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Moorage Skuttlebutt

on keeping your nose clean

I was in the backseat of the car, listening to my friends Jack and Nancy talk about the owners of the moorage where Jack docks a house-boat.

"...back when Coke-Collins owned the whole moorage." said Jack. I only caught the tail end of what he had said, and only paid attention because Nancy reacted to the nick-name.

"Coke? Like CocaCola?" asked Nancy.

"No, like Cocaine." said Jack.

"Really? This is some moorage history! I didn't know about that." said Nancy.

"Yea, Jeff gets to talking when he's drunk sometimes, and he was telling me why he can't do cocaine anymore." Jack said. Jeff is the current moorage owner. "He's still being watched because Collins and Jeff used to get drugs in Mexico, they have places down in Baja, and put the drugs on the fire-boat and bring it to the moorage. It was a big drug operation. In the sting, when Collins got busted, he sold most of the moorage to Jeff to pay the legal fees. He just kept the part behind the door, with all the run down houses."

"I'd wondered why the door was there." said Nancy. "And the other ramp that went to that part of the dock."

"Yea, it was a separate moorage." said Jack. "There are sunk boats under the moorage. The fire boat is sunk just up river from the moorage." 

"On the other side of the clubhouse?"

"Yea. It sat there until it sank."

"How deep is the river there?"

"Well it's twenty feet deep at my house, so forty feet deep there.There's a hole there, in the river." said Jack. "Collins died in a van in the parking lot. After he died and everything went through probate, Jeff bought the rest of the moorage."

"What did he die of?" asked Nancy.

"Just old age." said Jack.

"That was just before I moved here?" I asked.

"Yes." said Jack.

"That's why Jeff and Debbie are always cleaning and fixing up the boards on the dock and pulling in new houses on that side. That makes sense." said Nancy.

"Yea, but Jeff still has to keep his nose clean. He can't smoke pot or anything, because he's still being watched, closely." said Jack.

I didn't know "keeping your nose clean" was a phrase referring to not doing cocaine until just then.

"It was probably the best thing for him. Where would he be now if he was still doing all that. Was this before Debbie?" said Nancy.

"I think it was. Jeff had been saving his pennies to buy a place when Collins got in trouble, and that's the money he used to buy the moorage. I don't know if he was with Debbie yet." said Jack.

I'd known these people for quite awhile, and it was weird to see them from this new angle.

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