This book is the firsthand true story of, Vaughn Cannon, one of America’s most notorious and colorful characters. The celebrated columnist Drew Pearson wrote of him.. 'The dapper son of a Georgia moonshiner is the king of the slot machine rackets in six southern states. He's as rich and powerful as Al Capone.' He is a king indeed…the King of Coins. Who hasn’t said…I know a Weird-Wiley or Naughty-Nancy. ...
This book is the firsthand true story of, Vaughn Cannon, one of America’s most notorious and colorful characters. The celebrated columnist Drew Pearson wrote of him..
'The dapper son of a Georgia moonshiner is the king of the slot machine rackets in six southern states. He's as rich and powerful as Al Capone.'
He is a king indeed…the King of Coins. Who hasn’t said…I know a Weird-Wiley or Naughty-Nancy. Their adventures, or escapades, would make a great book or movie.
The lifeblood of all T.V. reality shows is placing ordinary people, like the viewers, into extra ordinary situations, for short periods of time. Not unlike the reality show Survivor, Vaughn builds up the Cannon Clan to establish itself as the winning tribe in the game of life.
A dirt-poor Georgia farm boy, slash moonshiner’s son, is thrust into one life changing challenge after another? Only, not for a short time…it is for a lifetime, and not for just a mere million dollars. Vaughn amasses three personal fortunes. And much more fun than any Rags to Riches story, he is the envy of most men, and the irresistible dream date of every woman.
Vaughn becomes ‘Gone with the Wind’s’ Rhett Butler in real life.
When a cousin asks, which of his lifetime endeavors and games of chance he loves to play the most? Vaughn grins, ‘That would be lady killin.’ He is a silver tongue devil with a mega-watt smile. A Conman extraordinaire!
It is no accident Vaughn is born in Tiger, Georgia. Legend says; “A tiger prowls the mountain outside town.” Vaughn has the eye of the tiger using his Maverick like charm and James Bond type cleverness to become the rock star of his time. If he’d been a real rock star, instead of a gangster, and had a band, it should have been called, ‘Nirvana,’ which in everyday English means Heaven on Earth. Although where there is a heaven, hell must be only a sin or two away.
Vaughn, at thirteen, hops a freight train to Oklahoma to become a cowboy and see the world. Before reaching his twenty-first birthday, he pulls off the scam of a lifetime spreading slot machines throughout six southern states. He is a millionaire while most men his age stand in bread lines because of the Great Depression.
At twenty-six, his fame earns him a spot on the A-list at the premier of Gone with the Wind, in Atlanta Georgia. A chance meeting with a member of the film’s marketing department, gives him his motto for all his future endeavors, "Don’t sell the steak…sell the SIZZLE." Vaughn’s steakhouses and taverns spread out in six southern states, slot machines singing out in the backrooms, having plenty of new SIZZLE.
He is indicted in 1949 for tax fraud, owing more money to the government than Al Capone ever did. While in prison he befriends the 'Godfather' of the Cuban mob. The mob helps Vaughn become rich again, running their illegal Bolita gambling game.
He lives large in the fast lane. But in a several million to one chance, many Bolita players have the same winning numbers. The mob pays off the winners to protect their reputation, demanding he turn over all his possessions to cover their losses. He first refuses to give in. The mob machine-guns out all the windows in his waterfront mansion and Miami Beach restaurant. He gives in, becoming broke once again.
But he has an ace in the hole, a piece of oceanfront land tucked away for such a time. And with hidden money he builds condominiums in Florida that are the first ever time-shares in America.
On Vaughn’s last trip to visit his nephew in 1990, he shares his life story. The location is on the shore of tranquil Strawberry Bay, on Cypress Island, Washington. The nephew, his wife, one grown son, two preteen sons, and six-year old daughter, gathered at their beach cabin to join Vaughn.
The boys are spellbound as Vaughn relates one jaw-dropping story after another. Unknown to them at the time, Vaughn is dying, and decides to detail his remarkable life for posterity, which he does over the next two years.
One of the boys asks their Granduncle, “Uncle Vaughn were you a criminal?”
Vaughn rolls his big Cuban cigar around, “not a criminal. More like an Outlaw.”
“Like Robin Hood…steal from the rich…give to the poor?” They ask him.
Vaughn grins wide, “Yeah right! I gave to poor ole Vaughn. Now you all listen up…this is all true.”
Vaughn is a master spinner of good ole boy bullshit stories. His nephew finds out through years of research…his wild tales of wheeling and dealing, empire building, and chivalrous acts with the ladies, are grossly under sold. He lives an amazing life by any standard, with his being the Midas-touch Gold Standard.
Pen in hand, his nephew becomes a pawn to his Uncle’s accounting.
I live north of Seattle Washington with Suzanne, my wonderful wife of forty four years. We are blessed with a beach cabin in the Puget Sound, spending many an afternoon kayaking and beach coming. I was born in century-old farmhouse in Commerce, Georgia in winter of 1945.
Recently retired from a high tech electrical controls firm that I owned for thirty years. My business partners called him, “The Great Communicator.
I wrote all the proposals, negotiated contracts for projects at the University of Washington, Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon.com, and Boeing Seattle.
A Big feather in his cap was overseeing the energy management system for Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners Baseball Club.
In my youth, a magazine editor gave him the nickname of ‘Iron Mike,’ when he wrote about his exploits winning the Mint 400 off-road race in Las Vegas, where out of 300 entrants only 12 finished the grueling event.
I have always been an over the top risk taker in all my adult life. I want my readers to share through my writing the full gamut of emotions I have encountered, from the shear terror of car crashes, to the euphoria of victory lane. I've written novels, biographies and over a dozen screenplays.