better known as


The first time I met Dr. Stephen Benton was at an OSA meeting held here in Chicago in the Fall of 1980, when I first started working at Loren Billing's place, which calls itself a Museum of Holography, sometimes going under the more pretentious title of Fine Arts Research and Holographic Center, having its roots as an out of the way kooky Bohemian art gallery showing stuff like Cosmo Compoli's Spumoni Village, which they never returned.  I was the emissary from there to invite the conference attendees to visit Gallery 1134 (its not so original gallery name, which I always prefer to use, because if you look at those digits upside down on your pocket calculator you get the appropriate summarization of the joint.) after the scientists were done with their sessions.  I was chosen to do that because the two main men, Johnny Hoffmann and Victor Heredia were on strike.

The reason John was on strike was because he had made some diffraction gratings for a couple of laser light show guys, Tom Rust and Floyd Rolfestadt. Loren had forbade him from making the gratings there because of a deal that fell through with the light show guys.

"All they wanted you to do was run their lasers while they MADE ALL THE MONEY!" she ranted.  So it was a no‑no for John to make some beam multiplying gratings for them since they didn't appreciate his talents properly.

Actually it would have been more appreciative of his talents to make the gratings, but try explaining that to a looney tune like Loren.  But John, being a good guy and still wanting to hang out with the guys with the big lasers, made them anyway.  But kept it a secret from Loren.

Until that big dummy from the laser show, having called Loren up about something else, said in passing, "Oh, tell John thanks for the gratings." Smoke came out of the ear that wasn't on the headset of the phone.  John tried to play it off by claiming that yes, he had indeed made them, but at my home lab.  That didn't work, so he was on the shit list.

For some other reason Victor got thrown into the same doghouse, I forget why but it really doesn't matter, so Loren decided that she wasn't going to talk to them directly until they apologized or something.  And until then I was to act as the interpreter. 

"Tell your friends that they can't play their radios in the office," Loren directed.  "OK, guys you heard her."  "No, you say what I just said!"  "OK, Loren said that you guys can't play your radios in here."

So all day long for two or three days these two guys would come into work and try to fill up every square on a piece of quarter inch ruled graph paper with pencil lines, but the twist was to see who could do it the slowest without actually ever coming to a complete stop.  So they would be looking from their own papers to the others, making sure that there was always some motion.  There is a lot of strength involved in trying to control the teeniest bit of nano‑motion.  Loren and Al Ornelas (a co-founder, may he rest in peace) and her husband Bob Billing (may he not rest in peace!) kept up business as unusual, while I continued to translate.

The convention was underway, and it was decided for me to put on my suit and go.  I checked it out.  There was a little exhibit of holos and Benton had some of the early rainbow color stuff like the chessmen that Fred Unterseher is looking at in the first National Geographic with the holograms on it.  I got John to come down and look at it, and he acted like a wiseguy to Benton, asking him some kind of a lame ass question. 

Then I made the invitation for the optical scientists to come to the Gallery.  And what a crew it was that came!  I looked at the name tags, and asked, "Hey aren't you the inventor of the Bromine Vapor bleach, and sure enough it was, Andrejs Graube, the man with the biggest feet I had ever seen, standing there in the lab that Larry Lieberman had vacated only months before.

Glenn Sincerbox, from IBM, of supermarket checkout hologon scanner fame, told me to send a list of our alumni to him for possible job opportunities, I expected to hear from him after I sent the stuff, (so that I could make a break for it!) but it had probably been intercepted before it got to me by Loren, along with the reprint that William Graver, of silver halide gelatin fame, had promised to send, but she probably gave it to John who would have told her that it probably didn't work but that if she would let him he would work out that idea so that it would be better.  Lloyd Huff was bugging Loren about where she found those 14" diameter paperboard cylinders that they used for the Multiplex displays but she wanted to keep it a secret.

