John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Love is kind of like when you see a fog in the morning,

Love is kind of like when you see a fog in the morning, when you wake up before the sun comes out. It’s just a little while, and then it burns away… Love is a fog that burns with the first daylight of reality. Charles Bukowski

I will be speaking and signing books at St. Johns on October 3rd (see) This is all for a good cause and I'd love to meet you so come on and support the boys at St. John's. 

I will be signing books at the Deep River Ct. Library on October 3 fro 2:00 to 4:00 so please drop by and see us.

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

Chapter Thirty Four

Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. -Winston Churchill

 In September, I moved to New Haven. I was one of the fifty percent of foster children who leave the system without a high school diploma, and one of the fifteen percent who enrolled in college. Jack and I and some other guys from Waterbury leased an apartment in downtown New Haven.
  In a lot of ways, I don’t mind that I had so little early formal education. Looking back, all that early schooling might have done is prevent me from being as well-educated as I eventually became. My mind had always belonged to me, and not a lot of people can say that. You learn to look for similar people, the permanently curious. I have always found people on that never-ending quest to be far more interesting than those whom society has decided are educated.
  My goal was to make self-education, the exercise of always taking in new information, the process of living a full life. The knowledge I picked up along the way would also prepare me for future living, but if it didn’t, that was all right too. A lot of times looking for the answer teaches you more than learning the answer. As part of that all-inclusive outlook, I never let mistakes I’ve made embarrass me permanently, because nothing teaches better than learning and understand how a mistake came to be made. Mistakes are not only unavoidable; they are a handy learning tool.  
  I could control learning and take as much of it as I wanted. Self-education, aside from being tuition-free, is very flexible. There are no fixed hours. I controlled my destiny. I could not control the fact that no one loved me, that I trusted no one, that I had no idea where to find food and shelter for another day, and had no one to accept me for who I was, to support me in my dreams. But I could control how smart I became. It’s not much, but when you’ve got nothing, even a tiny thing is a lot. Learning made me grow. Besides, it was the only path I had. I couldn’t step back into safety—that path was never there for me. Experience can be brutal, but it is also the most effective teacher.
 What I needed to know a formal education would not give me. I needed to know how to make friends and keep them, how to find a job, build a company, buy a house, love people, spot a con artist, and recognize a liar.
  Truthfully, the only thing classroom teaching ever taught me was that I was inadequate. I learned I was incompetent. Hell, I already knew that. But education is sacrosanct. It’s our national religion and you have to be a damned fool to question its value out loud.
  Where my self-education was concerned, I was never intellectually dishonest or passive. If I didn’t want to learn something because I believed it to be stupid or pointless, I didn’t learn it. People don’t talk about it much, but the reason so many give up educating themselves after school is that for twelve years, from first grade through high school, they were forced to study things they couldn’t care less about.
  Nor was my education dependent on what others thought I should know. I learned because I wanted to know. What others wanted to know is  their business. I learned because it was the most important thing in my universe, because I was building a world for myself where it would be impossible to live and not learn. Many times I learned stuff that didn’t teach me, but it made me think, which had the same value as learning. No matter what they say, there is no single, correct way to become educated. There are a million ways to become educated, but you must be resolute in overcoming the obstacles to learning.
  Now almost six decades later, I can give you the sum of what I learned through educating myself and that is this: To continue to grow you must use what you learn to change. The purpose of learning and the purpose of living is growth. That’s why God gave us a body that stops growing but gifted us with minds that can learn until the last day of our lives. No small thing, that. In the world before us, as Alvin Toffler says, the illiterate will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. It’s not all that difficult. If you’re paying attention in life, living and learning are the same.
  Being self-educated gave me an enormous sense of empowerment and motivation to know more. When I decided to educate myself, to take joy in learning, I gave myself tremendous power. I wasn’t locked in a room to learn or pitted against another child in some insane competition. My education is a private matter, between myself and the world of knowledge.
 My act of independence worked for me, but by no means does it work for everyone. The reason foster kids don’t fit in the world of regular people is that regular people grow up surrounded by and drenched in rules. Foster kids grow up learning to survive. If a rule doesn’t help you survive, you have no need for the rule, so you just ignore it and walk over it. That’s why so many of us end up in prison. Regular people know how to get around a rule because they’ve been getting around rules since infancy. They know how to lie, use excuses, and refract reality. And that’s largely how so many of them stay out of jail.
  But in the end, I would have given my right arm to have gone to a prom, to have the same friends year after year, to be bored with my humdrum teenage life. To have my own telephone, to have a collection of memorabilia from stuff I did and places I went. I would have given my right arm to be normal.  
  College was scary at first, and I bounced around, a little lost and confused. I sat through several classes I didn’t belong in, and couldn’t find other classrooms where I did belong. But I was excited about the future, and proud to be where I was.
  The adjunct English professor-doctoral candidate who taught American Literature 101 was a tall, thin woman, a New Yorker, only a few years older than I, who had a penchant for tight black clothes and the deep, psycho-political motivation behind the great American novels.
  Her first name was Tina. She was naturally sexy, and she knew the effect that she had on the young men in the class, whose hallway conversation consisted of speculating whether she wore no bra or a black bra under her snug, dark pullover. The young women in the class disapproved of her and rolled their eyes at her twists and turns across the room.
  I studied and admired these feline movements as she went on about my old friends Fitzgerald and Steinbeck, pausing occasionally to purse her full lips together and wave back her ink-black hair.
  “Fitzgerald’s writing style is very elegant, isn’t it? Formal, really?” I asked after class one day, making sure our eyes locked.
  “Oh, it is,” she said, returning my gaze. “Especially when compared to his contemporary, Hemingway, who was very much the opposite in his style.”
  We fell silent for a second, staring at each other, the moment broken when she fingered her hair. We were both smiling, knowing exactly what we were doing.
  “Lots of visual imagery and symbolism,” I whispered. 
  “With whom?” she asked in a deep whisper.
  “Who cares?” I said, and took her into my arms and kissed her as she slammed the classroom door shut with her stiletto-heeled boots.
  We both lived in the old Wooster Square neighborhood in New Haven, me in a two-bedroom apartment that overlooking the highway, she in a massive and graceful brownstone that overlooking the park.
  I met her there every morning for breakfast and quickie sex before going to school, although sometimes we lounged in her bed for hours, discussing literature, politics, and philosophy.
  “You are wonderfully naïve and hopelessly, absolutely, despairingly Catholic,” she said.
  “I agree,” I said.
  I also agreed, at her insistence, to keep our arrangement low-key and to use “some caution,” as she said, “because my housemates work in academia and wouldn’t see this, this thing we have, as at all cool.” So I never met her housemates. I agreed never to drop by in the evenings or on weekends, and she had no desire to drop by my humble home a few blocks away.
  She was a wonderfully adventurous and inventive lover, fond of role-playing and costumes and somewhat turned on by rough sex, which I found to be a complete turn-off. But that was between us. Most of her experience and what she liked was far beyond my small-town grasp of the wider world. The only thing we had in common was fervid sex and love of literature. Otherwise we were different on every level, starting with the fact that she was considerably taller than I, and continuing to the fact that she was very, very rich.
  She came from an old New York Knickerbocker family made fabulously wealthy through their real estate holdings in the city, and I was fascinated by it all. She lived most of her early childhood in Europe, where her mother’s mother was a viscountess. After several years at the four-hundred-and-something-year-old Charterhouse School, she moved back to the States to live with her father after he married a world-famous financier. He was a partner in a New York investment-banking firm. Her father packed her off to the Taft School and then to Yale.
  One morning when we were in bed, looking over her childhood photographs, I asked her how rich she was, and she shrugged. “I don’t know. No one ever told me.”
  “How could you not know?” I asked.
