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My great-grandfather was less a hero and more infamous - he ran a saloon in the early 1900s. Once before Prohibition when they were zoning certain blocks "dry" and others "wet" he moved his saloon across the street. He lost one of his bars in a poker game - no lie. During Prohibition, the rumor is he ran a speakeasy or bootlegged. It's all very hush-hush as my family is not particularly proud of him. I, however, think it's quite adventurous and amusing.

Kevin Wolf

Marvelous post, Lance. Thanks for sharing. I wish I could reciprocate, but if there's any such family history with the Wolf clan I'm unaware of it. (May maternal grandad and his siblings, when grade school age, had their own radio show in Pittsburgh. Best I can do.)


The policeman's cap is a big deal in police circles. If nothing else, a stolen cap could be used to impersonate an officer. It's one of the few authority signifiers that people still recognize and as such it plays a role in keeping the peace. (I recently had to explain a bas relief fasces on building in Seattle to an otherwise very well educated friend of mine. Some signifiers have gone by the boards.) A police officer, on duty, was ALWAYS expected to have his cap on.

There was an article maybe 10 years ago in the New York Times about an attempt by the NYPD to relax the regulations regarding caps. They opened with an example of a policeman in his patrol car getting a call for some kind of problem and asked what piece of equipment he should not leave the patrol car without. Was it his gun? Was it his handcuffs? Was it his pants? No, it was his cap.

The rules regarding one's cap were probably even fussier 100 years ago when uniforms were more common and more important. Uniform regulations were extremely important in the 1950s and 1960s. They play an important role in the breakdown of an officer in the Naked City episode with the infamously long title "Today the man who kills the ants is coming".

I'm just saying.

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