Survivor — Hudson County Style

Limousine Stan had a good thing going unloading trucks in New York City’s 14th Street meat market – until the IRS put the kibosh on that. In his forties and only 5′ 5″ or so, Stan stacked the heavy cases as fast as any of the younger, bigger men. Though Stan enjoyed a few shots of whiskey, he rarely drank to excess. Neatly dressed and polite, reliably working around the clock, he developed a regular clientele. All the rest of the guys working the trucks were alcoholics or drug addicts.

Stan did so well that he bought a Cadillac, which was a mistake. Smelling money, a union delegate pressured Stan to start paying dues. Stan refused. Dropping a dime, the union delegate ratted Stan out to the IRS. To make up for past arrears, Uncle Sam drove off in the Cadillac. If you can’t make it there, then Jersey City is the place to be. Stan hopped on the PATH and soon found Union Terminal Cold Storage near the New Jersey side of the Holland Tunnel. A hard worker, a reliable worker, working both late nights and early mornings, Stan again soon had a nice little business going.

Between trucks, Stan became a regular in the Tunnel Bar, where he’d watch TV and chat, stretching out a Schenley and water. Stan became particular friends with Hal, a semi-retired enforcer for the loan sharks. Stan told Hal army stories. Hal had many interesting and curious tales of life behind bars. One Saturday was different. Stan showed up early and drank steadily. He had a dazed, distracted look. Late that afternoon, Stan asked the bartender, Sal, Jr, if he wanted to make a few extra dollars.

“Sal, I got a truck lined up but the guys at Union Terminal can’t take it until ten o’clock tonight. How’s about you doin’ it? It pays forty-five dollars and shouldn’t take but an hour.” Sal, Jr. knew something was not right. Stan never passed anything up.

“Nah, thanks Stan, but Saturday is my early day. I close up at seven. I’d have to wait around three hours. And anyhow, I’m lookin’ forward to goin’ home early and takin’ it easy.”

Later that evening, Stan ran into Skip, a local druggie and told him about the job all set up and waiting. As Skip was always looking to get high, Stan’s proposition seemed to be proof that God was looking down with compassion.

Skip ran over to Union Terminal. He sat on the loading dock behind the trailer, waiting for the night crew to arrive. Shortly after ten, the wooden doors of the warehouse slid open. Skip jumped up smiling.

“‘Ey, Jake. I’m workin’ this a here trailer!”

“I thought that was Stan’s?”

“Yeah, but he was up ‘roun’ the clock and jus’ needed to crash an’ so’s he handed it off to me.”

As Stan wasn’t there, Jake was satisfied with the explanation. He began to bring out pallets for the unloaded freight.

It was cases of ham, heavy cases. Forty-five dollars was just enough for PATH fare, a needle, a soda, a pack of cigarettes, and four bags of heroin. It was going to be a great Saturday night! Motivated and focused, Skip worked through the truck like it was an Olympic event.

Finished, Skip jumped off of the loading dock and ran up to the tractor. He stepped up onto the running board. The Rebel truckdriver, a heavy man with a beard slumbered behind the wheel. Skip tapped on the window. The man inside woke with a start.”

“Wuz you wan’?”

“Good evening Sir! Your truck’s all finished!”

“Where’s Stan at?”

“He couldn’t be here tonight. I did the job for him.”

“Yeah? Well thank ye kindly.”

And the driver went back to sleep.”

Skip again tapped on the window.

“Uh, did you want to check to see that it’s done?”

“Nah, I sees the weights off. I believe yuh.”

“Well, that’s forty-five dollars.”




The warehouse night boss came running over.

“Guys, GUYS! You know the policy is for the shop not to get involved between the drivers and the helpers. But, I ain’t gonna let this trouble boil over. I saw this man pay Stan in advance.”

“You paid Stan?”

“Damned, right I did. Forty-five dollars. Said he was short on the rent. I was a little leery . . . but as he’s been good every week for goin’ on a year now . . .”

“My apologies. I’m sorry for the misunderstanding.”

For the rest of the night, Skip prowled the streets and alleys around the Tunnel. It took hours, but in the end he found Stan. Skip severely beat him, breaking Stan’s arms and legs.

If Stan had called the Police, it was not very likely that theft by deception with a notorious street criminal as the victim would engender much sympathy.

Most people would immediately seek medical attention. Not Stan.

No one knows how he did it. No one knows if there was an accomplice or if Stan crawled there.

But, somehow or other, Stan got to the Grove Street PATH station, to the down elevator. When he slid off at the bottom, Stan began to shriek and to scream.


From the resulting law suit, Stan received a million dollars.

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About Anthony Olszewski

********** E-mail This Page | LinkedIn | Facebook ********** Anthony Olszewski was born in Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital in 1956. During his college years, Mr. Olszewski worked as a bartender in a tavern owned by his family, the Tunnel Bar. He also operated an exterminating business and raised canaries and parakeets for sale. Mr. Olszewski was the Web Site Editor for Bret Schundler's 1997 campaign for Mayor of Jersey City and the 2001 Gubernatorial campaigns (primary and general elections) against James E. McGreevey. Anthony Olszewski established and maintained the Web Sites and email systems that were the Internet facet of the organization and coordination of the Word of Mouth marketing of the "Schundler Army." Mr. Olszewski has written on a wide variety of topics, including Jersey City short stories, tropical fish, running with your dog, the genetics of cage birds, the poetry of Amiri Baraka, the portrayal of African-Americans in popular culture, Jersey City politics, and Hudson County history. He currently provides Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing through a number Web Sites and is a member of Mensa. Anthony Olszewski is best reached by e-mail at
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One Response to Survivor — Hudson County Style

  1. Jimbo says:

    ‘It was cases of ham, heavy cases. Forty-five dollars was just enough for PATH fare, a needle, a soda, a pack of cigarettes, and four bags of heroin. It was going to be a great Saturday night! Motivated and focused, Skip worked through the truck like it was an Olympic event.’

    ^ good writing

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