Friday, January 25, 2008

Past Revisited Chapter 2

Here is Chapter Two. Sorry for the delay, I'll try to be more timely going forward. Thanks to one of my readers Chris from Chesterfield, he's not a blogger, who after reading Chapter One take a couple of pictures. At the bottom is one of where it all began, Dave's World Famous. Thanks Chris. Hope you all enjoy Chapter Two.

My mom and step dad bought a house close to Dave's World Famous in the mid 80s. Sometimes when you buy a house things come with it, maybe a refrigerator, perhaps patio or pool furniture, sometimes even the next neighbor, and in this case they did get a neighbor, one Johnny Rotten.

Well he didn't start off as Johnny Rotten, and at some point he just became Rotten, nonetheless, to this day we still joke he came with the house. Johnny was the son of the next door neighbors, nine days older than me although still a lifetime behind. Johnny tucked in his sweaters, he wore two polo shirts both with starched collars and both fully erect, had the Mr. T starter kit of five or more $10 gold chains and he always smelled like a broken bottle of cheap cologne. And man would he ramble. Blah Blah Blah Blah on and on and on he went, fuck he's probably still talking as I write this but I will say this, if you needed something done, or needed someome to really count on, and I can't list many I've ever met in this category, Johnny was the man.

Johnny had a fondness for golf as did myself and my brothers. Heck, many an afternoon was spent on the nine hole Ballwin Muni, after a night of serious drinking at Dave's, our foursome arriving one minute before our tee-time, cutting in line, with our disheveled clothes, shoes untied, whacking 260 yard drives right up to the creek, puking or dry heaving our way down the first fairway, gambling on the evening drinks.

Johnny had lived in the neighborhood a decade before we arrived and as a youth worked at the Little Lake Driving Range down in the bottoms. Creve Couer Mill Rd and the Missouri river bottoms that is. Johnny, after all his years at Little Lake could hit a golf ball like nobody I had ever seen before but had the short game of a butcher, allowing for my constant flow of free drinks.

Little Lake driving range was right out of Tin Cup minus the West Texas, complete with the washed up almost pros, the bookies, and the hustlers. The proprietor was named Zeke, an old school gambling, hard-drinking, womanizer with a penis pump. He'd get so fucked up sometimes and talk shit all the while pumping up his inflatible shlong right through his pants, and it didn't matter where he was. Zeke's fortay, besides being a hard drinker and horrible gambler was his woman's golf clinics, under the guise of teaching some new money west county woman golf. In reality the goal was how many times he could, for sexual and not showing off purposes, pump up his inflatable penis.

Zeke's father had owned a ton of land in what was once the sticks but had become burgeoning West County. A very simple, perhaps uneducated although hard-working family, who turned their land into a ton of money. The family also bought and owned a very successful Toyota dealership, long before Toyota or Japanese cars became all the rage. Word has it, in a knockdown drunken four round heads up match on the golf course that Zeke's younger brother wedged in from 110 yards on the seventy-second hole to win the match, oh and the car dealership, one up. Apparently Zeke was never the same afterwards hence he getting the runner up prize; being the proprietor of the Little Lake Driving Range.

We spent a lot of time fucking around at Little Lake Driving Range. We'd load up a cart with balls, and of course beers, and drive way around the side of range over by the barn, away from all the donks hitting balls. There we would hit balls for hours on end, drinking beer, talk shit and really enjoy some fine days. Nine at Ballwin, twilight pounding balls, before a trip to Dave's for the nightly escapades.

There were also some good drunken night time fun at Little Lake. The place had lights so occasionally after Dave's closed we'd take our drunken asses down to Little Lake where we would fire up the lights and either gamble on who could hit the 150 or 200 yard sign first or we'd play 72 holes of miniature golf with about eight separate golf bets. Fun times indeed.

The "pro" if you will at Little Lake was a guy who for some reason unknown to me was called Whistledick. It must have been some pet name Zeke gave him since Whistledick was the whipping boy whenever Zeke's oldest son Pete was not around. Whistledick at one time had aspirations to be pro golfer but was lacking the drive due to a fondness for alcohol, cocaine, and woman. After he realized we was not going to make it on the tour he went through the PGA Pro school where they train you how to be a Club Professional and his new goal was to work at some posh Arizona Club as the assistant pro, taking Tee times, giving lessons, and I'm sure trying to bang some undersexed hotties whose douche bag husbands were too busy making money, playing golf, and fucking secretaries and bar sluts. Again Whistledicks fondness for getting loaded curtailed those plans too.

Zeke found Whistledick at some dive bar in Tucson during one of his winter trips to Arizona where he would visit his other son Kurt and play golf and party for a few weeks. I'm sure he also tested out the inflatable penis in the arid desert air. After Whistledick hustled a couple drinks off Zeke at the pool table, (golf bums shoot some mean stick) they got to talking and Zeke offered Whistledick a job at Little Lake. For a golf pro/teacher this is the very last stop on the train to nowhere and yes a train track did run right down Little Lake's property parallel to Creve Couer Mill Rd.

