Archive for February 2015

Red Hook Memorial Parade   4 comments

Today I am posting something a bit different. This part of the book I am writing about two babies born on the same day at the same hospital and how their lives keep intersecting. The book is mostly about the one from The Point. At this point in the story he is almost five. It is written as he sees things in 1955. For those who remember those parades  I hope I capture the way it was. I would be happy to take any suggestions.


59.doughboy-285x380Gerry was excited he would be going to the Memorial Day Parade with his Poppa. They would be going to the VFW Post and the church and Coffey Park with the big soldier statue. The VFW Post would march to the statue of the soldier in the park. When they got there they would all shoot guns. Gerry didn’t quite remember last year’s parade but he knew that he had liked it. All the kids were talking about trying to get the back of one of the bullets that come out of the guns. Gerry didn’t even know what they were but he wanted one.

When they got to the park a lot of men got up and talked about the war. He didn’t really understand what war was about but it sounded like fun. They were talking about big ships and airplanes and tanks. He hoped that he could go to a war some day. He didn’t want the people who ran them to run out of wars before he was old enough.

He had stopped hearing the speakers and was day dreaming about flying a big plane and knocking down the bad planes when he saw the guys with the guns get ready. They lifted those guns and BANG, BANG, BANG. They all shot three times. Gerry saw where one of the bullets landed in the grass and ran to it before anyone else saw it. When picked up the bullet it burned his hand, no one told him that they were hot and burned. But he had it and he wasn’t going to lose it for a little burn. Gerry ran back to his Poppa. He was proud that he got one of the bullets and a lot of bigger kids didn’t get any.

“Poppa, Poppa look I got a bullet. Maybe someday I can go to a war. Will you go with me?”

Poppa sat on a bench and said, “Gerry, I hope you never have to go to war. I hope there is never another war.”

Gerry thought; why doesn’t Poppa want me to have a war. All the men had a war. I want to have one too.

He forgot about being angry with his Poppa for not wanting him to play war when he heard music. Soon everyone was singing. Gerry liked singing. They sang the Anthem and God Bless America and a lot of other songs. Gerry didn’t know all the words but he knew some and when it was time to sing them he sang loud. When he didn’t know the words he just moved his mouth and pretended to sing. They sang a song about some guy named Johnny marching home. It was a good song Gerry was having fun when he heard his Poppa make a noise. He looked up and Poppa was crying. Poppa didn’t cry he was old, older even then Momma and Daddy.

He tugged on Poppa’s coat till Poppa looked down, “Poppa why are you crying?”

Poppa said, “My Johnny didn’t march home.”

Gerry didn’t know what he meant but he knew war made Poppa cry. If war could make Poppa cry then it was bad. He loved his Poppa and anything that made his Poppa cry was the baddest. He decided when he grew up and became a cop he would arrest anyone who made a war.

It would be years before he understood what war was and why Poppa cried. His Uncle, his Momma’s brother, Nanny and Poppa’s son Sgt. John Peterson was killed in the Battle of the Bulge. He would die on Christmas Day, Nanny’s birthday.

He didn’t understand all that in 1955 but that moment was burned into his four year old mind. For the rest of his life those five words of his Poppa. “My Johnny didn’t march home” were the saddest words he ever heard.


Posted February 26, 2015 by kevingcox in Random Thoughts

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One for the Road   1 comment

coffinI am sure many of you who were cops have been asked how you handled the things you saw. I have been asked that many times. My short answer is humor. The more skin crawling the incident the darker the humor would be. It was not always ha-ha funny, often the reaction would be the groan of a bad pun. “That’s disgusting” was often heard from non-cops. As for cops the usual reaction to a real good/bad incident joke would be a laugh and “You are one sick bastard.” The secret was to never ever take it to heart. Here is a quick story to illustrate what I mean. How many of you who worked in the 83 remember this incident?

