Historic Germantown, Philadelphia
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Your Thoughts Archive
December 15-31, 2008

Happy New Year! Hope you all have have good health and happiness in the new year..
Erda [12-31-2008]

Dennis, you are so right. We all have great memories of Germantown, whatever part we grew up in. It's wonderful that we have available to us this site where we can share those memories.
Sheila [12-30-2008]

To Patricia Carr, I want to thank you again for telling me of my dads cousins 'Elaine' and 'Nancy' growing up with your mom,especially Elaine. Since all of this started back in the beginning of November,i have found out that my G'pa & G'ma O'D lived on the same street that my G.uncle John and my G.aunt Katherine lived on just 7 houses apart. ( the 500 block of E.Walnut lane). I went ahead and got involved with Ancestry.com for the next 3 months. I was able to find out quite a lot about my family and Elaines family in the 1930 census. I'm also checking out the 1920 census. This is fascinating stuff. I think all this stuff is so coool Patricia and i have you to thank for all of this. To have you tell me that your mom and(i guess my 3rd cousins???)were lifelong friends is amazing.For me to find out from you 3000 miles apart is really awesome!The computer sure has made this ole world a lot smaller. Thank God for Germantown and this website. I hope you have a 'Happy new year'.I also hope some day to hear from Elaine.I would love to know more about our family.I bet that there is a lot of things she could tell me. Joe O'Donnell
Joe O'Donnell, Mojave Desert [12-30-2008]

Reply to (you were inquiring about my niece Theresa Manzo. Who are you?? Carrie Manzo anonymous [12-29-2008])) I sat in Front of Her St Saint Mike,s, we were good friends, until we had to move from Young's Rental House (The Painter) & moved uo to East Seymour Street in the 50's, JIm Clark
JC [12-30-2008]

Gregg Striano, I remember you and your family when you lived on Rittenhouse St. My mother, Jennie, was friends with your mom. We played together with Louise,your sister, and my sister Lorraine. My mom would often stop at your house when we returned from shopping at the avenue.
FrannyB [12-29-2008]

I remember Santas sleigh with reindeer flying around when I was a kid. I remember all our neighbors watching on Wakefield St. off Price.
FrannyB [12-29-2008]

Duncan: I just left highway-66 and I'm getting closer to that highway in the sky. I hope you are having a good ride on highway-69. I also hope that you got what you wanted for Christmas. I remember Christmas in Germantown when we wanted the balls[football,basketball,soccer] to be bigger under the tree than the balls on the tree. It is always better to give more than you get. After college[Muhlenburg],you played basketball at the "Hollow" in the Industrial-league. Did you know the 3 Amigos of the Hollow-Bobby Goo Guaranello,Big Bob Lojewski, and Pat Sarnese? These boys were big and good athletes. I saw that you mentioned Springfield High- not far from your Alma-mater[GA]. What a beautiful campus that GA has. I remember many of the names that you mentioned in soccer pick-up games. Mike Gallagher played for GBC and was very close with Bud Alexander[GBC Athletic Director].You were friends with the Soley Brothers and I knew Charlie[RIP] from Fern-Hill.Pat MCIlhinney[Fernhill] and I played basketball with John Yoskowitz at St. Francis[55]. John Y. honed his basketball skills at Stenton Park whose court I did not like. Incidentally,not far from Stenton Park was Trzub [Broad&Windrim] where the Ukrainian Nationals were based. Tryzub is now located in Horsham. Did you have any connection with the Ukrainian Nationals or any of the Ukrainian players? You mentioned Richard Clark who probaly was your classmate from GA[1957]. Dick Clark was a brainy-guy.Your soccer-buddy[Dave Linn] made some laudable comments about the great neighborhoods in Germantown.Pat McIlhinney and I knew the Kitchen brothers from Fern Hill. Bob K. played for Midvale and they both liked the games at Fernhill.On a lighter note,I was happy that you mentioned the Stevens School where Grace Kelly graduated. In my eyes,there was only one actress more beautiful than Grace-CATHARINE DENEUVE. Duncan! Keep blogging and kicking. Happy New Year! J. Bruce,67
JBS [12-29-2008]

I agree with anonymous. While Happy Hollow was special to those who lived in that area, it was no more "magical" and "mythical" than any other hangout in Germantown, whether it be Awbury, Waterview, Anderson/East Germantown, Belfield, etc. Yeah, it was special and many have special memories of it, but there was just so much more to living in and growing up in Germantown than just the Happy Hollow Rec and the GBC. Those same feelings and memories that many convey here of Happy Hollow, you find the same with those having grown up in other sections of Germantown as well.
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [12-29-2008]

Carrie Mamzo: Then you must remember my Uncles Phil & Jim Belson & Estelle His sister all lived on Germantown Ave & Joesph's Music Shop on Germantown Ave
JC, jc gtn ave [12-29-2008]

Hey Joe Rizzo. Yea that was me from across the street from EBYs. I knew I remembered your mom's name was Dot, my mother didn't remember but she did remember the McKloskys next to you. What I will always remember about you and always comes to mind when an eclipse is announced is the day you made a viewer from a cardboard box (you probably got from Slavin's)and some tin foil. I'll always remember you with that box on your head looking for the Sun.LOL. Hey John D. is your hair still red, ha ha maybe not so much now at 50. huh? Carmella lives in Fl now married with 4 kids. Thelma still lives in Gtn. with her family. Karen G works in Bensalem and Jay J. is at peace with our Lord. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and Good Luck, Health, and Happiness to all in the New Year. Joe DePero 51, St Mikes 70
Joe DePero [12-29-2008]

bonnie gatto.let my know when and where a st. mike's reunion will be. i'm in. to you and to all our brothers and sisters from germantown, i wish you a happy healthy 2009. bob terranova
bob terranova [12-29-2008]

To Carrie Manzo, I noticed another post containing the name, Manzo. Around 1953-54, my parents moved from Germantown to a new row home in Darby (or Upper Darby...always mix them up as I was only three). Anyway, our neighbors were Norm and Rose Manzo. I recall their first little daughter, Paula. My parents remained life long friends of the Manzos and even visited with them in the 80s or 90s when they were living in Florida. Are you related?
Patricia Carr [12-29-2008]

JC you were inquiring about my niece Theresa Manzo. Who are you?? Carrie Manzo
anonymous [12-29-2008]

