Tommy Red

Tommy Red
The Progressive Killer

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Welcome Sarina! ... the Volvo ... John Fante ... Dame Joan ... Rigoletto ...

Amici:

Doc is back (oh, joy) and today my beloved New York State Buffalo Bills can’t lose (bye week) but the real good news is a cousin from way back in my Canarsie past has surfaced (god bless the Internet) ... cousin Sarina Prizza lives in Australia these days and we reconnected this week. I can’t tell you how cool this is ... her Dad and Mom, Uncle Joe and Aunt Bright Eyes (how we knew them) lived on 81st Street in Canarsie and were always the most gracious hosts when Mom and Pop Stella (Uncle Tommy & Aunt Hope--before the Stella family scandal), shipped us (my sister and myself) off to 81st for some overnight entertainment with two of the brightest kids in Canarsie. Sarina’s brother John is a lawyer (but we don’t hold that against him) and Sarina has lived in Spain and now Australia with her husband; they have three kids. Uncle Joe was the greatest, really. I remember him taking all of us to the beach at Coney Island and always felt very protected around him. Sarina’s mom and my grandfather (Carmelo--whom I’m named after) were siblings.

Of course it’s the white sharks and all those poisoned jellyfish (not to mention crocs) that will keep the ugly one from swimming in the seas off the coast down under, but Tom Cerami (who lived directly across the street from Uncle Joe and Aunt Rose Stella on 95th Street) I know went diving with his wife in those waters (Tom, a former marine, was always a lot braver than moi). Obviously, so is his wife. Crocodiles (and alligators) remain a constant ugly one nightmare (the one where the alligators and crocs are all over the living room floor and Rigoletto is running around between them while I’m on the couch trying to get him) ... the dream ends with me using a bazooka on the house (although I always think of that AFTER I wake up).

Hey, they even made a movie about Sarina’s clan (Prizzi’s Honor) ... just joking amici, it was Momma Stella’s side of the family that was mobbed up ... Gazut (Gasper) and Aldo Calderazzo. Gazut was one of Tony Spilatro’s victims (one of the holes in the desert in the movie Casino) when he was sent to Vegas for some of the New York skim. Aldo identified his brother’s body.

Welcome Sarina to Knucksworld (I’ll fill her in on the Knucksline silliness in emails) ... and here’s the best part: She’s a Soprano’s fan. How cool is that? I’m sending her all the Stella books Monday so she can read up on where (and what) she lived amongst back in the day. Canarsie was one of the most mobbed up little burgs in New York at one time ... think Goodfellas (the Luchesi Family) ...

The Volvo ... the tank is a beast and with all the yellow stripes I had on the Honda from tagging cabs in Manhattan when they did that driving in two lanes bullshit, now I can count the ones I’ll put on the sidewalk. What’s that line again? “Come on, cabbie, make my day ...”


Wait Until Spring, Bandini ... a John Fante book every eye-talian should read was recommended by the fun fellas at Men Reading Books (because I’m an eye-talian?) ... what a GREAT read. I’ll be ordering the rest of Fante’s books soon as I catch up on some others I’m reading through now (currently, When Pride Still Mattered: A life of Vince Lombardi) ...

Speaking of Vince ... or, as he’s better known at Casa Stella, GOD.



RIP Dame Joan Sutherland ... perhaps the greatest soprano ever passed last week. She took the fat man under her thumb and brought perhaps the greatest tenor ever to light.

No, not me, Doc, Pavarotti ...

Hey, Sarina also likes opera! Here’s one for her (and the Doc) ... from the opera named after my dog (or vice versa), Rigoletto ...

Okay, I gotta go see Momma Stella now ... Don Corleone is anxious to give her sonny boy a big kiss on the chops and her sonny boy can’t wait to break her shoes ...

—Knucks