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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Classic Car Stories - Mom's 1961 Plymouth Valiant
Mom puts her foot down! (and on the gas pedal)

About 5 years after I was born in 1952, up until about 1964, my family lived in what's now termed "the inner core" of Milwaukee at 19th and Chambers. After marrying my dad, mom had a driver's license but never drove a car. There were plenty of bus routes near our house and many stores nearby, so my mom never felt that she had to drive, and my dad didn't want her to. I remember riding on the bus with her and there was a big Sears store within walking distance of the 19th street house.

The neighborhood we lived in was deteriorating rapidly during that time and my dad decided to look for a house in a much better area on the edge of Milwaukee's northwest side. In fact, not long after we moved, the 1960's big city race riots started all over the country and our old neighborhood was hit hard. I remember watching TV at our new house one summer night and they interrupted broadcasting, calling for all off duty firefighters and police officers in Milwaukee to report to work. My parents were sure relieved that we were away from all that!

After we moved to Lancaster Avenue, mom became increasingly frustrated by being in the "suburb" and not being able to go anywhere. There were no buses and at first we didn't even have curb, gutter and sidewalks! At that time, we had only one car, a huge pink 1957 4-door Chrysler New Yorker with a hemi engine in it
Our '57 Chrysler New Yorker

My parents had some fierce arguments and we were not privy to all of them but dad, I'm sure, would not allow her to drive the New Yorker. No one could figure out why he was so adamant that mom not drive. 

Mom had some money saved up and decided she was going to buy her own car, with or without the consent of my father. In a brilliant move, she enlisted the help of my dad’s older sister, Aunt Lorraine!

Aunt Lorraine picked up mom while dad was gone to work and they went car shopping. At the time I had no idea of what they were up to and came home from school to find a 1961 Plymouth Valiant sitting in the driveway. It was kind of an ugly light green 4-door. Mom spent about $300 for the car. I think Aunt Lorraine was there for moral support when dad came home the first night and helped in the ensuing confrontation. At first, dad would not allow the car to be parked in the driveway!
I was about 14 or 15 years old at the time. Mom was so scared to drive the first little while, she would have me ride along with her at night while my dad was working and ask me if she was doing OK! It wasn’t that long, however, before dad came to realize the benefits of mom having a car and being able to get around.

And mom helped train the Bridger boys to be some of the best drivers in the business!
My brother Russ writes: "The reason is that it was mom who took Dan and me to the Arlens shopping center parking lot at night so many times to practice driving, including sliding around on snow, at age 14 and 15.
        Mom had the guts and faith to trust us, and gave us her time to enable us to learn and practice. I remember in high school Driver's Education, while we students took turns driving with an instructor, he commented that I drove like an experienced driver, insinuating that I drive without a license. LOL
        Mom's training and trust gave us the love of driving, and eventually the valuable careers that we all now have. Allowing us to have motorcycles at 14 also helped. Her guts to finally buy a car and get a license, disobeying dad in all his power, showed us a commitment to follow your dreams. I remember him "lobbying" against her asking us if we are ready to see her die in a car crash!
        Well, mom proved him wrong and I think he grew to appreciate her new skill, grocery shopping!"

All four of us brothers now make a living driving. Our two sisters were never interested.

Years and years later, mom told me what she didn't know at the time: Dad considered himself (he was) an excellent driver and when younger dreamed of driving race cars. After getting married, finances were tight for so many years, he never carried liability insurance in case of an accident. That was illegal, of course, and he figured if mom started driving, the risk was much greater of an accident. I’m not sure how long it took but he did get insurance afterwards. I wonder how much trouble I would have had, being allowed to drive, if mom hadn't put her foot down.
Chrysler's Slant Six

Regarding that ugly green Valiant, I was less than impressed with the car when she got it. It had a 225 slant six engine in it with a push button automatic. However, after I started reading up on it, I found that Chrysler's slant six motor had a good reputation with car guys. The engine was tilted over 30 degrees for a lower profile and extra room under the hood. It was very durable and made very good power for it's size with tuned intake runners and exhaust flow. The aftermarket produced a ton of speed parts for it and I was actually getting prepared to buy some, as I thought that would be the car I would be allowed to drive after I got my driver's license. It was all for nought, however, as I got to drive the big hemi New Yorker after my dad bought another 1957 Chrysler. It had the same 392 hemi motor in it, but it was an Imperial, Chrysler's top of the line luxury car of that year. It had leather seats, power windows and all the options. So, prior to my getting a driver's license, my dad ended up selling the Valiant, but I wasn't sorry and I loved driving that ugly pink hemi New Yorker!
392 Hemi Chrysler
Other of my car story posts:
Classic Car Stories:1970 Pontiac GTO - Dick Hands me the Keys!
Classic Car Stories: My Buddy's 1968 Plymouth GTX
Classic Car Stories: My Hemi Chrysler
Classic Car Stories: My 1965 Buick GS400
Classic Car Stories: Mopar Man to Chevrolet
Classic Car Stories: My Second Corvette
Classic Car Stories: My First Corvette
Classic Car Stories: My 1993 Camaro Z28
Classic Car Stories: Mom's 1961 Plymouth Valient