 “These people,” she said, referring to her tribe of the super-elites as if she were not a part of them, “they don’t discuss this sort of thing. There is an office in Manhattan that handles all that, you know, money, and all that sort of business.” I noticed that she spat out the word “money” like a bullet. “They don’t tell me much.”
  Then she glanced around the empty room as if to make sure no one was listening and said, in a hushed tone, “I know how much the furnishings in this house are worth.”
  “How much?” I asked.
  “Quarter of a million,” she said, and threw back her head and laughed. “I saw it on the lease.”
  “The lease?” I asked. “You lease this place?”
  “My trust fund leases it from my father’s company,” she said.
  I asked the obvious question: “What could possibly be worth a quarter of a million?”
  “Well, that chair,” she said, pointing to an otherwise modest-looking desk chair in the middle of the room that was covered in clothes. “It’s a Le Corbusier.”
  “I knew that,” I said. And looking around the room, I noticed how terribly messy she was. Clothes were tossed on the floor on piles.
  “Then you are familiar with Monsieur Jeanneret?” she said, using the real name of the architect and designer.
  “Familiar? Of course, but we don’t talk anymore,” I said. “We had a falling out.”
  “Over what?”
 “Fabrics,” I said.
  Besides being almost insatiable sexually, she had a wealth of knowledge about a world I didn’t know, a world of good wine, good food, quality, and unapologetic refinement and standards.
  By the middle of October my money was gone. Tina and my roommates could count on their parents to pay for most of their expenses, and student loans picked up the rest, but my student-loan money had all gone to pay tuition.
  Jack was gone by then. He had lasted less than a month at Southern Connecticut State College.
  “I just can’t go to school anymore,” he told me one day. “I’m leaving.”
  “So what will you do?” I asked.
  “That’s what I wanted to talk to you about,” he said, and then leaned into me and said, “Army,” and then sat back in his chair.
  “You want to start an army?” I asked.
  “No,” he said, leaning forward again. “Me and you, we join the Army, see the world.”
  “You join the Navy to see the world, Jack,” I said.
  He waved it off. “I can’t swim. So? What do you think? We’ll join together.”
  “Naw,” I said. “I can’t. Jack, I want to do something with my life. I’ll never join the Army.”
  I would live to eat those words.
  At first, I took the bus to the University, and when the money ran out, I walked the five miles across town in the dead of winter. Finally, I just stopped going. I had to work again, and took any job I could find that fit my class schedule. I rented myself out to the Yale Psychology Department for experiments, washed dishes and bused tables in restaurants, and drove limo, delivering celebrities to the local theater circuit.
  When November came around and the school closed for Thanksgiving,  I pretended for my roommates’ benefit that I was headed back home to Waterbury for a turkey dinner, but there was no home to go to. My home was where I lived.
  Everything in our lives depends on the limits we accept for ourselves. When you accept a larger life, you accept larger regrets, and the troubles that come along with them. And that was what I had to do now. I had taken on an enormous challenge by enrolling in college, but by the beginning of December, I had to admit defeat. I had fallen drastically behind in my schoolwork. Yes, I had to work, but I was also out of my league. I simply wasn’t ready for college, and as a result I wasn’t able to keep up and lacked the basic skills to navigate academia. Had I stayed another semester, I would have flunked out, anyway. I would not be one of the two percent of foster kids who graduate from college.
  A few days before the semester ended, I walked over to Tina’s brownstone. I had a plan. I could pay rent if she let me move in, regroup, and then restart college again in a semester or two. Her place was enormous, after all. It was possible for both of us to live there and rarely see each other. After all, we had slowly graduated from mornings-only sessions to my spending the night.
  I saw a remarkably handsome, well-dressed man in his early thirties, carrying suitcases down Tina’s front stairs. He handed the bags to a chauffeur, who loaded them into the trunk of a black sedan with New York plates.   
  He watched me approach the house and I smiled at him, nodded, and walked up the stairs.
  “May I help you?” he asked. The driver turned and watched us. 
  “I’m going to see Tina,” I said, and continued up the stairs.
  “We’re a bit rushed for time right now,” he said, walking toward me. He seemed unnecessarily hostile. “Perhaps I can help you.”
  “I’m going to see Tina,” I said again, and continued up the stairs.
  “And what is your business with my wife?” he snapped.
  I stopped dead in my tracks, stared into the hallway of the house through the open front door, and tried to process the words I had just heard.
  “Who are you?” he asked, taking another step toward me.
  I looked off into the cold fog that had settled in the park across the street.
  “I’m—I’m—” I felt like a fool and wanted to say that, but I didn’t. “Man, I’m just nobody at all.” 
“Tina,” I heard him say, “Who is this person?”
  I didn’t turn to look at her.
  “I don’t know who he is,” she said smartly.
  I had been shot through the heart with an icicle. I could feel my face turn crimson. I looked down the slate steps past her husband and into the eyes of the driver, who, embarrassed for me, turned his head. 
  With nowhere else to go, I returned to Waterbury to figure out what to do with my life and I returned a lot less little cocky and self-assured. It seemed as if my life of desperation would never end and the new life of my dreams would never begin.
  I went back to the mills and unloaded boxes on the shipping docks and rented a small apartment in a run-down neighborhood. For the first few weeks, I lived like a man in a trance. It was part of my illness. Instead of dealing with my stress through violence, as I had in the past, I opted for the secondary response in the fight-or-flight syndrome: I fled. I withdrew. I became apathetic and gave up trying to thrive. Detaching wasn’t difficult because I was attached to so little. I daydreamed excessively of a better life, a new world, a different place where and I belonged to something and someone, a place and time where I wasn’t insignificant, a place where I made a difference.  
  Waterbury is a bar town, a drinking man’s town, where just about every neighborhood has a saloon. I drank my weekends away with my friends, each of them as lost and confused as I.
  We found one tavern, The Shamrock Café, a classic Waterbury dive, where the bartender, an enormous red-faced man, was an alcoholic who usually passed out about closing time. When he did, we closed the curtains on the windows, locked the door, dragged the bartender to a bench in the back room and let him sleep it off, and served ourselves.
  We took great pride in the fact that we never shortchanged the saloon. At the end of every drinking session, about five a.m., we passed the hat and collected more than enough money to pay for what we had drunk, ensuring that the bartender’s register always came out in the black, usually with a hefty profit. Then we watered down the bottles behind the bar. The last thing we wanted was for him to be fired.
  One night, after the bartender had passed out, we got too loud for too long and at about four a.m. two squad cars pulled up outside the saloon. A very young cop banged on the glass with his nightstick. I unlocked the door, but kept it closed by pressing my body against it, along with several other guys.
  “Can I help you, officer?” I asked.
  “Open the door, wise guy!”
  “I’m sorry,” I said sympathetically. “We’re closed.”
  “Open the door or I’ll open your head,” he said, and pushed against the door.
  Had I not been young, had I not been drunk and had I not been I, I would have let the remark pass. But I was young and drunk and me, so I punched him in the forehead and slammed the door shut. But I hadn’t locked it, and within seconds, four cops were inside the bar and swinging their clubs at everything—furniture, people, each other. The cop I had punched pointed at me and yelled, “There he is! That one!” I ran for the back door, opened it, and let in six more cops. I was taken to the jail with four or five other kids and locked away for the night.
  The next morning the prosecutor told the judge that the cop I had smacked claimed that he was “grievously injured” and was suffering from head and neck trauma. He was on paid sick leave for two months from a half-hearted punch that barely grazed him.   
  The judge said, “What do you have to say for yourself?”
  “Shouldn’t I have a lawyer?” I asked.
  “Don’t get smart,” the prosecutor snapped.
  “I’m not,” I said. “But I need a lawyer.”
  “You struck a police officer!” he yelled.
  “Which is why I need a lawyer,” I said.
  “The officer is badly injured.”
 “He’s a scam artist,” I said. “There‘s nothing wrong with him.” I turned to the judge and said, “Feel free to jump in here at any point.”
  The judge called off the prosecutor and turned his attention to me. “Let’s cut through this,” he said. “I will schedule a hearing and give you the time and opportunity to retain counsel, but hear me well, young man. You are being charged with a felony assault on an officer of the law. Now you can fight it or, you can consider another option. Walk over to the federal building and talk to one of the military recruiters. If you enter military service within one month from this date, charges will be dropped. Otherwise, I foresee a long and expensive court case before you in which you more than probably will be convicted and jailed. “
