The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said goodbye to retiring Lieutenant Darrell Conn with a party Thursday afternoon at the main office in Conroe. Coworkers gathered along with family and friends to mark the end of Conn’s 24 years with the MCSO (30+ years counting his time as a reserve). He was accompanied by his wife, Lisa, and daughter, Brenda.
Sheriff Tommy Gage, who joined the MCSO in 1982 when Conn was already a reserve deputy, told the crowd he considered Conn a friend throughout the years.
“But you kind of envy somebody you’ve been working with all these years and he’s going to get to retire and do some things he wants to do, but I’m happy for him,” Sheriff Gage said. “Everybody here is.”
The Sheriff talked about how Conn moved up through the ranks since his early days, finishing out his career as head of District 3 at the Montgomery County Annex in New Caney. He presented Conn with a plaque that read:
“In appreciation for your loyalty and dedication to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office; Thanks for a job well done; June 30, 1988 through September 30, 2012”
Members of the District 3 office also gave their retiring boss a plaque with touching words.
Lt. Conn thanked everyone and said he had friends there “from way back.”
“We’ve had a lot of good times, good memories – I won’t forget any of y’all.”
“I appreciate knowing and working with each one of you,” Conn said. “Good luck.”
Sheriff Joe Corley hired Conn, “standing on the side of the road in Richards, Texas.”
“He said where you want to work- I said District 3,” Conn said. “He said what to you want to do – I said patrol.”
“He said when do you want to start – I said oh, a couple weeks- he said good, I’ll call Jim Simmons.”
Conn then smiled and pointed at Jim Simmons who was on hand for the celebration.
“Thank you, Jim,” Conn said.
But sentimentality became mixed with laughter when Captain Rand Henderson spoke, saying what some people called euphemisms or aphorisms were known as “Darrellisms” to those who worked with Conn.
“We have a regular conversation and then he manages to say something I never heard in my life,” Henderson said. “One day, he said write that one down and I thought that was a good idea, so a couple of years ago, I started writing down my favorites.”
Henderson then produced a list and began reading examples of “Darrellisms” from it.
“I’m going to miss when he walks in and I give him bad news,” Henderson said, “And he starts off with good God a’mighty.”
The crowd, including Conn, roared with laughter.
“Second, and I never heard this anywhere else,” Henderson said. “If you want to get somebody’s attention, you snap their sheets.”
“He does a lot of sheet snapping out in District 3,” he said. “Y’all felt it before, you just didn’t know it was called that!”
“When he gets mad,” Henderson said, then impersonating Conn, “I got so mad, I nearly threw a shoe!”
Henderson said when a deputy was roughed up in an overnight altercation, Conn said he was “skint up like a highway mule.”
He then told a story about when a boy was lost in the woods and Conn called him in the middle of the night, waking him. Henderson said apparently Conn did not feel he grasped the urgency of the situation and told him, “Captain, you don’t understand – these are BIG woods; these are BAD woods; these are DARK woods.” Henderson said he then got up and headed out.
He gave several humorous examples of Conn’s unique way of expressing himself, but said one of his all-time favorites was, “He was shakin’ like a coon passin’ a peach seed!”
Henderson jokingly said Conn was “difficult” to the very end, reading the way Lt. Conn filled out the hours of his final time sheet, which county employees complete and submit every two weeks. Conn listed 1.31 vacation hours, 6.69 personal hours and 64 regular hours.
“When you do the math, it adds up to 80, but I never saw anybody do that before,” Henderson said. “Difficult to the very end – but I signed it.”
Henderson looked at Conn and told him he would miss him and planned to eventually join him as a resident of Henderson County where Conn plans to spend his retirement.