Friday, January 30, 2009

Femina Horibillis

Hagai Cohen

Mrs. Ruth Timmons 1996.

Mrs. Ruth Timmons, the museum curator, conducted the grand opening ceremony of the children’s museum. Thirty years earlier, she and I had worked for the same airline. I introduced myself, shook her hand, and expressed my admiration and appreciation. My name did not seem to stir any memories for her, so I said, “Do you remember me Mrs. Timmons?”

“No,” she said. “Am I supposed to know you?”

“We had a common friend.”

“And who might that be?”

“Last I know, she was called Angie,” I said.

The woman became as white as if she had taken a chlorine bath.

“I'm sorry,” she stammered, "I don’t recall any person of that name. You… you must be mistaken. And, what did you say your name was, sir? Sorry, I was preoccupied, I did not pay attention. I…I…”

“Look, Ruth,” I said, “I’m not the enemy.” To refresh her memory, I said, “We had dinner together when you told me about Robbie’s boat.”
“I was afraid it was you,” she said. “Please wait for me at the bar. I’ll join you in a few moments. I Just hear the sound of her name and I need a drink.”

While I waited, I reviewed the last thirty years since that dinner Ruth and I had had together.

Amos 1967

Angie was with my friend Amos when I met her for the first time, shortly after Amos divorced his wife of five years. They lived in a rented apartment.

I had not seen much of Amos during the years he was married. His crabby wife did not like me. As I had no idea Amos was divorced, I was surprised to find his note inviting me for dinner. “To introduce you to my girlfriend and to ask you a favor,” said the note. The favor was to prepare him and three more friends for a government 'air transport rating' test, necessary to qualify as an airline pilot, to which I agreed.

The dinner was excellent and the company exceptional. I was especially impressed with Angie; a surprisingly pleasant and well-composed person: twenty-three years old, intelligent, even-tempered, with the face of an innocent child and a smile capable of melting a stone. She was educated, an excellent cook and most important, loved Amos. Angie impressed me also with her unique bone structure and posture: straight, like a ballet dancer, without any rigidity. Her graceful movements radiated nobility. She was full of energy and charm.

“We are planning to marry as soon as our house is ready,” Angie confided. With coffee, Angie showed me the floor plan of the house they were building. “This room is for Amos’ three years old son, when he comes to visit. I already have lots of toys for him,” she said. Looking at her, I thought Amos is extremely lucky. He deserves a woman like Angie after the miserable years with his ex-wife.

We needed a few days to prepare for the course so we started intensive study four times a week at his apartment. A nice surprise awaited me as I walked in for our first session. As Angie was a cabin attendant, she always returned from her flights with colorful products: pink smoked fish from Scotland, white bratwurst from Switzerland, green wine from Portugal, black fish-eggs from Iran, purple berries, blue cheese, red salami and more. Angie set the colorful collection of products on the buffet table and left.

Angie also brought trappings for the house; kitchen gadgets, various appliances, works of art or pieces of furniture. She had good taste and decorated the apartment with a comfortable blend of modern and old. She seemed dedicated to making a pleasant home. An impressive oil painting appeared on the wall. I congratulated her on her choice. At another time, an ugly Pekinese pup yapped at me as I entered. “With a pedigree from Noah’s ark,” they bragged.

None of this interfered with our studies and Amos and friends passed the exam. Angie and Amos were so delighted they decided to throw a party for the group. The charming people and the lovely atmosphere made me propose a toast: “I am lucky to have met this handsome, loving couple,” I pronounced. “Amos deserves this affectionate, sweet and very classy lady. Theirs is a match truly made in heaven. May heaven keep them prosperous and happy. Good luck to you both. Enjoy your life together, and be happy forever."

Angie’s eyes filled with tears when she warmly hugged and kissed me Numerous times, wiping her tears with several tissues, she said, “Thank you, thank you, Yacov.”

Captain Avery Bonnelle 1968.

