Thursday, June 28, 2018


Hidden FBI cameras rolled as John Cheasty gave Jimmy Hoffa a memo about Dave Beck. "It's enough to cook Beck's goose," Cheasty piped.

Not knowing that the goose to be cooked would be his, Jimmy slipped Cheasty $2,000 cash.

As Jimmy crossed the Dupont Plaza Hotel lobby, five guys, wearing gray suits and wide-brimmed hats, approached him.

"FBI," said one. "You're under arrest."

Jimmy's face tightened. "For what?"

A few men fanned out behind Jimmy. "Just come with us."

"Like hell I will." Jimmy punched the elevator button.

When the five men ringed Jimmy, he threw both hands up. "Goddammit, you want trouble, you can have it. Most of these folks in the lobby are my guys. So go ahead, make a fuckin' fuss, and we'll have one hell of a fight."

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Snoop

"We gotta stop this snoopy columnist." Jimmy Hoffa furrowed his brow. "He can't keep his nose out of our business."

"Johnny Dio" Dioguardi then sent death threats to columnist Victor Riesel, but Riesel kept on broadcasting his anti-labor show.

"We could off him." Dio raised a single black eyebrow.

Jimmy shook his head. "Too fuckin' easy. I want Riesel to know what he did wrong."

Then about 2 a.m., April 5, 1956, Riesel left the radio station after broadcasting his usual anti-labor program. He and his secretary walked to Lindy's to unwind. They left the restaurant about 3 a.m. 

Then Abraham Telvi, a slender, black-haired man, stepped out of the shadows and threw a vial of sulphuric acid into Riesel's eyes.


"My gosh!" Riesel shouted. He staggered. "My gosh!"

The secretary dragged Riesel into Lindy's to flush his face with water, but acid ate his eyeballs. 

Outside, Telvi sauntered away, trying to wipe a splash of acid off his face. 

"I should'a got more than five hundred bucks," he groused.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Election Win

Dad was no longer in the trucking business, but the NLRB--and Weinberg--marched right on with hearing after hearing, most issues old.

First, they dealt with the Coffey's Transfer election. Harold L. Hudson, Field Examiner for NLRB, notified my dad that ballots would be counted in Lincoln on March 28, and invited Dad to witness it.

Dad groaned at the prospect of watching ballots counted for a nonexistent business. Maybe his friend, Ray Osborn, would represent him.

"Why don't you just not go?" My finger held my place in the controversial novel, Peyton Place.

"If I win that election, it will prove that the Teamster strike was illegal, and I could sue them for running me out of business."

"Is that what you're planning to do?"

"Maybe. The odds are a bit stiff. The Teamsters have never settled with anyone, Smith says. But I might try."

Thursday, June 7, 2018


He weighed 325 pounds, used his girth to bump people into place in picket lines and to bounce offending taxicabs into the river. 

He ate gargantuan meals, paying $15 to $30 each ($136 to $272 in 2017 dollars). 

And he drove a brand-new, bright red Cadillac convertible, a gift. On the front seat lay a shotgun, cleaned, primed and ready to go. A sign on the back bumper read "Clergy" to avoid tickets. 

His name was Robert B. "Barney" Baker and he was Hoffa's toughest hoodlum, a twice-convicted thug, once a prizefighter, a strong-arm man on New York docks, a bouncer. 

Hoffa sent Barney to Alma to organize my father's Coffey's Transfer.

Dad and Barney argued.

"You know you need signatures from fifty-one per cent of my men," Dad said, "before you can claim to represent them legally."

"Dat don matter." Barney shrugged. "Hoffa sez weeze gonna organize yooze from the top down." The huge thug drew a line with his forefinger from his forehead to his belly as though he had filleted a trout.