I was sitting in a small family-operated restaurant facing the entrance having lunch. Halfway through my lunch, a police officer entered, gave me a slight smile and a quiet “Hello.” He then placed his order and sat right behind me.
Upon finishing my lunch, I turned around and faced the officer, saying, “It’s so nice and cool in here, I dread going outside to go home.” The officer agreed that it was hot outside and then asked, “Do you have far to go home?’
Thus, began a stimulating conversation and most interesting dialogue between the officer and me. We discussed and agreed on the following:
1. Family is most important and children need to be taught right from wrong by the time they are 5 years old because those are the formative years. Honesty is the most important virtue. One must always respect and be courteous to elders. (Courtesy was instilled in him from childhood. After Danny became a police officer, he was cited with an award for courtesy. He pointed out a small blue star in front of his right shirt pocket.) I congratulated him on the honor bestowed upon him.
2. Personality and character in each person should be acknowledged and not criticized. We are all different, even among siblings, and we are entitled to our own opinion, as long as we do not have criminal instincts and/or thoughts.
3. Due to a severe motorcycle accident, he became paralyzed in his right arm and the doctor told him he would never have use of his right arm again. Officer Danny said, “I just made up my mind that I was going to recover in spite of what the doctor said. I never gave up, I was not going to quit.” His determination and strong will resulted in his recovery.
(I can truly understand his feeling of “Don’t quit, hang in there” because I am going through this very stage at the moment.)
After these discussions, he said, “By the way, my name is Danny and I’m Irish.” I immediately “sang,” “Oh, Danny boy, oh, Danny boy, I love you so.” He thanked me and we both had a good laugh. (“Danny Boy” is one of my favorite Irish songs and tears flow when I hear it, especially when sung by an Irish tenor.)
I said, “My name is Maggie,” volunteered my age and that I was still working part-time. He immediately became interested and asked what I did, where I worked. I answered his questions by giving him a slight background of The Rafu Shimpo and added how happy I was to have my own column.
He then asked, “Are you assigned to certain topics?” I informed him that I wrote my articles at my discretion; however, it was the editor’s prerogative whether they would be published.
He said, “I understand.” After slight pause, he asked, “Why don’t you write about me?” I said, “That’s a good idea and if it is published, I’ll send you a copy.”
We then exchanged our business cards. As he handed me his card, he said, “If there is anything I can do for you, please don’t hesitate. My cell number is on the card.”
It was such a PLEASURE to actually meet a police officer whose motto is “To protect and serve.” If all police officers had the same spirit and character as Officer Danny, then I know the City of Los Angeles is well-protected and well-served.
Thank you for your 26 years of service, Officer Danny. May God be with you and bless you as you continue to protect and serve.
Gratefully and Meow.
Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.