Have you ever met a mobster?
Yes. Wanna hear the story?
I was working as a laborer, a union job in Philadelphia.
There was a laborer working there who was not actually a laborer. He was a mobster.
He thought he was a badass. He didn't do very much laboring. When he did it was lackluster and uninspired.
A lot of guys gave him respect because he talked real big. A lot...
He had to do a job where he needed to open some wooden crates. Needed a hammer but didn't have one. He asked a carpenter if he could borrow his. The carpenter was a nice guy. Young. Fresh from apprentice school. Eager to please and more than a little impressed by the mobsters big talk. He also had a family, two little kids.
He let the mob guy borrow his hammer.
Mob guy never returns it.
The very same week, the mobster needs a hammer again. Goes up to the guy and asks him for a hammer....
"Where's the one I gave you on Monday?" says the carpenter.
Dont really know what the mob guy said to that, but in the end the carpenter doesn't give him the hammer.
Later that day, the carpenter is up on a ladder doing some work, maybe 25 ft up or so. The mob guy walks over and sees him up there.
Very nonchalantly, mob guy kicks the ladder out and the carpenter falls to the ground and breaks his back.
No one knows what happened (least of all the carpenter) but someone did actually see. The word got out and thank god for the brotherhood of carpenters and joiners, they beat the living crap out of this big talking, piece of living crap mob guy.
See, mobsters think they're tough, but in the end they always get theirs.
My uncle is an Attorney. So it is an everyday event for him to meet gangsters & not-so-gentle people. But once I did!
Once in a blue moon, he asked his clients to come to our home as it was some festival & his chamber was closed. I had gone outside at that time. When I returned, I saw a big guy (really big, around 6′4″ & 100kg+) sitting in my living room with my uncle. Another three people were sitting there but not too close to them.
Oh, yes! I have to dig back into "Miscellaneous" chapters of My Adventurous Life for this one, as no other experience compares. Yes I've met a mobster. In fact, a whole family of them, and more! Not just any family... but one of the families. One of the famous ones, who have been running things for decades, since the old country. You've heard of them.
Now for obvious reasons (pretty much the same reasons that I don't poke a sleeping bear with a stick), I'm going to remain intentionally vague with names and locations. And respectful. But it all happened several years ago... when I met a girl (if I had a nickle for every time a guy's bizarre story started that way...). Well, she seemed nice enough. After some time, we moved in together. And eventually I ended up meeting her family. Specifically... her sister. My girlfriend introduced her, with her last name. "This is my sister, Jane Doe". In the back of my mind, I knew I'd heard the name Doe before. But I didn't really make any connection, consciously.
Months passed, and eventually my girlfriend said we were invited over to her sister's house for dinner. Okay, cool. But then, before we left, she told me "Make sure you don't bring up anything about ‘the family business'" (she actually used air-quotes).
I chuckled a bit and said "What?"
She said "Her father-in-law, Frank Doe, is going to be there".
"Yeah, and probably some more of the family. I'm not sure who."
"What are you talking about?"
"Are you kidding me? You didn't know who her family is? I thought I told you. Sorry."
Suddenly a light bulb came on above my head. "Wait... what? You mean... you mean THAT Frank Doe?! THAT Frank Doe is your sister's family?!!"
"Yeah, sorry. I thought I told you. But don't worry, it's no big deal."
"Fucking Frank Doe... from the mafia... is your sister's family."
"Yeah. Come on, let's go. We're going to be late."
So there I was, going to meet the mafia, and have dinner with a whole bunch of them. It suddenly made buying the right wine, for a dinner gift, much more important. Her sister had married Frankie Doe Jr.! So, Frank, Frankie Jr. and most of the rest of my dinner party were familiar to me because they were The Freaking Mob. And they were also all characters in a fairly famous Hollywood movie! I could tell you which actors portrayed each of them. But if I did that... I'd have to kill ya. Frank Sr's father was currently in Federal prison, for the events depicted in that famous movie, and Frank Sr. took over the business. Actually, I don't even know if the father was alive any more, but he was sent to prison for a long time. Well... this was going to be interesting.
