Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Escort

It was many decades ago when I first joined the police department, I knew there would be special occasions my family would spend without me. Knowing that fact didn't make the task any easier. The celebrations I missed that first year depressed me and sometimes made me feel bitter. Working on Christmas Eve was always the worst.

On Christmas Eve years ago, I learned that blessings can come disguised as misfortune, and honor is more than just a word.

I was riding one man patrol on the 4-12 shift. The night was cold. Everywhere I looked I saw reminders of the holiday: families packing their cars with presents, beautifully decorated trees in living room windows and roofs adorned with tiny sleighs. It all added to my holiday funk.

The evening had been relatively quiet; there were calls for barking dogs and a residential false burglar alarm. There was nothing to make the night pass any quicker. I thought of my own family and sunk further into depression.

Shortly after 2200 hours I got a radio call to the home of an elderly, terminally ill man. I parked my patrol car in front of a simple Cape Cod style home. First aid kit in hand, I walked up the short path to the front door. As I approached, a woman who seemed to be about 80 years old opened the door. "He's in here," she said. She led me to a back bedroom.

We passed through a living room that was furnished in a style I had come to associate with older people. The sofa has an afghan blanket draped over its back and a dark, solid Queen Anne chair sat next to an unused fireplace. The mantle was cluttered with an eccentric mix of several photos, some ceramic figurines and an antique clock. A floor lamp provided soft lighting.

We entered a small bedroom where a frail looking man lay in bed with a blanket pulled up to his chin. He wore a blank stare on his ashen, skeletal face. His breathing was shallow and labored. He was barely alive. The trappings of illness were all around his bed. The nightstand was littered with a large number of pill vials. An oxygen bottle stood nearby. Its plastic hose, with face mask attached, rested on the blanket.

I asked the old woman why she called the police. She simply shrugged and nodded sadly toward her husband, indicating it was at his request. I looked at him and he stared intently into my eyes. He seemed relaxed now. I didn't understand the suddenly calm expression on his face.

I looked around the room again. A dresser stood along the wall to the left of the bed. On it was the usual memorabilia: ornate perfume bottles, a white porcelain pin case, and a wooden jewelry case. There were also several photos in simple frames. One caught my eye and I walked closer to the dresser for a closer look. The picture showed a young man dressed in a police uniform. It was unmistakably a photo of the man in bed. I knew then why I was there.

I looked at the old man and he motioned with his hand toward the side of the bed. I walked over and stood beside him. He slid a thin arm from under the covers and took my hand. Soon, I felt his hand go limp, I looked at his face. There was no fear there. I saw only peace.

He knew he was dying; he was aware his time was very near. I knew now that he was afraid of what was about to happen and he wanted the protection of a fellow cop on his journey. A caring God had seen to it that his child would be delivered safely to Him. The honor of being his escort fell to me.

When I left at the end of my tour that night, the temperature seemed to have risen considerably, and all the holiday displays I saw on the way home made me smile.

I no longer feel sorry for myself for having to work on Christmas Eve. I have chosen an honorable profession. I pray that when it's my turn to leave this world there will be a cop there to hold my hand and remind me that I have nothing to fear.

I wish all my brothers and sisters who have to work this Christmas Eve all the joy and warmth of the season.

We have all been there. God bless you all.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God" (Matthew 5:9).

Author Unknown - Just a Cop

Friday, December 19, 2008

President's Holiday Wish and 2009 Schedule

Fellow Emeralds,

First I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very Happy Holiday, Happy Hanukkah, and Merry Christmas!!!

While Christmas is a time of gift giving and receiving, I feel as though one of the greatest gifts I have received is the honor of being associated with my fellow brothers and sisters of the Emerald Society...There is not a finer group anywhere that exemplifies our tradition of the Claddagh (Love, Loyalty, and Friendship) and service to our law enforcement and entire community at large! So many of you have contributed so much in the preservation and support of our law enforcement and Irish heritage! There are too many names and too many events to mention in this message..But I thank all of you for the gifts of your wisdom,wit,knowledge, volunteerism, sacrifice, good humor,and spirit!

However, I will be sending out an end of the year message which will encapsulate what our Society has done and accomplished in 2008! That message will also contain our vision for the future and upcoming plans for 2009! And speaking of the future...

Here is our 2009 Los Angeles Police Emerald Society Meeting Schedule:

January 7th
February 4th
March 4th
April 15th
May 6th
June 10th
July 15th
August 5th
September 9th
October 14th
November 18th

Meetings begin at 1900 Hrs (7:00PM) and will take place at the LAPD Elysian Park Academy unless otherwise announced.

We remember all of our family and friends who are no longer with us in this world to celebrate our holiday season, especially our Emerald Society Brother "Red" Williams aka Santa Claus who left us in this year! Our annual Society visit to the Ronald McDonald House this year was dedicated to the memory of "Red" by our Emerald Society and in a very meaningful way by "Santa Tim" who performed and gave out presents as Santa for the children in a most magical way!

Lastly, please remember in our prayers, words and actions our law enforcement officers and soldiers, here , abroad and around the world ,who sacrifice every day to preserve our freedoms, liberty and lives! In the same way, we remember and honor the fallen and their families, for whom this can be an especially trying time of year.

God Bless Us All, Everyone!
Stephen Saletros
Los Angeles Police Emerald Society

Saturday, December 13, 2008

An Irish Christmas Blessing

During the coming
Christmas season
May you be blessed
With the spirit of the season,
which is peace,
The gladness of the season,
which is hope,
And the heart of the season,
which is love.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Big Hearts O' the Emerald Society

My Brother and Sisters of the Emerald Society,

A team of members to include Kim Braden, AKA Kim Bearden and Santa Claus are going to be making their annual trek to the Ronald McDonald House to visit some very special children who would be thrilled to receive a visit from Santa. These children and their families are facing serious medical problems and it it our hope to brighten their day with a visit from Santa.

Now , what we need now are some gifts for Santa to give to the children. Kim Braden has asked for our members who are going to the Christmas Holiday Party at the Walton residence to each bring a stuffed animal so that he can bear them as gifts with Santa. I think this is a splendid idea and thank Kim for the suggestion! So, if you could please bring a stuffed animal it would be greatly appreciated!

Our team will also be presenting the pull tabs (special thanks to Kim Braden and Mike Murphy) that have been collected as they will translate into a donation for the Ronald McDonald House! Any and all donations will be accepted in the spirit of the season!

If you are interested in joining our team on this venture please let me know via email and/or phone. The date is tentatively Thursday, 12/11 with a time to be announced tomorrow...most likely the afternoon.

