Jace’s Place Chapter 7 Part 3

Robby was definitely worked up for school in the morning. We literally skipped all the way to class. Tim 103 He went right up to Mr. Clark and showed him all the props he’d brought. I noticed Robby was casually rubbing his hand on Mr. Clark’s shoulder.  He was incorrigible.

When everyone filed in and were seated, Mr. Clark said we were going to get ready to read ‘ A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.  Instead of reading from our seats, we would act out the roles in front of the class. Everyone would be assigned roles. The boys would play all the speaking parts. The girls will be the chorus and special effects. All the other kids had no idea what Robby was planning.
Mr. Clark had all the boys come up to the front. Robby acted as his assistant, while I was relegated to stand with the boys. Everyone was lined up shortest to tallest, from left to right. He explained that some people would play multiple roles. A girl suggested that since there were not enough boys, some girls could have speaking roles.
“It’s not that we’re short on actors, the play has a play within the play and also a dream sequence, so it is important that the assigned actors take their secondary roles as Shakespeare had written them. You are experiencing living theater, as if we were back in 16th century London.”
Robby assigned the fairies first, himself as Puck,  and the five shortest boys as Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth, Mustardseed , First Fairy, and Second Fairy. Mr. Clark said that the fairies were in the play within the play, Robby chose the tallest boy as Oberon and me, of course, as Titania.

Mr. Clark had everyone else open their Shakespeare to the first dream sequence, Act II, Scene 1. Robby had taken all the actors, dividing them  into ‘trains’ for Oberon and Titania. The two unnamed fairies were told they would be doing the opening introductions. Robby took a blonde hideous wig and put it on my head. All the other boys laughed at me. Little did they know.
“Okay, who’s in Oberon’s train,” he asked, and two boys were positioned behind the boy playing Oberon. The remaining two and the unnamed fairy, assigned to me as Titania, were told to pick out a wig and get behind me. This had all taken place at the back of the classroom.
Mr. Clark announced, “Act II, Scene 1.”
Robby went to the right side of the blackboard and my fairy went to the left, to whispered jeers and laughs. Mr. Clark hushed everyone.

“How now, spirit! whither wander you?” spoke Robby as Puck.

“Over hill, over dale, Swifter than the moon’s sphere; And I serve the fairy queen, (laughs) Our queen and all our elves come here anon,” spoke my fairy, her voice rising in pitch as Puck encouraged a feminine voice out of him.

Puck: “The king doth keep his revels here to-night:
Take heed the queen come not within his sight;
For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,
Because that she as her attendant hath
A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king;
And jealous Oberon would have the child
Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild;
But she perforce withholds the loved boy,”

Fairy:” Either I mistake your shape and making quite,
Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite
Call’d Robin Goodfellow: are not you he
Those that Hobgoblin call you and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck:
Are not you he?

From the right, in came Oberon followed by his train of fairies, to the cheers of the seated students.
As Titania in blonde wig, I came next, followed by my train in their varied wigs, to the jeers and laughs of the audience.
Mr. Clark held up his hands, proclaiming, “Just reactions, as normally occurred in 16th century London.”

“Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.”

(in a high soto voice) “What, jealous Oberon! Fairies, skip hence:
I have forsworn his bed and company.” The fairies and I swirled around  and preened for the crowd. They were in hysterics.
Tarry, rash wanton: am not I thy lord?

