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Part 4 - Jiggs Free -- Not Me

Part 4 - Jiggs Free -- Not Me

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Published by Sal Page
Jiggs - the "Man with the Plan" said the sheriff.
Jiggs - the "Man with the Plan" said the sheriff.

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Published by: Sal Page on Jun 19, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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06/05/2012

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PART 4: Jiggs Free Not MeWe stopped in Vicksburg so Jiggs could say goodbye to his buddies still serving their time as jail trustees. Then he had to see the sheriff to thank him for his advice about opting to dohis time at Parchman Farm so he could get out sooner. The only two members of the gang of amateurs who were released before Jiggs were the girlfriend and son of the leader. They wereout in six months. The co-pilot had been transferred out of the jail early on, supposedly becausethere was an outstanding warrant in another state. None of them ever saw or heard from himagain, so my imagination had him as working undercover, but as I became more aware of thegeneral, and almost comical, ineptitude of the gang of eight, there would have been no necessityfor an undercover operator . . . unless, of course, he was working undercover for the sheriff and/or the lawyer who ended up with the plane, the Columbian connection, and the money fromthe sale of the cargo.After saying his final goodbyes and stopping in to see the sheriff, we left the jail at aboutmid-afternoon, got in the limo and headed west. The plan was for me to drive until we hadsafely crossed the Mississippi state line and as far beyond that as I could drive before needing torest.Jiggs didn't buy any celebratory liquor because for the time being he was still worriedabout anything causing him potential trouble. I was thankful that he didn't start drinking, because we had over two thousand miles to drive, and we couldn't afford to take our time getting back to California, so we were taking turns and driving straight through. He had one week toreport to his probation officer, whoever that might be, and we had limited funds to make the trip.The limo was a 68 Cadillac. The driver's bench seat was separated from the back by a partition window which could only be operated from the passenger's compartment. There were
 
two very large and comfortable seats separated by a pull down armrest that was about a footacross. There were two drop-down seats just behind the partition window. Bent over, you couldalmost walk into the back of the limo. The door was very wide. In fact as I think about this, Ilaugh about one of Jiggs' sales jobs before he went off to Mississippi. He sold portable saunas,and the door of the limo was wide enough for him to slide the sauna on its back into the limo tohaul from one customer to another. The customer would see Jiggs pull into the driveway, getout of a big, black limousine, wearing white pants and shoes, a yellow tie and a blue blazer, openthe limo door, and pull a portable sauna, which looked like a sweat box with a hole for your head, out of the back of the car. Even funnier was that they often would buy one after taking partin a demo where they would put on a bathing suit, enter the sauna, and have Jiggs sell it to themwhile they were literally held captive.I am amazed as I write that I can find things to laugh about, but those things happened before prison. As we headed west from Mississippi, I realized that after only a year, Jiggs had become someone I didn't know anymore. He was no longer the flim-flam man with a line of  bull that made people laugh, although while we were in Vicksburg he still seemed that way. Butnow, about five hours out, he began to show mostly anger. The worst of what he was when hewas drinking was what he had become stone, cold sober.I could not have been more thankful that we were driving non-stop back to Sausalito,where I had many friends who were awaiting our return.When I packed up the limo at the hotel in Cleveland, I did it so that the rear of the limoon the right side was completely clear of any obstacles. The armrest was also clear. I had madea comfortable sleeping space where we would take turns resting between turns at the wheel. Wewould go five or six hours and then switch drivers.
 
We were forced to make a stop in Amarillo, Texas to replace the muffler on the car, because it was making too much noise, and we didn't want to be stopped. The muffler stopadded about two hours to our trip which was already estimated at about thirty six hours.It was my turn to drive, and we quietly pulled out of Amarillo with our new muffler in place and headed toward Albuquerque, New Mexico, then Kingman, Arizona, then Bakersfield,California where we would turn north on Highway 5 on our last leg to Sausalito. I drove for about five hours and when we stopped for gas, we switched again and I positioned myself comfortably in the back of the limo to sleep.We had not gone more than about twenty miles when my eyes began to water and, eventhough I wasn’t smoking, the air in the back of the limo was like looking through haze. Jiggswas unaware because the partition window was up. I looked around, noticing an odor now of something burning, but there was nothing that I could see. I pulled down the armrest andsuddenly it was as though I sitting in front of a roaring fire in my fireplace at home. I poundedon the partition window to get Jiggs’ attention. I didn’t want to roll down the window with the possibility of the air rushing into the back fanning the flame. There was an off ramp directlyahead, and he pulled off the road and into a gas station. The pump jockey came running outdirecting Jiggs away from the pumps. Jiggs pulled around the side of the building and weopened the doors and began throwing things out of the back of the limo.There was a water hose on the side of the building, but no matter how much we floodedthe seat, it would not completely put out the fire. We finally had to use a knife and cut the seat toshreds to get to the smoldering stuffing. It took at least twenty minutes to put out the firecompletely, and by then the rear of the limo was pretty much destroyed. Only the back of theseat remained. The rest lay on the concrete with huge gashes where we had tried to get to the

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Sal Page added this note
The more the years pass, and life is beautiful, the funnier this story becomes
Blue Fern Press added this note
My, oh my. We had an old car catch fire once. Amazing that sane people drive burning cars into gas stations, isn't it? My husband did the same thing. How do we survive being so young and dumb? I continue to be truly fascinated by this tale.
7BILLIONHUMANBEING added this note
another great read sally
Sal Page added this note
I'm amazed that after all these years I can laugh at some of this Mississippi story. Probably because Jiggs was locked up.
Sal Page added this note
Should have but couldn't leave Jiggs to end up buried in the peach orchard where, according to Jiggs, many a prisoner ended up if they caused problems.
Sal Page added this note
Jiggs had become someone I didn't know anymore. He was no longer the flim-flam man with a line of bull that made people laugh. The worst of what he was when he was drinking was what he had become stone, cold sober.
Sal Page added this note
For a while I thought the co-pilot had been working undercover since he was transferred away from Mississippi and never seen again. But I soon realized that there was no need for someone undercover with this inept gang. The sheriff ended up with the plane, the drugs, the connection and the money. Pretty funny actually.
Sal Page added this note
A long, bad road ahead.

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