Two Interesting Stories for the Bar.

By | February 26, 2013

STORY  NUMBER ONE:

Many  years ago, Al Capone virtually owned  Chicago  ..  Capone wasn’t famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to  murder. Capone had a lawyer nicknamed “Easy  Eddie.” He was Capone’s lawyer for a good reason.  Eddie was very good !  In fact, Eddie’s skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of  jail for a long time.

To show his appreciation,  Capone paid him very well.  Not only was the money big, but Eddie got  special dividends, as well.  For instance, he and his family occupied  a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the  day.  The estate was so large that it filled an entire  Chicago  City block. Eddie lived the high life of  the  Chicago  mob and gave little consideration to the atrocity that  went on around him.  Eddie did have one  soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly.  Eddie saw to  it that his young son had clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing  was withheld.   Price was no object. And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong.  Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than  he was. Yet, with all his wealth and  influence, there were two things he couldn’t give his son; he couldn’t pass on a  good name or a good example. One day, Easy  Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify the wrongs he  had done…

He decided he would go to the  authorities and tell the truth about Al “Scarface” Capone, clean up his  tarnished name, and offer his son some semblance of integrity.  To do  this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that the cost would  be great.  So, he testified. Within the  year, Easy Eddie’s life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely  Chicago  Street .  But in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to  offer, at the greatest price he could ever pay.  Police removed from  his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious medallion, and a poem clipped from  a magazine.

The poem read:

“The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour.  Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will. Place no faith in  time.  For the clock may soon be still.”

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STORY NUMBER  TWO:

World War  II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare.  He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft  carrier  Lexington in the South Pacific.
One day his entire  squadron was sent on a mission.  After he was airborne, he looked at  his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel  tank.  He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship.  His flight leader told him to return to the carrier.  Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the  fleet. As he was returning to the mother ship,  he saw something that turned his blood cold; a squadron of Japanese aircraft was  speeding its way toward the American fleet.

The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the fleet was all but  defenseless.  He couldn’t reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet.  Nor could he warn the fleet of the  approaching danger.  There was only one thing to do.  He  must somehow divert them from the fleet. Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation  of Japanese planes.  Wing-mounted 50 caliber’s blazed as he  charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another.  Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired  at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent.  Undaunted, he continued the assault.  He dove at the  planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible, rendering them unfit to fly.  Finally, the exasperated  Japanese squadron took off in another direction.  Deeply relieved,  Butch O’Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier.

Upon arrival, he reported in and related the event  surrounding his return.  The film from the gun-camera mounted on his  plane told the tale.  It showed the extent of Butch’s daring attempt  to protect his fleet.  He had, in fact, destroyed five enemy aircraft. This  took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became the Navy’s  first Ace of W.W.II, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Medal of  Honor.

A year later Butch was killed in aerial  combat at the age of 29.  His home town would not allow the memory of  this WW II hero to fade, and today, O’Hare Airport in  Chicago  is  named in tribute to the courage of this great man.

So, the next time you find yourself at O’Hare International, give some  thought to visiting Butch’s memorial displaying his statue and his Medal of  Honor.  It’s located between Terminals 1 and  2.

SO  WHAT DO THESE TWO STORIES HAVE TO DO WITH EACH  OTHER?

Butch O’Hare was  “Easy Eddie’s” son.

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