The Sunday Club

by Nicholas Hall

Chapter 5

Fish Fries, Pizza, and More

The country had yet to enter the Prohibition period and, if truth be known at the time, headed toward the Great Depression, although every warning sign was popping up on the horizon, when Uncle Lou inherited, in 1918, those assets, cash, stocks, and properties upon the demise of Chapman. He took advantage of the times, listened closely to what was being bantered about the news and from his friends, and decided, if times should change, to diversify! It meant, among other things, changing the name of the tavern to "Uncle Lou's Ale Haus and Eatery" and adding some menu items along with the various brews. He also took closer scrutiny of his other assets and, again conferring with the close friends who gathered each Sunday with him, began preparing for some changes in availability of booze and the increasing investments being made and wealth, on paper, being accumulated by many.

His friends, who later named their gathering "The Sunday Club" because of the day I thought, they gathered at "Uncle Lou's" were relatively uneducated beyond the secondary level, if that, but collectively had a great deal of savvy concerning the ways of the world, listening carefully, acting prudently, and keeping a close watch over their shoulders. They had to, given their propensity for male-to-male sex and society's disdain for those who'd engage or have inclinations toward their particular sexual orientation, not-withstanding the rather dubious and irregular backgrounds each of them had. Better a low profile, as far as the law was concerned, and keep your ass out of jail. Of course, none of this inhibited their pleasures, especially if taken unnoticed and unannounced, preferring either partnering within the Club or with those outside who'd keep their mouths shut, except when wrapped around a particularly sensitive appendage.

At one of their Sunday gatherings, as the prohibitionists gathered steam and it appeared booze would be banned with legislation being introduced in Congress, the topic of the economy came up, as it usually did, and several of the members came to the conclusions that bootleg liquor might not be such a bad investment if proper "gifts" were made to the right officials, the economy appeared to be "overheating," (actually the phrase used was "too fucking hot to last long), and given all that, perhaps "stashing some cash" and watching for cheap, but lucrative legitimate investments might be the way to go.

Now, you have to understand, the only one of the group that had any money or resources to produce money or invest was Uncle Lou! As always, he listened carefully, weighed, and researched what they said, and decided they probably were right. The church goers might sing they "had a friend in Jesus" but the Sunday Club had a real friend in Lou Thompson; they knew it and he knew it and he'd make certain they were taken care of as much as they'd make certain they'd watch his back (or front if he wandered about with his big pecker hanging out) and assist him in any way they could, legal or otherwise.

Determined, if legal booze was out and illegal booze was in, Uncle Lou decided to offer something less innocuous and more appropriate (and concealing, one might add), yet still profitable. Noting and remembering his group of friends and he enjoyed popcorn with their beer or something to eat such as a burger and fried potatoes, Lou decided to expand their likes to the "Ale Haus" and offer those items to customers. He didn't want to become a restaurant offering booze with the food, but wanted instead to remain a tavern which offered some food with your drinks. Lou wanted to offer "bar food," something to eat while the customer guzzled the froth and could do so with fingers or utensils, depending on the item and the wishes of the customer. The food would be relatively simple to prepare, easily salted to increase thirst, and still add to the profits. For those who didn't want a burger or fries, he offered pickled eggs, smoked fish (carp), popcorn, pickled gizzards, and such, if they were drinking. Otherwise, the goodies weren't especially free, but not a great deal was charged. The small charge did keep the free-loaders at bay as well as a stern, "where's your fucking money?" from Uncle Lou. If Uncle Lou wasn't about, Pudge, running the kitchen, was known to wave a meat cleaver in the miscreant's general direction and make the same demand! It worked no matter who said it, although with Pudge waving the meat cleaver in the general direction of the free-loaders pecker, Uncle Lou's threat seemed to me the more congenial of the two.

"Uncle Lou's" didn't seem to be without adequate libation for customers throughout Prohibition, albeit it was served with one hell of a lot of discretion! His resources, financial and otherwise didn't seem to suffer much during the Great Depression either. In fact, quietly and covertly, he increased his worth!

As time went on and booze became legit, albeit in this state it was beer only- liquor by the drink didn't come until later, the menu at "Uncle Lou's" underwent some subtle and not-so-subtle changes. He added such things as burgers and a beer along with French fries, huge Pork Tenderloin sandwiches ("a full meal in a bun, washed down by a cold beer"), and the Friday Night Fish Fry, all available at additional costs of course.

The Friday Night Fish Fry ("the best fish fry you'll ever want to eat") became one of the most popular meals in the entire area. Deep-friend catfish in healthy portions, French fries or Hush Puppies if preferred, coleslaw, and a slice of rye bread was the night's delight! He packed the place every Friday night, beginning at four in the afternoon until the kitchen closed at nine. There was always a line waiting for a table. The food was quick to be served, hot and steamy (with a little extra salt to encourage a thirst), the beer cold, or soda if one preferred, and the price was right. A family could eat well and not break the bank!

