Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hagstrom Swede

Carl got me a gig spot on that very night doin dishes while he was on prep at Chuck's Steakhouse, 17th Street Causeway in Fort Lauderdale. I literally just stepped off a skank ridden Grey Hound after a 2 day haul down from Grand Rapids, then hopped a cab to Chuck's. Somebody let me poke my head in the kitchen to let Carl know I was here and his immediate words were "Wanna job?"
That was fun for like a minute. Then along came a slew of some really sweet gigs: more dishes and table clearing in some Lithoanian place, a stagehand for the Kenny Martel Concept at Beethoven's Dinner Theatre then scraping barnacles off boat hulls in preparation for sanding and painting. That's some high turn-over at that place. But what was cool was what was dry-docked and being worked on on the other side of the marina. Local lore had it that it was a vessel being built for Neil Young, who was dating Robin at the time, the evening hostess at Chuck's.

This ship, I swear, looked like freakin Noah's Ark...but smaller, a lot smaller. It was all hull, deep deep hull with a little cabin up top. I wonder what kinda goins-on were goin on below decks.
It had this beautiful, raw natural woodwork on the outside, but really, looked like it would drop like a rock.

Fast forward and I'm just North of downtown Chicago headin up 94 and I'm lookin in my rearview and I can see this bus a ways behind me ski-daddlin up the passing lane and I'm thinkin, thats kinda funny lookin. What with one eye on the road and tuther on the side rearview she starts to sidle up agin me and I can see what looks like the top half of a car from below the windows up, welded on to the top of the bus as skylights. Turns out they're a pair of 1950 Hudson Hornets.
As it passes by me, I can see it has this Jules Verne, 20,000 Leagues kinda thing goin on and ZUMA stamped into the Florida plate.

Top Photo from
Bottom Photo from

Elvis played a Hagstrom Viking II (sometimes).
"Hey Arn, wher dya find that Hagstrom Swede"

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