“You’re a Good American, Patch.”
Chapters 4 and 5… Return to Dallas.
Have you ever dropped a hint in conversation about something in your past? When Shari says she’s driven cars at 140 miles per hour Patch wonders who is this woman who has left Spokane to drive him to the Oregon border. She’s a schoolteacher but she’s also a little wild. And she’s hiked the prodigious igneous protrusion called Mt. Hood in the distance from the highway. Then she drops the bomb: ‘Ricky,’ the headline for some type of relationship that obviously left her alone and just a bit flightier and wilder. Wilder enough to transport this stranger south- a man who couldn’t remember his own name and who is being chased by a deranged nutcase named Dr. Alexander Moon.
So, we move on… to the border of Oregon and Washington and as Patch and Shari wait for the mechanic to plug her flat tire, they witness a total eclipse of the sun from the top of the Astoria Column. Eclipses have always meant omens, mostly not good, and given what happened to President Kennedy at the end of 1963 this eclipse is particularly ominous. And what’s truly phenomenal is this total eclipse of the sun really did happen!
The Astoria Column
Patch, attracted to Shari, watches her in her capris pants as she walks toward the garage. More than the physical he likes her. She has his sense of adventure even though his own past memories remain muddied. With the tire plugged she informs Patch she, in less than 24 hours, can get him to Dodger Stadium to contact Johnny Roselli. No, they don’t hop into bed at a coastal motel. But for hours they talk at the bar. This woman who loves James Bond books gleefully enters the Los Angeles area next to Patch in her red Impala convertible via the Ventura Freeway. All the while chewing Juicy Fruit gum.
The Ventura Freeway
Anticipating Dr. Moon’s arrival tomorrow, Patch and Shari arrive a day early for the Pirates-Dodgers game. Patch’s memories of Roselli become clarified when they meet the charming strategist in the dugout after the game. Roselli hasn’t seen Patch for two years. He makes it clear that he and others are forever grateful for Patch saving his life. Both Shari and Patch are confounded by Patch’s relationship to Roselli. Roselli tells his associate to bring Patch and Shari to the exclusive suite in the upper stadium. He says he has to make a phone call and tags on Patch’s last name, Kincaid as he leaves to make the call. The he tells Patch. “You’re a good American Patch.” Shari swaggers over to Patch and smiles. “Patch Kincaid.”
Dodger Stadium 1963