don't know what is going to come through that door," says
Jackaway, who is almost finished writing a book on his experiences as a
lawyer in a small town.
He was part-owner of the bowling alley and attorney for the sale
when it was made in the early 1960s.
And, he wasn't hired to defend the cow, but the owner.
Farmers are responsible for any damage caused by their wandering
livestock, and this particular farmer's cow had been struck and
killed by a car. The driver wanted to hold the farmer responsible for
the damage to his car.
"You are always dealing with problems --- divorce, bankruptcy,
children in trouble --- you need a release, "Jackaway says. "You
appreciate the funny stuff."
The funny, interesting and frustrating experiences in his almost 25
practicing here will be told in in his book,
Thirteen of about 20 expected short stories have been completed, he
said, He predicted the book would be about 150 pages long.
All the incidents are true, but most of the names have been changed, he
One story involves the local drive-in movie theatre which
specializes in X-rated movies, its movies apparently were creating
severe traffic problems on the Wilbur Cross Highway, from which
passers-by had a clear view of the screen.
A view of the films was also available from the upstairs of four
homes, Jackaway said. The children there would sneak upstairs late
at night to watch.
The movies also could be seen from the teen center. In an
attempt to keep teen's from watching the movies, personnel there painted
the windows black. But the teen-agers would just walk outside to
watch the action.
Finally, Mayor Arthur B. Powers told Jackaway, the corporation
counsel, that he wanted "no more filthy pictures" to be shown there.
Because that would have violated
the U.S. Constitution, Jackaway instead ordered the drive-0in owners to
construct a 16-foor fence around the establishment.
The legality of the measure was challenged by the owners.
A total of 27 witnesses, including the neighbors,
their children and church leaders, were taken to court the day of the
trial by Jackaway, as we a multitude of letters to the mayor asking that
the drive-in be closed.
Seeing the number of witnesses and hearing the public outcry, the
drive-in owners consented to build the fence for $16,000.
But, Jackaway said, "I always wonder if the problem is really
He had thought of writing the book for about 10 years and finally
began in earnest three months ago.
"It is very personal working in a small town," Jackaway said.
"Your accomplishments can be seen all over town," he said.
(Hartford, Connecticut) · Tue, Jan 2, 1979 · Page 66]