Hello, Mount Carmel

"Will I learn to hope, to sing, to smile,

To laugh again, love again?"

--" Just a Memory"


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Dion's Funeral 

Deanie’s body lay in state for nearly a week at Sbabaro’s Funeral Home where thousands of Chicagoans filed past the body of the man who so colorfully generated the city’s splashiest headlines. His North Side gang had arranged for their beloved leader what Robert J. Schoenberg calls "Obsequies Chic...the mountain of flowers...(and) the tastefully matte, $10,000 silvery bronze coffin, rushed by special freight car from Philadelphia, resting on a marble plinth inscribed: "Suffer the Little Children to Come Unto Me". Among the tumult of flora around the chapel was a decorative basket of roses with a card that read, "Al Brown," Capone’s alias.

At week’s end, on November 14, O’Banion’s long and lavish funeral cortege -- much larger and gaudier than Mike Merlo’s the previous day -- drove to suburban Hillside where Mount Carmel Cemetery’s iron gates offered Deanie a final resting place. Twenty thousand spectators crammed the grounds. A Roman Catholic cemetery, Cardinal Mundelein of Chicago, nevertheless forbade the gangster to be interred in a consecrated lot.

If the Torrio/Capone alliance had expected to put an end to opposition from the North Side, they must have been alarmed when Hymie Weiss, Vincent Drucci and "Bugs" Moran struck back like devils from hell. The Gennas went quickly and violently. Torrio himself fled when a fusillade of gunfire outside his home pushed him to within an inch of death. It was a bloody battle that lasted throughout the 1920s. Aptly put, listen to the words of Judge Lyle who said the O’Banion killing "was like the firing on Fort Sumter in 1861".

No one was ever prosecuted for the murder. Frankie Yale was detained at the LaSalle Street train station where he was boarding a train to New York, but bore a perfect alibi. Al Capone, when questioned, remarked, "Me kill Deanie? What nonsense! Why, me and Deanie was pals."

Kilgubbin is gone, replaced by an upscale shopping area. But, pause sometime in front of Holy Name Cathedral on a quiet night and strain your ear in the direction of the empty lot where Schofield’s Flower Shop used to be. If you listen very carefully, you may hear a leprechaun singing a familiar Irish ditty.

1. Leprechaun

2. A Normal Childhood

3. Lads of Kilgubbin

4. Volstead's Law

5. Them Damn Sicilians

6. The Flower Shop

7. Crazy Deanie

8. Cicero

9. An Impractical Joke

10. 'Night, Swell Fellow

11. Hello, Mt. Carmel

12. Bibliography

13. The Author
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