A Secret Grave 141: Son of a Cop

 

Here’s what she found out. Lloyd Peterson grew up in Minneapolis, son of a cop and a school teacher. His parents had a bad marriage, but stuck together until the children left home, which meant there was always tension and anger in the house. Lloyd’s mother, a black-haired, blue-eyed beauty of Irish descent, had a fondness for alcohol, which was one of the main sources of trouble in the family. Lloyd could remember how he’d never know what mood she’d be in when he came home from school – the sweet, loving, cookie-baking mom, or the shrew who’d scream at him and his two siblings for the slightest infraction. His father, Ike Peterson, stolid Swedish cop, would act like nothing was going on, and they all took their cues from him, pretending the drunken elephant in the middle of the room was perfectly normal. Because of his mother, Lloyd never drank a drop of alcohol. Because of his father, he became an expert with guns.

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gun lesson

Kenny showing Wesley how to shoot, Loren Kerns, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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Ike taught him to shoot at an early age. There’d been a fatal accident with a five-year-old cousin who’d gotten hold of a gun, and Ike wanted to be sure that never happened with any of his kids. So he taught the three of them gun safety and discipline, but Lloyd, the only boy, was the one he focused on most. Under his tutelage, Lloyd became the sort of sharpshooter who could pick off a small object from dozens of feet away. He practiced constantly, out in the woods hunting with his dad, or at a police shooting range; he was his dad’s little mini-me. Hunting was the best, ice cold mornings, blue white snow, the whip of branches, the deep, almost mystical concentration of tracking deer, rabbit, wild fowl – there wasn’t a day in Lloyd’s adult life that he didn’t think of those times.

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sharpshooter

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He described all of this to Ramona, who was enthralled. Usually she didn’t take her male friends seriously; she just listened to their problems and counseled them over the phone. She went out with one or two of them for coffee, a drive, a movie, but never let it get romantic. With Lloyd, it was different. She loved hearing his stories, the passion that crept into his voice when he described scenes from his childhood, or things that happened to him later in life, dangerous things that chilled Ramona’s blood as she listened. She loved watching the way he used his body, not a wasted movement when he crossed a room, or walked into a building, or slid behind the wheel of a car. But she didn’t love him – there was something off about him, something cold and collected that warned her away. At least that’s what she kept telling me, though I didn’t entirely believe her.

 

To be continued…

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Cover photo ~ https://www.flickr.com/photos/primafotograf/4563728815

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