Lesson 7 Final Writing Assignment
A dead Hell's Angel's body, Little Georgie Boy, flew through the air like a sack of rags into a family picnic. This incident happened to guy named Nick Novak. He always dressed as a Penny's or Sears Roebuck's model neither a Nordstrom's nor Macy's. He was a serious, well mannered, God fearing, yet fun loving, person, and the man believed in the love within people's hearts. Nick grew up in The City of St. Francis where he was quite liked. I should say he spent his entire life in the city. He's forty-six now, but looks thirty six. He's a tall, nice looking, tanned, and bright guy who has lived in the house that his parents, and their parents made their home but not in the summer.
Summers found the family along the smooth running water that tumbled joyfully down the river bed for miles and miles and was called Russian River. Johnson's beach a sunlit, sandy, play area displays row boats, canoes, paddle boats and other water vessels along the shore waiting to be rented. The odors that charmed sunbathers into snacking came from the boat house where patrons could buy freshly grilled hotdogs and hamburgers and add a beer to take along back to their umbrella and blanket.
It was at Johnson's Beach down from the resort town, Guerneville, that Nick had an experience with the motorcycle gang, the Hells Angels, which motivated him to change careers. It was at this beach the Hells Angeles' incident occurred out in the open with dozens of on lookers not doing a thing except giggling. The dead biker was tossed on the picnic blanket where the off duty officer and his family were enjoying rest and recreation. His love for law and order drove him to seek a change in careers.
Love made Nick go around and what he was, but what kind of love? True love, and here's an example of what I mean.
When he was eleven years old and his brother Bob was eight, their Great-grandmother lived with the Novak's. Everyone knew how much Nick wanted to be a grocer. He knew people had to eat, so he figured he would always have business. On February 23, 1971, G.G. Blanchard's diary read:
"Nick had better change his attitude if he wants to serve the public by selling food stuffs. The boys are doing all right in their school work, but their deportment needs attention. My granddaughter attended a mandatory meeting with their principal at Sheridan Elementary yesterday. The principal had been informed that it was the two of them who fouled the faculty lounge with a crushed bean that gave off a terrible stink.
"Their mother, as lovely and kind as she, demonstrated some anger. She clenched her fists, ground her teeth, locked them in their room, and slammed the door. When she left to shop, I gave each a good scolding and scrubbed my knuckles over their heads.
"On arriving home, their father hugged them and told them how much he loved the both of them. He said he would do anything for them. He asked if they knew how much their being bad hurt him, and he said he felt a lot of pain when he learned the two stunk up the teachers resting room. My grand-son-in-law had each take down their pants and their under pants. Ignoring the boy's pleas, "No dad, no. We'll be good," he slid his belt out from around his waist while tears moistened the boy's cheeks, their father decorated their cute little buttocks' with tiny pink, not red, stripes."
There were other entries about this problem on the 23rd of February 1971, the following day.
"In the morning, when the boys took their places at the breakfast table, they each had a big white envelope at their plates. When a five-dollar bill slid out, their faces glowed like a spot light lit them. Their grins were as wide as a pumpkin's, and on reading the enclosed note explaining the love all three elders had for them, they fought, but lost, and tears tumbled down their blushed cheeks. That touched the three of us."
More of what he's made of can be found in the City of St. Francis. Before the multimillionaires pushed the middle-class families out, there were many diverse cultures in "The City That Knows How." Visitors could spend nearly a year just acquainting themselves with the varied San Francisco population. The City played host to the North Beach Beatniks and their book stores as City Lights that published and sold books that no other place would. The Green and Vallejo Street area welcomed great poets, some schooled to the PhD level. Neighbors got whiffs of pot smoke. Poetry was recited in the local library and in a place (it's gone now) called The Coffee Gallery. Janis Joplin, though she slept outdoors in Washington Square Park, a few blocks away, sang at still another coffee house called, Coffee and Confusion. If she wasn't gone and high on speed, someone would pass the hat and she'd pick up fifty dollars or so. This artsy, but poor, area is where Jack Kerouac, William Burrows, and Allen Ginsburg would frequent and read some of their works. Later, the Height Street Hippies arose with their colored hair, multicolored bright clothing, pot smoking, beads, light shows and free love at their love-in's.