It was on a midnight when the call came in 10-10 Recorded Alarm. It was at a funeral home, which one I won’t mention. The assigned car was checking the perimeter when the owner arrived and opened the door for them. They went inside to check and all seemed secure. There are few places as eerie as a funeral home at two AM so they were moving pretty fast to get out of there. All the doors were unlocked except one.

One of the cops asked the owner, “What’s in this room?”

He replied, “Nothing it’s just a viewing room. Go on in.”

The cops answered, “The doors locked.”

The owner said, “It shouldn’t be. Hold on I’ve got the key.”

When he unlocked the door the cops told him, “Wait up, let us go in first to check it out.”

They entered cautiously sweeping the room with their flashlights. One of the beams of light illuminated a coffin on the far end of the room.

The cop holding that light exclaimed, “Holy shit.”

They approached the coffin as the funeral director entered the room. Inside the coffin was the body of a woman. She had been turned to face down in the satin lined box. She had been bent at the waist and up on her knees. Her dress pulled up over her back exposing her ass. A pair of pants was on the floor at the foot of the coffin. They found the perp hiding behind the drapes that served as a backdrop.

They pulled him from the concealing drapes at gunpoint. He started crying, “Don’t shoot me. I didn’t do anything wrong. She’s my girlfriend.”

After questioning the male told his side of the story, “We’ve been having an affair for ten years. Her husband is my friend and I am married. I really loved her but she wouldn’t leave her husband. When she died I knew I couldn’t let her go without saying goodbye. I hid in the bathroom when they closed. I wanted to make love to her for the last time. So it’s okay I can leave now that we have had our last goodbye.”

Turning to the funeral director he said, “ Do you want me to fix her clothes or do you want to do it?” To the cops he said, “Don’t tell my wife or her husband okay?”

The cop said, “Put on your pants. You’re under arrest.”

“No you can’t arrest me I just told you its okay. We are in love.”

The cop said, “Unless she gets up and tells me that you are under arrest.”

Unlike Lazarus she didn’t awaken. He was taken away to central booking and from there to court. It made for an interesting Arraignment the next day.

So that is an incident that would give many people nightmares. For the cops in the precinct the reaction was a bit different, for next month every time a cop drove past that funeral parlor he would ask his partner if he wanted to stop in for a cold one. That is one that usually gets the “That’s disgusting” from non-cops and a laugh followed by “You are one sick bastard” from cops.

What I have been doing   1 comment

Brooklyn Bridge 1Just thought I would write a few words to say what I have been up to. First I had a minor cancer problem but that has been corrected. It was pretty stupid. I has a squamous cell cancer on my foot. I called it my Wide World of Sports Cancer. You remember the agony of de-feet.

I am trying something completely different now with my writing. I am writing two books at the same time. I never know which one I will be writing until I sit down at the computer each day. These books will be different from the first. They will follow a more normal beginning-middle-end route. I will also proof read these and have them edited to remove errors rather than to add some. Here is a little peek into each book.

The first one is a story of two guys born the same day in the same hospital in 1950. One is from Red Hook his father is a machinist. The other from Cobble Hill and his father is a loan shark with The Family. As they grow up their paths keep crossing and their lives become entwined. As the dock work comes to an end in the Hook one becomes a cop the other follows in his fathers footsteps.

The second is totally different. This one keeps changing. I wanted to see if I could write a zombie story. It started out as a quick short story. I thought it would be about fifty pages and a straight normal zombie story but it didn’t want to go that way. It has morphed into a story of people coping with life in that world. It has changed into something that has never been done before. It is set in New York and also has a sort of Mad Max feel to it. It sounds like there is no way those two genres can mix especially in the city but I have figured a way it works. When I see it in my mind it is spectacular of course when I put it on paper it may suck. Luckily I really don’t care. I may never publish either one but it is fun writing them. Anyway they at least keep me busy.

Posted February 11, 2015 by kevingcox in Uncategorized

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