Two months later than I intended I have closed this book, proud of what it is,
dissatisfied because of what it could have been and isn't. The more you explore East St.
Louis, the more there is to explore. There are "zany other persons I would like to
have talked with.
I did not mean this to be a people book. It is about programs and government and social
trends that affect and reveal people but not intimate people stories. The Belleville
News-Democrat in September did a four-day series on the people of East St. Louis, talking
with 50. It was a commendable effort, but too short-lived. There are a thousand stories of
heroism among the people fighting for survival in a city they are too proud, or too poor,
There also are available now, as never before, the stories about what really happened,
the stories behind the news in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. I would love to talk to some of
the policemen and tell how it really was in the days of slots, gambling and prostitution.
Ed English, whose father was police commissioner in the 1950s, is collecting the happy
stories of life in East St. Louis in that era.
I have enjoyed writing this book. I hope you like it, because I would like to write
more, and Top's Books would like to publish more. If you would like to know what we do,
send your name and address to Top's Books - the address is up front - and we'll keep you
informed, including about Ed English's book.
- Rube Yelvington