Vehicular Obsession
...You didn't mention the van he had as well. Or that he became the cheerleader for having our block included in the city area parking sticker bureaucracy, even though he could park one of his cars illegally in a cripple zone spot, and by himself he owned enough large-size vehicles to take up the space of four or more compact cars (which most of us drove)...on the limited amount of parking space we all had to share on our block. His reason was he was convinced that outside commuters working in Center City were parking for free on "his" street and taking a bus downtown to work. He would get pissed when he drove one of his cars around the block to see his "girlfriend" or go to a corner store (both within easy walking distance) and come back and find "his" spot taken by some outsider. And of course there was the one day a month when one or the other side of the street had to be left open for a few hours in order for the city to sweep the streets. Felix was a master at taking up all the spaces with his cars and the rest of us had to scramble for what was left. I guess he nothing better to do and spent his days devising ways and means to beat the system...

...Felix also turned us on to the neighborhood mechanic, a guy named Jimmy. He worked on cars in the morning before he went to work for the city in the afternoon. His dad had a house right down the street and would hang around and sort of help. There was also this very quiet black guy who worked there too. Anyway, "Jimmy's Dad"..(that's what we called him), was going on and on about blacks one day and this guy was working just a few feet away and never said anything. It was like he was invisible. At the end of his rant he said, " If it weren't for them (blacks) we would be dumbest sonsofbitches on the planet." He was sort of a Felix Junior type I guess. His poor wife sweated her ass off in the kitchen of their home making him big Italian meals and he was too cheap to put in an airconditioner that would cool down the kitchen and the livingroom. He even bragged about how it made no sense to aircondition the whole downstairs...jsut where he sat on his ass and watched tv when he wasn't "helping" his son, Jimmy could also guarantee your car a safety inspection sticker...75 bucks and it was a done deal.

--Bryan Grigsby