Male 30+ 206/260/382 words. Saul Alinsky: “The Mob.” From To the Great Egress.
By Paul Pasulka
I studied Archaeology at the University of Chicago. But during the depression all the guys who funded the field trips were being scraped off Wall Street sidewalks. Don’t suppose you got any of those fellas here in heaven...? Didn’t think so. You provide reason, the ledge, give the nudge. But a net?
So anyhow, I got into criminal justice. I see all these people - kids, most of ‘em, who never had a chance. I wanted to change that, but I needed more education. And I definitely did not go back to the University. They couldn’t organize a bagel. It was as crappy as this place. No. I wanted to learn from the best organizers in town - Al Capone’s mob. I’ll tell you, though, it wasn’t easy to get ‘em to talk to me. I kept going to the bar at the Lexington Hotel, asking everyone whose picture I’d seen in the paper to teach me. Nothing. But one night Big Ed Stash is trying to tell a story about this redhead he picked up in Kansas City, only everyone has heard it a million times. So I say, “Man, Ed, that sounds hot!” And he’s so happy to have someone listen to him that I’m in.
You’re surprised that they would talk to me? What? They didn’t care what I knew. I tell anyone anything – I’m dead. Besides, they had that city so tied up – one of theirs gets a cold, the courts close cause the judges are sitting by their phones in case they’re needed as pallbearers.
I learned more than organizing though. St. Peter, you listening? You could learn something about compassion. Once I noticed a seventy-five hundred dollar expense for an out-of-town killer. I asked Frank Nitti, “Why waste the money? You got guys here can do that.” Frank was shocked at my callousness. "Look, kid,” he says. “Our guys know the guy. They’ve been to his house, taken his kids to the ballgame. One of ‘em goes to hit him, he knows there's gonna be a widow, kids weeping. Christ, it'd be murder. But a guy from out of town – it’s strictly business." Phineas T. Barnum, what’d you say about heaven? Mothers nonchalantly watching their children suffer in hell. The mob would never countenance that.