Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Helen Bishop and the Samaritan Cops…by Robert M. Katzman

Robert M. Katzman’s Amazing Story: http://www.differentslants.com/?p=355

© April 4, 2011 by Robert M. Katzman

This is an introduction, because one thing leads to another, usually.

Helen died.

92 years old, Helen Bishop had lived with us for five years.

“Us” means Joy, her daughter, one of eight children, and me, the husband.  Our daughter, Sarah, got the call at 1 am on Sunday morning, March 13th 2011, when I was dead to the world.  Eighth graders can stay up all night, but not their 61-year-old Dads.

It may actually have been midnight on March 12th, because everyone’s supposed to push their clock ahead one hour in the spring at 2 am, and that night was the night.  So, if they did it early in the nursing home, it might’ve still been Saturday night.  This isn’t essential to know, and in fifty years who will care?

But I did wonder for a few moments, lying there in the dark with my beagle, Betsy, who continued to snore all through the brief conversation in the darkness.  I let her death wash over me, like a tide.

Her kids came to Chicago from across the United States, and from every kind of job:

Billy: (1941) 69, retired U.S. Air Force—–Florida

Gail: (1945) 65, real estate—–Illinois and Wisconsin (aka “Susie”)

Carolyn: (1947) 63, secretary in a Lutheran church—–Oklahoma  (aka “Keeko”)

Joy: (1950) 60, controller at a surgical center, retired—–Illinois

Jim: (1951) 59, engineer—–Illinois

Elaine: (1953) 57, registered nurse—–Arkansas  (aka as “E”)

Russell: (1955) 55, carpenter, lumberjack—–Wisconsin  (aka “Buster”)

Charlie: (1959) 51, retired U.S. Air Force; now Aurora, Colorado cop (aka “Chickie”)

Some came with wives, husbands and/or children. An army of descendents.

Bill Bishop, the man she married in Chicago on Christmas Eve 1939, died March 9, 1999, after nearly sixty years of marriage.  He was a railroad man his entire career, The Rock Island Line.

Her one surviving brother, whom we call Uncle Donnie, 82, came from Pelican Rapids, Minnesota along with his two sons, David and Paul.

Helen herself, originally from a Norwegian/Danish farming family named Ness and Petersen, and who lived in Wolverton, Minnesota was born in 1919.  But I also heard she came from Comstock, Minnesota, about five miles south. I think this is an unresolved issue.

But what do I know?  I’m just the husband. I don’t even have blue eyes, so I keep out of any Scandinavian controversy.  I hear they all still carry big axes.  Better silent than axed.

Both these obscure hamlets, hard by the North Dakotan border are just south of the Red River-traversing metropolis of Fargo-Moorhead which includes both states.  You go out there, don’t miss it.  Nice people, a stunning museum and an incredible number of snowplows.  Really.

I, ah, wouldn’t chance it in winter, which in this part of the North-Central USA runs from October to April.

Is this a eulogy?

Well, not exactly. Some of her kids and grandkids already did that in the Lutheran church service, including my wife who pleaded with all of her siblings to stay in touch and not drift apart.  I watched her and was very moved.  Will there ever be anything important enough to get them all together again?  Was Helen the one great bond?  Do they individually realize this?

Nope, this is a more permanent remembrance of her and about something remarkable that happened just after she was buried. Spoken words, however heartfelt and loving, drift away into the ether.  You write it down, there’s a chance they’ll linger.  Maybe even still be here when the great grandkids want to know about their nice Grandma and all the rest of us are no longer available.

I read my stories in public sometimes, except the ones I can’t read because they are too loaded with emotion.  This is one of those stories, so read it, people.  Helen deserves it.

I’m only going to tell about a couple of obscure moments that can give a stranger an idea of who she was, in a different sort of way.  Why me?  Why my perspective?

Well, I’m from the (very tiny) Jewish branch of her big family and I see everything differently.

In fall, 1976, when I first told Joy’s Mom, a Lutheran, that I loved her daughter and wanted to marry her, it was in Joy’s recovery room after a minor but painful surgical procedure. I also told Helen I was a Jew.  Joy was not conscious.  We were standing, tensely, on either side of her hospital bed.

There was a silence while Helen stared at me. Then she fiercely responded that she believed in Jesus Christ and that He was the Son of God. She said she believed in His resurrection.

I told her I knew that.

The subject never came up again in 35 years.

