Union Terminal Cold Storage lobsters catch Pudge

Pudge was a relatively rare bird — an overweight junkie. He lived up in the Heights near Barney’s candy store. When I first met Pudge he was doing deliveries to office buildings for a Journal Square restaurant, until typewriters began to walk out the door, anyhow. His next job was pumping gas just outside the Jersey side of the Holland Tunnel.

One Friday afternoon, a tractor-trailer hauling lobster tails got to Union Terminal Cold Storage just to late to be unloaded, and so had to layover on Henderson Street. Led into temptation by visons of $100 a case freight, early Saturday morning Pudge trudged over from the Shell station and popped the lock on the truck. Opportunity was not as easy as it had seemed; a security detail was watching. The guard car came speeding down 12th Street. Alert to the changed circumstances, Pudge dropped his burglar tools and sprinted into the Holiday Inn parking lot with the trucking company guards nearly nipping at his heels. Fat as he was, Pudge outran them, got inside of the motel and there disappeared.

The Jersey City Police, Port Authority Police and the Holiday Inn watchmen searched for Pudge, but could not find him.

Anybody else — any normal person — who’d had such a close call would be praying wherever they were hiding. Praying, “Please, dear God, have mercy an’ I promises t’ never do anytin’ like dis again!” Not Pudge. That evening, just after sunset Pudge did the if-at-first-you-don’t-succeed routine. This time, a beefed-up patrol had guys out of sight in a number of locations. After beginning to work on the lock, Pudge spotted security headed towards him and began to run away — right into the arms of a guard approaching from the opposite direction.

Every time I walked past the courthouse on Newark Avenue that summer, I’d see Pudge out front with a lawn mower.

(Visited 324 times, 1 visits today)

About Anthony Olszewski

Anthony Olszewski has written on a wide variety of topics: cage birds, tropical fish, popular culture, the poetry of Amiri Baraka and a chapter on genetics for a veterinary text book, as a small sample. He worked as an editor at a magazine produced by TFH, the world's largest publisher of pet books. Anthony Olszewski is the author of a booklet on Hudson County history, Hudson County Facts, and a book of short stories, Second Thief, Best Thief, that are sold on Amazon. Anthony Olszewski established PETCRAFT.com in 1996. A pioneer on the Web, the Site continues to provide unique information on a range of companion animals, focusing on birds and fish. As a community service, he operates Jersey City Free Books. Anthony Olszewski was born in Jersey City, NJ (Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital, 1956) and is a member of Mensa.
This entry was posted in The Tunnel Bar and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Union Terminal Cold Storage lobsters catch Pudge

  1. One day I was headed over to Barney’s and there was Pudge standing on the corner. Next to him was an old kitchen table (maybe 30″ square, yellow formica top and metal legs). As I approached, Pudge announced that the table was for sale for $15. I declined and the price immediately went down to $12. I told Pudge that as I already had a kitchen table, I was not in the market for another. I was wondering how he happened upon it. Turns out that he’d broken into an apartment and the residents had nothing worth stealing. Not wanting to leave empty-handed, the table went with him out the door.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *