Wildwood Daze – Betty Ann – Part 10 – Moving On

Wildwood, NJ – 1987

I was still living at my parent’s house then. I had started dating a girl I had met who worked as a teller at the bank where I worked. Her name was Lori, and I was smitten. Not the mad passionate love I had briefly with my affair with Betty, but simply a local girl I found nice. I’ll tell her interesting story at some point.

Here she is:

One night the phone rang at the house and it was Betty. She told me she had just seen the band Y & T. She remembered that I had told her my band had opened for them at the Troubadour in Hollywood years ago. She said she missed me and that she and her husband were moving back to the area. She also reminded me that I once told her that even if I were dating someone else, if she ever came back I would dump them immediately and pick up with her.

This song always reminds me of Betty cause she always kept her lipstick fresh and sometimes wore a leather skirt.

But 3 years had passed, and my life had changed. I wasn’t working in a video store anymore. I had cut my hair, put on a suit and tie, and joined the ranks of society. I was a banker now, and I was seeing someone I was committed to. I was older now, and the chapter of my life with Betty was closed. It was a moment in time that we couldn’t go back to. It needed to be left alone.

It was really nice hearing from her but I was done. She was married, and I had grown as a person. When I had gotten involved with her I was wrong. It didn’t make what her husband did right, but more infidelity wouldn’t ever solve the problems in their marriage. Apparently, they had gone to counseling and had worked things out. But from the sound of her call, it sounded like she was still in love with me. But that wouldn’t solve anything. It would tear open any wounds in her marriage that had hopefully begun to heal. I’d broken enough hearts already. I didn’t need any more to add to my list.

May’s Landing, NJ – 1988

I was at the Hamilton Mall with my girlfriend Lori. We had been together for over a year now. We enjoyed going to the mall on the weekends and walking around. We were both young and making money and it was nice to shop for music, movies, and video games. (The original Nintendo system with Mario and Duck Hunt!)

Lori loved to go into the bookstore and look at the classics. All of the bestsellers were obviously in the front of the store, but you had to go all the way to the back to find the classics. She liked to look through them and usually bought something in paperback. She especially loved the work of Edgar Allen Poe.

I was standing in the front of the shop and looking at a rack of calendars, and also some of the newer works of fiction. But something caught my eye out the front window of the on the other side of the mall.

What I saw was Betty Ann chatting with another woman. Her little daughter Kelly was with her and was now probably 9 or 10 years old. I started having anxiety at the sight of her, but then that went into overdrive when I saw that she was holding a stroller. In that stroller was what appeared to be a 3-year-old baby. I couldn’t really see if it was a boy or a girl, but I started to do the math in my head.

Could that baby be my child? She had said she had gone off birth control, and that having a child from me would be a nice present from our brief union. I was freaking out thinking about that possibility and immediately glanced around the store. All the way in the back was Lori browsing the classics.

I was having a bad panic attack and I took one last look to burn the image into my mind and headed to the back of the store. I made some excuse to Lori that I was having some stomach disorders and wanted to get out of the mall.

I never saw Betty again, and I don’t know if that child was mine, but it has always left me wondering.

I found this pic on Facebook recently. Betty Ann is now 70 years old and still looks great. I’m assuming that’s her husband and it’s nice to see that they’ve managed to stay together after over 35 years.

Here’s a trilogy of songs I wrote in the 80s and recorded in the studio in the 90s. The 2nd song is entitled, Betty Ann. It’s obvious the song was written for my sweet girlfriend from 1984.

If you write a song about somebody, they’ve made a major impact on your life.

(You can hit the play button up in the left corner of the image below to play the songs. At the 4:30 mark, the song Betty Ann begins.) Enjoy!

  1. Tear Me Up
  2. Betty Ann
  3. Can’t Let Her Go

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this tale from my past as much as I’ve enjoyed reminiscing and writing it.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. 

