Before Tony "Tony Nap" Napoli Was Published

Tony shares some of the details about his life before he wrote My Father, My Don – if this piques your interest, that is a clear indicator that you should buy the book. All of the details about his life before he was published are in My Father, My Don.

Tony “Tony Nap” Napoli

My mother encouraged me as a young teenager and close friends encouraged me to write my book. I explain this in detail in chapter 2 of my book My Father, My Don. As I got older, I built up more and more reference material for my autobiography, without realizing it. Some of those friends were Wiseguys and some just regular guys I grew up with. My reputation was one of being an exciting and intriguing type of guy. The type of guy who was able to get away with things that would get others stuffed in the trunk of a car. That’s because they didn’t have a father like mine.

I lived a very gangster and mob type of lifestyle. What’s the difference between a gangster and a mobster? A gangster gets no respect, A mobster is a connected guy, who belongs to a crime family. If he’s a Made Guy, also, known as a Button Guy, and if he has a title like Capo, he gets more respect from his crew and the people on the streets who are aware of it. But most of the Made Guys didn’t have a blood line like me. My father was the number one guy for all five families, in the New York area. Their father’s were regular Joe’s and probably hard working men, most of their lives. My father would say to them and me, “the toughest guy I ever met, was the guy who goes to work 8-10 hours a day to support his family.” They knew he was talking about their fathers.

My Father, never let me get involved with him and his crew in the number business. He always told me that I was above that. He schooled me for Casino type operations. Legal or illegal, it made no difference to me. As long as he wanted me, I was there for him. Until one day on my 26th Birthday when I did something that caused him to dismiss me from all activities. I was forced to change my name and disappear for thee-and-a-half-years, by his orders. All the information I’m about to tell you is listed in chapter 17 of my book.

I worked over a Cop who just happened to be a Captain of the police department in Burgen County, New Jersey. He tried to shake me down thinking that my father, who was on the lam for more than three weeks, was done away with. I knew better, because I knew where my father was hiding out in the Jersey shores till the heat died down. It was because of a killing that happened in his neighborhood, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. I couldn’t tell the crooked cop all this, and I knew I would have to handle my own problems till Dad came home. This bastard cop was also on my father’s payroll. He was looking to burn the candle from both ends. The cop lived and my father came back shortly after the beating.

By my Father’s orders, till the heat on me died down, I was on my way to no mans land. While traveling, I found a carnival in Memphis, Tennessee. that was looking for boxers to fight spectators for a dollar a round. It was a form of entertainment, a part of their side show. I jumped at the opportunity, because I was running out of cash. I had to eat, and couldn’t call anybody for help. I struggled for those three-and-a-half years as told in chapter 18 of my book. I hitchhiked along Route 66 across the country from New York to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and changed my name to Tony Reo, I often thought of past times when I always had a pocket full of money. How things changed. I thought “look at me now, wearing the same clothes day after day.”

I left the Carnival to work for farmers, pulling broom corn, hauling hay and picking cotton. I just didn’t give a dam anymore. I thought of the times when I had my own Loan Shark business, and spent almost every day at the local race tracks. All the show broads I used to romance and spend all kinds of money on.

When you get to chapter 19, losing my Mother was a big blow to me. That’s when my father found me in New Mexico, and brought me back home to New York. He told me how my mother died of cancer and that all was forgiven. In chapter 21, The Prince of Vegas, tells of how my father set me up as a casino boss in Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada. That’s when I partied with celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Vic Damone, Sammy Davis, Dean Martin, Eddie Fisher and other well known people. I was involved in hiring the entertainers for the Palace as well as overseeing the Casino operation. I became a complete out-of-control alcoholic.

Again, my fa
ther came to my rescue, working over guys that were supposed to be connected in different states. After two years of that, I was ordered back to New York where I met the love of my life, Laura. She stayed by my side through thick and thin, for the past 38 years and after the death of my father, by natural causes, she encouraged me to find sobriety. It’s been a big part of my life for the past 15 years. Yes, because of her, I found a better way in life.

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