Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Story #3 Al Capone Days

This is a short one.

My Dad was born in April 1907. He was in his 20’s in the 30’s. He used to hang out in the bars and pool halls in downtown Kenosha and occasionally would wander up to Madison. I mean, what else was there to do in the 1930’s? 

One place he used to frequent, and I’m only guessing here, was probably the Plaza Tavern in Madison, Wisconsin and the guy behind the bar was named Frank “Moon” Molinaro a person famous enough to be listed with the Wisconsin Historical Society. My dad knew him, was friends with him, hung out with him. I’m not sure If you’re a Happy Days fan then you know the name Al Molinaro (Big Al), one of Frank’s sons. A small country this is. 

Let’s move on to Chicago. Remember, this is the time of Al Capone, Prohibition, and Tommy Guns. When my dad wasn’t hanging out in Kenosha or Madison, he’d wandered down to Cicero or Chicago and hung out with or knew a guy named “Three Fingered” Jack White. Never heard of the guy? He was said to only have three fingers and when he wore gloves would stuff the empty two with cotton.

He had quite the stellar career. To start with, he was one of Al Capone’s boys. From his first trip to Joliet Penitentiary in 1919 until he was gunned down in his apartment on January 23rd, 1934, he was in and out of jail. Some even claim that William “three fingered Jack” White was behind the St. Valentine’s Day massacre, but there is little proof of this. 

So with all this going on in his life, when did my dad have time to hang out with him? Your guess is as good as mine. It’s just a family story.  

Till next time. 


  1. Pretty cool Mark!

  2. Pretty cool Mark!

  3. Being as I'm from Chicago, I'm at liberty to say that my dad (as a young man) was around shortly after John Dillinger was gunned down by The FBI in front of the Biograph Theater. Those thrilling days of yesteryear.

  4. I have always enjoyed those stories of Chicago's mob figures. It was also a big part of Americas history.

  5. Jeez, you guys are O-L-D! :)

    Great story! I don't know why your Dad hung out with these guys but especially when you're younger even being on the periphery of interesting characters is exciting though most of us have the filters that keep us from getting too close.

    But that's what makes great family stories. Thanks for sharing it.