Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mob Con 2013

Andrew DiDonato, Me, Frank Calabrese Jr.
This weekend was Mob Con 2013 and it was fun! Great audience and so many good speakers.  
I spent most of my time with Frank Calabrese Jr and Andrew DiDonato, great guys!

Frank told a story about how he was taken down by the FBI in Chicago. He was downstairs in his place and his family was in their beds, when the FBI knocked on his door and asked for him to come out.  Frank got his shirt on and then went to his front closet, because his alarm box was in the closet, and he noticed Agents watching him warily through the window. Frank yelled “I'm just turning off the alarm!” to assure them he wasn’t reaching for a gun, and then he opened the door. They told him that he was being arrested.  As he was getting cuffed his wife came to the top of the stairs and asked what was going on.

Frank: Its the FBI, I’m just getting arrested.  Go back to bed.  
Wife: What?  What should I do?  
Frank: Call my Father.  
FBI: We already got him, Frank.
Frank: Okay, call my Uncle.  
FBI We picked him up already too.
Frank: Okay, then just call my brother.  
FBI: We got him tonight also.  
Frank: Honey, just wait for me to call.  
Frank’s story is not just a Mafia story, it is the story of a dysfunctional family and the evil that is Organized Crime.  I highly recommend his book Operation Family Secrets.

Andrew DiDonato had some great stories about being a working street guy in a Gambino Crew. One of those stories was about when he went on the lam.  He was out on parole and one night he got a call from his parole officer who wanted to see him the next day in his office.  Andrew instantly knew that something was wrong because he had already checked in once that week and he had never been asked to come twice.  So he shows up to his P.O.s office and he is sitting there when two guys he knew where FBI agents were buzzed in to the office.  They were giving him the hard stare when they went into the inner office and then the front door buzzed and Andrew made a split second decision and he scrambled through the door. He had his lawyer call his P.O. that night and arrange for his surrender but the P.O. would not tell him a thing.  So his lawyer said fine you find mister DiDonato and hung up.  That started Andrews last 14 months on the street as a Gambino associate.

This was a great weekend because all of us have a kind of support system and its nice to speak with people who have been through the same things in life.
Andrew DiDonato wearing a "Breakshot: The Game is Rigged" Shirt

I was thinking a lot this weekend about all the times I was in Las Vegas with the LA guys.  Hitting Nicky Blairs with Jimmy Caci. Eating at Johnny Mashes place with Steve Cino or meeting up with Steve before he was put in the Black Book.  Watching Keely Smith and Bobby Milano put on a great show.  Old times and even some good times. The good times were good but it does not change what the life was and that was and always will be a dead end.

I have a Las Vegas story that I will tell.  I went with Fat Steve Cino to a Blueberry Hill restaurant in Henderson NV.  Steve could go to Blueberry Hill because they had tables, not just booths, as he was too big to fit into booths.  I liked Steve because he was a gentleman, but he was way, way, way overweight! He was so big that he used to go to his friends salvage yard drive his car onto the scale and they would weigh the car.  He would get out and they would weigh it again!  That was how big he was then!

We were meeting John Bronco and Tony Angeletti at Blueberry Hill for a talk about everything that was going on in Vegas.  They brought a guy with them named Tony Muso who at one time had worked for Ted Binion, the owner of the Horseshoe Casino.  John Branco had two things he wanted to get out.  One was he and Tony claimed that Herbie Blitzstien was a rat. They had a card made of a rats body with Herbie head on it and had brought a newspaper article about Herbie going into some jewelry store for the Cops.  They claimed that this made Herbie a rat.  

They wanted to do something to him. This was their idea and they were pushing it.  Steve Cino told them to chill out but they kept up. Steve told them that he was doing things with Herbie.  They then moved onto Ted Binion who John Bronco wanted to rob.  John owned a lawn service, so he mowed Ted's yard. These guys were petty and between John and Tony Muso they had the whole Binion heist planned.  I left with Steve and both of us shook our heads. I found out later that Ted Binion was warned by Law Enforcement that there was a threat to rob him, but Herbie was never warned.

What a waste.  

Vegas brought back old memories, good and bad, and we created some new ones. It was great swapping stories with Andrew and Frank and I'm already looking forward to doing it again at MOB Con 2014 next year!

New Women's Breakshot Shirts
Selling shirts at Mob Con 2013

Frank Calabrese Jr and I on stage speaking at Mob Con 2013

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