BY Davey H

09/01 Direct Link

On Davey's mirror, lights embossed,
he'd ditch tailgaters at any cost!

On it went, this Belvedere thing,
and she would be lent to a buddy that spring.

Jerry Frelson was a lumbering lad, imposingly tall and powerful, with broad shoulders. He and Davey had attended some beer bashes at different times throughout high school and the immediate ensuing years, so it was no coincidence that Davey once again ran into Jerry at the friendly neighborhood liquor store in this, the waning segment of the Belvedere's tenure.

The two struck up a conversation;
one had wheels, the other didn't.

Good combination!

09/02 Direct Link

Jerry had needed this. He seemed to brim with a pained agitation that could only come out sideways, manifesting itself in a downcast eyed, moping look akin to a dog with his tail tucked betwixt his legs.
Oh, it could have been fear, anger, angst, or any number of things.

Nothing a good drinking binge couldn’t deal with.

That said, so it was!

A trip to What’s-their-name’s liquors for a case of National Premium beer which was hastily loaded in the old Belvedere.
Time to get loaded, that much was clear;
no need to be goaded, and nothing to fear!

09/03 Direct Link

It was a short ride to Jerry's parent's pad, and both men knew what was soon to be had.
Davey knew Jerry not terribly well
but knew, although wary, he'd a story to tell.
So let the telling begin.

Davey did know that Jerry would show up at most beer bashes, that he smoked cigarettes like most of his classmates – having started the same way, trying to be cool.

Davey also knew that Jerry had an eerie, sinister side; it was rumored that Jerry had once beaten his own father up so badly as to put him in the hospital.

09/04 Direct Link

So here, obviously, was a dude you didn't mess with.
But to Davey, hey, he didn't give a flip; a drinkin' buddy was a drinkin' buddy, and that was that.
And so it was off to Jerry's folks' flat.

His parent's pad was a yellowish clapboard ranch of modest size nestled in that one lane horseshoe development off of Shilley Road.
Jerry unceremoniously ushered Davey in, carrying the case of bottles effortlessly and setting it down on the counter, bellowing a “make yourself at home” in the process.

At first blush, this place was indeed modest in size and heft.

09/05 Direct Link

Being in an 'executive' home was obviously of no interest to Jerry's doubtlessly conservative parents, neither of whom Davey had ever met.
But no matter; from the sweet, well laid out looks of that place – and the accouterments contained therein – Davey had no doubt that Jerry's parents were likable folks.
One thing stood out right from the start.
Those folks were sure after Davey's heart!

That massive set of Klipsch speakers that sat ominously in opposing corners of the living room was enough to make Davey drool.
“Klipsch 'Heresys”. Jerry said, noting they packed a punch commensurate with their size.

09/06 Direct Link

Holy Sh** – what a set of boomers! Davey was so floored even by the sight of those speakers that he couldn't wait to hear them do their stuff. Hell no, watching them sit there just was not enough. So after only an opening salvo of opened beers, the two suds-soppin' lads had a feast for their ears.

One of the coolest tests, Jerry assured, was to go up the street while he cranked the stereo, then come back and report how far the sound traveled effectively.
Much obliged, dude!

Davey traipsed way up the street, accompanied by the cacophonous THUMP.

09/07 Direct Link

Actually, Davey had expected more 'gain' from those honkin' sound-boxes; well, maybe if all the windows had been open. And then again, perhaps the house was pretty well insulated, though this wasn't the widespread paradigm in the late '70's.

Davey returned to the pad with only a modest assessment of how far the Heresy sound had traveled: “only about 5 houses up, dude,” he noted.
But by this time, Jerry was well on the way to more than just a simple beer buzz, so little factoids didn't faze him.

This said, the 'sound check' was as innocent as things got.

09/08 Direct Link

Indeed, as with any other infusion of ethanol, things went downhill from that point.
Now Davey doesn't recall if the television went on, if movies were watched or other household mischief was gotten into, but the beer was well on its way to being finished before midnight, if faulty memory swerves.