One evening, a few months later, I was sitting in the lobby of the Royal Monceau in Paris, waiting for a crew member who might want to join me for dinner. I was stationed in Paris for a month on a special teaching assignment. I observed Captain Avery Bonnelle walking towards me. Captain Bonnelle was famous in our company. He was a short man but laden with self-importance. Captain Avery Bonnelle demanded to be addressed with his title. Some said with acid humor, his wife was the only one allowed to call him Avery, and that “only on weekends.” Captain Avery Bonnelle was way above my league in his wardrobe, women, restaurants, cars, and friends. I could not afford even the shoes he was wearing. If he invited me to dine with him, I would need a home equity loan to pay for my share of the meal. Looking very elegant, he walked toward me so I stood up to greet him. I searched for an excuse to decline his expected invitation. To my relief, I learned he was waiting for a date.

When his dinner companion approached, you can imagine my surprise to see none other then Angie. She looked very handsome in an elegant and most becoming evening gown. She had just emerged from the beauty parlor. Her hair was done perfectly in a new style, and she exuded an expensive and alluring fragrance. A double strand pearl necklace adorned her neck. They glittered even in the lobby’s dim lighting. She was absolutely gorgeous, but also strange and distant, a different person from the one I had met with Amos. Even her word selection was different. I lost the use of my tongue and just looked upon her open-mouthed. Angie did not seem the least bit upset or embarrassed by my presence. “Ah, Mister Golan,” she said, “what brings you to Paris?” Had she forgotten my first name? I began to stutter a reply but she looked at me with an air of superiority as if to say, “Don’t bother, nobody cares.” Her posture, her expression and her body language, all expressed contempt. She muted me.

“We don’t want to be late for Maxim’s, do we?” she said to Bonnelle. She took his arm and yanked him away from me. I watched them walk to the hotel exit. With her three inch high heels, Angie was seven inches taller than Captain Avery Bonnelle. Bonnelle walked in a strange manner. Hard to tell if it was a swagger or a kind of tip-toeing. He stretched his neck in a desperate attempt to look taller.

The fact she went to dine with Captain Avery Bonnelle did not bother me. I had seen similar things in my experience. What was troubling was the alarming change in her character. And how did Amos fit in? Had she left him or was she simply unfaithful?

Captain Bonnelle and his crew left the next morning. A new crew came in – and the daily round began. I forgot about Angie and Bonnelle.

Robbie 1969

Two weeks later, still in Paris, I was on my way to the usual meeting place in the lobby when I spotted Captain Robert Taylor sitting at the bar. He called me over to join him for a drink. Captain Taylor, unlike Captain Bonnelle, insisted on being called Robbie. He was different in other ways too. He was kind and friendly. He was ever ready to help, respected all, and was a natural gentleman. He was two drinks ahead and ready for his third when I sat next to him.

“Am I glad I met you,” he said. “I need help with the auto-pilot I installed on my yacht. It doesn't maintain the course. I think it needs adjustment but I don't know how to do it.”

Robbie built the yacht in his back yard and had launched it a year earlier. It was a 60-foot Catamaran. Numerous times during its construction, Robbie asked for my help, which I gave happily. The boat was always the main topic of our conversations. “Come for a beer one day and help me with the rigging,” said Robbie.

“Sure,” I answered.

Robbie was known also for heavy drinking. “He knows how to drink" or "He can hold a drink better than anybody else,” was the admiring consensus. To me it did not seem a great virtue. I had more respect for people who knew how not to drink. But Robbie was Robbie, and I liked him anyway. I told him once that, in his previous life, he must have been a pirate who had died young of scurvy. “You’re making up for the lost drinking years and the lime you put in your vodka is a subconscious desire to prevent scurvy.”

Robbie was a playboy, handsome and sensual. “He has a long line of women waiting to park their shoes under his bed,” a knowledgeable woman once told me. The line was long but sometimes it got thick, and the number of shoes parked under Robbie’s bed was not two but four, six and even eight, unless one shoe was drowned in the punch bowl.

