The Christmas Letter 06: Seasons Greetings From Our Family To Yours!

Christmas is upon us once again, so once again it’s time for our Family to let you know who and what’s been happening this year. Faces we haven’t seen in so long have been showing up again. In Uncle Carmine’s case, it’s been fifteen to twenty years long, max time! Welcome back Carmine! And Vinny ‘The Gardener’ Di Stephano…who would have thought that something so simple as hillside erosion would have brought dear Vinny back to us? When we planted the Gardener back in 1999 we really thought we’d seen the last of him, but it just goes to show ya…

But let’s start with the kids first. It seems every Family has it’s black sheep and while ya always gotta love em, they keep getting themselves into little jams. In our little Thing, it’s cousin Angelo’s kid, Anthony. Don’t get me wrong, the little guy’s bright as a whip and if we can ever get him to focus his energies he’ll be a fine addition to the Family, but he does have his head in the clouds. Take a for instance: for a school project he had to make a family tree. Since no one in Family really wanted to talk about it as Family discussions going public are never a good idea, the little scamp went and filed a Freedom of Information brief with the FBI! Can you imagine pushing the Feeb’s buttons like that? We were ready to kill the little nut, literally. But it all turned out okay in the end and as a result, we have access to some wonderful tapes and transcripts of loved ones who have passed to remember them by… and by the way, now that he got a positive taste of the legal system (the first one in our Family…ha,ha!), Anthony wants to go Law school…and given what we do, we’ll sure need him! So good luck with that, Anthony.

On a sadder note, there have been some Passings this year too…aren’t there always? It’s the cost of doing business, I guess. Our dear Uncle Rocco Santino died in his sleep back in Spring…well, he actually died while in a coma after being shot sixteen times down on Canal Street after coming out of a Chinese massage joint. At least he was relaxed when it (they) hit him! And Dominic (Three Chins) Pannello suffered a massive myocardial infarction and died in his bed…sadly, his bed at the time was in a cell in Attica’s D Block, where he was serving four consecutive life terms from back when we had that little disagreement with the Gianelli’s over territory. Good guys, and we’ll miss em both. Oh, and cousin’s Charlie (Three Girls) Cassarino and Santo (the Jeweler) Milito have been taken away from us, but we hope that the appeals process will be successful and we’ll them again soon.

But enough of doom and gloom. On a happier note, the Family’s moving! That’s right, we’re moving in to take over several key area’s in both the Wall Street bond business and down in the Atlantic City laundry and linen supply companies. After some initial fireworks that cost some union guys in AC a couple of Lincoln Continentals, as well as themselves, things are finally running smoothly. Once again, our sympathies to the dearly departed, but it just goes to show: ‘it’s always better to work together’. You live longer that way.

Well, that’s all I can tell you’s about for now…the various Statutes of Limitations make it difficult, if not downright dangerous, to go into more with any detail, but in seven or so years I’ll fill ya all in. Until then, have yourself’s a Merry Little Christmas! And remember, if you’re looking for a great gift idea, our Family has been having great luck with remote car starters. They’ve been a real lifesaver on these cold Brooklyn mornings…three times so far.

Uncle Tommy (Big Nose) Balzano