What appeared to be blissed out hippies in 1969 danced in the Woodstock mud.
Five years later they took a shower, got a haircut, and danced in discos.
They came down with Saturday Night Fever. Dr. Donna Summer and Nurse BeeGee administered treatment.
Woodstock Nation learned about two drink minimums and The Hustle.
Call it Baby Boomer evolution. Portland baby boomers followed in step.
It’s easy to see why night clubs needed special people running the lines winding out the door and down the sidewalk most weekends.
Not every dance club needed a 5th Degree Black Belt who slipped over the Iron Curtain from central Europe, but it never hurts.
This is a post about one such man.
Most everyone could get into Adam’s Apple, just not all once.
One night a man showed up so drunk he couldn’t stand without the wall. When he did stand, his girlfriend nearly fell.
Gary knew the man. He knew the woman wasn’t his wife. It was an off-duty cop with a girlfriend, too drunk to go home, and too drunk to dance.
“Come on, Tony. Tonight’s not the night,” Gary said.
“You don’t tell Tony nothing, you. Who do you think you are. Tony, who is this guy,” the woman said.
Tony closed his eyes, his chin rolling on his chest.
“Nothing. Not nothing,” he said.
“Nothing what, Tony. This guy named nothing,” the woman said.
“You know how it is, Tony. This is the wrong place for you.”
Tony nodded his head once before his chin dropped back to his chest.
“You telling Tony what to do? Good one, doorman. Me and Tony are going inside. Here’s a fifty, let’s go.”
Gary pushed the money back into the woman’s head.
“This won’t work out,” he said.
“Understand this, pollack.” She flips him the bird.
“I’m Hungarian, but thank you. Tony. Tony? I’ll get a cab.”
A cab stopped. The woman tripped holding Tony’s weight on her and fell hard against the car.
“Did you see that, Tony? That bastard punched me. He punched me right in front of you, Tony. He can do that?” she said.
Tony squared his shoulders and seemed fifteen drinks lighter. He stepped toward Gary pointing his finger on his extended hand, an old street-fighter trick to get your opponent’s attention on anything except the fist you’re ready to throw.
“Punch my girl? You?”
Tony threw the punch. Gary caught his hand.
“No Tony. I didn’t punch anyone. Neither have you. We’re even. There’s the cab,” he said.
The woman jumped on Gary’s back. She hooked her arms around his neck. He dipped a shoulder to roll her off. Her heel kicked Tony in the head while he leaned against the cab.
“Punch me now?” he said.
The woman fell to the sidewalk. Tony stared at her, then charged Gary.
“Tony, Tony. No, Tony. Not here. Come on.”
He stepped out of the way as Tony fell past, lost his balance, and skidded on his face.
The woman looked up from the sidewalk.
Gary leaned over to help the woman. She kicked at him as Tony made his final lunge of the night. Gary sidestepped him and he fell on the woman.
Gary knew the job, when to push and when to pull. Get people in and out, keep them in line.
Tony stood near the cab, steadying his head to focus on Gary.
“This not over. Ish not over. You hear that? Not. Over.”
“Sure, Tony. Over. Not over. Over and out. Get home safely. Say hello to the missus.”
“Sure. You’ll see.”
Boomerpdx Lesson: Take your wife with you on a big night out and you’ll get home without explaining what happened to your face.
Better Boomer says you might feel like King of The World, but the ship still sinks. Behave yourself and have fun.