Frankie

THE JOHN O'HARA SOCIETY

On October 8, 1932, publication of "Frankie." The New Yorker. The Doctor's Son and Other Stories. The New York Stories.

This may be the earliest New York story, and it's a good brisk read:

   "Frankie had bustled into the shop one afternoon when things were quiet. . . . Dimello took him on and Frankie proved an efficient barber. He never seemed to talk to people without their enjoying it. That, of course, was because he knew not when to start a conversation. He made a lot of money for the shop and he wasn't there two weeks before he had a couple of regulars. He also had a date with Betty, the manicurist."

Things get complicated with Betty and her roommate Marline: "But the time she wanted to kill him was when she came home at four o'clock in the morning and found him there with Marline."

The story ends when two gangsters from Philadelphia catch up with Frankie: "Finish the man's shave, becuss it's going to be the last you'll do for about ten years."






1 comment:

Steven Goldleaf said...

Gangsters? I always read that as "the law"--gangsters don't do things to you for ten years. Their retribution tends to be swifter than the law's.