Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Spike O'Donnell - Life with Father from The Chorito Hog-Leg

33. Life with Father

Edward J. Spike O’Donnell had been home from a prolonged stay at Little Company of Mary Hospital for a little less than two weeks after the return of infection from the gunshot wound and had gotten out to exercise only a few times because his wife Elizabeth, a tough and beautiful girl from a Bohemian Parish in New City had crabbed him into a willingness to avoid risk. Peace in the house meant that Spike should not provoke the peace on the street by taking his usual constitutional up to 79th Street and drinking coffee at the White Castle Hamburger stand on Loomis with all the neighborhood intellectuals, like Buck Weaver and Jack Duffy.
Instead Spike enjoyed his Stewart’s Brand coffee from Elizabeth’s percolator along with sweet-rolls from Huffkin’s Bakery on Halsted that Morry Lanigan brought for him every morning. Morry was a tuck-pointer who had gotten into a jam with cops back in 1939 after a bar fight at a Mick bucket of blood on Halsted. Spike went to bat for the guy who was not a drinker but whose wife had died of cancer at Englewood Hospital the day before he took a swing at an off-duty cop with a smart mouth.
Spike still had some juice – he had a lot of juice if truth be told – and Spike made good on a good man with three little girls. Lanigan buried his wife out of St. Anne’s Church on 55th Street and later moved the girls to an apartment owned by Spike’s brother in law at 78th and Hermitage. Lanigan went to work for the County as an in-house tuck-pointer at the Aude Home.
Spike dunked an apricot filled sweet roll into his hot cup of Stewart’s and opened the Herald American he went directly to the funnies and checked up on the progress of Maggie and Jigs who had recently been informed that their son Ethelbert (Sonny) had been declared a 4-F because of his flat feet and Jiggs lamented that ‘no son of his would be a copper!’ Spike always got a kick out of Bringing Up Father that was identified by everyone as Maggie and Jiggs. Then he checked the box scores for the White Sox Roy Schalk was still hitting up a storm but had batted into double plays against Detroit three times yesterday and that goof Jimmy Dykes started Ed Lopat, a southpaw, instead of Orval Grove. Guy must have had a snoot full when he made out the damn card.
Finally, to the news of the day. Marines land at Guam – Tim. God watch him.

Click Title Post to Amazon Link and Reviews of this novel.

No comments: