Published by Joe Bagori at Smashwords
Copyright © 2011 by Joe Bagori
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In 1972 and 1974 Hollywood released “The Godfather” movies parts 1 and 2. Young men of Italian descent were particularly enthralled by the power of the Hollywood portrayed Mafia. In Rhode Island this was evidenced to me by my high school friends who played a game of one ups man ship by offering the admission that a relative or friend was in the Mafia, or was friendly with someone who was. The winner of this game was the guy that could link himself most closely with Raymond L.S. Patriarca. Raymond was the head of organized crime in New England and his office, “The Office”, was located at 168 Atwells Avenue, the main thoroughfare of the Italian American community of Federal Hill.
The exterior walls of “The Office” boasted the “Coin-O-Matic” logo for Raymond’s vending and pinball business. Within the walls of “The Office” bribes were paid, robberies and hijackings were approved, disputes between made men were resolved, and a major gambling operation was managed. As if this was not enough life and death decisions were made within the walls of “The Office”. Criminals in the New England area kicked back tribute payments to “The Office” or risked being marked for a Hit. In the 60’s and 70’s it was common place for the Providence Journal, and the local television stations to headline a gangland style murder, with a byline that intimated that the deceased was murdered as retribution for crossing Patriarca. The news headlines and the raw power that emanated from “The Office” charged the social fabric of the Federal Hill community, and the entire state.