Jersey City is the world’s biggest small town and here’s yet another example to prove that. I’d often heard stories about Vito Genovese — the partner of Eddie Sarge — From the Transfer Station crowd and Tommy. I never thought that Vito Genovese was the individual in question’s actual name. My assumption was that Sarge’s partner was another wild man like him and that the notorious La Cosa Nostra signature was an AKA.
Around the same time, a few doors up from me on Reservoir Ave. was an Italian family who lived in an apartment. The husband was a stocky guy who generally was in work clothes. I thought that perhaps he had a job on the docks. The wife was always very neatly and conservatively dressed and seemed to be an immigrant or first-generation. There were two quiet and well-behaved young sons. I knew that the man’s name was Vito. I never spoke with him, but every so often I’d see him in Joe Pedati’s candy store, flipping through one of the Playboy magazines that Joe kept on the sly behind the counter.
I heard that Eddie Sarge and Vito Genovese were collared in a heavy coke bust. A few days later, someone on the block told me that the neighbor Vito had been arrested. “Vito who?” I asked. “Vito Genovese” was the reply.