The Old Neighborhood

Hitters were Predators and the other two groups their victims, that was the extent of the relationship. Tony was a diplomat who operated in all three worlds and somehow survived. “Youse Leaf-Rack guys were like the first ATM machine”, Tony observed.

Club 21 was like a prep school for Mafia Wise Guy wannabes. A true criminal enterprise. Tony Provolone was the court jester for the gang. He was into some small time criminal activity with the boys, but they wouldn’t let him become a member. Tony was considered a loose cannon. He says his rejection was because his mother had a heart condition, typical bullshit.

Tony proudly informs me that all the guys from the gang are either dead or are indefinitely in the can.

The only exception is Johnny Mendola, who became a Catholic Priest. The gang would visit Father Johnny in his upper middle class Westchester, New York Church. They wanted to help Father Johnny increase the collections on Sundays. “Father Johnny kindly rejected their benevolent offer.” Tony bewilderedly said to me, making the sign of the cross and bowing his head.

“Do you think maybe Johnny Mendola became a Priest because he was really gay?” I questioned, trying to get some juicy info to make my trip worthwhile. I raised that supposition knowing if Club 21 ever knew Johnny was a fag, even his family wouldn’t mind if they clipped him. Johnny might have had to hide with his homosexuality in the Church.

“NO FUCKING WAY,” Tony said through tightened lips, giving me the “Murder One Look.” “No Club 21 guys was ever fags...... NEVER....... Even those in the can!” He added.

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