Sunday, July 23, 2017

The story of CAPTAIN KIDD CLEANERS in Coach Bryant's own words:

"By that time Mary Harmon and I were married and I was anxious to make my fortune. Hutson was in town in the off-season, helping Coach Thomas during spring training and getting himself in shape. We decided to pool our resources and become business tycoons. I borrowed $1000 for my share, and we bought us a cleaning-and-pressing place called Captain Kidd Cleaners. Hutson's wife, Kathleen- everybody called her 'Temp' but don't ask me why- helped out at the desk, and we had two scrawny old guys who did the cleaning. It was a sorry-looking shop but we captured most of the business.

We had a girl in every sorority touting for us, and Hank Crisp put me in charge of equipment. Naturally he gave me the business of cleaning the team's uniforms.

If we could have collected for all the business we did, we'd have made a lot of money. But if we had to pay for everything we ruined, we'd have gone to jail.

I'll never forget Coach Hank. We had new uniforms in 1938, and after the first game at USC, which we won easily (I say that for John McKay's benefit), I sent them over to our place for cleaning. The boys must have used hot water or something, because when the jerseys came back they had shrunk- the sleeves didn't even reach to the elbows. They looked like doll clothes.

I was sich. Coach Hank threw a fit, and it was a good thing I was his pet. He covered for me and ordered new jerseys.

I remember so well, they were having this ROTC day, when the governor was coming, and Hutson and I had all the uniforms to clean. The ceremony was scheduled at 1:00. At about 12:00 we came into our place, and there were stacks of dirty uniforms in the back room, I guarantee you half way to the ceiling, and outside a line of ROTC cadets three blocks long.

We served 'em one at a time like short-order cooks. As fast as a uniform was pressed we gave it out-and if it wasn't pressed, we gave it out anyway, "Here son, try this on. Oh, yes, it fits perfect. Perfect fit. You look good. Next."

We ran Captain Kidd cleaners for two years before we bailed out. We did a ton of business,  we just didn't collect much money. Temp Hutson was about five months pregnant when we started and she'd stand around on that hardwood floor guarding the cash register. I don't know how she took it. Mary Harmon found an old yellow bill just the other day that had Temp's handwriting on it, and old Captain Kidd receipt we hadn't collected on. I sent it to Hutson."


Post a Comment

<< Home