No Time To Say Goodbye: A Memoir of Life in Foster Care: Sample chapter 1, no time to say goodbye: Love and understand the Italians, for the people are more marvelous than the land. - E. M. Forster "W e arrived at our fi...
No Time To Say Goodbye: A Memoir of Life in Foster Care: Sample chapter 2, No Time to Say Goodbye: "Almost every kid at St. John’s was an academic underachiever and proud of it, because they worked on the theory that the lower...
No Time To Say Goodbye: A Memoir of Life in Foster Care: Sample Chapter 3, No time to say goodbye: "One school we played against was Kingswood Oxford School in West Hartford. Mount Saint John it was not. On the day of the mat...
No Time To Say Goodbye: A Memoir of Life in Foster Care: Sample chapter 4 No Time to Say Goodbye: It was time for the annual autumn dance that the school sponsored with Mariam Hall in Hartford, St. John’s counterpart for foster gi...
*** FREE THEATER IN NYC ***
Summer in the Square
Fuerza Bruta will bring their unique and high-energy show across the street from their home in the Daryl Roth Theater to Summer in the Square
Thursday, August 13, 2015
*** PRIMARY STAGES ***
TELEVISION WRITING at Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA):
Calling all playwrights who want the tools to transition from stage to screen. Writing for television has the potential to be not only artistically satisfying, but lucrative as well. In this 10-week class, you'll receive feedback on writing assignments, and by the end of the semester, you'll have a complete pilot or spec script and the means to create powerful, distinctive, and commercially-viable television.
Class begins September 16, payment plans available.
This class is also available online: http://primarystages.org/espa/online-classroom
*** PLAYWRIGHTS OPPORTUNITIES ***
The Charter Oak Cultural Center is seeking submissions for an upcoming reading series of plays focused on social justice issues.
We are seeking full-length plays (no musicals at this time) that engage audiences in a dialogue to produce positive social change. Plays that directly deal with issues of social justice, plays that depict underrepresented lives on stage, plays by playwrights who are otherwise underrepresented in the theatre community – all of these stories fit our mission.
The Village Playwrights is accepting 10 minute plays for Queer Scare II, staged reading of 8 short plays at New York City's LGBT Community Center to celebrate Halloween. Continuing the Gay Holiday reading series, the Village Playwrights will present Queer Scare II on October 28, 2015. But there are a couple changes this year.
Sundog Theatre in NYC is seeking one-act plays for “Scenes from the Staten Island Ferry 2016”
This is Sundog Theatre’s 14th annual presentation of original, short one-act plays about our favorite boats, the Staten Island Ferries.
--Submit original plays not previously produced or published, with a signed note affirming that.
--Plays should be 10-25 minutes long and have their setting on the Staten Island Ferry.
--Plays should be contemporary, involve 2-3 characters and require no special set pieces other than benches or railings found on the Ferry, limited and easily accessible props, and no special sound or lighting requirements.
*** FOR MORE INFORMATION on these and other opportunities see the web site at http://www.nycplaywrights.org ***
*** Call for Scripts Controversy ***
DISSECTING THE MOST DISGUSTING CALL FOR PLAYS I’VE EVER SEEN
Not long ago, I wrote an important blog post called Arrogance, Ignorance, and Playwright Respect , which got more views than anything else I’ve ever written (if you haven’t read it, I encourage you to, because it is such an important issue). Sadly, we playwrights know what an uphill battle it is to have the integrity of our work respected, and it’s worse still when we see that much of the fault lies with educators who perpetuate the idea that the director’s job is to “make the script better.” Imagine my outrage when I saw this recent call for plays. Let’s take a look…
CALL FOR PLAYS
2015 ORIGINAL SHORT PLAY FESTIVAL
WORDS PLAYERS THEATRE
Words Players Theatre, Rochester, Minnesota, is calling for one act plays for our 8th Annual Original Short Play Festival. The Festival will accept the submission of any script which has not been previously published or produced.
Why? These are student directors who no doubt have never heard of my script, nor countless others by playwrights far more recognized. It’s new to them and isn’t that what matters? Unfortunately, asking for unpublished and unproduced ten-minute plays is becoming more and more common and the sad fact is that most theaters don’t even know why they’re asking. Theaters like unpublished plays because they’re not held to a specific royalty, but there is no reason to ask for the privilege of first production unless there is grant money attached and if you’re getting money, so should the playwrights.
Disrespecting Playwrights and Their Words with Young Players in Minnesota
I should say right up front that, until about two hours before I began writing, I didn’t know anything about the Words Players Theatre of Rochester, Minnesota or its parent organization, Northland Words. I only learned about them because the company had raised the online ire of people in the creative community. In particular, what caught my eye was a blog post by playwright Donna Hoke, “Dissecting The Most Disgusting Call For Plays I’ve Ever Seen,” in which she does exactly what she says she’s going to do in her title, line by line, word by word. I share her concern, but I’d like to take a macro view of the message that the company appears to be sending.
Throughout their call for plays for Words Players 2015 Original Short Play Festival, the company’s director Daved Driscoll says several things worthy of admiration: there’s a commitment to young performers, as well as a desire to find work which he feels will appeal to his local community. I don’t think anyone would argue with those goals.
Letter from Doug Wright on behalf of the Dramatists Guild
I write to you today as President of the Dramatists Guild of America, the national association of playwrights, lyricists and composers, with over 7000 members around the world. We at the Guild were dismayed to read your call for submissions for the Words Players Theater’s 8th Annual Original Short Play Festival, in which you announce shockingly errant guidelines for festival submissions.
Small Rochester theater gets big scorn from writers over request for plays
Leaders of Words Players Theatre in Rochester didn’t think they were on the radar of America’s top playwrights. But it only took a few days for the small-time theater to earn big-time backlash over a request for submissions for its 8th Annual Original Short Play Festival.
The guidelines for submissions mention that writers will not be paid for their work and say the students who direct the plays reserve the right to change the scripts – modifying the settings and dialogue to fit their own visions of the shows.
Words Players Theater response
Dear Mr. Wright:
Despite the inauspicious circumstances of our correspondence, I am honored to hear from as
distinguished a playwright as you are. Even considering the circumstances, I am happy to see, firsthand, your commitment in particular, and the Guild’s commitment in general, to issues of fairness.
Let me make clear, first, how deeply I regret that my words have caused such consternation. I am deeply saddened and intensely chagrined by the perception that Words Players or I have intended in any way disrespect for authors or disregard for the appropriate relationship between authors and those who produce their work. The impetus for creating our Short Play Festival in the first place was to afford playwrights opportunities for considering their works live, on stage. It was for playwrights that we were first and foremost concerned.
IF I HAD IT TO DO OVER, WOULD I BLOG ABOUT WORDS PLAYERS?
A fellow Dramatist Guild rep posed this question to me, in view of the ugliness that followed my blog post about the egregious guidelines set forth by Words Players in Rochester, Minnesota. It gave me pause, because the hate heaped on this small theater company became extreme, and some saw us, the playwright community, as bullies, which breaks my heart. And yet, having been made privy to some of the tweets and emails that Words Players received, I cede that some of us, sadly, are. Whatever I wanted to come of my post, and whatever did come of it, would have happened without discourse that hideous and hateful. If you saw it, I hope you’d be as embarrassed as I was; they make my original post look like a lecture from Ward Cleaver.
People taking pictures of people: New Orleans
I'm an amateur photographer, I travel a lot so some years ago and I noticed that everywhere I went there was someone taking a photo of someone else. It's part of the human condition and I think it’s fun so I started snapping pictures of people taking pictures.
To help cool you off from the summer sun, here's some photos I took last winter of a ski resort we go to called in southern Virginia called Wintergreen.
To help cool you off from the summer sun, here's some photos I took last winter of a ski resort we go to called in southern Virginia called Wintergreen.
WHY THE WORLD NEEDS EDITORS.....................
Excerpt from my book "No Time to Say Goodbye: Memoirs of a Life in Foster Care.
Two months after the dance, we went home for Christmas vacation. Well, we went back to places where we came from, where people would take us in. St. John’s was our home. Those boys who had no place to go—and there was a fair number of them—stayed at the school.
I was going to my mother’s apartment in Waterbury because my father didn’t step forward and the school didn’t know how to reach him, and Ansonia was closed to me. I had not heard from the Wozniaks or Denny since I had left almost a half a year before.
It was depressing to go to Waterbury, especially from the picturesque Connecticut Valley. It depressed and worried me that I would rather be in the school, a place where I felt alone and abandoned, than in my mother’s slum apartment with its worn paint chipping from the walls. I was an orphan adrift in sea of confusion and apathy.
My mother tried to make my visits pleasant, she really did. She saved up her money and food stamps and made special meals for me that she served with beer. We went to the movies almost every night, our absolutely favorite thing to do. She tried; she really did try. Nevertheless, they were desperately poor people and I was a great expense to them. There was no tree or decorations or special desserts or presents for Christmas. Many years would pass before I had those things again.
But they were sending me off to Waterbury. We were loaded onto the school’s ancient yellow bus, driven down to the tiny train station in Old Saybrook, and given round-trip tickets to our destinations, plus ten dollars in travel money.
I enjoyed the excitement of going home, the quaintness of the Old Saybrook Station and the serenity of the coastline. The cars were jammed with students headed home from all over New England and the atmosphere was filled with guitar music and laughing and excited voices.
But then there was always a connection stopover of at least two or three hours at the Bridgeport station, a frightening and dangerous cavernous old building with ornate marble decorations from an age long past. The main terminal was filled with dozens of wooden benches made for the vast throngs who once passed through there, although the station now was mostly empty, and because of that, every footstep echoed. The few people in the station were soldiers on leave.
The men’s rooms were filled with homosexual hustlers who cruised the station all night. Out in the grand hall were always two or three drunks sprawled out on the benches and one of them had, inevitably, wet himself, so the faint aroma of urine filtered across that part of the station. In other parts of the terminal, ragged men and women rocked back and forth, muttering to themselves.
I sat on a bench close to the door—it seemed safer—and waited for the train to Waterbury. I carried a change of clothes, some extra shoes, and my books in an old army backpack, which was the style in those days.
In my pants pocket I carried my return ticket and the ten-dollar bill the school had given me. Rummaging through the bag I pulled out my worn copy of The Catcher in The Rye. I had already read it several times and intended to read it several more.
I saw a lot of myself in Holden Caulfield. As angry and angst-ridden and insecure as he was, he made sense to me, although at the time I didn’t recognize him as any of those things. I didn’t understand that he was just a boy trying to find his way in a very large world, a boy who would have to give up his fantasy of being the catcher in the rye.
He was all the things my born nature wouldn’t allow me to be: disaffected and its cousins, apathetic, cynical, and disgruntled. But we did share indignation about the world, Holden and I.
I immediately turned to my favorite paragraph and read: What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of a good-bye. I mean I’ve left schools and places I didn't even know I was leaving them. I hate that. I don't care if it's a sad good-bye or a bad good-bye, but when I leave a place I like to know I'm leaving it. If you don't, you feel even worse.
I started to turn the page when I heard a voice call out from somewhere in the station, “Johnny?”
I stood up from the bench looked around the station and spotted Eamon Dalton, my mother’s latest live-in husband. Although I had met Eamon once before on a visit to my mother’s, I didn’t know much about him except that he was another amiable Irishman with a drinking problem. He lived with his immigrant mother until she died, and then he moved in with my mother.
I thought it was interesting that he still collected his mother’s Social Security check years after she had died. His father drank himself to death at an early age, but Eamon’s mother had somehow managed to put him through Catholic schools. His only sister, a grumpy, mean-spirited woman, became a nun, earned a Ph.D., and had a long career as a hospital administrator in Texas.
After he moved in with my mother, he married her in a quickie public ceremony while on a weekend trip to New York. They had a child, my sister Kathleen, a round, happy baby who burst out in joyful song and dance every now and then. Eamon was a proud and doting father to Kathleen when she was an infant, but when he and my mother parted ways after five years together he never saw Kathleen again, although they lived within a few blocks of each other.
Eamon was short, with a solid muscular build, and blessed with a chiseled jaw, bright blue eyes, and a rugged handsomeness affected by his broken nose, which curved slightly to the right. He had the face of a man who had played the game and lost every time. On top of that, he had a natural deficiency in moral fiber.
He had been in the Army in the 1950s, but something had gone wrong and he was discharged. After that, he joined the Merchant Marine and somehow wandered back to Waterbury.
In the entire time I knew Eamon, he never held a job, but he didn’t have to because he knew how to work the welfare system. He knew every scam there was to know, including collecting food stamps and monthly welfare checks not only in Connecticut but also in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He played the system, a system built for fraud, and he played liked it like a violin. It was easy for people like him to cheat. He was charming, talkative, friendly, intelligent, and a born schemer.
“Your mother sent me down to make sure you get up to Waterbury all right,” he said, shaking my hand.
A ridiculously loud voice over the intercom exploded into the air: “New York train on Track One arrives in five minutes.”
We both looked up at the ceiling to find the source of the voice and then Eamon said, “You ever been to New York?”
“No,” I answered, and waved The Catcher in the Rye in the air. “But I’ve been reading about it.”
He took the book from my hand, examined the cover and asked, “What is it, religious?”
“No,” I said, slightly offended. “It’s a about a guy my age who takes a trip alone through New York, a long time ago, in the forties, I think.”
The ridiculously loud voice boomed again: “New York train, Track One, on arrival.”
“Let’s go to New York,” Eamon said.
“What about my mother?” I asked, “She’ll be expecting us.”
“I’ll call down to Shaum’s and somebody will let her know.”