Carrie Manzo is looking for Annie Louise Jacobs. They live four doors below the Manzo over Young's paint store on Germantown Avenue. Does anybody know the Jacobs?
anonymous [12-29-2008]

Carrie M.-I read your email and wanted to tell you that I knew your Uncle Al, Al,Jr. and Jenny very well. They lived four doors above us on Germantown Avenue. Down the street from St. Michael's church. Wow, can't imagine Helen and Al being married fifty years.
anonymous [12-29-2008]

Carrie Manzo - My niece Theresa Manzo entered the Little Sisters of the poor and studied nursing. She is the director of nursing in the home in Kansas City.
anonymous [12-26-2008]

Bill leonardo[Our Blogger Emeritus]: I trust that you had a nice Christmas with your family and sweetheart. You are an old Germantowner from the Brickyard with a lot of street-smarts. Happy Hollow was officially a playground located at Wayne&Logan. It was no ordinary playground since it had a certain cachet,character,and aura to it. The guys who hung there called it the "Hollow". Bloggers on this site,talked about it's magic and Camelot-like climate. The Hollow people had great love,loyalty, and respect for one another-something like your Brickyard-brothers. I had a classmate from St. Francis named Jim Razzano who would play for the Hollow when St. Francis would play the Hollow in a football game. I knew a guy from the Hollow who was a physician with tailor-made suits who was friends with bricklayers and regular guys-that was typical of the Hollow family.A blogger mentioned Pat Sarnese from the Hollow. Maybe, you knew him since he grew up north of the Brickyard. He was a great football player for Temple and coached Mastbaum in Kensington. I was friends with John Gillespie[St. Madeline's] whose father[John Gillespie Sr.] coached North Catholic for many years. Incidentally,both Gillespies coached Mastbaum. Pat worked at the Hollow, and lived in the neighborhood but I always thought of him as a Germantown guy. The guys from the Hollow had these nicknames-Goo,Shangy,Head and the workers had names like Crazy-Joe. I would say the guys from the Brickyard were warriors and the Hollow people were characters. Needless to say there were warriors from the Hollow and characters from the Brickyard.I went to school with classmates from both neighborhoods and these dudes were characters. I am happy that they crossed my path. In the future,we can talk about the great neighborhoods of Germantown.
John Bruce Schmitt [12-26-2008]

I want to wish everyone from all parts of GERMANTOWN a Merry Christmas and a very healthy and good New Year, Mike Bresnan Belfield AC
Mike Bresnan, Belfield AC [12-25-2008]

MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone from every section of Germantown, Brickyard, Hollow, Fernhill, Boys Club, Gtn. & Chelten, East Gtn., and Wayne Junction too.
Dave Linn, Germantown / NE Philly Today [12-25-2008]

Carrie Manzo :: What Ever Happened To Theresa Manzo Class of St Mike's 1952, I lived down the Street from The Manzo's
JC, St Mikes 52 NC 56 & 4664 Gtn Ave [12-25-2008]

I remember the Hollow, and its Industrial Basketball League. I played for Midvale Steel. Bob Kitchen, remember him JBS, was the organizer of that team. On my way home from my son Andrew's house we passed the fields at Springfield (M) Highschool. It brought back many memories. Remember the pick up soccer games on Wednesday evenings during the summer mohths. We had Hugh McInaw, Porp Gallagher, Mike Gallagher, Paul Duddy, Bob Soley, John Yoskowitz (R.I.P.) Pete Seminitis, Richard Clark, John McGinley, Davey Linn, up there every Wednesday, after we had to leave Stevens School. I know there were many more. Most were alumni from the Germantown Boys Club. Duncan Hubley,69.
anonymous [12-25-2008]

Bill James: It is always great to read about the Hollow on this site and even better to hear from a Hollow-Guy. I believe that you gave some insight into the Hollow for Lorraine's question. I usually entered the court through the bent cast-iron fence and I really connected with your comments. I also knew two Happy Hollow Guys that you mentioned- Bobby Goo and Big Bob Lojewski. They were both good basketball players who played for Simon Gratz. Bob Lojewski Jr. became more famous by playing for my Alma-Mater-St. Joe. You really knew the Hollow neighborhood-especially the Wayne _Avenue strip. Now,back to Lorraine's question- What was a Hollow Guy and What really was the Hollow"? Bill ! Happy New Year and Do'nt party too hardy-those days are over if you know what I mean.
John Bruce Schmitt [12-24-2008]

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the Campbells formerly of East Clapier Street, Germantown, PA
Bob Campbell [12-24-2008]

Carrie M. remembers St. Michael's church as a young girl. The carnivals, fire works and dances, oh what dances. I remember the hollow on 4900 Wayne Avenue. They were good and clean times.
carrie manzo, Carrie Manzo grew up in Germantown across from Logan park. Worked for Brown Instrument and later became Honeywell. Retired from honeywell in 1985. [12-24-2008]

carrie manzo, Carrie Manzo grew up in Germantown across from Logan park. Worked for Brown Instrument and later became Honeywell. Retired from honeywell in 1985. [12-24-2008]

Come on guys. Dont act like Happy Hollow was some magical place more than any other playground kids grew up playing and hanging out in Gtwn. Ask Johnny Abs who owned the coldcut store across the street or Pat Sarnese who was a Phys Ed teacher who lived across the street. But you cant they are both gone. It was no more mythical than Waterview, Anderson, Bellfield, Awbury park, the YMCA or the Boys club. To the kids that lived and played there it was heaven, if you didnt experience any of that magic you missed out. Waterview and Holy Rosary had great sports programs and developed some of the best football players and teams in the city. The records are there to prove it. Ask any true Gtowner that knows the facts. Ask Mr D, but you cant ask him either.
anonymous [12-24-2008]

There was a news feature on Fox news Monday evening and today (Tuesday). Germantown Boys' Club needs toys today by 4:00 PM for a party for the kids. All alumni take note and rush a toy there if you can. It not the same club where we grew up but the staff and volunteers are working hard for the kids, just like they did in our day. Show support. Thanks
jgf, souderton, pa [12-24-2008]

