In 1960, Tony B met the love of his life, Ann O’Reilly, a lovely Irish lass, who was a librarian at the local Greenwood Lake library. Tony was used to the Italian broads in Little Italy, who were a little rough around the edges, didn’t hesitated to curse and would cut your throat like a man would. Ann was different. Blond and built like Ginger Rodgers, she had a sweet smile and a vocabulary an English professor would envy. Tony B met Ann, when he dropped into the Greenwood Lake library to pick up the biography of Al Capone, for some light summer reading.
It was love at first sight for Tony B. He had never met a girl like Ann before. So soft and sweet, always smiling. Not bad thing in the world to say about anyone. Not like the bawdy cuginettes, strutting about Manhattan’s Little Italy and Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, whom Tony B was familiar with. The kind who were either snapping their chewing gum, puffing an unfiltered Camel, or cursing and spitting out of the sides of their mouths.
After a few more trips to the Greenwood Lake library, and after he ran out of mob books to have Ann find for him, Tony B asked her for a date. She accepted and Tony B was floating on air when he arrived at the door of her Greenwood Lake home.
But not for long.
Tony B didn’t know it at the time, but the problem men had with dating Ann, was her loud, vulgar, Irish-bastard father, who was incidentally the Major of Greenwood Lake and loving every minute of it.
Ryan O’Reilly drove a Daily News delivery track for a living, and that being a union job, he was controlled by friends of Tony B’s. In truth, O’Reilly did not like Italians too much. He called them Guineas, Greaseballs, Dagos and Wops. And that was on his good days.
Wearing his best sharkskin suit and holding two dozen roses in his hand, Tony B knocked on the O’Reilly resident door. It was opened by a big, fat, tub of lard, whose immense figure blocked the entire entrance.
“Yeah, what do you want!” Ryan O’Reilly snapped at Tony B.
Tony B forced a smile. “I’m here to pick up your daughter, sir.”
“My daughter? This must be some kind of sick joke.”
That said, O’Reilly slammed the door in Tony B’s face.
Tony B could hear the Mick bastard scream from inside the house, “Oh Bejesus. What, in Paddy O’Leary’s name is that greaseball doing at my front door?”
The door soon opened and a pretty, middle-aged, blond woman opened the front door.
She smiled at Tony B. “You must be Tony. I’m Ann’s mother Betty. Please have a seat on the porch and my daughter Ann will be out shortly.”
Tony B He sat on a wicker chair. “Thank you, ma’am.”
“Can I get you some ice tea, or a soda?” Betty said.
“No thanks, Ma’am.”
Betty smiled. “I’ll tell Ann you’re outside waiting for her.”
That said, she sashayed back inside the house and Tony B could not help but admire her fine rear end.
A few minutes later, a stunning Ann O’Reilly walked out the front door.
Thus, started their first date. The first of many more to come.
Tony B didn’t think it was a good idea to take a classy lady like Ann to one of the hot joints in Greenwood Lake, at least not on the first date. So he thought it would be a nice idea to take her to the Warwick Drive-In Movie, which was just on the other side of the scenic Mt. Peter, located on Route 17 A.
Tony B was a little confused as to what the proper protocol was on a first date with a class act like Ann. Most of the bimbos Tony dated in NY City, would open their legs wide on a first date, as easy as opening a bottle beer with a church key. But Ann was different, so Tony B decided to proceed with caution.
They were sitting at the Warwick Drive-In, in Tony’s 1960 black Fleetwood Cadillac convertible, with the top up, watching Anatomy of a Murder, starring James Stewart. The Caddy had red leather, bench seats in the front, and Tony B didn’t exactly know how far he should slide over to the middle, without offending Ann. So basically Tony B sat far left in the drivers seat, almost touching the driver’s door, not to give the impression he was about to put on any moves.
The speakers in the Drive-In were hooked to poles jammed in the ground, with a removable speaker attached to either side of the pole. It was situated so that two cars shared one pole, with each having their own speaker. You removed the speaker from the pole, slid your window down a bit and hooked the speaker onto your window,
After picking up some Bob Bon’s, a large bucket of popcorn and two sodas at the Drive-In- refreshment stand, Tony pulled the Caddy into a parking spot, halfway back from the screen, in the middle of the Drive-In. He parked so that the speaker was by Ann’s window, so that she could hear the movie more clearly. It was the courteous thing to do.
Soon after, a small foreign car pulled on the other side of the pole. The driver removed the other speaker and hooked it onto his window.
Tony and Ann watched the movie quietly, with nary a word passing between them. Which was kind of strange since they were not in a movie house, where speaking out loud was considered not of good decorum. But when Tony B got nervous, he clammed up. Better to say nothing, than to say the wrong thing, especially on a first date.
The movie had a decent plot, and Tony had a soft spot for the killer, played by Ben Gazzara, an Italian paisan, born and bred on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. In the movie, Gazzara’s character is on trial for killing the creep who raped his wife, played by Lee Remick, who looked strikingly like the girl sitting right next to Tony B.
Ann wore a tight black cashmere sweater, over a black cotton shirt, cut at the knee, and ever so often Tony B would peek at her shapely legs from the corner of his eye.
The movie ended and a second feature was about to start. It was called Night of the Giant Leeches.
Tony B knew a few two-legged leeches in his lifetime, but as soon as the first scene started, Ann let out a soft moan.
“You like these kind of movies?” Tony B said.
Ann shivered. “No. I actually hate them.”
“Do you want to split? ”
“Yes, that would be a good idea.”
So Tony B started the car, put it in drive and pulled away from the parking spot, unfortunately before Ann removed the speaker from her window.
Tony B’s Caddy moved barely twenty feet, when he heard, a loud crack. Ann screamed.
Tony B glanced to his right and saw that he had pulled the speaker pole right out of the ground, and in the process, had snapped the fogged window out of the small foreign car parked next to them, sending shards of glass flying in all directions.
Tony B stepped on the gas and yelled to Ann, “Quick, unhook the speaker from the window!”
She did, and Tony B did a wheelie to the left, swirling up the gravel. He looked in his rear view mirror and spotted the driver of the foreign car dart out the driver’s door, then fall flat on his face. The dope’s pants were around his ankles, and those not immersed in the Attack of the Giants Leeches, got a clear look at his skinny ass and half-a-hardon.
Tony B floored the Caddy, raced out of the Drive-In, sped over the Mt. Peter and didn’t stop until he was safely back in Greenwood Lake.