WRITING MY WAY HOME.


This is a previous post (2011) that I am re posting for new readers. MY FAMILY  history was brought to life in an unpublished memoir.   The stories lived on during a long arduous journey of research and trying to get published.   Sometimes I read pages to get close to my parents.  I squeeze in between […]

SMILEY & SIEGEL


THE SIEGEL SMILEY LEGACY BY: Luellen Smiley When I was eleven years old  our home burnt to the ground in the Bel Air fire, and everything we owned fell to ash. Shortly after my mother moved us to an apartment in Brentwood, a mammoth carton arrived and was placed in the center of the living […]

WHAT DO YOU GUYS KNOW ABOUT THE MOB


Dead Don’s, shopkeepers, policeman, government employees, drivers, wives, and sons are slaughtered every week. You won’t know unless you study it, like I do. They are in Calgary, Montreal, Sicily, Rome, the UK, Russia, India, Asia, Macao, …. You have no idea how different organized crime is compared to the founders. Read about Arnold Rothstein, […]

COMFORT & GANGSTERS


Comfort…. From writing by hand at my tiny Eurasian desk facing the window to the west; framed by time and familiarity into the branches of JD’s pine tree, the black silky toned crows basking like prowesses on the branches, and waiting for La Posada to empty the day’s leftovers in the garbage cans. The silky […]

If I had known that I was seated next to the Mafia Boss of Los Angeles, then I would have listened with sharpened ears, and repeated bits of explosive headline blood curdling stories to my girlfriends. That would have placed myself, my father and my friends in jeopardy. An informant from the government may tag me on the way home from school, or tag one of my friends, or an enemy of the Boss, may pick me up from school and not bring me back. Everyone is suspect: an informant, or weak enough to become an informant, a loose lipped wise guy, a bragging connected businessman, a friend of a friend, a cousin of a brother, and a daughter of a gangster. We are all potential targets of this organization known as the Mafia, Mob, syndicate, Costa Nostra, or our thing. Growing up in this circle of gamblers, killers, fixers, enforcers, bookies was like growing up in a novel, it was a fictional tale all the way, until the end of my father’s life. There is a drop down board that appears every time I write about our family business that reads, “ How dare you open my life to the world, what do you know? You know nothing little sweetheart, and that’s the way I planned it. “ “There’s no such thing as the Mafia! If you ever mention that word again, you’re leaving this house!” I melted down to the floor, and he was ominous as God standing over me. I would never mention the word again, I promised, and I would never believe in the Mafia. So, I became a writer of our secret interior life.


I REMEMBER


I was a child of the fifties; when raising kids was easily defined. Mommy stayed home and made sure the kids didn’t burn the house down. Daddy went to an office to make money to pay for the house, and children waited until they were grown up to find out anything really useful. It was […]

CONFESSIONS OF A MOB KID


SOME children are silenced. The pretense is protection against people and events more powerful than them. As the daughter of Allen Smiley, associate and friend to Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, I was raised in a family of secrets. My father is not a household name like Siegel, partly because he wore a disguise, a veneer of […]