The Chicago Police Chaplain celebrates a Father’s Day mass at the Gold Star Family Memorial and Park every year. The memorial is situated on the lakefront between Soldier Field and Burnham Harbor.
Several years ago, when my daughter was young, we attended. One of the officers took a lot of pictures. At the next regular mass, she brought them for people to take. There was a photo of my daughter and me with two bosses, the Chief of Patrol and a commander.
After lunch, I met up with her mother to hand my daughter off. I worked midnights and needed to sleep. She took the girl to her office. She had a meeting with a real estate broker.
That evening, she called me. The broker was a Chicago police sergeant who had an administrative job in one of the police divisions. She described him as a hot dog. He wore police-related jewelry, and his business cards had an image of a sergeant’s star. He made sure his gun was visible while wearing civilian clothes. He usually double-parked his city car in front of the office instead of the lot.
Sergeant F. came to her office to get some papers signed. My wife was on the phone. My daughter was doing homework at a table. While he was waiting, he saw the photo on her table. He asked my daughter if she knew the men she was standing with.
My daughter never looked up, pointed her finger, and, in a bored voice, said, “That’s Mr. M., and that’s Mr. O’D.” The client asked her who the mean-looking guy is. “That’s my father.” She kept doing her homework, not acknowledging the sergeant.
Sergeant F. was described as antsy and impatient. While my wife was on the phone, he walked around the office.
There was a shelf for my daughter’s school stuff and other things. On top were some pictures and other memorabilia. One was a photo of the Chief of Patrol inspecting the troops with his dog, a bull terrier. The other was a thank you card from the Superintendent of Police.
This sergeant was described as getting nervous. Until that day, he did not know my wife was married to a cop. He was pacing the office while the phone call went on. When the call was over, he shoved the papers at my wife. When she signed them, he flew out of the office like someone put a rocket in his pants.
My wife asked the girl why she was so rude to the man. My daughter told her, “Ma, he asked me if I knew those men in the picture. I might be ten, but I would not be standing with strangers. He did not know who Mister M. is. He is a big boss. Everybody knows Mr. M. Then he said my dad looked mean. My father is not mean.”
We had a good laugh over the whole thing. The sergeant and my wife had a few more encounters until the deal closed. Every time he was nervous around her.