The Fall of the House of Cicero (Vol. 1)
The Fall of the House of Cicero (Vol.1)
Before Joe was known as a backroom political dealer and powerbroker he was a senior at Cicero High School. Towards the end of his senior year, he became friends with Fast Eddie. before he was so fast.
Eddie was already making deals around town. He was quite friendly with local political, figures. One such figure was their local State rep, who simply went by the name, Papa Cicero. He was so popular in Cicero that he was most commonly referred to after the town itself.
One Friday afternoon, at 5:00 pm, right at the end of the work week, Eddie took Joe to Giardano's in Downtown Chicago to meet Papa Cicero. Papa Cicero always reserved the corner booth at the back of the pizzeria. It was where most of the backroom deals in town went down. Not too many people went to, or even knew of, the back corner booth at Giordano's.
Eddie said to Joe before they entered the restaurant the Papa Cicero is a quiet man. He likes ordering a Chicago style stuffed pizza with a glass of red wine on the side, despite the fact that he is Bohemian and not Italian American. Also, he is one of the major players in Cicero, so do not speak unless spoken to.
Eddie takes Joe inside and walks to the corner booth, right up to Papa Cicero. Papa Cicero was holding court with his liaison Right Hand Jimmy.
Eddie introduces Papa Cicero and Jimmy to Joe. Joe could then tell that Papa Cicero was not a man of many words as he was enjoying his stuffed pizza and red wine.
Finally, Papa Cicero manages to look up at Joe who he had not recognized was there til then and asked him if he knew the difference between pizza in New York and pizza in Chicago?
Joe then said that he had never been outside of Cicero. Papa Cicero then said that it is important to note that New York is thin crust and greasy, and is meant to be eaten with our hands. Chicago, especially stuffed, is like a casserole dish. It is meant to be eaten with a knife and fork. Also, Giordano's is the birthplace of stuffed pi9zza, as oppose to Uno's at Wabash and Ohio streets that are too commercial. That is by no means attributed to Chicago.,
Just like that the political relationship had begun. In the process of the rest of the 20th century Papa Cicero, Jimmy, Eddie, and Joe would form a political alliance of buying and selling corrupt politicians that were based in Cicero.
However, it stretched throughout the rest of Cook County, and by extension the rest of Illinois. They formed the basis of the Cook County Republican party and were especially strong in the strongly red areas of Cicero and Chicago Heights, Illinois. Two suburbs that were on the far southern and western edges of Cook County.