Wednesday, 11 February 2009

03 February 2009

open up in Denver will you Jack?- -mebbe I can get to my brother’s safe.” I certainly agreed. When we arrived in Denver I took him by the arm to Larimer street to pawn the penitentiary suit. The old Jew immediately sensed what it was before it was half unwrapped. “I don’t want that damn thing here, I get them every day from the Canon City boys.” All of Larimer street was overrun with ex-cons trying to sell their prison-spun suits. George ended up with the thing under his arm in a paper bag and walked around in brand new levis and sports shirt. We went to Neal’s old Glenarm bar---on the way George threw the suit in an ashcan---and called up Ed White. It was evening now. “Yo” chuckled Ed White. “Be right over.” In ten minutes he came loping into the bar with Frank Jeffries. They were both returned from France and tremendously disappointed with their Denver lives. They loved George and bought him beers. He began spending all his penitentiary money left and right. Again I was back in the soft dark Denver night with its holy alleys and crazy houses. We started hitting all the bars in town, roadhouses out on West Colfax, Five Points Negro bars, the works. Frank Jeffries had been waiting to meet me for years and now for the first time we were suspended together in front of a venture. “Jack, ever since I came back from France I ain’t had any idea what to do with myself. Is it true you’re going to Mexico? Hot-damn, could I go with you? I can get a hundred bucks and once I get there sign up for the GI Bill in Mexico City College.” Okay, it was agreed, Frank was coming with me. He was a rangy bashful shock-haired Denver boy with a big conman smile and slow easy-going Gary Cooper movements. “Hot-damn!” he said and stuck his thumbs on his belt and ambled down the street, swaying from side to side but slowly. His father was having it out with him. He had been opposed to France and now he was opposed to the idea of going to Mexico. Frank was wandering around Denver like a bum because of his fight with his father. That night after we’d done all our drinking and restrained George from getting his nose opened up in Hot Shoppe on Colfax---a fellow came in with two girls and we addressed him as “Hat” and wanted to meet the girls and George leaped for him---Frank

No comments: