I was moving to Chicago’s Hyde Park near the University of Chicago campus, driving a small rental truck with our apartment’s furnishings. The direct route from the Stevenson Expressway to Woodlawn Avenue was Garfield Boulevard, and I had been driving on that boulevard for about three blocks when I saw the flashing lights of a police car behind me. I pulled over to the curb right away.
“Where are you going?” the officer asked.
“Woodlawn Avenue south of 57th on the UC campus,” I answered, with trepidation. What I did not need at this time was a traffic ticket that I had no money to pay. “Did I do something wrong, officer?”
“It’s illegal to drive a truck on a Chicago boulevard,” he answered. “May I see your license?” As I pulled my license out of my pocket, he asked me, “Are you a student or a teacher?”
“I’m a student in seminary and a pastor,” I answered, as I showed him my driver’s license.”
“Excuse me, Father,” he answered as he crossed himself. “If you’ll just follow me, I’ll show you how to get there.” He handed my license back to me, walked back to his car, turned off the lights, and pulled in front of me, waiting for me to drive the truck into the traffic lane and follow. At the next corner we took a right turn, and then a left, following a street that ran parallel to Garfield until we reached the Midway. He waved me forward, and I pulled up beside him. He yelled, “God bless you in your studies, and remember not to drive your truck on a boulevard.”
“Thank you,” I yelled back, but I did not add, “God bless you, too, my son,” although I wanted to.