The Last Original Gangster

Dad was a gangster. Not the illegal kind…at least usually…but a gangster nonetheless. He loved his Harley motorcycle and he loved a leather jacket and a motorcycle hat. He smoked L&M cigarettes unfiltered and he carried a concealed weapon…which was the illegal part. He wore a jaunty mustache and appeared to be the kind of fellow that you did not want to mess with. He fought in World War II in the Pacific Islands. Dad and Mom hailed from Southern Illinois, Ashley, and Mt.Vernon respectively. He learned how to be a mechanic and worked on the big motors of Semi Tractors. They moved to Chicago to find work and Mom found a job at the Hilton Hotel as a Switch Board Operator. No one helped them financially or in any manner…there was no one that they knew that had the resources to do it. They first lived in an apartment in the City and after saving their money they purchased a house in Sauk Village. There were cookouts and badminton…where Mom sprained her ankle. Mom enjoyed a Slo-Gin Fizz from time to time. When we came to Eldorado where many of Mom’s family had settled I noticed that they all loved ‘Junior’ which is what they called Dad. He stood out in the crowd. He was just different enough that you felt compelled to look twice. In those days we called a man like Dad a Man’s Man…which was a high compliment. Other men sought to emulate him.

My brother Brock referred to me as The Last Original Gangster…and I thought of our Dad. Both Brock and I seek to be our own individuals and not run with the pack. We both enjoy a Skull Ring and a fine hat. I have always worn the badge of being a bit different…with honor.

Truth is vital. When someone tells you that they are telling you the truth…they are probably lying. It is somewhat like when someone assures you that they are not racist…they are indeed racist. The most lovely buttercream iced birthday cake…may be filled with sawdust.

Lemmings are noted for at times following each other off a cliff to their death. Not all Group Think is good. Occasionally it is best to be a bit of an Original Gangster…

7 responses

  1. Rugged individualism… Gangsta.

  2. My Dad was with World War11 and your Dad was too .so sad with these gangsters too..Anita

    1. Yes it is, my friend.

  3. Here’s to your individuality!

  4. Stacey C. Johnson | Reply


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