Historic Germantown, Philadelphia
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Your Thoughts Archive
October 1-13, 2008

Hi Anthonyg, Remember the party lines on the phones, we shared one with your family. My mom was listening in on your dad and I can still picture her laughing. She was a tease also. This was when we still lived on Wakefield St.
franny [10-13-2008]

John Bruce Schmitt, Pizza in Willow Grove and steaks in Warrington,is this a cool site or what. I couldn't agree more. Seems like our food heritage from our youth in G-town will never change. Few things can beat a great pizza, steak or hoagie. BTW Sal's brother John died some time ago. I believe it was in the mid seventies. John & Sal had a pizza shop in the Plymouth Meeting mall back then. I'm not sure just when Sal moved to Warrington.
Bill, Philly, 59 [10-13-2008]

High& Magnolin st 20th reunion on Oct 19TH 2008 for more info call Vincent Cutri 215 355 9967 or Sam Cerrato jr 215 646 4994
Sam henderson 66, Grew up in G-town and have great memories [10-13-2008]

anyone born 7 raised in the 40's and 50's?????????????????????
ANNE [10-13-2008]

Hi Duke,boy have not heard your name in years,don't know if you will remember me,knew all your family back in the early 60's also your mother Shirley what a sweet lady,I seen you last at the Cedarbrook Mall I think around 1975 or somewhere around their,do you still have your blonde hair ha ha,take care Sandy from Cowtown
anonymous [10-13-2008]

hey duke...how are you? it's denise...cindy's cousin. she mentioned to me that you had suprised her at work not to long ago. hope your doing well.
anonymous [10-11-2008]

Bill[Philly]:I want to thank you for the information about Sal Bonticello.Forgive me if I mispelled his name.Sal had a brother named "John".Sal had a friend [Butch Pickett] who married Eileen McLaughlin.Sal's parents had a steak-shop across from Happy Hollow and during his break from work,we shot horse or pig for a small wager.I was competitive with Sal but Bobby Goo[Guaranello] kicked my butt.My mother lives in Montco. not far from Sal's place and I will stop there.Pizza in Willow Grove and steaks in Warrington,is this a cool site or what.
John Bruce Schmitt [10-11-2008]

Bernard McKernan:Congratulations on your 50th from North Catholic.I remember Marty Qualeteri and Don Rankin quite well.It is sad to hear about Marty's condition.He was the go to guy for the 1st- down.He was from Our lady of Pompei on Erie avenue.He was a good-guy whose nickname was the "Joker".I knew the Rankin family-they were great athletes.Don rankin was from Holy Cross[53] and graduated from North-57.Ralph Gatto graduated from North-58.Actually,they both played QB for North during 1957.Being Irish,you might appreciate the fact that Don Rankin's cousin[Charlie] was a great Irish soccer player.We both liked the horses and boxing,we watched these sporting events together.Holy Cross[grade-school] had good quarterbacks-Don Rankin-53 and Joe Corr-54.Joe Corr was Qb for the Prep-58.Andy Lavin was a tough runner;I only knew he was from East Germantown.Did you know Tony Bateman from North?I knew Tony from the Prep.Your comment about mortality is on spot.Over the years,I have lost so many good people.With all the financial and geo-political problems in the world,this Germantown site should not be the venue for acrimonious and invective blogs.
John Bruce Schmitt [10-11-2008]

bill james. i just read your post from oct 3rd. you are the voice of reason. religion, politics and recipe's????
jack brennan [10-11-2008]

Hello to everyone on this page i have stopped here before .I used to live at ST Joe's grew up in Germantown,went to Holy Rosary,used to go to Woolworths after school .i have been trying to find old friends but have had no luck where could everyone have gone lol. if any one remembers any thing or no someone from ST Joseph send me a note thanks and have a Bllessed Day.
Angela Cruz, New Jersey [10-11-2008]

Hello Everyone, This is my first message left on this site. Whoever put this website together is doing a wonderful service for a lot of people. My memories of G-town are wonderful. If I had the opportunity to pick between then and now, I would always pick then. The world was a lot different. My beliefs today were taught to me by the older people from Germantown. If I only knew then what I know now. There will never be another Germantown. I'm trying to reach old friends, to say Hello, catch up on old times and families. I'm really interested in reaching Gerry Powers from Parnell Place, off of Magnolia street. If anyone knows where she ma be or how to contact her, you may give her my address. Also, there are so many others, Bobby Nyce, Joseph Criniti, Billy Novak,Susan Flanagan, John Kenny, there are so many people. I know I left off a ton of names, I apologize---Agnes Tranzilli...E-mail me anyone and I will return your messages. My life has turned out to be wonderful in spite of me, and I know I owe an awful lot of that to our upbringings....Thank you all so very much.............................. Duke Belmonte
Duke Belmonte, South Lebanon Township, Pa. [10-10-2008]

Franny, I didn't realize who you were until I just came on and saw your note to Frank Surgner, that you lived at 5807. I could not believe it. Yea, I'm sure my father did keep an eye on you. He scared my cousin Angel and her friends when they were coming home from Lasalle's dance. They were walking along Wister Woods and he was on duty in the wagon and hit them with the spotlight. They didn't know who it was and were afraid to turn around. He was known for his teasing. How have you been?
anthonyg [10-10-2008]

John Bruce Schmitt, You might want to contact Sal. He may know where or how you might reach Ralph Gatto. Sal still has a pizza shop in Warrington, it's a small shopping center at 611 & Oxford Dr. about a mile north of Street Rd. on the right. His son is running the place but I've run into Sal there many times when I worked in that area, and YES the food is just as good as I remember from Wayne Ave.
Bill, Philly, 59 [10-10-2008]

John Bruce Schmitt: Nice post. The name Ralph Gatto conjures up some memories but as a North grad, didn't a guy named Don Rankin Q.B. that team in "57"? I recently attended North's 50th reunion & it was a very mellow event for me. Andy Lavin a great tailback from i think I.C. was there. He could run through a brick wall. Marty Qualeteri a brute of a player from H. Rosary who also was a fine gentlemen is gravely ill with cancer & could not attend. Looking around the room was a sobering reminder for me of our mortality. Some looked better than others but all looked great in my eyes. These are the moments to remember fellas & ladies. The Gtn site gives us an opportunity to pause & reflect on our youth. Let's try & keep it from becoming a political & religious forum that serves no useful purpose. B McKernan Annapolis, Md. retired.
bernard mc kernan, 67yrs, Chesapeake bay, Md., Gtn grad of N.Catholic "58" [10-10-2008]

Duncan:I read your short blog about Ralph Gatto.I knew Ralph from Happy Hollow.I remember that he had a friend named John Mcgehan.They were both - Hollow guys.Did you know Ralph from sports?I never remember Raph playing basketball at the Hollow or soccer at GBC.As you know,he played QB for North-57&58.Jim McIntyre [Fern Hill] played the same position-6 years later.I have not seen Ralph since the 50's.Like you,I wondered what happened to Ralph.Possibly,a guy from the Hollow will know.
John Bruce Schmitt [10-09-2008]

I love my memories of growing up in Germantown! From my birth until the age of 7 I frolicked on those friendly streets without fear. I attended "Holy Rosary" as did my father and all his siblings. We lived on Cosgrove St. with many of my aunts, uncles, cousins and my fathers parents from Italy. My parents and some of my other family members worked at Howsers down on the corner. I believe it was a glass factory. Everyone on the block was Italian and spoke the language-loudly. My "boyfriend", Jo-Jo and I would run around the corner to Carmen's Market where he would give us samples of the delicious cheeses hanging from the ceiling. Our next door neighbors, the Rafel's had about 8 kids and Mr. R. had the special tool for opening the fireplug on hot suumer days. The cops would come around to stop it and no one ever gave Mr. R. away! I learned how to play double-dutch in the streets from the black girls who recently moved in. Does anyone remember that flatbed truck that came around with a ride on the back? You'd give the guy a nickle, sit in the seat and the thing went around and around-just like at the carnival. The ice cream man always followed him. It was the perfect arrangement! We'd wait on our porches in great anticipation for that. Man- those were the days!
Bernadette Dasconio, 49 yrs old, currently residing in Tampa Bay, FL [10-09-2008]

I just found out about this web site a few days ago from another former G-towner and it's GREAT! I guess I'll see most of you at the reunion coming up on l0/l9/08? Right? We are the girls from ICS!
Mary Toomey McLaughlin, 58yrs. live in Fox Chase [10-09-2008]

While bantering over politics and religion may be interesting to some, it was my days as a child in Germantown that I prefer to speak of and remember on this site. Although my memories may be somewhat vague regarding exact locations and addresses I would like to say that I have many happy memories of growing up in Germantown in the late 50s and they exist somewhat in this way (though not necessarily in the correct order): Buying rolls and/or tomato pie at Scalaes on Wister St-playing half ball, stick ball, wall ball or any kind of ball for that matter on East Bringhurst St.; getting what seemed like a pint of ice cream on a cone at the corner store on Bringhurst near Wister St.for a dime; seeing a movie at the Lyric Theatre which of course later became the New Lyric Theatre; buying water ice on Germantown Ave up the street for the Lyric; Texas wieners from the Dog House; playing the pinball machine inside Duvas steak joint at Germantown and Coulter; playing miniature golf at the indoor golf course located on the 2nd floor above Father and Son’s shoe store also at Coulter Street; getting a free yard stick from the hardware store along Germantown Ave (bet Coulter and School House Lane); seeing movies at the other Theatres in Germantown; The Orpheum-The Bandbox;-the Colonial, etc.; Running in and out of Horn and Hardarts; getting discounted Banana Splits at Woolworth’s Dept. Store (depending on the amount inside the balloon); the yearly Halloween murals painted on stores; the yearly bazaar at Vernon Park; The free trading cards (military, of course) collected from the recruiting center at Germantown and Haines; first dance at Trinity; first swim at the Germantown Boys Club; getting free spring water from an open spring in Germantown etc -I could go on and on….THOSE WERE THE DAYS MY FRIENDS
Ron Majka, 62 YO living in Mayfair [10-09-2008]

Our son is entering UArts in January and we have a few days after he moves in to tour Germantown, etc. Are there organized tours of Germantown? Thx.
Chris, Rhinebeck, NY [10-09-2008]

Hi Rosemarie..I'm good. Yes, we'll get together again one of these days. I hope all is well with you. :)
Sheila [10-08-2008]

I know you and your sister Sarah, she went to school with me. You're absolutely right, Awbury Park was the best. We'd bring our dog Junior up there, he loved it. Dead Man's Curve also great for sledding! a lot of calories were burned back then.With good honest fun....
Mary Toomey McLaughlin, 58yrs. old. response to Bill Cupo [10-08-2008]

I grew up on Shedaker Street, graduated from St. Francis & NC & left when I went to college in '61--never to return except for weddings and funerals. I have fond memories of Germantown & had to read this site every day to connect w/ those memories. However, the site is becoming a forum for the likes of the "professor" & others who want to spout politics. Who cares?? Why can't we just remember and smile when we read something that hits home or brings back a great memory?? But the site administrator feels he/she must allow this rhetoric from the likes of the professor from anon people who don't have the guts to use a name. I will still visit on & off but not as often as I once did. This saddens me. Joe Taylor
joe taylor, Athens, GA [10-08-2008]

While skimming the posts, I found myself gravitating to those that mentioned foods indigenous to good old Germantown. One post mentioned the 'poor food' that so many of us were raised on...probably since most of our parents were raised during the depression. Anyway, one of my favorites was my grandmom's mush (boiled corn meal hardened, fried in butter, then served with syrup). Imagine how shocked/surprised I was when served polenta for the first time when visiting Italy. Sitting in a somewhat hoity toity restaurante, I couldn't help but blurt out.....polenta....this is mush! I was raised on it! I thought it was rather funny especially since polenta is now such an 'in' food. If you don't see the humor, well, guess you had to be there. Anyone remember a place called Aunt Mitt's in downtown G-town? My grandmom used to love that second hand shop. I recall a rather old, dusty shop with beat up looking shoes and lots of old stuff all over the place. Hmmm I wonder what some of those things might be worth today!
p. carr [10-07-2008]

Bruce Marshall:I thank you for the clarifications of the comments about the city by the bay.I must acknowledge that some confabulating blogs from anonymous people are difficult to decipher.In the future,Old Bruce will read Young Bruce's blogs more carefully.
John Bruce Schmitt [10-07-2008]

Donna Boyko;Your short blog resonated with me.I always liked Wyneva St.;it was a nice street with homes that were well maintained.The Harkins family there and had a tailor-shop.The boys liked to play basketball.I also think that the Masterson family lived on Wyneva.I graduated from St.Francis [55] with Jean Masterson.I went to a dance at the Barclay Hotel with Jean.Lou Pauzano[St.Michael's] went with Jean's cousin[Eileen McLaughlin].Jean and Eileen were good basketball players.Possibly,You knew Lou Pauzano's brother -Al[Peanut].Lou and Al went to St.Michael's.Your married name is Boyko which is a well known Ukrainian name.I knew many Ukrainians from Logan which borders Germantown.I knew Peter Kapschutschenko{sculptor] very well.I was a student of Peter K. and he advised me on art and sculpture collecting.I was fascinated by his monuments in Boundbrook,New Jersey which is a center for Ukrainian art and culture and also the Ukrainian-Orthodox Church.Peter K. taught me about Ukrainian art and culture.We both admired Italian sculpture and the Mecca of Italian sculpture- Florence.Viva Italia-Slava Ukraine and God Bless America.We were blessed to experience many different cultures in germantown and live near other ethnic neighborhoods- Nicetown[Polish],Logan[Ukrainian].I went to the funeral of the Ukrainian Bishop[Walter Paska] who died.The Funeral-Mass at the Ukrainian Cathedral was ethereal.
John Bruce Schmitt [10-07-2008]

Marion, I went to Logan School too. In fact, I went with a few friends to visit the school last year. That auditorium you mentioned is exactly the same, right down to the piano Mrs. Harmon used to play. The pictures on both sides of the stage are still there, as are the original seats. The gym and lunchroom are the same too. We visited a few classrooms. They are numbered differently from the way our rooms were numbered, but they look the same with the "cloakrooms". The only room that is different is the office, but the same office bench sits outside of it. The principal welcomed our visit. He is interested in seeing and having old photos of the school. My teachers were Miss Haslam, Miss Rogers, Mrs. Schinlever and Miss Hazlett. It was a great school.
Sheila [10-07-2008]

Frank Surgner, Remember the old ice cream sign outside of Mom's store? Potts ice cream. We lived at 5807 Wakefield until 1952 moved to 5600 Morton.
franny [10-07-2008]

Anthony G, My great grandfather was a lamp lighter in Germantown in the days of gas lamps. He carried an A frame ladder, a bucket, and rags. He may have covered the territory that you mentioned.
Michael [10-07-2008]

To Marion Blackmar, some very nice memories of growing up in Germantown. Thanks for sharing them!
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [10-07-2008]

Does anyone remember The Boswell House on Greene St?
Joan Beck, age 68 [10-07-2008]

Hi Anthonyg, we are cuz's. Was lucky enough to get into St. Vincent's church recently. The school looked so small, no more fire escapes. The hall looks the same. They have a soup kitchen and a thrift shop inside. Just got a quick peek. Memories. As a teenager we went to St. Vincent's dance in the hall and your dad kept an eye on us.
Franny [10-07-2008]

Franny, I remember the gas light on the 5800 block of Wakefield. We lived at 5811 before moving to 201 Price, right accross from Mom's. Pop used to throw water down on us from the second floor window when we were too loud. Even put the shotgun out the window to scare us. It made us take off, but we always went back.
anthonyg [10-06-2008]

