It Started at the Red Apple Rest


 

Tony B knew he wanted to make Ann his wife, but then things became a little complicated.

Being the old dog most men usually are, Tony B still had his goomaras in NY City, who he would bang vociferously on the weekdays when he was not in Greenwood Lake. And after the frozen rubber incident, Tony decided not to have sex with Ann in the Caddy any more. After all, what were they? Lowlifes? Getting a hotel room was the right thing to do.

There were a few hotels and motels in the neighboring towns of Warwick and Monroe, and Tony B used almost all of them at one time or another for his trysts with Ann, alternating them, so as not to fall into a pattern, in case he was clocked by law enforcement, or God-forbid, by someone who wanted Tony B very dead.

Then after they were finished doing what they were doing Tony B always made sure he got Ann home at a reasonable time, usually around midnight, so he wouldn’t have to run into her drunken, Irish -bastard father, who worked weekends delivering the New York Daily News.

O’Reilly’s newspaper delivery job usually kept him out until dawn, but sometimes he got home earlier, because he had paid a flunky to do the deliveries, while he hit almost every bar from Lower Manhattan up to Greenwood Lake. By that time, that Irish punk was ready to get rough with his wife, daughter, or anyone else who might get in his way. Tony B knew it was just a matter of time before he would have to flatten the drunken bastard.

One Saturday night, Tony B took Ann home just before midnight. Betty O’Reilly was sitting on the living room couch, watching an old movie on a 21-inch black and white RCA television. She was balancing a large snifter of brandy in her right hand. Tony B knew it wasn’t Remy, Hennessy, or any other premium brand. It was her usual, Christian Brothers brandy, a rotgut so vile, the Christian Brothers who produced it should burn forever in the fires of hell. Betty received limited funds from her husband to run the house, so spending his money on decent booze was just not in her budget.

“Oh, you kids are home early,” Betty said. She stood up and waved the wretched snifter in front of Tony’s face which immediately curled up his nose hairs. “Care for a bit of brandy?”

“No thank you,” Tony said. “I need to be headed back to NY City tonight.”

“Oh, I thought you stood up here until Sunday night?” she said.

Tony said, “I usually do, but something came up and I have to be in on city on Sunday.”

Betty noticed a large, white stain on Tony B’s Levi Strauss blue jeans, suspiciously near the zipper. Tony B liked the comfort of jeans when he was in the country, as New Yorkers called Greenwood Lake. In the 4th and 6th Ward, blue jeans were worn only by plumbers, electricians, handymen and bums.

Betty pointed at the stain and her eyes twinkled. “You really shouldn’t go back to the city with that milk stain on your jeans.”

Tony B looked down at the stain and raked his forefinger across it. “Nah, that’s not milk. It’s probably some toothpaste. I brushed my teeth a little while ago.”

Betty said, “Ann has a pair of your jeans upstairs in her closet that you stained around Christmas. I washed and pressed them for you. Why don’t you go upstairs and change into those jeans. I’ll wash and press these and have them ready for you next weekend.”

Without thinking, Tony B did what she suggested.

The next Friday night, Tony B went to the O’Reilly residence to pick up Ann. When he arrived, Ann was upstairs dressing and Betty was sitting on a love seat in the living room. Judging by the glow on her face, she was sipping about her fourth martini of the evening.

Betty stood and waved the martini in Tony B’s nose. “Let me get your jeans from last weekend.”

She went upstairs and soon returned with Tony B’s jeans, draped on a wire hanger. She handed Tony B the jeans. Then she slipped a six-pack box of rubbers, with three missing, in Tony B’s other hand. She smiled and said, “You left these in your jeans last weekend.”

Betty took a long sip of the martini, then popped open the top two buttons on her blouse. Tony B could see she was not wearing a bra.

“Well, at least I know you’re doing the right thing with my daughter,” Betty said, fingering the next button down on her blouse. “And don’t worry, I didn’t tell my husband about the rubbers. In fact after what happened the last time, I don’t even mention the word rubbers to my husband even when I’m referring to his rain boots.” She popped open another button on her blouse.

Just before Tony B had a heart attack, Ann came down the steps into the living room. Tony B grabbed her hand, mumbled a fast goodbye to Betty and nearly dragged Ann out the front door of the house.

When they were safely in Tony B’s car Ann said, “What was that all about?”

Tony B told her about the found box of rubbers, but omitted the part about her mother doing a slow striptease in front of him.

