Fred Caploe

September 16, 1931 - April 17, 2020
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Steve Huffstutlar left a message on May 23, 2020:
I have fond memories of Fred. Shortly after arriving in Bolivia in 1968 Fred saved me from my own stupidity in downtown La Paz. Jerry or Pete loaned me a big green high clearance Chevy pickup known as El Macho to carry ag supplies and whatnot out to the campo. I parked it on the street near the Tornado hotel. It was so difficult to park in the small space a bit of one tire was on the curb. Along came a transito officer to ask for a bribe to avoid a ticket. I calmly and politely said I preferred a ticket. When the fellow insisted asking for cash, the Okie straight shooter in me challenged him to take me into HQ for a talk with his boss. The office was a stone dungeon next to the Colegio Sagrado Corazón, a block or two up from the San Francisco church. Long story short, the officer told his boss I had insulted his mother and the boss's mother in vulgar terms. My temper and my shaky Spanish combined to cause me to make some loud remarks nobody understood, not even me, but were interpreted as a confession mixed with insults. My volunteer friend Mark Shifflette and I were thrown into a stand-up sewer of a cell that can only be described as medieval. Somehow, probably after our wives tracked us down, word got back to Fred that Steve had done something to get himself and Mark tossed in jail. Fred pulled strings, probably through somebody in the Embassy, and we were released the same day. Fred gave me some friendly advice to turn my temper down a notch or two, and he wrote a memo to the file. He could have thrown me out of Bolivia. Fred did not tell me to go along with solicited bribes, just to be polite and remember we are not back home. Since then I have lived another 35 years in the poorer parts of Latin America, and I have been stopped for both real and fake traffic violations. If an officer won't write the ticket and just talks in circles, I have succumbed a few times to making a donation to the "police fund" when its suggested. Its always a polite conversation because I know Fred won't be around to bail me out and give me a kind and wise fatherly talk.
Sunset View Mortuary left a message:
Please accept our deepest condolences for your family's loss.
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