Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Freemesser's Bar by Mark Anthony Given


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Everything you are and do from fifteen to eighteen is what you are 
and will do through life.  - #FSCOTTFITZGERALD
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             YOU KNOW HOW in The Godfather where you got a room full hot headed Italian guys ready to take action and right in the middle of them is a smooth talking Irish guy as the voice of reason?  That was Freemesser's Bar with Frank Costas, in reverse.  Except he would party with the best of 'em but everybody knew he had the last word, and when he got ready to go home he would pick out the soberest in the lot....  First time I met him I was eighteen driving a white fake rag top brand new baron red Chrysler with Florida dealer tags I had stolen off a show room floor along the interstate somewhere in Florida. He had me take him home in it not knowing it was was stolen and refused to put his feet on the floor he was so impressed with it.  Couple years after I knew him we tried to goof on him about it, but he said he was too drunk to remember....
              FREEMESSER’S ON Clinton Avenue South in Rochester, New York, was a neighborhood bar owned by an old Guinea, Frank Costa's, and had been there for years. Smack in the heart of "Swilburg," now a mixed neighborhood before entering the suburbs, but once an enclave of Irish and German potatoes farmers. There were no bar stools, you had to stand up and women could not drink at the bar, but would come to the door of the back room to be served. I got busted by my parole officer for a dirty UA and locked up in the Monroe County Jail for a month or two. While I was in there, I had my girlfriend pick up my last paycheck and take it to Frank to cash and pay my bar Tab.
              FRANK WOULD try to have Frank Guesford or someone drive him home about six o'clock at night because he was tired and too drunk to drive, so if you seen him in there after six, something was going on. A wedding, a funeral, a party for Fire Fighters, Roofers Union, whatever. I walked in there about seven at night and the place was at full tilt, but still only twelve or fifteen people, which was a lot in a little corner bar. As soon as Frank seen me come in the door he pointed at me and hollered across the whole Bar, "There's that son of a bitch! I been in business twenty years and never had anyone send me money from jail! Drink's on the house kid!" You would have thought I gave him first Grand Son they way he treated me after that.  There were so many people in there all of Swillburg probable heard about it and it was a good feeling knowing I was always good for a 'few buck's a Freemesser's Bar....

 

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