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Louisville Lil
By: Allan Douglas - copyright 1988

During the late 1970's I was working nights as a custodian in a Rantoul Illinois supermarket which was situated in a rather bad neighborhood and was frequently held up.  The store had installed security cameras and alarm systems, but these didn't seem to help.

One of the cashiers who regularly worked the night shift was a middle aged woman named Lil.  She liked to present the image of a really tough bird who never gave in to anyone.

One night while Lil and I were both working a young man came in.  He wandered the store, picking up a few cans of soup, some chips and bread before heading to the checkout.  As lil was ringing up his groceries, he pulled a revolver from his pocket and demanded all the money from her register.

Lil looked at him, then his gun, and stuffed the cash into a paper bag without saying a word.  The gunman thought he was home free, but Lil wasn't about to let him off so easily.

As he ran for the door, she picked up one of the cans of soup he'd left on her counter and heaved it at him.  With a resounding thunk, it struck him on the back of his head and he went down like a sack of potatoes.  Lil rushed over and sat on his back until the police arrived.

The media got hold of the story and made quite a fuss over her.  In the two years after this incident that I remained employed at this store, it was never held up again; at least, not on a night that Louisville Lil was working!

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