Sunday, October 29, 2006

Jail House Rock


I mentioned in an earlier blog entry about a lot of us went to Daytona Beach in the summer of 1960. And I mentioned some of the trouble we found ourselves in.

While typing the bit about Larry B. throwing french fries and Clell kicking us out of Atherton’s Drug Store reminded me that Larry B. was part of the Marietta bunch that went to Daytona Beach that year.

After five to seven days almost all of us went back to Marietta.

Larry B. and several more friends were having too much fun. They stayed. And they stayed without any money. They were broke.

I forgot who else besides Larry stayed in Daytona Beach, but I remember what he did which was his trademark.

At the time, Larry had a little trademark joke of putting both hands, one on top of the other hand, cup the top had under his chin, which was to represent a long beard. Then, whatever he said, he imitated a goat’s na-a-a-a-a and wave his lower hand, as if his beard was blowing in the wind.

For instance, he would come up to you with his metaphor beard blowing and say, “You have a d-o-l-l-ar I-I-I can bo-r-r-ow? Nn-a-a-an!”

My nickname was Rock, so Larry the goat imitator addressed me as “Ro-o-o-c-c-c-k-k-k” and his hands under his chin.

As I said, Larry and his friends were broke. They decided to take up the profession of grabbing pocketbooks on the beach and running with them. They picked old women that they could outrun.

They got caught anyway – all two or three of them.

They were in jail waiting their trial or for someone to pay their bail, whatever. I think their parents and friends (me too) decided to let them sit it out.

Behind bars, in the middle of night Larry would jump up on the bars and shake them and say “Jailer! Jailer! Help me! Help me! I am sick!” Then the jailer would ran back and find everybody in the cell asleep. He would walk away, and just as he was shutting the door Larry jumped up with his hands under his chin and said, “J-a-a-a-i-ler!”

The jailer would run back and demand who said that and they would all pretend to wake up, wanting to know what was going on.

That was just my old friends having fun, with no sense of what was right or wrong and always out for a laugh.

Larry spend most of his adult life as a bell hop in Atlanta. He was witty and a smooth talker, I bet he did okay. I haven’t seen him since we left him in Daytona Beach. I heard his sister bought him a house here in Marietta close to her and he is retired. I have been intending to call him, but keep putting it off because I wonder if he remembers that I didn’t help him when he was in the Daytona Beach Jail?

Actually, he was the last thing on my mind. Two friends of mine were in an auto accident a few days after we returned and one was killed. I just put Larry out of my mind.

Now, he is back in it (my mind, that is).

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