To The Police at Station
in Boston, Massachusetts
When we were kids, on the corner of the street,
there was never a day that one or the other of us did not get into trouble.
The cops from Station 16 knew our names and what our homes were like.
They deserve much thanks for keeping us out of the court system. Some
of the names of the police back then were: Lynch, O'Hare, Toomy, and a
cop we called "Red the Terror" There was also a police horse
named "Smoky" in our neighborhood.
The following incident is an
example as to the kindness of the police at Station 16: When I was in the fourth grade, my mother told me to go to the cobbler to get her shoes
and she gave me her wallet. When I arrived at the cobbler I realized the
wallet had fallen out of my pocket. In a panic, I retraced my steps repeatedly
to no avail. I knew I could never go home again.
Instead, I went to the police
station and told the Sergeant at the desk that I lost my mother's wallet and I could
not go back to the house because she would kill me. Then I sat down on the bench where
the criminals sit before being booked. I watched as people came in and out of the station hoping that one of them was turning in a red wallet. I noticed the sergeant peering down at me every now and then.
Different cops sat beside me and tried to encourage
me to go home but I said, "NO". They did not understand that I really thought my mother
was going to kill me. I would not budge off the bench. After about three hours
a policeman was assigned to escort me home.
As we walked through my neighborhood
I heard the mutterings and whisperings from the other kids saying, "Janice
is in BIG trouble this time". (Inside I felt "tough" that
they were saying this about me!! It was a good feeling.) The policeman went up the steps of my
house and rang the doorbell while I hung back. He explained to my mother
what had happened. She immediately screamed, "I am going to kill her".
The policeman did not leave me until there was a guarantee that my mother would not have any physical contact with me.
About two hours later the doorbell
rang again. The police at Station 16 had taken up a collection.
To the Boston Police Department
"THANK YOU" very much for your kindness. I am sorry I
caused you so much grief. But....maybe I'm not sorry because I certainly had a lot of fun doing everything wrong.