When I think about this, it brings back a smile to my face. I thought it was funny back then, and I still do now. I will let you be the judge. I can shut my eyes, and the whole incident comes back to me.
It was on a Saturday evening in the middle of summer. It was hot and muggy, and I tried to stay in the car with the air conditioner going. I was coming up South Broad from East 12th when a call came in for the car working that section. I advised them that I would back that car up. Dispatch advised that a lady was having trouble with her boy.
Dispatch gave a Klassing Street address. I turned off of South Broad onto Myrtle Street. Klassing Street runs off on the left at the top of the hill. I turned onto Klassing and began to look for a number.
A big two-story house about half way down the block gave me the address. I checked out as I pulled into the yard. The other car that was in route advised me that he was at Fifth and Broad.
A woman that looked to weigh about 80 pounds was on the porch with a man who was huge. He sat in a lounge chair, covering the whole chair. I sized him up in case we had trouble from him. He weighed in at about 300 pounds and stood a good 7 feet tall. A monster of a man.
I was met by the small lady who had half a pool stick in her hand. I asked her to put the pool stick down so we could talk. She walked over and put it on the porch. I picked it up and looked at it. It was one of those sticks that you didn’t want to come in contact with.
I asked “what is the problem?” Her problem was that a floozy down on Hardy Avenue was giving her boy whiskey. She would give him whiskey and keep him out late at night. This didn’t sound good, that a woman would give whiskey to a boy. I got the address where the woman lived on Hardy Avenue and the small lady settled down when I assured her that we would have a talk with her.
The problem at hand was, where was the boy that she was having trouble with. I asked her the name of her boy. “Willie,” she said. I then asked for a description of him. “Willie is a big boy for his age,” she said and she looked at the man on the porch. “Wait, officer, I will let you see for yourself.” I looked around to see if anyone had come up while we were talking. No one but the little lady and the man on the porch was there.
“Willie,” she yelled at the man on the porch. “Come over here and talk to this officer.” I remember thinking to myself, “Did she say Willie?” I watched as the giant of a man got up from the chair. He straightened up, and I looked around as the other patrol car pulled in. I breathed a little easier to have someone else there if a problem should arise. I remember thinking as he approached, “What can the average man do against a man that size?”
The other officer walked up beside me. I whispered, “Watch the big guy.” I prepared myself for whatever would happen as best as I could. Not expecting what happened next, I was caught completely off guard.
Willie gave us a big smile and, sticking out his hand, said, “Sorry officers, it was just a misunderstanding between my mother and me. There is really no problem.”
The little lady said, “Don’t believe a word of what he says,” and went into the house. I shook hands with Willie and said we would leave, and he and his mother could settle their differences.
Willie walked out to the patrol car with us. He then told us what the problem was.
His mother was suffering from dementia. He had a girlfriend and they went out to the club on Saturday nights. He would take a drink, never drinking too much. His mother would be waiting up for him when he got home. She thought of him as being a small boy. We talked for a few minutes and then left.
I turned from Klassing onto Myrtle when the officer who had been with me asked me to pull over. He wanted to talk to me. I pulled over on South Broad, and he pulled in beside me. He wanted to know about Willie. I explained what had happened. He laughed and said, “Boy, he was much of a man.” He pulled out, and I remember saying to myself, “I sure am glad that Willie is a good boy.”