Dick Kreck is sitting beside the shrine to Frank Sinatra in Gaetano’s, the restaurant at 3760 Tejon Street that the Smaldone family ran for almost sixty years, from 1947 until the Wynkoop Family of Restaurants bought the joint in 2005. The restaurant wasn’t the Smaldones’ only business venture, of course. They were also in the bootlegging business, and the loan-shark business, and the gambling business — all ventures legal (or close enough, if you count payday loans) today, but enough to put them at the top of Denver’s underworld. And they got their start early, back when Clyde and Eugene, two of the six sons of Raffaele and Mamie Smaldone, would head to the train tracks and throw rocks at the locomotive crews — who’d respond by tossing chunks of coal at the boys, which they’d take home to their mother to heat their tiny home in... More >>>