John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Hello! You look nice today!

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I'll be signing books and speaking at the Deep River Ct. Public Library on Oct 3 (Saturday) from 2-4, please drop by and say hello 

I'll be signing books and speaking at Mt. St. John's in Deep River Ct. on October 3, please try to attend if you can, its for a great cause

If there is any period one would desire to be born in is it not the age of Revolution; when the old and the new stand side by side and admit of being compared; when the energies of all men are searched by fear and by hope; when the historic glories of the old can be compensated by the rich possibilities of the new era? Emerson


The Changed Man
by Robert Phillips

If you were to hear me imitating Pavarotti
in the shower every morning, you'd know
how much you have changed my life.

If you were to see me stride across the park,
waving to strangers, then you would know
I am a changed man—like Scrooge

awakened from his bad dreams feeling feather-
light, angel-happy, laughing the father
of a long line of bright laughs—

"It is still not too late to change my life!"
It is changed. Me, who felt short-changed.
Because of you I no longer hate my body.

Because of you I buy new clothes.
Because of you I'm a warrior of joy.
Because of you and me. Drop by

this Saturday morning and discover me
fiercely pulling weeds gladly, dedicated
as a born-again gardener.

Drop by on Sunday—I'll Turtlewax
your sky-blue sports car, no sweat. I'll greet
enemies with a handshake, forgive debtors

with a papal largesse. It's all because
of you. Because of you and me,

I've become one changed man.

We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years and come out at last with a belly-full of words and do not know a thing. The things taught in schools and colleges are not an education but the means of education. Emerson

Buster Keaton rides his first Segway, ca. 1920s



 In 1962, six year old John Tuohy, his two brothers and two sisters entered Connecticut’s foster care system and were promptly split apart. Over the next ten years, John would live in more than ten foster homes, group homes and state schools, from his native Waterbury to Ansonia, New Haven, West Haven, Deep River and Hartford. In the end, a decade later, the state returned him to the same home and the same parents they had taken him from. As tragic as is funny compelling story will make you cry and laugh as you journey with this child to overcome the obstacles of the foster care system and find his dreams.

Excerpt from my book "No Time to Say Goodbye: Memoirs of a Life in Foster Care.

  I wasn’t a bad kid. I was just a teenager, which is bad enough, I suppose, with the added portion of being damaged goods. I was—still am—capable of being a whiner and a complainer and not for any good reason, but simply to whine, which I guess gets me attention. It’s a part of my affliction, I suspect, from bouncing around in foster care. 
 I was also a painter, and good God, how I hated the painting business. I smelled like paint thinner, everything I owned was speckled with primer, and my hands were raw from the turpentine and oil base.  Not only did we put in twenty-four hours on the weekend, but at least once a week my father phoned the school.
  “Yeah,” he said when the phone was answered, “My son John won’t be in today. This is his father.”
  Then there would be a long pause and he would add, “Yes, he has a last name.”
 After another long pause he would add “Tuohy,” and then say, “Yeah, he’s got a doctor’s appointment,” and put me to work for the day. It was all about money. They weren’t paying me, so their margins were bigger.
  I was relieved to get out of school. I was sinking there, anyway. Almost two years in Saint John’s remedial program hadn’t prepared me for a normal high school. Academically, I was light years behind the other kids, and overwhelmed by the class sizes, the sprawling hallways, and the general quick pace of things. I couldn’t seem to make friends, because everyone seemed to have known each other since kindergarten.  That’s what happens when you move so often. But I was never lonely; you can’t be lonely if you like the person you're alone with.
  However, I was lost. My father didn’t love me, but that doesn’t mean he hated me. Hate isn’t the opposite of love. The opposite of love is apathy. At home, unless I was working, I was looked upon as costly overhead. But it wasn’t really a home. It was the cleanest place I have ever lived, because Mary was obsessed with cleanliness. The parlor was, essentially, a museum. We dared not go in there. In the large dining room had a rich mahogany table, but we never ate there. We ate at the kitchen table. In fact, everything was centered on the kitchen, but the house had no aroma to it. Mary kept it flawlessly clean and sterile, because Mary didn’t cook and God knows my father couldn’t. Mary’s first husband had been an Army chef, so Mary had never learned to cook, and overall she had little interest in food. So we ate out a lot, and that got old very quickly.
  Every day was the same. After a late dinner, my father retired to his workroom in the garage and tinkered with his tools on one make-work project or another while Mary did the day’s invoices. They seldom watched television and never went out to a film. They didn’t travel, although they could easily have afforded it, and my father was fascinated by California, or at least by his concept of what he thought California was, although he had never been there. He talked about it a lot, about how moderate the temperatures were and how the ocean was always just around the corner.
  If we went anywhere at all, it was to Mary’s daughters’ house in West Warwick where they lived side by side in a duplex Mary had bought for them. In fact, although I was never paid for the work I did, Mary’s sons-in-law were on the books as employees, paid for not doing any work at all.
  Mary and her daughters constantly asked me to consider moving back to Connecticut to live with my mother, regardless of what I told them about the poverty she lived in. They didn’t care about that. It wasn’t their problem. Their problem was my attitude. They thought my opinions and judgments of my father were too harsh. They couldn’t understand why I could not see what a concerned and loving parent he really was.
  Well, maybe I couldn’t see that, but I could see that this man knew that people don’t usually base their judgments of others by their actions, but by their proclaimed intentions. Before I had arrived, my father had built a solid reputation by talking about what he intended to do with his children, and it was all good and just and kind, because that was what people wanted to hear. He was blessed with the Celt’s ability to beguile with words and phrases. In fact, he had mastered the art. He talked soulfully about his concern for our problems and how deeply it weighed on him so that even I believed the illusion that he was dedicated to saving us from the system.
  The truth was he knew nothing about the effects his actions had had on our lives. He didn’t really care, either. His apathy towards us and the plight we faced was padding for his peaceful life, and his heartfelt words were an excellent substitute for real concern, care, love, and the efforts required to create all those.
He was not completely self-absorbed. No one is ever completely one thing. I think he reacted to us as he did because he couldn’t comprehend what was happening to us and his role in it. It was too complicated and overwhelming for him to take in.
  Whatever it was, I saw his apathy and confusion towards me as hostility. I resented being regulated to the realm of living oblivion. I resented his constant apologizing to Mary on my behalf. The bottom line was, I embarrassed him, and that was the difference between my mother and father. My mother never stopped feeling ashamed for what she had done to us. My father never stopped being ashamed of us.
  Thought about Denny and me sitting on the front wall of the house in Ansonia, waiting for him because he had phoned the day before and said he was coming to see us. And I recalled how he had never arrived and never called to explain himself. It made me angry and fueled resentment against him, a resentment I could barely hide sometimes.
  Still, he was my father, and there were parts of me that loved him, adored him and idolized him, or least the memory of what I thought he once was. There still are. He had gone from a man I barely knew to my almost constant companion. We spent hours together, painting walls in empty houses and apartments or driving from one job to another so we talked a lot. Actually, he talked a lot, and I listened.
  He loved fishing. I went fishing once, got a fishhook in my eye and never fished again. He was mechanically inclined and could fix almost anything. I was good at breaking things and then buying a newer version. His politics were right of center and mine were extremely left of center, enough so that he often introduced me as “My son, Fidel Castro.”  
  There were some things he wouldn’t say much about,   his own father. He despised his father.
  “You tink I’m bad?” he might suddenly say to me without any prompting or reason. He was incapable of pronouncing the word “think.” “Well you shoulda seen my old man,” he would say. “Rotten mean son of a bitch.”
What made it unusual was that my father rarely swore, so when he did the curse words had a sharp edge.
  That was all he would say. I didn’t follow it up because I sensed he didn’t want me to. There were other subjects he couldn’t say enough about, like the war. Although he had been a combat infantryman in Europe, in all of his war stories he almost never mentioned the death and destruction he had seen. To my surprise he seemed to have a grudging respect for the German soldiers he had fought and killed. However, he did tell me one story, many times, about a Nazi he had shot, and that story showed me that beneath his docile exterior, my father was could be a mean son of a bitch himself, with little regard for life.
  It went like this: “One time this bastard had us tied down with gunfire for hours. An old guy, he was up in some rocks on a hill. We hit him with everything we had and then, finally, the tank shows up, fires off a few rounds, he comes down.”
  He raised his arms in the air in surrender and yelled, “He’s yellin’ ‘Nicht schiessen! Nicht schiessen!’  It means ‘Don’t shoot!’ Anyway, we was just kids and surprised because he was so old. This guy was past sixty, way past that. So we get it out of him why he kept shooting when we had him surrounded, and he pointed back up to the hill and said, “Hitler-Jugend”—Hitler Youth.”
  His lips tightened and his eyes narrowed. “Real bastards, those Hitler Youth,” he said, rearranging the word “youth” into Waterbury-ese “youse.” “They would post one of the Hitler Youth with the regular soldiers, and if anyone tried to surrender or run away, the bastards would kill them.”
  He paused to spit tobacco bits from his lips left by his non-filtered Camel cigarettes, the preference of his generation, and said “Imagine, kill your own kind. Then, no matter how many times he had told the story, and he told it a lot, he shook his head in disbelief. And almost as if on cue, he left, or at least a part of him left. Staring out past me he was seeing all the way back to the forests of Alsace-Lorraine and that tree-lined hill as it looked twenty-five years before.  He whispered, “We took care of those no-good bastards.”
  Then he gave me a side glance that was slightly menacing and nodded at me knowingly. He wasn’t himself at that point. The otherwise gentle and good-natured man who was too shy to look people in the eye was gone, replaced by a spirit distantly dangerous.
  “So we go up there,” he continued, still looking out into the fog, “to where they were shooting from and there’s this Hitler Youth kid with a pistol in his hand laid out on the ground. He caught one just below the throat and he was like—like, you know, gurgling for air. He looks up at me and goes, ‘Gott steh mir bei!’—‘God help me!’”
  “Did you help him?”
  “Yeah, I helped him. I put him out of his misery. That was a help.” He laughed at his weak joke.
  “You killed him?”
  “He was dead anyway.”  “Why? Why not just let it go?” I asked, but he didn’t hear. He was now standing in the frozen winter air in Europe, a light but steady snow falling. “He was the best lookin’ kid I ever saw in my life,” he whispered to no one. “His hair was blond, but, like, white-colored, and he had skin like a girl’s skin.”
  He shook his head, turned up the corner of his mouth and whispered, “He was really beautiful.”
  I was discomfited by his use of the words “He was really beautiful,” because they sounded just as if he had said a delectable piece of sirloin or fish had gone bad.
  “Why did you kill him?” I asked, and he answered by lifting his rifle to his shoulder and yelling “Bang!” and then chuckled and added, “You know when you take the top off of one of those nuts that the squirrels eat?”
  “Yeah, you know when you flip off that little, like, French-guy-hat thing on top?”
  He turned and looked into my eyes and said, “That’s what it’s like when you blow somebody’s head off. It flies off just like one of those little French hats on the acorn,” and then he chuckled. 
  “Why did you kill him?” I asked again. I didn’t see the point.
 “Why not?”
  But the war did affect him. In those days, “war shows”—television programs s about World War II—were common and he critiqued them for inaccuracies. Later, when the program was over, I noticed him pacing nervously, and it was guaranteed that later that night he would have a nightmare that would wake us all up. 
  Around this time I discovered beer. At least twice a week, the guys on the painting crew took me out drinking with them in the dives up in Providence. Most of those places are gone now, victims of urban renewal, but in their day they were the worst places imaginable, filled with hookers, drunks, hard-core drug addicts and a variety of other interesting sorts.
  The guys would get me drunk—my age was never an issue—and then drive me home and deposit me on the front steps of the house. By then it was usually around three o’clock in the morning and Mary had purposely locked the door. I had never been given a key, so I curled up in the back of the paint truck, still in my paint clothes, and waited until morning. I’d already be in the truck when my father came out to go to work, and until he caught on he assumed that I, eager to get to work, had simply been first to get into the truck.
  Because I worked constantly, I had no friends and no social life beyond my father and Mary. But I had made one good friend at high school, a fun-loving, quick-thinking, intelligent kid named Kevin Johnston, as disenchanted with high school as I was. He w didn’t think his way through life; he improvised his way through life, and, most of the time, anyway, it worked for him.
  We became best friends in the spirit of that old saying: “When you’re in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, 'Damn, that was fun’.”
 We met up in the morning, attended a class or two to have our presence noted, and then skipped out and spent the day on the shore.  One day we got our hands on a case of Narragansett beer and, three sheets to the wind, I eventually staggered home. I fell into the kitchen and stumbled to my room, intending to go to bed. Mary had no intention of letting that happen. She followed me into the room and poked her long bejeweled finger into my face, over and over again.
  “You’re drunk!” she screamed. “Drunk!”
  I pushed her finger away and she slapped me. I shoved her out of the room and slammed the door and she screamed bloody murder, and my father came running.
  Who knows what happened next? There is no rage on this earth like love turned to hatred. Punches were thrown. He fell and busted a rib; I had a black eye. Mary phoned the police.
  I was lucky I wasn’t arrested. The cops took me to Kevin’s house and the Johnstons took me in without question. And that was the last I heard from my father for a while. No phone calls. No dropping by to patch things up.
  The Johnstons were a kind and eccentric family headed, unquestionably, by Olive, a charismatic, heavy-set, divorced Irishwoman. Olive owned a small house on the same street where they lived and let Kevin and me live there. I spent weeks roaming through the junk stores for usable furniture, plates, pots, and pans, and before long we had a fully furnished house. I paid the rent, the utility bills, and the taxes and I signed each check with enormous pride.
  Kevin and I landed jobs at a jewelry factory located across the street from our house. It was the first, real-life, honest-to-God job I had ever had. It paid little, but it was a job and it was mine. I was assigned to the production shop. I stood in front of a pot of boiling liquid metal and made inexpensive rings. With my first paycheck I bought an enormous, very used 1964 Buick sedan. I taught myself to drive and got a driver’s license.
  On weekends I washed dishes late into the night at a local restaurant where Kevin worked as a short-order cook, and during the slow times he showed me the basics of short-order cooking. I was fascinated by the speed and accuracy of the work that went on behind the grill, and with time I became damned good at it. I could serve up a full meal with my right hand while cooking two other dinners with my left. I loved it. I had finally found something I was good at.
  “They got a college over in New York State,” the weekend grill man told me, “called culinary arts school or something like that; that’s what this is,” he said, and pointed to the steak he was cooking. “Culinary.” 
  I was fascinated by the thought of it.
  “What do you mean? You go to college to learn to cook?”
  “Yeah,” he said. “But you learn everything and let me tell you something, some of those cooks they make big, big money.”
  I decided to become a chef, and took up the business of studying food and its preparation. I’d land jobs in a series of kitchens, each one better than the last, finish high school with a GED and eventually attended the culinary school in New York. It was a wide-ranging, big-strokes plan, but it was a plan. For the first time in my life, I knew where I was going and how I would get there. 
  I had a job, money in my pocket, and a car: a pile of junk, but a car. I had a place to live and a life plan. I was taking care of myself, placing myself out of harm’s way. I had done in six months what the entire state of Connecticut couldn’t do for me in nine years. To top it off, Rhode Island, in the summer months anyway, is a fantastic place to live. The shoreline and the beach culture can’t be beat. Inside the foster care system, I couldn’t win. Outside the system, I couldn’t lose.
  One summer’s evening in late August of 1971, I returned home from work and Olive said, “John,”—she never called me Johnny as everyone else did—“your father called and wants you to drop by his house.”
  “Really?” I said, pleased. “Did he say what he wants?”
  “No,” Olive said. “But watch yourself with him.”
  I drove the mile and a half to his house, where, parked in the driveway, I saw a Connecticut state black sedan with the logo emblazoned on the side doors. The sight sickened me. In my father’s house the social worker sat alone at the kitchen table, dressed in the mandatory and once-impressive suit coat and tie, waiting for me. Mary and my father stood on either side of him.
  “Your father called us, John,” he said. “We know what happened. You should have been arrested for assault.”
  Mary gave me a tense smile. She was enjoying this. My affliction set in, and as much as I tried to fight it off, I had to push my fingertips together.
  “We found a place for you back in Connecticut,” the social worker said. “A group home in Hartford. Let’s go.”
  “I won’t go,” I said.
  “Then I’ll have the state troopers handcuff you and drive you to Hartford.”
  “It’s up to you.”  I considered punching him and walking out, but that could lead to troubles for the Johnstons, who had been nothing but good to me.
  “You are a ward of the state, John, and a minor. Anyone who offers you harbor is in violation of the law,” he said. “You don’t have any choice on this. So just get in the car and let’s go.”
  My father left the room.
  “You’re just going to let this happen?” I called out after him, but he didn’t answer.
  I went. There was no time to say goodbye to Kevin or Olive, pack my belongings, or resign from my job.  
  Usually, every exit is an entrance to someplace new. In foster care, every exit only leads back to the same place. It may have a different name and location, but it’s the same place. Sometimes it’s worse to win a fight than to lose one. My father never spoke to me again. I don’t blame him, really. I had humiliated him. 

