I tried to get him engaged in play…
…but Andy’s not in the mood for frivolous play just now.
Why is my Dad smiling broadly?
My father switched jobs with his Nr. 2 in 1965. He’d been Chief of Police for almost 21 years, and just had his fill of overtime without pay, vacations not taken because there was inadequate personnel to cover his absence, and the inevitable calls that came while he was home for lunch. (Just couldn’t let the man have an uninterrupted hour with his family so would call him at home instead of waiting a few minutes to call him at work…. To this day, I resent people who did that, especially the elderly lady who’d call to complain children were riding their trikes on “her” – actually the city’s – sidewalk and other similar non-emergencies.)
Anyway, he got paid overtime as the new Nr. 2, got to take vacations, and instead of working a 7 to 4 shift as Chief of Police that actually was a 6 to 6 job the way he worked it, he worked various shifts for eight hours most days. I didn’t know his hours as Chief were only 7 to 4 until years after he’d moved into the care center in 2004.
Incidentally, Though he retired at the end of October 1978, he had accrued so many vacation days that he actually went on vacation In August of that year and that was when he always regarded himself as retired since his last day of work was the day before his first day of vacation!
When Dad retired in 1978, the city had a retirement dinner for him. They found his old badge in the desk he used as Chief, and had this plaque made up to present to him. They also gave him his old service gun, which Dad gave to my late brother. (I wouldn’t want it in my house, frankly, so that was just fine with me!)
Speaking of retirement, I retired on 31 January 2009. Gad 12 years already!
I bet your dad had some great stories! Maybe he never told you any? Some dad’s are tight lip about that sort of stuff I guess.
If time has flown by for you since retiring Doug,that means you’ve enjoyed it!
Dad didn’t talk about his work because he didn’t want Mom or (more likely!) my siblings and me passing on police business to the gossip crowd. He rarely talked about police business after he retired either other than to compare his time scraping by because of a tightwad city while the chiefs after him got pretty much everything he wanted but never got.
Stoic..like most men of his generation.
Mom says, “You must be very proud of your dad. That is a very nice plaque that was put together in honor of his dedicated service. My dad worked in law enforcement for over 25 years and I remember our family dinners would always be cut short as people always seemed to call for him at dinnertime. He also usually worked holidays and overtime.”
There’s a sick pattern there, eh?! As noted, I still resent (“hate”?) those people who cut his brief family time shorter for their stupid “problems” than should have been called in to the police station. Of course, they ;probably called the station and got told children can ride their trikes on puiblic sidewalks, for example, so the woman called Dad on his lunch time thinking she might get a “Yes, we’ll send the while police force over to your home and pistol whip the little buggers till they bleed!” Stupid cow!
I haven’t known too about your Dad dear Doug, admirable memories, and a good man. Years pass but memories with us always. This is a wonderful post. Thank you, Love, nia
Thanks! Occasionally there comes an opportunity to do this.
Thanks for the heartfelt account of your father, Doug. Mine was a kind one of a kind as well.
Perhaps Andy is dreaming of chasing a groundhog on February 2. 🙂
Knowing Andy, the groundhog would chase him!
Tomorrow is the day. A note to Andy: “Beware, the hog approacheth!”
Around here, we are prepared for a coming storm….
I remember some daunting storms in Manhattan, KS. Great Plains storms can be fierce, the clouds stack high…
Scary as hell, those prairie thunderstorms! And blizzards remind you how fragile our lives can be.
I don’t understand the “storm hunters” who try to get as close to a deadly storm as possible. A curious hobby. I prefer talking to our cats 🙂
I agree. I suppose the data collected helps somehow understand how these storm damage and kill, but I am happy to be out of it, inside!
I’m thinking more of the daredevils who want to get close enough to take a selfie — with a tornado for a backdrop. 🙂
That is a great story about your father. I can see why he is smiling! People often have no idea what kind of extended hours and effort go into public service.
Andy looks like he has other things on his mind today. 🙂
Exactly. We could see an instant change in him when he made that switch, so his last 13 or so years on the police force were more interesting to him since he got to be involved with police wok other than paperwork.
I am glad your father had that opportunity, and it made his work life richer and more rewarding. It was far better for his health, too! I wonder what happened to the poor soul that took his place?
