By Richard E. Noble I was sitting at our cottage on Old Town Way when Tommy Kabildis came banging in the door. “Nobes, you’ve got to help me. Mel threw me out of the Peppermint Lounge.” “How am I going to help you? I don’t even know Mel.” “You’re going to be my lawyer.” “Really?” “Yeah, Mel threw me out and I told him that I had a friend who was studying to be a lawyer at Harvard and I was going to bring him back with me.” “You have a friend that goes to Harvard?” “Yeah you!” This was all very flattering, I thought. Kibbi not only thought that I could be a lawyer but that I could get into Harvard. Wow! I have a big ego, but Harvard and a lawyer? The only thing I knew about the law was that you should avoid getting caught. But this whole thing sounded interesting to me. “Okay, I’m your Harvard lawyer. What do you want me to do?” “I want you to get me back into the Peppermint Lounge.” Entrance to the Peppermint Lounge was important to certain types of individuals in those days. It was a very busy nightclub at Salisbury Beach. It was rock and roll and blues. I was strictly jazz. I went to the Peppermint Lounge occasionally but not often. I do remember seeing Fats Domino in the parking lot by the entrance one night. He was sitting in a big car just beside the entrance door. He was swigging on a pint of Southern Comfort. There was a crowd of teenagers standing around his car. I had no idea who the fat man was. Somebody said, “That’s Fats Domino.” I said, “Well, you are right there. He sure is.” The Peppermint Lounge was just down a bit from the Salisbury Police Station and the public restrooms. It had a large dirt parking lot. It was also across the road from the roller coaster. Prior to being called the Peppermint Lounge it was Jenney’s. A fellow named Mack Jenney or Mac Jenney owned it. For my friend Kibbi to be banned from this place this early in the season was a catastrophe. He was desperate. So I agreed to take his case. As we walked down to the Peppermint Lounge Tom briefed me. I remember that I was wearing a pair of Bermuda shorts. Everybody was wearing Bermuda shorts in those days. In addition I was wearing my multi-colored Hawaiian Eye sport shirt and a pair of sandals. I kept asking myself if a Harvard lawyer would be dressed in this fashion. Why not? Harvard Lawyers must go to Salisbury Beach also. Mel managed the Lounge. He was a short, fat, semi-bald guy who was always chewing a big cigar. He was an intimidating little fellow - picture Danny DiVito from Taxi and My Cousin Vinnie. The case: Mel was going into the men’s room as Kibbi was coming out. Upon entering the men’s room Mel noticed that the paper towel dispenser had been ripped from the wall. He turned around immediately; grabbed my buddy, Kibbi, and called one of his bouncers. Kibbi was then escorted to the exit and thrown bodily out onto the sidewalk. My first question as a lawyer was, “Did you rip the paper towel dispenser from the wall, Tom?” “Not exactly.” “Not exactly is not a good answer, Tom. There are only two correct answers to my question - yes I did or no I didn’t.” “Listen Nobes, the thing was hanging there by one screw. I tried to pull a paper towel out of it and the damn thing falls off the wall. It could have happened to anybody. I just happened to be the wrong guy, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.” Humm! This was a Henry Fonda movie, wasn’t it? Man, my first case as a Harvard Lawyer and I have to get an obvious criminal. What would F. Lee Bailey do? I figure, I’ll have to do as real lawyers do - I’ll baffle them with bologney. I waited on the sidewalk while Kibbi tried to get back inside the club. The bouncer recognized him and wouldn’t let him in. Kibbi demanded that the bouncer go and get Mel to come out and talk to his lawyer. I figured that this little game was all over. Mel wasn’t going to come out and talk to some guy in Bermuda shorts and sporting a multi-colored Hawaiian Eye shirt - the colors were pastels – pink, yellow, pale blue and turquoise. But there he was. I said, “You have accused my client here, Mr. Thomas Kabildis, of engaging in malicious, criminally destructive behavior.” “I don’t have to talk to you,” Mel said agitatedly while nervously attempting to eat his stubby cigar. “Well, you can talk to me now, or you can talk to me in a court of law.” I couldn’t believe it. We actually had Mel scared. Maybe I could really be a Harvard lawyer. It could happen! Mel continued. “This guy ripped my towel machine off the wall. He has to pay for it.” “Did you see my client rip the towel machine off the wall?” “No I didn’t exactly see him, but he was the only one in there and the machine was laying on the bathroom floor.” “Really? You have nineteen million half drunk teenagers running in and out of your lavatory (note the use of the word lavatory), and just because you see my client leaving the room when you are entering, you accuse him of the crime? You have got to be making a joke. “Tom, take a good look at this place because when I get done with this guy, it is all going to belong to you. This is deformation of character. This is slander. This is identitae fraud-ulente. People have collected millions on cases like this. This type of case was decided centuries ago. I think the first such case was at Nuremberg in 1346. It is what they call no low expropriente. We got this guy right where we want him. Let’s go. We’ll be seeing you in court, sir.” “Wait a minute, wait a minute. Listen I don’t know all this Latin stuff and I don’t want no court and legal problems. I’ll let this guy back in this one last time but if I catch him doing anything he’s going to be out of here for good.” “What do you think, Tom?” “That’s it? This guy accuses me of all these lies and I don’t get anything? I should get something for being treated like this.” I looked at Mel. He was fidgeting and his cigar stub was bouncing every which way. “Five free drinks,” I said to Mel. He stared, pensively. “One free drink,” Mel countered. “Three,” I compromised. “Two free drinks and that’s my last offer.” “What do you say Kibbi?” “Okay.” As Mel and Kibbi went strolling back inside and Kibbi joyfully bellied up to the bar I thought, Wow, I won my first case as a Harvard lawyer. Of course, it was pro-bono but a win is a win.
