Shiv McGraw is the consummate villain in Shanty Gold. An Irish mob boss in Boston’s South side, he shakes down pub owners and other Irish newcomers trying to make an honest buck for “protection.” I decided to ask Shiv a few questions:
JC: Shiv, tell me about your childhood.
SM: Ah, ‘twas pretty brutal, I fear. Me Mam used to put out her cigarettes on me back.
JC: Is that why you’re such a bastard today?
SM: Nah, I just like running numbers and keeping whores more than I like working for pennies.
JC: You run the biggest cat house in town, don’t you?
SM: Sure do. It’s grand. Stop in any time, dearie. You’re a wee bit old for my purposes, but maybe you could teach the young ones a thing or two. (Wink wink).
JC: (I feel like I need to wash my hands but push on.) Why did you pursue Mary Boland in Shanty Gold?
SM: Why? Just look at ‘er, fool. She’s a beauty, she is. Kind of small in the tits but young and juicy. That’s the way my clients like ‘em.
JC: Shiv, how do you sleep at night? The way you hurt your fellow Irishmen and women? Everyone in Boston hates you.
SM: Hey, missy, I go to St. Augustine’s every Sunday for Mass and confession every Saturday. What else do you want of a man? I’ve gotta make a living, don’t I? You’ll get it once you see the grand way I live. 141 Dorchester Street. I’ll give ya a taste of Tullamore Dew and maybe, just maybe, a taste of me.
Jeanne Charters writes about the business of living your life to the fullest. Over the years through her magazine columns, books and blog posts, she has sought to help other women face life's challenges through humor, strength and perseverance.
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