Joann, 751 North Clark: Julie was staring at Agnes and thinking about taking her own life while Agnes happily belted out “It Had to Be You” and Louie Jacovone played the piano. Agnes’s eyebrows were made with a pencil. She said she came in because she saw the place from the bus.

Julie turned morosely to Jim and Char, who also looked pretty merry. Char works part-time at a jewelry store on Milwaukee Avenue and Jim was going to be manager of Wieboldt’s suit and coat department but the store closed. Char was trying to sing “You’re the Top” but she didn’t know the words. Jim said he enjoyed singing “Makin’ Whoopee.” He was eating a pretzel. “I got a spastic stomach so I gotta throw some fiber at it once in a while. This is fun, huh? Louie, can you play “Who’s Sorry Now’?”

Julie looked around at the crowd and stood up: “Don’t these songs make you sad?” she screamed. “Haven’t you ever been in love, Agnes? Or have you lived your whole life with your mother? What about you Jim, dragging around Wieboldt’s fixing the hangers. And you, Char, dusting off those ring boxes every morning. What are you so happy about?”

“Look, honey, I have my memories,” said Agnes, sipping her dark-yellow scotch and fingering the sparkling plastic chain that held her reading glasses. “Us, too,” Jim and Char nodded vigorously.

Julie said, “I’m going home to play some sensible music!”

“Oh, you’re just a ‘Lonesome Little Petunia in an Onion Patch,'” they sang.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Tom Bachtell.