Monday, February 26, 2007

Memorium

So many thoughts. So much to process and say. I think this will deserve a separate post. I had visited Fred and then went to see Jeff, who owns the temporary staffing company Cherie had worked through. I will write of that later but now I must record these thoughts. After visiting I stopped at the Distillery, a bar near where Cherie and I lived. I would go there for a bite to eat and to be around people while Cherie was at work. I figured I would say hi to the employees I had gotten to know and grab something to eat. On the television was live coverage of the funeral for the police officer who was killed just a few days ago.

As I sipped the Glenlevet single malt scotch I had indulged myself with and watched I had rushes of thoughts and pictures running through my mind. Sure it was across the street from the home I once owned but that was no longer relevant. There are thousands of people here, coming from several states and even from overseas. So many thoughts, and so many internal conflicts. Here is a man who died for what he believed. My son is a cop in this same city.

As I write they are removing the casket from the hearse. I hear the sounds of the bagpipes. There are several thousand people here, many still walking in from over a mile away as that is as close as they could park. The funeral procession was several miles long. Soon they will be playing “Taps” according to the news announcers. Later will come the 21 gun salute. I wonder if my son will be a part of that as he is member of the American Legion honor guard.

They occasionally show a picture of officer Dressel with his wife. He leaves behind two children, four and six years old. There is so much emotion here and that is translated through the television. One can’t help but have a great respect for anyone who sacrifices so much for a service to his community. What a service. His record tells of a time he ran into a burning building to save an elderly woman from certain death. Here is a life lived with pride, a life that has no shame.

Now one would think that I would not have these sentiments, after all I am what they call a three time loser having been convicted of a felony three times. I have been the victim of a criminal justice system that was more concerned with numbers than justice, of prosecutors who manipulated and abused in order to have as many conviction notches on their belt as they could. But that is not the case. Sure I have been on the other side of the fence, yes I have consorted with those who considered those who enforce the law as the enemy. But even in that world I was an outcast. I remember causing stirs in prison when I would make statements such as “We need the law, imagine what the world would be like if there were no rules, some people belong in prison”. Yes I have a strong sense of right and wrong. This was garnered by the hundreds of books I devoured in my youth. Books that portrayed heroes, that exemplified concepts of honor and integrity, of sacrifice for the good of others. I admit that these works of fiction I escaped into during my lonely early years were not always in touch with reality but perhaps neither was I. Even in the criminal world my drug use lured me into I maintained this na├»ve concept of honor, preferring to do prison time to being a snitch. I didn’t have to go to prison, in a way I chose to.

Just to clarify some of this let me explain my grievous convictions. In 1975 I was given a ten year sentence for selling ground up Alka-Seltzer and aspirin as cocaine. It the state of Texas if you represented something as such it was the same as if it was. In 1992 I was convicted of burglary because, after spending eight hours in a bar celebrating a $100,000.00 contract I just landed, I had kicked in the door of a fireworks stand a half block from my house. Piling up cases of fireworks I passed out on them before I could light them up. The third conviction was just prior to my wreck. I was admittedly a mess, going through a two year long divorce, severely depressed, and addicted to pain killers along with doing massive amounts of cocaine. During this period I had fallen fifteen feet breaking two ribs and knocking myself out. My secretary, Eileen, tells me I became a different person, another drastic personality change. The pain killers had been prescribed for the broken ribs. I caught an employee stealing and tied to file charges. Without adequate evidence I was unable to. In retaliation and to avoid prosecution that employee had his father and wife come forward with a computer they claimed to purchase from me. It was stolen from a business in my building. In these last throes of my dying business and life I could not afford an attorney and was appointed one. Without bogging you down on the details I was convicted of a crime I did not commit. Yet I believe in the system and have a tremendous respect for those who put their lives on the line to enforce it, thus protecting us. Sure there are flaws but flaws exist in anything man touches. It is the way of things.

Good by detective Dressel. You have honored your profession.

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