Life is filled with diverting roads...

and I usually take the one less traveled.

gmgaston

gmgaston
Location
Augusta, Georgia, USA
Birthday
January 21
Bio
A chef by trade, but a human by birth. __________I am also a political junkie. I watch all the “talking head” cable programs religiously. Agreeing & disagreeing with the comments by the various pundits. Not shy about emailing my comments to them, either. I am a huge fan of Joan Walsh. She is one of the few that will stand her ground and discuss the issues, not just the 30 second sound bites. I am formerly from Ridgefield, CT

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JULY 30, 2009 9:10AM

The Day Jimmy Hoffa and I had lunch…

Rate: 16 Flag

Back in the summer of 1975, I was training horses for August A. Busch, Jr., the beer baron of Anheuser-Busch fame. It was great experience because it took me around the country and most of Europe competing in some of the top horse shows in the world. Part of our schedule that summer was to be in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan at the Motor City Championship – a 14 day extravaganza of international competition.

Wherever there are horsemen, there will be a good watering hole to quench our thirst and fill our hunger after a long day of competing. In Bloomfield Hills, there was such a place - Machus Red Fox - decorated in an English country, hunt-club motif, and rich in red velvet with dimly lit booths. Nightly we would go there to re-live the days adventures and do a little horse trading. Sometimes we would even go over for lunch to excape the heat and dust of the show ring.

Red Fox

On July 30, 1975 I did just that… not having any afternoon events, I headed over to the Machus Red Fox restaurant for a cold beer and a thick juicy steak burger. Easing into a back booth, I enjoyed the peace & quite, the cool comfort of air conditioning and watching the local patrons. One such patron was Jimmy Hoffa… I knew this from a sassy old waitress who had pointed him out on a previous visit. There he sat, all alone - commanding in his bravado manliness; louder than needed, but a bit mysterious in his actions, watching the coming and goings at the front door. And there I sat, also alone - just Jimmy and I having lunch – making eye contact just to acknowledge each others presence.

At the time I did not think much of it, I just enjoyed the moment; even when he got up to leave. He roughly called out to no one in particular his goodbyes and left. Never to be seen again…

 

Hoffa

Jimmy Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, was an influential US labor leader with alleged ties to the Mafia. As a young man, he developed a reputation for standing up for coworkers and clashing with management. In 1964, he was convicted of attempted bribery and spent seven years in jail before President Richard Nixon commuted his sentence in 1971 on the condition he not participate in union activities for 10 years. In 1975, Hoffa was planning to sue to invalidate that restriction in order to reassert his power over the Teamsters when he disappeared at, or sometime after, 2:45 pm on July 30, 1975 from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. He had scheduled to meet two Mafia leaders, Anthony "Tony Jack" Giacalone from Detroit and Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano from Union City, New Jersey and New York City. But they never showed up.

Now 34 years ago to the day, his unexplained disappearance has prompted decades of speculation. Here are just a few of the theories surrounding it:

·        Former Mafioso Bill Bonanno claimed in his book, Bound by Honor, that Hoffa was shot and put in the trunk of a car that was then run through a car compactor.

·        Convicted mob hitman Donald Frankos, alias "Tony the Greek," has claimed that, while on furlough from prison (where he was incarcerated for a previous murder), he committed numerous hits, including that of Hoffa. Frankos claims that Hoffa was murdered in a house belonging to Detroit mobster Anthony Giacalone by a team consisting of Frankos and Westies gangster Jimmy Coonan, and that the body was subsequently buried in the foundations of Giants Stadium by another hitman, Joe "Mad Dog" Sullivan. The MythBusters showed that his body is not in any of the several locations often suggested (including directly under the 50-yard line.) To paraphrase Adam Savage, they would have had to dig up the entire stadium to prove Hoffa was not there, and that would have been prohibitively time consuming and expensive, so they only checked in places where he is commonly believed to have been buried.

·        Hoffa's body was buried in concrete in or near the Straits of Mackinac Bridge.

·        Hoffa’s body was buried on the sidelines of the polo fields or behind the barns at the Bloomfield Hunt Club.

·        Hoffa's body was buried in a residential area in Hamilton, New Jersey.

·        Hoffa's body was shipped across the border and resides at the Mondo Condo in Toronto, Canada.

·        Hoffa's body was buried in the concrete foundation of the Renaissance Center in Detroit.

·        Hoffa's body was cremated in the animal crematory at the Wayne State University Medical School in Detroit.