"Irish Fest" with the Notre Dame Alumni Association was a great time..Thanks to all who participated and thanks to the Notre Dame Club of Los Angeles. While the outcome of the Notre Dame-USC contest was not what we had hoped for everyone still had a wonderful time and we look forward to "Irish Fest" next year!

Los Angeles Police Emerald Society

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Breaking News on Irish Fest Parking

Fellow Emeralds,

Parking has been arranged for at 714 W. Olympic Bl which is on the south side of the street between Flower St. and Figueroa St....Band members will be assembling at Central Station and then proceeding to "Irish Fest"....The parking at 714 W. Olympic is free and entry is gained off of Flower St in the second driveway on your right. Building security is aware of the arrangement but I will be visiting the site early to make sure there are no problems....I encourage those who can to carpool from the 714 building to "Irish Fest" ...USC Campus parking is 25.00 and Parking Building A is the closest to Jesse Brewer Park.
Dash buses run along Figueroa St down to USC and are only .25 cents so you can use that cost effective option if you like...

Two after "Irish Fest" locations are options for watching the game...The Holiday Inn at the corner of Figueroa St annd Olympic Bl just next to the 714 W. Olympic address and "Happy Endings"..a restaurant in Hollywood on the 7000 Blk of Sunset Bl( near Hollywood High School and across the street from the In and Out) where the Notre Dame Alumni Association watches the game on the second floor...Either will be a good time with plenty of "Irish" fans!!!

If there are any last minute questions or problems you can contact me directly on the cell phone I use for just such situations.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving, and GO IRISH!!!

Fellow Emeralds,

First, let me wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving! It is during Thanksgiving that we reflect on all the blessings that have been bestowed upon us and give thanks to the Almighty. It is a time for family and friends to celebrate these blessings around a traditional meal in the fellowship of a feast. Many of our brothers and sisters will be working in our law enforcement roles and our soldiers will be safeguarding our freedom and security around the world far from home. I ask that you remember them in your prayers, thoughts, and actions!

On a personal note, I would like all of you, my Emerald Society Brothers and Sisters, to know that I am honored and thankful to be associated with such a fine group of men and women as the Los Angeles Police Emerald Society. The spirit of the Claddagh ( Love, Loyalty, Friendship) is alive and well and thriving among our Society as we continue to express the best of our law enforcement and Irish heritage! So it is with a heart full of gratitude that I thank all of you for what you have done for our heritage and our Los Angeles Police Emerald Society and I thank the Lord for having brought us together as one!

Happy Thanksgiving!

"IRISH FEST" Here it is! The longest college football rivalry in the history of our great nation! The 83rd meeting between the Notre Dame Fight Irish and the USC Trojans! Here are the details our faithful "Irish" fans have been waiting for!
"IRISH FEST" is the tailgater to beat all tail gaters! The Notre Dame Alumni Association is hosting this "Irish Fest" at Jesse Brewer Park which is just outside USC on Exposition Bl and Menlo Ave NW of the Coliseum and west of the Natural History Museum. More details can be seen at The time will be from 12 Noon to 4 PM...The band " American Wake" will be there and they are fantastic! There will be a Notre Dame Pep rally with cheerleaders and the ND leprechaun! There will be food and the Notre Dame bookstore will be there selling a tremendous assortment of Notre Dame items..Get there early if you want to get a game day shirt as they will sell out!

Our Los Angeles Police Emerald Society Pipes and Drum Band will be playing at "Irish Fest" and the last time we played for Notre Dame the skirl of the pipes and the beat of our drums saw a Notre Dame win! What a day that was!

Admission price for is 5.00 and we have not been able to secure tickets so you are on your own if you want to get in and see the game. However, our plan is to go to another location together where we will watch the game together...standby for another message on this detail and parking info!

Steve Saletros
Los Angeles Police Emerald Society

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Meeting Reminders and Updates!

Fellow Emerald Brothers and Sisters,

Happy Veterans Day to all who have served in the armed forces of our great nation! Your service will always be remembered! The Emerald Society thanks you for your service to country and the cause of freedom and salutes you!

Our November meeting is tomorrow, Nov 12th,at 1900 Hrs. Our special guest speaker will be none other than, and I'm proud to say it, Emerald Society member, professor and historian Dr. Roger McGrath! You may have seen Brother McGrath speak before at a meeting or perhaps as a contributor on the History Channel. His presentations are always most impressive and enjoyable!

In keeping with the theme of the celebration of Veterans Day, Dr. McGrath will provide a presentation with a military history theme that chronicles the contributions of Americans of Irish descent on the battlefield in our nations wars. This promises to be an outstanding evening with a world class historian that I am sure will leave you with a great sense of history and pride! As a historian, professor, and writer, Dr McGrath is in great demand and we thank him for taking the time to share his knowledge with his brothers and sisters at the Los Angeles Police Emerald Society!

Thanks to Joe Flood, Joe Harvey and his daughter for taking part in the American Legion Barbecue for the wounded veterans at the Long Beach Veterans Hospital. The Emerald Society had an opportunity to form a bond with the American Legion members and volunteers as we visited with the wounded veterans. The veterans seemed genuinely glad to see us. We were honored to visit with them and we look forward to continuing to take part in this activity next year. Thanks to American Legion Post commander Bob Brennan and the American Legion volunteers for letting the Emerald Society be a part of this meaningful event!

"Irish Fest" The Notre Dame alumni Association will be presenting "Irish Fest" on Nov 29th just outside the USC Coliseum. Details will be forthcoming in the next few days. As of now, we do not have a source for tickets for this game as they are in great demand and USC has drastically limited availability for ND fans. Plans are being discussed for watching the game after "Irish Fest" at a local sports or Irish themed restaurant/bar. Suggestions and ideas are welcome!

Please remember to bring your pull can tops to the meeting for collection by Brother Kim Braden for the Ronald McDonald House. A future visit to the Ronald McDonald House will be forthcoming and announced in due time.

That's all for now!

Trivia fact: The song "God Bless America" written by Irving Berlin for Kate Smith to sing was first performed by her 70 years ago today!

God Bless America and Erin Go Bragh!

Steve Saletros

Friday, November 7, 2008

Updates and Details

Hear Ye Fellow Emeralds,

1. Fight For Life to Beat Cancer! Friday, November 7th, 2008 at the Quiet Cannon at 901 N. Via San Clemente, Montebello CA 90640

Gates open at 1730 Hrs
Fights Begin at 1900 Hrs

It's LAPD Vs. LASD and tickets are $25-100...For more info and ticket availability call the Los Angeles Police Protective League at 213 251-4554 or the Sheriff's Relief Association at 562-946-7081

Come join a great cause and share in the camaraderie! I've been to every Fight for Life event since it began and it is a night full of fun, fights, entertainment, celebrities and more fun! Hope to see you there!