  I went to see the Air Force recruiter first. My brother Paulie was in the Air Force. Judging from his letters, he seemed to like it, and he looked great in the photos he sent, dressed in a sharp blue uniform. But the Air Force wasn’t interested in me, because I failed on the mechanical and technical ability tests.
  So I went to see the Army recruiter. I took the aptitude test, and I scored very high on clerical skills. The recruiter seemed genuinely impressed and happy to have me. He was old for a recruiter: in his early forties I figured. He looked over my records and said, “Yeah, I got sent to the recruiter by a judge myself.”
  “Why?” I asked.
  “Got drunk,” he said in a slow drawl that we weren’t used to hearing in northwestern Connecticut. “And liberated myself a squad car.”
  We both cracked up laughing.
  “I don’t why they got all the way they did about it,” he said. “I was gonna give it back.”
  We relaxed, and he asked about my background. He seemed genuinely moved by my story of my life in foster care.
  “I got no kin myself, partner,” he said “Army’s my family now. Best dang thing that ever happened to me. I seen the world two, three times already. I got a steady paycheck and people respect what I do.”
  “Can I learn to cook in the army?” 
  He leaned forward and whispered, “In the military the colored more or less got the corner on the kitchen work. You want to land yourself something with a future, records clerk, maybe get sent down to D.C,. get yourself assigned to the Pentagon or a post over in Europe, you know, see the world. The other option is to freeze your ass off on the DMZ over in Korea, and you don’t want that.” 
  Suddenly, I didn’t look at a four-year term in the military as merely an alternative to a jail sentence. I saw myself bouncing around European hotspots, incredibly handsome in a crisp uniform, with money in my pocket.
  The next day I was driven down to New York City to take the physical. It was one of the strangest things I’d ever seen. Several hundred young men, maybe even a thousand, in their skivvies, walking around an enormous room, all of us lost, dazed, and confused.
  Some of these guys had dodged the draft and were there under the watchful eyes of dozens of federal marshals lined up against one of the walls. After eight hours of being poked, prodded, stuck, and poked again, I was given a large red envelope. I had been rejected. I had the respiratory problems of an old man, high blood pressure, partial loss of hearing, very bad teeth, very flat, very wide feet and I tested positive for tuberculosis.
  “Frankly,” the doctor said, “I don’t know how the hell you’re even standing up,” and that was when the sergeant told me that if they bottled everything that was wrong with me “we could take over the world without a shot.” 
  At the courthouse the next day I tried to give the red envelope to the judge, but by then I was old news. No cops, no angry prosecutor. Nobody cared anymore. A clerk told me to go home and to keep “your stupid ass out of trouble.”   
  A few weeks later the police stopped my car without cause, frisked me, and searched the car. One of the cops recognized me and decided to roust me. They found an ounce of grass in the glove compartment and took that for themselves, but when they found a .22-caliber rifle in the trunk—I had taken up target shooting—they arrested me for possession of a deadly weapon. It was an illegal search and an illegal arrest and the charges were eventually dropped, but it was a proverbial warning shot. The next time they stopped me—and no doubt there would be a next time—if I moved too fast at the wrong moment, one would have an excuse to gun me down or break my head open, not an unusual occurrence with the Waterbury Police Department.
  It was time to go. The war in Vietnam, our seemingly endless national nightmare, was drawing to an excruciating close and the Connecticut industrial base, which produced everything from bullets to jet engines to submarines, was feeling the brunt of it. The smaller shops were closing or moving overseas, and before the end of the decade massive foundries followed suit. That wasn’t good for me and tens of thousands of other unskilled laborers. I had a job—not a good job, but it was a job—and with every passing day there were fewer and fewer jobs to be had.   
  I had decided that I wanted to earn my living as a writer and the only place in Waterbury where they paid you for writing was at the local newspaper. My opportunity came when the paper had an opening for a night janitor. Opportunities are easy to miss, because they don’t always show up in their best clothes. Sometimes opportunities look like beggars in rags. After an eight-hour shift in the shop tossing thirty-pound crates I hustled down to the newspaper building and cleaned toilets, with a vague plan that it would somehow lead to a reporter’s position.
  On weekends I roamed the bars, an easy task in a hard-drinking town, ending each Saturday night drunk and in bed with some girl whose name I couldn’t remember and who couldn’t remember mine either, and neither one of us cared. I saw less and less of my friends, because they were quickly veering away from whiskey and the occasional joint to cocaine, acid, and eventually heroin that would, over time, kill more than one of them.
  One Friday afternoon at the close of the working day the idiot bosses in their fucking ties and suit coats came down and handed out pink slips to every other person on the floor. I got one. They were firing us. Then they turned and, without a word, went back to their offices. Corporate pricks.
  I got a job at the hospital as a guard in the emergency room, which, in a rough town like Waterbury, translated into being a bouncer. It was one of the roughest and most dangerous jobs I ever had. I still worked as a part-time night janitor at the newspaper but that wasn’t going anywhere. With every passing day it was more and more obvious that my ship wasn’t going to come in, so I would have to swim out to the goddamned thing. But swim to where? Where was my ship? Which way was it?
  The answer came with a phone call from my sister Bridget. She and her husband and kids had moved to Washington, D.C. My brother Denny was stationed there, too, at the Army’s Fort Myers in Arlington, Virginia. Bridget said that life there was good, that there was plenty of work and lots of opportunity. It was a growing, bustling place, a place for a new beginning.
  I went up to the top of Pine Hill to think it over. I sat there alone, looking down on the city. I noticed that around me, Holy Land USA, the miniature Jerusalem dotted by a fifty-foot glow-in-the-dark cross, was rubble now, and the view from that sacred place no longer beautiful.
  It is hard to leave a place, especially if it’s the only place you know, and its worse when you have absolutely no idea what’s beyond your horizon of knowledge. It was a paradox—what a wonderful word. Leaving made me wish that I could stay, and leaving reminded me of the many reasons why I had to go.
  There is a sense of danger in leaving what you know, even if what you know isn’t much. These mill towns with their narrow lanes and often narrow minds were all I really knew and I feared that if I left it behind, I would lose it and not find anything to replace it. The other reason I didn’t want to go was because I wanted to be the kind of person who stays, who builds a stable and predictable life. But I wasn’t one of the people, nor would I ever be.
  I had a vision for my life. It wasn’t clear, but it was beautiful and involved leaving my history and my poverty behind me. I wasn’t happy about who I was or where I was, but I didn’t worry about it. It didn’t define me. We’re always in the making. God always has us on his anvil, melting, bending and shaping us for another purpose.
  It was time to change, to find a new purpose.
  I was tired of fighting the windstorm I was tossed into, and instead I would let go and ride with the winds of change.  How bad could it be, compared to the life I knew?  I was living life as if it were a rehearsal for the real thing.  Another beginning might be rough at first, but any place worth getting to is going to have some problems.  I wanted the good life, the life well lived, and you can’t buy that or marry into it. It’s there to be found, and it can be taken by those who want it and have the resolve to make it happen for themselves.
  It was empowering to choose to leave, especially when I came from a lifetime of being left, because leaving and being left are different. But they were the only two things I really knew all about and understood. Leaving and being left are a large part of the disordered world of the foster kid. It’s the way it is, and you have to pick up the pieces on your own. And for foster kids, when you stop picking up the pieces is when you start to die.
  I had nothing to lose because I had nothing. The people I could have cared about were all scattered to the winds. No one there knew if or cared if I was dead or alive, and that didn’t seem like it would change anytime soon. I was realistic about being poor. I was quickly approaching the age when I would start looking for a wife. People marry young in the Valley. There wasn’t much I could offer a girl.
  In a way, I was running away, but that was all right, since running away is easier than trying to change things that can’t be changed. I had a sense, the sort of feeling a young person has, that if I stayed in Waterbury, something inside me would die. Whatever it was would leave and never come back. I don’t know what it was, except that I knew the light in my eyes was slowly dimming and I could not afford to lose any more of me than I already had. If I stayed, I would become lost, and no one would come to look for me.
  I wanted a clean slate, a blank page I would write on and reinvent myself and foster care, and poverty would have no role.
    “Look not mournfully into the past,” my old friend Longfellow had written. “It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear.”
  So I left. Without fear.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Sculpture this and Sculpture that

