STEVE MIZERACK'S RARITAN REC
That was a pool hall in old Perth Amboy.
I always spelled his last name Mizerack,
with the 'C' though I didn't really know.
Maybe it was Mizerak. But it was a
pool hall so what the heck - you 'rack'
the balls, so I let it go. He had been
himself some sort of pool pro, like
Minnesota Fats, running the country
on bets, and winning, as he traveled
along. I guess he had to be young to
do that. And wise and crafty too.
Easy to get killed or wrecked, doing
shit like that. That's not a happy world
at all. Blood on the tracks, and blood
in the racks, let's just say. The old
Wilentz Law office was right across
the street - Warren Wilentz was once
a big-time Jersey lawyer. He was the
guy in the Lindbergh kidnapping case
too, at the Flemington Courthouse, back
when all that was big-time. The law-firm
isn't here anymore, and he's dead. They
grew too large and now have a big-deal
office on Woodbridge Center Drive, or
near. What's even funnier is that now
they defend corruption. Ain't that a switch?
All those dirty political thieves, stealing
public money and getting themselves
written into nearly every contract, these
Wilentz people defend them all. Used
to be 'Wilentz, Goldman, and Spitzer.
Now it's just Wilentz. A 'W', as in
'willful violation of the legal process.'
Yeah, well, whatever. I don' talk shit
for nothing. Right across from then also,
by the 1980's there was a small Cuban
store, maybe Hondurans, I don't know.
But they made cigars by hand, Cuban leaf.
That's all I know and I don't know how they
got them embargo and all that. (Ask Wilentz,
maybe). But they had their little molds, all
different kinds and sizes, for all the cigars.
The ladies there would be gently rolling.
They guys (macho stuff, remember) would
do the actual 'construction' of the cigar.
Just past them was the old movie house, now
a World Mission for the Jesus Exploding
Domain Preachment Center or something.
And just past that, too, was the old Fishkin's.
Now that was a place! Bicycles, cameras,
model cars, planes, kites, toy trains, Lionel,
and a hundred other things. Maybe guns, but
I forget. Artist and paint supplies, for sure.
I never cared about anything much else.
People would say I was odd, just look at
me and laugh, or shrug me off - but I
knew what was up, even if they didn't.
For me, it was all pure disdain and they
were all creeps. I always wanted to say,
'Watch out, asshole, I know what your
daughter likes, just remember.'