JBS: 'What was the Hollow'? It was an extended neighborhood of young and old who lived and interacted like one enormous family. It was a Camelot land of sports, hanging on the corner, going up the hill, playing pinball at Del's, eating cheese steaks at Sal's and Joe's, doing 'the bug' at the Friday night dance in the 'old gym', climbing the rocks, playing half ball on the court, nicknames, and a thousand other things. It was a culture of respect and loyalty, of companionship, of friends that would stand up for each other. It was a feeling in the heart and soul. It was a life source that ran through your veins. I think probably the brickyard folks might understand, but all others have a hard time..
anonymous [12-24-2008]

Bill James: The woman's name at Happy Hollow was Mrs. Alcorn. We called her 'Acorn' among ourselves, but never to her. She was the chief administrator. Joe 'The Nut' and Homer were the playground custodians. We used to drive Joe crazy with some of our stupid stunts. Pitching coins against the Hollow wall was a popular pass time. I remember Grant the cop would walk by sometimes and break up the 'gambling'. Moe's steps were another Hollow institution. The higher up on the steps you sat, the higher your stature at the Hollow. Usually the 'old guys' had the top steps and the 'young' guys had the lower steps.
anonymous [12-24-2008]

Just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas & happy new Year.
Seamus mcWilliams, 59, Somers Point, GBC/Royal Street [12-23-2008]

Joe R. I appreciate your kind and generous comments and your common sense take on life. Being in the winter-time of my life,I have learned that it is more important to want what you have than have what you want. My wife[Ludmila] and Lorraine were intrigued by the "Hollow" and the Poem-"Twenty Years Ago" by Bobby Goo Guaranello. Lorraine asked a rhetorical question,"What Was The Hollow"? I went to the Hollow but I was never considered a Hollow guy. There were certain families-Raffaele,Razzano,Pauzano,Gatto,Botticelli,etc.who were really Happy Hollow people. The Hollow was their backyard and it was in their blood.Only people like you or Lou Pauzano or Joe Raffaele could truly answer Lorraine. I do know this-the Hollow was more than a playground. It was a culture,community,family and a group of people who liked and respected one another. I have never experienced this feeling in my suburban life. These recent Christmas-blogs reminded me of the old days in Germantown. Joe! You had a great background-St. Francis and Happy Hollow.
JBS [12-23-2008]

Can anyone remember Santas sleigh with reindeer flying around neighborhoods at night? They say it was a small plane pulling it with spotlights shining on it as it flew around the city. I remember this as a child and saw it a few times. No joke.
anonymous [12-23-2008]

J.B.Schmitt Having lived on E. Bringhurst st. (brickyard) and belonging to the gtn. club,please tell me where happy hollow was,I just cant remember.thanks and to all past gtn.people I wish you a happy,healthy and safe Christmas and a Happy New Year. Bill Leonardo The senior member of this blog,I think 80 years and still counting
Bill Leonardo [12-23-2008]

Yes. My brother Rickie and I lived on Stenton Ave.
Regina Sprissler [12-23-2008]

I've been reading a lot about Goo recently. He definetely was a character. I was a young head compared to him but still he included us in his life. Like all the times he pitched quarters with us to get money for the track. He was good! I never knew how the walls at the Hollow knew which quarters to grab onto. And thinking about the Wayne Avenue wall that had the bars above it, I remember watching Cheech (Mike Rossi) easily bend then apart only to have to bend them back after getting hollared at by his brother, Richie. The quickest way onto the court was through the opening in the bars. I remember Hal Greer and Luke Jackson came to the Hollow one day and played some mess around games with us, on the outside court. Someone asked about Bob Lojewski. I used to see him in Roxborough when he worked at Penn Distributors, but that was in the 80's. At that time, his son played for St. Joe's. He ended up scoring 1,682 points in college, two points below Mike Bantom. Bob was all over the Hollow when sports were involved. I was on the baseball team for a year or two, and Bob was our coach. Besides our home field, we used to play in East Germantown, Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, East Falls, and Roxborough. He used to meet us there for almost every game. I remember he had a booming voice, kind of like Dallas Green. In addition to yelling at us, I can still hear Bob at the Hollow yelling at kids to 'get off the rocks!'. What was the woman's name who was the director there? I remember Joe and Homer, but I can't remember her name. I think it began with an 'A'.
Bill James, the Head from the Hollow [12-23-2008]

Have a merry christmas & a happy new year.
Jim "D", jacksonville,fl. St.Vincent 56 Doughert 60 [12-22-2008]

Regina Sprissler - Did you have a brother Rickie? What street did you live on?
Fran, Former G-towner [12-22-2008]

When we were kids our father would take us to the Penn Fruit at Wayne and Chelten to pick out a tree. They divided the parking lot into sections for $1, $2, $3 and $5 trees. Dad wouldn't let us get anything more that a $2 tree. But my brother, Joe, had a knack for finding the largest and fullest $2 trees ever. We would help carry it home and put it in a bucket of water, which frequently froze solid, in the back yard until Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve Dad sawed off the bottom and brought it into the house, fitting it into the stand. It always went on the train platform between the 2 front windows in our living room. Decorating the tree was a family affair along with singing (out of tune) all the Christmas Caroles we could think of. We also strung lights on the front porch and put lit Santa faces in the windows. Dad would then take us up to the 3rd floor to look out the window to the north and east and we always saw this red flashing light in the sky (funny thing is that I snuck up there on other nights and it was never there. We never did figure out where it was coming from) which he told us was Rudolph's nose and we better get to sleep before Santa got here. Of course we scrambled downstairs into bed as quickly as possible. We were never disappointed on Christmas morning. In the winter we went sledding first on the grounds of the Alden Park. There was a hill over the garage. As we got older we ventured back to Tommy's Hill. But our parents never knew this as we were not allowed to go there. Besides having to cross Lincoln Drive our parents thought the hill was too dangerous. I saw where several people mentioned Clark's park at Wissahickon and Schoolhouse Lane. When I was a kid they had a recreation program there every summer. It was run by Philadelphia Public School Teachers. They would teach us Arts and Crafts, organize games, and take us to Kelly pool swimmming. They would also take us to other parks and playgrounds around the city. My sister and I were on the Volleyball team and we played many of the other city teams. Fernhill was one of those of teams. We weren't great but we did OK. Those were fun times in G-town. May everyone who posts here have a very Merry Christmas and a New Year of Peace, Prosperity, Health and Happiness.
Maryalice Armstrong Brennan, Still in G-town [12-22-2008]

