My Dad was an original CHIP.
Does anyone out there remember the TV show, CHIPS? (Now I REALLY “date myself” I’m never going to have young bloggers following me.)😜
It was the 70s and the show featured two handsome cops who were part of the California Highway Patrol… AKA CHIPS.
Funny thing is we were watching that show all while living with our very own CHIP.
Dad was a patrolman on the Anaheim Police Department. (Orange County, CA)
He initially was a young patrolman and even trained in hopes of joining the first helicopter division.
Then came the Harley.
My Dad was COOL!😎
He looked handsome in his neatly pressed uniform, shiny helmet, and tall, black boots.
I eventually came to hate those dreaded boots.
After dad’s long work shift, he’d grab an apple or carrot, a book, or the latest Reader’s Digest, then he would proceed to ask me to pull off those big boots of his.
First, it was hard for a skinny, little girl to manage this task.
Secondly, I knew what was about to transpire.
Those feet had seen a long, hard day of policing, and once I struggled to get them off, nothing but “FRITO feet” smell encapsulated the room.
It was BAD folks! Really bad!
But oh how I LOVED those occasions when he picked me up from school, and we pulled away fast on that thunderous machine…it was thrilling I tell ya!
Everyone turned their heads to hear where that sound was coming from, and with me on the back, boy did my chest swell.
Like, my dad was cooler than theirs kinda cool. 😉
As we’d lean into a curve, I thought we I would surely fall off!
He could possibly put a knee down if he had to.
On one occasion he didn’t put a knee down but went flying through the air with just his handlebars. Later, the fellow patrolman relayed it looked like something out of a cartoon.
As part of the patrol drill team, they had been practicing for the Anaheim Parade and just as we were heading out to go see our dad, we got a call he had been in a wreck. Not on the highway, but during the drill team practice.
I guess the other officer said go left and dad thought he said right.
OOPS. (Was I supposed to tell that story, Dad?)
Speaking of Disney parades,
I absolutely loved when he got us into Disneyland for free. (I was obsessed with everything Disney!) It’s what I thought heaven would be like.
At times, Dad worked undercover like when they were trying to break up drug rings.
Yes, that’s him on the end (right) in my mom’s wig and scarf as a headband. I remember asking dad what that was in his mouth… what was a roach clip?
I distinctly remember him dressed up like this. And I was so interested in seeing how the other guys had dressed on this particular occasion. 😂
Dad worked many a graveyard shift, too.
The other side of the job made me aware of the sadness and dangers associated with it.
It was the hippy era, and with that came the drug culture and a lot of shattered lives.
Sadly, dad had to take the life of one of those individuals who had robbed a store. I will never forget it. I would ask him from time to time, what he was feeling at the time of the shooting.
What he said that day.
What exactly happened that day.
What it felt like to take a life.
Then later, came to realize, wow, I could’ve lost my dad that day!
I remember seeing 8 mm footage of Dad and his fellow officers making busts. Stoned out kids were part of a large mob trying to climb the Angel stadium walls. The were trying to get into a Jefferson Starship concert after being told tickets were sold out.
While intently watching the film, I inquired about a nicely dressed couple (a standout in THAT crowd). He relayed that they were looking for their missing daughter and showing her picture around.
I also remember thinking, how sad it must have been for those parents. And dad telling me about runaways coming to California and all the trouble they’d find themselves in.
Then, there was the Charles Manson saga, and police stops as well as escorts for dignitaries like then Governor Reagan, famous actors and comedians all while checking in on the elderly and less fortunate, like Jake.
Dad met Jake while riding around the county.
Jake, was a kind, gentle soul; his skin all leathery brown and wrinkled from working in the sun.
He lived in an old shack with a worn out floor, part dirt. I still remember looking around his home with all its unusual contents.
One time, he gave us some old marbles. (I still have them today.)
I can recall the aroma of his home and the surrounding eucalyptus trees mixed with orange scent from the nearby orange groves.
(Isn’t that something how the mind remembers smells from so long ago?)
Jake would come out to greet us and as soon as he opened the worn, screen door many a dog, all shapes and sizes, would come barreling out.
I loved the sight of it!
I loved dogs or any animal for that matter. I always wanted to be a vet, but sadly, I was the most allergic person in my family. So trips to Jake’s ranked right up there with a visit to Disneyland.
One particular day Dad took us to Jake’s, and he let us have two dachshunds. I couldn’t believe it! I was in heaven!
Oh, Mom wasn’t too happy about dad going against the doctor’s orders, (ie severe asthma and eczema) but his reply to her was, “She’s so miserable without a dog she couldn’t be any worse with a dog.”
(Secretly, I’m kind of glad dad did a no-no.) To finally own an animal, some of my best memories.
There were some other tragic memories forever etched in my mind, too. Like the day I vividly remember dad coming home on lunch break to wash his hands and they were covered in blood. (Mind you, this was before the awareness of self-protection from communicable pathogens.)
He had just come from down our street. A little boy had run out in front of a car while chasing a ball and was killed. I remember passing his home, as I had every day, on my walk to and from school. I remember looking at the pavement and then thinking how sad that family must now feel.
And, my Dad had been there to try and help.
Yes, dad saw a lot.
AND, that is kind of where the story ends because he was sick of the rat race he said and decided to leave California and head back to his boyhood home, a small town in Indiana.
I’m hoping to have Dad either guest write or share his many stories with me, so I can share them with you here. Many are pretty adventurous and hilarious.
(Some, while he was on the police force and others just getting into mischief like only he could do.😊😁)
Yep, the cool CHIP…he was my Dad.
Do you have wild stories with your dad?
PS Encourage my dad (in the comments below) to share more of his stories!!