Chapter Two

About the Author
Special Announcements
Order Pieces of White
Pieces of White continued
Of Another Time
Of Loves Lost
Theatre of the Mind
New Poems
New Poems
New Poems
Beauty of Death
Short Stories
Life With Father: A Personal Story
In Tribute
The Beginning
Guest Poet of the Month
Favorite Links

Chicago, Illinois

Hastings Street

Christmas Eve, 1929


My Father had been at Johnny Spadafores apartment, drinking bootleg whiskey and consorting with the local ladies of the evening for most of the day. As day turned to evening and evening to the midnight hour, he decided to go home. He stumbled down the stairs before finally falling onto Hastings Street. 

He picked himself up and began staggering towards his car as two men slowly drove by.

They stopped their car a short distance away and began walking toward him. The air was cold and there were snowflakes swirling in the constant breeze. The street lights had long been shot out and the windows of the apartments were covered with blinds and curtains and newspapers. These were times when you heard nothing and saw nothing if you knew what was good for you.

Father told me, many years later, that he did not hear the sound of the machine gun. He said he didn't even feel the spray of bullets that left large scars upon his back, cascading down to his buttocks, leaving a nasty trail of bullets that had hit him. There were seven in all, some larger than the others. Scars riddled his skin, reminders of a near death.  Someone was watching over him on that cold night, he would say later.

Johnny took him to the hospital and left him laying at the feet of the attendants there. He was not hurt badly from the bullets. It seems his heavy overcoat and staggering nearly sideways had diverted the impact of the shells. However, the police had a lot of questions. .  Under intense investigation, he was convicted of  several felonies and for being a soldier for Capone. He spend several years in  Joliet prison. While in lock up he learned that the man he had shot off the running board of the near hijacked truck in 1928 had not died. For that he was thankful.

While in prison, he learned to barber and began reading the bible.

His gangster days were over. He vowed he would become a preacher once he got out of prison. Besides, as prohibition came to an end in 1933, everyone he knew back in those days was either dead, in jail, or running from the law. Even so, he still had a few scrapes once he got out of prison and one of them lead to his shooting old Doc Shipley, in the middle of the street in Springfield, Mo.( he never made known why or when that happened. ) He also practiced dentistry, without a license, until the late 1950’s. He finally obtained a dental license and went to work in a large dental office where he became a specialist in bridgework, partial plates and dentures.  He also became a proficient student of the bible and joined the ranks of Jehovah's Witnesess after being released from prison.

I remember him as the toughest, the most violent, and the wariest minister I had ever known.  Yet, his devotion to God and family became increasingly stronger as the years wore on and his love for and his knowledge of the bible became legendary.  He was a kind and devoted Father, with a iron rod on his lap and a bible in his hand.  One was never sure which one he would turn to in times of oppression.


Chapter Three