Published On: Mon, Aug 15th, 2022

Galveston

My dad, Bill Madden, when we lived deep in the heart

Here’s my dad in Texas in the 1940s where he, my mom and me lived at the Buccaneer Hotel in Galveston way before Glen Campbell sang that immortal song.

Dad was wowing them nightly playing his violin at Sam Maceo’s ritzy private club, where there was gambling, lots of booze and my dad’s beautiful gypsy violin music filling The Balinese Room.

My uncle Tony Imperiale was a dealer there keeping an eye on not just blackjacks, but his sister Lena’s husband who tended to be a tad too friendly at times with women who loved how he stroked his violin.

One night the King of Romania came in, heard my father play and told him he was the best gypsy violinist on the planet.  True story!  

I told that story to my friend Zane Carson Carruth who lives in nearby Houston.

She’s the well-known children’s book author, creator of the world’s first tooth fairy collection of books and soon an animated TV series starring her inspiring main character Abella. 

I wish she could have heard my dad play.  He would have made the whimsical Abella want to jump up and dance and twirl to Bill Madden’s serenade to the world’s first tooth fairy to make it big in the hearts of children, even war-weary children in the Ukraine whose spirits Abella helped to take flight from misery.

Here’s a telling quote about then gritty Galveston from Homer Garrison, then the frustrated chief of the Texas Department of Public Safety back in that wide open, let hell break loose era:

THERE’S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT GAMBLING IN THE BALINESE OR IN GALVESTON BECAUSE THE JURIES SIMPLY WON’T CONVICT A MAN FOR GAMBLING DOWN THERE.

Tom Madden is an author of countless published articles and five books, including his latest, WORDSHINE MAN, available on Amazon. He also creates TV series like his latest Xtra Terresla whose main character is modeled after Tesla founder Leon Musk. Madden is the founder and CEO of TransMedia Group, an award-winning public relations firm serving clients worldwide since 1981.

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