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Friday, February 4, 2011

It's so good to have a brain...

A Word on the Brain

I'm getting older but seems to me that someone once said ''s a wonderful thing to have a brain' or a phrase equivalent. I happen to agree -- the brain helps with recollections.

Here goes. For many, many years while working the web I've been waiting for a particular  RCMP member to connect with me. Sooner or later, I hoped he would. I got his call yesterday. We laughed. Tell you why.

It all started on my first day at Burnaby Detachment. A day or two earlier, I had graduated from 'Depot'. It was May 1, 1965. I walked into Burnaby's old dungy, dark, basement typewriting office and lo -- I'm met by two senior members in Red Serge. Welcome aboard, I thought. Nope.

No, this pair were dressed differently -- sure the Red Serge looked good, but they were minus Stetson, spurs, revolver, gloves and Sam Browne. Pretty naked by anyone's standards, one could say. A few days later, after Service Court, one of the pair became my trainer. He was senior -- a go getter and very likable by everyone. Popular. OK, except for the prosecutor in Service Court. But, my friend lived on after Service Court. Said he, 'Just an experience which we should all go through.' Yea, I said, some of us twice. 

As a one day trainee, seems that he let me drive the PC from the start -- maybe a 1964 Dodge. It answered to Car 877. One could tell 877 from the burn hole in the front seat where the powerful spot light had been left. We'd been warned. We answered calls in both keys; major and minor. One minute a B an' E, then a bank alarm, then a stolen battery, then a B an' E, then an intoxicated person, to serve a summons or two, to excute an arrest warrant, then to the car wash. Day's over. It was a very, very exciting way to start a career in policing.

My trainer was expert. I've never forgotten his methodology and I've used it for years. First, he did the task  then he allowed me to perform the same under his eye. 'Joe, here's how we serve a summons, now the next one's yours. Make notes on the reverse copy. Do it again. Change gears.; Llet's get this guy in the back seat. Now it's your turn. Notes. I'll fingerprint him. It's your turn. Car chase on the afternoon shift. Now, it's your turn'. No peace, no quiet in Burnaby. At least on the North side.

It's been near forty six years since we had heard each other's voice. Lost track. Turns out he left the Force after Burnaby and went on to excel in another line of work. Professional. Kids gone. Saw the world. Full of life. Loves the wife. Happy.

I said, '...been waiting for your call. Remember May 1st, 1965? No spurs?' 'Sure do, Joe. Laugh.

Yup. Sure is good to have a brain. Memories. Need friends to jog memories. Motto is: 'Friends and brains make memories'.

'Maintain Our Memories'

J. J. Healy,

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