Indiana Trooper & Country Music Star Alan Jackson Share A Dream!
The Chronicle Of 5141 Or "Mercury Blues"
Country Music Star Allen Jackson had a hit called "Mercury Blues" declaring Jackson's love for Mercury Automobiles. Playing off Jackson's song, this Tale centers on a Mercury Patrol Car and the State Police Officers who drove it, plus one Trooper who dreamed of re-connecting with the vehicle.
It was 1972 and Troopers Jerry Miller and James White arrive at the Connersville Post, fresh from the Indiana State Police Training Academy. We present them in this story, as they are Central Figures, along with Sergeant Claude Trent and a 1971 Mercury Indiana State Police Car, here-to-fore known as Commission 5141.
The "Indiana Trooper" in the opening line is Jerry Miller. Not only was 5141 the first State Police Car Jerry drove, when it was assigened to Sgt. Trent, it was used on patrol duties in 1972/73 by his close friend, Trooper Jim White and later became the target of Jerry's dream to own and restore it for parades and display.
What gives added interest to this Tale, Jerry actually owned Commission 5141 twice; first locating the 1971 Mercury on a wrecker storage lot in Indy, and second finding its "remains" on a back lot near the ISP Museum on Indy's East 21st Street.
Between-the-two-findings; Jerry, in 1991 while on patrol North of Bloomington on Indiana 37, was hit by a Mack Truck & Trailer. His injuries necessitated a year of physical therapy, then disability retirement from the State Police, followed by a move to Florida.
Our Tale returns to 1987 and the first "finding" of the 1971 Mercury. Jerry was working the Pan Am Games in Indianapolis and found Commission 5141 in a wrecker storage lot on the South Side of Indianapolis. He made a deal for the car and had it towed to his residence at Nashville, Indiana for restoration. The work continued until his encounter with the Mack Truck, previously mentioned.
Unable to complete the task, Jerry gave the 1971 Mercury to the State Police Historical Museum on East 21st Street in 1995 and moved to Tarpon Springs, Florida for continued injury recovery. Jerry was out of touch with Commission 5141 until he retuned to Indianapolis, in 2006, for his Mother's 80th Birthday. There; Jerry Miller made a trip to the State Police Museum, expecting to see his former Vintage Patrol Car restored and on display.
It was not there as anticipated, for lack of time and display space had prevented Commission 5141's restoration. However, the Museum Folks were able to locate the 1971 Mercury and have it towed to a back lot near District 52 where Jerry again took possession.
The next three photographs, taken near State Police District 52, dictate a lot of work ahead for Jerry to resume restorataion.
Unloading In Florida
Commission 5141 Restored:
"I'm Gonna Buy Me A Mercury & Cruise It Up & Down The Road"
Lyrics Courtesy: "Mecury Blues" Alan Jackson.
Jerry Miller Presents Then & Now:
1972 Troopers Jim White & Jerry Miller
2006 Claude Trent, Jim White & Jerry Miller
From The Mercury Assembly Line