Daily Archives: June 16, 2012

Dragging the Past Around Like a Cotton Sack

Until you forgives it, I reckons. 

The Coincidence Coordinators will rub our noses in the alternatives just for the hell of doing it.

I’d stopped into the Office Max store in Kerrville to pick up a cheap flash drive when I saw the little bastard.  He and what I figured must be a lady employ of his [now] were looking over the copying machines, taking notes, asking a clerk questions, frowning and muttering to one another.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, changed positions pretending to look at other merchandise on other counters to get a better view of him.  Shaking my head in disbelief.  He’d put on a bit of weight, hair’d gone gray, but it was Tony.  The very man I used to swear to myself if I ever caught him out somewhere I’d whip his ass until it thundered.

And here he was in Kerrville, Texas.

Shortly after I came into Grants, New Mexico, after I gave myself a Y2K, discovered I couldn’t find a job paying higher than minimum wage, I went to work for Tony.  He was managing the Rodeway Inn, needed a graveyard shift clerk.  I hired on.

During the interview he drifted to personal conversation.  “What kind of music do you like?”

“Old stuff, mostly.  Rock and Roll, pre-1980s CW.  Bluegrass.  Opera, classical.  I’ve got promiscuous tastes in music.”

“Any kind of music you especially don’t like?”

“Yeah.  I never cared for disco, and what passes for country music now drives me nuts.”

I had no idea.

After I’d trained for a week with one of the day shift clerks the place was all mine from 11:00 pm until 7:00 am.  The radio/stereo was locked in the office behind me, but I didn’t have access to it.  Tony’s apartment was back there, too, but the speakers to the radio were in the lobby.

11:00 pm every night I’d report to work, 11:10 pm every night, just so’s I’d know it was deliberate, the volume would go up almost so’s I couldn’t hear anything else allowing me to check in customers.  Modern all night country music station out of Albuquerque.

When they came down to check out early or to grab some breakfast the customers would often get nasty about it, ask me to turn down the racket.  All I could do was shrug.

I got this far writing the draft before I thought of the ‘Bypass Surgery’ post and song.  Thought it might tell some other tales about working in that motel, and about Tony.  But it turns out it might as well be this post played 78 rpm.

Spark and Tinder for the Next Country Music Wave

I suppose I ought to begin all over and tell you some other tales about old Tony, maybe sometime I will.  Because there are a lot of them, and many were codified in letters I wrote to Jeanne while I was working those long nights.  She’s pestered me plenty of times to post some of them here, though some weren’t about Tony. 

Good stories, though.  The night clerk at the other motel Tony managed across the street giving $25 bjs to the customers and Tony’s reaction when it got back to him.  How he got to banging the woman-prisoners from the State Women Prison who worked daytimes cleaning up, and how pissed he was when he discovered they were also screwing the customers.

How he’d rent the ‘suite’ room out a week at a time to the local crystal meth dealer, then spend his time up there rolling #100 bills, the motel register showing the room as vacant and closed for repairs.

But I ain’t going to waste my time telling you all that.  I’m just going to forgive old Tony for being among the lowest scum tyrants I’ve ever met this lifetime, then do my best to forget that entire episode of my life.

Actually, now I think about it, there are a couple that don’t involve Tony I might get around to telling.

Old Jules

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Giving the Devil His Due

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Before I leave Dennis Tolliver in the dust of history I’m going to share a couple of other anecdotes with you to round out your understanding of the sort of man was, might still be if he’s alive.

During the years I lived in Socorro I’d frequently stop in at Mel’s furniture store for coffee.  Often we’d stroll around the corner to Tolliver’s used car lot for the novelty.  Mel King

Mel and Dennis were close friends and both were trapped in self-images including a strong measure of outlaw-billybadass.  Nothing much was said about it, but it hovered in the background as scenery too solid not to be real.

One day we were huddled in the car lot office when a Navajo from the Alamo Rez came in with a small caliber pistol he offered as a down payment on a truck.  Dennis noted it was loaded with a round in the chamber, examined it and scowled.

Dennis:  This pissant thing?  What the hell do you think I’d want with it? 

He handed it back to the guy.

Navajo:  It’s a good pistol.

Dennis:  Good pistol my ASS.  Shoot me with this damned thing! 

He stood up and threw his arms out to make a better target.

Dennis:  Shoot me anywhere you want to with it!  If I have to go to the hospital I’ll give you the damned truck free!

The guy looked at the pistol, looked at Dennis, seemed to be considering it.  Then he just shook his head, stuffed the pistol under his belt and left.

Dennis:  Bastard was trying to set me up.  If I’d taken that pistol from him I’d have had cops all over this place.  A convicted felon in possession of a firearm!  If that bastard was real he’d have shot me and tried for the free truck.

I was more closely acquainted with a guy who’d grown up with Dennis, who enlisted in the army with him, served with him in Vietnam.  A man who had no use at all for Dennis Tolliver.  One day he explained his reason.

Several years before Dennis did his armed robbery trick in Grants the two of them found themselves in possession of some dynamite and blasting caps.  They were drunk, and went out on the Interstate blowing up traffic barrels, abandoned automobiles, whatever presented itself.

Eventually a police car came over the horizon behind them, lights and siren providing the drama.  Dennis floorboarded the truck, but the cop was on the tailgate in no time.

Dennis:  Light that stick of dynamite and throw it out on him.

The cap was taped around the dynamite stick with electrical tape.  The guy telling me the story said he lit it and tried to throw it out, but it slipped and rolled under the seat of the truck, him fumbling around under there for it.

Dennis, calmly:  You really need to get that out of here or that cop’s going to have us.

Finally the guy found it, tossed it out the window soon enough so’s it exploded outside the truck, blew out all the windows and the truck rolled into the ditch.  Dennis came out unscathed, but my bud got all his hair burned off, ended up in the hospital, then jail. 

Pissed him off royally, because he was charged and convicted for the whole mess, while Dennis walked.  Dennis even testified against him.

Worthless bastard!” was all he had to say about Dennis.

Old Jules