Winter, 1985. After a brief vacation at my fathers house in Florida, it was time to get another ship.
So, I packed my gear, booked a flight from Miami to L.A. and took the red eye to the west coast. After retrieving my gear from the carousel, I headed towards the door. No sooner than I walked outside I felt a hand on each arm, and two Federal I.D.’s flip out. Almost simultaneously, a black and white police cruiser pulled up and waited. Two plainclothesmen, Federal DEA agents swore that I looked like someone’s brother, and can they please check my luggage. I politely informed them that I was an only child, but to knock themselves out.
After a brief rummage through my stuff, which consisted of a duffel and a small suitcase, they walked away, and the police cruiser drove off as if nothing happened. I walked down to the end of the terminal, caught the 232 to Wilmington, and checked into a hotel that Seamen use when waiting for a ship. I didn’t wonder why I was red flagged at the airport by Feds. I wondered instead, whose brother I was mistaken for. Maybe it was the custom made suit I was sporting mad in Hong Kong the year before. A raw silk lavender, 3/4 length blazer with no pleat in the back, wide lapels and my name embroidered on the inside. Matching bell bottom trousers with a matching wash and wear silk collar shirt. Oh yeah, I can’t forget the alligator shoes, and a heavy gucci chain around my neck. This was the way I liked to dress in those days. Don’t ask me why.
But, that doesn’t answer the question of who were the Feds looking for? It wasn’t until I seen the movie “Blow” with Johny Depp that I realized what was going on at the time.