No one really knows what happened that fateful day when Jimmy and I had lunch. But I do know that I finished my burger & beer and headed back to the horse show feeling content that it was a terrific day and my life lay ahead with unknown adventure.

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Comments

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Very interesting day, that's for sure. It has always interested me how little details from our lives often stand out later, either by coincidence or something else.

Good post. Thank you, George.
George, this is an amazing story about your being at the same restaurant as Jimmy Hoffa the day he disappeared. That must have been very unsettling to find out afterwards that he was never seen again and you would have been among the last people to see him alive before whatever criminals abducted him and ended his life.
Stephen – John…. It was an interesting discovery. But at the time, one never knows what the next minutes will bring. I just remember his ‘bigger than life’ personality and his famous reputation.
Holy cr---p! That is a story! I ate there once. Got sick. But it was LONG after he was there!!!!!!
Great story. And as far as what happened to Hoffa, I would believe Bonano over all the rest because he was one of the big ones in the mafia plus a rotting body would weaken a concrete column.
Wow! Fascinating story--an unusual brush with history.
Wow, what a tale that is! Amazing.
Very cool story. The lesson I take away from Hoffa is that you try to enjoy every day, you never know when the "hit is coming." rAted!
Chicago Guy… can I quote you on that! You just never know were life takes us… me to a good burger and you to the can! And dear old Jimmy, god only knows.

ocularnervosa… I agree. I think his ashes are spread in someone’s garden.

A-H-P… it is not the last time I was near fate… but those are further stories for another day.

Procopius… Thanks, life is full of adventures.
Mr. M – you are so right; live each day as if it is your last… especially if you are in Jimmy’s line of work!
Great story, and rated!
Wow, George. That's a quite a personal connection to a famous bit of history. What an interesting memory that must be...
George, this is totally amazing! This has always been fascinating. Why is it still a secret after all these years?

Bet every time you have a thick juicy steak burger and beer you remember your lunch with Jimmy Hoffa. And to think you were probably the next to last person to see the man alive! Great post!
zuma… thanks

Rob… sometimes we remember the craziest things and then we forget what happened yesterday. But I can tell you about 1975 like it was an hour ago. Thanks for stopping by

Pam…. You got that right. Burgers & beers are my mafia meals… manly yes, but deadly!
George, I came back this afternoon hoping your post would be on the cover. It's more than deserving of that special placement.
George, and what did YOU do after lunch? Hmmm.
Very interesting day you had at lunch. An interesting post into history. A mystery we will probably never know the real answer too. Great post, I enjoyed it.
John – thanks. But glad some are enjoying my time with Jimmy.

Lea… I am now in the ‘witness protection’ program & cooking on the side. I just love a good Merlot with my Hoffa!

fireeyes… you just never know when history is going to pass you by… so lets go find that bit of missing Jimmy!
Fascinating vignette. I love this kind of personal linking to well-known events.
Great story George.

The thing that's always made me laugh about the Hoffa burial site, so to speak is that there are men out there who KNOW how to dispose of a body so thoroughly that with the use of acid, etc... I can't understand why people think someone of that magnitude being murdered wouldn't have been completely erased. It's not that hard to do.

The one's who have admitted to doing it have no credibility. They are either witness protection people immune, or lifers who don't care if one more murder goes on their records and the person truly responsible likely walked freely for a long time before either dying of natural causes, being murdered themselves, or perhaps walking freely today.

We will never know.

rated
Emma… thanks; I think we all have a little bit of history in us.

Blue… now as I think back; the sassy waitress could be the ‘wanna-be-hitman’! But as you say, we probably will never really know. Thanks for stopping by…
That's an interesting day, for sure. I remember all of this as I was living about 25 miles from there at the time. I Think it was last summer that they dug up a farm west of Detroit looking for Hoffa's remains. No such luck.
one thing is dying now! and that is organized labor
and the rights and welfare of working people
solidarity!
Michael… I remember seeing that program, too. It was months after that day that even heard about his disappearance – by the end of that week, we had moved on to the next stop on the circuit, Lake Placid. I do believe that he was ‘done-away-with’ in the area of Bloomfield Hills, because it had to be just a small group who knew about it. Thanks for re-living that day with me.
Kathy… thanks for stopping by and pointing that out… you are so right about Labor, today. Just yesterday, I commented on that very topic in Business Week – regarding corporate greed destroying the American labor force, all in the name of huge profits and stock market gains. Jimmy Hoffa may have done some horrible things, but he did help keep the teamsters working & receiving good benefits & wages.