04 Feb 08
From Two Tonys (Letter 1)
Jan 26, 2008
I received your most welcome letters. I was so happy to read that you are back in sunny ol’ England surrounded by those that have got love in their hearts and minds for one of the best blokes I’ve run across in my prison years (from the heart).
Now I don’t have to tell you (but I will), stay the fuck away from all the silly shit that life will throw in your path. In simple talk, “Do the right thing.” Enough said.
It’s 6:30 AM Sat morning here. I’m going out to clean my showers soon. I’m a shower porter. Then to breakfast. I’m going to be on my radio at 1 PM to listen to you and then I’ll give you my critique. I’m looking forward to it.
So I’ll give you a quick news update. Long Island was on the TV last night. He’s in jail. He ran over a cop during a robbery. It’s over for him. Poor guy. He loved that dope and now he’s a dope for life along with yours truly. Also my old nemesis Bill Bonanno died. I’ve enclosed a clipping for you to file. He was full of shit to the end. Fuck ’im. Let the worms eat his ass. I don’t mean to be disrespectful to the dead. It’s just how I feel. Why be a phony?
I’m going to break for now. Duty calls and these showers have to be cleaned, so these geeks can wash their cruddy arses and balls. Woe is me. Crime doesn’t pay, but I sure enjoyed some of it along the way. Fuck it. (It is what it is.) I’m not complaining. These fucks treat me better than I would them.
I listened to your radio interview. I’m so proud to know ya Shaunny me boy. You’re for real. On a 1 to 10, you were a strong 9. You get them mate. Dennis Welch seemed cool and so did Todd. All the callers concurred. You stay with this. The one about inhaling the roach was the best. I’m a sicko, but I can’t help it. The rat story was good also. Like I said, you go boy.
I’m here in Buckeye. It’s not as bad. In fact it’s better than Santa Rita. Specially now that they moved them into dorms. Imagine living next to Slinglade. There’s 50 guys per dorm, 3 shitters, 3 showers. Yea. You get up in the morning, grab your toothbrush, go to put a nice brush on the pearlies and there’s Slingblade sitting there taking a big noisy shit, and there’s a line of people waiting to dump. No thanks. I’ll pass. This place is OK as far as yards go.The COs are not as picky as those C.O.D.A. COs at Santa Rita. They let a man do his time. Oh, they do their job, but a man has to expect that. But it’s nothing like Joe Arpaio bullshit.
Repo caught a murder case. Something about some dead Indian swinging in the wind. Who knows and who gives a shit. My biggest concern is what time chow is and what’s on the tube, or if I got a good book to read. Hey! I’m reading The Constant Gardener by Le Carre. It’s slow but I’m staying with it. I read Looming Towers about Osama bin Laden. It was good. Check it out if you can take time from your pubbing you bloody bloke.
I’ve enrolled in horticulture school. Yea, I’ve decided to devote my life to planting plants instead of blokes who cross me. In fact I’m seriously thinking of opening a horticulture store when I get out in 2082. But if I don’t make my release date then, oh well, it’s still a good class to get out of my single cell and keep my mind busy. That along with my shower porter job and rec 5 times a week. I keep active.
Oh yea, Jim Hogg came back and was in the cell right next to me till last week then they took him back to Tucson. (He won’t last.) He didn’t want to go. He was sad. The big dummy. He gets out in Jan ’09, “shitter time,” he could do that on the shitter.
You asked about Ogre. He’s here. We don’t speak. He’s a fraud and a pooty butt. But he’s not in my building. That’s good.
Hey, I was glad to read that you’re safe and had a good home coming with Mum and Pops. I’ll bet baby sis is happy to have her wild and raving bro back. Hey, bro, it was a real pleasure to have known ya and spend the time I did with ya. You were a bright light on a dark shore and you helped me several times when I was headed for the rocks and shoals, just by being around and helping me calm down. I miss ya.
Send a picture or two of you and the folks if you can. Stay strong, my Limey friend. Let me hear back from you. I’m excited about your future. Give the folks my L ’n’ R and tell them to let up on your leash a bit at a time.
Get back with me mate,
Oh yea, you saw where Norman Mailer passed, well fuck ’im. He talked shit about our boy Tom Wolfe, plus he never put a penny on Two Tonys books. So let the worms eat his ass. Maybe he’ll be my celly in hell. I’ll give him the blues and assign him shitter cleaning duty 24/7. The fraud. And that goes for his pal Jimmy Breslin.
