Coral Springs History
Historians prize primary-source materials, evidence from people who were part of past events.
Coral Springs has many recordings from early residents; some were founders and some were employees. Bud Pilcher was the city’s second police officer. These excerpts from 1973 present an interesting perspective of life during those early years.
Chief Vic Vedilago and myself (sic) were the only police officers. He served during the week; I worked on weekends for $25. We had a population of around 3,500 people in 1965. We knew everybody, their automobiles and family. The Village Green, Meadows and Thunderbird Villas were the only residential areas. Sample Road stopped at Rock Island; University went only up to Royal Palm, as did Coral Springs Drive. That went only as far as Wiles Road and stopped. Thunderbird Villas used to have a cookout every weekend. They saw to it that we would get a plate of wonderful food.
The biggest problem we had was breaking and entering – people going into model homes, taking equipment, lumber or tile from the homes under construction. Every time we would go by Mayor Lewie Mullins’ house, his porch light was on. That meant he wanted us to stop. Mrs. Mullins would have hot chocolate or coffee, cookies or donuts. Then Mr. Mullins would get into the police car to ride along.
One day, I got a call that a little boy was crying and he called the operator because his mother and father were not home and there was blood all over the kitchen. It was at Commissioner Chubby Knight’s house, so I went down there. Chubby had been cleaning his garden beds and got bit by a rattler. His wife tried to cut his hand and suck the blood out, but that didn’t work too well and, of course, they got it all over everything. They went to the hospital and didn’t leave the children a note. I stayed with them until their parents returned.
Our police department was in a little building on Wiles Road, now part of the Historical Society in Mullins Park. Things have changed a lot since those days. We had one police car, a Pontiac Bonneville, and all the equipment was donated. When I was cruising at night, the deer would come and run alongside the car as I was going along Wiles Road and out in the back country. Snakes, bobcats, barn owls, the whole kit and caboodle of wild animals were all around here. Thank gosh we don’t see those huge, huge snakes. They would lay (sic) across the road at night.
One time I found a real estate agent’s door open and I took K-9 Sgt. Satan. I put him on a short leash and as I took him in, I said, ‘Satan, search.’ He just hung his head and wouldn’t go in. I had to drag that dog all through that office. It scared me to death. I took the dog back and told Vic, ‘Keep this dog, he wouldn’t go in.’ He said, ‘You know why? The linoleum floor reminded him of the vet’s.’
We had a good time back in those days. We were growing, everybody was happy; the town was small and everybody was proud to live in Coral Springs. They were no prouder than Vic and I were.
Officer Pilcher’s interview was transcribed and condensed by City Historian Wendy Wangberg. This is part of a series of recorded oral histories that give both authenticity and color to the history of Coral Springs.