When I first started writing these stories, actually back into the late 80’s, I was going to title it “Battered Armour, Tarnished Shield” . This was a take off from the “Blue Knight” tag created by LAPD officer and writer Joseph Waumbaugh.
My armor had gotten pretty beat up and I had tarnished my shield, the badge. So I first tried to give all the stories names in keeping with that theme. This is one of those stories.
Every cop knows one, the one who doesn’t let up, the guy that is always full speed ahead.
He did everything the same way, full speed ahead and damn the rocks. It didn’t matter if it was baseball, basketball, or any other sport or competition. Art was always at 110%.
He loved the job the most.
Sure he was a little abrasive at times, maybe a little too aggressive, but that would slow down in time and with “mileage”.
But it didn’t slow down. His marriage lasted a year and a half after his police class graduation.
The second time was over after only eight months.
The third one looked real good. She seemed to love him and understood about the job he did. She wanted to take care of him and make him happy. He was happy, when he was on the street working.
Then came the long nights without communication. Then the fights started. She walked out one night, she’d had too much. It had taken four months.
It was 3 o’clock in the morning when my phone rang. It was my partner Ray.
“Art just shot himself, he’s dead.”
Everything full speed ahead.
Everything, even sorrow.