Jason Philyaw's candor and acerbic wit serves him well as he entertains friends, family and co-workers. a journalist, husband and father. Jason grew up in Philadelphia and felt he could channel this wayward young man's story.
This 1950/1960s-ish mugshot of elton rodman was purchased from Dolly Python. I did some internet research in the hopes of finding him and even wrote to a gentleman with the same name in California. A family member responded that he had recently died and they'd be shocked if it had been their Elton. Heaven forbid!
"I knew it wasn’t gonna work.
I told him it wasn’t gonna work. But does he listen? Does he ever listen?
All he listens to is that two-bit floozie from the city always talking about how smart she is, how sophisticated she is, how she going to Barnard, and how we just downtown riffraff. Talking about how she keeping with us because she’s got some daddy issues and all that jazz she’s working out and all. Talking about how she just needs to find herself. I don’t even know what she’s talking about … Daddy issues? Find herself? Look where I done found myself.
I don’t even know where I am? Nyack?
I ain’t never been north of Mahwah and the only reason we go there is to see Auntie. But now I think about it, I have been to Port Jervis that one time, so that’s further north than Mahwah? But what do I care about that now? I need to figure out how I’m getting out of here. Don’t I get a phone call?
HEY!, Where’s the phone? I want to make my phone call!
But who am I gonna call? Mother can’t help. She don’t even like leaving the Heights, much less coming to Nyack, New York. Besides, how’s she gonna get up here. And there ain’t no way she's ever been north of Mahwah. So who am I to call?
If I call him, he’ll just get to yelling about how I'm the one that messed up, and how he needs to get her back to the city, and how he ain't coming back up here just to get me. Yeah, better get that chick back to the city before her toes curl up and she melts away.
Look what you’ve done. I’m melting. melting. ooooooohhhh, whatta world! whatta world! who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness? oooooh, look out! i'm going oooooh ooooooh.
Damn, wicked witch of the upper west side, she is. I’ll tell ya. Got that right. Who are you talking to?
Man, I gotta get it straight. I gotta call him. He’s the only one that’ll help me. But where is he?
He left me standing there holding the bag. Fucking bag o’ quarters, too. Things hadda weight 300 lbs. each. I never lifted something that heavy. Can’t believe I got as far as I did, really.
So where is he? Capt. Al’s? Heron’s? The Club? How should I know? And I only get one call. Shit.
I never shoulda listen to him anyway, but it all sounded so easy. He's right in that someone needs to send a message to those New York a-holes stealing all the tolls of this new bridge for themselves instead of splitting it with us by building the thing near the Palisades as was the original plans. Connecting Nyack to White Plains? Who cares about people living in White Plains? Besides they don’t need a bridge to get to the city anyway.
And I'm sure she made him leave. I only needed another 15 seconds and I would've been done. But, I’m sure she couldn’t wait. As if she’s got somewhere to go. The poor old man collecting tolls didn't care. Just_as_I_knew_he_wouldn't. He gave it up immediately. But they were so heavy.
I told him we'd have to keep the car right there next to the booth. I knew it wasn't going to work parking it over there in the lot -- where I'm sure she was getting all antsy and crying about the police, who weren’t nowhere to be found until the other toll collectors called them, and how her daddy was going to cut her off and all, like it mattered. And he just split. Left me holding four bag of quarters in an empty parking lot.
I knew it wasn't going to work. And now here I sit.
Maybe I can squeeze under this door and get to that turnkey over there nodding off before he can wake and get to his gun. Yeah, that it's. Then I’ll boost a car and be back in J.C. in no time. Yeah, with all of these hick pigs chasing me down the 1 and 9 all the way to the circle and up the Pulaski; where I’ll send the car up the ramp and jump out just before the sidewalk ends and roll to the sidewalk as they follow an empty car up the ramp and I jump over the rail into the reeds of the bay shallows near the railroad bridge and find my way back to the park through the weeds and then it’s just a 10 minute walk down the Blvd. to The Club; where I’ll find that drunk, take the damn drink from in front of him and smack him in the face with it and then I’ll start wailing on him and wailing on him and making sure that he never leaves me again and that next time he listens to me.
HEY! What about that phone call?
Damn it. what am I gonna do?
Think, man, think."