Stories

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SMITTY

Smitty was a redhead and transplanted Chicagoan. He had a big mouth. And he fought by putting his left hand between the thumb and fingers in his mouth and growling while waving his right hand in a threatening manner. We had a long on again off again relationship, from O around the sixth grade into maybe senior year in high-school. My mother and his father both died the same day many years later.

Smitty had a brother four years older. He turned us on to some classics like the Elmer Bernstein album Man With the Golden Arm, and the books The Puppet Masters and The Amboy Dukes quite impressed me. He had the famous early Playboy Magazine, naked Marilyn Monroe pinned up in the family garage, and he was good at shooting the moon in the card game of Hearts. He also taught Smitty how to put pins in match sticks with tiny feathers and make darts out of them. A dart in the forehead ouch !

Smitty in the time of our school years, was the only friend that I visited at his house and we would watch Dick Clark's American Bandstand, and the only friend who visited me on the island. But mostly he hung out with the Craig Hegle Gang living in that neighborhood. They did school band, cub and boy scout activities and I didn't. I was an outsider an islander.

At some point Smitty began to play the electric guitar and became quite good at it. So with some high-school friends, a rock and roll band was formed called the Galaxies. They named it after Smitty's father's 1960 Ford Galaxy.

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