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Uncle Sam In The Philippines

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Uncle Sam In The Philippines

Uncle Sam Restaurant 009 Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr_resized

The familiar silhouette of Uncle Sam on the sign above the streets of Tacloban City advertises a restaurant with a truly American cuisine.

Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Out of the corner of my eye, I had noticed the silhouette of Uncle Sam. The words: . . . wings, burgers, shakes and floats had flashed pass my eyes. By the time, I turned my head to look, the van had moved on and I could only remember the famous name: “Uncle Sam.”

On trips to Tacloban City, I kept looking out the passenger window looking for the familiar image and the words, “Uncle Sam.” I could not remember the street. But, I definitely knew that I wanted to stop in and look at the menu.

Saturday, March 3, 2012, I glance out the passenger window and see the famous silhouette. “Here ! Stop, here,” I shrieked !

Uncle Sam Restaurant 011 Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr_resized

If you stroll along Santo Nino Street in Tacloban City, the bright red paint is the first indication that you have found the Uncle Sam Restaurant.

Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Christy, Ninoy, Marife, Ranyiel, Mac Mac and Chrismar entered the restaurant behind me.

Americana Decor

Beneath my feet, I stood on a blue and white checkerboard pattern. Around me, red and white stripes unfurl around the walls. Above me, I stare up into a star spangled sky. Uncle Sam Restaurant A001 Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr_resized

The feeling of being in an American Graffiti restaurant in the 1950s came over me.  For an instant, my “ride”. a 1957 Plymouth, I call “Christine” is parked outside.  Teeny boppers in ponytails and poodle skirts pop their bubble gum and fidgeted with their pony tails.  The smell of Brylcream fills the air as the combs of young men pass through their slicked down hair and they do their best Marlon Brando impression to flirt with the young girls. The sizzling of thick, juicy hamburgers gives way to  Wolfman Jack screaming through the radio about the latest 45 to top the charts.  Then, the jukebox whirls and the Elvis Presley, the “King of Rock and Roll” sings. I glimpse out the window to make sure Suzanne Somers is not driving past in a white 1957 Ford Thunderbird.

A portion of the Star Spangled Sky of the Uncle Sam Restaurant in Tacloban City stretches out over the customers. 

Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I stand smiling, for a moment. I look again at the walls I feel at home in the new surroundings. For an instant, I feel like I’m back in the “Good Ole USA.” The center wall montage immediately catches my eye. Uncle Sam stares out of the center flanked by the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, the space shuttle, the Las Vegas sign and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Uncle Sam Restaurant 001 Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr_resized

“Uncle Sam”,the classic American icon that Political Cartoonist Thomas Nast created to represent the American people is the centerpiece of this United States montage that honors national landmarks and challenges customers’ sense of history as to the significance of the national symbols.  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Impromptu History Lesson

The waiter came to take our order, but I had dashed to the center wall to look at the familiar images. I called to the boys to come look at the wall. Poor kids. It is Saturday and their uncle suddenly bursts into an American history lesson.

I pontificated how Uncle Sam had been a Chicago, Illinois meat packing inspector named Sam, who put the letters U.S., on the crates. Then, how American political cartoonist, Thomas Nast came along and began drawing Uncle Sam as a character for newspapers. And, how that popularity carried on and in World War I, the United States Armed Forces began using the image of Uncle Sam on military recruiting posters.

While the boys looked around at the décor, like an excited history teacher, I explained how the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to celebrate America’s 100th birthday and then, I pointed out George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt on Mount Rushmore.

My wife, Christy, looked at the menu. She smiles and shakes her head – she knows how I enjoy talking about history. The boys looked at the large screen TV, which had been switched to the Cartoon Network.

 

Uncle Sam Restaurant 002 Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr_resized

 

 

This wall in the Uncle Sam Restaurant hosts the photos of famous American celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and, of course, the famous historical photo of United States General of the Army Douglas MacArthur and the official party wading ashore in the Leyte Gulf, a few kilometers, outside Tacloban City. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Hollywood History

However, their “Uncle Sam” called to them to point out the Americana on the walls. I explained to them that the young Marlon Brando photo had the actor playing a rebel on a motorcycle and it made him an “American Bad Boy.” The photo of James Dean was of a young actor, who earned the title of being “The Rebel.” I point at the Frank Sinatra photo and explained that the actor and singer, was known as, “Old Blue Eyes.” Marilyn Monroe was the blonde screen goddess of the United States in the 1960s.