Hey, this Bill Bonanno was as full of shit as a Xmas turkey. He tried to write. Furgedaboutit. He sucked. His only claim to fame was his daddy, who became senile and got run out of New York. I was present when some big shots talked shit about Bill. Plus he had me put in his work. He was balless. He’s better of dead. At least the worms will appreciate his fat ass. Him and his daddy like to throw the word honor around. They didn’t have any. The scuds. Man of Honor. Bound by Honor. Honor thy Father. All titles of books. The only one with any substance was Honor thy Father and Guy Talese wrote that. Hey, I hope I don’t sound bitter, but to be honest I’m just glad I outlived the bastards. Fuck ’em.
Hey bro, I don’t want to get on a roll. I hope I haven’t already. Believe me, life is good. I’m as happy and content as can be expected. Humor helps a lot. I like to laugh, and I do everyday. I’m 67 and healthy. This ain’t a Russian gulag or Joe Arpaio’s jail. So let the good times roll. Let’s do this thing!
Hone your skills. You got good skills.
Here's the article Two Tonys enclosed. Two Tonys was an associate of the Bonanno crime family.
Ex-crime boss Bill Bonanno dies at 75
Son of notorious mafia don has coronary at Tucson home
By Enric Volante
The Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona Published: 01.02.2008
Salvatore "Bill" Bonanno, the former acting head of one of New York's Mafia families and son of Prohibition-era crime boss Joseph Bonanno, died Tuesday at 75.
Bill Bonanno, who survived a mob shootout in Brooklyn before he retired from organized crime, had a heart attack at his Tucson home and died at Tucson Medical Center around 9 a.m., said his daughter-in-law, Kathleen Bonanno.
Bonanno, a tall, sometimes charming man who liked to talk about the history of Sicily, moved to Tucson from New York as a young boy when his father began dividing his time between the East Coast crime family and a home in Tucson, where Bill attended the University of Arizona.
FBI officials said Bill Bonanno served as consiglieri of the Bonanno crime family and then as acting head when his father went missing in the 1960s.
Bonanno served federal prison terms in the 1970s and 1980s following two convictions, including one for a stolen credit card.
Bonanno said he retired from organized crime in 1968. The FBI said that was when his father lost control of the Brooklyn-based criminal organization he had ruled for decades. The organization that bore their name was infiltrated in the 1980s by FBI Agent Joe Pistone and was portrayed in the film "Donnie Brasco."
In 1980, the elder Bonanno, who died in 2002 at 97, was convicted of obstructing a federal grand jury's investigation of an alleged money-laundering scheme involving his sons Bill and Joseph Jr.
A crime novel that Bill Bonanno co-authored with retired agent Pistone and another writer came out last year.
Bill Bonanno was the focus of the best-selling book "Honor Thy Father," by Gay Talese, in 1971.
In 1999 Bill Bonanno co-produced a nearly five-hour-long Showtime series on the life of his father. A former U.S. attorney who had prosecuted organized crime when the elder Bonanno was a powerful don said the Bonannos "had a lot of nerve" exploiting their notoriety.
Soon after, Bill Bonanno published his own book, "Bound By Honor: A Mafioso's Story."
In his book, Bonanno made the unsubstantiated claim that mobster Johnny Roselli confided he shot President John F. Kennedy from a hiding place in a storm drain in Dallas' Dealey Plaza. He also recalled that he ran an illegal betting parlor with his mafia crew in the early 1960s in a building on East Broadway in Tucson.
He also took credit for arranging G. Gordon Liddy to be released from segregated lockup when they were in prison together.
"Liddy wasn't a rat like (Watergate witness) John Dean. He was a loyal soldier. I was told he would be perfectly safe."
Daughter-in-law Kathleen said Tuesday, "The mystique of the Bonanno family we did not know about because to us he was a wonderful, kind and giving father, grandfather and great-grandfather."
"He stopped at nothing to come to the aid of his children," she said. He often spoke to them of their family heritage in Italy and Sicily and took his grandchildren there.
Bonanno was celebrating the holidays with his relatives and recently wrote to them: "Nothing can exceed the joy of Christmas when a father and a mother and their children and their children's children come together in a conscious awareness of Christmas' true meaning."
Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Rosalie; sister Catherine Bonanno Genovese of Pleasant Hills, Calif.; sons Charles and Joseph of Phoenix, and Salvatore of Scottsdale; daughter Felippa "Gigi" Pettinato of Grass Valley, Calif; 18 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements were pending with Bring's funeral home on Broadway.
● Contact reporter Enric Volante at email@example.com. The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood