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St. Nick's Outlaws

By Jim Colombo


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Copyright 2001 Jim Colombo


Chapter 14



It was Valentine's Day, 1962, and the lads were going to have their first mixed party. 


The nuns and priests of St. Philip's parish fervently believed that no lady was safe with any


male in the parish. In an effort to preserve the purity of the young ladies, only casual


encounters, while under the supervision of the nuns and priests at teen club functions were


permissible. A gentleman danced with a young lady and maintained a respectful distance


or engaged in a conversation about religion or philosophy. Catholic girls were frigid and


feared warm-blooded males.  The nuns had told the girls that they could get pregnant from


a boy’s kiss and would give birth to a deformed baby. The lads were brimming with energy


and lust.  It was unhealthy having so much energy bottled up.  Why, one of them could


have a serious malfunction with his plumbing, and spring a leak.  The environment was


detrimental to spontaneous fun.  It was like dancing with an iceberg.  


Reverend Mother wore sunglasses twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.


She had x-ray vision like Superman. It was believed that she didn’t have eyes, but two


infra red, atomic, glow in the dark, heat seeking eyeballs. Some of the lads speculated that


Reverend Mother had a black leather jacket, a whip, and a tattoo of the German swastika


on her arm.  She was the Iron Maiden of St. Philip’s grammar school. Under her


supervision the lads couldn’t look at, speak to or walk home with a girl.  They were content


with that in grammar school. They hung out at Pete's Smoke Shop or played cards in


someone's basement for pennies.  They didn’t need companionship with blocks of ice who


didn’t know about sports, cards, or cars. They were useless, and wanted to spend what


little money the lads had.


Now as sophomores it became apparent that they had to socialize with the


maidens. Some of the lads had older brothers who did stuff with a lady that was suppose


to be fun. Some of the enlightened ones carried little packages in their wallets that said


Trojan. The lads thought in case of a fight, you could use this Trojan in battle.  Little did


they know what a gift this Trojan horse was.  Absolute secrecy had to be maintained for


fear that if Reverend Mother or any of the priests found out, the lad’s parents and they


would be guilty of violating the total authority that the priest and nuns imposed on all in the


parish. Also there was the obstacle regarding the ten o'clock curfew imposed by the San


Francisco Police.  The lads would have to deceive the cops, the nuns, the priests, their


parents, get beer and cigarettes, and on the way home hope not to run into the Courts, a


local gang. The lads hoped the young ladies attending this first social gathering would


cooperate and try to have some fun.


These were desperate times and desperate men will do what has to be done,


without regard to the consequences. Jane Harmon's mother agreed to orchestrate this


first attempt of a social encounter of the first kind. Jane's father, Dutch, was an electrician


by trade and enjoyed the company of friends while socially partaking of beverage. Dutch


would only partake of beverage on special occasions, such as, dawn or when the little


hand was on any number and the big hand was on the twelve. Dutch thought that the


gathering was an opportunity for him to meet the lads and bend the elbow. The party was


a chance for Jane to get to know John.  She admired him at the teen club dances, but


could not convey her sentiments, because of the scrutiny of the religious bodyguards


cruising the perimeter. It was also a chance for Jeannie to show her intentions to Ed. Jane


and Jeannie had decided in a secrete pack signed in blood, that somehow they would


demonstrate their affection and woo these unsuspecting lambs. John had spent the early


part of the evening combing his sexy eyebrows, while Ed was trying to fit into his tightest


pair of pegged pants that had tapered legs like tight stovepipes. The rest of the lads just


happened along for a beer and to hangout.  If the party didn’t materialize into a rousing


evening with the ladies, the lads could always play cards with Dutch.


The ladies had been deposited earlier in the day at Jane's house. This relieved


the lads of the obligation to pick up and take home the ladies.  Actually, Mrs. Harmon


had guaranteed the wellbeing of each maiden to her respective parents, knowing that


the lads were like Neanderthals concerning the escorting and conduct required to


respectfully socialize with the young ladies. Most of the lads didn’t know how to dance


or engage in proper conversation with a young lady. It was a required function now.


There was peer pressure to attend and look cool. The lads tried to look like they knew


what they were doing. There were ten ladies and twelve gents. The social encounter of the


first kind began at eight o'clock and was schedule to concluded at eleven o'clock. The


Harmon's sound system was exceptional. They had a back room on the second floor


where dancing to music awaited the gathering of the ladies and gents. It over looked the


patio and garden. One could be in the back of the garden relieving spent beer and clearly


hearing Ricky Nelson singing " Traveling Man." The dance began with spirited music with


The Twist and the Peppermint Twist.    After a few hours of fast dancing it was time to


settle into the evening with slow dancing with romantic Elvis songs.  Quickly, Jane and


Jeannie zeroed in on the catch of the day, John and Ed. They were hugging, not dancing. 


