CHAD AND THE DEALER

 

 

    When I returned to Stockton after the winter break I had a new roommate.  I walked into my room to find it changed around.  Whoever he was, he had also taken down some pictures I had up and put up posters of pin-up girls.  I had yet to meet him and I already did not like him.

    His name was Chad Ragalla and he was not at all like myself.  He looked like a South Philly Italian and wished he were.  His jet-black hair was styled in the Joe Casino look.  The disco music drove me crazy.

    Chad had a friend he graduated high school with who often came over to visit and go out with him.  He was eighteen years old and just like Chad with the exceptions that his hair was blond, he was not Italian, and he loved his career as a craps dealer at the Sands casino.  All he did was talk about how great the job was and how he made so much money he was soon going to buy a Porsche.  He did a lot of cocaine and said everyone at work did it in the locker room.  And he had my interest.

    I asked him about working in the casino.  He said it was great and told me how he could steal money off the game.  He said to come to his table and he would slide over some $500 checks while dealing to me.  It was sounding good, but it never happened.

    Chad's friend's job in the casino was short lived.  He came over one evening and told us how two days before his girlfriend's father was going to help him buy the Porsche he wanted, he got fired from work.  I think it was for call-ins.  He mentioned how angry he became when the Shiftboss told him he was fired.  He took his shirt and ripped it apart sending buttons flying all over the boss.  For that, he said, he would be blackballed from the business and had to start thinking about a new career.  I never saw him after that day.

 

    After school I went back to Carbondale to spend the summer.  I got back my old job in the dress factory I worked in during high school and an apartment with a friend we called Tuff-guy.  And when it was time to leave the arrangement to return to Stockton he tried to talk me out of it.  I must say I was tempted.  We were having the time of our lives.  But the main reason I almost stayed wasn't so much for the life style, but for Lisa.  We met in Carbondale that summer and became good friends.  She was only sixteen, but I fell in love with her.  My heart was bleeding.  For the first time in my life I felt what it was to be in love.  Or, at the least, heavily infatuated.  Never before had I this sensation.  But I just dummied-up and went back to school in September.  It would turn out to be a semester that would have a permanent effect on the rest of my life.

 
 
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Dedication

Behind These Eyes

Chapter  1 - OVERTURE

Chapter  2 - IN THE BEGINNING

Chapter  3 - MY FIRST SHOT

Chapter  4 - CHAD AND THE DEALER

Chapter  5 - THE DECISION TO DEAL

Chapter  6 - LICENSE TO STEAL

Chapter  7 - CASINO SCHOOL

Chapter  8 - SPRING '84

Chapter  9 - GETTING IN--THE AUDITION

Chapter 10 - BREAKING IN

Chapter 11 - LEARNING THE BIZ

Chapter 12 - SHOOTING DICE: THE HOOK

Chapter 13 - THE CITY, THE CASINOS, AND THE MOB

Chapter 14 - THE MOVE TO GET OUT

Chapter 15 - FIRED BY THE MAFIA

Chapter 16 - ALONG COMES MARY

Chapter 17 - THE TROP

Chapter 18 - OUTSIDE THE BIZ

Chapter 19 - BACK IN THE BIZ--ANOTHER AUDITION

Chapter 20 - THE BIRTH OF NICOLE

Chapter 21 - TRUMP: THE ART OF THE STEAL

Chapter 22 - PREVIEWS OF THINGS TO COME

Chapter 23 - THE BREAK-UP

Chapter 24 - THE NUT HOUSE

Chapter 25 - RECOVERY

Chapter 26 - PARENTAL ALIENATION

Chapter 27 - FIRED FROM TRUMP

Chapter 28 - I FIGHT FOR NICOLE

Chapter 29 - THE RUN-A-ROUND

Chapter 30 - THROWING IN THE TOWEL

Chapter 31 - WHAT NOW

GLOSSARY