ParkTales

 

Cop says Frances Sedgwick not, repeat not,

a suspect in Parkdale Scotia Bank robbery

By Frances Sedgwick
True North Perspective
Frances Sedgwick's keen eye and ear for the human condition reveals the heart and soul of Parkdale in southwest Toronto, one of the country's most turbulent urban areas where the best traditions of human kindness prevail against powerful forces that would grind them down. True North Perspective proudly presents a column by writer Frances Sedgwick. Her critical observation combined with a tender sense of humour will provide you with something to think about ... and something to talk about.

Today I needed to get "out and about" so I went to Queen Street to see what was happening.
 
At the corner of Queen St West and Lansdowne Ave there is a Bank of Nova Scotia.
 
I noticed a yellow tape around the entrance.  As I was waiting to cross the street I said to the lady beside me, "wonder what this is about".
 
She replied I am just going there and will find out. I walked behind her as she approached the police officer standing in front of the bank taking notes.
 
She turned to me and said someone robbed the bank. I kept walking and as I approached the officer I said "Someone robbed the bank?" He replied "You're not a suspect."
 
I laughed and said well the banks are always robbing us! To my surprise he laughed also. Glad to see he had a sense of humour.  I went on to say, "we put our life savings in the bank and all we can get is just over 1% on our savings while the banks are making record profits and the CEO's millions.
 
I saw the officer again as I was coming back from the library. This time he was in front of another financial institution making more notes. He smiled and said I talked to you before. I said yes and then went on to inform him Parkdale doesn't look like a community from the outside but it is a very close knit community and people help each other here.
 
I continued, "It is one of the most multi-cultural communities in the world. An example of how we can all get along."

You don't see as many shootings down here as up north I continued.
 
The officer replied yes, not as much violence either.
 
I continued along Queen Street St and decided to go to Poor John's Cafe for lunch.
 
Sitting down I mentioned there had been a robbery at the Nova Scotia Bank. They all replied "again"? That is the second time in a short while.
 
I told them my conversation with the police officer about the fact the banks are robbing us, and everyone laughed and agreed.
 
As I was eating my lunch a man about in his forties at the next table said "Have you ever robbed a bank?" I laughed and said no, have you? He said, "I was asking you."
 
He then went on to tell me a story of a childhood acquaintance who had robbed a bank several times and is still in jail and wont be out for 10 years.
 
What a story it was. Apparently this person had robbed the same bank several times without getting caught. This in spite of the fact that in his second venture, his mask fell off on his way out of the bank and he ran out of gas on the motorbike he had stolen as a getaway vehicle.
 
But his downfall was at a later date when he went back to the town to get in touch with his father and the police picked him up.
 
As I walked back home I went by the Parkdale Action and Recreation Centre. Two women were talking on the street.  One women was in a wheelchair. As I approached, the lady in the wheelchair returned my smile and said "would you like a cigarette?"  I replied no thanks, I quit a long time ago, and stopped to chat for awhile.
 
I thought to myself, what a reversal, it's usually someone asking me for a cigarette.
 
But that is my Parkdale.

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