Passersby's could see, poles apart, citizens from the Pacific Heights' First Nighters to the Tenderloin's Ex-San Quentin convicts along with neighboring drug abusers, mental cases, alcoholics, and bums on Third and Howard Streets that Jack Kerouac wrote about in his book, On the Road. He saw broken wine bottles exuding alcohol fumes and urine soaked mattresses on the street with the bums asking for handouts. Yet, in spite of the city having many poor, and in spite of the fact that the costs of living soared as the dot comers (wealthy high-tech workers from silicon valley, South of the City) move into S.F. The polarity of the rich and the poor could easily be seen many years prior to the Occupy Wall Street persons formed.
Nearly each day, the early-morning fog burned away almost exactly at noon revealing the warm, life giving friend, brother sun. The sunshine lit rows of pastel-colored houses in the Outer Sunset District near the Pacific Ocean. The interiors all looked like subjects for Norman Rockwell's paintings. The home I mentioned was one of those. It was a light beige structure with yellow trim that glistened until the dew disappeared in the punctual sunlight. Nick and Bob grew up. Their Great-grandmother and Parents went to their final resting places. Nick and Bob were willed the house, but Bob wanted to move to San Luis Obispo, so they settled financial matters, and Bob was happily off.
Nick married Kathleen, and the two made a love nest in the home that had been in the family for several decades. Happy laughter and joyful marital love warmed their hearts. Kathleen had a lovely figure with smooth skin and a beautiful face. The couple would visit Lake Tahoe over long weekends and enjoy themselves immensely, as they were in true love. At times, they'd drive to Southern California to visit Kath's families. They'd stop overnight at an inn, and this was another happy and loving romantic weekend getaway. As in all real life stories, there are always some problems. The young Novak's were no exception. The Outer Sunset all of a sudden had an influx of crime as did most of the city; things were not good. Instead of happy hanging chimes or plants people saw security bars on citizen's windows in the Outer Sunset. Passerby's could see reinforced steel bars obstructing the treated, varnished and shellacked front doors. They looked like prison gates instead of ornamental entrances. Gone was the graceful appearance and feelings of the neighborhood instead cold and hard looks and feelings replaced any of the loving ways there. From happy laughing children at play, now they were prohibited from playing out doors for fear of being kidnapped. Even adults were afraid to go out at night. Home security systems and car alarms were sold by the hundreds. The jails were full, and the crime statistics went sky-high and for no apparent reason. So, with much introspection and soul examining, Nick gave up his longing to own a grocery store and decided to be a cop. His troubles ensued right away. He was rejected by the San Francisco Police Department, SFPD. The other neighboring cities also couldn't use Nick. He had asthma. He went to work for a supermarket in preparation of buying a little store. A year and a half later, a new revolutionary atomizer was introduced to the medical field for the treatment of the disease. Because of this new drug, a friend of his, Sammie Jensen, who was a policeman, nearly got him a job with SFPD, but was told due to being over budget already, they couldn't accept all the healthy officers, much less taking on ill ones. Fine, Nick thought-fine. I'll just stay with groceries. Two days later, however, a letter was sent to Nick from the SFPD. The contents, essentially, said he had a job. Due to Sammie's persistence in petitioning political friends, he secured Nick a desk job. After getting on as a recruit, he continued moving up in rank. After eight years, his asthma vanished. He was cured. He became an assistant detective with the V.C.D. then a detective. Captain Montgomery was Nick's superior and couldn't praise him nor be proud of him enough. After being nearly three years working with the VCD, Jensen was chatting about Nick with Captain Monty at the "Rat Cellar" a bar across from the Federal Building. Their conversation went like this:
"Tell me, Captain," Sammie asked. "What incident demolished his joy in sharing stories about our service? He refuses to discuss some one incident at all costs."
