Catch Me If You Can- The True Story of a Real Fake

These are my favorite quotes from the famous Frank Abagnale, he was a famous con man whose story inspired, by the movie Catch me if you can. One of my all-time greats for its adventures and Frank’s charm and personality.

“What bothered me most was their lack of style. I learned early that class is universally admired. Almost any fault, sin or crime is considered more leniently if there’s a touch of class involved.”

“I know who I am and what I am, and that’s what counts, not what other people might think of me. I’m an honest man, I feel, and that’s more important to me than having a big car. . . . As long as a man knows what he is and who he is, he’ll do all right.”

“So I awarded myself a scholarship to Embry-Riddle, graduated fantasy cum laude, and then gave myself a few years of mythical experience with Eastern Airlines.”

“I was an apt student. I mean, it takes a certain degree of academic concentration to learn all about airline travel-expense procedures.”

“I knew I was still being hunted and I didn’t want to make it easy for the hounds.”

“The challenge again. I shrugged.”What would it entail for me to take the bar examination in this state?” I asked.”

“My bumblebee instincts began buzzing.”

“It’s not how good a check looks but how good the person behind the check looks that influences tellers and cashiers.”

“And to get a woman’s attention, you have to pay attention to her.”

“The first is personality, and I look on personal grooming as part of one’s personality. Top con artists, whether they’re pushing hot paper or hawking phony oil leases, are well dressed and exude an air of confidence and authority. They’re usually, too, as charming, courteous and seemingly sincere as a politician seeking reelection, although they can, at times, effect the cool arrogance of a tycoon. The second is observation. Observation is a skill that can be developed, but I was born blessed (or cursed) with the ability to pick up on details and items the average man overlooks. Observation, as I will illustrate later, is the only necessity for successful innovative larceny. A newsman who did a story on me noted, “A good con man reads sign like an Indian, and Frank Abagnale would have made the best Pawnee scout on the frontier look like a half-blind tenderfoot.”

“The third factor is research, the big difference between the hard-nosed criminal and the super con man. A hood planning a bank holdup might case the treasury for rudimentary facts, but in the end he depends on his gun. A con artist’s only weapon is his brain. A con man who decides to hit the same bank with a fictitious check or a sophisticated check swindle researches every facet of the caper. In my heyday as a hawker of hot paper, I knew as much about checks as any teller employed in any bank in the world and more than the majority. I’m not even sure a great many bankers possessed the knowledge I had of checks.”

“I think that I actually would have gone mad and died a lunatic in Perpignan prison had it not been for my vivid imagination. The creative ability that had enabled me to concoct the brilliant swindles I’d perpetrated over the years, and which had resulted in my present plight, now served as a lifeguard.”

“In my fantasies, I was anyone I wanted to be, much as I’d been during the five years before my arrest, although I added to and amplified my Perpignan impersonations. I was a famous surgeon, operating on the President and saving his life with my medical skills. A great author, winning the Nobel Prize for literature. A movie director, making an Oscar-winning epic. A mountain guide, rescuing hapless climbers trapped on a dangerous mountain face. I was tinker, tailor, Indian chief, baker, banker and ingenious thief. For I sometimes restaged some of my more memorable capers. And some of my more memorable love scenes too.”

“If you had nothing, you would still have your wife, your children, and your family.”

 

 

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