Friday, October 29, 2004

Oh the trends of booze


This picture might be hard to see, but it is of a stocking list at a popular bar. It shows where to stock the beer in the cooler. If you can make it out, PBR and Stag have huge chunks of the fridge, while the STL's own Bud and Miller products have been marginalized. Funny. Bud and Miller don't even know the ground that these competitors have made on them. The RFT did a story on it about a year ago, but the big boys wouldn't even know what to do to squash this movement. Funny. Funny cuz it is making inroads and they don't know how to counteract.

Scrappin'


Here is a pic from a scrapyard near the gym on the near north side. My plumber, Greg, needed to buy a used battery. He is working on my plumbing at the gym. He is doing one helluva job. He busted up a bunch of concrete and is putting in a shower. We have opened up quite a bit of room at the gym. It looks fantastic. It really does. My folks came by tonight and my dad brought some benches he made. It is really really great. I can't put into words. We got the kids to help disassemble shelves to open up room in the gym. The parents helped. We put down the risers for workout space. It really has been put together. The office is looking great too. The ultimate office.

Downtown is now


I stopped by the new grocery store downtown after training. There is a new joint at Pine and 10th called City Grocery. I got some sushi. It looks like a mini straubs. They have a bit of work to do for a produce section-no mangoes, but I know they are going to up it soon. They got plenty o' staples. They got two levels and a lot of ready to eat foods, a lot like Straubs. Didn't have time to price check to see if they goot the Straub prices, which I am sure they do. I know I will still hit Soulard Market for the bulk, but this joint has got great diversity in the products and this will give it an edge to that quickee mart on Cass over by the Panda AC. I saw Ann Haubrich and Art Dwyer inside buying some pears. They are two of the most definitely cooler people I know. I know things are going well when I see those guys. They had some ideas on places to do the card. Art told me he used to train in the armory when he was in the army. He said it is huge and could hold 5000, and it would work fine even if I have only a fraction of that. I would like to take a look.

On my way out I saw Craig Heller. He is one of the real developers downtown, not one of those dirtbag conmen who feed of the government teat for Fed dollars for projects that provide no real benefit other than their pocketbook- i.e. the ballpark deal, Century deal, the Dome, Wash Ave runway lights etc. He is putting down the organic seeds that generate real economic progress. Anyway, I emailed him last week about finding an indoor location for my next fights. He actually was thinking about it. He called over from across the street as I got into the Mercury. I took a pic of him as he walked toward the store. He let me know that he may have a place, but he is having problems for he may need to have the stuff moved within the property. It is good to know, for I really need to get that place lined up soon. We got plenty of fighters ready for December and I need the right place to put it. I talked to Joe Edwards earlier in the day about doing fights over his way, but we got to make the costs work, however he even admitted that it is pricey in that direction but it is very supportve. I think I need a hungry partner to match my hunger. I don't have enough to survive a heavy pinch of the retail prices at this point.

Downtown is actually starting to pop a bit more. It is a long based theory we used to joke about back in Chicago, and I will only touch on it for it is a complex theory, but it is called the white girl syndrome. It is based on how a neighborhood turns when you see young white girls walking unescorted in neighborhoods, the rent will go up. I have dosed it with more complex nuances for it is too simple by the title of the theory, for we said it as kind of a joke. I remember seeing an editorial cartoon a few years back showing a black family hanging out in front of their house commenting "there goes the neighborhood" when a wide eyed white "urban pioneer" couple moved in next door in an urban neighborhood. I find that amusing, and I am sure more than one person might get upset by this thought.

So Downtown is starting to pop in a more genuine way. The buds have been visible for a while, but some of those seeds are starting to get firmly rooted. It has even changed in the past year. I house sat at Margie Newman's joint about two years ago, which was an incredible experience that I will never forget, and downtown has changed since then. The fully stocked grocery store that is open late is a big one. On the whole, for the better. There are downsides, but at least there are at least the opportunities where downsides exist, when before nothing was happening. It is pretty neat. We need to keep it in perspective. Of course the only problem is I can't afford any of it.

