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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Making A List And Checking It Twice


It was quiet for a few weeks...eerily quiet...Chris and I went about business as usual..we put in our hours at the office , we made deals..real estate deals..and we collected our rents.

We then tended to our "other" business..Our high stakes card game. We still had a deal with the Diaz Brothers , who allowed us to use a warehouse in North Philly for our "floating crap game" as the players called it for a small cut of the profits. We made so much money that giving the Diaz brothers a cut didn't hurt us at all.

On this particular Friday night...Playas from Deleware,Maryland, New Jersey and a few New Yorkers joined us for a night of good food and drink and card playing. We even had a live band playing and catered soul food by our former business partner,Mabel Jenkins and her sisters...A good time was being had by all....and then they walked in...

It was about a quarter to midnight when Wallace Benson, also known as "Wally
Gator" and his entourage of five, including one hitter known as Bobby Valentine or "Bobby V" walked into our establishment.

I had had Donald Smooth double the muscle protecting the joint...So I had to wonder how they got in...Wally Gator, a gregarious, well dressed man walked toward me... It wasn't good to let his quick smile and quick wit fool you..He was a deadly killer who it was said had killed close to thirty men in his time...Bobby
Valentine...his right hand man was just as equally lethal...So I was on guard.

''Chess....my man...Damn man, I aint seen you since we was in high school..You was always playin chess and goin to class...Never imagined you a playa." said Wally Gator.

"I'm not." I said dryly..

"No? but you hangin wit Chris Thompson....you must be." he laughed. Bobby Valentine, a dark skinned, thin surly type of guy looked around but said nothing.

Donald Smooth eyed them both talking to me and began to slip through the crowd and head my way.

"We came to talk to Chris...Is he around?" asked Wally Gator.

"He's around." I replied...Saying nothing else.

"Who wants to know?" said Donald Smooth, who was now behind them...

"Is that Donnie Ellington? Donnie boyyy, what's up partner....Me and you had a couple of classes together." said Wally Gator.

"Yeah, a couple of classes...but you're not here to reminisce are you?" asked Donald Smooth.

"No I'm not." said Wally Gator blandly.

"Well, what are you here for Gator?" came the unmistakable voice of Chris Thompson.

"Ahhh the man himself....How long has it been Chris?" asked Wally Gator with that killowat smile.

"Not long enough Gator, especially for your boy Bobby V. over there ." said Chris.

"You beat up my son..I oughta plug you right here." screamed Bobby V. Speaking for the first time.

Chris pulled out his .44 magnum....aimed it right at Bobby's head and smiled-

"You aint fast enough or hard enough punk...."

The room got silent, Wally Gator put the palms of both of his hands up and continued to smile....

"Whoa...partner..let's cool it...We didn't come here for that..We came here to talk...Now look...I know that his son and his friends broke into your house...and that wasn't cool...They been spoken to..you won't have anymore trouble out of them...and here is three hundred and fifty dollars..I beleive that was the amount that they spent of the money they took out of your house....So we are all square..
Thing is...You did beat his kid up pretty bad Chris..Now if you'll just apologize, we can put this whole thing to bed." said Wally Gator.

"Apologize? They broke into my house, robbed me and I got to apologize to them?? Wally, you been smokin..It's not going to happen." said Chris.

"That's very unfortunate Chris...See we got our guys covering your security..That's how we got in... and uh...it would be a shame for us to disrupt this most profitable enterprise of yours with gunfire." laughed Wally Gator.

"I think you better look again." said Chris..

Wally Gator smiled... Chris looked at him...

"Walk outside and look again." said Chris.

Outside...Kool Kat, our new friend had beat the crap out of four gunmen, disarmed them and tied them up. They were all in the back of a 1970 Cadillac
Seville...Probably the car they came in...bloody and swollen and gunless..While
Donald Smooth's body guards were doubly armed and on their way inside..

Wally Gator's smile dropped...

"You under estimate me Wally....I'm out of the game somewhat..but I'm still a gangster at heart...and still smarter than any ten of you guys..Now..get out of here and don't let me see any of you again.." said Chris.

It was my turn to laugh....

"Somethin funny Chess?" snapped Bobby Valentine.

"Yeah man, you." I said.

"See if it's funny when your-"

"That's enough Bobby..let's go...Chris, Chess, Donnie boy...always a pleasure." said Wally Gator as he ,Bobby V. and their five bodyguards left our establishment.

The next day, Chris, Donald Smooth, Kool Kat and I sat in a diner in South Philly with Fathead, Roscoe and Ralph Mole..Fathead and his crew were in hysterics at what had happened to Wally Gator and his crew...

"Chris man, when I grow up, I wanna be like you." laughed Fathead...

"Yeah,don't you all?" laughed Chris.

"But man, I gotta tell ya...Wally Gator isn't just here on a humbug and him being here has nothing to do with Bobby Valentine's son getting beat up by you.
Wally Gator is the point man for Frank "Big Daddy" White. He's establishing a
satelite in South Philadelphia and he's making moves against the Diaz Brothers." said Fathead.

"And you aint worried?" I asked.

"Comes with being the king Chess..Somebody always wants your crown...you oughta know that." He said.

"That it?" asked Chris.

"No...Bobby Valentine has made a list, a list of people to hit....I'm on that list,
Ralph, Roscoe, You, Chess, Donald Smooth and our boy, Kevin Morris." said Fathead.

"Kevin Morris?? He aint in the game...why him?" I asked.

"Kev is the one who took Big Daddy and the Jamaica Boyz down....Big Daddy has a real hard on for him....You,Chris, Donald Smooth embarrassed the hell out of them with your little play last night...They have to take you guys out." said Fathead.

"Where did you get this from?" I asked.

"This punk, Marco Gervay that was working for the late great Baby Doc, before he got his butt shot off and killed Baby Doc." laughed Fathead.

"For a marked man you sure seem jovial." I said.

"That's because we know where they are and I already got somebody on em...The Diaz Brothers have somebody hunting em too!" laughed a confident Fathead.

Later on that day, I was driving Chris back to work...

"We better call Kevin and warn him that trouble is coming." said Chris.

"Way ahead of you partner..I already did..He ready." I said.

"Man...Always something." snarled Chris.

"It's Philly man, that's how it goes." I said.

(To Be Continued...)

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