The McKinney, Texas, pool party incident got me to thinking about a weird episode from my own childhood. Back when I was a lad growing up in early 1970s Southern California, it so happened my particular group of buddies was about as racially diverse as it could possibly get. We had a black kid, a Mexican, an Asian-American, a Native American and lily-white Irish me.
One day the five of us were out on our bikes, doing what 12-year-olds do, which is popping Wheelies and riding too fast, on the sidewalks, through peoples' yards and lawns and all kinds of other places where the oldsters would rather not see (or hear) us go.
Eventually, somebody called the cops, and when Officer Friendly showed up he corralled our whole wild bunch and proceeded to give us a stern talking to about riling up the neighborhood, but not before he told me to go home.
"You head on home now, young man," he said, "and I'm going to have a word with these four." I was confused and uncomfortable being singled out like that, but what was I gonna do? Home I went. I found out later that after I left, that officer read those other boys the riot act about causing a ruckus.
When I told my Mom what had happened, she was so PO'd she called the police department to complain.
Nothing came of that, naturally, but the story has stuck with me over the years and I always think about it anytime these incidents like that in McKinney pop up.