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"Our Rogues Gallery: The Artist"

Rusty was a Nashville recording artist,
but his main talent was getting money from rich girls.
One of these angels, a very sweet 300 lb. blonde from Chicago,
bought into Rusty's career to the tune of $24,000 in one week.

He hired me as his producer and we flew to Twangtown
to record some hits.
Rusty passed out $20 tips to waitresses, porters,
and anyone who had his hand out.
To Rusty the important thing was the public gesture.
In Nashville, he called up one of the finest men's stores
and had them bring a truckload of assorted clothes to our motel.
We selected a couple of thousand dollars worth,
and he paid the driver in cash.

Returning to Miami, a crowd awaited us at the airport.
Women stood in line to kiss Rusty,
while photographers flashed pictures.
Police directed traffic as we pulled away in a new rented Lincoln limo.
I found out later that Rusty had hired the whole crowd,
photographers, cops and all.

Rusty moved into an oceanfront suite and hired a valet/bodyguard,
a guy about six foot eight, for over a grand a week.

About this time, the blonde's father heard about her business venture,
and hopped a plane for Miami, hopping mad.
He threatened everybody in sight with jail sentences,
if he couldn't arrange for the guillotine.
Rusty not only calmed the old man,
but hit him for another fifteen grand.
He was an "artist".

The last I heard of Rusty he was broke and running from his bodyguard.
He had neglected to pay him.

When Rusty had a buck he made Howard Hughes look like a bum.
He never realized that just being himself would have been good enough.
When we were alone I once saw him in tears,
saying that nobody really cared for him.
But he set it up that way.

Wherever he is now, we'd like to tell him
that we're still getting little royalties from his old records,
an indication of some musical ability.

Also, we'd actually like to see him again, even if he is broke.
I wonder if he'd believe that?

Copyright ©December 25, 2000 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. 
Reprinted by permission.


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