Paul Durica, PhD candidate in English Language and Literature, was featured in The Chicago Tribune, discussing his company Pocket Guide to Hell and how his engagement with Chicago history has informed his scholarly work (and vice versa). On his motivation for founding Pocket Guide to Hell, which regularly sponsors events such as reenactments of the 1886 Haymarket Riot, Durica explains, “As I was doing research for my dissertation (about tramps, hobos and transients in American literature), I kept coming upon all of this good material that didn’t fit into my academic work. I wanted to share what I was learning with the broader public.”
On Sunday, March 17, Pocket Guide to Hell will recreate “Bathhouse” John Coughlin and Michael “Hinky Dink” Kenna’s 1908 First Ward Ball at the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia Ave.) at 8 p.m. According to the article, “Coughlin and Kenna conceived the First Ward Ball as a way of further stuffing their pockets, already bulging with graft, through imposed ticket and liquor sales…by 1908 it attracted 20,000 drunken, yelling, brawling revelers to the Coliseum on South Wabash Avenue. The guests slopped up 10,000 quarts of champagne and 30,000 quarts of beer. It was very messy.” Durica will portray Kenna.
Learn more about Pocket Guide to Hell here.