01/19/10 2:32pm

At the end of a long article chewing over the possibility that Shell Oil might move out of its longtime Downtown office-tower home, real estate writer and promoter and longtime mustache-wearer Ralph Bivins finally reveals why he likes One Shell Plaza so much: Long ago, the 50-story concrete building with the travertine facing saved him and his brother-in-law from a possible night in the slammer.

A few decades ago, the Houston Police Department employed some officers who had a sore spot against guys with long hair and other suspected hippies. Anytime, you could get pulled over because having long hair and a mustache was “probable cause” for HPD to make a traffic stop. I was in the passenger seat late one night when my slightly shaggy brother-in-law got pulled over in the Montrose area. Even though we were doing nothing wrong, the policeman gave him general hassle, scrutiny and in-depth questioning.