As a child I had a fascination with police officers. They represented authority, an awesome uniform, and a courageous presence that I found intriguing. Why do kids grow up wanting to be cops? What will the next generation bring to the badge?
Cowboys and Indians were big when I was a child. I always wanted to be the Indian; wild and fighting back against the big bad cowboys. Yes, I know this is politically incorrect today but in the sixties it was big. I had a small bow and arrow set and fought against metal cap pistols totally out-gunned. I played with the boys because girl games were boring. Add small plastic dinosaurs and Match Box cars when indoors and I could entertain myself for hours on rainy days.
Even my music back then was considered badass for the time. I sang “Sunshine” by Jonathan Edwards loud and proud. “He can’t even run his own life I’ll be damned if he’ll run mine.” Cher’s “Cherokee Nation” was another. “Took away our ways of life. The tomahawk and the bow and knife.” I realize now, by screaming these lyrics at the top of my lungs, I was preparing for defensive tactics. What I was subliminally saying… “No one is taking away my weapons and I’ll fight any cowboy who tries.”
My mother had a lead foot when driving our 1966 Buick Sportwagon. I met quite a few friendly police officers who liked my mom’s smile. She was always respectful and courteous. I honestly don’t remember her getting a ticket. “Slow down ma’am,” and we were back on the road. My mother never passed the buck. “I need to drive slower,” was her usual response when we pulled away. I had blue stars in my eyes because the cop cars were so much cooler than ours.
I was the kind of girl who broke her arm playing football and broke it again roller skating down suicide hill. In high school I became a cheerleader. Not because I actually wanted to cheer the boys on but because they wouldn’t let me play football. Standing so close to the sidelines, I could hear all the grunting, swearing, and yells clearly. It made the short skirts and ponytails almost bearable.
I was the kind of girl who grew up to be a cop.