Robbie was also a good storyteller and one of his stories became relevant to the current events. He started with his typical opening.

“The other day I took a woman to Roger les Grenouilles, a restaurant in the Quartier Latin, renowned for its frog legs and its erotic atmosphere. They sure crippled many frogs for us. We emptied a few carafes, joined a sing-along with the guests, and had a great time. My companion decided she needed better exposure so she climbed onto the table, removed her shirt and proceeded to twist topless to the music. I thought it would be a good idea to join her, so I removed my shirt and joined her on the table. The owners, far from objecting, encouraged this behavior. While gyrating, I picked up a carafe to drink. Unfortunately, the carafe was empty. Still holding the empty carafe, I went for my belt, as it was too tight. The owner got the wrong impression and, in less than two seconds, some waitresses took my lady friend and me down. They led us directly to the bar where they served us ‘just un petit verre, pour la route,’ meaning this cognac is on the house and you’d better be on your way immediately. We drank the cognac, and, very drunk, got into a cab.

“At the hotel, the first room we fell into was mine. I cannot remember what happened during the night, but when I awoke the next morning, I was lying on my side at the edge of the bed with an unbelievable hangover. Through bleary eyes, I saw a naked woman’s rump within easy reach, legs and all, but I could see no torso. For the first time in my life, I was scared. ‘So this is what they do to sinners,’ I said to myself for I was sure I had arrived in hell. ‘They cut us into two halves, and let each wander in space desperately searching for the other.’ I was on the verge of tears. ‘I guess I deserve it,’ I thought.

“I tried to get out of bed, but I could not move. I was now only the top of Robbie, the upper part of what used to be me. I was petrified for what seemed like an eternity, until the top half of the lady came up from over the side of the bed with some clothes in her hands and stood up. I began to laugh hysterically from the sheer relief of this discovery. The lady was certain I had lost my mind.”

Robbie’s story generated much comment. We wanted to know who the lady was, but Robbie was discrete, and never told. We took to calling the nameless woman “The Hangover Lady.”

While Robbie and I chatted over our drinks, a woman approached the bar. She looked somewhere between a bimbo and a whore. She had a bandana holding her hair, a knotted shirt lifting her breasts and cut-off jeans. She looked sexy, and provocative. Knowing Robbie, I was not surprised to see this cheap looking woman approach him. When she got closer, I was astonished to recognize Angie. I was about to say: “Well, Angie, do you plan to make some money at Place Pigalle, to cover the expenses at ‘chez Maxims?’ You must be deep in debt after that last supper.” But I did not have the courage. I leaned towards Robbie and whispered in his ear: “The Hangover Lady?”

Robbie, who had already done with his third drink, winked at me and said:“Affirmative.”

Angie not only looked different, she also assumed a completely new personality and, once again, a different style of speech. She said little but what she said was vulgar and unpleasant.

Robbie excused himself and went off with Angie. I remained at the bar, confused. I was preoccupied with thoughts about Angie the entire evening and for the last few days of my stay in Paris. Who are you Angie? The housewife, Mrs. Amos? Classy Baroness Bonnelle? Or Robbie's bimbo?

Back at home, a few weeks later, my eyes caught a headline in a lurid tabloid, which I bought for relaxation: “THE CAPTAIN, THE HOSTESS, THE TRAINEE PILOT AND THE DOG.” It related the story of a certain famous married Captain (no name) having an affair with a female cabin attendant (no name). The cabin attendant lives with a trainee pilot whom she plans to marry. They are building a house together. The married Captain, having difficulties seeing the hostess, buys her a Pekinese. While the trainee pilot walks the dog, the Captain sneaks in for a 'quickie.' Unidentified sources said the captain got a bargain at Georgio Armani fashion house where he bought a fancy designer evening gown for his playmate and a suit for himself. He bought her a pearl necklace at Stern’s and an oil painting at Sotheby.