"Nick was about to leave for home one day but said he'd volunteer and take one last call. A citizen reported an alarm went off in a luxury home's garage. He strapped his weapon back on and headed to 798 Locust St. at California. The mansion belonged to the Van Sutro family who left a young married couple to watch their place until they returned from their world tour. The alarm had ceased by the time Nick arrived.
"He rang the bell and the house sitters answered and briefed the officer on the alarm sounding and then stopping in the garage. Nick took out his service pistol and eased the door to the basement opened. He threw a coin against the garage door. The criminal darted away from the noise but, with a gun drawn, ran directly in view of Nick. When the trespasser pointed his weapon at the officer, who determined his wife was about to be a widow, fired twice. The criminal went out like a Job's Daughter who turned sixteen."
Sammie thought, I wonder if the guy Nick shot was the son of a big shot in the California Highway Patrol (CHIP). I remember reading he was killed near Laurel Heights.
"Captain did the guy die?"
"Was this guy related to the CHIP's Assistant Chief?"
"The papers didn't say much about that story."
"Nope. There was plenty-I mean plenty said about it. Many wanted Nick, not only, to get fired but put in the slammer."
There was continuous pressure on him about killing the boy. He went on, however, as CHIP's Chief warned his assistant to settle down, as Nick was totally within the law and acted in self-defense. Nevertheless, Nick was uncomfortable where he was serving and was looking for a way to move up and out. His opportunity occurred while on a vacation.
The fog hadn't lifted from over "The City That Knows How" and the "Rat Cellar" had two law men visiting over a few Ramos Fizzes. Captain Montgomery was a little fuzzy on why his detective, Nick Novak, left one Department for another. Sammy was explaining why.
"Sure, Monte, I'll tell you something about Nick's leaving you. About a half a year ago, we were chatting just as we are now. Looking more serious than normal, he interrupted our little talk."
"Scuse me Sam, but would you believe a bunch of, wild as wolves in Canada, hells angels, invaded our annual family beach picnic?"
This beach Nick is referring to is just down from Guerneville on the Russian River. The area is peaceful all year long, but in the summer, once in a great while, there is a drowning. Rarely motorcycle clubs pass by on their way to California's beautiful coastal Highway 1.
"Hells Angeles? What did you do?"
"Right. The outlaw bikers swooped down a path from Highway 116 to the beach. The bastards circled around our spot raising sand and gravel all over. Damn those bikes are noisy. I didn't have my service pistol with me, but did have my cell"
"He said he scooted down behind Kathleen, and pressed the emergency button for 911, told dispatch about the scene, and was told the Highway Patrol and the Sheriff would be there soon. In the meantime, he went to the apparent leader and asked what they wanted.
"The bikers told him they wanted to help with the picnic.
"Sammie explained what Nick told him about how the outlaw gang wanted to join in on the family's fun.
"Nick, as you know, was a gentleman. He attended private schools growing up, and learned how to practice good deportment. He was thinkin bout bein a priest, but met Kathleen, got married, and studied crim for his masters at UCB. Sometimes, he had lunch with me or a few other of his police or detective friends over at the hall of justice. We chatted often about his and Kathleen's past and hopes for their future.
"Nick said that they often went to the country on weekends, meaning the Russian River. I asked him what kind of help the Hells' Angeles offered. His answer coincides with what I've heard of them."
"The bikers considered it a help if they were to provide us men a few teenage girls to party with in the bushes. When we declined telling them we were married and these were our wives, they asked if we would like a few hits on some grass or maybe a snort of coke. Again, we said no. They said that they had a special surprise for us. It was little George, a dead friend of theirs, that was strapped behind a rider. Three of them threw the body five feet on to our blanket. They sped up the path to 116 and headed West."
"Were they caught?"
"No! They knew all the back roads, and the officers didn't."
"After that incident, Nick gave up his work with you in the V.C.D. They took him into the Organized Crime Department, O.C.D. Now you know?"
