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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Danke Schoen


Anita Jenkins and Tony Breezley enjoyed a nice dinner and several drinks at "Mulberry Street" , now owned by Fathead.. Mulberry Street was a rooftop bar and restaraunt...That allowed one to veiw the city's skyline and dine....To the naked eye, they looked like a normal upscale African -American couple....but they weren't....Anita was wearing a wire...It was in her bra....and it was picking up all of their conversation...Tony Breezley , was a suspected serial killer.

Clerow, her brother in law was disguised as a waiter and he was serving them their food on plates with knives and forks and glasses that were not going to go to the clipper to be washed after their meal was over, but instead in a bag that was going to be given to the police , so that they could get DNA and fingerprint evidence...

Mabel ,Corrie ,Victoria and Deacon Larry Weatherford were waiting in the kitchen to tag and bag everything when the meal was through. I waited outside , two blocks away in a rented car, listening to Anita and Tony's conversation....Conversation that was getting us nowhere. Tony talked about his disapointment with women and how bad they made him feel, but he stopped short of naming names....Anita tried to goad him into talking about the recent serial killings that was frightening the city and he deftly shied away from the conversation. She was a smart girl..
She knew if she pushed him too much he'd get suspicious...so she kept the conversation light.

I had set the bait for this trap a week before....I had had Anita "drop" by my office several days, always wearing tight jeans or a short mini skirt and always showing a lot of cleavage... I had had her mention that she and Chance had broken up and that she was looking for a nice guy....I knew that Tony would overhear this and take the bait.. He did...and they set up a date...Anita said that they could go to Mulberry Street and that they could go "Dutch".....Then I called Roscoe and set it up with Chick and Fathead, who were only too glad to help.

My Blackberry went off...It was a call I was waiting for..

"Hey Kev.." It was Lockpick Johnson..

"What's up man?" I said.

"Man , me, Sean and Peeping Tom tossed this place and we couldn't find that gun." he said.

"No? Well, he probably has it on him...His car is in the lot here at Mulberry Street...Drive over here and see if you can find it in his car." I said.

"Okay..We on it." he said.

His DNA, Fingerprints and that gun would be more than enough to make that case.....It would put him in for at least three of what I suspected was now five murders.

Within an hour...Lockpick, Tom and Sean Jackson drove up beside my car...... Sean shook his head...

"We searched his car Kev...No gun....Maybe he tossed it." said Sean.

"No...He's got it on him..." I said.

"It's gonna take a few days for them to make a DNA match....without that gun.....We can't take him tonight..." said Tom...

"Yeah ,I know." I said... Just then my phone went off...It was Clerow.

"Okay..We got it...Plates, Knives ,Forks,spoons and drink glasses..all bagged and tagged...."

"Good work...Take that to Lt. Sissy Van Buren, Homicide." I said.

"They on the move...they gettin ready to leave." said Clerow....

"It's Okay...Sepia is outside in her car...We placed a GPS device under his car.....She's gonna follow them and I'm gonna follow her." I said.

"Okay Kev...get on it..don't let nothin happen to my sister in law." he said half jokingly....

Anita was not going to be his sixth victim... Not tonight...

Sepia followed them and I followed her.....I could still hear their conversation from my car.

"Thank you for a wonderful dinner Tony....but you didn't have to pay, I told you we could have gone dutch..that was an expensive place." said Anita.

"It was alright..it was my pleasure..Thank you for listening to my whining..." he said.

"Oh, it's okay."

'Wow..you know...No other woman ever cared about how much money I spent on a date..You're not only beautiful...but you're nice.." he said.

"Oh Thank you Tony." she said.

"Anita?" he asked.

"Yes Tony?" she responded.

"Do you think that ....well..uhhh...well, Do you think that we could uh...you know..be more than say friends?" he asked.

"I think we should just start as friends and see where it goes...This was just our first date." she
said.

"Well maybe we could er...ahh be friends with benefits?" he said.

"Come on Tony, this has been a nice night..I enjoyed the food, the conversation and the drinks...don't spoil it." she said.

"Spoil it? How am I spoiling it? I spent close to one hundred dollars tonight...not to mention the gas for this car...This is a 2009 Nissann Z...." he said.

"Come on Tony...I don't even know you like that....Come on..we just met...Maybe after a few more dates we can get to that...I don't sleep with a guy on the first date." she said.

"Come on...we are adults....We aint kids...I bet you gave lawyer boy some..What ? I can't have none cause I'm just an Administrative assistant at the Magazine?"

"Tony...Take me home....Heyyy, you just went past my block...What are you doing?"

"We goin to the park....I'm tired of this...you just like all the others...want a guy to spend all of his cash...but don't want to do nothin for the guy.."

"Tony...is that a gun?"

''Damn right it is..."

"L-look...okay...listen....It aint got to go there....okay...you wanna be fr-friends....we can be friends....listen...you're better than this...you don't have to do this..."

"Too late...get out of the car.."

They were in the park....just far away enough that people on the street couldn't see them..Sepia
got out of her car and ran toward them...I pulled my gun out and followed them closely...
There was no more time to play games...I aimed my gun at him and called out-

"Tony , stop right there....It's all over!" I said.

Sepia practically dove and pushed Anita out of harms way...They fell in the grass....Tony wheeled around, startled....

"Mister Kevin, what are you doing here?" he said.

"Tony....put that gun down....I know everything....I know about the girls...all of em.....I know about what they did to you in high school..and I know what you've been doing man....Tonight this stops...No more killing....Now drop that gun..." I said.

"Uh Uh....I can still hit your wife and your little friend from where I'm at..." he said.

"I can hit you first." I bluffed.

"Yeah? Wanna take that chance?"he said.

He had me by the short and curlies and he knew it...I hadn't planned for it to go like this...Had to think fast..

"Alright...you win Tony....Let's call it even...Say ,I let you walk out of here...I can't prove you killed those girls without your gun...You walk and we walk...Nobody gets hurt." I said.

"You must think I'm stupid....I can't have that.....Drop your gun Mister Kevin or I shoot your wife and the bitch right now...drop it and get over here." He said...

"So, you're going to kill us all?" I said.

"Yeah...I gotta...I can't have you all going free.....I rather like it in Philly...I can't be on the run...
Can't have you even suspecting me of such...It's better if the three of you just aren't breathing anymore...but I do want to thank you Mister Kevin..for giving me that job...and for being a great boss...you were the best...Danke Schoen." he said.

I fired just that quick...I know it surprised the hell out of everybody, but what choice did I have?
The slug from my .38 smokeless sliced through his right shoulder and my second shot hit him in his lower abdomen...he tossed his gun up in the air and fell backwards.....

''Arrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhh." he screamed in pain...Sepia and Anita ran to my side....

"Go out to the cars...call the police." I said....

I walked over to him...I used a tree branch to lift up his gun without touching it...I looked down at him...

"It's okay Tony...you'll live." I said.

"Danke Schoen." he replied and grimaced....I almost thought he was smiling.

EPILOUGE:

The DNA and Fingerprints from the dishes and plates and glasses at Mulberry Street were a match....The gun went through ballsistics and it also matched...Anthony Breezley was convicted
of the murders of Angela Manson, Anjanette Benson, Alma Sanders, Brenda Young and Ebony Jameson, who's body was found, not too far from where I had shot Tony in the park.. He also told police where we could find the body of his first victim...His Mother...Mary Carmaichel...She had apparently gotten married a sixth time...but Tony hadn't taken on this man's last name.
Anthony Breezley was sentenced to die by lethal injection.

Sepia and I walked to Mulberry Street a few nights later...

"I hear it's good food here Sepia, but it's expensive." I said.

"That's okay..you can afford it." she said.

I looked at her, she punched me playfully and just laughed...

"Come On." she said..

We walked in and the first person I saw was Symphony Sam....

"Go on Up Kev..Sepia...Everybody is waiting for you." he said.

"Who? Who is everybody? " I said.

"Just go up silly." she laughed..

Once up on the rooftop, I got the surprise of my life!

"SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!" came the loud roar.......I couldn't believe it......

I looked around and there was Gus, Honey Brown, Mabel Jenkins, Clerow,Corabeth, Victoria,
Anita, Deacon Larry Weatherford, Pastor John Struthers, Sean Jackson, Sheila, Vanessa, Cock Robbins, Chess,Rell, Chris Thompson, Donald Smooth, Fathead Newton, Roscoe, Ralph Mole,
Paris,Cherish,Blake, Chance Howard,Conrad Nelson and his wife,Jill, Robert Foxworth, Bonita Turner, Peepin Tom, Lockpick Johnson and Kool Kat....

"What are you guys doing here?" I asked.

"Can't we come out to eat too Junior?" said Gus as he slapped me on the back and laughed..

Reed Nelson and 88 cued the band and they started playing.....Homicide Lt. Sissy Van Buren and FBI Special Agent Frank Cotton walked over to me...

"Kevin..this is our way of saying thank you for all you do...Thanks to you, we are all a lot safer."
He said.

Everybody clapped...I was nearly moved to tears...Sepia kissed me, long and hard and said -"You've certainly made my life much more interesting than it would have been...Thank you baby."

Hey, what could I say? It was nice to be appreciated!


(For you, my loyal readers!)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Whoever Did This


"Mabel...This guy she was talking to...Did you hear her call him by his name? Was he trying to pick her up or did it seem like she knew him?" I asked Mabel Jenkins...I couldn't believe that another young lady has just vanished...A young lady who we had just identified...

"No..she definitely knew him..she called him Anthony....but I didn't hear a last name." said Mabel.

"I heard some of the conversation...They was jokin with each other...it was almost like she was teasin him or somethin....He kinda faked like his feelings were hurt ,but she kept on laughing at him...He looked like he was sort of pissed and he said "See Ya around." and she said "Not if I see you first." said Anita, Mabel's younger sister...

"That's good, that is good to know...good scope Anita." I said.

"Kevin...They said that dude left before she did..." added Robert.

"Yeah, but if he was pissed , he might have lay in wait for her." I said.

"Yall said he was on foot." said Robert...