Richard E. Noble was raised in Lawrence, Mass and is now a freelance writer. He has published five books. Two of them have Lawrence as their setting, A Summer with Charlie and Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother. A Little Something is a book of poetry partly inspired by life in Lawrence. Hobo-ing America, is a workingman’s tour of the U.S.A. The Eastpointer is selected pieces from his award winning column about life in a sleepy fishing village in the Florida Panhandle.
Books by Richard Edward Noble. Click on covers below for more info and purchasing instructions.
Classic Tragic Novel
Don't Laugh - This Could Have Been Your Life
Funny stories and some strange characters.
Monkey Dishes and Cocktail Fawks
My Harrowing days in the restaurant business. Great Read.
It's a Long Story
Long Short Fiction - Great stories!
Bloggin' Be My Life
"Bloggin' be My Life" contains a selection of some of my more popular Hobo Philosopher blogs.If you enjoy reading this blog, you should love Bloggin' Be My Life.
It's All About Love
It's All About Love is ... all about love. This is the 2nd book of poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford off Arlington. Every poem in this book comes with a prose introduction. If you enjoy poetry this is a simple choice. Have fun!
A Little Something
Traditional poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford Off Arlington with some poignant prose introductions. If you enjoy any type of poetry, you will enjoy this volume. Thanks.
Talking To Myself
This is my third book of poetry.
Bits and Pieces
The Hobo Philosopher - My first book using the Hobo Philosopher brand. Featuring a variety of writing styles and ideas. Look for the Thoughtful Hobo on the cover.
A Baker's Dozen
The Hobo Philosopher: My Second book of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Short Stories. All varieties of short stories - lots of laughs!
Cat Point - and Them Dang Oyster People
Cat Point is the sequel to "The Eastpointer." Both books contain humorous tales about life in a fishing community on the Florida Panhandle. Lots of laughs.
Won 1st Place award for humor in 2007 from Florida Press Association. More wit, wisdom and humor from the yet to be world famous author, R.E. Noble
A Summer with Charlie - Lawrence
Fiction - Salisbury Beach, Lawrence, Mass. Featured in Merrimack Valley Magazine July /Aug. issue 2010
Travel, Humor, Commentary on migrant farm work and illegal immigration still very pertinent today.
"Just Hangin' Out Ma"
Thank God for the Street Corners of Lawrence, Mass. Anecdotes and humorous escapades about growing up in an industrial mill town in the 40s,50s and 60s.
This is the sequel to "Just Hangin' Out, Ma"
That Old Gang of Mine
This is # 3 in my Lawrence Hometown series. The series is about growing up in the 40's, 50's and 60's in an industrial mill town. Sorta like a Huck Finn goes to vist Uncle Ralph, the bus driver, who lives in a big, rundown city. Lots of fun.
Come On-A My House
This is # 4 in my Lawrence Hometown series.The old homested at 32 Chelmsford ST is pictured on the cover..
Down By The Old Mill Stream
# 5 in the Lawrence My Hometown series.
Standing on the Corner is # 6 in the lawrence My Hometown series.
The old Howard Playstead on Lawrence St.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
# 7 in the Lawrence my Hometown series.
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Classic tragic novel written from child's perspective. Deals with abuse, poverty, unemployment. Pulls no punches.
Noble Notes on Famous Folks
Humorous, satirical notes on everybody from Constantine to Bill Clinton. Inspiration: Willy Cuppy.
America on Strike
History - documented survey of labor strikes in America
Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
Who are the American Nazis - the Liberals or the Conservatives?
MY NAME IS RICHARD EDWARD NOBLE. I AM A FREELANCE WRITER AND I HAVE PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS:"THE EASTPOINTER" - SELECTIONS FROM AWARD WINNING NEWSPAPER COLUMN - "A LITTLE SOMETHING" - POETRY WITH PROSE -"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER" - A NOVEL ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE NEW ENGLAND MILL TOWN OF LAWRENCE, MASS, "HOBO-ING AMERICA" - A WORKINGMAN'S TOUR OF THE U.S.A. - "A SUMMER WITH CHARLIE" - THE STORY OF A YOUNG SAILOR'S LAST DAYS AT SALISBURY BEACH, "NOBLE NOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS" - HUMOROUS ANECDOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS IN HISTORY,
"AMERICA ON STRIKE" HISTORY BOOK - A SURVEY OF LABOR STRIKES IN AMERICA; "A BAKER'S DOZEN" A BOOK OF HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES; "JUST HANGIN' OUT, MA" - GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, 50'S AND 60'S IN LAWRENCE, MY HOMETOWN, "TENEMENT DWELLERS" - SEQUEL TO JUST HANGIN OUT, MA; MEIN KAMPF - ANALYSIS OF BOOK ONE - HISTORY. CAT POINT - AND THEM DANG OYSTER PEOPLE - SEQUEL TO THE EASTPOINTER
All 12 BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND OTHER INTERNET SOURCES OR FROM NOBLE PUBLISHING. ALL 12 OF MY BOOKS ARE NOW ON KINDLE AT BARGAIN PRICES TOO. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS E-MAIL ME. MY EMAIL IS ON MY PROFILE PAGE.