Occasionally Armand drew his own trouble. One day, bumming around, he stopped at a school on the edge of town, unlike the one in his own rough neighborhood, where there were lots of bikes parked outside. “Gosh, I’d like to have one,” he thought. Looking around, he found one that wasn’t locked and recalls, “I just got on it and took off.” Where he came from, stealing was a game. At least that’s what he thought until he was arrested, charged with theft, and sent to a detention home. And what kind of home was it?

“It was a nice detention home. I say ‘nice’ because it was quite a new building, well run. I had to go out there for, I think, five weeks.”

However, one of his earliest visitors was hardly hospitable. “Soon after I was out there, low and behold, the last person I wanted to see comes in, our minister!” He laughed with an edge and took a puff on his cigar. “Well, you might say, he gave me the rundown of my guilt. He hit me hard and what he said was true. I couldn’t deny it.”

Having done his duty, the minister seemed eager now to dust himself off. “It was as though he had to get out quickly and get his suit dry-cleaned, like I was some kind of contagious old sinner, or young sinner. He was pompous and he didn’t show a speck of interest in me.”

Fortunately, the tight-collared cleric wasn’t his only visitor. As it turned out Armand came to prefer police to preacher, especially when Bob Walker strolled in with an open collar attitude. Although as a juvenile court officer, Walker could have been a potential adversary, Armand remembers him fondly. “We became friends right away. He found some extra time and I drew a portrait of him.” Seeing promise in the young artist, Walker invited him to tag along on bowling night where he could sketch bowlers and pinsetters. Years later, when the Grand Rapids Art Museum honored Armand with a one-man show and a grand opening that counted Governor and Mrs. Romney among the guests, Armand also made sure that Bob Walker and his wife were invited. “I still felt indebted to him. I don’t think you could ever have a finer person working for the juvenile court” (Dornbush/Zandstra Interview, 6-14-04). “He’s the first person that made me feel that maybe I could be a member of society” (Dornbush/Zandstra Interview, 7-10-02).