But before these guys got there, a truce had been made with John and Victor, and they cleaned the joint up ‑ so well, that every piece of optics was taken from the all tables.  John had so many secrets that he couldn't afford to have these guys see his new and novel approaches.  (Yeah, like an electrostatic film holder that didn't work.) So the 9' x 16' L‑shaped table under the stairwell to the basement was completely devoid of anything, which prompted Benton to remark to Jean‑Marc Fournier, as they looked at the thing, "Gee, everyone should have one of these in their basement!"

The tour wound up in the office in the basement at the front of the building.  I remember standing with my friends, John and Victor, watching little Loren wagging her finger in front of whole head and a half taller Benton's nose, telling him that she has such a genuis there, he has so many good ideas and he can make holograams bigger and brighter than you and he'll be so famous, so Benton just took it all in, and then walked into the room where we standing in amazed disbelief. 

With a tone as surly as Bob's, Benton surveyed us all and stared at John and said, "OK, who's the master holographer?" John's voice cracked as he slipped out "Me."  Benton just turned around in disgust and walked out the room.

So that was my introduction to one of the truly great Gods of Mt. Holympus, the inventor of the white light transmission hologram, better known as the rainbow hologram, or as he liked to hear it called, the Benton hologram.  Later on we would have a good laugh at Symposia recollecting this bizarre event.

And what of Loren Billings?  She's still there, keeping the old casket factory/art gallery/holography museum open, still awaiting the day when holography will be a household word.  No one's seen John Hoffmann for about 10 years, who knows if he's alive or in jail.  (When I had asked him what was the best beam balance ratio while I was a student there he wouldn't tell me because he was writing the definitive paper on it and didn't want to say anything until it was printed in Applied Optics.  I'm still waiting on it.)  Victor and I still hang out every once in a while, finding it hard to believe that we lived through all this lunacy and survived.  For 3 or 4 people died as a result of Gallery 1134.  But that's another story.

Two (or three) of the people dying because of Gallery 1134 were innocents; they were not even holographers; in fact the one in parentheses never even saw the place!  But some unfortunate turn of events in their lives caused them to be thrown into the insanity of Loren and Bob and John Hoffmann and Al Ornelas.  The latter was also a victim, as he pursued his own noble ideals but got caught in the fatal flaw of loving the unlovable.

lt was two of the CETA workers who bought the farm, courtesy of a third, whose deaths Loren could have prevented, if not for her own greed.  It was all a part of their greedy CETA scam, and I feel remiss for not having come forward before with the news, although I myself would be implicated as having participated in this fraud, which was pretty much engineered by Bob.

Since Gallery 1134 was a "not‑for-profit" institution, they were eligible for the government dole.  And one of the grants available for under‑employed but creative people was the CETA grant, the acronym being for Cooperative Education and Training Act, one of Jimmy Carter's pet projects.  I guess the basic idea was to train people (mainly slanted to minorities) in new technical fields, jobs that they might not normally be hired for except if there was no risk to the business, in terms of expending a salary for them, and Uncle Sam chipped in not only for that but for managing the CETA trainees.  Then maybe if they got good at it, then the company would hire them as a full-fledged employee.

That was where John and Victor's salaries came from in the early days, plus some ghost payrolling on Sheriff Elrod's office as a favor to Bob for politicking for him, I guess.  The "City" CETA ran out for John and Victor.  To qualify for "City CETA" meant that you lived in the city to work in the city.  When that money ran out, they went on to "County CETA", which meant that the applicant must live in Cook County but not in the city proper to have the job.  So John and Victor adopted new homes for this program.

And so did the Liebermen, Larry and Peggy.  They were trying to get out of a bad business partnership but only ending up with a worse one. Came all the way from Columbus, Ohio to work at FARHC, lying to the CETA office about where they lived, what they did, and their marital status just to work there.  And I myself have to confess to using my uncle's address and telling them that I was a free‑lance photographer instead of a salaried teacher.  How the hell no one got caught in this scam, I don't know, as all the CETA guys had to do was look up income tax records and BAM!  John Hoffmann was so bold once to borrow from his cousin who vaguely resembled him his picture lD driver's license and Social Security Card to go down to the CETA Office and sign up while his cuz was studying abroad in Jamaica for a year.  I didn't let on when the CETA office called me as a reference, thinking that since I went John would follow soon enough.