About 20 years later, without elaborating–because not everything needs to be spelled out–three children were dropped off at our house just before Thanksgiving day.  A baby girl, Sarah, and her slightly older brothers, William, and Robert. The person, a Christian, did so because that person felt we would love them and care for them.  We did that, for years.  Not many people know about our daughter Sarah’s older brothers.

After some agonizing, we knew we had to let the brothers go.  Besides our age, 46 at the time, and the economics of raising three more children on top of our existing three, I was unwilling to ask the older boys to become Jews.  I felt it was wrong to do that.  They were old enough to have some idea about who they were.

They went as brothers to be adopted and raised by Judy, a wonderful Catholic woman who is now incorporated into our larger family.  The communication and visits between us have been constant.

Sarah, however, only six weeks old when she arrived in 1996, knew nothing about religion, so, she stayed.  She was a clean slate and we saw no moral conflict there.  We adopted her in May 2000.  She was four.

Then, in 2006, after we lost our home in the growing Great Recession, Helen, then 87, asked Joy if she could live with us in the house we rented.  Joy immediately agreed, without asking me first because she already knew I loved her mother.

When Helen moved in, I at first offered–and then insisted–on hanging up her framed picture of Jesus Christ on the wall above the foot of her bed.

I told Helen I wanted her to feel welcome, and that since Jesus and I were both carpenters (I decided to diplomatically leave out the:  “Besides, we’re both Jewish” part) it was proper that I hung up her picture of him.  I also didn’t want it to fall on her head, some day, if she attempted to do it herself.  I figured this was a once in a lifetime moment for me and I wasn’t going to miss it.

I told Helen that I didn’t care what her religion was, that she was a part of our family and that she should be comfortable. That’s how it worked out, too.

When we would go to see her grandchildren, Sarah’s brothers Will and Robert in Tinley Park, the seven of us would sit in her kitchen and say prayers over the food.  This was the highlight of the visit for me.  Life can be so much richer if you take the time to notice the special subtle moments.

First, Helen said her Lutheran prayers.  Then, Judy said her Catholic prayers and finally Joy said Hebrew prayers, even though, essentially, Helen was related to everyone there except for Judy and me.

Pretty cool moment to remember.  Peace on earth.

Helen was present at our Passover dinners and New Year’s celebrations (Rosh Hashanah) in the fall.  Every Sunday, Joy would drive her mother to a Lutheran church Helen preferred which was about five miles away.  Helen had a good friend there, Lois.  Sometimes I drove her, too.  Part of our life.

When Helen died, besides her minister informing his congregation, I also informed mine, B’nai Torah, where Helen once went to see Sarah become a Bat Mitzvah (confirmed as a Jewish woman, at thirteen) on September 12th, 2009, only eighteen months before Helen’s death.

Earlier, Sarah, Helen, Joy and I also saw Will and Robert confirmed into the Catholic Church at about the same age.  Will is now eighteen and Robert is sixteen.  Religion is not an issue between the three of them. Why would it be?

The Temple printed Helen’s name in the weekly bulletin which is distributed every Friday night for Shabbat or Sabbath services, after sundown.  It was reprinted every week for a month through April, 2011.  The Rabbi, a woman named Debbi Nesselson, read her name aloud from the raised pulpit, as is the custom during the mourning period.

So, among the Weinsteins, Katzmans, Bernsteins and Goldbergs, the name Helen Bishop will be read annually on the anniversary of her death, in perpetuity, as long as our synagogue exists. Ironically, I suppose, but among the Jews, Helen will never be forgotten. Comforting, to me.

The special relationship between us continues beyond her life.  Maybe beyond mine, too.

So who knows about this?

I do, Joy does, all my children and Sarah’s brothers know. By now, Joy will have mailed copies of the weekly bulletin to all of her brothers and sisters, so they and their families will know, too.  Across the United States, a range of her multi-generational family will become aware of something wonderful and unexpected about their mother and grandmother and great grandmother.

Perhaps Helen knows.

About a year ago, sitting in our kitchen after dinner, I began adding up all the people who existed in her family because of her marriage to her husband Bill, including husbands and wives who married in.  To my surprise, from this one couple there were seventy people in her family in 2010.

I impishly named this large clan “Bishopville”.

The rest of my true story takes place two days after Helen died, in this ethereal Bishopville, because no one knows where it is, exactly, and I suspect the police in my story would prefer it that way.

Meet The Samaritan Cops.

First, a note about my life-long relationship with Cops.

I grew up on a street on the old South Side of Chicago where every other house had a cop in it, including a captain.  Our block was crime free.