Dog that he was, Tony B knew that there inevitably would be more action later concerning her mother, he must also keep a secret from Ann.

Tony B and Ann were dating for about six months, when Ann began applying the pressure for Tony to declare as to his intentions concerning their future. In other words, “When are we going to get freaking married?”

The only problem was, Tony B found it extremely difficult to ask Ann for her hand in marriage, when he was also banging her sweet old mother.

Truly, it wasn’t Tony B’s fault. He was a victim of unavoidable circumstances. And anything concerning his penis close to a willing female, was definitely unavoidable.

One day, he came to pick up Ann at the O’Reilly resident. Betty answered the door, and there she was, half dressed in panties and a negligee.

“Is Ann in?” Tony B stammered. Knowing full well that was impossible, considering the way her mother was dressed.

Betty spread her legs slightly and Tony B could see she was wearing no underwear. “No, she just went out shopping for a while. She’s be home in an hour, or two. She asked me to keep you company.”

And that she did. Right on the couch in the living room, with the shade open slightly, so they could see if either Ann, or that crazy Irish bastard husband of hers were parking in the driveway.

Then things got slightly out of hand. And that also was not Tony B’s fault.

Out of nowhere, Betty started making veiled threats, that she would tell her daughter about Tony B’s actions, unless Tony B started plowing her fields on a more regular basis. For example, like at least once a week.

Tony B decided to do as he was told.

For their weekly trysts, he settled on the Red Apple Rest, which was a famed rest stop/cafeteria, located in Tuxedo, NY, on Route 17, just over the treacherous, two-lane Route 17 A leading to Greenwood Lake. The Red Apple Rest consisted of a large cafeteria and a small motel across the road on top of a steep hill.

During the 40’s, The Red Apple Rest was basically a rest station for the Jews and Jewish comedians who were on their way to the Borscht Belt Hotel Resorts in the Catskill. The Red Apple Rest was approximately half way between New York City and Jewish Resorts like Grossingers, Browns, Brickmans and the Concord Hotel. Hotel guests heading to the Borscht Belt stopped at the Red Apple Rest for refreshments and to hit the head. While the working comedians stopped to eat, crap and steal each others jokes.

When the NY Thruway was built in the early 50’s, it bypassed the Red Apple Rest. Due to the decreased traffic, the Red Apple’s Rest’s popularity declined. Still many Jews jumped off the Thruway at Tuxedo to patronized the Red Apple Rest bathrooms. Or to sample crap Kosher dishes like vegetable-barley soup, lox with vegetable cream cheese and raw onions on huge onion bagels or bialys, corned beef, tongue, brisket and pastrami sandwiches, knishes, tomato herring sandwiches and freakin’ sardines packed in tomato sauce.

Tony B hated all this Jewish junk, but the Red Apple Rest was the perfect place for him to meet Betty, since he was sure he’d never run into any of his Italian, or Irish friends in a place packed with Hebes.

Once a week, on a weekday afternoon about 2pm, Tony B would rent a room at the Red Apple Rest under an assumed name. Then he’d zip up the FDR Drive, across the George Washington Bridge. Route 4 to Paramus, New Jersey. Then Route 17 back into New York near Ramapo, through Sloatsburg, through the town of Tuxedo, right to the Red Apple Rest. With the rush hour traffic not yet starting, Tony B could make it from Little Italy to the Red Apple Rest in 45 minutes flat, doing his customary 90 miles an hour, with a trusty radar detector set on the dashboard.

Each and every time Tony B banged Betty, he told her he loved her daughter and really didn’t particularly like what he was doing.

“That’s alright,” Betty wold say. “I’m not looking for love and I figure this might be the best way for me to keep you from banging those fat Italian bimbos in New York City.”

Just when things started to get unbearable for Tony B, two things happened that changed the equation enormously.

The first thing was that Ann inexplicably became pregnant. Tony B had always used a rubber and somehow the rubber failed to work. Tony B would find out why later. And would do something about it.

The second thing was that Tony B finally cold-cocked that fat Irish bum Ryan O’Reilly and came off looking like a good guy doing so.

Ann getting pregnant caused Tony B to rethink he whole outlook on life. No matter what, he was still a Catholic and a back-room abortion was not an option. This was before Roe versus Wade became law and when it did, Tony B thought it was about two ways to cross a shallow stream.