But one guy did get caught doing this same scheme, but he was not a part of the scam.  lt was none other than our pal, Larry Z., whose stained glass business was a little flat at the time, these being the Carter recession years.  He had been steered to it by his ex‑wife, who was a social worker and knew of the program and told him that they were just giving these jobs away except for this one little catch.  So he ended up there via the normal CETA intake, but he used the Oak Park address of his friend Bob Dotz, and when the CETA office called Larry at his "home" once Bob Dotz's dad didn't play along and so Larry got called down to the office to do some explaining.  He got off the hook, I guess through some sort of intercession from Bob, but at his hearing he saw on his official forms all kinds of bogus classes which he had supposedly taken while there but didn't, but Gallery 1134 had undoubtedly profited from.  He was one of the few who left the place with honors, since he was the best worker other than Victor they ever had there.

We "Plants" were just part of the CETA work force.  When I started at Gallery 1134, there were three Black guys working there, the kind that the program was designed for.  They were Ron Scott, an outgoing, likable black percussionist, whose natural curiosity got him killed working at this place.  Damone Jackson, intelligent, hard-working black actor.  And Collins Williams Daniels, or some permutation of those three names, as he had a Social Security card for each one.  So while one of his aliases was working, the other two were collecting.  He sang gospel after work and recorded, and even sent George Clinton of Parliament/Funkadelic fame to the museum.

These three were quite nice people.  You could have fun with them, they were positive, etc.  You could feel at ease with them.  But then the second crop came in, and they were not very cool.  For Loren to get extra money for managing the CETA program there was a minimum number of people that she had to retain, so the CETA offices kept sending them, and she kept taking them.  There was good old lonesome Joe Porter, a white guy in his late forties, who would tell us what he was planning to watch on TV for the rest of the week.  His greatest pleasure in life was a pitcher of beer with his lunch on Saturday.  Burnt out from working on the ballistics of Atlas ICBM's in the days before pocket calculators, he was extremely withdrawn from the world.   Women were anathema to him; he was complaining that all they wanted to do was take your money, which must have happened to him.  All he wanted out of life was a nice steady job that he could retreat to, and holography was sort of up his alley because of his technological bent.  He eventually got to be the person who did the explaining to the customers who paid that extra dollar on the weekends.  But Gallery 1134 literally became hell for him thanks to the likes of Raphael Mallory.

He liked it to be pronounced Ray-fell instead of the Italianish Ra-fa‑el.  His path and mine had actually crossed earlier in time, as his brother was a classmate of mine in high school.  I think that Raphael was the recipient of my gym shirt.  Some buddies of mine asked me if I had given my shirt to any pickaninnies, because they had seen Wesly, E. running around in the public junior high playground.  I told them that it had been stolen.  lt makes sense to me that Duane Mallory (he liked it to be pronounced Du‑wayne) got my shirt and gave it to his kid brother.  This cat was the devil of death.  In fact, he didn't even like Loren's black cats, Shadow and Midnight, he said that they were the only things sneakier than him.

His flunky was named Frankie Thigpen, definitely of room temperature lQ.  They were high school buddies, having gone to good old Argo High like myself.  But it shows what a difference 8 years could make in schooling.  Sure the negroes were dumb back then, but not this incredibly stupid.

And they were joined by a big tall one called Goose, who was undergoing methadone treatment.  He snowed Loren into letting him come in at ten o'clock everyday since he had to wait in long lines for his daily shot.  When he came in to pick up his last paycheck he brought along his wife or girlfriend, a not bad looking white woman but who definitely needed to get her cunt cleaned out with the high pressure hose at a car wash.  When they were there, Goose was singing his version of the line from the Doors' song L.A. Women, "Did a downer in a diner an hour ago", and took a long time in the bathroom, probably shooting up.  A totally worthless bit of subhumanity.