I got to know some of them as a little boy, and having run away from home (for good reasons) three times, I also got to know them and eventually others, as protectors.

As a teenage newsstand and later store owner, I appreciated them as who you logically called when an unsavory person was lurking about.  During the Sixties, when my contemporaries, in large part, hated the police and the authority they represented especially when protests took place against the Viet Nam War, I saw them as individuals, not uniforms, caught between two angry generations who couldn’t talk to each other.

Were there corrupt policemen?

Yeah, of course, but there were also corrupt doctors, accountants, school administrators, presidents (try and think of one), politicians as a class, and any other situation where money could possibly motivate certain kinds of behavior.  But the police were more visible, typecast in the movies as Irish, sentimental and morally flexible depending on the situation and the script.

To give this a more balanced perspective, I was arrested a couple of times as a teenager (always innocent, eventually) and severely beaten by two plain clothes cops when I was seventeen in a terrible case of mistaken identity.

But my life was also saved by two cops during a spontaneous race riot.  Nothing is simple.

In my career as a writer, I’ve noted the great differences between cultures and countries and how the police are not a uniform species.

Some examples of what I’ve noticed, before we meet the Samaritan Cops:

Chicago Cops: Negotiable, weary and resigned. Also, overwhelmed.

Texas Rangers: Very proud and dangerous people, like another country’s army.

New York City: Good natured, good humored and seemingly Italian, even when Irish.

Small towns around America: More revenue producers than involved with crime.  Odds of getting out of a ticket in a small town? Zero.  They need the money.

London: Very quiet, self-assured, and in control. Frankly, astonishing to me.

Israel: Screaming, yelling, even when in a good mood.  I think the whole country is in the police force.  And the petite women there carry very big guns.

Wisconsin, Indiana and Nevada: Like three very, very big small towns.  Don’t speed.  Tickets are a certainty.

Los Angeles: In my limited experience (by choice), robotized ex-Gestapo. ÂMirrored glasses and a bad attitude: ” Stranger, this is MY town and why are you in it?”

Canada: Biggest small town in the world, except very much like Mayberry.  Nice.  Relaxed.  Calm.

Wales: Polite, efficient, concerned, and unlike any other experience I’ve ever had with anyone else, anywhere else. Plus, bona fide Gaelic people.

South of San Francisco: Met this ex-Australian pipe-smoking cop in 1969, in the middle of the night who didn’t believe at 19 I was actually the owner of the large van I was driving while I was discovering America. Took him an hour to think about it, while I stood freezing in the cold black night air.  I don’t want to remember it.  Still makes me shiver.

Bishopville: And our story begins…

Two days after the funeral, while Helen’s family was still all around and housed in different places, Joy’s younger brother and sister, Russell and Elaine who were bunking with us, went to a movie with me.

We saw Lincoln Lawyer, a modern film noir and very good, and Paul, about a stoner computer-generated alien and much funnier than the reviews.  Not for kids.

On the way back through the heavily forested Bishopville, on a long dark road, I mentioned to my two companions that a driver had to be very careful not to speed on this road because the local cops were very vigilant. The speed limit was 40.  I was going 35.

Just as the word “cops” escaped from my lips, immediately red and blue rotating Mars lights appeared in my rear-view mirror.  I thought I was in a movie.

I wasn’t.

I pulled over to the side of the road, turned off the motor, pulled out my wallet and took out my license. I never speed, I don’t break laws and I wasn’t worried.  I was curious though, and thought that maybe I had a broken tail light I was unaware of.  It took a while before the cops got out of their cars to come over to my window.

I assumed they were checking my plates against outstanding warrants for arrest or some other thing they wanted to know before getting closer to me.  A cop never knows who the hell is sitting in the parked car in front of them, and if he/she is armed, drunk, high, or all three.  Not a job I want.

There was a flashlight in my eyes and I couldn’t see the cop’s face. After recent cataract surgery in both eyes, I can’t see anything very close to me without glasses.  So, driving, yes.  Reading, no.  I’m sixty, by the way.

I handed him my license automatically and asked him what was wrong.  He responded, saying:

“Have you been drinking? Are you taking any drugs?”

I said no, and yes, because after 32 operations I take enough drugs to keep Walgreens afloat.  If I die, Walgreens will have to lay people off.

I told one of Bishopville’s Finest that I couldn’t drink because I took too many prescriptions, but none of them impaired me.  He nodded, never taking his eyes off of me, and informed me that I was going 30 miles an hour on a street labeled 40, and why was I driving so slowly? And exactly what were the drugs I was taking?

