In 1994, our oldest son sons played lacrosse at Moeller High School, in Cincinnati. For those of you who aren’t from Cincinnati, Moeller is a Catholic school that has been noted for good sports teams, as well as a good education.
During his junior year, his lacrosse team won the state lacrosse championship.
During those years, lacrosse was not a common sport in high schools, so we had to do some traveling to find opponents.
One of the treks was to Michigan.
We traveled to a wealthy area of Michigan, outside of Detroit. Most of the schools we played were in wealthy area, as lacrosse, at that time, was expensive to play.
We stayed at the same hotel the team stayed, but we didn’t hang out with the other parents who’d made the trip. Instead, we did what we enjoyed doing, rode around the area to see what we could see.
You might wonder what this lacrosse trip had to do with Labor Day, but you will soon learn the connection, be it a loose one.
We drove into Detroit. The woes of the car industry were in play.
I wanted to see the General Motors building, as my dad had been there on business when he worked at Chevrolet, and Chevrolet was part of our family blood.
I remember when the Norwood Chevrolet plant would have strikes. I remember seeing workers marching with signs up and down the sidewalk by “the plant,” as it was called.
The workers at the plant made good money, had decent benefits, and, the unions served their purpose.
My dad saw both sides of union and management. He had to take a management stance, but he also knew the hardship that strikes caused, “his men.”
As we drove around the area, of Bloomfield Hills, looking at the beautiful houses that auto money had built, we got hungry.
We drove around until we found a restaurant.
It was called the Machus Red Fox.
We went in. It was dark inside, like many restaurants. It was fancier than we really wanted, but we were there, so we took a table.
There was something off about that restaurant. Both Nick and I felt it. We knew nothing about the place, but it was subdued and like a place that might appear on one of the ghost shows that Nick watches.
There were other people at tables, but not a whole lot. I don’t recall the taste of the food or what it looked like, other than being dark … and sinister.
When we left, we both did a sigh of relief. Why? We didn’t know.
It wasn’t until the next day, while mentioning the experience to someone, that we found out the significance of that restaurant.
On July 30, 1975, Jimmy Hoffa, the Teamster’s boss, went to Machus Red Fox, who, according to his family, was to meet up with two Mafia figures. Anthony Giacalone, of Detroit, and Anthony Provenzano, of Union City, New Jersey.
Neither of those men showed up.
There is only speculation as to what happened after that.
But, the story goes, after waiting over 30 minutes, a ticked off Hoffa called his wife and told her we would wait a few minutes more.
That was the last time she would talk to him.
Hoffa was seen at about 2:45, getting into a car in the parking lot, with several other men.
One account I read said that Hoffa probably did not get out of that car alive. Another story from a federal investigation, said that supposedly, Hoffa was taken to a nearby residence and ambushed by Salvatore “Sally Bugs” Briguglio, a lieutenant in the Provenzano family, assassinated Hoffa.
I have heard stories that said Hoffa was chopped up, or was now sleeping with the fishes or stored in a meat locker.
I don’t recall who won the lacrosse game, but just to end on a positive, if not factual note, that Moeller did.
To this day, whenever we think about that restaurant and mention it to each other, we both look at each other and sort of shudder.
And then start talking about whatever happened to Jimmy Hoffa.