Jones of Old Lincoln (Chapter 1, page 1 of 11)


 
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Chapter 1

"Sir, seems you've been looking for me?" The voice came from over my left shoulder and he walked into my world.

I was sitting at the last booth across from a pool hall bar in my childhood hometown. It was a chilly, early fall day. The regulars were perched with their backs to me on the two dozen or so stools. They were eating their breakfasts and drinking their pre-dawn coffee and beginning the verbal activities and male 'dancing' that is a usual symptom of masculine consciousness when men of my native land congregate.

The young, female fry cook took it all in and threw a quip into the mix from time to time. My ears took in the chatter, clatter and tings of dishes and silverware, grill sizzle, and the country music coming from the wall mounted television. The smell was of oil soaked floor, grease, cigarette smoke, and the blend of breakfast fixings.

I was seriously occupied with the several folders of research notes that were to be my study this early hour. I'd eaten my breakfast and dutifully was attending my tasks. Then he showed up.

***

He was more out of place than I. I wore a black leather "writers" sport coat, blue jeans, worn tassel loafers and a white dress shirt-minus tie. The pool hall patrons, all male, were mostly in their late forties and fifties, and several were much older. They wore baseball caps of varied color and age with assorted designations: banks, NASCAR favorites, "UT", "Falcons", "Titans", "Braves", or woodland camouflage. Most wore faded blue jeans, though one or two pairs of khaki slacks were evident. Their shirts were casual and work-style dark plaids, solids, and stripes-no white ones. A few hearty individuals wore dark pocket type tee shirts and a windbreaker or two could be seen. Work boots were the footwear of choice, with a small sampling of sport sneakers and loafers.

 
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