The cop’s partner was standing between his car and mine, watching me talk to the first cop.  Couldn’t see his face, either.

Having never been accused of driving too slowly through a dark forest, I was momentarily confused. Should I say I didn’t want to kill a raccoon?  That I belonged to the Possum Protection Society?  I decided to not say either of those thoughts out loud.

Then the cop told me I was weaving, too.

While my sister-in-law and brother-in-law sat quietly, I tried to remember what drugs I was taking. But the situation was a little too incomprehensible for me to concentrate. So, trying to focus, I slowly responded,

“Well, officer, I take something called Kepra to prevent brain seizures…”

And immediately regretted saying it.  Why would his hearing this new information possibly reassure him?

So, naturally I compounded the mistake. Logic, a dark forest plus a flashlight in my eyes do not make for immediate brilliance.

I added that I take something called Dostinex, except I couldn’t remember the unmusical and cheaper generic name of it, because that stops the growth of an incurable (but not deadly) brain tumor in my pituitary gland.

I was digging myself in deeper.

I was volunteering that I was, to a degree, brain-damaged, and making that quite clear because I had trouble remembering all the other drugs.  This sort of behavior was certain to make my case and encourage him to let me go, right?


He asked me to step out of the van and walk over to the back of my van.  He held up a little pen with a glowing red tip and asked me to not move my head and just follow the pen with my eyes.

Well, ok, I aced that one.

Then, the same cop, while his taller partner stood behind me with another flashlight shining in my eyes, asked me to walk in a straight line. I saw there was no white line painted on the road, so I had to wing it.

I don’t normally walk in a straight line.  I kind of wander around.  But not usually in a dark forest with two armed men shining flashlights at me.  I decided to start talking.  I mean, how could I make this worse?

I told them I had cancer in my face as a teenager because of an overdose of radiation at Michael Reese Hospital in 1951, and had they heard about it?

I was able to see that these two cops were not rookies and had possibly been around long enough to know about this grim history.  I have a graying beard and by now I knew they were not concerned that I was dangerous.  Or nuts.

I explained that the massive overdose of radiation caused cancer in almost all of the children treated for swollen thyroid glands, and in my case lead to endless surgery including brain surgery, twice.  The Kepra drug I took every day was automatically prescribed for brain surgery survivors.

I sensed they were listening.  At this point in time, most people actually don’t know about any of this, anymore. But all people of any age like a good story, and unfortunately, this was a good story.  I then told them I’d been told by a medical researcher who followed up on people like me for decades, that almost all those irradiated in the late Forties and early Fifties were now dead, and that despite my dozens of operations large and small, I was considered by my several doctors to be quite lucky.

Being lucky is a relative thing, I have learned.  Most people don’t know what a good day is.  To me, a good day is a day without surgery.  Think about it.

By now, I was leaning back against my van, and just talking to both of them. I talked about transplants and some other stuff, but still couldn’t remember that I took boring drugs like Lipitor, or a half dose of aspirin every day.  Those common names escaped me.  These were nice guys and easy going.  I suppose if I were a speeder and seventeen years old it would’ve been a different story.  Without words, the first cop motioned for me to get back in my car.

I was walking back to my door, when almost as an afterthought, the first cop asked me for proof of my car’s insurance.  Without hesitation, I went rooting around my wallet for the card I always carry–Farmer’s–and handed it to him.  He squinted at it under the harsh beam of the flashlight and then looked up at me.

“It’s expired”, he said.

I was stunned, and disbelieving.

I took it back and looked at the date.  He was right.  I went back into my wallet, assuming I forgotten throw the old card out, because I would never dream of driving uninsured.  That would be both irresponsible and crazy.

I found another card, but it was a duplicate of the first card and I was dumbfounded.  I knew I’d received the renewal the week before and the payments were automatically debited out of my bank account.  But the renewal notice was in my office and not with me.  However, I was certain Joyce had it with her at home.

But to the cop, none of this was credible.  I told him my wife had the latest card, and that I could call her.  It was one o’clock in the morning at this point, exactly one week to the minute from when I received the call that Helen had died.  Both cops already knew about this because they asked about the other two people in my car and I told them who they were and why they were with me.

Driving without a current insurance card is a serious thing in Illinois and can get a person arrested. It should be a serious thing as far as I’m concerned, but nobody was really interested in what I thought right then in that forest.

The cop refused to let me call my wife and stated flatly that,

“She isn’t here, right now!”

He was right about that.

