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  • Writer's pictureCindy Marabito

Country Fay Molina - I remember Sky Diamond...

Updated: Jul 8, 2020

For What It’s Worth

For What It’s Worth Country Fay Molina (Local Beaumont party maven): I got to know a lot about Gene Diamond. More than most, that’s for sure. People around here called me Country for short. And they all knew about Country’s place. Gene and his crew hung out most every night of the week and so did a bunch of others. All of them were called characters. My pad was on South Street right down from the high school. That’s where Gene and his kid, Sky lived, too, in the same part of the hood. First, you got to know a little bit about how things were back then. It was around 1970 or so. I’d done time in Gatesville on on a b and e wrap. When I took the heat and kept my mouth shut, it had cost me big, but people who knew me never forgot it. When I got out, I came on back to Beaumont. That’s where I was from and it was what I knew. I could’ve moved my set up to Houston, but I’m an old Beaumont girl through and through. You stick to what you know and don’t let anybody tell you any different. We had a good thing going on back then. All night parties. People seemed to hear about Country’s place from all over. I had a two-story garage apartment set way back of the lot. The main house had been tore down for years after the owner had died and left the property to his family. I had a pool table set up in the main room right as you walked in the front door. First bedroom was a running card game pretty much always going on. Gene and his crew were regulars. It was Apache, Duck, Gene and Skitz. It was right around the time the wife had run off and left him with the little girl, Sky. Gene wasn’t your single dad type. Not by a long shot, but he took her on and that’s just how it was. I will say this about that, though. If he ever caught up with Dorothy Lenore Diamond, it would be bad. When her name would come up, Gene would go dark. His eyes would turn from that green to pure black and it was something you knew you didn’t want to mess with. I’d seen a lot in my time and I knew one thing for sure. You did not want to be on the wrong side of Gene Diamond. Let’s see. You want to know what Gene looked like? He was a blonde. With dark eyebrows that set off the hair. Wide mouth on him. He didn’t talk much either. He could get a lot done with a side stare. Them days, I was drinking a lot of Spañada on ice. I always had a tumbler of it going. This was way back before the hippie days took over in Beaumont. Characters were the in thing back then. Men were dress pants in those days, slacks with a hard crease. And, everybody had a pair of Stacies. Country stopped talking for a minute and laughed out loud at the memory of it. You could hear the taps on them shoes clicking around the room all night long. Ha. And the music. We always had a record on the hi-fi. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” That was everybody’s favorite. They played other songs, too, but that’s the one we loved the most. And, then there was the night later on when that band come over. Black Oak Arkansas. They tore it up partying all night long and all. I think one of those high school girls Gene was running with at the time took off with ‘em, too. There was rumors. I heard she wound up at Rusk State Hospital, but I can’t be sure. You hear stuff. There was some gorgeous meat in that room. I used to have a thing for that Apache. He was Gene’s top dog.

The hot air of desire escaped Country’s overly glossed lips. Life looked like it had been hard on Country Fay Molina with large face pores that no kind of make up could disguise. I like me a real man.

That’s always been me. Apache Shelton in his prime was that all that. A real man. Apache was a good looking man. Brown hair and eyes. And, tall. Them Hanes shirts should’ve used him as a magazine model. He filled it out good. I’d got some weights set up out on the back porch where he’d come over and work out. Whoa, boy, that was some sight to see. I coulda’ watched him forever all day long. You got wind of most all the jobs going on in town at my place, but you knew to keep a tight lid on it or else. That Skitz was always running his mouth about something. Him and those white arms of his. And, the other one, Duck. He was from out in Vidor. Apache was a tough customer. I oughta know. He liked good hard sex when he wanted it. He came from Procter Street in Port Arthur. You don’t walk up behind a somebody off Procter Street with no warning. It’s a good way to get cold-cocked. Happened one night to Skitz. He like to never woke up off the floor. Like I said, you don’t sneak up behind somebody who comes off Procter Street. Boy, but he was easy on the eyes, Apache was. If you could get past that meanness of his. He was just mean for the sake of it, being mean. But, he sure had the women all after him. Like I said, we had our thing, me and him.

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