Greetings dear readers.  Recently, I was invited to attend a surprise birthday party for the mother of a really beautiful family who resides in Dallas, Texas. I met this very close-knit family through another friend over a year ago upon my arrival in Houston.

I am somewhat of a history buff. The four-hour drive to Dallas would take me to the JFK museum in Dealey  Plaza and then I could readily accept the invite to the family’s home. All of the family members welcomed me into their home where they provided a wonderful dinner and some great fellowship throughout my visit. They later began to bestow the honorary title of “Uncle Danny” upon me after a few more visits shared between our two Texas cities. It was my sincere pleasure to be considered a member of their family. ( I love families by the way who genuinely exhibit “genuine love”). I learned through these shared visits that the mother had recently lost her beloved father and brother.

Anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one knows well that nagging feeling of emptiness and longing in your heart that can deposit a warm tear on your cheek. It dawned on me that I could surprise her with a sketch of her deeply missed father and brother. The best way to do this was to draw their “likenesses” side-by-side on one sheet of paper.

I was able to knock-out these respective composites in about forty-five minutes or so. They served as a great investigative tool that in several instances led to suspect ID’s and arrests. That was personally satisfying.

Through my former career as a police officer (the drawings I rendered), I originated suspect composites predicated upon the descriptions given to me by victims and witnesses. It was part of my job; never personal. I was able to knock-out these respective composites in about forty-five minutes or so. They served as a great investigative tool that in several instances led to suspect ID’s and arrests.  That was personally satisfying. More importantly, I learned first hand that these composites also served to “empower” the victim in their active participation in the investigation. They no longer had that overwhelming feeling of helplessness and loss of control that was taken from them. I saw many of these victims begin their respective paths of recovery from very up-close emotional traumas.

Now since my composite drawing days have “drawn” to a close, (pardon the pun), I was inspired to offer my drawing talent as a “gift” of remembrance to this grieving daughter and sister; after all, I was the family’s “Honorary” uncle.  I could do no less. No rush, no deadline for distribution to a BOLO  (be on the lookout for).  This time it was personal.

Funny how this “surprise gift” to the mother empowered me from my past traumas.  The gift that keeps on giving rang true! More “surprise gift” drawings will follow from my pencil to other close friends and family. Inspiration from my fingertips indeed!

This is gumshoe until next time dear readers, love the ones who love you and love the ones you don’t.

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Danny Pitocco
RETIRED (as a Detective with the Snohomish County Sherriff’s Department, Washington State), Danny has over forty years of law enforcement experience across city, county, state and federal levels of government, including service as a Special Agent for the DEA, US Department of Justice. He’s a decorated law enforcement veteran, and recipient of the "Detective of the Year" award for Snohomish County, Danny is a certified composite artist and has testified as an expert witness in the field of narcotics and modus operandi of particular crimes in state and federal courts in California, and has given testimony before federal grand juries. Danny served four years of active duty in the US Marine Corps and loves Jesus as his personal savior.

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Lynn Forrester
EDITOR

Great story, heartfelt, and did I mention your an artist in your own right.!

Gumshoe
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Gumshoe

Art is as they say NG, is in the eye of the beholder. Thanks!