2. American Legion Long Beach Veterans Hospital Barbecue! Saturday November 8th
Emerald Society members are encouraged to attend this barbecue for our wounded veterans. The barbecue begins at 1130 Hrs and will continue to 1400 Hrs. We will be visiting with severely wounded veterans in a gesture of gratitude for their most honorable service and sacrifices.

3. It's that time again, for us to muster our forces to come to the aid of some 1500 kids on December 20th at 11 AM for the annual Saint Vincent de Paul Christmas Party.

The Anaheim Phoenix Club of 1340 Sanderson, Anaheim 92806, once again invites us to brighten this Christmas for Children. These kids were selected to attend, because either one or both of their parents are in jail or serving long time prison sentences. The incarcerated themselves applied to SVDP to have their children invited to a nice Christmas meal and receive a lovely gift from Santa Claus himself. In the past the Ancient Order of Hibernians( all 4 Orange County divisions) Council 13311 of the Knights of Columbus, the staff of the Dept. of motor Vehicles, the SVDP Ministry of Santa Clara de Asis of Yorba Linda and the Los Angeles Police Emerald Society have come together to brighten the holiday season for some very needy young people. Guests of honor include Father Michael Hanifin from SCDA Parish, Anaheim Police Chief John Welter and many other dignitaries from throughout Orange County. If you have time to spare to help celebrate Christ's Birthday with grateful children call event MC Brother Emerald Jerry O'Keefe at 714 998-9590 or email him at

4. The Emerald Society Christmas Holiday Party will be at the Walton residence on December 6th...Further details and flyers will be available at our Nov.12th meeting. The Walton Party is a wonderful pot luck and all are encouraged to attend and bring friends and family. There will will music in the form of Pipes and Drums and the Walton clan magnificently performs Christmas classics! It is truly a magical night with singing Christmas and Irish songs, good friends ,and Christmas holiday cheer. It is the highlight of the year! Thanks to the Walton family for hosting this marvelous time!

That's all for now! If you have any questions, comments or such just send me an email or you can call me.

All the Best to You All,
Steve Saletros
Emerald Brother

Monday, November 3, 2008

Member News

Fellow Emeralds,

Tomorrow is election day and I hope that all of you will participate and vote. While the Emerald Society is not in the business of political endorsements I am passing on information that two of our members have their hat in the political ring...Michael O'Gara ( and Ralph Lillig ( Again this is not an official endorsement of candidates but an announcement of our members activities which is open to all members regardless of political affiliation. If, as individuals, you decide to help our fellow members in their endeavors that is a personal decision. The websites of both candidates have been provided to make it easier for you to see what our fellow members are doing. If at any time, you have member news which you would like passed on please to not hesitate to contact me.

You should have received your Garda newsletter, thanks to Liz Donovan, in the mail by now...If you have not received your newsletter or if you have suggestions for the Garda, please contact me. This was my first time putting out an issue of the Garda and all suggestions and criticisms are welcome.

More news to come soon!

All the Best to All of You,
Steve Saletros

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Additional Meeting Reminder

Brother and Sister Emeralds,

Our October meeting is tomorrow the 15th at 1900 Hrs. The guest speaker will be Los Angeles County Coroner Investigator Christie McCracken! WARNING: There will be a power point presentation which will show gruesome scenes of death so be forewarned...and speaking of gruesome scenes of death, there is a Dodger-Phillies playoff game in the late afternoon so take that into consideration for travel time ...See you at the meeting and Go Dodgers!

Steve Saletros

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Meeting Reminder

Hi Members,

Elizabeth Donovan here to remind you of our next meeting at the Academy on Wednesday, October 15th, at 7 pm. We do have a guest speaker.


Don't forget to bring your photos of recent events that you have been to. We need them for the Garda, the Website and the Blog site.

You can email them as an attachment to the website email or to my personal email address. You can also mail them to my home address. Both are available in the email that was sent out. You can also bring them to the meeting whether they're on CD Rom, USB Drive or Flash Drive. If you have copies or photos, I can scan them into my computer. You can even bring your camera with USB wire, or memory stick.

Steve and I just want your help in updating things. So please give us a helping hand by bringing your pixs.

Thank you for your time and see you at the meeting.

Elizabeth Donovan

Thursday, October 2, 2008

October News, Announcements, and Schedule

Brother and Sister Emeralds,

Here are a few announcements, schedule changes, and reminders for all of us, in no particular order.

1. Our October meeting is on Wednesday, October 15th...We will have a guest speaker from the LA County Coroners Office, Coroner Investigator Elias. Investigator Elias will be presenting a power point presentation on the role of the Coroners Office, death investigations, dead bodies, corpses, cadavers and death , death and more death...So if you have a morbid curiousity about death or are deathly curious about death come on down to the October meeting... and bring a friend.

Photos will be part of the presentation so be forewarned. Happy Halloween!

And speaking of photos, if members have any photos of recent past Emerald Society events please bring them to our October meeting to submit for our website and an upcoming issue of our "Garda newsletter".

And speaking further of photos, the James Ellroy photo that many of you took with the esteemed author will be available to you at the October meeting!

2. Schedule changes...The Los Angeles Police Protective League Picnic was originally scheduled for Saturday, 10/4 at the Elysian Park Academy where our Pipe and Drum Band had agreed to play for the noon arrival of the officers and their families and friends. However, due to the Los Angeles Dodgers post season schedule (Go Dodgers!) the picnic has been rescheduled for March of next year.

The American Legion Barbecue for our wounded veterans at the Long Beach VA hospital was originally scheduled for 10/11 but has been delayed due to an American Legion activity schedule conflict. As soon as we receive the new date it will be announced here so that we can coordinate and attend this event together!

3. Reception for Route 66ers: The Route 66 Garda Riders will be arriving at the Santa Monica Pier on Wednesday, October 8th after riding all the way from Chicago to the Pacific to benefit the Childrens Hospital in Dublin. Stalwart Emerald Society member LASD Deputy Sean Carrion has taken the lead as our law enforcement liason in organizing a proper reception for our Irish brothers and sisters. We would like to have our members meet at the Santa Monica Pier at NOON on Wednesday 10/8 wearing our Emerald Society shirts to give the riders a warm welcome and salute for a job well done! Having participated in this reception in past years it is a great time to meet old and new friends and in the spirit of copper camraderie have a pint at O'Briens, Finn McCools, or wherever we end up. Sean tells me that about 75 riders are expected and the big hearted Tom Cody from Chicago will be there too! So come on out to the Pier and have a beer of good cheer for the Garda and the good work of all involved for the Children!