Tony B and Ann decided to do the right thing and get married. Which would not please either of her parents too much, but for totally different reasons. For one thing, Tony B banging Betty would become a thing of the past, since Tony B and Ann decided they would make their home in New York City, making Tony B’s trips to the Red Apple Rest almost impossible. And certainly impractical.

Plus, Betty decided having sex with her daughter’s boyfriend was one thing. But banging bodies ugly with her son-in-law was absolutely out of the question.

As for blasting out Ryan O’Reilly, this was one opportunity Tony B could not possibly pass up.

It happened at a Labor Day weekend picnic, sponsored by the New York Daily News. O’Reilly bought four tickets to the picnic and he drove Betty, Ann and Tony B in his boxy, Buick station wagon, to a remote New Jersey campsite, in a town that might as well have been called Nowhere, New Jersey, as far as Tony B was concerned.

They started out at the O’Reilly residence, the head onto Jersey Avenue, through West Milford. Then after about a dozen turns down winding country roads and maybe a hour of driving, they came to a clearing in the woods, which was the site of the picnic.

Right off the bat, O’Reilly left his family for dead at a picnic table and began mingling, with Daily News female staffers. He did this right in the open, so everyone could see the embarrassment he was causing his wife and daughter. He puts his arms around different broads, kissed them on the cheek, on the neck, patted their buttocks. Things like that.

After an hour, or so of steady drinking by O’Reilly, Tony B spotted him grabbing a blond by the arm, then disappearing into the woods with her. Betty noticed this too and when her husband came back to the table about a half hour later all hell broke loose.

“And where the hell were you?” Betty said.

O’Reilly took a slug from a can of Schlitz. “Why don’t you mind your own fuckin’ business?”

Betty was irate. “Well, screw you then. You do that again, I’m taking the car and driving the kids back home.”

“Do what you want,” he said. “I’ll find my way back.”

That said, he left his family at the picnic table again and started making the rounds of the female pulchritude at the picnic.

Betty soon changed from drinking beer, to boilermakers, which were double shots of whiskey, followed by gulps of beer.

As the afternoon wore down, it was time for the Daily News raffle. First Prize was a Basket of Cheer, which was about a half a dozen bottles of booze, surrounded by cheese, crackers, and chocolates, arranged in a large wicker basket. The numbers on the stub of your ticket for admission was your chance at the gold.

Tony B sat at the picnic table with Ann and Betty. O’Reilly was somewhere in the crowd, probably feeling up a broad.

The bloke at the microphone was tilting in the wind, when he asked a young lass in a tight sweater, to come up and pick the winning ticket out of a metal bucket. He mixed up the stubs. She closed her eyes, reached deep in the bucket and pulled out a single stub. The half-a-drunk master of ceremonies held up the stub to what was left of the light and read, “The wining ticket number is 04-123-758.”

Tony B was barely interested, when Ann grabbed the stub from his hand. Sure enough, the numbers on it were 04-123-758.

Ann stood up from the picnic table, waving the stub. “We have a winner here.”

Ann hustled up to the MC and handed him the stub. The MC squinted at the stub. “Looks like we do have a winner.” He handed Ann the Basket of Cheer.

She brought it back to the picnic table and handed it to Tony B, just as her father arrived at the table. “Tony won the Basket of Cheer,” she told her father.

O’Reilly tugged the basket out of Tony B’s hand. “Like hell, this wop won. I bought the freakin’ ticket. The prize is mine.”

Tony B really could give a crap about the Basket of Cheer, but what O’Reilly did next was totally out of line.

Betty tried to take the Basket of Cheer back from her husband. He pulled back, and with his free right open hand, he smacked her across the cheek. Then he backhanded her other cheek, causing blood to trickle from her nose.

You could hear the collective gasp from the people at the picnic. But O’Reilly size was so intimidating, no one said, or did a thing.

Except for Tony B of course, who immediately stood up and delivered an overhand right to O’Reilly’s temple, felling him backwards, like a big oak toppling in a rain forest. Tony B hovered over O’Reilly, thinking about landing a few kicks, but O’Reilly was already out cold.

The picnic was winding down anyway. So two men helped Tony B carry O’Reilly to his Buick station wagon. They threw him in the back seat and Betty got in the back seat with him. Tony B took the wheel and Ann served as his co-pilot, since Tony B didn’t know where the hell they were, or how to get back to Greenwood Lake.

Tony B put the car in gear and exited the campsite. “Now where do I go?” he asked Ann.

“Just keep driving straight,” Ann said. “I’ll tell you where to turn.”

