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  • The Story of Dirty John's

    Dirty John himself in 1978
    "Dirty" John Alberhasky behind the deli counter in 1978.
    Multiple Choice Question: Why is John's Grocery nicknamed "Dirty John's?"

    A) John Alberhasky has poor personal hygiene
    B) John always carries a 48-Magnum and does a killer "Dirty Harry" impersonation
    C) He corrupted Central Junior High youth with Playboy Magazines
    D) He just has a dirty mind

    Answer: C

    Back in 1957, when John's Grocery was one of the few establishments in Iowa City to sell Playboy Magazine, there was an incident involving a group of boys from the Central Junior High and a stack of Playboy magazines. John's Grocery was a popular place for kids from the junior high (present location of Mercy parking ramp) to come for lunch. One day John received a call from the principal at the junior high school. He asked if John sold Playboy magazines. A stack had just arrived that morning, but the call made John notice the stack was gone. Apparently a group of boys had been in the store for lunch, took the stack of magazines and passed them around the school. From that day on John was called "Dirty John" by the kids from Central Junior High and the nuns from Mercy Hospital.


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    John's Grocery Inc.
    401 E. Market St.
    Iowa City, IA 52245
    tel: 319.337.2183
    fax: 319.339.4904
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