Jake at his age forgets who I am and I have to kind of refresh his memory. It doesn't bother me none because like I said before in my other LaMotta article... We hardly ever get those chances to talk to our childhood heroes.
I bet you're wondering why in the hell would you have a guy like Jake LaMotta as a hero? Well, to tell you the truth I find alot of the behavior issues similar as myself. When I first saw the film back in the day, I felt weird. I never laid a hand on my girlfriends, but I drilled them with questions of paranoia to the point where they got tired of me... Things like that, and most of all the temper which gets in the way of my thinking and usually reacting first before reasoning.
Next step, I had to read the book, Raging Bull. The times in which he lived does not compare to my life or come even close, only the thick-headed stuff. When people had a chance to come face to face with the champ, they usually say that he's a jerk. But you have to go beneath the surface. He has a sense of humor, and he tells it like it is. Most folks don't like the truth and he comes out with it, like myself. He never gives me an attitude cause it takes one to know one. Simple.
I called the champ on December 24th 2007. The conversation is as follows... Enjoy!
Me: Hey champ! How's it going? This is Mike Duffau, I'm Harry's stepson.
Jake: Who's stepson?
Me: Harry, you know the guy that works downstairs in your building.
Jake: I don't know him by name, maybe I know him, but I don't recall. What can I do for ya? What can I do for ya?
Me: I just wanted to wish you and Denise a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Jake: Ok, that's very nice of ya, same here.
Me: Thank you! Did you get my Christmas card?
Jake: I don't... I don't care... She handles everything.
Me: You probably don't remember but I came to visit you around your birthday, and we talked a little bit and stuff like that. And I said the next time when I came to visit you I want to take you and Denise out to dinner.
Me: Like I said before, you're my boyhood hero.
Jake: Don't go through all that trouble cause we rarely ever do that.
Me: Is that so?
Jake: Yeah, cause so many people want to do the same thing. If you do it for one you gotta do it for everybody.
Me: Oh, I understand. That probably happens alot, I didn't know that.
Jake: Oh yeah, I'm wanted all over the world they calling for me.
Me: They still do huh, champ?
Me: They still do that huh, champ?
Jake: Yeah, it gets boring after awhile, you know.
Me: Even if you pick your favorite restaurant and I pay for it. I'd like to take you and Denise out.
Jake: Don't go through that trouble. Don't go through that. Really, I appreciate it, but I can't do it.
Jake: Thank you... Have a good holiday! Thank you very much.
Me: ok, hey champ! Can I ask you one more thing?
Me: Do you mind if I call you once a month to keep in touch with you?
Jake: I can't do these things. If I do it for one I gotta do it for everybody.
ME: Ok, I understand champ.
Jake: Ok, have a good life.
Me: Hey, take care champ. Thank you for talking to me.
Jake: ok, bye.
Me: Bye bye.
Jake LaMotta is a product of his time. One can't blame him for the way he is. I don't take it personal because it's always a thrill to chat with him, regardless of what mood he's in. It's still a pleasure to call even though I'm nervous as hell.
Be on the lookout for more future telephone chats with the great Bronx Bull.