Big Bad John

JohnStewart (Tex) is a shorter but strong (built like a lumberjack) man and I was this tall lanky guy (strong for my size) but no match for John. I never knew how he got the nickname of "Tex".

John walked up to the bar one night as I was working alone and ordered two beer and soon as I reached for the bottle opener, John grab them ripping the caps off with his teeth (this was before twist tops) and then walked away from the bar without paying for them. My first instinct was to just call the police but they may take forever to show up; finally deciding to just confront him. I didn't know what I was going to say or do but I walked right up to him until we were face to face. I looked him right in the eyes (I thought I was gonna make a deposit in my pants) and said: "I'm a little guy and you are a big guy, so if you don't pay for the beer; all I am going to do is call a COP!" John's hand immediately went to his pocket for the $3.50 + tip that he owed me. Seems John had just got back from an extended visit with them and was in no hurry to have another one. Back at the bar I shook in my boots for quite a while.

I never had another problem again with John and we became friends of sorts; we had a mutual respect and admiration for one another.

One night in the Rumours on Granville Street, I watched from the DJ booth (I was the DJ at this point) as FredBerringer and Alex (Laverne's brother (str8 too bad)) tried putting John / Tex out the door (he had had a tad too much to drink.) Now Fred and Alex were both really big boys and John was giving them a run for their money as they offered to not hit him while John / Tex is saying "please do". John liked it a little ruff and these two fit the bill. After the scene went on for about for about 25 minutes, I put a long song on and sauntered over and said:"JOHN!, GO HOME!". John looked at me and replied, "Ok Reg" in a soft voice that he had when he was calm, and turned and walked out the door. Both Fred and Alex looked at me with this "what just happened look" on their faces as I walked back to the booth and my only reply was, "First you have to get their attention." John always liked and respected me for using his real name and not the nick; and I also suspect for standing up to him on that first night we met. John defended me one time when he was in for a night visit at the local constabulary. I had been swarmed on my way to work one nite and 2 of the culprits were in the same cell and I heard there was a scene.

Thanks John

picMichaelNaugler (Doorperson Circa 1980)" Deceased "

The Soccer Match

As I had mentioned before, there were not many times that I had a problem at the ( door/sign in ); but there were a few.

One night a soccer team arrived at the bottom landing and were peering up at us standing at the podium, I emmediately stood in the middle of the way as they approached the second. One of the more aggressive and muscular of the team came right up to me and informed me that they were here to beat up on all the " FAGS ". This was a Thursday night and back then Thursday was as busy as Friday and Saturday. I told the lad that he could go up and take a look and " IF " he thought the team could take the whole room on, that they were welcome to try. The guy strode up to the upper landing door only to see a packed house ( about 250 people ); his body took an emmediate turn and he raced back down the stairs past me without a glance and worriedly said to his buddies " Let's GO !! " and they were out the door and down the street.

On Another occasion, two fair size men in suits; pretending to be undercover cops. One flashed a wallet so fast that I asked to see it again as I did'nt see a badge. The guy swung his arm and hit me right in the jaw. My head fell slightly and my body bent but to his surprise I never went down and I came right back up ready for the fight; it did'nt happen. They were both so shocked that I did not go over that they ran out, never to be seen again.

Some of the women that frequented The Turret were a little on the tough side, I learned very quickly to be afraid. A little women one night that had a few too many and got out of hand; I had to hold in an armlock for over an hour until the paddywagon showed. In those days it could be a while before the police showed and when they did finally I just sorta flung her into their arms. I was worried about breaking her arm after a while and was so glad to let go. Looking out the window on the second floor it was amusing to see that it took about 6 of the city's finest to put her in the wagon.

The drag queens could always be counted on to come to the rescue when there was outside interference from " WOULD BE FAG BASHERS "; they were the first ones to run to the door to help when it was needed.

A few other times in 1979/80 there were a few major incidents at the door and I was lucky to have Michael as a co-doorman, a group bashers beat patron up outside the door and Michael rushed outside to see who they were. Michael hated bashers ( I was told later that he was one himself at one time and had no use for this kind of person ). Michael was a big man and strong as an ox; someone that we both knew told me that if you ever get into a fight with him " CRAWL ON HIS BACK, CAUSE YOU ARE GOING FOR A RIDE !! ". I never needed telling this as I had seen him in action. I guess Michael decided that there were just too many for him to contend with and he ran back upstairs to get something to help himself fend them off. Meanwhile, Chris Shepherd appeared at the door to help out ( Chris also a big man and able to take care of himself ). The drama continued for quite a while; the police had been called but still had not arrived. Michael appeared at the door again with a claw hammer and you could tell that he was mad ( so mad that even I was afraid ), the sparks from the hammer hitting the brick on the building as Michael taunted them back struck a little fear in everyone. The crowd of bashers started to dissapate as they could see that it was going to a higher level. I finally talked Michael into giving me the hammer just before the police showed. Michael was charged with a minor assault and was told ( I was told ) that he could no longer work at a doorman at The Turret. It was a lucky nite that no-one else was hurt; especially for the bashers.

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