Tuesday, November 09, 2010
NaNoWriMo - "I Know a Place Where the Dancing's Free" (Chapter 2)
Chapter Two
Down in the Street Making all That Noise

The exhaust of an old Pontiac rumbled by as the girls hurried down to the corner Soda Shop while their mother’s continued shopping the strip. Flushed and frustrated Rosalie rummaged through her purse and pulled out a matchbook. “Stand right there, Ginny.” she exhausted commanded, “Make sure nobody is watching and block the breeze.”

With the moves of a ninja Rosalie reached up into her shirt and pulled out a crushed pack of Kents, much to Virginia’s surprise. She placed a bent, crocked cigarette in her mouth and lit the wrong end. “Crap!” she protested, “That was the only one not broken. Ginny. Lend me thirty cents?”

The girls walked into the soda shop to the cigarette vending machine that stood by the doorway. “Since when did you take up smoking?” asked Virginia as Rosalie dropped in the change and pulled on a spring-loaded knob. A fresh, unmolested pack of Kents and a little white matchbook dropped down as Rosalie quickly scooped them up and stuffed them in her purse.

“Don’t look at me so funny. You mean you never tried smoking before?” scoffed Rosalie as they made their way up to the counter to order their usual cherry cokes.

“Of course not. They make me cough. My eyes water and they smell stinky.” replied Virginia.

“Oh so you have tried them!” mocked Rosalie.

“No. Dad smokes, silly. It’s all I can do sometimes to get the dishes washed and myself out of the kitchen after supper.” explained Virginia. “He just lights them up one right after another.”

Sliding into a booth Virginia asked, “So tell me, what happened back at the dress shop? Did she have to measure you?”

“Oh my god! It was awful. She wouldn’t look away while I undressed and I had that pack of smokes tucked in between.” gasped Rosalie.

“In between what?” asked Virgina.

“My tits silly! It’s the perfect place to hide them. Sometimes Dad suspects or smells cigarette smoke on me and he just tears my room apart looking for evidence. I just stand there and roll my eyes, he’s never going to find them here.” Rosalie said proudly while thumping her chest like a gorilla.

“Oh no! Did the shop lady see them? She’d tell your Mom for sure,” asked Virginia.

“No, but the dumb bitch sat on them.” explained Rosalie. “I managed to get undressed and hide them under my shirt on the dressing room bench. I had it made until that old batty hen had to go hatch the shit out of them.”

“Uh oh, don’t look now but here comes Robert and the gang,” giggled Virginia.

Robert Trommello was tall, handsome and quite an amazing high school athlete. Currently his lettered jacket and class ring was being worn by Jennifer, the head Senior cheerleader. Many girls in their Senior class often joked if Jennifer would wear his jacket over her prom dress two weeks ago, since she absolutely refused to take it off. They were none surprised when she didn’t. Not even to receive the Prom Queen crown for she chillingly retorted that the gym was always chilly and she’d catch herself a cold.

Secretly, Virgina often daydreamed that she was the one wearing Robert’s jacket. The fact that she could be the one was even more fascinating as she had been Robert’s school girl crush since they were in 1st grade. He had come by the house to call on her a number of times over the years, but her father refused to let them date. He was Italian and Catholic thus against Dad’s ideologies as the son of a Protestant Circuit Preacher back in the hills of Kentucky. Virginia also assumed that her father’s bigotry stemmed back from World War II. Many Italian Americans experienced wartime restrictions on their culture just because the powers to be could not discern between their heritage, culture and traditions as opposed to support of an enemy of state.

Robert signaled to the guys that he’d be right with them as he scooted in the booth beside Virginia. “How’s my girl doing today?” he smiled while gently patting her arm. “Did you hear the good news? I’ve been accepted into Penn State on a full scholarship.”

“Congratulations!” exclaimed Virginia, “Penn State was your first choice wasn’t it?”

“It sure was, it was Dad’s Alma Mater,” he sat tall and proudly sang, “Hail to the Lion, Loyal and True. Hail Alma Mater, with your White and Blue.”

“Ha!” laughed Rosalie, “A Jersey boy going to Penn State? What a joke. That’s a nigger college. Penn State has more black students than Pleasantville High. What you weren’t white enough to attend a big, white school like Princeton?”

