The Angels Surprise

angel

Back on familiar ground, the streets of The Lower East Side of New York. I had two things in mind, to find some get high and get back to my crib. I usually copped at Alan and Chrysie streets but “operation pressure point” had recently inhabited the entire area and flooded it with police presence. I got a tip from a fellow user that “Executive”, the best dope in town, had relocated to second street and first avenue. Finding good dope in the city was a game of hide and seek and once you understand how the game is played there are certain indicators look for and I found a steerer who steers people to the product.

Off to in search of some buzz, walking down 3rd street, no particular reason just a random route. I had just crossed 2nd ave when I spotted a somewhat unusual looking van. A used telephone company van in faded drab olive green color. Unusual and familiar because it’s the same kind of van my buddy Jim had when we got busted in South Carolina during a stopover on our way to Arizona. No big deal, a thirty day stint in a local jail filled with muscle bound angry Barny Fifes. Thing is Jim had some money wired an payed his fine leaving me there to pay my debt to society alone. Thirty days later I was put out on the street somewhere in SC, I think the name of the town was Inbred Cenral, with no money and no backpack of possessions which left with Jim and the van. My friend Judas Jim up and left me, taking my worldly possessions in a knapsack, and hit out I assume for Arizona with his girlfriend but without me. Alone and penniless a new odyssey began as I hitch hiked my way back to New York fuming the entire three days about my Judas friend. It was an adventure I’ll never forget, and I met a number of decent people along the way that restored my waning faith in humanity. But that was water under the bridge now.

At least it was until the sight of that van conjured up dark memories and returned me to a very angry place. Adrenaline pumped as I thought, “Holy shit, Jims fucking van right here in my city. If he’s around here I shall reign down upon that piece of shit all my vengeance.” A closer look was needed. A tell tale sign would be the custom job Jim had made in the van for his Prima Donna junkie girlfriend. He had taken the passenger seat out and replaced it with a nice comfortable chair his brother had adjusted to fit in place of the standard seat. A semi swivel leather chair meant for a living room modified for his mainlining princess. If I find that in the van I will know that Jimbo Judas is very soon to receive an overdue ass kicking of epic proportion. An unfamiliar devious smile spread across my cheeks, not normally one to engage in such trivial emotional payback, but those thirty days were tough, getting my ass beat by hick sadist cops every other day, then starving and alone in a town 6000 miles from home. The memories have been dormant for some time now but now the evil gargoyle of beat down memories quickly percolated to the boiling point in an instant. Payback is gonna be one helluva bitch for that young shit stain.

Right up to the back window I head, cupping my hands above my eyes to reduce the glare. I wanted to get a real close look to make sure this was the scumbags van. My heart was racing and my hands were shaking. But as I got a good view it was no go. Just a normal two seats in the van. Disappointed I steppe back but something was nudging at the corner of my eye. I felt someone staring, no, not staring, glaring at me from across the street. I thought maybe it was the vans owner so I quickly stepped back an that’s when I noticed the bumper stickers. First one said “Free Sonny Barger“, the next said “Don’t let your tongue get your teeth knocked out” and the third simply aid “1%er” with a skull and crossbones. Free Sonny Barger, the Hell Angel busted in Cali, 1%er a bike gang term, knock your teeth out self explanatory, and the distinct sense that the overlord of hell himself was across the street firing bolts of pissed off eyeball electricity at me from his burning figure. I peeked around in front of the van. “Oh Fuck!”

A row of Harley Davidson motorcycles were parked in front of the van and went on for at least 30 scoots. I swallowed hard and peered innocently at the menacing glare from across the street and he wasn’t alone. Three men, not the three wise men but three burly greasy mean and ugly bikers stood staring at me with their arms crossed in a doorway. I looked behind them to a sight that drained every droplet of blood from my head. A red brick building with a black door and arch, a skull at the keystone of the arch and the words Hells Angels New York City in red letters. A mural style picture of a devil with a trident in one hand and flames in the other. I was staring at the entrance of the headquarters of the Hells Angels, new York City Chapter. They didn’t look friendly nor looking to give me an invitation for tea. The three men walked much too quickly towards me.