Mercury. 1650-54.Artus Quellinus. Flemish 1609-1668. marble. Royal Palace. Amsterdam.

I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.

Leonardo da Vinci 


Batman x 3, jose delbo

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Visit our Shakespeare Blog at the address below




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 names. Ivy 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.


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.


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:



"Teets" Battaglia, center head bowed, was one of Touhy's killers.

 Tommy Touhy, the actual leader of the Touhy brothers and the Touhy gang. He helped to introduce the machine gun to the underworld

Willie Sharkey, said to have the IQ of a child, was Touhy top killer. he later hung himself in his jail cell..

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

Prelude to a Hoax

   When Roger Touhy learned that the mob had murdered Anton Cermak, he rented a plane and flew to Indianapolis to meet with the leaders of the Teamsters International Council. Roger wanted to plan their next steps in the war against the syndicate. But the meeting didn't go well. The International was pulling out of the fight. It was, in effect, surrendering to the syndicate. The union's leadership felt that although Touhy had won battles, without Cermak's clout behind him he would never win the war.
   Without the Teamsters' financial support, Roger knew that the war was lost. The best thing to do was to hold off the syndicate for as long as he could, make as much money as he could, fold up his operation and leave Chicago forever, perhaps living out his dream to retire to the wilds of Colorado.
   He had other reasons to worry, too. United States Postal Inspectors were hot on his trail for the string of mail robberies that he and his gang had pulled off the year before. Although the robberies had gone well, the rumor in the underworld was that Gus Winkler, one of the crooks who helped Touhy cash in the stolen mail loot, was informing on him.
   Roger decided to plug the leak on October 9,1934.
   'Smiling" Gus Winkler's motto was "Take care of Winkler first." He had spent most of his criminal career doing just that. This was why the Touhys and everyone else connected with the mail robberies wrongly suspected him of being the government's informant in the mail robberies.
   Touhy's own spies had reported that Winkler was seen in the FBI's office in the Bankers Building and on the day before they put seventy-two bullets into him he was seen talking with special agent Melvin Purvis on a side street just inside the Loop.
   Before Winkler was tied to the case it was widely assumed that Touhy was at odds with him.
   Gus Winkler had started out as a member of Eagan's Rats and by age twenty was a safe blower by trade. He did time from 1920-1926, sentenced for assault and wounding with a deadly weapon. He left St. Louis, moved to Chicago and struck up a lifelong friendship with Fred "Killer" Burke, which was how he first came to the attention of Chicago detectives in 1929.
   In 1932 Winkler turned over bonds from a Lincoln, Nebraska robbery in which he had played a part to the Secret Six, a group of Chicago business executives who had banded together to take action against the Chicago underworld. When the cops started to close in, Winkler cut a deal and informed on the others so long as he could walk, reasoning that he had always made it clear that he would squeal in order to save himself.
   Winkler took Newberry's place in the northside gangs as a chief financial backer and even moved into Newberry's old apartment at 3300 Lake Shore Drive. In an effort to appear more refined in the later days of his life, he started to wear glasses to cover up his crooked glass eye. He even married a tall, beautiful blonde.
   The cops Winkler consorted with were amused by him. It was easy to be amused by Gus Winkler; he was good-natured, smart and a smooth talker. On one of his frequent stops by the detective bureau Winkler told them that he often envisioned his own death by bullets. Most of the cops and criminals in Chicago agreed that Winkler was probably one of the shooters in the St. Valentine's Day massacre, after which he went into seclusion in Cicero where he was said to be in semi-retirement, plotting crimes.
   He was widely considered to be too cowardly to execute the crimes he planned. "No man in Chicago history ever played both ends against the middle so adroitly," it was said of him. When Newberry was killed he moved into the Northside gang's leadership and offered shelter and equipment to gangsters on the run.
   Winkler was an egomaniac who talked incessantly. Once during a poker game he bragged to his lawyer, Joe Marovitz and the nightclub star, Joe E. Lewis, 'You know, I'm the toughest guy in Chicago...maybe the toughest guy in the whole country. " Without looking up from his cards Marovitz threw a right cross on to Winkler's chin and knocked him out of his chair.
   "Why'd you do that?" Winkler asked.
   "To show you that you're not the toughest guy in this room."
   Winkler and his wife, "Mother" (as he called her)
had one of the strangest relationships in gangdom. She reviewed each and every illegal endeavor her husband became involved with, first chastising him about the heavenly and earthly illegalities of his work and then for possible slip ups in the plan 'Sure, Mother, " Winkler would say "You're right, it is an un-Christian act. Now that you've got that load off your chest tell us if the plan is alright."
   Gifted with an eagle's eye for detail, she would review a plan over and over again, looking for potential problems before giving her approval. "She's the best I've ever seen," Winkler boasted.
   According to Joe E. Lewis, Winkler had one eye shot out during a mail robbery and was convinced that the Touhys were out to kill him because he had "not apportioned the loot equitably. " The day before he was killed, Winkler went to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota with his lawyer, Joe Marovitz and Joe E. Lewis, to let the doctors have a look at Lewis' recently slashed throat. When they returned to Chicago Winkler refused to leave his lawyer's side. "I can't go back to my hotel and I'm afraid to register at a new one. Got any idea where I can go?" he asked Lewis, who gave him the extra key to his suite at the Seneca Hotel.
   The next day he was gunned down. Winkler's killer had waited an hour and a half for him outside the beer plant owned by Cook County Commissioner Charles Weber at 1414 Roscoe Street. As Winkler strolled toward Weber's office the killers leaped out of a green truck and fired low; in all seventy-two pellets and bullets went into him in a matter of seconds. He was literally riddled with pellets from his neck to his ankles with most of them going into his back, yet not one bullet hit his head or face. "Turn me over, I can't breathe," he gasped.
   He asked for a priest before he died and doctors found a half dozen religious relics pinned to his underwear. He was a big donor to Father Coughlin who sent him the medals. Winkler died begging for God's mercy on his soul, saying the Lord's Prayer to Father James Fitzgerald.
   When told that Winkler was dead, a postal inspector threw up his arms and said "Well, this balls up an already balled up case."
   The Touhys were suspected of ordering the killing. Hood-for-hire Dominic Marzano was held for questioning and Matt Kolb's old boss, Martin Guifolye, who was now mostly a gambler, was also being sought for questioning. Guifolye called the police and said he was available for questioning at any time. The cops also hauled in Babe Baron, a "0" of Jacob Arvey who was a close friend of international con man John Factor. Baron, a future kingpin for the mob in Las Vegas, was known to have killed Jimmy Walsh in front of Henrici's Restaurant on December 3, 1929. When cops picked him up for questioning in Winkler's death Baron was carrying a pistol in his coat pocket. He was released after several hours. Baron would go on to run one of the city's more successful car dealerships in the 1950s, due in part to a lucrative contract he had to repair city police cars.
   Another suspect was Joe Bergi, Winkler's partner in a garage where he fitted cars with bulletproof siding and windows, police lights and sirens that cop cars used in 1933. Baron later took over all the garage businesses.
   In September of that year, Bergi was arrested for harboring "Machine Gun" Kelly. Winkler was suspected of having told the police that Bergi was hiding Kelly and provided information about Kelly's role in the Urshel kidnapping case.
   As Winkler was a snitch, there were too many suspects for his murder. To this day the crime remains unsolved.
   Even with Winkler dead, postal inspectors were able to use the information he provided and move in on the mail robbers. A secret indictment was filed naming Roger Touhy, Gus Schafer and others in his gang as the persons behind the robberies.
   Secret or not, Roger got word of the pending indictment. On his lawyer's advice, he decided it was best to leave town until they could work out a way to avoid indictment, either in the courtroom or through bribes.
   On July 17, 1933, Roger and four of his men left for a brief working vacation to the north woods of Wisconsin to Rohrbacher's Resort in the lake region. Although avoiding a subpoena was the primary purpose of the trip, the other purpose was to find George Maitland. Maitland was the sole witness in the killing of a syndicate enforcer named John Renelli, whom the Touhys had gunned down several months before. Roger's informants had discovered that Maitland was hiding out in the Lake region, at Renelli's brother's place, The Chicago Tavern. However, when Maitland discovered that Touhy was in the area he quickly fled back to the relative safety of Chicago.
