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Chapter 1 - Interrogation at Gracie Mansion - Al Capone's 1931 Cadillac

Told by a "True Story Whisper-a"

Al Capone's Car - Video Below......

Me and my sister Angie and about the age I was when I started to experiment with the Candid Camera sequel......Should one look close enough one can barely capture the twinkle in my eye.....

Me and My Sister Angie in the park... This photo was taken several years earlier and sometime before I started to experiment with the public drinking fountain as you will read in the story line written below.....

...My Dad's Ellis Island Certificate stipulating that his family name has been added to the "The American Immigrant Wall of Honor" at Ellis Island

~ New York City Mayor's Gracie Mansion ~ As I recall I was taken into one of the basement rooms for interrogation ~

~ A look-see at the inside of New York City Mayor's home called Gracie Mansion ~

~ On our family tour of the Mansion in the summer of 2012 we were escorted upstairs to the beautiful bedrooms section ~

~ Entrance way to one of the most nicest and beautiful Mansions in NYC called Gracie Mansion ~ The drinking fountain that would shoot ten feet into the air as described in the storyline below, can be located just a few feet on the left side of the entrance way to the park ~

~ My parents spent their Honeymoon in Venus, Italy ~

Chapter 1

Memory Lane -- first mayor/almost - 1941 Memories by Barbera

I was the first Mayor of New York City to live in Gracie Mansion..........Well, almost........It all happened in 1941.........

First lets go back to the early years lets say 1920 when my dad first came to America from the town of Sannicandro di Bari, Italy around that time at age 17.........After going through Ellis Island he would settle in Chicago with his older brother Frank and he once told me that he shot pool in the same pool hall as Al Capone...Did he shoot pool with big Al ? He never said he did and I seriously doubt that he did, but we will never know the answer to that question as I always knew him to be an honest, dedicated hard working family man.......

I have found many different videos depicting Al Capone's favorite car but I chose to use this one as it was well done and contained music of that time period......

(See 1st video below)

My dad decided to move to the famous city of New York and start his children of four (after he went back to Italy to meet and marry my mom, went to Venus for their Honeymoon and than return to N.Y.C.).....He later told me that the reason why he left Chicago was because he was able to obtain a job working in a Chicago battery factory and the acid from the batteries was eating into his fingertips....When his brother Frank found this out he made my Dad quit his job and they would together move to NYC....

I was born on 70th Street in the upper east side of Manhattan in an apartment building in the 1930's.............In those days they would use mid-wives to assist in the delivery and because I wasn't really ready to enter this world, like many other babies, I entered this world yelling and screaming... My dad would tell me later in life that because of that screaming the attending nurse was trying to shove a rag in my mouth and my dad had to stop her.......I bet it was than that he started to learn some of the english languish that we all know but don't like to hear.......

We later moved to 88th street between First Ave and York Ave [1939 - (my dad becoming the iceman on that block) and the next block going eastbound would be East End Ave where the beautiful Carl Scharz Park was located with its famous Gracie Mansion (mayor's mansion) in the park and directly in line with 88th street.......Well anyway, in 1941 at a very young age I would go to visit this park alone as there was hardly any traffic in those days and I was able to cross the streets without any problems.......

In front of and off to the side of Gracie Mansion was a drinking fountain where the water continuously ran without having to push or hold any buttons.....I guess in those days they felt that there was plenty of water and it was ok to waste some of it........To my amazement about 200 feet from the fountain I discovered a pipe in the ground that would make the drinking water at the fountain shoot 10 feet into the air when one stepped on the pipe.......Unfortunately for the drinkers this would be a young boys delight......I will not get into the entertainment that this fountain would give any young boy like myself.....Much better than any electronic games of today.....This should only be viewed as normal child mischief and not as any violent conduct......It is sort of like a "Candid Camera sequel" ahead of its time......

This adult fluke in design would be how I (almost) became the first mayor of New York City to live in Gracie Mansion before all the mayors that came after me, if you Google and check the records........ One day when I was checking out this design to see if I could improve it, the pipe broke when I stepped on it and low and behold the park gained a Geiger free of charge.........The "parkies" (park police) as the kids used to call them, didn't see it that way....They proceeded to chase me but were unable to catch me being I was the fastest kid on the block, and later in life would come in second in the citywide Randells Island City Races (1945) -

Although there is a story that goes I could have come in first in the Randells Race if I was able to click into my magical brain waves to get my legs to go faster than they were actually going....It seems somehow I developed a way to be able to make this feat happen even though I dont know how I did it and at that time in my life I was unable to summon those magical brain waves due to the fact that if I had, my eyeglasses that started to bounce on my face would have fallen off and break, an experiance I could not afford to again have with my parents.........