The ground shook with each step these three gorillas took but not nearly as much as I was shaking. I blurted out what a horrible misunderstanding this was but I think it sounded more like, “Oh hey wait, no, please, I it, I umm, someone with a van, no please don’t do tha….gurgle gurgle t’fuuu tooie.” as I tried to beg for my life through a split lip and maybe some lost teeth. It was just one of the dudes hitting me, the other two laughing and taunting me in unrecognizable English. After repeated punches to my face as I lay crumble on the ground he reeled back an introduced my ribs to his motorcycle boot which for as far as I Can guess was “just for good measure.” The three of them stood over me laughing like idiots although I wouldn’t tell them that to their faces. I assume reading is beyond they’re level of education so I feel pretty safe writing about it now. I thought they were going to pound me into a slow and painful death but the beating portion of the event was apparently over. One of the Neanderthal bikers grabbed me and picked me up like a sack of potatoes then sat me on top of a garbage pail. “Now what the fuck was you doing with your eyeballs in our brothers cage?” It was hard to speak as I was choking on my own blood and all I could think about was how much everything hurt but I did my best to lay out my story. When I got to the part where I said I wanted to kick the shit out of the traitor Jim it seemed ironic. I was sure they would punch the shit out of me just for acting arrogant. When it comes to kicking ass their expertise shines.

Luckily for me my tale of woe struck a familiar barbaric chord with my new biker friends. They invited me inside the clubhouse asking for more detail obviously hungry for a good story. Once I had their attention my story telling instincts kicked in. I embellished on my prison stint in South Carolina, stretching my sentence form thirty days to ninety days and included a number of beatings by guards while handcuffed in a chair. I leveled so much anger and distain at authority and my nemesis Jim they began cheering and swore if he ever came to New York they would sever his arteries for me and let me take any spare parts home. I was Scheherazade of the Hells Angels that day coming up with new and more barbaric tales each time as they fed me cheapshit beer while listening intently as if I were reading them a bedtime story.

Eventually they let me clean up and sent me on my way with an open invitation, but I knew I would never be back to accept. Not that they weren’t a fun crowd but chances are they won’t remember me ten minutes after I’m gone, and like a Doberman, you just never know when it may turn and make you its victim. From that point on when I was headed down to that part of the city I would walk blocks out of my way to avoid 3rd street between first and second.

