“The Check is in the Mail”
by Bob Crismon SASS #48245
Wearing my all black cowboy costume I saunter up to the Maitre d’ and informed him of my mission. He hauntingly looks me up and down and I could see right away we had a problem brewing. I had my double Andy Anderson rig on and two nickel plated Colt 45’s holstered but with my split-tail jacket buttoned he probably didn’t see them. Maybe he didn’t like it that I wore a string tie instead of a regular tie. Then again, it may have been the black boots with ‘bull dogger’ heels. Ah, now I know – it was because I didn’t have my hat in my hand! Anyhow, this fellow says in a snooty manner, “You will need to go around to the back entrance.” I nonchalantly unbuttoned my jacket and pulled it back exposing both Single Actions and replied, “No, I don’t think so!” With that I walked past him and down through the center of the restaurant, right past the tables of interested and smiling dinner/show patrons. This was a real swanky night spot that catered to African-American patrons. Keep in mind this was years before the Civil Rights Act and racial discrimination regrettably was mostly the norm. I was probably the only white guy in the place. I see Sammy on stage and touch the brim of my hat to him. He had already noticed the ruckus and smilingly, pointed toward a side door adjacent to the stage.
The back stage area was crowded with very little room for Sammy’s entourage of a dozen or so people. Some drove the costume truck, buses, and autos. Others took care of various chores and several of the really big guys were personal body guards. They pointed me to the clocks and I made the necessary repairs in a matter of minutes - a burned out vacuum tube (remember those?). Sammy quickly cut his act short and came back stage. After a genuinely warm greeting, he says, “Let’s shoot!” Immediately huge steamer trunks fly open and before I know it almost every guy has his black Arvo Ojala double rig strapped on, each with two nickel plated Colt Single Actions. These guys all start spinning and twirling their guns, what a fun sight!
We take turns shooting primers to stop the clock. Back in those days Cowboy Action Shootingtm was a one draw, one shot, and one target game - against one timer. SASS matches have certainly come a long way since! Sammy was clearly the fastest of the bunch. I asked Sammy if the noise bothered the patrons. He said, “No, the orchestra just plays real loud when we start having fun back here.” After we shoot for awhile Sammy thanks me again for coming, explaining he has another show to do. As we conclude I say, “Sammy, are you aware that we haven’t been paid for these timers?” Sammy looks me in the eye with his one good eye and says, “No I didn’t know and I apologize in behalf of my accountant. Give me your card and you’ll have a check in the mail tomorrow.”
Guess what …… Sammy Davis, Jr. was not only a top gun hand, singer, dancer, comedian, and actor; he was also an honest man. Sure sounds like all of the qualifications necessary to be a SASS Posse Member, doesn’t it.