   Traveling with Touhy, probably in the capacity of a bodyguard, was thirty-six year old Gustave Schactel, aka Gus Schafer. Jim Ryan, Touhy's top enforcer, had hired Schafer as a guard for his beer collectors in May of 1933 and before long Schafer was planning additional mail robberies for the gang. Schafer's brother, Joseph Schactel, was a Catholic priest and a Ph.D. candidate at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. For years, Gus had managed to keep his criminal life away from his brother.
   And what a criminal life it was. Schafer was arrested in San Francisco on December 15, 1913 for burglary, and was sentenced to five years' probation. He was arrested again that same year and sent to prison for attempted larceny and released in 1916. He was arrested again on March 9, 1922, in Oakland for highway robbery and sent to Stillwater Prison in Minnesota on June 16, 1922. After his release he was arrested again on March 16, 1931, in Los Angeles on suspicion of robbery, grand theft auto and was sent to prison in Pontiac, Michigan.
   Schafer did more time in the Stillwater, Minnesota prison for a jewelry store robbery. After that, Schafer had been working in San Francisco on gambling boats as "atmosphere" as he put it, from March of 1931 until March 1932 when he and his wife packed their Chevy and relocated to Chicago.
   The marriage had problems since its inception in Oakland, California in 1920. When Gus went to prison in Minnesota his wife filed for divorce, but when he was released she dropped the proceedings. Schafer said he went to Chicago to make money on the World's Fair liquor business and felt that "if I didn't make some money my marriage would be on the rocks."
   They settled in Oak Park and then Des Plains where they were put up by a German family who had known Schafer's parents in Europe. The family gave them a small apartment. Then in May of 1933 he was brought into the Touhy organization as a hired gun. Roger and Tommy Touhy liked Schafer's style. When they learned that he had been the prison movie projectionist they promoted him to a minor official status in Tommy Maloy's movie projectionists' union so he could explain his income.
   The red-headed Schafer was a serious man by nature, seldom smiling. As Touhy said "a big guffaw or belly laugh for him was a slight twitch at the corners of the lips." But Schafer did have a dry, hangman's wit that Tommy and Roger enjoyed.
   After Schafer moved to Illinois he brought in Patrick McDonald, a San Francisco gambler whom he had done time with. The two of them, with Touhy's permission, opened a handbook in the Montrose Apartments in Chicago.
   The second bodyguard traveling with them was Willie Sharkey, a career criminal and enforcer who had known the Touhys from their days in the Valley. Sharky worked directly for "Chicken" McFadden. Nearly fifty-nine years old, Sharkey was short and pot-bellied like Roger, standing in at only five-feet, four-inches; he sported a four-inch horizontal scar on his left cheek and a two-inch scar on the corner of his right eyelid. Balding, he wore glasses and had a tattoo of a girl's head on his right elbow which winked when he moved his arm in a certain way.
   The Touhys liked Sharkey's easygoing manner and good nature when he was sober, but otherwise they considered him dangerous, slightly insane and not very bright.
   "Willie had two talents," Touhy said, "getting into jail and buying clothes that didn't fit him. He drank too much and he wasn't too smart, but he had a good heart and I liked him."
   Sharkey's third talent was murder. At the time of the trip into the northwoods, Sharkey was wanted for questioning in Chicago in relation to at least five gangland slayings. In 1929 Willie and his brother John Sharkey, who played a role in several of the
Touhys' mail robberies, had opened a saloon just inside the Chicago line with an unknown partner. In 1931, the Capones kicked in the front door to the saloon and gunned down Sharkey's partner. "And since that time," John Sharkey told FBI agent Melvin Purvis, "I moved out of Chicago because of my relationship to my brother, and persons in the syndicate might endeavor to cause me trouble, such as killing me."
   Willie Sharkey was a shy man who never married. However, he was proud of his brother and his family and supplemented their income with his own. Willie lived with them in Park Ridge for a while, giving his brother a Lincoln and a Ford.
   The fourth person on the trip was Edward Thomas Chicken McFadden, a labor racketeer from the old days. McFadden worked as a food and poultry inspector for the Hoover administration during the first World War. For seventeen years he had been employed as a poultry inspector and contract loader on Water Street in Chicago.
   According to Willie Sharkey, McFadden was a friend and business associate of Big Tim Lynch before Lynch was killed. In fact, the 1930 Lincoln Sedan that McFadden drove and registered in his own name was actually owned by Lynch. They were both members of the same union, the Chauffeurs and Teamsters Union of Maywood, Illinois. Sharkey said McFadden stayed on in the union as the business manager but was forced to withdraw in the last part of 1931 after the syndicate made several attempts to kill him.
   In his labor organizing days, McFadden was called "Father Tom" since he was prone to try and reason with his quarry in soft, soothing tones before resorting to violence with them.
   McFadden had been a friend of Roger's father back when he walked a beat in the Lawndale district. His record dated back to 1901 when he was locked up for intent to rob. Other arrests included police impersonation and labor slugging. In 1931, McFadden was sixty-seven years of age and in ill health. His hearing was gone and he had just recently been released from the Cook County Hospital for a gall bladder problem. Still, McFadden had deep contacts in the labor union field and was the person most responsible for bringing the Teamster unions over to Touhy's side in 1931.
   The fifth and sixth persons on the trip were more than probably August J. LaMarr (also known as Jimmy Lamar) and Leroy Marshalk, one of Roger Touhy's best gunmen.
   The group took Touhy's car-the same car used by his hoods when they broke up The Dells casino. Touhy had purchased the car on July 13, 1931 at Marquett Motors at 44 North Larmie Avenue with an initial deposit of $695 and returned later in the day with $2,400 and paid the car off. It was wrongly reported, by Melvin Purvis of the FBI, that the car had a special gas tank to make a ten hour trip. It didn't. But it did have an iron, almost bullet proof sheet that covered its engine block.
   Rohrbacher later identified all the Touhys as having stayed at his place in a rented cottage although he was adamant that there were five persons in the party and not four. They had registered under the names of F. McFarland, Chicago; J. Clark, Chicago; Sam Jones, Chicago; E. Davis, Chicago; and Roger as Robert Morgan, Chicago. Robert Morgan was Touhy's father-in-law. Before settling on Rohrbacher's, the group went to the Bayview Cottages, stood on the edge of the lake and then
drove away, telling the owner, A1 Shape, that they would be back the next day.
   They stayed at Rohrbachers Resort for five days and ate all their meals there. According to Rohrbacher, Touhy, sometimes joined by McFadden, did most of the fishing and all of the others told him that it was their first time at the resort area. He said that Sharkey and Schafer were gone in the car most of the day and although they drank enormous amounts of beer "they were agreeable to all other guests at all times" and that they sent back the Milwaukee brand beer he sent up, taking only Hamm's beer telling him that it was the only kind they ever drank.
   Walter Kerslake, the Hamm Beer representative for the area, reported selling "many, many cases of beer"to a group of men at Rohrbacher's after George Rohrbacher told him "they were the Touhy gang and had plenty of money and paid for things as they got them."
   Rohrbacher remembered Touhy catching a sev- enteen-pound muskellunge one morning but he gave the fish to another guest, a Doctor Reese of Chicago. An Indian guide named Frank St. Germaine later told the FBI that Touhy went out in the boat fishing alone except on one occasion when he was joined by Schafer. St. Germaine repeated the story frequently that Touhy shot a muskellunge four times before bringing it into the boat and one night at dusk Touhy threw six bottles of beer in the water and fired six shots directly into the necks of all six bottles. Many years later another guide in the region named Jim Ford, said that he had taken Touhy out fishing once and watched as Touhy took a Tommy gun with him to the lake and fired it into the water.
"Tuohy stood up in the boat one day when they were out fishing and unloaded his Tommy gun on the waters. That old machine gun blasted away. It was good for a laugh. And if I remember, he did get a fish or two."
   Fishermen carried pistols to shoot the twenty- five pound muskie because once they were pulled into the boat, they tended to flip around and with their huge, sharp teeth it was better to just shoot them. It was legal to carry a pistol when fishing in those days. However, pistols were outlawed after one too many drunken fishermen shot holes in the bottom of boats or themselves.
   On Sunday Touhy, McFadden, Schafer and Sharkey walked into Harry's Place, a saloon run by Harry Bowman and asked for directions to the Minocqua Heights Golf and Country Club.
