Last Tuesday, Norma and I rode STRIDE (Senior Transport) to St. Mary’s for my annual pacemaker check. The middle-aged driver recognized my name and asked if I knew Officer Dave Mattson, longtime director of Duluth’s school-crossing guards, a post he held from 1935 to his retirement in 1960. I confessed he was my father. At age 12 I was among his first school cops, badge and all. Turned out, the driver had also been a crossing guard! Officer Mattson stories flowed, many about the lavish thank-you picnics Dad held for the kids at each school year’s close.
Another STIDE driver took us home in a small rig with one seat across the rear. We crowded in next to an oldish woman. Chitchat led to another blast from the past. The woman remembered my father from his school visits to give safety talks. Kids loved his stories and magic tricks–he could pluck a quarter from behind a kid’s ear. Furthermore, the woman grew up in Baptist churches and with people I knew well.
During my nightly awake time, I reflected on the heritage my policeman father left me and on adventures we shared. My memory treasury grew.
Dad was no Bible thumper; he was a Bible practicer. When it comes to spreading the gospel, one kind deed beats ten thousand thumps.
Old Grandpa Lloyd