Hi Readers! Interrupting today’s regularly scheduled program to announce the winner from Friday’s giveaway with Tonya Kappes! Carlrscott – please message us at the Wicked Cozy Authors FB page with your information. Congrats!
Kim in Baltimore wishing she were still lounging on the beach in Rehoboth.
June is the month we celebrate our fathers. For this reason, I thought it would be fun to talk with other daughters of detectives. Our guests today are Kathie Lewandowski Richardson and Heather Baker Weidner. I have known Kathie most of my life. Her dad was once my dad’s partner on the force. Heather is a mystery author whom I recently met at Malice Domestic and we bonded over our dad’s shared occupation.
Growing up, I felt I had been treated a bit differently by my school friends and neighborhood children, especially when I was a teenager, because my dad was a cop. I asked the ladies how they felt on this subject.
Heather: I grew up in a city where my dad was a police captain. As a teenager and college student, it felt like my dad hindered my life. He gave me a hard time about two clubs my friends and I liked. He knew what was going on and where, but it just felt smothering when I was twenty-something.
Kathie: Yes, It was difficult. I grew up in a small community where everybody knew each other. The adults knew my dad as a well-respected BCP officer who worked hard and excelled in everything he did. Dad climbed to the ranks of Major and retired in 1995. There was a teacher who nicknamed my dad Johnny Law. He portrayed my dad as the enemy to the kids in his class who were twelve and thirteen years old and very impressionable. They were at an age where some were experimenting with smoking, drinking and even drugs. The kids were afraid to hang out with me because of what this teacher said and I had a very small circle of friends during that period.
Dinner times with my dad were always interesting. He enjoyed sharing stories about his day with me and my sister. He never went into the gory details, but would describe how he had solved the mystery or puzzle. I believe I write mysteries today because of him. Kathie had a different experience, but I learned Heather’s dinner time was similar to mine.
Kathie: Dad never shared “cop” stories with us when we were children. He never talked about it until after he’d retired and my sisters and I were in our thirties. He raised five daughters, so he believed if he told his little girls stories about cops and robbers, it might frighten us. One story I do recall was about when he and his partner chased a suspect on foot through the streets of Baltimore. The suspect made his way to a rooftop and jumped down with Dad’s partner right behind him. The partner ended up breaking both his ankles and though my dad was more concerned about his partner than the suspect, he still had to pursue him. He found the suspect, unable to move because he had sprained both of his feet in the fall, just around the corner.
Heather: We grew up talking about murder and mayhem at the dinner table. I didn’t realize it wasn’t polite conversation until I went over to friends’ houses. Our conversations were always interesting, and they probably provided good information for later stories. I love mysteries and puzzles. Dad went to work every day to solve mysteries. He’s also a great story teller. He’s retired now, but he’s still my best law enforcement resource. I still ask him things like, “Hey, Dad. What does a meth lab smell like?” Some things you just don’t want to Google.
Kathie’s dad was John Lewandowski. He was a tall man with a good disposition and kind eyes, a man you wouldn’t be afraid to ask for his help. He car-pooled with my dad and every weekday Mom and I sat in front of Central District waiting for them to be finished work. Mr. John was always nice to me. I asked Kathie did she feel her dad was a stricter parent due to his job. Kathie said, “Yes, I believe he was more strict because he was aware of what was happening on the streets and he wanted to protect us.” I had to agree that I felt the same way about my dad. I was very sheltered. Any time I went out Dad seemed to know my every move by the time I returned home. I think all the cops in the city of Baltimore were on the lookout for me. I couldn’t get away with anything and knew better than to try.
Our dad’s were also responsible for some of our first jobs. Heather told me her first job was picking up shell casings at the police range when her dad was done practicing. She also spent several weekends melting old crayons to make practice bullets for the SWAT team. That sounded like a lot more fun than the job my dad got me -finger printing bodies in the morgue! An experience every eighteen-year-old kid needs.
I think we all agreed our dads are our heroes and I’m pretty sure the love we feel for them has little to do with their jobs in law enforcement.
I’d like to thank Heather and Kathie for taking time out to answer my questions. To learn more about Heather go to www.HeatherWeidner.com. Heather blogs regularly with Pens, Paws, and Claws authors.
Dear Readers, What was your dad’s occupation? How did their job help to shape you?
Great post, and welcome Heather and Kathie! My father was a high school teacher (not at my high school), so one of my first jobs was grading his ninth-graders’ multiple choice tests. We had a houseful of books, and a play school in the back patio with discarded pull-down maps of the world. I loved going to school with him on a Saturday and helping run the mimeo machine. If he’d been a teacher in my own school, I would have had to be more careful in what I did, I’m sure!
I would have loved it if one of my parents had been a teacher. I don’t think my own kids are much impressed with it, though.
Thank you so much for letting me stop by and visit. Many thanks to Kimberly and Kathie!
Heather, thanks so much for your time. I feel our lives as cop daughters were very similar.
Waving Heather and Kathie! My dad transferred to my junior high school when I was in 8th grade. It was difficult to say the least. My mom taught at the high school I went to. It was huge and I was more confident by that time. But being the teacher’s kid is almost up there with being the cop’s kid.
Teachers are like schoool cops.
Carpenter, a mean alcoholic……. my ex-husband was a policeman till he ruined his career!!
U were lucky
I was very fortunate to have my dad.
My dad managed the box department at Parker Brothers game factory in Salem. I loved visiting him there and to this day I love the sights and sounds of factories. Board games aplenty at our house, of course! One of the perks for me : Daddy got to pick the paper coverings for the boxes and I was the recipient of all of the manufacturer’s sample books of fancy papers–heaven for an artistic kid! Little known Parker Bros. fact: The company had to wait until Mr. George Parker’s death to release the game of Clue. He didn’t want his name associated with crime.
Carol, what a great story! I love your bit about Clue, which of course is one of my favorite games.
My Dad proudly served his country by being in the U.S. Army for 29 years serving in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. I think being an Army brat was a great portion of shaping me into the person I am now. I learned the love of God, this amazing country we are fortunate enough to live in and the love of family. It showed me how to set goals, working hard to attain my goals, discipline and respect – both earned and deserved. I look back on my time as a military dependent with pride and good times. Mostly I think of the love and admiration I have for my Dad. Miss you Dad. <3
2clowns at arkansas dot net
It sounds like you had a great life with your dad.
My father was a mid-level civil servant for the New York State Department of Labor. He investigated unemployment fraud. I’m afraid his job didn’t shape me at all, but his love of sports, reading, and his sense of humor did. 🙂
He was sort of a detective then, too.
Officially he was a salesman of some sort. We suspect he may have been undercover, but he is gone and there is no way to find out for certain. Plausible deniability. sigh
Do you mean like he was undercover because he worked for the government? That’s exciting!
Interesting. And that teacher was a jerk!
Thanks for sharing.
That teacher was a jerk and more, believe me.
My dad was a banker and an investment advisor and ultimately a bank president. He was whip smart, loved reading, fishing, and an intellectual or political argument. He was a great partner to my mom (who said the basis for the relationship was that neither could tell the other a damn thing) and a loving and caring father to us.
That is so sweet!
My sisters & I had trouble convincing the boys in our high school marching band that our dad was not a police officer. (He worked in car manufacturing.) No idea where they got the idea, however my dad did not mind that the boys were incorrect. lol
That is funny!
My father was a carpenter. He taught me the importance of accuracy and pride of work. I am an only child and I spent huge amounts of time just watching my daddy work. I learned so much from his patience and attention to detail. And he was always ready to answer my questions and explain things to me.
Now that’s a great dad.
He certainly was!!
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