The rays of sun breaking through the "Rat Cellars" stained-glass windows took the place of shadows the fog had casted.
"I'm glad it wasn't over his killing that big shot's son."
Once Nick settled in with the OCD, he was introduced to many local FBI agents and their chief. The two organizations worked together as they did on the Husic stock pump and dump scam. It was the fall of 2006 when the Bank of America building, at 555 California Street, in the city, "Bagdad by the Bay," had a few guys in Gucci, $2,600 suits with Amedeo Testoni, Moro monk-strap model shoes at $38,000 a pair descend on the building like a nuclear radioactive cloud.
These goons from the Mafia headed to the 18th floor and made the manager of the Husic Corporation an offering he couldn't resist. Though the manager's hands shivered like a fisherman's on a Montana lake at four in the morning in the winter, he refused, at first, to commit crime.
"I am unable to comply with such an offer gentlemen. My clients mean too much to me. I will not bilk them out of their hard-earned money."
"Shut your mouth." A hood snaked out a small club from his pant leg and, slapped it against his palm a few times. "Dis stick, if I need ta use it on ya knees, will hoit bad."
"Listen, I'll give the both of you $10,000 dollars each if you would just leave me alone."
"You sell dese stocks at $250 a share till you and your crew have sold one hundred large ones, that is $100,000 woith of dem."
After having one knee broken, the manager accommodated the criminals. The Husic Corporation began selling worthless stock at high prices. The Mafia realized most of the wealth but needed to share some with a few policemen.
The Husic manager was incarcerated awhile for breaking the law but not for long, and detective Nick Novak, OCD, was put on this case. His job was to help investigate into who these criminals were. The address of an ex-convict who was affiliated with similar pump and dump frauds in the bay area was confirmed, so he kissed his wife good by and drove to Tucson, Arizona to pay a visit to Mario Slacks.
He located the address given him where Mr. Slacks was known to live, but as there wasn't anyone home, the detective waited in his car until his stomach made gurgling stomach noises and hunger pangs indicated that he was famished. Nick located a small but quaint and clean restaurant a few blocks away. The exterior had a light-blue paint job with a light oil based dark-blue trim. Plants graced the front standing at attention in their boxes. The neon sign read "open". The interior had smallish tables covered with artsy cloths and votive candles within bubble like glass holders that gave a touch of happy warmth to the cozy eatery.
The restaurant specialized in short ribs. The faint order of the searing pork excited him, as he sat at the counter where some scattered daily paper rested. As he began to read, a waitress wearing what obviously was a red wig said, "Hello."
"Hi, Nick said. The ground coffee smells as if it was just ground from fresh beans." Nick took a cup and ordered the ribs.
"You a cop, Mr.?"
"Why? Whatever made you ask that?"
"Mr. you walked in here, and you looked to the left from the bottom-up, and you looked to the right from bottom-up, and you crooked your neck to look at the ceiling. You tried to take a gander into the kitchen. Mr. you brow has deep furrows as if you worry a lot, and your folds from your mouth don't show many smile lines."
"You're sort of a cop yourself."
"Unit 3-B, unit 3-B this is unit 1-A this is 1-A. Do you read me?" Nick's radio sounded.
"Stand by, unit 1-A, stand by. 10-19 my vehicle. O.K.---10-20 vehicle."
Nick paid his bill without eating the meal, left a nice tip, and preceded to his vehicle. The radio transmission back and forth conveyed that the offenders in the Husic pump and dump case have been captured and are currently in Leavenworth Federal Prison. A jilted girlfriend of one of the hoods revealed the names and address of several of the goons that led to them all being put in jail.
Nick was to forget Mario, the Slacks, Rossi.
Remember Nick was the man who believed the love in everyone's heart. Without his wife keeping him quiet, now, he would be as cynical as a tortured GI. Nick continued on with OCD, helped immensely, and he finally retired. He and Kathleen hadn't children due to Kathleen having a rare case of pneumonia as a teen that took its toll.