Although mt family and I moved out of Germantown when I was young, I do have fond memories. Spending my day's at Happy Hollow. Walking to mass at St. Francis on Sunday morning and the stopping at the bakery on the corner of Wayne and Clapier (Shenk's I think) to get jelly donuts. Most of my family live right in Germatown. The Pauzano's abd Manzo's on Wayne Ave. The Frizziola's on Manheim St. and Calbot's on Pulaski Ave. We were all within walking distance. Made for great holiday's. I remember Christmas Eve mass at St. Mike's (The longer walk!) and the Oldsmobile dealer on Wayne Ave. Paul Old's I think. What a great neighborhood. John Beaver 229 W. Clapier (along time ago!)
John Beaver, Willow Grove, PA. [12-22-2008]

jbs, always get a kick about your take on things. while i love my life as it is now those bygone years were very special. i can still remember goo telling his young cousin, joe rose, with great dramatic feeling," that one day,when i am gone this will all belong to you" of course meaning the hollow. he was quite the character. by the way, happy holidays to all the people who enjoy this site as much as i do .
joe razzano [12-22-2008]

What/where is the Happy Hollow? Sounds fascinating. Thank you. Lorraine
anonymous [12-22-2008]

I would like to thank this site and the Happy Hollow person who submitted that beautiful poem[The Hallow Grounds of The Hollow by Bobby Goo Guaranello. I knew Goo from the court and who amongst us knew the Goo was a poet and had a poetic soul. These are are tough times for the Hollow people-having just lost Ralph Gatto and Al Pauzano being in bad shape. Goo and Ralph were great athletes and legendary guys from the Hollow. I now know Goo had a poetic nature and Ralph was a heroic figure as intimated by Dr. Robert Terranova. Ralph was a role model for young athletes-especially young Falcons from North. Goo's poem covered a lot of Hallow Hollow-Ground-the basketball court,the steak-shops[Sal's and Joe's] and Fasano's where we bought apples and the hill that went to the top of the rocks. Pardon the Pun but I was Goo-Goo eyed after I read that Hallow Poem. My wife wants to visit the Hollow and walk up the hill and see the panorama of the rocks and the Hallow Grounds below-she will be Happy if you know what I mean. I really appreciate these precious thoughts about the Hollow and Germantown-especially during this Christmas-Part of the year.MERRY CHRISTMAS!
John Bruce Schmitt [12-20-2008]

There was a kid named Eddie Sweizer who lived on Germantown Ave just nelow the train station. He hung out at the Hollow. Anyone know of his whereabouts?
ananymous [12-20-2008]

Anyone remember Bob Kephart from Happy Hollow. I think he lived at the corner or Seymour and Newhall. He also had a sister Nanette Nuzzi. Anyone know what became of them?
anonymous [12-20-2008]

Wishing every one a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year
george greene, george greene gilbertsville pa [12-20-2008]

In the spirit of the Season, glad to see the tranquility and calm of the posts lately. May it continue, and my best wishes to all for a blessed and joyous Christmas and 2009!
Bruce Marshall, 57, Born, raised, still in Gtn [12-20-2008]

Wishing everyone from Brickyard and Germantown a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.Stay SAFE. Mike Garvey P.S.Gregg, How the hell are you doing?
Mike Garvey [12-20-2008]

wishing everyone a merry christmas and a safe and happy new year
rich, huntingdon valley [12-19-2008]

I've just found this aite again. Even though I now live in Scotland, I think of Germantown very much, and especially St Francis of Assisi. My 8th Grade nun was Sr Claire Elanor (sp?).
Regina Sprissler, Born in 1949 in Germantown Hospital [12-19-2008]

Gregg, Germantown & Chelten was a great corner but the Hollow ruled. Merry Xmas to you and your friends from Saint Vinny.
anonymous [12-19-2008]

merry christmas
Alexus, san diego califorinia [12-19-2008]

Sheila [12-18-2008]

Hello Joey. Hope I can get a party up and running this year and you + Heather can come down again. Miss seeing everyone. Miss Cupcake just got home from Amsterdam with Hoot. He took her there for her birthday. Some folks have all the luck don't they?
Carol Knight [12-18-2008]

John Bruce Schmitt, I checked out your friend Steve Balcak on Google and turns out he is the guy that has the weather station online here in Rock Hall. I do not think we have ever met. I will be on the look out for him. My association with the Eastern shore of Maryland is a life long one. My family has had a home here for generations. I grew up in Olney and Betterton, which is on the bay as well. Betterton was a great place, with juke boxes playing on the piers all day and into the night. Jitterbugging endlessly and swimming were how I spent my days. I tell people Betterton is where I got my Masters Degree in honkey tonk..... I know the Crumpton auction very well and am there nearly every Wednesday, searching for more junque for the shop or eBay. Our shop in Rock Hall is called Fishbones. I have always loved the finding of objects, that for me is the biggest thrill. As little kids my sister and I would go with our mom and cruise the streets looking for good trash that others put on the curb for the trashmen to pick up. Not the average childs quality time with parent, but it was mine. There is a lot of great stuff out in the trash, waiting to be recycled. Been thinking a lot about my life in Germantown, remembering some great times. Wondering if anyone went to the parties at the queens house on Tulpehocken Street when the two French sisters lived there in the 70's, Gertrude + Sophie?? Also, all the time I spent on Maplewood mall, hanging out at Judy Eady's Cheese Shop or having breakfast at the little cafe with Marshall Allen + John Gilmore from the Sun Ra Arkestra. Do you know there is an internet radio station coming out of the mall now, gtownradio.com. I listen to a guy on Tuesday 2 to 4 who does lots of blues and jazz. Germantown, you got to love it.
Carol Knight [12-18-2008]