Tony B had driven about 20 minutes when he finally realized they were lost. Ann told him a right turn here, a left turn there, but the fact was, she didn’t know where the hell she was going either.

It was now dark and Tony B was still driving on desolate two-lane forest roads. One after another.

After about a hour of probably driving in circles, Tony saw a road sign with a yellow arrow that said, “Florida, – 5 miles.”

Now Tony B knew he was really screwed, since everyone knew Florida was in Miami, not in New York. He was worried the next sign he’d see would say “Key West – 20 miles.” Then he’d really be in a jam.

Panic began setting in. Tony B looked at his watch. It said 9 pm. He came to a fork in the road and stopped. Betty yelled from the back seat, “I know where we are. Take the right fork.”

Tony B was really angry. “Right fork? What am I eating salad here? Which way do I go?”

Betty bit her lip. “Bear right.” Knowing full well if she had said “Bear Left” Tony B would have thought hunting season was over.

Tony took the right fork. And dammit, another two-lane forest road. It was pitch black now, with a little fog, so Tony B flipped on his hight beams, by tapping the button on the floor by his left foot, which made matters worse.

Suddenly, O’Reilly’s head rose in the back seat, like he was coming out of a coffin. His eyes were blurry and he started to say, “What the F……” when Betty clocked him over the head with a frying pan, she had for some reason on the floor under the front seat. Her husband made a sound like a wounded animal, then fell back to sleep.

Fifteen minutes later, they entered the town of Warwick and Tony B let out a sigh of relief. He knew the way from there.

When they arrived at the O’Reilly residence, Tony B’s wristwatch said 10 pm. So an hour trip took approximately two and a half hours, because nobody awake in the car, including Tony B, knew where the hell they were going.

Tony B dragged O’Reilly from the car and tried to stand him up straight. It was no use. So Tony B put O’Reilly’s right arm around his shoulder. Betty did the same on the left and Ann unlocked the front door of the house. They somehow got the big lug into the house, up the stairs and into the master bedroom, where they flung him onto the bed. O’Reilly lay back, snoring with his mouth wide open, which was not a pretty site to Tony B.

Tony B kissed Ann on the lips goodbye. A long, passionate kiss. Then he tried to kiss Betty on the cheek. She turned her head and offered her puckered lips instead. Not taking the bait, Tony did an about -face and exited the house. He jumped in his car, hit the ignition and headed back to civilization — good old New York City.

It happened at a Labor Day weekend picnic, sponsored by the New York Daily News. O’Reilly bought four tickets to the picnic and he drove Betty, Ann and Tony B in his boxy, Buick station wagon, to a remote New Jersey campsite, in a town that might as well have been called Nowhere, New Jersey, as far as Tony B was concerned.

They started out at the O’Reilly residence, the head onto Jersey Avenue, through West Milford. Then after about a dozen turns down winding country roads and maybe a hour of driving, they came to a clearing in the woods, which was the site of the picnic.

Right off the bat, O’Reilly left his family for dead at a picnic table and began mingling, with Daily News female staffers. He did this right in the open, so everyone could see the embarrassment he was causing his wife and daughter. He puts his arms around different broads, kissed them on the cheek, on the neck, patted their buttocks. Things like that.

After an hour, or so of steady drinking by O’Reilly, Tony B spotted him grabbing a blond by the arm, then disappearing into the woods with her. Betty noticed this too and when her husband came back to the table about a half hour later all hell broke loose.

“And where the hell were you?” Betty said.

O’Reilly took a slug from a can of Schlitz. “Why don’t you mind your own fuckin’ business?”

Betty was irate. “Well, screw you then. You do that again, I’m taking the car and driving the kids back home.”

“Do what you want,” he said. “I’ll find my way back.”

That said, he left his family at the picnic table again and started making the rounds of the female pulchritude at the picnic.

Betty soon changed from drinking beer, to boilermakers, which were double shots of whiskey, followed by gulps of beer.

As the afternoon wore down, it was time for the Daily News raffle. First Prize was a Basket of Cheer, which was about a half a dozen bottles of booze, surrounded by cheese, crackers, and chocolates, arranged in a large wicker basket. The numbers on the stub of your ticket for admission was your chance at the gold.

Tony B sat at the picnic table with Ann and Betty. O’Reilly was somewhere in the crowd, probably feeling up a broad.

