St. Nick's Outlaws
By Jim Colombo
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Copyright 2001 Jim Colombo
Each year the salmon return to the stream of their birth in the middle of May and
they begin a journey swimming in the Pacific Ocean from California, along Oregon,
Washington, and Canada to the cold waters of Alaska. Fighting the fishermen, the
bears, and nature, they swim by instinct to their place of birth where they spawn and
die, completing the cycle of life. Like falling leafs every October, or birds flying south,
they journey in May each year, never questioning their purpose of living and dying.
Kodiak Island is a jagged island carved by nature, and is home to salmon, rodents,
birds, and Kodiak bears. The Lady Jane trolled from the northern part of Kodiak Island:
Port William, to the southern part: Larson Bay. Some days they worked into the moonlight
gutting fish and packing the hold. Like weightlifting, Papas and Jim became conditioned
to the pain, the fish head soup, and five hours of sleep. Vic never sugar-coated what it
was like on board. Papas and Jim did their fair share of work and never complained. If
Jim really had known what it was like on board, he might have not gone. Papas didn’t
think it would be so demanding. It would be like working at UPS, doing grunt work. They
returned to English Bay to the fish locker to unload the catch, and get their land legs back.
Sten went to Anchorage with Vic to get provisions and the mail while Papas and Jim
caught up on lost slept. Later Jim wrote to Lupe, while Papas was discovering the Eskimo
ladies with Pete. A pretty one cost $10. Few were pretty. A plain or older whore cost $5.
The plain or older Eskimo whores were more enthusiastic. Eskimo women followed their
husbands with their heads bowed, and were treated with less respect than sled dogs. An
Eskimo man treasured his rifle, sled dogs, and hunting knife. His wife was only good for
thing that gave him pleasure, children, and cooked. An Eskimo gave his wife to friends for
sex and thought nothing of it. They treated their women like slaves. The whores were
Eskimo women who were widows, abandoned by their husbands, or too ugly for marriage.
No white woman would tolerate the abuse given by Eskimo men or the fishermen to a
whore. White men married white women. White women worked at the restaurants and
fisheries. The white husbands guarded their wives like treasure. No white woman was
safe by herself from the southern tip of English Bay to Miller’s Landing. The Lady Jane
was docked one hundred miles southwest of Anchorage, in another world called English
Bay where the men were animals. Jim knew if Papas and Pete went for ham and eggs or
a whore. Papas would have a bounce in his step after a night with an energetic whore. If
she was good, Papas gave her $7. He would say, “It was the best ham and eggs I ever
had.” Papas anticipated meeting the local women, and brought three dozen Trojan
warriors. Vic and Sten returned from Anchorage with supplies, food and the mail.
Lupe understood that Jim would try to write once a week. Jim spoke with his
parents for three minutes on the phone when he was ashore. Vic replied to Mary’s letter
after two weeks, and told her not to worry that Jim was doing okay and getting used to the
routine of work. A couple of times Papas and Jim toured Port Graham and Seldovia. All
fishing towns looked the same: dirty stores, the smell of the fisheries, and anything for a
price. Jim enjoyed the nights at sea. Sometimes they finished the day’s work at sunset
and they sat on the bow talked about life, women, and their future.
Papas asked, “Are you cherry?”
Jim lied, “Hell no! The local whores don’t arouse me.”
“Why didn’t you bring any rubbers?”
Papas doubted Jim and gave him the fisheye.
He told Papas, “The next time I’ll go with you and Pete. My treat, two ugly
Papas relaxed. Jim had regained Papas’ confidence, but Jim was concerned about
getting the creeping crud from some rotisserie slut in Alaska.
They fished for six days until they filled the hold. Six days of fish head soup, salt-
water muffins and no bath. The lads were ripe for liberty. Jim knew that there were
things that he had to do to be accepted as one of the guys. He occasionally smoked
and drank beer with the guys and he could swear as good as any of them. He had said
that he would go with Papas and Pete the next time they went to the whores. It was
time to make his bones, and be a man. Vic knew where they were going, and didn’t say a
word. Jim went with Pete and Papas to the Yukon Hotel. It was a bar with a whorehouse
on the second floor. Some of the whores knew Papas by name and were glad to see him
again. It was a loud bustling place with bodies swarming back and forth from the bar to the
second floor. Papas had to yell, “Over here, Jim boy. Belly to the bar.”
They ordered two beers and Papas looked for his favorite whore. It was a busy
time, and the lads settled for scraps. Papas took the young, chubby, one with big bouncing
tits. Jim won the prize and got the old, skinny, toothless one, who demonstrated more
energy and affection than Jim wanted.
She had long stringy gray hair, smiled all of the time showing her gums, and had
flat breasts that hung halfway to her waist. She had stretch marks on her belly and ass,
and when she walked the soft skin of her body shook. Jim gradually took off his clothes.
The elderly whore helped him undress. She inspected his penis to see if he had drippy
dick or smelled like sun dried fish guts. The toothless whore washed his bad boy with an
orange disinfectant. She began stroking it and making him hard. He didn’t feel too
romantic, but the old whore was a trooper. Papas threw a Trojan at Jim and laughed, ”You
know which end to use?”
The toothless whore caught it with the right hand, and continued stroking Jim
with the left. She smiled, and rolled the warrior down the hunk of manhood that she
held in her hand with ease, taking care not to catch any pubic hair. The old whore wiped
some Vaseline jelly on the Trojan and her vagina. They crawled into bed. The toothless
whore looked surprised when she rubbed her legs against his feet. Jim had left his socks
on. She grabbed a hold of his penis and pushed it inside of her. “It’s cold,” said Jim.
“No, the room. That’s why I left my socks on.”
She smiled and began squeezing him with her legs. Jim started rocking up and
down on her, and finished quickly. She looked at him and giggled. He thought that he
had paid his dues, but she held him tight and began rocking again. The old trooper closed
her eyes and hugged him tighter, then she raised her head as if to kiss him. He ducked.
She squeezed him, then let go, and sighed. Jim rolled off of her and rested for a
moment. Like a pearl diver she dove into his crotch, removed the spent warrior, and
wiped him clean. The toothless whore grabbed a few Trojans that Papas had left on the
table. Jim was starting to wonder how ambitious she was. He had gone this far, so he
decided to finish the ride. She put another rubber on his salty dog and jumped on top.
She saddled up and rode him, taking him deep inside. He closed his eyes so that he
would be spared the sight of watching her flabby body shake up and down. She closed her
eyes and smiled just before she hit the finish line. The old trooper lay by his side and
rested for a while holding his penis. At least one of them was happy. Jim hadn’t shot his
second load. “I make you finish, okay?” she said.
“Okay,” said Jim.
She removed the rubber and began to stroke him. He was not inspired, and she
became tired after a while. She spit in her other hand and continued stroking him. Finally
the chore ended and she wiped him clean while admiring his cock. Jim got a towel, wiped
himself, and began dressing. The old whore offered, “$10 all night.” Jim declined and
thanked her for the adventure.
Papas and the young whore with big bouncing tits were going to bang all night.
Jim wanted a hot bath. He paid the old whore $5 and once again said thanks.
She said, “You stay all night. Good fun with me.”
“Maybe next time,” said Jim.
“All night $10,” she said again. Papas rolled over and told the old whore that he
was warming up, so the old trooper jumped into bed with Papas and agreed to spend the
night with him. Jim put another $5 on the bed for Papas and the old whore.
Jim left Papas wrapped in love. He went across the street to the bathhouse, and
soaked for an hour for $5. Jim went back to the boat, and sat on the bow looking at the
moon. It was the same moon that Lupe would see that night. He didn’t feel guilty losing
his virginity. That was not love. That was not sex. That was paying his dues for the rite of
passage. He had made his bones and would never tell Lupe about that night. Knowing
Papas, he would have to join him again. He had to go along with these guys, or lose their
respect. This was more than he bargained for.
Dawn, Saturday, July 22nd, 1963, and it was Joe’s 42nd birthday. Jim called at
eight in the morning and wished Joe a happy birthday. Joe asked how he was doing. He
said all was well, and the guys were decent. Mary was concerned about his cleanliness
and bathing habits. Jim explained that it was like camping. Mary thought there were
showers on board. He told his mom the three minutes were up, and said good-bye.
Papas and Pete stroll in about nine o’clock that morning and Papas had that bounce in
his step again. He and Pete had entertained the ladies until sunrise, then shoved off for
the Lady Jane. Papa said, “The old toothless whore really liked you. The next time you
could have her all night for $5, and she’ll do anything you want.”
“Anything?” asked Jim.
”Anything,” replied Papas with a tone of experience in his voice. Jim had been
sentenced to saddle up more than one evening with the toothless old whore.
August came quickly, and the salmon season was over. Vic was paid by the
fishery and deposited the money at the bank in Anchorage. The Lady Jane now sailed
north to Norton Sound for halibut fishing. Halibut are bigger fish, narrow at the head and
tail, weighing as much as eighty pounds and are gaffed from nets, gutted and cleaned.
