It was about this time a year in 1988. There were several of us in the underground utility business from Texas that belonged to an Association of Utility Contractors would meet in Washington DC in June. Among other things we would attend a Congressional Breakfast. It was a time where you could eat and visit with various politicians from around the country and let them know what we needed them to be working on.
I was the Texas Chapter President for a couple of years, so it was a big deal to go to Washington DC.
I had business in Dallas so I flew up there from Austin and rented a car, the day before departing for Washington DC. At the end of the day I went and visited my Uncle Stanley out east of the city. I stayed late, way too late but I was enjoying the visit. I left there and headed toward DFW Airport, wanting to get close so that I could make a mid morning flight the next day without too much effort.
I had no idea what all would happen that day so I hadn’t made hotel reservations. Dallas is a town with plenty of rooms, so that was never a problem.
I stopped at a motel along the way, that was full. I went a little farther and stopped. It also was full. I decided to inquire as to why there were no rooms. I was told that The Southern Baptist Annual Convention was being held and the likelihood of finding a room was real slim.
I decided to get creative, mostly out of desperation. I headed more into the seedier part of Dallas, figuring that not many self respecting Baptists would travel into the bowels of that cesspool.
Sure enough when I had gone way off the beaten path I found a place. There was a green light on in the red light district. I figured that meant there was a room available.
I ventured inside. It was not the most comfortable situation I’d ever been in. It was after midnight with lots of loitering around outside. I got in the lobby area where there was a black fellow behind a bulletproof glass. That’s the kind of place it was. He was bald and an earring about 3″ long dangled from his left ear. It was a gold sparkly thing. He was sitting behind a counter at an angle with his left profile showing to me.
I asked if he had a room. He thought so, someone had just left. “Would I need it for the rest of the night”? I told him I sure would. No short nap for me.
The price was reasonable, I don’t remember how much, but anything was ok, given how much I wanted to lay my weary body down. The financial arraignments were completed. He told me it would take him a few minutes to go make up the room.
I thought maybe I should follow him and give assistance. He grabbed some sheets and towels from a shelf behind him and came out from behind his fortress.
That’s when I noticed how large this guy was. And his right eye was missing. Like a huge hole in his head where there should have been an eyeball. He really needed to be wearing a patch over it. That is when I noticed he didn’t have a matching earring for his right ear. There wasn’t anything to attach it to. He had no ear. It was cutoff slick with his scalp. Just a small hole in the side of his bald head. He was a very ghoulish site. Now we were headed up these steps to my home for the rest of the night.
He and I worked as a team striping bed sheets and putting on the clean ones. In short order he grabbed the dirty laundry and was out the door. For what ever reason it had triple deadbolt locks on the door. I guess that gives the resident more time to take care of business while the cops breakdown the door. I just never had seen that before.
I slept well behind the triple locked door, but I was up early and on my way to the airport before the sun came up.
Needless to say, I don’t remember ever leaving home after that without reservations and my confirmation number handy after that night.