Awards Dinner: There will be an awards dinner for the Route 66 Garda Ride on Thursday, 10/9 at the restaurant, "Hidden on Main" at 1900 Hrs. "Hidden on Main" is the restaurant formerly known as "Schatzis" owned by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. If you are interested in attending please contact me and I will provide further details.

Please contact me if you plan on attending either one of these events at 213 253-5966so we can communicate and coordinate our reception for the Route 66 Garda.

4. As many of you know, our wonderful friend and member , Jerry O'Keefe recently suffered a heart attack. I spoke with Jerry at home and he is on the road to recovery and sounded great!

Jerry has expressed his great appreciation for the calls,cards, and prayers he received from our members concerned for his health. With permission from Jerry, I am passing on his address and phone # for our members to contact him and express their well wishes. Jerry O'Keefe, P.O. Box 18651, Anaheim, CA 92817 Tel: 714 998-9590

Jerry, on behalf of the entire Los Angeles Police Emerald Society, our thoughts and prayers are with you and we wish you a speedy complete recovery and good health so we may see you again soon!

5. Good and Welfare Policy...From time to time one of our Emerald Society Brothers or Sisters may be facing a situation that is unduly stressful, unfortunate, or even tragic. What you should know is that when your Board becomes aware of such a circumstance , a card is sent by our Secretary Lyle Lewinson to that member, on behalf of the entire Emerald Society expressing our concern, support and best wishes to that member. Announcements regarding our members good and welfare can also be made at our monthly meetings or here in this forum. In the spirit of the Claddagh we express our friendship , loyalty and love for each member and their families in this way. However, we are also sensitive to the privacy of our members and so information such as personal circumstance, addresses and phone numbers will only be announced with the consent of the member. I encourage any and all members to let me know of any situations where an expression of concern, love and support would lift the spirits of one of our brothers or sisters.

That's it for now, my fellow Emeralds...if you have any thoughts, ideas or opinions you'd like to share with me, drop me a line here or you can call me at 213 253-5966.

All the Best to All of You,
Steve Saletros

Sunday, September 7, 2008

DRPO Golf Tourny

Hello All: Hope this finds you far flung golfers and your families all doing well. The DRPO has had one of its best years yet in fund raising and building projects started and completed. We are finally showing the kind of progress all of our work and your support merits. Thanks to all of you who've been there for the Refuge over the years.

One of our biggest fund raisers continues to be the annual golf tourny. This is an invite and appeal to join us once again...or for the first time...for a day of good fun for a good cause. The tournament this year is again at Knollwood CC in Granada Hills, 12040 Balboa Blvd, OCTOBER 3, CHECK IN AT 1100, TEE OFF AT 1300 ( 1 PM ). $125 for everything...cart, balls, lunch, awards dinner. Hope you can join us.

My foursome is I'm not asking you to sacrifice your score by playing with the likes of me, and you can pull together one that might actually have a chance.

To play, send entries to : Ann Brunzell 221 N Figueroa St. Suite 550, LA CA 90012. For more info, contact Ann at 661 406 6399, or 213 202 5487, or via email at I'm avail via email or at 626 484 2205. Hope to see you there.

Gary Brennan.

PS: Cara: Get this to Gary Dimkitch please!
You out of towners....this is just in case you're in town.
Al Michelena: please forward to Jim Rupert, thanks.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Emerald Society Announcements and Reminders

Fellow Emeralds,

Here are some announcements and reminders for our future events provided in a chronological order...

1. The 5th Annual Celtic Arts Center Concert will be held at the Ford Amphitheater on Saturday, September 6th at 8:00PM. The opening act will be our Los Angeles Police Emerald Society Pipes and Drums to be followed by "The Wicked Tinkers", "Finn MacCool, and "Slugger O'Toole"! It promises to be a wonderful night of Irish music so come on out and have a great time with friends celebrating and supporting Celtic culture, music and our Band! Ticket info is available at or Date: 9/6 Time: 8:00 PM Place: Ford Amphitheater across form the Hollywood Bowl on Cahuenga Bl. off the 101 Hollywood Fwy or 2580 Cahuenga Bl, East Hollywood, CA to be exact!

2. 9-11 Tribute to the Heroes at Dodger Stadium: The Los Angeles Dodgers will be honoring our law enforcement, firefighter and armed forces heroes in a pre-game ceremony. The game is set for 1:10PM on Sunday, 9/7 and the Dodgers will be hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks with both teams locked in an exciting struggle to the finish in NL West! Our Los Angeles Police Emerald Society Pipes and Drums will be there to open the ceremony so come on out to support the heroes and the home team! For more details contact me or Pipe Major Scott Walton at

3. Inland Empire Emerald Society Pub Crawl: On Saturday September 13th the Inland Empire Emerald Society will be hosting a 2008 Pub Crawl. Pubs to be visited will be the Auld Dubliner in Riverside, Finn McCool's in Santa Monica, Gallagher's in Long Beach, Killarneys in Huntington Beach, Shamrock Pub and Grill in Newport beach, the Harp Inn in Costa Mesa, and Killarneys in Riverside. Proceeds form the Pub Crawl will benefit the Fallen Officers memorial Fund! This is a great event and I encourage all our members to get out and participate with our Inland Empire Brothers and Sisters! More info and ticket info is available at under events or you can contact President Ken Jamieson at(909) 821-9868. Slainte!

That's it for now..Stay tuned for more announcements, events and reminders!

Steve Saletros
Los Angeles Police Emerald Society

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Emerald Society Picnic

Fellow Emeralds!

Our picnic will be on Sunday August 24th from 0900 Hrs to 1700 Hrs at the LAPD Elysian Park Academy. The picnic will be catered and all members are encouraged to bring their friends and family. The Academy pool will be open for your enjoyment with a lifeguard present and you are encouraged to bring footballs, soccer balls, volleyballs, bocce balls or anything else so you'll have a ball! JJ Leonard is coordinating the picnic so if you have any questions, comments,etc please contact him at 818 992-1414...See you at the picnic!


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Emerald Green and Dodger Blue!

Fellow Emeralds,

It's Dodger Night for the Los Angeles Police Emerald Society! Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Dodgers arrival in the City of Angels from Brooklyn, New York, USA we have 50 FREE tickets for our members to see the LA Dodgers play the Philadelphia Phillies! Thats right, it's the Hoagies versus the Dodger Dogs, the City of Brotherly Love versus the City of Angels! Both teams are vying for first place in their respective divsions so it should be an exciting matchup!

