What makes some out-of-towners adopt Minnesota?
Let’s ask Ralph Bradley, who was an undercover narcotics officer in the Oakland, Calif., area when he first set foot on Minnesota sod. He was here picking up a prisoner.
“I bought a dairy farm. We’re gonna milk cows,” he said to his wife in a phone call not long thereafter.
And by “milk cows” he subsequently meant, “be the chief of police in Clara City, population 1,318.”
He’s about to retire, the West Central Tribune reports.
Easy work, right?
“The time here, I’ve got to admit. I never thought the stuff that has happened would happen,” said Bradley, who was shot at and run over a time or two, the paper says.
That’s also blizzard country.
Some of his most celebrated rescues came during prairie blizzards, including the Nov. 27, 2001, storm that dumped 24 inches of snow on his community. Bradley commandeered a Minnesota Department of Transportation snowplow when he learned that an ambulance run to Willmar was needed for a Clara City patient.
Radio celebrity Paul Harvey later called Bradley after learning about the incident and how the chief had described this particular blizzard as “an educational storm.”
“If you don’t know how to cuss, this one will teach you,” he said.
Upon retirement, he says he and his wife will take their first vacation since 1987.