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I did get my now-dormant taste for motorcycles from Grandad, I will say, though I never knew him.
Despite (perhaps because of) my dad’s father being a biker cop in Saint Cloud, Minnesota during the 1920s, buzzing speeders on his Indian, and my own father being a WWII Marine pilot, I did not emerge from the 1960s with anything resembling conservative beliefs or an enormous respect for authority – authority, after all, nearly snapped me up and shipped me off to ‘Nam – not my cuppa at the time, thanks very much.
Police officers themselves, though, were among the kinder and more concerned influences in my life, no need to go into details. I knew even then, all colleged-up and too darn smart for most things, that the vast majority were getting a bad rap for brutality.
Today, my respect and appreciation could hardly be higher. Kurt Vonnegut singled out firemen as the ultimate unselfish hero in his novel God Bless You, Mr Rosewater. I’ll give him that, but I will presume to include the rank & file police officer, up and down the line.
Both American icons – The Fireman & The Cop – would actually risk their lives for me and my family, people they don’t even know. That fact moves me well beyond cynicism about the human condition.
So it was almost scripted into my life of producing true crime programs that I should have plunged headlong into the local police historical society. I am honored, if not a little surprised, to awake and find myself in the eighth year as a Trustee of the Cleveland Police Historical Society & Museum, and pleased to present the above video.