Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Cardboard Box Part II; Chapter 2 Fools Gold of Diane Ogden

We pulled into Fool's Gold at the corner of Chimney Rock and Westheimer, Houston, Texas.
There we were, two gorgeous young chicadee's parked at the valet station waiting for two hunkie honkey tonkers to open the doors of Pamela's fancy red and white Mercedes-Benz 230 SL convertible.
And come and get it they did.  We were surrounded by the most gorgeous men I had ever seen in my life.  I thought I should never leave this oasis of men on earth.  I had a cowboy on each arm escorting me into what appeared to be a huge theatre but in fact was the biggest honkey tonk dance hall I had ever seen.  There were no establishments such as this where I had come from.

And so it was, dance we did.  I danced with so many cowboys I lost count, not that I was counting of course.  I also had lost Pamela.  Where the heck fire did that girl go?  We all knew she was a little on the kookier side.  An extremely pretty girl for sure, but coo coo no less.   That is when another one of those old forgotten memories came scooting back into my mind.  It was about the time we girls had a big sleepover at Londa's house on Larkspur Drive, one street over from my house and two streets over from Pamela parents home. We were just kids.  I would guess around eleven years old.  Back then there was a fad going around and Pamela wanted to try it.  I said no but she was always game for anything.  That could be why she got pregnant at age thirteen.  The game of the day was to stand up and start taking in as many big breaths as you could stand and then squat down real fast.  Obviously that was going to cause a person to hyperventilate but at eleven years old we had no idea what it meant to hyperventilate.  So as Pamela began to gulp air as fast as she could over and over for what seemed like an hour, the five of us stood there watching, at which point she squatted down on her haunches and, passed out cold!  Out cold is putting it very mildly.   Londa's parents summoned an ambulance who whisked her away.  I do recall we girls sat up that night for a long time wondering if she died from gulping too much air.  We didn't hear anything regarding her well being that night until the following evening.  Back then we were considered children and were to be seen and not heard.  We sure made a lot of peculiar noise that night for all those southern hush your mouth parents.  As it turned out, Pamela had robbed her brain of oxygen for an extended period of time which caused her never to be quite the same again.  She remained a beautiful specimen of the female human race but somewhat coo coo.  A serious memory that was beginning to frighten me considering I could not find coo coo girl anywhere.  Not to mention the terror within myself that I was afraid to sense just in case she really had abandoned me in a strange city at a bar full of drunken cowboys with no means of transportation home.  What home?  And what of Duke?  At least I had the phone number where Duke was I hope being cared for.  I decided to check with the hunkie valet's to see if and when she left.  I was told indeed she had left with one of their guy friends about forty five minutes back. God she was loose as a goose when it came to men.  She always did look out for herself first.  I guess that is why she ended up with so much more than I had in terms of cash flow, an amazing car, fancy furniture, and her own business.  I was not feeling sorry for myself, rather I was beginning to feel the frights.  At that precise moment in time the prettiest man I'd ever seen walked over to me and said in a deep southern voice, "Hay perdy laydie, ya wonna daince?" 

I wanted to do just about anything other than think.  But thinking wouldn't leave me alone.  I thought about calling a cab but I had left Pamela's address back in my car.  I thought about finding a phone book to see if she was listed, but where does one find a phonebook in a honkey tonk dance hall?  After several dances with "Billy,"  I decided to chance it and tell him my dilemma.  He was more than happy to saunter me across the dance floor to a pay phone where a phone book sat clearly on a ledge nearby.  I carefully, as though if I hadn't done it carefully I wouldn't find her address which was nothing more than a too much thinking moment.  I did find it and sure enough, it said her name and after her name were the unbelievable words UNLISTED.  I thought I should faint.  But instead I remembered Duke.  I could call Pamela's friends where Duke was spending the night.  They would know her address.  I took out my coin, deposited it in the payphone, dialed up the number and waited.  One ring, two rings, three rings..... five, no answer.  Dear God they must be sleeping.

 Okay, onto plan C.  I would get a motel room.  I could ask Billy to drop me off at the nearest motel.  Was I completely stupid?  A strange cowboy with a some happy whiskey feelings going on and I am going to ask him to drop me at a motel.  Good God Governor what was I going to do besides kill Pamela.  There I was again.  Stuck.  All I wanted was my dog and my beautiful pink Cadillac, (hog), and the money I had left hidden at Pam's fancy coo coo palace.  I guess a person doesn't have to be real smart to solder some silver together to make rings and things. I guess I had given her way too much credit which would not be happening again. I was not having the kindest of thoughts but so what! She had left me alone in downtown Houston with a myriad of drunks and sailors without so much as a word or set of keys.  Dang her sorry oxygen reduced brain cells anyway. 

It was then "bartime."  That is the term used when its time for all the dancing fools and drunks to go home or wherever they go and sleep it off.  Me, as I recall I had gone into total panic mode.  Billy told me he would walk me to my car.  Oh geez louise.  Then, from shear stress I simply blurted it all out. 

"Billy, I have no car, here anyway. I came with an old friend who rudely left with some fellow.  She left  without a word and I do not know what to do."  He grinned a grin I was not completely sure of and then sweetly offered to take me home.  There I was again. No home, no address.  I stuttered and stammered for so long a time Billy raised one eyebrow, closed one eye, tipped his hat and said, "What."   I just stared at him like I was the one that had gulped too much air and robbed my brain of half its productive cells.  I told him I had left her address back at her address never dreaming I would need it and when I looked it up in the phone book it stated she was unlisted.  He actually started to laugh so hard it got me to laughing and feeling much more at ease than I had been.  But, he was in fact still a stranger who had offered me the great opportunity of spending the night with him.  Oh sweet Jesus!  Maybe all I had left was prayer and considering I had blasphemed the word not to long ago I could be in some serious sorts of  old testament troubles.

We walked to the valet area out front of the Fools Gold dance hall.  I  watched Billy hand the valet a ticket and a cash tip.  He was a handsome man for sure.  Billy that is.  But then so was the valet.   Out of the back and up onto the platform shaped like a horseshoe was Billy's truck.  The prettiest 1966 Chevy C10 pickup.  Billy told me it had been completely framed off and was powered by a 402BB. I didn't understand the BB part at all but that truck was definitely a real head turner. Not to mention the double stacked gun rack holding two long shotguns or rifles, I really didn't know what they were called.  I just knew back home this was not so common a sight.   I climbed up and onto the soft leather seats.  As we drove away from The Fools Gold dance hall and night club, the radio was playing "Waitin In Your Welfare Line" by Buck Owens and his Buckaroos.  I thought how ironic it was Pamela ditched me at an establishment named FOOLS GOLD.  I was the fool whose golden night had turned into a mess.

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