I understand the power of 13.
back in 1974 my friend Andy Kornfeld and I were driving cross country in a drive-away station wagon. We left from Boston, stopping at Sterling, Colorado-Thompson Canyon, the Id Lounge in Roosevelt Utah before hitting the Stateline of Nevada. I had never gambled in a casino and stopped at a rundown bar. An older woman was dealing blackjack. I won $200 in an hour. A used car cost $200. My luck held out for Ely and Winnemucca. $800 was like $8000 in today's greenbacks. Andy had also been lucky. Up $400, but luck on Friday the 13th runs out of breath fast.
In Reno I accepted a leggy waitress offer of a drink.
I don't remember much after the fifth drink and woke the next morning by the Truckee River. My hangover felt like the casino goons had beat me up for winning too much. A quick check of my pockets confirmed the opposite. I was busted. Not a dollar to my name.
Andy say by the river.
"Did I lose everything?"
"Yeah, it was pretty amazing. You gave me $500 and told me not to give it to you."
"And you did?"
"Never heard anyone beg like that. Not even a junkie."
"Shit." 2700 miles from Boston without a dime to my name. "At least we didn't sell the car."
"No, but you tried."
"Idiot." I washed my face in the mountain stream and we drove the Lodi, where we dropped off the station wagon to an elderly couple. They tipped us $20. The car didn't have a scratch on it and we had cleaned it. Andy took $10. I had hoped that he would have given me the full 20.
The couple gave us a ride to the highway.
Andy was hitching to San Diego. I was hitting the PCH to Big Sur. he smiled guiltily and handed me a paper bag. inside was $500.
"So I didn't blow it." This was the opposite line from Captain America's in EASY RIDER.
"No, but I didn't trust you with the 500 this morning because I thought you'd go back and really blow it."
"Yeah, you were probably right." The $500 lasted a month and I learned a valuable lesson. I'm no Cincinnati Kid and also that mixing liquor with gambling is more bad luck than Friday the 13th whatever day you're playing cards.