Then I must be thy lady: but I know
When thou hast stolen away from fairy land,
And in the shape of Corin sat all day,
Playing on pipes of corn and versing love
To amorous Phillida.
To Theseus must be wedded, and you come
To give their bed joy and prosperity.
How canst thou thus for shame, Titania,
Glance at my credit with Hippolyta,
Knowing I know thy love to Theseus?
Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering night
From Perigenia, whom he ravished?
And make him with fair Eagle break his faith,
With Ariadne and Antiopa?
These are the forgeries of jealousy:
And this same progeny of evils comes
From our debate, from our dissension;
We are their parents and original.
Do you amend it then; it lies in you:
Why should Titania cross her Oberon?
I do but beg a little changeling boy,
To be my henchman.
Set your heart at rest:
The fairy land buys not the child of me.
His mother was a votaress of my order:
And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind;
But she, being mortal, of that boy did die;
And for her sake do I rear up her boy,
And for her sake I will not part with him.
How long within this wood intend you stay?
Perchance till after Theseus’ wedding-day.
If you will patiently dance in our round
And see our moonlight revels, go with us;
If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts.
Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.
Not for thy fairy kingdom. Fairies, away!
We shall chide downright, if I longer stay.
Exit TITANIA with her train
Well, go thy way: thou shalt not from this grove
Till I torment thee for this injury.
My gentle Puck, come hither..
I remember.
That very time I saw,
Cupid all arm’d: a certain aim he took
At a fair vestal throned by the west,
And loosed his love-shaft smartly from his bow,
Yet mark’d I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
It fell upon a little western flower,
Before milk-white, now purple with love’s wound,
And maidens call it love-in-idleness.
Fetch me that flower; the herb I shew’d thee once:
The juice of it on sleeping eye-lids laid
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees.
Fetch me this herb;.
I’ll put a girdle round about the earth
In forty minutes.
Having once this juice,
I’ll watch Titania when she is asleep,
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes.
The next thing then she waking looks upon,
Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,
On meddling monkey, or on busy ape,
She shall pursue it with the soul of love:,
I’ll make her render up her page to me.
But who comes here? I am invisible;
And I will overhear their conference.

Mr. Clark clapped as the scene ended and everyone else, yelled and stomped. I and my fairies, bowed and our wigs fell off.
“Behold the magic of Elizabethan theater alive in tragedy and comedy by Shakespeare in 1975.”
He motioned to Robby/Puck who bowed and waved.
All the boys were pointing at their friends just recently in wigs, while the girls mooned over Robby.
“Living theater, boys and girls. You’ve created the apogee of English literature before our very eyes,” Mr. Clark couldn’t stop congratulating himself. “Tomorrow we’ll do the play within the play. Read up, you may be up there in curled wigs yourself.”
Everyone squealed like pigs at the thought. Was this Shakespeare or high school. (To Be Continued).

We skipped to Biology, where I documented our experiment in duplicate, while Robby mugged for the girls, when the Nazi science teacher wasn’t looking. He diced up our frog and faked eating the bits as the girls couldn’t stop giggling. Somehow everyone else was written up for disruption while we skipped away to Nutrition. Our little gang was in the midst of a desperate search for a new hangout and dealer, so we sat with the girls from English.
“I heard your band is all gay.” One daring doubter asked.
“Well, if you’re interested. We have three girls in the band. Do you want to be set up?”
That set them tittering and twittering.
“Are you making fun of Mr. Clark?” one asked.
“He is fun. Can’t you see his role of authority over us?”
“You’re running the class now. You cast a spell over him.”
We wiggled our fingers at them. They giggled.
“You girls should join our new band. It’s for people who aren’t socs and jocks. It’s called the Out-Crowd.”
“What do you have to do to join.”
“Just be fun and increase our merrymaking.
“What do other people do?”
“Well, there’s the groupies, but you aren’t skanks, so you have to come up with creative ideas.”
“Can’t we just help?”
“That’s for the roadies, but you need more muscles here,” and he pointed to their biceps “and less here,” pointing at their tits.”
“No, we’re bad boys.” Robby stated. Bleach Ichigo 01

Spanish was fairly normal until Robby kept asking Sr Chavez what all these slang words meant, like puta, hota and culo. The teacher was patient with him at first, but finally figured out he was being disrespected. He threatened to send Robby to Spanish I if he didn’t want to learn real Spanish, not the trash words he had picked up. I explained in my best Spanish that Roberto was a pendeyo. He laughed but warned us if we kept making a mockery of his class, we would be real pendeyos. Robby’s high from English class was being ground to bits. Algebra was okay as again all we did were worksheets. I made him copy my work so it would be in his handwriting. It reminded him of the note Jace had written.
He whispered, “Why all the mystery about that note?”
“Who wrote it?”
“You did. I saw you.”
“Who’s handwriting was it”
“I didn’t check that.”
“Can you visualize it?”
“Interesting. Maybe that’s why you love English so much. You’re a verbal thinker.”
“Should I be able to visualize memories like that writing?”
“That’s a photographic memory. People who have perfect photographic memories can remember everything they’ve ever seen. Most people have imperfect memories. What they visualize is blurry. They have trouble reading and are dyslexic, treated as a learning disability. You’re normal just like everyone who wishes they be perfect.”
“What’s so special about the note.”
“Jace wrote it.”
“I saw you write it. You mean you wrote what he had written.”
“No. It was so important, Jace took over and wrote it.”
“What did it say.”
“I can’t say.”
“You’re telling me a ghost took you over, but what he wrote is too important to say.”
Jace was jumping up and down, signaling not to tell Robby more.”
“Is this something to do with what you told me in the Sacred Grove?” Robby asked.
“When I play I can feel him moving my fingers like he would do.”
“Jace is playing guitar?”
“No. It’s me but when I took over after he died, he helped me play the right notes.”
“Okay, I can see that. He inspires you.”
“No, you think that ‘cause you’re a verbal thinker. You can’t visualize Jace inside me. It’s an abstraction that you verbalize and accept.”
“Way too deep.”
“Can’t we ditch now. You’re making me dizzy.”
“You’re spinning. The words aren’t coming out right.”
“You got that. Let’s split to Michael’s”
Teacher was reading, so we quietly left.

