My Childhood on Skidrow
“I, myself, was on the way to becoming ‘a real tough baby,’ as they used to say & hobnobbed at least one time with ‘Kid Cann,’ himself….” [BW]
by Bodwyn Wook
[Isadore “Kid Cann” Blumenfeld, a boyhood hero of historian Bodwyn Wook]
This is the link to an interesting documentary of home movies of Minneapolis’s skidrow in the “Kid Cann” 1950s, before Urban Renewal; the Mankato, MN, equivalent is probably the block-and-a-half to either side of the South Street Saloon, a similar swinepit in at least as old & grubby a building as any of those pulled down in Minneapolis fifty years ago, and itself dating to the 1880s or so — and still standing…:
I, myself, was well on the way to becoming “a real tough baby,” as they used to say & hobnobbed at least one time with “Kid Cann,” himself; or, anyway, the other patrons of the oldtime Stockholm Café on Washington Avenue, one of The Kid’s favorite venues!
Later, in the Summer of 1960 in June for two weeks after school got out for the Summer & before going to our mother’s family’s farm, I had art lessons at the Minneapolis Art Institute. This involved taking the number 7 bus from down in the Minnehaha Falls Swedish ghetto all the way up to Washington Av & transferring (more…)