It was a sunny afternoon, in July of 1975. I spruced myself up and headed out for a job interview at Bloomfield Hills Junior High.
I had taught high school English for three years in Royal Oak, and loved every moment of it. However, the school’s funding was perpetually soft, and I had been pink slipped every year due to uncertain finances. I had been hired back, late every summer. But with each new year came a new assignment, new curriculum, and no certainty that I would have long term employment. Younger kids were aliens to me, but I would take a leap of faith for job security. Education was of paramount importance to the folks in Bloomfield Hills. Their schools were well funded and had excellent students and parental support. It was a golden ticket opportunity for me.
So I packed my resume and teaching credentials in a folder and tooled 6 miles north on Telegraph. I had an afternoon of appointments, IQ testing, a personality assessment and a junior high building tour. I was nervous. Telegraph is noted for its fast drivers and spectacular accidents, so I was stressing. I could not be late. I had to look composed.
The scenery grew lush as I drove North. Though close in geographics, I moved up through several socio-economic demographics. Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills are the enclave of automotive executives. Oh- and Aretha Franklin. I remember driving past Machus Red Fox, a special occasion restaurant with a hunting motif. I had eaten there once, and it was a big deal.
Businessmen in coats and ties were waiting for the valet under the portico. The business lunch was an alien concept for me. Who spends a hundred dollars at lunch time? I was happy with cafeteria food and bagged lunches. Hell, the Datsun I was driving came without carpeting and had a stick shift I couldn’t drive when I wrote the check for $1600.00. I filed these observations in my nervous brain and headed past 15 mile to 16 mile, where the interview was scheduled.
Well, you know who has business lunches in the suburbs? Teamsters. Mobsters, too. Sometimes they dine together.
This was the day that Jimmy Hoffa met a few “friends” under the portico at Machus Sly Fox. He was never seen again. Jimmy liked controlling the Teamsters, but his associates apparently had some issues with his power structure. 7 years later, he was declared dead to expedite his estate. Everyone in Detroit knew he was dead 24 hours later.
In the following days I combed my addled brain for wisps of recollection. Maybe I had seen something! Should I be hypnotized? This whimsey was more connected to my Nancy Drew adolescence than any memory. I was 4 lanes of traffic away, distracted and driving 55. The notion that any subconscious observation would emerge was magical thinking. I was 25. Cut me some slack.
I got the job that day. I was to travel that same route hundreds of times during my teaching years. Driving to and from my new school, I thought of Hoffa and wondered if he had a good meal that afternoon. I never set foot in that restaurant again.
Today the police are excavating a field in Bloomfield Township in fresh attempt to locate Hoffa’s remains and to close this case. Prior hunts of football fields and farms have been fruitless.
38 years later, after a long incarceration, a destitute mobster has written a book (of course); he claims that though he was not involved (of course) he has heard stories….
So they dig….
And you know, I would like a little closure, too. So I wish them well.
Stories….I have a million of them. If you hated this one, maybe you will like the next one….
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