Summer '75: The Rock & Roll Seamstress
|Buy the ticket, take the ride|
Phil & Gail's temporary rental house on the western flats part of Aspen was an 1890's gingerbread that had seen better days. It wasn't a restored painted lady like in San Francisco. It also didn't have a phone.
For some reason this wasn't especially odd.
A rock n roll seamstress lived across the street.The street was have been seal coated. She supposedly did work for the Eagles. This wasn’t exactly new; I knew an odd bird named Kent back in Athens who did stage wear for Alice Cooper, or so we were told.
Only reason I met her was that she had a phone. So I’d go over to her house, call down to Denver, stall my grandmother, give her some money, and leave. The interior was tidy Victoriana. That style was enjoying a revival in pop culture; but I imagine that high-country junk stores were full of all that, left over from the mining booms and busts.
She was in her late 30s, on the plain side, but completely sociable. On another day I met one of her daughters, late teens. Again, pleasant.
One day, as I was leaving, her drunken abusive boyfriend showed up. He was easily 6’3”, whipcord lean, and belligerent. He uncoiled himself from the rumbling monster ranch pickup, with his grinning dickhead wing-man at the wheel. Several beer cans fell out. Then he accused me of hitting on his girlfriend and teenage daughters. The woman was dissolving in tears, and the girls hid.
Uh, no. Wasn’t me.
Standing on the front steps, I slowly walked towards him. Then past him across the street, as drunken profanities followed. Gail & Phil's house was literally receding over the horizon as I walked towards it. I fully expected to be tackled or hit with a crowbar and getting a mouthful of gravel.
Jesus Fucking Christ. I lucked out.
When I got back inside I inhaled a few Pall Mall 100s to get the jitters down. I might’ve had a drink. God knows I needed one.
I didn't use the phone after that. It was a dance explaining that to Grandma when I got to Denver.