"No..We said we didn't see his car ..We don't know if he was on foot or not." Said Cora-beth.

Just then, her husband...Clerow came running into the restaurant.

"Kev, Robert..I been lookin all over for yall...Cock Robbins told me that I'd find yall here..." he said.

"What's Up?" I asked...

"You know..."Icebox" Johnson who has the beer distributor , a few blocks away?" he said.

"Yeah...That smelly place...I know him...what about him?" I asked.

"Well he was complaining about a very bad odor coming from the basement and the sub-basement of his place and he called L & I out..." said Clerow..

"HE was complaining about an odor?? That's a switch." I said as Robert Foxworth ,Mabel,Corrie and Anita laughed.

"Yeah, well this was real bad....badder than usual.....L&I hasn't come out yet...So he asked me if I could get some guys to help him figure out what the smell was..so I got a couple of guys who do some haulin and lifting for me to help out and guess what man?? We found bodies....Human remains man??
Look....Aint nobody called the cops yet...We covered it up..You gotta come look Kev.."he said.

"Okay...Look...Mabel...you girls close up...get in your cars and get out of here....Robert...call Sepia
tell her to bring those photos and meet me at ''Icebox" Johnson's Beer Distributor...Clerow...Let's get goin man." I said and we rushed off! I also got my Blackberry out and made a call.

Yes...Yes...Yes....I called Lt.Sissy Van Buren from Homicide....but Clerow and I got to the scene first... The bodies hadn't started spoiling yet...which told me, they were recently deceased..They were wrapped in plastic...and they were still somewhat recognizable...

Clerow, Icebox, the three guys who found the bodies and I pulled them out...They were African-
American...they were female...and they were as follows...37 year old Alma Sanders.....Robert Foxworth and Sepia positively identified her......23 year old , Anjanette Benson....I knew her and 23 year old Brenda Young..Identified from the photo Cock Robbins had given me. All had been dead from up to two weeks to maybe a few days...All had been shot ,execution style in the back of the head...

Lt.Sissy Van Buren and her homicide team arrived...So did a crowd of people and the media...It was now a sensation.....We were all very upset, myself included...especially since another girl had been snatched from under our noses this very night... That girl..Ebony Jameson was not among the remains found here.

"Kevin....Looks like you're right....unfortunately ,this is going to be in all of the papers and whoever did this is going to be frightened.. He or she is either going to leave the area and go someplace else or they are going to stop for awhile until the heat dies down." she said. She was absolutely right.

The next morning, I sat in my office at my desk...My young personal assistant ,Tony bought me a tumbler of coffee and a paper...

"Damn Mister Kev, I read that they found three dead bodies at Icebox Johnson's smelly old Beer
distributor last night." He said while munching on a turkey burger.

"Yeah...what you know about his beer distribution place and what is that you're eating?" I asked.

"Oh, a Turkey Burger....I got it from Mabel's Soul Food joint last night....I never finished eating it. Everybody know about Icebox Johnson's spot...I used to work there but I quit...the place stank too bad." he said.

We both laughed and he left.

A few days later....I was at the medical examiner's office talking to Sissy Van Buren...

"Kev, the killer got sloppy..We pulled semen out of Alma Sanders and Anjanette Benson....and we
have skin samples off of Brenda...She apparently was beaten before she was killed...and we got some prints on this plastic....We ran the prints and sent the DNA to the FBI national crime lab....
This guy or whoever did this has no criminal record...We got nothing..but we do have their DNA.
The bullets we recovered from the bodies of all four women , all match the same gun... A .38 smokeless." she said.

So here we were...Nowhere...Nowhere....Then as I walked to my car , a name kept ringing in my
head....Anthony.....Anthony...Who was the mysterious Anthony??? Gus told me that no matter what happens...Somebody, Somewhere knows something about it and somebody was willing to talk about it....

I drove to the High School....Cock Robbins introduced me to one of Alma Sanders close friends...
Rita Gordon...an attractive and shapely woman who wore her hair in a bun and horn rimmed glasses. Her curves had curves..You couldn't ignore her body or her tight skirts...if only she would have let her hair down and have lost the glasses....Didn't matter..I wasn't here to flirt or admire her body..I needed to know about this Anthony charactor.

"There was an Anthony.....Shame about him.....He was so needy....He was skinny, wore coke bottle glasses..Didn't dress all that well....but smart as a whip..Made all A's....Shame he didn't go to college or do nothin with it...His mother was a piece of work...She got married every year he was in school.. In 9th grade..He came to us as Anthony Look...In 10th grade, she re-married and he was Anthony Reed, In 11th grade she re-married and he was Anthony
Whitlock and finnally ,Senior year..she was married again and he was Anthony Breezely...

He had the biggest crush on this cheerleader,Angela Manson....but she didn't really like him..she pretended to...but she really just used him..she was kind of high maintenance back then...a diva...Then He fell hard for Anjanette Benson.....She flat out turned him down..couldn't stand the sight of him...and so did Ebony Jameson..Another one he fell hard for...They were just..well you know, out of his league...Only Brenda Young ,showed him any kindness..She was
his friend....but he took her kindness the wrong way and finally she had to let him down....He took that hard....That was Senior year.

He graduated.....He left here..Nobody seen him for years...and then last year, he returned..He
was built ...He didn't wear those glasses anymore and he was driving that sports car....Nobody
knew where he had been...Anyway...Alma Sanders...His one time guidance counselor started dating him....She was 14 years his senior, we thought she was crazy as well as unethical, dating a former student...but she didn't care...He was different now and he was no longer a student... They were hot and heavy..... I caught them in her car goin at it one night. She said he made her feel ten years younger ...Until she started going to night school to get her real estate license. She didn't have as much time for him then as she had had before and he became very demanding ,Plus she started seeing a teacher over at the community college....Anthony was always insecure...Anyway...she broke it off...and that was that."


I couldn't believe it...She had just given me my killer....If I had come here earlier...Maybe I could have saved Ebony's life at least...All the while, the killer was right under my nose....Tony..Tony Breezely, my personal assistant was the killer..and it all fit..it all made sense...The turkey burger!

Mabel told me that the mysterious man ordered a Turkey Burger the night before...And he was still eating it the next morning.

This story , if added with the murder weapon and DNA would be enough to put him behind bars.. I sat and thought..Then it came to me...I now had a plan....It was time to put the breaks to the serial killer.

I thanked Rita and drove home.... I told Sepia everything I had heard, she was startled of course.

"What Are you going to do?" she asked..

"I gotta find out where he lays his head and get that gun...I also need some DNA evidence..."

"Sounds Easy enough" she said as she lie across our bed...

"Yeah...it does, doesn't it." I said as I fondled my pistol.

(Conclusion Next)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Fifth Girl


Homicide Lt. Sissy Van Buren and I sat on the roof of her precinct...It had been a muggy day with highs up to 80 degrees...The night sky was clear and a cool breeze was blowing...I had a Coke, She was smoking her third cigarette!

"Those things will kill you you know." I said with a smile..

" A lot of things can kill a person..."she remarked.

"Do tell." I said.

"Your dead girl, Angela Manson had been missing for six weeks....She was shot twice..in the back of the head... I think she was killed somewhere else and brought to that old abandoned house.
There was no blood splatter or trail in the house at all...My men tossed her apartment...It was surprisingly in order....Bed made up..nothing missing, purse there, intact...Car there, full of gas
and with the keys on the front seat." said Sissy Van Buren.

"Know what I think?" I said.

"What?" she said.

"I think she knew her killer...I think she let her killer in and whoever it was pulled a gun and took her somewhere....Took her somewhere and killed her and then disposed of her." I said.

"I'm thinkin the same thing.....She's been dead so long though that we found little to no DNA evidence....No fingerprints, nothin..." she said.


I then showed her a photo of the five women.

"What's this?" she asked.

"It's our girl...That's her on the left....and see these three other women?" I asked.

"What about them?"

"They are all missing too...Haven't been heard from in days and it's the same thing...Their places are immaculate..their wallets are there full of cash and credit cards and if they own a car,it's there too." I said.

"How do you know they are missing?" she asked.

I pointed to Anjanette Benson....

"Her? I hired her to work at the magazine...she was a real eager beaver type....Never showed up for work.....This one here...Her name is Alma Sanders...She's a real estate agent...Worked with my wife , also missing....Nothing touched in her house.....Car in front of the door...Purse intact....everything...hasn't been seen or heard from in a week and this one...her name is Brenda
Young...." I said.

"Her I know...Her parents filed a missing persons report on her a few days ago...that's an active case."said Sissy Van Buren.

"How do these girls know each other?" she asked me.

"I don't know....I mean, Angela, Anjanette and Brenda are all in their early twenties, but Alma is about 37....it just doesn't fit...." I said.

"Who is the fifth woman?" she asked.

"I don't know." I said.

"You think all of the missing women are connected?" she asked.

"I didn't at first...but now I do." I said.

"So you're saying we have a serial killer on the loose." she said.

"That's exactly what I suspect." I said.

"Got any suspects?" she asked slyly smiling.

"If I did...You'd have the evidence you need to bring the person in and I wouldn't be up here on the rooftop  talking to you." I said with a smile...

"Yeah...I suppose that would be so." she said with a laugh as she lit another cigarette....

"You know...those things will kill ya." I said again as she lit up....She looked at me and let the smoke drag slowly in the night air...

I smiled...Sissy was still very ,very sexy....Even if she did smoke...

She looked at me....

"You worried about me Kevin?" she asked, looking at me slyly..

"Well in a sense...yes...Something happen to you and I'd have to talk to Lieutenant Tragg and he doesn't have a rooftop as nice as this...amongst other things you have that are...ughhh, nice!" I said giving her the side eye...

"I'm going to quit...And thanks for the uh compliment...and uh stop looking at me like that." she said and laughed... I laughed too.

An hour later, I met Robert Foxworth at Josie's for drinks....


"Any luck Kevin?" he asked.

"Not a thing...All I can ascertain is that whoever killed these women is someone they all had in common." I said.