I’ve seen many of you mention Bob “Goo” Guarinello on this site. While Bobby is now with the Angels, many years ago he wrote a poem about Germantown and I thought some of you would enjoy it. Merry Christmas to all from Germantown and Happy Hollow. Twenty Years Ago By Bob Guarinello I took a trip to my home town To see what changes bring And greet the folks I used to know And hear the church bells ring. I went to HAPPY HOLLOW A place I used to go But where were all the friends I knew From twenty years ago? I strolled the path and up the hill And there I stopped to rest I thought of all the fun we had When we would laugh and jest. I looked about and pondered And I felt a little low ‘cause I didn’t see the friends I knew From twenty years ago. I looked at all the shops we knew The ones we used to cherish. Fasano’s, Palo’s and even Moe’s Now all of them have perished I looked at Sal’s where we would meet And pass the hours slow But where were all the friends I knew From twenty years ago? I thought of all the stories The good ones we all know And don’t forget the fun we had Throwing the girls in the snow. I thought of Billy Kelly And even crazy Joe But where were all the friends I knew From twenty years ago? The buildings are worn, the swings are bare The benches have been replaced The many nights we sat and talked And with our penknives did deface. But the same old bricks are in the wall The kids walk to and fro But the music’s gone, it’s not the same As twenty years ago. Some boys were playing the same old game As I watched, I looked quite humble A bouncing ball came at my feet I stopped it without a fumble. Some kid said, “Mister, toss it here Or can’t you make the throw?” I smiled and said, “I tossed it here ‘bout twenty years ago.” I looked about and pondered I kinda got some chills As I thought about the games I played That gave me many thrills. I thought about the parties And the girls I used to know But all there were were memories Of twenty years ago. My lids have long been dry now No tears come to my eyes Or thoughts of my old loved one And our broken ties. I visit thee again sometime It’s somehow like a show To reminisce about the friends Of twenty years ago. I guess a few have wandered I guess a few have strayed But when I die please lay me deep ‘neath the fields where I have played. And as the years go drifting by I’ll let my memory show And remember all the friends I had Twenty years ago.
anonymous, St. Francis '60 GHS '64 [12-18-2008]

JOE RIZZO remember me from Central High Freshman year we hung out Sung Remember then And Turkey trot in the tunnel.I never finished Centrsl Decame a Phila Firefighter and retired. Glad to hear about you. Get back to me bye.
Dave Micklosky, from Knox and Hansberry sts. St Francis till 64. Hung out "back the lots" My sisters are Carmal and Kathy [12-18-2008]

this site is geting very boring,same names every day,we need some new blood.
gregg striano [12-18-2008]

joe rizzo !send me your address and phone number and i will put you on the master list. frankmm1@verizon.net we have got a tremendous response for haveing the st michaels reunion . lou and myself will make the decision in january on haveing the st,michaels reunion, hope fully in the spring . frank.
FRANK, north wales [12-18-2008]

i woud like to join to a boxing center if is posible y woud like an unser
sergiu, i live in corby and i am 22 years old [12-18-2008]

Bonnie Gatto let me know if anybody is going to see Al Pauzano. Also Joe D'Angelo is the principal at Notre Dame High School for girls in Villanova. Prior to that he was at LaSalle High School for over 20 yrs. Lou Pauzano, that was the oaks club on logan st. Also Bobby Arkay, my cousin Ralph Caliendo and Lou Daniel from brickyard all lived near each other in Warminster. Ralph passed away April of 2000, he would have been 65 this week.
Lou Fondi, St. Mikes '58, LaSalle '62 [12-18-2008]

Lorraine, you nailed it about the park and the feelings during this time of year. How about the pieces of tin bent into sleds from the old Nike missle site. Suicide hill at night was dangerous and the highlight of the park. I remember walking back up Haines st after sledding, cold and tired past my 3 aunts houses. Mary Helsen, Edith DiMaria and Rae Barelli hoping they wouldnt see me sneaking home that late and calling my mother. It was a wonderful neighborhood to grow up in. Thanks for that memory.
rick rizzo [12-18-2008]

John D.: You have named so many people I knew, I must know you. I practically lived at the Gallagher's for most of my teen years. Or down at the Smiths, four houses down clapier. Had a crush on Karen for most of then too. Hung with Ears, Metzger, Tony P., Vinnie, Cho Cho, BoBo, Dietch, Joey, Jerry, Nana, Walt and Ralph, DoDo too many to count. Keg parties at the lots when we were 16,blocking the driveway so the cops couldn't get back there. Shots at the R&F at 18 (with Wayne P's expired DL as proof of age) or carrying out quarts of colt, two at a time or six packs of schaffer, then Point at 21 (after my stint in the Navy) Singing, partying, and just hanging out. Fights with Mount Airy, K&A, 8th and Butler, remember the Saturday night when about 50 of us were busted at the 14th all our parents had to come get us? Then there was Knox and Seymour; Brian and Gary W., their cute sisters, Gregory D, Stevie G, Eddie McF, Friday night runs to Delassandro's in the old 50' Chevy with its own salt shaker. Sundays hooking mass at the paper stand, Lying about Saturday night's episodes and planning Sunday afternoon's. After that Knox and Hansberry and before that Royal Street. Walking to Holy Child for the Saturday night dance. Boys on one side, Girls on the other, except for Gary W. Man he could dance, and of course, finally grabbing one of the girls you had stared at all night for the last dance to, what was that song? Then walking home, behind the girls, trying to be cool, or as cool as a kid could be at 13. How about kicking the backs of the chairs out at St. Colombo’s auditorium during 7th grade when the new school was built, wasn't me of course, must have been the kids from down there, or so we said. Sr. Rita Josephine, Sr. Conchetta (hoping up and down, getting excited about math) and of course, all our favorites, Sr. Grace. My brother Mark stayed in touch till the end with her, as did Karen Gillespie and a few others, had her at the house many times for cookouts and what have you. I am sitting here, laughing my a$% off, and the staff think I am crazy. Well back to work. A great time growing up (of course, we all remember the good times as better, and tend to forget the bad times) and a good time thinking about them. Later!
Paul Ondik, St Francis, 1968 [12-18-2008]

Hey, I noticed the Ondik's are getting some airplay here...hello Paul!seems we only see each other at funerals these days! Nice to see you on this site.. My memories of Germantown are heartfelt, I grew up around Germantown Hospital and our group gathered at Chew and Locust. On Sundays we would walk to Valley Green and went horseback ridding or just walked the park we never considered getting a ride, walking was what we did in those days. When we were younger we watched the Christmas Parade with Santa climbing up to Allen's window on Chelten Avenue. I worked in the Deli at P & M and we carried the famous Hassis baked goods. Our germantown croud was many and we still get together about every month or so. I could go on and on, thanks everyone for sharring your memories and have a Merry Christmas,,,oh yes.. we would go to mass on Christmas Eve at the little chapel at the Ancillae Acadmey.
Marie Graber [12-18-2008]

