``We're at this high school track meet,'' Barry Cooper says. ``This one's a classic. Mike had a '57 Oldsmobile that his parents let him drive. And my parents had a '57 Chevy. All GMC cars, correct?

  ``Well, out in the Sunset District, it's like Seattle - it gets COLD. And the fog's blowing in and it's miserable.

  ``So we were like, `Hey, Mike, can we have the key to your car? Can we please just sit in the car? We'll watch it from this place up above and be warm.'

  ``So we beg. We're freezing. But nope. He goes, `If I'm going to stand here and take it, then you're gonna stand here and take it.' Well, of course, I'm not that type of guy. So I walk up and I get my '57 Chevy key and the son of a gun works. Opens the car door. We all hop in the car. Now we're in the car. It starts! I'm honking the horn and we're all waving at him. And the look on his face was, `What the hell are you doing to my car?' And we're waving, we're laughing, I'm just cracking up, we've got the radio going. Mike's nickname was `Swede' so I'm like, `Hey Swede, hey-hey, this is great. Good car. Like your car.'

  ``He's ticked, right? So he comes running up the steps. And we're all laughing. So he runs up a couple steps and I drive forward. I drive a little more and we're making him run and run, like maybe two blocks. Oh God, was he ticked. We're roaring. He's ready to kill me. So we finally get him the car and he's just, `How did you do this?' I told him I hot-wired it, that I steal cars.

  ``So years and years go by. I forget this incident. In 1987, he's the quarterbacks coach for the Niners and I've been a cop for many years, haven't really seen him that much. I call Mike on the telephone just to say hi and get together for a drink.

  ``And the first thing out of his mouth was about the car: `How did you do this to me?' That was his first question.''