See You Later, El Lagarto

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services

I grew up in Miami feeling sorry for people up north who had to wear earmuffs and who weren’t famous for Al Capone, Seminoles and alligators. No one I knew had ever actually seen Al Capone, although my father once claimed that he smoked the same cognac-dipped, bahia-wrapped cigarillos that Scarface smoked.

What people knew was that the American Legion, tired of Capone throwing people into Biscayne Bay with their feet in a bucket of cement, wanted him out of town; and after the mobster did his time in Alcatraz and returned to his home on Palm Island, where he died of a mysterious disease, Monsignor Barry Williams gave him last rites, which made everyone say he couldn’t have been so bad if the priest from Saint Patrick’s was willing to sign off on him.

Read the entire article in the December 2010 issue

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