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Elsie-John was a Half-and-Half performer who was with Al G. Barnes Sideshow in 1919, and appeared at Coney Island for many years. Her real name was probably Earnest Heinz, but she went by the name Adolf. Writer Herbert Huncke (1915-1996), who appears in both William S. Burroughs’ "Junkie" and Jack Kerouac’s "On the Road," wrote that he had been taken under the wing of Elsie John, at an early age. She reportedly introduced Huncke both to heroin and to the gay underground of 1930s Chicago. Huncke’s short memoir “Elsie John” is an unsentimental but affectionate sketch of the performer.
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