“Oh quit it, Rosalie,” chided Virginia, “That fellow on that TV show with Robert Culp, I Spy is a black guy from Philadelphia. Alexander Scott. Oh what’s his name. Cosby. Yes, that’s it. Bill Cosby. He’s a graduate from Penn State isn’t he?” she looked at and asked Robert.

“Temple University I believe,” answered Robert, “But good call. Hey, I’ll catch you later. Gotta go hang with the boys. Take care of yourself now Sweetheart.” he winked as he danced over to his friends.

“He,” pointing to Robert, “is definitely not your type Ginny. He’s an asshole.”

“No, he’s not,” Virginia defended. “He’s not my type but he’s not one of those either.”

While Rosalie filled the air with her bad mouth rhetoric, Virginia’s mind drifted off for she was intrigued by Robert’s type. He was so self-confident and spontaneous in a Sean Connery type of way. Virginia daydreamed of Robert being James Bond and herself Tatiana with him whisking her off to safety his romantic arms and gentleman-like manners.

Robert was sly and sneaky too; so much fun to be around as Virginia recalled their senior class trip to Washington DC a few weeks back. The girls were strolling back to their hotel after going out to watch “Thunderball” at that fancy sit down theatre down on Connecticut Avenue. A group of rowdy, possibly drunk classmates were up on the 3rd floor balcony carrying on and laughing when suddenly a water balloon from above whacked Rosalie right in the head. She cussed, fussed, ranted and accused Robert of doing it. Then she marched her way inside the hotel to notify a chaperon. Virginia tried desperately not to let Rosalie catch her laughing, but she did and fussed at her for days afterward.

“Well?” asked Rosalie, “What do you think? You wanna?”

“Do I want to what?” asked Virginia.

“Don’t tell me I’ve been talking to myself this whole time, you stooge,” chimed Rosalie as she tossed a fresh cigarette across the table to Virginia. “Well, do you want to go to the Hammonton Carnival with me and Jimmy next week or not?”

“Oh no,” answered Virginia tossing the cigarette as Rosalie put on a frown. “No, I mean no thank you for the cigarette but yeah, I’ll tag along with you and Jimmy. Sounds like fun.”


Flippers were flunking and lights danced across the back box as Marty raked in another 100 points on the Gottlieb Buckaroo. “Woo Hoo! Kick that Cowboy!” cheered a familiar voice as the score reel spun a horse’s kick to the old Buckaroo.

“Hey Jim-boy. How’ve ‘ya been?” greeted Marty extending his right hand to Jimmy while the silver ball pinged between the left and right flippers, not quite making up it’s mind on where it wanted to go.

“Great man,” replied Jimmy. “Just got done my first three duel-barrel carb job on Mr. Grant’s Eldorado. She won’t be choking anymore, she’s roaring like a gentle lion now. How many games you turn there, Mr. Wizard?”

“Just got started really,” answered Marty while his crazy flipper fingers let another ball slip by. He pulled the spring-tensioned knob to bring down the next silver ball when the head board flashed in red ‘Game Over.’ “Aw heck it. Just ain’t my day today. Let’s go sit down and talk carburetors. I’ve had my eye on a Fairlane 500. What do you ‘spose it has? A two or four in it?” asked Marty as he picked up his mug of birch beer and headed towards a table.

Jimmy motioned to Caroline the bartender to bring him his usual Genesee as he sat down next to Marty. “Ah, you got your eye on that one that’s for sale out on Ancora Road don’t you? Does that sign still say $400?”

“Oh yes, and I hope nobody can buy it before I can,” said Marty excitedly. “We’ve been paintin’ the house across the street there all week and it’s all I can do to stop from dreaming about it. I got $185 saved up now and after Dad over there gets to payin’ me for this week I should have another $100.”

“That car ain’t worth the paper the price is wrote on, Wizard. I’m telling ‘ya. I stopped by to take a look at it a few Fridays back with Rosalie and that piece of shit ain’t worth but fifty bucks.” said Jimmy. “The retractable won’t go down evenly, radio’s been ripped out and the fucking dashboard is all ripped out.”

“I saw it needed some attention, but didn’t look inside very well. Hows the engine? Did she start up?” asked Marty.

“Looked clean for a 272 but the owner had some sap story about the battery cables. Couldn’t get her to turn over once so I could hear it run. Didn’t seem like he was about to come down much on the price now either, but he’s gotta give somewhere here.” replied Jimmy.