Michael’s maid, Conchita, let us in but told me to call my dad. Luckily she had his number. When I dialed I first got his secretary who put me through.
“Tim, we need to be at the Coral Gables Police Station at 3 pm.”
“Will Mr. Antonio be there?”
“Yes, and why are you home early?”

“We got out of math early after we finished our worksheets.”
“Who is we?”
“Robby’s in my class. We actually are at Michael’s to practice.”
“I’ll see you at 3.”
I had over an hour before the interrogation. Instead of being able to kick back on the guitar with Jace, I saw intrepid cub reporter Jimmy Olsen walk into the music room.
“What ho, you turncoat. Selling our story to the Herald.”
“Hey, a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do.”
“Well, you’ll be due for an ass whipping someday. I’ll be right there laffin’”
“Nice to see you, too.”
“What do you want?”
“Well, I want to say your show on Tuesday was a record breaker. How many separate performances did you put on, four?”
“Five if you include the Beatlefest at 2 am in the parking lot.”
“That little kid was, I don’t know, just something you’ve got to see.”
“Go ahead, say he was better than me. He’s my little brother.”
“The whole city was brothers that night, even the rednecks.”
“Yeah, we never did ‘Freebird.’ Hey, stop manipulating me into talking with you.”
“Not so happy with all the press you got?”
“Yeah, that Anita Bryant bitch is something else. My killer’s just a misunderstood youth.” I realized that Jace was doing the talking. I pushed him out. He gave me an evil grin.
“She’s just a publicity whore.”
“So, you been spending the big bucks you got for your story?”
“Yeah, 150 bucks. The only reason they published it was because I had the photo of you boys with the girls.”
“What do you want now? I ain’t selling my soul again for $150.”
“Well, Mr. Antonio called me and said we should do a follow-up story.”
“What? Jace is still dead. End of story.”
“Settle down. I’m on your side.”
“Until you can get paid for it.”
“Why are you so mad. That show will be talked about into the next century.”
“You promised to ask my permission to write all that gay shit.”
“So, you’re not gay now.”
“Not with my boyfriend dead. You saw us. Do you think I’ll ever be happy again?”
“Not the way you’re spouting anger now.”
He was waiting for me to burst into tears and confess all my sins. I was past that. I looked him in the eye, “I’ll do what Mike Sr tells me to do. You have to deal with him.”
“He asked me to come by.”
“Well, get him to tell me it’s okay to talk with you. I’ve gotta go be interrogated at the Police Station.”  I got up to leave.
“Wait. What?”
“Chill. It’s just standard procedure when your best friend is killed.”
And I walked out.

