Let me tell you this about Tommy Schaefer. Tommy is a mythological character. He is six foot five inches tall, authentic, an original, one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet and, at the end of his sixties, he is still one bad man. There is an army of much younger men that wish they had never wound this old street fighter up. Age has done little for his reputation as a bad ass
One day I was standing on Third Street talking to my dear friend John Walsh, since deceased. John was a funny guy and one of the most generous men on the planet. He worked on the docks for many years but by the time I met him he was retired on full disability. Whatever his disability, it certainly wasn't visible. John saw all the angles and worked them.
Anyway, John (JW to his friends) and I were talking out on the street. It was a bright, sunny day, maybe in the early days of autumn. All of a sudden who rolls up on a bike but Tommy Schaefer. Tommy was all excited and determined to impart some salacious piece of neighborhood news to us but he never got around to it. We wouldn't let him speak. John and I demanded an explanation on why this old hard head was tooling around on a girl's bike. In fact, we were so busy breaking Tom's balls that we never let him explain himself.
The more John and I laughed about the sight of Tommy of Tommy on a girl's bike, the madder he got. The more angry he got, the more we laughed. He kept trying to change the subject to no avail. By the time he pedaled away he had steam coming out of his ears.
John is dead so I break Tommy's balls twice as much about the bike in John's memory. Today I promised Tommy that if he would let me take his photograph on the girl's bike that I would never break his balls about it again.
I fucking lied.