The Warwick Drive-In

In 1960, Tony B met the love of his life, Ann O’Reilly, a lovely Irish lass, who was a librarian at the local Greenwood Lake library. Tony was used to the Italian broads in Little Italy, who were a little rough around the edges, didn’t hesitated to curse and would cut your throat like a man. Ann was different. Blond and built like Ginger Rodgers, she had a sweet smile and a vocabulary an English professor would admire. Tony B met Ann, when he dropped into the Greenwood Lake library to pick up the biography of Al Capone, for some light summer reading.
It was love at first sight for Tony B. He had never met a girl like Ann before. So soft and sweet, always smiling. Not bad thing in the world to say about anyone. Not like the bawdy cuginettes, strutting about Manhattan’s Little Italy and Bay Ridge in Brooklyn whom Tony B hung usually around with. The kind of broads who were either snapping their chewing gum, puffing an unfiltered Camel, or cursing and spitting out of the side of their mouths.
After a few more trips to the Greenwood Lake library, and after he ran out of mob books for Ann to find for him, Tony B asked her for a date. She accepted and Tony B was floating on air when he arrived at the door of her Greenwood Lake home.
But not for long.
Tony B didn’t know it at the time, but the problem men had with dating Ann, was her loud, vulgar, Irish-bastard father, who was incidentally the Major of Greenwood Lake and loving every minute of it.
Ryan O’Reilly drove a Daily News delivery track for a living, and that being a union job, he was controlled by friends of Tony B’s. In truth, O’Reilly did not like Italians too much. He called them Guineas, Greaseballs, Dagos and Wops. And that was on the days he was feeling good about them.
Wearing his best sharkskin suit and holding two dozen roses in his hand, Tony B knocked on the O’Reilly resident door. It was opened by a big, fat, tub of lard, whose immense figure blocked the entire entrance.
“Yeah, what do you want!” Ryan O’Reilly snapped at Tony B.
Tony B forced a smile. “I’m here to pick up your daughter, sir.”
“My daughter? What is this? Some kind of sick joke?”
That said, O’Reilly slammed the door in Tony B’s face.
Tony B could hear the Mick bastard scream from inside the house, “Oh Bejesus. What, in Paddy O’Leary’s name is that greaseball doing at my front door?”
The door soon opened and a pretty, middle-aged, blond woman appeared. She smiled at Tony B. “You must be Tony. I’m Ann’s mother Betty. Please have a seat on the porch and my daughter will be out shortly.”
Tony B He sat on a wicker chair. “Thank you, ma’am.”
“Can I get you some ice tea, or a soda?” Betty said.
“No thanks, Ma’am.”
Betty smiled. “I’ll tell Ann you’re outside waiting for her.”
That said, she sashayed back inside the house and Tony B could not help but admire her fine rear end.
A few minutes later, a stunning Ann O’Reilly walked out the front door.
Thus, started their first date. The first of many more to come.
Tony B didn’t think it was a good idea to take a classy lady like Ann to one of the hot joints in Greenwood Lake, at least not on the first date. So he thought it would be a nice idea to take her to the Warwick Drive-In Movie, which was just on the other side of the scenic Mt. Peter, on Route 17 A.
Tony B was a little confused as to what the proper protocol was on a first date with a class act like Ann. Most of the bimbos Tony dated in NY City, would open their legs wide on a first date, as easy as opening a bottle beer with a church key. But Ann was different, so Tony B decided to proceed with caution.
They were sitting at the Warwick Drive-In, in Tony’s 1960 black Fleetwood Cadillac convertible, with the top up, watching Anatomy of a Murder, starring James Stewart. The Caddy had red leather, bench seats in the front, and Tony B didn’t exactly know how far he should slide over to the middle, without giving the impression he was trying to get fresh. So Tony B sat far left in the driver’s seat, almost touching the driver’s door, not to give the impression he was about to put on any moves.
The speakers in the Drive-In were hooked to poles jammed into the ground, with a removable speaker attached to either side of the pole. It was situated so that two cars could share one pole, with each having their own speaker. You removed the speaker from the pole, slid your window down a bit and hooked the speaker onto your window,
After picking up a box of Bob Bon’s, a large bucket of popcorn and two sodas at the Drive-In- refreshment stand, Tony pulled the Caddy into a parking spot, halfway back from the screen, in the middle of the Drive-In. He parked so that the speaker was by Ann’s window, so that she could hear the movie more clearly. It was the courteous thing to do.