Reenactment of Germantown: I can't believe I missed this performance. I was driving through this area on Saturday, going down to visit my son in college in the city, and I saw some of these performers lined up on Germantown Avenue. I looked like something that was very interesting. I'll have to try to remember this for next year.
Margaret Chiodo-Keller [10-06-2008]

hi shiela ... how are things going ... hope your well ... lets do breakfast soon .. or lunch ... rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [10-06-2008]

I have enjoyed the bantering going on here and listening with interest to everyone's opinions. BUT the hackles on the back of my neck went up when someone said that because a person thinks differently then him, they "should be investigated by the Homeland Security". What about freedom of speech. This country was built on that premise. I will paraphrase a famous quote that was mistakenly credited to Voltaire. I may disagree with what you say but I will fight to the death for your right to say it. People are always trying to make changes in our government. President Bush wanted to do away with Social Security and have everyone put their money in IRAs when he first went into office. Everyone has an opinion on Health Care and how we should handle the uninsured. Everyone has a opinion on how to handle the present economic problems. Each political party has their own platform on change. Because my opinion is different from yours should I not be allowed to voice my opinion: Must someone be investigated because they differ? And an FYI to all, The Socialist Party is a legitimate political party in America. They often have a candidate on the ballot for President. A neighbor of mine has run for Mayor of Philadelphia on the Socialist ballot several times. Enough said. I will step down from my soapbox now and let you all get back to your bantering. Just remember that you are able to openly disagree on this forum and in any other forum without the fear of arrest because of the freedoms allowed you by our Constitution. Maryalice
Maryalice, 63, still in Germantown [10-06-2008]

i check this site everyday to find old friends and listen to old stories and here some great memories but lately this site is getting very depressing its not about old times any more. its turning into a political and religious site just my 2cents lets get it back to what it started out to be a site for great memories.
rich, huntingdon valley [10-06-2008]

Sorry Erda, I was away and didn't have internet access in time to give details for the Battle re-enactment; hopefully you found it in time (it was Saturday). John Bruce Schmitt, I wasn't thinking of you about the San Francisco comments - I was recalling the general outbreak when the anonymous guy from there took a shot at some people. I intentionally didn't name names anyway - my point was it would be nice if we stuck closer to the point of the board and avoided the tangents and hostile, divisive, confrontational posts, but it looks like they're part of the forum. Some folks have accurately said to just tune them out, and that's the next best thing to not posting them in the first place. It's still a great board!
Bruce Marshall, 57, still in Gtn [10-06-2008]

Hi Franny, I remember the gas lights on Wakefield St and also on Rittenhouse St. I also remember Gabe the water ice man, he sold pretzels too. I Used to go to Mom's store and play the gumball machine and buy bread and icecream. The Bryers Bricks and candy. The umbrella repair man and the knife sharpener man would also come to wakefield st to sharpen the household knives and fix the umbrellas, and also Sam the door to door salesman, who sold my mother house dresses, and collected the money on time, and put what you payed in his book. Didn't have credit cards then. Well enough for now Frank Surgner
Frank Surgner, lived at 5817 wakefield st. [10-06-2008]

Okay, here goes.... Happy Thought! On my street, Magnolia Street, on Halloween,there were about twenty houses on Magnolia... and then there's Penn Street... at least fifty... and Parnell Place another twenty. But the best treat, I remember was orange juice drink from the Herbert's on Potterton Heights... We went back there twice. And also there was always a wig I could borrow from the Indian Group at the Germantown Boys Club to be an Indian or a gypsy or a witch. I remember as though it was yesterday. I kindly ask the webmaster to start a new place in the archives, for photo submissions of our town. Thanks.
Jane Nyce Bender [10-06-2008]

I lived on East Wister Street from 1947-50, when we moved to West Phil-Ellena Street in West Mt. Airy. I attended Wister and Schaeffer (sp?) schools before getting a transfer to Logan Demonstration School. We rented the ground floor apartment in what I remember as a mansion. The grounds were spacious, and there was a decaying carriage house at the end of the driveway. My friends and I used to climb up the huge mulberry tree, which had a platform on it. The house next door was owned by an Armenian family, I think their names were Shakmakian and they imported rugs. There were four boys, and the grandmother used to come to our grape arbor to get the leaves to make dolmas. Dr. Williams was my pediatrician; his office was on Wister, closer to Germantown Avenue. I used to walk to the New Lyric theater for weekend matinees; it was about 12 cents admission, I think. There was a drugstore on the way with good ice cream. Another drugstore was on the route to Wister School. You could get pickles from the barrel in a piece of waxed paper. He also sold wax lips and mustaches, and the plastic in a tube with a straw to blow bubbles. It must have been carcinogenic, it had a strong chemical smell, but we chewed on it. You could also gamble by putting a pin in a board with holes in it. There used to be a street fair on Baynton Street which was quite a production. For a while I sang in the children's choir at the Baptist church on the corner, although my grandmother went to the First Presbyterian Church of Germantown. Sometimes I'd go too, get a seat on the first row of the balcony, and surreptitiously drop pieces of paper on the people seated below. There were some busy shops adjoining the New Lyric. The shoe shop had one of those X ray machines which allowed you to see the bones of your feet. I have fond memories of Rowell's at Germantown and Chelten. It was an elegant store. The ladies' room was plushly furnished, and the telephone booths were huge, with comfortable chairs. I remember the old wooden trolleys which rumbled along Chelten. Wilf Brothers record store had a beautiful marble exterior. I think it was on Chelten at Greene. I loved the soundproof booths where you could try out the records. I also recall there being gas street lights on Wister. I loved Logan School. I was in Mrs. Sherlock's class, and she used to have us do choral reading. I wrote a play about the Berlin Airlift, and my fifth grade class performed it for assembly. The auditorium at Logan was impressive. The school colors were gold and gray. After Logan, I went to Lanenau School for Girls on School House Lane. It was run by Lutheran deaconesses, and I hated it. Some names from Logan: Mary Schaeffer, Diane Popelow, Jan Rakoff, Charles Schleicher. From Lankenau: Frances Knight, Barbara Clouting, Peggy Bennett, I'll thing some more and post again.
Marion Blackmer, Oakland, CA Age 67 [10-06-2008]