My mother didn’t have a phone. She did have one sometimes, but usually she either spent the money intended to pay for the phone or didn’t pay the bill, and this was one of those times when she hadn’t paid the bill, so messages were left at the local bar, the same place we had gone to as children, located in the center of Main Street in Waterbury, a very busy place in those days. But Shaum’s stood untouched by most passersby as a dark island of drunkenness, a home away from home for white trash. It had an enormous window and an antique glass door that faced the street, but somehow, through some sort of secret pact with Bacchus I suspect, Shaum’s defied the rules of nature, and not a shred of sunlight ever penetrated into its dust-covered spaces.
“New York, Track One,” the voice called again.
“I’ll get the tickets,” Eamon said. “You got any money?”
“Ten bucks,” I said.
“Give it here,” he said, and I quickly dug through my pockets and pulled out the bill and handed it to him. He strutted—Eamon didn’t walk, he strutted, like some sort of Third World dictator— to the ticket window. Tickets in hand, he waved me over.
“Let’s go,” he yelled across the station. He was smiling like a little kid about to be very naughty. When I reached him, I said, “Should we be doing this?
The smile disappeared from his face, his jaw tightened, and without looking at me he said, “You don’t want go, don’t go.”
I was too intimidated to argue and it wasn’t that I didn’t want to go—I did—but the instantaneousness put me off.
“Yeah,” I said. “Let’s go,” and the smile returned to his face.
When our train pulled into Grand Central Station, it was already late afternoon Pointing to my copy of Catcher, I said to Eamon, “This is where Holden left his bags,” and I pointed to the overnight lockers, which were still there in 1970. We walked out of the vastness of the decaying beauty of the station, past the panhandlers, sailors, and bored commuters, and into the warm late-afternoon sun that drenched Forty-second Street.
There is something wonderful and exciting about stepping out in to the hustle and bustle of the streets of Manhattan. It is a sensation that returns every time I go there. I looked around eagerly.
“Where to?” Eamon asked. He seemed indifferent and untouched by the exhilaration of the city, but was instead nervous and leery, shifting his weight from one foot to the other.
“Do you need the bathroom?”
“Naw,” he answered. “Let’s walk someplace.”
It was a beautiful day, just perfect.
“How about the park?” I suggested. “Central Park.”
“All right,” he said. “But it’s a not like a park in Connecticut. Central Park covers twenty or thirty blocks. Where do you want to go there?”
“The zoo.” I said. “Let’s go and see the zoo first. That’s where Holden went.”
Eamon knew the subway system well enough to get us to Fifty-ninth Street and Fifth Avenue, to Central Park South, but the zoo had an entrance fee and we didn’t have any money left, so we skipped that and walked across the park to Broadway.
As always, Eamon was jittery, scoping out the terrain, when he spotted a tavern and said, “Come on,” and I followed him inside. When we opened the dirty, black front door, a solid beam of sunlight burst into the saloon, giving it an unnatural glow. I shut the door quickly. It was one of those wonderful old barrooms—Manhattan was filled with them then, one every few blocks. Most of them are gone now, killed off by escalating real estate prices that drove most of those places out into the boroughs. They were all the same—dark, long, the bar and paneling made of solid wood soaked in decades of spilled beer that gave them an aroma all their own.
At the end of the bar was a brightly lit pinball machine next to the mandatory cigarette machine, and in the center of the bar, pushed up against the wall, was an ancient but beautiful Art Deco juke box that had no doubt been in that same spot since the Second World War.
There was one customer at the bar, a regular, I suspected. He was an older man whose white socks showed above his worn leather shoes, the type a mailman would wear. He and the bartender, a ruddy-faced Irishman, were watching the Yankees game on the television set perched in the far corner about five feet above the bar. On the opposite side of the bar was a series of old wooden booths where a man in a short-sleeved white shirt, the owner I assumed, was engrossed in a ledger. They turned in unison when we walked in, eyed us in that way New Yorkers do, and returned to what they were doing.
I tried to walk farther into the bar, but Eamon nudged me to take a seat in a booth near the entrance. He walked alone to the bar and waited for the bartender to walk down the length of the barroom and take his order.
“What’ll you have?” he asked.
“Two shorties,” Eamon answered, meaning he wanted two small glasses of beer. The bartender looked over at me and asked, “How old is he?”
“How old do you want him to be?”
“He’s eighteen,” Eamon said. “I’m his stepfather.”
The bartender nodded, turned and poured two small glasses of beer, rested them on the bar in front of Eamon, and said, “That’s a buck.”
I watched Eamon hand him a five-dollar bill and then watched the bartender walk lazily down to the enormous antique cash register in the middle of the bar, his eyes glued to the ball game on the TV set. He rang five dollars on the register, walked walk back slowly to Eamon and slapped four one-dollar bills on the bar.
“What’s this?” Eamon asked.
“What?” asked the bartender.
“I gave you a hundred, you give me back four bucks? What are you selling, gold or beer?”
“Now don’t go tryin’ that,” the bartender said with a wry smile. “You give me a fiver; I give four back. Take your drink and sit down.”
“You can kiss my red Mick ass,” Eamon said. “I gave a hundred; now give me my change.”
“Watch your mouth,” the bartender growled. “Where the hell do you think you are, in the gutter you come from?”
“Give me my money. Or there’s gonna be trouble.”
The bartender, a giant bear of a man, laughed.
“Walk out of here,” the bartender said, “while you can still walk.”
“How old are you?” Eamon asked me.
“Fifteen years old,” I said.
Eamon turned back to the bartender and said, “You’re serving minors in here. I can have you shut down, lose your license.”
“You said he was eighteen,” the bartender snapped. “You said you was his grandfather.”
“Uncle,” the customer at the bar said. “I heard you say it, you says he was—I mean you was his—yeah, that’s right, you was his uncle.”
“I never seen this kid before in my life,” Eamon said, and the bar went silent.
“Give him his goddamned money,” the man in the booth said to the bartender.
“Moe, I’m tellin’ ya,” the bartender said, but the man raised his hand and cut him off.
“Give him the money, Lou.”
The bartender glared at Eamon and then turned, walked back to the register, took out a hundred-dollar bill, walked back to Eamon, crumpled the bill into a ball and threw it in his face.
“Now,” the bartender growled, “get out of here, you son of a bitch.”
Eamon lifted his glass, drank down his beer, slowly put the glass down on the bar, wiped his mouth and said, “The beer is warmer than horse piss.”
The bartender screamed, “Son of a bitch!” grabbed a wooden club from under the bar and charged at us. Eamon and I ran from the bar, laughing hysterically, and kept running up Broadway until we reached the edge of Central Park on Columbus Circle.
We sat on the Marines Monument and after I caught my breath I said, “Man, you are incredible, I mean just incredible. A hundred bucks; I can’t believe you got us a hundred bucks.”
I gave the Holden Caulfield story a quick review and said, “The Metropolitan Museum of Art.”
“That’s way the hell up on Eighty-second Street,” he said in weak voice. He didn’t want to go that far. “Why don’t we get a drink and something to eat first?”
“Sure,” I shrugged. “Where?”
“Where would you like to eat?” he asked.
“I don’t care,” I said. “A burger would be good.”
He lowered his chin to his chest, shook his head slowly and then, looking up at me, placed his palm on my shoulder and said, “My boy, whilst in New York, one does not dine on burgers.”
“All right,” I said.
Eamon watched a couple of dozen empty cabs drive by before spotting one driven by an enormously fat man with a crewcut. Waving him down, he turned to me and said, “Just follow my lead.” Opening the back door, he said to the cabbie, “Rockefeller Center—and we’re in a hurry.”
“I can’t do nothing about the traffic, buddy,” the cabby said with the slightest Eastern European accent.
“We’re in a hurry,” Eamon snapped. “Drive.” I looked at him and raised my eyebrows to ask why he was being so difficult, but he raised his hand as a signal to wait.
At Rockefeller Center, hundreds of people were walking in every direction. “Here’s good,” Eamon said to the cabbie, and reached deep into his pocket, signaling me to get out of the cab while he fished for a wallet he didn’t have. Pulling himself out of the cab while still groping in his pocket, he stood on the street and said to the cabbie, “I hope you’re not expecting a tip, because you drove so slow you got us here late.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, big shot,” the cabbie said without looking at him.
“Just for that, you’re not getting the fare, either,” Eamon said, and slamming the car door shut he pushed me into the crowd and down the street until we were in the middle of a crowd of people, all walking very quickly.
I looked back and could see the driver straining himself to get out of the car, his face beet-red and contorted into a snarl. He looked into the crowd for us, gave up, slid back into the cab and drove away.
Eamon put his hand on my shoulder and guided me past Rockefeller Center with the passing mention, “Rock-er-feller Cenna,” and then directed me into a magnificent cocktail lounge where a waiter in a dark suit showed us to a table.
“What’ll you have?” Eamon asked.
“Eamon,” I said. “You’re not going to do that bill exchange trick here, are you?”
He waved me off as he took in the room. “No!” he said. “Wouldn’t dream of doing that here. Go ahead, this is on me.”
I looked over at the waiter, a bald man whose face carried what I assumed was a lifelong expression of disgust and boredom with humanity, and said, “I don’t think they’ll serve me here, Eamon.”
“No, they won’t,” he said. “But they’ll serve me, and I’ll serve you, so what’ll you have?”
“Holden,” I told Eamon, “drinks Scotch. I’d like to have a drink of Scotch.”
“Scotch?” he said with a raised eyebrow. “Scotch tastes like battery acid.”
“I’d like to try it,” I answered, determined to live out the Holden Caulfield dream till the bitter or, in this case, the battery-acid end.
Eamon raised a solitary finger in the air and the waiter approached our table.
“Scotch, rocks,” Eamon said, “and a Coke for my companion.”
The waiter gave the slightest of smiles, turned, and walked away. Eamon watched him and without taking his eyes from him said, loudly, “Put a suit on a monkey and he thinks he’s high-class.”
The waiter heard him. I know he did, because I could see his jaw muscles tighten.
“I’m going to the head,” Eamon announced, and stood up.
“The where?” I asked.
“Head,” he said, and winked at me “Means the bathroom. Old Navy term when the toilets were under the bow of the ship.”
He left and the waiter brought our drinks. I sat there alone, drinking in the grandeur of the place, but only minutes after Eamon left, I spotted him walking back into the lounge and ordering a beer at the bar and telling the barman to run a tab. With beer in hand, he walked back to our table, sat down, and pushed the glass of Scotch in front of me.
“Go ahead,” he said. “Down it before that corpse with the tux comes back.”
I swallowed the drink in one gulp, but the bitter taste threw me into minor convulsions that made Eamon laugh harder than I had seen him laugh before.
“Good Jesus!” I said. “That’s so awful!”
“It’s an acquired taste,” he said, still laughing. “Drink your soda. It will take the taste away.”
The waiter returned and handed us menus, but not like any menus I had ever seen. They were bound in red leather and were about 18 inches high, and the inside pages were deep, rich paper. I recognized some of the items on the menu, but not all of them.
“This is a fancy place,” I whispered to Eamon.
“Get the steak,” he said, tossing aside his menu and snapping his fingers for the waiter, which embarrassed me. I wondered if Eamon was rude to people to intimidate them with his belligerence so he could more easily take advantage of them later.
When the waiter came to the table Eamon all but tossed the menus at him and without lifting an eye to him barked, “Two steaks, very well done, potatoes, no greens, no salad, no appetizers, no dessert. Remember to bring ketchup and fetch me another beer.”
In a valiant effort to save his dignity, the waiter pointed to the glass and asked, “Did you order that beer from the bar?”
Eamon turned to him and without any expression said, “No, I had it with me when I came in.”
Exasperated, the waiter turned and left. Shortly afterwards, two very overdone steaks arrived. I ate mine, but Eamon only pushed his around the plate. He downed three more beers in quick succession and then waved for the check.
“How much is it?” I asked.
“More than we’re going to pay,” he said, without lifting his eyes from the tab.
“Aw shit,” I sighed. “Eamon, look, let’s just pay the damned thing and go in peace.”
“Screw dat,” he said, in that nasal-flat Waterbury accent. I noticed he was angry, but there was nothing to be angry about, and it was staring to dawn on me that Eamon had a screw loose. “Go ask the waiter where the bathroom is. Then leave. Take the elevator to the lobby. I’ll meet you across the street.”
I should have said no, but I was fifteen years old and when Eamon was drunk there was something menacing about him. By then I had learned to tell which men in this world were truly dangerous and which were weren’t, and Eamon was dangerous. I sensed it and trusted my senses. I got up, walked across the dining room and asked the waiter, “Sir, where is the men’s room, please?”
He nodded towards the door and said, “To your right.”
“Thank you,” I said, and walked as slowly as I could because the exit was to the left. But Eamon had picked up on the problem and snapped his fingers for the waiter, who reluctantly left his station and walked towards the table. Eamon asked him where the cigarette machine was, knowing full well it was in the hallway by the exit. I walked toward the door and the sidewalk, scared to death and positive my knees would buckle out from under me, when I felt Eamon’s grip on my elbow.
“Come on,” he yelled. “Run!”
And I ran. I ran as I had never run before, and when I reached the exit door I hit it with such force I was sure it would fly off its hinges. Out on the street we disappeared into the crowd. I was tired of this running out on a tab. It was thievery and I was no thief. I could feel Eamon giving me a side glance, waiting for an approving comment.
“I think that’s enough of that,” I said.
His face flushed red and his jaw tightened. As I had just learned, he was thin-skinned. Eamon could see that he was losing me. He smiled in a way that let me know that he wanted me to see him smiling.
“Let’s go up to that art place you were saying about,” he said, without looking at me.
“The Metropolitan Museum of Art,” I said.