Uncle Sam Restaurant 004 Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr_resized 

 

This wall of the Uncle Sam Restaurant contains framed movie posters of some classics of American cinema from “Pretty Woman” to “Titanic.”  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr,

I pointed out Madonna and Ranyiel recognized, “Michael Jackson !” Riding the history wave, I directed the boys to the photos of American films on the walls from “Meet Joe Black” to “Titanic.” Of course, I added my movie critic comments for each of the framed movie photos. Uncle Sam Restaurant 012 Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr_resized

This red sidewalk with gold stars is the “Walk Of Fame” that leads you to the Uncle Sam Restaurant in Tacloban City.  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Finally, I freed the boys from my impromptu history class to allow them to take their seats, watch cartoons and wait for their meals.

I am no food critic. But, I was smiling when I looked at the American dishes on the menu.

Christy and the rest of the family ordered the Buffalo Wings. And, I ordered the Very Berry Strawberry shakes for everyone.

Righteous Ribs, Superb Sauce

I enjoyed the ribs. I’m one of those people who considers ribs “a finger food,” so my silverware sat untouched as I used my fingers to pull apart the tender, succulent meat. My polite nephews and their parents diligently used their knives and forks, despite my suggestion that “ribs is one of those foods best enjoyed by using your fingers.”

Uncle Sam Restaurant 005 Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr_resized

Ribs, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob.  Back in The Ozarks, my folks, would call this dish a good “home cooked” meal.  This dish at the Uncle Sam Restaurant in Tacloban City was delicious.  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I love the taste of the sauce. I loved the taste of the sauce so much, that I did something completely out of character for me . . . “I licked my fingers.” I describe the meat as righteous ribs and superb sauce as the waiter trades my white napkin for a fresh red one.

The corn of the cob tasted as fresh as if it had been picked off the stalk and cooked.

Mashed Potatoes

Country boy, that I am, I was ecstatic to see “mashed potatoes” on the menu.

Potatoes in the Ozarks is like rice in the Philippines because a meal is not a meal without that dish. While rice is used in many dishes in the Philippines, the same is true of potatoes in the United States. I went through the door with my mouth watering for a “home cooked” big, juicy hamburger. But, my eyes focused on the ribs and “mashed potatoes.”

I’m sure Emeril and the great French chefs would not consider “mashed potatoes” a dessert, but, they haven’t gone for a couple of months without being able to plunge a spoon into steaming mashed potatoes and have the mashed potatoes melt in your mouth.

I could not help but smile when the waiter told us that the restaurant opened for business on “The Fourth Of July” 2011.

My appetite for “home cooked American cuisine” had me smiling as I put the napkin to my lips. I raised my hand to call the waiter for the menu.

My intent was to feast my eyes on their menu once again. Christy spoke up and reminded me that we still had some errands to run. I nodded and promised myself to return with a hearty appetite in the near future. 

Uncle Sam Restaurant 006 Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr_resized

My wife, Christy Warren, ordered the Uncle Sam Restaurant’s Buffalo Wings, rice pilaf and the grilled tomatoes. If you have a Texas size appetite for a thick juicy steak or some ribs, then, you should definitely visit Uncle Sam in Tacloban City. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I did return

I did return – Tuesday afternoon. My wife, Christy ordered the mango shake. Fe ordered a banana split. Ninoy and I ordered the Angus Beef Burger. For a country boy, who grew up in rural southwest Missouri in the Ozarks, surrounded by Black Angus, Red Angus and Brangus cattle, the juicy hamburger brought back memories in every bite.

Uncle Sam Restaurant A002 Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr_resized

The succulent Angus Beef Burger satisfied my appetite for a thick, juicy hamburger.  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

The Uncle Sam Restaurant in Tacloban City is on Santo Nino Street. The Uncle Sam Restaurant is my five star choice when I want American cuisine.

Uncle Sam Restaurant 008 Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr_resizedFor the latest information about the Uncle Sam Restaurant in Tacloban City, Republic of the Philippines type in your computer search engine: facebook Uncle Sam Restaurant or click this link: Uncle Sam Restaurant, Tacloban City, Philippines  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

If after you read this article and you stop by the Uncle Sam Restaurant for a meal tell them, “Uncle Sam” sent you.

