This is really good Johann. Can I put it on FaceBook or on my blog (or both). I think Nicky would have really appreciated your kind words.I know the readers of the FaceBook group ‘Vintage Albany’ will love the references to Radium Springs. If I don’t get your permission to use it as a ‘guest blog’ I’m going to lie and tell everybody you said it was okay to reprint it on the blog. That’s an underhanded trick Vic taught me. Thanks for the guest blog. I’m going to put it on there with a prefaced reference to Johanna and how smart she is. I was always in awe of her scholastic record. If I get it wrong, I’ll just, once again, do like Vic Miller and say, ‘If I wrote it, it’s true.’
Your very mention of ‘banana knife’ sent a shiver thru me and a pain to my right index finger. Seriously! One Spring day in ’61 I got paid from Radium Springs,hitch hiked to town,saw The West Side Story(all Hispanics live on the west side of towns,Nick) and was compelled to stop by the pawn shop to purchase a long,narrow bladed knife.Back at Radium behind the concession stand and filled with the illusion that I could move like Riff(Russ Tamblyn) and that Anita(Rita Moreno) would lust for me upon witnessing me skewer a coke cup with my blade, I proceeded: Cup on counter, knife in hand, an acrobatic head dodge and thrust! A very low thrust that stuck the counter sliding my sweaty hand forward and my finger along the blade.HOLY SHIT!! I still have the scar and never again postured as a PuertoRicanPachucopugilistpunk. And I never really liked AnitaRita all that much anyway.
But tomorrow Nicky,the collar gets flipped,at least for a day,in honor of one whose character far transcended style. Johann.
What Johann said in his first paragraph perfectly describes the high level of Nick’s inherent good character: he had an unusually kind disposition. The friendship he offered was always easy and he was, indeed, the essence of ‘cool.’