CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION     CELIA      AN ANGEL, FRAIL AS A TEA CUP     THE GRANDE DAME    
AN AFTERTHOUGHT        HOWARD     HELENA    SOMETHING ABOUT NAMES     
BASIC SCULPTURE      DORIS     NOR RAIN NOR DARK OF NIGHT     I ALMOST LEARN A THING     
NOT A CALF      SLIM AND THE CHEVY     TREE STORIES     SUMMER OF FUN      
BILLY and KEN-TUCK     THE LANGUAGE OF WORK     MY THINKING ON RELIGION
BURGER STAND BAPTISM      The KNOWN ‘N’ UNKNOWN      AMOS      HELENA      HOG       
HOWARD AND THE BICYCLE      PHYLLIS    
MY AFFAIR WITH A DRUG DEALER’S WIFE     
CALVIN      RASHID     SWIMPS      GRANDMA AND MOKE     A TAILOR OF GREAT SADNESS  
REGGIE     JANE      SOMETHING BETTER TO DO     WALTER DUNBAR      ROUSTED       
AIRHEAD       
PERCY     SLIM AND THE ROYCES     BEV    GOODBYE, SLIM       GOODBYE, AMY     
GOODBYE, PERCY     MY DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES  
RENTING A GARAGE WITHOUT COOKIES       The RAMBLER      BOB, NORMAN, PAUL and JANN     
I DOUBLE      BARE ASSED IN KANSAS      THOATS      DAHLIA        JUST US SAVIORS    
SOME, You Know, DEALING      MARGARET      LARRY      A COUPLE DAYS WITH ALICE D     
WAR AND CAFÉ        An Interlude     The GROVE AVENUE REPUBLIC       FARET’S
MONEY AND DIPLOMAS AND RECKLESS DRIVING      SLAW     NO MOSS    
LIFE BEGINS TO WORK ITSELF OUT
       CONCLUSION
photo by Paul Belote
ORDER Henry Fool's book: When I Was a Low-Life
What it's about:

It’s about innocence. (Innocence is always nice.) It’s about stalking and bigotry and peculiar events
involving winos and junkies and arrogance and shame and a $6000 bicycle (back then that was a
chunk of change.) There’s a guy in there who built a 19 foot mahogany speedboat in his basement.
There are rednecks in there, naturally, and several black people—but only one who thinks the world
owes him anything—and a Jewish tailor or two. There are car stories concerning a ’57 Chevy and
several Rolls Royces and a Rambler…oh, and one Peugeot and two Mercedes. There are pick-up
trucks that get involved, and a dog who has a way with cards. Of course there’s sex in there; sex both
vulgar and pure. There are stories about work and stories about trees. Because it’s the Sixties there’
s something in there about war and resistance and the philosophy of those both involved and wishing
only to remain un. There are stories about acid and drug dealers and reckless driving and the Rolling
Stones and Norman Mailer, and though some people insist it was Art Garfunkel, it was Paul Simon.
But, Bob Dylan walks through, there’s no doubt about that, and there’s a Persian prince and stories
about coleslaw and excursions to California, and more. Here’s what's weird, it’s all true.

This is not a novel, it’s the memories of some old bastard with his head screwed on backward, gazing
at the past with a cold but compassionate, somewhat weepy, eye. It took four years to live it, 40 years
to think about it and something more than three years to write about it.

Give it a try. If you don’t like it, give it to the public library, where it might fall into the hands of
someone with less money than you, but greater discernment.
When I Was a Low-Life
by Henry Edward Fool
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