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Four Generations of Notoriously Delicious Family History | Gebardi

Chicago history Chicago pizza Gebardi history Machine-Gun Jack McGurn St. Valentines Day Massacre

More than a hundred years ago, a family took the long journey from Licata, Sicily through Ellis Island and to Chicago. The Gebardi family, became immediately entrenched in the era of Prohibition and paid a dear price for choosing to earn a living in bootlegging industry. Young Vincenzo hears the folklore of the old country from his mother, Guiseppa (Josephine). His feet in two-worlds, his mother’s vivid stories of Sicily and the mean streets of New York. Immigrants have to learn very quickly to defend themselves. His father dies early in his childhood and his step-father struggles in the grocery business.

Vincent finds a passion in boxing in New York. After severe economic strain, the family moves to Chicago to make a new life. He discovers that boxing is outlawed in Chicago, forcing him to find creative ways to keep his passion going. He changes his professional name to Jack McGurn. One of his fights leads to an introduction to a young Alphonse Capone, who is a boxing enthusiast, gambler and then lieutenant to bootlegger, Johnny Torrio. In the years to come he establishes a much closer bond with Al.

At a very early age, he meets Helen. Both young and in love, the two impetuously marry. Shortly after, Helen gives birth to a baby. Fearing the anger and disappointment of her husband for giving birth to a daughter, she manages to keep the gender of the baby hidden...for a while.

Meanwhile, Vincent embarks on a life of crime in the Capone organization and becomes known in history as “Machine-Gun Jack McGurn”, acting as Capone’s chief gunman. He is a prime suspect in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, the most horrific and bloody gangland slaying in history. He is the mastermind for the massacre, but the hired gunmen who botched the job will forever destroy his reputation for being a precision assassin who never kills the innocent...turning him into a liability. He leaves Helen and their daughter for his girlfriend and alibi, Louise Rolfe.

Jack becomes destitute after Capone is sentenced and imprisoned for tax evasion. He becomes obsolete and an obstacle to the outfit. He is murdered 7 years after the massacre (almost to the day). It’s believed he knew too much.

Helen becomes a strong mother for her daughter and later remarries. Four generations later, her family shares the rich heritage of food, passed down from “Nana” Helen...a bounty and blessing of flavor and history. In 2006, Christine (Helen & Jack’s great-granddaughter) and her husband David, married their old-world heritage and the zest of Chicago history to bring you "Notoriously Delicious" Italian food that restores honor to the family name...Gebardi.

Si mangia bene...You’ll eat well!



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