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

America's First Automobile Race - Chicago

Article thanks to Links provided:

America's First Automobile Race, 1895

Henry Ford receives most of the credit for the development of the car in the US (see Henry Ford Changes the World, 1908), however, he did not produce the first American automobile. This distinction goes to the Duryea brothers - Charles and Frank - who created their first gasoline-powered "horseless-carriage" in 1893. Like the Wright brothers, the Duryeas were bicycle mechanics with a passion for innovation.
A Springfield newspaper announces
the appearance of the Duryeas' car
Sept. 16, 1893
The brothers built their first car in a workshop located in a building in downtown Springfield, MA. Their new invention was rolled onto the city streets for testing in September 1893. It sported a one-cylinder, gasoline engine and a three-speed transmission mounted on a used horse carriage. It could achieve a top speed of 7.5 mph.
The following year, Frank developed a second car with a more powerful two-cylinder engine. It was this car that he drove in America's first automobile race on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 1895. The race was sponsored by the Chicago Times-Herald and ran a 54-mile course from down-town Chicago to Evanston, Il and back.
There were five entrants in addition to Duryea: 2 electric cars and 3 gasoline-powered Benz machines imported from Germany. The race started in the early morning in snowy conditions. A little over 10 hours later, Frank Duryea was the first to cross the finish line having survived a journey punctured by numerous breakdowns and repairs. He had averaged 7.3 miles per hour and took home a prize of $2,000 ($49,500 in today's money).
"After a stop for gasoline, and a four-minute wait for a passing train at a railroad crossing, we continued."
Frank Duryea described his experience in his autobiography:
"I now started with draughtsmen on plans for a new car, of which I had, from time to time, been making rough sketches during the past summer. But my work was interrupted by the necessity of preparing the old car for the race promoted by H. H. Kohlsaat of the Chicago Times-Herald. This race was set for November 2, and as driver, the Company sent me out to Chicago with the car on that date. Only the Mueller Benz and the Duryea cars were ready to start, so the race was postponed to Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1895...
Thanksgiving Day, when it arrived, found me again in Chicago with the car...
A heavy snow had fallen during the night and we experienced hard going as we drove out to Jackson Park from our quarters on Sixteenth Street.
Of nearly a hundred entries, only six cars lined up for the start. Of these six, two were electric vehicles entered by Morris and Salom of Philadelphia, and Sturgis of Chicago. Of the four gasoline-engined vehicles, H. Mueller & Go. of Decatur, Illinois, R. H. Macy & Co. of New York, and The De la Vergne Refrigerating Machine Co. of New York, each came to the start with an imported German Benz. The Duryea Motor Wagon Company's entry was the only American-made gasoline car to start.
The word ‘go’ was given at 8:55 and the Duryea was the first car away.
With me as umpire was Mr. Arthur W. White. The machine made good going of the soft unpacked snow in Jackson Park, but when we came to the busier part of the city, the street surface consisted of ruts and ice hummocks, in which the car slewed badly from side to side.
While still in the lead, the left front wheel struck a bad rut at such an angle that the steering arm was broken off. This arm had been threaded and screwed firmly to a shoulder, and it was a problem to extract the broken-off threaded part of the arm. When this was finally accomplished, we, fortunately, located a blacksmith shop where we forged down, threaded and replaced the arm.
Charles Duryea in the brothers'
first car
While thus delayed, the Macy Benz passed us and held the lead as far as Evanston, where we regained it.
Having made the turn at Evanston, elated at being in the lead again, we started on the home trip.
We had not yet come to Humboldt Park when one of the two cylinders ceased firing...
This repair was completed in fifty-five minutes and we got going, feeling that the Macy Benz must surely be ahead of us, but learned later that the Macy did not get that far. Breaking the way through the snow in Humboldt and Garfield Parks furnished heavy work for the motor, but also indicated that all competitors were behind us.
After a stop for gasoline, and a four-minute wait for a passing train at a railroad crossing, we continued on to the finish in Jackson Park, arriving at 7:18 P.M.
The motor had at all times shown ample power, and at no time were we compelled to get out and push.
After receiving congratulations from the small group still remaining at the finish line, among whom were the Duryea Motor Wagon Company party, I turned the car and drove back to its quarters on Sixteenth Street.
The Mueller Benz, the only other machine to finish, was driven across the line at 8:53 by the umpire, Mr. Charles B. King, Mr. Mueller having collapsed from fatigue."
    Duryea's account appears in Duryea, Frank, America's First Automobile (1942); Berkebile, Don H., The 1893 Duryea Automobile, Contributions From the Museum of History and Technology vol. 240, 
Smithsonian Institution (1966).