Gina approached Lonnie. They to began to gaze at one another and rock back and forth,


though the music had ended. The lads had disdain for the remaining ladies. They referred


to the corner of the room were the wallflowers sat as the pound. The fear of one of these


doggies approaching the remaining talent and entertaining the notion to swap gum scarred


the hell out the passive fools that remained. Jim reminded the lads about Albert getting


trench mouth from kissing a public school girl. He couldn’t play baseball for two weeks.


There was nothing that any lady had that was worth not playing baseball for two weeks.


Mike suggested that if they played cards with Dutch, that no lady would interfere. Dutch


was a safe harbor. The rest of the lads moseyed downstairs to where Dutch was nursing a


bottle of I.W. Harper 86 proof whiskey. He splashed some whiskey in each of their Dixie


cups of beer and shook his head, implying don’t tell the old lady, Mrs. Harmon, that they


were accompanying him in "big boy's beverage." Each time he said the phrase he fell into


uncontrollable laughter. After a few of cups of beverage, the lads began to fall into giddy


laughter that Dutch referred to as getting shit-faced. It was the first time getting drunk for


some of the lads. It was fun being with Dutch. Why the hell would any gent need a lady for


fun? It made no sense.


Meanwhile, upstairs romantic music played, and the three couple were dancing,


hugging, and kissing. A few of the lads and Dutch had to venture to the garden to squeeze


the lizard. An empty bladder is new life.  The food was on the second floor.  Some of the


lads were getting hungry and had to sneak into the room to get nourishment.  They ran like


hell, avoiding the wallflowers who ended up grabbing air as the lads ran by. Then Farmer


stuck his head in the second floor window, walked in and shook hands with all of the guys.


On the way out he took a beer and told all to continue with the party. Jane was shocked


and horrified that Farmer had crashed the party. Who would show up next?  The three


couples resumed their positions, and continued swaying to music or silence.


Finally eleven o'clock mercifully came and it was time to leave the party. The lads


walked to John’s house. They sat on the steps, and listened to Ed, Lonnie, and John tell


the others vivid details of the romantic evening. If one didn’t pay attention, it implied


immaturity. Most of the lads considered themselves men.  John began to tell how warm it


gets down there. "Down where?" asked Mike.


"You know, down there," said John.


Mike and Gary began to laugh. Mike referred to it as erecting a tent. They continued


laughing. The rest of the lads were eager to learn more.  Ed told of getting hard and having


Jeannie hold him closer. Mike and Gary were now rolling with laughter. They imagined Ed


breaking bricks with a boner or walking into a bank and saying that this is a stick up.  They


were dismissed as immature.   Small minds at large


It seemed that when a girl wanted a guy, he had to comply, but if he wanted her, he


would be guilty of forcing himself on her. It was one-sided. Jim still thought hitting a home


run was better than any girl.  He realized that he needed money to spend on a girl. Girls


were a luxury that he couldn’t afford.


It was Sunday and time to pretend going to 10:30 mass.  Jim was walking with Bob.


He noticed that Bob and Joan spent time together just talking. It was a more sensible way


to begin a friendship.  He was curious how Bob approached Joan and what they talked


about. Bob said they talked about school and going to college. Bob was quiet and smart.


Jim respected him. Bob said he and Joan were just friends. Both enjoyed talking about


stuff. They exchanged phone numbers and talked every day. Jim asked Bob if that meant


that they were going steady? Bob said they were good friends.   He was busy with school


and sports. Joan called more often than Bob. They both liked Mickey and Minnie Mouse.


Bob began calling Joan Minnie and she called Bob Mickey.  It was the courtship of Mickey


and Minnie Mouse. Jim admired Bob and Joan. Their relationship was the way it should


be: respectful. Not like the others who were only interested in discovering sex.


After three months Ed and Jeannie had broken up. John was seeing another girl at


the same high school as Jane.  She was deeply hurt and found Bill the next day.  Gina and


Lonnie had found and lost new loves twice in three months. Bob and Joan remained close


friends. If Jim were to have a girl friend his relationship would be like Bob's: respectful. Jim


thought about Lucy. She was the type of lady he hoped to become good friends with some


day. There was responsibility having a girl friend. Jim wasn’t ready for that kind of


responsibility. Maybe next year, but for now saying hello to Lucy and having her as a friend


was good enough.






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