The following is will simulcast on WOFI Prince William, New Hampshire. Here is Hamilton Enterprise owner, Tom McGill.
I was able to sit down with Hamilton College Coach Matthias Jones before his basketball game against Mac Conner and his team.
Tom McGill, Hamilton Enterprise: Coach Jones, thanks for meeting with me today.
Coach Matthias Jones: My pleasure Tom.
McGill: I think everyone knows your story. How you were requited by Cocoa Stefani on behest of Hamilton Fletcher, to be the coach of three sports here at the college.
Coach Jones: That’s true. Cocoa flew out to Indiana after my high school team won the national championship. I was skeptical at first but with a little encouragement–
McGill: Hamilton Fletcher.
Coach Jones: (Laughing) I was persuaded, yes, by Hamilton to fly back with Cocoa to New Hampshire to check out the job. Coaching college. Well, I had to consider it.
McGill: What was the defining moment that made up your mind?
Coach Jones: I think we both know the answer to that. And I can give you a clue. It happened at Fletcher Hill.
McGill: Back to Indiana. You dad had passed away. You didn’t know it was more than just passing away until Cocoa, owner of Club Max in Prince William, showed up in Indiana.
Coach Jones: Yeah, that’s true. My dad was very close to my Aunt Mae and myself. I think I was off my game about certain clues when Dad was found dead in his pickup.
McGill: Your Aunt Mae is you father’s sister?
Coach Jones: Correct. Her husband as my mother died when I was just a kid. Cocoa joined forces with me and we found what Dad what up to and we tracked down his killers.
McGill: So, you get back to Hamilton, into a Colonial on the common.
Coach Jones: I stayed at a local inn until arrangements were made to move into the colonial.
McGill: Well, here’s where Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde come into play. You investigated the Prince William Slasher. How did that happen and what gave you the legal power to do that?
Coach Jones: First of all I am not an investigator. I learned a lot growing up in the middle of Dad’s investigations and the FBI were grateful not just that Dad’s murder was solved but that we thwarted the huge conspiracy around it. There are papers on file giving me special status. But I’m not an investigator. I have my father’s intuitive sense of the landscape. I call it my sideroad theory.
McGill: Did they give Cocoa that same legal status?
Coach Jones: That did not happen. (Jones produces a sly grin)
McGill: That’s when you met the new security cop for the college, Bucky Driscoll.
Coach Jones: Where oh where do I start?
McGill: At the beginning.
Coach Jones: Let’s just say Bucky was wearing his Bermuda shorts. He was a little chunky. I remember him adjusting glasses and blowing a brass whistle annoying everybody. He never got off on the right foot with Cocoa when he told Cocoa to move his butt. I’m not sure if that’s when Cocoa started calling him ‘Rodent.’
McGill: You were right there when Dr. Povitch from the college died in the observatory.
Coach Jones: So was Bucky. He locked us out of the roadway. Povitch’s death was complicated and involved my parish priest Father Jim Gallagher. But I was trying to coach an away game in Maine and then there was a second murder.
McGill: Any other investigations involving professors at the college?
Coach Jones: Before Woozy Williams, who I knew in Indiana, was hired, Hamilton Fletcher brought in a hot shot from Florida to help at the time Professor Brad Davis, a real bad boy, was knee deep with Boston mafia, the Fiore family.
McGill: You’re often out of Hamilton in your investigations Prince William and Boston itself.
Coach Jones: Cocoa has friends in Boston.
Coach Jones: Friends… Prince William is just over the Devonshire Hills. Fifteen minutes as long as Corky Corrigan isn’t on patrol at the crest of the Devonshires-the notch. So I’m in Prince William quite a bit. St. Barts is in Prince William. Parts of PW are rough. I once chased a murderer in the fog in the rafters of the Crosstown Bridge. Too bad Arlo Wombat couldn’t have broadcast it live on WOFI.
McGill: Wombat is a lunatic… On another note you ended up in a very dangerous part of New York City.
Coach Jones: We were trying to find out what happened to Cocoa’s brother, Anthony. Thank God we had Uncle Dullio with us.
McGill: What does he do?
Coach Jones: You know, I really don’t know what he does. He’s loyal as hell to Cocoa and to me.
McGill: There’s always one question that’s gnawed at me ever since I bought the Enterprise from Jerry St. Clair.
