Weehawken was an alright town as far as towns go. But it was on the wrong side of the Hudson, so there was that. And since it was on the wrong side of the Hudson, that meant it was in New Jersey, so that was another thing.
And Jancie Hansen was a very good looking girl, so there was that too. Not beautiful…not really even pretty, but healthy. Vibrant. She had a good figure. Her legs were probably the most aesthetically pleasing thing about her. And her hair. It was long. And thick and blonde.
Plus she was a sharp gal; she really was. She knew how to keep her mouth shut. She didn’t gossip.
Janice was perfectly happy being eye candy on some gangster’s arm. She wasn’t adverse to delivering packages for her gentlemen either, or messages.
The police called it “being a courier.” That was pretty much her job, that and being a professional companion, a dancer and a beauty pageant contestant.
As far as she was concerned it was good work if you could get it. It got her a nice apartment across the Hudson, and some very nice clothes too.
She was young, but old enough to know better–by a mile…
Some people–the fellas and some of their girlfriends–told her they didn’t understand what she saw in him. He wasn’t handsome.
Janice agreed; he wasn’t, but he was a big guy and she found that very attractive…and he was a very good dresser. He had an eye for it. She knew because she had an eye for it too–fashion. But hers wasn’t natural like his was.
She had a gentleman friend, a fashion buyer and designer, in the garment district who taught her about the eye…
They said he was a simpleton; a hick, the fellas did. And their girlfriends….Janice disagreed. She thought he was quite eloquent. He was very careful of his pronunciations, but he wasn’t a jerk about it…
He wanted to be elegant because he thought it was the right thing to do.
When she met him, he was the announcer for, and she was a contestant in “The Best Legs in Jersey Contest.” He was a very old fashioned guy in a lot of ways…in charming ways, she thought.
Of course it didn’t hurt that he worked for Little Augie, either. And because of that, the guy was always flush with cash. And everybody was scared of him. And he didn’t even know it…gangsters, men that she knew to be power players, went out of their way to be nice to him.
“That’s Little Augie’s guy, he’s off limits,” they’d say…
They met and dated, long distance, for about a year. He was always making the backroad supperclub circuit where he was a headline comic. New Port, Kentucky. Cleveland. Pittsburg. Syracuse.
Plus, he kept an eye on things in Little Augie’s clubs. He did an audit of the club every time he gigged. That was his real job, but he didn’t realize that either…in his heart he really believed that he was a comic…
In 1945 Janice Hansen became Mrs. Alan Drake. She and Alan were very happy.
Of course they both kept working.
To be cont’d…