All we need now is a 24 hour taqueria cart downtown to get me loitering on the downtown streets.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

On the run

You have yet to live life if you have not had to run to catch the bus. It has been way too long since I have had to scurry to catch a bus. Probably since last spring. It is kind of fun, except when you miss it. You have yet to live life since a bus passes you up. Running with your backpack. Groceries. Not wearing running shoes. Trying not to slam into someone walking. It has been probably two years since that happened to me. Over on Arsenal, the Soulard bus. I wasn't paying attention. I was standing there reading the paper and whoosh. It rolled on by. It had snowed and was one hell of a walk over to Grand. Riding the bus keeps you honest. And people in this town are not kept honest in this way. I don't ride it nearly enough. I tend to ride my bike to get around when I don't have motorized wheels. I should check to see how close I can grab a bus to get to the gym. It is very settling to ride on the bus. Just read the paper. Decompress. Enjoy the scenery and weirdness of the fellow citizenry. I do dig driving, and there is a lot to enjoy out of it, but it promotes laziness when done in excess and promotes ignorance and unintentional dishonesty when done in exclusivity.

I am sitting here doing some work at one of the transfer points in midtown. I need to mover closer to a transfer point. They are setting up a stage at the coffee house here and one of the guys gave me a pitch to catch the music and poetry reading tonight. I think I might stop on my way back.

Jack Titone and Officer Cotton just walked out of the coffee shop. Jack is the old murder cop for the city and is now working for SLU as their head enforcer. He is a nearly a caricature of an Italian cop. Now I remmeber Cotton from before they put on Titone. He reminds me of the funny Irish cops from old black and white films, but he sure ain't Irish. He is just funny. Seeing those two walk around would make a good Cop comedy. Kind of like Reno 911.

I saw another one of those confederate billboards on my way from an appointment over on Doctor King where it hits Cass. Blech. But the fall colors are just jumping today. Today's color is yellow.

I am famous!


Here is a pic of the quasi legal poker table that was used near the quasi legal dice game. I have never played on it, but it looks pretty nice to me. I should learn how to play those games.

My pic on my blog of the political sign on the north side made the Arch City Chronicle, a fine area policy newspaper. Not only am I a top tipster, but a legit photojournalists.

Peelin' Sweet Potatoes on Compton


I stopped over at Diner's Delight the other day for some grub. I got some corn, sweet potatoes, peas and corn bread. It is a nice comfy lil' joint over on Compton. I sat down and this fella was sitting in the dining room peeling sweet potatoes. It was nice to sit down with the guys doing the prep work.

Just prior to my chow I wound up going over to this car wholesaler to check out a lincoln Mark series. He was asking too much cash, but I saw a bunch of people over there who I knew. I saw Nina from Skif, Rob Goetz, Tom Carr from Atomic Neon I met the other day when I was looking for space for the gym. Nina was getting her Saab repaired and Rob was looking for the guy to do some work on his truck.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Craps!


Here is a pic I snuck of posted rules for a quasi legal dice game. Note that the "max" is covered up for they dropped the limits.

Homemade Mexican Ice Cream!


Here is a pic of a delicious guava ice cream cone I bought on Cherokee last week. Usually I stay away from the sugar, but it was a special occasion.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Scum on the street


This is some bullshit sign over on North Florrisant near Chambers on the near north side. I saw this last Tuesday as I came back from the gym. This sign is sponsored by a crew that opposes the charter reform. Somehow they make the insane connection that equates charter reform with the confederate south and the practices of stripping people of their voting rights. This is just flat out wrong, and is a reflection on the nature of the people who oppose the reform. Scummy. Manipulative.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

I fought the man

So I followed up the citation about my "high weed" on the property. I got a letter from the city saying that I had a weed in excess of seven inches. I wound up calling the city and asked them to define the law. I found out it was a complaint. I have an idea who it was, and I have a feeling it is a guy who mows his lawn twice a week, has a US flag in his yard post 9/11 (now tattered) and a Bush Cheney sign in front of it.

I asked the guy from the city if he could come over and point out the weeds to me. He really didn't want to get involved in what was a silly complaint, so it came down that I don't have to worry about it.

I still wave friendly to the neighbors everyday. Hold'm close.

I have had a overwhelming busy week. We are setting up the gym which has gotten hectic. It is coming along well, but this is a much better space so we are putting in a lot more time and effort into fixing it up. We are getting a shower put in this weekend. We are putting up the ring- this is going to be a bigger pain in the ass. And the thing pushing the ass pain more than anything else. My sis is getting married. I am going to have a smile on my face. Yes, a smile. It is a happy occassion. I am going to be running around being gopher all weekend and called a wedding coordinator. Yes, smiles everyone, smiles. Family is coming to town, and this is the first wedding of this generation and that is going to make it even more, uh odd. It has already begun.