Tickets will be reserved on a first come first serve basis...Parking will be available for members at the Academy where we will meet at 1800 Hrs, Wednesday, August 13th, for a 1910 Hrs game start time! We will meet at the Academy Archway/Security Post and proceed over as a group! To reserve a ticket please respond to your email message or call 213 253-5966 with a ticket order!

So whether you bleed Dodger Blue or are a Philly fan, come on out to the ball game and dont forget to wear your Emerald Green!

Steve S

Monday, July 28, 2008

An Evening with James Ellroy

James Ellroy, auther of "L.A. Confidential," will be at the Los Angeles Police Academy (Elysian Park) on Wednesday, August 6th, at 1900 Hours.

This is a free event. Which means feel free to drop a few bucks into the food and beer kitty.

All are welcome as always.

Just click on the flyer and print some copies to post and some to pass out.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


A fitting memorial to our good friend“Red”Williams” will take place on Saturday, July 19,2008 at:

FULLERTON ELKS LODGE, 1400 Elks View Lane , Fullerton ,
(North of Brea Blvd. , and East of Harbor Blvd. )

Pat , Merle’s dear wife, andJaina, Merle’s daughter, are inviting family and close friends (as in all of us), to attend this light buffet from:

1:00PM to 4:00PM

It will be necessary to have a head count; so please RSVP to the Williams family or to Joe O’Day, NO LATER THAN July 15.

Joe O’Day can be notified at (714) 493 9297 and at email:; or the Williams family can be notified at ,or by calling : (714) 308 5697 or cell phone: (714) 3085697.

The Williams Clan have requested bagpipes, preferably from our own Emerald Society, much beloved by our own Harley Santa. We’ll not see his likes again.

CEAD MILE FAILTE (one hundred thousand welcomes)

Bill Donoghue

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

July Meeting Reminder and Announcements

Brother and Sister Emeralds,

I hope that this message finds you all well and that you all had a wonderful Independence Day Holiday celebrating the birth of our great nation with your family and friends.

Usually, my Brothers and Sisters, I have positive news of upcoming events, guest speakers and the like to present to you. Unfortunately I have some news which I present with a heavy heart. In recent days, I learned from an email sent by Brother Bill Donoghue that our friend and Fellow Brother Merle "Red" Williams passed away while on vacation in Wyoming. Many of you will remember "Red" as Santa Claus, a character he loved to play for the children at Ancient Order of Hibernian events and at the Ronald McDonald House for the Emerald Society. Brother "Red" truly exemplified love, loyalty and friendship and had a great giving heart! "Red" will be greatly missed and will be honored at our July meeting.

Our Emerald Society has sent a condolence card and a message of condolences and support to the family of "Red" Williams. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Merle "Red" Williams.

Information regarding memorial services may be forthcoming and will be announced when received.

This next announcement I knew I would eventually, reluctantly have to make but I did not know when it would come. Today the time has come to make this announcement and I pass it along to our members with sadness as to their leaving but with congratulatory happiness on the next phase of their lives. Steve Kirby, longtime President, Pipe Major and current Treasurer has announced that July will be his final farewell meeting at the Emerald Society as he and Sister Judy Kirby are moving to Iowa in the very near future. On behalf of the entire Los Angeles Police Emerald Society I would like to thank Steve and Judy for all that they have done for the Society and the members over the years. Words can not adequately describe our gratitude but I will try to express them at our July meeting tommorow July 9th. Steve and Judy will be honored at this meeting and this will be a chance for our members to say our fond farewells.

I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow at the meeting.

Brother Steve S

Friday, June 20, 2008

Irish Fair

Hello Emeralds!

Just some info for the Irish Fair this weekend! Yes, it is THIS weekend! That was the the info...The location is 8800 Irvine Center Drive at Irvine Meadows. Exit Irvine Center off of the 405 Freeway. If you take the 5 Fwy use the 55 Fwy South to the 405. If you stay on the 5 to the 405(El Toro "Y") you will go too far south. When you exit the 405 at Irvine Center follow the signs to the Irish Fair. It is not far off the freeway. There will be a will call at the entrance with all of the volunteer names on a list for tickets. Pipe Major Scott Walton or I will be at the parking entrance at 1000 Hrs where you will receive your parking pass. NO ONE should be paying out of pocket for parking or entrance tickets! If you arrive later call 213 709-3254 or 909 262-6503 and someone, probably me, will come out to you with a parking pass! This message will be followed by a phone call from me to confirm all information!

There will be great entertainment at the Fair and I am looking forward to our return to the Irish Fair in County Orange!

Steve Saletros

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Emerald Society Movie Night

Brother and Sister Emeralds,

On Friday June 27th we, the Los Angeles Police Emerald Society, will be gathering at the Laemmle Theater Beverly Hills to see the Los Angeles premiere of the Irish movie, "Red Roses and Petrol" starring Malcolm McDowell and former Miss Ireland Olivia Tracey. Olivia Tracey was our guest speaker at our June meeting and her beauty, charm, humor,wit and stories were unsurpassed and most entertaining! She was a delight and we thank her for the very special guest she was!

The start time of the movie has not been announced yet but I am thinking it will be around 7 PM...For those of you who have never been to this theater, there is parking just around the corner on Doheny St for $3.00. This is a relatively small and intimate theater that shows many indpendent films and they often have film festivals there!

Your attending Board members will be wearing their kilts and all Society members are encouraged to wear Emerald Society shirts or jackets.

I anticipate that this will be a wonderful night at the cinema and I encourage you to bring your family and friends! If you have any questions at all please contact me and I hope to see you at the movies!

Brother Steve

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Irish Fair

Emerald Brothers and Sisters,

The Irish Fair is to take place on Saturday and Sunday June 20/21 at Irvine Fairgrounds! Our Los Angeles Police Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Band will be there proudly representing our Society! We are also going to have a booth at the Irish Fair for which we will need some volunteers. At the general meeting last night, we received commitments from 8 members to volunteer to work the booth. Ideally, we would like to have a few more volunteers! If you are able to, and considering attending the Irish Fair, please consider volunteering at the Booth. Volunteers will receive a free parking pass and admission for a commitment of a minimum of 4 hours at the Booth. Of course, you can stay and volunteer at the Booth longer, as it is always a fun place to be with your fellow Emeralds, and interact with the Irish Fair attendees. The Irish Fair opens at 10AM and closes at 7PM. Time assignments will be coordinated by yours truly so that the system is fair and allows everyone time to have fun at the Fair! It is time for the Los Angeles Police Emerald Society to return to the Irish Fair and be seen and heard and the welcome mat has been extended to, let's take this opportunity to shine Emerald Green! Those who decide to volunteer please email and /or call me to confirm times and details and I will be calling you to confirm. Thanks in advance! You guys are the Best!