"America's First Automobile Race, 1895", EyeWitness to History, (2006).

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Truck Driver and the Periodontist

Having spent almost 35 years driving trucks, I've had to work at keeping up with with my dental hygiene.

That has not been easy as I was lazy during my adolescent years and had to have the good work of a Milwaukee dentist in the 1970's to cosmetically repair my teeth. My mom babysat his kids while he was in dental school and gave a substantial discount for my family after he established his practice. I was out living on my own, the cost was a wake up call to me, and afterwards, I improved my brushing and cleaning habits considerably.

As all over the road drivers know, it's hard to brush and floss regularly on the road and you have to make time for it if you want to keep your teeth.

After I was well into my 40's the regular dental office I was going to in Salt Lake City told me that I was developing some issues with my gums that a regular dental hygienist could not address with cleaning (gingivitis). They did not have a periodontist in house that would take my insurance, so they recommended another to me.

After an initial consultation, the periodontist  told me that if I got the issues resolved with my gums, there was no reason that I shouldn't be able to keep my own teeth for the rest of my life. So I had some procedures done to repair and restore my gums, which was not inexpensive. After my first visit, the next appointment was with his dental hygienist for a thorough cleaning.

All turned out well with the treatments and after I completed them, I decided to stick with him and his hygienist for future preventive care and cleanings. Figuring, at my age, I had less worry about cavities and teeth and more about concerns with my gums and soft tissue. And that's what I have done for the last 15 or so years.

A couple days before my scheduled cleaning last month, the office called me to inform that they needed to change my appointment time on my scheduled day. The clerical guy said that their regular hygienist was no longer "with them" and that Dr. B***s himself would do my cleaning. That was fine with me and went over a couple days later at the new time.

The thought did cross my mind wondering how long has it been since he cleaned teeth, but, I figured that I would be getting a real periodontist to check on my mouth for the price of a hygienist's cleaning. Upon arriving, the male clerk led me to the office with the cleaning chair and the first question he asked is if I wanted gas? I thought "why the heck would I want gas for a simple cleaning?" and said no. That was my first clue.

The "clerk" then put the napkin around my neck and arranged the tools. In came Dr. B***s, who I hadn't seen in a long time because I hadn't had any problems and he said hello. As I sat in the chair, I noticed that the clerk did not leave the room and acted like he was going to assist the dentist. I thought that was strange as I never had two people give me a cleaning before. The dentist again asked if I wanted gas? "No", I said. He then said that he was going to apply a numbing solution to my gums with a Q-tip like thing and that's when I really began to worry. Afterwards, the clerk operated the suction device while the dentist began the cleaning.

What followed was the second most painful dental experience that I can ever remember having! I could tell he was not used to handling the cleaning tools and was not holding them like I was used to seeing. He was cutting deep into my gums and blood was spurting everywhere. The only thing I could remember that was worse was when I had my wisdom teeth pulled many decades ago. I'm sure I had such a grip on the armrests that my knuckles had to have been white. That 40 minutes or so was absolute torture and I was never so happy to get the heck out of there!

So unfortunately, it's time to say bye to Dr. B***s, as I will not go through that again. He's a really nice guy and a great periodontist, but that was ridiculous. Just so happens that Mary's nephew has gotten out of dental school and has started his career as a dentist for a firm not far from us, so I will change over to them for my next visit. My lesson learned!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Oh No! Our Daughter Gets Her First Car - Updated