Soon after, a small foreign car pulled on the other side of the pole. The driver removed the other speaker and hooked it onto his window.
Tony and Ann watched the movie quietly, with nary a word passing between them. Which was kind of strange since they were not in a movie house, where speaking out loud was considered not of good decorum. But when Tony B got nervous, he clammed up. Better to say nothing than to say the wrong thing, especially on a first date.
The movie had a decent plot, and Tony had a soft spot for the killer, played by Ben Gazzara, an Italian paisan, born and bred on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. In the movie, Gazzara’s character is on trial for killing the creep who raped his wife, played by Lee Remick, who looked strikingly like the girl sitting right next to Tony B.
Ann wore a tight black cashmere sweater, over a black cotton skirt, cut at the knee, and ever so often Tony B would peek at her shapely legs from the corner of his eye.
The movie ended and a second feature was about to start. It was called Night of the Giant Leeches. Tony B knew a few two-legged leeches in his lifetime, but as soon as the first scene started, Ann let out a soft moan.
“You like these kind of movies?” Tony B said.
Ann shivered. “No. I actually hate them.”
“Do you want to split? ”
“Yes, that would be a good idea.”
Tony B started the car, put it in drive and pulled away from the parking spot, unfortunately before Ann could remove the speaker from her window.
Tony B’s Caddy moved barely twenty feet, when he heard, a loud crack and Ann screaming.
Tony B glanced to his right and saw that he had pulled the speaker pole right out of the ground, and in the process, had snapped the fogged window out of the small foreign car parked next to them, sending shards of glass flying in all directions.
Tony B stepped on the accelerator and yelled to Ann, “Quick, unhook the speaker from the window!”
She did just that, and Tony B screeched a wheelie to the left, swirling up the gravel. He looked in his rear view mirror and spotted the driver of the foreign car dart out the driver’s door, then fall flat on his face. The dope’s pants were around his ankles and those not immersed in the Attack of the Giants Leeches, got a clear look at his skinny ass and embarassing half-a-hardon.
Tony B floored the Caddy, raced out of the Drive-In, sped over the Mt. Peter and didn’t stop until he was safely back in Greenwood Lake.
The Warwick Drive-In became the weekly Saturday night date for the two lovebirds. Instead of stopping at the Warwick’s Drive-In’s refreshment stand, Tony B stocked his car with treats from home, including beer and sometimes scotch, or brandy, which came in handy on the cold winter nights, when Tony B had to keep his car running, the heater on full blast, just to keep from freezing.
As the weeks and months passed by, Tony B and Ann sat closer together in the front seat of the Caddy. Showing her the proper respect she deserved, Tony B limited his amorous attempts to no more than kissing and light petting. And an occasional hand exploration of her curvy body.
Starting around the Christmas holidays of 1962, things took a turn for the better. It started with Ann giving him an occasional hand job, because Tony B convinced her, if she didn’t relieve him in some way, he’d get a bad case of the “blue balls”, which would render him bent over in terrible pain.
One thing led to another and pretty soon it was time for the main event.
Tony B always carried a rubber in his wallet, just in case. The Saturday before Christmas, while Norman Bates, the proprietor of the Bates Motel, was going Psycho on the big screen and the temperature outside in Warwick was nearing zero degrees, Tony B and Ann, rubber in place, consummated the relationship in the back seat of the Caddy. After the deed was done, Tony B removed the soggy rubber and flung it out the passengers side window.
They watched the rest of the movie, and after Norman Bates dressed in his mother’s clothes and a scraggly wig, tried to slice up a female guest and was thereby sent to the nuthouse, Tony B started the Caddy, left the Warwick Drive-In and headed back to Ann’s Greenwood Lake home.
He parked in her home driveway, nose of the Caddy facing in.
“Come inside” Ann said. “My parents bought you a Christmas present.”
Tony B cut the ignition and he and Ann entered the front door of the O’Reilly residence. The living room was decorated in Early American, with a huge Christmas tree with presents under it propped up by the front bay window.
