Page 104 - Pat's Tavern
P. 104

Pat’s Tavern by Thomas J. CraneMy Respect For My Father's Friend FrankMy father had a customer named Frank who always talked with tight lips like James Cagney. I asked my father if Frank was as tough as he made himself out to be. My father said, “Do you want me to tell you how tough Frank is?” I said, “Yes, go ahead.” He went on to tell me that one day a guy came into the casino with a gun in his hand. He yelled for everyone to get out and everybody did, except for Frank just sat at his table and did not make a move. The man turned and said, “I said everyone get out and that means you too.” Frank continued to sit. The man then approached Frank and took his gun and pressed it against Frank’s temple and then cocked the trigger. With that Frank lifted up his shot glass and took a sip. The man started to shake and tremble and got so nervous that he uncocked the gun and turned and walked out. “Now,” my father said, “that is how tough Frank is.”One time when my father was talking about Frank again, he told me that Frank and his brother ran the entire South Side Rackets except for the Policy Wheel. I was standing with Frank one day and we were watching my father out on the drive waiting on a customer. Frank turned to me and said, “You know, Tom, I don’t know if you appreciate what a wonderful father you have.” I turned to Frank and replied, “I do, Frank, I do.”Frank came into the filling station one day and my father asked him, “Where have you been?” Frank replied, “Remember such and such?” and my father replied, “Yes, I do”. Then Frank went on to say, “Well, it cost me quite a few thousand dollars and 7 months sitting in jail waiting for my case to come up. All because that So and So was sitting in the Illinois State Penitentiary for 12 years and he said his conscience bothered him when all that he was looking for was a reduced sentence in order that he would not serve his full term. And what do you know?, he named me. Well, I’m out now because I was able to prove that I wasn’t there that night.”After Frank left, my father told me the story. Two men got into a violent fight and one guy chewed off half of the other guy’s ear. He wanted revenge for his lost ear. He and a friend went to the mans house who chewed the ear and rang the doorbell. The man’s little girl answered the door and the guy asked, “Is your Daddy home?” In the meantime, the wife came to the door. When the man steeped out, the guy with the missing ear immediately shot the chewer down in front of his wife and child. When the police caught him and during the entire time that he was in the penitentiary, he never104

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