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Foreword by Colin Bell vii Introduction. The Cowcaddens 1 1 Sadie 4 2 Sandy McKenzie 13 3 The Bookies Runner 19 4 Fabio 29 5 Jimmy 37 6 Peter McNulty 46 7 Holy Oil 53 8 The Brothers 61 9 Big Steve 70 10 The Polis 78 11 Willie Dickie 88 12 Toni 96 13 Sammy 107 14 Father Gilbert 115 15 Benny 119 16 The House-breaker 123 17 Betty 131 18 Big Emma 137 19 The Stone 144 20 Eddie 152 21 The Misfits 159 22 Vincent 166 23 The Clappertons 174 Epilogue 181 Postscript 184
Giuseppe ('Joe') Pieri was born on 6 January 1919 in the small chapel of the mountain hamlet of Bacchionero, above the town of Barga in Tuscany. His parents had emigrated to America before World War I, but had returned to Italy after the birth of Joe's elder brother, Raffaelo having been called up to fight. After the war, unable to find work, he emigrated once more, but this time to Scotland. Joining the growing Italian community in the West of Scotland, he peeled potatoes in a Glasgow fish and chip shop and settled his young family in the Gorbals. At 14 Joe left school to help his father in what was now the family fish and chip shop business at The Savoy Cafe in Cowcaddens. Unlike his brother Joe never took out UK citizenship and was interned during World War II on an island in the St Lawrence River, Montreal, where he spent the rest of the war years. His journey there was memorable in that he narrowly escaped boarding the Arandora Star which was subsequently torpedoed with the loss of 800 souls. This period of his life he recalled in Isle of the Displaced, published in 1997. After the war, he was repatriated to Scotland but had to work a farm labourer as he was still classed as an enemy alien before he was allowed to return to the family business. He married Mary Cameron in 1950. They had met in The Savoy and they moved to Bearsden where they raised a family of four children. In the meantime he expanded the Pieri business with more restaurants and fish and chip shops and was a keen golfer at Haggs Castle. Following retirement he took up writing and had a number of successful books published on his memoirs, the history and the Italian-Scots community, the Glasgow police force and even the Mafia. Following his wife's death in 2003, he moved out of Glasgow to Lenzie where he continued to contribute regularly to the Letters' Page of The Herald on a wide range of subjects. Following a period of ill-health, he died aged 93 in July 2012 and is survived by his four children and nine grandchildren.