After less than a year of romance, we were married on a Thursday night at my kitchen table the same night that Benny moved out of Newark and into my house in Denville. My brother David and my son Dave were our witnesses, they thought we were nuts but I know both of them were happy to have Benny as part of our family. He placed a Dunhill cigar band on my finger as his symbol of love and commitment. Benny was moving out of his comfort zone to a whole new territory, a house on a lake, green grass, tall evergreens, a neighborhood raccoon, squawking geese flying over head in the early morning, a very quite dead end street and moths covering the front door at night which all scared the pants off him. He truly missed the comfort of car alarms going off all night, fire engines screaming through the street, an occasional gunshot, cockroaches on the elevator door of his building, no sunlight in his studio apartment and the constant threat of violence. I was sure he would love Denville and never want to return to Newark. Well I was wrong, he went to Newark everyday to check on things.
Little did I know what I was in for. Not only did I become his wife, I became his new partner in the pursuit of criminals. Three nights after we were unconventionally wed, I was on my first unplanned criminal chase in Newark. It was the night before Halloween, “mischief night”, we both witnessed a group of young teens knock a guy off his bicycle, beat him and run away with his bike. OMG, there we go, Benny turns the car around in the middle of Bloomfield Ave. in Newark and turns onto Parker St. and drives like a bat out of hell to catch them, the street was narrow and lined with cars on both sides so he couldn’t drive fast enough, so he said to me, take the wheel I’m going to chase them on foot. Holy crap, I felt like a cowboy with a lasso ready to lasso up the bad guys only I’m driving. Wow, the adrenaline rush was exhilarating. I must be as crazy Benny. Whew, in seconds he caught the guy with the bike by the shirt, he grabbed the bike and the crooks got away fast as the speed of light. We went back to the scene of the robbery to return the bike to guy who was noticeably hurt and now being attended by others with an ambulance on the way.
Another night in Newark, we just left visiting his Aunt Millie in the Forest Hills section and witness an attempted car jacking. Benny jumped out of the car, held in gun over the top of the car and yelled, “POLICE”…They ran as fast as they could and I found myself intoxicated with the excitement. I was getting a little worried about my shear delight in these pursuits.
We still went to Branch Brook park for our runs because it was a nice 2 mile run without much interference until the day when I finally caught up with Benny handcuffing a guy to a tree. He had witnessed him stealing a radio out of a parked car. Not wanting to interrupt his run, he left him handcuffed until he completed his run, then called the cops to come and get him.
A few months later, we were driving home when I saw my old contractor who owed me $200 for over 6 months, he was not returning my calls to repay the deposit I gave him to replace a window. Well we saw him tooting along on Diamond Springs Rd., I pointed him out to Benny then he passed him furiously and abruptly pull sideways in front of him. I don’t know what he said to the guy but he was at my front door the next day with the $200 bucks.
I must say, I am enjoying the power that comes with this role as a cop’s wife and pursuer of the bad guys. I probably would have liked being a cop myself. A least I get to carry his handcuffs in my handbag when we get dressed up. I just have to be sure I am quick to react when the situation calls for the cuffs.