In the 1950s, Chicago was a great railroad center, and its Proviso yard was the largest in the world, made up of nine freight yards--each a mile long with sixty tracks. Times were hard in the Eisenhower Fifties. Jobs for unskilled people like me were few and far between, and I had a young family to consider. When I heard the railroad police would pay me eighty dollars a month more than I was getting, I had to take it on. Looking back, it surprises me that I lived through it all: the arrests, the fights, the gun play, arson, and even a brush with the mafia. Even more dangerous were the men so anxious to wear a badge and carry a gun, they'd work the job for nothing. All of this is true. Walk with me down the tracks and I'll show you what it was like to the be the Last of the Railroad Police.
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