Saint Valentine and the massacre

February 14, 1929 was a cold day in Chicago.  People were moving  around in the four inches of snow which had been deposited the day before.  But in the North Side Street garage there was enough chill that the men still felt the chilly air.  This was the lair of the Bugs Moran Gang.  Barry knew of them by reputation.  They were the thorn in the side of a rival gang that most everyone dreaded.  The Chicago mob of Al Capone.  Barry sure knew of them for his Purple gang did work for Al.  He never met the man but knew others who had.  He had on one occasion met a man named John Scalise.  He had been imported by the Purple Gang to eliminate a minor rival.  Barry paid him for the job.  Scalise said nothing.  He did not even count the money.  I mean who short changes a mob hit man.

But it was his eyes.  They were deep.  They penetrated into you and there was a strange intensity to

them.  He was dapper but not flashy.  He went back to Chicago and it was rumored that he was part of the squad that entered the garage.

The group that entered the garage was not that impressive.  Just four guys, two dressed as cops and two who came in after the fake cops. They  placed the seven people in the garage against the wall.  The other two men came in with machine guns and blasted away.

Against the wall was:.

  • Peter Gusenberg, a frontline enforcer for the Moran organizations.
  • Frank Gusenberg, the brother of Peter Gusenberg and also an enforcer.
  • Albert Kachellek (alias “James Clark”), Moran’s second-in-command.
  • Adam Heyer, the bookkeeper and business manager of the Moran gang.
  • Reinhardt Schwimmer, an optician who had abandoned his practice to gamble on horse racing and associated with the gang.
  • Albert Weinshank, who managed several cleaning and dyeing operations for Moran. His resemblance to Moran, including the clothes he was wearing, is what allegedly set the massacre in motion before Moran actually arrived.
  • John May, an occasional car mechanic for the Moran gang

Within a few minutes the damage was done.  There was a lot of murders in Chicago in the wars between rival gangs but none had been so savage as this one.  And seven in one shot.  This demanded action by the public and backfired on the gangs trying to stay out of the limelight. A statement was made which illustrated this point.  “Only Al kills this way”


Even Barry was aghast.  This was the last draw for him.  He knew he had to find a way out.  A way which would not put him on a list to be eliminated.

Barry saw the above picture and even he was terrified by it.  Not only were these men shot up by machine guns ripping them apart but then to be on the safe side they were shot by shotguns close range.  The illusion that there was something grand about being in the mob went out the window.  Now escape was Barry’s main concern.



Island in the sky at Cypress Gardens and Lego Land.

  • This is the island in the sky.  It was put into Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven, Florida.  Born in 1983 and died November 2917.  I was a ride operator in both Cypress Gardens and Lego Land and operated this ride many times.  I probably did a thousand rides.  I went up in the sweltering heat and the chill of winter.  I loved this ride.  I loved the people who were awed by this ride.  And now it is gone.  The parts had been used to the point that the ride was old and breaking down a lot.  I personally was on this ride when it malfunction.  Got stuck up there at one hundred and fifty feet.  People freaked out.  I had to calm them down.  One passenger asked me, “Are we going to die?”  I responded, “not today.”

Things change.  I once did not have wrinkles and now I know them on a personal basis. But I miss the ride.

A trip to Epcot and almost the end of my teaching career.

English: Temple at Epcot China in reflecting pool.

English: Temple at Epcot China in reflecting pool. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spaceship Earth at Epcot at night.

Spaceship Earth at Epcot at night. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was one of the first to organize the trips to Epcot by a school. I hired five buses and took the entire school minus the students who got into real trouble from December to the day of the trip. It was considered a behavioral modification tactic. I also took on this trip ten teachers and five parents.

My name was on the trip and I guess if it went wrong my career would go down the tubes. So I stayed on my toes for the entire trip.

I had one student, I will call him John. John came to me and begged to go on this trip. John was held back two years for constantly getting into trouble. If the behavioral modification program needed a poster child it was John. I am a little on the crazy side. I told John I would consider it if the Principal okay-ed it. To my amazement he did with two provisos. There were two other students in the same situation. If the three of them got into no trouble from December to May he would allow them to go. Second point they had to walk around with me. I figured there was no way that they would contain themselves. They did. I figure how would they get up the money needed. They did. I figured there was no way they would wake up four o’clock in the morning and catch the bus. They did. I found the cigarette butts where they stood and waited across the street for the busses. They were there at two in the morning. I made them ditch the cigarettes. They did.

The three boys were a mixed lot. A huge White Kid, a Spanish Kid, and a Black Kid. And then there was me. We were a weird group walking around Epcot. We almost did not go. John showed up wearing a tee shirt with words on it. This was a Vietnam shirt, political in nature, It stated, “Kill a commie, for your mommie!” It certainly was not a good selection. I could have sent him home, I should have made the shirt inside out. But I allowed it.

We got there and it went well. Outside of the classroom the three boys acted like real good children. There were looks and stares but they handled everything well. Until we entered the Chinese store. John walked around by himself and the staff, maybe from China read the inscription on the shirt and followed him around like he was a criminal. The other two boys were on the other side of the store. We left within five minutes and that was that.