This is a book of short stories taken from the things I saw and heard in my childhood in the factory town of Ansonia in southwestern Connecticut. Most of these stories, or as true as I recall them because I witnessed these events many years ago through the eyes of child and are retold to you now with the pen and hindsight of an older man. The only exception is the story Beat Time which is based on the disappearance of Beat poet Lew Welch. Decades before I knew who Welch was, I was told that he had made his from California to New Haven, Connecticut, where was an alcoholic living in a mission. The notion fascinated me and I filed it away but never forgot it.      
The collected stories are loosely modeled around Joyce’s novel, Dubliners (I also borrowed from the novels character and place namesIvy Day, my character in “Local Orphan is Hero” is also the name of chapter in Dubliners, etc.) and like Joyce I wanted to write about my people, the people I knew as a child, the working class in small town America and I wanted to give a complete view of them as well. As a result the stories are about the divorced, Gays, black people, the working poor, the middle class, the lost and the found, the contented and the discontented.
Conversely many of the stories in this book are about starting life over again as a result of suicide (The Hanging Party, Small Town Tragedy, Beat Time) or from a near death experience (Anna Bell Lee and the Charge of the Light Brigade, A Brief Summer)
and natural occurring death. (The Best Laid Plans, The Winter Years, Balanced and Serene
With the exception of Jesus Loves Shaqunda, in each story there is a rebirth from the death. (Shaqunda is reported as having died of pneumonia in The Winter Years)
Sal, the desperate and depressed divorcee in Things Change, changes his life in Lunch Hour when asks the waitress for a date and she accepts. (Which we learn in Closing Time, the last story in the book) In The Arranged Time, Thisby is given the option of change and whether she takes it or, we don’t know. The death of Greta’s husband in A Matter of Time has led her to the diner and into the waiting arms of the outgoing and loveable Gabe.

Although the book is based on three sets of time (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and the diner is opened in the early morning and closed at night, time stands still inside the Diner. The hour on the big clock on the wall never changes time and much like my memories of that place, everything remains the same.


John William Tuohy is a writer who lives in Washington DC. He holds an MFA in writing from Lindenwood University. He is the author of numerous non-fiction on the history of organized crime including the ground break biography of bootlegger Roger Tuohy "When Capone's Mob Murdered Touhy" and "Guns and Glamour: A History of Organized Crime in Chicago."
His non-fiction crime short stories have appeared in The New Criminologist, American Mafia and other publications. John won the City of Chicago's Celtic Playfest for his work The Hannigan's of Beverly, and his short story fiction work, Karma Finds Franny Glass, appeared in AdmitTwo Magazine in October of 2008.
His play, Cyberdate.Com, was chosen for a public performance at the Actors Chapel in Manhattan in February of 2007 as part of the groups Reading Series for New York project. In June of 2008, the play won the Virginia Theater of The First Amendment Award for best new play.
Contact John:

I wrote this bill of rights for foster children several years ago. There many other versions written by other people and almost all of them are worth trying. It's your county. What's happening in foster care in America is being carried out with your money and in your name. You have a right to do something about it. 


As a child, a ward of the government and as an American citizen, you are protected by the people of the United States of America, by our laws, by our courts and by our government.

You should be aware that you have specific rights while you are in foster care. Those rights are as follows:

-You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect and to live in dignity and self-respect.

- No one has the right to harm you, to strike you or to commit physical violence upon you. If anyone harms you, strikes you or commits physical violence upon you, you have a right to discuss this abuse with your caseworker, your foster care provider, teachers or police officers. You cannot and will not be punished or harmed further for discussing the abuse with these people.

-You have the right to live in a foster home that is safe, comfortable and healthy.

-You have a right to practice your religion, no matter what that religion might be. You also have a right not to be forced to practice any religion.

-You have the right to attend all court hearings that concern you.

-You have the right to be represented in court by an Attorney. The government will pay the attorney to represent you.

-You have a right to meet with your caseworker at least once a month.

-The information you share with your casework about your placement is confidential. That is, your caseworker is forbidden by law to discuss your conversations beyond people with a need to know.

-You have a right to visit your family. That right cannot not be taken from you and it is illegal to threaten you with taking that right from you.

-You have the right to be placed with a relative as an alternative to foster home care.

-You have a right to live with your siblings, meaning your brothers and sisters.

-You have the right to live in a foster home as opposed to a group home.

-You have a right to participate in any plan for your benefit and future.

-You have the right to be provided with adequate and nourishing food, shelter and clothing.

-You have a right to your own belongings. You have a right to keep any money you have earned or been given.

-You cannot be forced to take medication that has not been prescribed by a doctor and that has the prior approval of your caseworker.

-You have the right to receive confidential phone calls and to have your mail come to you unopened.

-At the proper age, you have the right to participate in an Independent Living Skills Program.

-You have the right to file a complaint about the type of care you are receiving from your caregivers or your caseworker.

-You have the right to prompt medical treatment.

-You have the right to speak to a counselor or therapist if you feel the need.

-You cannot be taken out of foster care without a hearing before the proper authorities.


Interior of Moulin de la Galette - Ramon Casas i Carbo

Interior with a mother reading aloud to her daughter. Carl Vilhelm Holsøe (Danish, 1863-1935). Oil on canvas.

Isaac Soyer, Rebecca, 1940

Ivan Lubennikov - Spring, 1986 


Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.' Mature love says 'I need you because I love you.' Erich Fromm

THE ART OF WAR...............................

Traditional Irish Broiled Dinner

Ingredients needed for this dish        
1 (3 1/2 lb) fresh beef brisket
 2 (12 oz) bottles Lager beer
 2 c water (or enough to just cover)
 2 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
1/2 c chopped parsley
2 tsp salt
 2 tbsp butter or olive oil
 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
 2 c chopped and rinsed leeks (white parts only)
1 med yellow onion, peeled and sliced
 3/4 lb large carrots cut into large pieces
 3/4 lb small red potatoes
1 lb turnips, peeled and quartered
 2 lbs green cabbage cut in sixths (secure with toothpicks)
 Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions

Place an 8 to 10 quart Dutch oven on the burner and add the beef, beer, water, bay leaves, peppercorns, parsley, and salt Heat a frying pan and sauté the garlic, leeks, and yellow onion for a few minutes then add to the Dutch oven

Cover and simmer gently for 3 1/2 hours or until the meat is very tender (This will normally take about 1 hour per pound of brisket)

In the last 25 minutes of cooking, add the carrots and red potatoes

In the last 15 minutes of cooking, add the turnips, cabbage, salt, and pepper If the vegetables are not done to your liking, cook them longer but do not overcook Remove the toothpicks from the cabbage before serving.

