I was 16 years old when I met Danny Bass. Kenny, a friend of mine, and I were sitting by the Jax Bch Pier, when Danny passed in front of us. Kenny called out, and Danny came over and talked with us. I immediately liked him. He had stellar mannerisms. He smiled, chatted with ease, and had an award, winning smile.
Kenny and I were the odd couple. He had muscular dystrophy and I had a car. That day, those moments, were the beginning of the end.
I had spent the last 5 months, picking Kenny up; driving to the beach, where his sister lived. We smoked copious amounts of pot. I’m sure we were in blue jeans, t-shirts and tennis shoes, when that chance meeting occurred. Soon after, I saw Danny at school, and we became fast friends. He introduced me to my new, and peculiar, Westside group, which was to become known as The Funk Crew, Kenny included, as well as Rooster, Mark, Friz Whiz, Chuck, Deena, David, Lil Deb, Danny, the Session brothers, and more. We all stayed “friends”, for years, until we weren’t anymore.
Danny was the hub.
When Danny graduated, he wanted to go to college. He had his own apartment, in high school. I can remember seeing him at his kitchen table. He had tried to get into FCCJ, and couldn’t. He had a job, throughout the twelfth grade, supporting himself. He was a dock loader at UPS. He didn’t know what he was going to do. I told him I could get him a job, no problem. He went to work for my Father’s company, and he became, one of us. All of my family took him in; my Dad, my brother-in-law, my sister, everyone liked him. It would be hard, to not like Danny.
He became close friends with my brother, Danny.
He lived on the family compound, in the old farm house.
I had to share him with everyone.
Those two Danny’s, were the men in my life, when I was a kid. I would have followed them anywhere. I still have a deep and abiding love for them both.
On the morning of May 1st, 1986, I awoke to the news, that my friend had been killed. He had been shot between the eyes, in the parking lot of Annie Tique’s. My life changed again. It was altered when I met him, and it was altered when he died.
As he laid shot and bleeding, my brother threw himself, shielding Danny and holding his head. He awaited the shot that would be for him. He held Danny’s head. No shot was fired. These two were buddies. Danny adored Danny, like I adored Danny.
I can picture them getting ready to go out dancing, at the popular Southside club. They could both be peacocks. One dark, with dark eyes; the other sandy, with big blues. They hadn’t a thought of what lay ahead.
The story goes, a hitman was hired to kill my brother, Danny, and he shot the wrong Danny.
You can’t always believe what you read in the news. I read that article, and knowing the truth, of circumstances and attitudes, I know it’s fiction.
Fifteen years, he got for that murder. Anthony Joseph Stanfa, who said, there could be no other way.
I looked him up and he is currently serving time in North Carolina.