Thunder Road Trip

medium

Man I still remember my first motorcycle and the years my life was lived on two wheels. When I got my first Harley Sporster I had so much to learn. Life on a motorcycle is a different lifestyle, not merely a choice of ride. In the years that went by I learned how to shop light so I didn’t have to much shit to tie down with bungee chords, how to approach a red light without stopping completely, and how to dress for the particular ride of the day. Like if its getting to get cold, or if rain is in the forecast. But on my first bike trip I found my self unprepared in many ways. Being unprepared was mandatory for my naïve stoned ass back then so I planned my trip the way any self respecting weed smoking hippie would. Procrastinating. And procrastinating was something I was an expert in. If they gave an award for procrastinating I would win and send someone else to pick it up in a few weeks, I’m that good. So it was just me, a backpack of clothes, my “Motorcycle Mama” a road map, and a notion that set out on a Friday afternoon for a run up into the mountains for a weekend of two wheeled nirvana.
We began that trip from Long Island which was a great placer for riding. Jump on your scoot and head out east where traffic is sparse and other bikers are plentiful and it was motorcycle mania. Many a day spent just cruising from Massapequa to Montauk and back just for the ride. But I wanted to go on a mountain road trip. I’d been to the Catskill mountains by car many times but now that I am a two wheeled menace I wanted to think bigger. Hell I was a baddass in a leather jacket and motorcycle boots, not some wimp ass hippie in a Volkswagen anymore. Catskills? Childs play dude, I was heading up into the Adirondack Mountains. A friend told me about a place up past Amsterdam New York where there was a giant mound of earth called Jiminy Mountain in a town by the name of Castlerock not too far from Plattsburg. The mountain is uninhabited by humans and often people camp out there. True campers, with tents and shit. I wasn’t planning on roughing it that much, there’s a motel close to Castlerock and that’s where we would be staying. Then we could make a full day trip up the mountain the next morning, stopping off at the halfway point to a place called Cricket Falls. Normally the ride took about five and a half hours and I was stoked.
I’ve heard it said that getting there is half the fun and on this point I must disagree. It started out quite awesome, circumventing traffic jams in between lanes. Not a tactic I would recommend now that I am a seasoned rider, but when I saw the long line of cars all with the same notion, to get the fuck out of town for the weekend, it was just far too tempting. I slowly crossed the Throggs Neck Bridge in illegal but effective fashion, and once past all the tri city congestion the real adventure begins. With my girlfriend on back we breezed across the Tappan Zee Bridge and were on our way up to the country. As we crossed over into Rockland County the first bad omen appeared on the horizon. The sky was darkening up ahead and not because the sun was going down. It looked as though there may be a storm up ahead and the darkness had an evil grin. We continued up The New York State Thru-way an that’s when it began. It was a mere drizzle but it made me realize something quite important to a motorcycle rider. I had no raingear, no windsheild, and my backpack was unprotected from the oncoming onslaught of raindrops.
Raindrops can be so romantic, Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head, I saw her sitting in the rain, raindrops falling on her, Oh it must be raindrops, so many raindrops, sweet romantic raindrops. If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops. Cute little innocent raindrops. But when you’re traveling at 65plus MPH out in the open those raindrops band together like a soggy convention of bullies and while some slap the shit out of your face, hands, and torso, the others form aquatic conspiracies and loiter wherever they can because they’re bent on soaking one right trough to the bone. The rain was fast, wet, and hard because in a matter of seconds we were both drenched and uncomfortable. As if that weren’t bad enough many of the raindrops that missed the all out assault on us directly gathered on the road in front of us to extract as much traction as possible from the two tires. Lesson, riding in the rain is dangerous, and always pack raingear. Too late for that I had to get creative.
We stopped at the first rest stop available. “Two cups of hot coffee and two large garbage bags please.” The waitress looked confused at first but as soon as she saw the puddles forming under our soaked bodies she got it. We sat down sipped our coffee and began to dry off. After five minutes the waitress came back with two large plastic garbage bags meant for the jumbo trash cans in the kitchen, “Here ya go honey, this aughta keep ya dry for a bit. How far ya headed?” I took the bags and thanked her, “We’re headin’ up to Jiminy Mountain in Castlerock.” She gave us a worried glance, “This ain’t gonna be near enough honey, lemme see if I can talk the chef into two more bags for ya’s”. She disappeared and as we finished our coffees she returned with two more bags, “Here ya go Hon, good luck now.” and with a wink she left earning herself a five dollar tip for two cups of coffee.
