From the Zwicky diaspora

Google Alerts has, well, alerted me to a story about a skateboarding cop, as has Horton Copperpot in e-mail. From a site provided by Copperpot, this story of June 25th, “Holy Kickflip Batman! Is that a Skateboarding Activist Cop?!”:

Meet Officer Joel Zwicky, “Skateboard cop,” of the Green Bay Police Department.

Zwicky is not your typical cop, for starters, instead of harassing skaters, he’s shredding right next to them.

Instead of lobbying for more strict laws on skateboarding, he’s fighting to get restrictions lifted; and he’s successful at it.

Earlier this year, Zwicky convinced the city of Green Bay to lift the skating ban on the 25 mile urban path known as Fox River Trail.

Zwicky is trying to change the stereotypes about skaters.

“Wanted to break that down and show people that skateboarders aren’t just punk kids causing trouble, they are all kinds of people in the community, and they’re even your police force,” Officer Zwicky told KHON 2 News.

(A certain amount of skateboarding jargon — kickflip, shredding — comes through in this short piece.)

Now the Zwicky diaspora. The story goes back to the little town of Mollis, in Canton Glarus, Switzerland. Mollis is in the midst of mountains and forests. The Walensee (one of Switzerland’s larger lakes, mostly in the Canton of St. Gallen but partly in the Canton of Glarus) is not far away, and so is the oddly named Arschwald (‘Ass Forest’). The closest cities of some size are Zürich and Lucerne (in Switzerland) and Vaduz (in Liechtenstein).

From Mollis, over the centuries (five or so of them) Zwickys have swept around the world (from Australia to Argentina and of course in North America and Europe). We are all sorts of people, including factory workers, farmers, poets, diplomats, scientists, tech folks, manufacturers, and of course the descendants of dairy farmers and wine growers. The dairy farm connection explains the fairly high number of Zwickys in the upper Midwest of the U.S., which is probably how Joel Zwicky ended up in Green Bay WI. (Joel is of course a strikingly un-Swiss name, but then these are modern times; on the other hand, my name, Arnold, is a stunningly Swiss name.)

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