Ann’s mother Betty was radiant as ever. A forty-something fox with roving eyes, especially after she had imbibed a few martinis, which was almost every night. Tony B figured, a woman with an husband like Ryan O’Reilly, had to knock down a few regularly just not to go crazy.
“Oh Tony, so good to see you,” Betty said. She was holding an empty martini glass delicately by her right ear. “Can I get you something to drink?”
Tony and Ann sat on the couch.
“No thanks, ma’am,” Tony B said, “I have to be going in a few minutes.”
“Oh don’t be silly,” Betty said. “I was just about to refill mine. How about a small martini?”
“Could you make it a scotch, straight up, instead?” Tony B said.
“One scotch, neat, coming up.” Betty said. She turned to Ann. “Anything for you dear?”
“No mom, I’m fine,” Ann said
Betty did an unsteady about-face and disappeared into the kitchen.
Tony B and Ann sat on the couch and she snuggled her head on his shoulder.
“Mom’s a little tight,” Ann said.
“I’d be tight too, if I woke up every morning next to your father,” Tony B said.
Ann returned with two drinks and handed Tony B the scotch.
“I propose a toast,” Betty said.
She raided her glass. Tony B did the same.
“To you and my daughter,” Betty said.
“Salute’,” Tony said, and he watched in amazement as Betty downed her entire martini in one gigantic gulp.
Ann got up from the couch and went to the Christmas tree. She bent down, extracted a present from the bunch and handed it to Tony B.
“This is from my parents,” Ann said. “I’ll give you yours from me on Christmas day.”
Tony B was in the process of ripping off the Christmas wrapping paper, when the front door bolted open and Ryan O’Reilly burst through.
He stared at Tony B with murder in his eyes.
“Come here you!” he said. “You have some explaining to do.”
Tony B stood tall. “What’s the problem?”
O’Reilly busted over, grabbed Tony B’s arm and squeezed. “Come outside and I’ll show you.”
He pushed Tony B towards the front door.
Tony B wanted to sucker punch this bastard so bad, but he took a deep breath, then headed out the front door, with O’Reilly and the two females following.
Tony B stood by the driver’s door of his Caddy. “Well, what is it?”
O’Reilly strode around the back of the Caddy to the passengers side. He motioned to Tony B with his forefinger. “Wrong side of the car. Come over here.”
Tony B obeyed, and when he saw what was making O’Reilly angry, he almost swallowed his tongue.
There it was, the spent rubber Tony B had used at the Warwick Drive-In, frozen stuck on the passenger side of the car, back panel, near the trunk.
Tony B felt sweat running down the back of his neck, even though it was near zero degrees in Greenwood Lake. “I swear to God, I don’t know how it got there,” Tony B said.
Ann rushed around the side of the car. When she saw the rubber, she gasped and to stifle a scream, she held her right hand to her mouth. Betty followed her, but when she saw what all the commotion was about, her mouth formed a tight smile.
O’Reilly’s face had now turned beet red and Tony B knew it wasn’t from the cold.
“I’m listening,” O’Reilly said.
Tony B took a deep breath. “It must be Skinny Benny, or Richie Ratface. They live a few blocks from here. They must have followed me and planted it.”
The veins bulged in O’Reilly’s neck. “They planted a used rubber on your car? And who do you think they used the rubber on?”
Tony B forced himself to finger the frozen rubber. “This is just frozen milk on the rubber. Here, touch it. See for yourself.”
O’Reilly scrunched up his mouth, “Touch it? What are you, some kind of a nut? I’m not going to touch it.”
Betty marched up to the rubber and dipped her forefinger into the frozen goo. She put her finger to her mouth, licked it, smiled and said, “It’s milk alright. Some kind of sick joke to play on the holy days.”
Tony B stared indignantly at O’Reilly. “See, I told you it was milk.”
Without saying other word, Tony B played his act to the hilt. He got into the car, started the engine, backed out of the driveway and sped away, burning rubber (but not that rubber) on the icy street.
From that point on, Tony B knew he had an ally in Betty O’Reilly. And he couldn’t help but get a little hard at the thought of his girlfriend’s mother, licking his frozen come off her forefinger so cheerfully.


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