“The day will come when the cow will have use for her tail” Irish proverb

Act of kindness: Why this McDonald's worker abruptly closed his register
The account of a McDonald's worker's Sept. 16 act of kindness has gone viral. Her original post to Facebook has been shared more than 300,000 times since.
By Cathaleen Chen

When an elderly disabled man asked a fast-food worker named Kenny to help him eat his food at the height of rush hour in downtown Chicago, Kenny didn’t hesitate to oblige.
To the surprise and admiration of a fellow patron, Kenny closed his register, put on some gloves, headed over to the wheelchaired man’s table, and began to cut his food for him.
The act was captured by a patron, who then posted a picture and heraccount of the story on Facebook last week. Since then, the post has garnered more than 300,000 shares.
Recommended: Year-round giving: 8 family volunteering opportunities
Today I made a quick stop at McDonald's after work. As I waited in line to order, an elderly handicapped gentleman wheeled himself over to the cashier in front of me,” Destiny Carreno writes in the viral post. “The man politely tried to ask the cashier something and it took him a few tries before either of us could understand he was saying ‘Help me please.’”
“To be honest, I thought the cashier wasn't going to help, especially during rush hour in downtown Chicago, but to my shock, he shut down his register and disappeared from view,” Ms. Carreno continues.
When she finally saw that Kenny had left the kitchen to help the man eat, Carreno said she was moved to tears.
“At that point, the tears started to gather in my eyes. My heart was so appreciative for what he did. I couldn't contain my emotions in the crowded restaurant,” she goes on.
NBC 5 Chicago reports that Rod Lubeznik, the owner of the McDonald’s, said in a statement that the company is very proud of the employee, who they identified as Kenny.
"It's a true testament to who Kenny is, and as a reminder to us all that one seemingly small act of kindness can touch the hearts of so many," Lubeznik said.

Where there is love there is life. Mahatma Gandhi


Photographs I’ve taken

 Coronado Beach

Annapolis Md
 Orlando Fla.

 Firestone estate, Virginia
 Firestone estate, Virginia
 Firestone estate, Virginia
 Firestone estate, Virginia
 Firestone estate, Virginia
 Firestone estate, Virginia
  Coronado Beach

Northern Maine 
 Westerly RI
 National Zoo, Washington DC
 National Zoo, Washington DC
 National Zoo, Washington DC
 National Zoo, Washington DC
National Zoo, Washington DC

Happiness and Its Many Health Benefits Are Not Exclusive
By Eric Nelson on August 17, 2015 10:10 AM
“Recently, a critical mass of research has provided what might be the most basic and irrefutable argument in favor of happiness,” declares Kira Newman in her article on Cal Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center website. “Happiness and good health go hand-in-hand. Indeed, scientific studies have been finding that happiness can make our hearts healthier, our immune systems stronger, and our lives longer.”
This is great news. But maybe not so great for those who aren’t very good at being happy.
“I have bipolar disorder, and I often wonder how the emotional symptoms that result affect my overall happiness and health,” writes “Tyla” in the article’s comment section. “Do I get the short end of the stick because I suffer from a disease that makes you prone to unhappiness from depression and anxiety?”
If, as is widely believed, happiness is a largely chemical-based phenomenon, then yes, it might be fair to assume that those whose bodies have trouble generating such chemicals could be left with “the short end of the stick.” This, in and of itself, is a pretty depressing thought.
If, on the other hand, there were some other source they might turn to for happiness – a safer, more reliable, less chemical- or even completely non-chemical-based source – then no, no one should be left out. Now we’re talkin’.
Try as we might, though, we just can’t seem to shake the notion, or dodge the penalties, of what most everyone assumes to be a matter-based existence. Even so, it’s an assumption that deserves to be challenged.
“Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love,” affirms Mary Baker Eddy, a religious and medical reformer whose many years of trial and tribulation provided plenty of incentive to seek out the source – and resulting health benefits – of happiness. “It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it.”
More than a mere statement of faith, Eddy’s conviction that happiness originates in something outside of matter was a profound declaration of truth wrought out of her own life experience – a truth that, as it became better understood, had the effect of improving, not just her own health, but the health of those she encouraged to consider this same Spirit-based point of view.
Of course, there are times when adopting such an outlook is a lot easier said than done, particularly when we find ourselves fixating on the happiness of others – what social commentators often refer to as the “fear of missing out” or FoMO. It’s in just these situations, however, when simply being open to the fact that happiness, as a wholly spiritual expression, “requires all mankind to share it” can be especially helpful in breaking through whatever mental logjam would seem to be getting in the way of our own sense of contentment.
Even more important than the revelation that “happiness and good health go hand-in-hand” is the understanding that happiness is not exclusive. No one is left out. And ultimately, no one can be or should be deprived of its many benefits, not the least of which is better health.

Eric Nelson writes each week on the link between consciousness and health from his perspective as a practitioner of Christian Science. He also serves as the media and legislative spokesperson for Christian Science in Northern California. Read similar columns at norcalcs.org and follow him on Twitter @norcalcs.

We can't form our children on our own concepts; we must take them and love them as God gives them to us. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 


Compulsive Artist  by Eugenia Loli

Enough Is Enough: The Time Has Come to Address Sky-High Drug Prices
By Topher Spiro, Maura Calsyn, Thomas Huelskoetter
In any given month, about half of all Americans—and 90 percent of seniors—take a prescription drug. These medications help millions of patients fight illnesses and recover from injuries; they also shorten the duration of common illnesses, alleviate pain, and treat life-threatening illnesses. Simply put, prescription drugs save lives and can prevent costlier, more invasive treatments.
Yet not all drugs offer the same value, and too often, patients and insurers pay exorbitant prices for their medications, even for products that are no more effective than cheaper options. In 2014, more than half a million Americans took at least $50,000 worth of prescription drugs each. Americans pay out of pocket for a much greater share of prescription drug costs than hospital costs. Not surprisingly, almost three-quarters of the public thinks that drug costs are too high. And while drug prices keep going up, a significant percentage of new prescription drugs are designed to treat the same conditions and offer little clinical advantage over existing drugs.
Spending on prescription drugs is now growing at a faster rate than spending on any other health care item or service. Furthermore, drug prices are rising at a rapid enough rate that they are affecting the overall rate of health care cost growth. For example, Medicare’s costs per beneficiary increased by 2.3 percent during 2014, after two years of no growth, due in large part to the almost 11 percent increase in drug costs for the program.
There are numerous reasons why patients and health care payers pay such exorbitant prices for prescription drugs. Unlike other nations, the United States does not directly regulate the prices that drug companies can charge for their products. In addition, patent protection and market exclusivity shield drug manufacturers from normal market competition, giving manufacturers significantly greater bargaining power than insurers. Without any competition or additional regulation of prices, the price is simply what the manufacturer sets for its monopoly product.
All consumers end up paying more for health care because of these high prices. Patients in need of expensive medications often will pay thousands of dollars per month. But it is not just patients who need these products who help pay these costs. Rising drug costs also increase premiums and cost sharing for all consumers. These costs also will continue to squeeze federal and state budgets as Medicare, Medicaid, and other health care programs pay for these treatments. At the same time, drug company profits continue to increase at a faster pace than any other sector of the health care industry.
This growing crisis is not sustainable. In a previous report, the Center for American Progress recommended several policies that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, estimates would reduce federal spending on drugs by more than $140 billion over 10 years. The focus of this report is a package of new, additional ideas that will:
Lower drug costs across the board
Ensure that relative drug prices reflect the benefits to patients
Address drug costs paid for by both public programs and private insurance
The table on the following page summarizes the proposed package.
Together, these reforms will broaden the impact of research, lower costs for prescription drugs throughout the system, and offer greater financial protection for those Americans whose lives and health depend on prescription medications.

Topher Spiro is the Vice President for Health Policy at the Center for American Progress. Maura Calsyn is the Director of Health Policy at the Center. Thomas Huelskoetter is the Research Assistant for Health Policy at the Center.

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The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. Elie Wiesel



Antonomasia: (an-toh-noh-MAY-zhuh)  1. The use of an epithet or title for a proper name, for example, the Bard for Shakespeare. 2. The use of the name of a person known for a particular quality to describe others, such as calling someone brainy as Einstein. Also known as eponym. From Latin, from Greek antonomazein (to name differently), from anti- (instead of) + onoma (name)


New Yorkers need paid family leave
Part-time, hourly and contract workers deserve the benefit, too.
By David Bolotsky

Netflix made major waves last month by offering employees up to a year of paid parental leave. Microsoft and Adobe quickly announced similar expansions. This came on the heels of generous policies by tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo.
As a business owner, I know generous benefits are a smart move. They allow companies to stay competitive by attracting and retaining the best and brightest. A more loyal, productive workforce leads to a better bottom line. That's why we're proud to offer paid leave at UncommonGoods.
But these expansions, while positive, apply only to a fraction of workers. Part-time, hourly and contract workers at Netflix and many other big tech companies do not receive paid leave. Many small businesses here in New York and around the country cannot offer extensive paid family leave, but their employees are equally in need.
All New Yorkers should have paid leave available to them for the major life moments we all go through—the arrival of a new child or the serious illness of a loved one—whether or not their employer can afford it. That's why a proposed employee-funded system is gaining support across the state.
The Paid Family Leave Insurance Act would provide a modest 12 weeks of paid leave, funded by small employee payroll deductions that start at just 45 cents and are phased in over four years to a permanent level of 88 cents a week. This would create an insurance fund from which workers could draw a significant portion of their pay while on leave.
We already have the infrastructure in place to do this, without any new administrative requirements. Like the paid family leave in New Jersey, Rhode Island and California, this system would also piggyback on New York's Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) program, which employees have used for off-the-job disability since 1950 and for pregnancy since 1978.
The paid-leave bill would also modernize the TDI program—the critical support system for new mothers physically recovering from childbirth—which is currently frozen at the 1989 rate of $170 per week. This would mean a small cost shared between employees and employers—one that would not be burdensome for businesses and is woefully overdue.
In fact, we know that statewide paid-family-leave programs do not hurt businesses. California was the first state to implement it, in 2004. Five years later, the majority of businesses reported that it had a positive or no effect on profitability, productivity, employee turnover and morale.
Paid leave should not just be a company perk for the lucky few: New York's families and its economy are stronger when no one has to fear that the birth of a child or serious illness of a parent could mean financial ruin.
New York is the home of innovation. Let's extend that legacy to paid family leave that works for everyone.
David Bolotsky is the founder and CEO of Brooklyn-based UncommonGoods, an online and catalog retailer.

