My Gun is QuickTuesday, August 23, 2016
Even though I was born in Buenos Aires and lived in Mexico for many years, my formative years happened in Austin,Texas. It was there in the late 50s at St. Edward's High School that I experienced an American Life that I bet Mr. Trump wants to bring back. Our boarding school accepted day students and yet we had only one black student, Richard Mosby.
I witnessed pretty blonde Texan girls in bobby socks and roller skates at hamburger joints. I listened to Bill Black's Combo on the steak house across the street from the school on Congress Avenue. I fell for Eva Marie Saint in Raintree County at the Varsity Theatre and had a cherry coke float next door at the Austin Hotel Drugstore.
I listened to KTBC Radio and learned to like instrumental music by the Ventures and recognized the talent of Conway Twitty. I had sophisticated classmates who liked Shelley Berman and read Road & Track. We listened to Amos 'n' Andy in the evenings and our Catholic Trinity was a foursome with the addition of Walter Cronkite.
But the bulk of my American nature (I have a lot of that) came from the TV programs we watched. Our favourite was the then very violent Have Gun Will Travel but also Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer with Darren McGavin. It is interesting for me to point out the difference in generations that my daughter Hilary knows of McGavin from his portrayal of the father in A Christmas Story.
The woman inside was important now. Perhaps the most important in the world. What she knew would help destroy an enemy when she told it. My hands in my pockets balled into hard knots to keep from shaking and for a moment the throbbing ache of the welts and cuts that laced my skin stopped.
Even in that pale light I could see that she was more beautiful than ever, the black shadow of her hair framing a face I had seen every night in the misery of sleep for so long. Those deep brown eyes still had that hungry look when they watched mine and the lush fullness of her mouth glistened with a damp warmth of invitation.
Mickey Spillane – The Snake - 1964