The bloke at the microphone was tilting in the wind, when he asked a young lass in a tight sweater, to come up and pick the winning ticket out of a metal bucket. He mixed up the stubs. She closed her eyes, reached deep in the bucket and pulled out a single stub. The half-a-drunk master of ceremonies held up the stub to what was left of the light and read, “The wining ticket number is 04-123-758.”

Tony B was barely interested, when Ann grabbed the stub from his hand. Sure enough, the numbers on it were 04-123-758.

Ann stood up from the picnic table, waving the stub. “We have a winner here.”

Ann hustled up to the MC and handed him the stub. The MC squinted at the stub. “Looks like we do have a winner.” He handed Ann the Basket of Cheer.

She brought it back to the picnic table and handed it to Tony B, just as her father arrived at the table. “Tony won the Basket of Cheer,” she told her father.

O’Reilly tugged the basket out of Tony B’s hand. “Like hell, this wop won. I bought the freakin’ ticket. The prize is mine.”

Tony B really could give a crap about the Basket of Cheer, but what O’Reilly did next was totally out of line.

Betty tried to take the Basket of Cheer back from her husband. He pulled back, and with his free right open hand, he smacked her across the cheek. Then he backhanded her other cheek, causing blood to trickle from her nose.

You could hear the collective gasp from the people at the picnic. But O’Reilly size was so intimidating, no one said, or did a thing.

Except for Tony B of course, who immediately stood up and delivered an overhand right to O’Reilly’s temple, felling him backwards, like a big oak toppling in a rain forest. Tony B hovered over O’Reilly, thinking about landing a few kicks, but O’Reilly was already out cold.

The picnic was winding down anyway. So two men helped Tony B carry O’Reilly to his Buick station wagon. They threw him in the back seat and Betty got in the back seat with him. Tony B took the wheel and Ann served as his co-pilot, since Tony B didn’t know where the hell they were, or how to get back to Greenwood Lake.

Tony B put the car in gear and exited the campsite. “Now where do I go?” he asked Ann.

“Just keep driving straight,” Ann said. “I’ll tell you where to turn.”

Tony B had driven about 20 minutes when he finally realized they were lost. Ann told him a right turn here, a left turn there, but the fact was, she didn’t know where the hell she was going either.

It was now dark and Tony B was still driving on desolate two-lane forest roads. One after another.

After about a hour of probably driving in circles, Tony saw a road sign with a yellow arrow that said, “Florida, – 5 miles.”

Now Tony B knew he was really screwed, since everyone knew Florida was in Miami, not in New York. He was worried the next sign he’d see would say “Key West – 20 miles.” Then he’d really be in a jam.

Panic began setting in. Tony B looked at his watch. It said 9 pm. He came to a fork in the road and stopped. Betty yelled from the back seat, “I know where we are. Take the right fork.”

Tony B was really angry. “Right fork? What am I eating salad here? Which way do I go?”

Betty bit her lip. “Bear right.” Knowing full well if she had said “Bear Left” Tony B would have thought hunting season was over.

Tony took the right fork. And dammit, another two-lane forest road. It was pitch black now, with a little fog, so Tony B flipped on his hight beams, by tapping the button on the floor by his left foot, which made matters worse.

Suddenly, O’Reilly’s head rose in the back seat, like he was coming out of a coffin. His eyes were blurry and he started to say, “What the F……” when Betty clocked him over the head with a frying pan, she had for some reason on the floor under the front seat. Her husband made a sound like a wounded animal, then fell back to sleep.

Fifteen minutes later, they entered the town of Warwick and Tony B let out a sigh of relief. He knew the way from there.

When they arrived at the O’Reilly residence, Tony B’s wristwatch said 10 pm. So an hour trip took approximately two and a half hours, because nobody awake in the car, including Tony B, knew where the hell they were going.

Tony B dragged O’Reilly from the car and tried to stand him up straight. It was no use. So Tony B put O’Reilly’s right arm around his shoulder. Betty did the same on the left and Ann unlocked the front door of the house. They somehow got the big lug into the house, up the stairs and into the master bedroom, where they flung him onto the bed. O’Reilly lay back, snoring with his mouth wide open, which was not a pretty site to Tony B.

Tony B kissed Ann on the lips goodbye. A long, passionate kiss. Then he tried to kiss Betty on the cheek. She turned her head and offered her puckered lips instead. Not taking the bait, Tony did an about -face and exited the house. He jumped in his car, hit the ignition and headed back to civilization — good old New York City.

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