Brother Steve S

Friday, June 6, 2008

Special Guest for Our June 11th Meeting

Yes Emeralds, I have wonderful news! Olivia Tracy, former Miss Ireland, Miss Universe runner up, super model, actress and author will be our special guest at our June 11th meeting!. Olivia is currently starring in "Red Roses and Petrol" and is breath takingly beautiful and charming. This should be a very delightful meeting and I look forward to seeing you there!

All the Best,

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Red Roses and Petrol

Fellow Emeralds,

In keeping with our ongoing tradition of being good partners in the Irish/Irish American cultural community, our Los Angeles Police Emerald Society is supporting the Irish film "Red Roses and Petrol" which is coming to Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Boston! Please pass on the below announcement of the opening of this Irish film to any Irish heritage affiliated organizations to which you may also belong!

Stay tuned for an announcement of a very special guest who will be featured at our June 11th meeting! You wont want to miss this one! Oh yes, and don't forget to check the supporters section on the "Red Roses and Petrol" website!

All the Best to All My Emerald Brothers and Sisters,
Steve Saletros

Monday, June 2, 2008

St. Brigid's Church is Saved!!!

Greetings My Emerald Brothers and Sisters,

Many months ago Brother Emerald Joe Flood (thank you Joe!) brought to our attention the plight of St Brigid's Church, known as the Famine Church of the Lower East Side, in New York City.

St. Brigid's was built by Irish immigrant labor in 1848 and is a church that has great significance for its history, architecture and service to the surrounding community for so many years. The Catholic Archdiocese, sighting structural weaknesses of the Church, designated St. Brigid's for demolition with the eventual sale of the property to follow.

As a response to the announcement of the impending demolition of St. Brigid's Church, the "Committee to Save St. Brigid's" was formed with the intent of preserving St. Brigid's Church. During a Christmas visit back to New York City I went to visit the shuttered church and met with Committee member Carolyn Ratcliffe. She told me of the situation and the struggle that was taking place as we stood just across the street from the majestic church. The distinctively beautiful church overlooks Thompson Square Park and seems to stand as a beacon of faith over the park and the entire neighborhood. The prospect of the historic church no longer being there was distressing. Thoughts of the Irish laborers who built the Church, the multitude of the faithful who had worshiped, prayed and celebrated meaningful spiritual events in their lives over so many years filled my head. The loss of St. Brigid's would be a tragedy that could not be reversed once the Church was demolished as it was scheduled to be. We had to try to help save St Brigid's! In our own way, whatever we could do, we had to try and preserve our heritage wherever it might be and in whatever form.

Our Emerald Society, after a vigorous discussion at a general meeting, unanimously voted to send a donation to the "Committee to Save St. Brigid's"! At that meeting I cannot tell you how proud I was to see our members, Catholic, Protestant and Jewish all come together to draw a line in the sand and stand together! We would not let a House of Worship, an Irish historical Church, be demolished without a fight! And we joined that fight from 3000 miles away! We demonstrated that we were good partners and kept the faith with our Irish heritage no matter what the distance, difficulties, or odds. And make no mistake about it we knew that the odds of winning this fight were overwhelmingly against us. But sometimes, you just have to make the effort because it is the right thing to do, and we did! The "Committee to Save St. Brigid's"raised financial and political support in a demonstration of tremendous effort on behalf of all who participated! The "Committee to Save St. Brigid's" delayed the demolition through the courts for about three years until answer to the prayers of many... a miracle occurred!

An anonymous donor donated 20 million dollars to St Brigid's which will save St. Brigid's Church!!! Ten million will be allocated for restoration of the Church building, with an additional eight million for St. Brigid's School and two million as an endowment for the spiritual needs of the parishioners. This is truly a miracle and we are deeply grateful to the benefactor who has made the preservation of St. Brigid's Church a reality! His generosity will preserve our heritage and St. Brigid's Church for years to come! We also express deep gratitude for the tireless efforts of the "Committee to Save St. Brigid's" and all those who struggled together!

It is my sincerest hope that one day you will be able to visit St. Brigid's Church, the Famine Church, and sit in the park in the shadow of the Church. Know that you were part of a historic effort to save a historic Church and preserve our Irish heritage!

Together as One,
Steve Saletros
Los Angeles Police Emerald Society

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Showtime at Costa Mesa for LAPES

Fellow Emeralds,

The Costa Mesa Highland Games is this weekend 5/24 and 5/25...Our Los Angeles Police Emerald Society Pipes and Drums will be there playing for the crowds representing us proudly. As importantly, our stalwart Emerald Society Volunteer Beer Brigade will be there supporting this historic Scottish/Celtic/Irish event and serving up brews for the benefit of our Society.

The call time for the volunteers on both days is 0830 Hrs...8:30 AM for training at the Costa Mesa Fairgrounds.

VP JJ Leonard is working with Emerald Brother Ron Cody to make this Emerald Society Booth a go. I hope that all of you will be able to attend this event with family and friends for a fun time! If you have any questions please call JJ at 818 992-1414. Thanks again to JJ,Ron Cody and all the volunteers! All the Best to All of You!

Steve Saletros

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Remember National Police Memorial Day

Brother and Sister Emeralds,

Reporting form Washngton, D.C., your Los Angeles Police Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Band participated in the National Emerald Societies Pipes and Drums March and National Police Memorial Ceremony in a way that makes us all proud. I want to thank all our members that participated in this most meaningful event and I want them to know that their efforts and sacrifices they made to be present in Washington, DC during National Police Week is noticed and appreciated in so many ways by so many people. For those of you who could not be with us this year , we know that you are with us in spirit and we carry your spirit with us, for when one Emerald is present we are ALL present.

I ask that today,on May 15th, National Police Officers Memorial Day, we all reflect on the sacrifices that our brother and sister officers and their families make on a daily basis. I ask that we observe, respect and honor the ultimate sacrifices that our fallen brothers and sisters have made and that we remember them and their survivors in our prayers, words, deeds and actions, not only today, but always. Never Forget the Fallen and Always Remember the Survivors!

Stephen Saletros
Los Angeles Police Emerald Society

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Call for Volunteers

Thanks to the efforts of fellow Emerald Brother Ron Cody and with the concurrence of Pipe Major Scott Walton and the entire Emerald Society Board, the Los Angeles Police Emerald Society will be at the Scottish Festival at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa on May 24th and 25th.

Our Los Angeles Police Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Band will be at the Festival to participate and play. There will be many Pipe and Drum Bands there at the festival but it is historic that we , as an Irish and Police Band, will be there! This is part of the cross promotion within the Celtic community that we hope will strengthen all the participating parties ,showing a united Celtic front and cultural community.