It was a long walk but we made it to the museum. Eamon bounced up the majestic stone steps, spoke to a man at the door, and then bounded back down the steps to where I was standing. “It’s two bucks each to get in,” he said, “and it closes in a half-hour. It’s a waste of money.”
Disappointment must have swept over my face because he asked, “Do you really want to waste a trip to New York looking at art?”
I wouldn’t look at him. I was starting to dislike him, this man-child.
“Okay,” he said. “Where else is in the book you want to go?”
“The Biltmore Hotel,” I said.
“Why?” he asked “That’s for millionaires; they’ll throw us out if we walk in there. The rich are like that. They’re all bastards, the rich.”
“It’s a famous scene in the book,” I answered. “It’s where Holden, the guy in the book, goes to wait for girls under the clock.”
“All the ways up Forty-fourth Street? Just to look at a clock?” he asked with a wince. He was growing tired of the game. “The Biltmore is back up on Forty-fourth Street where we come in at Grand Central. You should have said something when we were there.” He breathed out heavily. “This is New York, they got millions of clocks.”
“All right,” I said. “I’ll tell you what. I’ll go and I’ll meet you someplace in an hour.”
“Naw, screw dat,” he said with a wave of his hand. “I lose you, your mother will kill me.”
I didn’t realize that the Biltmore was such a massive complex of buildings and we wandered around lost, looking for Holden’s clock. Finally, I found a man in a uniform, and pulling my copy of Catcher out of my coat pocket, I began to ask where the clock was. He asked, “You lookin’ for the clock in the story, right?”
“Yeah,” I answered, delighted that he knew.
He directed us to the clock. There were no leather couches or girls with beautiful legs lolling about. It was just a large clock in another ornate lobby in New York. I was not impressed, but Eamon was.
“So that’s it?” he asked, staring up at the clock. He pointed to the bottom of the clock and said “Look where it was made.”
I squinted up at the word in black ink under the number six: “Waterbury.”
“See?” Eamon said with some pride. “All the good stuff comes out of Waterbury.”
It was dark by the time we made it to Times Square, and as bad as Times Square was in those days, it seemed worse in the dark. Times Square was a cesspool of sex shops, hookers, drug addicts and pimps, all silhouetted by garish red and blue street signs that screamed out “XXX Porn” and “Girls! Girls! Girls!”
I followed Eamon around the streets. He seemed to be searching for something.
“What are we looking for?” I asked.
“You wouldn’t know,” he said, and peered into the faces of everyone we passed. Finally, he spotted a thin man, probably a junkie, although I was too young to know that for sure.
“Wait here,” he said, and walked over to the junkie and spoke to him for a few seconds. When he was finished, Eamon tilted his head and said, “Come on.”
We walked across the street to two men, a tall, greasy white guy and a shorter, older Puerto Rican. “Can you fix me up?” Eamon asked him.
“Yeah, yeah, I can fix you up,” the greasy guy said, and then cast a suspicious eye on me. “You cops?”
“No,” Eamon answered.
“’Cause,” added the old guy, “if you are, you gotta say so.”
“No,” I said, “I’m not a cop. I’m fifteen.”
“Fifteen?” the old guy said, checking out my ass. “You just chicken then, huh?”
“What?” I asked.
“How about your pretty young friend here?” the greasy guy asked Eamon. “We can fix him up, too.”
“Naw,” he said. “He’s along for the ride.”
The old man pointed to a doorway and said, “Come on in here.”
We followed them through the door, which opened to a long, dark, narrow wooden staircase. We stopped at the top and Eamon handed the man our hundred-dollar bill and said, “Gimme one hit now, three for to go.”
“Eamon,” I said, “We need money for the train back.”
“Yeah, yeah, I got it covered.”
They handed Eamon four tiny white tightly-wrapped pieces of paper holding the dope. Eamon pushed three of them into his front pocket and handed one back to the tall greasy guy and said, “Fix me.”
The older man took out a small white candle in a tin holder and a filthy spoon, and the greasy guy opened the white package of dope and carefully poured the contents into the spoon. He lit the candle and let the dope cook for a minute. The older man took out a rag hidden in his belt under his shirt, unwrapped it, and produced a syringe. He sucked up the dope into it and handed it to Eamon. Eamon was sitting on a windowsill and focusing on tying a thin rubber band around his arm, but he lifted one eye to the man and shook his head.
The greasy guy turned to me and, smiling a creepy smile, asked anyway, “You want a fix, baby? I’ll treat you good.”
“No,” I said but it barely came out as whisper because I was transfixed watching Eamon sticking the needle into his arm. His face was twisted into a frantic snarl, he was baring his front teeth, and I was scared. The whole thing, the whole picture, was as frightening as it was ugly and it was violent too, one of the most violent things I have ever seen, before or since.
I was no Holden Caulfield, and this was no goddamn novel. The only thing Holden and I had in common was our numbness to the pain of it all and both our lives were in crisis. We had no one in our lives who loved us enough to lift us out of that pain, the pain we pretended wasn’t there. The difference was that Holden could never fall off the deep end, not permanently anyway. His parents and his money would see to that, but I saw what could very much be my future, a man with a needle in his arm, and I panicked.
Once the dope hit Eamon, he was quiet. His mouth was open slightly and he closed his eyes every so often and gazed around the room and then repeated the process.
“Youse can’t stay here,” the old guy said to me, and, tilting his head to Eamon, he said, “You gotta go.”
I took Eamon by the arm, but he pulled it away, mumbled something hostile, got up and walked toward the street. As I started to follow him, the greasy guy put his arm through mine, leaned in much too close to my face and whispered, “You ever down in the city again, come around, see me, ax people for me. I’m Pedro; they call me Petey. I’m always around here.”
I pulled away and Eamon yelled over his shoulder, “Red Cross?”
“Down Forty-ninth Street,” the old guy said. “Near, like, I think, Tenth Avenue.”
When we walked out on to the sidewalk a glittery darkness had fallen over Times Square. I felt sick and tired and I wanted to leave.
“Let’s go home, Eamon,” I said, trying to sound as defeated as I felt. I had learned what everyone learns about New York: That it is the most sophisticated and the most senseless place in the entire world.
“You gonna walk?” he snapped in with a sarcastic, tired tone. He was walking very rapidly and I was losing him in the crowd when he suddenly came to a complete halt and collapsed on a doorstep, too high to take another step. His eyes were half closed and he was slowly nodding as if in complete agreement with a conversation only he could hear. We sat there in silence for an hour, watching the freak show stroll by, when Eamon said, “Where’s the Red Cross?”
“The guy said on Forty-ninth Street, near Tenth Avenue,” I said, but before I was finished Eamon walked down the street without me. I walked behind him, up Broadway to Forty-ninth, until we came to the Red Cross station where they paid ten dollars for a pint of blood.
“Wait here,” Eamon said, and he entered the Red Cross station. A while later, he came out and handed me a soggy tuna sandwich.
“Tuna,” he slurred. “They give it to you when you give blood.”
The sandwich looked as if it had been through hell and back, but I hadn’t eaten in a while and was very hungry and scarfed it down. Eamon handed me the ten bucks from the Red Cross and said, “You walk down this street until you get to Eighth Avenue, and hang a right and keep walking until you see the Port Authority building, and grab the bus back to Waterbury. The fare is seven bucks.”
That was all so very long ago. After that trip Eamon entered and left our lives regularly until one time he left to go to the corner store and never came back. Kathleen missed him the most. She was six or seven years old and she adored her father. I certainly didn’t miss him. You only miss people when you are completely convinced that they have value and I saw no value in Eamon.
I was disappointed in my trip to find Holden Caulfield, but over time and with perspective, when you’re ready, you can find a reward even in the worst of regrets. There was no shame in searching for Holden, no loss, and in some ways that’s as good as a triumph because it left so many unalterable images in my mind and one more story to tell.
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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.
From Professor William Anthony Connolly
This incredible memoir, No Time to Say Goodbye, tells of entertaining angels, dancing with devils, and of the abandoned children many viewed simply as raining manna from some lesser god.
The young and unfortunate lives of the Tuohy bruins—sometimes Irish, sometimes Jewish, often Catholic, rambunctious, but all imbued with Lion’s hearts— is told here with brutal honesty leavened with humor and laudable introspective forgiveness.
The memoir will have you falling to your knees thanking that benevolent Irish cop in the sky, your lucky stars, or hugging the oxygen out of your own kids the fate foisted upon Johnny and his siblings does not and did not befall your own brood.
John William Tuohy, a nationally-recognized authority on organized crime and Irish levity, is your trusted guide through the weeds the decades of neglect ensnared he and his brothers and sisters, all suffering for the impersonal and often mercenary taint of the foster care system.
Theirs, and Tuohy’s, story is not at all figures of speech as this review might suggest, but all too real and all too sad, and maddening. I wanted to scream. I wanted to get into a time machine, go back and adopt every last one of them. I was angry. I was captivated.
The requisite damning verities of foster care are all here, regretfully, but what sets this story above others is its beating heart, even a bruised and broken one, still willing to forgive and understand, and continue to aid its walking wounded. I cannot recommend this book enough
HERE'S PLEASANT POEM FOR YOU TO ENJOY................
In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus One Day
In a prominent bar in Secaucus one day
Rose a lady in skunk with a topheavy sway,
Raised a knobby red finger–all turned from their beer–
While with eyes bright as snowcrust she sang high and clear:
‘Now who of you'd think from an eyeload of me
That I once was a lady as proud as could be?
Oh I'd never sit down by a tumbledown drunk
If it wasn't, my dears, for the high cost of junk.
‘All the gents used to swear that the white of my calf
Beat the down of the swan by a length and a half.
In the kerchief of linen I caught to my nose
Ah, there never fell snot, but a little gold rose.
‘I had seven gold teeth and a toothpick of gold,
My Virginia cheroot was a leaf of it rolled
And I'd light it each time with a thousand in cash–
Why the bums used to fight if I flicked them an ash.
‘Once the toast of the Biltmore, the belle of the Taft,
I would drink bottle beer at the Drake, never draught,
And dine at the Astor on Salisbury steak
With a clean tablecloth for each bite I did take.
‘In a car like the Roxy I'd roll to the track,
A steel-guitar trio, a bar in the back,
And the wheels made no noise, they turned ever so fast,
Still it took you ten minutes to see me go past.
‘When the horses bowed down to me that I might choose,
I bet on them all, for I hated to lose.
Now I'm saddled each night for my butter and eggs
And the broken threads race down the backs of my legs.
‘Let you hold in mind, girls, that your beauty must pass
Like a lovely white clover that rusts with its grass.
Keep your bottoms off barstools and marry you young
Or be left–an old barrel with many a bung.
‘For when time takes you out for a spin in his car
You'll be hard-pressed to stop him from going too far
And be left by the roadside, for all your good deeds,
Two toadstools for tits and a face full of weeds.'
All the house raised a cheer, but the man at the bar
Made a phone call and up pulled a red patrol car
And she blew us a kiss as they copped her away
From that prominent bar in Secaucus, N.J.
X. J. Kennedy (born 21 August 1929, Dover, New Jersey, USA as Joseph Charles Kennedy) is a poet, translator, anthologist, editor, and author of children's literature and textbooks on English literature and poetry. He was long known as Joe Kennedy; but, wishing to distinguish himself from Joseph P. Kennedy, he added an "X" as his first initial.
In his youth, under the name Joe Kennedy, he was an active member of science fiction fandom and published well-regarded fanzines, including Vampire (a quarterly, 1945–47) and the Vampire Annuals. He was a member of several amateur press associations, and co-founded the still-extant Spectator Amateur Press Association (SAPS). During this period he began writing science fiction for pulp magazines.
Kennedy taught English at the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Tufts University (1963–78), with visiting professorships at Wellesley[disambiguation needed], UC-Irvine, and Leeds.
In the early 1970s Kennedy and his wife Dorothy co-edited the influential journal, Counter/Measures, a precursor in the New Formalist movement to The Reaper and The Formalist. He also served as poetry editor of The Paris Review. Kennedy's poetry has been published in The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Hudson Review. He became a freelance writer in 1978.
Kennedy is most recognized for his light verse, and was the first recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Michael Braude Award for Light Verse. His first book, Nude Descending a Staircase, won the 1961 Lamont Poetry Prize of the Academy of American Poets, and his dozens of books have won awards including Guggenheim and National Arts Council[disambiguation needed] fellowships, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry magazine, and a Los Angeles Times Book Award for poetry (in 1985 for Cross Ties: Selected Poems), the 1969/70 Shelley Memorial Award, the Golden Rose of the New England Poetry Club, honorary degrees from Lawrence and Adelphi Universities and Westfield State College. Kennedy received the National Council of Teachers of English Year 2000 Award for Excellence in Children's Poetry. He received the 2004 Poets' Prize for his work, The Lords of Misrule: Poems 1992-2002. Kennedy accepted the Poetry Society of America’s Robert Frost Medal for lifetime service to poetry in 2009.
Kennedy also wrote a series of children's poetry books ("Brats"), translated Aristophanes' Lysistrata into English and edited the anthology Tygers of Wrath: Poems of Hate, Anger, and Invective (University of Georgia Press, 1981). Kennedy edited several editions of the textbook anthology Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. With his wife Dorothy and scholar Jane E. Aaron he is the editor of The Bedford Reader, a collegiate literature textbook also used for teaching to the AP English Language and Composition test. Kennedy and his wife Dorothy have five children and six grandchildren, and reside in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Roger Grows Up
As dyed-in-the-wool members of the old Valley Gang, the older Touhy boys learned the dark arts of burglary, daylight holdups and labor extortion, at which they excelled. There is a story that became underworld legend, how one stormy night in 1909, Patrolman James Touhy was walking his beat when he confronted his eldest son, Jimmy leaving Paddy the Bear's saloon with a burglar's bag over his shoulder. The normally quick-tempered Touhy remained uncharacteristically calm.
