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IT’S A STRETCH TO HAVE FUN

Retired police officer provides free limo rides

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IT’S A STRETCH TO HAVE FUN

Twenty-five years a Ripon police officer, Scott Lindsay is now driving a limousine after parking his police car for the last time.

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin


POSTED January 17, 2013 1:01 a.m.

Children and senior citizens in Ripon have found a soft spot in the heart of former Ripon Police officer Scott Lindsay.

Lindsay has chauffeured many of them in the past three years without charging them a cent in what he calls his “giant show and tell” limo.

Lindsay served in law enforcement full time for more than two dozen years plus another 15 years as a reserve officer in other departments. He retired last year from the Ripon department.

Having been a school resource officer in the community, he developed an appreciation for the elementary school children under his watch.  While he enjoys kids and especially their laughter, he never hesitated making his point with the junior high boys who needed a serious attitude adjustment.

With his wife Cindy having long worked for Bethany Home as a Certified Nursing Assistant, he also had contact with the senior citizen community.

It was Cindy who came up with the idea that her husband offer to take seniors from the Bethany campus to the Ceres Christmas Tree Lane in his stretch limousine.  She suggested a trip to Ceres after Scott had taken his elderly mother to see the lights.

He said she had been so overwhelmed with the yuletide excitement that she told other residents at Bethany about her ride to Ceres.  Wife Cindy, like other CNAs at Bethany Home, have a vested interest in getting their patients to smile, Scott said.

Lindsay purchased the limo for his son Johnathon, thinking it could be a profitable business venture and a way for his offspring to make a living.  When that didn’t work out, the officer offered his services free of charge to friends who asked. Most make a donation for his efforts.

Lindsay began offering tours to the Christmas Tree Lane neighborhood in Ceres. His  passengers all raved about the trip that would take some 2 ½  hours to complete.

“They would sit in the back and sing Christmas carols while looking at the colorful lights,” he said.  “Several noted people on the sidewalks were taking pictures of the limo. You’d be surprised how many good singers there are at Bethany.”

They told Lindsay that they guessed those people probably thought they were celebrities riding in the long, black limo.  He added that to keep the mostly women in his vehicle from having to turn their heads backward to see both sides of Christmas Tree Lane’s lights, he would turn around and drive back through the streets.

“I made so many trips that I could almost tell you what lights had burned out from the night before,” he chuckled.

And, after each trip to Ceres was over, he would drive back into Ripon and show them the lights of more decorated homes.  Especially enjoyable was seeing the home of former Ripon Mayor Mike Restuccia and his wife Mona.

It was trip after trip during Christmas season nights as he picked up passengers from Bethany Home, Bethany Manor Apartments, Beth Haven and Town Square apartments and cottages on the north side of Main Street.  The residents would be lined up outside their homes waiting for him to arrive, he said.

The limo allowed for eight seniors at a time. Overall, 75 people enjoyed the moments they savored during their Christmas limo rides.  It was all about giving of himself that was also had been reflected in his law enforcement career.

Lindsay credited physical therapist Joel Tokheim for helping residents of the nursing home get into the limousine as comfortable as possible.  A representative of Bethany Home was always asked to accompany the residents on their trips.

Colony Oak Principal Amy Carter had first served as a substitute principal at Ripona School when she called on Lindsay to make a difference for high achieving students.  It was the first time he chauffeured students on a “lunch run” to Pizza Plus in the limo.

When Carter was appointed to head Colony Oak School, she again asked for the limo service for a group of excited high-achieving kids,  excited at the thought they were going to get to go in that black limo to Round Table.

“She’d have 60 kids and I’d have to run in a circle, and the kids had a ball,” he quipped.  Prior to driving the elementary students, Lindsay would hold an informal orientation for parents at their back to school nights to familiarize them with the limo program.

Scott Lindsay has been there for Ripon High, too, when they had the Every 15 Minutes DUI program.  The former officer would drive the students away from the crash site so they wouldn’t be seen by other students.

“It’s not a business – it’s fun for me, but I’m cautious who I let in my car.  I don’t want anyone to mess it up,” he said.

And for the immediate future, the longtime Riponite is going to be driving for a friend on Almond Blossom Saturday when his daughter is getting married.

Thanks to Scott Lindsay, she will be arriving at her nuptials in style.

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