I'm going to freeze your face
A David Goodis story

By Charlotte Halpern

My late husband, Eli Halpern and David were first cousins; Eli's father and David's mother (Molly Goodis) were siblings. This was Eli's favorite David story:

During the summer of 1952, Eli was in New York City taking post-graduate courses. To earn money, he got a job on the Hudson River Day Line, and worked evenings as a bartender on ferries that drew their passengers from Harlem.

These were not genteel gatherings; brawls and stabbings were not uncommon. The young bartenders were instructed to stay (in relative safety) behind the bar.

One evening, a swarthy man, came out of the sea of black faces, and ordered a whisky. The conversation went like this:

Eli (puzzled): David?

David (recognizing Eli): I'm gathering material. Don't tell Aunt Molly.

And he disappeared into the crowd. And Eli didn't tell David's mother.`

This essay appeared in the GoodisCON program book

Pasted Graphic
Louis Boxer photographed this item from the collection of David Goodis pulp materials. The collection was compiled by Dennis McMillan http://www.dennismcmillan.com