There was some other black kid in this group, I forget his name but not his looks, as he was always dressed "clean", too clean to do any dirty work.  I also remember his car had a loud burglar alarm with lots of flashing lights that went on when I bumped into it one day leaving a parking space.  He stopped coming in after somebody got killed in the car, sitting right next to him, and he was afraid that the gangsters were after him for being a witness.  So he quit, maybe left town.  Or maybe he was just full of shit.

Another of the second bunch of the Afro-Americans was named Darryl, and he was OK, having been in the service.  But he made a major mistake in stealing $500 from Loren's stash.  She had a wad of bills in the filing cabinet behind her desk, probably didn't even know how much she had.  So this guy took it all on a Friday afternoon.  That was his first mistake, critiques Victor Morales, instead of leaving some to fool Loren.  The CETA workers were still there when she figured it out, and called the cops.  They came, and even strip searched him, and he came up clean.  Evidently he had hidden the dough somewhere in the place before the cops came, and retrieved it before going home.  But his biggest mistake was in confessing, because they pressed charges and he ended up doing a little bit of time.

But the white guys that came in were no shining examples either.  Two guys from Cicero, that should put it all in a nutshell, alcoholics, vets, my age or a coupla years younger, Spitznagel, whose first name I forget, and his sidekick, Ray, whose last name I forget.  I remember them eating some takeout food and drinking beer, sitting on a loading dock that had NO PAKlNG (sic) written on it.  They were always trying to pawn things off on John, "Look, here's my shaver, give me $10 till Friday, and I'll give you the money back then.  And you can keep the shaver."  Anyhow, after they got fired or quit, they came back and burglarized the place.  The tall skinny one snuck down the chimney and got all the filing cabinet money.

And there was Peter Demos, missing a front tooth and then some, definitely not all there.  He tried making a hologram of a dollar bill by sandwiching it in with the film.  lt actually worked but whether or not he tried to pass it I don't know, but I wouldn't put it past him.  And then there was John Hooper, a balding guy who bicycled all the way in from Evanston because although he had a front yard full of old Porsches and what not; none were running because he was always working on them.  He showed up at the big party at Victor Heredia's house with his head completely shaved, I would think in honor of him giving head, as in retrospect I can see him now as that type that was coming out in the late seventies.

And I had to teach this crew holography.  Every Friday was their class day.  Al Ornelas would teach them in his "Art and Holography" class in the morning, saying such blissfully ignorant things like "your assignment will be to make a holographic artwork using only three toothpicks," and he would then pass out the toothpicks, and I was expected to make sure the holograms would come out.  Luckily they lost their toothpicks by the time they got back from lunch so no more was said about it.  After a session like that, Ron Scott would tell Al, "You're a wonderful person, Al and I love ya, but you're a terrible teacher!"  But he was being sincere about it.  He was striving to achieve something for himself.  He actually moved in with the mother of his child in order to make their lives better.

The first one to go was Ron Scott.  Although he was trying to settle down, that didn't stop him form buying some powdered recreation for the weekend from Raphael.  It was "Tick" or some such nonsense which was poorly disguised animal tranquilizers.  Since the weekend began early, like Friday afternoon, he and a friend split the shit.  Ron passed out, but his friend was still somewhat awake so he took the wheel but he was not awake enough to prevent an accident on the Eisenhower Expressway which threw Ron out the car window, and broke his neck, killing him instantly.  Since he was sleeping he died never knowing what hit him.

Loren took us all to the wake.  lt was held in a black funeral home just west of Gallery 1134 and we walked over.  We were the only white people there amidst Ron's friends and family, including his mother.  Since Ron's widow knew exactly what had transpired, the hate rays going from her eyes to Rayfell were clearly visible to all in the room.  The fucking asshole had a look on his face like, "Hell, I sold him the shit, and I'm sorry, but I didn't tell him to take it and drive."