"So you think they're all dead Kevin?" he asked.

"In all likelihood..yeah..I do....I'm just bein real....We tossed their houses and apartments and all we found was more photos of the five of them.....What I don't understand is Alma's connection to them...She's 37..and these girls are all in their twenties.." I said.

"Yeah...what would she be hanging around with those young girls for?" asked Robert.

"How well did you know Alma Robert..What do you know about her?" I asked.

"Well, Real Estate was her side thing...She was a career counselor at the high school." he said as
he sipped his rum.

"What? Career Counselor? High school?? What High School?" I asked...

"That school that Cock Robbins teaches at...He knows Alma..." said Robert..

"Why didn't you tell me this before?" I asked.

"You didn't ask me." He said.

"Pay Gus for that drink...Let's go see Cock." I said.

At Cock Robbins house , Robert and I showed him a photo of the young ladies...And much to my surprise, he knew them all...

"Oh yeah...they were my students...I taught Angela and Anjanette four years ago...They graduated....and Alma is a counselor..a guidance counselor." he said.

"Was a guidance counselor...I fear she's met the same fate as Angela Manson...possibly, Anjanette. Brenda was my student too and then she went off to college and came back as a student teacher....Alma counseled all of them..." said Cock.

"Was there anybody , any guy they all had in common?" I asked.

"Oh ..I..I don't know...Man, I don't get into all of that stuff..." he said.

"So these girls all knew one another." I said.

"Alma was dating a guy.....a guy that used to be one of her students...but she broke it off...She was trying to get her real estate licensce and he was kind of needy...He was nobody important..
I saw him the other day..." said Cock.

"What's his name?" I asked.

"Anthony something or other..I didn't really know him that well." said Cock.

"Where can we find this guy?" I asked.

''I don't know where he lives." said Cock.

"Okay..well who is this fifth girl in the photo?" I asked.

"Oh that's Ebony Jameson, a real heartbreaker...she was." he laughed.

"You seen HEr lately?" asked Robert.

"I saw her today....She works at Mabel Jenkins joint...waiting tabels. She might still be there, she was coming on at four..." he said.

"Come on Robert ,let's get over there." I said as we raced to my car.

When we got to Mabel's Soul Food Joint....There was no sign of Ebony! No sign at all! I didn't like the way this looked.


"Mabel.....Have you seen Ebony?" I asked.

"Yeah..she clocked out ten minutes ago...you just missed her."said Mabel.

"How did she get here? Bus? " I asked.

"Nah, she gotta car, a Blue 2009 Jetta." said Cora-beth.


"Like that one out front?" asked Robert.
"Yeah, that's her car." said Anita.

Mabel, Cora beth, Anita ,Robert and I walked out front and there was the car!! It was a 2009 ,Blue Jetta. The keys were in the ignition....Her purse was on the floor of the car, filled with cash and credit cards....so was her Blackberry!!!! The door was open....Robert and I looked
around...There was no one on the street at all!

"What's goin on?" asked Mabel as Corabeth and Anita looked on...

"I wish I knew." said Robert....

We were too late.....Ten minutes sooner and we might have prevented this girl from getting snatched....Who was doing this? Why?

"Mabel was anybody in here talkin to her? Anybody peculiar?" I asked.

'There was a guy...nice lookin guy, kind of built...They laughed and talked for a minute...He bought a turkey burger...but he left before she did." said Mabel...

"What was he driving?" asked Robert.

"I didn't see his car." she said.

"Damn......Damn..Damn...Damn!" I said pounding my fist in my hands.

"Kevin..." said Robert...

"What." I said.

"I'm not scared man. but I'm just sayin" he said.

"You aint scared? Well,it's good to know that one of us aint." I responded.

(To be Continued....)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Worth A Thousand Words


It was a rare day for me...I was actually at my office at Hype Magazine all day...from 8:00 am until.....Sean Jackson and I were going over photos we took for seperate articles I had written on
Reed Nelson "88", Downtown Rob Brown and Guitarist Brooke Taylor... We had covered their perspective concerts and we were doing a huge Jazz spectacular issue...Naturally...They were all there that day in my office, going over photos and giving their approval and disaproval.. Sean's girlfriend (and now my editor) Sheila was also there....Conrad Nelson, the attorney stopped by and even Gus, the owner of the popular nightspot, Josie's stopped by...I had written an article on him too and we had done a photo shoot... I wrote another peice on Mabel Jenkins and her sisters
Corrie, Anita and Victoria and their successful Soul Food Eatery and catering business and to top it off..I had another story on former gangster, and now successful real estate man, Chris Thompson and his buddy, Chess... This month's edition was full of my writing and Sean's photos... We were working overtime shuttling all of these people, Our friends...in and out of the office.

My new personal assistant, Tony Breezely was working overtime keeping tumblers of hot coffee
coming and going....He had only been here a month...but he was doing better than people who had been here six years.. He was about five foot ,nine, give or take an inch and though no Charles Atlas...He looked like he worked out.. He had a 2010 Nissann Z , Which I know he couldn't have afforded working here....but never the less...that was his buisness..I didn't worry myself with it.

"Hey Tone...Thanks for gettin all those people in here and out ....and keepin the hot coffee coming....Sean and I finnally got all of the photos approved and we got the next edition ready to
print." I said.

"Oh no prob Mister Kev...I can't wait to read it ...it's going to be all you...Is there an article in there that you didn't write? Hahahahahahahaha." he laughed.

"Maybe two or three...Half of what I wrote aint gonna get read anyway." I laughed.

"Well, I'm gone read that one about the Jenkins sisters, every last one of em is fine as hell." he laughed.

"Yeah..I guess everyone will read that..." I laughed.

"They all hooked up?" he asked.

"Mabel and Victoria are too old for you youngin...Mabel lives with the piano player,88 and Victoria and Corrie are married...Anita is single...but I think she sees Chance Howard...the young lawyer." I said.

"Yeah, the fine ones like her always go for the lawyer or doctor types ." He said as he left the office. I had to smile.

A few minutes later Tony came back in the office....

"Mister Kev...you got another visitor...he say he a friend of yours...Cock Robbins."

"Man, what is this...Old homes week? yeah, let him in....thanks Tone." I said.

Cock Robbins was with his wife Vanessa... He looked shaken...I had never seen him like this before.

"Yo man..What's up?" I said.

"Kevin...It's been awhile since I asked you for a favor...but you gotta look into this." he said.

"Look into what?" I asked.

"I have a student teacher ...at the school...She about twenty, twenty one....She was working for me...well under me....and now she missin.." he said.

"Missing? what do you mean? " I asked.

"Kevin...She came over our house for dinner a few nights ago....We were eating and afterwords,
Cock offered to drive her home...I rode along with him.....We let her out at the corner of her block and she waved at us...and she hasn't been seen or heard from since..'' said Vanessa.

"What? How you know that?" I asked.

"Kevin...she didn't come to work for two days straight....Her Mom called us and her boyfriend called us....We all went to her apartment...and the door was open....No sign of a struggle or nothing....Bed made...everything...Her keys were on the bed..Her purse, all her credit cards..the
works...Man it aint good." said Cock.

"I'm already working a case like this....My wife's friend is missing....and a girl that was supposed to come here to work is also missing." I said.

"You think they related?" asked Cock.

"Oh no...no.....but it is odd..all this in one week. You got a photo?" I asked.

"Yeah...take this." he said....

"Will you look into this for us, please???...I'm worried about that young girl." said Vanessa.

"I'll do what I can.." I said.


Later that night ,I went home.....Clerow, Lockpick Johnson and Peeping Tom were in my living room with Sepia, Robert Foxworth and Bonita.....I could tell, by the grave look on their faces that
they had something big to tell or show me..

"Kevin, I'm so glad you're home." said Sepia as I came through the door.

"Yeah man, you gotta see this." said Robert Foxworth.

"See what?" I said.

''Kev, Me ,Lockpick and Tom went to the dead girl's apartment.....The girl that yall found in that house that Chess and Chris was gonna rehab....We went over it like a fine tooth comb and we found this photo of the dead girl......Her name was Angela Manson....."said Clerow.

"Okay." I said.

"Kevin...look who else is in the photo " said my wife.

It was a photo of five African American women...they were all very attractive...I took a closer look and there next to Angela Manson was Anjanette Benson...my intern, who never showed up to work and Alma Sanders......Robert,Bonita and Sepia's contact who was supposed to help them with the real estate sale , who now was also missing!!!! The fourth girl looked very familiar....I pulled out the photo of the girl Cock Robbins asked me to look for, Brenda Young..and there she was!!! I couldn't believe my eyes....Four women...Four attractive women all knew each other somehow and all were missing!!!! How did they know each other and who was this fifth woman??
But more so.....I already knew that one of these women were dead....what about the rest of them???

Clerow,Sepia, Lockpick ,Tom, Robert Foxworth and Bonita all looked at me....They wanted an answer...They wanted me to tell them that I had a plan....This time....I didn't even have a clue.

(To Be Continued....)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gone Missin


"I'm telling you Kevin....when we bought this property , we had no idea she was here." said Chris Thompson as he pointed to the human foot that was protruding from the floor of the crawl space
in the basement of a property in Mt. Airy he and his partner, my childhood friend Chess had just purchased.

Chess and their friend, Donald Smooth using latex gloves helped me dig the rest of the dirt and wood out of the space...and there, was the mouldering remains of a young girl....The three of us jumped back...

"Whoa Kev...it's a babe.." said Donald Smooth...

"Yeah...and from the looks of this body...she has been dead and buried here about a few weeks to a month." I said.

"Chess, Chris...this might be a dumb question...but why didn't you call the cops?" I said.

"Well ,we were going to....but we thought we'd call you first...since you're the resident sleuth around these parts." said Chess.

"What do you make of this Kev?" asked Chris Thompson.

"Well, she was obviously murdered and buried here...Who did you buy this property from and why?" I asked.

"We bought it on the sherrif's sale." said Chess.

"So you don't know the previous owner?" I asked.