Fall, 2012: Our 18 year old daughter obtained her first job a few weeks ago and is on the way to growing up and making her own way in the world. The job is in retail with varied shifts, weekend hours and of course the busy Christmas season coming up. A problem then developed of how she would get back and forth to work, as one of our vehicles was not always available. A second problem then became, how was she going to pay for a vehicle, as we are not in a position to buy her one and she was going to have to budget for all the costs of owning a car.
I had been talking to a guy at work that had a $2500 used car for sale that was supposedly in very good condition. After seeing a couple pictures of the car and knowing how he takes care of his vehicles, we informed Tauni to see if she would be interested, which she definitely was. Since she had a savings account at our local America First Credit Union, I suggested that she and her mom go down there and see if she could qualify for a car loan. They actually quickly qualified her with proof of employment, but without any credit history, the interest rate would be about 13%. If Mary was willing to cosign the loan, the interest would drop to about 8%. Since she has always been thrifty with her money, mom and I agreed that we would trust her to follow through and be responsible for the loan. (However, I would not suggest this as advisable for all kids!)
So the next step was to send them over to look at and drive the car. As it was very clean and appeared to be in good shape for a 150,000 mile car, they drove it over for our mechanic (Brent) to take a look at and see what he thought. The owner had even given us a Car-fax report which turned out clean. He gave us the thumbs up and we made the deal with Will. The credit union would not give the funds out until she brought in her first paycheck, which took a few days.
As I was doing some research on that make, model of car, we discovered some unsettling information. It’s a 1999 Honda Civic with a 5-speed manual transmission and just happens to be the second most stolen car in America! The first most stolen car is the Honda Accord. In fact Will, who sold us the car, told us that it had been stolen twice in the past. I had previously owned  a 1990 Dodge Shadow  and that car was stolen in Las Vegas, so I know how easy those cars with manual transmissions are to steal. All the thief does is, after gaining entry, whack the ignition switch on the steering column with something and break it off. You can then stick a screwdriver in there and operate the car just as if you had the key! From what I have learned, it is extremely difficult to even find a steering column from an old wrecked Civic in a junkyard, as so many are needed to fix the stolen cars!
Since my Dodge was stolen (and recovered) in the late 90's, I have been using “The Club” on the steering wheel of my newer Dodge Neon. A simple device that you can buy for about $30, it’s a lockable bar that extends over the steering wheel that impedes you from turning the wheel as you sit in the driver’s seat. The device is not a guarantee, however, as you could take a bolt cutter and cut through the steering wheel to remove it. It is a deterrent though and hopefully would send any prospective thief who doesn't happen to be carrying a bolt cutter down the road to an easier target. If you drive one of these easily stolen vehicles, you may also consider installing a hidden battery or fuel cut-off switch hidden in the vehicle.
So, Tauni’s first ride sits locked away behind the fence until next week, when she can get it inspected, licensed, insured and theft proofed before she takes off! I remember the feeling I had when I bought my first car. It was exciting!
If anyone lives near Salt Lake City and is in need of a reliable, honest mechanic that charges fair prices, let me know in the comments section or email me at the address in my sidebar. I will get you the name, address and phone number of Brent!
Tauni's newer ride.

Update: August, 2014 Well, it's almost two years now and Tauni's first car experience was a success. No accidents, one minor speed ticket, it didn't get stolen, and the car still ran great with no major breakdowns. She made all her payments on time every month and was able to save enough to pay the loan off early.
After obtaining a new job, which necessitated a much longer commute, she decided on purchasing a newer car a couple months ago. She found a good deal on a 2011 vehicle and we were able to sell the Honda for $2000, which helped in the affordability of her new purchase. With her now excellent credit history, obtaining financing at a decent interest rate was no problem. Good job Tauni!
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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Surviving a Highway Dust Storm

Article thanks to and the Arizona Department of Transportation. Links provided:
Aug, 2014  Dust storms, in an instant, can dramatically reduce visibility and create driving conditions that can lead to major chain collisions. The biggest mistake that drivers make is failing to pull completely off the road when they see a massive cloud of dust approaching. Here’s some advice, provided by the Arizona Department of Transportation, to educate your fleet drivers on how to respond to this extremely dangerous weather event.
  • Always avoid driving into or through a dust storm.
  • If you encounter a dust storm, immediately check traffic around your vehicle (front, back and to the side) and begin slowing down.
  • Do not wait until poor visibility makes it difficult to safely pull off the roadway -- do it as soon as possible. Completely exit the highway if you can.
  • Don't stop in a travel lane or in the emergency lane. Look for a safe place to pull completely off the paved portion of the roadway.
  • Turn off all vehicle lights, including your emergency flashers.
  • Set your emergency brake and take your foot off the brake.
  • Stay in the vehicle with your seat belts buckled and wait for the storm to pass.
  • Drivers of high-profile vehicles should be especially aware of changing weather conditions and travel at reduced speeds.
To watch a video about staying safe during dust storms, click on the photo or link above.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wisconsin Supreme Court rejects crime boss' son John Balistrieri bid to practice law

Frank P. Balistrieri (center) walks with his sons, John (left) and Joseph,
in the Milwaukee County Courthouse in 1975. (Sentinel Files)
Article thanks to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Links provided:

8/12/2014 The bid by
John J. Balistrieri, a felon and the son of Milwaukee's onetime organized crime boss, to get his law license back was shot down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court Tuesday morning.