   That testimony was tainted because Bowman had known Eddie McFadden years before. They were also identified by the bartender, Joe Streich. However, the more reliable summer police chief of Minocqua, Jay Jossart, recalled seeing them in the area, as did Deputy Sheriff Titus of Midlake who spotted McFadden at the Chicago Tavern which was owned by Tony Renelli on the southwest side of Lake Delavan. The Touhys had shot and killed Renelli's brother at The Dells two month before.
   After Roger and the others were arrested, Renelli told the FBI "that he had heard rumors that he was to be "bumped off' by the Touhys and he appeared to be in great fear. He made the remark during the interview that, "You have the big shots" or "you have the main ones" and that "the others are only barrel pushers for the leaders."
   The report went on to say "He also made the remark that the right parties were being held but would not enlarge on the statement and even said
that he could not see why Touhy would go into that racket (kidnapping) as he was making good money and also that it was a surprise to him that McFadden would get so involved as he never appeared to be that sort."
   Buck Gordon of Gordon's Place, a tavern on the southwest side of Lake Delavan said that he knew Sharkey and that Sharkey had been around there as well. It was Gordon who told Tony Renelli that Sharkey had been around looking for him and had asked Gordon where Renelli was located. Gordon had bought his beer from the Touhys for years. An FBI report read, "He was made to admit that he bought beer from this gang for many years and that regularly once a week, a man would come around to collect. He was shown the photographs of these parties and picked out the photograph of George Wilke as the party who had collected for this beer. He told the story which is not believed by this agent, that he had bought this beer for years but never knew just who he bought from and never questioned the collector or asked for his name. Gordon is known around the region as a braggart."
   O.E. Heissler, the manager of the Minocqua Golf and Country Club identified all four of them as having played golf there on two separate occasions but couldn't recall a fifth person, Marshalk, who had been seen with them in most other places around the resort area. After golf, a bathing-suit clad Roger Touhy came into Parker's resort, about mile and half from Rohrbachers. He had arrived in a boat equipped with a Johnson high-powered motor. Parker tried to strike up a conversation with Touhy and said "I know most of the boats on the lake but I can't recall that one, who does it belong to?" He said that Touhy looked at him and asked "What's it to
you?" The boat could have belonged to anyone of Touhy's old friends. The area was saturated with bootleggers and other undesirables including Rudy Kreigel, a little known but successful rum runner and Fred Ullrick who ran Ullrick's Resort in Webster, Wisconsin. Ullrick's was a known gangster hideout and suspected by the FBI as being the place where millionaire William Hamm was held during his kidnapping.
   Ray Henderson, a bootlegger from Burlington, Wisconsin kept a summer cottage on Lac du Flambeau as did "Bugs" Moran. In fact, Moran's sister, Cassady, lived in the region full time. Sam "Golf Bag" Hunt and Frank Nitti had a place in the north woods, as did Ralph Capone and most of Chicago's mayors. John Dillinger was said to have buried $200,000 in Eagle River and after Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, rumors abounded that Hoffa was buried near a summer place that he owned with Alan Dorfman.
   But most important of all, Terrible Tommy O'Connor was said to live in the region where he had been running Touhy's bootlegging operation from a small cabin in Elkhorn, Wisconsin since his disappearance twelve years earlier.
   With all of the serious muscle that Touhy had gathered for this retreat, it was clear to everyone that something was afoot. After four days in the lake region, the group left for Chicago on July 19, 1933, a Wednesday morning at about 6:30 A.M. They stopped at Harry Newman's restaurant on Highway 12 near Lake Geneva at 11:00 A.M. and paid their checks separately, each one using clean crisp ten- dollar bills. McFadden purchased the gas with a ten-dollar bill and Touhy wore his alligator slicker that he purchased in Florida in 1931 for "a whole
lotta Jack." They stopped for gas once again at Wagner's station just outside of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, where a second car that had been following them waved off, turned around and drove back toward the lakes. It is assumed by many that Terrible Tommy was the second driver.
   Elkhorn police officer Harry Ward, a slightly built rookie cop who did motorcycle duty near Highway 12-the road Touhy was using on his way back to Chicago-had just finished his shift and was on his way home when the town bell, an alarm system used to notify police of an incoming call at the station, pierced the air.
   Ward answered the call reluctantly. Driving at a high speed, Touhy had knocked over a telephone pole on private property just inside the Elkhorn town line. The owner wanted the car stopped and restitution made for the cost of repairing the damage. The night marshal said, "It's a big Chrysler sedan on Route 12."
   Ward stopped Touhy, who was driving seventy miles per hour, because he noticed that the car's left front fender was badly dented. Touhy denied hitting the pole and after a brief, sharp exchange Ward ordered Roger to drive to the police station. It was probably at that point that all of the men in the car slid their guns out of their pockets and into the seat folds. Roy Marshalk, the most wanted of the group, managed to slip out of the car and disappear.
   At the police station, Roger was told that the cost of replacing the pole was estimated to be $22. Pay that amount, Roger was told, and he could leave. Roger, who was carrying $2,500 on him, refused to pay, arguing that he had just had placed two phone poles on his property for only $18. An argument broke out that lasted for forty minutes.
   Meanwhile, Deputy Ward conducted an illegal search of Touhy's car. Digging his hands deep under the seat cushions he found six pistols, three of them rigged to fire. That was all Ward needed to hold them. Wisconsin was one of the few states to have a law forbidding citizens to carry machine guns, which, technically, the pistol was.
   The town Sheriff called Touhy's mortal enemy, Tubbo Gilbert, the States Attorney's Chief Investigator in Cook County. In turn, Gilbert called Melvin Purvis, the FBI's Special Agent in charge of the Chicago office to tell him that Roger Touhy had been arrested in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Gilbert also said that he felt strongly that Purvis should arrest Touhy for the kidnapping of William Hamm, the St. Paul Brewer who had been snatched off the street several days before.
   Purvis agreed, but before leaving for Elkhorn, he held a press conference and declared that "The Touhy gang is being held in Elkhorn by the FBI, where they have positively been identified as being the kidnappers of William A. Hamm."
   Roger Touhy had never heard of William Hamm. Nor did he know that several days before his arrest, Hamm had been kidnapped by Alvin Karpis and the Barker gang as he was walking home from his office in St. Paul. Exactly why Karpis decided to kidnap Hamm will probably never be known. Certainly Hamm's wealth was one factor, but there were whispers in St. Paul that while the respectable Hamm's prestigious brewery was selling legal near beer out the front doors, Hamm and the local underworld gang, the Keatings mob, were also selling bootleg beer out the back door.
   It was rumored that Hamm, in a moment of stupid ambition or greed or both, double-crossed the Keatings. The kidnapping and $75,000 ransom it is suspected, was their way of recouping their losses.
   Another interesting aspect of the story was that at some point, the Keatings-Hamm operation started to compete with Roger Touhy's own bootleg operation in the Wisconsin area. Threats were made on both sides and tensions ran high. Also interesting was that Roger knew Alvin Karpis. In fact, Karpis had worked for both A1 Capone and Frank Nitti as a labor goon in 1930 and 1931, terrorizing and perhaps even killing the same union men that Touhy was being paid to protect. And now Karpis was about to frame Roger Touhy for the Hamm kidnapping. No proof has indicated that the mob ordered Karpis to frame Touhy for the kidnapping, but it seems apparent that they did.
   A few days after Hamm was kidnapped his mother died, leaving behind an estate valued at $4,411,647. The public was outraged over her death and blamed the shock of her son's abduction as the cause.
   "There was a national hysteria and rightly so against the crime of kidnapping," Touhy wrote. "Clergymen ranted against it from their pulpits and so did editorial writers in their columns. The noisier politicians in Washington tried to outshout each other in being against the crime that everybody loathed...the FBI set up and trained special crews of experts to fly to any section of the country upon a report of a ransom kidnapping. U.S. Attorney General Homer Cummings appointed a special aide, Joseph B. Keenan, to supervise the prosecution of kidnappers. No effort was being spared, or money either, to put an end to kidnapping. Every police officer and prosecutor in America wanted to solve a kidnapping. Anyone of them who put a kidnapper in the electric chair would be a hero. I, Roger Touhy, and two co-defendants were going to have the murky distinction of being the first men convicted."
   Eventually, Hamm's ransom was paid and the brewer was released unharmed and Roger Touhy stood accused of the crime.
