When I had to change the name of this publication (anyone who got it under the original title, This Just In, is someone I consider an Old Timer among readers: I dropped it in April 1995!), I wracked my brain for a new title. But I’m not sure I’ve ever told the story about where “This is True” originally came into my life.
When I was a teen, I was a police cadet in Menlo Park, Calif. My favorite cop at the department was Officer Armand Lareau, who didn’t seem to mind helping to teach a bunch of weird kids about police work. “This is True” was his catchphrase.
Need an example? Pimply-faced cadet: “That guy looks out of place there.” Armand (as he had us call him): “This is True. Get a backup unit headed this way.”
Bringing It Back
When I was searching for a new title, I rejected dozens of ideas until his catchphrase came to mind. I decided it would work, and I’ve built a tiny little empire on it.
Why tell the story now?
When cadets did ride-alongs with Armand, he let us work the radio. His police radio call: 857. This week marks the 857th issue of this publication, which reminded me of Armand and the round-about place “my” catchy title came from.
I had lost track of Armand over the years, so I was never been able to tell him this story. Until I mentioned this story in the Premium edition, that is! Within an hour of publication, a reader sent me Armand’s address, phone number, and email address — and several others sent some or all of that information over the next several days. I’ve dropped Armand a line.
Thanks, Armand: my experience as a cadet helped shape who I am today. Your influence lives on in this publication in a number of ways. And This, as they say, is True!
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Alas, but I never heard back from Armand. A follow-up message bounced, so I don’t know if he got the first one or not. -rc