At the advent of the Seventies, Wayne Martin followed his father from Chicago with his brother Butch to Lawrence, Kansas. Drug connections with his old friends in Chicago, the mystery and allure of coming from a big city, and his own rapscallious charisma spawned him an almost-instant following among the disaffected local youth that would eventually become my extended family. He specialized in LSD, cocaine, and amphetamines. More than 25 years later, sitting with me at an Italian bakery in Brooklyn, he told me with a smirk how everyone in Kansas thought he had mafia connections. “I think it was because I was from Chicago.” “Maybe it was because you went to prison for selling drugs, and served a twenty-year sentence in nine months,” I replied. “Oh, yeah,” he said, feigning surprise.

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AuthorJohn Proctor