Sculpture this and Sculpture that

Statue of Empress Elizabeth of Austria, wife of Emperor Franz Joseph, at the Achilleion (Achilles) Palace, built in 1890-91 as her retreat from the Hapsburg court


What Coca-Cola Is Doing with Its Money Right Now Is Actually Kind of Genius
Coke finally made its charitable donations public—so we asked renowned nutritionist and soda industry expert Marion Nestle to explain its giving strategy.
—By Kiera Butler
Coca-Cola has had a bad summer. Last month, the New York Times revealed that the soda giant funded scientific research suggesting that people who want to lose weight and improve their health should focus on exercise instead of cutting out high-calorie items—like soda—from their diets.
Consumers were outraged, so in the wake of the investigation, Coca-Cola CEO Muthar Kent vowed in a piece in the Wall Street Journal's opinion section to publish a complete list of people and organizations that the company has funded. Earlier this week, Coca-Cola did just that.
The list—which includes a breakdown of the $118.6 million in donations that the company has doled out over the last five years—is sprawling. To make sense of it, I spoke toMarion Nestle, a professor in New York University's Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health. Nestle's new book,Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning), uncovers how soda companies like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo became some of the most powerful corporations in the United States. Their success, Nestle argues in the book, comes in no small part from their strategic alliances with a diverse range of communities—from minority groups to doctors to physical fitness organizations.
Sure enough, those very groups are well represented in Coca-Cola's list. Here's a quick guide to the main kinds of organizations that Nestle noticed—and the strategy behind Coke's decision to give to them:
Professors and university research centers, including the University of South Carolina's South Carolina Research Foundation (more than $1 million), the University of Alabama Birmingham Educational Foundation (more than $1 million), and the University of Colorado ($1.25 million): "This is a big part of what Coke does, funding university research centers to incentivize them to do work that makes soda look not quite so bad," says Nestle. "I was particularly interested in the list of health professionals and scientific experts. The soda industry is very interested in these people, who tell people in hospitals what to drink."
Minority group organizations, including 100 Black Men of America Inc. ($350,000), the NAACP ($550,000), and the National Association of Hispanic Nurses ($671,000): "The soda industry deliberately markets to African American and Hispanic communities," says Nestle. "They're sending the message, 'You're part of mainstream America. You're like this sports figure.'" Interestingly, Coca-Cola has a troubled history with the African American community. In her book, Nestle chronicles how, from the time of the civil rights movement through the early 1980s, Coca-Cola faced criticism for hiring few black employees in its Atlanta headquarters. The company has spent decades repairing its relationship with black Americans.
Sports and fitness groups, including the National Foundation for Governors' Council on Physical Fitness ($4 million), and the National Recreation and Park Association ($2 million): "That's part of this concerted effort to make people think that if they're physically active, they don't have to think about what they're drinking," says Nestle.
Youth organizations, including Boys & Girls Clubs (more than $6 million), the American Academy of Pediatrics (nearly $3 million) and Girl Scouts of the USA ($1 million): Nestle explains that soda companies have pledged not to advertise to children under the age of 12 on TV—and they have largely kept their promise. But "there are lots of other ways in which they can market to children," she says—and donating to charitable groups that support kids is one of them. That strategy "gets these children's organizations not to make drinking less soda a priority. And if they're using sodas around their place, it keeps the brand visible. It buys silence." Nestle sites the example of when, in 2013, the soda industry trade group American Beverage Association spent millions to defeat a proposed soda tax in Philadelphia—and, at the same time, gave a $10 million grant to the city's children's hospital.
Medical professionals groups, including the American Academy of Family Physicians (more than $3.5 million), the American College of Cardiology ($3.1 million), the American Dietetic Association (more than $1 million), the American College of Sports Medicine ($865,000), and the Preventative Cardiovascular Nurses Association ($383,500): "The soda companies have a very big presence at medical professional meetings," says Nestle. "They sponsor specific sessions, as well as the meetings in general. They choose the lecturers, or they appoint people to choose the lecturers. You can bet that these people are not going to be saying very much about the need to drink less soda, even though the evidence suggests that's the best advice."
Disaster relief funds, including Mercy Corps ($150,000), and the Global Disaster Response Fund ($150,000): "This one is a no brainer, because these groups bring bottled water in," says Nestle. (Coca-Cola owns leading bottled water brand Dasani.)
Food banks, including Atlanta Community Food Bank, Inc. ($570,000) and the San Antonio Food Bank ($300,000): Nestle explains that one metric by which food pantries are often evaluated is the overall weight of the food they provide. "Sodas are very heavy, so food banks love sodas," she says.
Parks, including the National Park Foundation (more than $2 million) and Chicago's Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance ($3 million): Some public park groups—including the National Park Foundation—are trying to cut down on plastic litter by banning the sale of bottled water on park premises. "So it makes sense that Coke is supporting parks to keep bottled water in," says Nestle.
Really tiny organizations, including many local chapters of the YMCA, the Boys & Girls Club, and Police Athletic Leagues: Coca-Cola's list includes some donations in the millions, but most of the contributions that the company has made are smaller—$50,000 or less. "It doesn't take very much to form a good impression," says Nestle. "I bet the Portland After-School Tennis & Education at St. Johns Racquet Center was very happy with their $25,000. You can bet that small groups that get any donation at all are not going to be really motivated to get Coke out of their offices."


Should the Amount of Basic Income Vary With Cost of Living Differences?
By Scott Santens
The question of an unequal UBI
A common first question in response to the idea of unconditionally guaranteeing a monthly cash stipend to everyone sufficient to meet their basic needs is in regards to a potential need for differing amounts of basic income. Let’s examine this question from two perspectives: that of the individual and that of the location.
First Perspective: The Individual
It’s a lot more expensive to live in New York City and San Francisco than it is to live in Detroit or somewhere out in small town rural America. With this in mind, the logic goes that perhaps we need to make sure and vary the amount of universal basic income, so as to make sure that wherever anyone is currently living, they can stay there. If someone needs $2,000 to live unemployed and alone in a 1-bedroom apartment in NYC or SF, then that’s what their basic income should be, so goes the argument.
This may sound fair enough on its face, until we look at basic income as a guarantee of a minimum amount of opportunity.
Right now people are guaranteed zero opportunity. However, if you happen to live in New York City, you are fortunate enough to have a much greater amount of opportunity than if you lived in rural America. In NYC, there are jobs, public transportation, people, services, commerce, and everything else the Big Apple provides. This is also why it costs so much more to live there versus rural America. It’s an opportunity premium originating from the added value created by a dense population of people and wealth.
In Small Town USA, population: 500, there are few jobs, few people, few services, little commerce, and no public transportation. It costs a lot less to live there than in NYC because there is far less opportunity and far less wealth. It’s an opportunity deficit.
A universal basic income however, provides increased opportunity to all in the form of additional cash. It’s an opportunity bonus.
Everyone can use their UBI on anything they want. They can spend $500 on rent and $500 on food, or $333 on rent, $333 on food, and $334 on starting a business. They can live with relatives for $0 and use $1,000 per month on the pursuit of their passion, whatever it is. Someone could move to a big city to become an actor, or move to a small town to take life a bit easier.
Whatever someone decides, that $1,000 per month will always be there, deposited in their bank account without fail every four weeks (or $500 every two weeks). As cash, it will always be able to be exchanged for something else of infinite variety, especially now where anything can be purchased online and delivered anywhere. There are no limits on how the money can be used. Creativity would have full free reign.
With this now in mind, let’s look again at NYC versus Small Town USA, with a hypothetical location opportunity ratio of 3:1.
 NYC: $1,500/mo effective location opportunity plus $1,000/mo UBI opportunity bonus minus $2,000/mo rent and food = $500 total opportunity
 Small Town USA: $500/mo effective location opportunity plus $1,000/mo UBI opportunity bonus minus $1,000/mo rent and food = $500 total opportunity
With an identical UBI of $1,000 per month for each person, they both end up netting the same amount of total opportunity because one has more location opportunity and the other has more opportunity in the form of cash after covering basic expenses.They also both have new choices.
Choose Your Own Adventure
If the person in NYC wants more opportunity, they can choose to spend less on rent and food by sharing expenses with other people. It may cost $2,000 per month to live alone, but it could only cost $500 per month to live with three roommates. Or location opportunity could be sacrificed by moving somewhere cheaper in order to spend less on food and rent elsewhere anywhere in the country. Living anywhere is possible for the first time because with basic income, income is decoupled from jobs, and whereas jobs don’t exist everywhere, people can.
Meanwhile, the person in Small Town USA could make the same choices, but from the other side of the coin. They can save even more money by sharing expenses, or move somewhere more expensive and exchange cash opportunity for location opportunity. Maybe they’ve always wanted to try to be an actor in NYC and now they can, whereas before UBI, they were unable to leave rural America.
We all have a right to live anywhere in the country, but no one has a right to live specifically in NYC, and to do so living alone and with no job in the heart of the city. People have a right to live, and if they choose to live in NYC, they also get a ton of unique opportunities right along with that choice. And that additional opportunity compared to others living elsewhere should bear some kind of additional cost. It should be a tradeoff.
If someone wants increased cash opportunity without changing their location opportunity, all they need do is cut their spending and/or share expenses with others to a greater degree than those receiving the same UBI elsewhere. If they’d rather keep more of their basic income instead of keeping their higher location opportunity, they can move anywhere else cheaper where there’s less location opportunity.
Basic income unlocks these kinds of choices that would not exist otherwise, but it’s one or the other and the decision concerning what kind of opportunity is more important is up to the individual. And these decisions will also have important impacts on the cost of living itself.
 Second Perspective: The Location
There is another issue to consider here, which is if UBI is scaled by location, that location can get as expensive as it wants,like tulips. Where is the incentive for a city to keep its costs of living down, if it knows the federal government will guarantee any price to cover basic needs?
The point of a universal amount, is to say“this is the average minimum amount of money in this country required to cover basic needs.” For those in lower cost of living areas, they can stay where they are and be even better off financially, or move to a more expensive location. For those in higher cost of living areas, they can earn income on top of their basic income, move to a cheaper location, or the cities or states themselves can make living there more affordable through lowering costs or increasing incomes.
What do I mean by increasing incomes? There is nothing stopping states and metro areas from creating resident dividends like in Alaska to increase the total incomes of those who live there. Vast oil deposits are also entirely unnecessary to accomplish this. Yes, even resource-poor states can do it.A study in Vermont showed just how effective this could be:
$1.2 billion of additional revenue would be available in Vermont each year if common assets were rented out instead of given away. That’s enough for a $1,972 dividend for every Vermonter… Our highest estimate of common asset value of Vermont is $6.45 billion. If all of that revenue were devoted to a dividend, it could be as large as $10,348.
So in Vermont, it would be possible for everyone to have a basic income at the federal level of $12,000 and at the state level of as much as $10,000 for a total of $22,000. In Alaska, their total income outside the labor market would actually be more like $14,000 with the added income from their existing dividend. California could do the same thing, and provide an additional $200 per month or more to its residents through something like a carbon tax or a land value tax. Any state or even city can do this, if they so choose.
Basic income gives people the basic freedom to move. This introduces downward pressure on prices, as cities suddenly find themselves competing for residents. If those charging rent charge too much, people are free to move where people are charging less. There will be more movement between small towns and cities nationwide. This creates the incentive to not raise rents.
There’s even an incentive to lower rents within cities through the introduction of smart new businesses looking to capture the new low-end housing market created by everyone having basic income.
If we guarantee rent at any level, there is no incentive to move to a cheaper location. We’d be removing competition between cities and encouraging those setting rent prices to raise them.
If the cost of housing is guaranteed at any level, then that level will rise.
This same effect has been seen in Australia, where increasing child care has resulted in increasing child care prices. And we see this in the US college education system, where education is guaranteed at any price through loans, so prices just keep on being raised.
Giving more money for more expensive cities would say to those places, “Go right on ahead and raise prices. We will pay it, no matter what.” And why would they not want that? More federal money per person in the state of California would be good for California. And then what of those in Mississippi? They aren’t worth as much? They are less valuable as US citizens because it’s cheaper to live there?
Adjusting a basic income instead of making it fully universal is not a good idea if we want to lower costs of living in high cost of living areas. Let everyone and everything be treated equally where all can adjust to the universal level, instead of perpetually adjusting the level around locations. The former would introduce competition between cities, where the costs of living would go down in expensive areas and up in cheaper areas. The latter would encourage rising costs of living in already expensive areas, which is something I believe we would want to avoid.
Existence Unchained
Basically, one of the most powerful effects of a truly universal basic income is the decoupling of income from jobs. People are at present effectively chained to cities. They’re fenced in. They have little choice but to live near all the jobs.
Once people no longer are forced to live near metro areas in order to obtain the income required to live, the demand to live near densely-populated cities will likely fall while the demand to live in Small Town USA will rise. Together this will reduce the extreme price disparity between these options such that if the national average cost of living anywhere is $1,000, the extremes could go for example from $200-$2,000 to $500-$1,500. It goes up at the bottom and down at the top. But this only happens if we don’t vary the value of the UBI and instead make sure every citizen is treated equally regardless of location.
Granted, there will be people who want to move to cheaper areas, but may find it financially difficult to do so, even with their basic income, and so we should consider this. How will we handle this particular circumstance?
Well, I don’t see the problem in covering moving expenses, either through a loan or grant as part of the introduction of UBI. We already do this to a degree.
Other agencies, such as the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, also provide housing and moving grants to low-income individuals who are facing financial hardship.
Or we could possibly avoid such added administration costs by just giving a one-time additional amount that people can either use to move or treat as a stimulus bonus. Or we could potentially avoid all of this by just introducing UBI slowly, giving people time to adjust as it goes.
These kinds of details are implementation details, but that’s all they are. They’re certainly no obstacle to the idea of basic income itself. We just need to keep these kinds of details in mind to best design the eventual policies we end up enacting.
When it comes to the detail of setting the amount of a national basic income, whatever amount is decided upon needs to be the same amount for all citizens, regardless of location, not only for all the economic reasons above, but because in the eyes of government, all citizens should be treated equally.
Basic income is basic economic rights, and when it comes to rights, they should be equal.


