Roger Hanos, grandson of Richie the Boot, and I flank journalist Steve Adubato. We taped a session with Steve for his “One On One” show. That made it “One On Two” or better yet “Toe to Toe” as we engaged in a spirited debate about my new biography of the Boot, “The Godfather Garden” and the stigma of Mafia stereotyping for Italian Americans. Steve is a great debater, one of the best. Thankfully, I came prepared. I wore my Ferragamo nosepickers. Watch the fireworks on “One on One.” The show is part of Thirteen/ WNET’s late night television line-up airing nightly at 12:o0 a.m. after Charlie Rose and Tavis Smiley. Our episode airs Sunday, June 30th at 12:00pm on NJTV. Repeating on public television stations WLIW 21, WLIW World and WHYY, and on FiOS 1, Verizon’s New Jersey channel and The Comcast Network. In the meantime, check out my website: http://www.godfathergarden.com
This article about the crime family that originally inspired David Chase to create the Sopranos was published during the fabled show’s final season. Most pundits were convinced Sam the Plumber DeCavalcante was Tony Soprano’s role model. I argued it was Richie the Boot Boiardo. My argument got lots of pickup by other publications, unfortunately without attribution, probably because the article appeared in Penthouse. Several months after the article hit newstands, Chase finally admitted in court, while defending himself in a lawsuit, that it was the Boot who inspired him. I’m now writing a book about the Boot, a Prohibition-era ganglord whose long career spanned the ’60’s, a halcyon decade for the Garden State mob, and into the ’80’s when the Jersey Mafia slid into decline.