A few months after moving up to Anchorage from South Carolina, I began taking some vocal lessons from a woman in an arts studio off of Spenard. I was in a new place and decided I was ready to pursue music a little more. After an hour of singing scales and pushing from my diaphragm, I got in my little truck to go home. It was about 8:00 pm. As I approached a stop sign on the corner of Spenard and Turnagain, I noticed a lady on the sidewalk. Where I grew up, if a lady was on the sidewalk in the cold at night, it was because she was on her way somewhere. I decided I should let her cross the street in front of me, since that is what my mother would want me to do. I waved her on and she proceeded to cross the street in front of my truck. I looked the other way at traffic, so I could pull out as soon as the nice lady had safely made it to the other sidewalk. All of the sudden, I heard my passenger door open, and she was sitting comfortably in my passenger seat. What the hell? “Can I help you?” I say. She says nothing and looks puzzled. “Do you need a ride somewhere?” I ask trying to understand why a strange lady would just hop in your car at an intersection. Finally, the words that make it all click for me: “Are you a cop?” she asked. Her teeth were grinding fervently. I looked down to see high heeled pleather boots. Then fishnet stockings. A tiny skirt. It’s 20 degrees outside. A leopard fur-lined coat. It hit me like a ton of bricks: I had just picked up a prostitute. I told her she should probably get going, trying not to offend her. I figured, why let a situation like this make you forget your manners. I looked around to make sure there were no cops who might have seen me summon a hooker, tried to figure out how I would explain it if I had to, and got the hell out of Spenard as fast as I could.
I want to thank Spenard for toughening me up a bit. For expanding my horizons, and wising me up to the world. I’m proud to say that since then, I haven’t picked up a single prostitute.
Editors note: This just made our news room erupt in laughter. The good kind, the “aww, bless his heart” kind. Thanks Carlyle! Dear everyone else: keep the Spenard stories comin’!