Thanks to Michael Douglas and Karl Malden "The Streets of San Francisco" were very safe in the 1950’s.
After I got tired of riding to school with Karen and her younger brother Billy because of having to sit in the stink of their daily doubled egg sandwiches, I was allowed to walk the mile to Epiphany by myself at age 8 in September 1959.
Enabling me to start enjoying “alone time”, the 30 minute hike up and down Morse Street was a daily adventure; stopping to admire people’s houses, new cars parked along the way and learning to pronounce the names of streets backwards.
Afternoon walks home were totally different than my lackadaisical morning strolls, due to Benny ~ this ugly and demonically possessed super mean kid also 8 years old, wanting to always bully me for money.
Even when I told him the truth that I had none, he would satisfy himself with giving me a kick in the leg or a punch in the stomach.
Starting to take parallel streets to avoid Benny, somehow he instinctively knew where I was and would again beat the hell out me.
One day I finally grew balls and decided to walk in front of his house and confront him.
As I did with Billy McMillan in the bathroom, I pummeled Benny until his mommy came out to save him. From that day forward, I finally had a safe passage home.
Admiring San Francisco’s policemen in their snappy navy blue uniforms, in 5th grade I was offered the chance to join the traffic squad.
A class vote to decide who would be Captain, I came in 2nd and was crowned the Lieutenant.
Thanks to Lita ironing my uniforms daily with a crease in the trousers and stiffly starching my white shirts that I always buttoned the top 1 on, she also heavily starched my flat yellow garrison cap and white sash.
Playing with the traffic sign like a baton and wearing my cap sideways to look like Napoleon, the nuns on patrol would inadvertently catch me and tell me to behave or I would be kicked off the squad.
Not wanting to be downgraded ~ I straightened up, even though I had a blast fooling around with all the kids when the nuns were in the toilet, as I “served and protected” them directing traffic like a little Napoleon.