   The day after Roger and the others were arrested, Tubbo Gilbert, Special Agent Melvin Purvis and Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Shoemaker were in Elkhorn to retrieve him. Purvis talked with Touhy first and told him that he was going to be arrested for the kidnapping of William Hamm. "I recalled," Touhy said, "that I had a solid alibi for June 15.1 told Purvis so....He looked at me with the tight-lipped, gimlet-eyed way that FBI men had-and which detectives on television have plagiarized."
   It made no difference to Purvis. Before noon that day Roger and the others were charged with kidnapping William Hamm and were transported to the FBI's office in Chicago for further questioning. But, back in Chicago, Purvis was worried. None of the money found on Roger or the others could be traced to the William Hamm ransom. Furthermore Purvis knew through informants that Alvin Karpis was the primary suspect in the kidnapping and that Touhy and the others weren't regarded as kidnappers by the underworld or the Chicago police, despite their reputation as gangsters.
   "I saw Roger for the first time in person," Purvis wrote, "when he was brought back to Chicago. Handcuffed and under guard, he was delivered to my office. I sat behind my desk and shot questions at him. Touhy wouldn't talk. I can still see him sitting in the leather chair with that mouth full of protruding teeth. His curly hair was neatly barbered, his body was lean and hard under his sports suit, his eyes were dreamy and disarming. Touhy wouldn't say a word. When I asked a question he laughed. When I demanded an answer he laughed. Finally I said to him, "Well anyway, what's your name?" Touhy looked at me and grinned, closed his lips and shook his head. He had gained the impression that we were trying to make him talk so an unseen listener might identify his voice as being that one of the kidnappers."
   That evening Touhy and others were questioned for hours. While Purvis was in charge, beating prisoners was standard practice for the Chicago office of the FBI. His secretary once wrote, "I sometimes saw the bruised knuckles of the agents who had used more primitive arguments with refractory prisoners."
   One so-called refractory prisoner met his death that way. The day after Purvis' agents shot John Dillinger to death, a small time bootlegger named James Probasco was brought to the FBI's 19th floor office in the Bankers Building for questioning. Agents claimed Probasco leaped out of the window for no apparent reason, falling nineteen stories into an alley narrowly missing a passerby. Witnesses later said that the agents held Probasco out the window by his wrists, but lost their grip, causing the outlaw to fall to his death.
   In his memos to J. Edgar Hoover in Washington, Purvis said that on this day Touhy was "grilled" by FBI agents from 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.
   Now it was Roger Touhy's turn. "Weeks of hell followed," Touhy wrote. They were kept in isolation in tiny darkened cells. He was allowed to sleep in twenty-minute intervals and then awakened and beaten. The entire processes was repeated twenty minutes later. They punched out seven of his teeth, three vertebrae in his upper spine were fractured and he lost twenty-five pounds in four weeks.
   Purvis never did secure a confession out of Roger or the others, but he formally charged them with kidnapping William Hamm anyway.
   The following day, as if just to show how bad Roger Touhy's luck could be, President Roosevelt went on national radio and announced the federal government's war on kidnappers.
   "The Hamm trial" Roger wrote "had a sort of 'let's pretend we're all nuts' tone to it."
   The Department of Justice was so certain of a victory in the case that it asked for the trial to be broadcast live, which would have made it the first ever to go over the airwaves, but the presiding judge declined. However, the government argued successfully that Roger's wife shouldn't be able to testify on his behalf. This was just as well, since the past several weeks had been so hard on Clara.
   Purvis, whom Clara had booted off Touhy's estate the week before, had arranged it so that she wasn't allowed into the courtroom until the jury was seated and then she was searched every time she entered the court. When court was over for the day, she retreated to her hotel room, where she clipped newspaper stories about the kidnapping for Roger's lawyer, William Scott Stewart. Lonely and scared, Clara made the mistake of allowing a female reporter into her hotel room to chat. Grateful for the company, Clara spoke freely about anything and everything, including her views on the federal government, the backwoods of Wisconsin, and the jury.
   In the next morning's edition, the reporter dramatically twisted virtually everything Clara had said, more or less making her out to be a gun moll and co-conspirator in the case. From that moment on Clara never spoke to another reporter for the rest of her life.
   But Clara had a few minor victories as well. When she visited her husband in jail during the trial, two FBI agents dutifully wrote down every word the couple uttered to each other, no matter how commonplace.
   Roger recalled:  Two FBI men, each with a pencil poised above a pad of paper sat at the ends of the table. I smiled at each of them apologetically and said that I hadn't seen my wife for a long time and did they mind very much if I held her hand? They nodded agreeably. Clara and I clasped hands and began telegraphing to each other. A short pressure of a finger was a dot and a long pressure a dash. We had practiced it often when talking secretly in front of our sons. Vocally I talked inanely about our neighbors and such, at the same time telegraphing instructions to her. At the end of our conversation, we coded each other the message of "30" and "73" which meant "that's all" and "Best regards." The listening FBI men gaped at us. They hadn't heard enough to merit putting the pencil to paper.
   In court, Roger's lawyer ripped into the government's case and within days had torn it apart. Everything that could go wrong for the government did. The prosecution's primary witness, taxi driver Leo Allison, first positively identified Eddie McFadden as the man who gave him the ransom note and then said it was Roger Touhy. After a drilling by William Scott Stewart, Allison said he couldn't be sure at all.
   Another witness who had sworn he overheard ransom demands being made over a pay phone by Touhy changed his tune. On the stand he said "Roger Touhy bears a close resemblance to the man" he saw and refused to go further. A third witness took the stand and said that he had watched Roger and the others following Hamm in a car as the brewer walked home. Touhy hired private detectives to check the witness out and within two days they were able to prove that this witness had been at work in a printing plant in Chicago on the day he said he saw Touhy and the others in St. Paul. When questioned about why he lied, the witness said that he had been pressured into it by the FBI.
   William Hamm couldn't, or wouldn't, identify Touhy and his crew. Instead he appeared extremely evasive on the witness stand. Nor was he any help to the FBI agents who were investigating the case. In fact, right after he was returned by his kidnappers, Hamm flew to New York and stayed there, incommunicado, until the trail began.
   Watching their case fall apart, the government started to play hardball. FBI agents went to an Indianapolis hotel where Roger had stayed for one night while Hamm was being abducted. They confiscated the hotel's registration cards and destroyed them.
   A key Touhy witness named Edward J. Meany was told by one of Purvis' men "If you go to St. Paul to testify for Touhy, you'll be sorry and maybe you won't come back."
   Vincent Connors testified that he had seen Touhy in a night club in Des Plains on the night Hamm was kidnapped. After he gave his testimony he was arrested by the FBI on the dubious charge of registering in a hotel under a false name. Apparently Clara had booked Connors' room under William Scott Stewart's firm's name, which was against the state's moral laws but certainly not a federal offense.
   When the trial was over, the United States Deputy Attorney General George F. Sullivan, in his summary of the state's case, mispronounced names, confused dates and lost his place, and when he accused Touhy's lawyer, William Scott Stewart of "vituperative sarcasm and abuse heaped upon the prosecution," Stewart smiled, waved and then took a slight bow.
   The jury found them all innocent of kidnapping William Hamm, the first defeat for the government's war on kidnapping since the passage of the Lindbergh law.
   Right after they were declared innocent, Willie Sharkey turned to Roger and said "Well, they went through a lot of goddamn trouble for a $22 phone pole."Later that night, Sharkey used his own necktie to hang himself in his cell. Sharkey had shown bizarre behavior for weeks. One time he fell asleep during the trial. When he awoke, he stood up and tried to walk out of the courtroom and had to be pulled back and held down by deputies. Another time, he turned to William Scott Stewart and said in a very loud voice, "My hair is full of electricity, I guess that's a sign," and then laughed uncontrollably for several minutes.
   When Touhy was told about Sharkey he said "Willie's life might not have amounted to much, but he shouldn't have been driven to ending it."
   As sympathetic as those words were, Sharkey may have feared for his life because during the trial he had talked to the FBI, although no one outside the Bureau is certain of exactly what he told them. Sharkey may have been concerned that FBI agent Purvis1 told Touhy that he was talking to them-a mean but common trick of the agency.