Now, there's this about battered, deep fried catfish- you either like or you don't! Me, I love it! I prefer the delectable delight served with golden brown, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, Hush Puppies or, if unavailable, French fries, again, crisp on the outside, savory soft and delicate on the inside! Great stuff, right?

The fish was to die for! Pudge's batter, the special seasoning he dusted on, and the fact the oil they were fried in was never allowed to grow rancid or overused made the mouth water and taste buds bloom! During the summer, spring, and fall, the fish was exclusively catfish, supplied by local commercial fishermen. During the winter when catfish weren't as readily available, filleted slabs of Sheepshead (Fresh Water Drum), caught mainly through netting under the ice were supplied. Sheepshead was ordinarily considered a rough fish, but when taken during the winter, filleted properly, and deep-fried by Pudge, it was a pretty passable fare. Uncle Lou charged a little less for fish during the winter, but it didn't decrease the crowds any. Seems as though the people just really care, as long as it was "fish at Uncle Lou's." There were times, "Uncle Lou's" would offer Bluegill and Crappie fillets. Whatever was served, it was mouth-watering, tongue-flapping, jaw-dripping delicious!

Pudge's connections and expertise in the Kitchen, Neil Moore's and Ernie Olson's commercial fishing skills and the fellowship of fellow fishermen, kept "Uncle Lou's" supplied with fresh catfish in sufficient quantity and fresh, fileted Sheepshead to meet the needs of the customers on Friday nights.

Fish Fry Friday's meant all hands on deck! The Thompsons, from the time I can remember until they were no longer able to do so, worked the fish fries. Grandma Thompson handled the reservations and the seating, Momma manned the cash register, Grandpa Thompson supervised the wait staff, servers, and bus boys (that was us at first; Hardy, and me and as available and needed, Mooch, Buzzy, Stiff, and Sling, then Skip when he joined up), and Skeeter helped Pudge in the kitchen.

Uncle Lou handled the bar along with Vinnie and Dinky. Preacher showed up on those nights Dinky had to work the second or third shift at the factory. Walt Phillips, the Piano Man, pulled up a stool to the upright piano in the corner and spent the evening entertaining the customers.

Shortly after the War ended and building supplies became more available, Uncle Lou added an outside deck overlooking the river. It held a number of round tables and afforded a great view of the river, making it a prime spot to eat and enjoy the outdoors, provided there were no mosquitoes biting you in the ass or it was raining, then it was horseshit!

The wait staff consisted of a half-dozen or so high school or college male students. There were also two to three older college students behind the bar helping out there as well.

"Better to handle the crowds," Uncle Lou maintained referring to the college guys behind the bar and the high school and college guys on the wait staff.

It appeared to me, especially after the place closed at night, they were also better able to handle the adult cocks which found their way up their butts or in their mouths by members of the Sunday Club. The customers tips were good, wages not bad for the times, and the "fringe benefits" seemed to please all around so no one complained. What happened there, after hours, stayed there! (Unless something would dribble out into someone's underwear on the way out to the parking lot.)

When Skeeter's Mom, Gwen Taylor, came to work, Uncle Lou added fresh pie to the menu and on Friday Nights, added fresh baked Ry bread and either an apple pie or cherry pie type desert. It really wasn't a "pie" in the traditional sense because she'd bake them in large sheet cake pans. There was pie crust on the bottom, pie crust on the top, and the middle was filled with scrumptious apple or cherry filling. To top it off, she drizzled a light glaze across the top. She always baked extra for us and for Uncle Lou's Sunday Club. They loved her for it!

One of the college boys (he always had that "god, Iwantafuckyou" look in his eyes when he looked at Hardy, Skeeter, or me) commented one time eating a piece of the pie dessert was almost as good as sucking cock! We couldn't argue with that!

We were entering high school and pizza seemed to be the craze, at least among the younger set and, later on, the older. Uncle Lou thought he might turn a buck or two if he started offering a special deal on pizza. The city had a community Junior College, St. Bartholomew, a private 7-12 boys preparatory academy, and a nice private four-year college. Hartman College was private, church affiliated, all male, liberal arts college and did a fairly creditable job for their graduates. All three of these, plus our own high school provided a potential market for pizza deals, especially on sports weekends.

Hartman College and St. Bart's were both residential institutions, although Hartman did have some local boys who attended. St. Bart's consisted of out-of-town student whose parents had some bucks to send them there. The opportunity to leave campus for St. Bart's was limited, although it was not unusual for some of the older students to be out and about enjoying the local ambiance (male or female). The Junior College was all local and commuters, but still part of the market share.