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Last Exit for the Lost

Sarah Louise DeVos was born February 12, 1976, in Cape May Court House, New Jersey, to William and Sandra DeVos. She leaves behind her parents, sister (Sharon), brother (Mark), two nephews (Isaiah and Rashon), two great-nieces (Ariana and Makenna), as well as aunts, uncles, cousins, and the many friend’s children who also considered her their Auntie Sarah. She also leaves behind an eclectic group of friends and acquaintances from around the globe who loved and adored her for the beautiful, creative, compassionate, stylish, and loving person she was.  

Sarah was raised in both Cape May and Carlisle, PA. After graduating from Carlisle High School in 1994, she moved to Philadelphia. She self-funded her education at Moore College of Art and Design, obtained a degree in graphic design, and made lifelong friends. During college, Sarah worked as a valet for the Rittenhouse Hotel, which was an ideal position for someone who loved stylish cars. She also worked at Shampoo during college, one of the most well-known nightclubs in Philly during the 90s, which allowed her to enjoy many things she loved – fashion, music, and people.  

Sarah took her degree and talents to every agency she worked for, most recently Free People in Philadelphia. She also took on many freelance gigs throughout her career, during which she created some award-winning chalkboard illustrations for friends’ weddings, and special events, and logos for businesses. She also displayed her artwork in Old City on First Fridays.

In addition to being a talented artist, Sarah loved music and fashion. She could easily dance all night in three-inch heels and often sent her friends CD mixes of some of her favorite songs. When other people saw clutter at a discount clothing store, Sarah saw an opportunity. She could create the most unique and stylish outfits from any discount clothing store.

Sarah also loved meeting people, hearing their stories, and talking with them about their adventures.  She used those skills throughout her life, including visits to Paris, Italy, Prague, London, Mexico, and throughout the US with friends.  

Sarah loved taking walks and looking at architecture.  If you ever spent time with her in her beloved Philly, she would share all this passion with you. She was observant and would point out all the details in the ornately decorated buildings as you walked past. And she usually had a story about all of them because she had no qualms about walking up to someone outside of these buildings and asking to tour them. Most of the time, people obliged her whims, happy to share their places with her appreciative eyes. 

She never owned a car during her time in Philadelphia but mastered the public transit system like she’d been riding it her whole life. Also, you would see her gracefully navigating through the heavy Philadelphia traffic on rollerblades or a bike like it was an Olympic sport.  

From her childhood friends to those she made at Moore College of Art and Design, to the strangers she turned into friendships, and all of the furry creatures she loved, everyone she met would be forever changed by her presence. She will be missed dearly by all that knew her.

Service will be held at Daybreak Church, 321 Gettysburg Pike, Mechanicsburg, PA, on Thursday, December 1, 2022, at 11:00am.  Visitation will be held for an hour prior to, at 10:00am.  There will be space available at the church if people would like to stay afterward and share further remembrances.  

Sarah’s portfolio can be viewed at http://www.thedutchfox.com 

To honor Sarah’s spirit, the family asks that you reach out to the person you love who needs to know they are loved.  All donations in her name came to be made to https://nami.org/Home,  https://www.furryfriendsnetwork.org/donate/,  or any other organization that contributes to the arts, mental health, or animal rescues. 

Arrangements are being handled by Hollinger Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc., Mt. Holly Springs. Visit www.HollingerFuneralHome.com to offer condolences to the family.

Please visit our flower store to plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sarah DeVos.

On Saturday, November 19th, Sarah borrowed her nephew’s car and drove to Harrisburg. She found a parking garage and drove up to the roof. She got out of the car, walked to the edge, and jumped.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. 

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

If you know anyone struggling, down, or feeling sad… give them a call. Or better yet, go see them. Check on them. See if they’re okay. If you are feeling like you can no longer cope in this life, help is available 24 hours a day.

Just call: 988

Wildwood Daze – Betty Ann – Part 9 – Farewell, My Love

Wildwood, New Jersey – August 1984

I remember Betty telling me, at the beginning of our relationship, she was moving to Chicago in three months for her husband’s job. So I knew no matter what happened between us, it would be short-lived. It was an affair she wanted to have with a younger man to get revenge on her husband. But what she didn’t realize at the time with whom she had chosen to have that affair.