1.         In 1960, one month after Roger Touhy was murdered, Melvin Purvis, long since retired from the FBI, put a .45 caliber pistol to his head and killed himself.

The couple from the Woodstock Album cover  still together all these years later

As the Sandwich Islander believes that the strength and valor of the enemy he kills passes into himself so we gain the strength of the temptation we resist.

300 quotes from Emerson
To view more Emerson quotes or read a life background on Emerson please visit the books blog spot. We update the blog bi-monthly emersonsaidit.blogspot.com

So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them. Stephen Chbosky

The first recorded photo bomb, 1853 

That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong. F. Scott Fitzgerald  


Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. Lao Tzu

Should A Christian Pursue Happiness?
Prof. Chris Kaczor says yes, as long as we understand what happiness is


Dr. Christopher Kaczor, a professor of philosophy and ethics, had always assumed that psychology was an alternative to religion. Then he discovered “positive psychology” and all that changed.
In fact, Kaczor was so impressed with the ways in which Christianity and positive psychology overlapped, he wrote a book about it: The Gospel of Happiness: Rediscover Your Faith Through Spiritual Practice.
Published by Image, an imprint of Penguin Random House, The Gospel of Happiness looks at the empirical findings in positive psychology that point to the wisdom and validity of Christian practices and teachings. It also contains a lot of practical suggestions for how to be happier in your every day life, something everybody seeks.
Many Christians are still skeptical about psychology, but Kaczor says that just because Freud was an atheist and anti-religion doesn’t mean psychology hasn’t come a long way in understanding what it is to be human.
Positive psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on how human beings attain satisfaction and meaning. Personal growth and a view to the future is emphasized over pathology or an obsession with the past. The term “positive psychology” originates with Abraham Maslow, but took a front seat in the general field of psychology in 1998 when Martin Seligman, decided it would be the theme of his tenure as president of the America Psychological Association. Since then, a great deal of research has validated the effectiveness of positive psychology in the aid of well-being and mental health.
“Just as Aristotle’s natural theology bolstered Christian theology, today positive psychology provides an empirical justification and aid for Christian practice, a kind of natural moral theology,” says Kaczor.
The Christian practices and teachings of prayer, gratitude, forgiveness, and virtue, for example, are related to and can be greatly enriched by elements of positive psychology such as meaning, relationships, achievement, engagement and positive emotion.
In this video interview with Aleteia’s Zoe Romanowsky, Prof. Kaczor talks about our pursuit of happiness, and his desire to help Christians uncover the link between their faith and their well-being with his new book.

Life is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it ends. Joseph Campbell, Creative Mythology


Ralston Crawford was one of a group of American Precisionists, along with Charles Demuth, Louis Lozowick, and Charles Sheeler. Although they never formally organized themselves into a movement, they were dedicated to presenting compositions based on simplified forms, clear outlines, and minimal detail. They emphasized modern American subjects in their landscape paintings and prints.

This screenprint by Crawford is called “Grey Street.”
Ralston Crawford, "Grey Street," 1940, color screenprint on wove paper, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Reba and Dave Williams Collection, Gift of Reba and Dave Williams, 2008.115.1343

People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, ‘Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner.’ I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds. Carl Rogers


WHY THE WORLD NEEDS EDITORS.....................


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

Photographs I’ve taken

Every year my wife and I go to the Upperville Colt & Horse Show, the oldest horse show in America. Started in 1853 by Colonel (CSA) Richard “Dick” Henry Dulany, The Dulany family descend from the O'Dulaneys of Queen's County, Ireland.
The show was designed to showcase and improve local breeding stock in Northern Virginia. Colonel Dulany continued to run the show until his death in 1906. The show has occupied the same scenic spot since its inception 155 years ago; under the shady oak trees of Grafton Farm, near Upperville, Virginia, about a half hour from where I live.
Dulany was riding cross-country one cold winter's day and came across a young colt who was cast in a low fence. Stopping to free the young horse, he realized the colt had been stuck long enough for his feet to have frozen. Reflecting on the fate of the young horse, Dulany decided to start a colt & filly show to encourage better care of young horses, and to inspire local breeders to breed better stock.
The show was scheduled for June under the oak trees at Grafton Farm, a centrally located Dulany farm on route 50 two miles east of Upperville. The first show listed two classes, one for colts, and one for fillies. Prior to the first show, Colonel Dulany went to Manhattan to consult with silversmith Louis Tiffany to design a suitable trophy, the labor on which was donated by Mr. Tiffany for the event. The first show proved so popular, a club was formed to run the show. The club, originally called the Upperville Union Club, elected Colonel Dulany as its first president.
The show, considered one of the most prestigious in the country, now spans seven days and showcases over two thousand horse and rider combinations. The prize list includes classes in breeding, hunters, and jumpers, and entries range from local children to leading Olympic and Show Jumping World Cup horses and riders.
The show attracts over 20,000 spectators and finishes with the popular $100,000 Budweiser Grand Prix on the final Sunday.


U.S. failing mothers in paid maternity leave
Published 1:42 pm Thursday, August 27, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas (Texas News Service) — The U.S. is dramatically behind the rest of the world in providing adequate support for mothers to spend time with their newborn babies, according to an investigative report by In These Times magazine.
Sharon Lerner, the report’s author, found most other countries, rich or poor, mandate paid maternity leave. Lerner says American moms frequently have to choose between bonding with newborns or paying the rent.
“Only 13 percent of women have access to any paid time off after they have children,” says Lerner. “That means 87 percent of American women don’t have paid leave. So what do they do when they have children?”
To find out, Lerner spent months following challenges faced by four new mothers. Lerner says for Natasha Long in Mississippi, back to work three weeks after giving birth, the hardest part was missed bonding time.
Long worked four to five 12-hour shifts a week, developed symptoms of depression and was prescribed antidepressants. Now three years old, Long’s child still refuses to call her mama.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than one in five of the nation’s top 10 percent of earners get paid family leave, compared to one in twenty earners in the bottom 25 percent.
Lerner points out in Sweden all mothers, regardless of income level, get 16 months paid leave. In Finland, she says in addition to nine months paid maternity time the mother or father can continue to receive paid time off until the child’s third birthday.
“At this point, pretty much everyone else in the world does it differently,” says Lerner. “We as a country aren’t handling the situation well. It’s not an individual problem, it’s a national problem, it’s a policy problem and I do think that’s how we’ll solve it.”
California, New York and New Jersey are the only states with paid family leave legislation on the books.
President Barack Obama asked Congress to deliver a bill mandating seven days of paid leave in his 2015 State of the Union address. Senate Democrats responded with a bill that was rejected by Senate Republicans earlier this month.

- See more at: http://www.orangeleader.com/2015/08/27/magazine-u-s-failing-mothers-in-paid-maternity-leave/#sthash.phifycC9.dpuf

 (below) This painting depicts Moses using the rod that had parted the Red Sea to bring water miraculously out of a rock, quenching the thirst of the thirsty and weary Israelites. The subject had political overtones in the Netherlands, for the Dutch drew parallels between their decades-long quest for independence from Spain and the Israelites' escape from Egypt.

"Pleasure and Piety: The Art of Joachim Wtewael


Architecture for the blog of it

Art for the Blog of It

Art for the Pop of it

Photography for the blog of it

Music for the Blog of it

Sculpture this and Sculpture that

The art of War (Propaganda art through the ages)

Album Art (Photographic arts)

Pulp Fiction Trash (The art of Pulp Fiction covers)

Admit it, you want to Read this Book (The art of Pulp Fiction covers)

The Godfather Trilogy BlogSpot

On the Waterfront: The Making of a great American Film

Absolutely blogalicious

The Wee Book of Irish Recipes (Book support site)

Good chowda (New England foods)

Old New England Recipes (Book support site)

And I Love Clams (New England foods)

In Praise of the Rhode Island Wiener (New England foods)

Wicked Cool New England Recipes (New England foods)

Old New England Recipes (New England foods)

Foster Care new and Updates

Aging out of the system

Murder, Death and Abuse in the Foster Care system

Angel and Saints in the Foster Care System

The Foster Children’s Blogs

Foster Care Legislation

The Foster Children’s Bill of Right

Foster Kids own Story

The Adventures of Foster Kid.

Me vs. Diabetes (Diabetes education site)

The Quotable Helen Keller

Teddy Roosevelt's Letters to his children (Book support site)

The Quotable Machiavelli (Book support site)

Whatever you do, don't laugh

The Quotable Grouch Marx

A Big Blog of Irish Literature

The Wee Blog of Irish Jokes (Book support blog)

The Wee Blog of Irish Recipes

The Irish American Gangster

The Irish in their Own Words

When Washington Was Irish

The Wee Book of Irish Recipes (Book support site)

Following Fitzgerald


The Blogable Robert Frost

Charles Dickens

The Beat Poets of the Forever Generation

Holden Caulfield Blog Spot

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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