One of the traffic court clerks I work with, Fred, came in today to have lunch with us.
Fred was recently forced into early retirement by a medical condition that required he re-test for his license. They did not give it to him. As he has a long commute to work, he had to retire. His neighbors and aquaintances told him to just keep going, that 'no one would know.'
"I'll know," he said, "I am not a hypocrite."
Born in upstate New York, Fred's a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam.
When he got back from Vietnam, Fred moved to Hollywood, where he was on the set of a new science fiction show with a buddy who was an aspiring actor. The buddy didn't make the grade, but the young stern-faced man with him was asked to don a red shirt and stand in the background. That's right, Fred served as a red-shirt on Star Trek, dying several times in service to The Federation.
Fred came north, got married, and started working as a clerk of the courts, first for the Public Defender, then in infractions. I met him in traffic court, and grew to respect his wit and wisdom.
Fred's a gentleman and fun sort, I wish him a happy and lengthy retirement.
Take 'em for at least as long as they took you, Fred. And have fun doing it!