I had the pleasure of being with my father on his last day of work. After 37 and half years he called it quits from the Nassau County Police Department, L.I. N.Y. It’s hard for me to image what it must feel like to come to that point in your life. If you do something for 37 and a half years you must love it. Nonetheless I guess you reach a point when you realize it’s time to let it go. From an emotional standpoint It can’t be an easy adjustment. In this day and age and especially in this country, people define themselves by what they do. My father’s no exception, an his extreme respect and honor for the police department only makes this pride for what he does stronger. He obviously has made this decision by thinking about the transition rationally. Realizing that you he can’t do it forever, and the time is right not only financially but also in terms of what he wants to be doing with his time. It’s admirable to see some one acknowledge that and be able to step away from something they love when they are at the top of their game.
These are two images from the morning of his last day of work. I got up early to finish the lighting set up only to find that he was already up. We took about 15 minutes to pop off these shots and then I drove him into work. I stuck around for about 4 hours while he tied up some loose ends and said some goodbye’s. Then we went for a ride around the neighborhoods that he had worked for almost 4 decades. The stories were flowing out of him with every corner we turned. It was great. A short glimpse into probably one of the most exciting and heroic careers anyone could have. We made a couple stops for more goodbye’s (the morgue, surveillance unit, and an old informant that he wanted to let know he was leaving.) This short visit with his “rat” of 20 yrs was one of the more interesting things I’ve ever seen. This woman (obviously high on something) didn’t stop talking from the moment we entered her house till the time we were driving away down her road. ranting and raving about what she knows and who did this and that. It’s a funny relationship. She obviously had an appreciation or respect for my dad even though they were technically on different teams. The fact that we stopped in to see her to on his last days makes me think that he may even have some respect for her. maybe.
The day ended at the bar where the tradition is that guy going out buys the bar for the night. I watched as about 100 thirsty cops drank away any hopes an inheritance down the line.
It was a great day