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"Yes, sir," Sandy said. This was the damndest thing he had ever heard of. Miss Mary came back with the check, and Mr. Tyler signed it. Shipley Pine stared in amazement as Sandy departed.
Sandy picked up the tickets, after receiving the most profuse apologies from the poor clerk who had called Mr. Tyler up for a verification of his signature, and brought Tyler's eight back to him. He was introduced, effusively, to Mr. Carl Krantam of the Federal Reserve Board and served coffee. His future as a valued employee of the First Merchants Trust was discussed in detail.
Every Sunday that fall Sandy attended the Colt games, where Mr. Tyler would introduce him to Mrs. Tyler and the other dignitaries whom the bank invited to use the extra six seats. For the San Francisco game there were Mr. and Mrs. Tyler, six other bank presidents, Sandy, and his friend Junie Ellison, to whom he had sold his extra ticket that week. With the money that Sandy obtained from the sale of this ticket every week he bought himself a snappy suit of clothes, two shirts with Mr. B collars and some Mojud hose for his mother.
In February, after the season, dressed in his new clothes, Sandy got on the No. 11 bus line and traveled out to Johns Hopkins University. There, for the price of two Colt season tickets—his extra and the one that reverted back to him in the bank option deal—Sandy obtained the guarantee of entrance and scholarship (one for each). He matriculated there in the fall, and with industrious study, graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Near the end of his senior year, Sandy went down to the Fifth Regiment Armory and volunteered to the sergeant for service in the Maryland National Guard. The sergeant, one Ansel Topper, E-6, said that the quota had, sadly, been filled only moments before. Sandy mentioned this business about a Colt season ticket on the 50-yard line. The week following his graduation, he was on the train to Fort Knox, Ky., a proud member—one of the few blacks in history—of the 29th Guard Division.
While Sandy was serving his six months active duty, Davis Tyler was dispatched in an unfortunate shooting accident near Easton, Md. He was, it seems, mistaken for a low-flying canvasback duck by Mrs. Tyler. While this ended Sandy's hopes for a job with First Merchants Trust, it did give him back the rights to two more season tickets, so he wrote Shipley Pine and asked him if he would like a couple of tickets. Shipley said he and his brother, Rogers Pine, would be delighted. Immediately upon his return from active duty, Sandy became the first Negro broker ever employed by Pine Brothers and Moore.
A few months later Sandy married the former Cynthia Green, the daughter of a prominent black surgeon in New York. He had met Cynthia while she was attending Goucher College in Towson. The newlyweds drove away from the church in a magnificent new Oldsmobile 88, which Sandy had obtained a few days before on a sort of permanent trade-out basis from Mickey Shadducks of Mickey Shadducks Olds. Mickey was a great Colts fan.
Shortly afterward Sandy approached Sergeant Ansel Topper and informed him that he would like to apply for National Guard officers training. Sergeant Topper said, that, sadly, the last vacancy had been filled. Sandy replied that it seemed the Colt ticket he had allotted Sergeant Topper for the past three years would no longer be available to him. A check of the records, Sergeant Topper explained, showed that one officer candidate position had just opened up unexpectedly. Sandy graduated the course with honors, and was commissioned a second lieutenant, the second black man to obtain officer status in the Maryland National Guard.
His first summer camp as an officer, at A. P. Hill, Va., Sandy encountered Pfc. Jerry Start, who was serving, disgruntled, as his platoon's pots and pans man on KP. Sandy discovered grease on one particularly vital pot that Jerry had allegedly cleaned and, in true officer fashion, he explained to Jerry that this greasy pot would surely bring the whole regiment down with the worst case of diarrhea known in medical annals. Jerry, who did not like being lectured to by a black man, protested that he was miscast for this low-life assignment, that he was a homeowner, about to take up employment with the grand old Baltimore stock firm of Pine Brothers and Moore. Jerry dropped a pot on his foot when Sandy replied that he already worked for that very establishment. Not long after, for the price of one Colt season ticket (and absolution from KP), Jerry agreed to sell the house in Far Lake Estates to Lieut. Tatler.
Thus it was that Colt season tickets had provided Sandy with an introduction to the white Establishment, with a free college education, a Phi Beta Kappa key, an escape from the draft, a National Guard commission, a fancy new automobile every year, a respectable white-collar job and a pleasant house in an otherwise all-white community. At Colt games, there on the 50-yard line in Section 10, Sandy sat on the aisle. Next to him sat Shipley Pine, and next to him, Rogers Pine. Then came the two gentlemen from Johns Hopkins, Dean of Admissions Elton Webber and Professor T.J. Trombley of the scholarship board. Then came Sergeant Ansel Topper, Mickey Shadducks of Mickey Shadducks Olds and Jerry Start. The two tickets at the end were provided by Sandy to potential business clients. With the enticement of a 50-yard-line ticket, Sandy was able to draw customers away from some of the most successful brokers in the city and to earn a reputation as a leader in the profession.
Of course, he only gave these last two tickets away on a game-to-game basis. They were Sandy's hole cards, and the other members of his season-ticket club—having learned from each other during halftime discussions how Sandy had used each of them—often speculated on who would get those final two tickets. What more did Sandy Tatler want? Did he hope to be the first black in the Elkridge Club? A better house, maybe even in Guilford or Ruxton? Did he want to be an Episcopalian? Gilman School for his young son Theodore? A summer place on Gibson Island? Or had Sandy decided that what he really wanted was to be mayor of Baltimore?