Dear Chief Bouza,
I love reading your monthly articles in the Southside Pride neighborhood paper!
You will remember me from 35 years ago, while you were chief. I beat a ticket, with your help! The temp was 20 degrees below zero. I had just gotten my car jump started, then drove to pick up a package. Leaving the car running to run in, there was a ticket placed on my windshield when I came out! I called the police department later, and you answered the phone! I fought the ticket and won, thanks to your encouragement. I came to your office to thank you, and you graciously invited me in for coffee and a nice conversation. I told you my grandfather had been a Minneapolis police officer in the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s, and that my grandmother had come to the U.S. from another country (France), like you (from Spain). My grandmother was still living (now in her 90s), so you sent her a birthday card for the next year or two. She was thrilled to get a card from the Minneapolis police chief! Thank you, sir!
You always had such a sense of humor while you were the chief. I remember you were often featured on the evening local news, but you would feign interviews saying, “Gee, I cannot talk now. My wife has just gotten out of jail, and I must be taking her home.” (She was a famed activist fighting for important causes, always in the important light of local and national news, bless her!)
You provided much thought with your new practice of putting cops in cars by themselves, not in pairs any longer, if my memory serves me correctly. That was revolutionary, and unpopular.
The city loved you! You were such a great intellectual! You were a man of higher education and big words! You were a thinker, a speaker, a problem-solver! Only envious small types did not like your style. My dad used to tell me that there weren’t that many horrible people out there, really, but they did get around!
I do so enjoy your monthly articles in Southside Pride. I have my Oxford dictionary handy at my side, and my trusty thesaurus, too, so I am ready to look up the words you use that I may not know. I always learn something. You certainly have an admirable vocabulary. May the years continue to bless us with your fun memories and wry wit.