Monday, March 10, 2008

Jack Ruby and the Shit-Filled River

And the city got Jack Ruby who speaks of a time when he was recently in town from Chicago, "I was running the concessions at the Longhorn Ballroom forDewey Grooms, selling beer and setups to all those thirsty Country music fans from dry Oak Cliff come pouring from their homes over the river to drink, to listen to Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, Hank Thompson. Down in Trinity River Bottoms they'd come to the Longhorn and to the Big D to hear Groovy Joe Poovy, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis. They'd come to the neon honkytonks. You could just about always smell the shit-filled river down there. Man, if there was a big rain you could feel it swelling like it might burst out of its banks, up and over the levee to rage down Industial Boulevard. If it kept raining on a Saturday night and the waters got over the levee half the working men in Dallas could be swept away. Down here was the real cultural life of the city and I wanted to be a part of it."

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