"Open the bag," his father said.
When the young man did as he was told, out rolled burglary tools and a bottle of nitroglycerin- an explosive used on difficult safes around the turn of the century. The elder Touhy cuffed his son and then called a paddy wagon to have the boy taken to the station to be booked.
"You book him,"he told the cop behind the desk. "It's bad enough to arrest my own son without going to court to testify against him."
Nothing good came from the Touhy boys. In 1917 Jimmy Touhy was killed in a botched robbery attempt. His brother, Joe Touhy was killed in a freak shooting ten years later. Brother John tracked down Joe's killer and murdered him, only to die of consumption in the state prison several years later. Tommy Touhy, the second eldest and most fearless and feared of the lot, grew to be a ruthless outlaw who well deserved his nickname 'Terrible Touhy." By 1919, Tommy was one of Chicago's leading hoods.
With poverty and crime on the rise in the Valley, James Touhy gave up on his elder sons, and, early in the summer of 1908, he moved his daughters, Eleanor and Eileen, and ten-year old son Roger to the tiny village of Downer's Grove. The village had been created only seventy-five years earlier, taking its name from a New Englander, Pierce Downer, who settled on what had been the crossing of two ancient Indian trails.
In Downer's Grove, Roger became a better-than- average baseball player and an above-average student. In general it was a pleasant time in his life. "It was a good enough boyhood," he remembered. "I played baseball and raised the usual amount of the devil and got teased because my hair was curley. [sic] If I had anything to gripe about, I didn't realize it, because the other boys didn't have any more than I did, generally speaking."
He took up ham operations as a hobby and built his own set at home and learned the international code. He attended St. Joseph's Roman Catholic church and school while the parish was still being run out of a hall over the top of the Des Plains hardware shop.
Since the family was strapped for cash, Roger worked around the parish as a handyman and assistant to the parish priest and its first pastor, Father Eneas Goodwin. Roger's duties included serving mass as an altar boy and accompanying the priest as his driver in a rented horse buggy on his twice weekly rounds. "At whatever house we stopped there would be refreshments-apple pies, lemonade, thick sandwiches, salads, pickles, ice cream. Father waved the food away, but I ate fit to bust a gut....In the church there was a big oil painting of the Last Supper. Father Goodwin explained it to me, saying that a man called Judas had betrayed Jesus Christ for thirty pieces of silver. A thing like that can have a remarkable influence on a kid. I began thinking of Judas as a stool pigeon, a word I knew as did all youngsters. While sweeping up the church and dusting the pews I would stop and look for a long time at the painting. I picked out the face of a man I figured was Judas, and I would stand there hating him."
In 1915 Roger Touhy graduated from the eighth grade as class valedictorian and, as did many boys his age at that time, went job hunting and tried to land a position as an international wireless radio operator. However, his youth (he was only thirteen) kept him out of that line. Instead, he worked as an office boy and stock room clerk. He later took another position as a cookie taster in a biscuit bakery.
He was a determined adolescent and in 1915, the year his father retired from the Chicago police force, Roger lied about his age and managed to land a position with Western Union for twelve dollars a week. Of his age Touhy said, "...it was easy to get by. My hair was gray at the sides of my head (maybe I worried as an infant) before I got out of knee pants and every day I would have a five o'clock shadow by lunch time." He became the manager of a little residential section branch office and considered himself "a real big dealer."
Western Union taught Touhy the Morse code which was easy enough since he already had experience. He was moved to a main office in midtown as an operator where he ran a book-making operation on the side. He even took the occasional bet from his father, of whom he said, "...[h]e liked to play the horses. He would bet fifty cents or one or two bucks on a race when he had the cash to spare. And now I was in a position to be his personal tout. The stable owners, trainers and jockey would send messages on the chances of their horses over the wires. I tipped off my father."
Touhy continues, "A really important thing happened to me-back then in 1915-was that a darkhaired Irish girl went to work for Western Union in the company branch office in Chicago's finest hotel- the Blackstone. She was fresh out of telegraph school. From the main office I sent the Blackstone's messages to her and received the ones she transmitted back. She sent better than she copied, but she wasn't good at either. I tried to help her."
Her name was Clara Morgan. She was just sixteen and six years later Touhy would marry her. Clara worked the four-to-midnight shift, and since Touhy worked the day shift he would drop by to see her and eventually to walk her home. They were normally accompanied by one of Clara's co-workers, Emily Ivins who years later would be an instrumental witness to Touhy's innocence on kidnapping charges.
Sometime in 1916, Touhy became involved with the Commercial Telegraphers Union (C.T.U.) of America which was trying to organize the Western Union and Postal Telegraph Company. According to Touhy, during one of his breaks, he walked into the men's smoking lounge and read one of the union pamphlets that had been scattered across the room by organizers. Someone reported him to the management who called him in for interrogation. They asked Touhy if he was a union member, if he was acquainted with any union members and would he be willing to provide their names. Touhy said he wasn't a member, he didn't know any members and if he did he wouldn't give out their names. "So," one of the managers asked, "you intend to take a union card?"
Touhy replied "maybe" and was fired on the spot.
I should have lied to that superintendent," he wrote. "Honesty was my downfall."
That evening an organizer for the C.T.U. came to Touhy's house and told him that he was already blacklisted within the telegraph industry. Touhy didn't believe him and applied for work with the Associated Press which needed telegraph operators. They refused to take his application. He describes the incident saying, "I could have been a bearded Bolshevik with a bomb under my coat."
So he became a union organizer, probably the only job he could find in the only business he knew anything about.
One of the first things Touhy did was to forge the names of ten Western Union employee-informants on union application membership cards and give them to one of the secretaries in the union's office who Touhy suspected of being a plant.
Among the names he provided to her was the Western Union employee who had turned him in to management for reading union literature. The next day all of the people named on the fake application cards were fired and the secretary was terminated.
It was at this point that Touhy would meet some of the legends of labor organizing.
'Their faces" Roger wrote, "were scar tissued from fighting hired strike breakers on picket lines. Their skulls were creased from bumping their heads on the tops of police paddy wagons. Their knuckles sometimes were driven halfway up to their wrists from past impacts."
One of the legends he met was Con Shea who was "an erudite character who delighted in using fancy words."
One evening over a beer he taught the young Touhy that "a divided septum is an occupational hazard of the profession of union organizing." Touhy said, "I nodded wisely not wanting to appear dumb. I learned later that he was talking about a busted nose."
Shea should have known about broken noses. He, along with "Big Frenchy" Mader, "Big Tim" Murphy and "Dapper" Dan McCarthy (a professional gunner later employed by Johnny Torrio) all but created the great Chicago Building Trades War of 1922. During the war-and it was a war by all definitions-Shea and the others worked both sides of the fence, for labor and for management, bombing both sides equally. The war ended when Big Frenchy Mader walked into the union hall with a machine gun and declared himself President and owner of the Building Trades Council. At that point there were so few people left that no one opposed him. Six years later, Shea's co-terrorist, Big Tim Murphy was gunned down during the violent Republican pineapple primary of 1928, so-called because of the throwing of bombs. By 1929, Shea, who had been a bomber for the Teamsters since he was sixteen, was now an old man taking any job he could find.
Roger soon tired of organizing; the hours were long, the pay was low and often the work was brutal and dangerous. Except for a still-blossoming romance with Clara Morgan, Roger had nothing to hold him in Chicago, and, like thousands of young men before him, he headed out west to make his fortune. He left Chicago for St. Paul, but he was unable to find work. Touhy describes his plight, "[I was] dead broke. I bummed my way out of the city aboard a freight train."
Eventually, Roger found work as a telegraph operator for various railroads and commercial houses as he made his way out west. During his travels he worked as an operator for the Union Pacific Railroad, then as a telegraph operator and later as a brakeman on the Northwestern Railroad. Finally he accepted a position as a telegrapher for $185 a month on the Denver & Rio and Grand Railroad and was sent out west by the company, often to Colorado, with most of his time spent in Eagle County.
It was here in Eagle where he befriended Clyde Nottingham, who was said to be the meanest cowboy in the region if not in the state. A giant of a man with a short temper, Nottingham grew up in the rough and tumble world of mining camps. He was a man beset with endless personal problems, and he acted as the local bully. 'When he wanted something," a relative noted, 'he just took it."
In 1899, Clyde married Tillie Samuelson. They had three children, a daughter Lola and twin sons, Harold and Clyde Jr. Harold, who was said to have been a bright child, died at age two, after a week's illness, and Clyde Jr. died in infancy.
Clyde had moved to the area from Iowa at the age of seven. Like his father, teamster William Henry Nottingham, he was known to be mean to the bone. Both men were known to threaten with death anyone that dared cross them.
In 1904, Clyde Nottingham beat and threatened to kill a depot agent named H.G. Comstock and then ordered him out of town. A few days later the clerk spotted Nottingham walking toward him, pulled out a revolver and fired three shots. Comstock failed to kill him but did manage to cut a hole through his pants and give him flesh wounds in two other places. A trial was held, but the jury, knowing Nottingham's reputation, acquitted the depot agent, who left town that same day. A while later Nottingham was arrested for beating up another depot agent-the one Roger Touhy replaced.
Several days after arriving in town Roger Touhy-the five-foot four-inch, ninety-eight-pound kid from Chicago's Valley who never backed down- met Nottingham, the giant rancher with the quick fists.
Roger remembered Nottingham: "I got my first warning of western bad-man danger when a local merchant told me, 'You won't be here long, sonny, we got a rancher, Clyde Nottingham, who runs depot agents out of town. He carries a gun. Guess he don't like you depot agent dudes.'"
He continues, "It was cold that first night in Eagle and I had the stove red hot as I jiggled the telegraph key, handling the freight car, stock car and personnel messages. The waiting room door opened and in came a big man in cowboy clothes and a sheepskin coat. He spat on the potbellied stove.
"I walked to the ticket window, looked out and saw the caller was carrying a .45. He didn't look pleasant, but damned if he was going to run me out of town. 'Mr.,' I asked. He nodded and I said 'Mr. Nottingham anytime you want to spit on the stove go right ahead. But come back the next day after the stove cools and polish it. I ain't going to do it.'"
Remarkably an agreement was reached. Touhy agreed to put Nottingham's letters on the late train and in turn, Nottingham agreed to stop spitting in Touhy's fire. This was the beginning of what Touhy would deem "a fine friendship." Touhy was invited to spend time at Nottingham's ranch with his family. Touhy admits this gave him a "sense of belonging," which he appreciated.
Spending his free time at Nottingham's three- hundred-acre ranch, complete with stream, lake and seven bedroom house, Roger learned big game hunting and horseback riding. He became a better-than- average marksman and acquired his life-long obsession with fishing.
Roger left Eagle after a two-year stay and in 1918 enlisted in the Navy and was eventually stationed at Harvard University where he worked as a wireless operator and taught officers the Morse code.
'The Navy," as Roger liked to point out, "gave grounds for me, a boy from the eighth grade to say honestly to cops, bootleggers, convicts, prison guards and interviewers, 'I've been to Harvard.'"
Opting for an early out with the Navy Reserve, Roger was back in Chicago by 1919, living with his father in suburban Franklin Park and dating Clara Morgan, having kept in touch with her through long letters from Colorado and later from Boston. There was talk of marriage, but Roger set off for the west again, landing in Drummund, Oklahoma where the oil business was in full boom and fortunes were being made overnight.
"I didn't know any more about the oil business then a mink knows about sex hygiene, but I could learn....The Sinclair Oil people, in a moment of laxity hired me as a scout. The experience I had in that line was confined to watching silent western movies in which army scouts killed Indians,"says Tuohy.
Actually the position he filled was as a driver to the world famous geologist Dick Raymond who had been brought in to determine which wildcat wells were producing the most oil and from that, decide which land was worth leasing. "There was nothing," he wrote "against my buying leases that Raymond recommended."
Learning everything he could about the oil business from Raymond, Roger took $1,000 out of his savings and purchased a 150-acre site that Drummond recommended. Within a month, he resold the lease for a 200 percent profit. He repeated the process twenty times in one year. Of that time Touhy said, "[I] never lost on any of them...the money was good, but I was a guy who liked the city. And my mind was on the girl at the telegraph key in the Blackstone Hotel."
He returned to Chicago with $25,000, a respectable fortune in 1920, "and,"he liked to point out, "it had taken me less than a year to earn it."
Excerpt from my book “On the Waterfront: The Making of a Great American Film”
“Every great work of art has two faces, one toward its own time and one toward the future, toward eternity.” Daniel Barendoim
"When we were done,” Kazan said, “I knew we had a pretty good film, but I wasn't absolutely sure what we had"
What they had was a masterpiece. They had created was, arguably, the greatest American film ever made. The essence of Waterfront’s success was the essence of success for the decades other big film, Marty (1955) a wonderful, timeless love story about acceptance and change. Each film was directed by artists interested in telling a small, interesting and well-written story, which introduced new faces to the screen and were filled with emotional intensity that the average filmgoer could understand.
The Post War socially conscious writers and directors wanted a less escapist production and to distance themselves from the quickly dying old authoritarian studios. While Sam Spiegel, Kazan, Schulberg and Brando were ultimate Hollywood insiders, the circumstances of the films birth allowed the creative personnel more autonomy even under the strict filming schedule.
They had created a “message film” that relied on field research, a film based on living, otherwise unromantic people, a film determined to show the underbelly of the rising cost of organized crime in America and its effect on the working man. The finished product sounded different, it looked different and it was not Hollywood.
Waterfront set the new standard for the genre of co-operative New York style filmmaking. Kazan used method actors and redefined the masculine role in film presenting a hero drenched in self-doubt. The film innovation and daring would influence an entire generation of filmmakers and actors.