Shelly, People have tried long, hard, and unsucessfully to separate church and state. Since the country was founded on the basis of religious principles, that's a difficult thing to do. The politicians tell us that they favor separation, but we still have one nation UNDER GOD don't we? The words: "IN GOD WE TRUST" is still written on our money isn't it? I will never, ever, be a politician. I would probably get assassinated anyway in my first term for being a Catholic, and for boldly speaking out against the grave moral evils of our time. The good ole days of the Eisenhower era are long gone. Put on the 6 O'clock news and you'll see what I mean. Keeping this post in line with Germantown.......How many cops have to get killed in Philly in order for the violence to stop? Why can't our politicians end the slayings of our brave and innocent Police? They can't. Who can end the murders and the shootings on our streets? Do you have an intelligent answer for me? Please... tell me what you think. This is an issue that the old Germantown people didn't have to worry about. Everyone, in those days, had respect.
Michael [10-06-2008]

Hey Donna, Ralph Gatto was a friend of mine. He worked at Sal"s Steaks on Wayne Avenue, Just around the corner from Wyneva Street. Do you know where he is. Duncan Hubley
anonymous [10-06-2008]

Michael you speak like a politician. You have changed your posts from religion to The economy and politics. Enough already.
Shelly [10-04-2008]

I attended St. Michael of the Saints parish on Gtn. Ave. I graduated class of 1962.
Donna R. (Dellaporte) Boyko, I am 60 and lived on Wyneva St. by Happy Hollow [10-04-2008]

What time the Battle of Germantown start?? Thanks for the reminder.. I think I will try to grab my grandkids and take them..
Erda [10-03-2008]

Webmaster, please stop the opinions that have nothing to do with Germantown memories.
dmk, Roxborough [10-03-2008]

Coming to this site is a way to escape for just a few minutes from the problems of the world by sharing memories of when we were young. So many of the words writtn here make me smile and I want to keep on smiling when I read the stories that are told here. Let's get back on course here!
Sheila [10-03-2008]

Professor Jim ... Thanks for the lecture on the Establishment Clause and the "wall of separation between church and state", but you missed the whole point. The very document that you tell Michael to read and shutup, is the document that guarantees that he doesn't have to shut up. And as for what has put us in the mess that this country is in right now, it is not Capitalism, but rather the Socialism that you proudly aspire to. Our government (mainly the Democrats) has used the economic system of this country for social engineering. Banks and mortgage lenders were encouraged and pressured into making loans to unqualified buyers would would not have gotten loans otherwise. Ever heard of undocumented mortgages? Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (both Quasi-Government institutions) bought up these risky loans and "bundled" them for sale to investors with implied government guarantee of their safety. In 2003, the Bush Administration pushed for stricter oversight of those two companies, but all efforts were blocked by the Democrats (with Barney Frank leading the charge). Look up his quotes from 2003 where he asserts that there are no problems with either Fannie or Freddie. Meanwhile Chris Dodd (D-Conn), Obama (D-Ill), and John Kerry (D-Mass) got tens of thousands of dollars in contributions from those two entities. The unqualified buyers entered the Real Estate market and helped drive prices through the roof. Eventually it became unsustainable. Interest rates went up, and those that should not have gotten mortgages to begin with, began defaulting. Housing prices plunged, and now "we" have a mess. This is the same Federal Government that people like you want to have running our healthcare system. No thanks. Don't give me your propaganda about greedy capitalism, it's principally misguided, incompetent politicians that have caused our problems. Ever heard of the law of unintended consequences? The Socialist governments of Europe are weak and falling apart at the seams with high taxes. Unemployment in many of those countries is routinely in the 10% range. People die waiting for operations that they can get virtually immediately here. Canadians cross our border every day to get health services that they can't wait for at home. Save your Socialist dogma professor, for someone else. Capitalism is what made this country great, and it's why everyone else wants to come here. If you like Socialism so much, there's plenty of room for you in Europe. Have a nice trip.
George, Former G-Towner [10-03-2008]

Marianne, I think that you and the professor were shipwrecked on the same Island. No, it wasn't I who intitiated any of this. I'm not a mean spirited person and I certainly don't wish harm on the professor nor anyone else. My original point/response was that a person doesn't have to be college educated to possess the VIRTUE of wisdom. Also, this isn't the place for people to consistently flaunt their academic skills either. Save it for the classroom. As far as our economic future goes, I hope the day will never come when we see donkeys and rickshaws transporting folks up and down Germantown avenue and Broad street. The truth is that things aren't good now and we don't know what's going to happen. Admit that Germantown, the rest of the city of Philadelphia, and the entire country is in a terrible mess. They are. That's one purpose for me getting on my knees every night. Yeah, we need change..... big time. With warm regards,
Michael [10-03-2008]

Do you remember that skit on Saturday Night Live when Sean Penn just walloped the Church Lady to shut her up?
Bill James, The Head from The Hollow [10-03-2008]

Does anyone remember the Suloc Bakery in Germantown, in 1950's lived in Germantown on Wingohocking Terrace
Joan, retired 75 yrs age now in Doylestown Pa [10-03-2008]

I remember the gas lights being lit on the 5800 block of Wakefield St. The ice man and his horse and wagon going up this block. I recently drove by and was surprised to see Mon's old candy store altered. It looked nice and is no longer a store.
Franny [10-03-2008]

B of Germantownruce Marshall:I appreciate your comments about "The Battle of Germantown.However,many Irish-Americans from Germantown are proud of their heritage and see a connection between the Irish culture of G-town and Ireland.I made comments about San Francisco which has an Italian presence,I was fortunate to learn about the Italian culture in Germantown.On this site I read blogs about pizza in Willow Grove.I see nothing objectionable rlelating past eating experiences in Gtn. to the present.I read blogs about Martha Washinton-cake which was a big treat in Germantown.Consequently can one mention the Martha Wahington-cake in Mt. Vernon Va.I rode horses in Faairmount Park.Can I mention on the way to the Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington Ky,that I pass Germantown,Maryland.On the way home,I can stop in Germantown Ky,not far from Cinncinati.You mentioned parks;one can make a comparison between Fairmount Park and other parks-Palermo Park,Buenos Aires.Most former Germantowners no longer live there and they like to do comparative analysis.You might like to compare Copely Road in Gtn. with Copely Road in London.Germantown was and will always be a great place.Possibly,we can compare The Battle Of Germantown with other great battles.I know a guy who is an expert on the Battle of Crimea.
John Bruce Schmitt [10-03-2008]

OK Prof. Jim McKernan, everybody gets it - you're a smart guy, educated etc. Now give it a break ! I for one am tired of your rants and LONG winded comments. Most of us Germantowners are blue collar types who just want to take a walk down memory lane and remember the good old days. Every time I see a long posting I already know your name will be at the end. Why don't you try writing to THE NEW YORKER - seems it may fit you better.
Bill C., Greensboro NC age59 [10-03-2008]

McKernan, You're wrong and I'm not interested in your long drawn out dissertations anyway. They bore me. A college education has NO VALUE if a person doesn't have a mind wise enough to make sound moral decisions. Put on the 6 o'clock news to verify that. Again, no one will ever tell me what to believe in, what to think, or who to vote for either. Good luck.
Michael [10-03-2008]

Bill..I to played ball at Awbury and sledded down those hills. I must have been there with you at the same time but didnt know you. This great site brought us together along with Vinny, Mole, Andy, Dan, Anthony, Millard, Rosemarie, anonymous and others. Now we have the Prof and a handful of other characters that wants to destroy our moments of the past and use our inputs to teach us lessons in politics, religion, grammar, spelling, etc. Who cares what they think or say as long as we keep our memories alive they wont destroy us. The Prof actually hates the country and this form of government and wants to influence our own views. He goes into how he is a Socialist and lectures us on how our country should be changed. Who cares what he thinks and I think he should be investigated by Homeland Security. Also he should seriously consider going back to ireland to live, you may be happier and take some of your friends with you. Like Tony Blair said to parliament, "A simple way to take the measure of a country is to look at ... how many people want in ... and how many people want to get out." I guess the Prof wants out. Now make sure you critics out there tell me how many mistakes I made, I dont care, I made my way in life without you and Im not afraid to sign my name. Im proud to be an american and live in this great country and will defend it till the day I die..
rick rizzo 64 [10-03-2008]

To all who live in the vicinity or can make it through here this weekend: I highly recommend checking out the Battle of Germantown celebrations and re-enactment, to be held this Saturday. I went for the first time last year after living here most of my life, and tuning it out thinking it was hokey, commercial, etc. I was mistaken. The re-enactors really bring the battle to life with costumes, props, plenty of cannon fire, smoke, drums and bagpipes, and action. It's narrated so you get the background and context - it was significant because it was the first time Washington went on the offensive against the British, and although it didn't go well, was enough to persuade General Lafayette to join in subsequently. Great for kids and adults. Really makes you appreciate the Patriots' sacrifices and how hard life was then. The historic houses are open, there are vendors, and it's a great day - check it out if possible. As for all the chatter on here, like most people, I have strong opinions about religion, politics, and abortion, but I fail to see why such topics need to be brought up, argued and defended, along with rude comments and personal attacks, along with unrelated content about Ireland, San Francisco, etc., on this board, whose purpose is to bring people together through shared experiences and fond memories of Germantown.
Bruce Marshall, 57, Born, raised, still in Gtn [10-02-2008]

I meant to get around to this earlier but have been busy. This Sunday Oct. 5 at 10 am is the St. Francis Annual Reunion Mass with a luncheon to follow in the school cafeteria and then a choir concert back in the church. Any other info. could probably be given by calling the rectory or church numbers.
Jim McGinley, NE Philly 46 [10-02-2008]

Hi everyone, Grow up in Germantown. Does anyone remember Gabriel the water ice guy who pushed a cart up Chelten Ave.
franny [10-02-2008]