Whenever possible, Whistledick would sneak off to check out the endeavors of my crew, while also quickly draining a couple beers or taking a couple tokes if we happened to be burning one at that time. He was a good guy whose life hadn't turned out as expected and I know it was pure hell for him living at Little Lake and having to put up with Zeke's unpredictable behavior all the time. Whistledick worked way too many hours but he would as often as possible roll into Dave's to have some beers with us and it was he who would always turn on the lights for our late night sessions down at Little Lake. He was always much happier whenever Pete was around as all the shit from Zeke went Pete's way.

Pete, as I mentioned earlier, was Zeke's oldest son and at one time his pride and joy. Pete had an outgoing personality, a real charmer, an outstanding work ethic and for a time had done very well for himself. He started working at twelve, as a porter at the family's auto dealership and before you knew it he was outworking everyone there. By the time he was eighteen he was on the sales floor outperforming even the most seasoned car salesman on the lot. That led to promotions, sale manager, to head of the loan department, to Vice President then to his last stop as top dog of the auto body and parts department.

Pete married a beautiful woman, had two kids, bought a big house, and was living the American dream. Pete's rise from the Mid 70's to Mid 80's also during the time of cocaine's explosion across America. Being young, and personable and rich, Pete of course started dabbling with coke since it's what young, and personable, and rich fuckers did back in those days. He ran the Auto Body shop and Part's department working 80 hours a week and he partied for what seemed like 80 hours a week too.

When I first met Pete I liked him instantly although Pete was at Little Lake for stretches and gone for much longer stretches. I had heard he had some drug problems back in the day but nobody was very forthcoming about his story or his history. It wasn't til years later when Pete became my prime running partner that I found out all the stories, basically he fall from the top down as far as any man could possible fall.

Pete was running with a fast crowd and soon not only was the Parts Dept. booming so was the cocaine trade, right out of the Parts dept. Hey why not was Pete's thinking, I love snorting coke, the shit was expensive, why not sell it to my friends and associates and get my shit for free. It was a good idea, for awhile. One day one of the connections asked Pete about getting some heroin so Pete checked with his people and sure enough they could get some. Of course the guy asked Pete is he wanted to try some and of course Pete said sure why not.

That day was the beginning of the end for Pete. Like most of us with a liking of opiates, nothing will ever come close to the feelings, or lack thereof, the heroin gives you and Pete was no different. In a matter of eighteen months, after a lot of missing money and parts, after a couple arrests, after a separation and then a divorce, Pete was ultimately fired from the Dealership and for the first time disowned from his family and out on the street. Thing is Pete didn't care.

That's what heroin does to you sooner or later. You stop caring about anything you ever did care for and your only focus in life becomes getting and using more heroin, which I'll get into in way more depth later on. So come to find out Pete was usually either locked up or in a rehab somewhere for relatively short stretches or was homeless and stealing for a living. The times we'd see him around Little Lake was the times he was trying to stay off the heroin which was usually fruitless. He'd sneak beers with us or beg Whistledick to give him a ride down to the city to cop.

It was during one of these times that Pete had appeared again and was living down at Little Lake with Whistledick. It was a cold and rainy night so Zeke closed down the range early so he could head to the bar. There was nothing much else going on so Whistledick with Pete in tow took a ride over to meet us at Dave's World Famous, of course after a stop in the city so Pete could pick up some dope and enjoy a night of nodding. We were in the back by the pool table when they showed up and since this was Pete's first time back at Dave's since Ron had become a regular and my roommate introductions on this fateful night were made.

Pete this is Ron, Ron this is Pete.


At 2:57 PM, Blogger Instant Tragedy said...


This is incredible.

My favorite line is "Whistledick at one time had aspirations to be pro golfer but was lacking the drive due to a fondness for alcohol, cocaine, and woman."

Great job Don. You're reeling us all in. I can't WAIT till next week.


At 3:13 PM, Blogger Fuel55 said...

The last line is the best ...

You should probably read "In a million little pieces" sometime. It isn't totally factual as it was first purported to be, but it is a good read.

At 4:44 PM, Blogger Ignatious said...

awesome - been waiting for chapter two. great stuff, don.

At 7:02 PM, Blogger GaryC said...

Gold, Don, pure fucking gold. Count me in the group wanting more, sooner, etc.

Keep up the good work.


At 9:17 PM, Blogger WillWonka said...

Ah the good old days at Ballwin Golf course... Driving the creek on #1 and cutting the corner on #2 to get home in 2... and of course #8 into the wind...

Nice going... just like everyone else, looking forward to more.

At 2:34 AM, Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Write part III over the weekend please.

At 7:59 AM, Blogger AJ "The Triple Threat" Martino said...


I saw your post on another blog and figured I'd give you a headsup about a WPT giveaway I'm running this year.

You can win a weeklong vacation in the Bahamas, training from the pro's and a shot at 10 WPT buyins plus $10,000 in cash!

The first satellite is held on Full Tilt Poker (a freeroll) February 10th.

Right now there's only 34 players signed up, the top 4 advance to a single-table semi-final in February. The fields aren't going to get any smaller as word of this promotion spreads. So if you want in, you'll want to play some of the earlier events to have less competition.

Hope the tables & life are treating you well, and I look forward to you playing in our WPT satellite for free!


At 1:37 PM, Blogger Drizztdj said...

You can't be reborn without falling first.

Excellent story Don, keep up the great work.


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