This week's SFist Memoirs comes to us from reader Jayn Pettingill, who is a fourth generation San Franciscan as well as an accomplished saxophonist and composer. In this fabulous piece, Jayn introduces us to her uncle, a jazz-loving policeman in the 1950s, who worked a night beat in the Fillmore District on occasion. This is our first reader submission, which we hope will inspire more readers to drop us a line!

This story was told to me by my uncle. He was a motorcycle cop in the City during the 1950s; later, in 1967, he and his boyfriend opened up a restaurant on Castro Street: The Sausage Factory.

But this story concerns one night of his life as a cop on a beat in the Fillmore District. As I mentioned, he was usually assigned to motorcycle duty, but when he pulled the evening shift he was part of a squad car patrol that worked Fillmore Street. My uncle was a big music fan and I wonder if any of his patrol buddies shared his tastes. His favorite vocalist was Bing Crosby and to this day I have never seen a larger "Bing" collection than what was at his house. He looked forward to these shifts because it afforded him the chance to hear the music that was happening in the Fillmore clubs. At that time, the street was swelling with jazz clubs.

This particular night, the goal was to go in and check out various venues for gambling. There had been a rash of such activity and they were tasked to keep up the pressure by arriving unannounced in some of the jazz clubs. A raid if you will. But certain cops had particular friendships, and my uncle was on friendly terms with the fellow who owned this particular place.

I won't mention the name of the Fillmore Street club where they went, but it was among the more famous. As they entered, people began scattering, rushing to the back of the club or wherever they could to attain wall flower status. The two officers my uncle was with extended their search into the back of the club and into the restrooms. My uncle didn't pursue. He presided ceremonially over the proceedings and then went back to the squad car. As he waited, the two men brought out with them a woman from the club, whom they claimed was involved in a game of dice. She had fled to the restroom with her winnings and had sought refuge in a stall.

My uncle got in the back seat with the alleged gambler and took a look at her. He said to his squad car mates, "You've arrested Dinah Washington; we have to take her back."

The two cops didn't believe him. She seemed nonplussed by it all until my uncle asked her to sing "What a Difference a Day Makes." She obliged; the squad car was turned around and Miss Washington was returned to her engagement.

Everyone has a story. We'd like to hear some of yours, as long as they took place in the Bay Area before 1997. Type something up or just send us an audio recording to transcribe: [email protected].