I have no doubt he would have resigned from the force if that hadn’t been a possible outcome. As it was, the fellow who changed positions with him had been on the police force since 1942 (except for a short time as a US Marine in wartime). By switching with Dad, he got a chance to serve as Chief for a few years before he retired, too. It was a gentlemanly solution, I thought, and the former lieutenant turned out to be a competent replacement.
I did not know at all your father was in the police service . Perhaps you too?
I have been surprised by the newpaper speaking of chied Doug Thomas, your father and below the plaque it is written : chief A. Thomas?
No, I never considered police work, I suppose because I remembered what my Dad went through as Chief. Positive changes to the job there came after my father retired, but long after I made a place in quality analysis and related work at a local hose factory, the job UI enjoyed and did for almost 36 years.
A reflection on the plaque obscured Dad’s first initial: “D”. His name was Douglas Arthur Thomas; mine is Douglas George Thomas, so I’m not a Junior. The family in-joke about Dougy the Persian kitty not being a Junior because his middle name (“James”) was different than mine stems from the relationship my Dad’s name to mine. I spent a lifetime trying to get family and friends to understand I wasn’t a Junior, something that is a pet peeve of mine. By naming the kitty after me, I helped work myself through that peeve! (No one expected Dougy to be a Junior, of course, so I made a big deal out of it!)
There is a ritual of the names in Scotland , Doug !! 🙂
Yes, and my mother tried to get my father to follow it. Her name – Jeanie Alexandrina Rae – covered all the female relatives in her family, but her first name was her maternal grandmother’s name since she was the first daughter (and only child) . In my case, they named my brother ( who was born first) after a brother of my father’s (I guess) and he got my maternal grandfathers’ first name for his middle name. I got my paternal grandfather’s first name for my middle name, backwards by Scottish convention and as middle names, not first names.
Here’s how Scots traditionally name their children:
The first son is named after the father’s father;
The second son is named after the mother’s father;
The third son is named after the father.
The first daughter is named after the mother’s mother;
The second daughter is named after the father’s mother
The third daughter is named after the mother.
I am amazed , Doug. Thanks to explain
Yes, it is a curious but nice way to link generations, especially when it comes to tracing family lines.
Well, kitties have days like that sometimes for sure! Interesting history about your Dad. It was so admirable of him to serve in the police force but I’m sad to hear about the working conditions.
The city manager at the time was a skinflint. Dad said whenever the front offices got new stationery or furniture, their beat up, old and outdated things got sent to the police department. They had one patrol car during the WWII. When it was in an accident and needed a new door, my Dad actually wrote Henry Ford to get one since the local dealer couldn’t squeeze one out of war restricted supplies. He had lots of stories like that. The police in this town now have a much better situation and are a larger force than when my Dad had to work with that particular city manager. There are Federal grants and local people smart enough to write proposals to get them now that have upgraded the resources available to the police. For example, they have up-to-date computers systems in their cars that allow them to go to the Internet resources that help track stolen cars and wanted people on the run. My dad would have been very pleased to have that sort of help doing his job.
Your father is not the first person I’ve run across who has stepped down so they could get ownership of their life back. It’s kind of a shame when the person started out loving the job
What amazed me most was learning his actual work time was 7-4 when I only knew he worked 6-6. My sister just learned this from my post.
The second thing I learned was how making the change to less responsibility was how much better his pay became because he finally got paid overtime, and how he finally could take vacations..
Very weird. Not much advantage to being in charge
Just lots of headaches. His health improved significantly when he switched jobs!
Thank you for sharing this, Doug, Your father was a great man! I have complete respect for the police here or anywhere. 🙏🏻😎
Dad was an old style policeman, as were the people on his staff. They were very much there to serve and to protect. My father never fired his gun once during the entirety of his career. That was typical of the patrolmen, too.
What a fascinating look into your family history. Thanks for sharing, Doug.
It popped up on a Facebook entry in a hometown history page. I probably saw it in the local paper at the time, but didn’t remember it. The thing that especially surprised me was Dad’s big smile. He tended to smile without showing teeth since he was a reserved fellow. He clearly was very happy that day!