And I blame Loren, too, even more so, for Ron's demise.  There were enough warning signs that Rayfell was a bad influence on the place, plus he was counterproductive.  He would rather do nothing than anything.  As soon as any authority figures were out of the room, he would put down whatever he was doing and start nigging.  But since Loren had to keep her quota of CETA workers to continue receiving a manager's salary, she kept him anyway.

Even in spite of poor old Joe Porter's complaints.  Because that scummy Rayfell delighted in needling him constantly, all day long, as often as he could, "You know why you ain't getting no pussy, Joe?  'Cause you so square, that's why!" was what I caught him saying to old lonesome Joe, who wanted to stay as far away from pussy as possible since somehow it was involved in his nervous breakdown.  So Joe would be the only one working in a room full of people, trying to ignore all this needless insanity.

He complained to Loren, who wouldn't get rid of Rayfell since she needed his stinking body for that critical number of employees to allow her to collect the manager's money.  She shifted Joe's schedule so that he worked his five days over the weekend.  This made him the official explainer to the museum-goers who paid the extra buck for the talking tour.  Just another thing that the poor withdrawn soul needed, but at least the explainees thought he was smart, and didn't sass back.

But he still came in contact with the assholes three days a week, and even when he complained directly to the CETA office Loren still wouldn't relieve Rayfell of his position and so Joe did the most logical thing, he quit.  When he started running low on money, he went down to Decatur, IL, to collect on a debt from his sister's husband.  The brother‑in‑law didn't pay up, so Joe blew him away with a handgun and then blew his own brains out.  All for $300.  All because he couldn't find decent working conditions.  Because Loren wouldn't fire his nemesis, because she "had to get money into this institution anyway she could!"  So Joe Porter was the second person to go who worked there, and his relative gets the (or four) epithet which I referred to in the beginning.

The third Gallery 1134 person to go was Al Ornelas.  He was one of the founders of the place, along with Bob and Loren.  I guess he had met Loren at the 'Tute, and had fallen in love with her.  But when I left, they were at war for some reason, only leaving notes on each others' desks to communicate.  One time during this period they both disappeared into the classroom for an hour or so, and we figured that they had made it.  Al would have been a much better mate for Loren than that asshole Bob.

But Al was married to a very nice lady, Laverne, and Victor Heredia and I went over to visit her to offer our condolences when we found out that he had died, which was after we had both had been ostracized from there.  I found it out after touching base with my mole who was still there, Lisa Liewalt, after I had returned from my epic Motorcycle Trip of the Summer of 1981. The widow Ornelas said that he had died of a heart attack on the way to the Seven Eleven to get some groceries on the first day of his vacation from his normal job and Gallery 1134.  Henpecked to death by Loren was her estimation of the calamity, and she said that he had kept a diary of it all, with poetry, some of it shocking to her, but understandable.

So three or four poor souls could have still been alive, if it were not for the evil brewing in the depths of Gallery 1134.  These are all I know about, there may even be more than that, I wouldn't be all that surprised.  And could there be any more in the future?

One time Billings tried to sue Robert Sherwood and Doug Miller for having their companies named Robert Sherwood Holographic Design and Doug Miller Holographic Design because the similarity in name to their own Holographic Design Systems (the company they set up with Libo when he was working there) and they were siphoning off business.  How did they know?  Because they were receiving mail for them because it confused the Post Office and UPS. 

So a suit was filed, and Sherwood went out getting depositions from experts in the field that Holographic Design was not too unusual of a name for someone in the field, and finally there was a court date and they were all there, Bob with an inept wet behind the ears lawyer, and when the judge read the complaint he threw the whole thing out.  So Sherwood and Miller were out a few kilobucks for the lawyers' fees, plus the time and aggravation, plus not getting the satisfaction of having their lawyer ask Billings to produce the letters which they had unwittingly opened that started the whole mess in the first place.

There was a little faggot that Bob hired especially for his whipping boy.  Daniel was his name, and he was a commercial artist whose job was to produce layouts for Bob's TransAdCo company so that he could show them around. 