Jerry had seemed tormented; haunted somehow, but didn't let on.
Hell, Davey had taken that as par for the course for this gent he never really knew.

If only Jerry wouldn't suddenly turn violent and smash up the place – taking Davey with it – things could continue in honky-dory fashion.

09/09 Direct Link

As the evening swore on,
and with suds damn near gone,
some haggling may have been had;
now would Jerry get beer
with the old Belvedere
and bring it on back to the pad?

This detail of the evening remains a mystery, as one impetus for this meeting was a loosely discussed arrangement to close the deal on the Belvedere.
Either Jerry would try it or buy it or away he would steer.

So most likely the point at which the tap ran dry was the juncture at which Davey capitulated to Jerry's request to give the Belvedere a try.

09/10 Direct Link

So off Jerry went
for some time not well spent.
A sad trope;
Davey's hope
that the car would not dent.

Yes, hopefully trouble
would then stand well clear;
[with] Jerry back on the double
in that old Belvedere.

But it was not to occur. GRRRR.

Davey didn't recall being given instructions as to what he should do if Jerry didn't return, and it looked, hour after hour, as if soon he would learn.
So he pulled up some bedding
and stared at the walls
whilst fearing bloodletting
dread often forestalls.

This was creepy: being alone in someone else's house.

09/11 Direct Link

Davey kept waking up, perhaps intentionally, though inebriated, to find Jerry still totally absent.

The hours ticked by and soon daylight crept in through the not-so-closed blinds. Holy Sh** – this was a friggin' mystery. And the Jerr-man would have to do some serious explaining.
So long story short: Jerry never returned. On that note, Davey may or may not have left a note, not being entirely sure who would read it.

Should he lock the door? Leave it open?
Doubt galore; what's more, he was hopin'.

Did you, reader, ever have that queasy feeling of being in the wrong place?

09/12 Direct Link

Well, Davey was in the wrong place, but was damned sure he would not see to it that the wrong TIME did not take place commensurately with this, his horridly awkward placement.
Can you imagine the scene? Jerry's parents return to find disheveled Davey, festering bags under both eyes,  rummaging about the fridge crisper, reeking of alcohol, wondering if and how soon he should exit the place.

Horrors! NO WAY, Jay. That was NOT going to happen. And Davey wasn't crappin'.

He wasted no time taking flight from that place, and hoped that no neighbors would see his pale face.

09/13 Direct Link

In hindsight – reputed, as per the old well-worn saw to be '20-20' – Davey smirks at the irony of that setting.
Even through the fog of intoxication, it carried the ethereal deja-vu of many dreams past in which he found himself inside another person's house – often without clothes – and they DID come home. Funny, the recurring themes of trouble-making even in one's dreams!

So Deja-vu, he's telling you
can sometimes wax way close to 'true'!
One dreams and schemes
and, well, plans, too,
and luckily most of the BAD falls through!

Davey was off and walking, not running; his reliable transportation.

09/14 Direct Link

The most worrisome factor in this unfolding scenario, of course, was Jerry's glaring disappearance from the face of the planet.

The revelations of what happened that night would come out in the wash, to put it mildly, but they would come out not in conversation with Jerry himself, but with Davey's subsequent queries and discussions with Dodd – surely not a good sign.

It was at one of the typical Friday night gatherings at Dodd's place that Davey got the news.
Sure enough, Jerry had indeed tumbled into some trouble that unfortunately included violence.
So hey, something WAS eatin' on him!

09/15 Direct Link

“I just KNEW IT!” Davey scowled as he recalled Jerry's unusually somber disposition at the outset of what would otherwise have just been a serious suds-slurpin' session.

Davey related to a suddenly inquisitive Dodd – and other ancillary ears – how Jerry had seemed unusually out of sorts prior to, and even during, that case of beer being consumed to the tune of one hell of a set of speakers.
“Something just wasn't right, but I couldn't put any fingers on it,” Davey muttered, “now he's got the car – and he lingers on it.”

