Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis and Me
This hub's for me. If you're reading it, then I felt compelled to publish it. But really, I just needed to write, to ramble.
Sunday night I finished a book I enjoyed very much. I found it at the Hospice Resale Store in beautiful downtown Lancaster and picked it up for next to nothing. Dean and Me (A Love Story) by Jerry Lewis is Jerry's take on his life and friendship with Dean Martin. If you don't know these guys please get back to listening to Justin Bieber or Lady GaGa now and I won't bother you anymore. Ever.
Martin and Lewis were huge about the year I was born, but I remember them more as single acts when I was a teen and later. The Jerry Lewis movies and the Dean Martin Show on television were great entertainment for me. I wanted to be as cool as Dean and instead was often as silly as Jerry. I was aware that they had been a team and had seen some of the old movies on late night TV or at the drive in. When Frank Sinatra brought them back together at the Muscular Dystrophy Labor Day Telethon in 1977, I was sitting at home, watching.
The book chronicles the good times, the tension and the eventual break up of this pair.
It also demonstrates a bond between two guys that you don't see that often. In the movies the guys were Newman and Redford. In my favorite books they are Robert B. Parker's Spenser and Hawk, Robert Crais' Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. In the real world, its often firefighters, military personnel, and cops.
I've been there; I've had that. I miss it.
Monday, I went to the Lancaster Police Department for the first time in several years to talk to Paul Smith who used to be a dispatcher. He's the Patrol Captain now.
The first person I saw behind the glass at Records didn't know me. The guy standing in front of me was a man I'd arrested for sexually assaulting a little boy with a piece of wood. He remembered me fine, I could see it in his eyes. Ain't life grand?
I gained access to the front hall and Chief Harlean Howard just happened to be walking down my way. She worked undercover buying drugs for me when she was first hired.
"This place gives me the creeps," I said.
She laughed. I laughed. She showed me her remodeled office. I was impressed but still felt odd somehow. She introduced me to a new recruit and then I headed off to find Paul.
I wound my way to the back hall and got locked in by an automatic door that was never locked when I was there. I found Captain Smith, and we went down to his new office which happened to be one of my old ones. I told him why I was there. He told me that he had a couple of guys that would refer needy folks that they met on the job to the Hospice Resale Store. We’re going to drop the already low prices for these folks.
Back on the front hall, Harlean rounded me up a ceramic coffee mug with the LPD logo on it, and I was headed out when she offered me coffee. In the break area and without thinking, I opened a cabinet door and the styrofoam cups were still there along with the powdered creamer, just like when I was working. So much had changed in the building, that I found that oddly comforting.
I've been trying to figure out all day why that place made me feel uneasy. One reason is that I've never really quit feeling like a cop and suddenly I realized I no longer belonged. But it's more than that. I knew that warm November day in 1997 when I eased out of the lot with the last of my stuff in my green Mustang with the top down that it was over. I was fine with that, still am.
I don't miss the job. But I do miss that bond. Some friends from the old days have moved, a few have died, and one is just missing. Ain't life grand?
On the other hand, I'm working on a story where this pedophile thinks he is about to abduct a young girl. I've got other plans for him.........
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