Now, here's a Kansas City news item from 100 years ago that I want to share:
"COCAINE MARY" IS DEAD.
Picturesque North End Character
Falls From Second Story Widow.
Minnie Palmer, who was better known to the residents of the North end as "Cocaine Mary," died at the general hospital at 5:30 o'clock last night from concussion of the brain, received by falling from a second story window to the pavement twenty feet below, shortly after 1 o'clock Sunday morning. She was seen about 1 o'clock sitting on the window ledge, and told a woman who lived in the house that she was trying to get a little fresh air before going to bed. It is thought she went to sleep and lost her her balance.
The woman was found at 5 o'clock Sunday morning by Philip J. Welch, night jailer at police headquarters. He called an ambulance and had her taken to the emergency hospital. Later she was removed to the general hospital, where an operation was performed in an effort to relieve the pressure of bone against the brain. Minnie Palmer lived at the rooming house on the southwest corner of Third and Main street.
I really enjoy these old news stories. You'll find them HERE, if you're interested. I've learned that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
And now I can't help but recall a song Johnny Cash sang:
Early one mornin' while makin' the rounds
I took a shot of cocaine and I shot my woman down
I went right home and I went to bed;
I stuck that lovin' 44 beneath my head.
Got up next mornin' and I grabbed that gun
Took a shot of cocaine and away I run
Made a good run but I run too slow
They overtook me down in Juarez Mexico.
Late in the hot joints takin' the pills
In walked the sheriff from Jericho Hill;
He said Willy Lee your name is not Jack Brown
You're the dirty hack that shot your woman down.
Said yes oh yes my name is Willy Lee
If you've got the warrant just aread it to me;
Shot her down because she made me slow
I thought I was her daddy but she had five more.
When I was arrested I was dressed in black
They put me on a train and they took me back:
Had no friend for to go my bail
They slapped my dried up carcass in that country jail.
Early next mornin' bout a half past nine
I spied the sheriff coming down the line
Talked and he coughed as he cleared his throat
He said come on you dirty hack into that district court
Into the courtroom my trial began
Where I was handled by twelve honest men.
Just before the jury started out,
I saw the little judge commence to look about.
In about five minutes in walked the man
Holding the verdict in his right hand:
The verdict read in the first degree...
I hollered Lordy Lordy have a mercy on me
The judge he smiled as he picked up his pin
99 years in the Folsom pen
99 years underneath that ground.
I can't forget the day I shot that bad witch down.
Come on you've gotta listen unto me:
Lay off that whiskey and let that cocaine be!