"The whole town is like one huge mouth where all the teeth are rotted and no dentist has been 'round for years nor is one ever gonna come again because nobody cares."
So that Saturday came, us regulars passed our inspection, me, probably, by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin (that must a racial slur--right, having to do with ancient Chinese men sporting thin-chin-whisker beards?)--my rifle sometimes had a speck of rust in it, but as long as my shoes were spit-shined and my brass was Brasso sharp and I knew my RA serial number and my rifle's serial number (I was a whiz at remember numbers so that was no problem), I was in like Flynn--one of my antiheroes in those days, by the bye, actor Errol Flynn--what a work he was! Right before Errol died of alcoholism--he took a 14-year-old Canadian girl to live with him in those horrid days he lived in a hotel room up in Vancouver, Canada, Beverly Aadland was her name, though Errol was known to not mind if a man was involved with him sexually--he said when ask about his sex life, "I don't care who the hell gets in bed with me at night and screws my ass, woman, man, or beast as long a my vodka bottle's in bed with me when I wake up the next day...or," he added, "whenever I wake up again."
So the Chicagoans and Big Bad John and I got on the military bus to the post main gate and there we caught the Trailways into Saint Louis, where we were gonna book on the Rock Island or the Burlington or the Illinois Central, one of those railroads and then head up to Chicago a couple'a hundred miles north and then after that--whatever, we had a horrible schedule to beat. EXCEPT....
When we got to Saint Louis and went to Union Station and were having a beer, the Chicagoans decided unanimously they cared nothing in the world about going home and they'd rather go back to Ruggiero's for another steak and then back over the bridge to East Saint Louis for another shot at the 80-buck-a-bottle-of-champagne girls and then they said Chuck Berry was playing at the Judges Chamber and I really wanted to see Chuck Berry but BBJ started calling the Chicagoans wussies afraid of the military--wow, that surprised me, though it also was the mark of a true Army man--he dared to challenge the impossible--but anyway BBJ said, "To hell with it, Wolfie, Detroit's only 500 miles thataway," he pointed northeastwardly, "we can do it; let's hop a choo-choo and go for it."
At first the ticket agent said we had to go through Chicago to get to Detroit, but BBJ said that was bullshit, didn't the Cannonball go to Detroit, or the GM&O, surely it had a train to Detroit, but the agent said no way it was Chicago or nothing. BBJ said, "Let's hop a cab, Wolfie, and go to the airport. We're flyin' home, Jack." From then on he started calling me Wolfman Jack, the gravel throated Amos 'n Andy-like whiteman mimicking a black man late-night record spinner--oh but I didn't give a shit; I had listened to Wolfman Jack many a night coming out of L.A. via the 100,000-watt Mexican stations.
We hustled a cab and this talkative son of a bitch, we couldn't shut his ass up nor could we understand a word he was saying he was jabbering on and on so rapid fire, took us out to Lambert Airport way out in the Saint Louis tullies and we ran in there fast and, by God, we went to the Capital Airlines ticket window and not only did they have a flight to Detroit leaving at 7 pm--arriving in Detroit at around 11:30 pm--then when the agent heard me ask BBJ if they had an airport in East Lansing she said, "You boys could fly free to Lansing but you'd have to go via Chicago Midway." "What'd'aya mean fly free?" "You are military; you can fly free on our flight to Chicago and then connect at Midway for our flight to Lansing--all you have to do is show me your military IDs." "Holy shit," BBJ said, "we gotta go to Chicago whether we like it or not. Damn Chicago. I hate Chicago, but, what the hey, we're gonna get to Michigan, baby, hook, line, and sinker." That's fisherman talk and Michiganders love to fish--then they love to roll the fillets in cornmeal and deep fry them--Holy Shit, I'm gonna find out they're awfully Old South in Michigan.
To be continued as is always continued in a continuing situation...to be continued.
for The Daily Growler
Chuck Berry one of the true inventors of Rock 'n Roll doin' the Duck Walk.