Maryalice Armstrong Brennan, Thank you for letting me know the right year when all that 'pot' burning took place.In stead of her being 11 or 12 then,she must have been 18. After typing out that blog and sent, i thought the same thing that you did.Never mind what it must have looked like,i imagine the whole neighborhood felt so good and did'nt really even knew why from the smell. lol. I keep reading all the good times had by one and all on this website. For however long the burning lasted,that was a good time people had and probably don't want to remember. Joe O'Donnell 65 Mojave,Ca.
Joe O'Donnell [12-16-2008]

Paul Ondik: Paul! Now I know why I do'nt remember you back in the day- You probaly were in the carriage. I am impressed that Jack is still a good talker notwithstanding his advanced age. Does he remember how I bet on those football pools? Are you the Ondik who knows Jim Wilkins? I will be meeting with Jim W. and John Burke in January. It is hard to believe but I have not seen Jack in over 50 years. I heard that he bumped into Steve Kay[now deceased] in Florida. The folks on this site will look forward to hear from him. Paul! MERRY CHRISTMAS !
John Bruce Schmitt [12-16-2008]

Lou Pauzano: There are many blogs coming out out of the 'Hollow"-you,Joe Razzano,Bob Terranova and Bonnie Gatto. I read the comments and photograph about Happy Hollow which emated from this site. The quarry at Wayne&Logan was given by the Clark Family for the Recreation Center. The Clark Mansion was on the 5100 block of Wissahickon Ave.The Clarks were philanthropists and the park at Wissahickon&School House Lane was named after that famous Germantown Family. Many Boys' Clubs were the beneficiaries of this generous family. Lou! You mentioned John Brogan in your last post. I knew him from St. Francis[1954] and also Happy Hollow where I played football and basketball with him. He was a good athlete-especially in basketball. He was not rocky and hard-nosed like Bob LaValle and Mole Adamoli[St. Fran-1954&1955] but John B. was wiry and competitive. He told me to go LaSalle where he played basketball but I went to the Prep since my father and uncle went there. Bob Terranova mentioned Tom Lynch on this site;Tom and Joe Lynch were cousins of John Brogan. You probaly knew Bob LaValle from the Hollow but I played football with Bob L. at Stenton Park[Courtland] since it had lights at night. Bonnie Gatto talked to Ralph Siani at a St. Mike's reunion. I believe that he was a year ahead of you at St. Mike's[1954?]. I knew him from parties in East Oak Lane where there were cool old houses. He married a lady from Holy Angel's on Broad St. I was not friendly with Bill Kelly but all Hawks know Bill K.- he was good. I knew the older players better. At our 50th[Prep],we can talk sports unless you dialogue with all your brainy friends-Jim Murray etc. My prayers and Ludmila's are with you and your family for this holday-season.
John Bruce Schmitt [12-16-2008]

John Bruce Schmitt, Have spoken to Jackie (our name for John)several times in addition to Gabe Z, Sal T and the rest of his crew from Dougherty (after the Prep) and he does plan to jot a few thoughts about his days and adventures. He is still as smooth talking as ever, earned quite a living at if by the by, and is well for ripe old age of 67. Will nudge him about your note and see if it helps motivate him to write a bit. Only on his time as is usual with him. Merry Christmas to you and yours also.
Paul Ondik, st francis, 1968 [12-15-2008]

In spring, the honeysuckle vines grew wild, covering the stone wall that stretched the length of Aubury Park on Haines Street. The delicate drop of honey released from the flower, as you gently separated it, was elixir on your tongue.....as remembered as a child. In summer, the park was always alive with kids playing baseball, stick ball, pimple ball (none of these formally organized) and with kids just "hangin' out" to meet, walk, explore, ride bikes, whereever your imagination would take you. When fall approached & school reopened, the park was a meeting place, after school, for you & your friends to discuss your "new" teacher and the rumors of how your class was going to be conducted. When winter snow covered the park, the hills were busy with traffic....sleds, flattened cardboard boxes, trash can lids...whatever would skim the snow & get you to the bottom of the hill. From early morning to well into the night,(which was always more fun & exciting for a child), the constant traffice of kids pulling sleds up the hill & riding them down would eventually turn the snow into ice. This made the walk up the hill & the ride down even more challenging. Suicide Hill, with "THE tree", was ominous....as remembered as a child. Now older & living in Florida, my childhood memories of living on Haines Street, with the park as our playground, makes me thankful for all of the blessings....especially during this special season. Merry Christmas to all! Lorraine (Cupo) Kelly
Lorraine (Cupo) Kelly, IC 55; CDHS 59; 1333 E. Haines St. - Gtn. [12-15-2008]

Joe O'Donnell, Mojave,Ca. [12-11-2008], About the "pot" burning, I gotta ask, Did they inhale? Can you visualize the neighbors all high?? Just an FYI Cannabis was not made federally illegal until 1937. I cannot find anything that says Pennsylvania passed a law making it illegal before that. Some other states had but Penna is not listed. Doesn't mean it didn't happen. Back in the early 70's I had neighbor's who were Hippies. They had a big yard and were growing their own vegetables. My mother was visiting me and was admiring how beautiful the garden was. But she didn't understand why they let the "weeds" get so tall. She thought they should be doing a better job at pulling out all the weeds and told them so. She did not know those "weeds" were of the illegal type. I said something lame like maybe they liked the shape of the leaves. No one ever told her what they really were. The plants quickly disappeared and no they did not make hemp rope from them. Part of living in Gtown.
Maryalice Armstrong Brennan, Still in Gtown and loving it [12-15-2008]

Lisa Hackett, your Uncle Jim and I were in the same class at St Vincent's. My sister Erda was very good friends with your Uncle Tommy. My grandparent's lived next door to your great grandparent's. Your Granddad and my dad grew up together. We also grew up on Morris St. I am now living in my grandparent's house and enjoyed having your Uncle Charlie as a next door neighbor for years until his untimely passing a few years back. I remember your Mom Betty Jean and Suzie. Good to see you here and tell your mom and uncles, Erda and Maryalice Armstrong said Hi.
Maryalice Armstrong Brennan, Still in Gtown and loving it. [12-15-2008]