The rejection comes two years after Balistrieri applied to practice law for the second time since his 1989 release from federal prison. The court has had the matter before it since 2012 after Richard Ninneman, the attorney appointed to review the case, recommended that Balistrieri be allowed to practice law again. The court’s Office of Lawyer Regulation, however, opposed his reinstatement.

Balistrieri, 65, his older brother, Joseph, and their father, Frank, were convicted of attempted extortion in 1984 after an FBI sting and federal trial that focused on the role of organized crime in the Milwaukee vending machine business. Frank Balistrieri died in 1993 and
Joseph died in 2010.

The Balistrieri brothers were each sentenced to eight years in prison, a term that was slashed to five years after they blamed their father for their wrongdoing.

In its
unsigned opinion, the court wrote that it was “not averse to providing a second chance” to disbarred lawyers if they show they have changed their ways.

But, the court added: “The record in this instance, however, does not demonstrate that Attorney Balistrieri has clearly and convincingly proven that he has the required moral character to practice law, that he has a proper attitude toward society's laws and the standards imposed on members of bar, and that he is fit to represent clients and to aid in the administration of justice as a member of this state's bar.”

In fact, the court wrote that “the record reveals a pattern of a lack of acceptance of responsibility over the years that have passed since Attorney Balistrieri's conviction.”

The court noted that when Balistrieri first tried to get his license back, the court’s policing arm in 1995 recommended against allowing him to practice. Balistrieri responded by lashing out at the agency saying it “was biased against him because of his Italian heritage," the court noted Tuesday. “He attacked the integrity of the reinstatement process with a completely unsupported charge of ethnic bias.”

Justice Patience Roggensack did not participate in the decision and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley wrote a dissent arguing that Balistrieri should be allowed to practice law.

Other of my related Mob posts:
"Mr. Fancy Pants" Balistrieri - Tracking Milwaulee's most dangerous mobster
Benjamin "Lefty Guns" Ruggerio-The real story of the "wise guy"
The Beef That Didn't Moo - Wisconsin Ties to the Mob
Tales of the Milwaukee Mob and Two Cigarette Men!
Married to the Daughter of a Milwaukee Mob Boss-Our Pediatrician!
The Milwaukee Queen Bee of Organized Crime
Tale of a Failed Milwaukee Mob Hit!
Lieutenant Uhura (of the Starship "Enterprise") - close encounters with the Chicago and Milwaukee Mob!
Part Two: The Milwaukee Mob and Lieutenant Uhura (Star Trek)
Milwaukee Mob Attorney - Tale of a Double Life
The New York Mob and Iowa Beef - Part 1
The New York Mob and Iowa Beef Processors - Part II
Sally Papia - A life lived on the edge
The Milwakee Mob Hit on Anthony Biernat
The Milwaukee Mob Hit on August Palimisano
New York's "Joe Bananas" meets Milwaukee's Frank "Mad Bomber" Balistrieri
The Life and Times of a Chicago Mafia Hit Man
From Balistrieri's Bag Man to Investigative Reporter
Louis Fazio - Milwaukee Mob Hit or Robbery?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Louis Fazio - Milwaukee Mob Hit or Robbery?
As published in the following archive of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, most of the local police officials immediately dismissed the idea that the motive for murder may have been a mob hit, and were certain that it was a “simple” robbery-murder.

But, as mentioned in several accounts, Frank Balistrieri, Milwaukee’s mob boss, and Louis Fazio were enemies.

On Feb 2, 1973, Milwaukee Journal reporters Alex Dobish and Thomas Lubenow reported in the Journal that back in 1968 there were rumors that Fazio was going to be offered the post of Mafia don in Milwaukee. That would not have set well with "The Mad Bomber" Balistrieri, who had been in command since 1961. (The Chicago Outfit had the ultimate control of Milwaukee and it was well within their power to depose and appoint a Milwaukee don.)

Joseph Pistone, an undercover FBI agent, and “Lefty Guns” Ruggerio (New York mobster) were guests in Frank Balistrieri’s Milwaukee home for dinner one Saturday evening in 1978. Joe wrote in his book, “Donnie Brasco”, that Frank wanted to go to an ethnic Italian civic dinner event the next evening that Fazio had been a previous chairman of. He had not attended the event for several years. Frank made the statement that evening about Fazio, “He’s dead, Five times thirty-eight.” Of course, thirty-eight referred to 38 caliber. The next evening, Frank and his entourage walked in unannounced, to “have some fun”, disrupting everyone as the staff scrambled to accommodate them and Balistrieri played the “godfather” to the hilt! The event took place in none other than the Grand Ballroom of the Marc Plaza hotel!

