Boca Daze excerpt
Boca Knights and Other Superheros
M.D. January 2006
Some people say I’m a senior- citizen superhero. I’m not. Superheroes
have special powers. I have special needs. Superman has
X-ray vision. I’m nearsighted. Batman has a Batmobile. I have a
Mini Cooper. Spider- Man spins large webs. I have an enlarged
prostate. I was Boston’s most decorated and demoted policeman
in my prime and the best marksman on the force. Now, I’m
just a sixty- one- year- old ex– Boston cop trying to adapt to life’s
changes. I retired to Boca Raton three years ago, and after solving
local crimes and rescuing two damsels in distress, I became
a private detective. A young newspaper reporter looking for a
story dubbed me the Boca Knight, and the name stuck. I’m a
little guy, barely five foot six, 165 pounds. But I’m fearless and
that makes me bigger.
I had just sat down at the counter at Kugel’s Boca Deli and
ordered a cup of coffee when an old man tapped my shoulder and asked if I was the Boca Knight. I nodded. “Eddie Perlmutter,”
I said, and held out my hand.
“Herb Brown.” His hand felt like old iron. “I’m a big fan of
“I’m a big fan of the US Marines,” I said, pointing to the
Semper Fi insignia on his cap. “You live in Boca, Herb?”
“I retired here thirteen years ago.”
“Enjoying your retirement?”
“Not really,” he said. “My wife died five years ago.”
“My wife died over twenty years ago.”
We retreated to our coffee cups, both of us thinking of lost
“When were you in the Marines?” I asked.
“World War Two.”
“Did you see action?”
“Yeah, in the Pacific,” he said. “Tarawa.”
“I never heard of it.”
“I wish I hadn’t,” Brown said.
“Two thousand Marines killed in three days,” he told me.
“How many Japanese?”
“Who cares? I know I didn’t kill any. I never got off the
“I got shot in the ass.”
I didn’t know what to say . . . but I knew what not to say.
“Aren’t you going to ask me if I was retreating?” Brown
“No, but it sounds like someone did . . . and you’re still
“Wouldn’t you be?”
“Damn right,” I said.