"If," Uncle Lou posed to Pudge and Mrs. Taylor, "we set aside Saturday night as Pizza Night and offered some sort of incentive to encourage the younger set to join us in celebration of fall activities, even though high school football games are on Fridays, we just might collect some customers."

"If we had the right product to offer them," Mrs. Taylor added thoughtfully. "We need to find just the right recipe, try it out, and if good, have a go at it."

"Maybe we could offer a pitcher of beer to those old enough and a pitcher of soda to those who weren't," Pudge suggested.

They tried several sauce recipes and pizzas on our little band of scallywags and we munched our way through a bunch until we pronounced one the best. Uncle Lou then offered an extremely large, thick crust "Uncle Lou's Special, Meat and Cheese" pizza. It had mushrooms, three meats (sausage, hamburger, pepperoni- with ham or bacon extra) and three cheeses with the emphasis on the Mozzarella. If the customer bought two of these for onsite dining, a pitcher of beer or a pitcher of soda went with it at no extra cost.

God, they were big pizzas!

All orders were taken at the bar, but the finished product was delivered to the table. There was an area, with booths, set aside for those customers underage, while regular tables were for those of age and able to purchase alcohol. ID's were checked at the door by an off-duty city cop Uncle Lou hired for the night and underage sent to the respective booths. Uncle Lou or whoever worked the bar taking orders for pizza checked age again, just in case! In order to lessen problems, Uncle Lou closed the kitchen at ten o'clock.

Pizza nights were most popular in the fall, the day after football games, waning a bit during the winter, picked up again in the spring during spring sports season, and tapered off during the summer when fish fries were the most popular. Uncle Lou did make one exception concerning pizza'. If the customer was from one of the private colleges and wanted to "take out" pizza to eat at the residence halls, the order was taken at the bar, the pizza's prepared while the customer waited, and then boxed up to send out. No beverage was provided and the price didn't change.

One Saturday morning after high school homecoming and football game the night before (we lost), I was helping Uncle Lou get ready for a large crowd that evening for pizzas. Hardy and another guy, Lee Wilson, was supposed to help, but hadn't yet arrived.

I was busy, along with Uncle Lou, behind the bar, shelving clean mugs, glasses, and pitchers when Lee raced through the front door, across the room, and ducked behind the bar.

"You gotta' hide me, Uncle Lou," he pleaded desperately. "That crazy mother-fucker gonna' kill me for something I didn't do!"

I pushed Lee down in front of me so the bar concealed him, using my body as a shield just as Calvin Wentworth, one of our more affluent (probably should've been effluent because he was a rich shit-ass) community members who resided in one of the exclusive areas known as Longview Heights, barged into the bar roaring,

"Where's that black-assed son-of-a-bitch? I know he's in here! I shook the shit out of his little brother until he told me I'd find him here!"

Still sputtering racist, invective epitaphs, Wentworth was temporarily silenced when Uncle Lou held up a hand and asked, "If we knew a name, perhaps we could help. I would assume it's maybe a friend of yours?"

I felt Lee snuggle even closer to me, his face resting up against my crotch!

"I'm hunting for Lee Wilson!"

With that he started calling Lee all sorts of filthy names and racial slurs, including the "N" word so often used and slipping easily off the tongue of many of the members of the white community. Not something you want to do in the presence of Uncle Lou. You see, Pudge's grandmother was a freed slave, raped by her white plantation owner's young son, who viewed her as little more than chattel to be used as his pleasures warranted. Most thought Pudge, because of his skin coloration was of Mediterranean descent, perhaps Spanish, Italian, or the Balkans. It was, in the culture of the times, to not refute what people imagined. Safer in many ways as well!

Raising his voice, holding up his hand, Uncle Lou declared, "If you don't want to lose several of your teeth, I'd suggest you find another word to use in my presence. Please explain why you seek Lee."

Uncle Lou's reputation, knowing he made no idle threats, caused Wentworth to swallow nervously, take a deep breath, and announced angrily,

"That NEGRO" emphasizing the word, "attacked and mauled my daughter right after the football game last night. It was an attempted rape and if she hadn't screamed and shoved him away, after he tore her blouse, she would've been brutalized by that black bastard!"

"You saw this?"

"There is no doubting her word! She showed me her torn blouse and I want that black bastard now! He'll soon learn to leave white girls alone. I'll see him hung for that!"

I'd held my tongue long enough and shouted out, in my best fourteen-year-old voice, "That's a lie! Lee never tried to rape her at all. Never would! She's nothing but a slut!"

