Jack has always been an actor. It’s his nature to behave as though he were someone else. More clever, Experienced, or perhaps just dangerous. More akin to a chameleon. Whatever the surroundings demanded,
Jack could make use of it. Often, just for fun. Very seldom, to save his life. Jack’s son, in the photo, acts too. He picked up the habit from Jack. Acting as a well dressed English man at a hotel in Kansas, just for laughs at his son’s wedding just next door. We all act really. As it is said, some of us are very badly rehearsed
There were several times that Jack had to be someone else to survive. That time in Oakland when he was playing outside a Safeway grocery with his guitar case open for spare change. A passable country blues player by this time, Jack made enough money for food and fuel for his house in a truck bed. There was a bit of change and even a couple bills in the case when a large man approached face on to Jack and declared: “What you gonna do if I take that guitar?” Menacing. Big, especially if you are sitting on the sidewalk looking up at him. The guitar was a fairly new Martin D28 which Jack had purchased right after his two tours in the Mediterranean. $400. Jack casually replied: “well, I’ll just fight you for it till one of us dies” Staring into each other, eyeballs to eyeballs for an interminable time. The would be thief was not used to this calm behavior from a potential victim. Jack could tell that. Jack also meant it. The guitar was his life line to a can of Dinty Moore stew and a bridge toll to get to the ocean. Not to mention gas for the truck. No one moved, no one sweated. The big guy finally said, “ That’s cool” and spun around and walked away. Another acting role success for Jack.
The would be thieves across the street from Jack’s house, coming out the window seeing Jack, standing with that Luger, calmly. They left. Jack was not going to shoot them of course, the pistol wasn’t even loaded. Murder However,according to scripture. Not Jack’s proudest moment. They were just looking for their forgotten keys.
In Italy Jack confronted a policeman as street kid (wasn’t too hard for the costume department as he had been living on the street for a month) Jack knew the cops were looking for him, so he approached the Carabinieri and in his best street urchin from Naples dialect, asked directions to Trevi Fountain. Jack knew it was a half a block away. Not fitting nor smelling like an escaped top secret military man, the cop gave Jack simple directions. After a brief “Grazie” (dropping the last vowel) the cop said disdainfully’ “Napolitan” Whew, that was close! Joining the other urchins in a sub basement catacomb, they all pitched in their begging money and gave it to Pino for his birthday and Pino ran out and returned with pizza’s and wine. He spent all of the money for a party for us. Jack never forgot that. Brotherhood of the lowest of the low.
The toughest acting was when Jack had to tell a plausible lie to evade arrest by a Federal agency when he was mistaken for a man he used to work for. It was awkward and is a long story. It came out ok and it was a ‘think fast’ Jack situation. They went away and Jack left that person’s house shortly thereafter. It was a setup from the man Jack knew and Jack turned the tables on him. It was a good thing the house was not searched and that’s another story as well.
There were other times Jack had to act to save his life. It was second nature by now, Jack was and is a pretty good actor. The time he and another vet bluffed some bullies down in Kansas with two tent poles held underarm as ‘shotguns’ Stuff like that. Jack even acted at the Frederic log cabin as an old warrior, now retired as an inn keeper. It was a film set in the middle ages for a Russian film maker. Acting, it’s natural and scary at the same time. Jack thanks his Savior for that skill that has saved his life so many times so Jack could write about Him. Jesus. It’s pretty good. Jack Gator