The remainder of the ten-minute ride was very quiet as we pondered our fate. I imagined myself, old and gray, walking out from between the huge iron gates of the federal prison. To our surprise, instead of the police station, they took us to Ferry Point Park, a dark and deserted place underneath the Whitestone Bridge at the spot where the Bronx and Queens connect. It was dark and late when we rolled into the parking lot. One by one, we got out of the car, and the police officer took off our handcuffs. That’s when the slapping started. A smack to the head for one, a kick in the butt for another, a punch to the chest for the third as the police officers told us they were letting us go. (This was well before any of the citizenry was hollering about police brutality!) The clincher was that we had to walk all the way home.
They gave us a good talking to about our future, and what would become of us if we didn’t straighten up and fly right. Finally, they climbed into their car and drove off. We stood like statues, absorbing the reality of our situation, and then burst out laughing, rubbing our heads and groaning over our injuries at the same time. I don’t know how I ever made it home that night with the trauma my body had endured during our big day of adventure. When we got home, we found Dad drunk, fast asleep on the couch. Thankfully, we were able to avoid a belt-lashing, and we tip-toed off to bed. All was right with the world!