$2.00 SEPT. 26- OCT. 2, 2013 / 22 -28 TISHREI 5774
A JEWISH RENAISSANCE MEDIA PUBLICATION
» Treasure Hunting Shoppers enjoy the thrill of
searching for antiques. See Red Thread, page 28.
» Burgermeister Club Local burger mavens
name the best burgers in town. See page 33.
DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
» Health Care Reform With Oct. 1 coming, learn
where you stand with Affordable Care Act. See page 42.
Members of the Burgermeister Club
The musty basement of a
Downtown bar may hold secrets
to the Purple Gang's past.
Jackie Headapohl I Managing Editor
so nice Jewish boys" is how they were described by
Detroit's Jewish press in the 1920s and 1930s, the hey-
day for the Purple Gang, a group of bootleggers and
hijackers who could be ruthless — or kind.
JN columnist Danny Raskin has a vivid memory of sitting at
the Cream of Michigan Restaurant on 12th Street in Detroit,
eating banana cream pie with a couple of "Purple guys:' when
a boy ran in crying. Two guys had jumped out of a truck and
tried to grab his sister. When she ran away, they slapped the
boy and called him a "dirty Jew."
"The young gents I was with, they were probably around 19
or 20:' said Raskin, who was about 15 at the time of the event.
"They asked the boy to describe the truck. Then we all got in
their car and went looking for it."
The truck was found in Hamtramck. The Purple guys went
inside and came back out holding two guys by the neck. "One
takes out a gun and puts it in the guy's mouth and pulls the
trigger. Click:' Raskin recalls. "He told the guy, 'Next time you
come around 12th Street, there will be a bullet in it."'
CONTINUED ON PAGE 8
With The D
Songwriter Allee Willis embraces
Detroit with a tune we all can sing.
Esther Allweiss Ingber I Contributing Writer
Wayne State grad student Brenna Moloney of Ann Arbor crawls through the tunnel in the
basement of Tommy's Bar in Detroit.
1942 - 2013
Eve y Week
1 1 1 1
ke Willis describes herself as an award-winning song-
writer, artist, performer, multimediaist, collector and
She won the Best Music Show Album Tony Award for
Broadway's The Color Purple, and several Grammys for writing
songs that have sold more than 50 million records. Her biggest
hits include "September" and "Boogie Wonderland" for Earth,
Wind & Fire, "Neutron Dance" for the Pointer Sisters and "I'll Be
There For You (Theme from Friends)."
Although Willis achieved great success as an adult, much of
it in suburban Los Angeles where she now lives, she remains a
proud daughter of her native Detroit, and says she always looks
for ways to boost the city and its people.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 12