I saw an interesting sign on Florrisant just north of DT. It was that vote no for charter reform deal but it said "Protect your voting rights" and had a pic of a confederate flag. Real cheap shot. I will try to get a pic tonight before training.

I am curious who reads this blog. I get peeps who remind me that I need to update it. It is a good thing or I would slack off.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Apocalypse Right Now!


This is downright surreal. I am watching a video of one of the new fighters. His name is Ryan. He is about 30. He has boxed for a while. He really started to box in the past couple of years. Big guy, about 240 lbs. He hits hard and has some great handspeed for his size. His body movement is a bit slow, but his hits so hard!

Now the video I am watching, it is some fights that are very much in the style of the kind of fights we put together in the backyards. The first couple of fights appeared to be in an office. The others out in some yard and the third had a bunch of big trucks surrounding a homemade ring in the dirt. It looked a whole lot like the stuff we have been doing. Men and women. People yelling with excitement. People having fun. Male boxers. Female boxers. Similar quality. About the same amount of organization. People as young as 18 and people in their 50s, but most in their late 20s.

But this was different. This video is from Iraq. The fighters are in the army. My student Ryan had been boxing in Iraq. He had a few fights over there with his fellow soldiers. The video was striking in the similarity to the Hoosierweight bouts. You might be able to see the ring and surrounding spectators in the above picture. It had the same on the edge feel. It was a progression of the crowds and the grear. Same kids. The big difference was that the crowd was wearing uniforms. You could see fuel trucks driving by in the backround. Many of the soldiers were armed with M-16 rifles right next to the ring as they cheered. Armored personnel carriers regularly passed by with troop carrier helicopters flying low. Fellow soldiers, sergeants, captains and lieutenants are sitting on the side casually judging. It was very Apocalypse Now type of situation. The soldiers were bloodied, getting back up and boxing more. Very primal. Very real.

Ryan can hit too. From what I see of his fight in Iraq are amazing. He knocks guys out. He is a monster. He keeps the pressure up. I think he is going to fight on one of our cards. I hope so.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Downtown job


Had an interesting afternoon. I had a job which I needed Peter's help. Peter is my top guy. We had to dress down for this job. We had full authorization for this one, but that didn't make it any easier at all. It was fun, like the old days when it was pure rec. We had to get dirty too. It was rather nasty situation, but fun. We were a bit rusty. Not perfectly prepared, but we are crafty and clever fellas that are masters of improvisation so it was not much of an issue. I had to take the laces out of my boxing gloves. This new technology makes it easier too. Very fun actually. Communication is so easy now. Got to spread the truth.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Big week

Been busy this past week. Taking care of a lot of business. I am moving the Panda Athletic Club to a new location downtown. The new spot is very, very nice.

Peter and I ran around on Friday. He drove the Lincoln. Good stuff. We visited Roxanna over at Modesto for a drink. We then rolled over to Llwelyns to watch the debates. Good crew. Herzberg, Brook, Sue Z and some more peeps were over there. We then stopped over at Pop's Blue Moon to talk to Terry and Josh. We are going to sell some Guns and Hoses tix over there. Then we stopped at the Chocolate Bar to meet with Bad Intentions as he bartended. He was doing quite well. We hung out with a few interesting people. Cutraro showed up and I hooked a ride with him. I had too many Manhattans. We met up with Mario from Getty who was in town for the debate. We stopped at the Rocket. Saw the regular cast of characters including Stacy House. She was looking good. She is thinking of coming down to train.

I woke up the next day with a bit of a hangover. Didn't expect that, but damn those Manhattans just go down so easy. I dragged myself to training and then over to get some sopas and tacos on Cherokee. I needed to eat. I then got some Gelato over on the Hill and listened to some fun Italian music trio. I was a bit rough.

Not much else of note. I worked on Saturday at Mad Art. Tried to go to the casino. I have been meaning to go. I haven't been in something like five years. I got one of my guys working there now. Training went excellent on Sunday. The gym is really coming together.

The fall colors are coming out in full bloom. It really has become a beautiful time of year.

We get everything ready to move this week. I am trying to get a location ready for the next bouts. I am trying to get some of the possible locations ready. I need to solidify some of the potential fighters too.

Need to sleep.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Passing of the friends

I went to the gym tonight and heard some bad news. Glenn McBrady, one of the coaches at the Panda, said he was going through the Sunday Paper and one of the members from the South Broadway Athletic Club, "Junie", passed away. Emmit J Garth. Junie. He died last week.

