July 06, 2007
Mafia and Chocolate
Gaithersburg, Maryland, Spring of 1994. Lakeforest Mall, second floor, Godiva Chocolatier.
Six persons entered the retail gourmet chocolate outlet. Four were male, two were female. Two of the males, in their fifties or early sixties, wore smartly tailored suits and ordered cappuccinos. The two females, somewhat but not too much younger and dressed in furs and many jewels, picked out some truffles (we had some good dark chocolate ones topped with candied violet petals) and hot white chocolate to drink. (It's been more than a dozen years, but I think that's what they drank.)
The additional two males, both much taller than the other four patrons, wore more functional suits, and each stood in a corner of the store, with the entrance between them, during the entire visit. When asked what they would like, they tersely requested black coffee. They wore sunglasses.
I've always painted this story as my brush with the mafia. I'm not 100% sure of that, however. They were all American, so it wasn't like I served any European princes or anything. The two tall, broad-shouldered guys were obviously bodyguards. That much was very clear. All six could have been Italian-American, but I could be assigning that parameter based on assumptions.
I would recognize one of the men (the rich guys, not the bodyguards) to this day, if I saw him. The rest of the faces have faded from memory.
Sunday Drive | By joe lance | 08:14 PM