Adam Jones: A Man with a Record
Offstage Announcer (use your own voice): You remember last time our hero was stranded in Louisville with no audition tape, thanks to the evil Count No-A-Count (Morton Downey Jr.) As our story opens, we hear Adam say, "If I ever meet that No-A-Count Doc Downey, I'll punch him right in the face."
I was so mad I was hearing announcer voices and talking to myself.
Now if in those days I was going to be stuck somewhere, Louisville was the best place. I had lots of friends and cheap places to eat. And living at The Hamp with Pat Murphy just upstairs was bound to keep my spirits up. I saw Pat a few days later in the hall and asked how he was doing. He said he was dating a hermit and that she was a nice girl but slightly irregular. I suggest a mixture of root beer, bourbon, and prune juice (Dad's Old Fashioned Whiz Bang.) He said it was her personality that was irregular.
"That's great! I'll bet you have a lot of fun together," I said. "What does she look like?"
Pat said he didn't know because she wouldn't turn on the light.
"So much for small talk," he said. "Let's go eat!"
We went to the $1.19 Steakhouse and splurged (sour cream on the potato and green beans.) When I told Pat about how I was stuck with no job and no air check, he said I could use one of his air checks.
"Eat your green beans," I said.
I stayed in Louisville for about two weeks, hoping one of the local personalities would come down with hardening of the ad libs or run away with the circus. No such luck.
On the Success Record front, "Lovers" by the Blendtones was starting to take off in some big markets, and the president of the company, Bill Leslie, was planning to hire some record promoters around the country. Since I was one of the directors of the company and had money invested, I told Bill I would take the southeast part of the country (since the only job I had been offered was part-time announcer at the Radcliff KY bus station.) So I packed up my two suitcases and caught a Peachpicker Airlines DC3 for Atlanta. Our stewardess had an unusual look. Either she had been putting on the lipstick when they hit an air pocket or she had cut herself shaving.
When we got to Atlanta, I stayed the night at the Atlantan, an old hotel at the corner of Luckie and Pickpocket. The next day I went looking for an apartment. I found one not far from downtown on Old 10th Street between Peachtree and West Peachtree, just around the corner from the Varsity Restaurant (great hot dogs.) I'm sure that Old 10th Street is long gone. Years later Ted Turner put CNN buildings all over that area. The one thing I remember about Atlanta that year is the amount of rain. The weatherman was constantly bringing up the drear. When I first met my landlady, she was wearing a rumpled raincoat and looked like Columbo in the middle of the night. Then again, maybe it was the cigar butt she was smoking.
The next day I found a little office down the street on Peachtree, just a few doors from Roxie's Kosher Deli. I called Bill Leslie in Des Moines and asked him to send my trunk and duffel bag to my new digs. I had a company check for $1,000 (a lot of money in those days.) The closest bank was called, "The Bank of Gibraltar" (a state bank.) I should have known something was wrong when I saw a picture of Scrooge McDuck on the wall. I deposited $500 in savings and $500 in checking. The way I remember it, in those days an out-of-town check took five days to clear. I had enough cash for about a week, so I thought I'd be alright. Eight days later, I went to pick up some cleaning. "Will you take a check?" I asked.
"Not from that bank," said Mr. Martinizing.
I said, "OK, I'll walk down the street to the bank and I'll be right back." But I was starting to worry about the Bank of Gibraltar. I made out a check to Cash and went to the window. The teller took the check and went away for a few minutes. When she came back she said, "There's no money in this account."
"Well," I said, "there should be!" And I told her about my $1000 check.
"I guess your check hasn't cleared yet," she drawled.
"Hasn't cleared?!" I steamed. "It's been eight days. It should have cleared in five!"
Then I was told that the Bank of Gibraltar didn't use the same clearing house system as every other bank I had ever heard of. AND that their out-of-town checks took 10 to 12 days.
"I get it," I said. "You actually send the checks to the out-of-town bank by way of Gibraltar - - -
Offstage Announcer: Well, it looks like our hero is stuck again . . . Will he ever get his money back from Gibraltar? Tune in again next time when we'll hear Adam say, "If I ever meet that no-account "You know who" I'm going to punch him right in his "You know what!"