Summer '75: Meeting An Aspen Drug Lawyer
|At least that's the way I remembered it.|
One morning, Phil needed my help making a dump run, and drop off a car. I followed him in his then-elderly Land Cruiser out to the Pitkin County dump. We tossed some shit, got a soda, and then drove back into town.
He was meeting his pal Woody, a drug lawyer at a slanted-wood paneled fern bar, back when that look was brand new.
We’re sitting there on low divan cushions. The waitresses were svelte, slender and cute as fuck. I was acutely aware of my obvious broke-ass status, but managed to keep my mouth shut.
Woody appeared, high-fives and back slaps, the waitresses knew him. He took a seat, he and Phil traded opening lines, as one leathery cocaine cowboy after another, with turquoise rings etc sidled up to him, whispered in his ear, and discussing upcoming court dates.
Woody launched into the Big Story. He’d just gotten back from Jackson MS, where he’d sprung four unlucky knuckleheads from a major drug bust.
Two guys and their respective girlfriends had gotten the bright idea of flying a bale of weed from Florida to Texas. They put down in Jackson to refuel. The local sheriff had the tower frequency on his scanner, and thought he’d take a look.
Oops. Bale of weed in a Piper Cherokee. Felony interstate transportation and possession.
These four had contacted their lawyers, and now were sitting in the local jail, going nowhere. Finally somebody decided it was time to call a real lawyer.
“They had two lawyers on it, and nothing was happening. I asked them who they were, and they told me they were a black dude and a New York Jew. I told them that wasn’t gonna work in Mississippi. They asked what it would take to get them out. I laid it out: $10,000 per, plus expenses. The families said OK.”
“So I flew down to Jackson. Booked a suite in the best hotel. Took out a membership in the local country club. Dropped off my business cards at the DA’s office, Superior Court judge chambers, sheriff’s. Then went to dinner with each of them. Worked out an agreement. These four would plead guilty, pay the fine, forfeit the plane, time served would count on the sentence, and they were to never set foot in Mississippi ever again. Deal? Hell yes. Everybody was happy.”
We all laughed.
I guarantee I was paying very close attention. I knew a lot of dumb-asses back home. The last thing I wanted was to be a lifetime guest at a state prison for possession.