Saturday, July 12, 2008


I don’t know if those exact words were ever spoken, but the message was loud and clear to Augie and me.

We had to be 17 years old because I was driving the family ‘51 chevy. Neither of us was much bigger than we were some 6 or 7 years earlier when we had our “fight”. But we were both good looking, at least we thought so, and we were great dancers, we thought that too, so we decided to drive to a local hop in Hammonton, a town with a rough reputation, about 10 miles from Landisville. As usual the details are hazy, but I do remember that we connected with 2 girls and were enjoying ourselves when we got word that we were not welcome there, and it would be wise for us to think about leaving...soon! Considering ourselves lovers and not fighters, we accepted the “offer”, and mustering all the cool we could, headed for the door with our new girl friends, Augie and friend about 5-6 feet in front of me. Gathered about the exit were a number of very Italian looking guys (neither Augie or I resembled our genetic ancestry), all of them 6 ft. and 250 lbs., or so they seemed. The one thing about that evening that I recall with perfect clarity occurred as I walked out...I heard someone say, “why don’t we get that little bastard”!

Now, I don’t know why, but all of my life what ever name I’ve been called has always been preceded by the word “little”. My best friend, Richie Genoni, on those rare occassions when I beat him in a game of OUT in basketball would always call me a little shit, or a little bastard, never you shit or you bastard. Anyway, for what ever reason, they did not “get me” that night, but they did follow us in their car for several miles before they got tired. We then took the girls home, and maybe even parked for a while. One thing is certain, we did not go back to Hammonton.

I often wonder what became of Augie, the last I heard he married Eleanor Berti.

1 comment:

Aynex Mercado said...

I can relate. In the last hotel we stayed at, they we giving free cookies to the kids. I got a free cookie.