Joe Bruno on the Mob – Andrea Giovino Part Three
The Bagato incident transformed Andrea’s way of interpreting her sexuality. Her body was filling out, and she suddenly realized if she played her cards right, she would have men eating out of her hands. From this point on, Andrea stopped being a little girl and started acting like a world-wise woman. Andrea gradually changed from an innocent, to a conniver; albeit a conniver on a small scale. Men were there to be used by women, and if Andrea didn’t take advantage of this biological phenomenon, well then shame on her. The law of the streets is that you use whatever you can, to get whatever you can; legally, or illegally. Andrea wanted the better things in life, and now she knew the avenues she would have to travel to get what she desired.
However, Andrea didn’t comprehend how winding and fraught with dangers that road would surely become.
While still in her mid-teens, Andrea got a job at Bohack Supermarket, taking care of the cash register; and that she did. Although Andrea didn’t actually stuff her hands into Bohack register and pull out loads of green; the stealing was simple. Either her mother or one of her siblings would enter the supermarket, fill up their shopping cart, and slip over to Andrea’s cash register. Some items Andrea would ring up; other items bypassed the register.
Thievery of this magnitude can only go undetected for so long, and soon Andrea was out of a job and her family went back to paying for their groceries. But not in Bohack.
By the time she was sixteen, Andrea, or “Andy” as the nightclub crowd called her, was a regular in the local Brooklyn discos. Forget about the laws that said you couldn’t drink in joints with liquor licenses until you were eighteen. In Brooklyn in the 1970’s, and even in some neighborhoods in Manhattan and in the other boroughs, bartenders asked for I.D. as often as the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. The deal was this: if you were from the neighborhood, and especially if you were a girl who attracted male customers, it was like Bill Clinton’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” police with gays in the military. The local cops were in on the deal, taking payoffs from the bar owners to look the other way, or maybe not to look at all.
It was at one of these clubs the 17-year old Andrea met her first love Toby, who at 25, was several years older than Andrea. As far as love affairs go, Andrea was still wet behind the ears when she fell for Toby, who wasn’t even a connected guy, much less a mobster, whom her mother desperately wanted Andrea attached to, for the sake of family pride; not to mention the cash benefits that come with the gig. The good news was that Toby’s parents had a few bucks themselves, and this mollified Dolly; just a little bit.
However, one thing led to another, and two years later Andrea was pregnant. When she told the now 27-year-old Toby about her delicate condition, Toby’s reply was something like, “I’m not ready to be a father.”
However, Dolly Silvestri would not let her daughter give birth in an unmarried condition. She got together with Toby’s parents and laid down the law – Dolly style. As a result, instead in front of a priest in a Catholic Church, a shotgun marriage was performed by a minister in Brooklyn.
To Andrea’s dismay, Toby was right when he said he wasn’t ready to be a father. In fact, Toby wasn’t ready to be a husband either. In April of 1975, Toby Jr. entered this world, but being a father was the last thing on Toby Sr.’s mind. One thing led to another, and soon the married couple separated and were in the process of getting a divorce.
One bright Sunday afternoon, after Andrea had moved back with her parents and the final divorce decree was pending, Toby Sr., who wasn’t too bright to start with, stopped at 689, not to see his son, but just to cause trouble. Two of the more imposing Silvestri brood, Andrea’s brother Frank and her brother-in-law Billy, just happened to be there, awaiting Dolly Silvestri’s signature Sunday family meal.
Toby entered the home, busted past a surprised Frank and Billy, and rushed at Andrea, who was standing in the background. Toby threw an overhand right, that Andrea blocked with her forearm.
Frank and Billy rushed Toby and knocked him to the ground without much trouble. Frank picked Toby up like a rag doll, lugged him through the kitchen and threw Toby into the backyard; like a bouncer body-slamming a bum outside a bar.
Then the beating began.
By the time Frank and Billy were finished kicking, punching, and choking Toby, he looked like he had fallen from a plane.
Scratch husband No. 1.