A flash of green slapped on the table as Marty looked over his shoulder, “There you go young man. Ninety dollars pay. Ain’t bad for a boy your age now is it?” said Marty’s father above him. “I’d a gave you a hundred but I docked you for your dilly dallying.”

“Hi Mr. Berg,” greeted Jimmy standing up to shake Marty’s father by the hand.

“Hey, it’s the grease monkey,” replied Mr. Berg as he ignored Jimmy’s hand and addressed Marty again, “So you gonna catch a ride home with Jimmy here or do I have to roll you home before I order me another beer?”

“I’ll take him home, Mr. Berg,” answered Jimmy. “No problem.”

“Well, you two boys keep yourselves out of trouble now. And you Marty, get right home. Your Momma may need you to sit with your sisters tonight.”

“Yes sir,” replied Marty as he slurped down the rest of his birch beer. Jimmy did the same with his Genesee and they both stood up together. “Let’s roll.”

There were eight motorcycles lined up in a row by the time the boys exited Roscoe’s. As usual, Jimmy had to stop and adore each one of them. There were four Enfields and three Bantams but the one Jimmy loved the most was a brand new gold 1965 Harley Electra Glide that belonged to Roscoe’s brother Mario. “One of these days,” said Jimmy as he shook his head, “One of these days I’m going to sit on top of one of these bad boys and call it my own. Just you wait and see. Hey, let’s go stop and take a look at your Fairlane on the way back. Whatcha think?”

“Sounds like a plan to me,” said Marty as he hopped in Jimmy’s pick-up truck. “So are you seeing Rosalie this weekend?”

“Yup. Dinner and a movie tomorrow night. She may come out earlier for the afternoon if she’d get her chores done before noon.” Jimmy answered, “Speaking of dates, did you give anymore thought on meeting her friend Ginny?”

“Yeah, and she’s just too old for me. What is she 18 now?” asked Marty. “She’s not going to want to date a 16 year old. You know how them fresh out of high school girls are. Always falling for the older guys and their wads of cash.”

“Get out of town, Mart.” chimed Jimmy, “They’re not all like that. Ginny is such a sweet, quiet little girl. Just your type man. Just your type. Come on out to the Hammonton Carnival with me next week and just meet her,” Jimmy prodded.

“Well okay,” said Marty. “I guess just meeting her won’t hurt none. There it is,” he said pointing to the turn on Ancora Road. It’s right down there a few blocks on the left.”

The boys pulled up to the curb only to find that the Fairlane had been moved into the driveway. As they stepped out of Jimmy’s pick-up they heard what sounded like a shot gun blast only to realize the Fairlane was running and had just backfired. Out of the garage stepped a battle scarred, middle-aged man with a missing right arm extending his left hand for an awkward handshake as he tossed an oily hand towel over his right shoulder. “Howdy boys. What can I do you for?” he asked.

“I’d like to take a look at your Fairlane here Mister,” stuttered Marty. “I’ve been looking at it all....”

“What he means Sir,” interrupted Jimmy, “Is that he’s interested in taking this old clunker off your hands. I see ‘ya finally got her running this afternoon.”

“Oh I remember you boy. You’re the one who tried to Jew me down to $50 bucks a few weeks back. Did you come to your senses yet?” asked the man as Marty cringed at the Jew remark.

“Oh come on man, she’s falling apart here. Top ain’t going down quite right, her dash is torn all up. Ain’t even got a workin’ radio.” argued Jimmy as he opened the heavy, creaking driver’s side door.

The man shook his head and stated, “Watch your respects young man. Do you know how much I paid for this beauty when I first laid eyes on her? One thousand bucks boy. You probably ain’t seen that kind of money in all your life, have ya?”

“Excuse me Sir,” squeaked Marty, “May I drive her around the block to see how she rides?”

“Now that’s proper respect," said the man nodding towards Marty. "Sure boy. Go on, be careful she’s a wide turner there. Leave her some room,” the man replied as he waived young Marty off.

Jimmy leaned back on oak tree, pulled out a half pack of Kent from his shirt pocket and offered the man a smoke. As they both lit up and filled their lungs Jimmy remarked, “Listen man, I mean no disrespect. I’m sorry about that. Mart here, he’s my buddy and he’s just out and getting started. You know as much as I know that that beast is going to take a shit-load of cash to get road ready again. How long has she been sitting out here rottin’ away anyway. A year? Two?”

