There were no kung-fu films playing the week of April 23, 1970. Costa Gavras's political thriller Z was playing downtown at Chicago and Michigan. I later saw it at the Playboy Theater. A James Bond film, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," was the closest things to martial arts on screen we were going to get and Jon Voight was starring in "Out of It" at the Cicero Outdoor, a drive-in. Shelly Winters was starring in "Bloody Mama," but I doubt that had any influence on the likes of Dante and the fellows at Black Cobra Hall the night of April 23, 1970.
These were some odds times, the dawn of a new decade with the Vietnam War still raging, 1968 behind us, the Apollo Astronauts were preparing to come to Chicago direct from their recent moon landing and half-Jewish Frank Collin's Nazi Party getting press for being fascist wanna-be's 10 years before his pedophile charges and conviction. He is now a "hyper-diffusionist" with a bevy of women followers who dress in 100% cotton gowns. That has got to be way more fun than hanging with the fellas dancing to neo-Nazi hip-hop. You can't keep a good cult leader down and hanging with women registers as rehabilitation for him in my book but is still pretty much a scumbag in my book, but I digress.
These were the times of the dojo/dragon war. The first warm days of spring, the story everyone wants to know and one I can tell effectively now because James Konsevic will not be just the name of some guy who died.
In all the articles, there are no images of Jim Konsevic, maybe it was because the family would not provide them. Two quotes caught my attention from the newspapers. In Chicago Today:
"In his work, Keehan bills himself as 'the deadliest man in the world.' But he "went over like a ten pin," as one Black Cobra instructor put it, when hit by a whole school of karate students.What? A man lies dead and they are bragging about multi-teaming Dante? Well there's a message about fair play. And no, no one told Dante to go start stuff at a place where weapons were readily available. This was bad judgement all around.
This part of the film now has all the elements to carry some real meaning. But don't think I am going to discover what one thing sent them over there, what started the fight itself. Ego, drugs, alcohol, bad attitudes? It was a mess that should not have happened so don't expect me to make total sense of it. All I can do is let those involved tell their stories. I am just the conduit for them to do this through.