Junie sponsored me to become a member of the SBAC. The South Broadway Athletic Club is one of the oldest continuous boxing clubs in the US. Junie was one of the cool old guys who drew me into wanting to be a member. I would like to have such good friends as I grow older. The guys from the SBAC were from the neighborhood. They used to run together in forms of little gangs of kids. They kept in touch their whole lives as they grew older and some out of the neighborhood. But the SBAC was their place to stick together. As kids it kept them off the streets and out of trouble. As adults it was a bond of where they came from. The club has grown and also changed as the times. But it hasn't adjusted to the full glory of the club which ran from its inception through about the 60s. I have seen pictures from the old days and it was quite a bit different. The pictures were full of people, most of them young people. Families. Kids. Kids from the neighborhood.

Junie was always the guy who cracked jokes. Smooth and straight delivery. Most the other guys tried to mimic his wit, but it usually came off awkward, forced and just not sharp like Junie. Junie also was very corny, but in the very funny corny. Old jokes some, but the appropriate one. He was a shorter guy and didn't care at all about his height. He would make jokes about it. He had a full head of white hair and was very full of life, personality and just happy to be around. Junie worked nearly every bingo on Sunday nights at the club. I couldn't force the guys to work Bingo down at the club. I sponsored about another dozen or so guys to join the SBAC, but only one of them volunteered with any regularity, and he coached down at the Annex, the boxing gym, so few of the old guys would see him. I was their connection to this younger crew. And many of the older guys like Junie liked having this younger crew around.

Junie was one boy of 14 brothers and sisters. I would always bump into people that knew him for he was related to about a third of Saint Louis. Junie always like to talk with me. He would give me encouragement on what I was doing. He was just pleasant to me in general. He was funny. He would bust your chops in a fun way.I just stopped bartending the SBAC Bingo shift every fourth Sunday, and about two weeks ago I put in my last Sunday at the club. The guys sort of sit around the table towards the end of the night. They are done counting the money, flagging, calling, selling pull tabs and even selling pop corn. They sit around and drink beer and chat. The guys were talking about the story in the paper about my last fights on the Hill. Junie pointed out to me as I was wiping down the bar that I he sponsored me as a member. I had forgotten about this. I always was chummy about Junie, but I just didn't put it together. I never thought about what that meant. I had been coming into the SBAC off and on since I was 18. First coming to see the wrestling. Then to see boxing. Then to get a drink.

Then one day I came in with a video of when I boxed in the backyard against Peter Neukirch. We were having so much fun. Pete had been training up in Chicago at Windy City and I had also been training under the guidance of professional Dave Gamble. We knocked hard that day. Good fun. I had a video tape of it and I figured that the old guys who hung out at the bar over at the SBAC would get a kick. I would often buy tickets to the boxing and the wrestling over at the SBAC bar already, so I threw in the tape. The guys loved it. The next time I was there they were sure to recruit me to become a member. Junie would call me over and tell me of what the club was all about. He wanted me to join. All the old guys did.

I wound up entering the club just a few weeks later. The club itself has been a mixed run, and quite the experience. Junie sort of kept up with me. Every few months we would chat about things around the club. The neighborhood. I found that fascinating. He grew up in such a large family. He would tell me stories. When Junie was a kid he didn't know he was poor. Everyone was poor. When you got in a fight you would have to take off your shoes and your shirt, because if you ripped it you didn't have another set to wear. His mother also took care of about another twenty or so kids on top of her own. She really took care of her neighborhood. He lived all the way up near Chouteau, by Saint Raymond's. Junie thought he was Syrian when he was a kid, because he grew up with all the people from the Syrian and Lebanese connection. He would call people "Dutch" and rib people for being Irish or an old world term. He would use it as fun endearment, not as any sort of rub.

Junie was buried earlier today. I didn't even know. This sucks. I was just talking to him two weeks ago. I hope to be full of life like he was when I get up to his age.

Junie wanted to know about this new gym I opened up. I could tell that a few were a bit let down that I was focusing on this new venture. They always encouraged me from within the organization. But the organization was failing. Not due to their failures, but due to the creeping rate of progress in dealing with some of the problems at the club. But that is something else. Junie asked about the new gym. Apparently he used to repair the elevator at the Panda Paint Building. He was still able to describe it to a tee. He pretty much worked on all of the elevators in Saint Louis at one time or another. And that elevator in the Panda was old- something like 80 years old. Interesting how many times people's paths cross over time and we never know it. All during the conversation he would smile and crack jokes at passing members.

