In the first place I can remember living my parents paid $25.00 a month for a small apartment just west of the loop in Chicago. Mr. Pucci, the landlord, raised the rent a buck. My dad went downstairs and argued with him, not so much over the buck, but there was rent control, and it was the principle of the thing. Mr. Pucci wouldn’t back down, but they drank some of his Vat 69 Scotch and parted friends. Also my dad was an intern being paid around $20.00 a week and my parents were broke. So they moved in temporarily with my grandparents, who had moved back in with my great-grandparents, after my grandfather’s third restaurant bankruptcy. Temporary was eight years. During which my grandparents fought constantly and got divorced, and my great-grandparents died. They moved out just before my great-uncle, who had inherited the two flats, went off to a well-deserved stretch in federal prison. Somewhere at the bottom of the Chicago River lie a load of cameras he dumped when he learned that one of his colleagues had ratted him out and the FBI was on his tail. This uncle I knew all too well, but there was another living nearby that I didn’t because he was beyond the pale of my family’s extreme tolerance of criminality. Even as he is about to turn 96 my dad has remained very close-mouthed about this other uncle, about whom I have only managed to glean bits and pieces. Dad, “Well he was in business.” Me: “What kind of business, dad?” “Different kinds of business.” Well, did he ever get arrested for these businesses?” Dad, “Only occasionally.” - Michael Lipsey

In the first place I can remember living my parents paid $25.00 a month for a small apartment just west of the loop in Chicago. Mr. Pucci, the landlord, raised the rent a buck. My dad went downstairs and argued with him, not so much over the buck, but there was rent control, and it was the principle of the thing. Mr. Pucci wouldn’t back down, but they drank some of his Vat 69 Scotch and parted friends. Also my dad was an intern being paid around $20.00 a week and my parents were broke. So they moved in temporarily with my grandparents, who had moved back in with my great-grandparents, after my grandfather’s third restaurant bankruptcy. Temporary was eight years. During which my grandparents fought constantly and got divorced, and my great-grandparents died. They moved out just before my great-uncle, who had inherited the two flats, went off to a well-deserved stretch in federal prison. Somewhere at the bottom of the Chicago River lie a load of cameras he dumped when he learned that one of his colleagues had ratted him out and the FBI was on his tail. This uncle I knew all too well, but there was another living nearby that I didn’t because he was beyond the pale of my family’s extreme tolerance of criminality. Even as he is about to turn 96 my dad has remained very close-mouthed about this other uncle, about whom I have only managed to glean bits and pieces. Dad, “Well he was in business.” Me: “What kind of business, dad?” “Different kinds of business.” Well, did he ever get arrested for these businesses?” Dad, “Only occasionally.” - Michael Lipsey