Chapter 3 continues with devious plotting and racecars.
Daytona Beach was a festive place to live. Mick relished in the inexpensive economy and lack of law enforcement the racing town employed.
He enjoyed a player’s lifestyle. It was the roaring 1920's. In New York, hustling for extra dollars doing odd jobs and working at his father’s clothing shop supported Mick’s philandering and nightclub lifestyle. Here, in Florida, the atmosphere changed drastically from his Northern routine.
Quickly Mick decided the money he had in his pockets, he left from Manhattan with, would not last long so he found an enterprise to aid him in keeping his playboy standard of living. Fortune smiled upon Mick early on the first couple of days he spent in Daytona Beach.
Car races were being held on the World’s Most Famous Beach. Mick met a man named Fred Duesenberg. He wanted Mick to speed one of his Model X Duesenberg models down the 23-mile beach course in an upcoming race.
Fred Duesenberg was an auto engineer and not quite as adept socially as Mick was. With a silver tongue and a wit to match Fred was no contest for Mick’s rationale.
Mick said, “I deserve to be paid top dollar if I win the race and bring fame and notoriety to the Duesenberg Inc. automobile company.” The two came to a remarkably quick and lucrative agreement.
Mick negotiated for full ownership of the Model X Duesenberg as well $200 as an endorsement fee. Fred Duesenberg planned to benefit from the winning of the race, his car’s noted superiority, and Mick’s acknowledgments in racing magazines, local newspapers, and national radio interviews. Terms were set and both parties were satisfied.
The stage was set and Mick set out to win the race on the sunny, hot summer day featured at The World’s Most Famous Beach.
Five cars entered the race to run from Ormond Beach, through Daytona Beach, to Ponce Inlet where the cars were to make a U-Turn and head back to just north of the Daytona Beach Pier finish line. Mick thought he would most likely win because the Model X was a fast car but he needed insurance.
The proposition to fix the race by paying off the other drivers crossed his mind however Mick was new in town and didn’t know enough people to get introduced to his competition. An alternative resolution presented itself.
Mick’s family’s friend happened to operate the local Standard Oil & Gas stations and businesses in town. Shawn Murphy was a stoic man of huge proportions and he wasn’t one to turn down a friend in need.
Shawn supplied the gasoline and oil that morning to each racecar prior to the speed competition. No one ever questioned or suspected Shawn to be aiding or abetting Mick in winning the Rockefeller Race Day.
Shawn applied a copious amount of a thick mixture to the fuel he supplied to each car except Mick’s. He designed the gunk to clog the car’s engines and conk-out or suffer extreme difficulties when attaining high speeds.
Combining salt, honey, molasses, and even a bit of maple syrup Shawn had in his pantry at home, he made a concoction to foul up the targeted race vehicles fuel lines, carburetors, and possibly gears.
Inside his home’s cupboard, Shawn kept gallon jugs of honey and molasses because his family seemed to live off their sweetness on everything from pancakes to steak. His brood enjoyed a selectively strange palate.
Early on the morning prior to the Rockefeller Race Day Shawn dumped all the ingredients he stored at the house into the fuel truck’s tank. Driving across town worked to sufficiently unite the gunk with the gasoline and thin the brew so it appeared to all be racing fuel and nothing more.
Mick was standing by his car when Shawn arrived at the starting line in Ormond Beach. The air was crisp this glistening, bright morning. Shawn went about his routine filling each car with the special fuel however he stopped at the Duesenberg Model X.
“I won’t be needing any fuel sir, already tanked her up,” Mick said.
Shawn responded, “Hope you used Standard Oil mister.” He acted like he had no idea or care who Mick was.
“Always use Standard. That’s my standard!” Mick answered with a slanted smile and too much enthusiasm.
Though he worried his fake grin and odd zest aimed at Shawn might cause suspicion from another racecar driver or their crew not a glance of intrigue aimed in his direction.
(Tune in for the next segment of M.I.L.K. to be released soon!)
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