Good Morning Ted and Jody:
I ran into the Federalist Papers this morning (they were just lying around the reading room) and started at the beginning. I couldn’t help but think how appropriate they are still (probably will be as the nature of people doesn’t seem to want to change). “nothing could be more ill-judged than that intolerant spirit which has, at all times, characterized political parties. For in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.” [Federalost Number 1] We have all of these politicians bleating about this and that and it all boils down to keeping the American People in the dark about the politicians’ corrupt ways—campaign finance and the best Congress the moneyed interests can buy. Samuel Clemens was right “There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” However, there are many aspirants to that lowly position.
Warmest regards, Ed
013 27 Years Before the Present – Part I — Evening Encounter
Fiction in 1076 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Alfred and Mindy Blanchard walked arm and arm out of The Club Royal. Alfred handed the valet ticket to the attendant and they stood, not talking next to a rather large and very inebriated man. The man swayed and touched Mindy with his shoulder, straightened up and burped. “Wass takin ssso long,” the man said. At that moment a valet pulled up in a maroon, 1930 Packard 745 Deluxe Eight. “Ssss about time,” the man spit out.
The valet got out of the driver’s seat and walked around the car only to bump into the inebriated man walking unsteadily towards the back of the car. “This your car, buddy?” the valet asked.
“Damned ssstraight that smy ssstraight eight,” the man managed and laughed at his own wordplay while staggering as he walked toward the open driver’s door.
The valet ran back to the driver’s seat, opened the door reached in switched off the engine, pulled the keys and put the keys in his vest pocket. “Sorry, Sir, if I let you drive in your condition and you have an accident I will face criminal and civil actions. I can’t let you drive.”
“I’ll ssshow you an action you little pipppsqueek” said the man pulling an automatic from under his coat, pushing the muzzle in the valet’s face and pulling the trigger.
Blood, bone and gray matter erupted from the back of the valet’s head spreading across the trunk of the Packard and the sidewalk beyond. The man collapsed backward but moving at the same time as if he had been hit by a rocket.
Before anyone could react, the drunk bent over, pulled his car keys from the dead valet’s vest pocket and snarled, “You want action, Salvatore Persico give you action.” He stepped over the dead valet, turned around and spit on the dead valet, got in his car, took a couple of tries to get the key in the ignition to turn the engine over. Finally getting the engine to catch, he drove off missing 2nd gear and using most of all three lanes in the street negotiating the first block.
When Salvatore Persico pulled his gun, Alfred Blanchard had the presence of mind to pull his wife behind a column holding up the night club’s canopy. He placed himself and the column between Mindy and the shooter. When the car pulled off Alfred tilted his wife’s chin lifting her face and asked, “You O.K?”
Mindy Blanchard shook her head, “That was a shock. I’m OK, but feel like my knees have turned to rubber.” She pointed down to her knees showing beneath her skirt, “See, they are shaking.” Then concern washed across her face and she asked, “Are you O.K.”
Alfred nodded and said, “He only fired once. I don’t think the man even knew we were here.”
Mindy asked, “Did you get his plate number.”
“Honey that has to be the only 1930 Packard 745 Deluxe Eight in the city that still runs. A car that is over 50 years old, in mint condition, will not be hard for the police to find,” replied Alfred Blanchard. “Besides, the idiot used his name, Salvatore Persico.”
Three squad cars seem to appear out of nowhere. Red and blue flashing light drew a crowd. 11:30 in the evening and people of all ages converged to see the show that accompanied squad cars whose lights were flashing. A uniformed patrolman worked to get the crowd moved back. “Nothing more to see folks. Go home. Clear the street and sidewalk so we can do our job.” The officer nudged Alfred and said, “That includes you and your girlfriend too buddy.”
“My wife and I were three feet from the shooter when he killed the valet,” said Alfred Blanchard. “I saw the whole thing. Salvatore Persico driving a maroon, 1930 Packard 745 Deluxe Eight, pulled a large caliber automatic from under his jacket, put it in the valet’s face and killed the man.”
The Patrolman put a restraining hand on Alfred Blanchard’s arm and said, “On second thought come with me, the detectives are going to want to talk to you.”
Detective Archie Clements had a strained look on his face as Alfred Blanchard finished his retelling of the murder and the events leading up to the murder. “And you are absolutely sure the man said his name was Salvatore Persico?”
Alfred Blanchard shook his head yes. “The man said ‘You want action, Salvatore Persico give you action. He said it clearly, even for a drunk.”
“Would you mind coming down to the station now to look at mug shots?” Detective Clements asked.
“No problem replied Alfred Blanchard. “But, we have to catch our train back to Chicago by noon,” looking at his watch, “tomorrow.”
“No, question, the witness identified the Mafia boss as the shooter, Salvatore Persico,” said Detective Clements. “Traffic even found the Don in his car passed out some mile from The Club Royal. Bone fragments, blood and gray matter still on the trunk. He even still had the gun lying on the front seat.”
His Lieutenant looked alarmed and said, “Is there a DA in the night court that can keep him in jail?”
“Hell, we could let him sleep if off and then deal with his Miranda Rights and attorney if the DA is on the ball,” replied Detective Clements.
“This guy will testify?” asked the Lieutenant.
“Yes, but we will have to bring him back from Chicago,” replied Detective Clements.
“Does he have any idea who he will be testifying against?” asked the Lieutenant.
“I told him,” said Detective Clements. “He did not seem the least bit impressed. He said he recognized the name but only after thinking about it. Apparently, Al Capone inured Chicagoans to Mafia types.”
“Is his address on any of the paperwork?” asked the Lieutenant.
“I have a note in my wallet, but for the address on Form 199, I listed him as Room 301 of the Jersey Shores Hotel,” replied Deceptive Clements.
“Good thinking,” said his Lieutenant reaching for the phone on his desk. He dialed a number and said, “I think you better come down, we have the goods on Salvatore Persico.” He listened for a minute and then said, “We have a credible witness, the gun, and forensic evidence coming out the wazoo.” He listened again and then said, “Good idea. I’ll contact the U.S. Marshall Service before you get here.” He hung up.