Thursday, March 10, 2011


This was so weird I had to get it. We went to Chicago Chinatown and I saw this in a gift shop. It's a precious little ceramic box with a sweet little brass bow tie latch on it, and it just happens to glorify a horrible scoundrel. Right on!

Here's the right side. See the little bullet holes? Cute, huh? I know it!

The left side:

The back has a beautiful signature in the handwriting style of the man himself, fired permanently into the ceramic. It's the little details that make it so special. It's a keepsake to be treasured and passed on through the generations.
My Grandma used to live in Chicago back in the 1920s and 30s with her dad, mom, and a bunch of siblings. She always had lots of stories about the good ol' days. I remember one gangster-related story she told me.

One time her entire family was in the car waiting at a red light, and another car pulled up beside. She said there were some men in the other car and they all had guns. According to her they were holding Thompson machine guns. These men intently studied each face in my Grandma's car, one at a time. When they'd seen every face and decided these weren't the people they were looking for, the men drove on down the street and were gone.

I remember being just old enough to do the math in my head. "Hmm... If they'd have killed Grandma then my mom wouldn't have been born! Then who'd take care of me?! Where would I live?!"


  1. You forgot to show us the victims inside the box ! All riddled with bullet holes, missing ears and fingers, and the sweaty little pile of dough scattered all around them !

  2. Amazing story, about your grandma. I love the image of the men with Thomsons studying each face. I bet the folks in Grandma's car sat real still.

    What a cool and weird keepsake. "There are no gangsters in Chicago" and yet there stands one big as life.

  3. I already know what's inside....Geraldo Rivera

  4. Lysdexicuss, Mykal & Jeeves,
    Thanks guys for the visit and the comments! I'm too afraid to look inside that box. I'll never know what's inside.

    I forgot to mention my Grandma said some of those gun men were standing on the running boards, on the outside of the car. They meant business!

  5. Yep, I bet they sat real still. I would have been a damn statue.

  6. Yes, either stand perfectly still, or jiggle around serpentine style so they can't aim at you.


Related Posts with Thumbnails