I was impressed with the reporter’s research. During the sixties, every airline captain was a celebrity, especially Avery Bonnelle who was a journalist himself and made sure the jet era people would not be forgotten. It was a weird sensation to participate in the story as an outsider. I knew the people, I had seen the dress and the suit, admired the necklace and the painting, and even stroked the ugly dog. I had a strong urge to find out more about it. The person to talk to was Ruth, a cabin attendant who was both friendly with me, and a confidante of Angie.

Ruth 1968.

I kept the magazine handy in my flight bag until Ruth was assigned to my flight. She read the article twice and finally she said: “She'll be OK with Amos as long as more details are not exposed. ”

“What details?” I asked.

“I am sorry I can’t talk about it”

“Is it about Robbie?” I blurted. It was a fast draw, a bull’s eye.

“What do you know about Robbie?” She asked, frightened.

“A dinner with a nice bottle of wine and an exchange of information - treat on me,” I said.

She accepted reluctantly.

“Ok,” I said to her after the wine, “what's missing in the story?”

She took a long breath. “You know Robbie has a boat?” she started.

“Yes I know.”

“Do you have any idea what goes on aboard the boat?"

“If I know Robbie, it is an unending party,” I said.

“Yes,” she agreed. “But it's unique.”

“What do you mean?"


“Sounds like Robbie.”

“No, you don't understand. It's not Robbie, it's Angie.”

“What do you mean, Robbie’s boat, and Robbie doesn't know?"

“He doesn't know. Robbie lets Angie use the parked boat when he's away on flights. She runs sex parties.”

“So what’s wrong with that?


“Yes, I heard rumors about it too.”

“She films the action.”

“Maybe she wants to improve her technique,” I suggested.

“You dumb-head,” she almost screamed. “She makes porno movies.” People in the restaurant were looking at us.

I couldn't believe my ears. “I don’t understand. Are you suggesting Angie makes porno movies as a business?”

“I'm not suggesting.”

“Please explain.”

“Angie uses professional photographers and editors and then sells copies.”

“And who are the participants in the show?"

“None are professionals. She lures people like a siren and uses their weaknesses.”

“Do they know they are being filmed?"
“Yes. They wear masks and wigs, and makeup too hides a lot, but they have no idea about the commercial part of it.”

“Isn’t she afraid someone will spill the beans?"

“Angie keeps still photos of each one of the participants with the incriminating action at the background. Angie calls it ‘insurance.’ She is the brain, the director and the producer."

“Does she participate?”

“Sometimes, to break the ice and to encourage nervy people. It looks good on the screen when people move from being scared into giving a zesty performance.”

“Who pays for the booze, the food, and the rest of the expenses?”

“Angie - she runs the show.”

“Is she doing drugs?”

“No, no drugs; she doesn't even allow smoking.”

“How do you know so many details? Have you participated in the filming?”

“No, no, definitely not! I was invited once, just to look. That’s how Angie recruits new participants. First, it's just for fun. Then it’s the still photo with the action in the background. But I did not allow even that and, because I'm friendly with her, she did not press me too hard.”
“Do you know of any people who wanted out and she wouldn’t let them?”

“If there were any, I don't know about them. I think they could leave whenever they wanted. Her insurance was to keep them quiet, not to force them to participate.”

This story was heavy stuff. Ruth was nervous and troubled. “I'm afraid of Angie,” she said.

“Why?” I said.

“I'm engaged,” she said, “to a man who is one of the nominees for president of PASCAL INSTITUTION. Angie can jeopardize my marriage and ruin my fiancé's career. I have to play her game forever.”

Ruth had finally got rid of her excess baggage and left me holding it.

“What do you plan to do?” she asked. “Will you tell Robbie?”

“I think Robbie should know she is conducting illegal activities on his boat. I don't know how to tell him. I don't want to expose you as the informer and drag you into conflict with Angie. I’ll find a way,” I said, “and I am most sorry for Amos.”