“I suppose you’re right about that son,” said the man as he took a drag off his cigarette holding it between his left thumb and forefinger. Flicking the ash off with his middle finger he continued, “Mac's junkyard has a bunch of part cars back in the lot. Most of what she needs can be carried out of there. You good with cars boy?”

Jimmy dragged his smoke and thoughtfully replied, “I’m Junior Mechanic down at Ray’s Garage. Picked up a lot of know how from working there this year.”

“No shit,” said the old man, “Ray and I go way back. Served in the Korean War supporting the infantry together back... oh 15 years back or so. Best damn mechanic on the field. You’re learnin’ from the best.”

Jimmy flicked his cigarette down the drive and replied, “Yeah, Ray’s a damn good boss. Fair and square. Doesn’t take too kindly to the way I style my hair much.”

“Yeah,” the man chuckled, “He’ll buzz ‘ya good if you ain’t careful. So can you do exhausts and brake jobs on your own?” he asked as he patted the trunk of his cherry red ‘63 Thunderbird. “This girl needs some work done and I’m not about to pay Ray’s prices for repairs. Let’s say we make a deal. Your friend can have the Fairlane for $100. I’ll pick up the parts needed for this baby here and you install them for me Sunday afternoon?” the man offered, flicking his cigarette and extending his left hand again to shake on this awkward deal.

“$90 and we have a deal,” countered Jimmy as they saw Marty turning the corner down the road. “His Dad jewed $10 bucks out of his pay this afternoon and that’s all he has on him.”

“That’ll do,” agreed the man as they shook hands in the driveway. “Lemme go get the title and the bill of sale,” he said as he walked back into the garage.

“Hey Wizard!” shouted Jimmy over the racing 272 engine, “Get your $90 bucks out. You done bought yourself a car!”
Stumble It! .......posted by Margaret @ 6:02 PM   1 comments
NaNoWriMo - "I Know a Place Where the Dancing's Free"

Just a little inspiration for writing this afternoon. I never knew the most popular pinball machine game of 1965 was the Gottlieb Buckaroo! The same one a young, limp wristed Elton John flipped off to on The Who's Tommy production.

Ahhh, so sweet the song...

....He stands like a statue
Becomes part of the machine
Feeling all the bumpers
Always playing clean

Plays by intuition
The digit counters fall
That deaf, dumb and blind kid
Sure plays a mean pinball...


Stumble It! .......posted by Margaret @ 5:54 PM   0 comments
Sunday, November 07, 2010
NaNoWriMo - "I Know a Place Where the Dancing's Free" (Chapter 1)
Chapter One
I Got no Time for the Corner Boys

It was in June of 1965, when Virginia was preparing her Salutatorian commencement speech for her upcoming graduating class at Mainland Regional High School. It was certainly a time of fast cars and fast uncertain change as she recalled the most memorable events during her last four years spent there.

Actress Marilyn Monroe had died from an overdose of sleeping pills while a band of four British fellows; The Beatles, emerged to a host of screaming, giddy teen-aged American girls. The Cuban Missile Crises had the students practicing for air raid drills by crawling under their school desks while later that year Pope John XXIII had died.

Not a student could forget that cold and bitter November, when on Friday afternoon the school PA system announced the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The plea for Civil Rights was impacting various places throughout the nation with strong, determined leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X who was just assassinated earlier that year.

Times were certainly changing and fully impacting the lives of those about to graduate from that newly built, small High School in Linwood, NJ. A High School with classrooms that still had yet to educate an African American student. The ground war in Vietnam had just begun that March and many of the young men graduating that year were already recruited and packed for military basic training.

Virginia, a soft-toned, gentle girl who barely whispered in class was finding it difficult to write such a speech. She was scared out of her wits of the day that she had to deliver it. Being chosen as Salutatorian was the result of good grades at the direction of her father. She hadn’t signed up for College Preparatory Classes but had excelled in Business Courses. Earning a part-time after school job in the bookkeeping offices of the local Sears & Roebuck catalog center.

As a daughter of a Navy Officer and Christian English Mother a career was not a consideration for a young lady such as herself. Instead of college, Virginia was to attend finishing school that summer then continue her job at Sears until she found herself a decent husband.

“Ginny!” her mother called up the stairs, “Rosalie and her Mother are here. Are you ready to go pick out your graduation dress?”

With a sigh of relief Virginia tossed down her pencil replying, “Yes, Mother. I’ll be right down.”

