Some say that it is at the moment of conception. Really? Or is it when you come out of your momma’s belly? Religious adherents sayeth, “Go forth and multiply”. It doesn’t matter if you’re polluting the planet, so long as they have larger flocks to contend with. But that’s a whole other issue.
I say life begins after you’ve done all that was expected of you and then it is time for you to do whatever you always wanted to do.
When I was a kid I decided to become a cop. Why? We grew up in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn and there was a murder on Watkins Street where we lived. I was about six years old and my cousin Moish, who was a year older than me said, “Let’s go see what happened”. When a uniformed officer asked us what we were doing there, Moish said, “We live here”. Before we made it up to the first landing a plainclothes officer, a Detective, said to us, “Get the hell out of here you little bastards”. It was at that exact moment that I decided that I wanted to become a cop.
Fast forward about ten years and it became obvious to me that I was not going to achieve the minimum height requirement of five feet and ten inches in order to become a cop with the NYPD.
Fast forward another ten years and I became an Actuary. Safe, good income, boring.
Fast forward another thirty years and voila, the height requirement for most police departments are eliminated. All you had to do was to pass all of the tests, physical, mental, you name it. But I was fifty five years old.
So I decided to get into shape. No big deal. I was a fairly good athlete in my teens. It shouldn’t be that difficult. Right? Wrong. Anyway, I went over to Calabasas High School and jogged their quarter mile track. I completed it but I thought that my life was over and that I was going to die on the spot. So much for being in shape. I worked out at Buck’s Gym for six months until I lost twenty five pounds and was lean and mean. On the day that I passed my Physical Aptitude Test I felt as though every bone in my body was broken. But I made it.
I put in twenty three years with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, most of that time as a reserve Detective with the Child Abuse Unit of Special Victims and was the oldest one to have graduated from their Academy. I could write a book about it, which I did and translated it into a screenplay, “The Easy Way”, which I have yet to sell.
I also found the time to write, “A Killer of Lions”, a novel about the four squadrons of black fighter pilots during WWII that had to fight two Air Forces in order to gain any recognition, the German Luftwaffe and the US Army Air Corp.
My latest entry in the literary field is, “The Dogs of Brownsville”, an epic tale of a handful of guys and girls who make it out of the ghetto of Brownsville and arrive in Las Vegas in time to participate in or witness the changing of the guard from the “Mob” to Howard Hughes to corporate America.
Along the way I also dallied with my own internet radio program, “The View From Over Here”, where we interviewed authors and entertainment personalities.
And when did I do all of these things? After age fifty five.