Another local character is an ex- World War ll marine captain named George. George and I have taken to sitting on a bench on the corner of Prince and Mulberry Streets to watch the passing scene. One day George was asked to pose nude for a senior deck of cards for gay men. He turned them down. More recently George was asked again to pose nude for a fee of $300.00. He turned them down again. In 2007 George celebrated his 86th or 87th birthday and he is still quite the ladies man. Young women in their twenties and thirties hover around him. Just the other day one of his young girlfriends called him up and told him that she had just emerged from the shower and if he rushed right over they could fool around for a few hours. I’m sure all of his girls want a sugar daddy, but they are also crazy about him. For example, on June 16th of 2006 I was standing on our fire escape and I saw George escorting a gorgeous young woman in a revealing red dress into a waiting taxi. Whatever it is, George has still got “It”. In September of 2006 George went into the hospital for an operation on his colon which gave him an opening for a million stories when he came home. One of them is very funny. Upon leaving, one of the women doctors wished him well but told him in no uncertain terms that because of his condition he would no longer be able to get a hard on. Well, George spread that one all over the neighborhood. I guess all of his many girlfriends will now go into mourning. But with or without a hard on George is still going strong.
Well, that nurse was wrong. I heard from sources that I cannot reveal that as late as February of 2008 George can still get it up. About a year ago one of his more beautiful young girl friends ( she was about thirty ) came around looking for George when he was not home. So we both talked about George. She explained to me that George was not like your typical old man. George was still manly, she said, and had no trouble in the sack. In fact he was better than a lot of men half his age she said. She then said George was funny too and he made her laugh. Having gotten the low down on George’s sexual prowess, she felt she had revealed enough about their torrid relationship.
Shakira, or Key, the beautiful 25- year- old singer who ran the Debra Rodman dress shop at 49 Prince Street right near the corner of Mulberry Street, agreed with me. She told me George had “It.” She figured that to make it in the big apple she needed some of “It,” but did not know how to get it. I told her I could use some of “It” myself but did not know how to get it either. We both agreed that “It” is something you probably have to be born with. Maybe not. It appears that a bit of George’s “It” has rubbed off on Key. On June 9th, 2006, she appeared at a local television station to make a tape for them. This could have been her big break but it was not. She already had one album out but needed more exposure and promotion. She has a group of friends who all keep her company at the store, so a lot of George has certainly been passed on to Key.
George also likes to play cards. A few times a week he goes down the block to a gambling joint and plays poker. George often wins as much as $ 3000.00 in a single sitting. Once he even hit the jackpot for $40,000.00. In late October of 2006 the place was raided and everyone was arrested but George was not there at the time. He’s a very astute player and is thinking about going out to Vegas to play in a tournament. George is a war hero with a box of medals but he never talks about his exploits. You name an island in the Pacific where the marines fought and George was there. He was badly wounded in one battle. George told me that they found 40 pieces of shrapnel around his heart. At Iwo Jima he received a lot of shrapnel in his face. In April of 2006 he had to have an operation on his jaw to remove some shrapnel which had been causing an infection. By May even more shrapnel was bothering him and he still had an infection. George is one tough dude.
He wants to take me to one of the card games down the street but I am such a lousy poker player and gambler in general that I am afraid I would lose my shirt. A few years ago I lost about $80.00 in about one minute in a shell game on Broadway. I was sure I knew where the little ball was, but the hand was faster than the eye. George’s hand is not faster than the eye. Sometime in late April of 2006 George was horsing around with our new puppy, Magic and he got bitten and his hand required seven stitches. I got a shot of his bandaged hand.
On November 14, 2005, George and I were sitting on a storefront bench near the corner of Prince and Mulberry Streets and got kicked off it. The owner said that we were undesirables. Undesirables? We were from the neighborhood and she was not. In fact she was so repulsive that to call her undesirable would be an insult to undesirable people all over the world. In any event, we were told that the bench was for was for customers only. That seems unfair, lots of people sit on the bench during the day. George told the nasty owner, Debra Rodman, just where she could shove her bench. After all, a while ago, when Debra was in a slightly better mood, she put the bench there for George to sit on. These neighborhood dramas would not have taken place in the old days. Back then everyone knew everyone else and many of the shopkeepers lived around here. With gentrification the shopkeepers now live elsewhere and don’t seem to care that much about the locals. Now only the tourist trade counts. She now wants the bench to be used exclusively by husbands and boyfriends while their wives and girlfriends shop inside. Even more recently she has decided to remove the bench. She still thinks we are scaring her customers away. We think it is her second rate and unimaginative merchandise. She closed her shop in February of 2007, and that was that. But before she left she told George that she knew he was carrying on with a number of her now former salesgirls and she did not like it one bit. I think she was jealous because George did not like her and did not make a pass at her. George told me that he found her unattractive. But worst of all she showed her true colors by stiffing Key, the salesgirl, her last paycheck. Talk about repulsive.