You will feel like you were there, in this lively flashback to an era in Boston´s history heavily influenced by organized crime, courtesy of the Irish and Italian Mobs. “Southie” became an extremely challenging environment during the 1970s and 80s, truly reminiscent of the Wild West! Tom walked a fine line between good and evil just to co-exist. Mob-enforcers, bookies, drug dealers, and killers were among his friends and clients. Cheating death became the rule during a life truly lived on the edge. The horror is tempered by amazing humor, an interesting character and his surprising survival in this true, contemporary story. Within feet of his front-office door, a man was shot several times by masked gunmen while at Tom's gas pumps. A boy was beaten unconscious, and then kicked in the face. An innocent black man was brutally attacked by a gang of youths wildly swinging hockey sticks. Whitey Bulger threatened Tom with a gun. Farther down E. Third Street, Whitey was killing people and burying them in the cellar of a house. Tom confronted another would-be killer who later returned and shot Tom's friend eleven times. As a gesture of good will, a local drug dealer often tossed joints from his window while driving by Tom's shop. Outsider Tom Cirignano struggled to fit in, eventually becoming accepted into this violent neighborhood where street-justice ruled. Tom lived directly across the street from Southie High during the desegregation of Boston's schools via "Forced Busing," and the riots that ensued. Plus, owning a gas station and repair shop in the heart of “Southie” during the oil embargo of the 1970´s created a dangerous scenario in itself. Tom is a survivor who has seen it all…rackets, discrimination, and violence. He got himself into near-fatal situations far too often. Amazing luck alone kept him alive. Experience a community being overtaken by murder and drugs. Feel what it was like to live and work in “Southie” during its heyday of unbridled illegal activity. Tom himself had a gunpoint encounter with Whitey Bulger, and lived to tell about it. The son of an Italian immigrant, Tom adhered to the old-world values of his rough-and tumble dad, taking the higher ground while struggling to co-exist. His story answers the question, “To what extremes should one go in order to just fit it?” While he keeps your adrenaline flowing, Tom lightens the mood by including embarrassing yet extremely funny incidents, and valuable life-lessons about choices and consequences. In spite of the stressful environment he faced each day at work, the author chased each and every one of his dreams. Be became a certified scuba diver, ultralight aircraft pilot, motorcycle enthusiast and avid boater. The excitement builds with each and every chapter, making this a story that won´t disappoint! *Please note: Although the accounts are true, names which first appear in quotation marks throughout the book are not the actual names of the people discussed.Readers may discover that their lives have been anything but ordinary or typical, just as the author did.
The names have been changed to protect both the innocent and the guilty.
A unique feature of The Constant Outsider is that it offers readers an opportunity to take a deep look inside themselves. They are encouraged to utilize the blank “Reader's Notes” pages which appear at several locations in the book, using them to record and explore the significant people, critical choices, and the life altering events of their own unique pasts. Doing so will perhaps give each reader insight into how and why he or she became the person they are today.
The author believes: "Each of us is a book waiting to be written, and that book, if written, results in a person explained."
SIGNED COPIES may be available by contacting ConstantOutsider@aol.Com with <
About the Author: Tom grew up in Boston's predominantly Irish working class neighborhoods. He operated an automotive service station on East Third Street, in South Boston, until 1987. Tom is a certified scuba diver, ultralite aircraft pilot, and motorcycle enthusiast. He resides in Massachusetts with his wife Diane and son Ken.