Ah, Larry. Gone but not forgotten you fabulous creature.
He was a wildcatter from Louisiana, and we met in Coney Island, the once-famous Brooklyn amusement park landmark. I was painting signs, rides and carousels. He was managing the park. It was 24/7 non-stop noise, rock’n’roll, disco, motocycles, the Wonderwheel, plastic rocketships, food, beer, Jack Daniels, drugs, beach, color, sun moon stars, and danger. Knife and gun fights every night. Bodies washing ashore. What a summer! We fell in love (I was nuts for him – and he liked me a lot) and lived in his tiny trailer right off the go-kart track. We were in the bottom bunk, his sawed-off shotgun was in the top bunk. I don’t think we ever slept.
He was so totally alien to anyone I’d known before, all instinct like something feral. Speed. Action. Cooked Cajun food. Covered with grease from the go karts but loved to dress up. Could fix any motor, build any building, handle any problem. The isolated lonliness of six months on the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico brought him to Coney Island every summer. He drew people to him like a magnet. Everything he did was excessive til he passed out or puked.
“New York,” he said, “has got the best boxed cake in the world!” Entemann’s chocolate layer — he used to eat it in the shower.
It was a long time ago, but the experience (one of those I’m gonna take a chance and do this come hell and highwater) was profound. I wrote a novel about it, and call it NOISE. Still trying to publish it and what a movie it would make, the synopsis and one chapter are on my website, www.hawksperch.com. and I just uploaded them here under “Writing”.
Would love to know what you think.