We were sitting on a bench on the boardwalk one afternoon. It was a warm sunny day, and the tourists milled about us. Eating, drinking, playing games, and going on amusements.

We were just having a moment of gentle repose when she turned to me.

“You know, Chaz… when I started this with you it was just to get back at my husband.”

“I know, Bets. It’s okay. I’ve had no illusion as to what this relationship is.”

“But… I’m sorry about that.”

“It’s okay. I’m fine with it. I’ve just been happy to be with you, even though our time has been short.”

“But… I never thought that I’d fall in love with you.”

I smiled and kissed her. “I love you too, Betty. I loved you the first time I saw you come in the store.”

I knew what I was getting myself into. At 22 I was just driven by my desire to love and be loved. Nothing more. I’d always been that way. Almost desperate to be recognized by a beautiful woman. To feel real value and worth. It was a young man’s folly, but back then it was real. It was what I was.

The movers had begun to pack up her house and prepared to truck it off to Chicago. One evening we were lying on a sheet on the floor of her bedroom. We had just completed another one of our fiery sessions. The house was basically empty, sans us on the floor and a fan that blew across the room to cool us.

“Chaz…”

I laid back and stared at the ceiling with her beside me. I turned to her and kissed her lips. I knew this relationship’s expiration date and had prepared myself for its demise.

“I’m really going to miss you, Chaz.”

“I’m going to miss you too, Bets.”

“You know… I went off birth control a while back.”

“Wait… what?”

“Yea. I stopped taking it over a month and a half ago.”

“Umm… why?”

“I love you, Chaz. I thought if I got pregnant it would be a nice present you could give me, so I would always have a part of you with me forever.”

Anxiety goes into overdrive.

“Are you…?”

“I don’t know and I don’t care. It’s my decision.”

Not much was said after that while my mind swirled with a million possibilities. All of them ended with me getting shot by her husband.

To be honest, it had been such a crazy whirlwind romance I couldn’t even process what was happening at the time. I was just traveling through time in space caught in the vortex that was mad love and desire for Betty.

One night, about a week before she was supposed to move I was sitting at the kitchen table at my parent’s house having a snack. I was the only one at home at the time. The phone rang and I answered it.

It was Betty’s husband.

It was an awkward conversation and at first, I denied who I was. But he knew he had the correct number and that it was me. I don’t know how he got my number or name, but he must have gone through his wife’s things. He had stated on the call that Betty had run off to Texas to spend some time with her friend Leddy and that I should call her.

I was surprised at how cool he was, but somehow the jig was up. This was bad. This wasn’t supposed to ever happen, but what did I think could happen with what I was engaged in. He gave me Leddy’s number and I quickly scrawled it down on a piece of paper by the phone. Then he hung up.

I called the number and the person who answered the phone wasn’t Betty but sounded giggly and maybe high. She put Betty on the phone and we talked. She expressed again that she was in love with me, and that she no longer wanted to be with her husband, so she took off to her friend’s house to get her head straightened out. I assured her that as hard as it was for both of us, she should try to work things out with her husband.

Frankly, as much as I adored the drug of being with a girl like Betty, it had all begun to wear on me. The sneaking around, the idea of her infidelity, and the fact that she had a 5-year-old daughter.

I had prepared myself for this affair to only exist for a finite amount of time and felt resolute with its outcome. It frightened me that her husband had called my parent’s house and I’d had enough. Worlds colliding is never a good thing. I didn’t want this sort of mess in my life anymore. The possibility of Betty ever staying with me and making life with me in Wildwood seemed unimaginable to me. It didn’t make sense. Betty had been a secretary that hooked up with a high-powered married executive. He left his wife for Betty, his then-mistress. That almost never happens. People cheat because they’re not getting something from their spouse. It has nothing to do with sex, it’s more about that person’s character and bigger things wrong in their current relationship.