I offered to call the agent, who would surely hate me for waking him in the middle of the night, but that was vetoed, too, although his name and number were on the expired card.  I had no other options and must have looked as sad and confused as I felt.

The cop was silent.

I told him earlier that we went to the movies that night because we had been missing Helen for a week and wanted to see if we could change our mood, if only for a little while.

Why say something personal like that to two strangers who could care less about my dead relatives?

I don’t know.  It just came up when we were talking about surgery and other things.  There wasn’t really a master to plan to what I was saying to them.  Sometimes I’m just a little more honest than necessary.  People don’t expect it.  Sometimes the wall comes down and the truth spills out.

The cop looked at me.

He still had my license.  He was thinking.

He handed the license back to me and told me to be careful driving home to and get that new insurance card into my wallet. I stared at him. I was guilty as hell.

I thanked him, truly stunned.  I think we shook hands, but I don’t remember.  It would be something I would do.  A way of expressing thanks in a tight spot to someone who helped me.  He walked back to his car and got in.  I heard the door slam shut.

He sat there.

I sat there.

After a minute, I put my license back into my wallet, put my car in drive, turned on my left turn signal and slowly pulled back onto the dark road.  But not too slowly.  I quickly accelerated to forty miles an hour and drove toward my home.  I watched my rear-view mirror nervously, expecting this situation to continue to mutate malevolently, but the cops never moved.

Maybe they were as discombobulated as I was.

Sometimes, people do a kind thing and can’t exactly figure out why.

When I arrived home and found my wife still up and trying to read, I asked where her wallet was so I could reassure myself that it was only me that screwed up.  But to my dismay, she, too, had an expired card.

It was shocking.  I was the one who always gave her the new card and somehow I put both of us at great risk.

What if either of us was in an accident?  I was angry with myself.

The next day, after making Joy promise not to drive until I brought her the new card, I made four copies of the current Farmer’s insurance card sitting in my office, plus one extra one.

The following morning, I located the sleepy little police station in Bishopville, the kind of police station one might expect Daniel Boone to build, if that’s specific enough.  Not like any other police station I’d ever seen in my travels, even in the romantic Welsh countryside.

I asked the pretty secretary (I’ll call her Peggy Sue) sitting there if there was a Chief of Police I could speak to, but she told me she was the only one there at the moment.  That was actually obvious, but I didn’t say that.  Peggy Sue offered to call him for me, and then did so. He called back instantly.  Not much going on in Bishopville that morning, I guess.

When he came on the line, I briefly related the incident and the kindness of his officers, and I felt he should know about it.  I also left a copy of the current insurance card with his secretary so the two cops didn’t regret that that maybe they let the wrong guy go free.  Never hurts to reinforce a cop’s decision to trust you.

The Chief told me he appreciated my taking the time to say something complimentary about two of his men, and asked me to write up the incident so each of the men would have a positive letter placed in their files recording what had happened that night

I did that on the spot and left the letter with pretty, pretty Peggy Sue.

Later, I thought about all of this and sent the Chief a note, informing him that I was a writer with five books in print, and also had a non-fiction story web site.  I asked him if I could write about the two men, his secretary, the adorable police station and him as well, because I thought it would make a great story, an unexpected story,  about two real life “Good Samaritans”, who did more than they normally would do–maybe even taken a risk–to help a beleaguered stranger on a dark road in the middle of the night.

But I also told him that I would need permission in writing from each of the four of them to use their real names before I could write a true story about real people, which is all I do.

The Chief responded that he would get back to me if all three other people wanted me to write about them.

I never heard back from him, or any of them, again. Maybe they’re modest.  Maybe they value their privacy. I respect that.  But a writer writes because he must write.  Some stories are too good to keep inside.  So, this story takes place in “Bishopville” because that was the only alternative in this situation.

If anyone were to try and guess the actual small town where all of this took place, I would deny it.  So, while this story is completely true, where it happened will remain a mystery.

Now here’s the spooky part. I’d like to say I already knew about this, but honestly, I just came across it.  In a way, it all fits, if you think about it.

I was looking up the source of the word “Samaritan” because I do stuff like that all the time.  I like to know where words come from.  Archeology without a shovel.

Samaritan went through some changes through the centuries to become pronounced the way it is today.  Middle English, Old English, Late Latin and Greek were all stops the word made along the way, referring to a certain kind of person who came from Samaria, part of ancient Israel.

But the original meaning in Hebrew, expressed as “shomron” means a cop, one who comes to the aid of another.  My father used that word to talk about the police when I was a child.

How perfect.

