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eddie root gets a raise (an excerpt)

the only person known to wrangle a pay raise from chapman was flossie root, a gorgeous former showgirl, on behalf of her husband eddie root, who had paid his dues with victories in eight sixes, including three in a row between 1904 and 1906 in the garden. this one-time bonus took place when eddie’s career was winding down. chapman wanted to groom young reggie mcnamara of australia and paired him with eddie for the december 1913 garden six.

root had often complained to his wife about how tight chapman was with money. one frosty morning over bacon and eggs, she told him she would talk with chapman while eddie went out on his training ride.

flossie had been a member of the flora dora sextet with evelyn nesbit, legendary as the girl in the red velvet swing for her dalliance with architect stanford white (architect of madison square garden). according to jack and bill brennan, flossie put a revolver in her handbag and visited chapman in his downtown newark office. she swept in, strode to where he sat at his roll-top desk, and pulled out the handgun. it was heavy and required both her hands to hold it. chapman was so surprised that all he could do was stare at the petite woman. she rested the barrel on his forehead and suggested that eddie deserved a good-paying contract. chapman, sensitive to the cold steel on his skin, heard the hammer click back, and agreed that whatever was good for eddie root was fine with him.

six-day bicycle race : the jazz age sport
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