temperance and tommy guns

Last weekend I traveled to the town of Cairo, NY for the Temperance and Tommy Guns Festival. The event was inspired by the Prohibition Era and gangster Legs Diamond, who owned a home in the area. Also, one of the assassination attempts on Legs happened at a local tavern, the now-defunct Aratoga Inn.

True crime author (and regular Nobody Move! commenter) Pat Downey was on hand to sign copies of his book Legs Diamond: Gangster. I handled security for the book-signing. The crowd was well-behaved and everything went smoothly, except for the elderly woman with the walker who apparently can’t follow instructions (“Please do not touch Mr. Downey’s hat!”). I guess she learned her lesson.

During the lulls, Pat and I had the opportunity to discuss the important issues of the day: history, true crime, books, TV, movies, and the cholesterol content of Lady Gaga’s wardrobe. The weather was great, turnout was good, and the bacon cheeseburgers weren’t too shabby. Other than a lack of actual moonshine and a shooting range with real Tommy guns, it was a great day.

Two fans wait patiently as true crime author Pat Downey signs a copy of LEGS DIAMOND: GANGSTER for James Ellroy’s stunt double.

7 thoughts on “temperance and tommy guns

    • The Historical Society sold a bunch of books, and we got to hear some interesting stories from locals about their fathers/grandfathers/etc. encounters with Legs Diamond. It was a good day.


  1. Damn, now I wish I would have went instead of sending the official Pat Downey hologram. BTW hologram says he had a great time too. Old lady with the walker, who is now suing me, not so much. You warned her twice about the hat. She’s got no case…I think.


    • I’m glad the hologram could make it. He was very lifelike. As for the lawsuit, I wouldn’t sweat it. I’m sure she’ll take an out of court settlement. I’ll have my attorney, Don Vito, make her an offer. His firm, Corleone & Corleone, has an excellent track record in dealing with cases like this.


  2. John D.:
    That’s some sporty FEDORAS they got going on there…!

    NO tommy guns?
    (maybe a trip to MIshawaka, IN might be in order (rental specials run as low as $29.99 for FULL-AUTO fun at one place there)

    Well, those bacon-cheeseburgers would work for me…even without the ordnance.


    Sounded like some good clean fun.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Roll safe out there


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