When it comes to the world of Organized Crime people tend to think of the big five New York crime families. The names Gambino, Columbo, Bonanno, Genovse, and Lucchese were not ones that you wanted to hear if you fell out of favor over some ‘minor’ money issue….

For decades the Families operated with impunity. Why fight Law enforcement, when you can own them? A bribe here, a bribe there, and you are off to the races. A ‘gift’ to help buy some groceries can be modified to a ‘threat’ with ease.

Eventually the Law began to see the picture. Bit by bit they nibbled away at the families. Some members ‘rolled’ and turned into Government Witnesses, some died at the hands of their rivals, and yet more were rolled up and look forward to a life behind bars. They have traded Steak for Bologna, Silk for prison issue garb, and power for acceptance.

Some rolled, they became government witnesses, but they found that this route was also prone to problems. The feds wanted the whole story, not just the evidence to convict a single person. It is easy to give up an enemy, but far harder to give up a friend.

I will keep my mouth shut, but I have heard the story of having to give up friends more than once. It was not done willingly, it was done kicking and scratching. The Feds however had the Trump Card, tell us all you know or we throw you back to the Lions.

I was happily unaware of much, in fact all ALL of this in the 80’s and 90’s. There was the occasional Newspaper article about some person ‘Joe ‘Twelve Gauge’ Shotgun who was facing 8 million years behind bars because he was the enforcer for The Stuffed Cannelloni Family. It meant nothing to me. The only gangsters I knew were the kids at the local Gas Station. These hoods changed the price at the pumps every time I stopped in. One day they wanted the outrageous and obviously inflated price of $1.10 per gallon! I was incensed!

I was convinced that Organized Crime was entirely fictitious. A Hollywood invention. The real Organized Crime was being conducted by my bank, the telephone company, and the very seedy Electric Company. They all seemed to be experts on the ‘numbers game’. They all seemed to manage to add some obscure charge to the bill each month. I am pretty certain that had I shut off the electricity completely for the month, I would have still got a bill for ‘non use’. Well obviously they have to send out a grunt to read the meter and record zero usage!

I discovered the real world of Organized Crime when somehow I became involved with author Denny Griffin. To this day I have no clue how it started. But suddenly I found myself immersed in the world of real organized crime.”Three of my five best friends are ex-mobsters” he told me one day! Before you can say Gumbo my Cajun wife was shouting out “Mobster on the phone and he wants to talk to you”.

They may have done bad things in their youth, but I have to say that the ex-mobsters that I know are really good people. Sure they have a bit of a tendency of talking about bank robberies the way us mere mortals talk about a trip to the local Supermarket.

The Hoods in Las Vegas, or more politically correct ex-hoods have started a new and strange venture. Vegas Mob Weddings.

I could not resist. Of course, in my mind, these fine folks are the very epitome of the Terrible Twos. The big difference is that they never grew out of that stage in their life. They are as dangerous today as they were as toddlers!

    Simon I want to introduce you to our latest friend

Said Denny Griffin. it seemed harmless, so I said sure.

The new friend was none other than celeb chef and professional stand up comic Michael Wheels Parise.

Is this Foodie meets the Mob?

I guess we will answer this question tomorrow, tune in and enjoy

It was ‘Wheels’ that officially named me Simon ‘The Pen’ Barrett. Although we did not get into the nits and grits, it seems like I am now a Made Man in the well known Denny Griffin crime family!

Please join me Tomorrow, I may need some witnesses before the Feds lock me up for even knowing these people!

Simon Barrett

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