Imagine Al Capone washing and pressing your shirts.  Or, shining your shoes.  How about helping with your homework?

While the stories and scenarios in Gennifer Choldenko's books are fictional in nature, Al Capone himself was a very real, larger than life character and personality.  A man who wore banana yellow suits, silk underwear, sported diamond pinky rings and regaled his cronies with his Italian Mama’s homemade cooking…just as easily as he’d get you bumped off for crossing him in mob affairs.

On Sunday, May 21st –  same day as the annual Bay to Breakers race that took place in San Francisco – P.A.T.H. presented and the National Park Service hosted award winning, young adult author - Gennifer Choldenko  - who provided three separate powerpoint presentations and book signings in the Band Practice Room at Alcatraz.  Yes…in the same room where Al Capone played and practiced his 8 stringed mandola and ended up forming the Rock Islanders Band.  

After visitors filed in to take seats on the several long wooden benches set up in the Band Practice Room, Ms. Choldenko proceeded to captivate her audience with tidbits of the history of the prison during Capone’s incarceration.  And, if you had the opportunity to shake Ms. Choldenko’s hand, you would have shaken the hand that shook the hand, that shook the hand, that shook the hand (and so on and so forth - so many time degrees of separation) that SHOOK THE HAND …OF CAPONE!


Leslie Lakes, Director

Mixed media painting of Al Capone is by Ely Legerdemain; UT