Ned Day, a former bagman and bartender for Balistrieri turned investigative reporter in Las Vegas, wrote years later:
“I remember Louie Fazio got blasted. Frankie Bal didn't like him. I remember when Augie Maniaci took two bullets in the skull. Frankie Bal didn't like him, either.”

As I remember, back in those years, Milwaukee County District Attorney Hugh O’Connell and long time Police Chief Harold Breier were persistent in their public statements that there was no evidence of organized crime in Milwaukee or Wisconsin! Did the power from the top command the bottom to “look the other way”? Other federal and state agencies didn't see it the same way.

In an article in the Milwaukee Sentinel on N0v 3, 1975, Milwaukee Dist. Atty. E. Michael McCann was quoted as saying the deaths of Louis Fazio and August Maniaci were "reflective of an interior struggle" within the organized crime element in Milwaukee.

Here’s the original story, thanks to the Journal Sentinel Archives. No reporter was credited by the Sentinel. Links provided:

Louis Fazio Shot Dead in Parking Lot of Home

Sept. 27, 1972 Louis Fazio, a member of a prominent Milwaukee restaurant family who served nearly a dozen years in prison for his part in a 1948 gangland slaying, was found shot to death outside his home Wednesday morning.

Fazio, 58 of 2805 N. Humbolt Ave., was found in a parking area behind his home at about 6:45 a.m. by a neighbor.

County medical examiner’s investigators X-rayed the body first, without removing Fazio’s clothing. By noon they had located two slugs still in the body, one in the head, with what appeared to be an entrance wound at the right rear side of the head and another in the neck, apparently fired as Fazio was falling or lying on his side.. That slug tore through the shoulder of his coat, leading detectives to believe he had a shoulder wound, officials said.

There was a third bullet wound in Fazio’s abdomen, but that slug had not been located by X-ray. An autopsy was to be held.

A copy of The Milwaukee Sentinel was found on the ground beside the body. Two more copies of the paper were found inside the car.

Joseph La Monte, deputy county medical examiner and a friend of the Fazio family since childhood, said it had been Fazio’s practice to bring a newspaper home with him after closing the Iron Horse restaurant, 100 W. Wells St., one of the family enterprises, which he managed. La Monte said said it was a practice of one of the regular late night customers to buy the papers and hand them out just before it’s 2 a.m. closing.
Detective Inspector Leo Woelfel said that as far as police could determine the motive was robbery.
He said Fazio was known to carry two or three wallets and that “he was a guy known to carry a bundle of cash.” After closing the restaurant, said Woelfel, Fazio was probably carrying much of the day’s receipts.
However, when the body was searched at the county medical examiner's office, a total of $448 was found in his pockets, more than $400 of it in a money clip.
The other wallets to which Woelfel referred were not found.
“Apparently, he put up a fight”, said Woelfel, “his knuckles were bruised.”
Woelfel discounted the possibility that Fazio was a victim of a Milwaukee gangland struggle. He said there was no evidence to point to anything but robbery as a motive.

Found in Parking Lot
However, federal authorities and agents of state Atty. Gen. Robert W. Warren’s organized crime strike force were known to be interested in the slaying investigation.
The body was found on a three stall concrete parking area behind the four-family apartment house in which he and his wife, Josephine, lived.
Fazio had parked his car in the middle space, as was his custom. The body was found at the rear of the car.
Fazio’s keys were found behind the left rear wheel of the auto, a 1972 Chevrolet.
Mrs. Fazio said that when she awoke: “I heard voices outside. I pulled up the shade and there they all were.” She was referring to police.
Mrs. Fazio said it was her husband’s practice to arrive home between 2 and 3 a.m. and take their dog out for a walk. She said she looked out a rear window about 2:30 a.m., saw the car and expected Fazio inside at any minute. The Fazios had been married 37 years.
Ray Suminski, Fazio’s nephew and a bartender at the Iron Horse, said that Fazio left the restaurant at 10 p.m. Tuesday.
According to the county medical examiner’s report, neighbors heard arguing about 2:45 a.m. Wednesday and then heard two or three shots.
Although police were officially listing robbery as the motive, detectives and other Safety Building and Courthouse officials were speculating that there might be other motives - possibly revenge.
Fazio had a police record dating back to 1933, when he was arrested on a charge of carrying concealed weapons.