Waterfronts stars, particularly Malden, Cobb and Brando, who came out of Kazan's Method acting school, turned the world of film on its ear and acting on the big screen would never be the same again. The movies realism, told through the script, the cinematography and the acting, leaped out at the viewers. The dreariness of the distant New York docks, the haggard faces of the laborers created bleakness
that gave the film a sense of alienation and realism rarely captured on the screen.
On the Waterfront opened in October of 1954 at the Astor Theater to sensational reviews and grossed over $9.5 million in its initial release. By later blockbuster standards, it seems like a paltry figure. By way of comparison, in that year, a loaf of bread cost 15 cents, a gallon of gas 21 cents and a new, three-bedroom home in the suburbs sold just under $22,000
On the second day of its low-key premier, three hundred people lined up for the first showing at 9:00 AM. The line made the afternoon papers. The film was barely mentioned. Kazan left his Manhattan hotel room and walked down to the Astor to see crowds lined up to see his film. He noticed that most of the ticket holders in line were the types not normally attracted to his films, working people and "tough guys"
Even Spiegel stopped complaining when the film started to catch on with the youth market. Kazan and Schulberg were astounded by the public’s reaction to the film. They went over it time and again and were never able to conclude exactly what was about the film that made it so magnificent. The only person involved with the film who was not surprised at its instant success was the increasingly despondent Father Corridan who said that the film’s success was what God wanted.
When Waterfront started to rain cash, the lawsuits followed. The first from Anthony (Tony Mike) de Vincenzo, whom Kazan and Brando had based the model of the character of Terry Malloy on. De Vincenzo sued Columbia Pictures and Sam Spiegel for $ 1,000,000 for invading his right to privacy. He won a small settlement. Frank Sinatra sued next, for $500,000, followed by the Siodmak suit and the precursory suits from several dock workers’ unions under the ILA because they felt that the film depicted the honor of its locals.
When the Oscars nominations were announced, On the Waterfront was named for eight awards in total. The nominations included Best Picture, Best Actor (Brando), (Best Actress went to Grace Kelly in "The Country Girl") Best Supporting Actress (Saint), (Best Supporting Actor went to Edmond O'Brien in "The Barefoot Contessa") Best Director (Kazan), Best Story & Screenplay (Schulberg), Best Editing, Best Cinematography (Kaufman actually won for Best Black and White Cinematography, color went to Milton Krasner for "Three Coins In The Fountain") and Best Art Direction-Black & White. (Richard Day) Nominated but not winning were Malden, Cobb and Steiger-each for Best Supporting Actor and Leonard Bernstein for Best Music.
Only Gone with the Wind and From here to Eternity, at that point, had matched Waterfront in the number of nominations.
At the 1955 Golden Globes Award, the film took Best Motion Picture, Drama, Best Director, Best Motion Picture Actor, Drama (Brando)
Best Cinematography, Black and White (Boris Kaufman)
At the 1954 New York Film Critics Circle, the picture took Best Film
Best Director, Best Actor (Brando) and at the 1954 National Board of Review, it took Best Picture, for the 1955 Directors Guild of America the film won Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures
And Best Assistant Director (Charles H. Maguire)
The 1955 Writers Guild of America awarded the film with Best Written America Drama, Screen (Budd Schulberg)
At the 1954 Venice Film Festival, it took the Italian Film Critics Award (Kazan) and the Silver Lion (Kazan) and was nominated for the Golden Lion (Elia Kazan)
At the 1955 British Film and TV awards, the film took Best Foreign Actor (Brando) and nomination for Best Film from Any Source and
Most Promising Newcomer (Eva Marie Saint)
Bernstein’s score was nominated but his competition was fierce.
"The Oscars" Schulberg wrote "and the unexpected box-office success were sweet revenge on the studio's that had turned us down"
When the film was released and we realized to our amazement we had a hit on our hands, and critics were beginning to mention it as having an outside chance for some Oscars, Marlon piped up on the West Coast by saying he thought the whole Oscar thing was ridiculous. ``Actors don’t need awards, they just need the satisfaction of doing a job,” he said. The two Dragon-ladies at the Hollywood Gates, Louella Parsons of the Hearst papers and Hedda Harper of the Los Angeles Times, teed off on Marlon. ``If that’s the way he feels about our cherished Oscars, he doesn’t deserve your votes, etc.” Kazan and I, and Spiegel, were worried…..the last thing we needed was Marlon turning the Academy against us. Spiegel and Kazan had an idea. Brando was now very fond of Roger Donoghue and he seemed to like me. So why don’t we fly out to Hollywood and try to persuade Marlon to stop baiting Louella and Hedda. So out we went and our appeal to Marlon was basic: Marlon was an underdog man. He had always identified with the oppressed. With the native Americans and with the blacks, he with ``the people” under the heel of tyrants and the ruling class. Well our movie was an underdog, a movie made in the east on a pressing social theme that no big studio wanted to touch. Were there underdogs any more under than the longshoremen being kicked around by the mob? Those men, whom he had met and admired, were rooting for our picture. They felt it could actually help them bring about their much hoped for reforms on the dock. Marlon listened. We weren’t asking him to go out and campaign for our picture or for himself, we told him, all we asked to do was just shut up and not provoke Louella and Hedda. But now Marlon swung 180 degrees in our direction. He offered to come with us to the Foreign Critics Association Golden Globe Awards that preceded and sometimes set the tone for the Oscars. He came resplendent in his tux and charmed everybody” 72
As for Eva Marie Saint’s Oscar nomination that had been a ploy by the producers, who wrongly assumed she would not get the award, but the publicity would be good.
After Waterfront’s success and nominations, Schulberg wrote a piece for the Times and retold the story of how Zanuck had turned the picture down. The following morning he was attacked by a long, drawn out telegram from Zanuck explaining how deeply hurt he was over the piece and felt that at the least, Schulberg and Kazan should have thanked him for his contributions to the film.
The ceremonies were held at the magnificent Pantages Theater in Los Angeles on March 30, 1955, at 7:30 PM, with simulcast from NBC studios in New York. The hosts were Bob Hope and Thelma Ritter. Brando dressed in a tuxedo and looking bewildered, arrived with his secretary, agent, business manager, Aunt and his father, who quickly became lost in the crowd sending the star into a small panic.
Rod Steiger, nominated for Best Supporting Actor, showed up with his date, Best Supporting Actress nominee, Katy Jurado, who was dressed in a flaming red Dior gown, which sprouted four enormous red roses across the neckline.
A pregnant Eva Marie Saint was in New York at the NBC studios with Karl Malden. She would follow up her role in Waterfront in the 1957 drama, A Hatful of Rain, which dealt with the then sensitive issue of drug addiction, followed by a role in Hitchcock's film North by Northwest in 1959 with Cary Grant and with Paul Newman in Otto Preminger's Exodus in 1960.
Brando took the stage and announced Best Director, Elia Kazan. After he presented the award, Brando walked behind stage for a smoke. When he attempted to return to the theater a member of the Warner Brothers Security Force, who demanded to see his identification, stopped him.
“But I’m Marlon Brando” the actor said
“Yeah and I’m Humphrey Bogart” said the guard “Let’s see some ID”
Karl Malden announced that On the Waterfront had won Best Picture and an emotional Budd Schulberg, toasted his father "Because of my old man, this little fellow gives me an added kick tonight"
Kazan accepted his Oscar from New York, placing it face down when he made his acceptance speech. "I was tasting vengeance that night and enjoying it. On the Waterfront was my own story; every day I worked on that film, I was telling the world where I stood and my critics to go fuck themselves" 73
Years later, Kazan amended the statement “A New York picture," Kazan recalled, "made inexpensively by a lot of people like Sam Spiegel, who was a clown, and I, who was persona non grata, and Budd who wasn't anything much then either. The fact that we beat them all was a great pleasure to me.” 74 Before the Best Actor award was announced, actor William Holden, who had not been permitted to make an acceptance speech when he won Best Actor the year before, took the stage and said, "As I was going to say last year..."
Bette David, who would present Best Actor, strode on to the stage dressed in what one paper called "a sort of jeweled space helmet and matching shoes”
The two nominees, Bing Crosby, the strong favorite who was accompanied by his 21 years old date, and Brando, were sitting within inches of each other, but had not spoken.
As the winner was called, Brando chewed gum and looked half-asleep. When his name was called, he took the gum out of his mouth, stuck it on his chair, shook Crosby's hand "Congratulations" said "Thanks" replied Marlon who walked to the stage.
As he watched his sun run up the stairs to the stage, Brando father turned to the person sitting next to him and said, "You know, he's a good boy"
Brando’s acceptance speech was brief. "Thank you very much. Uh, it's much heavier than I imagined. Uh, I, uh, I had something to say and uh, I can't remember what I, uh, was going to say for the life of me. I don't think that, uh, every in my life have so many people been so directly responsible for my being so very, very glad. It's a wonderful moment and a rare one and I am certainly indebted. Thank you."
When the show was over, Brando and Best Actress award winner Grace Kelly posed for photographs. Brando nervously fumbled with a cigarette, crushing it out when a cameraman asked him to put his arm around Kelly, which he did. A photographer yelled out for Brando to kiss Kelly, which he did, twenty times and then went around the room kissing all of the women including gossip writer Hedda Hooper. Recognizing her, he stepped back and then shook her hand.
At a post-Oscar party at his agent’s house, Brando sat on a couch and sipped champagne from a coffee mug until he fell asleep. Eventually Brando simply lost the Oscar from Waterfront. Many years later, it reappeared at an auction house in London. Brando protested its sale and the item was removed from the block, however, he never got the Oscar back. The person who had placed it up for sale had it in his possession and insisted that Brando had given it to him.
HERE IS AN EXCEPT FROM MY BOOK "THE BOOK OF AMERICAN-JEWISH GANGSTERS"
(Max Zellner is a pen name, it was my grandfather's born name. During World War 1 he changed it to the less German sounding Paul Selner)
Arnold Rothstein, Max “Kid Twist” Zwerbach of the Eastman gang and Johnny Torrio are born.
Monk Eastman is born in Brooklyn, NY.
January 17, Arnold Rothstein is born in NYC
Max "Kid Twist" Zwerbach is born.
May 13, Big Jack Zelig is born on the Lower East Side.
Jacob Riis publishes, How the Other Half Lives, exposing the wretched living conditions of people in the slums of New York City.
Mobster Joey Zucker, a mob Liaison, is born
Abe Zwillman is born in New York
Eddie Vogel, future Chicago mobster and gambler is born in Illinois
Jack Guzik's father was naturalized on November 5, 1898. His sons Jake and Harry would go on to become Chicago’s leading pimps for four decades.
Willie Bioff is born. Monk Eastman, of the East Gang, claims all of the East Side of Manhattan as his territory. This eventually causes a war between the Eastman’s and Paul Kelly’s Five Pointers
The Eastman’s claim their membership at 1,100
Joseph “Doc” Stacher is born. Meyer Lansky is born on July 4th
Backed up by the might of the Monk Eastman gang, the Cherry Hill gang and the Whyos, now under the command of Billy The Brute Sanger, begin armed warfare. Hundreds take part in pitched battles in the middle of the city. Petty crime increases 50%
In August, a gun battle erupts between the Eastman’s and the Five Pointers after the Five Points try to take over a struss (card) game. Over 100 thugs take part in the battle that follows. Tammany is forced to step in and demand that Eastman and Paul Kelly (of the Five Pointers) make peace. The truce ends after a barroom brawl breaks out in a Bowery bar. Tammany has to step in again and threatens to withdraw police protection from the gangs of they don’t cooperate.
Future mobsters Sam Levine (of Brooklyn) and David Berman (of the Las Vegas syndicate) are born
September 16, The Eastman Gang goes on a shooting and stabbing rampage through the Lower East Side over a five hour period, leaving one man dead and dozens injured. Eastman is arrested but charges are dropped due to "lack of witnesses".
September 17, The Rivington Street Gun Battle took place between the 5 Points Gang and the Eastman Gang.
September 19, The "Paul Kelly Association" headquarters on Stanton Street are raided by police. Evidence is confiscated, and several men are arrested.
Gustave Marks, (Sometimes spelled Marcks) age 21, of 306 Belmont Avenue, co-leader of the Car Barn Bandits in Chicago, dies on April 22
February 2, 1904 Monk Eastman and an associate are arrested for felonious assault and intent to kill, after they rob an beat a man on the West Side who police were secretly tailing.
April 14 Monk Eastman is sentenced to Sing- Sing prison where he will serve a 5 year sentence. This is Eastman's first conviction after dozens of arrests largely because Tammany has pulled its protection from him and his gang
November 1 While negotiating who will take control of the Eastman Gang, Ritchie Fitzpatrick is gunned down by a Max Zwerbach associate, giving Zwerbach full reign of the Gang.
Richie FitzPatrick is killed by Kid Twist Zwerbach during peace negotiations between the two rival factions of the Eastman’s. Several weeks later, the remainder of Fitzpatrick’s men are killed off by Vach Lewis
Benny Fein arrested for Grand Larceny; sentenced to work detail.
Feb 28.Benjamin Hyman Seigel AKA Bugsy, is born, probably in Brownsville, Brooklyn
Kid Twist Reles is born on the Lower East Side of New York
The Eastman’s and the Five Pointers go to war on the streets of New York. The Eastman’s are now run by Max Kid Twist Zwerbach
Harry Maione of Murder Inc. is born
May 14, 1908 Max Zwerbach and Cyclone Louie are gunned down in Coney Island by Louis Pioggi.
May 19, Benny Fein arrested for disorderly conduct; Pays $3 fine.
July 2, Benny Fein arrested for assault; paroled.
