Noticing that the movie “The Cotton Club” was broadcast on television a week or so ago brought back memories of watching it when it first came out in 1984. Those were the days I still went to the movies a handful of times a year. I especially liked it because it combined two of my favorite film genres- gangster and musical. Like most Americans, I find the so-called world of mafia more than interesting. Of course, I’d prefer it from the outside looking in.
I vaguely remember in the very early 1960’s the murder of Mr. Crispino. He owned a very popular as well as profitable Norge Village on Madison Street in Austin on the far west side of Chicago. Those were the days before fancy washer and dryers were common appliances in the basement of homes and apartment buildings. Norge was the brand name of his equipment. My parents would go there armed with coins to put in the coin-operated machines. They’d take me along either figuring I would help out or keep me out of trouble in fighting with my sisters who were being watched by our grandparents.
So, it was definitely what you would call a very cash oriented business. Apparently Mr. Crispino didn’t properly pass around the cash as one day he was gunned down and stuffed in one of the big dryers. I can’t tell you if the murderer put a quarter in the slot for the spin cycle. But it was the first experience in being made aware of a mob action close to home.
Continue reading “Mob Action”