Chitown during the ’30s: Pablo’s stickin’ from his socks—three bucks for a smoker’s dozen—down on the corner of Canal and Madison, and Mr. White’s cruisin’ the South Side in his yellow cab offering 100 mezzrolls for an Andrew Jackson. Then, after you meet your man it’s over to Little Johnny Lindsay’s for a night of pre-Marijuana Tax Act fun. Go back in time with this October, 1982 gem from F.J. Wallace.
When you were standing on the corner of Canal and Madison streets, Chicago, in the early ’30s, you were in the city’s backyard. Here the prevailing winds from the lake had blown the bums, the derelicts, the “downers” (horizontal drunks, not to be confused with depressants) and deposited them in windrows along West Madison Street in one of the country’s gamiest skid rows. Though the landscape was grubby and the principal view was the backsides of the big skyscrapers, you were, if you knew this wicked city, only one step from paradise. Around the…
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