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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

OH LAWD chapter 20

O'Malley drove up in this car!
Courtesy Google search

The cooking experience was getting more interesting each day.  

After I made my first Potato soup Noonan, Abdul and Paddy all bragged on it.  They kept saying it was as good as Noonan's, maybe even better for it wasn't as hot as his.

All this encouragement made me feel good, but the opinion I was interested in was Ma's appraisal, for she would tell me the truth.

I fixed her and Pa a bowl with some cornbread with onions in it and waited. Ma said the soup is delicious but the cornbread has too much soda in it.  In fact she said, “Just use baking power without the soda.”
I didn't care about the cornbread as long as she liked to soup.

My next lesson was on making Gumbo. We were back to boiling the chicken for broth, and then Noonan's secret ingredients including a lot of Okra.

And so it went through the summer, and by the time school started I had mastered the whole menu at the restaurant along with many dishes that weren't on the menu.

I couldn't believe I was in the eleventh grade and Linda and Marly were in high school with me.  As expected some of the older guys were checking out Linda and Marly. Marly had begun to get interested in boys again after swearing off of them for the last year.

Guys were always asking her and Linda to go out with them, and because I was so busy with cooking and studying I didn't have too much time to spend with Linda. They went out on some double dates, and while it irked me I couldn't complain.

We still managed to go to the movie once a week and spend some time together on Sunday but during the week I was busy. I was saving for every boys dream which was to own a car of my own.   
Pa didn't own a car but Paddy did and he taught me to drive. Being able to drive just made me want one of my own even worse.

Just before school started Officer O'Malley came by to get a bowl of Gumbo, and he said, “How would you like to buy that car I am driving?”

I took one look at the car, and it was love at first sight. It was a 1936 Chevy Roaster with a rumble seat.
Anyone would look good riding in that with the top down and the radio playing some Cajun music.

After fifteen minutes I came back and told O'Malley that it was a little out of my price range.
I told him I was looking for something that was ready to be junked that I could fix up and just so it would run.
He asked me how much I had saved so far and I said, “I have twenty five dollars saved.”
O’Malley said he would sell that car for twenty five dollars right now but the buyer would have to buy it today.

I sat stunned for I knew O'Malley didn't kid around, but that car was worth many hundreds of dollars and I sat there with my mouth open.
He said, “Okay last offer - -after this the deal will be off.”

I said, “I'll take it,” still not believing he would take that little for the car, and he said "Sold."  
I always carried my cash with me so I gave him my money and he gave me the keys.
He said he would give me the ownership papers later.

I just couldn't believe that I had a car, especially that one. I went up and sat in it and all the restaurant people came up, and looked it over and were all smiles.

I asked O'Malley how he could he sell me this car for so little. and he said, “I had discovered where a bootlegger's still was, and was going to arrest him, but the fellow took off. 
He left everything including some money, and the car which I confiscated after destroying the still.

The chief inspector left it up to me as to what to do with the car while the inspector kept the money.  
Paddy and the restaurant crew convinced me that I should let you have the car, and here is your twenty five dollars for some gas and stuff.  Now if you don't mind where is my Gumbo?”

I quickly served him and told him, “You will get free Gumbo here for life from now on.”       

Oh Lawd!        
To be Continued

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