Dad and Mike Sr. were talking by the entrance to the Police Station. We all went in and were escorted to an open office where the officers had their desks. Two officers came to greet us. We all sat in a circle around one desk where one officer took notes while the other asked the questions. I had expected to be grilled like I had seen on courtroom TV dramas. The officer made statements and asked Dad and me to fill in where they were unsure about details.
“When did Jace Conning first stay at your house,” he asked.
My Dad answered first, “We knew he was visiting often, as the boys had started a band. We heard them practicing at night. I had forbidden them from playing during the day after a neighbor had complained.”
“When was this?”
“Sometime in the fall about the end of October.”
“Actually he had stayed several nights earlier than that,” I explained. “He had some trouble at home and asked if he could stay over. After Halloween we decided to have a band. He was teaching me to play guitar. The band moved to Mr. Antonio’s house after the noise complaint. At my house, Jace and I used smaller practice amps to learn songs and sing. It was much quieter.”
“And the dog?” Tim 316
“He came over because he cheered us up. He’s very friendly. After I had a fight with Jace’s brother, we were worried about Max after he bit Jeff on the butt. So Max and Jace stayed over to keep away from Jeff. All this happened because Jeff came home from college for Christmas.”
“Why did you fight with Jeff?”
“He tried to make me leave their house. I told him to stop harassing Jace.”
“Who initiated the fight?”
“Jeff came at me. I hit him in the stomach, and he fell down. I put my foot on him and told him to stop hurting Jace. Max was growling at him. It was the next day that Max bit him. He was fighting with John and Max chased him out of the garage. John said he only ripped the seat of his pants, not really biting him. That’s when we felt Max was not safe. He stayed over with Jace.”
Dad added, “Tim asked us if Jace could stay during Christmas because he was being abused. I wanted to call child services, but the boys convinced me it was only until the brother went back to college.”
“That was on Christmas Day?”
“So the dog was brought there after Christmas?”
I answered , “Yes.”
“So the boys were already fighting and the dog was acting aggressive toward Jeff?”
Dad said, “That boy came over when the boys were not home and asked to get the dog. I was not happy to find the dog there, when we had only approved of Jace staying. But I noticed that the dog was agitated and barking at the older brother. I told the boy he had to bring his father over before I would give him the dog. He was angry and walked out without further comment.”
“Was Jeff acting strangely.”
“I thought so. I already knew he was harassing Jace, so I refused to comply with his request for the dog.”
“Did you feel threatened or that your son was threatened.”
“Not particularly, but I had never met this boy before.”
“You refer to him as a boy, but he was quite a bit older than your son.”
“Yes. I knew he was in college.”
“Let’s talk about the abuse Jace was telling you about.”
Dad said, “I trusted that Tim was telling me the truth. But I didn’t ask for details.”
“What did you know Tim?
I looked at Mr. Antonio who indicated I should speak freely. “I had been told things which I promised never to reveal. Not only for Jace’s sake, but for others. The first time I saw Jeff I made sure he would never harm Jace again.”
“You’re bigger or stronger than this boy who is three years older?”
“No. But he didn’t expect me to fight back. Max was right there after I knocked him down. Tim 327 I wanted to show Jace he could fight back.”
“Tell me what happened the night of the shooting.”
“Dad told me that Jeff had come for Max. I explained that Jeff would harm Max and thanked him for saving him. Dad told us to stay at home in case Jace’s father came for the dog. We did, but Max had to go out. We were on the front lawn when Jeff came flying around the corner in his car and drove up on the lawn. We knew he wanted Max, so Jace was holding the dog back. When Jeff got out of his car, we saw his gun. He demanded we give him Max. Jace held Max behind him and swore he would never give Max up. That’s when Jeff fired the first shot. All the neighbor’s lights came on. My Dad and Mom, umm Susan, came out the front door. Max leaped in front of Jace. Jeff fired two more times. I jumped in front of Max and Jace. My dad had gone and gotten his rifle, while Mom, umm Susan, was calling the police. We started arguing with Jeff that he was in big trouble already and that he should put the gun down. I heard the police sirens coming toward us. Dad came out with his rifle and ordered Jeff to put down his gun. Jeff fired again. Dad shot him in the leg. He fell down. I ran over and grabbed his gun, while Max was attacking him by pulling on his leg. I turned back and saw Jace, lying on the ground, looking at me. I ran over to him and held his head. He said my name and died. I started screaming and crying. Mom came over and held me. The next thing I remember is sitting on the front steps with a blanket over me. I heard the paramedics say they had gotten a pulse. They took him away  in the ambulance. I tried to go too. Susan found out they were going to Mercy and my parents drove me there. We waited but Jace was dead.” Tim 488
