I find myself craving chili and rice, specifically the chili and rice served by Shanghai Jimmy, who ran a hole-in-the-wall restaurant on Live Oak Street downtown in the 1950s and ’60s. It was an era when men were men and reporters were unashamed of making up the news if they couldn’t find any, if a fellow named Jack Proctor is to be believed. Which, based on Blackie Sherrod’s October 1975 D Magazine article (one of our 40 greatest stories ever), he almost certainly is not.
Sherrod writes with great affection for Proctor, his fellow newspaperman, press box regular, and chili-and-rice aficionado. Proctor invented his own vocabulary — a tattoo was a “too-tat,” a jail was a “gowhoose” — and sometimes interviews. Sherrod writes of the time in the 1930s that Proctor wanted to visit a girlfriend down in San Antonio and so he convinced his editor he’d landed an exclusive with Clyde Barrow. Trouble is, at the time Proctor was supposedly meeting with Barrow, the notorious criminal was positively identified having shot a highway patrolman (a “highway petroleum” in Proctor’s parlance). And so the reporter was asked to move on to some other newsroom to find employment, which he did.Full Story