My wife thinks I know the strangest people, actually she may be right. The other day I picked up the phone and off into the world of the not ‘regular’ I went. Jan asked me ‘Mobster, FBI, CIA Spook, or your daughter’. I assured her that it was not my daughter.

‘OK, I’ll bet it was a mobster’

It is times like this that you just wish the ground would swallow you. I fought back with ‘Honey, I know lots of people’!

Jan has an uncanny knack of figuring out what I am up to. It was Andrew DiDonato on the phone. His DVD documentary has just been released.

The Gambino family is in the news again, Andrew left the family in 1997, but very much he is still the source of knowledge and wisdom on the subject. Surviving The Mob is an opus on the Gambino family.

I have talked with Andrew several times, I have assured my wife Jan that the mob are not after us. She still watches passing cars for potential trouble. So far her vigilance has paid off, no gangsters have attacked us.

Today I had a very unique opportunity. I talk to authors, film makers, and even stars on occasion. It is rare that you can get all of the miscreants in one spot. I like to refer to it as herding cats.

By some miracle I managed to get crime writer Denny Griffin, ex mobster Andrew DiDonato, and the two major wheels at 2reelproductions Jay Cleveland and JC Willette all on the phone. If we had a basement in this house I would have been in it, Flak jacket and hard hat on!

I have always wanted to understand the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff that goes on. The actual filming of Surviving The Mob was done in two days, the pre, and post production took months.

As Jay and JC pointed out, ‘We didn’t even have a way to contact Andrew, it was all done through a third party.’ I could guess who the ‘third party’ was, but he is a friend of mine, so I will just shut up.

Although it did not seem a viable project the folks at 2reelproductions did it. It took a couple of iterations but these folks have found the magic formula. I am one of the very few folks that saw the ‘raw footage’, I was stunned. My advice to Andrew was ignore everyone, just blast ahead.

He did, and so did the folks at 2reelproductions.

The DVD hit the street last week. This is one that you will not want to miss.

You can hear the entire program here.

Simon Barrett

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