The first time I laid eyes on Richard Bergess it was strictly police business.
In those days we didn't call it stealing cars, we called it joy-riding. And the joy in this ride was about to end. Just as I hit second gear rubber, a policeman was walking out of his house on 47th and Lawton in the sunset district of a 1959 San Francisco. The chase was on..I had a good head start and a 15 year olds confidence I could ditch him. I didn't. I drove for home, stopping the car on the wrong side of the street where me and 4 of my joy-riding friends piled out of the car all running in different directions.
I ran up the stairs and up some more stairs of a house built in 1903 to my Mom and Dad's bedroom where my soon to be brother in law was sleeping with my sister. "Bob, I stole your car and the cops are down stairs" was his wake up call. "Oh..Bob, I'm so sorry.
Then in a knotty-pine front room I positioned myself in a double door cabinet ready for a Houdini (well practiced) escape; down the laundry chute, out the basement, over a fence and onward to a secret underground fort.
"Is that your car"..Richard asked. Dressed in only his bottom Jammie's, Bob stretched his head around the door and looked down at the car, all 4 doors wide open and the lights still on. "Yes" was his sleepy helpless reply.
Richard then smiled and tossed him the keys and said; "kind of in a hurry to get home and to get to bed weren't you", leaving a shocked Bob wordless.
I went down the laundry chute anyway not quite ready for the wrath of my brother in law who I basically knew wouldn't say a word to my parents without getting busted himself.
As fate would have it my Father became friends with Dick 3 months later and he would become a regular and a dear and trusted friend of mine for
life. Helping me in my term report on the San Francisco Police Dept. (to be continued)