"Nah...but we buy properties like this all the time Kev..Rehab em and rent em or sell em...Just like your boy Clerow...but probably on a larger scale." said Chris.

"Hmmm.....rigor set in a long time ago....and she looks like she was young......okay...well, you better call the cops....I'll nose around, see what I can find." I said.

"Shame...somebody kill a young girl like that...she look like she might only be twenty, twenty one." said Donald Smooth.

"How can you tell?" I asked....Chris and Chess looked at him too.

"The clothes...I got a daughter about her age..she dress like this." he said with a shrug!

Chris smiled...Chess just shrugged his shoulders and looked at me.

"We were going to rehab this place , and rent it out as a duplex Kev. We didn't figure on this." said Chess.

"Yeah, who would?" I thought....

An hour later, I was back in town and at my office...Sean Jackson ,my buddy and ace photographer stopped in my office...

"Hey man....I'm ready with the photos from Reed and 88's tour.....Did you write the story?" he asked.

"Yeah...I sent it by email to you." I said.

"Oh, well ,like you, I haven't been by the office lately...I had another shoot." said Sean.

"Well I told Annjanette to tell you." I said.

"Who?" asked Sean.

"The new girl that I hired to work out front...the twenty year old." I said.

"She never showed up for work." said Sean.

"Huh? What? She was very eager and excited about working here, you gotta be kidding, I talked to her a few days ago." I said.

"Yeah, well see...that's why you should visit your job more often Kev and stop chasing killers and cheating husbands on the side...the broad never showed up for work...In fact..aint nobody seen
hide nor hair of her in three days....I checked." said Sean....

"Yeah?.....Hmmmmmmm. that's the second one today." I said.

"Second What?" asked Sean...

"Nah, Nah...before I came here...I was with Chris ,Chess and Donald Smooth....They bought a property that they were gonna rehab and we found a body buried in the basement...a young girl,
twenty, twenty one maybe....looks like she had been there a few weeks, a month, who knows?" I said.

"So we got us another case huh?" asked Sean...

"Maybe...but first, I want to find out what happened to Anjanette...Just wait til I see her..She begged me for this job." I said, thinking nothing of it.

I called it a day and drove home...I wanted a meal and to just chill with Sepia, my wife....To my surprise..We had guests....It was Robert Foxworth, the attorney and his sometimes girlfriend and business associate, Bonita Turner...

When I got home ,they were in deep conversation....

"Oh Kev, are we glad to see you." they almost said in unison....

"What's up guys?" I asked.

"Our assistant seller is missing, you gotta help us find her." said Bonita.

"Huh? All day today, I been dealing with seemingly missing people...you may have to take a number ," I laughed.

"Honey, we were about to sell a house...a very expensive house mind you....I was sharing the commission with Bonita and Robert here...and our connect, Alma Sanford never showed."
said Sepia.

"Yeah, so maybe she had another appointment." I said.

"Yeah Kev, that's what I said...but we went to her office and they said that she never came to work.. " said Robert Foxworth..

"That's not like Alma...I've known her for years and she has never not come to work without calling...Especially a big deal like this.." said Bonita.

"We went to her house and her car was there, so was her keys and purse with her credit cards, but there was no sign of her....Bed was made, place didn't look tossed or nothing..I don't like it Kev." said Sepia...

"Me neither man." said Robert Foxworth..

"Okay...Okay....Robert....tomorrow, round up Lockpick and Peeping Tom.. I'll get Sean and Clerow....I need the van... We'll look into it...but I gotta find my missing receptionist and look in on another case..." I said.

"Okay Kev, I'm on it." said Robert.

That night, I sat on the edge of my bed by the window and caught a cool breeze....I was sipping on a Coke.... Sepia sat up in the bed....

''Kevin?" she said.

"What is it?" I asked.

"Something don't feel right..." she said.

"What do you mean?" I asked, honestly perplexed.

"Well , You said you found a body of a dead girl today in an old building....Your receptionist is missing and Alma is missing...isn't that strange?" she said.

"Well,I don't think these cases are related...it's just strange that all of this happened today." I said.

"It feels like something evil is coming down the pike Kevin...something, someone real bad...and it scares me." she said.

I took her into my arms and kissed her forehead....I didn't say anything, but I had that same feeling of dread too!


(To Be Continued......)

Friday, May 21, 2010

You're Killin Me!


Fathead and I sat down in Sam Mother's Restaurant and enjoyed two New York Strip steaks cooked Well done..With a Baked potato and a nice salad. My baked potato had butter just melting down the middle...Fathead's had sour cream....

Fathead had been out and about just like before...All at once , he was everywhere...At the strip club..At his club, Ciros which had been re-opened under "New management" and at his new joint,
"Mulberry Street". Chick was out of the hospital and was managing another one of Fathead's joints, A supper club...Ralph Mole and Roscoe were out and about as though nothing had happened. They all even showed up at Chris and Chess's card game a few days ago to everybody's
surprise.

"You know Kool Kat...I can't thank you again for putting me down on that Baby Doc business...He won't be around much longer...you can be sure of that." said Fathead.

"Oh yeah?" I said.

"Yeah, after we eliminated them Jamaica boyz...I called in a favor to New York....They were so happy about what we did...They blew up three of Baby Doc's warehouses in Jersey and one of his
stash houses in Newark.....and you know that Blue custom made Bentley he like to drive? They lit that up too!." said Fathead with much glee.

"Dannnnnng.....And you out in the street like this? You know he's gonna double the bounty on your head." I said.

"Yeah he might...then again, he might not...He knows now that we know about him...and that I
got the best talent money can buy huntin him...He won't make a move in this city." laughed Fathead as we both continued to chow down...

"Just be careful from one big man to another..." said Kool Kat.

"How did you get so close to him?" asked Fathead.

"Thought you'd never ask...He hangs out at the Mermaid Club....I drink there occassionally. he knows of me, but he don't know too much about me....He and Gervay sit in there and have full blown meetings.. Hell,everybody in there knew what he was plottin to do." I said.

"You talkin bout Joe Neptune's joint?" asked Fathead...

"Yeah..." I said.

"I would send Roscoe down there, but Joe is a friend of mine...I don't want no bad publicity on his head....We'll get him eventually." laughed Fathead..

"I heard that big man." I said.

"Man...If you ever need ANYTHING...Ya hear me..anything...you just holla....I'm in your debt."
said Fathead.

A few days later...I just happened to be in the Mermaid club......I was in there drinking and talkin
baseball averages with Joe Neptune when Marco Gervay walked in.

"Oh Oh...Here comes trouble" whispered Joe Neptune to me. He didn't say anything...He just pointed to a booth in the corner where unknown to me at the time...Baby Doc was already sitting.

I ordered me another drink and just kind of casually got me a seat at a table across from them.
Baby Doc was distracted, he wasn't paying attention to me at all.

"You called Boss?" said Marco Gervay as he was about to sit down.

"Yeah..Don't sit.....Aint nobody tryin to sit with you." said Baby Doc.

"What's with the sudden attitude?" asked Marco.

"You gettin testy with me, huh...you little snitch." said Baby Doc.

"Who you callin a snitch you pint sized jackass?" said Marco.

"It occurred to me that everytime somethin was about to go down....seemed like Fathead's people was always ready and always prepared...Like they knew what was goin down ahead of time..." said Baby Doc.

"What you tryin to say?" said Marco...

"You done worked for Fathead before....You worked for the Diaz Brothers and you recently worked for Big Daddy...One Diaz Brother in jail...another one dead...Big Daddy in jail and then that leaves you." said Baby Doc.

"What? I aint have nothin to do wit none of those occurrences..." screamed Marco, now a little frightened.

"I heard on the street that you're a double dealin turncoat...not to be trusted...How much did Fathead pay you to turn on me?" screamed Baby Doc...who was now screaming so loud that people were getting up and moving away...I stayed right where I was.

"You crazy...I got a contract out on me just like you....I'm the one that brought them Jamaica Boyz here...Why would I double cross em?" said Marco.

"So you wouldn't have to pay them and you could keep my money...What? Did Fathead offer you a piece of real estate? Huh? Real Estate that belongs to me and my dad??" said Baby Doc.

"You know what? I'm gone walk out of here...You done lost your mind playa....I'm out." said Marco.

"Don't turn your back on me punk!" said Baby Doc as he produced a gun and fired twice ,hitting
Marco in both buttocks.

"Whoaaaaaa....You jus shot me in the butt" screamed Marco as he spun around in pain... Baby Doc fired again...this time hitting Marco in the side...

"Arrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh..." screamed Marco, who to the shock and horror of everyone produced his own pistol and opened fire on Baby Doc, blasting him three or four times in his chest...

Baby Doc looked to be almost in tears as he staggered backwards, holding his chest.....

"I don't believe it.....I've been shot." he said as he fell to the floor as dead as a doorknob!

Marco staggered out into the street and collapsed in a pool of his own blood....People were screaming and running....It was pure pandemonium.....Joe Neptune walked quietly over to me.

"Ah tole you he was trouble." he said.


A week later, I sat in the diner with Chess, Chris Thompson, Fathead , Ralph Mole and Roscoe...
They were laughing so hard at the story I just told them that I was certain they were going to be asked to leave...Chris Thompson kept slapping his knee and laughing.....Fathead had tears rolling
from his eyes....

"OHHHHHH, OHHHHHHH, please tell us again Kool Kat....Them two fools shot each other.....hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaa....Baby Doc shot him in both butt
cheeks ..ahahahahahahahahahaha, BWahahahahahahahahahahahahaha..." laughed Fathead...

"And he say ...Whoaaaaaaaa....HAhahahahahahahahahahahahahaha..." laughed Roscoe....

"Yeah man, but Marco lit Baby Doc up....I didn't know he had it in him....Killed him right there on the spot." I said.

"How is Marco doing?" asked Chess.

"He be alright...He still in the hospital..." I said.

"I wonder which way he layin down...sideways? " laughed Chris Thompson...

"Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahha....Chris man, you know you wrong..that's foul." laughed Chess.

