My name is Fred Stopsky, I have white hair,slender built, and will be 84 in two months. Following is a conversation that I had with a policeman this afternoon in Ballwin, Missouri. I was exiting the supermarket when a police car pulled up. A cop got out and I noticed that his hand was on top of his revolver. This is the conversation that ensued:
P Did you just come from the Island Park bar?
P Were you in the Island Park bar today?
P Have you ever been in the Island Park bar?
M No, what is this all about?
P Are you insisting that you were not in the Island Park bar today?
M I never was in that bar nor can I even remember the last time I was in a bar. What is this all about?
P Let’s not get testy. I just want to find out when you left the Island Park bar?
M How can I leave someplace that I have never been to?
P Are you Ralph Hands?
M No, my name is Fred Stopsky.
P Are you claiming that you are not Ralph Hands?
M I am not this Ralph Hands,here,my name is Fred Stopsky.
P Well, you look like Ralph Hands.
M But,I am not this Ralph Hands.
P I am simply trying to find out when you left the Island Park bar?
M How can I leave some place that I never was in?
P You look exactly like Ralph Hands and I know he was in the Island Park bar an hour ago.
M But, I am Fred Stopsky,my driver license has that name.
P Well, you are the double then of Ralph Hands.
M I will be 84 in two months, I have white hair and exactly how could I do anything violent in a bar? I am a retired college teacher.
P All, I know is that you look like Ralph Hands.
He got back in his car, shook his head in disbelief and drove off.
Imagine if I was a black skinned man in his fifties or sixties. He would have handcuffed me, driven me to the police station where an interrogation would have ensued. If they found any evidence of any drug, I would be in jail.
Such is life in America. Anyway, wherever you are, Ralph Hands, thanks for giving me hope. Just imagine, I got mistaken for a man in his sixties or seventies!