Been thinking about Tony Bouza: Doris and Tony

Tony Bouza


My heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Tony Bouza. He was a person that I had profound respect and admiration for. I met Tony when he was chief of police in Minneapolis in the 1980s. I was executive director of Hennepin Center for the Arts (the historic Masonic Temple on Sixth Street and Hennepin Avenue). Some evenings when I was not attending a theater or dance performance at HCA, I would visit Rifle Sport Art Gallery across the street on Block E, and occasionally Chief Bouza would be there also, attending a poetry reading or an art exhibit. He would walk the streets of Hennepin Avenue talking to everyone. If we happened to meet on Block E, we both agreed that it was a lively place and not boring like the block across the street where City Center was located.
Over the years, I read his articles in Southside Pride and also read a couple of his books. One was called “Confessions of a Police Misfit.” I learned about the inner workings of police departments, especially in New York. It was a fascinating, interesting, and disheartening read, but I give Chief Bouza so much credit for having the courage to tell stories that needed to be told. In a follow-up letter to Chief Bouza I remarked on the book and mentioned that I had to have a dictionary by my side because there were so many words that I wanted to know the meaning of. He was a very smart person and a historian.
Chief Bouza always emphasized hard work with an emphasis on education, learning and growing throughout life. He emphasized the importance of family and also sharing one’s beliefs and values. He reminded readers and the public about the ugly truths of racism.
A quote on the back of one of his books meant a lot to me: “Artists are prophets, they define the meaning of our lives and point the way.” From my perspective, there are never enough artists in our world.
I met Tony Bouza last year at an open house for Southside Pride. It was good to see him in person. I said, “Oh, Chief Bouza, it is so good to see you.” He said, “Doris, call me Tony.”

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