Getting back to the parkies, the only problem was that I didn't yet compare to the brains of the parkies and they were able to coach me to give myself up to them so they could take me into Gracie Mansion and interrogate me......

After their interrogation in one of the basement rooms they eventually let me go and I believe that's why I (almost) became the first Mayor of New York City to live in Gracie Mansion approximately 70 years ago......I was in that building before all the many mayors that came after me.........This is a true story, so help me God............Nick........

Tuesday, April 12, 2011, 12:35 PM


PS......Above you will see two pictures of me and my sister Angie in Carl Schurz Park....In the picture that shows my sister in her Communion dress we were sitting on a bridge in the park that can be viewed and located at time slot "3:54" in the Carl Schurz Park 2nd video located below and at the end of this story.......

Wikipedia: History of Gracie Mansion ......Friend and driver of Al Capone's car... The above link that I recently discovered through research concerns a true story where President Roosevelt used Al Capones bullet proof 1928 Cadillac for his very own protection, sometime after the bombing of Pearl Harbor ......Nick 11/27/2012..... ......Al Capone Story

~ Just below this section you will find the beautiful Photography of Jo Cavallo's artistic photo's at the Eastern Penitentiary where Al Capone spent 8 months during 1929 and 1930 ~ Photo's courtesy of Jo Cavallo of Staten Island, NYC ~

~ Marx brother's 93rd Street residence video's have been removed by YouTube but in it's place I located this video of their childhood house ~

~ Philadelphia Penitentiary ~ Photo courtesy of Jo Cavallo

~ During 1929 and 1930 Al Capone would spend 8 months in one of these cells in a Philadelphia Penitentiary ~ Photo courtesy of Jo Cavallo ~

~ Is that reflection in the mirror the Ghost Of Al Capone at the Philly Penitentiary ? ~ Photo courtesy of Jo Cavallo ~

~ Just how many times did big Al have his face shaved in this chair ~ Better to be in the Barber's Chair rather than the electric one ~ Photo courtesy of Jo Cavallo ~

~ Would this be the gate that big Al spent the rest of his life behind ~ Photo courtesy of Jo Cavallo ~

~ Or was it in one of these cells that Capone's life would end in, due to the syphlis disease that he caught before he was put in the Eastern Penitentiary ~ Photo courtesy of Jo Cavallo ~

~ Did big Al ever walk this hall and stairwell in his nightmares ~ Photo courtesy of Jo Cavallo ~

~ Are these tourist looking for the ghost of Al Capone ~ Photo courtesy of Jo Cavallo ~

~ This room or I should say cell belonged to Al Capone in this Eastern Jail and they still play his music when he was living and/or well enough to be considered alive ~ Photo courtesy of Jo Cavallo ~

~ To better understand why this Pass Port for Bill Russo's mom Anna has been added in this space please check the recent FaceBook conversation that I had with Bill Russo in the comments section below ~

~ The original death certificate of Alphonse Capone ~ Date of Birth January 17, 1899 ~ Date of death January 25, 1947 ~

~ Big Al before he was put in Alcatraz ~

~ Al Capone after he was placed in Alcatraz, Strange tho was this prison named after Big Al ?

~ Big Al's liquor being destroyed during Prohibition ~

~ Al Capone's niece Deidre Marie with a painting of Big Al ~ Photo courtesy of Miss Deirdre Marie Capone ~

~ Book signing for an Al Capone Book written by his niece Miss Capone ~ Photo courtesy of Miss Deirdre Marie Capone ~

~ Closer look at Al Capone's painting ~

Video and audio clips

Al Capone's favorite 1928 Cadillac [or 1931 ?] sometimes driven by Morris "Red" Rudensky friend of Big Al.....

Gracie Mansion and Carl Schurz Park

Mayor La Guardia - First Mayor in Gracie Mansion

...First stop for all emigrants, including Italians, was at Ellis Island

......Growing up Italian in America.......


Profile of nickmon4321
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nickmon4321 on May 23, 2012 said:

...... Chapter 1 is a wonderful and amazing childhood story that captures the memories of years ago in the neighborhood of Yorkville and growing up in the '40s......The town of Yorkville comprised the heritage of the German nationality and I can recall the many "football" weddings in the ballrooms of the abundant theatres on 86th street held by the italian famillies.....It was an experience of a lifetime.....Nick

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nickmon4321 on Sep 16, 2012 said:

........Today September 17, 2012 I have dedicated this Chapter 1 to my older sister Angela who is currently battling complications to a minor surgery she received about a week ago and I ask everyone to join hands in saying a prayer for her.....You can find a picture of my sister Angela at the very top of this page with me that was taken many, many years ago......Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts.......Nick

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Anonymous on Sep 21, 2012 said:

Thanks again Nick for a beautiful story full of memories, and yes my prayers are with you and your dear sister. Mary Ellen

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nickmon4321 on Sep 21, 2012 said:

Thanks again for your prayers Mary Ellen......Really appreciated..........Nick

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Anonymous on Sep 21, 2012 said:

Sorry to hear of your sisters illness, I pray she recovers soon......Dora

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nickmon4321 on Sep 21, 2012 said:

Dora......Thank you very much for your thoughts and your prayers ..Things appear to be looking up for my sister Angela....Nick

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nickmon4321 on Sep 22, 2012 said:

Nick, I hope your sister recuperates fully very soon. I shall keep her in my prayers. Ro

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nickmon4321 on Sep 22, 2012 said:

Thanks Roseann for your concerns and your prayers and thoughts. Fortunately, it currently appears that her health condition has taken a turn for the best.....The prayers and thoughts from all friends seem to be working for my sister Angela........Nick

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nickmon4321 on Sep 1, 2013 said:

In the summer of 2012 I have had the good fortune of taken my family consisting of my wife Elizabeth, my daughter Donna and my grandson Eric to my old neighborhood in Yorkville that also included a tour of Gracie Mansion and Carl Scharz Park.......While giving the Tour Guide a copy of this Chapter 1, I was also able to give him a tip concerning my Staten Island neighbor Tony Russo (RIP) as being the carpenter of the 'Dinkins Headboard' that was constantly in the newspapers back in the days that Mayor Dinkins was in Office.......One can Google this data for the full story.....

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nickmon4321 on Sep 1, 2013 said:

Mayor Dinkins and Tony Russo (RIP) Headboard......

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nickmon4321 on May 19, 2016 said:

~Mayor Dinkins and Anthony Russo 's Headboard story in the New York Times ~

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Anonymous on Nov 15, 2013 said:

Nick, I can't wait for Copolla to direct the movie version of your life!

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nickmon4321 on Nov 15, 2013 said:

You and me both, who ever you are......Thanks for your encouragement.....Nick

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nickmon4321 on Oct 6, 2014 said:

Angela Mondelli Ries...I went to Italy with my mom because her mother Grandma Racanelli was very sick and my mother wanted to go to take care of her mother. But we got there too late and by the time we got there her mom passed away, so my mother stayed there with me to take care of my grandpa. We stayed there a year and by the time we came home I no longer recognized my father. Needless to say he was very upset when he try to hold me. 19 hrs · Unlike · 1

Angela Mondelli Ries ...I said get this stranger away from me in Italian. 19 hrs · Unlike · 1

Nick Mondelli ....Angie,,,In 1993 mom gave me the 70th street address (that I have tucked away somewhere) and said that I was born at that address in 1935....Apparently I just learned something new and that is that they lived closer to Uncle Frank Mondelli (lower Manhattan) in 1933.....Wow very interesting...Granpa Racanelli was known as "Vituca Wad" which meant "Vito the guard" as that's what he was in a local cemetery...I also heard a story that someone was locked up over night in the cemetery because Granpa Vito was unaware that they were there in the cemetery...Being October wouldn't this make a great Halloween story, except that I believe it to be a true story..... 3 mins · Edited · Like

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nickmon4321 on Aug 2, 2016 said:

Bill Russo shared a memory.

Yesterday at 5:55pm ·

At age 27 and after the World War 2 ended, my mother Anna married an Italian American veteran William in her town in Italy. That same year, after he returned to Brooklyn, she was issued this passport to join him in L'America:

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nickmon4321 on Aug 2, 2016 said:

Nancy E Abbate ~ Great memories. ..n we need to know our immigration story...I feel blessed to know most of mine...tks for sharing..n your mama is beautiful

Nick Mondelli ~ Nancy my daughter asked me to write my life story and I never thought that I would be able to do it but I have already written 46 Chapters ~ This is the first one if your interested in reading it ~

Bill Russo ~ Nick Mondelli have you spoken with Deirdre Marie Capone about your book?

Nick Mondelli ~ No Bill I have not as I never knew that she existed ~ This Capone story only applies to the first Chapter but her web Page looks very interesting tho ~ I will have to investigate further and see how this develops ~ Anyway thanks for the tip ~ lol

Bill Russo ~ Okay, best wishes!