They are an ugly fish that look like one of God’s mistakes. Salmon are fighting fish with
dignity, compared to halibut that are docile and awkward to handle. Imagine handling
eighty pound sacks of rice. They spent two weeks at Norton Sound and filled the hold
four time. Each time they deposited the catch thirty mile north to Nome. Papas wanted no
part of Nome. He and Jim stayed on board while Vic, Sten and Pete went ashore. Papas
had spent a week in Nome, and hated every minute. The captain and crew were
Portuguese, and did not like Papas because he was Greek. There was a ghost in Nome
that spooked Papas. Some day Jim would ask Papas about it. Once Jim went with Vic
and Sten to see what demons there were in Nome. It seemed like any other fishing town.
Jim called his parents, and Lupe. He told Lupe, I haven’t shaved since leaving for Alaska.”
“My mom and I pray for you each day. Do you go to church? “
“There are not too many churches up here. I pray at night when I go to bed.”
”Good-bye. I love you,” said Lupe with a tear in her voice.
The Lady Jane was in Nome for two weeks, and Papas was out of his routine. He
no longer had that bounce in his step. Jim said, “I’ll go with you to Nome to get laid.”
Papas declined. “Buy me a Playboy magazine.”
The two weeks in Norton Sound and Nome went slowly. Halibut are hard work to
catch and gut. They’re not a money fish like salmon. It’s a plain tasting fish that needs
lemon and spice for flavor. The crew had lemon every day for vitamin C. They ate halibut
for a week and moral was low. Even Sten got tired of cooking halibut. The next week they
ate pancakes and fried eggs, fried potatoes and fish cakes, and any other fish they caught
that was not halibut for dinner. Papas and Jim were losing weight. Jim’s blue jeans hung
on his hips. The flannel shirts he gave Papas were now loose. They had dreams of
cheeseburgers, pizza, and thick juicy steaks. Vic collected his check from the fishery and
deposited it in the bank in Nome.
The next stop was the Aleutian Islands southwest of Kodiak Island for king crab.
The Lady Jane sailed to Old Harbor on Kodiak Island to get crab boxes, wooden boxes
that crabs walked into, not out of. Jim hated handling king crabs with their sharp claws.
They laid crab boxes along the Fox Islands, south of Bristol Bay. They would stay for two
weeks, or longer if the crabbing was good. The first week was slow. The crew caught
crabs and sold them live the same day at Port Bailey Cannery, north of Larson Bay. The
second week the crew went to the other side of the Fox Islands, north to the Shumagin
Islands, and got lucky. Some days they made two trips to Port Bailey Cannery, while
crabbing at the Shumagin Islands. Two weeks later Vic said they made the goal. Papas
and Jim would get 7.5%, and Sten and Pete would get 10%. The crew decided to go out
crabbing one more time for a little extra fun money. They stayed out all day and Vic said,
“We should have a full hold by noon tomorrow. Then we’ll head back.”
The crew flooded the hold to keep the crabs alive, and threw in fish heads for the
crabs to eat. The Lady Jane anchored and the crew rested for the last morning of fishing.
They were in good spirits. Sten had traded some king crab for jumbo shrimp the last time
in Port Bailey Cannery. That night for dinner the crew ate shrimp, fried potatoes and Sten
got some corn on the cob in the barter. Corn never tasted so good.
The next morning when the crew woke up three Russian ships were anchored on
the other side of the big island. They were rusty buckets of metal five miles away from
The Lady Jane. The Russian’s were on Alaskan land, illegally killing white polar bears for
their hides. The Lady Jane weighed anchor and slowly went north to Kodiak Island. They
stopped at Old Harbor and reported the Russians to the Coast Guard, and returned the
crab boxes. They sailed north to Port Bailey, and sold the last of the king crab, then they
stopped at Anchorage to rest for a day. The next day they heard that when the Coast
Guard arrived at the Shumagin Islands, the Russians were gone, leaving a trail of skinned,
dead polar bears.
A hot tub, a thick steak, and solid ground were almost heaven for Jim. That night
he wrote a long letter to Lupe telling her that Papas and he would be leaving Alaska
Wednesday, August 23 and they would arrive at Oak Harbor Friday the 25th. Then fly on
Tuesday the 29th for home, arriving at San Francisco International airport at four in the
afternoon. Jim told Lupe about some of his adventures, and that he missed her very
Papas found the old toothless whore and the young chubby girl with the bouncing
tits. He spent a busy night leaving a trail of spent warriors. Each man has his own heaven.
