Long ago, when my three wonderful daughters were in grade school, they regularly conversed over the telephone with a rather unique life coach.

They called him “Uncle Al.” He was, in fact, a member of the Mafia and one of my informants from my days in the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Section. Even after I left the Strike Force, he would, on a quite regular basis, call my home to speak with me.

In those days, when the phone rang, one of my little girls would always get to it first. On those occasions when Uncle Al was calling, I would lift the extension and hear him in his gruff voice giving my innocent child such useful advice as “study hard in school” and “do what yer mom and dad tell ya’ to do.” Such advice would invariably elicit the sweet, squeaky voiced reply, “Okay, Uncle Al.”

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