I shall use this blog to collectively address some of the comments sparked by my prior comments. I do this as a friend of Germantown. George: (10-01-08) It is you sir, who do not understand the First Amendment. Writing in 1802, Thomas Jefferson, the author of the US Constitution, said to the Baptists of Danbury Virginia that the First Amendment was written to create a "wall of separation between church and state". That is what the "establishment clause” is about. Thus our constitution does, indeed, create this separation. George you refer to me as a "Liberal"-I am not. I am a proud Socialist-as far left as you can imagine-critical of what a free society does to oppress many segments of our population. And I do believe in equality, not the vacant greed of capitalism amok-and allied ideas of Democrats and Republicans that have put us in a mess. The government needs to provide free education, free health benefits and housing to our citizens. That is what taxes should be for-but no they are for wars and salaries of failed CEO’s while we have to suffer. I don't have much time for Liberals myself-but once again please do not speculate about another's beliefs if you are ignorant of these. Michael, made a crude attempt to inject politics into an unnecessary comment about a strong religious belief on the abortion issue-he had no right to determine my personal religious ideology-which he is wrongly guessing at anyroad, with his peculiar religious convictions. And I shall repeat this point-no one has the right to attack another's personally held religious convictions on this site. My thesis was the government, (meaning not only Congress but the Senate, Executive and Judicial branches must abide accordingly, under our Constitution, as neutral, on these issues). Certainly our churches should not be preaching about who to vote for this November! For Michael to discuss politics and religion in the same breath is regarded by rational discussants as wrongheaded in most forums. Michael, check your own spelling mistakes. I do apologize for my wrong spelling of the word "virtue". I work a heavy loaded day and this leads to the odd wrongly-spelled word when composing of an evening. But unlike your good self, I am more interested in substantive concepts and ideas than spelling. You incorrectly spelled "what"...but I think I understood what 'whayt' meant; however, and I apologize if this error in spelling a word if it caused you, or any reader, any difficulty in understanding. I do not apologize for my celebrating Celtic culture-many people of Germantown are of Irish heritage. I live in both nations and care about both places deeply-unlike yourself. Dan (10-01-08) you are correct. This is not a place for political debate. I did not bring up the abortion or politics/voting issue. I simply said, as an educator, of students taken to War, that I want the War to end. As far as I am concerned I do see this as an opportunity to exercise our critical capacity at this exceptional time of crisis in our history. I am proud of that fact that many from Germantown have brought their convictions to bear on these issues. I am grateful that women have the right to choose whether to have a child or not-and as several women writers have pointed out-it is their own personal decision-allowed under the Supreme Court (Roe V Wade) ruling. And we should be seeking to enhance freedom and equality-not suppress these ideals. Prof. Jim McKernan, NC
Prof. Jim McKernan, NC, professor aged 62 [10-02-2008]

Now I know why I rarely come here anymore. This is a site dedicated to the great memories of Germantown not a place to voice all the pros and cons about what people believe in. Maybe we just ran out of great memeories.
anthonyg [10-02-2008]

Michael: I must say i find your religious comments (09-26-2008) and also (10-01.2008) not appropriate and I support Elizabeth's (10-01-2008) comments about women having the essential right to choice. You have no right to use this as a catholic bully-pulpit. It was you who raised this issue not the professor! I have carefully read the archives and it seems a group of you-all support each other's right wing views. Just make positive comments about Germantown history-you are all way out of line.
Marianne, Phila. Pa [10-02-2008]

Professor McKernan:I do not always agree with your religious and political views but I do appreciate your comments about culture and the history of Ireland and Irish-Americans.I found it interesting that we both learned the poem"The Charge of the Light Brigade" from the nuns at our respective catholic schools.Incidentally,I went to St.Vincent's for 1st-grade.I remember Jack Riceman,Jerry Gorman and Tony Bateman.Tony B. would have been a great blogger because he was a great student of history.Politically,you seem to be focused on the Iraq-war.As a professor,you are approaching retirement and must consider which canidate will protect your Tiaa-Cref.Charity begins at home.In the future,I hope the issues of religion,abortion, and politics can remain purely intellectual and civil.My political compass points to the center and my moral and religious principles have a theistic bent.
John Bruce Schmitt [10-02-2008]

Elizabeth McDougall Thank you for your discourse on the freedom to choose. No,I am not an ordained Catholic priest, and I am certainly NOT foisting my views upon anyone. A person DOESN'T have to be a Catholic or anything else to have sound morals either. I'm not allowing anyone, educated or not, to tell me what to believe in or who to vote for. This isn't the forum for that. The last I've checked, this is still a free country and everyone has a right to their own God given free will. If any of my words struck a cord with you, then that's on you. I think that the country has much bigger issues to deal with right now, namely the possibility of absolute financial disaster which can ruin our American way of life overnight. Talk about ticking people off! See how people react when their money gets threatened, let alone who to vote for. Now everyone, let's not make this the second battle of Germantown. I think that it's expedient to be concerned and mindful about the future of this country and getting back to the basic fundamentals which made us great to begin with. For me, it begins on my knees every night. God bless all of you! Michael
Michael [10-02-2008]

i agree w/dolly...i also have children and i am pro-life...i don't believe in people acting irresponsible or being whores then having abortions out of convenience but i also couldn't imagine being violently raped...getting pregnant then having to carry the baby for 9 months who was not created from love but from evil. like i said before i think that god should be the one to judge women and i also believe that he would not damn all of them to hell. i think he would have compasion and forgiveness to some depending on their situation.
anonymous [10-02-2008]

