I have been playing "Mafia Wars" on Facebook with some of my friends. It kind of brings back memories from when I was a girl in Wisconsin. We lived between Chicago and Milwaukee. We had a good customer that "adopted" my brother and myself. He didn't have any kids and did not think that my parents were fit parents. (Like teaching kids the best way to off someone qualifies for parent of the year.) I always heard that he was from the mob, but I just laughed it off. Apparently, he was a "Self-Made Man." He served time for one of the big guys in Chicago, and they had a limo waiting for him when he got out of prison. No one could touch him, and he could say anything he wanted. He offered to "talk" to my first husband when things went south. I blew him off, but when I told him (ex), he got really scared and paranoid. He kept looking for bombs under his car. Anyway, I got divorced and decided to move to Milwaukee. "Big Al" had "friends" there, and set me up with a job there. I had a job and an apartment waiting for me. I was scheduled to work for the "family." I blew this guy off thinking that he was drunk and ignored him. I found my own job, place to live, etc. I found out many years later that "Big Al" wasn't kidding, that all of this was for real. Wow! The last time I saw "Big Al" was after I joined the Church, and right before I moved to Arizona. He said to me, "So now you're a Mormon, huh Kid?" When I acknowledged this he said, "Good for you!" Whenever I go to Wisconsin, people ask me, "Do you remember Big Al?" Like I am an expert on him or something.
A few years ago, we were joking with one of the members of our Bishopric. We were teasing him about tell the Teachers Quorum not to spoil their dates. He asked if Mark harrassed me. I told him no, that I was a protected species. Then the above story came out. He started calling me the "Mafia Princess" after that. He is a podiatrist, and I am a patient of his. He was doing an exam and asked if my legs were bigger when I was a Mafia Princess. LOL! (They shrunk due to paralysis.)
When my Dad died, we got a floral arrangement from the local "family." I was certain to send the first "thank you" card to them. My family has a long history of these "affiliations." They were on the sidelines. However, my family did help out with hiding John Dillinger. My grandma even danced with him and was friends with his girlfriend, Evelyn "Billie" Freshette. My greataunts and grandma said that he was very well dressed, had wonderful manners, and was a smoooooth dancer.
My Grandpa Brunner was buried next to Bonnie Parker of "Bonnie and Clyde" fame. Funny how those things work out.
This is John Dillinger:
This is Billie Freshette:
Thank you for letting me share some memories with all of you.
This is Frank Balistrieri:
This is from Wikipedia:
Frank P. Balistrieri also known as "Mr. Big", "Frankie Bal", "Mr. Slick", and "Mad Bomber" (May 27, 1918-February 7, 1993) was a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mafia boss who was a central figure in casino skimming during the 1980s.Balistrieri was college educated and attended law school for six months. Short in stature, Balistrieri took great pride in his appearance. As a young man, he started working for the Milwaukee crime family, which owed allegiance to the powerful Chicago Outfit criminal organization in Chicago. Balistrieri soon built a reputation for arrogance, cruelty and ruthlessness. Balistrieri allegedly received the "Mad Bomber" nickname because he frequently used Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) attached to cars as weapons against his enemies. His father-in-law and Milwaukee boss, John Alioto, was soon grooming Balistrieri as his successor.
In 1961, Alioto retired and Balistrieri took control of the Milwaukee family. Balistrieri eventually referred to himself as, “....the most powerful man in Milwaukee.” After the "hit" on acutance, August "Augie" Palmisano, Balistrieri was quoted as saying, "He called me a name - to my face - and now they can't find his skin!" Balistrieri conducted his business at a table at Snug's restaurant in Milwaukee's Shorecrest Hotel, giving orders over a red telephone. In March 1967, Balistrieri was convicted of income tax evasion and was sent to prison for two years. In June 1971, he was released.