Gaff Nails, Two Days
to Late, Raw Garlic & an Epidemic, that was the Good Old
Now, if you are
wondering how to gaff a nail, it's a simple process. You
take a sinker (that's a thin wire nail, not a cut nail or a
common nail), and you put the point end of it in between the
claws of a hammer and bend the very point of it. Then start
it in the log with light taps, making sure it's straight up
and down. The bent point makes it almost impossible to
As I walk past the entrance to the grandstand, a dude comes
out with a fistful of ten dollar bills, trying to count
them. As he walks by me, I say, "Pardon me sir, but could
you let me have two tens for a five?"
I hand him a fin and he peels off two tens and hands them to
me. I say "thanks," and he says "you're welcome" and he
By now I guess that you're wondering how I ever got started
in the carny business in the first place.
In order to do that, we'll have to go back to the emergency
room of the Allegheny Hospital in Cumberland, Maryland, the
year 1918, the month January, the day the third, the time
After the nurse washed me and brought me into the room to my
Mom, she looked down at me and said, "You little asshole!
How come you couldn't have got here two days ago and we
would have got that
two hundred bucks and all the other goodies the merchants
gave to the first baby born on New Year's Day!" Then with a
little help from her, I found a tittie and started sucking,
and didn't stop until I was past three. Mom said she tried
every way she could to wean me, even to putting stove
blacking on her tittie.
She said it was a black, nasty, dirty tittie, not fit to
suck. She said I got off her lap, went to the sink, got the
dishrag, came back, crawled back on her lap, got out her
tittie, washed the black off and started sucking. Nothing
worked until a neighbor woman told her to rub some raw
garlic around the nipples. That did the trick.
But you know, even today, at over seventy five years of age,
every time I see a good looking blonde with a nice set of
boobs, I get hungry.
Back in the twenties, my mom and dad were in vaudeville, as
were thousands of other folks. They had a song and dance
routine that went over big. Between shows, mom sat in the
orchestra pit and played the piano in sequence to the action
in the silent movies.
Dad was a sign painter and show card writer and painted the
show cards for lobby displays as the acts changed from week
to week. So they always had plenty of work and lived high on
At that time,
polio epidemic broke out all over the country and lucky me,
I got it. But I was one of the lucky ones. All it left me
with was a smaller left foot and leg, plus a slight limp.
As far as mom
and dad were concerned, those were the good old days.
To be Continued