"You know what Kool Kat....I'm calling the contract on Marco off...This was too funny...With Baby
Doc out of the way, that snake will probably go back in his hole." said Fathead...

"Yeah sideways." said Chris Thompson...

"BWAHahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.." they all laughed in unison..What a crazy bunch of guys... I just shook my head.

That night at Patty's place...the bed springs were squeaking out of control and her big bed was rocking from side to side....

"OHHHHHHHH Kool Kat......ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu..."

"Ohhhhh baby...ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....ouuuuuuuuuu....''

"Ouuuuuuuuu...ohhhh darling.....moree..moree..."

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh..."

"Ouuuuuuuuuuu, you're killing me...ouuuu you're killin me."

"What did you say?" I asked her in mid stroke...

"It 's so good it's killin me...what you stoppin for..?" she said.

I just looked up at the ceiling for a half second and giggled like a cheshire cat!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Amateur Night


I again woke up in Patty's bed....I looked up and she was staring at me, smiling.....I said nothing.


"I could sure get used to this...." she said.


"Used to what?" I said, already knowing exactly what she was talking about..


"You and me..." she said....


"Oh really?" I said....


"I mean we've seen each other on the streets for years and I never had a clue you was interested in me...." she said.


"Nah?" I managed to say....


"No...then at my birthday party you come pressin all up on me and all.....I was really surprised.. and then you got me here and I was really ,REALLY surprised........I am liking this.." she said.


"Well, I'm glad you're satisfied.....I gotta get up...gotta go now.." I said.


"Awww, you gotta go again?" she said.


"Aint you got a job to go to? I gotta go apartment huntin...amongst other things ." I said.


"You coming back tonight?" she asked..


"Yeah...if I don't find nothin.......If I do find somethin...maybe you can come by my place." I said.


"You know I'll be there with bells on." she said...


"I'd prefer you be there with nothin on." I laughed.....


"Ouuuuuuu you so nasty..." she laughed.



I had things to do...Apartment hunting wasn't on the top of my list...I had just told her that... I drove up to the Hospital to see Chick....Chick had been in the hospital with two gunshot wounds for three days now. His uncle ,Fathead Newton , the real target couldn't get there to see him...He was in hiding...and even I didn't know where he was....Ralph Mole ,Roscoe and others were hunting!


Chick had shot and killed one of his shooters and the other two were still at large....Make that ,one was still at large....The body of one 31 year old Ralston Covington, Jamaican National and wanted by the FBI for a contract killing in Detroit was found in a drainage ditch outside of Philadelphia, riddled with bullets....Which meant only one of those "Jamaica Boyz" , the driver was still living... Two hitters dead and not one of the targets ,Fathead,Ralph Mole ,Roscoe or Chick had joined them... Baby Doc was probably livid at this moment and Marco Gervay was probably getting the brunt of it.


As I suspected...Fathead had placed several of his operatives inside that hospital in various disguises to make sure that nothing else happened to his nephew....I knew many of these guys from the streets and they knew me....I decided against trying to see Chick...These guys had no way of knowing if I was friend or foe...No need to stir the pot up...I was just glad Chick was still alive.


I decided to go to the Mermaid Club, Joe Neptune's joint and have a couple of beers. Unlike Josie's, Gus's joint...which was a classy place....The Mermaid Club was full of bust outs and riff raff from time to time...To my surprise...Baby Doc and Marco Gervay were sitting in the bar.

They had no idea that Fathead's people knew that they had a contract out on them...and that they were literally sitting ducks......


Baby Doc seemed livid, just like I figured he'd be.....


"Two of my shooters are dead and not one of my targets have been killed....." he screamed.


"Baby Doc...Calm down...you talkin too loud man......Look..the kid got a lucky shot off....and Ralston?? Man, his enemies got enemies...Maybe somebody saw him that knew him and got to him." said Marco.


"Yeah? Well aint nobody seen Fathead for days or Ralph Mole or Roscoe....It's almost like they know...and they got no reason to know do they?" said Baby Doc.


"How they gonna know? Me and you is the only ones who know about it mane" said Marco.


"Well find that other guy..What's his name? Ny..."asked Baby Doc.


"Nyron...Nyron ,that's his name.." said Marco.


"Yeah..Find him.....tell him to finish the job.....We might not find Fathead..but if we kill the nephew, he'll definitely have to show his face...and when he does...pow...it's all over for him..."said Baby Doc.


"Yeah, once that fat bastard falls....Ralph Mole and Roscoe will probably fall in line...might even get em to work for us." said Marco..


"If they don't...they die too!" said Baby Doc.


"Okay...I'll contact Nyron and I'll send "Lunchmeat" Peterson down there to back him up." said Marco.


"Lunchmeat"Peterson?? When did that old rummy get out of jail?" laughed Baby Doc.


"About a year ago....He drink a little, but back in the day..he was one of the most feared hitmen in Philly and South Jersey..." said Marco.


"Yeah...My dad used to talk about him....That was before our time...Well , anyway..get on it." said Baby Doc...


"I'm on it man." said Marco.


I couldn't believe these two.....Back when I was in the game...this type of conversation would have never have been spoken in a public place...like a bar ,with people sitting around....These guys put the "A" in Amateur.


I walked out of the bar and got on my cell phone....I called Roscoe and told him what I'd just heard....He was silent...then he laughed....I laughed too!


That night....around midnight....Nylon Jennings, Jamaican National...wanted in Detroit and New York City for several contract killings and drug trafficking, walked down a quiet hospital hallway in an orderlies uniform..He was headed for Chick Peters room....He walked past an exit....He looked around...He went to draw a gun....He felt some cold steel in his rib cage and he was told to walk down the exit stairs.....That was the last time he was seen alive.


A few days later..I read in the papers that his nude body and the nude body of Herbert "Lunchmeat" Peterson was found in a burned out railroad car in Deleware of all places.....riddled with bullets... I laughed and snickered...


"What you laughin about Kool Kat?" said Chris Thompson as we both stood outside of the apartment building where I had just purchased a unit...


"Nothing...just readin this story about these two naked gangsters found in a railroad car."I said.


"You didn't have nothin to do with that did you?" asked Chris as his partner, Chess came out of the buildin...


''Who me? Nahhh, come on Chris...I'm out the game...just like you and Chess." I said.


Chris gave me the side eye, then smiled..Chess just looked at me with a blank stare, but said nothing.


"I'm serious....I aint in nothin...but that damn sexy ass Patty Everette." I said.


"I heard that." laughed Chess....


"Okay man...cause things is kind of hot...Baby Doc and Fathead are warring." he said.


"Damn, you don't say?" I laughed.


"Man, everybody knows it...Streets is talkin....So I'm giving you a word of advice, cause you my boy..Stay out of that mess..." said Chris.


"Will do.. You know me Chris...I'm not a playa anymore... I'm a lover..." I laughed.


"Yeah okay Kool Kat....Be easy babe!" he said as he got in his car....


Chess tossed me the keys to my new apartment....


"Enjoy!" he said.


That night, after I got some furniture from rent a center..I sat down , ready to watch some TV in my new place when my doorbell rang. I answered the door and there was Patty, wearing a trenchcoat and some black stilettos.


"Well , what a surprise." I laughed...


"Let me in..I've got an even bigger surprise..." she said.


I let her in and she opened her coat.....She didn't have on a stitch of clothing under that coat....


I began unzippering my trousers....


"I've got a big surprise for you too." I laughed...


"Ouuuuuu, I like that." she cooed.....


It was going to be a busy night....I thought.


(Conclusion Next...)


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Hit is a Hit


I awoke the next morning in Patty's bed....We had started out kissing and fondling each other in the club's bathroom and had finnally wound up going to her place and hastily removing our clothes and making love in the living room on the couch, then the floor, then the kitchen and finnally in the bedroom...
I was exhausted.....Patty was laying beside me snoring....I hated to leave...I had had such a great time with her...I didn't even know her last name....

She began to stir...she looked up at me with those lovely hazel eyes and that flawless honey brown skin and smiled the sweetest smile I ever saw....

"Hi Kooool Kat....Thank you for the best birthday present ever...! My lord!" she exclaimed....

"Girl, I felt like it was MY birthday." I laughed....

"Ah know you did...wow...it's been a long time since I had my buns done like that..my goodness..." she laughed.

"Well look...let me reach over here and get my blackberry...Give me your number and your e-mail information...I definitely want to see you again...but I gotta get up outta here..I got some business to take care of.." I said.

"I sure hope it aint got nothin to do with what we heard last night baby..I sho don't want nothing to happen to you..." she said.

"Nah..I aint no gangsta..Used to be...but now I just enjoy life...Got a few dollars,
got a nice place in Puerto Rico...tryin to get a place here to crash..." I said.

"You could stay here with me." she said.

"Nothin personal...but I don't believe in shackin...Only way I'll live with a woman is if we are married." I said.

"You ever been married?" she asked.

"Nope......but I lived with a woman once...She put me out on the coldest day of the year." I laughed , thinking about the memory.

"I would never put you out baby." she cooed.

"I know...but I still like to have somethin of my own..." I said and kissed her long and hard....I found myself getting excited again....but I remembered I had work to do..

"Sure you wanna go?" she asked ,looking at me alluring ly....

"I don't...but I gotta....Listen...I'm gone shoot through here tonight, how is that?" I said.

"Sure....." she said.

"By the way...what's your last name, I never knew it?" I asked.

"Oh my god, as long as you've known me Kool Kat.....It's Everette...you know that." she said. She was right..I had seen her around and joked with her for years, but only knew her by her first name...It was like that on the streets.

I got in my rental car and drove to Josie's, but didn't go in....The best way to contact Fathead now of days was to call Ralph Mole...his Lieutenant.. I called
Ralph Mole and informed him that I had to meet with him, Roscoe and the big man and it couldn't be in public...It had to be somewhere private..and that it was very important.

They knew me by my street rep...Like my buddy Chris Thompson used to say..
"Some of us can do it by rep alone.." They knew that if I was calling ,it was more than likely serious.

Ralph Mole directed me to an old Airplane hanger outisde of Philadelphia and on an old abandoned air strip. We all met there two hours later. Roscoe and Ralph Mole were there when I got there...Fathead and five other guys...all heavily armed , showed up about an hour later... Fathead had changed since the days when he, Chris, Little Pistol, Smooth, Chess and I were all just kids...He now didn't go anywhere without his armed entourage....From what I had heard,he had had several close calls with people trying to take his life. From what I heard, the big man wasn't seen in public much and didn't stay at any one place for more than two nights...What a way to live...That's why I gave it all up and I suspect that that was why Chris Thompson gave it up too.

Ralph Mole could have been a party planner or caterer in another lifetime...He had bottled water, coffee and orange juice at each spot on the table for all of us..
This wasn't a board meeting......Had to love the guy though..He was nothing,if not efficient.

"Kool Kat, my man...Never thought I'd see you back in Philly....Chris told me you were in Puerto Rico." said Fathead with a laugh, slapping me on the back.

"Yeah man, well, you get bored sitting on a beach all day... I missed Philly, this is my home baby." I said.

"True dat...so what is this about?" he said.

"It's about you...all of you...You have made an enemy and he wants all of you dead..That enemy is "Baby Doc"..." I said.

"Oh Brainless junior" said Fathead... Roscoe ,Ralph Mole and the five armed men all began laughing...

"I was at your spot last night...Mulberry Street" I said.

"Yeah? How you like it?" asked Fathead.

" Love it....I took some broad to the bathroom..." I said.

'What? You took some broad where....OHHHHHHH, okay, hehehheheh..I gotcha..go head Kool Kat" laughed Fathead.

"Anyway, we was in the ladies restroom and the lights were off, so they didn't know we were there..."Baby Doc" was goin on about how you killed his pops over some beef concernin your club or somethin....I don't know...but he told Marco Gervay to call up some outside help to get rid of you, Roscoe, Ralph Mole and your nephew, Chick." I said.

"Me? What the hell I do to them?" said Ralph Mole..

"Marco Gervay??...That little turncoat..he used to work for me...then he went to work for the Diaz Brothers..then after they imploded ,he was workin for "Big Daddy." Now that "Big Daddy" is in jail, I guess that little parasite is on "Baby
Doc's" jock..." said Fathead.

"I'm just pullin your coat..by the way, where is Chick? He should have been here?" I asked.

"That kid is gonna be the death of me yet...He's probably somewhere jerking off as usual." said Fathead..

"He's on the list too." I said.

"Roscoe....Ralph...go find him...call him......Thanks Kool Kat...I owe you..." said
Fathead..

"So how do we proceed boss?" asked Roscoe.

"If I know right...He's probably gonna call those Jamaica boys up....You know , the ones who hit those guys in New York...New York is still upset about that..
If we get a twenty on them guys and take em out first..We'll have big cred with
New York.. Allejandro hates Baby Doc...Just hasn't been able to get to him...
Ralph..You go find my Nephew....Roscoe...find Marco and send him a message.."
said Fathead.

I nodded my head...Things were going to get hot....I might just take Patty up on her offer...

Epilouge:
Sometime in the afternoon, Chick Peters and his driver were leaving their tailor with a bunch of new suits.... A 1979 Oldsmobile drove past them and stopped..
Two guys wearing Panama Hats, White Khaki pants and black wife beaters opened fire with .45's...

Two slugs hit the driver in his head, killing him instantly....Chick returned the fire, hitting one guy in the chest and just missing the second shooter. The second shooter fired again and hit Chick in the chest and the leg...Chick fell to the ground and tossed his gun up in the air.... The two shooters got back in the
car and pulled off.... Chick pulled out his Blackberry and tried to call his uncle,
but he was too weak...he collapsed and dropped his Blackberry in the street.

(To Be Continued...)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Where's Papa


She was a big legged gal, with nice hips and a nice womanly figure, just like I like my women...with a little meat on they bones...Her name was Patty something or other and she was celebrating her birthday on the newly opened rooftop bar and grille, "Mulberry Street" ,here in Philly....It was a large crowd and as big as I am, six feet four, 260 pounds of muscle...bald headed with a platinum stud in both of my ears and dark aviator shades....I still managed to blend into this crowd...Who am I? The name is Walter Jones.....but I'm known on the streets of Philly as "Kool Kat." The man with nine lives.

When I was a player, some guys I worked for tried to kill me...a guy shot me twice in the head with a .22.....It didn't get the job done...I picked him up, ripped his pants off and tossed him across the room....Today, because of that...He carries that nickname... "No pants"... The guy that was with him was so scared, he took his own gun and shot himself.

Another nasty gangster named Fiddler and his organization made several attempts on my life...but my boy, Kevin Morris took them and Fiddler down.....but my rep in the street stayed the same... Unkillable, untouchable...Turns out the cat wasn't after the huge amount of money I invested...He was after me cause I had charmed the panties (literally) off of his girl... My friends,
Kevin, Chess and Chris Thompson told me it would be better if I just took a powder and left Philly.

I did....I invested my huge sum of cash in some off shore accounts ...Way off shore , where the U.S. Government can't tax me....I got a little place on the island of Isla De Vieques in Puerto Rico.
I live good. Chris Thompson told me that he stayed there during his self imposed exile from Philly.

But I'm a Philly boy...Philadelphia is all I know..West Philly, North Philly, Germantown, Mt. Airy.
That's me..My turf....So I'm back.... I had been enjoying myself all night, drinking, talking to some old friends... and enjoying the live band that was jamming...

I finnally got ahold of the big legged girl and whispered in her ear...

"Happy Birthday Patty."

"Thank You Kool Kat..." she said with a giggle...

I held on to her tight......

"Ouuu, a girl could get used to this...feelin all safe in yo big arms.." she laughed.

"Can I buy you a drink birthday girl?" I said in her ear.

"Sure." she said.

"What else can I do for you?" I said, rubbing her hips and squeezing her thighs a little bit. She playfully, but not forcefully moved my hands...

"Ummmm, that depends..." she laughed.

"Aww come on...can a playa get lucky tonight?" I asked.

"It's my birthday, not yours.." she said with a laugh.....

"Yeah..and I could put a very nice ending to that birthday." I said.

"Ouu, I like how that sounds.....sayyyyyyyyy Kool Kat, lets walk downstairs...somewhere where
it's quiet and we can talk." she said.

She took my hand and led me off the rooftop, down the stairs down a dark hall, punctuated only by red neon lights that led to the restrooms...We walked into the ladies restroom...We checked
the stalls...There was no one in them......and we began kissing passionately, hungrily... I slipped
my hands up her dress.....Just then we heard footsteps and the sounds of some men talking....

"Shhhhhhh" she said..."Let's cool it until they leave." she whispered as I turned the lights out in the women's bathroom....The conversation I would hear would be most interesting-

"It's been five months and not a word, not a sight of my dad.....I'm pretty sure he's dead...That fat bastard made him disapear."

"Aww Baby Doc......You don't know that." came another voice.

"Look, They found Basil in the trunk of a car shot multiple times....that was a hit...and my pop hasn't been seen since then....He's dead I tell you...and that fat bastard has the nerve to buy my dad's club.....and re-open it...He's just mad because my dad had his joint, Ciro's closed down."

"Nah, Some dude named Chick Peters owns this joint Baby Doc."

"Chick Peters! Chick Peters is Fathead 's sister's son...That's his nephew..He's too smart to put the club in his name...His nephew is just a front....Fathead is his silent partner....."

'So Baby Doc....what do you want?"

"Marco...I want you to call in some talent....Not local...Nobody here in Philly can get close to the ones I want hit...Call in those three guys from Jamaica who we got to do those boys in New York that was givin us trouble...Call em in...Tell em I Want Roscoe hit, Ralph Mole, Chick
Peters and that fat son of a gun, Fathead Newton hit.....and anybody that stands with them...."

"Chris Thompson, Chess, Donald Smooth too?"

"Nah...Chess and Chris aint in the game...they legit now....they into real estate or somethin and Donald Smooth is cool......Nah, they aint involved in this...Just Hit Fathead, Roscoe, Ralph Mole and Chick......After they are gone..we'll do business with whoever is left."

"You got it Baby Doc....I'm on it."

"That's why I hired you Marco...you're a local guy...you know these guys....."

"I used to work for Fathead...but the fat bastard likes to eat alone...he aint sharin the wealth equally, you know?"

'Well when he's gone...His part of Philly is yours and then I'll appoint somebody to run South
Philly ,North Philly and whatever is left I can have."

"I'm with you Baby Doc."

"Come on, let's get out of here.....I can't stand another minute in this joint knowin that my dad is dead and buried somewhere in secret because of this joint."

They walked away......Patty looked at me...I was somber...Neither one of us could believe what we had just heard...A murder plot! I knew who the voices belonged to...One was "Baby Doc", the son of the missing gangster known as "Papa Doc". Everybody knew he was dead....He had made the mistake of bringing the L.&I down on Fathead and having his club, Ciro's closed so that it couldn't compete with Mulberry street....For that kind of treachery, Fathead got even...had his
Cheif enforcer Basil hit and had Papa Doc dispatched...In places unknown.

The other voice belonged to a cool and deadly Playa named Marco Gervay, A Philly guy who once worked for Fathead, "Big Daddy" and The Diaz Brothers.....He was now working alongside
Baby Doc with the promise of sitting in Fathead's chair at the top....I didn't like him...He was a snake....He'd work with anyone who looked like they were at the top at the time...He wasn't to be trusted.

Of course, I could stay out of this....I didn't work for any of the people named..Never did....but Fathead had been good to me when I was still in the game and I did owe Roscoe...He had after all
saved my boy Kevin by cutting down Fiddler...So you know me....I was gonna pull Fathead's people's coat to this.

But not tonight.....First things first....

"Don't worry about them Patty cakes...that aint our business." I said cooley...

"You right Kool Kat....now uh where were we at?" she said.

"It is your birthday..." I said sly as I stuck my hand up her dress and eased her underwear down. we began kissing again and she pulled my zipper down.....