Then the rest of the sordid saga emerged.

09/16 Direct Link

Davey was not prepared to hear this, whatever 'this' this turned out to be, and hey, he had suffered losses in the past, and would perhaps grudgingly accept yet another one, but Belvedere ain't here!

At this point, he had only passing concern for Jerry's well being, feeling that he had been screwed by the lack of at least minimal communication.

Dodd gave the scoop as to what went down after Jerry up and left his parent's house with Davey in it.
“He showed up at his ex-girlfriend's, drove the car up to the house and started a yelling match."

09/17 Direct Link

At this point, Davey was white as a sheet.
“Un-f**-ing-believable,” was all he could muster, Buster, and quite frankly, he felt pretty beat.

“Jeez – I sorta started to wonder what the f** had happened when he didn't show up after, like, six hours,” Davey said. “Didn't call. Not a word.”

“Of course!” Dodd shot back. “He was likely in the goddamn paddy wagon en route to the cage he belonged in!”

Nobody had cell phones in those days. Or if they did, it meant they worked for a major Fortune 500 corporation in some bigwig capacity that engendered such perks.

09/18 Direct Link

But Jerry was probably such a drunken, potentially dangerous basket case upon arrest that any possessions on his person would have been confiscated immediately – especially a cell phone, had he one.
But then again, could he have called the parent's house thinking Davey might have the wherewithal to answer and come bail him out?

Those were distant possibilities, not fit for dwelling on, but come to think of it, Davey didn't recall the phone ringing that night, and even if it had, slim chance existed of Davey answering the elder Frelson's phone.

By the way, did they have Caller ID?

09/19 Direct Link

Caller ID was probably only a distant daydream for most land-line subscribers in that era, so scratch that one. Besides, what would said Caller ID have said on its reliable reveal screen? County Courthouse? Police Precinct #22? Blue Tassel County Jail?
No need to weep or wail.
But DAMN! Oh, well, this scene was hitting Davey hard as hell, And it was rapidly appearing as if he was canoeing toward the rapids on the way to this becoming the proverbial 'water over the dam'.

“The Belvedere got impounded,” Dodd said. Why, but OF COURSE! What other option could possibly exist!?

09/20 Direct Link

“Damn! I still had a sh**load of stuff in that trunk,” Davey said with a clunk.
He mulled the fate of those old Guitar Player magazines, the nylon picks, and other meager belongings suddenly dear but not at all near. And you can bet, Chet, that their fate was sure clear.

At this point, Davey definitely was not going to go down and make nice with the cops over a few guitar picks. No, that would NOT be shrewd, dude. Best at this point to completely disassociate with brawlin' Jerry Frelson.

“It looks like I'm out 300 bucks,” Davey huffed.

09/21 Direct Link

Dodd already knew of the killer deal Davey had gotten on the Belvedere, but lookie here: the bonus of that beer would come in a form of no fear: old Belvie was still listed as belonging to John Akatan.
And that, man, was a PLAN!
How perfect, confiding
in this to be hiding!
The title not Davey's
and with Jerry not siding!

So this was yet another case of insolence and indolence on Davey's part – of course peppered with a dash of sheer ignorance of bureaucratic processes engendered in transfer of vehicle ownership – and this time, Davey benefitted from it!

09/22 Direct Link

So now Davey could sit forward, kick back, and contemplate his next non-move from the launch pad in Dodd's room, where so many philosophical difficulties were ironed out, aided and abetted by whatever cheapass beer was available by the case or quart.

On that note, Dodd had recently played his cards right after being sickened, or so he thought, by some Schlitz beer.

“I got pissed off and wrote them a letter,” Dodd said, “and they sent me a whole friggin case!”
That shut him up quick
made him think himself slick.
But Davey could never
perform such a trick.

