Here’s a good day-after-April-Fools-Day story.

From 1986 through 1988, I worked for the local radio station I grew up listening to, 1460 AM in Painesville. It was WPVL in the 1970s when I would listen to hear if snow had cancelled school and on those Sunday morning trips to church listening to an old name now-forgotten syndicated show.

At WBKC, I covered local news as well as covering the local sports and the big teams in Cleveland. But there was one annual event that I always made an effort to cover personally: The Painesville Party in the Park. (I still attend this event to this day)

Mark Manley, one of my high school classmates, was just starting his long career with the Painesville Police Department. The department held a Dunk the Cop booth and he wanted my help to generate some publicity so they could raise money for whatever charity it was for.

One early July evening, while standing at the bar at my favorite Painesville watering hole, Nemeth’s Lounge, in walked Mark…in full uniform. His police cruiser was parked just outside the back door, where most people parked and entered. He walked down the entire length of the long narrow bar, calling out as he did, “Where’s Frank Vaccariello?”

All talking stopped. You can’t say it got quiet, because the jukebox never stops in that place.

Mark gets to me, takes me by the shoulder and “ushers” me all the way back through the bar to the exit while I’m yelling, “you got the wrong guy!”

He puts me in the back seat, and we quickly drive around the corner out of sight.

Then he hands me the T-shirt I asked for and let’s me back off at the front door.

I then run in through the front door of Nemeth’s saying, “Hide me! Hide me!” I ran right back to the spot I was drinking where my drink still sat untouched.

That’s when I pulled out the new shirt and explained what they had just seen.

I’ll never forget the looks on those faces that night.