Page 70 - Pat's Tavern
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Pat’s Tavern by Thomas J. CraneMy Father — A Hero of SortsMy father was born in 1900 and my mother in 1904. Her brother, My Uncle Robert (Uncle Bub) was born in 1902. My parents married in 1923 and my sister was born in 1926. I came 7 years later in 1933. My father met my mother through her brother, Uncle Bub. To say that my father and Bub led a life of adventure would be an understatement. Because they were both strong swimmers. They would both swim out and then back from the water intake crib for Chicago, located 2 miles from shore in Lake Michigan. During times when there was no work, my father and Uncle Bub, would sometimes flip freight trains and ride the rods in order to travel to the East Coast and line the Hulls of ocean going vessels with asbestos. Their stories of their travels on the road would fill a book. My father, especially, was a fighter for the underdog. One time while escorting my mother down the street they saw a horse drawn wagon moving along and suddenly the horse slipped and fell as the streets were icy. The wagon driver then proceeded to whip the horse in order to make him get up. Each time that the horse tried, his horse shoed hooves would slip out from under him and he would fall again. My father went over and grabbed the whip from the driver and proceeded to whip him with it and all the time saying, “See how you like it, see how you like it.”Another time when my father was playing Billiards, a big guy started hitting and pushing around a much smaller man my father said, “Why don’t you pick on somebody you own size?” The man replied, “Stay out of it, its none of your business.” My father replied, “You made it my business because you ruined my game.” The man proceeded to come at my father and my father picked up a pool cue and started to beat him with it. He beat the man so bad that he fractured his skull and it was a matter of waiting as to whether the man would live or die. In the meantime the police were looking for my father in case the man died. Fortunately, the man survived and when he did, he went back to the pool hall and apologized to my father for having started the fight.There was a time when my father went fishing at the Kankakee River with my grandmother and mother. A boat came drifting down the river with a bunch of drunken people in it. The boat capsized and the people yelled for help. My father swam out and helped them to shore one by one until they were all safe. Each time that he did my grandmother yelled for my father to stop as he might drown too. The man was so grateful that he gave my father the boat. About a week later a man came along in a boat and looked at the one that the drunk gave my father and he said, “You have my stolen70

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