Wednesday, 4 November 2015


I was sent an interesting article today, by my friend August Kleinzahler, San Francisco's finest poet, maybe America's. A mansion is for sale in Fort Lee, New Jersey, right by the house in which August grew up. He's written about this before, about when he was a kid, playing with Gloriana, the little girl his age who lived there, while her bodyguard looked on. Bodyguard because Gloriana's surname was Anastasia, and her father was Albert Anastasia, the founder of Murder Incorporated.

Albert Anastasia, of course, was shot down in a Manhattan barber shop in October 1957. The Anastasias moved away, and the house was bought by Buddy Hackett, the zany borderline Tourettes comic, with the help of Del Webb, who part-owned the New York Yankees, and was a developer in the Southwest and a casino owner. The history of Del Webb and Dan Topping, the Yankee owners who bought the team from the beer magnate Jacob Ruppert, is a fascinating one in itself; they sold the team to CBS after the 1964 World Series.

If you haven't read August's 2005 memoir, Cutty, One Rock, you really ought to. In the the meantime, here's a link to the New York Times' article about the house, in which August is interviewed...

No comments :