Friday the crew arrived at Oak Harbor, and were greeted with big hugs and smiles
by Aunt Bernice, Tommy, and Cathy at the dock. Papas and Jim were coming home with
$7,000 each after eleven weeks of hard work. Uncle Vic made $76,000 for the eleven
weeks after paying expenses. They went home to a dinner of fried chicken, mashed
potatoes, green beans, and a home made pound cake with vanilla ice cream. Papas
and Jim shipped two hundred pounds of smoked salmon and halibut home in a crate by
train. Papas paid for Jim’s share of the freight, repaying the money he had borrowed.
The flight on Tuesday was the longest two hours that Jim had ever experienced.
They arrived twenty minutes late because of a storm in Oregon. Papas had a full beard
and Jim’s beard had thin spots. Both had gained muscle tone, and lost weight during the
Alaskan adventure. They walked through the terminal to get their bags and Jim looked up
and saw his parents, Lupe, and Mrs. Papas looking from the vantage point on the floor
above them. Mary was glad to see him, but not his beard. Joe laughed at the sight of him.
Jim had to look twice at Lupe. She had lost thirty pounds. She was beautiful. Her chubby
face now had character lines of beauty. She had let her hair grow longer and it added to
her femininity. Jim was so happy to see her. She ran down to him and he dropped his
canvas bag to hug her. Her feet left the ground with joy and her heart filled with love as
she held him. Jim felt the void of twelve weeks filling with her love. Papas and his mom
hugged and she said something to him Greek and Papas smiled. Lupe was crying and
hugging Jim. He was amazed how shapely she had become.
They drove home in Joe’s new 63 four-door dark green Pontiac Catalina. Joe
dropped off Mrs. Papas and Papas and they waved and said thanks. Joe arrived at
Rosa’s apartment at six o’clock and she invited Jim’s parents to her humble apartment and
cooked Jim’s favorite, chicken with rice. They ate dinner and Jim told some of the
adventures of Alaska. There were other stories that would be told later. Everyone teased
Jim about his beard. Lupe hugged Jim and said, “You’ve lost weight.”
He asked her, “How much weight do you lost?”
“I was so worried about you that I lost my appetite. I weigh one hundred ten now.” .
Since Jim first met Lupe she had lost some weight, but now she was a beautiful,
feminine lady. After dinner they teased Jim about the cat that died on his face. Lupe
watched as he shaved off the beard. Joe and Mary said good night and went home. Jim
said that he wanted to spend time with Lupe, and would be home at ten. He missed her
scent, the fragrance of her hair, touching her soft skin, and the warmth of her body. He
had come back a different man, confident that he had passed the test of manhood in
Alaska. Jim and Lupe had discovered how much they loved each other. He asked if she
felt different, now that she had lost weight.
“Guys look at me now. My girl friends are jealous of me.” She asked if
he felt different.
He said, ”Yes. I learned a lot about myself, and how much I need you.”
Lupe asked if Jim did anything up there. “Like what?” he asked.
“You know,” she said. “There are bars and women up there. Did you….”
“No. They were whores for men who have a need for pleasure.” Five dollar and ten
minutes isn’t love, it’s a fantasy.” he said
“Really?” Lupe hugged Jim.
The fact that he lied was venial compared to telling her the truth about an
experience that was so far removed from love or sex. Jim asked, “Do you enjoyed being
admired by other men?”
“No. I am your woman. Nothing has changed for me. How about you?” asked
“I realized who much I love you and need you. If I go to college, will you wait for
me, and be my wife?”
“Yes. I feel that we are married now. I can’t imagine what my life would be like
without you.” .
“Me too. I’ll show you something, but you will have to keep it a secret.”
“Close your eyes.” Jim stood, and unfastened his belt. Carefully, he lowered
“Okay. You can look.”
“Oh my God.”
Papas and he had gotten tattoos on the left side of their hips in Anchorage the
day before they left for Oak Harbor. It was a two-inch polar bear with Alaska in a half
circle above it with the number 63 inside the circle. Lupe touched it and said, “Hello,
Mr. Bear. What else did he do up there?” She looked at Jim, “How much did it cost?”
“Fifty dollars, and a lot of beer. It was good to be back home with Lupe. He told
her, ”I will never leave you again.”
She said in a soft voice, “I missed you very much. I need you.”
“I need you more. You can find someone better than me, but I can never find
anyone as loving and caring as you. I will be very happy being your husband.”
“And I will be very happy being your wife.”
Jim felt like the world came to a stop for a moment, and everything fell into order.
It then began spinning with a new axis. His world was complete now with her. “I love
“I love you Cookie… Good night, Mr. Bear,” she whispered.
More next week...