Saturday, June 19, 2010

Midge Day

New Haven's most infamous gangster, Salvatore "Midge Renault" Annunziato disappeared 31 years ago today. He got into a car with a fellow mobster and was never seen or heard from again.

Midge was the real deal, a made member of the Genovese crime family, a vicious thug with a heart of gold who kept his vow of silence to the end. He remains a legend in New Haven among those who knew him, which was just about everyone.

I was obsessed with Midge for years and tried unsuccessfully to sell a book about him and the history of the mob in New Haven. A year ago, Paul Bass at the New Haven Independent web newspaper was gracious enough to give me the opportunity to publish a five-part series about Midge and the Mafia in New Haven. You can read it here.

Yes, this a food blog so what about Midge and food? In accordance with the stereotype, he loved to eat. No surprise seeing that he stood 5'3", but weighed nearly 200 pounds. One cop who tailed him continuously in the late 1960s told me that he ate pizza every day. And he loved pickled egg plant, according to relatives.

He also almost certainly loved shrimp and clams, a Connecticut delicacy, as he once ran a place called "Bosmo's Shrimp and Clam Bar" in New Haven's Fair Haven section. Bosmo was an alias he used.

Bosmo's was in the ally between a restaurant owed by his brother and the next building. One person I spoke with worked there and recalled Midge and one of his brothers taking turns beating a man in the clam bar. Midge would smack him and then his brother would stand him up and smack him again and on and on. Midge was not a guy you crossed.

Rest in peace Midge, wherever you are.

No comments:

Post a Comment