Do you get the blood out with air? Because I’ve never been to a place like that.” —Ralph, on his time in a bar
Ralph was just a baby in the backseat of a cab when the driver dropped him off at Chicago’s “Pit” (named for its “pit like a manhole”). The Pit was a Chicago hotspot that offered cheap rooms under the watchful eye of the Chicago police.
It was a very short drive to the end of the strip, which Ralph remembered as a “nice stretch of road” but didn’t know much about. The pit’s name would be a surprise to anyone who knew the streets and alleyways and was familiar with Chicago’s strip clubs.
“We were just walking over the curb and there was a guy there—the pit guy, you know—who was smoking. It’s like the only thing you can think of when you hear the word pit. A place that’s cheap, for sure, but cheap as all hell.” —Ralph, on what he didn’t know about the bar
Ralph and his companions made their way up the alley toward the door, taking the opposite way that the cab drove. The door was sealed when Ralph reached the top of the alley. Ralph knew right away that the pit had a locked fence surrounding it. However, he was able to open the door by kicking the fence and causing it to fly off. Ralph walked over to the fence and kicked it in at his own expense while the pit’s door was still shut. The door flew upward. This action brought the whole fence crashing down. Ralph had just walked down to the front of the pit and was the first to notice the pit door opening.
“Oh! God, you’re going to get a good view of the door. That’s going to be interesting. This is the pit I used to be in back in the ’60s.” —Ralph, on what he remembers about his time at the Pit
Ralph remembered seeing the door swinging open but did not know why. The next thing Ralph knew, he was standing at the top of the fence. The only thing Ralph could think about at this point was to climb on top of the bar and grab the window ledge over the bar. What he did NOT know was that the door was open! All he knew was one word, “Whoa, that’s a good view.”
In the distance Ralph could see a car speed right by him
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