Jim and Ginnie Palumbo were born and raised in New Jersey. Jim hung out with his Grandfather when he was a kid and used to say to him, "I wanna be a hit man, when I grow up." He assures me the Mafia is still alive and well in New Jersey and the state is still corrupt. I was seriously under the impression that the "families" were fractured and powerless. The families have changed with the new generations, but they still control this corrupt state and a lotta moola.
Jim and Ginnie are long time friends of Jim's. They met in the Catskills 34 years ago on a camping trip and have many shared memories of good times over the years.
They took us to a favorite restaurant of their's here in Wayne, New Jersey. At Tony's Brothers they like the mussels and an Italian style pizza. Delicious mussels in a heavy tomato sauce, hot or mild and a giant garlic and mushroom "pie". No liquor is served but we were allowed to bring our own drinks which the servers put on ice for us. We stopped at a liquor store where a six pack of Arrogant Bastard Ale was 17.99 and Sierra Nevada Ale was $13.99. Whew! A shocker to pay almost as much for beer as a pizza. In California, you can take one bottle out of the six pack and buy one bottle. The store owner seemed a bit offended by that idea and sent us back to the frig.
The restaurant had pictures of the Mafia Dons from various movies, Sinatra, Brando, Di Nero, and more. Its interesting to visit other states and see how differently things are done.
From the Palumbos, Jim will take me to meet his cousin Simone who lives a short drive away. This is a restful stop for us. We knew we were scheduled here and got mail, my new phone battery which is charging for 24 hours,and my absentee ballot so I can vote. Thanks to the internet I can keep up with candidates from home and issues important to me. On the road, a cell is a necessity.
Our temporary yard at the Palumbos. Ginnie warned we could be visited by a local bear and many deer and chipmunks. The bear robbed their bird feeder of seed.