That Friday was the first day of Frankie Merelli's wake. He had died on Monday, but what with the police investigation, the state of the corpse, and the undertaker's pride, it was four days before the body was ready for viewing. Frankie Merelli was being waked downtown, laid out in Nucciarone's funeral parlor on Sullivan Street, just the way Gracie wanted. She had pictured the first day of Frankie's wake. She was the widow, after all. She had seen it in her mind like the newsreels that came before the movie at the Loews Sheridan on Greenwich Avenue.
The family would gather in front of the building on Spring Street where...