Proud mommas are proud mommas no matter how old the kids are.
Dee Johnson, a resident at Friendship Haven, called Monday just bursting with news. Her son, Scott Anderson, has recently been named Man of the Year by the Des Moines Police Department, and she could not have been more excited.
Anderson, 57, is a detective with the department, but he's been part of it all, from patrol to narcotics, a school resource officer to the tactical unit. He's investigated crimes against people and crimes against property, and has been in intelligence.
In intelligence? Working intelligence? Has intelligence? I just don't know how to say that.
He's now a detective. I wonder if he detected this award?
Johnson said her son is a 1973 graduate of Fort Dodge Senior High.
"He went to college at Iowa Central, then transferred to Utah State at Logan, Utah," she said. "He wanted to be a wildlife biologist. When he graduated out there, he contacted many states, but they all wanted experience. He really wanted park management, he was really interested in that."
To study park management, Anderson had to study law enforcement, too. When he couldn't find a job in a state park, he decided to apply to the Des Moines Police Academy.
"He knew that the academy was No. 3 in the United States," Johnson said.
After graduating, Anderson took a job with the Des Moines Police Department. That was 1981, and he's moved through the departments through the years.
"I remember pinning his badge on him," Johnson said.
Now he's the department's Man of the Year and was honored at a lunch on Thursday. Johnson wasn't able to go, "as much as I would love to be there," she said.
A $1,000 award to the charity of his choice in his name will go to the Animal Rescue League.
"That's not surprising to me," she said. "His love of animals."
It makes you wonder, doesn't it, what his life would have been like if some state had welcomed him into its parks system. Would he be picnicking with Yogi Bear under a pine tree or curled up with a herd of mountain goats basking in the sunshine on the side of a mountain?
He most certainly wouldn't have been eating lunch in his unmarked police car watching burglars take a television from a home and running down the little group of miscreants with the help of backup. Detectives do more than detect, you know.
Just ask Dee Johnson. She'd love to tell you all about it. That's what mothers are for.
So long friends, until the next time when we're together.
Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org