Uncle Pat Part 2

by Jack Keegan


Uncle Pat was a roustabout, he had many jobs over the years, in many parts of this country. He at last decided to settle in Newark.

He operated a rooming house on Mulberry Street between the Stove Factory and the Fire House on the corner of Mulberry and Lafayette.

In the many years that he resided there, he became well acquainted with the people who ran the restaurants and other businesses in what was known as China Town. He established a very good working relationship with all of the principles.

Are you aware that many these Chinese men were great gamblers. At that time it was a crime in the city of Newark.

Many " Illegal" games were operated in the area of China Town. Often the Vice Squad raided the premises.

Well Uncle Pat, having the blessings of many people in the area helped them out.

He became what we call "Chickie" - in like "Chickie it's the Cops", a person who gave the word, to alert someone that an action was about to take place. Posting himself on the street ,where he could survey the entire neighborhood, he took his station.

When the Vice Squad appeared he was there to see them. It was now his duty to get the word to the occupants of the gambling den. He sounded the alarm, this caused the players to exit the property by any means available. They quickly left by back door, trap door, alleyway, tunnel or any other means of egress.

When the Vice Squad finally arrived, all they found was several older Chinese men seated at a table, smoking cigarettes and drinking tea. All evidence of wagering had swiftly disappeared, the only thing left was a few old men enjoying themselves.

I don't know if Uncle Pat received any remuneration for his efforts. However, in all other aspects he was an upright and outstanding citizen.


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