Everybody likes to talk about the good old days; and why not if the subject brings pleasant memories. Even young people just recently out of school like to talk about their great days in school. In the good old days children could not stay out late at night on the streets and that does not mean that there was a curfew. Also in the good old days of San Pedro, there was only one police officer in San Pedro and there was almost perfect law and order.
What time do children stay out on the street in today's very permissive society? I don't know because I do not stay out at one or two in the morning, so you tell me. But in our good old days children were expected to be home by 7p.m. What you are about to read now will give you ample reasons to understand why this was so.
First and foremost, if a child arrived home too late or after 7p.m., he was sure to receive a good lashing and this one was from dad with a leather belt or the hammock rope. Sometimes, or I may say many times, when a child got home late, the door would be locked and the parents threatened that he/she would have to sleep outside. This sent the child into tantrums, crying and begging for forgiveness. After a long time and the shedding of many pints of tears, dad would open the door and scolded like you had never heard him before.
By now you must be thinking that children never got home late. But this is not all! In our good old days, the police officer would ring the bell at 8p.m. seven days a week, and if he caught a child on the streets, he was entitled to whip the child or take him home for the father to impose his punishment. Now you know why children were very well disciplined in the GOOD OLD DAYS of San Pedro.
One Police Officer on Patrol
In our good old days there was only one police officer in San Pedro. How many do we have today and the job still does not get done properly!? Judging from the violence we see today at homes, schools, and the streets, we seem to need another fifty of them. In our old days there was need of only one policeman because the people were so very peaceful and there was nothing much for the officer to do.
Consequently the policeman also served as customs officer, immigration, postman, registrar of births and deaths, fisheries officer and even school warden. This single police officer, in the GOOD OLD DAYS of San Pedro patrolled the streets and picked up delinquent students and took them to school or to their homes. And listen to this, the officer still had time to go fishing with his assigned motor boat. I know because as a young man, I used go fishing with P. C. Hope, P. C. Alpuche, P. C. Smith, and P. C. Fuller. These friendly police officers used their boats to patrol our waters, for health emergencies, and to go fishing and making friends. Such was life in the peaceful village of San Pedro in our GOOD OLD DAYS. No wonder I’m proud of my good old days because they also helped make me who I am today.
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