Now, it just so happened, Hardy, Skeeter, Mooch, Sketch, and I (Buzzy and Sling were off somewhere taking a piss and probably a quicky behind some stall doors) were walking toward Lee with the intention of inviting him to join us after the game. He was a senior, hung like a horse, just as queer as we were, and just as closeted! Sally Wentworth was a slut and she was begging Lee to fuck her since she wondered what a big, black cock would feel like shoved up and in as deep as it would go!

Lee told her no and tried to step away. Sally reached forward, grabbed his crotch, in an effort to convince him to let her have it, Lee called her a "fucking whore," and she slapped him. She just happened to look toward us, not ten feet away, panicked, and ran away.

My remark about the character of his daughter angered Wentworth, snarling, "Watch your mouth you little shit" reached across the bar to grab me.

Uncle Lou stopped him by grabbing his arm and holding it tight to the bar.

"Lay a hand on that boy and I'll smash your hand so bad you'll not be able to feed yourself or even wipe your ass!"

Without turning toward me, Uncle Lou directed, "Billy, tell this man how you know it didn't happen the way he said."

"I was there, not ten feet away, and so was Hardy, Mooch, Sketch, and Skeeter. We saw it all and heard it all. She was the one who wanted Lee to fuck her, not the other way around."

Wentworth started to sputter angrily about how I lied to cover up for Lee and so forth, but again Uncle Lou intervened, without releasing Wentworth's arm.

"Wentworth; I see a lot and hear a lot here at the bar. Not many secrets you know, from a bartender. I can say with certainty, your daughter has fucked all the baseball team and half of the football team with her eyes on anything with a cock! Now, if you should doubt me, I can parade a line of young men who will vouch for the entertainment she has provided them during their high school careers. If I do, I'm certain somehow the local newspaper will get wind of some sort of big scandal and your family will be dragged through the shit! Want that to happen?"

Wentworth turned ashen grey, realizing there may be some truth to what Uncle Lou pronounced and fearful, knowing what Uncle Lou could do in the community to malign him, bring on a scandal which would almost ruin him. He started to sputter, fortunately, because the sound of my zipper being pulled down sounded very loud to me, although I'm certain it wasn't heard by others nearby.

"One other thing," Uncle Lou said just as I felt long, thin fingers, dig around inside my jeans and shorts, pull out my now maturing cock, give it a couple of strokes, and, as Uncle Lou continued, "If I hear of you abusing Lee or any member of his family," a warm, moist, experienced mouth engulfed my stiff shaft, "something you really don't want to know will happen to you, slowly and methodically."

That could well and truly describe the wonderfully erotic, and stimulating blowjob I was receiving from Lee!

Wentworth was silent! There was no doubt Uncle Lou would do as he promised – not threatened, promised! It was a no-win situation for the rich bastard! He was in Frenchtown; a place he knew he'd stand no chance of succeeding in anything since he was an outsider. If he didn't acquiesce, tuck his tail between his legs and retreat now, he might not ever have the chance!

I shot my young, teen load just as Wentworth muttered something about "it all being a big mistake and letting this drop" (Lee swallowed my load rather than let it drop), and left after Uncle Lou acknowledged it probably was.

Lee popped up from behind the bar, after Wentworth left and giving a carefully cleaning and tucking my young cock back into my jeans, thanked Uncle Lou giving him a big hug, turned to me, gave me a big hug and thank you, while I sneaked a nice handful of jeans-enclosed stiff cock.

I returned the favor, of the blowjob and thank you a little later, except in a slightly different way. In the storeroom, while sorting out some of the things Uncle Lou wanted brought to the kitchen and bar, I unzipped Lee's pants, carefully extracted his rod, gave it a few strokes to bring it to full height, knelt in front of him, and said, "I want to taste this first."

His cock really tasted no different than any other's I'd tasted in my few short years. It was a nice, healthy brown, fat as a sausage, smooth, circumcised piece of man-flesh some six plus inches long. I thought it was huge at the time. Of course, anytime you look at someone else's cock it always looks bigger than your own. The nicely shaped, fat, cockhead was lighter in color than the rest of the shaft, perhaps leaning toward the pink shade, a strong, thick tube for the release of urine and semen snaked up the underside, and it was warm, soft, and so nice to play with!

Dropping my pants, I bent over a packing crate, wiggled my butt at Lee, inviting him to come in without knocking, and felt the first press of the prodigious prod begin entering my inner sanctum. I could feel my anal ring stretch and my inner bowels begin accommodating his cock (no one this big had been up there yet since the only one to fuck me had been Hardy and the guys in our band of rascals). He buried himself deep, balls against my butt cheeks, and began a wonderfully stimulating massage of my gut! Lee shoved forward hard, stayed there, and I could feel the tube on his cock pulse and his man-juice begin to flow into me.

Lee leaned over my back when he'd finished expending his load, hugged me tight and remarked, somewhat out of breath, "Been wanting to do that ever since I started working here!"

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