09/23 Direct Link

Not completely given to grief at the unfortunate loss of his dear Belvedere, Davey could well have uttered the following stanzas:

“This much should stand clear,
'oer the old Belvedere:
she was a great car
that did not go too far
and regrettably is no longer here.
But yea, have no fear;
Davey's still on the block,
and though sans Belvedere,
he can damn sure still walk!

Next, the planning stage revolved around his return to bicycles as the preferred mode of transportation.
This was not a complete unknown to Davey, as he had ridden bikes for nearly two decades.

09/24 Direct Link

It would be back to Guy Chen's Cycle Shop down on Shilley Street, where Davey had bought that 20” DeCampli bicycle years ago.
As an aside, don't let the fancy Italian name fool you: that was no thousand dollar racing machine, but a cheaper knockoff of such models.

This time, Davey sprang $265.00 if memory swerves, for a Fuji 10+ speed in sky blue. Maybe the rear sprocket had six or seven disks, so likely it was more than ten speeds, but needless to say, she ROCKED.
Funny, a brand new bicycle could cost as much as an old Belvedere!

09/25 Direct Link

As a point of reference, and to be somewhat exact – something the grate Davey H has never to this day been known for – the Fuji actually came long before the Belvedere, but for the purpose of this disjointed non-collection of ill-collocated essays, and in the interest of entertainment as opposed to accuracy, let's just assume that Davey, being of somewhat sound mind and shoddy, and moreover occasionally in full, unremitting control of his faculties, could rest assured that he could at least still get around in a manner that didn't involve taking an hour to cover a mere two miles.

09/26 Direct Link
No, Davey had done the walking thing for far too long. Now admittedly, walking is good for the heart and also for soul, as long as yahoos don't drive by and yell, “Hurry up, asshole!”

That hadn't happened to Davey in his peripatetic meanderings, fortunately, but now, back on a fast bicycle, things could go wrong in a quicker way than on foot. For one thing, the avid cyclist needed to be ever vigilant of sewer grates, potholes, rocks, screws, broken glass and other debris on shoulders, railroad tracks and just plain unforeseen and UNSEEN threats to her/his upright stability.

09/27 Direct Link
Dodd's garage had just enough room to slide the Fuji out of sight and tuck it to the right.

No kickstand needed; property rights were heeded, with usually no need for fright.

Dodd's Mom  occasionally complained when Davey's bike stuck out too far in what was HER car's cubby, damnit.
So Davey generally took good care to plan it.
But one time, fate intervened.

This was during the era that Dodd was employed as a school bus driver, so that meant he had most of his days free.
First came his short morning shift, of which Dodd made short shrift.

09/28 Direct Link

Dodd could return to his party room and still have ample time to get wet and sozzed long before the dreaded return trip in the afternoons when he was slated to take unalterably rowdy kids back home.

This worked out splendidly for Davey, both when he worked a 3 to 11 shift as well as whilst he was betwixt jobs.
So he and Dodd could party down and be like typical slobs.

Oh, but that one day when Dodd's Mom came up and sheepishly knocked on the door!
“I'm sorry, Davey,” she said, “but I think I hit your bicycle.”

09/29 Direct Link
All Davey could think to say was “Oh, sh**.”

But that wasn't the worst of it;
he respectfully demurred,
or rather deferred,
so that well-honed worn curse term
would not be heard.
So he just THOUGHT it. Got it?

Sure enough, she had bent the rim, but not irreparably.
What a big lesson! Davey had thought himself so careful with the precious Fuji, his one and only truly reliable form of transportation. And of all places for a mishap to happen! At a party site. It didn't seem right.

Davey didn't hold it against her or get mad about it.

09/30 Direct Link
Bent alloy rims were par for the course with lightweight bicycles, so it would only be a matter of getting hold of some of those oddball spoke wrenches and going to town on that rim.

Davey forgot what happened after that, so don't ask him.

In closing, it is worth noting that Dodd had his own set of bigger problems to contend with. Davey had often wondered how Dodd managed to keep a school bus driving job when he would get so tanked up in the daytime.
It was just common sense, after all. What was WRONG with THAT picture?