We were on the way home. Since it was a pretty good distance from Epcot to Pompano Beach the buses took a break at the service station on the turnpike for a thirty minute break. It was during the break that the three boys took me to the side.

They commented that I was the one teacher who they really appreciated. No one else would have taken a chance on them and they wanted to show how they felt. They gave me a bag.

Inside the bag was an object they had gotten from the Chinese Pavilion.

I should have known there was a problem. First it was not wrapped. Second the sticker of how much it cost was still on it. The sticker read 1.500 which they had interpreted as fifteen dollars. A nice gift.

It hit me as I looked at it. John was the decoy and while the store employees were watching him the other two boys purloined this object. They had just given me a stolen object. I saw my career going down the drain. Add to this that they had misinterpreted the number and the real price was a hundred and fifty dollars just made it worse.

I teared up and the boys misinterpreted my wiping my eyes. They stated that if they had known I was so happy about the gift they would have gotten something more. I did not say that any more would get me a berth in a jail cell. I said instead how we would have to keep this a secret because the other teachers would be jealous. I realize that these three were eight graders and soon would be gone from the school. I prayed they would pass.

When I got home I wiped off the “gift” and mailed it with no return address back to Epcot. I went to a distant post office. I do not know if they ever got it. For the next few months I feared all phone calls and any mention of going to the principals office. But I got away with it. It was over thirty years ago so it is over the laws governing disclosure of a theft.

I continued the trips to Epcot but I was always a little more on my toes.

Washing the dirt out of my mind with a Q tip. Those gray cells are getting old.

tit for tat

Tit for tat is really more like “blow for a blow.” If you give someone a cupcake and she gives you one back, that’s not tit for tat, that’s just sweet. Tit for tat is meaner — it’s when someone does something like hit or steal something from someone, and the other person does something equally nasty back. This phrase is related to the saying “Let the punishment fit the crime.”

A cats in the cradle so where is the baby?

A woman lives in a shoe with many kids?  Where does she go for footwear?  I bet there is foot odor galore.

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet?  I prefer to sit on a sofa.

Along came a spider and sat beside her.  I have never seen a spider sit.

Little boy blue has a depression problem.

Ariel blows bubbles.

I never saw a buffalo with wings.

A footlocker should be where you put your feet.

Mob violence is anti-gang

Honey do melon is not made by bees.

The frog croaks and is never buried in the pond.

Does one scream in outer space?  Is your helmet on or off?  Who is there to hear you?

I went to subway and asked for a sub.  They gave me a periscope.

Kentucky Fried Chicken is so greasy they refer to it in Allstate Insurance Commercials.  The good hands people can never pay a claim because the claims slip through their fingers.

If time is in a bottle and one lets it out what time is it?  Does anyone know the time in Chicago?

Somewhere in the world a man is thinking.  That is strange for no man can think.

Woman can roar and therefore should be lions.

Who stops for menapause.  Should it not be femalepause?

I am constantly missing my period said the woman who lives in a shoe and has so many kids she did not know what to do.  I suggest birth control.

Note population has pop in it and not mom.  You need two to tango.

Congress recently installed a mute button in the halls so no one will say dumb things.

Some observations on a Sat. afternoon

Kentucky Fried Chicken changed their name because fried became a nasty word. Therefore an adman made up KFC.

Is it just me or is the new Kentucky Fried Chicken man playing Colonel Sanders does not come across very well.

I also have trouble with the Progressive Girl. On occasion they portray her as a tramp. Hiding in an alley and enticing a guy with her wares.

What happened to the caveman from Geico. Did his age catch up with him? Where were the cave girls? The cave girl like Raquel Welsh?

I wonder if there has been a reunion on Reunion Island?

If Greenland is green, Iceland has ice, then England has Engs, Ireland is the land of the ire and Scotland serves the Scotch and is the origin of Scotch tape.

If bears do not wear clothes are they bare bears?

Is a heated affair friction between two people?

There will never be the last man on earth. Women will see to that.  Although maybe a controlled robot would be acceptable.  Wait, men are robots.

When someone says believe me I tend not to believe them.

Everyone thinks they are a genius except for those who are true genius and they have few people who understand them.

In detectives I go for Charlie Chan and Sherlock Holmes.  I find Monk annoying for he thinks only of himself.  I can get a little sad when seeing an old Colombo show for I always found Falk as a great actor who nailed the performance and now he is gone…. No more Mannix and Higgie is gone from Magnum PI, hell Mary Tyler Moore is not smiling anymore and Mel Tellis lost his stutter.  I am getting old thinking about it?  Goodbye Sargent Carter or Gomer Pyle.  History marches on and many lads are on walkers pushing along the trail.

I try to  tell my grandchildren about the old days but truthfully they are not interested.

Time is not in a bottle because it evaporates.  And what use to be a year now goes by swifter than warp drive.  Captain Kirk could no longer fit in those shirts and pants that he wore on  the Enterprise.  Of course they would not have those garments in the future.

