OUTSIDE THE BIZ

 

 

    The first time I saw my father alone after Mary and I told him he was going to be a grandfather was at his office.  He looked over to me and said, "You are of course going to marry her as soon as possible."  I could only tell him, no.

    My reasons were strong enough for me.  It was simply that I did not trust her.  There were too many circumstances, which had me doubting her intent.  My biggest suspicion was her greed.

    Mary's pregnancy came too conveniently after we thought I was going to make a cool quarter mill off the Spencer Gifts deal.  She proved how much she loved money by stealing it from Exxon. At the time it seemed that I was well on my way to becoming a millionaire.  I was sure she would be the type willing to bring my child into the world for a shot at that.  She swore up and down that it was an accident, but it just didn't add up.

    Mary quit working two weeks after she moved in with me.  Not only that, but she would not pay any of the bills promised. I not only paid the house's bills but hers as well.  She promised she would pay me back after she won the lawsuit from the accident she had leaving my house a year ago.  I believed that and loved her enough to make the payments, some $1100, but when it came time to repay, she stiffed me.

    There were other bills, but I wasn't going for them.  I told her I was cutting her off and that she better go back to work. She had big responsibilities now.  Instead, she started sweeping floors and scrubbing toilets for minimum wage in offices and banks after hours.  (And she thought standing at a wheel for six out of eight hours was too strenuous.)  And, even though her bills were twice as much as she made, she had no problem charging like crazy come Christmas time.

    Christmas with her was different.  I always had a bah-humbug attitude about the holidays ever since learning what the casinos actually did. I never was in the Christmas spirit and neither was Leif after he began working.  We never got in the mood to decorate or get a tree.  But Mary never spent a Christmas in the casino, all she cared about was playing house according to the rules of television.

    The bills were piling up and Mary did not seem to care.  Her willingness to let us fall further into debt was starting to get on my nerves.  I wanted to get out of the casino--not create a further need for it.  When I mentioned her not paying the half of the rent as promised, she told me not to worry, that my father would take care of it.  That was just it, he was taking care of my half already.  If I knew he was going to lose the $300 a month Leif provided, I would have never permitted her to move in.  If she hadn't, she would have continued working at Caesar's and paying her share of the rent with her roommates.  She would not of had a choice.  It started to seem like she was taking us for a free ride.  But I was willing to give her every chance to prove me wrong.

    January of 1988 did not start off as I had hoped.  Mary wouldn't go to a small New Years Eve party with me the night I quit the Tropicana.  That made me upset.  She just sat in the house waiting for me to get home by midnight.

    At the party I saw many old friends and one guy who had been a blackjack dealer when I worked at Bally's but now had long hair and a beard.  He was so relaxed not working in the pit anymore and I could not wait to feel the same.

    But sales with NightSky Enterprises were slow, so I had to take a job delivering pizza in order to pay the bills.  At the same time, I had rented an office about an hour from the house, closer to the people I had to deal with.  Orders from the 800 number still went to my house, but were processed at the other location.  I would spend nine to five there and then work six to two for the two jerks who owned Somers Point Pizza, which was the corporate name for all the Domino's Pizza places they owned in Atlantic County.  It was a rough time that had me working 88 hours and driving 1000 miles a week in the dead of winter.

    Even though the mural business was not going well I was getting all kinds of invitations to attend different functions.  One invitation was to appear as a guest on a TV show.

    It aired live at midnight.  After a few minutes in the studio I wanted to leave.  The entire situation was strange.  The host kept me there after the interview for the entire show to help answer questions said to have been called in by viewers, only I think made up by his wife.  All he wanted to do was gain a sponsor to keep his show on the air and all I did was make a fool out of myself.  Mary received no orders and three phone calls from a few crackpots. It was an experience I would soon forget.

    The mural won a Philadelphia printing award.  Mary and I got to attend a dinner for the event that was held at some fancy hotel in the city.  The entire event was a waste of money.  I spent hundreds of dollars on the entry fee and for dinner tickets for the two of us, Dick Walter, and the artist, who, by then, I was beginning to believe was a relative of Dick's. The Heavens Above! mural won a gold medal, but it shouldn't have.  It probably won as a result of either a fix being in or because it was the only entry in its category and the group holding the competition just wanted to collect the winnerís fee I would have to fork over. A low blow came during the cocktail reception when Mary overheard Dick ask the artist what he thought of the display and then state to him with a smirk that they (The Neo-Graphics Art Association) made me look like a fool.  I was convinced the fix was in and the Boys had something to do with it as a plan to further ruin me financially.  I also gathered Walter was in on it as well.  After the dinner, Mary and I had a good time drinking and dancing in the nightclub that was inside the hotel.