John Gotti (right, arm out) with his Gambinos


Thomas Huck Carbonaro, Frankie Fabiano, and Joey D'Angelo

Wedding photo of left to right, Dino Calabro, Joseph Competiello, Dino Saracino and Thomas Gioeli at the wedding of Competiello's sister.

Tommy Horsehead Scafidi and John Stanfa.

Sal Avellino(Bottom right) and Sal Tom Mix Santoro (Top Right) FBI

Chicago Boss Sam Giancana and girlfriend Phyllis Mcguire (on the stairs) leaving the plane apart from one another to convince the world they don't know each other.(Chicago PD)

Sammy Gravano on his boat, c.1989.(Justice Intel)

Sebastian John LaRocca  in front of the Allegheny Car Wash he owned, located at 100 Sandusky Ave, Pittsburgh

Nicky Scarfo (Philly), Sciandra (Bufalino), & Todaro (Buffalo)

Excerpt from my book “On the Waterfront: The Making of a Great American Film”


Waterfront works because of its extras.  The viewer is left with little doubt that these people have lived through the harrowing experiences of the Waterfront.  The extras, like most of the professional actors Kazan uses in the film, are not the typical handsome, sun drenched faces of 1950w Hollywood productions.  His extras are gritty, defeated and course.  Nor do they behave like extras in other films of the day.  They are the types of people one would expect to encounter when wandering into a blue-collar working atmosphere of Hoboken or Red Hook. 
Waterfront’s strong, richly developed secondary characters help to create a wonderful film.  Pops Doyle is a loving doting father who  raised a heroic and fearless son and a compassionate, loyal daughter.  He is a hard workingman, a good provider who has one arm longer than other from tossing bails to provide for his family.
Charley Malloy, with two years of college gives him an intellectual edge over Terry and the rest of the Johnny Friendly gang.  He has a nickname, an all telling one at that, Charlie the gent His taste in clothing is expensive and more refined then Johnny Friendly’s.  We know that he has the will power to claw his way up from poverty and beneath his tough-guy exterior is a deeply passionate man.  
 Mack, the otherwise mean spirited gang boss from the docks shows a human side by hiring a lazy brother in law because he is evidently afraid of his wife “Who will kill me” and he protects his brother law from JR, Johnny Friendly’s merciless loan shark.
   Profound inner conflicts confront each central character’s conscience creating a motivating background for each.  Edie cannot choose between honoring the memory of her murdered brother and loving the man who betrayed him.  Terry Malloy believes that he can remain simultaneously loyal to his brother, Johnny Friendly and himself.  The film does not dash to the truth it gropes for the truth and rises from a slow awakening to find it. 
 While most of the cast was recruited from the Actors Studio, Hoboken police officers would play Hoboken police officers.  Kazan insisted that real Longshoremen be hired as extras to play actor dock workers.  It did not always work out.  The longshoremen had been promised four hours of work, paid in cash the following day.  In the first week of shooting, the cash did not arrive.  Two enormous dockworkers took Kazan's assistant director behind a building and promised to toss him off a pier if they were not paid, when, at that exact moment, Spiegel and his paymaster arrived in his limo.  They had stopped for coffee and were late.
To play the role of Father Corridan, Kazan chose Karl Malden.  The two had first worked together in 1946 in a play Truck line Café that started the career of another relatively unknown actor, Marlon Brando.  Sinatra had originally been in mind for the role of the Priest, but he turned it down and it is doubtful that at a $900,000 asking price for the role, that he would have gotten it anyway.  By that time, Malden had over 18 films to his credit including the much-heralded A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) again with newcomer, Marlon Brando.  The role won him the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in that film.
Of the role, Malden said, “Father Corridan was a great orator and a remarkable man.  No other person I’ve portrayed in my film career has had such a profound impact on me as a human being.  I can’t express how much I admired Father Corridan.  He was just like Hoboken—cold and tough on the edges, but filled with integrity and a helluva lot of dignity.”  41
Malden was the son of a Serbian father and a Czech mother, neither of whom spoke English, (he never heard a word of English until he got to first grade.) he was born Malden George Sekulovich on March 12 1912 in Gary, Indiana.  (The stage name Karl Malden came from dropping the "l" in his first name and using it as his last name.  For Karl, he borrowed his grandfather’s name) After graduating from high school, he spent three years working with his father in the dismal Gary steel mills, saving up enough money to go to acting school in nearby Chicago.  Four years later, he moved to New York to find acting work and eventually landed a series of bit parts on Broadway, which led to bigger parts.  In the 1930s, he moved into radio parts where he befriended actor Richard Widmark.  In 1947, Widmark helped Malden land a role in Widmark's movie debut, Kiss of Death  (Oddly enough, the favorite film of  gangster Joey Gallo, the man who would gun down dock  boss Albert Anastasia’s.  Gallo modeled his insane and bloody career on Widmark's character.)
"We brought Karl to meet Father John" Schulberg said, "He sat around and drank with the priest.  In the movie, Karl walks like him, talks like him" 42  The Priest liked him so much he gave Malden his black hat and overcoat, which the actor wore throughout the production.  “We were the same size, so I bought his coat and hat from him to wear in the film,” Malden said.  “The wind off the river was ferocious.  I was freezing, but somehow I felt a little warmer in his coat and hat.”  43
Malden used the real Father Corridan’s chain-smoking in his characterization; the more the priest becomes involved in the docks, the more he smokes, the more he smokes, and the more resolved he is to change the waterfront.    
For the role of Edie Doyle, Kazan chose the unknown Eva Marie Saint after deciding that the script’s romantic angle but one that would tie into the story in a realistic way.  The draft was rewritten to introduce Edie, the innocent sister to the murdered hero Eddie Doyle. 
“Eva Marie Saint" said Schulberg "we found in the Player's Directory, it was her first picture.”  44 Saint had studied acting at Bowling Green University, afterwards finding quick work in radio and TV drama's which was restricted to a May 29, 1950 CBS television drama  "The Man Who Had Influence" starring Robert Sterling.
 Kazan had actor Elizabeth Montgomery in mind for the part and although her screen test was flawless, she had, as Kazan wrote “an air of genteel Connecticut finishing school about her”
Another name tossed around for the role was Grace Kelly, who withdrew herself from consideration since she had consented to take the lead female role in Rear Window.  Despite her wealthy background, Kelly was only a generation from the rough-hewn Irish dockworkers and would have given the role an interesting dash.
“We had more trouble casting that part” Schulberg said, “We went through the whole screen actors guild book, kept turning pages, getting nowhere.  Eva Marie Saint was working in a play on Broadway with Lillian Gish, and had one small scene (The Play was The Trip to Bountiful at the Henry Miller Theater 1953-1954) Gadge said, “You go” I went and I was very impressed by her.  She had never been in a movie before” 45
Even with its sterling screenplay, the film would not have had the same impact without the strong acting skills and screen presence of
Rod Steiger and Lee J. Cobb (with Cobb in particular deserving more credit than he is often given.)
 Kazan chose Cobb for the role of waterfront gangster Johnny Friendly. It is a remarkable performance as the strangely likable yet brutal mob boss.  The performance is even more remarkable considering Cobb’s state of his mental health at the time of the filming, The pressure of new film, working with Kazan and Schulberg, both identified as informants for the HUAC, his wife’s failing health and mental condition (She had suffered a nervous breakdown) and Cobb’s precarious financial situation strained him during the entire filming.  Eight months after the release of Waterfront, he suffered a massive heart attack that almost killed him.  Frank Sinatra moved in pulled the actor from despair.  The two had worked together in the 1949 release, Miracle of the Bells.  Sinatra, who felt that Cobb should have won the Academy Award for his role in Waterfront, paid for all of actors medical bills not covered by his insurance and then moved him into a rest room to recuperate for six weeks, again paying all of the bills from his own pocket.
Rod Steiger starred as Charley Malloy, Brando's characters brother, the beefy, round-faced Method actor whose trademark is a coiled-spring intensity was already known through his work in the early days of live television, especially in Paddy Chayefsky's "Marty" and the anthology series as "Philco Television Playhouse" (1948-56).  However, Kazan had wanted the role to go to Laurence Tierney but the Celtic looking Tierney was under contract to another film.
It was a difficult role.  Schulberg in his writing and Kazan in his filming never present the Malloy brothers as more then what they are,
thugs.  Despite his nobility at the films end, Charley Malloy is a repulsive character just as Terry Malloy is pathetic figure as the   ex-boxer of promise reduced to as mascot status to the hoods because of his low mental capacity.  The brilliance of both Brando and Steiger’s performance is that they molded their characters, through body language and facial expressions, into sympathetic characters. 
 Added to the stress of the role, Steiger’s Charlie Malloy is forced to deal with a wide variety of emotions but again, truth is the primary motivator behind his actions.  Steiger plays the role with a gauntlet of emotions, showing his growing anxiety of Terry’s relationship with Edie with narrowed eyes, or nervously slapping his gloves in hand during the taxicab scene.
For Brando’s part, Kazan gave him complete freedom in his role as Terry Malloy.  Brando took the opportunity to become Terry Malloy to the point that the viewer is not watching Brando embody Terry Malloy the viewer is watching Terry Malloy in the flesh.  The impression left is so real that the viewer could easily believe that Kazan’s camera has simply shown up at a time in Malloy’s life when he is confused and troubled. 
It is also impressive to watch Brando’s body movements.  He makes them as important as his lines by pushing Malloy’s personality quirks into the limelight.  Terry walks like the prizefighter he is, head forward, chin down, and the attention to his scarred eyebrow.  Before Brando’s Terry Malloy appeared, few actors considered incorporating body language or building characters quirk into their roles.  It was not the performance that viewers in 1954 expected to see, but it is the performance that modern viewer have come to expect, the result being that the performance that once defined the cutting edge, loses some of its energy.  Brando’s performance, his visionary flair, have been replicated so many times over the decades that it’s has, unfortunately, lost its freshness, due, oddly enough, to the dominance of method acting in films that Brando and Kazan helped to introduce. 

Excerpt from my book "When Capone’s Mob Murdered Touhy.” 