Coach Jones: If I ever committed homicide it would be on Jerry St. Clair. The man is a walking annoyance.
McGill: No, no it’s not Jerry. Lark Larsen. Why did Hamilton Fletcher allow Lark to coach at the college year after year and have such an abysmal record?
Coach Jones: The town loves Lark. It’s that simple. His girlfriend Flo Nightingale is an airhead. But they filled the stadium for Lark. I think when Hamilton was convinced by Cocoa he could make more money with a winning record, things changed.
McGill: Coach let me off the record run down a list of names in rapid succession. I’d like your quick take on these locals and others.
Coach Jones: Sure.
McGill: Arnie Dewars.
Coach Jones: Reckless.
McGill: Bucky Driscoll
Coach Jones: Not too swift
McGill: George Strickland
Coach Jones: Steady, Strong, and Steadfast.
McGill: That’s good. Wendell Harris.
Coach Jones: Goof.
McGill: Leo Crowley, your old team manager.
Coach Jones: Reliable. Poor Leo.
McGill: Webster Howard and Clyde Hooper.
Coach Jones: Hooper thought he was a British agent and so did everyone else. Webster was a nice guy. You didn’t mention one of the pastors at First Parish–Bricker.
McGill: No Good?”
Coach Jones: No Good.
McGill: Has the town of Hamilton always been a little strange, I mean years ago?
Coach Jones: I didn’t realize that until I investigated what I thought was a disappearance twenty-five years in the past. Froggie Finlay was just as dense as he is today. And Arnie Dewars was born obnoxious. Lark was a little wilder in the past and did like the women. Your old boss Jerry St. Clair actually didn’t get carried away with his newspaper reporting back then.
McGill: Lark had some notable players.
Coach Jones: (bursts out laughing) Snookie Mackenzie is the one that stands out. He makes a reappearance in town ever now and then. And Brownie Plympton was the most spastic man I ever met. He runs a beach shop on Shore Drive. Lark had a nickname for everybody on his team back then. Fortunately I’ve forgotten all of them. Lark thought they were NFL caliber.
McGill: (Looking through notes) Who was this guy Daniels you helped with an investigation?
Coach Jones: You’ve got it wrong, Tommy. Daniels was a Sherlock Holmes buff who kept butting his head into the case of a hooker who was murdered two floors above Daniel’s apartment. The whole thing began in Club Max.
McGill: You like Club Max.
Coach Jones: Cocoa’s father put up money for Club Max. I like Cocoa and his family. Father Gallaher keeps telling me I can get into trouble hanging out at Club Max. And he’s right. Cocoa is like a brother to me. Bruno, he’s the bartender. He’s a good guy.
McGill: And the girls.
Coach Jones: And the girls… Frannie, if your listening to this… You’re my girl.
McGill: Before I wrap things up. Herbert Lane hates your guts.
Coach Jones: Herbert cheats his way back into office every four years. Herbert gets upset because I figure out things before he does.
McGill: And Mayor Piccata doesn’t nail him on the cheating?
Coach Jones: Why should he? He cheats worse than Herbert Lane. And they’ve got Dom Pacheco pinned in politically. He does his job as Police Chief in Prince William and forgets about the cheating and Kip Bosco.
McGill: Bosco is in vice.
Coach Jones: There’s the wolf watching the hen house. Winky can take care of Bosco and anyone Cocoa doesn’t like. Gives them ‘the treatment.’ That’s as far as I’ll go on that.
McGill: Who is your favorite opposing coach?
Coach Jones: Mac Conner-St. Pats… We fish together. He’s a good friend.
McGill: Those organized crime families. Isn’t that kind of scary crossing their paths.
Coach Jones: Albert Fiore always like me. Called me Matt. And Charlie DiPiro and I are on very good terms.
McGill: Last question. Did you anticipate Hamilton Fletcher had enemies enough to murder him?
Coach Jones: No doubt he did have enemies, Tom. Ham Fletcher was upset enough to leave town when he saw what Hamilton left him. I just didn’t expect to see Hamilton murdered by someone I knew.
McGill: Thank you, Coach
Coach Jones: Thanks Tom. Have a good day.
” The Matthias Jones Mysteries will bring you murder, mayhem, and monkey business.”