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The Ballad of the Bum Trip - A Long One

By the summer of 1972 I had been working at WQUA in the Quad Cities for seven years, and made a lot of friends. Two of the best are Captain Bruce and Larry Hobbs. (More about the Captain later.) In July of that year, Larry (who would later be known as Big Harry the Giant Adam and Bob Bouncer) and I had the idea of going on a long trip. We decided to go to Richmond, VA, and visit my pal Dale Reeves who was working at WRNL. Larry had just bought an old Buick 4-door that we called "Battling Bruno." We were not sure that Bruno would survive the trip so just in case he coughed up an engine, we took along a bunch of money - that way we could take the temporary registration and just leave the Buick wherever it shot craps.

We started our adventure in the afternoon and by that evening we were in South Bend, Indiana. At the Flop and Grunt Motel we met a desk clerk who looked about 29 with a cowlick on both sides of his head. At that point in his life, Larry was 6 foot 6 and weighed about 365. He sported a beard and the overall effect was that he looked mean enough to make Mr. T have laundry problems. I filled out the registration card, "Adam Blophartz."

"How do you pronounce your name?" asked the unsuspecting Cowlick Boy. "BLOW FARTS!" I said real loud. "You're not going to make fun of it, are you?!! With a name like Blophartz people tend to laugh. We hate that, don't we?" I looked at Larry and he nodded and stared at the poor kid, who by this time was sweating and looking nervous as hell. "You don't think Blophartz is a funny name, do you?" I asked. "No," he said but he was trying so hard to keep from bursting out in laughter that his ears were all red. The beginnings of a grin started to lurk around his lips. "He's laughing," growled Larry. "Oh no I'm not!" the kid said in a squeaky, shaky voice that sounded a lot like Butterfly McQueen. (By this time it was all I could do to keep from falling on the floor in a puddle of guffaws.) How Larry kept from breaking up I'll never know.

Next stop, Cleveland.

- Adam Jones

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