The Bootlegger

When Roger Touhy returned to the Valley he invested most of his small fortune into a used car dealership not far from the tiny house in the Valley where he was born.
   "My automobile business," Touhy said, "was bringing me in from $50,000 to $60,000 a year. But the big money was in alcoholic beverages. Everybody in the racket was getting rich. How could the bootleggers miss, with a short ounce of gagging moonshine selling for $1.25, or an eight-ounce glass of nauseating beer going for 75 cents?"
   The Touhy brothers, Johnny, Eddie, Tommy and Joe had already gotten involved in the booming bootleg business via Terrible Tommy O'Connor. They worked mostly as hired enforcers, but they occasionally hijacked a syndicate beer truck. It was almost natural that Roger join them and eventually he entered the bootlegging business. They entered the business through the back door, leasing a small fleet of trucks with drivers, from syndicate boss Johnny Torrio's enormous bootlegging operation. Using the money they earned from those leases, Roger and his brothers bought a franchise from Torrio for the beer delivery routes to rural northwestern Cook County, the area where Roger grew up.
   The beer delivery business could be lucrative as long as expenses were kept to a minimum, so the notoriously tight-fisted brothers opted not to pay for police protection. As a result, Chicago and Cook County police, probably working in a 50/50 split with Johnny Torrio, or at the least working under his orders, made a practice of stopping and impounding the brothers' trucks, probably kicking back half the fines collected to Torrio.
   When the expenses started to mount it occurred to Tommy Touhy that the police would never suspect a commercial vehicle of delivering booze. They decided to test the theory. The boys bought two used Esso Gasoline trucks-Esso being the forerunner to Exxon-and they made several successful shipments that way. It was a practice they continued to use even though most of the drivers the Touhys employed were off-duty cops. Virtually every truck the Touhys owned was disguised as a meat delivery truck. After that, their trucks were never stopped and the brothers shipped all their beer in commercial vehicles, either marked as gasoline, meat or coal delivery trucks.
   Ambitious and flush with cash from the beer routes, the brothers entered a bootlegging partnership with two north side Chicago hoods, Willie Heeney and Rocco DeGrazio, both of whom were amateur narcotics dealers who would eventually reach top spots in the syndicate under Frank Nitti and Tony Accardo. The Touhys and their new partners pumped out rot-gut beer from a rented garage and made enough money to open a short-lived nightclub a few doors down from their brewery. Using their profits from the brewery and speakeasy, Roger and Tommy opened a string of handbooks, and then used the cash from that to buy Heeney and DeGrazio out of the business.
   Now the prosperous owner of a beer delivery service, a small brewery, several handbooks and a car dealership, Roger asked Clara Morgan for her hand in marriage. She accepted and the couple married in a simple church ceremony in Chicago on April 22, 1922.
   For the next three years, the brothers worked to develop their various enterprises, building up their suburban beer routes and expanding into labor extortion and gambling, but like most other Irish hoods, resisting the easy money of prostitution. Then, in late 1925, as Johnny Torrio was just beginning to expand his criminal empire, the brothers leaped out of the small time by entering a partnership with Matt Kolb, a five-foot three-inch, 280 pound former ward politician, syndicate bagman and pay-off expert, who ran a $3,000,000 rot-gut whisky and needle beer brewery not far from Roger's car dealership.
   Earlier in the year A1 Capone, who was then still Johnny Torrio's chief of staff, told Kolb that he was out of business unless he paid 50 percent of his gross to Rocco DeGrazio, Roger's former business partner and Capone's new business agent on the north side. Although Kolb acted as bagman for Johnny Torrio, he despised Capone. Rather than work for him, Kolb called Roger and Tommy Touhy and by mid-year their partnership was in place. It was a simple arrangement: Kolb was the money man, Roger was business manager and Tommy was the muscle.
   It was Kolb who encouraged Touhy to move his operation out to the suburbs, largely because his brothers were already operating in the area and because Kolb understood that peace would never reign in Chicago as long as prohibition was in force. But Kolb also held considerable clout with the new County Sheriff, Charles Graydon, who had owned an ice packing business several years before. The brothers knew Kolb was right: peace would never reign in Chicago's underworld with so many different-and violent-street gangs vying for a limited amount of business. But that wasn't the case out in the rural northern portion of the county. In fact, when the brothers first started peddling the syndicate's beer they were stunned at the amount of business, both existing and potential, that was out there. Better yet, there was barely any competition for the market and there were scores of people willing to operate speakeasies if Kolb, who was worth a million in cash, put up the money to open them.
   By 1926, the Touhy brothers and Matt Kolb were operational in suburban Des Plains, a small but prosperous community where they started a cooper shop, brewery and wort plant. They expanded that to ten fermenting plants, working round the clock, each plant being a small brewery in itself with its own refrigeration system and ice-making machine with a bottling plant. The investment paid off. By the end of the year, the partners were selling 1,000 barrels of beer a week at $55 a barrel with a production cost of $4.50 a barrel.
   They sold their beer to 200 roadhouses outside of Chicago, mostly in far western Cook and Will County, north to the Wisconsin Lake region. Richer than ever, they hired more muscle men and with Tommy Touhy leading the assault, the brothers punched, shot and sold their way into a considerable portion of the upper northwest region of the city, "Our business"
  Roger said, "was scattered over a lot of mileage. A barrel here and a barrel there. Nobody realized that Matt and I were grossing about $1,000,000 a year from beer alone....I didn't become a giant in the racket, but you might say I was one of the biggest midgets who ever scoffed at the Volstead law."
   Since making wort-the main ingredient for beer as well as bread-was legal, Roger and Kolb claimed their entire operation was a bakery since "I was producing enough wort for all the bread baked in a dozen states. It was a big enterprise and I paid fifteen cents tax on every gallon I made."
   To counter Chicago's off-beer season-the winter months-they set up a slot machine business, placing 225 machines in gas stations, dance halls and chicken dinner stands. 'The only way to make money faster" he said, "is to have a license to counterfeit bills."
   They kept the local politicians happy, aside from bribing them outright, by doling out 18,000 free bottles of beer every week through one of Kolb's underlings, Joe Goebel of Morton Grove. The County President, Anton Cermak not only took the beer which he resold or gave away to the party faithful, but had Touhy print his name and picture on the front label.
   To keep the cost of police protection low, always a priority with the Touhys, they hired off-duty Cook County highway patrolmen. "Our local law," Roger wrote, "was mostly Cook County Highway Patrol. I figured out a way to keep the roads open for us, with top priority for our beer trucks. Whenever we had a job open as a truck driver or what not, I hired a cop right away from the highway patrol to fill it...we paid no man less than $100 a week, which was more than triple what the patrol guys got for longer hours."
   In as far as the Touhy gang went, at least before 1927, there really wasn't any gang, not in the traditional sense. Rather, the entire operation was run more along the lines of any other prospering subur- ban-based business. Jim Wagner, Touhy's bookkeeper, told the FBI that the Touhy gang had an average of twenty to twenty-five members before the war with Capone, that the gang had no official headquarters only an after work hangout, an old gas station "in back of Mrs. Kolze's white house in Shiller Park."
   Another hangout was Wilson's Ford dealership in Des Plains run by Henry Ture Wilson, who, according to the FBI, not only sold most of the Touhy gang discounted Fords, but also dealt in stolen cars. Wilson's stockroom manager, Otto Rexes, ran a handbook for Roger out of the place as well. Roger also purchased most of his beer delivery trucks here under his garage's name, the Davis Cartage Company. On most Saturday nights gang members could be found at the Dietz Stables, a dance hall in Ivanhoe in Lake County.
   After the war with Capone started, the gang leaped in size to about fifty men who worked for Touhy on a regular basis, according to Jim Wagner, one of the first men to work with Touhy when he moved out to Des Plains.
   George Wilke, who was also known as George Fogarty, had been one of Touhy's minor partners in the beer business for three years but left it, 'because living in the country gave me enough sinus troubles to have to move to Florida."
   Walter Murray, forty-two, was a truck driver and laborer in the organization. Murray wore false upper teeth, yet all of the lower teeth were missing except for the two front ones. Like most of the men who worked for Touhy, Murray was from the Valley and had a wife and four children and no criminal record.
   Jimmy Clarence Wagner, forty, worked as Touhy's bookkeeper, although he and his brother John ran a small painting business out of Elmwood Park. Married in 1918 and with a ten-year-old son, James Jr., the family lived in Chicago until 1926 before finally moving out to Des Plains. Wagner had enlisted in the army during the first war and served as a sergeant in the artillery corps. After his discharge from the service he worked for Edison Kees as a flooring salesman until 1920 when he became involved with the city employees' annuity fund as a clerk for three years. He then went to work for his brother-in-law Leonard Thompson who knew Matt Kolb. Kolb introduced him to Touhy, who in 1930 hired him as a truck driver at $50.00 a week. Soon he was promoted to collector. He never used "muscle," never carried a gun and always had friendly dealings with his customers.
   Willie Ford was a collector who lived in Des Plains for four years, leaving in 1929 and then returning after the shooting war with the DeGrazios had started. His brother, Jerry Ford, was a truck driver living on 4th Street in Des Plains. Willie Ford later became Touhy's chief enforcer and strong-arm man. Ford's roommate was Arthur Reese, a gang regular and enforcer. Other enforcers included Jim Ryan who was, at least on paper, the foreman in charge of the drivers and lived on Grand Avenue in River Forrest. His brother, Clifford Ryan, lived across the street from the Des Plains elementary school. Working under Ryan were enforcers John (Shaner) Crawford and Joseph (Sonny) Kerwin.   John "Red" Ryan, one of Paddy the Bear's sons, had worked for the Shelton gang for a while and was a member of the gang along with Martin O'Leary and Old Harv Baily who were associated with the Touhy gang on a regular basis. Roy Marshalk said Wagner "was not a collector or a driver. He always rode with Touhy everywhere." Like everyone else, Ford was reluctant to discuss the dangerous Marshalk who was actually, after Tommy Touhy, the gang's chief of staff and high executioner.
   Most of the bodyguards were former Cook County Highway patrolmen like Buck Henrichsen who also worked as a laborer and was known as a "muscle man." Henrichsen brought in his younger brother called "Buck Jr." and a second highway patrolman, Mike Miller, who acted as Tommy Touhy's personal bodyguard. Other bodyguards included August John La Mar and Louis Finko, two very dangerous men, as well as Roger's childhood friend Willie Sharkey and for a brief period, Gus Schafer who in 1930 was new to the area.
   In 1933, Touhy's bodyguard Willie Sharkey said, 'We always carried guns on beer runs to protect ourselves and friends from the syndicate, after 1930 we seldom left the north side and the vicinity of Des Plains and very seldom went into Chicago or else we would have been placed on the spot. But we left town right after any of the newspapers pinned us with a crime. Tommy (Touhy) took care of that."
   Although they may not have had a headquarters, the Touhy gang did have their own priest, Father Joseph Weber, who Roger had met back in 1923 when Weber was an Indiana State Prison chaplain while Tommy Touhy was serving time for his role in an Indianapolis department store burglary. Roger and his brother Eddie asked Weber to use his influence to get a parole hearing for Tommy. Weber agreed, and by the end of the year Tommy was paroled and the Touhys were indebted to a priest who ran one of the poorest parishes in Indianapolis. Later, after the brothers were established in the bootlegging business, they donated 10 percent of their business profits to Weber's parish. '1 was," said Roger, "God's bagman."
   The brothers benefitted the priest in other ways. Weber had always been politically active in Indianapolis and argued vehemently for the city's growing black population. Weber claimed that the Klu Klux Klan, which had its regional headquarters in Indianapolis, included some of the city's and state's leading families and politicians. As a result, Weber said, the black citizens of Indianapolis were denied even the most basic of city services.
   One day as a passing part of a conversation, Weber mentioned to Tommy Touhy that if he had the Klan's secret membership files, he could confirm his suspicions and break their power. A few days later, on April 1, 1923, a moonlit Easter Sunday, a burglar broke into the Klan's headquarters and stole the organization's state membership list, some 12,208 names, which included some of the most powerful and well respected people in the Midwest. The next day, parts of the list were published in the Catholic newspaper Tolerance under the headlines "Who's Who in Indianapolis."
   "The Klan offered me $25,000 for the records, which I turned down," Roger wrote.
   Weber didn't always stay above the fray himself. John Sambo was a small time beer hall operator who managed Sambo's Place, a Capone saloon next to the Big Oaks Golf Course on the extreme northwest edge of Chicago. The problem was that the place bordered on Roger Touhy's territory. Tommy Touhy paid Sambo a visit and he changed to Touhy's brand.
   Sambo reported to the FBI that one sunny afternoon, Roger Touhy and several of his men, including Father Weber, entered the saloon at mid-day and drank until the sun went down. That night a young Negro boy came into the bar room to shine shoes and the drunken Touhys pulled out their weapons and fired shots at the boy's feet to make him dance.
   Several months later, Sambo fell out of favor with the Touhys when he stopped selling their beer and switched to Capone's brand. An FBI report on Sambo states, "[On] one occasion Roger Touhy, George Wilke and Leroy Marshalk came into his place of business and took him down to the basement, stating that they had information that he was selling other beer. Sambo stated at that time that he believed that Touhy would have killed him, but that Marshalk, whom Sambo had known for some time, stopped him."
   To the newspapers, the public, the police and the politicians, Roger's Des Plains operation looked exactly the way he and Kolb wanted it to look; like a hick, two-bit operation that grossed a few hundred thousand dollars a year. "And Touhy, " Ray Brennan said, "was careful to foster that illusion. He lived well, but not lavishly in Des Plaines as it was a quiet town where he was considered a leading citizen. He was a contributor to charities and a member of fraternal organizations and golf clubs. Touhy and Kolb had a million-dollar-a-year business going plus a neat income from slot machines and a few road houses but they were wary enough not to brag about it. They were smart enough to pay income taxes on it."
   Roger, who was now the father of two boys, made his final move to the suburbs in the spring of 1926 and purchased a large, comfortable home, just north of the center of Des Plains. His neighbors considered the bootlegger and his family respectable, hardworking people. "Nice," recalled one neighbor. "Not what you would think for a bootlegger. They were quiet people...refined."
   'There was no stigma to selling beer." Touhy wrote. "I bought a place that some of the newspapers later called a 'mansion' or a 'gang fortress.' It was a six-room bungalow and later I put a sixty-foot swimming pool in the back. The only gang I ever had around there was a guard with a shotgun after the Capone mob tried to kidnap my kids....I lived quietly with my family during those big money years. I put a workshop, office and bar in my basement. There was a playhouse for the kids in my backyard. My wife got along well with our neighbors."
   Even when Tommy and Roger were being hounded by the police during the John Factor kidnapping, their neighbors supported them. Des Plains historian Mark Henkes wrote, "Touhy gave his money freely to people and families in a pinch. He left baskets of food on the doorsteps of homes with a $20 bill attached to the basket handle. The recipients sometimes never knew where the food came from. He paid medical bills for some families. He made good money selling beer and he gave some of it away." Even though Roger did his best to fit in, there were occasional setbacks like the incident when the Chicago Tribune and other groups were planning a historical pageant for Des Plains in which citizens would dress as early settlers and travel down the Des Plains river in wooden canoes. Meanwhile, Touhy wanted to get rid of some mash, the fermentation of beer, by pumping it into the river. He hired a crew to dig a trench and lay a sewer line from his plant to the river.
   He poured hundreds, perhaps thousands of gallons of the mash into the river. The problem was that Des Plains was going through a dry season and the river was low and barely moving. The stench from the mash was unbearable. Father Patrick O'Connor, head of St. Mary's Training School in Des Plains and a member of the parade committee, got a whiff of the foul smell in the river and immediately knew what happened. O'Connor knew Roger and called him about the problem he had created. 'What in the hell were you thinking, Rog? Half of Chicago will be here in a day and you turn the river into a flood of bootleg booze! Do something before the pageant starts."
   Roger apologized and hired more than twenty boys from Maine High School in Des Plains to dump thousands of gallons of perfume into the river, "and the pageant was a sweet-smelling success."
   So, while the public, the press and the police may have been fooled by Roger's small time image, A1 Capone knew exactly how much money Touhy and Kolb were earning out on the dusty back roads of Cook County. He wanted a piece of it, a large piece of it. As he always did, Capone first tried to talk his way into a partnership explaining the benefits of working within his operation. They met a total of six times that year, in Florida, during the winter months on fishing trips, and Capone offered to let Roger use his yacht.
   Touhy said, "He offered to let me use his yacht or stay in his big house, surrounded by a wall about as thick as Statesville's (prison) on Palm Island in Biscayne Bay between Miami and Miami Beach. I didn't accept. "
   Roger wrote that he had two business deals with Capone in 1927 because Capone had trouble getting beer for his joints. Capone called Touhy and asked him to sell him 500 barrels and since Touhy had a surplus he agreed and told Capone to send 500 empties to the cooperage. He would send 500 barrels back for the price of $37.50 per barrel, a discount because of the large order.
   Capone called back and asked for another 300 barrels. Touhy agreed and told Capone when he expected to be paid. The day before the money was due, Capone called and said that 50 of the barrels were leakers and that he wouldn't pay.
   'I'll pay you for seven hundred and fifty, ok?" 'You owe me for eight hundred and I expect to be paid for eight hundred."
   "Well the boys told me there were some leakers, but I'll check on it."
   Capone paid the $30,000 in cash and called a week later and asked for more. Touhy refused, saying his regular customers were taking all of his output. Knowing that it may have been Capone testing his ability to draw him in or to see what he could produce by taking him to be his biggest customer, 'What was the use of needling him by saying I didn't do business with weasels."
   In late 1927, Capone told Willie Heeney, Roger's former business partner, to go out to Des Plains to see Roger and encourage him to come around to Capone's way of thinking. By now, Heeney was working full time in the outfit's enormous prostitution racket where he would stay until the depression set in and he switched over to labor racketeering and narcotics. He soon became his own best customer and became hooked on heroin.
   Roger agreed to meet Heeney at the Arch, one of his road houses in Schiller Park, managed by his brother Eddie. Arriving with Heeney at the meeting was Frankie Rio, Capone's favorite bodyguard and enforcer whose presence was no doubt meant to impress Touhy. Heeney was the spokesman, telling them that Capone wanted to open the county for brothels, taxi dance halls and punch board rackets. He was willing to split the proceeds evenly with Kolb and Touhy to which Rio added, "A1 says this is virgin territory for whorehouses."
   Roger told Henney that he didn't want or need Capone as a partner, and that although the locals might tolerate speakeasies and gambling dens, whorehouses and taxi dance halls were something else. However, there was at least one brothel in operation in Des Plains at 304 Center Street, apartment 38, above Matt Kolb's brother's laundry store/handbook operation. There were at least three women working on the property and photos of the nude women were later taken from Willie Sharkey when he was arrested in Wisconsin. The FBI later noted that "there were many noisy parties in this apartment and numerous men visited them." A neighbor noted that "six men at a time would enter or leave the apartment together. The next group would enter the apartment only after the first group had left."
   FBI agents later tracked down two of the women and described them in their reports as "nice looking women" and "very attractive women. "
   Among those identified as regulars to the apartment were "Chicken" McFadden, Basil Banghart and George Wilke. Willie Sharkey, Touhy's enforcer, rented an apartment in the building under the name T.J. Burns and used the Park Ridge Chief of Police as his reference.
   Next, Capone sent Jimmy Fawcett and Murray "the Camel" Humpreys out to Des Plains to talk to Roger. The probable reason for sending Fawcett and Humpreys to see Touhy was, in all likelihood, to try one last time to get him to fall into line before the real shooting started. Sending Fawcett, an old hand Capone gunman, was a smart move. Touhy had known Fawcett for years, the two of them living along the edges of Chicago unionism for several years. Humpreys may have been new to Touhy. The Camel, Touhy said, did all the talking. Humpreys got things off to a bad start. He said Touhy was "putting [his] nose where it don't belong and that means trouble."
   'Mr. Capone" the Camel hissed, 'is upset at the Touhys and that isn't good." Capone wanted Touhy to stop offering protection to the Teamster Union bosses.
   Afterward Roger went to Cicero with him and Fawcett and talked over the problems with Frank Nitti. There are several versions of what happened next, but the end result of each version is the same.
   When the Camel was done with his threats, Touhy put a pistol into his mouth and told him never to show his face in Des Plains again. Humpreys offered to buy back his life with his new car but Touhy let them go. After the pair had left, Fawcett returned and offered "to kill Humpreys on the way back into Chicago and for an extra few grand, Rog, I'll knock off that son of a bitch Nitti too."
   Years later, Touhy told the story, or at least a cleaned up version of it, in his memoir. When the book hit the streets, an infuriated and humiliated Murray Humpreys denied that it ever happened.
   Capone tried a different tactic; he would push Touhy to see how far he could get before a shooting war broke out. Starting in the early summer of 1927, he tried to work his way into Touhy's territory by opening several whorehouses just inside Des Plains. That same day, Roger and Tommy Touhy, backed by several truckloads of their men and a squad of Cook County police, raided the bordellos, broke them up and chased the women back to Chicago. All the while, Capone kept sending his beer salesmen into Touhy's territory where they achieved a fair amount of success by drastically undercutting Touhy's prices, but the ever shrewd Kolb recognized Capone's ploy and refused to be prodded into a price war that they couldn't win. Instead, the Touhys responded by sending a simple message to any saloon keeper who sold Capone's beer inside their territory. If the bar owner sold Capone's brew, they would wreck the place. If he continued, they would burn his place to the ground. That was the way Joe Touhy, Roger's older brother, died, in June of 1929. Eyewitnesses said that Joe and his crew were breaking up a speakeasy that the Capones had opened in Schiller Park. When a waiter reached for something under the bar, Joe Touhy's own man, a hood named Paul Pagen, fired off a warning burst from his machine gun, accidentally killing Touhy.
   Johnny Touhy, the third eldest brother, didn't call it an accident. He killed Pagen in revenge for Joe's murder and was sentenced to prison for ten years to life. However he was released in four years, his brothers having purchased his freedom with bribes. "And that's what money," wrote the Chicago Tribune of John's release, "well spent in Chicago will do. "
   A few months after his parole was granted, Johnny was arrested again for attempted murder of a Capone goon. He was sent back to StatevillePrison where he died of consumption in a barren hospital room.
   The remaining brothers, Roger, Tommy and Eddie, declared war on Capone after Joe was killed and Johnny was jailed. From 1928 until 1930, the dusty back roads of northern Cook County ran red with gangster blood from an otherwise quiet gang war that went largely unnoticed until 1931, when all hell broke loose.