In addition to having our Pipe and Drum Band play at the festival, we have arranged to have a beer booth at the festival. Our Emerald Society will receive a portion of the sales that we earn at the beer booth. We need volunteers to commit to tending the beer booth. I expect that this will be a really fun assignment at a really fun place filled with fun people and events....and the funds we earn at this event can be used for the many worthwhile causes we are involved in whether it be scholarship, National Police Memorial, preservation of our culture, or the other myriad of good and cultural works we are involved in all year long.

So we need volunteers! The Band will be busy playing and attracting the crowd...what we need are beer servers to sell to the thirsty crowd ! The fact that we are an Irish police group should make us unique and we will appeal to the family crowd for support on those points., and any others you can think of.

For those who volunteer at the booth, free training will be provided by California State Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) at the Orange County Fair Grounds on May 3rd. We can also have an ABC agent come to us to provide training at the Academy 1 hour prior to our next meeting on May 7...At the completion of the training you will receive a certificate which will allow you to serve alcohol, good for 3 this might benefit you or other organizations that you might serve. Its a win win win situation so please consider volunteering, bring a friend, and get ready to do a good thing while having a good time...Please contact me vial email or phone to sign up for a volunteer list. More details to follow! Thanks and all the best to my Emerald Brothers and Sisters!

Stephen Saletros

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What a Month!

Fellow Emeralds,

WOW , what a month March has been! I want to thank all of you who showed our true IRISH SPIRIT throughout the month of March in celebration of St. Patrick's Day and our heritage.

Whether it was at our annual St. Patrick's Day Party, the Hermosa Beach St. Patrick's Day Parade and Block Party, or the Los Angeles St. Patrick's Day Parade and post parade gatherings at McCormick and Schmick's and Tam O' Shanter, we had a fantastic showing of our members, family and friends in unprecedented numbers and spirit!!!

Special thanks to Pipe Major Scott Walton and our Emerald Society Pipes and Drums that played outstandingly at every venue! I heard many compliments both as to the increasing size of our Band(eleven pipers) and the wonderful sound! Our Pipes and Drums led the way and their efforts are much appreciated!

I'd like to thank the following for showing outstanding support for the Los Angeles Police Emerald Society in our celebrations of St Patrick's Day and our Irish heritage:

Tom LaBonge, City Council District 4 Councilman and office, especially Young-Gi Kim.

Ed Reyes, City Council District 1 Councilman and office, especially Sophia.

Spring Street Barbeque (Dan Patterson)McCormick and Schmick's (Elaine Doran)

Casey's Irish Restaurant

Tam O' Shanter (Phil Bowater,Wayne Wood, and Melissa)

Roland Communications ( Annet Peairs)

Irish Import Shop (Ann Colburn)* Members receive a 10% discount with Emerald Society card.

Congratulations to two of our members who retired this month after very long and distinguished careers in the LAPD..our very own Gary Brennan and JJ Leonard!Our Pipes and Drums showed up in force at both retirements and it was an honor to be there and play for two of our finest members!!


Our special guest speaker for the April meeting (April 2nd) is confirmed. The harp is the national symbol of Ireland and a beautiful instrument it is. Our guest, Slyvia Woods, is a renowned harpist, teacher, composer and arranger from California who has gained an international reputation as one of the foremost folk harp players in the world. In 1980 she won the prestigious All-Ireland Harp Championship in Buncrana, County Donegal, Ireland. Today she runs the Sylvia Woods Harp Center (a harp retail store, mail order catalog, and website) as well as a publishing company and a recording label.

Sylvia began studying the pedal harp while attending the University of Redlands in Southern California. After graduation, she became interested in folk harps such as the Irish and Welsh harps, and traveled on her own to France (Brittany) and Ireland to research the folk harp scenes in those countries. She now concentrates on the folk harp, and has been a major leader in the world-wide renaissance of this beautiful instrument.

For more info check the website .

We look forward to seeing the presentation and performance of the harp, the national symbol of Ireland, by Sylvia Woods at our April meeting.

That's all for now Emeralds and I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.

Stephen Saletros, President, Los Angeles Police Emerald Society.

PS Does anyone have a copy of the book Harpo Speaks?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

St. Patrick's Day Party and Parades

We had a GREAT time at our annual St. Patrick's Day Party at Maggies Restaurant with record attendance this year. This is certainly the best St. Patrick's Day Party in Southern California and I'd like to thank all who attended for making it such a wonderful time. I would especially like to thank our members who volunteered at the front table...including VP JJ Leonard and his wife Julianne, Jan Lewinson, Pat Devine, Diane McCarthy, Jenn Macnamara, George and Barbara Maycott, Elizabeth Donovan and Sgt at Arms Gil Sawyer! And thanks to Gil Sawyer who handcrafted a beautiful dirk with the Emerald Society challenge coin in the handle. The dirk was raffled off and over 600.00 was raised for the Society as a result! Thanks again Gil! I also want to thank Lisa Golden and Kim Braden for their handling and sales of the wares..much appreciated! And, of course, thankyou to the Los Angeles Police Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Band under Pipe Major Scott Walton for an outstanding performance, Sligo Rags for the excellent music, and the Irish stepdancers who kicked up a storm!

Now for the upcoming events: March 15 ( Saturday) HERMOSA BEACH PARADE...Plan on being in the staging area (Pier Avenue/Valley Drive, Thomas Guide Page 762,H2) around 10:00 AM becuase the parade starts promptly at 11:00 AM. There is NO REMOTE PARKING THIS YEAR at Mira Costa High School with shuttles so you might want to get down to the staging area early and find street parking, perhaps 9:00, and then have breakfast in the area. The uniform for those marching will be: your department"s Class "A" uniform, or dark green Soicety polo shirt, black pants(or Society's kilt) and black shoes. This is a fun parade with many thousands of people lining the streets and cheering as the Society comes into sight. It is also a family-type parade, and family members are encouraged to march. We will finish the parade with a block party at Bill Hallet's house, a short walk from where the parade ends. There will be food and drink and Pipes and Drums and a great time will be had by all!

March 17(Monday) Downtown St Patrick's Day Parade .... Members will meet at the Los Angeles Police Academy at Elysian Park at 10:00 AM...A shuttle bus , graciously provided by LA City Council District 1, will shuttle members to the beginning point of the parade which is at Olvera Street. The parade will begin at 11:30AM and we will march to Pershing Square( 5th Street bordered by Olive St and Hill St. across from the Biltmore Hotel). At the end of the parade, there is a free concert at Pershing Square featuring the popular music group the "Young Dubliners".

