This is Lou
He is 88 years old and lives by himself in the Upper West Side of New York City. The first time I met him he was sitting on his scooter talking with his friend Manny who lives in the same building. Both Lou and Manny were very happy to speak with me. I found out that Lou was a New York City Policeman and had worked as both a uniformed police officer as well as an undercover cop.
He said he spent most of his career working in the area of New York City as Fort Apache. In the 1970s and 1980s, the 41st police precinct was nicknamed "Fort Apache" because to those who worked there, it felt like an army outpost in a foreign territory. The streets at that time were filled with gangs, criminals, and drug dealers.
Unemployment was very high and the neighborhood was filled with abandoned buildings. It was so well known at the time that in 1981 Hollywood made a movie called Fort Apache about the area.
I asked Lou about his family. He told me that he has two sons who live in New York and visit him often. He said his wife lost one pregnancy that would have been a daughter. He said the miscarriage occurred because at the time of her pregnancy he was shot while on duty and nearly died. He later divorced and has no contact with his ex-wife.
Lou was very happy to talk about his career as a police officer and showed me several photos of himself both in uniform and when he was working undercover in narcotics. He also told me that he has had cancer five different times. And beat cancer every time and is now living cancer free. He attributed that to his physical conditioning as a child and young adult. He said he trained in martial arts and boxing. He said he had taught boxing in the South Bronx and would like to be able to do that again.
I have seen Lou several times now and each time I have been greeted warmly. Lou clearly likes being able to share his stories of his younger self.