Betty was 32, but when I look back on it now, she was very immature as a woman. She liked being with charming, fun me because she longed to be young and 20 again. That was never going to happen. She was a house cat now. No job, no real skills, a mother, and a kept trophy on the arm of a rich guy. She had her daughter with him securing her financial stability. But Betty and me at age 22 would never have worked. Was she going to go from living in a nice house and driving a BMW 5, to living in some cheap apartment with a guy who worked at a video store? She just was caught up in a world of lust and fun and needed to get her head straight.

I get it. Once women hit around 28, the clock starts ticking. They need to settle down, find a husband, and have a kid. That’s happening a million times around the world right now. Even as you read this story it’s happening everywhere.

We kept in touch leading up to her going, but she did end up moving to Chicago with her husband and daughter. I was relieved, but for some reason, I wasn’t sad. I guess because Betty loved me and I her, but she was never mine. She belonged to another man. Her heart was all for Chaz, but the rest of her life was with him. I think after some time and counseling, she realized that and relented to his will. But it was for the best.

She wrote to me a few times and we chatted on the phone, but they were to stay out in Chicago for at least the next 3 years. So I knew time would heal all wounds.

She did call me one night and we were chatting and she asked that I mail her the polaroid pic of her topless back to her. She stated she just didn’t want a photo of her like that out in the world. I was fine mailing it back to her. It never meant anything to me anyway. Why would I look at some crappy picture of the woman I was seeing in the real world. Looking at a naked pic of Betty just seemed tawdry compared to what we once shared. Something sweet and elegant.

Here’s some of the stuff she sent me in the mail in the following months after she left.

Is that binding? (lol)

You’d think that the story would be over at this point. But there’s one last thing I have to tell you.

Tune in next Tuesday for the bone-jarring conclusion to this sordid tale.

Check out my latest book LAWNDALE, now available on Amazon!

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You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Wildwood Daze – Betty Ann – Part 8 -The Drive In

Wildwood, New Jersey – July 1984

Even though at 22 I was glad I still had my summer of 1980 and California powers with women, Betty was a lovely compliment to my history. I loved all of our deliciously devilish encounters. She was gorgeous, had a slamming body, and most of all experience. Being a woman of 32 she was different than the girls I’d dated up till then. They kind of didn’t know what to do with or to a man to bring him to a boil. It all came from me. My desire and uncontrollable urges. But Betty was a woman, not a young girl. She knew how to touch and please a man. She had things she could do to enhance and sometimes even slow down the encounter to make it longer and more enjoyable. I realized why her husband had cheated on his first wife to get with Betty. She was a little dynamo in the bedroom. My time in California had changed me from a kid selling cookies in a town full of werewolves, into Lon Chaney himself.

But I loved my new girlfriend and being the gentleman I had come to be, I wanted to take her on some fun dates. I think I loved romance and courtship even better than sex. Sex is an act that celebrates how we feel about each other in a physical union. But romance and courtship take more time and are far more elegant. I know I’m right. Have you ever watched one of those nature shows about the courtship of some birds? The male does a fantastic dance, a show, collects stuff, and makes a shrine to his potential mate. When the female finally gives in and chooses him, it’s over in like a second. I’m like… dude, you did all of that just to get laid? Yes, yes I did, says the bird. Because it’s called romance, son.

Look at this guy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWfyw51DQfU

I told her about all of my wonderful fun times at the drive-in movie theater in Rio Grande and she wanted to go. She said she’d never been to a drive-in movie and it sounded fun. 

So the following weekend we hopped in her BMW and went to the drive-in. We stopped at the liquor store on RT 47 before we went in and I picked up some beer. Always Miller ponies because they were small and stayed colder longer. (You also consumed them a bit faster because they were so small) We found a good spot and parked. I set up the speaker on the driver’s side window and we were good to go. I ran to the snack bar and got us a big bag of popcorn and we were all set. 

I’ve always loved movies and I especially loved drive-in movies. You’re in the privacy of your own car, you can talk, drink, smoke, and do whatever else you want in the privacy of your vehicle. 