    My suspicions about Richard "Dick" Walter ripping me off was proven correct when I answered an invitation to set up a display at the Apollo Rendezvous and Amateur Telescope Making Competition in Dayton, Ohio.

    Mary went with me to Dayton.  It would be our first time alone together since our daughter Nicole was born.  But even there she showed me her frigidity, which was starting to become quite often.

    We left around midnight after a quick stop at the office to pick up what we would need.  The drive took twelve hours, which I drove straight through.

    We arrived very tired.  It was around noon.  A wake up call was put in for six o'clock so we would not miss a presentation at the planetarium.  The front desk never called.  After I was through bitching them out I went over to the Museum to find the presentation already over.

    As I was walking out I looked inside the gift shop and saw a box with the name Night Sky Star Stencil.  It was made in Ashland, Oregon by a company called Ursa Minor.  Right away I knew it was that bastard Walter.

    It was made one of the ways we discussed, had the name I wanted to use, and the name of a constellation as the company name just like I told Walter I wanted to do but was talked out of.  Not only that, I knew Dick Walter was from Oregon and had gone there for two weeks after I met him.  He never told me he was going out of town and when his secretary told me he left I became very watchful thinking he was running with my idea.  Not watchful enough I guess.

    Dick also belonged to the Rotary Club.  My patent and trademark lawyer Thomas Lennox also belonged to that organization.  The club is an "old boy" network of businessmen who use their influence to gain each other favors.  Dick brought me to a lunch there one afternoon to meet some of his boys. The entire club was filled with stuffed shirts.

    One man I met was the president of Midlantic Bank of Haddonfield, New Jersey.  They were the guys who funded a lot of Donald Trump's casino binges and whose bank Trump deposited his money and drew our paychecks from. Just before the first advertisement broke in Astronomy magazine I went to this bank to set up an account for accepting Visa and Mastercard.

    It was during the height of the S & L scandals when bankers and lawyers were taking Americans.  You remember how Ronald Ray-gun and George Bush put their hands together after winning the victory for the deregulation of the savings and loans business.  That was so Neil Bush and his friends could rob the American people blind and which Neil did, never having to go to jail.  (And you wonder why people want to be president.)  After business hours I met with the president of the bank to get everything needed for being a credit card merchant.  While there, I witnessed a lady come to him and state that there was some- thing wrong with the books, that the numbers didn't add up.  He looked at the page and said that it was no problem; he would just change the numbers around.  And he did.  I think it had to do with bonds.

 

    During this period of being removed from the casinos I read a book review in the Atlantic City Press on a book entitled America's Playground.  I do not recall the name of the author, but he was a local boy who had graduated from Holy Spirit High School in Absecon.  He was a young man around 22 years of age who had done just about every job (including dealing) in the casino and wrote a novel on it.  I never read the book because it had to be total bullshit Mafia ass kissing because he never once mentioned how the business was truly run.  If he had I would not be writing this today.

    Also, Dick Walter was telling me he heard "they" wanted Donald Trump to run for president.  I told him I was against that, but would not say why. One thing was for sure; we could not have a gangster like him running the country.  Not that it would be any worse than if Bush were president.  Thinking that the Boys might make it a reality, I started writing this book.

    I had bought my first computer from one of Mary's cousins.  I thought it might help with the business.  Along with the business software he gave me, I also got a word processing program.  Little by little I worked on the book while Mary slept.  I never told her and kept it under a secret pass code so even if she came across it she would not be able to read it.  I did a few pages and forgot about it until the summer.

    It seemed that no matter where I went I was in a nest of crooks. The representative from James River (the paper supplier), Alan Worth, jerked me off with my first order because I would not give him the kick back he was hinting at.  The filmmaker in Philly did the same thing as did Dick Walter and some of the printers I was going to use until I found an honest one I trusted.  Between Mary, the cops, the casinos, the government, and the businessmen I was dealing with, I could not find honesty or integrity anywhere.  I no longer wanted to have anything to do with any of them.  My trust and belief in the American system became one of disgrace.  I neglected NightSky Enter- prises and went with the dummy up job.

 
 
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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