AL BRADY (FOREGROUND) AND CLARENCE LEE SHAFFER JR. LIE DEAD
LAST DAYS OF THE BRADY GANG
Poppy Davis may wish she'd never gone to work that autumn morning 60 years ago. Safely at home, she could have relaxed while others described the day gunfire rattled downtown and only have imagined the terrible excitement.
But there she was, ready or not, standing in the window of the Paramount Cafe with a ringside seat to Bangor history. The date was Tuesday, Oct.12, 1937.
"My father was in Boston that day and left me in charge of the restaurant, located at 3032 Central Street," she recalled. "I was up front typing the day's menu when all hell broke loose. It sounded like very loud firecrackers."
Hopping onto a small radiator, 19 year old Poppy Valiades, as yet unmarried, squinted through the plate-glass window around 8:30 a.m. to see mobster Clarence Lee Shaffer, Jr. staggering away from Dakin's Sporting Goods in her direction. She watched his baby face grimace as G-men's barking guns ripped his torso to pieces.
"I saw his clothes - oh, blood spilling out - bullets," she said. "I thought at first, they're making a movie, but isn't it strange how they kept it so quiet. When (Shaffer) was hit he went into a kind of a coil as moved into the street. I was probable 10 to 15 feet from him when he dropped.