The Geneva Shore Report was approached by a Madison Police Detective.
The office staff was not shocked because police visits and contacts with GSR reporters are not uncommon. This detective had something other than law enforcement on his mind, however. Cliff, he didn’t give his last name, said that he’d seen the publication and the paper’s frequent use of GSR as an acronym for The Geneva Shore Report. He cautioned that in police work those three letters stand for something quite negative and that the paper should reconsider using them. He said that GSR stands for “Gun Shot Residue.” That stopped the staff right in their tracks. And then, after a short delay, the laughter started. Detective Cliff departed the GSR premises in surprise, probably not understanding why the staff thought the new acronym better than the old one. So many readers consider the GSR letters to be the Geneva Shore Report, but secretly, now that they know about Gun Shot Residue, that’s probably what will come to mind every time they see the three letters together in this publication.
The Geneva Java Coffee Shop has re-invented the “ham stack.”
During the seventies, down under the Chicago Skyway, a guy came along and plunked a crummy trailer down. The back of the trailer was against the then polluted Chicago River and there was only a pot-holed dirt road for access. The old guy put up a sign that read: “Ham Stack Three Bucks.” That was it. He went out and bought loaves of white Wonder Bread, jars of mayonnaise, heads of lettuce, a bushel of tomatoes, sliced cheddar cheese and a few cases of soft drinks (he had no liquor license, and in fact no deed to the city property or rental agreement). The three buck ham stack was his only product. You got it one way. If you didn’t like something, too bad, take it off. The stand of property he was on was used by Chicago cops to ‘coop’ or sleep on duty during long cold night shifts. The cops bought the cheap thick and ham stacks left and right. The local workers came for lunch. People began coming to have ham stacks for breakfast. Charlie Tucker was the man’s name and he never hired anybody. He did it all on his own. Three years later, making over a thousand ham stacks a day, Charlie died of complications from being exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Nobody knew he was a veteran with a Silver Star until he died. The cops gave him a hero’s funeral. They’d allowed Charlie to stay on the property illegally in order to have the sandwiches. The Geneva Java Coffee shop has recreated Charlie’s ham stack. It’s pictured below. Times have changed a bit so it’s now five bucks. But it’s the same great deal as Charlie so simply served, so long ago.