“Thank you. That was hard for you to remember.”
“I’ll never forget.”
“Anything to add Mr. Castle?”
“I had Jeff pinned to the ground with my foot as I stood over him with my weapon. When the police arrived, they took him into custody and contacted the fire department to make sure the paramedics were coming. I told the officer pretty much what Tim just related, noting the boy, Jeff, had been at my house earlier and made a scene about the dog. The officers secured the area and took my weapon and the boy’s handgun. I showed them all my weapons. I showed them my weapons permit. They said I would have to make a formal statement later. It appeared that I had acted properly and would not be taken in for further questioning. We followed the ambulance to the hospital, waiting in Emergency until the doctors told us Jace had died.”
“Just to follow-up on the abuse allegations; is there any proof of what Jace told you Tim?”
I looked at Mr. Antonio again. He asked to speak to me privately. We went out into the hall.
“You promised not to reveal anything I say to anyone, right?”
He nodded.
“Jace wrote a note to John saying he had told me all the sexual things that Jeff had done to them, starting when they were 8 and 10. He wrote what he had told me after I promised I’d never tell anyone what was in the note. He wrote that John should trust me and that I would protect him. I can’t tell the police. I promised. John would be hurt further if people know what had happened to him and Jace.”
“Who has this note?”
“I gave it to John and promised I’d never tell anyone.”
“Can you tell me the general contents of the note?”
“No. Nobody can know.”
“Let me talk to the detective. Don’t you think Jeff should be punished for these things as well as killing Jace?” tim-672
It amazed me I had gotten so clear-eyed about all this. “All I want is to never see him again. John should be taken from his parents because they never cared about Jace and are as evil as Jeff is.”
“Tim, I heard you arguing with the reporter because he promised not to write about your sexual preference. I don’t want you thinking all adults lie when they promise things, so you’ll trust them. If John is in danger, I must do everything I can to protect him. Will he tell the police what was happening?”
“No. Don’t even ask him. He freaked out when he saw the note. He barely trusts me. That’s why it is so important that you got child services to remove him from his parents.”
“Again you’re always plotting five steps ahead of everybody. I have to trust you to make the right call. I will talk to the detective and get his assurance that Jeff will never bother you or John again in return for not revealing this note. If you agree to a lesser sentence than Jeff deserves, they will see that as a charitable act. The police will get the parents to agree to the lighter sentence. If it goes as I believe it will, the investigation will be closed. You can go back to a normal life.”
“I wish.”
“I know you loved Jace. I saw how everybody loved him, which happened due to your influence on him. You’re a good person, Tim.” Jace hugged me.
“Good enough to still be your first grandchild’s godparent.”
“Well, I’ll have to ask the Lombardi’s.”
“They have already promised.”
“I wholeheartedly agree. Let’s see if we can wait a few years for that.”
I smiled. “Always thinking five steps ahead.”
He gave me a bump on my shoulder. Italian machismo.
He took the detective aside. They went to confer.
Dad asked me why I had to talk with the lawyer.
“He’s going to tell the detective not to pursue stronger charges as long as I never have to see Jeff again.’
“Good, but what about the abuse. Do you have proof.?”
“Just what Jace told me, but it involves other people who were also abused. I promised never to tell in order to protect them.”
“Well, maybe you learned some sense of values after all.”
“Hey, Dad. Did you have a dog like Max when you were my age?”
“I guess you think I really like Max.”
“Yeah. You even told Mom to get dog bones. But remember, he’s my dog.”
“I remember exactly how you feel. It’s really Max’s choice who he treats as master.”Tim 318
“You’re the boss.”
The detective and Mr. Antonio came back and told us we were finished. He promised I’d never see Jeff again.
Outside Mr. Antonio said they had negotiated a lighter sentence as long as we never revealed the information I had from Jace.
“Tim just told me about that. I think that is the wisest decision.”
“What were you two laughing about while I negotiated the fate of that boy?”
“Oh, we were fighting over who’s really the boss of Max. We decided that Max gets to choose who he gets to boss around.”
“Max, the unsung hero,” Mike Sr noted.
“Max gets all the credit he can handle. Everywhere I go, people know who he is and not a clue about me.”
“I think you might need some time out of the limelight.”
“No doubt.”

