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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Three weeks ago, Mr. Blaise D'Antoni, that millionaire New Orleans promoter, provided one of the high spots in boxing's social season when he made a gala New York debut before such celebrated sportsmen as James D. Norris, president of the International Boxing Club, and Mr. Frankie Carbo, president of boxing.
Now, returning the call, Mr. Carbo has been in New Orleans making his debut, and, from all accounts, it too has been a gala one. In the course of making his bow, Mr. Carbo appeared at a soiree marking the unveiling of Mr. D'Antoni's $40,000 saloon, the Neutral Corner, and at an impromptu levee in a gym featuring Mr. D'Antoni, Mr. Frank Costello and the Brothers Geigerman, Dudley and Bonnie, men of consequence. At both the soiree and levee all went well, save that at the former Mr. Carbo threw a number of guests into a mild tizzy by reverting to his old Broadway habit of retiring to a distant table where he could keep 1) his back against the wall and 2) his eye on everyone in the joint.
However, the pi�ce de r�sistance came when an alert reporter caught Mr. Carbo alone in the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel. Mr. Carbo, raffishly clad in a blue jacket, gray trousers, black and white wing-tip shoes and a white shirt open at the throat, was reading a billet-doux when the reporter asked, "Aren't you Frankie Carbo? I think I recognize you from your pictures."
Carbo eyed the reporter coldly. "I don't speak to strangers," he said.
The reporter explained that he only had a few questions.
"I'm sorry," said Carbo. "I don't have any comment."
"We wanted to know whom you've been seeing and what you've been doing," persisted the reporter. "Do you plan to bring some fights down here?"
"Look," Carbo said, "I'm not an actor. I'm not a politician."
"Well," said the reporter, "you've become a public figure. You're going to be written about anyway."
"They've been writing about me without talking to me. Let them go ahead that way. I wouldn't bother you, violate your privacy," Carbo said before plunging into a rare philosophical mood. "If an FBI man walked up to me, he'd say, 'I've got a few questions to ask you.' But before he'd ask them, he'd say, 'What you say can be held against you.' Newspapermen, they're different. They hide in the bushes and take your picture and things like that. Do you think that's fair?"