“I’m so excited!” expressed Rosalie as Virginia climbed into the back seat of the car and sat down beside her. “Mom said I can pick out a pair of real heels. How about you Ginny? Are you allowed to get heels?”

“Oh, I don’t know. I’m so tall already you know,” squeaked Virginia as Rosalie's mother backed out of the driveway, “Plus flat pumps are easier to walk around in anyway.”

“You’re such a fuddy duddy, you know that? But I love you anyways,” chimed Rosalie. “Hey,” she whispered, “Jimmy and I Frenched kissed last night.”

“What’s that?” Virginia asked.

“You know,” Rosalie nodded twirling her tongue around her lips while rolling her eyes back. “Kissing with your tongue,” she whispered.

“Eeeeew! Those French folks are nasty. Is Jimmy French or something?” asked Virginia.

“No silly! Gosh, you wait and see. Your day will come and it’s not that bad. You’ll like it, I promise.” giggled Rosalie. “Oh, Jimmy wants to know if you’d be interested in double dating.”

“Let me guess,” Virginia snidely remarked, “He has a nasty, french kissing friend? No thanks!”

“What are you silly girls giggling about back there?” asked Virginia’s Mom. “Just think, you two will be graduating High School next Friday. Then it’s off to finishing school. You both better get control over that giggling, you know. Head Mistress Eliza-Jane will expect you both to be on your best manners.”

“Oh god!” gasped Rosalie, “Don’t tell me she’s still there!” she giggled.

Head Mistress Eliza-Jane was the dorm mother of St. Catherine’s Academy. It was toted as a school of charm to teach young girls proper etiquette and manners. They spent two whole weeks over the past few summers attending and mastering the fine skills of being socialite young ladies. It was an old English tradition that both the girls’ mother’s had to endure when they were teenagers during World War II. Head Mistress Eliza-Jane was old and just as mean as nails way back then as she was now.

“Mind your matters Miss Rosalie,” scolded her mother from the front seat. “I expect you to respect your elders no matter what.”

“Mind my manners Mom? Really?” joked Rosalie sarcastically. “You mean like you two had a part in spiking her nightly tea and sneaking out to the USO dance down in Atlantic City years ago?”

Virginia’s mother gasped, “Heavens to Betsy, Eleanor! Please tell me you didn’t tell your daughter about that! My word!!”

“Mom!” giggled Virginia, “Didn’t you meet Daddy at a USO dance?”

As she pulled up into a parking spot at the dress shop, Rosalie’s mom chuckled, “Yes Virginia, she did. All of us girls had our eyes fixed on that handsome young sailor from Kentucky. His southern charm and accent had us all fixated but the moment he glanced over our way, he couldn’t take his eyes off of your mother.”

Virginia’s mother blushed as the girls hurried out of the car and into the dress shop. “What are we going to do with these two girls?” she asked Eleanor. “They’re twice as wild and free as we were at their age.”

Placing her hand on her long-time friend’s shoulder, Eleanor comforted, “Don’t worry Edith, they’re both good girls. Good heads on their shoulder’s too. They’ll be fine.”

“My Jimmy has a friend named Marty. A real nice fellow and cute as a button. Blond hair and gorgeous blue eyes. You’d really like him. He seems just your type.” chimed Rosalie as she shuffled through a few dresses on the rack.

“So I take it he’s boring, just like me, huh?” Virginia joked as she held up a bright red mini-skirt to her hips.

“That’s adorable Ginny! Is there one in my size?” Rosalie asked.

“Yup, there’s a few. We should sneak back here and buy one before we get sent off to St. Catherine’s. You know all the other girls are going to have these this year.” whispered Virginia.

“Really? You think?” Rosalie whispered back. “I can’t see how in the name of carnations a girl can sit or live in something that short. Their Hoo-Hoos will be showing.”

“May I help you girls?” asked the nosy old Saleslady who snuck up behind them.

Quickly stuffing the red skirt on the rack Virginia nodded, “Yes.. um.. Ma’am. We’re here to pick out our graduation dresses.”

“Follow me girls, we had a large shipment arrive yesterday and I’m sure you’ll find something a little more decent, shall I say?” the saleslady huffed as she stomped over to a rack of crisp white dresses.

Rosalie immediately found the dress that she wanted. White, of course, with lace trim around the hem and sleeves. It was almost exactly like the one she saw in the Sears Catalog when she visited Virginia at work a month back. Virginia however, was stumped. All of the dresses were white and they all seemed the same to her. She pulled out a collared version with a straight hem. “Eeeew, put that ugly thing back on the rack,” squealed Rosalie. “What are you a nurse or something?” she giggled.