Our appetite lost, we ate little and silently after that. It was not a pleasant evening.

Several events took place in the course of the coming weeks after the publication of the article in the newspaper. The house Amos and Angie were building was abandoned and the contractor was fired. Robbie found out about Angie’s activities on his boat but not through me. He moved his boat to a remote marina and told everybody it needed repairs. He was afraid a snoopy reporter would get to him. I believe he never sailed it again. I never got to fix his autopilot.

Captain Avery Bonnelle apparently stopped spending on Angie and with money to spare, his wife was seen driving a new red Mustang convertible.

Angie kept a low profile, took a long vacation and eventually resigned and was not seen in public any more.

Joe Bar-Shalit 1968

A group of new pilot recruits joined our company. It comprised young men from Argentina, Peru, Tunisia, England, America, and other countries. The pilot with the most impressive credentials in the group was the American, Joe Bar-Shalit. He was charismatic and spoke a perfect sophisticated English. He presented letters of recommendation from several chief pilots of well-known airlines. His logbook showed he had flown 5000 hours. He seemed eminently suitable for our airline.

“How come,” I asked him, “a clean-cut American boy with a Boston accent has such a Hebrew name?”

“Well,” said Joe, “my family is an old Spanish Jewish family, and we have kept this name since my ancestors left Spain at the time of the inquisition.”

“My family is also from Spain,” I said. “Maybe one day we can compare records, if you have any.”

“Sure, why not, we’ll do it after I finish my training.”
Joe Bar-Shalit did not do well in his training. He had difficulties handling the plane. His performance was not up to his credentials. In addition, although he passed ground school with high marks, his knowledge of aircraft systems was minimal. But Joe Bar-Shalit was a favorite of our chief pilot.

“This guy with his low pitch voice and his perfect professional language will teach the boys some basics,” said the chief pilot to me one day. “I want you to help me with Joe Bar-Shalit. He's a good man but overwhelmed by our big planes. He needs coaching. I want you to find out what his problem is, and try to help him.”

I wasn’t happy with the way I had ‘volunteered.’ I did not know how to help him or what his problem was. I paid him a visit. As I entered Joe’s living room, right in front of me, I saw the painting Bonnelle gave Angie hanging on the wall. “Joe,” I blurted, “is Angie your girl?"

“How do you know?” There was a hint of alarm in his voice.

“Well, I think I heard it from someone,” I prevaricated.

"Who told you? Who else knows about it?” Joe was very disturbed.

I felt as if I stepped on a mound of manure. Something was so wrong, it was weird. “Relax Joe, nobody told me. I just recognized the painting. I saw it when she bought it.”

“Look,” said Joe “it’s a delicate matter. We don’t want anybody to know about it. Publicity will not help her or me. She doesn't work for the company anymore and Bonnelle is one of my checkers.”

“Don't worry, Joe. Nobody will hear it from me.”

I was assigned to fly with Joe and his instructor and for two months, we flew together. During that time, we sat many long hours in hotel rooms and in restaurants, discussing his performance but his progress was slight. Unfortunately for Joe and despite our efforts, he did not make it and was fired after six months.

While in training, Joe behaved bizarrely every time we arrived in New York. After we parked at the gate, Joe would apologize he had to catch a train or make some other excuse, and there in the cockpit, change from his uniform into a suit - each time a different suit and each time a different hat. I did not see him again after he was fired nor did I ever see him with Angie. A year later, I had forgotten them. In the fast lane of airline life, new stories and new characters come marching in day-by-day.

Chuck 1969

One afternoon, I opened the door of my New York hotel room to a knock. Of the three men standing there, I knew one. He was Chuck, our New York chief security officer. The two others showed badges and said: “FBI. May we come in?”

“Sure," I said. “Come in.”

“We would like to ask you a few questions,” said one of them. “Do you know a man by the name of John Clark?”

“No. I don't.”

“We have reason to believe you do.”
“I'm sorry, I wish I could help you, but I really don't know anybody called John Clark.”

