God he was a fox. Finely feathered hair parted straight down the middle, olive-colored young skin, and quite a show off if I remember correctly. Danny had moved from Maryland out to Idaho to go to school. He was the assistant manager at the M&W Market where yours truly was employed -- my very first job, bagging groceries for $2.90 per hour. A union gig. Danny would show up at work each afternoon straight from what I'm sure had been an industrious day at school. And in the employee break room he would change into his work clothes and apron. He would drop his pants completely to the floor, change shirts, bring it all back up, and top off the whole package with a beautifully colored orange apron complete with name tag and ink stains. Pretty. Man oh man, I'd stare while those pants were down. Well, truth be told, I would not stare. I was only 16. He was far older....say, 20 or so ancient years. Finding every excuse in the book to hang around, I'd stay at least until those pants were down.
Danny drove a Vega. A yellow Vega. We would ride around town occasionally in that thing. Him divulging all sorts of stories about "doing her" in the backseat of his Vega. Oy. I didn't want to hear it then and I don't want to hear it now. But thinking of him doing it did sort of make up for it. He and I worked together on the evening shift. Corner of 28th and State Streets in Boise. Right next to the Taco John's. One night, Danny spotted a dude lifting a cantaloupe from the produce section. A section, may I add, that I took painstaking efforts to make sure looked bright and pretty what with its iceberg lettuce and such. So Danny yells at me, "Get in my car...that guy just stole a cantaloupe." And we were off. He driving, me in the passenger seat. And both of us in our orange aprons. Ages 16 and 20. Driving the back streets of North Boise looking for a dude with a stolen fruit. "There he is!," Danny pointed out to me....up the alleyway. Giant, big tall dude with only a pair of overalls on. Tall, no shirt, bushy beard. "Go get the cantaloupe," Danny tells me....."I'll wait here It'll be okay, I've got a gun." So, 16-year-old wanting to please the object of his affection jumps out of the Vega and heads up the alley toward the guy. The thief tosses the cantaloupe over a tall fence into someone's back yard, places his hands on his hips, and looks at me squarely. No cantaloupe. It's gone. What are you staring at me for? So, while Danny sits in the Vega at the end of the alley with a pistol he had pulled out from underneath the front seat, I fumbled my way through a conversation with a known criminal.
I slunk back to the car and told Danny that the cantaloupe had gone AWOL. The stolen fruit was in hiding. And besides, we needed to get back to the store. There was work to be done.