The movies playing that night were Footloose and Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom. a perfect 80s double feature with my best girl.

We were munching our popcorn, sipping cold beer on that warm summer evening and all was right in my world. I liked this part of our relationship. Betty liked to smoke pot so she sparked up a joint. I didn’t smoke back then, because I didn’t like the sudden confusing feeling THC gave me, so I declined. I noticed when Betty was high she’d get a little snippy with me but in an endearing way. She offered some hits to me but I said I was fine with just beer. “You’re always saying no to me, Chaz.” she’d say. I knew that wasn’t true. I was a young buck at my peak of physical prowess but I was sitting next to a woman in her sexual prime.

We enjoyed the movies and acted like a couple of teenagers. Betty said I made her feel like a young girl again. She said she loved the way she felt when she was with me. She missed being a single girl and going out on fun dates.  I knew she’d love this. I could see from my actions this was going from more of an illicit adulterous hook-up to a real romance. 

It was a lovely night and after the movie, we decided to drive around a bit. We drove out to Cape May and I wanted to show her the concrete ship. It was a famous tourist spot not only known for its cape may diamonds, but a sweet make-out spot. 

I remember the road that led out to that place is incredibly straight. I once asked my dad about that, and he told me that a trolley used to run out that way. We were a mile or two away and I asked Betty if she could pull over. We sat in the car and talked for a little bit and then things became a bit more amorous, but then I suddenly pulled away. “Can I drive the rest of the way?”

“Ummm… oh, why not, Chaz.”

We switched seats and I got behind the wheel. I knew the road was deserted at night and straight as an arrow. So when we got to the beginning, I floored it and the BMW responded just like Betty did to my touch.

Betty was giggling and not angry at all. I knew she’d yield to my wishes. It felt great to drive a car with such performance. I’d never had a chance to drive such a car. We reached the coastline in a minute or two and I hit the brakes and parked.

We parked and climbed into the back seat. As she fell into my arms laughing, I realized that I had broken not one, but two of her original rules that evening. I’m sure it never crossed her mind, but it did mine.

You can get my latest book, LAWNDALE on Amazon!

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. 

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Wildwood Daze – Betty Ann – Part 7 – Burning For You

North Wildwood, New Jersey – June 1984

I was going to the bathroom one day and I felt a burning sensation. I always had two terrible fears about sex. Getting someone pregnant and acquiring a venereal disease. I had been having a lot of incredible mind-bending sex with Betty and now I was worried. I knew she was on birth control so getting her pregnant was a non-issue. But now I was suddenly feeling this discomfort whenever I urinated and I started having real anxiety.

The whole idea of me having an affair with a woman ten years my senior who was incredibly hot was unbelievable enough. But now I was starting to think maybe I wasn’t the only one she could be fooling around with. Could it be possible? Had I fallen victim to a wanton seductress who was out devouring young men? Of course, being only 22 at the time I instantly panicked.

What to do? My dad had lots of experience with all sorts of scary grown-up stuff so I went and talked to him. He knew all about what was happening between me and Betty so I figured I should ask him about what I was experiencing. 

I guess looking back on it now, I can say what I want about my father but when it came to big stuff… serious stuff, he was always there for me. It’s a shame most kids can’t go to their parents with their troubles for fear of repercussions or shame associated with their actions. But I remember my father always saying, anything you’re doing… or even thinking about doing… I’ve probably already done it. Another goal I would eventually achieve and exceed.

So, I went and spoke to him about what I was experiencing. I knew enough about science, biology, and anatomy and clearly, something was wrong. Betty was the only girl I’d been with in a while so I figured anything wrong with my plumbing had to have come from her.

“Okay, son, let’s not jump to conclusions here. You may just be experiencing what many of us call a ‘ hot bod’. But I doubt if it’s syphilis or gonorrhea. She’s a married woman. She’s chosen you, and she’s probably not screwing anyone else.”

“But what about her husband? He cheated on his first wife with her, and now he’s cheating again. That’s why she’s getting revenge on him with me. What if he’s screwing a bunch of women, and he caught something, gave it to her, and she gave it to me.”