July 30, Benny Fein arrested for assault; paroled.
October 29, Benny Fein arrested for burglary; sentenced to 3 years and 6 months in Sing-Sing prison.
June. Monk Eastman is released from prison and finds that his gangs no longer exists and what parts of it that do go on are locked in civil war.
June Monk Eastman is released from prison on good behavior after serving a 5-year term. Local authorities are caught off-guard, because the State did not notify local police of Eastman's early release
August 12 Arnold Rothstein marries Carolyn Green at Saratoga Springs; pawns her jewelry. That same month, he borrows $2,000 from father-in-law to open his West 46th Street gambling house.
October 8, Paul Kelly is arrested, along with several other men, for committing voter fraud in Hoboken, NJ.
On November 18, Rothstein wins $4,000 against Jack Conaway at John McGraw’s pool hall on Herald Square
July 28, Harry Strauss AKA Pittsburgh Phil is born
The Chicago American and the Chicago Tribune newspapers contract Moses Annenberg to hire armies of street thugs to intimidate newspaper dealers to carry their newspapers. Annenberg hires Ragen’s Colt, a fierce group of mostly American-Irish street thugs. A circulation war begins that lasts for three years.
The City of New York closes The Park Row Saloon owned by Eastman gang leader Chick Tricker. He simply reopens in the vice district known as Satan’s Circus and buys the San the Dude’s Stag Café on West 28th Street (Later renamed the Café Maryland)
December 2, Jack Zelig shoots and kills Jules Morello on a dance floor on 2nd Ave.
Ed Weiss AKA Jew Kid A levee pimp and partner with Big Jim Colosimo is active in Chicago. His nephew, Louis, was also a pimp in the Levee.
June 3, Jack Zelig is shot in the neck d by Charles Torti on the steps of the Criminal Courts building downtown.
June 8, Lt. Charles Becker leads a series of raids on known gang-hang outs; 19 men are arrested for weapons and drug possession. Becker will later be executed on murder charges related to Jack Zelig.
July 16 Murder of gambler Herman Rosenthal at the Metropole Hotel on W. 43rd
July 15: Members of the Lennox Avenue gang, including its leaders Harry Horowitz, (AKA Gyp the blood) Jacob Seidenscher and Lou Rosenberg murder gambler and police informant Herman Rosenthal.
August 1, Benny Fein arrested for grand larceny; case dismissed.
August 3, "Lefty Louie" Rosenberg, a Zelig gang member, is tracked down and captured in upstate New York, and arrested for the murder of Herman Rosenthal.
August 15, "Big" Jack Zelig is arrested in Rhode Island for robbing $65 from a man who was "stepping off an electric car".
August 21, "Big" Jack Zelig slips out of Rhode Island police custody by giving a fake name and posting bail, while he was being sought for the murder of Herman Rosenthal.
October 5, Jack Zelig is shot and killed by Phil Davidson while riding a street car.
October 6, Jack Zelig's body is identified by his wife and sister, then moved to his home on Broome St.
October 7, Trial begins for Lt. Charles Becker; accused of hiring Jack Zelig's gang to kill businessman Herman Rosenthal. The trial goes on despite the key witness in the case, Jack Zelig, murdered two days prior.
October 15: Jake Zelig, leader of the Eastman gang is murdered by Red Davidson.
November 6, Phil Davidson is sentenced to a minimum of 20 years for the murder of Jack Zelig on October 5.
November 7: Dave Yaras is born in Chicago
November. Dopey Benny Fein and his labor goons are attacked by a combination of smaller street gang on Greenwich Street in Manhattan. This is the first of the so-called Labor’s slugger’s war.
March 26: Victor Riesel, organized crime reporter, is born
October 6: Lenny Patrick is born in Chicago
Timothy Sullivan, a former member of the Eastman gang and Tammany Hall politician dies.
February 27, Jack Zelig's widowed wife of ten years, Henrietta Zelig, wins a $600 settlement from the courts. She contended that she posted bail for her husband that was never returned, months before he was killed.
July 10, Abe Reich, a small time criminal better known as "Moshe the Strong Man" is shot and stabbed to death by two men in the middle of the street on Avenue B
July 21, Benny Fein arrested for Interfering with an officer; case suspended.
September 19, Benny Fein arrested for felonious assault; released on $2000 bail.
August 29, Merchants and residents of the Lower East Side who are fed up with being extorted and bullied meet at a Synagogue on Rivington Street to discuss the formation of an anti-gang Vigilance Committee.
October 9, Benny Fein arrested for assault; case dismissed.
October 16, Benny Fein arrested for violation of the Sullivan Law; released on $5000 bail
Dopey Benny Fein, indicted for attempted murder aggress to testify
against several gangsters and union leaders. In exchange for a reduced sentence, Fein reveals details of labor slugging operations from over five-year period resulting in the indictment of eleven gangsters and twenty-two union officials.
January 9, 1914 Jack Sirocco and his gang survive an ambush by the Benny Fein gang at 21-25 St. Marks Place
April 13 Dago Frank Cirofici, Whitey Lewis (Jacob Seidenschner), Lefty Louie (Louis
Rosenberg), and Harry "Gyp the Blood" Horowitz executed for murder of Herman
Rosenberg), and Harry "Gyp the Blood" Horowitz executed for murder of Herman
November 29, 1914 Benny Fein's gang meets Jack Sirocco's gang during a labor dispute at a hat factory on Greene Street. Max Green is killed in the gun fire.
Micky Cohen is born in New York City
Police Lieutenant Becker executed at Sing-Sing for ordering murder of Herman Rosenthal
Benny Snyder, a partner with gangster Greasy Joe Rosenzweig is convicted of murder and sentenced to twenty years in prison.
Police Captain Charles Becker is convicted of planning the murder of police informant Herman Rosenthal and is executed in Sing-Sing prison.
July 1, Monk Eastman is sentenced to 2 years in prison on grand larceny charges.
Monk Eastman volunteers for service in the US Army during WWII.
July 19, Johnny "Spanish" is gunned down in front of his headquarters at 19 2nd Avenue by rival Nathan Kaplan gang.
Arnold Rothstein faces a Grand Jury on charges that he paid the Chicago White Sox to throw the 1919 World Series.
Monk Eastman is discharged from the US Army after WWI where he fought with the 106th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. 27th Division in Europe.
Nathan Kaplan and two others are probably responsible for the murder of street gangster Johnny Spanish on July 29
Arnold Rothstein intervenes in garment industry labor disputes; places Little Augie Orgen in charge.
Monk Eastman is murdered by a prohibition agent on December 26.
October 26 Arnold Rothstein testifies before Chicago grand jury investigating World Series
December 26, Monk Eastman is shot and killed on 14th Street by business partner Jerry Bohan
Waxey Gordon and Arnold Rothstein form a bootlegging partnership which will last for about a year before Gordon makes enough money and connections to branch out on his own.
Max Podolsky, Chicago hood is arrested. In 1952, just before the Kefauver committee requested it, Podolsky’s extensive police record would disappear. His boss, Red Dorfman, would also make his record disappear as well.
Moses Annenberg buys the Daily Racing Form gaining a virtual monopoly over the distribution of racetrack information in the US.
Louis Buchalter, later of Murder Inc., is sent to prison for burglary
December 5: New York hood Benny Levinski is murdered by William Lipshitz.
Harry and Alma Guzik, both pimps and white slavers in Chicago’s Levee, are pardoned by Governor Len Small for white slavery conviction as favor to Torrio
August: The labors slugger war is in full swing after Jacob Little Augie Orgen and his gang, the Little Augies and his alley Solomon Shapiro line up against Nat “Kid Dropper” Kaplan and his Rough Riders Gang. They meet in a massive battle on Essex Street in which tow innocent bystanders are killed.
August 23: Hat Kaplan is murdered by Louis Cohen
Al Capone probably contacted the strain of gonorrhea that would eventually kill him, at the Roemer Inn, which is under the direction of Harry Guzik, the brother of Levee super pimp Jake Guzik.
April 10, F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel The Great Gatsby is published, featuring a character (Meyer Wolfsheim) based on Arnold Rothstein.
November 18: Edward Zion, Samuzzo Amatuna associate and former bodyguard is born
November 20: Former Amatuna bodyguard, Abe Goldstein is shot and killed by unidentified gunmen while in a drug store.
Arnold Rothstein’s partner Irving Sobel arrested on charge of selling heroin.
Lou Elfman, a former lieutenant of Philadelphia bootlegger Max Hoff, turns state's evidence.
Mobster Sam Stein is charged with murdering Kansas City policeman Happy Smith
Arnold Rothstein in virtual control of U.S. drug trade.
November 4, Arnold Rothstein was shot at Park Centre Hotel and died 2 days later.
March 14. The New York State Appellate Court orders the removal of Magistrate Albert Vitale due to his ties to organized crime figures Arnold Rothstein (and an unexplained $10,000 deposited in his bank account.)
Chicago Levee gangsters Ike Bloom and Julius Rosenheim die
Costello and Kastel open the firm Alliance Distributors, monopolizing the “legal” whisky market.
Joe Peskin (Resided at 1506 East 67th Street.) AKA Sugar (A nickname meaning a pimp) A hood who started in the mob under Johnny Torrio. In 1931, he was indicted for selling more than $1 million worth of corn sugar to alky cookers on the south side from his wholesale grocery business at 4446 South State Street. He was a leading jukebox distributor in Chicago with outlets in Kansas City and Detroit, which he ran through a front company called The Universal Automatic Music Corporation.
September: Meyer Shapiro is murdered in Brooklyn
Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky feed information to the IRS, which leads to the arrest and conviction of rival, "Waxey" Gordon.
April 15, Joe "The Boss" Masseria is gunned down by Bugsy Siegel, Vito Genovese, and Joe Adonis, as orchestrated by Lucky Luciano, on the orders of Sal Maranzano.
April 20: Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano were arrested in Chicago with Paul Ricca (The residing at 901 South Halstead Street, Harry Brown, former Genna hood Sylvester Agoglia and former Bugs Moran gangster John Senna, (2300 South Michigan). Police found a gambling slip in Luciano’s pockets (“accounts receivable $46,655.00”)
September. Meyer Lansky gets permission from Batista, President of Cuba, to open up casinos in Cuba. Also getting permission to run the already operational Hotel Nacional.
November. Lansky gets the Molaska Corporation up and running.
December 1, Waxey Gordon is sent to prison for tax evasion. This is the first high profile case for Special Prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey.
January 1, Fiorello H. LaGuardia was sworn in as Mayor of New York City and immediately declared war on organized crime. Between February and May, more than 2,000 slot machines controlled by LCN member Frank Costello and his partner, "Dandy Phil" Kastel, were seized by local police, with LaGuardia serving as a committing magistrate. Costello and Kastel decided to move the center of their slot machine operations and, in August, 1935, founded the Bayou Novelty Company in New Orleans.
Ed Fletcher leader of the Purple gang dies, Water Sage , Brooklyn mobster and associate of Abe Reles-Harry Maione gang and on January 24, Charles King Solomon dies in Boston.
In Chicago, Max Podolsky takes over the Poultry Handlers union
March: Willie Bioff, the Chicago mob behind him, was almost in control of the Hollywood studios.
Davie Berman gets arrested for kidnapping Abe Scharlin. Sharlin was a known bootlegger and Berman gets a twelve-year sentence of which he would serve seven years in Sing-Sing penitentiary. Later Berman would become the gambling king of Minneapolis.
The Cleveland mob opens The Plantation casino in Miami.
September 9: Abe Weinberg, a lieutenant of Dutch Schultz, disappears and is presumed murdered.
October 23: Dutch Schultz is killed. Marty Krompier, Dutch Schultz’s man in the Harlem policy operations is severely wounded by rival gunmen. This attack comes just hours after Schultz and his other associates are gunned down in Newark. Krompier ultimately survives the attack.
Gurrah Shapiro is successfully prosecuted by DA Dewey for violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Shapiro receives a two-year sentence.
September: Joe Rosen is murdered by Lepke Buchalter, Harry Strauss and Mendy Weiss
Jack Ruby returned to Chicago, having grown tired of the west and at this point become involved with the Scrap iron and Junk Handlers Union, local 20467, working as an organizer.
January 8, The Cuban Cabinet approved plans to place certain gambling operations under control of the army, headed by Colonel (later President) Fulgencio Batista. Shortly thereafter, New York City gambling czar Meyer Lansky led a vanguard of American hoodlums imported to help operate the major Cuban casinos. Although World War II and Batista's removal from office during the latter part of the beginning to blossom in the Nevada desert), Batista returned to power in March, 1952, and soon asked Lansky to come back and "add a touch of class" to the Cuban operations.
August 1 Hyman Yuran, a former associate of Lepke Buchalter is killed, the body will be found in a lime pit in Loch Sheldrake New York.
Micky McBride buys the Continental Press, a racing wire service from Moses Annenberg
January 28: Louis Cohen and Isadore Friedman, (AKA Danny Field) witnesses scheduled to testify against Lepke Buchalter, are murdered
January 29: George Weinberg of the Dutch Schultz gang commits suicide while under police protection.
April 28: Abe ‘Whitey’ Freidman is killed by Murder Inc.
May 10: Irving Tootsie Feinstein, a one-time partner with Lepke Buchalter, is murdered
May 25: New York Teamster boss Morris Diamond is murdered on orders of Lepke Buchalter
August 24: Buchalter turns himself in to federal authorities
September 6: Irving ‘Puggy’ Feinstein is killed
Seymour Magoon agrees to cooperate with the government as does Max Rubin, (Born 1888) a New Jersey gangster and union official. Sam Gappel, another union official was killed as he walked into home.
