John Dillinger’s Dick.

October 9, 2017 § 4 Comments


Some seventy years ago

Ray was a Catholic kid at Holy Redeemer,

a DC school with nuns in black and white,

girls who flashed bare chapped knees

below navy blue pleats,

and boys who, in defiance

of their mandatory neckties,

were as wondering and

irreverent as any.


In addition to the rote round of

genuflection, catechism,

burnt offerings,

the squeal of chalk on board,

was the annual field trip.

Even then DC was rich

with museums.


But the Holy Redeemers went to just one.

Not the Smithsonian,

not The National Gallery,

not the Renwick.

No, the band of Catholics single-filed

onto the street car

(the tracks ran right by the school)

and rode to

The Medical Museum,

to ogle its two-headed baby,

its anatomical anomalies in murky jars.

But every year the same rumor

was passed around,

boy to boy,

elbow to ribs.


Somewhere in back, floating in an

EXTRA large jar

Adrift in a silent sea of formaldehyde was

John Dillinger’s dick.


It was eighteen inches long

And one kid claimed to have seen it

Or maybe he knew someone who had seen it,

John Dillinger’s dick.



Seventy years later Ray wonders,

Is there an alumni group

for former Holy Redeemers


after seventy years could

some old kid’s honesty be trusted?


Had anyone actually seen

John Dillinger’s dick?


And was it really





Note: Each morning when I wake up I write what are known in the writing biz as Morning Pages. Lots of my blog posts begin there.

I had already written the day’s pages when Ray and I went for our morning dog walk around the reservoir.

That’s when I heard about John Dillinger’s greatest asset.

As soon as I got home I made a note in my Morning Pages notebook: John Dillinger’s Dick, so I wouldn’t forget and write about something trivial the next morning–you’ve just read what I wrote. 

All I want to add is, if true, did America’s Most Wanted Man really need a gun?

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