“You make a great point there son, but don’t panic. I’m going to call Dr. Galzunis, and you’re going to go see him and get yourself checked out. But whatever this is, we’ll take care of it, okay?”

“Thanks, dad. I will. I hope you’re right.”

I go to Dr. Galzunis’s office to get checked out. I’m embarrassed because he’s the family doctor and I know his hot daughter Chrissy. But, he was good friends with my father, and I’m sure he knew the situation before I got there.

I was sitting in the waiting room and having high anxiety when it was my turn to go in to see him. I had been praying I wouldn’t run into anyone I knew in the office. Wildwood is a small town so you never know who could see you doing whatever.

I get in there and of course, Dr. Galzunis is the consummate professional and has a great bedside manner. But there was no pageantry here, we got right down to business. He checked me for any swelling on different parts of my body then it was time for the main event.

I was asked to drop my pants and lean over the examination table. He handed me a microscope slide. He told me to hold it at the end of my member. I’m thinking… what the hell is this? He snaps on a glove and lubes up his middle finger. He tells me he’s going to check my prostate. A small amount of semen will discharge out of me and onto the slide. I’m filled with anxiety as he invades me. He’s trying to be gentle and quick about the whole matter and I start hyperventilating. It’s odd, because I had really bad anxiety that normally resulted in nausea, but there was no time for that here. I just started hyperventilating. That had never happened to me before. I looked down and there was the sample he was seeking. I told him it came out and he withdrew. 

I started to calm down as I cleaned up and pulled up my drawers. Man, that was awkward and uncomfortable. He told me that I probably had a urinary infection and that it was quite common. It just appears in men faster because all of our equipment is on the outside of our bodies and women’s stuff was all inside. I was praying he was right because I had read articles about what VD can do to the body if left untreated. 

He said he’d run some tests and give me a call in a day or so. He gave me a prescription for some CIPRO and told me NO SEX for a couple of days until we knew what we were dealing with.

I left the office and called Betty and told her all about the whole scary ordeal. At first, she was a little miffed about me thinking I got an STD from her, but once I gave her my theory about her husband catting around, she understood. She said she’d go and get herself checked out. 

It turns out it was simply a urinary infection, and she had indeed passed it to me during one of our marathon sessions. Once you get a UTI apparently you’re susceptible to getting one again. I think I’ve had maybe one or two more in my entire life and it’s no big deal. But once it starts you know something’s up. All the cranberry juice in the world won’t clear it up, but CIPRO will. You start taking that stuff and you feel better by day two. Medicine works.

So, Betty and I had a good laugh about it, and we kept all of our frisky encounters to a minimum for a week. She even gave me a polaroid of her topless that her husband had taken to hold me over. 

But after that, we were back in the groove again, so to speak.

You can buy my latest book, LAWNDALE on Amazon!

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. 

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Wildwood Daze – Betty Ann – Part 6 – Game of Chance

Wildwood, New Jersey – Spring – 1984

It was great dating, Betty. She was the perfect girlfriend. Smoking hot and not around all the time. We were walking on the boardwalk in Wildwood one night. I just loved strolling with her. Holding her hand. Occasionally glancing over at my gorgeous girlfriend or stealing a sweet kiss.

Betty saw this game of chance that had these beautiful plush stuffed animals all around it that you could win. (Or in the case of most games of chance on the boardwalk, NOT win)

“Oh my god. Look at that big white lion, I bet my little Kelly would love that!”

“Yea, those prizes rock because that game is nearly impossible to win. Look at all those people tossing their dimes onto that board. Now watch how the attendant is literally sweeping piles of dimes off the board. They’re raking in thousands of dollars a night. I’ve won lots of stuff on this boardwalk over the years but that game is nearly impossible. They’re selling hope and crushing disappointment all at the same booth!”

“You’re funny, Chaz. Ready to go back to the motel?”

“That’s a game where we both win, Betty. Let’s go.”

