Joseph Di Prisco, the author of “Subway to California" ©Joseph Di Prisco

Fifty-three years ago, the Di Prisco family fled their Greenpoint home, steps ahead of the FBI. The father had been a compulsive gambler and small-time member of a crew that specialized in bookmaking. He knew too much about local police corruption, and ultimately went into hiding in California after a “close call” when federal agents tracked him into the woods of Long Island.

Soon after, his Brooklyn-born wife and two of her four sons joined him. Neither parent seemed overly concerned with how their bookish, highly intelligent son, Joe, was getting along. He seemed brave and street smart, and had ambitions of joining the priesthood but—on the other side of the coin—spent too much of his spare time shoplifting and dreaming of beautiful women. After Joe became the only one in his family to graduate from high school, his life went through a series of unexpected spins…

“Brimming with humor, heartbreak, and at times the feel an old time Catholic confessional, Subway to California is a one-of-a-kind read,” writes Kathleen Caldwell, owner of A Great Good Place for Books bookstore in Oakland, California. “Joseph Di Prisco’s story evokes a time and place that is no longer part of the American landscape; a place where loyalty to family, neighborhood, and way of life was the norm.”†

Subway to California by Joseph Di Prisco is now available at Word Bookstore in Greenpoint on 126 Franklin Street between Nobel and Milton Streets.

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