One summer night, hot as Hell. Everybody is out. Around Crotona Ave comes Joey Scales. Everybody stops and turns turns. Why? He's holding an old black man with huge buck teeth under the arm
They get close to a bunch of guys and Joe yells out " Youse are not gonna believe who this?". Everyone looks at Joey then they look at the old buck toothed black man and they shrug their shoulder.
"It's Buckwheath from the Little Rascals!" he yells. A roar goes up and soon the Buckwheet's shaking a hundred hands, Polaroid's are snapping, guys who never got within ten feet of a black man before are slapping him on the back. The guy is loving it! In to the cafe. Guys are fighting with each other to by a him a drink. Twenty minutes the guys half stewed. To the next social club he goes. Again the drinks flow like water. There's a dice game going in the back. He's invited and given a line of credit. Plates of sausages, mozzarella, peppers, olives and more drinks are are passed to him and he finishes them like he was born Italian. There asking him questions about Alfafa and the rest of the gang. He's giving little tidbits, nothing in depth but each met with a roar of laughter.
"Hey Buckweath. What brings you here?" comes one question
"Pretty sad. My great grandson was hit by a car and killed yesterday?" he said with his head bowed and a tear dropping from an eye.
Al of a sudden a pail appears and guys start throwing money in it. I'm not talking 1's or 5's I'm talking 50's and hundreds. Soon the pale is full. This guy probably has $5,000 in there. The place is hushed. Buckweath sits down head lower. Hands rubbing his back, giving him words of encouragement. He get up
"I sho had a good time with you boys. It ain't nothing like they say"
"For you anything' comes one yell "You ever need anything you come right here"
Buckweeth picks up his pail brimming with money. So overwhelmed he can't say anything just giving hugs with tears in his eyes. Around him stood some of the toughest guys around, some were ruthless killers, all with tears in their eyes. Buckweeth gives a weak good bye and walks out the door. Everyone is hushed for a while but soon back to their usual stuff.
This how it was told to me. I saw my Uncle Gino early next morning. I told him the story. I couldn't help keeping a tear from falling.
My uncle looks at me and says "Buckweeth? From the Little Rascals"?
"No' I tell him "No Buckweeth from Star trek". I looked at his face "Alright sorry, no disrespect intended"
Then he started yelling and laughing at the same time "Ya stupid bunch of fucks! Buckweeth died 40 years ago!" And he starts laughing so hard he has to lean over the car. Me? I'm fucking stunned that a bunch of guys who made their living by fraud (among other thinks) got hoodwinked themselves by an old man with buck teeth.And out I started laughing out of the pure irony of such a thing.
Now word starts to get around the neighborhood. And who's the target? No, no not Buckweeth but Jimmy Scales who brought him around. He had to hide out a week until all the other guys finally saw the humor that my uncle saw 5 days earlier. Joey came back , they all bought him drinks with him professing the whole time he really thought the stranger was Buckweeth. As for Buckweeth, he never came back.