Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Constant Outsider

Growing up in Dorchester presented real challenges, but once the author took over the family's auto repair shop in South Boston, life became intense. Mob-enforcers, drug dealers, and killers became his friends and clients. Each moment in Southie was unpredictable. This was an era of unbridled illegal activity, courtesy of Whitey Bulger's Irish Mob. Tom had to walk a fine line between good and evil just to co-exist. His was a life truly lived on the edge. 
Over time, within feet of the office at Tom's shop, Whitey Bulger threatened Tom with a gun, a man was shot several times while at the gas pumps, a boy was beaten unconscious, then kicked in the face, and a black man was brutally attacked by a gang of raging youths wielding hockey sticks. At a home on the same street as Tom's shop, Whitey was killing people and burying them in the cellar. The author confronted another would-be killer at the garage. That man later returned and shot Tom's friend eleven times. On the lighter side, as a gesture of good will, a local drug dealer often tossed free samples from his car window as he drove past the pumps. There was never a dull moment in Southie during the 1970's & 80's. 
These were historic times. The author lived directly across the street from South Boston High School during the violence caused by "Forced Busing." And, as the owner of a gas station in the heart of "Southie," he describes the violence and stress associated with running that station during the OPEC oil embargo and gasoline shortages of the 1970's. Tom's decisions within these various environments got him into dangerous, near fatal situations far too often. Your adrenaline will flow as you read about a community being overtaken by murder and drugs. 
In “The Constant Outsider,” you’re invited along on a wild ride, back to a truly surreal time in Boston history. How did the author survive his gunpoint encounter with Whitey? What did he learn from his experiences? You will find the answers to these questions within a story-line that is tempered by amazing humor. 
This memoir will inspire you to follow your dreams. Tom's life demonstrates that if you want something badly enough, your dreams can and will come true. 
*Notes: There are numerous related photographs included throughout this book, and a unique opportunity for each reader to record his or her own life changing events, through the use of "Reader's Notes" pages at various points. 
Thomas Cirignano also authored a fictional adaptation of "The Constant Outsider," titled "67 Cents: Creation of a Killer." Within 67 Cents, the fictional character, named "Nick," says "Yes" to each and every offer that was made to Tom in real life by the Irish and Italian Mobs of Southie. Those offers were substantial, including an offer to kill a man for Tom. 

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