“Oh dear,” the saleslady chimed in and motioned to Rosalie, “I don’t believe these dresses will fit you young lady. Your breast are entirely too big. When was the last time you came in for a bra fitting dear?” she inquired while handing Rosalie’s coveted dress to Virginia and gently pushing Rosalie over to the fitting room area.

Rosalie shot Virginia a look of dread and despair as Virginia tried her best not to let out a giggle. Just a few short years ago their mother’s brought them to this very same shop for their first bra fitting by this prudish, old saleslady. Her and Rosalie stood there topless in just their underpants in the cold fitting room just as they were told to do. Nervous and full of anxiety they watched one another get practically molested by the saleslady and her measuring tape. She poked, twisted, tweaked and wrote down the measurements before she handed down the dreaded breast size verdict. Despite the uncomfortable feel-up by the saleslady; Rosalie was ecstatic to hear that she was going straight into a B-cup. “Giving you a little room to grow.” the saleslady smiled and proudly said as if she was congratulating Rosalie on her accomplished tit size.

Virginia wasn’t so lucky back then, as the saleslady shook her head despairingly and handed her a Double A training bra. “You know my dear, they say if you play with your breasts it will encourage them to grow faster. Perhaps you may want to consider helping yourself along.” The young, clueless Virginia stood there mouth agape as the saleslady turned her towards the mirror to look at herself. With her gnarly old cold hands she grabbed each of Virginia’s nipples and tugged them forward. Holding them out and counting to four and repeating the dastardly act again and again while sing-songing, “One, two, three, four - make your titties grow some more.” Virginia saw her face flushed in embarrassment while she stared into the mirror. She also saw her good friend Rosalie’s reflection, red in the face also but only because she was trying so hard not to burst out laughing.

Yes, the training bra incident was most definitely the most embarrassing moment in young Virginia’s life thus far; but her imagination went wild thinking about what could be going on in the fitting room between Rosalie and the saleslady now. She looked at the Rosalie’s choice of dress that the saleslady rudely stuffed in her hand and decided, that she kind of liked it too. The saleslady was right, there was no way Rosalie could squeeze her fat titted self into a form fitted dress as this. She’d do far better with a skirt and shirt set.


On the western side of New Jersey, across the river from Philadelphia; a young teen was outside washing out paint brushes with turpentine. As he wiped the sweat from his brow he noticed a used ‘57 Ford Fairlane 500 Town Vic for sale across the street for $400. He would be turning 16 in just a few short weeks and finally able to drive his own car.

As Marty stood there half daydreaming about the Town Vic and half dizzy from the turpentine fumes, a crowd of six teenagers were heard coming around the corner.

“Well, well, well,” the oldest boy chided, “Looky what we have here. Looks like Jew-boy Morris here got himself a fancy little job.”

Marty turned around ignoring them and went back to work rinsing off the brushes, rollers and paint pan. These guys were the very reason he dropped out of school. These and all the rest of them from the riverside projects who integrated the halls of Woodrow Wilson High School after Camden’s new black mayor toted desegregation.

“Yo! Jew-boy! Shows some respect when Tyrone be talking at you.” said one of them, while he shoved up on Marty’s arm.

Marty was just about to turn around and deck him one, when suddenly the boys started to haul ass down the street. His nose stung from the smell of sulfur as he heard the familiar scratch, whoosh of a lighted match. “If them nigger boys had a lick of sense they’d set your stupid ass on fire boy.” a gruff voice grumbled from above. “Christ to hell boy, you smell like a goddamn gas rag. How much turp you wastin’ now? You’re gonna kill this lady’s grass, you fool.”

“Sorry Dad,” Marty apologized, “I promise to be more careful next time.”

“Well just makes sure you rinse the grass down well. It’ll burn itself yellow in five minutes if you don’t and the lady of this house will make a fuss.” said Marty’s father. “We’re ‘bout finished up here and we’ll call it a day.” he stated as he flicked his cigarette butt into the lady’s flower bed and walked back into the house.

Marty squirted the nasty butt with the hose in fear that it would catch the mulch on fire. If there’s one thing I hate more than niggers it’s those damn cigarettes thought Marty. Both of his parents smoked like chimneys and everything he owned was stained yellow and reeked of those nasty things. Even his baby sister’s golden yellow hair smelled like an ashtray when she’d climb on her big brother’s lap before suppertime.