Uncle Sam”uel E. Warren Jr.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Shock Short Search Still Seeks Stories

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AMERICA’S IGNORED GANGSTER


SHOCK SHORT


SEARCH STILL


SEEKS


STORIES


by Junior Warren

John Herbert "Jack Rabbit" Dillinger - FBI website photo

John Herbert “Jack Rabbit” Dillinger and “The Terror Gang” blazed their way on to the nation’s front pages blasting away with Tommy guns, sawed-off shotguns and an arsenal of pistols. Wearing bullet proof vests on occasion, they squeezed the triggers of the Chicago Typewriters to spew hot lead, and make a mad dash into an awaiting V-8 sedan. When the thick curtain of gunpowder smoke vanished, stunned wounded, confused local sheriffs, deputies and police officers were left with the echoes of squealing tires in the distance and spent shells cooling on the pavement.

Rowdy Reporters,  Ecstatic Editors,

Persistent Publishers

Excited crime reporters “beat feet” back to their offices. Tipping back the press card fedora, the cigarette smokes in the ash tray, the reporter’s fingers dance on the keys of the Olivetti as characters explode on to the wiggling sheets of bond paper and the story blasts to life.

Dillinger Wanted Poster - FBI website photo

A quick glance up at the newsroom clock, the reporter pounds out the story to beat the deadline for the next Dillinger story. Across the nation, copy boys rush the editor approved copy down to the press rooms. The waxed sticks of copy go on to the galley sheets with the black and white photographs. The metallic groan of the giant presses waking up blends into the rapid fire melody of the broadsheets shooting across the thundering presses and down on to the conveyor belts.

Ah, the smell of newsprint in the morning and ink in the evenings. Tilt the hat and head for home; it’s all up to the guys in the press room now to get the hot copy on the streets.

Hot off the presses ! Bundled copies of the morning and evening editions of the nation’s newspapers slam on to the pavement. In moments, newsstands have the hottest editions and newsboys are hawking the bank bashing bravado of the debonair, dashing, daring Dillinger desperadoes. The Terror Gang’s 13-month crime spree is a shotgun blast across the Midwest.

Doin’ da’ Dillinger Dance !”

President Roosevelt makes his daily call to J. Edgar Hoover at

J. Edgar Hoover - The Director - FBI website photo

the United States Bureau Of Investigation to find out why Hoover hasn’t got Dillinger yet. Hoover, then, picks up the phone and calls the Chicago Office’s Special Agent In Charge Melvin Purvis, head of the “Dillinger Squad,” and asks Purvis, why he hasn’t gotten Dillinger yet ?

Dillinger becomes “The American Godfather of The Great Depression Gangster,” enthroned by anxious editors and excited reporters of the nation’s newspapers. The American Public of The Great Depression were not fond of banks. The G-Men, had a reputation as “College Boys,” who couldn’t shoot straight.

The FBN became the DEA

Gangsters worried about the Federal Bureau of Narcotics agents, but the BOI agents were not originally considered a serious threat. The U.S. Department of Justice’s BOI had a reputation of being corrupt.
The young J. Edgar Hoover worked within the Justice Department’s BOI to try and reform, reorganize and promote his struggling band of government lawmen.

Dillinger and the other gangsters were a persistent thorn in the side of the BOI. J. Edgar Hoover’s

The United States Department of Justice served as the parental agency of the BOI, which were essentially investigators who could investigate, but arrest no one in the early days of the 1930s.

agents had law degrees, but most had never fired a gun, while Dillinger and the other bank robbers of the era were knocking over banks like a kid’s dominoes.

George "Machine Gun" Kelly - FBI website photo

The brouhaha of federal legislation favored the gangsters: (1) Bank Robbery was not a federal crime

Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd - FBI website photo

(2) As early as 1917, apparently the BOI agents had been issued a service revolver, but Congress had stressed, the firearm was for “defensive purposes.

Lester Joseph Gillis a.k.a "Baby Face Nelson" FBI website photos

(3) The BOI agents weren’t originally authorized the “arrest power,” which meant U.S. Marshalls, local sheriffs, deputies, town marshals, and city policemen had to be on hand to “arrest” a gangster.

Dillinger, an Indiana farm boy, quickly became the hero of poor and out of work Americans who could identify with the humble beginnings of the Depression Era Robin Hood on his Horatio Alger Jr.’s“Rags To Riches” rise to celebrity notoriety before their eyes.

Clyde Champion Barrow of "Bonnie and Clyde." FBI website photo

Dillinger’s legendary charismatic nature and willingness to talk to the reporters made him the flamboyant “Teflon Don” of his era. Dillinger and The Terror Gang were on a roll.