I told my friend Pitchy about her. I’d been friends with him since we were 9 years old. He lived around the corner from me down the shore in the Summer. He has always had an incredibly dry wit. I was explaining to him my current romantic situation. Pitch was never a ladies’ man and liked that I always had something interesting going on. In 1984 he was already married and had a baby on the way.

On the boardwalk, there were many games of chance. Most cost a quarter and you bet on a number on a spinning wheel and if your number came up, you won a prize. I was a pretty lucky guy and won many a T-shirt or record album on the boardwalk. I remember winning Iron Maiden, Killers on a wheel one night out front of Morey’s Pier. I just liked the cover. Turned out to be a magnificent metal record that I loved but most of my friends thought was too fast.

But my buddy Pitchy had an incredible skill. A skill that wasn’t really based on chance. I don’t know when he discovered this ability and I’ve never seen it replicated by anyone else in all of my years on that boardwalk. There was a game called The Dime Pitch. This game had been around for decades. Customers would hand the attendant a dollar or two and would be given the appropriate amount of dimes. Which was cool, because it gave you 10 chances to win for only a buck. The way the game works is this. This huge wooden board is in the middle of the floor of the game booth. People toss their dimes onto the board and try to get their dimes on one of the red dots on the board.

Dime Pitch

Classic Dime Pitch Game - Lets Party

But here’s the thing. There are hundreds of them and a lot of spaces in between. You have to throw your dime and get it to land in the very center of the red dot. Not just on the red dot but there has to be red showing all the way around your dime. You’re throwing dimes at this board from 4 to six feet away. They made a fortune on this game because it looks easy, but is nearly impossible. But here’s the thing, with great risk comes great reward. If by some rare chance you got a dime on the red circle and there was red showing all the way around it, the prizes were massive. Not some small trinket from the lower shelf of junk. I’m talking huge plush stuffed animal that any kid would adore. If you were a guy and won a stuffed animal like that and gave it to your kid, or girlfriend, you would be looked upon as a local legend for the night.

Pitchy was so good at this game, they had to ban him from the game. Not entirely, but they had to limit his time at the board because those giant plush animals were expensive. I kid you not. They would restrict him from the game to maybe once a week. They all knew him up there and understood his power.

They feared him.

He and I were up on the boardwalk one night and we were chatting about his special gift. It had gotten to a point where it was no longer a game of chance for Pitchy. It was a revenue generator. He would go to the first dime pitch game and after about 15 minutes he’d win a giant stuffed animal. He knew which ones were the most popular with the tourists. He’d hand it off to me and I’d start walking up the boardwalk with the great beast under my arm.

Within minutes people would be saying things and complimenting me on my prize. I’d always target guys with women with them. I’d respond with the same statement to everyone. “Wanna buy it?”

“How much?”

“Forty bucks and it’s yours.”

“Seems a little high.”

“You’ll spend twice that trying to win a prize like that for her this vacation.”

In the meantime, Pitchy was already at a different dime pitch game and playing. By the time I sold the stuffed animal he’d be approaching me with another one. We’d sell it too and then he’d give me a cut for doing the sales end of the deal. Then we’d go spend the money on beer and pizza.

This was an ongoing grift we worked all summer. I spoke to him about doing me a favor in regard to his special power. I’m sure you can guess what it was by now.

The next time I went over to Betty’s house to hang out with her. I got out of the car and had a little something under my arm for her to leave in her daughter Kelly’s room.

Amazon.com: American Made Giant Stuffed White Lion 48 Inches Soft Made in The USA America: Toys & Games

“Chaz! Oh my god! How did you? Where did you?”

“Don’t worry about it, Betty. I got a guy.”

On a final note to this chapter. One night I was over at Betty’s house and the babysitter had brought her daughter Kelly home. She immediately made a beeline to her room to go see her big white lion. I had to hide in a closet across the hall until the coast was clear!

Crazy times, man.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. 

You can buy my latest book LAWNDALE on Amazon! It’s stories from my childhood, growing up in Northeast Philly in the 60s and 70s. 

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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