I met my first Dunham Park Gaylord while hospitalized. I wasn't even a Gaylord at the time, just infatuated by the whole mystic of them. You know, star-gazing at the nicknames scrawled on CTA system, and drooling over stories that my ears absorbed.
Over a petty outdoor accident, I was sentenced to an overnight stay by a doctor, and given a room already occupied by another person. That gown-wrapped person was boastfully ranting on the telephone as my trailing step-mother and I entered the over-cleansed room. Once dressed down and laid up, the muscled loudmouth in the bed next to mine introduced himself as a high-profiled Gaylord. Then he duly explained to my step-mother and I how he was in a rumble at the Axel Rolling Rink, with the Popes. My step-mother was aghast, with a gapped mouth, as the guy spoke. I, on the other hand, was all googly-eyed by being in a room with a real Gaylord. His story entranced me.
Battered with bandages, the Gaylord boasted that the Gaylords and Popes went at it outside the Roller place. Afterwards, the Gaylord said that had to drag himself home, bloodied-up. He was looking' to get home and get a ride to the hospital. While staggering down the gangway on the side of his house, trying to make it to his backdoor entrance, he heard the desperate voice of his mother cry out from the front porch. She was trying to alert her son that he was being pursued from behind. It was a Pope, from the earlier scuffle, armed with a bat or board. He had tracked the Gaylord all the way to his home.
Once alerted to the nervy presence of the Pope, the Gaylord said that he overcame his adversary, even beat him down with his own weapon. Exhausted, the Gaylord basically collapsed next to the motionless Pope on the ground.
The Gaylord ended up his tale by informing my step-mother and I that he woke up to find that he was in the hospital. Not only that, the Pope was down the hallway, in another room, in horrid condition; much worst than the Gaylord. The Gaylord said that every so often, he would hobble down and take a sneak peak at the knocked-out Pope, just for entertainment.
Later, after the crazed tale, my step-mother left the hospital. The Gaylord and I were left alone. He spent the night phone-coaxing broads into visiting him the next day. He was like movie star to me at the time, I wanted to be just like him. At some point, amid one of his bloated phone conversations, I went off to the restroom that was affixed to our room. Seeing me climb out my own bed, off going to take a piss, the Gaylord proceed to intoxicate me even more with his cool-styled brashness. He hushed out to me, so the nurses would not hear, "Hey, while you?re in there, can you unscrew the vent and bring me my bottle of whisky?"