The title of my painting in back of Dee-Dee is titled ‘The Argument’. It got destroyed during an argument between my father and his second wife – who shot Vic in the back – in another argument.
It depicts three people on a hill, with their mouths open. A woman is coming down from the hill – arguing! There s a woman going up the hill – arguing. It is a zig-zag road, thus, they have different views – they are presenting to the man – standing next to the path. They can agree to anything – forever! I captured their argument – in time!
When Vic brought home his private lender in his loan business, he showed off my painting. Vic told me she began to cry.
“This reminds me of how I grew up!”
This woman and Vic like to go out and drink. He always took his Go Drinking Car that could not be traced to him. Too drunk to drive, this woman took the wheel – and crashed Vic’s Lucky Car into a brick wall of a restaurant, and almost crushed a family in a booth. She was sued. She was ruined. Vic got some insurance money for his injuries. He went looking for another private lender and found Larry Chazen at the Copper Penny in Walnut Creek. Larry invested in Christine Rosamond’s first Ccarmel gallery at the Four Corners. Andrew Cuomo was the head of HUD, and accused Chazen of Loan Sharking. He put Noble Oil in Rougemont Switzerland to evade paying taxes.
I did The Argument at Glendon Ave in West LA in 1965. I might recreate this for a detective book I have in mind. How about – a series? I think Vic and Dee-Dee bought furnishings to match my masterpiece. Christine took up art in 1972. This was my – Brown Period.
When I saw the movie Sexy Beast it was like a home movie. One never knew when the shit was going to hit the fan. Above is Vic pretending to throw his wife Dee-Dee under a train. They look like the stars of this great movie. For doing this to her, Dee-Dee chased my father around the house emptying his gun at him. Vic ran out the back door, and a bullet ricocheted off the frame of the window into his back and lodged near his spine. He showed me the x-ray of the bullet that they left inside, and the dent in the frame – a year after it happened. It was part of the tour of his Lafayette home.
Before Vic made a killing in the real estate loan shark business, he lived in downtown Oakland on Alice street. Here he is with his partner whose brother ran the Mexican Mafia in San Quinton. The other dude is a smuggler of just about everything, and may have brought Vic’s third wife across the border in a marijuana shipment.
Vic was always in his bathrobe. I am not sure if he knew bout Vinnie ‘The Chin’ the Mafia boss of the Village where many artists came to dwell, including myself in 1965. This family was in the Art Business. Eat your heart out Mrs. Eastwood. We never put on airs, or had to fake a scene like the one where you spy on your daughter, because, nothing really happens at your house. Your husband has a conversation with a chair.
Note the big pot on the stove. It might be squid soup, a dish Captain Vic fed his young secretaries that worked at the Ponderosa, who would not let Vic ‘The Nazi’ (as they called him) get away with wearing his old bathrobe while they were there. This would have made a great reality T.V. series. ‘Bohemian Loan Sharks’. Vic and Ernie are playing chess.
“BOHUNKS! They created a artistic and literary dynasty, but you wouldn’t know it, thanks to ‘The Caretaker’ who brought in a bevy of outsiders, ghosts writers, to make it all work for her. Or, so she led many to believe. Somebody pulled off the biggest art heist in history. Was it ‘Little Vicki’?”
It was very threatening for members of my family to accept the truth Victor was mentally ill. Rosemary could not handle the truth she had four children by a sociopath. It was much easier for my family to title me “INSANE”. The head of Serenity Lane said this;
“Have you considered the truth you might be the only sane member of your family?”
“How did they do it? They never got out of their bed, or their bathrobes! BOHUNKS! Look out Ken Kesey! They are coming for your crown!”
“They lay claim to the old Rancho Las Mariposa land grant in order to make a poet’s retreat for family members. But, what are they really up to? BOHUNKS!”
The biggest mistake I ever made, was to move back to California from Boston in 1971. I did this after my mother told me my father had a very rare eye disease and was going blind – in weeks! As an artist, and a romantic, I thought it best my father see his only loyal creative son, before darkness descended upon him – forever!
In Boston, I had it made. I won my nine month case against the Mafia, had talked my black Christian-Muslim neighbors out of acquiring guns in order to fight for our building on Beacon Hill. I had several girlfriends. The Mayor of Boston shook my hand as he told me;
“It took guts to stand up to those people.”
I survived an attempt on my life. Hmmmm! Am I the real Dirty Hairy – Hippie?
Within weeks of being back in Oakland, I learned my stepmother, Dee-Dee, had knocked Vic’s eye out with a huge glass ashtray she hurled at his head. The eye disease – was a big lie! Were they drinking? Or, is mental illness to blame? Mental illness vs. shit-faced drunk! You decide! What does that look in Dee-Dee’s eye tell you?
Even though he is flat on his back in the hospital squinting out of his good eye, Victor has to tend to business. His deep velvet hypnotic voice was the most inportant aspect of his loan shark business. There were alway suckers on the line that the Captain was slowly reeling in, or, responding to the chum in the water. These folks had to be worked, made to feel like a member of the Captain’s family, a tactic he employed on his three young female workers that came to his home five days a week, where the Captain had a big pot of squid soup on the stove, this part of his ‘Perk System’. More about that later.
When I came back to Oakland, Vic and Dee-Dee took this hippie to lunch in San Francisco. I had a Christ-complex after cheating death.
Above is Rosemary on the lap of ‘Killer’ my father-in-law who Don Logan reminded me of in the movie ‘Sexy Beast’. Robby was always on edge. When his PTSD got bad, he went to a bar and picked a fight so he could kick the shit out of someone, knock them to the floor. He did this on a regular basis till he ran out of bars. I kept my visitations to my mother’s home in San Fernando Valley, to one visit a year, I always feeling like fresh meat when I walked into the door.
Twice that I know of, Robby jumped in a car with a his gun and went racing to confront Christine’s new boyfriend or husband, who did not have a clue how Robby fit in to ‘The Family’ he being six months younger then me. He – Rosemary’s Bodyguard – turned my mother into a pot-head. Where was Harry Callahan?
Sexy Beast was like a home movie. One never knew when the shit was going to hit the fan. This family was in the Art Business. That is a early Rosamond on the wall.
Eat your heart out Mrs. Eastwood. We never put on airs, or had to fake a scene like the one where you spy on your daughter, because nothing really happens at your house.
Dubbed “The Oddfather” and “The Enigma in the Bathrobe” by the press, Gigante often wandered the streets of Greenwich Village in his bathrobe and slippers, mumbling incoherently to himself, in what Gigante later admitted was an elaborate act to avoid prosecution