"Oh mmmmmy....this is going to be a happy birthday for me after all.." she cooed....

"Yes indeed." I said.

I'd call Fathead and his people tomorrow.

(To Be Continued......)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Coda


"Hey "88" take my suitcase downstairs and put it in the car please?" I said as I handed my ace keybaordist my grip.

"Sure thing Reed." he said as he took my bag down to my rental car. We had been in New York for a week and I was eager to get back to Philly. We had played a couple of spots in the Village and one club in Harlem and we had been at a few recording dates...It was good money...My schedule was clear and I was going to spend this extra bread in two ways...One, I was going to move into a bigger place....I had to see Chess and Chris about one of their new condos... and I was going to take Debbie on a nice vacation.

Downtown Rob Brown surprised me when he sat in with us the last night we were here...but I didn't throw him off the stage and he didn't hog the stage...He played one number and then quietly left the stage...I had looked for him after our set was done, but he was nowhere to be found.

Funny when you're looking for someone...They usually find you..Such was the case this morning, when I looked up and there he was.

"What's going on Reed?" he said.

"Good Question..Wanna tell me what you're doing in New York, when uh you were supposed to be in Philly doing my dates?" I asked.

"Uh Yeah..I wanna tell you about that." he said.

"Go ahead....I'm in no rush." I said.

"I played three of your dates and then that guy Gus fired me." he said with no trace of rancor.

"He did?" I said.

"Man look, the first night there was 15 people in there...The second night ten and the third night
I was playin to the crickets....He hired a DJ and had Cha Cha contests the rest of the time." he said.

"Wow.." was all I could muster up the nerve to say...

"No....Gus is alright...he talked to me....He told me about you....and about how when you came there...You thought you was the next Miles Davis...tried to play like him...played all his stuff...
He said at first you packed em in because people was curious...but then the crowds dwindled off
and that they were as bad as my "crowds'.....He said that the next week you came back, started
fusing your jazz with a little funk...a little r&b, a little hip hop.....The crowds hadn't heard that before and pretty soon you was packin em in again...He said you occassionally throw a little jazz
in there....but you mostly give em that funk..that soul...that beat and you've become a house favorite." said Rob.

"Yeah, that's true...I eat well." I said.

"I see...but that aint me man..I'm a true jazz artist..I can't compromise.....I won't compromise my art and what I believe in for nothin...I wouldn't be me." he said.

"So what will you do?" I asked.

"Well, Cock Robbins , who used to play semi-pro football up here got me a gig teachin music at the high school where he works and I met a dude named Clerow who is letting me rent one of his
apartments cheap until I make enough bread to get on my feet and I play at a few joints where they respect true jazz......I'm doin okay." he said.

"Well,I gotta respect a man who sticks to his principals." I said.

"Well...I respect you too...You're an innovator....I'm sorry for that stuff I said about you bein a hack and abandoning jazz...You're an incredible musician and when I get back to Philly...I'm gonna look up that Kevin fella and do a retraction article in his magazine...I'm gonna retract all of the bad stuff I said about you...You're alright." he said.

"And you had a big argument with my lady's sister and you'd like for me to put in a good word and smooth things over right?" I said.

"Can't put nothin over on you huh...?" he said.

"Debbie told me about it." I said with a chuckle....

"Oh and uh ruh...One more thing." he said.

'What's that?" I asked.

"Can I bum a ride back to Philly with you guys....I sent Deb the money for that bed and I sent Clerow a down payment on that apartment and frankly...If I spend the rest of my bread on a train ride ...I'll be plum broke until I get another gig." he said.

"Sure...How many bags you got?" I asked.

"Just two." he said.

"That's cool...Hop in" I said.

A week later, Debbie and I came in late from a night at Josie's......

"Ohhhhhhhhhhh.....Ohhhhhhhh Babbby...."

''Darling.....ouuuuuuuuu, ummmmmph..."

"Oh Robert, let's not ever fight againnnnnn...ohhhhhhhhhhh."

"Nooooo, never..ummmppph, ouuu girl you feel so goooood..."

Came the conversation from the guest room.

"Hey, I thought he had a place?" I asked.

"He does." said Debbie.

"So what are they doing here and how much longer is your sister gonna be here?" I asked.

"Chess told her that her place will be ready in a week." she said.

"Wanna go over my place?" I said.

"You aint got nobody over there do you?" Debbie laughed slyly.

"Baby, I don't have a guest room." I laughed.


"Hahahahahahahaha, I know right?" laughed Debbie as we quietly closed the door and walked out to my car.


(For SLC, a trumpet player who is true to the game .)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hard Notes


"Can you beleive what that pompus jerk said about me in the paper?" I exclaimed to Debbie as we sat in The Mermaid Club having drinks...

"Yes, I read it...He said that you felt threatened by him invading your turf and that that was why you kicked him off the stage during Jazzfest." she said.

"Yeah, how about that? He makes me look like the bad guy and covers up the fact that he was messing up my number..." I said.

"Okay...Cool out Reed...it's over now...forget about it." she said.

"I'll be glad when he leaves and goes back to where-ever he came from." I said.

''Wellllllll ......you see Reed..I'll let you in on a little secret....He can't leave...He doesn't have any money." said Debbie.

"What do you mean he doesn't have any money...Isn't he a big up and coming star?" I said.

"Well..he's billed as that...but he's not selling any recordings and he's not packing em in anywhere either...He's a media darling, but the people on the streets aint buyin his stuff...He's broke....He's staying with friends..." she said.

"How do you know all of this?" I asked.

"Delores told me." she said.

"I can't beleive she's sweet on that egotistical jerk." I said.

"To each his own said the woman as she kissed her cow." said Debbie.

I looked at her and chuckled...

I drove Debbie back to her place...I wasn't going to come in, except that I was tired and it was late and afterall, we had been drinking......No sooner than we put the key in the door..we heard
sounds coming from the guest room....

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu that's my spotttt...."

"Ohhhhhhhhh, right there...right there..ohhhhhhh,ouuuuuuuu..."

"Ohhhhhh Robert....more...moreeeeee...ohhhh you feel so damn goooooood..."

"Ohhhhhhh baby, I neeeeed this..ohhhhhhhhh....."

I couldn't beleive he was here in my woman's apartment doing the nasty with her sister...Debbie
could see the red hot anger in my face...

"Reed, that's got nothing to do with us." she said.

"Yeah, well he needs to be doing it at his own place...but that's right...he hasn't got a place." I said with a sneer.

"Oh Stop it...Come on....Come into my room and make me scream like that." said Debbie playfully!

Just then I heard the sound of wood cracking....then a loud boom! and then two thumps!

"Oh my God!" said Debbie who rushed across the living room and swung the door open-

"Is everyone alright?" she said...

Next came a scream!

''Sis, close the door." said Delores who was naked and just barely covered....Rob was on the floor,
completely nude....Apparently one of the legs on the bed had broken and they had both slid on the floor.

Debbie smiled sardonically and said-

"You owe me for the broken bed leg..."

"Ohh shut up." giggled Delores....I couldn't help but laugh myself....I thought of my friend Robert
Foxworth who had not only broken a bed, but had gone through the ceiling into another man's apartment....He'd find this situation so ironic if he were here.

A few hours later the four of us were sitting at the kitchen table...Debbie had fixed us all Omelets
and Bacon and hash browns and hot biscuits....Delores had a pot of coffee brewing and had poured us all mimosas... There was an uneasy silence between Rob Brown and I.....Then finnally I broke the silence.

"Hey look...you and I kind of got off on the wrong foot...We don't have to play music the same way, but that doesn't mean we can't respect each other as men." I said.

There was silence...Rob Brown said nothing...

"I'd like to help you out.....I know a place you can stay until you get yourself together and My band will be touring in a few weeks...I can talk to Gus and get him to let you take my Friday night slots at Josies....So you can put a little bread in your pockets...." I continued.

"You would do that for me? After the way I tore you down in those articles?" he said.

"Yeah, I know...it's surprising me too...I must be getting soft in my old age.....besides...this way you can pay for that bed." I said.

He laughed and Debbie and Delores laughed too..

Debbie walked over to me and whispered in my ear...

"I am so turned on by you right now...."

I laughed.

A week later, We were in New York perfoming at a small club in the village....I was playing -''I can't give you anything but love" I was cooking and "88" was following me with aplomb, when I saw a shadowy figure moving towards the stage....It was Downtown Rob Brown, with his trumpet.....What was he doing in New York City? He once again came on the stage un-invited....

I didn't say anything this time....He began playing the counter melody to my tune...and surprisingly , he did it well....I followed him....The audience went crazy....There we were...The two of us on stage together...He looked at me and winked.....I smiled slightly....I didn't know what this guy's game was....

(Conclusion Next...)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Slapstick


I awoke in Debbie's bed, alone ....She was out in her kitchen with her sister, Delores. Delores was two years younger , but just as much of a looker as Debbie. Delores in addition to be sexy was a hell of a sweet person too...and as cool as a fan. I originally thought when we went to pick her up that her being at Debbie's place would put a cramp on my , our sex life...but it didn't...We'd go in Debbie's room and close the door and Delores would go in the guest room and close her door, or she'd go out and that was that...Didn't slow down nothin...I liked her.

I went in the bathroom, brushed my teeth....I keep a spare toothbrush over Debbie's place for nights that I stay over. I took a shower too....and then got dressed...I had a big day today. As I put my clothes on, I overheard their conversation at the kitchen table...

"Wow Deb....he must have put it on you somethin fierce last night....I heard yall through the walls. Or at least I heard you...You always were a screamer..hahahahahahahahaha." said Delores.

"Was not!" protested Debbie mockingly and then giving a little conspiritorial laugh.

"Anyway.....I only heard yall, because when I came in ,yall was going at it....I didn't hear nothin once we got in the room." said Delores.

"We? WEEEEE.....What's with this we? You brought a guy in here? I guess you did a little screamin yourself." laughed Debbie.

