Thank you so much for sharing your story. I anticipated a historical perspective on your family but I did not anticipate your own personal story which was very compelling and probably very difficult to write. I commend you for your honesty.
Prior to reading your book, I read Jonathon’s Eig’s book Get Capone which also questioned your Uncles involvement in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. In time, perhaps historians will revise the official version of “rumored” events.
One thing I never read or heard about was your Uncles mistreatment while in Alcatraz. I found it very disturbing and your story adds another layer of discussion to the mix.
Lastly, I really appreciate your chapter on Mercer, Wisconsin and your stories of your time up north and your Grandfather Ralph. I was born in 1968 (the youngest of 12 kids) and grew up in Mercer. My father, V. S. (who passed away years ago) often talked of Ralph. From what I understand, my father and Ralph fished together. My Dad was a Walleye and Muskie Guide in the area and later a logger. He always said that Ralph was very good to our family. I have also read and heard from many old timers in Mercer (many who have since passed away) that Ralph was very generous and respected member of the community.
Prior to my birth, I understand that some of my older brothers broke into Ralph’s place and stole some guns and money. Eventually, they were caught (not sure how). The issue was handled by my father and your Grandfather-the police were not called. I don’t know more details than that, but I know that it bothered my father his whole life. I think my father felt betrayed that his own sons offended a man and family that he had great respect for.