Ronnie Lawson

08/03/2020 1 By BuddyCushman

They say it’s nighttime after 6pm but in August in West Falmouth none of us would consider it nighttime until something like 9:30 or even up until 10 which is when the very last of the light from the day coming to an end glitters off the water in Buzzards Bay and skedaddles on to the west toward places like Arkansas and Flagstaff and LA and I’ve been to all those places and slept in every one and sometimes when I get the feel for it I do tell you those stories, and it is a for sure thing to tell you there will be more coming, but this half hour is getting filled with how it was back then when Sir Rick Fluming and me and our friends lived just off the Cape in a town named Wareham.

All of which is window dressing as relates to August nights in West Falmouth and specifically in the part of Falmouth called Sippewissett and that is surely a fun name and you don’t have to be too smart to figure it comes from all the Indians who actually lived around here back when the people from Europe started showing up and pretty much fucking up everything (though Ronnie doesn’t like it when people swear and that goes double for me so I’ll try to tell it like it is, was, and always will be with a cleaned-up mouth the rest of the time.) I began going out with Ronnie Lawson, who you have heard about only once before if you remember the story about dragonflies being God and Ronnie having a real close relationship with her — in Ronnie’s world God is a girl and there’s that and you always begin there – and this is the second story which I’ll tell involving my girlfriend (back then) and all her charms and wonders and gifts and givings and sharings and donatings and lovings and gleamings and twirlings and spinnings and inspirings and all the behaviors she had and still has and the way everyone feels better when Ronnie Lawson shows up, because every single person in any of these stories, most of which you haven’t heard yet, will tell you that, if you had an equal sign like two plus two equals four well you could use it as concerns the personality and glow and shine and generosity and gladness of Ronnie, say Ronnie equals goodness and that could cover it enough.

And I mentioned my long-time friend Sir Rick Fluming who you also have learned about on a visit to Oakland California and back in Wareham and when we traveled to the north shore of Massachusetts to attend state college which is a fun way of describing our day-to-day behaviors which were getting up and smoking fat fatties and laughing about actually going to the classes though because we were official college students we would show up to hang out on the commons in front of the student union and sometimes down in the basement coffee shop, but Sir Rick quit pretty early on and earlier than me and moved down to Wareham again and began his own business detailing cars and also got a part-time job learning mechanic and body repair tricks at the Jenny station on Main Street which he did that for two years and eventually opened his own shop and I lent him some money when he rented a garage space, but there I go getting ahead of myself and off track and losing the intention to tell ‘This Story’…..

And this story thankfully has as its main attraction the life and times of Ronnie Lawson and, but back to Sir Rick for a minute because it is a way to get the story started right, me and Sir Rick would go to dances starting when we were juniors in high school right after Sir Rick received his official state driver’s license and was awarded a beat-up very-used slightly bang-ity and rickety ’57 Chevy which are you kidding me – a hunk of junk which was a ‘57 Chevy would still be like finding the pot of rainbow gold, come on, a ’57 Chevy – and we heard about this place called the Beachcomber which turns out was a teenage dance club off the last exit coming from our direction toward downtown Falmouth, it was Brick Kiln Road, and Sir Rick would swing by my parents’ house where I remained living and sometimes we would also gather Douglas Beechtree, this bright and quieter kid from our grade who was always reading and quoting Bob Dylan lyrics and generally gushing about poetry and we adored traveling places with him even the dance club where he liked to lean against the wall and do a lot of composing in his mind which he had this amazing memory and would when he returned home write all the exact lines he was thinking with all kinds of personal details observed from his place on the wall and sometimes we had the Irwinator with us as well who lived right up the street from me meaning Sir Rick got a twofer coming there to get me, and so two or three or four of us would lean forward for what felt like a jet-propelled ride and we’d boot it out of Wareham and right through the next town and onto the bridge which went up and over the canal which separates the Cape from the rest of the state and for that matter from the rest of the landed world and then on the other side of the bridge was a rotary —

And I’ll talk a minute here and tell you that rotaries are pretty big on the Cape, like you cannot travel more than three or four miles without coming to another one except on the Six and the section of 28 which we would turn onto off the bridge rotary and Sir Rick puts the pedal to the metal and punches it down the straight shot of 28 until the proper exit which he uses a directional for and takes and then swings left under the 28 and we drive that road only a small way and into the parking lot, all sand and pine needles and crushed up clam and oyster shells of the dance club which I told you was named the Beachcomber and these were always Saturday nights and one of those Saturdays when it was the four of us I was leaning back against wood with Doug Beechtree when this phenomenally gorgeous smaller brunette walks directly over to me and takes my right hand and leads me out to the middle of the floor and it is a Walker Brothers slow hit from then and we begin slow dancing – and there has been not one word between us – and we manage not to speak and she pulls me in very close which I wonder is it my birthday or something and just before the fade out of the song she whispers in my left ear this – “I’m Veronica, but I hope you’ll call me Ronnie.”

And I want you to think real hard now as to how much you better believe I did, I began calling her Ronnie from that day forward and our adventures have stacked up and she lives in Sippewissett and I live more towards Woods Hole and we spend so many of our August nights parked in one lot or another on the sand edge of West Falmouth and watch the light sneak away toward Oklahoma City and we still have hot sweet kisses and we take turns making up fun stories, and I haven’t really told you most of ours yet, but I’m going to.