CHICAGO

My dad was a real man, a real father as one might define by modern fatherly standards. He had limited education but he had a work ethic that centered around the needs of the family, a wife and three kids.
My dad was a quiet man who held his thoughts in possibly because he had poor language skills and more likely because he had conservative beliefs in a forced liberal Chicago environment.
When my father retired as a butcher he suddenly became verbal. He said some fairly bigoted things that reflected what he lived through. He was inner city and had many negative exposures to cultures that took without earning and he verbalized this.
My parents sent me to a public school that was one of the first non segregated schools before non segregation became an issue. I had first hand KNOWLEDGE to the intermingling of cultures that my father had limited and negative exposure to. In addition, I had verbal skills, athletic skills and great educational skills.
I had to learn to observe the interactions of others and APPLY various survival techniques. I did this without UNDERSTANDING. But I had athletic skills that allowed me access and acceptance to a school of 10,000 all boys. Lane Tech was a great school.
Chicago is a very bigoted city. Each ethnic group had clearly defined boundaries, like gangs but under the guise of grown-ups. The Greeks lived in this neighborhood, the Koreans in that neighborhood, the Mexicans over there, the Puerto Ricans there, the Jews there. The only ethnic groups that shared a neighborhood were the Poles, the Irish and the Italians. That was because we were all Catholic. We tended to hang in threes, the Pole to fight, the Irish to get liquor and the Italian because his mother could cook.
Because of its bigotry Chicago is the cutting edge to intercultural understanding. Even the corrupt political machine learned how to share its corruption among ethic groups.
You can live in a bubble in any city. You can believe that the entire country behaves as your neighborhood. But my neighborhood proved a wealth of knowledge and fun. Then I went to the University of Miami.

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