“Why did you leave her five dollars JT? And what are we gonna do pick up garbage along the way? You were flirting with her weren‘t you?” Note to self, never travel with a jealous girlfriend. “I wasn’t flirting with her I was thanking her, she gave us some protection from the rain. We can cut holes in the bags and wear them like raincoats.” Satisfied but still suspicious of me flirting she relented and we put the plastic bag raincoats on before gassing up and headed back out to the thru-way. Driving on the wet road is dangerous enough, but with the big eighteen wheelers kicking the rain off their tires its twice as dangerous and ten times as annoying. I was passing them and they didn’t like it, and before long I found myself in a game of cat and mouse, one truck passing me and getting right in front of me, me passing it only to find myself challenged by another asshole in an eighteen wheeler. I envisioned them on their fuckin’ CB radios, “Hey big buddy, we got us a wise ass biker looking to play hide and seek.” “Back atcha big buddy, lets fuck this two wheel shit to pieces, mon back. Big ten four buddy, eyeballin’ the little bastards now, taking them to the curb.”
At first it was just a pain in the ass but it rapidly escaladed to road war. I was getting more and more pissed by the minute but not much I could do, it was still raining and our garbage bags were shredding. I pulled ahead of all three of the asshole truckers and snuck into the next rest stop to top off the gas tank, have another coffee, and let the three amigos find someone else to terrorize.
Fully caffeinated, slightly rested, still soaked but freshly bagged we set back out on the road. It was a matter of minutes before another trucker started playing games with us. Joined by one other big rig I wondered if they laid in wait for us but that wasn’t possible, this was two new assholes, maybe heard the other trucks talking about us on their CB’. Now I was getting real pissed but they kept playing their game, boxing us in then taking turns passing and cutting us off. I could see them smiling as I passed them which only inflamed my already heated temper. I had enough and decided I was just gonna blow past them. The rain had slowed down and I felt like we could make a get-away. As I was passing the lead truck the dickhead driver broke the camels back. The asshole rolled down his window and flicked a cigar but at us just as we were passing. The stogie struck my breast and the red ambers scattered both sides behind me. I was livid now, and in the spirit of Easy Rider, just like in the last scene, I drove up along side his cab, waited until he turned his fat redneck face at me and stuck my middle finger out as clear as I possibly could. I didn’t want to leave any doubt that I was saying “This Fuck You is all yours!”
I felt vindicated, I felt euphoric, I felt free, free and wild like Billy in Easy Rider telling him and every other trucker fucker what I thought of them. I also felt petrified, because as I remembered the last scene Billy was shot and his bike was spread across the highway. I was petrified because I now realized that my cigar flinging nemesis would be so indignant from my salute he would be on the CB in touch with every trucker fucker for a hundred miles, telling them about some long hair hippie and his biker babe messin’ with all truckers. The stakes of this stupid game had just gotten too high. I rode as fast as I could avoiding as many trucks as possible until we reached the next rest stop, about thirty miles from Castlerock where I parked the bike in the back. We sat down and ate and drank coffee for two hours waiting for everything to blow over, the rain, the truckers, and my angry Mama.
When we finally did get back on the road, we filled the tank, talked another waitress into two more garbage bags, and set out for the last of the run. 25 miles of highway and 6 mile of local side road left, we were both exhausted and in dire need of sleep. We planned to go straight to Motel Jiminy Cricket, where they also leave the lights on, and hit up into the mountains after a good nights sleep. The rain had stopped and the ride on the highway was much safer and uneventful. The last part of our run was a six mile winding road down Osh Kosh Avenue, of Buttfuck boulevard , or lost canyon New York, where hicks are raised ala Appalachia. Not much around but nature and lots of space. We didn’t see another vehicle the entire six miles and the monotony was lulling us into complacency. I felt my girlfriends head get heavy on my back and knew she was falling asleep. On the back of a moving motorcycle!!! I tried to shake her awake twice, but then suddenly my headlight went out and my engine stalled. I popped the clutch and it started back up, but for two seconds that acted more like five minutes I had no headlight on a windy and very dark road, my Mama asleep with her head digging into my back, and a feeling like I never wanted to ride again. We got to the motel both of us awake, drenched, and exhausted. I took out the battery which was soaked and shorting out, and got a room for us and the battery where we dried out overnight.
The rest of the excursion was phenomenal, riding trails meant only for bikers and hikers and saw a huge pond at the very top of mount Jiminy, a sight only a handful of other human has ever has the pleasure to behold. We rested in a natural rock tub atop a waterfall at Cricket Creek watching the fierce water arc outward and onward into the rapids, and enhanced the enchanted excursion by convening with as well as smoking Mother Nature. Sights and sounds so remarkable and spectacular the trials and tribulations of getting here dissolved in the wind. I continued to ride for another ten years having to end my riding tenure because of injuries and responsibilities and I look back fondly on the years I rode. One year my beat up VW was shot and I rode my two wheel wonder through a difficult and harsh New York winter, complete with an ice storm and two blizzards, but I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything. As far as the first mountain road trip I admit I was shitting pickles after the cigar stogie middle finger incident, but I gotta tell ya looking back it was one of the most liberating and proud moments of my life when if only for a few short minutes I stood up to a convoy of testosterone laden asshole truckers and said, FUCK YOU!