I passed Christmas trees today and they were in every color you could think of.  Purple, red and yellow.  Santa Claus would be blinded when he came down the chimney.

If all the perverts resign in Congress they will not have enough guys to get a quorum.  Women rule and men are now subservient for all the crap they put them through.


Man with a horn playing taps


He had a great ability with a horn. When he played it evoked something in people that touched their souls. He had found his ability in a high school band class purely by accident. But it quickly became evident that he was born to play.

Since he was from a military family he enlisted following the path that his father, grandfather and older brother. A family of marines. He put his horn away and traveled to Iraq to do his duty. There he befriended, Tom.   It would have been a relationship that would have lasted forever but fate intervened. His friend was killed as he ran to save a Iraqi child. It was captured on tape by a camera man doing a story on the war. It went viral on the internet and resulted in Tom getting the congressional medal of honor. It was noted by the service that since he was such a great horn player he would be given the honor of playing taps at the ceremony.

On that day he played from his heart. Even the tough old veterans on the stage could not hide the tears in their eyes. His rendition touched their souls. This would be played over the internet millions of times as the world saw and heard the moan full sound of “Taps.” After the ceremony he placed his horn back into its case and put it in the back of his closet.

Years later the asteroid was seen by the Hubble telescope. Plotting the route placed the earth in peril.

The world was put on notice that it had a meeting with death and the end was near. In some places there was chaos and in others many of the populace accepted their end with resignation. As the asteroid approached the playing of “Taps” came out and was played constantly. Finally it was coming so close people could see it. The President of the United States called him and asked him to play “Taps” for the nation. He went to the closet and took out the horn for the last time.   He brought the instrument to his lips and played from the depth of his soul. All the world listened as it was broadcast from the White House. It calmed the world down.   All the quarrels and spats dissipated as meaningless. Mankind was united for one glorious moment. All mankind was on the same wave length if just for a minute. A tumultuous prayer resonated around the globe. And in one miraculous second the path of the asteroid changed enough to bypass the earth and save it from destruction.

Gabriel blew his horn and the world did not end. He placed it back in the closet where it stayed for a long time.





I married a vegetarian

English: Bag of Prague powder #1. Also known a...

English: Bag of Prague powder #1. Also known as “curing salt” or “pink salt,” it is typically a combination of salt and sodium nitrite and is used in preservation and curing of meats. The pink color is added to distinguish curing salt from ordinary salt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A vegetarian versus meat. Retread lightly.

In 1970 I married Alice who was a second generation vegetarian. I certainly was not going to change her beliefs. I on the other hand was a meat and potatoes guy. She said she would not change me. The only condition was that our children would be raised vegetarians until they were old enough to decide which life style they wished.

Note this was 1970 and vegetarians were considered out of the mainstream. The question usually asked was “where do you get your protein?” Eateries considered vegetarian food a salad and that was about it. Chinese restaurants did have some vegetarian meals. Italian restaurants did have egg plant parmigiana and egg plant rolatini but quite often they would use chicken stock in the sauce. Now of course there is a vegetarian section on many menus and we do not get the looks of weirdness or “you must be nuts” when we do go out, eat and order food.

For years I ate a lot of meat. I knew my wife did not condone this choice but I am stubborn and she was not going to change my life style. As time when on I made quite a few observations.

Many of the meats I ate on sandwiches were names that I never questioned. I finally looked a couple up.

Bologna: Smoked sausage made up of cured beef and cured pork. It has in it some choice parts but also organs, trimmings and end pieces. It has salt , sugar, pepper and spices mixed in. Its casing can be the tubing from cattle, sheep and hogs. Some of the lower brands can use a type of plastic for the casing. This meat is cured which means the adding of salt, sugar and nitrates.

This believe it or not gives it the red color of meat otherwise it would be gray. Believe it or not the nitrates are not that terribly bad, it is the salt that is imbalance to our systems.

Hot dogs: Meat trimmings and fat plus salt, garlic and paprika with preservatives for curing including sodium nitrate.

Salami: Again sausage meat cured with salt. Again nitrates and seasonings.

Now I am in my seventy’s and the doctor said I need to cut down on salt. Therefore since most meats are cured with salt I have to for health reasons cut out the sandwiches which I was so found of. I have to avoid Chinese restaurants which feature MSG and salt as a foundation in their food. And hot dogs, well I can eat the bun. In other words my wife was correct and the heavy meat eating really had bad consequences which I now am correcting. Six months after I cut out most meats and avoid salt like the plague, my blood pressure is normal, my cholesterol is down and I lost thirty pounds. I do believe that meat is not the culprit but the salt is. Now I would not consider myself a vegetarian because I do eat tuna fish in water and occasionally salmon. My potato chips are unsalted, thank you Wise, and I eat a lot of Amy’s foods with the orange label which means low salt. I am convinced salt needs to be controlled and that I am passing on to you.

But as Thomas Mann stated,”you cannot go back”  The damage was done.  Years of eating badly took its toll and six months ago I had a triple bypass.  Welcome to reality.