Feburary 2: Kid Twist Reles is arrested on robbery, assault, possession of narcotics, burglary, disorderly conduct, and eight charges of murder. Reles agrees to cooperate with the government.
July 31: Whitey Krakower is killed in New York
Red Dorfman is suspected of murdering Leon R. Cooke and attorney who organized the Material Waste Handlers Union. His organizer is Jack Ruby. Ruby will stay on in the union after Dorfman takes over. The union was expelled from the AFL-CIO in 1957 because it was run for the benefit of mobsters
Waxey Gordon is released from prison. He moves to California
James J. Hines, the leader of Tammany Hall, the New York City Democratic organization, goes to prison for arranging political protection for Dutch Schultz's policy and numbers rackets in Harlem, New York.
After a failed attempt on his life, New Jersey racketeer Max Rubin agrees to cooperate with law enforcement.
Blue eyed, curly haired, Abe “Pretty” Levine, who had killed at least 15 men before he was 23 years old, was one of the first members of Murder Inc. to agree to cooperate with the DA’s office. Newly married, he and his wife Helen had tried to break away form the underworld. Levine took a job driving a truck but when their first child was born, he could not muster the payment for his hospital. He went to Pittsburgh Phil Strauss for help, but Strauss charged him “ 6 for 5” interest, meaning a one dollar charge for every five dollars borrowed. It was an insult. After he testified, Levine was granted a suspended sentence, released and disappeared from public view forever.
On September 23, in Chicago, Joe Peskin was indicted for severely beating (with a baseball bat) Lionel Nathan, one of his former employees, in front of Nathan’s home at 2737 Clyde Ave. The attackers also fired a shot at Nathan’s father as he ran to help his son. Nathan and another of Peskin’s former employees, Albert Chapman, opened their own Juke Box distribution company and took away several of Peskin’s customers. Nathan was in a comma for three months because of the beating. Peskin denied he had anything to do with the beating telling the court “Look Judge, if I had anything to do with this I would tell you. This thing is bad publicity for the industry and for me. However, I want you to know these men took fifty spots away from me and I got them all back”
Max Caldwell AKA Max Pollack. An ex-convict and former Capone organization thug, in 1943 he helped Frank Nitti loot the treasury of the Retail Clerks International Protective Association, Local 1248. Caldwell was the union treasurer. He was thought to have stolen $910,000 in funds although Caldwell claimed the treasury never held more than $62.00. On August 21, 1941, the State's attorney's office in Chicago charged that Caldwell, Rocco De Stefano, Harry V. Russell, Peter Tremont, Patrick Manno, Milton Schwartz, and others looted the treasury. However, no legal action was taken. At the same time Caldwell also provided free airline tickets for Ralph Buglio, Harry Russell, Rocco De Stefano, Peter Tremont, Pat Manno, and others, from Chicago to Miami, police allege the money came from the union tills. Caldwell moved to Miami in the 1950s.
Charles The Bug Workman is sent to prison for murdering Dutch Schultz
February: Emil Nizich (Born 1915) a labor racketeer (Of 426 West Forty Eight Street)
was shot three times from behind and left in a gutter in front of 410 West Forty Eight Street, while on his way home form the gym.
Feburary 6: Benny Tannenbaum is killed
June 12: Harry Strauss and Marty Goldstein are executed by the state of New York.
November 12: Abe Reles dies on Coney Island.
December 7: Pearl Harbor Day. While temporarily interrupting American gambling operations in Cuba and forcing certain hoodlums into military service, World War II also opened up new areas of illicit profits through black-marketeering and the theft and counterfeiting of Government ration stamps.
Chicago mobster Lenny Yaras (jr) is born
In Chicago, Red Dorfman (7347 Sheridan Road) was indicted after he had a telephone argument with the chairman of the Waste Handlers Union Employees association. Dorfman, a one time prize fighter, quietly put down the phone, took his brass knuckles out of his desk walked the several blocks to the mans office and beat him senseless with the brass knuckles. The victim walked to the police station with his two eyes beaten shut but refused to press charges.
May 9 In Chicago, Arthur Gold was arrested for rigging the phone wires at mob casinos in the Blum Building at 624 South Michigan to avoid paying a monthly bill
Jake Guzik, Capone former business manager in the mob, visited the dying Capone at his Florida estate. The effects of untreated syphilis had worn away at him. Guzik, who had not seen Capone since his heydays as Boss of the Chicago mob, was appalled at Capone’s condition. On his way out of the estate, when asked how Capone was, Guzik replied, in terms harsher then he intended “Al is nuttier then a fruitcake”
Moses Annenberg, no longer an associate of gangsters, dies
Murder Inc. killers Harry Maione and Frank Abbandando are executed by the state of New York. Frank Abbandando AKA Dasher, was born on July 11, 1910 Died February 19, 1942. The nickname, Dasher, was gotten when he chased a victim around a house several times before gunning him down. Abbandando, a rapist and pervert, was a member of Murder Incorporated. As a teen, he worked as an extortionist and gambler for Harry Maione in Ocean Hill, Brooklyn. He was also instrumental in the 1932 Maione gang war against the Shapiro Brothers in 1932 for ownership over the Brownsville, Brooklyn, rackets. Abe Reles informed on Abbandando for the May 25, 1937 murder of loan shark George Rudnick.
While the country was rationing during WWII, Waxey Gordon is arrested and convicted of selling sugar illegally. He spends one year in prison.
Zwillman sells his share of the Reinfeld importing company
April Sam Giancana kidnapped Jake Guzik and held him in an empty building and gave him a choice. The 42’s would give Guzik and the high command a gift of $250,000.00 in exchange for support and acceptance from the outfit. Otherwise they would kill Guzik then and there. Guzik accepted the offer for the money, vowed his support and was driven to West Roosevelt Road and released. Right after he was kidnapped, the ageing Jake Guzik brought in Gus Alex, a Greek American was brought into the organization. Originally, Guzik was hired as a bodyguard, but soon Alex became Guzik’s driver, confident and top lieutenant.
Siegel’s “hit squad” goes to the Bahamas to murder Sir Harry Oakes for botching a casino deal.
The Wofford Hotel opens in Miami, where Frank Costello and Lansky often meet. Al Polizzi (mob boss of Cleveland) and Tatum Wofford are the owners.
March 18 Chicago mob bosses Frank Nitti, Paul Ricca, Phil D’Andrea, Charlie Gioe, Lou Kaufman, Louis Campagna and Johnny Roselli are indicted for their role in the Bioff scandal.
In Chicago, Gus Alex, Hymie Levin, Gus Liebe, and others were connected with the Dome casino at 7466 West Irving Park Road.
Siegel starts to build The Flamingo in Las Vegas; Lansky, Luciano and others gave money.
Emmanuel Mendy Weiss is executed by the state of New York for his role in Murder Inc.
Benjamin Zookie the Bookie Zuckerman a member of the Chicago syndicate involved in illegal gambling, is killed.
March 4 Louis Buchalter is executed by the state of New York.
From 1945 until 1950, Joe Corngold was a partner with gangsters Willie Heeney, a former Capone gunman, Joey Auippa and Louis Campagna, a former Capone bodyguard, and Claude Moore, also a former Capone gunner, in a series of large and very profitable casinos, including the Turf Club on Cermak Road, the El Patio and the Austin Club. Pressures brought on from the Kefauver Committee closed the clubs. Campagna admitted before the Kefauver Committee that between 1937 and 1940 that his share of the profits from El Patio and the Austin Club casinos in Chicago amounted to $204,000 which allowed him to purchase an 800 acre estate near Fowler Indiana which federal investigators valued at $175,000. A second estate near Berrien Springs was valued at about $75,000. The Committee also found out that Paul Ricca owned 2200 acres near Kendall County Ill. about 25 miles outside Chicago, an estate in River Forrest and another estate in Long Beach Indiana, which burned down under questionable circumstances shortly after the Kefauver Committee discovered Ricca’s ownership
Willie Tarsch, AKA Wilie Kolatch. Born 1900. Residence 1855 South Kominsky Once a mob insider and one of Chicago’s biggest gamblers and a partner to Zuckie the Bookie, Tarsch refused to knuckle under when the Chicago mob decided to control all gambling in the city in the mid 1940s. Tarsch was gunned down in the rear of a vacant building at 3710 West Roosevelt Road on April 7, 1945. he was shot through the head by a shotgun blast and died immediately. He had been lured to a nearby restaurant by an unidentified man who strolled with him to the gear of the building where the gunman was waiting.
December. The Beverly County Club casino opens in New Orleans. The owners are Frank Costello and Meyer Lansky
December 22: Havana convention of the U.S. crime Syndicate is held at Havana's Hotel Nacional
April Chicago hood Sam Hare died. (Lived at 415 Aldine Avenue.) Manager of the Victoria, A Colosimo brothel where girls were brought in from St. Louis and broken in. He later managed the Dells, a massive casino in Morton Grove in partnership with Lou Silversmith.(2797 North Pine Grove). Silversmith was the owner of the high-powered rifle that killed Red Barker in 1932. The Touhy gang was said to have taken over the Dells in 1931 and took credit for killing Barker. The Dells (Named for a waiter named Dell Jones) was robbed several times and fire bombed twice, the last bombing coming on October 8, 1934. Another of Hare’s clubs, the Moulin Rouge on 511 Diversey Highway had mysteriously caught fire earlier in the year. Hare held a $25,000 policy on the property. In 1931, the Touhy gang tracked Capone killer Fred Pacelli to the Dells and killed him. That same year, while at least 300 people watch, Touhy gunmen marched into the Dells and shot and killed Fred DiGiovanni, a suspected Barker spy within the Touhy organization. Hare was rumored to paid reporter Jake Lingle as much as $20,000 in bribes to keep him from writing stories on his gambling dens/night spots.
Feburary 24 : Nathan "Nate" Weisenberg was called the "King of the Slots" of Northeastern Ohio although others assumed that he was nothing more than a figurehead for member of the Mayfield Road Mob. Weisenberg had been called to his slot machine warehouse just after 1:00 am that morning because of a break in. On his way home and was shot to death in his car just before midnight. Mafia member James Licavoli was the prime suspect but was never charged.
June 24: Race-wire operator James M. Ragen was shot from a truck while driving in rush-hour traffic on a Chicago street. Reportedly attacked for refusing to sell out to the hoodlum element, he died of his wounds on August 14, 1946. Lenny Patrick and Lenny Yaras are accused of the crime.
October Lucky Luciano flies to Cuba to meet with Meyer Lansky to discuss casinos and other interests.
Dec. 22, The "Havana Conference" takes place in Cuba; Luciano invites major mobsters from America and Italy, who attend this historic meeting.
December 26: The formal opening of the Flamingo Hotel Casino in Las Vegas--backed by such hoodlum figures as Benjamin (Bugsy) Siegel, Meyer Lanky, Frank Costello, and Joe Adonis-- marked the infiltration of Nevada gambling by the organized criminal element. The formal opening of the hotel itself took place on March 1, 1947.
The Flamingo opens under heavy expectations by the mob investors.
El Cortez in Las Vegas is purchased by Charles Berman and his partners are Siegel, Moe Sedway, Gus Greenbaum, and Lansky.
In Chicago, Lenny Patrick and two others were implicated in a sensational murder case, the shotgun shooting of James Ragen, the owner of a racing news service who opposed mob efforts to take over his business.
William Goldstein was Chicago gangster Billy Skidmore’s partner and lawyer, but turned witness against him when he faced perjury charges in an income tax case
When the mob kidnapped Chicago’s black rackets boss Edward P. Jones in May, it was widely assumed that Joe Peskin was a major factor behind the crime. Jones had just invested $100,000 in Juke Boxes that he intended to distribute across Bronzeville, an area controlled by Peskin’s Juke Box rackets.
Jacob Gurrah Shapiro dies in prison while serving a life sentence. Shapiro had been a leader of the Murder Inc. organization in New York.
Louis Lipschultz, Jake Guzik’s brother in law, according to the chief of police of Cicero, Ill., contacted him and offered him $100,000 to permit gambling to operate in Cicero. The offer was turned down. Lipschultz at that time said he was merely a spokesman for friends.
June 20: Benjamin (Bugsy) Siegel was shot to death through a living-room window while sitting in the Beverly Hills mansion of his paramour, Virginia Hill.
Jack Entratter, the one time doorman-bouncer at the Stork Club in Manhattan before moving over to the Copacabana. Myer Lansky’s Mafia protector, Jimmy “Blue Eyes” Alo offered him a job in Vegas overlooking the Sands Casino with a 12- point interest in the place, or at least on the books. In all probability Entratter was a placeholder for Mafia bosses.
It was estimated that Joe Peskin of Universal Automatic Music Corp. had about 900 jukeboxes placed on location across the city. He also controlled locations in Cicero, Argo, Calumet City, in Illinois, Hammond, Indiana Harbor, and Whiting Illinois. Peskin fronted for the Chicago Automatic Music Co and later for the Automatic Music Instruments Co. in California, Nevada, and Washington
The Thunderbird casino opens in Las Vegas. Jake Lansky would run this casino under his brother Meyer’s watch.
May 26, 1950: The Senate Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce (popularly known as the Kefauver Committee, even though Senator Estes Kefauver resigned his chairmanship on May 1, 1951) opened hearings in Miami, Florida. Subsequent hearings were held in various cities throughout the country until August 17, 1951.
Longy Zwillman’s political contributions to Ne Jersey politicians are examined by the federal government
The Kefauver hearings on Organized Crime begin. Hearings were held from May 10 1950, the day that the Attorney General of the United States declared that the committee had no reason to exist, until May 1 1951.
The Dessert Inn casino was opened in Las Vegas and Wilbur Clark was the owner.