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The Quotable Oscar Wilde

The Quotable Thoreau

Old New England Recipes

Wicked Cool New England Recipes


The New England Mafia

And I Love Clams

In Praise of the Rhode Island Wiener

Watch Hill

York Beach

The Connecticut History Blog

The Connecticut Irish

Good chowda

God, How I hated the 70s

Child of the Sixties Forever

The Kennedy’s in the 60’s

Music of the Sixties Forever

Elvis and Nixon at the White House (Book support site)

Beatles Fan Forever

Year One, 1955

Robert Kennedy in His Own Words

The 1980s were fun

The 1990s. The last decade.

The Russian Mafia

The American Jewish Gangster

The Mob in Hollywood

We Only Kill Each Other

Early Gangsters of New York City

Al Capone: Biography of a self-made Man

The Life and World of Al Capone

The Salerno Report

Guns and Glamour

The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre

Mob Testimony

Recipes we would Die For

The Prohibition in Pictures

The Mob in Pictures

The Mob in Vegas

The Irish American Gangster

Roger Touhy Gangster

Chicago’s Mob Bosses

Chicago Gang Land: It Happened Here

Whacked: One Hundred years of Murder in Gangland

The Mob Across America

Mob Cops, Lawyers and Front Men

Shooting the Mob: Dutch Schultz

Bugsy& His Flamingo: The Testimony of Virginia Hill

After Valachi. Hearings before the US Senate on Organized Crime

Mob Buster: Report of Special Agent Virgil Peterson to the Kefauver Committee (Book support site)

The US Government’s Timeline of Organized Crime (Book support site)

The Kefauver Organized Crime Hearings (Book support site)

Joe Valachi's testimony on the Mafia (Book support site)

Mobsters in the News

Shooting the Mob: Dead Mobsters (Book support site)

The Stolen Years Full Text (Roger Touhy)

Mobsters in Black and White

Mafia Gangsters, Wiseguys and Goodfellas

Whacked: One Hundred Years of Murder and Mayhem in the Chicago Mob (Book support site)

Gangland Gaslight: The Killing of Rosy Rosenthal (Book support site)

The Best of the Mob Files Series (Book support site)

It’s All Greek Mythology to me

Psychologically Relevant

The Rarifieid Tribe

Perfect Behavior

The Upscale Traveler

The Mish Mosh Blog

DC Behind the Monuments

Washington Oddities

When Washington Was Irish

Litchfield Literary Books. A really small company run by writers.


