Trudy Nan Boyce is a retired police officer turned writer. In her thirty years of experience, she came across many unusual cases. Those cases helped shape her writing, especially in her debut novel, “Out of the Blues.” In this interview, the debut author describes one of the heartwarming memories from her career. You can also learn more about the story behind “Out of the Blues” in the companion interview at terryambrose.com.
“One of the great joys and privileges of my time on the job was to have worked with the Atlanta PD’s H.O.P.E. Team,” said Boyce. “The team is mentioned in ‘Out of the Blues.’ We were a group of five or six officers who did outreach to the city’s homeless, many of whom had mental illnesses. One day a call was dispatched for a man being disruptive and possibly suffering from dementia. The team arrived and took the man to the city hospital but he remained unidentified.”
At that point, the H.O.P.E. Team began a search to identify the man and locate his next of kin. The officers worked the man’s case for months without success. Boyce said, “Pursuing dead end after dead end the team went to the post office, called realtors, and canvassed the neighborhood until they were finally able to learn the man’s identity—we’ll call him Mr. Jones—and where he’d been staying.”
It turned out Mr. Jones had become quite reclusive and had little contact with the world for years, but the team’s quest continued. Boyce said, “Eventually they learned that Mr. Jones had been a fine pianist who had toured the world and was the brother of a famous poet who’d been trying to find his brother to inquire about his health. Before the brother could come to Atlanta, Mr. Jones was moved to a nursing home where his condition deteriorated to the point he was unable to communicate much at all.
“With money from their own pockets my teammates bought him a CD player and CDs they had learned were some of his favorites. They took the CDs to him on one of their continuing visits to his bedside. While the music played the old man would finger the sheet on top of him as if playing the piano. Mr. Jones died before any family could come. But his last words to the H.O.P.E. Team were, ‘Beautiful. Isn’t that just beautiful.'”
Want to know more about Trudy Nan Boyce or the story behind “Out of the Blues?” Visit www.trudynanboyce for more information about the author or read the companion interview, where you can register to win a copy of “Out of the Blues.”