Mr. Grayson and the Monti Girls

May 22, 2015

Well, I was sixteen in 1943. I guess you could say I was a hell raiser. There was this bar out on Jerseyville Road—just a country lane back then—Bob and Mary’s bar was in Dow, up the hill from Piasa Creek, on the left hand side. And all the teenage drinkers would go up there—no drinkin’ age, you know—and spend their wages on hooch.

Me and my friend Leland, we was perty much steady customers. Boy, Bob and Mary’s was a rough place. But rich college girls would come there from that Monticello women’s college. Them rich girls was wildcats. They would sneak out windows in their dorms and local fellas would pick them up on Godfrey Road and drive them to Bob and Mary’s.

This one night, me and Leland hitched up with two them college gals. The one I liked, I asked her could I get her anything. And she said I want me a man. So I vowed to give her what she want. I started slammin’ back whiskeys—for courage, you could say.

But a commotion broke out. The bartender told a farmer boy he’d had too much to drink. The boy didn’t agree, so the bartender grabbed him by the collar and dragged him outside by the scruff of his fancy white shirt and told him go home to your wife. And that was the end of it—so we thought—and the seven or so college girls was all hooked up, and we was plannin’ where to go.

But Farmer Boy, he had gone home, got him his .12 gauge and he drove back up to the bar and parked right on the highway. And here he came, chargin’ up the rise to the front door, wavin’ that long barrel and vowin’ to kill the bartender.

The bartender was alerted, and he reached below the bar and picked him up a .32 pistol and ran to the door and Pop! Pop! Pop! He fired at Farm Boy and put a bullet across the kid’s scalp, forehead to back, the kid fallin’ and screamin,’ his head bleedin’ like a stuck pig, his fancy white shirt now all bloodied.

And all of us patrons on the floor under our tables, me and Leland gallantly layin’ on top of our gals, which was the objective anyway. We coulda stayed like that all night.

But we drove them gals up the road to a alfalfa farm, turned onto a back road and parked by Piasa Creek. I bet half of MonticelloCollege had been in that field. So I was the driver, my girl—she was from Massachusetts, I recall—next to me, and Leland and his gal in the back seat, and we commenced to . . . well, you know. You know because you had you your Monti girls in the 60s. I reckon them rich girls was beloved all the way back to the 1800s.

And we drove the girls back to the college, and we watched them scamper across the lawn and disappear into the shadows. Mine had slipped me her panties—oh my, they was my Teddy bear when I slept.

And Leland and me would count the hours until we could get off our farms and hold our Monti girls again.

Farm Boy, he got stitched up and jailed. His destiny was death by gun. He mounted a plump farmer’s wife later on, and the farmer snuck up and shot him dead and stabbed him through the ear for good measure.




About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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