We’re all connected, I guess.

Finally, a spiritual ending to my story about blending cultures.  I didn’t plan on this either.

At the beginning of my memoir about Helen, I described that from Helen and Bill came 70 descendents, which I whimsically named “Bishopville”.  Just for fun, and about a year ago.

Four weeks after Helen’s death I was at a regular Shabbat service in my synagogue, where sometimes I read about ancient history in what Christians call The Old Testament and Jews call The Five Books of Moses.  That night, I was reading from the second part, called Exodus.  The Greeks named it that when they translated it from the Hebrew and the Jews went along with it.

Exodus describes–in the middle and end of it–the endless struggle of Moses trying to free the Israelites (as we were then called) from slavery under Ramses II, the evil and stubborn Pharaoh, who didn’t realize what he was actually up against.  One of the great stories of all time about a people seeking to be free, no matter who you are.

But four hundred years earlier, at the beginning of Exodus, in Chapter I when the Israelites were invited into Egypt in the first place by a kinder, gentler Pharaoh named Hyksos, there is this passage I came across:

“And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were 70 souls, and Joseph was already in Egypt.”

An eerie coincidence in the exact same numbers?

Well, maybe, but such a lovely one it is, isn’t it?

So, is Helen pleased about all this, this story about a “random act of kindness” as people seem to say now?

I bet she is.

Her faith was rock solid and unwavering.


I suppose I’ll find out, sooner or later.

Rest in peace, Helen.


Love, Bob


Publishing News! 

Bob Katzman’s two new true Chicago books are now for sale, from him!
Vol. One: A Savage Heart and Vol. Two: Fighting Words

Gritty, violent, friendship, classic American entrepreneurship love, death, heartbreak and the real dirt about surviving in a completely corrupt major city under the Chicago Machine. More history and about one man’s life than a person may imagine.

Please visit my new website: https://www.dontgoquietlypress.com
If a person doesn’t want to use PayPaI, I also have a PO Box & I ship anywhere in America.

Send me a money order with your return and contact info.
I will get your books to you within ten days.
Here’s complete information on how to buy my books:

Vol 1: A Savage Heart and Vol. 2: Fighting Words
My books weigh almost 2 pounds each, with about 525 pages each and there are a total together of 79 stories and story/poems.

Robert M. Katzman
Don’t Go Quietly Press
PO Box 44287
Racine, Wis. 53404-9998 (262)752-3333, 8AM–7PM

Books cost $29.95 each, plus shipping

For: (1)$3.95; (2)$5.95; (3)$7.95; (4)$8.95 (5)$9.95;(6) $10.95

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I am also for hire if anyone wants me to read my work and answer questions in the Chicago/Milwaukee area. Schools should call me for quantity discounts for 30 or more books. Also: businesses, bookstores, private organizations or churches and so on.

My Fighting Words Publishing Co. four original books, published between 2004 and 2007 are now out-of-print. I still have some left and will periodically offer them for sale on my new website.


Comment by Bruce Matteson

April 5, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

Very Nice Bob, a real overview tied up with the ribbon of real life like usual.

Comment by Bill Skeens

April 5, 2011 @ 11:13 pm

Bob: Great story. Sounds like you and your mother in law were richer for having each other in your lives.

This one is also tamer than some of the other “cop” stories from the South side. Take care. Bill Skeens

Comment by Herb Bermn

April 6, 2011 @ 11:03 am

Great memoir, Bob. Those to whom kindness is done do kindness in return. And those to whom evil is done….

Your blended family is an inspiration.

Comment by Don Larson

April 6, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

Hi Bob,

A very heart-warming story.

[ “Have you been drinking? Are you taking any drugs?”

I said no, and yes, because after 32 operations I take enough drugs to keep Walgreens afloat. If I die, Walgreens will have to lay people off.” ]


Stay well, my friend.


Comment by Bob

April 6, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

Hey, Don,
If there were any real justice—and there ain’t, mostly—Walgreens would give me a lifetime pass. Publicity like this, for them, doesn’t just happen.

The point in my telling this story is that I was in real trouble and didn’t know it ’til just before I thought they might let me go. This was a small town and I was in the middle of nowhere and flying solo as far as: “What do I do now?”
There are numerous ‘heroes’ in this story, too. A person has only to look for them.

If this were a fairy tale, it would be a great story. But its not a fairy tale, and that’s why I wanted to write it down. Thanks for reading it, Don, and for writing to me, too.

Tell someone else to look at it. Like a cop, for instance, if you know any.


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