Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Al Dark - forever young


Recently I saw somebody that looked similar to an old school chum Al Dart.

Al had his own drummer. He was one of the few at Marietta High School that dressed in a black leather jacket, boots, and, of course, his hair was duck tailed style.

I think Al wore taps on his boots and he took big giant steps. You could hear him coming.

Al had his own sense of humor packaged and had good delivery. For a while his delivery was no punch line at all. He would say something like, “I got a new one. This man walks into a bar and…” (at this point, he would smile like he is ready to hit you with the punch line) “pulls a frog out of his shirt pocket!” then he would laugh and maybe say, “Get it!?” and walk away laughing shaking his head.

Another verbal delivery Al would like to pull was say something with a word dangling with for no reason, like he might say, “Rock! What are you (long pause) doing?”

Or

“Did you see the movie at the Strand about….” And walk off.

The next day he would come up to you and say “China?” (or whatever the movie was about playing at the Strand then).

He was good as Andy Kaufman was delivering jokes, in a warped way. I think Al would plan them out – and plan a sequence to follow.

I think Al lived on Cascade Drive or one of the streets parallel to Cascade. Sometimes on Sunday morning I would drop by there to visit – a lot of times friend spent the night with him in his parents basement where he had a miniature pool table set up. He was pretty good playing pool on it.

After I got out of the Navy I worked three years for Sinclair Refining Company. I haven’t Al in about 5 or 6 years.

Then one day I was walking down the loading platform of the warehouse and up walked Al Dart in a suit. He worked at the Sinclair Building on the other side of Atlanta. We recalled some of the great times we had we parted with smiles, thinking of old times.

He dropped dead shortly after that. I forgot why he died. But I do know he took his own blueprint with him when he went.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Johnny said...

Eddie,
Al Dark lived next door to me on Maple Ave. His brother Steve and I were very good friends. Al died of cancer. I have spent a lot of time in their basement. Steve had a very quick wit but not an odd wit compared to Al. I also remember Al's 1950 black Ford. You are right there will never be another like AL. Al's father was the only one that called my son John John and Mrs Dark helped me get a job with the County when Lockheed layed off 15,000 in 1972. They were good neighbors. I miss them.

1:09 PM  
Blogger ET said...

Johnny,
He and his family are well remembered.
Here is what Monty Calhoun wrote in an email:

Al lived on Maple Avenue. He had a brother name Steve who was about 8 years younger
an he was an investment banker.
Steve Dark owned the big Ace Hardware store on Whitlock Ave and was investing in a
chemical disposal apparatus for hospitals. He was a very sharp guy and drove a Mercedes. He spoke fondly of Al, but was too young to remember most of Al's high school antics. I used to keep him up to date on them. Steve was a very good customer of mine.
Al always reminded me of Steve Landesberg of Barney Miller fame.

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AL WAS AL. WHAT YOU SAW WAS WHAT YOU GOT.LB CALLED HIM HARK SHOCKY SOME KIND OF HOG LATIN.LB AND I SPENT MANY A NIGHTS IN AL'S BASEMENT AFTER GOING TO THE HORROR SHOW AT THE STRAND.WE WOULD SHOOT POOL ON SATURDAY MORNING, AND CALL ROCK TO COME OVER, BECAUSE HE HAD THAT LITTLE WHITE 53 OR 53 CHEVY AND WE HAD NO AUTO.WE USED TO CALL AL, THE GREASER, WHICH WAS APPROPRIATE, EVEN THO HE WAS A
NICE CLEAN CUT DUDE.FINE PARENTS, AL WAS JUST LITTLE DIFFERENT AND DIDN'T MIND SHOWING IT. HIS PARENTS NEVER GAVE HIM A HARD TIME ABOUT IT.STEVE WAS ONLY ABOUT TEN YEARS OLD, AND HE WAS A COOL LITTLE BROTHER.I AM TIREDI NEED TO GO TO BED.

PR

7:39 PM  

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