Nancy E Abbate ~ Thanks Nick I will Good luck

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nickmon4321 on Aug 3, 2016 said:

Deirdre Marie Capone

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nickmon4321 on Aug 3, 2016 said:

~The following private message has been sent to Deirdre via Face Book ~

" Hello Deirdre, grand niece of Al Capone ~ A mutual friend of ours, Bill Russo recently suggested that I get in touch with you because he saw and read a Chapter 1 that I wrote several years back, and it mention's your Uncle Al Capone and my Dad ~ For your pleasurable reading the following link will get you to that Chapter 1 should you be interested in reading it too ~"

~ In addition to this message I requested her friendship on FB today ~

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nickmon4321 on Aug 23, 2016 said:

~ The FaceBook Friendship from Deirdre who is the grand niece of Al Capone has been accepted by her a couple of weeks ago and she said that she intends also to read this Chapter 1 ~

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nickmon4321 on Jan 29, 2017 said:

~ From Deirdre Marie Capone ~ Why did my uncle Al Capone always wear a white hat ? During my uncle Al Capone' young life in Brooklyn, the movie houses showed western movies a lot. They were a favorite in those days. And in those 'cowboy & indian movies the good guys always wore a white hat. My uncle was making a statement. He was a good guy and I am going to prove it!

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nickmon4321 on Jan 29, 2017 said:

~ Your right again Deirdre lol ~ When I was just a kid in the early '40s growing up in Yorkville, Manhattan, NY, my Dad would always take me to see the 'collarboy' movies on the lower '80s and that was also the way he would pronounce 'cowboy' ~ lol

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nickmon4321 on Jan 29, 2017 said:

~ From Deirdre Marie Capone ~On January 27, 2017 I signed an exclusive option agreement with a producer for my film project, Alphonse Capone - The Untold Story. Wish me luck! Until further notice, no distribution or marketing of the film project, Alphonse Capone - The Untold Story in any form can be conducted.

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nickmon4321 on Feb 9, 2017 said:

~ From Deirdre Marie Capone 21 hrs · This is an excerpt from my book, Uncle Al Capone -

The Untold Story from Inside His Family. St. Valentine's Day, February 14, 1929 The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre happened on the morning of February 14, 1929, St. Valentine’s Day.

Seven men sat in a garage at 2122 N. Clark Street waiting for George “Bugs” Moran, chief of the North Side gang. They were also waiting for a delivery of booze “hijacked off a boat”. Later that afternoon they were all planning to go to Detroit to pick up some whisky. Pete Gusenberg and his brother Frank who were both payroll robbers, James Clark a stickup man, Johnny May a safe-blower, Al Weinshank a speakeasy operator, Adam Heyer the owner of the garage and Dr. Reinhardt Schwimmer who was an optometrist and a german shepard dog who was chained to one of the trucks were the occupants in the garage.

The garage door opened and two men dressed as policemen entered the garage followed by three other men. All seven occupants were machine gunned down instantly, the dog was unharmed. An inquiry by police and the state’s attorney identified three men. Fred Burke, Jack McGurn and John Scalise.

And what my grandfather told me you have never read anywhere before.

“So what I'm telling you Deirdre, is that the Valentine’s day fiasco came as a complete surprise to me and Al. If we had planned it we would have gotten Moran, and not some of those other guys who were no threat to us. But Al was right. He did get blamed for it. And. to this day, some people even think he did the shooting.”

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nickmon4321 on Nov 15, 2017 said:

Deirdre Marie Capone 10 mins · On this date November 15, 2017 in 1939 my uncle Al Capone was released from Federal Prison and returned to Chicago. My grandfather Ralph, Al's older brother and business partner, arranged for a big 'coming home' party. Of course my father and mother were there, my mother due to give birth to me in January, my uncle was to be my Godfather. My mother told me that everyone there saw that Al was not well. My family the next day took him to Baltimore where a doctor diagnosed that he was given drugs in prison that they claimed would treat his syphilis. My uncle was given injections of mercury. The hospital immediately began treating him by leaching the poisons out of his system. He was still in the hospital when I was baptized. His son stood inn for him.

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nickmon4321 on Dec 1, 2017 said:

on Nov 11, 2017 Nick said: Pamela Liniger Burlingame said - "What an interesting story! I read it all, dude, you were ornery back in the day and I bet you still are!! Wonderful articule and thank you so much for sharing it with us. ~ Old time pictures Website - 10/27/17 ~ on Jul 10, 2017 Nick said: ~ So that I have a memory of who I sent this chapter to I am going to keep the name and date of each recipient in this comment, but if any one wishes that I not mention their name in this area just let me know and it shall be removed without any hard feelings ~

~ Jim Kardaras - Astoria, Queens ~ 7/10/17 ~ Mary Ellen - '53 LIC Classmate - 8/11/17 ~ Donny Mondelli - FaceBook comment - 10/8/17 ~ Traca Gwaltney - Old time pictures Website ~ 10/27/17 ~ Old time pictures Website - 11/8/17 ~ Veronica Hargrove - Old Time Pictures Website - 11/11/17 ~ Pat Lacey - Old time pictures Website - 12/1/17 ~

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