I went to grade school with kids from the Gallo & Profaci mobs and life probably was not what you might have expected after reading this statement. The fact was that we had a lot of fun. The mob guys all kept their distance from us and let us kids all play together, eat together and just generally have a good time. This was from the fourth grade living in Red Hook, Brooklyn. There were mostly Blacks and Puerto Ricans in these projects while on the other side of the highway were Italians and Irish. The Irish were never any fun but I shot pool with and ate a lot of Italian food that my Italian friends turned me on to. Even though I am past retirement age now, I still want to go back to Defonte’s Deli. on Columbia Street which is still open for business. I think I should point out that I am ex-military and had a secret clearance. I have never spent a day in jail. So just because you might know some criminals doesn’t make you one.
We had a pretty big neighborhood theater, on Clinton Street, just across from the projects and on weekends for sure it was packed to the brim with all the neighborhood kids of all races. Coming out of the theater one afternoon with some of my street gang friends, we passed a car with a few White guys in it. Nothing unusual about that except that this time, we were brought up to speed on who the car’s occupants were. An earlier article published in this newspaper is about the neighborhood bully who became a career criminal. This link takes you to the article about him: http://www.guerrillajournalism.co/business/bullies/ He is the one giving the following information on mob cars.
He told me that he had established some contacts within the Italian mob. Now that I think about it, in hindsight, I wonder if the mob was supplying him at that time with the marijuana he eventually started selling in our projects. Anyway, he pointed out one of the guys in the car as a notorious mob figure who had just been the subject of some recent newspaper articles. But this was not really the point. It was the car they were sitting in. It was a big Buick that at the time was about three or four years old or maybe even older. American cars back then were designed to start falling apart after about three years so you would have to run out and buy a new one, if you could afford it. This was one of the things that fueled the Japanese takeover of the U. S. car market. Another factor was the gas guzzling that the huge American cars were guilty of as gas prices were starting to skyrocket. I remember the price then at somewhere around twenty-five cents a gallon maybe a little more. I remember often driving into gas stations and asking for a dollars worth of gas. This was around the time that I was driving a new car that my mother and I had pooled our money to buy.
So here is what the bully told me: Many mob cars look older, but underneath, everything was brand new. This is one way that Wise Guys stay off the radar. New engine, new transmission and rear end, even new springs. Whatever is not visible on the car is brand new. So they were all driving new cars that wouldn’t break down, but you and the police wouldn’t know it. It’s called: Staying off the radar!
But there are exceptions to everything. Alfonse Capone often wore bright electric purple suits that almost looked like they had electric lights on them. John Gotti was known as the “Teflon Don” because the Government couldn’t get any criminal charges to stick to him. He was also called the “Dapper Don” because he dressed like a male high fashion model and flaunted his wealth and exotic style everywhere he went as if he was saying: Radar? What radar?? Alfonse and John both wound up in jail. Gotti said that it didn’t matter to him if he was on the streets or in jail. Wow!
There were some Dons that did little or no time in jail. Below is a link to information on ten mob bosses that died normal deaths: https://www.toptenz.net/top-10-mafia-leaders-who-beat-the-odds-and-died-normal-deaths.php Tony “Big Tuna” Accardo, aka “Joe Batters” died a natural death and he never spent a day in jail. Living mostly off the radar, and being bosses, they all might have had fleets of cars that were brand new under an older skin.
So who is it that lives life on the “Dark Side” but wants all the bright lights from the entire world focused on him? So far he seems to be the Teflon President, but John Gotti’s life might show that it may not last. Mob bosses generally would rather be feared than loved and this could get in the way of any loyalty wanted or needed. By the way, when the African-American bully I mentioned above was beaten up in the school gymnasium by a White guy, everyone cheered. There was no disciplinary action against the guy that did the beating either. I guess even the teachers understood that his brutalizing was just and earned.
Former NYC Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani once fought against the mob’s Gambino Crime Family but is an ardent supporter of our President’s family now. The President’s supporters sometimes complain that he is being prosecuted like a mob boss by Robert Mueller and Mueller’s team. This may be true. Mueller once supervised the prosecution of the Gambino Crime Family back in the 1990’s and turned Sammy “The Bull” Gravano into a “Rat” against John Gotti. Gotti then died in jail. Rats? I wonder – is anybody looking for rats? We see that guys taking orders from our President are being indicted, pleading guilty and being jailed. By choosing the brightest spotlight to perform under, could our President be someone to whom it makes no difference to him if he is on the streets or in jail? Have we ever had or do we now have a President like that?