The Day Nixon Met Elvis
Paperback 46 pages

Theodore Roosevelt: Letters to his Children. 1903-1918
Paperback 194 pages

The Works of Horace
Paperback 174 pages

The Quotable Greeks
Paperback 234 pages

The Quotable Epictetus
Paperback 142 pages

Quo Vadis: A narrative of the time of Nero
Paperback 420 pages

The Porchless Pumpkin: A Halloween Story for Children
A Halloween play for young children. By consent of the author, this play may be performed, at no charge, by educational institutions, neighborhood organizations and other not-for-profit-organizations.
A fun story with a moral
“I believe that Denny O'Day is an American treasure and this little book proves it. Jack is a pumpkin who happens to be very small, by pumpkins standards and as a result he goes unbought in the pumpkin patch on Halloween eve, but at the last moment he is given his chance to prove that just because you're small doesn't mean you can't be brave. Here is the point that I found so wonderful, the book stresses that while size doesn't matter when it comes to courage...ITS OKAY TO BE SCARED....as well. I think children need to hear that, that's its okay to be unsure because life is a ongoing lesson isn't it?”
Paperback: 42 pages

It's Not All Right to be a Foster Kid....no matter what they tell you: Tweet the books contents
Paperback 94 pages

From the Author
I spent my childhood, from age seven through seventeen, in foster care.  Over the course of those ten years, many decent, well-meaning, and concerned people told me, "It's okay to be foster kid."
In saying that, those very good people meant to encourage me, and I appreciated their kindness then, and all these many decades later, I still appreciate their good intentions. But as I was tossed around the foster care system, it began to dawn on me that they were wrong.  It was not all right to be a foster kid.
During my time in the system, I was bounced every eighteen months from three foster homes to an orphanage to a boy's school and to a group home before I left on my own accord at age seventeen.
In the course of my stay in foster care, I was severely beaten in two homes by my "care givers" and separated from my four siblings who were also in care, sometimes only blocks away from where I was living.
I left the system rather than to wait to age out, although the effects of leaving the system without any family, means, or safety net of any kind, were the same as if I had aged out. I lived in poverty for the first part of my life, dropped out of high school, and had continuous problems with the law.
 Today, almost nothing about foster care has changed.  Exactly what happened to me is happening to some other child, somewhere in America, right now.  The system, corrupt, bloated, and inefficient, goes on, unchanging and secretive.
Something has gone wrong in a system that was originally a compassionate social policy built to improve lives but is now a definitive cause in ruining lives.  Due to gross negligence, mismanagement, apathy, and greed, mostly what the foster care system builds are dangerous consequences. Truly, foster care has become our epic national disgrace and a nightmare for those of us who have lived through it.
Yet there is a suspicion among some Americans that foster care costs too much, undermines the work ethic, and is at odds with a satisfying life.  Others see foster care as a part of the welfare system, as legal plunder of the public treasuries.
 None of that is true; in fact, all that sort of thinking does is to blame the victims.  There is not a single child in the system who wants to be there or asked to be there.  Foster kids are in foster care because they had nowhere else to go.  It's that simple.  And believe me, if those kids could get out of the system and be reunited with their parents and lead normal, healthy lives, they would. And if foster care is a sort of legal plunder of the public treasuries, it's not the kids in the system who are doing the plundering.
 We need to end this needless suffering.  We need to end it because it is morally and ethically wrong and because the generations to come will not judge us on the might of our armed forces or our technological advancements or on our fabulous wealth.
 Rather, they will judge us, I am certain, on our compassion for those who are friendless, on our decency to those who have nothing and on our efforts, successful or not, to make our nation and our world a better place.  And if we cannot accomplish those things in the short time allotted to us, then let them say of us "at least they tried."
You can change the tragedy of foster care and here's how to do it.  We have created this book so that almost all of it can be tweeted out by you to the world.  You have the power to improve the lives of those in our society who are least able to defend themselves.  All you need is the will to do it.
 If the American people, as good, decent and generous as they are, knew what was going on in foster care, in their name and with their money, they would stop it.  But, generally speaking, although the public has a vague notion that foster care is a mess, they don't have the complete picture. They are not aware of the human, economic and social cost that the mismanagement of the foster care system puts on our nation.
By tweeting the facts laid out in this work, you can help to change all of that.  You can make a difference.  You can change things for the better.
We can always change the future for a foster kid; to make it better ...you have the power to do that. Speak up (or tweet out) because it's your country.  Don't depend on the "The other guy" to speak up for these kids, because you are the other guy.
We cannot build a future for foster children, but we can build foster children for the future and the time to start that change is today.

No time to say Goodbye: Memoirs of a life in foster 
Paperbook 440 Books

On the Waterfront: The Making of a Great American Film
Paperback: 416 pages


Scotish Ghost Stories
Paperback 186 pages

The Book of funny odd and interesting things people say
Paperback: 278 pages

The Wee Book of Irish Jokes

Perfect Behavior: A guide for Ladies and Gentlemen in all Social Crises


You Don’t Need a Weatherman. Underground 1969
Paperback 122 pages

Baby Boomers Guide to the Beatles Songs of the Sixties

Baby Boomers Guide to Songs of the 1960s

The Connecticut Irish
Paper back 140 pages

 The Wee Book of Irish Jokes

The Wee Book of Irish Recipes 
 The Wee Book of the American-Irish Gangsters

 The Wee book of Irish Blessings... 

The Wee Book of the American Irish in Their Own Words

Everything you need to know about St. Patrick
Paperback 26 pages

A Reading Book in Ancient Irish History
Paperback 147pages

The Book of Things Irish

Poets and Dreamer; Stories translated from the Irish
Paperback 158 pages

The History of the Great Irish Famine: Abridged and Illustrated
Paperback 356 pages


The New England Mafia

Wicked Good New England Recipes

The Connecticut Irish
Paper back 140 pages

The Twenty-Fifth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers
Paperback 64 pages

The Life of James Mars
Paperback 54 pages

Stories of Colonial Connecticut
Paperback 116 pages

What they Say in Old New England
Paperback 194 pages


Chicago Organized Crime

The Mob Files: It Happened Here: Places of Note in Chicago gangland 1900-2000

An Illustrated Chronological History of the Chicago Mob. Time Line 1837-2000

Mob Buster: Report of Special Agent Virgil Peterson to the Kefauver Committee

The Mob Files. Guns and Glamour: The Chicago Mob. A History. 1900-2000

Shooting the Mob: Organized crime in photos. Crime Boss Tony Accardo

Shooting the Mob: Organized Crime in Photos: The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.

The Life and World of Al Capone in Photos

AL CAPONE: The Biography of a Self-Made Man.: Revised from the 0riginal 1930 edition.Over 200 new photographs
Paperback: 340 pages

Whacked. One Hundred Years Murder and Mayhem in the Chicago Outfit
Paperback: 172 pages

Las Vegas Organized Crime
The Mob in Vegas

Bugsy & His Flamingo: The Testimony of Virginia Hill

Testimony by Mobsters Lewis McWillie, Joseph Campisi and Irwin Weiner (The Mob Files Series)

Rattling the Cup on Chicago Crime.
Paperback 264 pages

The Life and Times of Terrible Tommy O’Connor.
Paperback 94 pages

The Mob, Sam Giancana and the overthrow of the Black Policy Racket in Chicago
Paperback 200 pages

When Capone’s Mob Murdered Roger Touhy. In Photos
Paperback 234 pages

Organized Crime in Hollywood
The Mob in Hollywood

The Bioff Scandal
Paperback 54 pages

Organized Crime in New York
Joe Pistone’s war on the mafia

Mob Testimony: Joe Pistone, Michael Scars DiLeonardo, Angelo Lonardo and others

The New York Mafia: The Origins of the New York Mob

The New York Mob: The Bosses

Organized Crime 25 Years after Valachi. Hearings before the US Senate

Shooting the mob: Dutch Schultz

Gangland Gaslight: The Killing of Rosy Rosenthal. (Illustrated)

Early Street Gangs and Gangsters of New York City
Paperback 382 pages

The Russian Mafia in America

The Threat of Russian Organzied Crime
Paperback 192 pages

Organized Crime/General
Best of Mob Stories

Best of Mob Stories Part 2


Mob Recipes to Die For. Meals and Mobsters in Photos

More Mob Recipes to Die For. Meals and Mobs

The New England Mafia

Shooting the mob. Organized crime in photos. Dead Mobsters, Gangsters and Hoods.

The Salerno Report: The Mafia and the Murder of President John F. Kennedy

The Mob Files: Mob Wars. "We only kill each other"

The Mob across America

The US Government’s Time Line of Organzied Crime 1920-1987

Early Street Gangs and Gangsters of New York City: 1800-1919. Illustrated

The Mob Files: Mob Cops, Lawyers and Informants and Fronts

Gangster Quotes: Mobsters in their own words. Illustrated
Paperback: 128 pages

The Book of American-Jewish Gangsters: A Pictorial History.
Paperback: 436 pages

The Mob and the Kennedy Assassination
Paperback 414 pages


The Last Outlaw: The story of Cole Younger, by Himself
Paperback 152 pages

Chicago: A photographic essay.
 Paperback: 200 pages

Boomers on a train: A ten minute play
Paperback 22 pages

Four Short Plays
By John William Tuohy

Four More Short Plays
By John William Tuohy

High and Goodbye: Everybody gets the Timothy Leary they deserve. A full length play
By John William Tuohy

Cyberdate. An Everyday Love Story about Everyday People
By John William Tuohy

The Dutchman's Soliloquy: A one Act Play based on the factual last words of Gangster Dutch Schultz.
By John William Tuohy

Fishbowling on The Last Words of Dutch Schultz: Or William S. Burroughs intersects with Dutch Schultz
Print Length: 57 pages

American Shakespeare: August Wilson in his own words. A One Act Play
By John William Tuohy

She Stoops to Conquer

The Seven Deadly Sins of Gilligan’s Island: A ten minute play
Print Length: 14 pages

OUT OF CONTROL: An Informal History of the Fairfax County Police

McLean Virginia. A short informal history


The Quotable Emerson: Life lessons from the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: Over 300 quotes

The Quotable John F. Kennedy

The Quotable Oscar Wilde

The Quotable Machiavelli

The Quotable Confucius: Life Lesson from the Chinese Master

The Quotable Henry David Thoreau

The Quotable Robert F. Kennedy

The Quotable Writer: Writers on the Writers Life

The words of Walt Whitman: An American Poet
Paperback: 162 pages

Gangster Quotes: Mobsters in their own words. Illustrated
Paperback: 128 pages

The Quotable Popes
Paperback 66 pages

The Quotable Kahlil Gibran with Artwork from Kahlil Gibran
Paperback 52 pages
Kahlil Gibran, an artist, poet, and writer was born on January 6, 1883 n the north of modern-day Lebanon and in what was then part of Ottoman Empire. He had no formal schooling in Lebanon. In 1895, the family immigrated to the United States when Kahlil was a young man and settled in South Boston. Gibran enrolled in an art school and was soon a member of the avant-garde community and became especially close to Boston artist, photographer, and publisher Fred Holland Day who encouraged and supported Gibran’s creative projects. An accomplished artist in drawing and watercolor, Kahlil attended art school in Paris from 1908 to 1910, pursuing a symbolist and romantic style. He held his first art exhibition of his drawings in 1904 in Boston, at Day's studio. It was at this exhibition, that Gibran met Mary Elizabeth Haskell, who ten years his senior. The two formed an important friendship and love affair that lasted the rest of Gibran’s short life. Haskell influenced every aspect of Gibran’s personal life and career. She became his editor when he began to write and ushered his first book into publication in 1918, The Madman, a slim volume of aphorisms and parables written in biblical cadence somewhere between poetry and prose. Gibran died in New York City on April 10, 1931, at the age of 48 from cirrhosis of the liver and tuberculosis.

The Quotable Dorothy Parker
Paperback 86 pages

The Quotable Machiavelli
Paperback 36 pages

The Quotable Greeks
Paperback 230 pages

The Quotabe Oscar Wilde
Paperback 24 pages

The Quotable Helen Keller
Paperback 66 pages

The Art of War: Sun Tzu
Paperback 60 pages

The Quotable Shakespeare
Paperback 54 pages

The Quotable Gorucho Marx
Paperback 46 pages

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