Right about this time of this month, my dad would be going up Stenton Ave. to look for our Christmas Tree. There was no shortage of places to go on Stenton Ave. It seemed every vacant piece of ground had a guy with a fire in the drum and a string of lights on a wire to announce his location. I remember one particular year, we had a horrible blizzard (I think it was 1966), and my dad and I ventured out and went around the corner from Haines st. onto Stenton Ave. and started looking. We found a tree and started carrying it back to the house when, all of a sudden, there was a flash of lightning and a huge clap of thunder, right in the middle of a snow storm. Needless to say we hurried a little more and got the tree into the back yard, where it stayed for a day or so until my dad trimmed the trunk so that it would fit into this bulky cast iron tree stand. Of course it took a couple of tries to make it fit and then prayed it didn't tip over. After that year, we went out to Sears on the boulevard and bought an aluminum tree. The lights were made in Japan and they were fairly a new item then, and when one of the lights blew out, you had to check the entire set to find out which one it was. Very frustrating to say the least. We still decorated the house with the big "GE" lights outside on the porch railing, windows, and trees on the lawn. Until that is when most of the lights were stolen by vandals the following year and then we didn't decorate as much anymore. We moved in 1969 and lived in Langhorne, Bucks County. He died suddenly that same year, just 3 weeks before Christmas. When I had children of my own, I made sure I decorated the house as nice as my dad made sure ours was. I still like to decorate the house now, not as much of course, but those days on Haines st. were magical and a memory I shall always cherish. Merry Christmas to all of you who still love this time of year because we grew up in Germantown.
Bill Cupo, Chalfont, Pa. [12-15-2008]

Christmas and New Year were my favorite holidays in Gtown during the 60s. The smell of fresh pine trees, Christmas lights, and Santa decor. No one ever overdid their home exterior decorations. The department stores provided all the Christmas glitter. Remember New Years where everybody on the block would bang their pots and pans exactly at midnight. We always had plenty of Black Cat fire crackers to go around.
Ed, Chester, VA [12-15-2008]

Frank Margiotti-Let me know when next St Michaels reunion is, maybe I can get there. Father Cavalucci was my Pastor also. His quote "Always do your best, and God will do the rest". Did u know Felice Miron who worked at the school? Big muscular guy (at least to a little kid like me). I gave out Bingo cards to the old Italian ladies, played basketball in the school hall, Altar Boy..remember "Stations of the Cross", Mass in Latin? The Old Church....The great irony; the friction between the parishioners at St Francis of Assisi (named after an Italian Saint) and St Mike's... what a hoot! My mother mistakenly enrolling me in St Francis, only to get an anonymous phone call.. " I-talian kids go to St Michaels, not St Francis...". My 1st experience with prejudice... Best regards, and happy holiday's, Joe
Joe Rizzo, 58, Stenton Ave, now living in Florida- St Michaels, Central High, Phila Textile [12-15-2008]

Check out this link to Happy Hollow before it became the playground. http://germantownreunion.com/pages/happyhollowplayground.html
Happy Hollow [12-15-2008]

Frank Margiotti-Let me know when next St Michaels reunion is, maybe I can get there. Father Cavalucci was my Pastor also. His quote "Always do your best, and God will do the rest". Did u know Felice Miron who worked at the school? Big muscular guy (at least to a little kid like me). I gave out Bingo cards to the old Italian ladies, played basketball in the school hall, Altar Boy..remember "Stations of the Cross", Mass in Latin? The Old Church....The great irony; the friction between the parishioners at St Francis of Assisi (named after an Italian Saint) and St Mike's... what a hoot! My mother mistakenly enrolling me in St Francis, only to get an anonymous phone call.. " I-talian kids go to St Michaels, not St Francis...". My 1st experience with prejudice... Best regards, and happy holiday's, Joe
Joe Rizzo, 58, Stenton Ave, now living in Florida- St Michaels, Central High, Phila Textile [12-15-2008]

I thought you might like to see this Germantown Hospital School of Nursing graduation pin from 1941. http://www.rubylane.com/shops/nursingpins/item/3278
Vernon Dutton, I collect and sell vintage Nursing School Graduation Pins and historical related nursing items. http://www.rubylane.com/shops/nursingpins [12-15-2008]

Frank Margiotti-Let me know when next St Michaels reunion is, maybe I can get there. Father Cavalucci was my Pastor also. His quote "Always do your best, and God will do the rest". Did u know Felice Miron, who worked at the school? I gave out Bingo cards to the old Italian ladies, played basketball in the school hall, Altar Boy..remember "Stations of the Cross", Mass in Latin? The Old Church....The great irony; the friction between the parishioners at St Francis of Assisi (named after an Italian Saint) and St Mike's... what a hoot! My mother mistakenly enrolling me in St Francis, only to get an anonymous phone call.. " I-talian kids go to St Michaels, not St Francis...". My 1st experience with prejudice... Best regards, and happy holiday's, Joe
Joe Rizzo, 58, Stenton Ave, now living in Florida- St Michaels, Central High, Phila Textile [12-15-2008]

Carol Knight: I enjoyed your take on Germantown-especially from a sociological, religious and ethnic perspective. My experiences in G-town helped me communicate with people in different parts of the U.S. and the world. I wonder if your life in G-town had any impact on your situation in Rock Hall-the Eastern Shore of Maryland.As a youth, I roamed and walked the streets of G-town; I then would come to my old Turn of the century home which contained antiques,art and books. My father collected antiques and my mother was a librarian in Vernon Park which you had mentioned in your post. With that background, I have collected some antiques and a lot of art. Did living in Germantown have any impact on you becoming an Antique-dealer and living in the historic and beautiful Rock-Hall& Chestertown part of the Eastern-Shore. You are so blessed to live in that wonderful place-Rock Hall. Steve Belcak lives in this town and he played basketball with me and Duncan Hubley at Fern Hill Park. My brother Ken and I spent time in Crumpton[off 301] at that auction. Carol! you have spent a good chunk of your in 2 great places-Germantown and Rock Hall. Enjoy the boating and the fishing and the beautiful countryside.
John Bruce Schmitt [12-15-2008]