“You have been seen talking to him."

“Look gentlemen,” I said, a bit annoyed. “I talk to a lot of people I don't know. Maybe your man is one of them.”

One FBI man whispered to the other. He nodded, pulled an envelope from his vest pocket and showed me a photograph.

“Yes,” I said, “this is me and the guy is Joe Bar Shalit.” I was in uniform and Joe in plain clothes, dark glasses and hat covering his face.

“Repeat the name please.”

“Joe Bar Shalit.”

The man took a notebook out of his pocket. “How do you spell that?”
I told him.

“What can you tell us about him?”

I told them what I knew and when I mentioned he was a trainee pilot, our security officer turned white. He had had no idea. The FBI was looking for Joe, and found me because of my airline uniform. I was beginning to understand why Joe always changed on the airplane. Every one entering America is photographed. The FBI man pulled out another photo and asked: “Do you know who this is?”

It was Angie. She wore a business suit and held an attaché case. She was now a curly blonde and her hair framed her face very attractively, hiding most of it. I was beginning to feel insecure; the FBI was looking for Joe and Angie. I had no idea why, but if they found out I knew Angie, I’d be dragged deeper into the case. “No,” I said, “I have no idea who she is.”

“Well,” said the FBI man, “thank you so much for your help. We appreciate it. If you see any one of them, please give us a call.”

“What's the lady's name, in case I run into them?"

“Her name is Mariana Harper and she's from Memphis.”
Mariana Harper, my foot! I said to myself. How many more surprises do you carry in your bag, Angie?

Chuck, our security officer, stayed on after the FBI left. “Come,” said he, “I’ll buy you coffee and you'll fill me in.”

I gave Chuck a hard time for not checking out Joe Bar-Shalit earlier. “His name was suspicious enough to instigate a thorough check” I said.

Chuck told me Joe was a con man. “About two years ago he pretended he wanted to buy an airplane from a Texas Ranger. He took off for a ‘few circuits to check it out’ and flew the plane to Mexico, where he sold it and disappeared with $250000. Recently, Mariana appeared in Memphis at the same time as John Clark and the F.B.I. thinks they are together. Mariana is the only survivor of the Harper’s, a rich Memphis family. She went up north and nobody heard from her for years. She reappeared six months ago and hired a lawyer who filed a claim on the Harper’s inheritance. Before the case went to court, she sold the property to the lawyer handling the case for twenty five percent of its value. The deal seemed legitimate, but the FBI became suspicious when the money trail disappeared to a numbered account somewhere. The FBI thinks Clark is after her money. They are sure she is being used. They are desperate to warn her.” Now I began to doubt whether the blonde in the photograph was Angie. I decided not to tell Chuck a thing.

During the coming months, I met Chuck several times. At our last meeting, Chuck told me Joe-John had been caught but the woman Mariana, had disappeared into thin air.

Mrs. Ruth Timmons - 1975

Some years later, I got lucky. Ruth was a passenger on my flight. “Have you heard anything from Angie?” I asked, as if enquiring of an old friend.
“Did you know about her last boyfriend?" she asked.

"Yes," I said. “Joe Bar-Shalit.” Ruth looked much surprised and confused. “How do you know about it? It was a secret they kept from everybody and were careful not to be seen together.”


“Angie did not give me any reason at the time. Only, after he was arrested, she told me Joe was a criminal wanted by the FBI. He was using her and got her into trouble. For some reason they kept two separate apartments. When they came to get him, she was on the street. She saw the commotion and managed to escape. She drove to Mexico, then flew to Canada, returned to the States and finally bought a ticket to Australia.”

I raised an eyebrow.

“You know, luck is always on her side,” she continued.

“Do I hear a trace of jealousy in your voice, Ruth?” I said.

“No,” she replied, “but whatever she wanted she got.”

“OK, tell me what makes her so lucky?”