Alvin “Old Creepy” Karpis and the Barker Gang got their fair share of ink on the nation’s broadsheets of the day. Bonnie Parker, Clyde Barrow, Machine Gun Kelly, Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson and The Purple Gang were among the gangsters grabbing headlines. They earned several column inches of newspaper copy almost daily to detail bank robberies, shoot outs, jail breaks and daring get aways.

Bonnie Parker of "Bonnie and Clyde" - FBI website photo

Shock Short’s Shadow

Meanwhile, Shock Short, a Stone County, Missouri man and his gang were also successfully credited with robbing banks in the Midwest, but they always seemed to be, in the shadows,at the edge of the limelight.

I heard about the adventures of Shock Short, growing up a boy in Stone County, Missouri. The information was always sketchy at best.

First, when I heard the stories it was the 1960s and Shock had been robbing banks in the 1930s. Second, Shock is the brother of the late U.S. 7th Congressional District Congressman Dewey Short, of Galena. Third, Shock’s family – the Shorts of Galena – held a local respected reputation, which ranked the family at a position equivalent to that of the Political Dynasty of the John D. Rockefeller Family, which meant while everyone talked about Dewey and his successes in the nation’s capitol; “Shock Short Stories” were quietly told by parents, grandparents and Stone County Old Timers.

Grandma DeLong - DeLong Family Photo

Grandma Martha DeLong’s Shock Short Stories always stayed locked away in the bank vault of my mind along with the legendary tales of his hidden loot. Recently, working on some Stone County stories, I recalled the fingerprint of Shock Short Grandma DeLong had left in my mind. I decided to see if I could find some evidence to flesh out grandma’s stories. I was surprised when my search of the FBI website didn’t list Shock Short or any member of his gang in the FBI history of gangsters of the 1930s.

I’ve kept digging through the dark corners of history trying to find dusty files hidden in the warehouses and morgues of cyberspace. A clue here and a lead there has gotten me searching the rundown flop houses, skid rows and strolling the back alleys of the Internet. I adjust my fedora, turn up my trench coat collar and work the street beat trying to find information to knock out a story on : “Shock Short America’s Ignored Gangster.”

I’ve gotten some notes and scraps of data, but, I’d like to get some more in depth information. Somewhere standing in an unlit doorway of the Internet is a grandfather, grandmother or grandchild with a Shock Short Story to tell. I’m ready to listen and pass it on, please, email me at SamuelWarren55@gmail.com.

To date, I’ve poked around the Internet and it looks like Shock’s gang at one time or another involved: Daniel T. “Dapper Dan” Heady, Dewey Gilmore, Davey Gilmore, Russell Cooper, Virgil “Red” Melton, Fred Reese, Jackson “Jack” Miller, and Walter Holland who used the alias names of “Leo O’Malley,” and“Irish O’Malley.”

The Dillinger Gang had several wives and girlfriends, who live on at The Official Website of Don’t Call Us Molls:Women Of The John Dillinger Gang http://dillingerswomen.com/index.html To date: “Pretty Betty,” the wife of Daniel Heady, is the only woman that I have found associated with Shock Short’s Gang.

The Lost Loot of Shock Short: Money or Myth ? Staged Photo by Christy Warren

The irony is while Shock Short’s tales has spawned numerous stories, myths, and urban legends about hidden loot in Stone County, Missouri; the man is still “hiding out” and remains an overlooked mystery in the American’ Archives Of Gangster History.

Sam

SOURCES

FBI -Federal Bureau of Investigation http://www.fbi.gov/

Home – Dusty Roads Of An FBI Era http://historicalgmen.squarespace.com/

Midwest Gangsters of the Depression Era – Mister 86’s Report http://mister86.wordpress.com/2008/08/25/midwest-gangsters-of-the-depression-era/

Hollywood goodfella http://af11.wordpress.com/

Crime Magazine http://www.crimemagazine.com/history-kansas-city-family

Prohibition and Depression Era Gangsters and Outlaws http://www.legendsofamerica.com/20th-gangsters.html

Tru TV Crime Library http://www.crimemagazine.com/history-kansas-city-family

Between the Wars (1920s & 1930s) http://www.chenowith.k12.or.us/tech/subject/social/depression.html

Wikipedia John Dillinger http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dillinger

Official Website of John Dillinger – Public Enemies http://johndillinger.com/

Stone County Missouri US Gen Web http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mostone/stone.htm

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