First Prison Term
He received his first prison term - 10 years - in 1942, when he was sent to the State Prison at Waupun for pandering and carnal knowledge and abuse.
At the trial Fazio was accused of being a leader of a white slave ring, in which, among other things, he allegedly bought for $150 another man’s interest in a 15 year old girl whom the other man had placed in a house of prostitution in Sheboygan county.
That sentence was commuted by Gov. Julius Heil and Fazio was released from prison May 18, 1945. Heil’s action brought protest from then Dist. Atty. Herbert J. Steffes, now a Circuit Judge, who had prosecuted Fazio, and from Milwaukee women’s groups.
Slightly more than a year later - June 24th, 1948 - Fazio was returned to the state prison for his part in the slaying of Mike Farina and the attempted murder of Farina’s brother, Joseph, on Hwy 43 in Kenosha county that year.
Also convicted in that killing were John Mandella, his brother Jerome, and Dominic Lampone, all associates of Fazio.

Revenge Considered
Authorities believed the slaying was in revenge for the burglary of John Mandella’s home. Loot from the burglary was taken to Kenosha and it was on the way back that the Farina’s truck was stopped on the highway by a car following them. Inside were the four defendants.
Joseph Farina lived to testify in court and pointed to Fazio as the trigger man.
“The four punched us around,” Farina testified, “and then Fazio made me get in the back of the truck. He sat on a box and I sat on the floor. Lampone was in the driver’s seat. Then Fazio got out and went away, but he came back. I saw sparks coming toward me and felt my head twisting around. I knew I was shot when I felt blood. I was shot twice in the head and three times in the left hand. “Then I heard fighting outside the truck and Mike started in the back end. Mike said ‘Are you hurt Joe? What’s the matter?’  

More Shots
“Then there were more shots behind Mike. He grunted, and fell on me. I saw Fazio at the door of the truck. More shots were fired, so I fell down and played dead.”
Fazio was sentenced to life for the murder and to 30 years to run concurrently, for the assault on Joseph Farina.
Former Waupun Warden John C. Burke said Wednesday that he recalled Fazio as a good prisoner, one whose conduct enabled him to have some of the more privileged jobs in the prison.
While it may have been his good conduct that brought him special treatment in the state prison, it was his political influence that brought him special favors in the State Legislature. It also brought the end of the political career of Mark Catlin, then one of the state’s most powerful politicians.
Catlin, an attorney and speaker of the Assembly, was named in a complaint by Board of State Bar Commissioners with unethical conduct in trying to obtain clemency for state prisoners - among them, Fazio.
Frank Fazio, Louis’ brother and now operator of a Fort Lauderdale restaurant, testified that he paid Catlin  $5,000 in an effort to get Louis released from prison.
The attempt failed, but Catlin lost his bar license for six months - it has long since been reinstated - along with his political influence.
At the time Catlin had been considered as the choice of the state Republican organization to replace Alexander Wiley on the ballot for US senator.

Gets Parole
Fazio was paroled Dec, 2, 1957, after serving about the minimum sentence.
Within two years he was returned to prison for violating his parole. Police found 80,000 ballpoint pens and jewelry taken in a burglary of a downtown Milwaukee jewelry store in his car.
Fazio was returned to prison for a year and was paroled on Oct. 10, 1960.
He went back to work in the family restaurant on N. 5th St. and on Dec. 12, 1966, his prison sentence was commuted by former Gov. Warren P. Knowles.
Because he was serving a life sentence Fazio would have been on parole for the rest of his life and as a parolee Fazio could not have held a City of Milwaukee bartender’s license.
However, the commutation changed that and he was granted a bartender’s license on 1968.,4135604

Other of my related mob posts:

"Mr. Fancy Pants" Balistrieri - Tracking Milwaulee's most dangerous mobster
Benjamin "Lefty Guns" Ruggerio-The real story of the "wise guy"
The Beef That Didn't Moo - Wisconsin Ties to the Mob
Tales of the Milwaukee Mob and Two Cigarette Men!
Married to the Daughter of a Milwaukee Mob Boss-Our Pediatrician!
The Milwaukee Queen Bee of Organized Crime
Tale of a Failed Milwaukee Mob Hit!
Lieutenant Uhura (of the Starship "Enterprise") - close encounters with the Chicago and Milwaukee Mob!
Part Two: The Milwaukee Mob and Lieutenant Uhura (Star Trek)
The New York Mob and Iowa Beef - Part 1
The New York Mob and Iowa Beef Processors - Part II
Sally Papia - A life lived on the edge
The Milwakee Mob Hit on Anthony Biernat
The Milwaukee Mob Hit on August Palimisano
New York's "Joe Bananas" meets Milwaukee's Frank "Mad Bomber" Balistrieri
The Life and Times of a Chicago Mafia Hit Man
From Balistrieri's Bag Man to Investigative Reporter

