I used to live in Greenwood for a few years. When we first moved into the neighborhood a nice lady next door to us introduced herself. She had a boy who was the same age as our son, Mark. The boys were first-graders and rode the school bus together.
I was traveling quite a bit at the time and didn’t get to know our neighbors very well. I just thought that she was a single mom with a couple of nice kids.
One day when I arrived home I noticed a rough-looking man standing in their driveway. He sure didn’t look like he belonged there or anywhere in our neighborhood. I was about to make a 911 call when the fellow walked over and introduced himself as Charles Henderson. He was a Greenwood police officer and was married to the lady next door. He explained that undercover police work sometimes meant that you are gone from home for a time. He also told me that he was on loan to the Indianapolis Police Department. He said it was difficult for officers to work undercover in their own small communities, so officers often worked in different cities.
I sometimes was scheduled to do some field training for new sales agents in Indianapolis. I would work with that new agent for a week. A short time after meeting Charles Henderson I was working with a new agent in Indianapolis. One day we were finishing up our morning sales calls and were thinking about lunch. We were near Talbot Street, and since one of my cousins had opened a pizza shop in the area, we decided to give it a try.
While enjoying our lunch, I noticed that Charles was also eating there. He looked rather shabby and was talking to a couple of guys. We made eye contact but he wasn’t smiling. All of a sudden it clicked ... he was working undercover.
Luckily, my thoughts all came together before I shouted, “Hey, Charles!” My trainee and I finished our lunch in a hurry and left. Once in the car I explained what had happened in the restaurant.
As I remember, it was a few days before Charles was again home. We had a short discussion about seeing each other at the pizzeria.
Charles moved up through the ranks of the GPD and was later elected mayor of Greenwood. I think he is retired now. But, if I should see him out and he is shabbily dressed, I’m not going to shout, “Hi, Charles!”
My other thoughts about Talbot Street are about The Black Curtain Dinner Theatre. Southport High School graduate Randy Galvin was the man behind the theater. He started and operated the production house for several years. Randy was one of Southport’s best wrestlers. He was also involved with the school’s plays and theater. It was always a great evening to have dinner and watch a play at his theater.
Talbot Street is a cool place.
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools.