I met a lot of characters on the Merc floor but Harry the Hat was one of my favorites. His badge was HAT. His younger brother was DRBY and both were my filling brokers and remain my friends today. Harry came to mind this week as 2 20-something employees of mine admitted they had never seen Risky Business.
The Hat was chauffeured around in a mauve limo because the state of Illinois and he had come to an understanding that it would be best if he didn't drive in Chicago for awhile. The reason was Harry had driven into lake Michigan on a bet. The story circulated around the North Shore and was heard by a young Chicago writer named Paul Brickman. Brickman adapted the Harry the Hat incident into the now famous (except to depraved millenials) Porche in Lake Michigan scene and the iconic, "Who's the U-Boat commander?" line.
There was nothing like coming of age at the Merc. More Merc Stories to follow.