page contents Google


As Told To BoomerPDX.
Young Al Capone At 25

Young Al Capone At 25

“…My Grandpa was a baker in Chicago, you know, bread and cakes and pastries.

“One of his customers had him drive to Cicero to deliver cakes.

“The customer was Al Capone. My uncles told me about it at Grandpa’s funeral.

“He’d take the cakes in and the gangsters would hand them out, then pay him.

“Al Capone would give him a tip and ask if he wanted to gamble it or keep it.

“Grandpa usually kept it, you know, because five dollars was a real tip in those days.

“He’d go into the gangster’s lair knowing he’d be okay because his cakes were the best in the city. That’s why Al wanted them after he moved to Cicero.

“It’s kind of funny thinking about the family you see in old pictures dealing with famous gangsters, but they wanted cake and Grandpa was the man.

“Now and then he and his youngest son, who were best friends, would tell Grandma they were going on a fishing trip for a week.

“I don’t know how they turned into best friends, but my uncle and his dad did everything together.

“The fishing trip was a regular thing, but they didn’t go fishing.

“Instead, they’d pack and head down to the train station. The train they wanted was Al Capone’s gambling train.

“Grandpa didn’t take the bait in Cicero, but he liked playing cards.

“One of the reasons Capone was so hard to get was things like the train. He was mobile, like he had his own casino on rails.

“Turns out Grandpa was good at cards. On one trip he was up and my uncle down. His side of the story, the one he told at Grandpa’s funeral, was he asked for five dollars after he tapped out. Grandpa loaned him five.

“By the end of the train trip the five had turned into five hundred. Since Capone knew my Grandpa was an honest man with an honest family, everyone got home safely.

“I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one with stories like this, but hearing them from the source was like going back in time.”

The Time Machine Effect

Listening to a man who heard Al Capone stories from people who were there isn’t the same as Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

The history of Big Al suggests he was more lethal than most Hollywood actors. He didn’t let his enemies go foot loose when he had a chance to get them. They’d more likely end up foot-less.

What are the most likely gangster-next-door stories from today? Instead of booze, gambling, and prostitution promoted by grown men in suits, not that there’s any celebrating murderers here, it’s a crack house run by shady dealers.

The state runs the booze distribution operation today. It also runs the lottery with Indian tribes opening casinos.

Prostitution is legal in certain states, but happens even in sweet little Oregon, the latest example being a thirteen year old pimped out to a strip club Beaverton.

Even the drug cartel is getting flanked by legal marijuana campaigns.

There was Al in his prime, looking like the winner of Greatest Gangster competition in his suits and luxury cars.

Today’s gangsters don’t have the same style, though they often die the same way.

Who in your family would you guess has gangster stories from their grandparents’ days?

Ask about it the next time you’re together and see what comes out.

You might be surprised.




About David Gillaspie
%d bloggers like this: