People Watching


People watching is a science. People watching is an art. People watching is fun. People watching can be dangerous.

I have been a people watcher for 40 years. I have watched wealthy people and poor people, good people and bad people, happy people and sad people, intelligent people and not too swift people, beautiful people and ugily (worse than ugly) people, real people and phoney people and just plain folks.

With the exception of maybe two people I have found good in everyone I have met. When I met a man who was number one on the FBI's most wanted list he seemed like I nice guy concerned with my second xs well being.

I have met bikers that would just as soon kill you as look at you and if you gave them respect they would in turn show you respect. Just don't cross them.

When I was in the Navy I spent time in Chicago while I was in a school at Great Lakes. Chicago was a good place for people watching.

I used to hustle pool with a guy that killed 3 men. He was a martial arts instructor in the army. He was jumped by 3 men and he killed them with his hands in the fight. He spent several years in Levenworth Prison for manslaughter. He had a wife and 3 kids. He was one of the nicest guys I have ever known. Together we helped a pregnant hooker get out of the business. She named the baby after us.

When he was in prison he had a new cell mate. The cell mate said he was in for theft and asked my friend what he was in for. He said, "Murder three counts." The cell mate never caused a problem. After he got out he got busted in Chicago and went to jail. His cell mate was a big mean looking man. He asked what he was in for and the man said, "Murder 7 counts, I am good with an ax." My friend did not get much sleep while he was there.

One thing that is fun with people watching is experiments. Doing things to see the reaction of strangers. The pregnant hooker was in the grill on the corner. I walked in and yelled at her (she was in on it) I took my left hand and quickly put it by her face as I took my right and acted like I was slapping here. I hit my hand instead of her face and it sounded like I hit her real hard. She let out a blood curdling scream and I walked out. No one offered her aid.

In the wild bunch you will see a couple of things done to find out the reaction of people to strange events.

I knew this mobster, Lou. Lou told me one time that if I wanted anything or had a problem to let him know. I said to him that there was no way in hell that I wanted to owe him a favor. He laughed and agreed with me.

A few days later my hustling partner and I ripped of a couple of bikers for $500. They called there clubhouse and Lou who ran the place called the his guys. A bunch of bikes pulled up. The bikers had chains and other things to help them maim us. Then a few big black cars pulled up and guys got out in suits and with guns. The bikers left and the suits left.

I asked Lou, "Was that a favor."

He laughed and said, "No, I was protecting the place."

The feds had a camera on the sears building (Not the sears tower). They were trying to find out what who owned the strip joint, the pool hall, arcades and who ran the prostitution. A young hustler was in the diner with a couple of hookers and I.

He said, "I know who owns the places the feds are looking at."

Everybody told him to shut up but he kept talking. Two suits came in and had him go outside with them. He came in got his cue stick and said that he had to leave town. I never saw him again. He thought he was good until my partner tore him up.

As I said before the study of people can be fun and it can be dangerous. After 40 years I am still alive. I came close to getting I ass kicked a few times but I got out of it. I have also learned how to help people who are overwhelmed with problems. When I tended bar many came to me with problems. When I was in the hood they came to me. Now they come to me.

I feel that I have helped many and I hope in the future I can help many more.

© Copyright 2001 Lee W. Gaylord

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