Saturday, July 28, 2007

'Hoop' is dead, bummer... didn’t know him and even if you did you didn’t; he was as enigmatic as the sky above. Nobody but nobody shot hoops, pool or golf better than Hoop, Mikey D., and what he didn’t know about horse racing, poker and dog tracks you didn’t need to know.

Also he had a Masters in Crime from ACI Cranston, a Rhode Island graduate school for the legally-challenged and criminally-inclined. (“Why steal Plymouths,” he once remarked to me in his basso profundo mumble, “…the penalty’s the same if you get caught…” and he squealed away laughing in a high-end Bentley he’d just ripped off from some toney Providence neighborhood. (Talk about balls, he went in the guy’s garage at night and took it…) In about three hours a chop shop in Bridgeport would be selling it in pieces and Hoop’d be riffling through a 2-inch thick stack of 100s headed for a pool table, the links, a card game or a track. He was all of Damon Runyon’s characters in one. He’d steal you blind but I never knew him to hurt a soul, except when he was a combat Marine in ‘Nam of which he once said years later, ‘Nothing excites me since Vietnam…’

His magnum opus was high art, beefing, stealing steaks enough in the morning to feed a cookout of a 100 in the afternoon. With Big Blondie at the wheel he’d race off to a Safeway or a Grand Union and in a couple hours have stolen a trunk load of steaks, an art he honed at home in front of mirrors as he whisked one package after another into his specially made pockets – he’d go in a store looking skinny and come out looking fat…Hoop was as deft as a surgeon practicing his nefarious arts and though he was de facto a criminal he was a special guy & I for one will miss him…a lot of ladies will shed a tear at his passing too for ladies love outlaws it is said and no one was more of an outlaw than Mike. So long Hoop! Been good to know ya…

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