This poor soul went through hell on a daily basis.  He was fairly mincing, I remember him going "Ooh, ooh, Mrs. Billings," like a femmy version of Toody (or was it Muldoon?) of "Car 54 Where Are You?" fame.  He was definitely a dyed in the wool dicksmoker, dressing like Fred Schneider of the B-52's with suit jackets that were maybe just one size too big.  He never confessed to being a fag, for now he was a born again Christian, (? and ??)  although he professed to having been an "avaricious Sybarite" in college.  But now he was reformed.

The poor kid lasted about two weeks.  There was no doubt that his function was not to make art but to take the brunt of Bob's venom.  He took it, until he wised up.  Which didn't take too long.

I saw him after that at the Museum of Contemporary Art, with a girl in a black leather jacket, another born again Lesbian who wouldn't give up the trappings of her past life, but he told me he was certainly very glad to have gotten the hell out of Gallery 1134.

ellen sandor
knew loren at saic
dr. francis
neon portraits of connie at hull house separate room

getting trouble with Loren about blabbing that the track lites were actually 6 v sealed beam headlights.

Lloyd Huff wanting to know where loren got the big rolled paper cylinders for her multiples stands.

Bob called her Louie

When I left Gallery 1134, Loren was so mad that she kept slamming her fist down on John's Desk, screaming "This place will succeed in spite of me!"

loren telling tj I was good

The year after the first ISDH I was hanging out at the Smith and Cvetkovich lab with Tom, and I decided to plant some LFC Holo Workshop brochures on the windshield of the cars parked around Gallery 1134.  Tom and I were sitting outside behind their lab and we saw a figure run out and take all the brochures off the cars and rip them up in rage and throw them into one of their tree pots.  It was joined soon by the all too familiar figure of the devil himself, Bob.

The figure had to have been Loren from the actions and the way she moved; from a distance we couldn't see the features distinctly, but could tell that the pigtails were missing.  Later I found out that this was the Loren of the dyed blonde bowl cut hairdo incarnation, which is still the way she is.  So anyhow the students didn't get their LFC propaganda.

The following week, I personally gave a coupla students LFC brochures and some invitations to the Great Party at Victor Heredia's.  I remember one guy who was a bushy‑bearded hippie type and they must have been doing Single Beam Reflections that night because he had an espresso maker, the stove top kind, an object I had wanted to holograph back then.  But I guess that they must've snitched, and that prompted Bob to write the letter (enclose as an appendix) to the President of LFC.

When TJ told me of the letter, I immediately asked him if that hurt his job.  He said no, but dear old Mrs. Crist drafted the reply that is also in the appendix.

I found about a show that was there from two of the artists, Mary Harman, and Charley Lysogorski. Mary was dropping off pieces for the ISDH '91 at LFC, and then she was going down to Gallery 1134 to drop off pieces.  Charley called from Ann Arbor to tell me that he was in it too, and we arranged to have dinner after the opening. 

So I called up the usual bunch of friends and students to arrange a rendezvous there, even Steve Smith since it would be fun to see him in the hallowed halls of the Chicago Museum of Holography since the doors had been opened by the Nancy Gorglione show.  After all, I had been anointed the peacemaker for the holographic wars in town by Rudy Guzik, the director of the local chapter of SPIE.  It could have been nice if we all went out for dinner together.

When I got to the ranch to pick up Georgette, she was upset because one of her earrings had broken.  She felt that something bad was in the air, and it was a night of the full moon.  I myself told her that if Lysogorski would rather go out to eat with Loren and that bunch instead of going out with us that would be fine, since I was tired and had an upset stomach and a headache to boot.  But we got there late, at about 7:30, so that we wouldn't be there an uncomfortably long time.

