Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Zeke Remembers

Part of our mission here at the Idyll-Beast Research Center is to commemorate this mountain community’s rich past by remembering. And our memory expert we call Zeke. Zeke used to contribute occasional material to the old “Town Howler” paper. We are proud to invite old Zeke to take us on a trip down Memory Lane

Remember that place they called “the Clam Shack?” Down by where the highway makes a curve. I don’t know if that was the real name, but all the musicians hung out there. And played. And not just musicians, all kinds of unknown jeromes went there to play a spell. People you never heard anywhere else you heard at the Clam Shack, They were what the management called “exclusives.”

Some folks used to call it “the Devil’s Clam Shack,” especially towards the end. Maybe ‘cause the waitresses wore those little horns and tails.

Some real characters could be found there on an afternoon. That guy they called “Wolfie,” ‘cause he filed his teeth down like a wolf. And had a small pack of real wolves. He’d parade them up and down so everyone could get a real good look. Whether there was music or not you’d find him at the clam shack. We hear he got arrested for bombmaking, but that was later on, down in Anza. Real nice picture of him in the Crier with that orange jump suit. Not all white folks look good in orange.

Then there was the Ratllesnake Man. Rattlesnakes you couldn’t say they was a business for him, but they were surely an avocation. Folk would take him up on a neighborly invitation to visit his little shack, maybe smoke a bowl of the local produce and then out came the snakes. He loved to show off how he could handle the critters without getting bit. Kind of a “snake whiperer” thing.

There was the fellow they called “the Cocaine Contractor.” A real contractor, and they say a good one. That wasn’t his wife he was dancin’ with at the Clam Shack though. Wifey finally caught up with him in the parking lot of the local feed store and made a little demolition derby bangin’ her brand new pick-up truck against his brand new matching pick-up truck. Should have seen those vehicles when she was finished.

That’s what we’d call “local color.” Some of these people and places have gone the way of all things, or at least the way of most folks who handle live Rattle Snakes. The Clam Shack, most folks here don’t even remember exactly where it was. It wouldn’t be nice to associate it with any current business. In the end the boss got caught in flagrante delicti with one of the staff. Kind of dried up the financing seeing as how it was the mother-in-law that was paying the bills. Lessons learned.

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