He mentioned how lucky he was to have so much family. The grandkids. And he was expecting great grandkids. He had a wonderful and supportive family. It sounded great. I hope to live a life as he had.

RIP Emmit Garth "Junie"

Sunday, October 03, 2004

The kind of girls we don't want on the street

So I was on my way to the gym today rolling down Magnolia. I saw a woman walking with a gas can in her hand. I looked over and she said she needed some help.

Running out of gas. That always sucks. I had run out of gas the night before. I worked a bartend shift at Mad Art. I just got my car back and I wasn't thinking. In fact I was out of gas in my gas can for I had helped someone else out about a month ago and I never filled it back up. It was some old lady on Gravois next to her car. So last night I was lucky to have someone ferry me over to the gas station on Arsenal to put some gas in my can. Of course I have yet to refill it.

So I am stopped on Magnolia and this woman needed gas. I almost was going to tell her I got gas in my trunk, but I caught myself for I didn't. Offering gas instead of cash usually weeds out the sponges, bums and cons. The lies start to baloon when you have the gas can and the con still tries to get cash. I find that scramble of deceit amusing. Usually it is about a 20-30% con game when people ask you about car problems. But it sucks that people get passed by when they need help. I have jumped countless cars, given a drink to more than a few dry gas tanks. One woman nearly started crying over on Locust about six years ago when I gave a jump to her car that was full of kids. I have also received kind samaritan help from others. A man jumped out of the crowd in Annie Malone May Day Parade on Natural Bridge to replace my fuel filter as we paraded in front of Fairgrounds Park. I didn't need the help replacing the filter, but he enjoyed being the superhero in the situation so I let him do pull the filter off the carb. It was funny. We were the funny thing to happen that day in the parade. I also was given a lift on the Hill when my fuel filter clogged again, right across from Urzi's. A kind woman offered me a lift home. Actually she helped me push the cady up the hill and over to a parking spot. That was a huge help. I had groceries that needed to get to the fridge, I was running late too, so it was a big help. Now I carry extra fuel filters in my trunk with the proper wrench.

But I didn't have gas in the gas can. I still offered help. The woman got into my car and thanked me profusely. I figured I would be giving her a lift to the gas station. She was blonde, maybe late 30s, 40s. Hard to say. She was unassuming, but a bit ragged upon a closer look with big two gallon gas can in tow.

As she got stepped in the car she says, "I need two favors. I need some money for gas. And I could also use some money. Is there anything that I can do?" She eased into the seat and shut the door. I looked at her and I knew exactly what she meant. I told her I could drive her to the gas station, but I couldn't help her in with the money. I told her in a tone that I knew what she was hinting toward.

This woman was a hooker. A hooker was in my car. Great. It wasn't for sure for sure- like I called her a hooker, but I am not a fool. I was not in any real danger. She then asked me if I was a cop. I look at her and said "No. But I might as well be one." It was then silent. I didn't really want to talk to her or anything at that point. I just wanted to drop her off to get her out of my car. She was obviously going through some tough times. A bit tougher than I could do anything about. She was desperate. She then told me to drive her over to Grand and she could make her way back from there. I doubted she had a car or she needed to be anywhere in particular to be other than a busy street where she could get picked up. She asked me what I did and I was ambiguous. I sort of referred that I was involved with the law to keep her at bay. It was a safety issue for me to infer that I might be someone that she shouldn't try to mess with. I started rolling through all the stops so I could get to the gas station to get her the hell out of the car. She then asked me for some money for the gas "and I really could use about twenty bucks." I kind of looked at her. She knew she was pushing it.

I said "I could also use twenty bucks. I could really use twenty bucks. A lot of people could use twenty bucks..."

"Could I get some money for the gas?"

I hesitated for we both knew her game was evident, but I reached in my pocket and pulled out two dollars anyway.

"I will give you a couple of bucks which will get you where you need to go."

I handed it to her and she got out. I then thought that I shouldn't have even given her that. It must have looked awful too from the street. Ech. I felt a bit sorry for her, but she is not in a place where she can get help from me. The situation was nasty.

I need to keep that gas in the gas can next time.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Late night Tacos!!



