My brother, Legs, and I have shared a lot of adventures through life.
When I turned 21 and he was just 20, we drove out West together in a battered blue Dodge with bald tires. We made it to Tucson, AZ. before three tires blew out, one by one, and steam started pouring from the radiator. All the lights on the dashboard turned red and I said, 'Brother, I think we have come to the end of our journey.'
Our car had surrendered its spirit in front of a used car lot owned by Honest John Silverman, a little Jewish guy dressed in cowboy chaps. He stood there smoking a cigar and said in a perfect Jewish voice, 'You boys vant to sell a car?'
We did 'vant' to sell a car. Honest John paid us $60 for that Dodge and parted with an Indian bow and two arrows that had been leaning against his office shed. As we trudged down the road looking for a hotel, Legs said, "I wonder what became of that poor Indian who lost his bow and arrows to Honest John?'
Legs and I found lodging at a boarding house owned by Ma something or other. She looked like Ma Barker and cooked good dinners for her boarders. One was Sheldon, who played the Greyhound dogs at the Tucson track.
He invited us to accompany him the following day. We did and had beginner's luck. We hit winning quinelas in every race and walked out of the dog stadium with money in every pocket.
Legs and I also went horseback riding in Tucson. It was my idea and Legs, being a good younger brother, went for the idea.
The first half of the ride went fine. But as our hour neared expiration, I decided to gallop my horse back to the stable. When my horse took off, so did Legs' animal. Unfortunately, my brother lost his reins and was reduced to cowering on the furiously galloping horse's neck.
His shouts of 'Help' or 'I'm falling' were not heard by me. I was riding gloriously in the wind and when my horse and I came to a stop at the home corral, I turned in time to see my brother collapse from the side of his horse.
That was when he told me, 'I am never going horseback riding with you again,' a promise he has kept.
We eventually moved to Phoenix where I got a job announcing for a radio station and Legs went to work as a house painter. We played the greyhounds, went to Turf Paradise Race Track, and sometimes took weekend trips to Las Vegas.
Our luck as gamblers went up and down. I got into blackjack and poker while Legs stayed with the slots. We got pretty serious about the horses and shared our wins and losses.
Our idyllic lifestyle ended when the U.S. Army drafted me. Legs packed up the car and headed back for Sutersville, PA.
Author: Geno Lawrenzi Jr.
(Geno Lawrenzi Jr. is an international journalist, magazine author and ghostwriter and poker player who lives in Phoenx, AZ. He has published 2,000 articles in 50 magazines and 125 newspapers. If you want to share a gambling story or book idea with him, send an email to email@example.com ).
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