> New Jersey Transit 18.04 to Morristown, NJ <
I thought it would be fun to write about some of my old school friends as though they were characters in a 1930s Warner Brothers gangster film. Was it? Don’t know, haven’t done it yet…
Richard “Ward Rules” Ward
Two things you need to know about Ward: one, there’s no fight he can’t run away from faster than the other guy, and, two, if he’s taking his girl out for a stake, don’t expect him to pay. Diminutive and baby-faced, Ward can push his luck like a hobo a cart full of scrap – but, lucky for him, most of the time he’s got a quarter’s worth of charm to pay for a dime’s worth of fight. Whatever, ‘Ward rules’ say he ain’t ever paying more. (Youngest of the Ward brothers.)
Mikey “Too Tall” Scott
With long arms loaded up with ink, Mikey Scott always surveys whatever room he’s in from a vantage-point unusually close to the ceiling. Chances are, he’s looking for a full glass of liquor or a long-legged gal – but, either way, you can count on him to find it. However thirsty, though, and wherever those eyes are wandering, Mikey might just be a song-and-dance man at heart, his trusty guitar never far from reach. Hell, you’d be surprised how light on his feet he can be… for a hard-drinking ladies man and all.
Robert Edward Main, aka Protection Agency
Another high-rise fellow, Robert Edward Main is big enough to carry a heavy coat full of contrasts. He’s a devout man, a man of god, but he’s also fond of the drink, fond of the cards, a man who likes to play the odds. Burly and broad, hirsuit and haggard, Robert can wear a suit well but prefers the good honest comfort of less flashy cloth. A one-man protection racket, Robert can be relied upon, at one and the same time, to never start a brawl and to always want to be there when one’s coming to an end. He’ll say it’s just a good turn he’s doing… and it might just be true.
Alex Mattey, “Elsewhere”
If you ever want to figure where Alex Mattey’s at, start looking now. Or pick a place he might be, then always look elsewhere. It’s not his business to be found, see – and, hell, if it was he’d be broke and eating off the floor. Don’t pay it any mind, though, you’ll catch him soon enough. He’ll be sat there at the bar, flashing his toothy grin and raising up a drink like he never went away. Sure, you could ask where he’s been, but don’t you count on getting told. Alex, “Elsewhere:” what else you need to know?
Alan “White Collar” Treanor
Call it ill-gotten gains, call it smart-money – either way, Alan “White Collar” Treanor is loaded down with coin. He’s got an eye for numbers, a head for figures, and, always, a gift for turning something into more: some money… more money; some patch of dirt… more ground for doing deals on; some other sucker duped… more collateral for growth. He’s good with it, mind you, and never hordes a cent. Lucky, instead, the barber in Alan’s part of town, the tailor and the shoe-shine boy, the barista and the barman… Treanor only ever pays sticker price or more, for the the thrill of giving back. What price a good time if one’s out there to be had (and fair is fair, he’ll help you have one too)?
[My thanks to Richard, Mike, Rob, Alex and Alan – I hope you don’t think I’ve been amusing myself at your expense… even if, you know, I basically have been!]