Very nicely put Carol your friend always. Joe.
JoeDePero [12-15-2008]

bonnie gatto. my heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family for your loss of brother ralph.. our happy hallow hero. my prayers and with you.if you get a chance and feel ok, let me know what happened. i know there is nothing i can say or do but feel free to call me anytime. cell#609-618-1906 take care.bob terranova
bob terranova [12-15-2008]

John BurkeMy girl friend Carol and I are at AOH every tuesday nite from 8PM until 10PM.would love to meet you and buy you a drink. If you decide to come ask Jeff the bartender who Bill Leonardo is. Hope to see you some time. Merry Christmas to you. Bill Leonardo
Bill Leonardo [12-15-2008]

J.B.Schmitt I knew Ike Williams I saw him box in Trenton many years ago.His thing was if he hurt you with a punch,then the fight was over.He was a great fiisherand he would put you away.Also knew of Bo Belinsky.our Lady of Sorrows is my parish.I would like to meet you for luchand pick each others brains about gtn. Jo Jo's would be fine,how about we do it after the holidays? I would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year. Talk to you later john. Bill Leonardo
Bill Leonardo [12-15-2008]

Lisa Hackett: Like John Burke, I remember the Pinto family who lived on Morris St. I went to different barber-shops but I went to Bill's at Morris& Coulter which was in the same block as the Pinto family. Your mother was in my age-bracket and she was pretty and everybody thought she was very nice. Your Uncle Jim was also anice kid and very friendly. The McManus and Regan families also lived on that block.I think your mother[Betty Jean] knew Cass Regan and her brother Frank well. Chickie Fez lived on that block and I played basketball with him at the church on Pulaski&School-House Lane. I never played basketball with Chickie down the street-the Queen Lane Project. There was the old Keyser School across from the Pinto family but there was much activity there for the neighborhood kids. Taters lived at Penn&Morris and he had a terrible accident on the railroad tracks. Your mother would have known George Weller and Wayne Armstrong. Wayne liked cars and bikes[big ones] and George was George- a true character.Uncle Jim can tell you about him. You named great spots in G-town- Haasis-bakery,Superior Bakery,the Hollow and hanging out Woolworth's-Gtn.&Chelten. Do you remember Abe's or Manor Drug which my sister Joan owned. John Burke had an older brother[Ned] who worked there-Queen Lane& Laurens. I think that your grandmother[maternal] worked at Howard Johnson's-Washington Lane&Stenton.Your grandmother had a great personality. John Burke and I would agree that you come from a nice family. Merry Christmas to the entire Pinto Family.
John Bruce Schmitt [12-15-2008]

Joe DePero: I do remember u my friend..I remember u riding around on a bike when u were a youngin. U Lived in a cute house on abbottsford right accross from the old school (later Eby's factory) down the street from Joe and Billy Phillips. We lived in a really cool neighborhood, didn't we? Yes, remember Grace Barner, the crossing guard..she was a trip! And let's not forget my mother Dorothy..she was quite a character! I hope u and family are doing well..we,ll talk some more...best regards, Joe
Joe Rizzo, 58, St Michael's, Central HS, Phila Textile --living in Florida [12-15-2008]

I have been reading the site for some time now and want to say hi to a few,john burke how the hell are you .I havent seen you for a while but have asked about you .Joey Depiro are you still hunting .I remeber well the gun and arrow collection .Have you ever heard from carmella?jbs,You have an incredable memory I do enjoy your postings.I was born in G-town hosp on a sunday fifty years ago in feb,kind of an oops baby I think mom was 46 and dad was fifty or so .lol at parades he would sit on my shoulders .My family roots stretch back to the mid 1800's in east g-town,My grandparents both from Ireland met here and married but Grand dad didnt like the city life and they moved back to Ireland and raised 11 children who later moved back to G-town.My family here are the Howleys and Foleys .I do belive my cousin Jimmy Foley was a chacreter in the G-town scene during the 60's and early 70's.So many names and places mentioned here bring back a flood of memories .playing ball in fern hill,the hollow,hell any place that had a hoop or field.As a kid watching the friday nite procession to the lots behind the old Acme on G-town ave.The nights turning into days at the Italian club or continatel.Takers and then the Rose cafe .the old beef and beer on Wayne ave .Dottie was a great person and waitress thereJohn Burkes first bar .lol.the old Checkmate lounge on Chelton ave.see john I do listen when you talk.Alethes so many cho -cho coleman jimmy weston,the keehans .walsh's .pios .greg cook .any one remember taping up the baseball because it was the only one we had like I said many memories,x-mas time stealing the big lites from houses and tossing them hoping the tip hit first to make the popping sound,sleddin at tommys hill.or summer time going down to devils pool at night and the girls .man did _town have some lookers .themal lawton .jay jones,karen gallegher .kathy distel and of course my grade school girlfriend donna penderghest well again I may have rambled to much but as this site atests to growing up here just gave one an chance to meet so many wonderful and delightful people .merry Christmas all thanks
john d, still g-town (50) [12-15-2008]

It's great to see more Happy Hollow bloggers joining in. Brick yard and East Germantown was a great place and there are many familiar names on this blog. Happy Hollow was the other great spot in Germantown. Names like GooGoo, BB, Rocky, Pittsburgh, Turtle, Gooch, Nickie Abber, Shangy, Peanut, Bonnie,Hokey, New York Bill, Breeze. Everyone had a nickname. Everyone was an athlete. Wayne & Logan was a great place.
ananomous [12-15-2008]

Bob Terranova: I read your notes to Bruce Schmitt and Lou and Peaut (Albert)Pauzano. Thanks for you kind thoughts about Ralph. He was definitely my hero. Joe and Tommy Razzano, Richie Rossi, Chalie McGeehan and myself are trying to all get together and visit Peanut. I'd also like to know the whereabouts of Joe & Bobbie D'Angelo and even Eddie D'Natale. I remember some fun times with all of you at St. Michael's. About you mom, she was always one of my favorite people. She was always so kind and considerate whenever I was at your house. St. Michael's is planning a reunion sometime next year. I went to the last one, but most of the attendees were from graduating classes earlier than 1959. I did, however, see Ralph Siani (the barber), Sal Buccelli (Sal's on Wayne Ave.) and several other 'old timers.
Bonnie Gatto [12-15-2008]

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