05 July 2009

Chased by a Pimp

"How 'bout a date?"

Images from the Fayetteville Observer circa 1979

As much a part of late 70's Ft Bragg as Camp McCall or Sicily Drop Zone was a strip of bars, strip joints and pawn shops on Hay Street in the bordering town of Fayetteville. The Seven Dwarfs, Rick's Lounge, The Pop a Top and the Suzie Wong Club... just a few names that 30 years of poor memory can never erase. Prostitutes worked without fear of police. It was something out of the wild west and I am not exaggerating...not even a little. I had friend, Bob, who could get credit from the hookers. He was that good looking and that well known.

"How about a date, sweetie?" It was an interesting proposition. A date back then was between $25 and $50 depending on the options. I was never aware of the pimps. I don't know if they were around or if I just wasn't that focused on their activities. Whatever, it took almost four years to find myself being chased by one.

As a hard stripe sergeant and a veteran of Hay Street my attention turned from the hookers to a few Asian strip bars that offered a table or two in the curtained back with a menu of epicurean delights. The food was amazing and many times we went for dinner, talked to the owners and left without ever gawking at the girls out front on the runway. I soon became a dedicated aficionado of the hot cabbage Kim Chi and a wonderful rice wine called Makgeolli.

One night a group of us threw a small party at the Seven Dwarfs for a friend who was off to Benning for OCS. I was in a navy Izod, a blue and red surcingle belt, white jeans and Adidas. I only know this because there's a picture of me with the OCS candidate and a stripper in the Seven Dwarfs. It's on 110 film and because I have crap spread out across three states I can't find it.

We decided to move on and I wound up alone on the street in front of the bar. As I wait for my friends, a hooker approaches and asks if I want a date. Not sure what I was thinking at the time but I'm sure the alcohol had turned me into a bigger smart ass than usual - -I say, "A date sounds great. Tell you what...I'll come by and pick you up in an hour, then we can go meet my mom and dad and afterwards I'll take you to dinner and movie. How's that sound?" She stubs her cigarette out on the sidewalk and says, "You're a smart ass little mother fucker. I got an idea. Why don't you get off my corner." "You're corner! Hey, baby. Tonight this is my corner. Why don't you get lost?" Or something to that effect.

I watched her walk around the corner and reached into my pocket, pulled out a hard box of Marlboro's and lit one with a brushed chrome Zippo. I had not finished the cigarette when I heard, "There, that's him!" I turned to see my 'date' pointing me out to her pimp who came running at me full speed. Or, as fast as one can run with restrictive footwear. The Adidas exploded me off the sidewalk leaving my date's employer far behind. Fifteen minutes later I was able to sneak back into the Seven Dwarfs where I saw my friends in the exact position I had left them. Bob looked at me, "Where did you go?" "Just for some air," I said and settled back into the comfort and security of my friends while I wondered if this was where I belonged.


The Khaki Crusader said...


a good laugh. a long-lost time.


M.Lane said...

Fantastic story. Brings back memories...some good...some bad. None from Fayetteville.


The Sardonicist said...

"restrictive footwear"? bwahaha! was "huggy bear" wearing platforms?

John said...

Reminds me of that episode of the Simpsons, where Homer goes to NYC in the 70's and has a similar run in.

Drånten said...

haha great story, how did he look?

Anonymous said...

By the late 80's to early 90's most of the "establishments" were history. Rick's and some Korean joints were the last to go. When we left Bragg the Bottom's Up (not on Hay Street) was the only holdout left. Oh, and It Can Be Arranged. I am sure your date's pimp shopped there. D

Anonymous said...

Just googled It Can Be Arranged. It is still on Hay Street. Only thing, no more pimp suits. It is now a wedding supply store. Wow, Hay Street is officially a eunuch. D

Michael Rowe said...

Maybe your best piece of writing to date.

ADG said...

"....many times we went for dinner, talked to the owners and left without ever gawking at the girls...."

Tincanman....don't lie man.

ADG said...

Tin....one more thing. This YouTube clip could have been shot right on Hay Street ... funny.


initials CG said...

Great story!

a l e x h o r n s b y said...

great purchase on flagstones and all kinds of paving from the old & reliable Adidas company! Great stuff!

tintin said...

Thank you all for the commets. The pimp looked pissed. That's how I remember him. Good on him for standing together with his employee - - 99% of the people I've worked for wouldn't do the same for me. ADG- We walked out of the strip joint and the idea was to look cool. We didn't have to be cool. Just look it. And by the way, most of these girls were not all that attractive.

Chiefraz said...

Thank you so much for this post. Was an ROTC cadet at Fort Bragg in 1977 and we were all told not to go to Hay Street, especially if you were a female cadet. Did get to see it on my way to the train station on the last day. Am writing a fan fic called Cadet Novac and your post helped a lot.

Anonymous said...

I was there in 1971 with the 82nd ABN and spent may hours in the 7 Ds even lived with dancers for a while. If you want to read the true story go to my link for soon to be published on Amazon CHANGES the coming of age in the South during the Vietnam War it will bring back memories just as these comments have today