So we went to dinner. I met everyone. Granted, everyone was cool. It's not like I expected everyone to have an ice-pick in their jacket pocket and machine guns stacked in the umbrella holder, upon entry. They were relatively normal. Very ethnic. The conversation... some was ambiguous, yet I think I could tell what they were talking about. Sort of. I could have heard some references about "mob stuff". Or it could have been my imagination, fueled by the circumstances.
A friend of mine lives in a large block of units in the Sydney suburb of Leichhardt. There are also shops and businesses in the block. A well known Sydney gangster by the name of Pasquale Barbaro lived in the same block of units. He was an extremely aggressive person, shaved his head, heavily tattooed and very muscular - steroids?. The other residents avoided him. Here are some of the incidents that occurred while he was living in the units:
There is a a two storey carpark in the basement of the building. The local library is also housed in the same building and they have been allocated car parking spaces like everyone else. One day Barbaro parked in a library parking space. The librarian asked him to park elsewhere. He responded by using all sorts of language which can't be put on Quora. He also threatened to have her bumped off. When she left at the end of the day, he followed her in his own car for some distance. She was fairly shaken by the experience.
Barbaro was married and lived with his wife in one of the units. He regularly beat up his wife. The resident in the unit above, advised her to take out an AVO (Apprehended Violence Order), which I think she eventually did.
This very short article in the Sydney Morning Herald states that his friends thought he was "arrogant" and "difficult to deal with". Based on how he behaved when he was at Leichhardt, I would say that's a fair assessment.
Early one evening in November 2015, I was visiting my friend in Leichhardt. Suddenly a noise like a car back firing came up from the street outside. Then another backfire. Later that evening we learnt that it was someone shooting at Barbaro. He managed to escape his would be assassin on that occasion.
He eventually moved out of the block. He was gunned down a year after the first shooting in the Sydney suburb of Earlwood in November 2016.
In the year of 2011, i went Jakarta, Indonesia. It was a standard 3 week business trip. I have never been to Indonesia before. Around those times is when there was some unrest due to the religion of peace being offended at yet another thing and some commotion happened a few days before i went there.
Everything settled down and things were good by the time i landed but it still made me a bit "jittery". I kept to myself and went to restaurants and bars right next to my hotel by foot, and would then come back. After 3 days of this i could not stand to go to the same mall next to the hotel. I hate room service in hotels and i always go out, every single day, when i travel. I must, or my head will explode.
I was busy at work during the 1st week and some people in our client company offered to take us out for the evening for some drinking and dinner. Rather, dinner and then some drinking. Our clients took us to a nice traditional Indonesian food place. It was a make shift restaurant on the streets, along the pavement, but a well established and a famous one. The food was great. We had a good time.
We then went to a pub. It was along a strip where many of the establishments were "hostess-bars". The kind where you could pay to have a girl sit with you and drink with you. If you paid more money, you could probably do more, in the "VIP room". It wasn't strictly a pick up bar but it was more than just a place where you could grab a drink.
The fascinating part about this pub wasn't the scantily glad girls wanting you to buy them a drink (they are paid a commission for every drink you buy) or asking you to go to the "VIP Room" with them.
The girls were all managed by a local Indonesian lady and the pub was owned by, wait for it...
An Irish man.
Ryan, came to Jakarta 11 years ago and married this woman and then opened up this girly bar. That was his story.
The trouble with girly bars is that whenever clients or friends throw parties or organise something, I'm always hesitant to go since a few of them out-rightly reject people with disabilities. A few others, have bad service since the object of the business isn't really about the good drinks or the food.
The good part of course, men with crutches or on wheelchairs, are never hounded and bothered by the working girls for money or attention. Even the women aren't spared. There are girls catering to the lesbians just as well as girls, catering to straight men.
