|sketch by Laurette Folk|
It’s almost cliché, as an Italian American, to say you have relatives in the Mafia. Seemingly, we are all linked to that criminal patriarchal order. My grandfather, with his long overcoat, brimmed hat, and pencil-thin mustache looked like he belonged in The Godfather. It’s rumored that he moved his family from Queens to Long Island—nothing but farmland back in the fifties—to escape what some believed was his obligation. His own father pressured him to become mafioso, but my grandfather was fit with a prominent moral code and opted instead to make an honest living as a butcher, sparing his family the repercussions of a life in crime.