Finding Corn Pop

Pug Dixon freelance tabloid reporter searched the rundown projects of Wilmington, Delaware for two days, before he found a man in a dive bar that told him he knew Corn Pop.

After buying three beers for the man, he was given directions to a homeless shelter four blocks away.

Mr. Dixon was greeted by a man at the shelter that introduced himself as the chaplain. After several questions about why a reporter would be looking for the man that the dive bar patron named as Karim Hussein, the chaplain walked him to a bunk bed in the dormitory that an older black man was sitting on.

The chaplain said, “Karim, this is Mr. Dixon. He’s a reporter and he would like to speak with you.”

The old man agreed to be interviewed, after Dixon explained that he was doing a piece for the tabloid that he worked for, and he was willing to pay for the interview.

After establishing a price of fifty dollars for the interview, the older man agreed to be interviewed.

“If you have no objection, I’m going to tape record this conversation,” Dixon told him.

“That’s ok, but tape recording will cost you ten more bucks, cash up front.”

Dixon turned on his tape recorder and began by asking, “Are you the man once known as Corn Pop”?

K. “Yeah, people used to call me that back in the day.”

P.D. “Are you the same Corn Pop that pulled a straight razor on Joe Biden, at the public swimming pool back in 1961”?

K. “I can’t be arrested if I say yes, can I”?

P.D. “No the statute of limitations ran out a long time ago.”

K. “I don’t know about no statues, but I was Corn Pop.”

P.D. “Is your real name Karim Hussein, and how old are you”?

K. “My legal name is Karim Hussein and I am seventy-seven years old.”

P.D. “Did you change your name”?

K. “I converted to the Muslim religion, and I dropped my slave name at that time.”

P.D. “Have you ever been arrested”?

K. “I ain’t saying yes or no. It don’t have noting to do with me maybe pulling a straight razor on Joe Biden a long time ago.”

P.D. “So you did carry a straight razor, is that right”?

K. “When I was running the streets I carried a straight razor and a thirty-two gun, just like that  mofo bad, bad Leroy Brown.”

P.D. “Wasn’t bad, bad Leroy Brown just a song”?

K. “Shit man, I knew Leroy Brown when he was running the streets over in Philly.”

P.D. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the song about the south side of Chicago”?

K. “South side of Philly, or south side of Chicago, it don’t make no difference, I knew the dude.”

P.D. “What was your name before you legally changed it”?

K. “Buck Wheat.”

P.D. “Buck Wheat, like the character in the old Little Rascals movies”?

K. “Yeah, that was me before we moved to Delaware.”

P.D. “Are you being honest with me Karim”?

K. “I wouldn’t shit you man. I was just going to change my first name, and keep the last name until I realized that Karim Wheat sounds like Karima Wheat, that shit they serve for breakfast here.”

P.D. “Thank you for your time Mr. Hussein, this will conclude our interview.”

K. “Can I get a copy of your newspaper when the story comes out”?

P.D. “You seem like a nice old man sir, but this story isn’t going to come out.”

K. “You ain’t getting your money back, and you don’t know if I got a straight razor or a thirty-two gun in my pocket, so don’t try anything funny.”

Leroy B. Vaughn is a raconteur, former skip tracer and trained observer. He has never met bad, bad Leroy Brown, but he knew Jack Shit back in the 1960’s.

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