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The Legend of Cubby Cranston, A Novel
© 2023 James LaFond
Copyright 2023 James LaFond
A Crackpot Book
Lynn Lockhart Publisher
Dwight and Gerald Cranston were ten and eleven-and-a-half respectively, when Daddy permitted his Uncle Cubby to stay the night with them while he and Mommy went to the hospital to bring their little sister into the world. When Daddy forbade Uncle Cubby to “tell any tall tales to my children,” Dwight and Gerald looked at one another in brotherly solidarity, determined not to rest that night until Uncle Cubby had told them “all and tall” the tales of his youth that had resulted in him becoming Uncle Cubby rather than a respected community Daddy.
For Oliver “Incognegro” Hayes
Based on the actual events surrounding “Crazy” Mark “Porch”, Jim Bob the seafood clerk, Jeremy the cashier, Old Man Jimmy the janitor, R. J. the vigilante and the author in Northeast Baltimore City, from September 2006 through November 2016, compressed into a fiction spanning September to November 2006.
Inspired by the Epic of Gilgamesh
“I do not credit the account of the Egyptians in this matter, but do here relate it…”
-Herodotus, Inquires
Dramatic Personalities
Porch, also known as “Sasquatch,” “Big Cellar” and most improbably as Mark, and in this case, most often as “Crazy” Mark, for the Quarry Krew did not accept that a mythic creature of such rapacity could be contained by a mere government name.
Cubby, also Uncle Cubby and Cubby Cranstan, the narrator and chronicler of this “precautionary” tale, chronicler of the Quarry Krew
Milkcrate Bush, the smallest of the Quarry Krew
Flutey Rickshaw, the lightest of the Quarry Krew
Banker Tubbs, the biggest of the Quarry Krew
Penny Niglet, the youngest of the Quarry Krew
Ashy Skidmark, the darkest of the Quarry Krew
Sawtooth Bigz, the oldest of the Quarry Krew
The Belair Road Corridor of U.S. Route #1, in Northeast Baltimore, bordered on the South by Hamilton Avenue, on the North by Glenmore Avenue, on the East by Cedonia Avenue and on the West by Walther Boulevard. The center of the Quarry Krew’s activity was the 100 foot high quarry face that rose behind the old grocery store and was impassible from east to west between White Avenue and Glenmore, except for the overgrown stairwell behind the Ice House.
The Huddle Alley was fenced on the east where it overlooked the Grocery Store, Car Wash and brick row houses running, in that order, south from the Overgrown Stair, behind and below the brick terrace row houses built above the old quarry.
Author’s Notes
The young fellows that hunted myself, Mark, Jim Bob, Jeremy, R.J., Old Man Jimmy, and other pale pedestrians in tacit alliance with the Baltimore City Police Department, Northeastern Precinct, belonged to numerous cliques and sets. The following account is an attempt to identify that group that successfully ambushed Jim Bob thrice, Jeremy once and Old Man Jimmy twice, and who broke off their pursuit of me late one November night when I entered an older gang’s territory by crossing Walther Boulevard.
Unlike we more timid souls, Mark and R.J. battled these prototypical thugs and even the Purge squads of men in this territory, from about 1990 to 2016. The result was Mark being arrested numerous times and then disappearing, and of R.J. being beaten to death by the cops. Having lived this life, and having been the last pale pedestrian to traverse these areas by night without either the cops or the thugs getting me, I am of the opinion that this situation was intolerable, only due to the police. And am further of the mind, that should we Primitive Caucasoid apes have been left alone by the might of the BPD, that we would have managed a tacit truce with our hereditary, man-hunting foes of a more saintly hue.
In retrospect, and at the time of my Baltimore pedestrian odyssey, I had no thought that the young thugs were nearly as evil as they could have been, nor, in the main, as evil as they were individually inclined to be. For instance, the fellows that ran the territory through which the Quarry Krew were afraid to track me by night, raped and murdered and burned a 15-year-old girl in 2015, in her grandmother’s house, and were not sentenced for this crime, but defended for it, by the government and urban elites. Such sadistic killers represent the true will of the ruling elites of Urban America, and strike fear into the hearts of ordinary criminal youth.
It is my desire, in writing this novel, to tell the most probable tale of a group of youthful passing foes, who hunted me in my decline, even as we all dodged the attentions of the murderous adult thugs that ruled their lives and the tyrannical police thugs that governed mine. [1]
So far as I know only Jim Bob and I made it out of Baltimore alive, and not to thrive, but as aged white trash blown forth by the civic winds. I’d like to think that perhaps one of those boys that coursed me like hounds after a hare, from Cedonia to Whalther that late summer night, made his way out of that shit hole city of Our Birth to be a man in a better place.
-James, from a Portland, Oregon garage cot, 3/7/22
I sit half blind in New Jersey having considered 14 novels from my in progress list and have found this one and three others worthy of completion, this coming summer, as I am scheduled to linger for a month in the very place where these events took place.
-Tuesday, May 30, 2023
-1. On two occasions, in 2009, as the manager of the Old Grocery, I gave Mark $20 for beating up some of these kids, with whom he had a three year old feud ongoing, who were mugging my clerks on the way to and from work.
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shrouds of aryas
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