“Determined to Re-define Her Family Name”
Growing up in a society where girls parade around in their youthful femininity, often times dating their newest, freshest puppy love; Nora Schweihs was under the watchful eyes of her loving father and older siblings which made her dat- ing prospects slim to none. That doesn’t mean Nora isn’t grown when handling herself amongst assertive men. She has a keen sense for street smarts and a motivation to accede all expectations others and even those she has placed upon herself. A friend of mine once reminded me; where there’s a will, there’s a way, and Nora Schweihs has developed herself into an entrepreneur to be reckoned with while creating a global brand name, “The German”. Enjoy her wine, sit back, read her autobiography, be intrigued by Nora’s amazing story and know that yes, you too can move forward into better days. Here’s a glimpse into Nora’s approach toward life and some of her aspirations which feed the fuel to her fire.
What was it like for you as a child?
I was born and raised in Riverside, IL. The reason I was approached for “Mob Wives Chicago” is because the creator Jenn Graziano of “Mob Wives New York”; our fathers were incarcerated together in the 90’s. As a child, my father had a jazz club that was pretty well known called “Club Nickel”. Artists like Nina Simone and Miles Davis played there. I always thought of my father as a businessman. Growing up in an upper scale neighborhood, it is what it is if you read the papers and articles, but I just saw him as being my dad. My dad was the best person in the world to me. I got everything I ever wanted. He was always there for me. No matter what anyone says about him being the most notorious hit man for the Chicago Outfit. I was with him during the last few years before he became a fugitive and supposedly died.
Why would you say that he “supposedly” died?
The day we went to bury him, the government confiscated his body out of the funeral home and said they hadn’t done an autopsy, but we already had a death certificate. That’s the last we knew, because he never showed up to the cemetery and we never saw him go into the ground. In the finale of “Mob Wives Chicago”, after 4 years I got a court order through the show in an effort to find out what exactly happened to my father. We ended up having his body exhumed, (Nora continues with an irritated tone) but of course once again, even though I had the court order they did not let me see the body out of the ground. By the time I got to the cemetery they ignored the court order and the body was already out of the ground. Then the pathologist came to me and said it wasn’t him. At that point I had to actually go in and see the medical records that came back inconclusive, and also the dental records. (With some doubts, Nora continues). “Mob Wives Chicago” was an opportunity for me to speak the truth to the world and use the show as a forum for the first time in my life, instead of people just being exposed to everything you hear in the media. I was one of the cast members for the show which unfortu- nately ended in July 2012. It was a spin-off of the New York show.
When you were younger, did you like the bad boys in school and in the neighborhood?
You know, when I was younger there wasn’t anybody who would talk to me on that level. (Nora begins to laugh as she looks back) With my brother and father around, I couldn’t even get a prom date. I recall as a young girl our house was raided and I had a birthday party with about 40 people scheduled and no one showed up. People would say stuff like, “Well, your dad’s a hoodlum! Now we can’t come!” Hearing about me actually getting a date was unheard of.
Did you ever fantasize about being affiliated, or married into the mob lifestyle?
I did end up marrying somebody who was involved in those affairs, but I was young at 22 and he was a lot older. He was Italian and I’m half-Greek, half-German. That’s why they called my father “The German”. That’s another reason why I didn’t have children with my ex. I knew how I felt growing up and didn’t want that life for my child.
What are the benefits of being in your shoes?
Growing up, wherever I went I was known, but I was always known as “The German’s daughter”. It was nice drinking wine, cognac and champagne. I went to the best schools while living in a great area. It was due to my dad and I never looked at him as anything other than Frank Schweihs, my dad. Other people looked at him in a different light.
Aside from the reality TV show “Mob Wives Chicago”, what would you be pursuing as a passion in life?
I do a lot when it comes to wine. I’ve created a new exquisite Pinot Noir called, “The German”. It’s in honor of my father. When everything happened with my father, I went back to school, earned my Associates in Criminal-Paralegal, worked for
a criminal attorney, then went on to get my Bachelors in Business only to graduate with a Master in Business Management. (With an optimistic tone) I’m hoping the wine will take off! I just moved to L.A. from Chicago with the intentions of starting a whole new life and moving forward with “The German” wine. I’m trying to get away from the stigma of my father being this “notorious hit-man”. My new book will be an interesting autobiography soon to be published by John Luciano (Lucky Luciano’s nephew) who signed my book deal. Now, I’m out West and this is a whole different world for me.
What are some of your favorite movies?
I love Denzel Washington movies. I also like the movie Taken. Along Came A Spider. My father and I would listen to jazz. I noticed he was this worldwide traveler and even though I grew up in Chicago, he taught me a lot of things the average kid my age didn’t know. It was a wonderful experience to have a father like mine.
Do you have any fear of your father’s past coming back to haunt you?
Everybody in life has a fear. I know I’m a woman, but I think and act like a guy. I try to move forward in life and I have a lot of really good people around me here in L.A. Do I wake up every day with that fear? Absolutely not! Trust me, because my dad was very well respected. I tell people that my dad never really died; he was reincarnated as me. I know. You’re speech- less, right? Hopefully with “The German” wine, I’ll have the success and respect similar to what he had nationwide.
What’s one thing on your bucket list?
For my next trip I would love to go to Spain. I’ve already traveled to Greece and Italy.
Any charities and/or business endeavors that you’d want to promote?
I’ve been involved in 5 events recently and helped to raise a lot of money from Susan G. Kohlmann events held in Chicago, New York and Palm Springs meant to help find a cure for cancer. That means a lot to me because both of my parents had cancer and fought it. I’ve had a few friends who had breast cancer and ever since the end of “Mob Wives Chicago” I’ve par- ticipated in a Cure for Cancer walk along with being heavily involved in the Susan G. Kohlmann drive/movement.
Other than just breathing and being alive, where do you want to be in life?
I’m just putting the past behind me and hoping maybe one day I’ll meet someone (a significant other) who respects me and we get along. I’ve spent the last four years focusing on school. I want to be known simply as Nora with my wine, autobiog- raphy, my involvement in working for a cure for cancer and for continuing in life as a driven entrepreneur.
Courtesy of: Reddoggmusic.com Article written by: Bill Oxford, 3-20-2013