We followed Alan Frolichstein to the door, who was arguing with his wife or girlfriend.  We got in to see that the crowd was small, but were greeted by Steve Moore who had been there for a while.  Rick Bruck was there too, arriving a few minutes before us.  I saw Loren in one of the dark corners of the gallery as we walked in, but didn't see her after that, figuring it would be best to avoid any confrontations.  So we checked out the show, which had in addition to the other two artists mentioned above were some classic Rudies, a few new Mike Medoras, and some Bob Connollys, one of which, "Post‑War Centaur", was cracked.  It actually was not a bad show, kind of what I was looking for 12‑13 years ago when I first
got into the business.

Talking to Steve Moore there, he said when he had arrived at about quarter to seven that cops were leaving as he stepped into the place.  We were trying to figure out why, like maybe someone had taken a swing at the Connolly piece in a heated debate over its merits or something.  Maybe they were just the guys on the beat checking in for their pay‑offs.

When we decided to leave, Loren appeared at the entrance, and started talking to us, saying that she heard that I was teaching at the 'Tute, and we had a somewhat rational conversation, introducing her to Georgette and blowing her cover if she ever tried to take classes there, as she has threatened to do but not with my money.  Loren thought that she had never met her, but was reminded that they did meet at Nancy Gorglione's show, which Loren thought was two or three years ago but was only eight months beforehand.  And I even complimented her on how nice the place looked, and in general thought that well, maybe a leopard could change its spots.  Bob seemed to come out of nowhere, conspicuously absent all this time.  But it figured that he would hide and wait until it's all over just to turn all the lights off on anybody that wanted that
one last look.  He even sheepishly said hi to me, the guy who I've been waiting to give the finger to for all these years.  I did, only the finger was behind the back.  So the five of us took off to an Italian restaurant, and we had an enjoyable dinner, the best time I had in a long time.  We sat at a table for six, and I jokingly said that the empty chair belonged to the Lasersmith, and that set the tone for the evening, everybody joking about him.  But I was so surprised by Loren's behavior, and I told those guys that maybe she was turning over a new leaf.

But the chair really belonged to Matt Schreiber, my trusty grad student, but he couldn't make it because he was involved in the

Here is what happened, according to Matt: he got there at about six or so, and was going to wait for everybody else.  He had brought a friend, one of the students from Columbia College he had met when he was living in the Herman Crown Center, a kind of generic dorm for students of the two schools above and Roosevelt University.  So they were playing with one of those "snap bracelets", a piece of spring metal coated with plastic and decorated with embossed gratings, so that when you slap your wrist with it wraps around the arm.  Being of an inquisitive nature, they wanted to find out what happens when it is dropped on the floor; will it wrap, or bounce?

While they were running this experiment of Newtonian importance, they were sighted by Bob, who blew a gasket.  "Are you guys gonna buy that?" he bellowed.  At first they thought they he was just play yelling at them, as who could really get upset over the dropping of a fifty cent trinket?

Well, Bob could.  All that piss and vinegar built up inside of him just had to boil out, and so he physically ejected them, kicking them in their asses all the way down the stairs and out the door.  But that wasn't enough; the guys thought, well, OK, we're out of here, we won't go in again, we'll just wait for Ed outside, but it was not over, as Bob got into a fighting chubby, and then proceeded to throw the first punch.  Since Matt Schrieber is just five foot four, Bob had the advantage over him, but with the help of his friend, they got Bob down on the ground, telling him to chill out.  Matt spat in his face, and they broke it up.  They got to their car, and as they were leaving the scene they got pulled over by the cops.

They were taken to the station, where they met Bob.  He wanted to press charges, and so did they.  The cops were going to let them all go, but then I guess Loren showed up and backed up Bob's story, and Matt and his friend got booked!  Fingerprints, mug shots, the works!  Plus a place to sleep, courtesy of the Chicago Police Department!

Matt felt bad vibes about the whole thing, even before he left from the school.  He had heard horror stories from myself and Larry Lieberman, whom he had worked for, and he felt like some disaster was about to befall him.  He had never been there before, but the insane karma of the joint got him, a totally innocent person.  And his friend, not even connected with holography at all, a person Matt had met here in Chicago, now has an arrest record for the stupidest reason in the world.

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