Joey Glimco takes the fifth 80 times before the Kefauver committee
March 21 Kefauver committee concluded in New York. Kefauver declares that “there are two major crime syndicates in this country the Accardo Guzik Fischetti syndicate whose headquarters are Chicago and the Costello Adonis Lansky syndicate based in New York” it pointed out that Accardo influence went to Chicago, Kansas City Dallas Miami Las Vegas Minneapolis Des Moines and Los Angles”
Mickey Cohen is convicted of income tax evasion.
August Waxey" Gordon is arrested for drug trafficking (heroin) in an FBI sting and sentenced to 25 years to life in Sing-Sing, then Attica, then Alcatraz.
September: Meyer Lansky is charged with illegal gambling in Saratoga Springs NY
The New York Crime commission interviews Alfred Topliz the Democratic leader of Manhattan's First Assembly and supposed associate of New York hood Trigger Mike Coppola
March: Fulgencio Batista, who was financed by Lansky, took over Cuba’s government with a coup.
The casinos The Strip and Sands open up in Las Vegas.
Waxey Gordon dies of a heart attack while locked up for life in Alcatraz
Michael Brodkin was a major mob lawyer in the early 1950s who was brought into the organization by gambler Billy Skidmore. Working through the notorious law firm of Bieber & Brodkin, Brodkin assisted the mob in dividing up the millions skimmed form the Las Vegas casino in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The cash was delivered to Brodkin’s office on a monthly basis by a mobster’s wife who traveled from Chicago to Vegas and back again via railroad. Upon her arrival to Chicago, Brodkin’s firm would book her a her room at the expensive Ambassador East Hotel. The next day she would deliver the cash to Brodkin’s office where Chicago portion was taken and held for a representative from the bosses.
David Kind, a major stockholder and probably a mob front man, was listed as one of the owners of the mob operated Miami Beach Kennel Club. In 1929, Kind, Lew Shumway and Eddie O’Hara were indicted for conspiracy.
May 2” Meyer Lansky is convicted of illegal gambling, after pleading guilty to five of the total twenty one charges, and serves three months in a New York prison.
April 5: Victor Riesel, a nationally known labor columnist, was blinded in an acid attack while leaving a New York City restaurant. LCN member John Dioguardi was indicted but never tried.
June 18: Girolomo (Momo) Adamo, underboss of the Los Angeles Family, committed suicide in San Diego after seriously wounding his wife over an affair she allegedly was having with the then head of the Family, Frank Desimone.
July 18: The Narcotics Control Act of 1956 was signed into law, drastically increasing penalties for engaging in the illicit-drug trade.
David Kind was a major stockholder and probably a mob front man, in 1953 he was listed as one of the owners of the mob operated Miami Beach Kennel Club. In 1929, Kind, Lew Shumway and Eddie O’Hara were indicted for conspiracy.
On record, Sam Taran was the head of the Taran Distributing Co., records and appliance division in Miami, Fla. Taran was an ex-bootlegger with a long record for violations of the internal revenue laws. A one-time prize-fighter, he served two years in Illinois state prisons in 1934. Taran distributing was widely known as the Chicago mobs front company in Florida in the juke box business.
The casinos Riviera and Dunes open in Las Vegas
Nov.4 Willie Bioff is blown up after getting in the driver's seat of his car, in his garage, in Arizona.
Moe Dalitz and Sam Tucker take over Meyer Lansky’s Havana casino, The International
The Chicago mob fix it man, Jake Guzik, dies of a heart attack
Max Podolsky, (Born 1900) Known for decades as an enforcer for Joey Glimco in the jukebox racket. Officially, Podolsky was an organizer for the egg handlers union local 663. He was indicted for attempted extortion in 1957 of Kraft foods, but the federal government later dropped the case for lack of evidence after their witnesses refused to appear in court. Podolsky had a police record dating back to 1921. However, that record disappeared from police files several days after it was requested by the Kefauver Committee.
February 26: The Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field (popularly known as the "Senate Rackets Committee" and chaired by Senator John L. McClellan) opened hearings in Washington, D.C. Subsequent hearings lasted until December 3, 1958, and included an intensive probe into the hoodlum meeting held at Apalachin, New York.
David Berman dies in Las Vegas.
The Tropicana casino opens in Las Vegas. Built by Phil Kastel, who had previous involvement in the Beverly County Club.
Edward Vogel AKA Eddie. Vogel, known as the “Slot machine king of Cook County” started with the Outfit under Jim Colosimo and stayed with it until the 1960’s. On October 1, 1926, he was indicted, together with Al Capone, the mayor and chief of police of Cicero, and others for conspiring to violate the prohibition laws. Vogel worked with George "Babe" Tottenelli, who was the trouble-shooter for Vogel. In 1949, Vogel and his partner’s mobsters Gus Alex and Ross Prio ran the biggest bookie joint in the city, perhaps in the country, across from the United States Post office on Canal and Van Buren. The place brought in over $100,000.00 a month. The outfits average large hand book, and there about 15 of them across Cook County was taking in $5,150,000 a year. In the 1960s, Vogel was officially employed by the Apex Cigarette Service, Inc., (A cigarette-vending machine company. At the time, a package of cigarettes cost 20 cents) at 1010 George Street., Chicago. Sam Giancana was also employed there. The company was started in n December of 1937. In 1958, the company paid Vogel $1000,000 a year in salary.
December 3: Gus Greenbaum, Las Vegas casino operator, and his wife were found murdered in their Phoenix, Arizona, home.
Cuban Revolution. Eight days after Cuba fell, Chicagoan Jack Ruby, the man who would kill Presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, made contact with Robert McKeown, a Texas gunrunner who had been supplying weapons to Castro. Ruby never gave a full explanation of why he contacted McKeown
Feburary 26: Abner Zwillman is killed or committed suicide
August, the Chicago mob decided it wanted Joe Peskin, the juke box king, out of the way and made three attempts to kill him with bombs (each failed to go off) and sent a crew to his home beat him with baseball bats.
September 8 Frank Rosenthal (1929-2008), friend of Chicago mobsters, appeared before a Senate hearing on gambling and organized crime. He invoked the Fifth Amendment 38 times.
December Bernard Glickman assured Sam Giancana that sonny Liston would do anything that he was asked to do in the fight between sonny Liston and Floyd Patterson
Ruby Kolad and "Icepick Wille" Alderman, executives at the Desert Inn are convicted with Milwaukee Phil Aldersio for extortion of a Denver businessman.
May 6: Irving Vine (Born Fein in 1905) a South Side Chicago gambler ‘A walking bookie’ who had agreed to testify before an IRS hearing on gangster Murray Humpreys income, is strangled to death in his hotel room at the Del Prado Hotel at 5307 Hyde Park Blvd. Bernard “Pipi” Posner (Born 1920) was suspected in the murder. Vine’s ankles were tied to his wrists, effectively choking himself to death. His ribs were fractured and his nose was broken. He was in his boxer shorts, covered by a sheet when the cleaning maid found him. Vine had been a heavy bookie since 1943 when he operated a casino at 1318 East 47th Street in Chicago
September 25: The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (popularly known as the McClellan Committee) opened hearings in Washington, D.C., regarding "Organized Crime and Illicit Traffic in Narcotics." Featuring the testimony of LCN member Joe Valachi, the hearings lasted periodically until August 5, 1964.
The Bahamas become a new location for casinos. Several people become interested in financing casinos there.
September 11, Manny Skar, a Chicago Outfit member and nightclub owner involved in illegal gambling dies
Bernard Glickman, Chicago mob gambler active from the 1930 until at least the 1980s. Officially, Glickman was a fight promoter. He was partners with Accardo in the Cool Vent and Storm Window corporation as well as Howard Gardens, an apartment complex that he managed. In 1966, he was said to have been badly beaten by Milwaukee Phil Aldersio. According to rumor, Glickman had been warned to stay away from Chicago based fighter Ernie Terrell a promising heavyweight fighter who was scheduled to take on Muhammad Ali. The mobsters felt that Glickman’s known association with the mob, especially with Tony Accardo, could ruin Terrell’s career. Instead, on November 1, 1961, Glickman flew to New York and was seen publicly with Terrell around the city. Shortly afterwards the state of New York refused to grant Terrell a boxing license because of his known association with Glickman. When Glickman returned to Chicago, Aldersio beat him senseless, breaking Glickman’s arm. In 1969, Glickman was reported to be living under an assumed name in California where he sold hearing aides.
New Jersey loan shark Harold Konigsberg is sent to prison.
May 23 Chicago mobster Benny Stein is sent to prison for 18 months for labor racketeering
Frederick P. Ackerman, a lawyer and business partner with Mad Sam DeStefano of Chicago, enters the witness protection program
Ruby Kolad, once with the Mayfield Road Boys and the Desert Inn, died at age 57 of a heart attack
Lansky, Cohen, and partners are indicted by the American Government for skimming thirty million dollars from the Flamingo casino
Lansky flees to Israel
March 13 Paul Red Dorfman dies at age 69.
Chicago’s Lenny Patrick was still running Rogers Park with his banker Joe Epstein
November 5: Meyer Lansky, American hoodlum and gambling figure, departed Israel after the Israeli Supreme Court denied his appeal for the continuance of his tourist visa or his application for immigrant status (previously rejected in September 1971, by the Minister of the Interior). Although Lansky's airplane traveled through Switzerland, Africa, and several countries in South and Central America he was unable to gain entry to any other country and was arrested by FBI Agents at the Miami airport, November 7, 1972, on contempt of Federal grand jury charges.
April 18, Ronnie Yaras (Born 1938) a massage palor operator in Miami Beach was shot dead by person’s unknown n his house. Three months before, their father, Dave Yaras, suffered a heart attack while playing golf and died in Miami.
September: Paul Gonsky Chicago porn pimp found dead next to his car, shot six times in the head with a .22. Tony Spilotro is suspected
Lefty Rosenthal is charged with skimming seven million a year from the Stardust Casino.
Bernard “Pipi” Posner, a Chicago strongman, is shaking down pornography dealers in Chicago
Lenny Patrick is sent to jail to for criminal contempt of court. He will serve four years on the charge
The New Jersey Gaming Commission banned Alvin Malnik, Meyer Lansky’s former attorney, from the state's casinos, citing links to organized crime figures that dates back half a century. He had been linked to Sam Cohen, who was indicted along with Lansky on charges of skimming $30 million in profits from the Flamingo Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. In 1971, Malnik and Cohen bought 325 acres of undeveloped land that belonged to a Dade County country club and earned $14.7 million profit from the sale of the land.
October 4. Frank Rosenthal Las Vegas casino operator, survived a car bomb when his Cadillac exploded as he turned the key. He ran the mob-owned Stardust, Fremont, Hacienda and Marina casinos
Meyer Lansky dies
January 20, Allen Dorfman, whose company handles the Teamsters loans to Las Vegas, is killed in a Chicago parking lot
January 10 In Chicago, Lenny Yaras, the son of legendary hoodlum Dave Yaras was murdered as he made his usual rounds collecting street tax from bookies in the Rogers Park neighborhood, the same area his father had worked in fifty years before.
Lenny Patrick would turn states evidence on Chicago’s acting boss, Gus Alex
Donald Schemel (Born 1951) ran a Chicago water taxi service, Schemel Marine Services. Since Schemel docked his boats on the Chicago River, which is controlled by the mobbed up 1st Ward, police suspect that pressures were put on him to pay a shake down fee for using the river. Apparently he refused. City inspectors cracked down on his company and cited him with a series of petty complaints. Finally on August 14, 1999, he was shot and killed at 1900 South Lumber St. by persons unknown who fired several shots into Schemel as he sat in his truck.
GOOD WORDS TO HAVE.....
OTHER WORKS BY JOHN WILLIAM TUOHY..............................
Pseudonym \SOO-duh-nihm\ : a fictitious name; especially : pen name. Pseudonym has its origins in the Greek word pseudōnymos, which means "bearing a false name." Greek speakers formed their word by combining pseud-, meaning "false," and onyma, meaning "name." French speakers adopted the Greek word as pseudonyme, and English speakers later modified the French word into pseudonym.
OTHER WORKS BY JOHN WILLIAM TUOHY..............................
HERE'S SOME NICE ART FOR YOU TO LOOK AT....ENJOY!
Armed Workers In A Motorcar#1918#Ivan Puni
‘Portrait with flowers’, 1953 - Victor Brauner (1903–1966)
‘The Boyhood of Sir Walter Raleigh’ by John Everett Millais (1871)
“Sunflowers 2”, Egon Schiele.
“The Vision of St George over the Battlefield” by John Hassal
“He realised, more vividly than ever before, that art had two constant, two unending preoccupations: it is always meditating upon death and it is always thereby creating life.” Boris Pasternak
“The need to be a great artist makes it hard to be an artist. The need to produce a great work of art makes it hard to produce any art at all.” Julia Cameron
“This is the theory… that anything that is art… is presumably about some certain thing, but is really always about something else, and it’s no good having one without the other, because if you just have the something it is boring and if you just have the something else it’s irritating.” Edward Gorey
THE ART OF WAR...............................
PHOTOS WE'VE TAKEN
PHOTOS I TOOK THAT WENT INTERESTINGLY WRONG
RAILROAD GRAFFITI ART (Taken from a train at 80 MPH)
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
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)
The Blogable Robert Frost
The Beat Poets of the Forever Generation
Holden Caulfield Blog Spot
The Quotable Oscar Wilde
NEW ENGLAND BLOGS
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
The Connecticut History Blog
The Connecticut Irish
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
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
The Rarifieid Tribe
The Upscale Traveler
The Mish Mosh Blog
DC Behind the Monuments
When Washington Was Irish
FROM LLR BOOKS. COM
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 ANCIENT GREEKS AND CIVILIZATIONS
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
BOOKS ON FOSTER CARE
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
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