Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Hey, paisan" -- How Tony Corapi Got His NYC Apartment


paisano (py-SAH-no) noun
1. A pal, buddy.
2. A fellow countryman; a compatriot.
[From Spanish paisano, from French paysan, from Latin pagus (district). Ultimately from the Indo-European root pag- (to fasten) that is also the source of peace, pacify, pact, travel, compact, pagan, and peasant.]

"Scott Spinelli has landed another paisano. Michael Smith, a Bronx, N.Y., point guard, signed a national letter of intent to join Nebraska basketball."
-- Dirk Chatelain; NU's Spinelli Gets N.Y. Guard; Omaha World-Herald; May 11, 2005.

Back in the disco era, Lou Miranda was the super of our building on East 75th St. between 1st and 2nd Avenues. He was also the super of a building on the same block of East 25th St. Once, an apartment opened up in the 25th Street building. There was a line 10 or 12 deep, but Tony Corapi, who now lives with his wife, Annie Krueger, in Knoxville, said to Lou, with appropriate hand gestures, "Hey, paisan." He and Annie got the apartment. (Lou also helped several of our friends get apartments.)

Lou used to let us have parties on the roof and keep our bicycles in a room in the basement. One day, Karen's bike was gone. I said, "Hey, Lou, Karen's bike is missing." Without missing a beat he replied, "Those guys." The bike was back the next day, with a little bag attached to the seat. Lou once shot himself in the foot and got booked for carrying an illegal handgun. Once, we had to go to Washington, D.C. Lou said, "You should have told me. You could have driven down in a limo with Uncle Lucky [Luciano]!"

Long after we left the building, Lou got mad at his stock broker, Thomas Vigliarolo, who'd lost $150,000 of Lou's money. Lou employed a hooker to lure Vigliarolo into a Bronx apartment. Lou tied him to a bed, burnt him with cigarettes for a few days, and finally put him in a trunk and had a 420-pound woman named Selma sit on it. Lou died in prison a few years ago.

Click here for a cool Psychology Today article about the whole sordid affair.

And here's a note from The New York Times of April 8, 1985:
7 Held in Slaying Of Man in Trunk
Seven people were in custody yesterday on charges of second-degree murder and kidnapping in connection with the death of a Long Island real- estate broker whose body was found locked in a trunk in a Manhattan apartment Saturday.
The police said the victim, 60-year-old Thomas Vigliarolo of Jericho, had been missing since March 20, when he left his home to meet a client in New Jersey.
On April 2, his business partner received a ransom demand for $435,000, according to a police spokesman, Sgt. Diane Kubler.
An autopsy yesterday found that Mr. Vigliarolo had died of asphyxiation, said Dr. Beverly Leffers, a deputy chief medical examiner.
Mr. Vigliarolo's body was found in an apartment at 115 West 142d Street. Those charged were Selma Price, 46, of that address; Rita Peters, 20, and Donna Hilton, 20, both of the Bronx; Maria Talag, 24, of Queens, and Woodie George Pace, 40, Louis Miranda, 64, and Angeles Marlano, 62, all of Manhattan. The police said Miss Talag had been a friend of Mr. Vigliarolo.

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