Being a teenager during the "Vietnam era," I was like the rest of my peers.
I had a negative attitude towards the so-called "Establishment." My friends and I did our own thing. We did not want to go to school, or obey our teachers and parents.
We also did not have respect for the law. This may seem strange for the son of a Police Officer, but peer pressure can have an effect on your thinking.
My Parents tried to teach me, and influence me on the ways of life, but it was their ways not mine. I knew stealing, and vandalizing was wrong. At the same time, I had the feeling of shame and guilt for not respecting my parents. Especially since, they were loving and kind to me during my rebellious period, and I enjoyed being "King of the neighborhood." This feeling would be ending very soon!
The year was 1973 I came home one day from playing baseball, and my mother was upset.
My Mother told me my Father had been stabbed in the back of his arm. She explained how it happened; a juvenile delinquent attacked him in the neighborhood during his patrol. He was fine his partner was bringing him home. I was mad, shocked, and the sudden realization I could have lost my Father that day hit home. I knew then I had to change my way of thinking.
A few months after this I learned of Buford Pusser while reading a news article. His wife died in an assassination on their way to his office. I learned his father was a police officer where Buford had grown up. His Father was shot in the stomach when Buford was "The King of his neighborhood" just like me. I learned it was a juvenile...