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04/16/2010

Daryl F. Gates and 'the sting of poverty' that followed him to grade school

April 16, 2010 | 11:03 am

 
Gates Born in 1926, future LAPD chief Daryl F. Gates was a child when the Depression hit a few years later. His father, a plumber, took to drinking and was often away from home. His mother found a job in a dress factory. In his 1992 book, “Chief,” Daryl F. Gates, who died Friday, described how “the sting of poverty” followed him to school:

I can remember the godawful sandwiches my mother made for me. The other kids brought theirs in nifty litttle lunchboxes. ... I’d take my wrinkled paper bag out to a corner of the schoolyard and eat it by myself, worried the kids would make fun of my food. Often, it would be a bean or mashed-potato sandwich. Sometimes, when things were really bad, my mom would mix sugar, cocoa and canned milk into a thick paste and spread it on a piece of bread. Ugh. Greedily I eyed the other kids’ sandwiches from a distance. Peanut butter and jelly. It was a delicacy I yearned for but was never able to have.

-- Valerie J. Nelson

Photo: Daryl Gates in 2008. Credit: Associated Press

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