Searching For Uncle Goatleg

8777469-biker-on-motorcycle-vector-illustration

A Goat Bt Any Other Name
My first brush with the law, and my Dad has to come pick me up . Funny thing is my old man looks more like a criminal than I do. I’m being raised by a hippie tree hugging father and a step Mom who’s not quite so liberal. Dad used to ride Harleys, smoke pot, and was as he puts it, “a bit of a rouge” Tonight my rebel Dad comes to pick me up from the cop station in a beat up VW. Plus I have a feeling he was no stranger to cop stations back in his day.
Once we were out of the precinct parking lot he asked me in his calm voice what happened. I explained it all, how we were smoking a joint before the dance at the High school and the cops came running over. Not finding anything they searched us all and I was holding rolling papers so they took me to the precinct for possessing drug paraphernalia on school property. Straight away he gave me the like it or not its still illegal lecture, and the not ever on or near school property thing. We drove in silence after the lecture for two minutes until he said, “Paraphernalia? Rolling papers? Are they fucking kidding? “ The two of us laughed and my old man ran off some of his cop jokes, like someone stole the toilet from the cop station and they have nothing to go on, or he points to the back seat and says he picked up a dozen donuts in case I was in serious trouble. He always admitted he felt pot should be legal like alcohol even though he doesn’t smoke it anymore. That is he says he doesn’t smoke but I have my suspicions, every once in a while I feel like my stash is light a few bowls. Either way my old man wasn’t a big fan of cops busting kids for having fun.
When we got a block away from home and he said, “I’m gonna have to act all mad at home cuz I gotta at least pretend to be a responsible adult and Jenny will be expecting me to ground you. I’ll need to issue some form of punishment your step Mom will think that’s important but I mean fucking A, rolling papers is a fucking crime now? Look I get it Ian, it seems unfair. In fact is unfair, but that’s how the games of the establishment are played little cool man, you don’t try to beat the law, you wrangle around it. You gotta fool them at their own game. Give them enough of what they want and let them think they have the upper hand. If you fight them they just use stronger punishment, that’s their warped mentality, to punish you harshly until you break. So here’s what I’m gonna do. I am gonna tell Jenny that you just made a small mistake because you were unaware of the consequences of smoking marijuana. You haven’t committed any bad crime and no one got hurt and education will work better than punishment. So you will write me a four page report, two pages on the physiological consequences, and two pages on the consequences marijuana can have on society. That way you will learn the err of your ways!” That man was a fucking genius!
We drove home and I went straight to my room. Dad explained to Jenny what was up and downplayed the incident. She apparently agreed that the report would be the best punishment and so it was set. He used that report when he and I had to go in front of the town board and they were so impressed they dropped the charge and expunged my record completely. Man I really adored that man. He could spin a story like nobody’s business. So I knew that night when he came into my room to talk about the whole situation it was a perfect time to distract him by asking him about his youth. He loves talking about his younger days in the “turbulent sixties.“ One character in particular I had always wanted to know more about was his best friend. I only met him a few times when I was young but Pops tells me he came over all the time when I was a baby. I didn’t remember that and I don’t even know his real name. My big sister and I just called him “Uncle Goatleg”. That alone had to be a good story.
“Hey Pops, I know this was a stupid thing I did. You’ve always been so honest with me and I know you smoked back in your day, but whenever I think about what it must have been like for you growing up the one name that keeps coming to my mind is Uncle Goatleg. All I remember about him is this really nice guy with long hair and a very long beard. I remember you were always happy when he was around and I figure you call him Goatleg because of his limp. I assume it was caused by a motorcycle accident or something cause I vaguely remember you and him having motorcycles and giving me and Molly rides wearing football helmets. What was his real name and what was he like?” I could see a huge smile on my dads face as he reminisced. Uncle Goatleg was as tall as my dad, and just as muscular. Maybe even a little more. He had very thick curly reddish brown hair that danced over his shoulders. My dad always had a short beard, but Goatlegs chinstrap was quite long. The full rust colored hair sprouted from his chin and went clear down to the middle of his chest. The hair on his face was so thick I can’t say for sure if he even had lips. Santa would have been jealous at how beautiful that beard was. Like I said, he has a bit of a limp, and he walked with the assistance of the coolest walking stick I’d ever seen. A dark red hardwood cane. Around the cane was carved the most magnificent black and yellow cobra snake with the head right at the handle so he could hold his hand inside the snakes mouth. I recall the detail of the snake as almost mesmerizing, the tiny scales, the flared head and sharp teeth were kind of menacing and I’m sure I stared at it every time he came over. Without really ever knowing Uncle Goatleg I admired him greatly and wished he had come around more often.
