Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Characters-Anthony Tarracino

"All you need in this life is a tremendous sex drive and a great ego. Brains don't mean shit"-Anthony Tarracino

Some people are so boring, and than you come across someone like Anthony Tarracino.

Tarracino of Key West, Florida, recently deceased at 92, was described in news reports as a bootlegger, gambler, gun runner, saloonkeeper, fishing boat captain, ladies man, and saloon owner.

He was also a Mayor of Key West for 2 years and Jimmy Buffett wrote a song about him(Last Mango in Paris).

Tarracino, known as Captain Tony, had fled New Jersey in 1948 on the lam from Mobsters, after getting into a horse race betting dispute with the mob. Tarracino, in a 1995 interview, described the history of the dispute and subsequent escape to Florida as follows:

"In 1947, my father got one of the first TV sets in the neighborhood and one day fooling 'round with the set, we found we could get the sound, but no picture, from Garden State Race Track. My brothers found we could beat the bookies with this since it took them six to eight minutes to get their results. We started past-posting races and winning a bundle.

"That went on for a month. Then there was a problem and I was told to go down to Lehman's Bar in Newark. It was a mob place, so I took two football players with me. But soon as we got there, my heavyweights split and I ended up facing two big goons in Chesterfield overcoats by myself.

"They took me on a nice, long ride to the dump where they were getting landfill for the Newark Airport. They beat the hell out of me and left me for dead. I woke up the next morning with footprints on my chest. Right then I decided I needed a career change."

Tony high tailed it to Miami Florida, with $10,000 of swindled mob money which he soon lost at Hialeah racetrack, save for the $18 he had left to his name when he left Miami for Key West. Upon arriving in Key West, the legend grew. No slouch in the bedroom, Tony leaves behind 12 children from 4 wives.

Sources: Miami Herald Nov. 4, 2008
Washington Post Nov. 17, 2008
Life Lessons of a Legend-by Brad Manard

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very cool. Wonder if he (or the family) ever masde it to Saratoga ?