"Nah...nothin like that...He was a perfect gentleman.....I was at Josie's , that place you and Reed
took me that you hang out at and I met this guy....At first ,I thought he was a little nerdy for my tastes, but we sat and talked and he turned out to be nice. He bought me a couple of drinks and then he and I left Josies and walked a few blocks to this nice Coffee shop..We had coffee and a bowl of ice cream...We talked some more....and he was such a gentleman...He followed me here to make sure that I got home alright and so I invited him inside." said Delores.

"And then you screwed his brains out." said Debbie with a laugh.

"Nope..we just talked....He didn't even try anything..He was just a perfect gentleman...He talked a lot about music...We talked until 4:00 in the morning and then he got up and left." said Delores.

"Wow, he didn't try to get none? He must be gay." laughed Debbie.

"Oh shut up..." laughed Delores playfully....

I laughed too ,upon hearing their conversation and then my Blackberry went off.... It was Ricky Rector, the promoter who was promoting "Philly Jazzfest 2010."

"Heyyy Rick my man, what's shakin bacon?" I said.

"You baby....What's goin on Reed? I called to give you the line up for the big concert tomorrow night." he said.

"Rick is this thing as big a deal as you say it is?" I asked.

"Oh yeah Reed...Dig... I'm gonna have Symphony Sam and his Jazz Orchestra open the show."
said Ricky.

"Jazz Orchestra? It's a six piece band..."I said.

"Wellll, he calls it an orchestra....Anyway, he's opening up and then I'm going to have "Deep Six "
play a set...Then that hot guitarist, Brooke Taylor from the West Coast will come on...and she'll be followed by Stephanie Peters...a great new singer...Then Slyde Hyde, the Trombonist is up next.....and after his set...You and "88" and the boys will close the show....Oh and I might have an
encore performance by this new kid...The one in the magazine article.."

"You mean "Downtown" Rob Brown?" I asked dryly...

"Yeah, Yeah...You know him?" asked Rick...

"We've met...." I said.

"Yeah,yeah ,yeah...it's gonna be a stone gas.....I got that Mabel Jenkins gal and her sisters, Corrie, Anita and Vickie to cater the event......Chess and Chris Thompson's company, C&C brothers put the money up for the event and I called Hype Magazine...Kevin Morris, Sean Jackson and Sheila will be covering the story...They promised me a front page...It's gonna be great man!" said Ricky...

"Okay...I'm gonna run the guys through rehearsals and then we gonna take five and chill tonight at Josies." I said.

'That's a bet...See ya tomorrow" said Rick.

"Got'cha." I said.

The next night was Philly Jazz Fest.....Everybody who was anybody was there....Gus and the whole gang from Josie's was there.....Debbie and Delores were sitting right up front...The hall that Ricky had rented from Chess and Chris was huge, but it was still packed to the gills.....

I watched Brooke Taylor ,Slyde Hyde, Deep Six and Stephanie Peters perform....They were all great....I missed Symphony Sam's opener......Tsk Tsk Tsk! and then it was my turn to perform....
I got a standing ovation before I even started...."88" struck up the keys and the drummer set the beat..The Bass player and the Guitarist got to going and I came in with a new number I had
just written about a week ago called "Slapstick"...

I was playing like a demon and the crowd was egging me on...when to my shock and surprise...Downtown Robert Brown walked up on the stage in the middle of our number and started playing his trumpet during the break....

I was stunned....."88" kept playing , but he looked at me kind of funny.....I jumped in and began playing the basic melody....Downtown Rob tried to keep up, but he couldn't....This number was far too complex for a guy like him who was used to playing standards....The crowd thought it was part of the act and they began clapping....I was furious....I got close to him and said-

"Heyyy what do you think you're doing?"

He looked at me and snidely said-

"Hey look, I didn't want to be part of this act, but I was told to come up here."

"You were told?" I asked.

"Yeah,I was told." he said.

"Man, get the hell off the stage." I snapped.

"What?" he said.

"Get the hell off the stage." I repeated myself..

"Gladly." he said and stepped down....

After the concert was over, I was fuming....I barged into Ricky Rector's office...

"Man, did you tell that punk to get up on the stage during my act?" I said.

''Nah...Reed,I swear I didn't.. I told him he was going to close the show...He must have mis-understood.." said Ricky..

Debbie walked back to the office where we were....

"Reed, there has been a horrible mis-understanding." she said.

"I'll say." I said.

"No, you don't understand.....Downtown Rob Brown is the guy Delores went out with last night,
he was over our house." she said.

"Yeah? Well she should have better taste in men." I said.

"He's devestated that you embarrased him like that....Symphony Sam gave him the line up sheet
and see...On it ,it clearly states that he was supposed to sit in with the Reed Nelson band." she said.

"Oh...uh...ruh...well, ahhhh that must've been a typo." said Ricky Rector.


What a mess! I thought.


(To Be Continued.....)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Downtown Rob Brown


I first heard him play when I was out in San-Francisco....He was young, about 25...Six feet even,
Dark skinned with a bald head and not a trace of a whisker on his face..He had an earing in his left ear. Like me, He played the trumpet. Me...My name is Reed Nelson..I play trumpet....The kid's name was Robert Brown..."Downtown" Robert Brown....He told everyone he was from New York City...but he was actually born in Philadelphia and lived here until he was about 12 years old. His parents divorced and he went to live with his mother, who was a New Yorker in the Bronx. He lived there until he was 18. At 18, he returned to Philly, to attend the University of Pennsylvania.

He got his bachelors from Penn and went right back to New York, where he studied at Julliard Music College. He played Trumpet and Piano... I knew his story...In San-Francisco..."88" and I sat in at one of his dates...He played technically well.....but he didn't improvise at all. He played a lot of Jazz standards...and took a lot of pop songs and adapted them.....Mostly he took classical music , which he played very well and jazzed that up....It was okay..but it only drew mild applause and most of his audience was white and old...

"88" went up to shake his hand after a set....

'Hey man, good job..good job." said "88"

"Yeah, I guess it is a good job, compared to what you and that hack, Reed Nelson play." he said without shaking "88's" hand. From that time on ,"88" had nothing to say to the kid.

'That little bastard better not let me catch him on the street." he said.

I laughed it off and patted "88" on the back....

"He young man, young guys are always brash and full of themselves." I said and thought no more of it. This was of course until I read an article in Hype magazine on him in which he called me a "hack", a "pretender" and a sell out to the craft of "real jazz"...Now I was pissed.

This particular morning, I found myself in a tony little eatery in Chestnut Hill with the author of that article and his photographer side kick....Kevin Morris, who usually is out catching criminals on his spare time....but who actually is a journalist/blogger, who is a friend of mine and who's articles I read a lot and Sean Jackson, his buddy, who is one of the best photographers in the business.

"So Kevin....He actually believes the crap he says?" I asked.

"I'm sorry Reed....I just asked him some questions and that's the way he answered....I told him that you were a personal friend of mine and he said that I should pick better friends." said Kevin.

"Man, that cat's head is so big, he had to turn sideways to get through the door ." added Sean
Jackson as he sat down with us...

"Yeah, "88" can't stand him and you know how easy going he is...if he don't like him.....he's got to
be a bad guy." I said.

There were three tumblers of hot steaming coffee around us and another three tumblers of orange juice.. Kevin had Blueberry Pancakes and country ham with hash browns, Sean had two eggs fried hard, bacon and a grapefruit and I had a Cheese Omelet, Bacon and hash browns...
Sean had found this place...It was nice. We were joined by Conrad Nelson, the attorney and his wife Jill.

'That kid really tore you a new one in that article in Kev's magazine." said Conrad.

"Yeah..I read the article ." I said...

"He's playing at Josie's tonight...Let's go see him and heckle him."said Sean.

"Not a bad idea." I said with a hint of seriousness.

That night Deborah and I sat center stage with "88" and Mabel Jenkins as "Downtown " Robert Brown and his quartet played their set... Like I said...He was technically good and proficient...but
not very innovative....This was a younger crowd...

They didn't boo , they simply milled around and quietly, one by one began to leave...Pretty soon, there was only about 25 people in the audience and maybe about ten at the bar....On a Friday Night ,I had this place packed....and the bar was crowded.....I looked over at Gus....He wasn't too
happy...he didn't say anything, but he just had that look.

Robert Foxworth and his lady friend Bonita walked over to me...

"Man, I hope you're playin next week...this cat is okay, but he's puttin me to sleep." said Robert.

I laughed....Debbie looked at me.. Smiled that sultry smile of hers and shook her head.

"What?" I said.

"Your friends are really feeding your ego...." she laughed.

After his set was over I walked up to the bandstand....

'Tough crowd huh? This is an unusual Friday night, it's usually more people in here." I said.

"Yeah, uneducated people who like hip hop and funk and that crap that you and "Symphony "Sam be playin...They can't appreciate a true artist like myself." he sneered.

"Artist? You're playin watered down versions of other people's stuff....Artist? Don't make me laugh....I admit, I do play a little smooth jazz and I do venture off into Funk , R&B and Neo soul, but I write a lot of original,complex stuff...stuff that you probably couldn't play.." I said.

'Besides" I continued...Music is like soul food and a deli platter....Different tasting, but still good food just the same." I said.

"Okay, you keep believing that.....I don't have time." he said.

"You don't have a lot of things my man." I said and walked back to my table. We all walked out and to my surprise, several other people left with us.. I heard Gus telling him.

"No need for you guys to do a second set...Uh, I'll pay you for the night though."

I couldn't help but snicker...

That night I was driving Debbie to my place...

"You know my sister is coming to town tomorrow....We have to pick her up at the Airport......
(Pause)...Reed...My sister?" she said.

"Yeah, I heard you...I can't get over that pompus little twerp..."I Said.

"You still got a hard on for that kid." laughed Debbie...

I looked over at her as I drove.....

"I don't have a hard on for him....I could care less about him...but I do have a hard on.." I laughed slyly...Debbie looked at me and smiled as she lay her head on my shoulder...

"Ouu, then you'd better drive a little faster ,sos we can get to your place and I can ,uh, er..take care of that." she laughed.


(To Be Continued....)