END OF A LONG, DIRTY ROAD
In the days when he was aide-de-camp to Frankie Carbo, prizefighting's underworld ruler, Blinky Palermo was a suave, pink-cheeked, well-nourished man enjoying the best of health, some wealth and high prestige. Now, despite the fact that he was ruthlessly indifferent to the welfare of his fighters and abandoned some of them after they were impoverished and insane, it is possible to feel pity for Blinky. His world is crumbling. Physically and mentally, he is a broken hulk. Since May 1961, when he and Carbo were convicted of attempting to muscle in on the earnings of Don Jordan, welterweight champion for a brief period, Blinky has known only trouble.
While Carbo stayed in prison, Palermo went free on $100,000 bail pending a series of appeals, the latest of which, a petition of certiorari, may be decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in the next few weeks. Some may say that the law's delays have served Blinky well but, seeing him, one doubts it. He has lost 25 pounds. He is haggard. There are enormous blue bags under his eyes. And small wonder.
His once favorite son, Frank Jr., is serving a long federal sentence for passing worthless checks and receiving stolen goods. Junior is also wanted in Youngstown, Ohio on a million-dollar arson charge. After spending $30,000 getting Junior out of jams, Blinky soured on the young man and turned his affections to another son, Fred Palermo.
Now Fred is in a jam. Jimmy Flood, a washed-up middleweight who has been in trouble with the law since he quit the ring, entered Fred's Philadelphia delicatessen late one recent night and demanded money. Fred shot him—accidentally, he says. Blinky arrived at the police station in a black Cadillac, accompanied by three burly bodyguards.
Why the bodyguards? Blinky is in even more trouble. Federal authorities have treated him much more solicitously than they treated Carbo. The word in the underworld is that this treatment is payment to Palermo for turning Carbo in. We may reveal now, since Carbo knows it anyhow and no added danger to Blinky is involved, that Blinky gave the FBI the address of the New Jersey mobster's house where Carbo was hiding. The FBI passed the word to the New York district attorney's office, which brought him to trial and won a guilty plea. Thereafter he was indicted on the federal rap which sent him to prison.
Blinky desperately needs those bodyguards. But if he goes to prison he cannot take them with him.
THE SHELTERED LIFE
Let those who sneer at hatchery-raised trout as pampered pets unable to fend for themselves when planted in a stream consider a recent report of Ontario's fish and wildlife department. Brook trout in a hatchery near Toronto, the report says, have developed ulcers from the stress and strain of hatchery life. Handlers are feeding the fish tranquilizers.
Controversy over the Bears-Giants championship game has not died, and one strongly argued aspect is the advisability of moving the annual event to some city where it could be played in pleasant sunshine and with good conditions underfoot.