Too bad this site is becoming a political one; it's not intended for that and I hope we can get back to what it is for and that's recalling the great neighborhood that Germantown was to us. At this time of year, I'm looking forward to the baseball playoffs. Back in 1964, I recall being very excited about the Phillies being in the World Series; only to blow a big lead and not get there. I remember playing baseball all day long on the weekends in Awbury Park. We could get a big pick-up game at almost a moment's notice. There was a dirt road that seperated the two ballfields; the one closest to my house on Haines st. was for the smaller and younger kids and the field closest to Brush rd. was for the "big guys". We had natural boundaries for foul balls and home runs; a tree and shrub and of course the dirt road which was a home run if you hit it over that. I don't even remember eating anything for hours because it would interupt our game and when we did take a break it was because someone had to go home or was slightly injured. What a great place to spend a day, and later in the year it became the best place for sledding when we got a nice snowstorm. Dead Man's hill, Sucicide Hill, Ski Jump Hill; all a challange at various stages of growing up. That park is one of the nicest memories of growing up in Germantown. Can we please get back to those themes and take a break from bashing each other over political issues. There are plenty of web sites to argue those points of view; leave this one to good memories.
Bill Cupo, Chalfont, Pa. [10-02-2008]

I too am a Mother of 4 and can't imagine if given a choice, why any Woman under any circumstances would choose not to be a Mom . My kids have given me trying moments, some days I wondered if I should have raised Artificial Plants instead, but for those moments that are priceless, over come any hurdle, the bonding, the completing, the love shared between Mother & Child . For a Woman not to experience Motherhood is not comprehensible to me, but for me to dictate to another Woman what she can and can not do is also not comprehensible to me . Am I pro-life ? You bet I am ! But I am also about Freedom, if we are to compromise just one Freedom then we risk the loss of Freedom altogether . I think the right to life should be between a Woman & and her conscience, and not an issue for Political stances . God and not Politics should be the reigning voice .
Dolly, NE Philly [10-01-2008]

Nice to hear about Bob Colesberry. He lived on Pulaski Ave. adjacent to Calvary Church (south side) where I sang in the choir and was an acolyte / altar server with him, although he was older. His mom worked with my Dad at Automatic Timing and Controls (ATC), which had its plant behind the Bond Bread day-old store on the west side of Pulaski above Hansberry. He was charismatic even back then. Not sure what the actual corner he hung out on was - couldn't have been "Wayne and Tioga" as referred to in the bio.
Bruce Marshall, 57, Born, raised, still in Gtn [10-01-2008]

To Professor McKernan and Michael: Michael, I am with you and understood immediately that you put forth your opinion. To the good Professor: You indicated that Michael had no "mandate". No one writing here has a mandate. While we live under the constitutional decision that forces seperation of church and state, since when does that apply to a blog except perhaps in a totalitarian state? When people believe that abortion is deliberate taking of a human life, the implications are staggering and one can not fail to speak. I am not trying to make this a debate column but you were extremely rude in your response. I bet your university has a "speech code". If so, I wonder about the constitutionality of that.
Dan Hartnett, Former East Germantown [10-01-2008]

Clarification to Prof. Jim ... "Separation of Church and State" does not appear in, nor is guaranteed by the First Amendment. Rather, it says "Congress shall make no law ....", maybe you already know that, or maybe you don't. Since Michael is obviously not Congress, it doesn't apply to him. So, maybe you ought to read it, and ... well, you know. I have noticed some interesting things about liberals. When it comes to teaching Creationism in schools, they protest and point to science as "proof" that Evolution is the true history of life on earth. But when it comes to an unborn child, they want to ignore that same science that clearly shows that life begins long before the date of delivery.
George, Former G-town Resident [10-01-2008]

to nancy ziegle: did you live near Green street bowling alley and Buddy"s Luncheonette across from Vernon Park. At Buddy's you could get a good meal, listen to the juke box and play the pin ball machines.
anonymous [10-01-2008]

Thank you Wilma. God gave everyone the capacity to make sound moral decisions because there are still moral absolutes in this world. It's nice to know that there are respectful people in this world like you. God bless you! Michael
Michael [10-01-2008]

To Michael, This is not a site to cram your religious beliefs down everyones throats. You are not an authority on a womans right to choose. Have you been raped and impregnated by a lunatic criminal? How many 9 month pregnancies have you gone through? How about incest? I have encountered many devout religious people in my lifetime who hide behind the cross and think going to church on Sunday and acting holier than thou will get them a front seat in heaven. You saying you are a devout Roman Catholic means nothing to me. How you live your life each and every day is what really matters. Thank God you are not a priest.
Elizabeth McDougall, New Hope, Pa. [10-01-2008]

Please help: I'm trying to locate an old childhood friend - Mary Ann Barry (maiden name) Class of 1955, Germantown High School. I know she taught Montessori on the West Coast for awhile.
Anne Gabel Gayley [10-01-2008]

McKernan, What is a "virtie" college man? I feel sorry for your students. You're the guy who brought it up in the first place. Many of your messages have been "out of bounds" and the nice people here are kind enough to put up with you. I could care less about whayt you have to say and about Ireland. I can also discuss my religious beliefs as much as I want to because this is still a free country, in case you were ignorant of that too. No one will ever tell me what to believe in or who to vote for either, so shut up yourself.
Michael [10-01-2008]

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