Several times a year the bright young cops from Indiana Avenue would stop the Old Goat going up 16th Street NW. Not the 4th District regulars, who know, essentially, who's going through their territory and when. But the young ones from headquarters who can't resist it when they see somebody who fits their police academy drunk profile: a middle-aged man in an old car, late at night or early in the morning, going just under the speed limit.
So, one morning, when the sun was just about to come up, the Old Goat was pulled over and the young officer asked if the driver had been drinking.
"I will be in about 10 minutes," he replied, "if you let me go." He said he had just finished a night shift. The Clean Young Man requested the Old Goat's driver's license and registration, and then said: "Would you mind walking this white line out here in the street?" The Old Goat said no, he wouldn't mind, and walked down the stripe, and then the officer said no, you have to go heel and toe.
The motorist said he didn't know what heel and toe meant, and so the officer said, "Look, you do it like this: your left heel and your right toe and then your right heel and your left toe, like this," and he headed down the white stripe, and just then another police car, probably from the 4th, pulled up and stopped across the street, and the driver called out the window: "What the hell are you doing?"
So the Bright Young Man walked back up the white line and told the Old Goat to get the hell out of there.
Over the years Kelly had gotten into the habit of walking through the white-collar offices and passing the time of night with whoever happened to be working late. Kelly was in the mechanical department. You knew his name was Kelly because it was embroidered on his work shirt, just above the patch bearing the company logo.
As it happened, the Old Goat had a daughter named Kelly, and she was of the age when she was into such things as horseback riding, parachute jumping and men's shirts, and had long since worn her father's old Army shirts into tatters. It occurred to the Old Goat that perhaps he could parlay his relationship with the engineer into a shirt.
"I'd like to get a shirt like that for my daughter," he told Kelly one Friday night.
"No problem," Kelly said.
"I'll pay for it."
"No problem. They're all in the laundry. You in a hurry?"
"No problem. Give me a week or so."
So in a week or so Kelly showed up with a lunch bag and shoved it at the Old Goat, who peered in and saw the khaki fabric rolled up inside the bag.
"Thanks," he said. "How much do I owe you?"
The girl's birthday was coming up, and so, without removing the shirt from its lunch bag, the Old Goat wrapped it up and tossed it onto the birthday pile.
As Kelly opened the package that morning she held the shirt up and an expression of delight crossed her face. She read the corporate logo aloud and then, clutching the shirt to her breast, said: "It's marvelous. Who is Al?"
God knows how,
but the public relations man had
wound up representing the Arizona Cotton Growers Association instead of General Motors, and his assignment was to put together an exhibit, cheap, for the association at the Arizona State Fair.
But he was an idea man, after all, and over a weekend of gin and tonic he dreamed up a scheme that would cost almost nothing. On Monday morning he telephoned the art department at Arizona State University and asked if there might be a young artist who would be interested in doing some painting.
There was--Ted. And he was interested in, even excited about, the proposition: for $100 plus materials, he would paint a mural depicting the history of Arizona cotton, from prehistoric Indian times to the present. This mural would be 16 feet long and 8 feet high, and he would paint it during the two-week fair, making his first brush stroke on the morning of the first day and his last brush stroke at the fair's closing.
With an advance check Ted rushed out and bought some paint and brushes and had a lumber yard build a working surface of four sheets of 4-foot by 8-foot untempered masonite, framed in 2 by 8s.
Ted worked out sketches and transferred them to slides. The afternoon before the fair was to open the lumber was delivered and Ted and the PR man unloaded it off the truck (it weighed about 1,800 pounds) and began underpainting the masonite with flat white house paint.
By the second day of the fair the underpainting was virtually finished, and it was dry by the end of the first week, and Ted and the PR man worked all weekend getting two-thirds of the sketch laid onto the surface using a slide projector.
By the end of the fair the two men had consumed a full case of bourbon and most of the blue was in the mural, but the Indians at the left did not look particularly good in blue.
In December, a month after the fair had ended and the public relations firm was in financial ruin and the artist and his wife were near starvation again, the executive secretary of the Arizona State Fair Commission telephoned to say the mural, finished or unfinished, had to be moved.
Ted and the PR man moved the mural to the one-bedroom garden apartment where the artist lived, and, because it would not fit inside, they leaned it against the front wall, against the eaves, so that without very close inspection, a passerby could not tell that an apartment was there.
Through the winter Ted worked to finish the mural, because it was to be presented to the cotton growers at their annual meeting in February. He finished it in time and the mural was taken to the Westward Ho Hotel, where a door had to be removed to get it into the ballroom. There the cotton growers looked at it and hated it. Ted hadn't gotten the blue out of the Indians.
After the annual meeting, the painting remained several days at the hotel, until the manager made angry telephone calls, and then it was decided that the mural should be presented to the State of Arizona, because cotton was such a vital part of the economy. Gov. Paul Fannin accepted it with a wan smile, and ordered it sent to the fairgrounds for permanent display.
As the year passed, Ted left Arizona and the PR man went on to other accounts, keeping the cotton growers for another last year, and of course in the fall the Arizona State Fair came around again and he had to think up something new. So he went out to the fairgrounds to look around, and as he entered the big doors of the Agriculture Building he saw a fine 4-H Club exhibit going up, with a giant white sign with posters on it showing 4-H achievements of past and present.
Looking closely at the fresh white paint, on the left, he could discern the vague outlines of a tribe of blue Indians.