DETROIT   CITY       …      1968/69


Bringing up-to-speed my episodes after birth into family with police officers; averted joining after emigrating overseas; a lost-boy; escaped pathway; chance occurrences; and, now heading into adulthood to find changes and difficulties…


It wasn’t long after my return from New York City that another escapade unfolded. Not to say nothing of Life played me in the interim, but since this theme is PSI, I’ll not deviate. 


I was fortunate to achieve a probationary acceptance into university five years after an indelible advice from my grade nine Mathematics teacher. Sometimes, teachers do according to their vocation’s design hoping they will be heard by as many of their students as possible. I was just such a one who heard his caution to his class of immigrant students. One fortuitous day, Mr. Graham harped on the benefits of a university education, since we were streamed towards that end, and not the technical aspect of out multi-discipline programmed school. 


I was unaware of what that even meant, as I had no concept/construct of Future. I wasn’t even sure if anyone of us was clear on the meaning of what was said. All, I felt were the cautionary aspects in his words, because my support mechanism was unaware of higher education benefits, me being the first of my immigrant-lineage.


This was quite the year, so much so I am amazed I survived the process of that entire school year. The context is mind-bobbling on many levels, and words fail me in extrapolating their contents. I’ll simply mention this one that pertains to those charged with ‘serving and protecting’. Make note, I was no longer living in Toronto. I was away at the University of Windsor, in its early phase of elevation to a University from a College status. Detroit was across the river, acres through a tunnel or over a bridge, the university being closer to the bridge access.


One sunny afternoon I took it upon myself to venture into Detroit City, to the famed Cobo Arena of which I had heard many speak. Another note, the year was nineteen hundred and sixty-eight (1968), check your history journals for context. Needless to say, I didn’t get there alone, but I did venture away from my group, unaware of ‘safety-in-numbers’. One of our company, my first First Nations personage to encounter, had regaled us with his tale of returning to Windsor by stretcher after being stabbed in his lower back. My wandering heritage in childhood guided me elsewhere.


After a time wandering about, I felt it time to rendezvous with the lads where we had pre-arranged. As I approached the area, coming into focus was a lawman of stereotypical imagery. I speak not of ‘Rifleman’ stature, but of ‘In the Heat of the Night’ stature. This fellow was of the ‘Rod Steiger’ countenance! Approaching one another a tension was felt. He under his ten-gallon hat swagger, accented by his right-arm perched six-inches away from a holstered, and dangling pearl-handled Colt-45. This was ‘High Noon’, with the heat and the temperature in the sunlight, two male figures steadily approaching, intent in appearance displayed quite the Hollywood picture scene.


We came within six-to-ten feet of one another before the tension evaporated, with a nod as I watched his body sigh in passing and with me wondering if all cops were similarly armed. Canadian Police, from the Mounties to the locals, had their firearms in covered holsters. This was a first of many encounters of  differences to emerge over the coming years. We returned to the university with no one the wiser of what transpired that day. 





2b. Setling In c.'65

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