Friday, August 8, 2014

Hazed headlamp home remedies

Article thanks to Jason Cannon and Links provided:
July, 2014  My wife’s car, a 2005 Chevy Equinox, has seen its fair share of use in nearly 10 years. At more than 110,000 miles, it’s shuttled my kids to and from various activities for almost a decade. 
Overall, it’s been a solid vehicle, but a little more than a year ago the passenger-side headlamp lens started to oxidize. As it got progressively heavier (and increasingly yellow), I bought one of those headlight restoration kits. It came with a surface prep, a cream that is supposed to remove the oxidation and a couple pads of sandpaper in various grits. 
Long story short; that was $10 wasted. It did lighten the shade of yellow, but the lens was far from good as new and the haze returned heavy as ever after a short time. 
Never one to take failure lying down, I took to the Internet to see what fights oxidation, but is non-abrasive and wouldn’t harm plastic. I was surprised that many recommendations were common household items. None of them will be a permanent solution, but you’ve got to start somewhere. 
I don’t advocate putting sandpaper or steel wool on a plastic lens, even though I did it with the restoration kit. I felt like I was doing something stupid when I did it. On top of that, it didn’t work. 
Below are some of the results I found, including one I used with very good results. You probably already have some of these lying around, so it shouldn’t cost you anything other than some elbow grease.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Windshield Replacement: OEM vs Aftermarket
Article thanks to Links provided:

Know the difference

When you need to replace your car’s windshield, you may face making a decision between an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) windshield or an aftermarket windshield. Often the decision may come down to your insurance provider’s specifications, but at other times the choice may be left up to you. In order to make an informed decision, you’ll need to know the difference between the two types of windshields. OEM vs Aftermarket: what should you choose?

Car manufacturers don’t typically make their own windshields. This work is subcontracted to companies that specialize in auto glass. The auto glass company creates windshields and windows according to the car maker’s strict specifications. Then the glass is shipped to the central facility where the cars are actually assembled, and they are installed in new cars as they are built. Since this work is subcontracted, the auto manufacturer continually accepts bids from different glass makers. Often they will switch glass manufacturers when a lower bid is received, resulting in identical vehicles having glass that is technically manufactured by different companies. By the time you need to have your windshield replaced, your car’s manufacturer may have switched glass companies, so you will receive an OEM windshield that might have been made by a different company than your original.

An OEM windshield will be identical to the original, factory installed windshield that came with your car when it was brand new. These windshields may not necessarily manufactured by the company who made the windshield originally installed on your car, but they are nearly identical in almost every way. This glass is manufactured according to your car maker’s very specific regulations, and should match your original in size, shape, and color. The thickness and durability should be identical as well. It’s important to note that these windshields are also certified by the Department of Transportation, so you can be assured of their safety.

Aftermarket glass is manufactured by auto glass companies who don’t necessarily contract with specific auto makers. Since these companies are not manufacturing OEM windshields under contract for the auto manufacturer, they don’t have to abide by specific manufacturer guidelines. In fact, due to copyright laws, auto glass companies are actually prohibited from producing windshields that are identical to the factory-installed versions. Obviously, the size and shape will have to be identical, because otherwise the glass would not fit into your vehicle. However, the thickness and durability may be different, and the color of the tint may vary slightly as well.

Some consumers complain that their aftermarket windshields leak or produce excess noise. Others may notice a wavy quality to the glass, or the different color to the tint may be displeasing. While the differences are usually small, very discriminating car owners may be displeased with their aftermarket glass. Others, however, report little to no difference between their car’s original windshield and their new aftermarket version.

Like most things, the decision may come down to money. Insurance companies may only cover aftermarket glass, because it is less expensive. This leaves the car owner to decide whether they want to pay extra for an OEM windshield. Many aftermarket windshields work out very well for the consumer, but those not willing to take a risk on slightly lower quality will often choose to invest in an OEM windshield.

One final note on OEM windshields vs aftermarket: If the vehicle is leased, the leasing contract may specifically state that the windshield can only be replaced with an OEM windshield. Any time the windshield in a leased vehicle is to be replaced, the driver should check their leasing agreement very carefully for this specification. Otherwise, extra charges may be assessed when the vehicle is returned at the end of the leasing period.
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