Angie told me Joe left her broke; she said she bought the ticket to Australia with her last penny. But, as I said, she was lucky. On the long flight, the Pan Am First Officer fell in love with her; it was love at first sight. They got married five days later. He was stationed in Sydney for a year. After returning to the States, they bought a house in Seattle on Lake Washington and she gave birth to a girl.

“Are they still together?”

“Divorced; but he left her the house.”

“Look” I said to her, “this is an unbelievable story. With the FBI on her tail, how could she get in and out of the USA so many times without being caught?”

“You don't know anything about Angie do you?”

“What don’t I know?”

“Angie was never her name; it was only the name she chose to use.”
So she's not Angie and she's not Mariana, I was thinking, and probably she has many more names. Who the hell are you, Angie, or whatever your name is?

“Angie was one of identical twins. Liz was the other,” continued Ruth. They grew up without parents. Since they were very young, they discovered the power they possessed as twins. It started as small practical jokes and very quickly became ‘unethical’ to say the least. When they started to date, they swapped the boyfriends. At one time, they switched in the middle of dinner date and the lad could not believe the amount of food his date could eat. They pretended to be erratic and inconsistent so they could switch in the middle and continue with a new topic. Both of them were excellent actresses. They could assume any personality and pretend to be any character they chose.

One man, who dated one when they were nineteen, they tortured by switching while making love and exhausted him completely. They cruelly and viciously played with his emotions until he lost his mind. He wrote a suicide note planning to kill himself next to his girlfriend with a nail gun. He had tampered with the gun’s safety features to make sure it would work, but before he managed to shoot himself, the gun went off. The nail penetrated the girl’s forehead, between the eyes and killed her. The court decided the suicide note was a cover up for pre-meditated murder.

Was It Liz? Or was it Angie? Nobody knows as the remaining sister changed identities. The sisters used different family names before hand, to make their malicious game more affective. The one who called herself Angie ended up with two passports and two identification cards, which she used at will. With the death of her sister, she became amoral, dishonest, mean, and vicious. Although she claimed Bar-Shalit used her, I am sure she was using him. She found in him a partner but definitely outsmarted him. She used Amos, Captain Avery Bonnelle, Robbie, and probably many others as well.

Mrs. Ruth Timmons 1996

“Don’t mention Angie again,” was the first thing Mrs. Timmons said when she joined me at the bar. “I do not want to have anything to do with her. Her name gives me the creeps. Last time I heard from her was three years ago. She didn't tell me from where she was telephoning and I didn’t ask. She changed places without leaving a forwarding address. Every time I heard her voice, I thought it was a ransom call”

“What is she doing with her life?” I asked.

“Nothing. She takes care of her daughter.”

“Why is she on the run?”

“Joe was released from prison at 1983. Since then, he has been looking for her.”


“I believe,” said Ruth, carefully selecting the right words, “I believe, there is an unsettled financial dispute between them.”

“You mean she screwed him on the Memphis deal?”

“Yes, she took the stolen money and ran, but how do you know about Memphis?”

“Never mind.”
After a long pause, she said, “I don’t believe I am telling you this.”

“Telling me what?”

“About Angie.”

“Angie? Angie who? Never heard of any Angie,” I said and we both laughed.



Amos married and is still with his wife, raising four children.

Captain Avery Bonnelle was not involved with any more scandals and is now in retirement. The vintage mustang was bought by an old car collector, only now it is white, not red.

One gusty, blustery, stormy night Robbie’s boat banged several times against the jetty. The damage was irreparable. Robbie collected the insurance, resigned, and lived on a boat in Spain for ten years. He died at the age of seventy-five. At his funeral, thirty-six years after the glorious Angie era, we recalled “the hangover lady” story and chuckled.

Joe Bar Shalit spent five years in a federal penitentiary during which he had to use his given name.

Ruth, the prominent lady, is today married to the president of a world-renowned research institution. She claims she never knew any person by the name of Angie.

Angie, if she ever existed, disappeared off the face of the earth.

The End

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