Anyways, Ryan introduced me to his partner, Dudley. Dudley was Australian. The bar next to Ryan's, was run by Ajeeth, an Indian guy, who was born in the UK as well and is a British citizen. Ajeeth's kidneys failed 15 years ago. He came to Jakarta on his last vacation, as he was facing certain death in a years time. He fell in love with Maudi, and they married. Maudi, gave him one of her kidneys. He now lives on that kidney, which is slowly failing as well after 13 years, post surgery. Ajeeth, however, loves his single malts. He has his will written out and Maudi gets everything after he dies.
I can go on and on, but i met around a dozen of such people in the next 5 days, as i would stop by this pub after dinner, every single day. Ryan and i are great friends and funny, i found Ryan on facebook and added him.
One of these days, when i was sitting and drinking with Ryan, he compelled me to try one of his scotch. I do not drink coloured liquor but he offered and insisted, so i tried. I also tried a Colombian cigar he had. We were being routinely eye-balled by a gentleman, always dressed in brown shirt and brown pants, with white leather shoes. This happened almost every day. The curiosity got the better of me one day and i asked Ryan.
Me: "Who is that guy who sits by the door? He smiles at me everyday but never responds or speaks a word after..."
Ryan: Oh him? He is Lim. He is mafia. If he smiles at you, its good. He never does that. If you have trouble in Indonesia, you go talk to him and then after, there will be no trouble.
I called the waiter and sent Lim a beer, the next 3 days, every-time i landed at the bar. We got talking and he would ornately decorate the evening with stories of his exploits that look no less than fight sequences from "The Raid" movie.
In fact, im suspect that half a dozen sequels of that movie can be made with 1 evening worth of chatting him up.
Lim is a nice guy. I guess everyone is human beneath all that you have to do work work or in the pursuit of your profession. One of the wildest birthday parties i have been to in my life, was Ajeeths birthday party on a Friday night, at his bar.
Lim and his men, escorted me through the place and made sure i was around Ajeeth, Ryan and the other bar owners and that people dont trip me over or push and shove in all the alcohol filled frenzy at the party.
Hopefully, one more visit to Jakarta will happen next year. Fingers crossed.
In prison, many of the prisons, whom the outside world calls sociopaths psychopaths are merely demented scoundrels. They will steal from you and abuse you, lie and manipulate like it's the oxygen they breathe , they are usually dangerous in a crowd, but not necessarily one on one.
The people you have to look out for are the killers, gang members and truly sick people .
Believe it or not, most of the people in prison are want to be gang bangers; they are really the bitches as they say. They are the grunts and are easily manipulated.
As they say, "it's the fine art of the devil to not let you know he's around" and this is so true of the smart gang leaders and even many of the ordinary gang leaders.
The reason why, they don't want to be known and be a target. Target for the cops and other gang members and also, they appreciate stealth. The guys who strut their stuff generally don't do it around other gang members. They just don't live very long.
Yeah, I've been in the presence of Mobster and Gang leaders and it make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
I really feel for the Cops. 80% of the people they meet are just clowns, but the guys whom are really dangerous, you just rather not meet. You want to see your family and have a some what pleasant life. Life is way too short and you're not paid enough.
I have, my father bought a couple of buildings from them and rented a few more. My sister while in graduate school, works at a retirement home where the head of the family was at. He was also trying to impress my at the time young sister with stories about how many cops and judges he had in the payroll. Quite a few years later, I was in a meeting with a man hundreds of miles away, with a familiar name. I asked him if he was from____, he said yes and i had the chance to ask him a question about the two family names that I would always hear about. Turns out that long ago it was a brother sister team and the sister took a married name and into the family business.
Here is what I learned. Treat them with the same respect that you should treat others and they will be treat you the same
When my family moved to______there were headlines about another famous that was moving from KC. At the time, they eventually found had some control over over the local paper and you never heard from them again. Pretty much all of their actions went unreported and many problems didn't know anything about them
If they don't want to be found, you won't find them. And when you do, treat them just like you would any other person.