"Thank goodness for bloggers. They closed the Taverns so people could not meet and spread the word. The news in chicago is more like the propaganda ministry. If it weren't for blogges (sic) the truth would never get out." Comment from Second City Cop
Working men and women could walk to a neighborhhod tavern at one time, Richard M. Daley put an end to all that. Ironically, it was saloon goers who became the Daley Government in Exile that made him States Attorney and then Mayor of Chicago. How about that?
I always turn to a Chicago Police officer for the straight dope on things. My first reads every morning come from Second City Cop (SCC) and Beachwood Reporter. SCC tells the facts of the matter, in same way that one could pick up the straight dope from a guy who was there, or knew a guy who could and usually did, get something done - like in an old time neighborhood saloon. I remember reading some stuff from a few years back that verified with actual data what I already believed from an honest man.
"In 1988, the year before Richie Daley became mayor of Chicago, 11 taverns were closed as public nuisances. The next year, there were 49. All told, between 1990 and 2005, there have been more than 1,000 license revocations citywide." Last Call for Taverns
In the days before television, people — mostly men — sought diversions in neighborhood taverns, says Michael Ebner, history professor emeritus at Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Ill., a Chicago suburb. "There was a degree of camaraderie there and a sense of neighborliness as well," he says. "The social bonds that evolved … were quite enduring."
Home-cooked meals often were available at taverns, which became hubs of political activity and, eventually, places to watch sports events on TV. "The tradition lives on, but in sharply diminished proportion," Ebner says. . . .
In 1990, about 3,300 Chicago establishments had tavern licenses allowing them to serve alcoholic beverages; places that also offer live entertainment, charge admission or serve food as a primary source of business require different or additional licenses.
The number diminished as city leaders sought closure of bars that prompted police calls or complaints from neighbors, and since 2009, the number of tavern licenses has held steady at about 1,200. USA 2012
Richard M. Daley closed more saloons than Billy Sunday, Frances Willard and Carie Nation combined. This I know, because a man who sold bar cleaning products for forty years in Canaryville and who operated the non-PC handled Lily White Products at 635 W. 47th Street was put out of business, by Daley anti-saloon crusade. William Schoenecker began his business by filling rinsed out empty bottles with bleach, at his home on 55th and Wells and selling them to the many saloons, taverns and restaurants in Chicago, at the time. After serving on a sub in World War Two this gentleman expanded his business and flourished, until Richard M. Daley began his progressive anti-saloon crusade. Leo High School placed William Schoenecker's name into nomination for the Leo Hall of Fame in 1995, for his generous donations to Leo high School scholarship funds over forty years. I was tasked with doing Bill "Lily White's biography.
I asked him why he was closing his once very successful operation in Canaryville. Bill told me, " No saloons to sell to, Kid. Daley don't want people going to neighborhood taverns and beefing about him, or his pals. Here in Canaryville, you have TNT's Pizza and Kelly's on Wallace and Pat's on 43rd. That's it. Bridgeport - it is the same. Tome was that guys could get off work, clean up and stroll to the tavern. Now, a guy needs wheels and after a few toddies he's got himself a drunk driving beef. Money for the City and no shared wisdom over a couple of pitchers of Old Style - that's the idea."
Daley closed neighborhood bars and used 'public safety' as an excuse. He gamed the ordinances that would permanently void a liquor license, citing residential complaints, noise and public urination. Fights happen in bars to be sure. But they also happen anywhere. There are more brawls in Walmart s than saloons and Chuck-e - Cheese is the place to go for a swell donnybrook.
Every neighborhood had a great number of local taverns. I grew up in Little Flower and there were taverns, lounges and saloons, as well as Visit Our Tap Room liquor stores every few hundred feet from one's front porch - on Wood Street, On Wolcott, on Ashland and all along both sides of 79th Street. I can not recall anyone ever getting a drunk driving beef. Dads walked to Billy Ellis's Wooden House, Louie Katecki's Lou's, BH, Shannon's, the Mirror Lounge - Home of Cal Starr, Mel Collins' Sea Breeze Lounge, Sol's Tap Room, Caruso's and Casto's. The thought of driving to a palce to 'get a drink' was nonsense.
More than the liver, the heart, the soul and the brain were massaged in places where Schlitz and Sunnybrook was sold - saloons were where topics ranging from the Vietnam war to the rise of First Wave Feminism were as much a topic of discussion as the hopes of Leo Durocher, or the Dreams of Dr. King.
LBJ called Richard J. Daley about the Vietnam War. Old Man Daley opposed the war, but supported the boys doing the dying. Mayor Richard J. Daley expressed the views of people who worked at Darling Rendering and Wrigley gum on Ashland, Spiegel Warehouse on 35th and Lee Lumber on Pershing Road spoken with heart and head in the taverns and saloons, like McGloins at Ashland and Archer Avenue in Mopetown. LBJ listened to Robert McNamara and Nixon became President.
Richard M. Daley listened to only the Robert McNamara's of his times - the University of Chicago crowd, the IVO Hyde Park Mafia and Newton Minnows.
You can not make policy where people have a voice and closing the opportunities to speak in the name of 'public safety' was a Progressive turning point in our history.
Today, people do not frequent saloons, bars, or taverns in the manner of generations of Chicagoans past. People go to bars and get hammered. The music is always excessively at volume max, because as a noted south side mixer master told me in 1976 - "You can't talk; so you drink more and try to shout over the music. Louder music; more booze sold." Flat screens dominate any perspective. One meets not for ' a drink,' but a bacchanal.
Saloons were open all day because of shift work. Shifts are found only in the First Responder World of cops, fireman, ambulance teams and nurses. Everyone else is 9-5.
In this environment, ideas are not shared; traditions are not passed on; nor is the simple courtesy of listening to another person necessary.
Except on the blogosphere. The Internet is the place where neighbors can share ideas for better or worse. It's dry, however.
No one seems to know this more than the Police officers who have been targeted by the very people responsible for the policies that have created our blood soaked streets and our group-thought intellectuals.
This Labor Day ask someone who actually walked a picket line from 1936 through the 1950's about real labor. Find a saloon somewhere outside of Chicago, or ask some blogger.