Friday, July 3, 2015

“Fairgrounds Escapade and The Pool Room”

 “Fairgrounds Escapade and
The Pool Room” 
 ((1961) (1962))

 Part One of Two

Lorimar, we called him Lorimar, a nickname, his real name being Larry, and I remember how he made me laugh. We had taken a trip once, kind of an overnight, I told my parents I was staying overnight with him, and he told his parents he was staying overnight at someone else’s house, since everyone knew my grandfather was a grouch on that. As a result, we slept in the State Fairgrounds, of all places. That was the summer of 1961, in October I’d be fourteen. At about 11:00 p.m., the police would chase us out. But let me start from the beginning.
       We tried to hide behind some bushes, but I think our shadows were showing somehow, the Fairground's police, said “Ho, Wake, awake!” we pretended we were sleeping, and when we awoke, we pretended we were both weary-eyed awake, he said: “Gentlemen, this is not a hotel,” his prescription was to move on and quick. We were tired alright but not as tired as we portrayed, nonetheless, we got up and started to pack our few items; we no supper, perhaps that was good, because we had no way to clear our stomachs of superfluities and excrements, should we need to. Although we had a canteen of water, a few packs of Camel cigarettes.
       Well, be that as it may, we had to walk home, which was a five mile hike, we knew we’d have to sooner or later, we were just hoping it would be later. At about midnight we found ourselves in farm field, and in the distance a farmhouse, I assume that it belonged to the University of Minnesota, they were always experimenting with crops and fertilizers and so on and so forth, and I was getting an appetite, and I and Lorimar seized on some big-eyed carrots, we stole several, wiped the dirt off them—and with sour and stomachs hungry, we ate—more like chewed—on them like a rabbit, until all that was left was the green leafage on top.
       Hours seemed to pass, in consequence by the time we got home 3:00 a.m., my noble companion and myself, we resolutely sought what all audacious folk pursue, even Captain Cook, rest and recuperation. Yet I knew I couldn’t go home, I had to safeguard my secret. Notwithstanding this, Lorimar said in his upbeat voice, “No need to stir, my good fellow, we can sleep on in the garage patio until morning we’ve only got to be quiet and leave before my father goes to work, since the patio is attached to the garage; there’s lots of cushions, although leather stiff!” And he willingly stayed with me the whole night. And so as morning came, he and I went merrily on our way, keeping to our expected routine.

Part Two of Two

Lorimar and I, we grew up together, as you might have guessed from part one of this short vignette, he lived next door to us. We’d play pool in his basement, playing Elvis Presley records, one song always reminds me of Lorimar, that being, “Because of Love,” there was this album of Elvis’ that just came out called “Girls! Girls! Girls!” I think it was November of 1962, and that song was on that album he had just purchased, and the album cover was sitting to the left of me on a table,  the pool table in front of me, the record player playing that very song, and we all knew the movie had just come out (I think that year Elvis was voted top box-office movie star for sales; everybody said he couldn’t act, but everyone went to his movies… for the most part he appeared to play himself in most of his movies, allowing for only a few dramas, that perhaps he overacted in): but as I was saying  a group of us guys were playing pool, and heck, the song stuck in my head then, and forevermore, especially the lyric line: ‘…cloud number nine…’ in particular.
       “Come on, Chick,” he’d say, stepping up and down on his toes, he had one web-toe, jogging around the pool table, “let’s get drunk?”  And we’d hit the road and look for someone to buy us a case of beer, —we were of course underage, I was fifteen, and he was a year older than I.  Down the road some twenty-years, he’d turn out to be a renowned chef perhaps even more so than his father, get a presidential citation for his cuisine. As I was about to say, being underage we’d go find—nine  out of ten times—the  Big Bopper who was nine-years my senior, have him buy us a case of beer, and we’d have to buy him a six pack for his efforts, but it was worth it. Once achieving our mission in getting that case of beer, we’d come back and sit down in that same patio we slept a few years prior on our adventure to the Fairgrounds, which was attached to his garage, and get drunk.  Oh, I’m sure his younger sister Nadine thought we were nuts, and I guess she’d be right, we were goofballs, but we had our kicks. 

For Larry J. Yankovec 
No: 974/11-8-2012; reedited 8-2013, revised and taken from the short story “Because of Love”
To create “Fairground Escaped…”