P ~ S ~ I … 2.


Police   Services   Interactions   …   2.        

         ~Newcomer’s  Orientation~


The year, 1962; I emigrated from the Caribbean into a mixed-culture and, being of mixed-heritage, I did not give this pre-dominantly Caucasian society a second thought. 


I was in the early stage of orientation, when my mother asked me to meet with her not realizing my directional ignorance. On the transit, streetcar, I engaged in conversation with a stranger and was unaware I had missed my stop. Undaunted, I remained on the streetcar enjoying the view of the city passing before my eyes. I was beginning the process of making it my home. 


Unaware of my location, and thinking I had further to walk, the streetcar arrived at end of the line, and continued walking in the direction it was headed. It hadn’t gotten cold, but it grew dark rather quickly being early October, I believe. It was another new experience, for this Caribbean youth wandering about as I usually did in this unknown neighbourhood. As was my usual manner in earlier times on my island home, I wandered about until I felt I required assistance getting back to my new residence, and my mother with whom I had not met. 


I reverted to a customary behaviour pattern, waving at an approaching yellow police car. It slowed as it came near, then came to a stopped. I engaged in easy conversation, although I forgot what transpired. I found my self seated in front on the passenger side of the cruiser as a result of our conversation. The officer and I continued cordially, with this young newcomer with a thick accent. I was unaware Of my accent, but I was familiar with police officers; although, he was unaware, I now ascertain. 


It wasn’t long before our conversation took an unexpected turn, when this officer casually broached the subject and inquired if I was ‘running away from home’?


To this, I was dumbfounded and speechless. I pondered the question internally. I asked myself the question, “Who runs away from ‘home’?” Also, this police officer was unaware of the drama/trauma of emigrating into this culture. All I could do was attempt to assure him ‘I was not running away from home’! After all, it was my thinking, this was to be the first home living with my sister and mother after five years absence!


We arrived at the Police Station, information was exchanged and in a short time I was reunited with my mother once again. While we were heading home, I retold the entire tale to my mother, and I concluded with the question, “How could the officer ask me if I was ‘running away form home’? I mean, who ‘runs away from home?”    




c. 1962

Turning Point~  c.1962

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