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Mr. Keys

Posted 08-30-2019 at 11:34 AM by aliasfinn

I hadn't thought about him in years. Something in one of the forums reminded me of this guy but I didn't want to post it there because it is too long of a post plus I didn't want to be accused of hijacking the thread.

The first neighborhood we moved to when we came back to St. Louis is where I encountered him. He was an overweight cop, I don't think I ever did know what his name was, kids called him " Keys " because he had a large ring of keys hanging from his belt. There must have been 100 keys on there, I bet he had a key to every store in the neighborhood.

My first encounter with him.

We had been living in that town a few months and my brother and I ( 10 and 12 years old) were in the park playing football with our new found friends. Keys drove up and started yelling at us, told us the church was having a picnic at the park later on and he didn't want us ruining the grass. He then picked up our football and walked back to his car. When we asked for our ball, he said he was going to give it to his nephew, and then drove away.

Second encounter

I was with my friend and his younger brother at the candy store (remember how small those were?) cashing in some soda bottles we found in the creek. Keys came in and walked down the narrow aisle and my friend's little brother bumped into him trying to get around him. The cop said " outta my way, you little a-hole."
When we were outside trying to figure out where to go next, I looked over at my friend's little brother and saw him playing with a Turkish taffy. I didn't see him buy anything so he must have snatched it before he bumped into the cop.
He kept putting it in his mouth and taking it out, then stretched it into the shape of a rope and walked over to Key's car and wrapped it around his door handle. As much running as we did I'm surprised none of us became track stars.

Third encounter

When we would get bored, we would go over to the city hall on court night. This wasn't the night when people paid their fines, this was the night when people showed up to complain about them, much more entertaining. We would be the first ones there, usually my brother, me and three of our friends. Keys had a little desk in the back of the room next to the coat rack. I guess he was there to make sure none of the sheep got hostile about their fines, like Cookie Thornton did 30+ years later.

He didn't like us being there and made all of us sit on the floor in the back up against the wall. He kept getting change from his desk and going down the hall to get himself a soda. He must have drank 5 of them that night.
It was cool outside but hot and stuffy inside that building.

The first guy that came in was this little skinny black guy, he looked to be about 80. I felt sorry for him, he could hardly walk and he shook real bad. Not sure if it was because of his age or because he was nervous being in there. The first thing he did was take a watch out of his sweater pocket, it was one of those gold-plated antique pocket watches with a broken chain, and checked the time then shoved it back in his sweater. He then took his sweater off and hung it on the coat rack.
The cop was sweating like a pig as he kept drinking his soda. We were sweating bad too and began craving soda but none of us kids ever had money, especially in the fall when there were no grass cutting jobs.

I waited for Keys to go for another soda and then went to his desk to make a quick withdrawal. I didn't see any coins in his drawer but I did spot the old man's watch in there. I took it out and went over to the coat rack and stuck it back in the geezer's sweater. Just in time as I heard clump..clump..clump and keys jingling coming down the hall.

That was my last encounter with Keys. I used to always see him down at the end of our street where these hippie kids lived and assumed he was busting them for smoking pot. My neighbor told me that he wasn't busting them, he was selling them pot.
He would never arrest kids for smoking pot, he would just confiscate the weed and sell it to other kids.
The last I heard of him was when those hippie kids finally got busted by a legitimate cop and they ratted on their supplier.
It was Bye Bye Mr. Keys.

This turned out to be the longest blog I posted. Now you can see why I put it here instead of on one of the forums.
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  1. Old Comment
    Very good story, aliasfinn. Nothing wrong with that. This is just the place for stories like this.

    My brother and his girlfriend live in the St Louis area. They love it there.
    Posted 08-30-2019 at 04:31 PM by case44 case44 is offline

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