Everything settled down after the police charged Jeff with involuntary manslaughter, He was sentenced to three years adult prison, modified to juvenile detention until the age of 25. He was issued a restraining order to not come within 200 feet of John or me. A funeral was held, Jace’s body interred without incident. Jace signed to me that it was a relief that his cold flesh was no longer above ground. I had feared his ghost would disappear once his body was buried. He had read my thoughts. After the funeral he staged a mock disappearance. When I didn’t cry, he came sulking back. We had a good cry over the whole body thing, laughing as the tears flowed. Tim 219

School remained crazy. I cheated Robby through Biology and Algebra by letting him copy all my work. Somehow he learned enough to pass the final, although he got me to give him a few answers. He got an A+ in English, while I only got an A. Mr. Clark was totally crushing on Robby. He let him put on ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream,’ with all the boys dressed as girls in wigs, dresses, and garish makeup. The girls in the class were convinced to teach the boys how to walk and act like real girls. Robby had them under his spell. Mr Chavez kept after Robby to clean up his Spanish. Soon he was having dinner at Mary’s, complimenting them on el pollo. Flo, Edi and I became even closer. When it was the day of Jace’s 16th birthday, we held an orgy in his honor. Jace fully participated. The girls said they could feel his presence, while I watched his wispish performance. There was not an orifice in either girl he didn’t fully penetrate. I had worried that it was perverted to have sex with a girl who didn’t know what was being done to her. The girls confessed they could fully tell what he was doing and told me to try harder to keep up with his lovemaking. I preferred the wet dreams I continued to have where I could touch and talk to Jace, even if it was in my dreams. I called him my dreamboat. I learned it was wise to put on a condom before going to sleep. My laundry load decreased considerably. Yes, I continued to wear the gay underwear, which I won’t describe Tim 154 Tim 150 Tim 155 but will say it is Italian. I was thinking of converting when Michael and Jenna needed a godparent. Felix wanted to expand the Out & Proud franchise but found that the rest of Florida was behind Coconut Grove in gay acceptance. Eventually he found greatest success with mail order, specializing in autographed boy’s underwear for ‘tweener girls. Phillip was fired when Felix’s sugar daddy decided to replace Felix with a younger model, i.e. Phillip. I fulfilled my obligation to have dinner every week with Hippie’s moms. They remained battle axes. I decided they weren’t so old, just ancient. Hippie’s love life flourished. He decided he might be cool after all. Unfortunately the whole leisure suit thing didn’t last long enough to become a fashion statement. He tried open shirts with gold medallions but was mocked as Disco Hippie along with the Disco Duck. He still played bass and could sing like an angel. He loved being teased endlessly.

Wilkie and Jill were able to negotiate a truce between Scott and me that Saturday morning. Scott admitted his relationship with Lydia had run its course. I recognized my relationship with Tina was stalled due to the distance between us. Jill said we could make up and start over. Wilkie knew better and told us so. He went on to great Olympic glory for England, but Jill stayed American as apple pie. Scott and I left that day as friends but my heart didn’t speed up thinking we’d get back together. I’d have to tell him Jace was always watching me. We did try double-dating with Flo and Edi. Jace got jealous about Scott doing Edi. He started tickling and poking Scott which threw him off his cowboy moves. The girls said Scott was nothing like Jace, which I was glad to confirm. Scott was better to Stu and John, who continued to live with the Watt’s. John’s parents paid child support. He slowly opened up. He and Mike Jr double-teamed Stu, who calmed down somewhat until he went through puberty. His bed buddy tendencies stood him well when he really had girlfriends He always insisted they had just slept together. I believed him about half the time. The monster that was Stu at 12 was never tamed. Good sex ed from Coach Earl kept him from becoming Big Daddy at 16. Mike Jr never changed, found a girl who was the opposite of Stu (in every way) and they stayed steady until college. They married after their sophomore year.
The band, False Gods, went into seclusion to write more songs and avoid premature ejaculation over instant success. The Out-Crowd started playing shows for the younger set, with Stu and Mike Jr returning as hosts, singers, and dancers. They booked parties and Quinceanera’s all over Miami. That next summer we signed up as on-board entertainment for a Disney Cruise ship, going throughout the Caribbean, doing four shows a day. Mike Sr hired one of Jenna’s Lombardi brothers to be our manager. Soon Jenna was doing duets with Stu and Mike. Michael was the only one to enjoy the cruise life. After the summer, the Out-Crowd was offered a permanent role as the new Mickey Mouse Club in Orlando. No one wanted to move there, so the rights were sold by the Lombardi’s. Everyone got enough money to pay for college. Brittany Spears and Justin Timberlake should thank us. Robby took his share and cornered the Colombian pot trade until a Jamaican cartel moved in and made him a target. He went to Rollins College as a drama (queen) major where Mr. Clark was now a professor, extolling his living theater to rich college kids. False Gods never got a record contract. All our songs lay dormant, waiting for another era of rock n roll to discover them. That’s another story, if anyone’s interested. th

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