Looks can be Deceiving
October 16, 2011

Peaceful activities can be very deceptive. Especially when it seems too quiet, as it has lately around the streets of Chicago. There is a growing unrest that cannot be denied. As prohibition advances through the decade, it inspires tremendous growth in the very vice it aims to eliminate. Good intentions can have unexpected consequences. They can even backfire. So it is with great concern that The Chicagoan is on the lookout.

Observant citizens can’t help but notice that the city is growing very quickly. Unlike in a small town, new faces don’t stand out very much; they are expected. But there is some strange behavior that is starting to get noticed. Men in expensive suits are gathering in small groups on street corners, standing too close together, whispering, and glancing about. What is of particular concern to this publication is that many of these frequent but short meetings are happening just outside The Chicagoan office. Granted there is a popular shoeshine stand positioned at the corner of the building, but informants coming in and out of the office with scoops seem to feel a bit intimidated by the well dressed men standing about.

Business is business and everyone understands that. Each has a unique way of conducting it and Chicago has proven itself as quite tolerant. However, there is a difference between tolerance and denial, between naïveté and skepticism, between seeing the good in people and being prepared for the worst.

shoe shine stand activity

Shoeshine stand is strategically placed so any action can be seen up and down Center Street. Mister Moorlord keeps his shoes in top condition while he stays current with published opinions. Mister Cascone happily gives these well-known shoes their continual perfect patina.

It is particularly notable that Mister Shepham Moorlord always has the shiniest shoes. If anyone has important business to discuss with Mister Moorlord and has the guts to interrupt his reading of The Chicagoan (and less reputable newspapers sprouting up in town), he can be found frequenting this particular location. Served by Mister Vinny Cascone, it is a good idea to make friends with this more quiet and unassuming fellow first. Mister Cascone has been around town all his life observing and making smart associations, but not astute enough to elevate his profession from shoe shine to dreams of influence. Perhaps, though, much like a barber, he is in a great position to gather and pass on information, thus making his home life a bit more comfortable than the meager salary from his modest enterprise might allow. Maybe the tips are particularly good for a man with his experience.

"businessmen"

Mister Carrollo is barely communicative, Mister Colosimo sees more than he tells, and Mister Tony is seen everywhere.

Several of the newcomers of mysterious business must go unnamed because they won’t respond when questioned by reporters. Only Mister Carlo Carrollo was polite enough to offer a minimum of introduction. Most of these men don’t use too many words. And the words they do use are spoken so low and quietly, it is hard to hear them. They will not repeat themselves either. In fact, they ignore everyone who is not of their own kind—except for their gracious lady companions who dress as nicely as they do. Leading the group of fashionable “businessmen” is Mister BigJim Colosimo who likes to observe more than be watched.

Mister Fat Tony is also a known name about town, though he is as tight-lipped as his colleagues. Hopefully the good citizens of Chicago will not let these “businessmen” (who lurk outside the Chicagoan office) deter them from doing their civic duty by dropping in with tips to enrich this publication with different views and understandings.

(Photos by Misses Starla Huntress Moorlord)

For information on upcoming activities please see www.1920chicago.com.

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Historical notes:

The romance and the glamour of gangsters in the 1920’s has given Chicago its continuing international reputation. The drama and intrigue are played up; the sordid and evil are swept under the rug. The SIM is realistic in its gathering of fashionable and questionable characters. It portrays the gradual decline of legal power as the decade progresses. By 1929, the year of the infamous massacre, morals in the city had degenerated to the point of alarming the average citizen. Ringing the downtown business district, private speakeasies and brothels were almost beyond counting. While bootlegging flourished and businesses profited, the influx of questionable characters also increased, seeing a marked rise in the crime rates.

At the end of the decade, several developments occurred that concluded the culture of the Roaring 20’s—as if someone threw a switch. First the St. Valentine’s Day massacre stirred the attention of tax payers who demanded that something be done. Secondly, the stock market crashed that fall, plunging the entire country into depression and transformed gangsters into heros. But not yet. The SIM still stirs with those last days of the decade—days of more unsavories joining the population and more women seeking some of the world’s oldest professions. Organized crime is inspired by prohibition to develop a powerful black market; the structure continues today in the SIM as well as in the real life city. The black market grew from alcohol to arms to prostitution and to countless “reputable” front businesses. It spread its tentacles into every level of society. This assembly of mysterious “businessmen,” secretly led by warring puppet-masters is replayed on these streets. Citizens beware.

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Love is in the Air
September 28, 2011

Although citizens were not happy when Misses Starla Huntress Moorlord and Mister Shepham Moorlord—leading Chicago citizens—eloped last year, these leaders finality made up for it. Crictics speculated that the wealthiest guy in town did not want to spend the money on a fancy wedding, thus depriving residents of what they love the most: a spectacle. But second to that, everyone loves a great party, and that is what the one-year anniversary celebration provided. Finally. It took a year. But dancers and music lovers alike were pleased to celebrate the one year anniversary of Misses and Mister Moorlor’s secret nuptials. Better late than never.

Fiume anniversary party

Anniversary party at the Fiume Jazz Lounge has a huge turnout.

All the other leading citizens of Chicago had to be there. This was one of those mandatory events that if missed, will harm reputations and careers. Astute business owners—especially the undercover ones—were wise to pay their respects to those that direct all development in the city.

citizens celebrate

Residents from every social strata in the city celebrate the anniversary of Misses and Mister Moorlord, entertained first by Miss Una Woodrunner's selection of vintage tunes and then Mister Harry Frychester's quite original performance of classics—most of which are dedicated to the romantic couple paying for the party.

Such leaders as the Moorlords do set trends. Just recently, readers may recall, that Mayor KJ Kiranov eloped with the glamorous and ladylike Miss Xyza Armistice. This kind of behavior can set trends that can put catering companies and dance halls out of business. And it deprives friends, relatives, and nosey neighbors of a fun event.

Yet private marriages, while kind to the pocketbook, are also simple. Large marriages can be stressful for working professionals. So it should come as no surprise to readers that Miss Eleanor Medier betrothed Doctor Heavy Writer last weekend—with their dog and twelve of their horses as witnesses.

Medier marries Writer

The city's latest elopement, of Miss Medier and Doctor Writer, is of surprise to no one.

Private weddings can still be quite romantic if settings are carefully chosen. The more casual, with some spontaneity for spice, the better. However, this is not to say that large marriages and more formal events should not be embarked upon! There are many couples that wish to share their love with others in what then become memorable celebrations. Marriage is, after all, a type of passage—a change from thinking individually to thinking collectively.

Quixote marries Graves

The large wedding of Misses Quixote to Mister Graves is the event of the season.

Pressure is also taken off those who sneak off to get married when there are those who choose to be more generous in sharing their good fortune. Last weekend also celebrated the elegant and sumptuous wedding of Miss Paradise Quixote to Mister Mikk Graves. Misses Graves is very popular in Chicago as a favorite helper. She serves on juries, works in the bank, and dances at the Boom Boom on weekends. Mister Graves, on the other hand, is less known. He seems to be a businessman who keeps his affairs close to, or inside, his vest. Because of Miss Quixote’s large circle of friends, their wedding was the event to end the summer on a high note and satisfied the social needs of everyone there.

Chicagoans celebrate such nuptial unions as good for the city. Watching the romantic escapades of those in power is one of the population’s favorite topics for conversation. And so many romantic celebrations at once do take attention away from activities that sometimes best remain in the dark. Setting all other more serious cares aside, residents clink their collective champagne glasses, and drink to the happiness of those writing the headlines.