Girls who smoke was a big turn off to Marty, yet the old movies and westerns were showing ladies smoking more and more these days. Marilyn Monroe had the hottest set of tits around and her poster hung on the inside of his closet door for years. That was, until he saw her puffing away on that fancy long cigarette in her latest movie. The movie sucked he thought, but that just made it suck even more as he remembered tearing her poster down and defacing her puckering lips with a moustache and beard. In his mind, kissing a woman who smoked was just as bad as kissing a man.

As he packed up the brushes in the back of his dad’s old Chevy his eyes caught glimpse of the old Ford again across the street. $400 was a whole two weeks away as his Dad only paid him $100 a week. This was Marty’s second week working with his dad and he already had $185 saved. Surely the car would be sold to someone else by then.

The screen door slammed as his father skipped down the steps and over to the truck. “Well son, it’s time to get paid. All packed up here?” his father asked. “Lets head down to Roscoe’s and cash this check and get your daddy some beer.” he said while lighting another cigarette.

With a turn of the key the old Chevy rumbled back to life spewing a cloud of blue grey exhaust out of it’s backside. The radio squeal tuned into a static filled news report on the war in Vietnam. The North and South were at it again and had both suffered massive losses in this battle. It seemed like just yesterday President Johnson was more concerned over civil rights and the happenings in Cuba than he was with this small country half way around the world.

Marty wondered about his Uncle David and what he thought about all of this war mess. Uncle David served the US Army a few years back and in 1962 he was stationed down at Ft. Bragg, NC. His enlistment was almost up when they suspended his discharge indefinitely back in 1962 due to the Cuban Missile Crisis. His new wife was pregnant and he was looking forward to a normal civilian life with his new family when this had to happen. He was with the core of engineers STRAC (Skilled, tough, ready, around-the-clock) unit attached to the 82nd Airborne. They sat for weeks ready to roll with heavy construction equipment at a moments notice.

In March Uncle David received notice that his first son was born at Womack Army Hospital just a few short miles over on base. He wondered for weeks afterward if he’d ever get to go back home when his discharge orders finally arrived that April. He shared with Marty how wonderful the Army was for him and the skills that he learned. Yet oddly, Marty was left with the impression that Uncle Dave couldn’t wait to be discharged either. This left Marty wondering if maybe he should consider enlisting instead of working for his father.

His father downshifted and the old Chevy stalled as it coasted into the bumpy, unpaved parking lot of Roscoe’s Bar. The hinges of the passenger door shrieked like a pterodactyl as Marty opened the door to get out. Parked neatly in a row were four brand new motorcycles which meant they weren’t going to get home any time soon. Randy and the boys were at the bar and when they all got to talking and carrying on, chances are they’ll stay until last call.

It was the usual Friday night routine as Marty’s father bellied up to the bar and lit another Salem. Caroline, the bartender saw him coming and had a frosted mug of Schlitz straight off the tap and ready for him just as he sat down. She smiled at Marty and said, “Hey young man, the usual?” Marty nodded yes as she pulled out another frosty mug and a bottle of birch beer.

With her worn but gentle hands, cold from the mugs she just poured; she brushed Marty’s bangs aside and whispered, “Look at those handsome blue eyes. You’re going to break some young lady’s heart someday with those.”

“Leave the boy alone Caroline.” gruffed Marty’s Dad. “He ain’t got no time for cherry poppin’. Get your hot ass on over here and cash this check for me so I can send him home to his Momma.” he commanded as Caroline shuffled over to the cash register.

“Dad?” Marty awkwardly asked, “Would it be okay if I play a few rounds of pinball before I got to go?”

“Boy, I don’t know what it is about that flashy bell and whistle machine that gets your fancy going, but if you want to waste your hard earned money on shit like that you just go right on ahead.” his father chided.

“Thanks Dad!” smiled Marty as he skipped over to the pinball machines with his frosty mug of birch beer.


Stumble It! .......posted by Margaret @ 2:52 PM   0 comments
Saturday, November 06, 2010
NaNoWriMo - "I Know a Place Where the Dancing's Free"

Author's note: Hit a bit of a snag, or shock so to say in my writing after finding out someone who was a big part of my life, was really not a Jersey Boy. Not by my definition anyhow.

