Mario lived in society's underbelly, amidst the type of things one has only seen on TV. His true story is a brutally raw account of migrant life from racism to mental illness and beyond. Mario has had a gun put to his head twice; once by a notorious mobster and the other by a man who had just been released from jail. He was taken down by three Mafia families.
His book is not one with a happy, fairytale ending. It is real. It is raw. It is written to depict his mother's strength, the cruelty she endured, and the way she forever shaped her son's character. The spectre of mental illness destroyed his family; his father, two uncles and grandfather collectively spending 140 years in mental asylums and his father's mysterious disappearance amidst cruel circumstances — circumstances that were never explained. The incarceration of his father, grandfather and two uncles point to a very different era in Australia's history.
Mario Guerra was born in Griffith, NSW, on 14 April 1937 and lived in Beelbangera, NSW. After the loss of his father, his mother moved to Yenda, NSW, to be with her mother and father.
Mario spent his younger years in Yenda and at 18 moved to Lithgow, NSW, to join the railways as a fireman. When in Lithgow, he was called to do military service for three months and then citizens military service for a further two years. While in military service, he lived in Holsworthy, Griffith and Leeton. At Holsworthy, he took up the sport of boxing, which he never regretted.
He moved back to Yenda in 1957 where he continued to be a fireman. He had many career changes, from contract case maker, to fruit farmer, to truck driver, and town carrier in Griffith. During this time, he was an amateur and professional boxer and tournament promoter and played first grade rugby league for Yenda Blues. He became very good in both his chosen sports.