When the parade concludes, we will march into Pershing Square and play for a brief time. After that our Society will march over to the restaurant McCormick and Schmicks about a block and a half away where lunch and a surprise gift will be provided for all our members. This part of our day is flexible but the band will be playing at McCormick and Schmicks sometime during lunchtime and then we will be picked up at Pershing Square by our bus. Upon return to the Academy, members are invited to go to Tam O'Shanters restaurant (Los Feliz) where the Band will play and a meal will be provided for all our members who attend thanks to the efforts of Phil Bowater.

Last year we had a wonderful level of participation and a fantastic time and I am hoping that this year will be the same! This is the time to proudly march and proclaim our heritage to the world!So come on down and march! March for our heritage! March for our ancestors! March for St. Patrick! GO IRISH!!!

If you have any questions, issues or concerns do not hesitate to contact me and I hope to see you at the parades!

Steve Saletros

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

President's Message

Greetings Fellow Emeralds!I hope that this message finds you all well and as excited as I am about celebrating our heritage during the month of March. We have many events planned for the celebration of St Patrick's Day and hopefully you have learned of them through our newsletter ,"The Garda",and our meetings.

Our March meeting on 3/5 Wednesday, will feature our special guest speaker, Finbar Hill, Hon. Consul of Ireland and Chief of Protocol of the Los Angeles Consular Corps. It is our honor and an emerging tradition to have Finbar Hill speak at our March meeting as he did last year. Finbar speaks of the current situation in Ireland with great knowledge and eloquence , and last year entertained a lively question and answer session. We welcome him and you to hear his presentation!

Many of you saw the news coverage of the funeral of the first LAPD Swat officer to be killed in the line of duty, Officer Randal Simmons. The entire Emerald Society extends its condolences to the family and friends of Randy Simmons and flowers and a card were sent to express our sympathy.

At the request of the Simmons family our Los Angeles Police Emerald Society Pipes and Drum Band, under the leadership of Pipe Major/LAPD Detective Scott Walton, performed "Amazing Grace" at the cemetery during the burial of Officer Simmons. It was an honor to be allowed to participate in the services for Officer Simmons and our Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Band did us proud. Selected video of the extensive news coverage will be shown at our 3/5 meeting.

Our annual St Patrick's Day Party at Maggies restaurant in Santa Fe Springs, featuring bagpipers, Irish dancers, the band Sligo Rags, door prizes and all the corned beef and cabbage you can eat for 25.00 is this Saturday 3/8. Ticket sales are at a record level but we can still squeeze you in, so contact the LAPES office at 213 747-4743 for last minute ticket purchases. Tickets are not sold at the door.

Volunteers...Volunteers are still need to work the door at Maggies so thank you to those who have stepped up to volunteer and if you haven't , please consider it!

That's all for now! I look forward to seeing you at the meeting, party and upcoming events! There will be more details and HOT NEWS to follow!


Steve Saletros

Monday, February 18, 2008

An Irish Kid with a Jewish Name

By Tuvia Bolton
(portait "The Rebbe" by Sarah Kranz)

I heard this story from the Lubavitcher Rebbe's secretary, Rabbi Laibel Groner.

A woman from the Chabad-Lubavitch Community in Brooklyn was pulled over by a N.Y.C. traffic cop for some traffic violation. Standing outside her open car window and watching her search for her license and registration papers, the police officer caught sight of a picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbe in her open purse.

"Excuse me, maam," he asked, "are you one of the followers of this Rabbi?"

"Yes," she replied.

"Well, in that case I'm not giving you a ticket." He closed his ticket book and continued, "Do you know why? Because this Rabbi," he pointed to the picture she was now holding in her hand, "Did a very big miracle for me."

"Well," said the grateful woman, "since you aren't giving me the ticket, I have time to hear the story."

The policeman smiled and said, "It's my favorite story, but I haven't told it to many Jewish people, in fact I think that you are the first." The cars were whizzing by behind him and he had to raise his voice slightly. "The story goes like this: I used to be in the police escort that once a week escorted the Rabbi to the Montefiore Cemetery (where the Rebbe's father-in-law and predecessor, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, is interred). I got to know some of the young men who accompanied the Rebbe, and I learned a lot of things. They are very friendly people, which you probably already know, and we talked a lot while the Rabbi was inside praying.

"Well, one day I saw that all the fellows there were really talking excitedly to each other so I asked them what happened. So they told me that the Rabbi does a lot of miracles for people, but today he did a miracle that was really something. I didn't even ask what was the miracle that they were talking about, I just asked them if the Rabbi helps non-Jews also.

"'Sure,' they said, 'The Rebbe helps anyone who asks. Why? Do you need something?' So I told him, this young fellow, that me and my wife had been married nine years with no children, and a week ago the doctors told us that we had no chance. We had spent a lot of money on treatments, seen all sorts of big professors, we were running around like crazy for the last six or seven years, and now they told us that they tried everything and there is no chance. You can't imagine how broken we were. My wife cried all the time and I started crying myself.

"So this young man tells me, 'Listen, the next time that you escort the Rebbe to the cemetery stand near the door of his car and when he gets out ask him for a blessing.' So that is just what I did. The next time I was in the escort I stood by his door and when he got out I said to him:

'Excuse me, Rabbi, do you only bless Jewish people or non-Jews too?'

"So the Rabbi looked at me like a good friend, it was really amazing, and said that he tries to help anyone he can. So I told him what the doctors said, and he said I should write down on a piece of paper my name and my father's name together with my wife's and her father's names and that he would pray for us. So I did it, my hands were shaking so much I almost couldn't write, but I did it and you know what? My wife became pregnant and nine months later she gave birth to a baby boy! The doctors went crazy, they couldn't figure it out, and when I told them that it was all the Rabbi's blessing they just scratched their heads and -- Wow! I felt like the champion of the world!

"But here comes the good part. Do you know what we called him? What name we gave our baby boy? Just guess! We called him Mendel after the Rabbi. At first my wife didn't like the name because its not an American name, but I said, No! We're calling him Mendel! Each time we say his name we'll remember that if it weren't for the Rabbi this boy would not be here.

"But when our parents heard the name they really objected. They said, 'With a name like that, all the kids will think he's a Jew or something and they will call him names and be cruel to him. Why make the kid suffer for no reason?' 'That's just what I want,' I said to them. 'When he comes home and says that the other kids called him names and beat him up because he has a Jewish name, I'll tell him that I want him to learn from those other kids how not to behave. They hate the Jews for no reason, but you should love the Jews, you should help the Jews. You just tell them that without that Jewish Rabbi called Mendel you wouldn't be here at all, and then maybe they'll start thinking differently too!'