I have been waiting over a decade to have the late night taco in the STL. I don't mean Del Taco. I don't mean Taco Bell. I am going to let out the secret. We have real late night Mexican tacos. My prayers have been answered in the form of a portable trailer that serves tacos until 3am on Friday and Saturday in front of La Onda nightclub right close to the crib. Delicious tacos, lime marinated steak and other fine meats, fresh corn tortillas, fresh cilantro, limes, onions and handmade salsa. El Torito, the big new grocery on Cherokee run the booth. It is always a party out front when the bars get ready to close down. It is an amazing experience. Everyone just enjoying the good food before they depart for the evening. Courtesy and Uncle Bills has been losing my business for the past three weeks, for I have been dining like derechos king standing on the street!

Friday, October 01, 2004

pedalyardsignsrunningartichokesyellowteeth



I had to go to the doc this mornin'. I have been carless the past few days, so I am riding my bicycle. I had to ride my bike out to Kirkwood this morning to pick up the car to go way way way out to see my doc. So I woke up early and rode my bicycle through Maplewood, Webster and on to Kirkwood. I hadn't ridden my bike that way in ages. Maplewood is cute as a button. And Webster is gorgeous. All sorts of different houses. The trees are so stately. I rode all back streets, and didn't even know exactly where I was for the grid scatters out that direction, but I know my sense of direction. At one point I ran into the new Metrolink track in a place I should have been able to cross which you can see in the pic I took above. So I made my own way. I rode down the grass, hefted my bike up an embankment then on to the gravel in which the tracks were going to be and then off to the streets again.

I noticed the yard signs for the election were getting thick. I figure that the ratio was probably about 2-1 in Kerry's favor, but I noticed a few oddities. In more than one yard with the Bush signs that they had multiple Bush signs on the same property. In another I noticed a Bush sign and a McCaskill sign. Odd. And as I pedaled up Lockwood near Mary Queen of Peace I noticed some more of the "Read my Apocalips" signs under the railroad overpass, but someone had ripped them down.

I made it to my parents in Kirkwood, for I needed to grab a car to make it out to the doc. I saw my 91 year old Gandmoms picking up my Moms for work. I took the Datsun, which is a hot rod and also for sale, out to the doc. I saw Kathy Weir, wife of Larry Weir who I worked with at KDHX, in the waiting room. She took a header while on vacation in France. She mistook the cellar for the bathroom in a vacation home they rented with friends. She took it in very good spirits. She got to see what a French ambulance was like. What a French doctor was like. She got banged up pretty good, 12 stiches on her shin, a busted nose and a cracked rib. The thing is, she was able to walk and get around so it really didn't mess up the vacation. They were worried about getting hit in the pocket book for the hospital bill, but it wound up being 177 Euros which is about 220 bucks Americano.

I got a clean bill of health. Doc McCarthy is cool fella. He has been my doc since we moved to the river city. I once threw up in his office cuz my sister kept taunting me about the shot I was going to get. I was so anxious about the impending injection that I barfed all over the room. That is my sister's m.o.. Teasing, biting, kicking, telling lies to me. Oh what an awful childhood. Well, hardly. The lies were always amusing. She once told me that artichokes were animals. My grandma was living in Cali and would bring them to my moms and we would dine. My sis pulled out the heart of the artichoke and told me "this is the heart." I told her I didn't believe her. She then told me that on the bottom was where they whacked their feet off. They would keep them in pens and the farmer would come out with a shotgun and shoot off their feet. I found this hard to believe. She gave me the heart in a napkin and told me to ask moms if it was the artichoke's heart. I did and she confirmed the heart. I didn't eat artichokes for a while after that. Then there is the time Social Services nearly took me away cuz of her, but that is another story.

So I am stopping at the shop where my Moms works. It is a coffee and kitchenware store called Cornucopia. I am in the back writing on the computer. Scott, a co-worker, came in and showed a Police alert for some dude who just robbed a shop around the corner yesterday. He was a tall white goon, brandishing a "very shiny silver handgun" and the description that sticks with me "yellow teeth." They don't know eye color, but those yellow teeth made the description. I wish that Mark Trail was a color comic, for I bet the goons would have yellow teeth in addition to their sideburns. Funny, Kirkwood really isn't Mayberry like many expect. I really learned this when I sold newspapers on the streetcorner at several different places in the neighorhood when I was a kid. I got to see some intereting things and meet even more odd folks. It is more like everywhere else. Except the criminals have yellow teeth.