An old friend, Akira, who was mostly just known as Ike, hobbled around with a pronounced limp. Local urban legend held that the limp was a result of injuries suffered after he was shot down piloting a Japanese Zero during the Big War. Reality was a bit more mundane, Ike spent most of the war as file number 711037, interned at Heart Mountain, near Jellystone Park.
Ike was released in 1946 and headed straight to Chicago. He'd made enough cash running a pool table concession (twenty five cents a game) and hawking illicit cigarettes to buy a brand new Ford. He once confided, Mike, you know how much Japanese love to smoke? Cigarettes were hard to come by in camp. The pool table was pilfered from a lodge near Yellowstone and the smokes he 'found' stored in a shed while deployed on a work crew Yellowstone.
Arriving in post-war Chicago, Ike found gainful employment as a mechanic at 2122 Clark Street, the site of the infamous St Valenine's Day massacre. Two decades later, Capone's bullet holes were still in the wall.
The building was razed long ago. The bricks that were salvaged from the building sold for as much as a grand apiece and are reputed to bring nothing but bad luck to the holder.
Hope your St Valentine's Day is better than Bugs Moran's boys was.
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