So I seek, wonder, research and wait for inspiration on a definitive.



Stumble It! .......posted by Margaret @ 4:31 PM   0 comments
Monday, November 01, 2010
NaNoWriMo - "I Know a Place Where the Dancing's Free" (Forward)
by Tom Waits

I got no time for the corner boys
Down in the street making all that noise
Or the girls out on the avenue
'Cause tonight I wanna be with you
Tonight I'm gonna take that ride
Across the river to the Jersey side
Take my baby to the carnival
And I'll take her on all the rides

'Cause down the shore everything's all right
You and your baby on a Saturday night
You know all my dreams come true
When I'm walking down the street with you

(Chorus) Sha la la la la la la
Sha la la la la la la la la
Sha la la la la la la la
Sha la la la I'm in love with a Jersey girl

You know she thrills me with all her charms
When I'm wrapped up in my baby's arms
My little girl gives me everything
I know that some day she'll wear my ring
So don't bother me man I ain't got no time
I'm on my way to see that girl of mine
'Cause nothing matters in this whole wide world
When you're in love with a Jersey girl


I see you on the street and you look so tired
I know that job you got leaves you so uninspired
When I come by to take you out to eat
You're lyin' all dressed up on the bed baby fast asleep
Go in the bathroom and put your makeup on
We're gonna take that little brat of yours and drop her off at your mom's
I know a place where the dancing's free
Now baby won't you come with me
'Cause down the shore everything's all right
You and your baby on a Saturday night
Nothing matters in this whole wide world
When you're in love with a Jersey girl.



“If this is the ‘new’ Jersey, can you just imagine what the ‘old’ Jersey must had been like?”

There seems to be a stinging stigma aimed towards those who hail from the small state known as New Jersey. This novel of historical fiction will put a beat down on the stereotypes attributed to the Jersey Girl.

I’m sure we all have heard by now about the infamous Nicole Polizzi. Better known as MTV’s sleazy character “Snookie” from its reality TV series The Jersey Shore. An actress of sorts, if you may dare call her one; born in Santiago, Chili, raised in Poughkeepsie, NY and whom currently resides in Marlboro, NY. A loud, obnoxious drama queen who is about to release a novel of her very own; A Shore Thing.

A sure what? New Yorker maybe, or perhaps she’s what us true Jersey Girls would deem a ‘Shoe-bee.’ A Shoe-bee is an old derogatory term dating back to the 1930’s to describe tourists from outside of New Jersey who come down to visit the Jersey Shore and act like they own the place. Back then they packed and brought along a shoe-boxed lunch, but today they drag out coolers of iced down piss poor beer and leave the Jersey shores much worse for the wear.

Contrary to popular notion not everyone from New Jersey speaks with a heavy Italian accent or belongs to the mob. Not every gal wears big hair or halter tops with half their tits hanging out. New Jersey much like any other East Coast state has a charm all of her own, as much as each female who has been born and raised there. I’ve for one, have been a Jersey Girl all of my life and will probably die one, regardless on where I lay my head down tonight.

Growing up in New Jersey I was just a hour or two drive from two fantastic cities; Philadelphia and New York. On any spontaneous night a gal could rock out at a RUSH concert in Philly or spy out a Broadway play in New York City. Museums, history and cultures abound in these metro-areas and being a Jersey Girl, I always had a quiet home to return to after seeing what life was like someplace else.

Jersey Girls adore Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. This is not a stereotype, its a fact - so get used to it. We will stand in line for fucking hours and camp overnight freezing our asses off for concert tickets. And yes, many of us have done this just so we can pass out on the floor within one minute of the band coming out on the stage.

As this novel will attest, Jersey Girls always tend to keep it real. We get right to the point and heart of the matter not wasting any time with small talk. There is no being subtle or talk about the cold, windy weather that a Nor’easter may bring. We are the Nor’easter when it comes to letting someone know what we really think about them. Cold? Perhaps. Painfully honest? Absolutely. Blow your mind? You can count on it.

I’m grateful that New Jersey is only prone to stereotypes, not earthquakes or tornadoes. Every place has its share of flaws, but the Jersey Girl within them; accepts them. We are strong, confident in who we are, determined in what we do and tend to forget everything else. Nothing matters in the whole wide world when you’re in love with who you are; A Jersey Girl.


Stumble It! .......posted by Margaret @ 12:21 AM   1 comments

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