“You’re Dullio Stefani, defensive tackle for the “Fighting Irish.”
UNCLE DULLIO: “I had a good run in South Bend.“
“At Notre Dame you were known as ‘The Wall.”
UNCLE DULLIO: “Yeah. Nobody got by me. Just the way it was.”
“Let’s talk about Matthias Jones.”
UNCLE DULLIO: “Jonesy’s best friends with my nephew, Cocoa.”
“How does a coach of the college football team get involved with the power players?”
UNCLE DULLIO: Most of the time Jonesy has Cocoa’s back and visa versa. And yeah there are times when they get involved let’s say sensitive situations. There’s always some chump tryin’ ta push his way into control.“
“Did you know Charlie DiPiro?
UNCLE DULLIO: “The Boss was the best.”
“But Albert Fiore is in power now.”
UNCLE DULLIO: “Not for long.”
“What do you mean?”
UNCLE DULLIO: “Cocoa’s takin’ care of it.”
“I won’t dig any deeper.”
UNCLE DULLIO: “That’s smart.”
“One final question.:
UNCLE DULLIO: “Yeah.”
” Did you really, I mean personally bust up Chic Cory’s gym on North Main Street in Prince William?”
UNCLE DULLIO: “They put Jonesy in the ring with Kid Palooka, professional fighter. Jonesy didn’t too shabby either. But Palooka could have killed him. So I destroyed the place. They deserved it. Cocoa had Mayor Picatta fine Chick as well as somebody from the state. And Palooka was on his ass.”
“Amazing. Thanks for your time, Dullio.”
“You need anything. Just call the club in Prince William.”
“Whoa, tough handshake.”
Having the clean-cut Matthias Jones, hovering of on the edge of mob business, and sometimes dragged into the thick of the fight, provides an explosive contrast with the wacky naive town Hamilton New Hampshire and the underworld. And there’s a sense of security with the unstoppable Uncle Dullio.
In the Life and Times of Charlie Diaper we see Cocoa’s loyalty to his old boss Charlie DiPiro. The current boss Albert Fiore is clever in how he deposed Charlie and nicknamed him Charlie Diaper because of his debilitated condition.
Let’s take a little journey back in time and outline how certain chieftains came to power.
Gambino was not as subtle as Albert Fiore in the Jones Series. With a little help from his friends, specifically Vito Genovese, Gambino eliminated Albert Anastasia in 1957.
So how did Vito stay in power with a pending trial? Oh that was simple. All the witnesses were killed. Case close. Charges dismissed. Oh, there’s more. Adding Carlo Gambino and Meyer Lansky to his murder’s row Vito ‘removed’ Albert Anastasia. And the old Luciano family was now the Genovese Family. Wow!
Speaking of Albert Anastasia… a despised boss who sent chills throughout the underworld. He was a protégé of Lucky Luciano and with Lepke Buchalter led the hit squad dubbed ‘Murder Inc.‘ This Albert wiped out the head of the Mangano family in 1951. His track record also included Joe Masseria in 1931.
I can’t not mention Capone. I remember standing in Capone’s solitary cell at Alcatraz in San Francisco harbor. They had fattened up Capone so he couldn’t escape in the deadly currents of the bay. I asked myself how could Capone have been so feared to be locked solitary.
Let’s start with the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Seven members of the South Side Gang eliminated with Thompson sub machine guns by unknown assailants. How many people did Al Capone kill in all? -Linked to over 700 and associated with hundreds of murders.
Writing about Capone is hard boiled. The Jones series while expressing bravado is not hard boiled. But the Charlie Diaper story is a fight for power with Jones in the middle of the action. Also in the action is an off the wall sports reporter named Billy Bobcat who mucks up the waters for Jones with his big mouth. Cocoa is not too fond of this guy either.
I have to ask as the finale of this particular blog as to why the fascination with mob bosses, all of whom were killers and destroyers of lives. Part of it is the magnitude of the enterprise. Nobody I know would put the squeeze on people fueled by murder. When I read about the Civil War’s death and destruction, I’m studying a realm that I will never experience. The power of the bosses goes off the charts too. And yet many of these guys went on and on year after year finally succumbing to the courts or death. One can sit back and read out such things without the risk.
“Be careful who you call your friends. I’d rather have four quarters than one hundred pennies.”
Robert P. Fitton