It was the Friday of Labor Day weekend. We were living just outside a resort town in north-central Ontario. My father was working in Toronto and only came home on weekends. I was allowed to go out to the roadside to meet his bus. The those days, used to pile the sand for the winter in places along the road. We lived long ways off the main road in a small subdivision.

I was playing near the top of the sand pile when a gray car pulled up and drove behind the sand. A man got out, looked around, went to his trunk, pulled a gun out and shot himself. I hurried down the sand pile and ran home. There were a group of neighbors standing around talking. I told them what I saw and they didn't believe me. I ran back to the sand pile to get some proof, but by the time I got there the police were there, so I went back home via a shortcut. Upon reaching my house Mom made me go up to my room, which I did protesting all the way. A short time later, Dad came up with a cop. The cop told me I hadn't seen anything.

I was always taught to respect my elders, teachers, pastors, police and to never tell a lie. Here was someone I was to respect, telling me to lie. I said "No. I saw what I saw [not in those words]" MY answer was quickly met by a quick backhand that sent me flying across the room. Dad then steps in between us and told the cop he would take care of it. The cop then left. Dad tried to tell me that sometimes grown-ups lie, to protect others. I wasn't buying it, so he said "if you don't tell anyone what you saw, that is not telling a lie. Many years later I found out the man I saw shoot himself was a banker. He was embezzling money from the bank and was about to be exposed. In those days, things like embezzling were covered up, to keep the customers faith in the bank. As a child, I couldn't understand why I was punished for telling the truth. It took me many years to understand that the cop was acting out of fear, because he knew I was right and he was wrong, and likely a guilty conscience. The officer lived in the same complex we did and the next day we were moved into town. Dad told me it was because there was no kindergarten out there, but even as a child, I realized that we had never talked about it and Mom had not been looking for a house. Within fifteen hours we had not only had a new house but the movers were packing us up and we were on our way.