“Oh wow, uncle Goatleg. I’m surprised you remember him. His biker name was Redbeard but his real name was Kevin. He injured his leg in a motorcycle accident. Yeah, he and I rode together a few years before I had to sell my bike. Kev had a gorgeous tricked out Harley shovelhead. What a beautiful bike. Me and Kevin go all the way back to kindergarten where we got into a fistfight over a toy truck. It was the first fight for both of us and we got sent to the principals office. While waiting, we glared each other down still pissed, and then Kevin says “I hear the principal looks like a grasshopper. A fat bald grasshopper.” I broke out laughing and we both making cricket noises and acted the fools. Became best friends instantly an learned we only lived three blocks away. Stayed best friends until he left. We did everything together rode bicycles, went to the beach, dances, girls, rock concerts, everything. We were together all the time just about all the way through school. We even learned to drive in the same car, your Uncle Jack’s Barracuda. When the time came we went to buy our first motorcycles at the same place.” I wasn’t sure what I wanted to hear more, the story of their friendship or the story of why Uncle Goatleg left but I opted for the latter. “When did he leave and where did he go? Why did he go? Did he ride away on his bike? Do you know where he is now?” Pops chuckled, “Slow down son, it’s a bit of a story. Let me get us something to drink.” As he got up he smiled and his chuckling voice trailed off, “Always with a million questions Ian.”
When he came back a few minutes later he had a large mug of beer for himself and a soda for me. “Hey, can I have a beer?” I got the you know better than that look as he smiled. “Not this time Ian, but someday soon we’ll share a few. Right now I’m gonna tell you about your Uncle Goatleg. Actually you gave him that name.” I perked up instantly. “Me?? How did I do that?” Dad took a long swig of his beer, “One time he came over and you were like two and a half years old. You were full of questions even back then. You asked him over and over what happened to his leg, why does he limp, was it from the motorcycle, non stop questions. Kevin laughed and rolled up his pant leg to show you his disfigured and scarred leg. You said ’Ew gross, it looks like a goats foot.’ We laughed our asses off and then he roared, ‘Yea Ian, Uncle Goatleg, that’s my name. I’m your Uncle Goatleg.’ Every time he came over we called him Uncle Goatleg. You and your sister are the only two people in the world he’s let call him that. He got a real kick out of that. Anyway, as I was saying, Kevin and I rode bikes together for a while but he was much more serious about biking and eventually took to hanging out at bars that outlaw bikers went to. The Heathens Motorcycle Club which is the second biggest MC group on the east coast. The main rivals of The hells Angels. Eventually Kevin was asked to become a member and he jumped at the chance. I went with him a few times to the Heathens bar and it was very scary. They got into fights over things like ’you breathed on me‘, or ‘you looked at my beer.’ Dangerous crowd they were very violent. Being an outsider I was a target so I told him I couldn’t come around anymore. He understood but that was the life he wanted and he lived it. We saw less and less of each other, Goatleg always with his MC gang. I had to sell my bike and wasn’t interested in hanging out with The Heathens. I’m a lover not a fighter. I would read stories in the papers of major brawls between them and rival clubs and he would stop by from time to time and give me the inside scoop. Then one night in 86 or so, he stops by the restaurant I was working at and tells me he has a huge problem and needs help. He has to get out of town and disappear forever. I was stunned and we went outside to talk. He lifted up his leather jacket and shirt to show me his right side. It was one giant black, blue, and red bruise and I was like holy shit Kev, what the Hell; happened? Well in typical Kevin style, he made the big mistake of banging one of the other bikers mama’s. But not just any bikers babe, he nailed the mama of the president of his chapter. He was beaten by near everyone in the club with fists and pool sticks and thrown out of the bar. Everyone took shots at him except the president. Seems he wants Kevin either dead or really suffering and was gonna take care of business himself. So Kev was a marked man. After work I went to an ATM, took out as much cash as I could and made him promise to let me know where he is. He said ‘can’t do that bro, it will put you in danger. And your kids. Can’t do that to Ian and Molly.’ These fuckers mean business and they’ll fuck over anyone what knows me. Just gotta split man, that’s all.’ They won’t rest until they kill him so he left and went underground. I moved shortly after that and neither of us has any idea where the other ended up. I think about him all the time.”
I gotta tell ya, I was pretty blown away. As I absorbed the story I had one last question, “so you have no idea where he went? Not even a clue? Or a name he might use? You know we can find out a lot of shit on the internet, maybe we could do a search?” (So maybe it was more than one question, that’s my nature) Pops smiled at me, “Sometimes Ian, things are left behind because they are supposed to stay in the past. As much as I miss Kevin I am not sure finding him would be the best thing for him.” I was taken aback. “Him? What about you Dad? Don’t you think you deserve at least a thanks? Or a hello? A postcard, or I don’t know,….something!?” I hated when he seemed like King fucking Solomon but he gave me his Zen smile and in his voice of reason explained. “Any contact could put us all in danger Ian. My brother needed my help and needed it without question or condition. Maybe its forgotten and maybe not, but when you love someone there are times when you must sacrifice your own personal feelings for the good of the one you love. And I love your Uncle Goatleg, we’re blood brothers forever, we pinky swore in blood and everything. Forever connected even if its in memory only. I know how much he appreciated what I did for him and he would have done the same for me in a heartbeat. The truth is I have heard bits and pieces of Kevin’s life but over the years I’ve learned that sometimes things from the past should just stay there. Life isn’t always easy son.” That wasn’t good enough for me, “What exactly have you heard about Uncle Goatleg?” Dad shook his head in mock frustration, “ I hear tell he headed down to Florida and is living a happy quiet life somewhere near a town called Palm Coast. I hope he is and I hope he‘s happy and we should just leave it at that.”
The wheels began spinning in my brain. My best friend Eugene has an aunt who lives in Flagler Beach, which as it turns out is only about ten miles from Palm Coast. I was graduating high school in June, and me and Huge were going on a short one month vacation somewhere. We weren’t sure where we wanted to go but we knew we needed to get away. Now I knew exactly where we would spend our vacation. Flagler Beach and Palm Coast here we come!