Historic Germantown, Philadelphia
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Your Thoughts Archive
December 16-31, 2009


To all my Gtown friends, Happy New Year. Sad note, rest in peace Mr. Beerly
Jerry Murphy [12-31-2009]

John Payne: I offer my condolences to you and your brother for the loss of your sister Pat. She was one of the great woman athletes from St. Francis, Little Flower and The Hollow. She and her classmates hardly ever lost when they competed in basketball. Pat McIlhinney and I frequently talk about those great female teams. Your St. Francis classmate[Frank Klock] posted a great Christmas Poem on this site. Sister Grace and Bobby Goo must be very happy looking down from heaven. Goo might have taken some loose change from you shooting hoops but he was a poet. Frank G. and Goo were also the two great bards from the Hollow. I and brother Ken wish you the best for 2010.
John Bruce Schmitt [12-31-2009]

one of the nice memories that i have of growing up at happy hollow in germantown are of PAT PAYNE.my sinceres symapathies to all of the family.
dominic raffaele, same [12-31-2009]

FFK...good to see you still in the game. I have a place for you to visit. kartunzar.blogspot.com, or Kartunz_R (fun) blog. One of those two should get you there. I promise you won't love all of it, but I would be interested in your feedback. PS, anyone else who is interested, feel free to visit. (It's a cartoon blog of my own cartoons).
John Payne [12-31-2009]

Bonnie G. Thanks so much for your kind words in remembrance of my sister Pat.
John Payne [12-31-2009]

Frank Klock: I want to thank and commend you for your beautiful Christmas Poem. You are aging gracefully and I might add creatively. Ludmila was not a poet but she enjoyed The American Poets,Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson who also wrote great Christmas Poems. I took Latin for 4 years and Samuel Johnson comes to mind since he translated The Christmas-Poem The Messiah into English.Sister Grace from St. Francis gave you and your classmates on this site,Jack McHugh, John Payne, and Dave Byrne a solid foundation in writing-all of you are so literate. I was talking on Christmas Day with another classmate-Brother Ken. He and I like to hang out in Fairmount which reminds me of G-town. We could meet there in the future-Ken still likes to shoot pool. Frank! Keep posting with those beautiful poems and have a great and prosperous 2010.
J.Bruce Schmitt [12-31-2009]

Hope everyone has a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Kathy DiFeo [12-31-2009]

Gillian. I remember Pete Peters and his sister. And also played in DR.Rhodes yard.They lived up the street from John davis.We also went sleding at Tomeys hill.
rich, huntingdon valley [12-31-2009]

Aileen! Hello, how are you? This is Nancy Morris. My brother in-law just called me to tell me about your posting. I was not aware of this website. When you get a chance contact me at nancysic@comcast.net Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Nancy (Morris) Siciliano, Haddonfield, NJ
Nancy Morris Siciliano [12-31-2009]

Erda, West norriton PA [12-30-2009]

John (Junior), Sorry to hear about your sister.
Chalie MC Geehan [12-30-2009]

I have so many memories of growing up there too.I grew up on Garfield St. and went to St Francis of Assisi grade school.I would love to hear from Nancy Morris or Michelle Marazas. Does anyone know them.We graduated in 1981. I tell my kids about where I grew up and how I would love to go back and see the old neighborhood. Especially, ST. Francis of Assisi Church. How beautiful it was.
Aileen Rizzo, Delaware-42 yrs.old [12-30-2009]

I was raised in Germantown until I was almost 16 years old. I went to st. Francis of Assisi Grade school and the graduated in 1981. I then went to Little Flower High School until my sophmore year. I remember a lot of the places that everyone is mentioning. Especially the tomato pie from Scalesa's
Aileen Rizzo, I Live in Newark, Delaware. I am 42. [12-30-2009]

I lived on cleveland st with my 3 brothers and 1 sister. We lived next to the Homolash's and a barber shop was on the corner. I went to St Francis and then to Nativity BVM. Use to go to St Joe's dance and also Blvd Dance and the dance on Sunday's with Jerry Blavatt (don't remember the name) had some girlfriend name Doris Halamar, Jackie Givens and then there was Francis Tucker who use to always beat me up. Would love tohear from someone. All the brothers/sister still line in PA I am the only one that ventured out.
Mary Christie, ca, 60 [12-30-2009]

Does anyone remember the Peters family who lived on McCallum Street from 1960 - 1977? I would also like to communicate with anyone who might have known the William Betholf family of Walnut Lane. I was a kid then, and we all played baseball in the big back yard of the home owned by Dr. Rhodes. Happy New Year to all! Gillian F. Andersen
Gillian Andersen, Teacher in the SW [12-30-2009]

It is fun to hear all the memories that people have of Germantown. I would love to see pictures (especially from the early 1960s).
Gillian Andersen, Teacher in the SW [12-30-2009]

Hello Richie Pio- Great to see your post. I hope all is well with the family. Tell Margie I send my love.
Paul Amendolia [12-30-2009]

John Payne: so sorry to hear about your sister Pat. I do remember her as a terrific athlete.
Bonnie Gatto [12-30-2009]

Rosemarie Rinaldi, glad you enjoyed it. I agree with you, that the kids of today would find it very silly, compared to what they have today, but back in the 50's it was always great to see.
John Fleming, Tampa Bay, Florida [12-30-2009]

Trivia: There is a Navy Ship named after the city of Germantown. The USS Germantown (LSD-42). Website: http://www.navysite.de/ships/lsd42.htm
Ed, Chester, VA [12-30-2009]

To Bud Ballard: Hey Bud, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! What a fascinating story about Fernhill Park! I guess the anti-aircraft guns were deployed because of the Cold War in the 1950's. My memories of Fern Hill Park; used to walk up Apsley St. There was a little store at Apsley & Morris (basement level) that sold Sno Cones; had them every time I went to Fern Hill; used to play on the monkey bars, swings, etc. and play in the expressway tunnel. Yes, I remember seeing Phila. skyline from Fern Hill including Billy Penn atop City Hall. Another high hill was Logan Park where you could also see Philly skyline and the scoreboard and lights at Connie Mack Staduim (Shibe Park). It was a great view. Only Germantown had such great views of the city.
Mark L. Bambrick, raised in g-town 1960-1970 [12-30-2009]

First of all, Merry Christmas and Happy Hollow New Year to everyone. I don't want to dampen anyone's holidays, but I do have a bit of sad news. My sister Pat passed away this month; December 9, 2009. I am the youngest in my family, and Pat was the next youngest. She leaves behind four great children from two different marriages. They were the center of her life, and they along with their own children will miss Pat greatly. As you will all remember, Pat was a terrific athelete, with awesome speed. So don't fret; she was through the golden gates before the devil ever got out of the blocks. Rest In Peace, Pat.
John (Junior to some) Payne [12-28-2009]

Happy Holidays to all! What a delight that I found this site and can reminise about Good Old Germantown. Among other places that I have lived, I lived on Gardenia Street with my grandparents, Peg & Charles Sands and my mom Bette Sands. I had some girlfriends when I was very young, The Callahan girls, Delphine, and the little girl who's father had a deli at the corner of Tulpehocken and Gardenia St. Sadly, I moved away when my grandfather passed away in 1950 Does anyone remember a long saying about a car that you had to crank up to make it go. My grandmother always was repeating this poem and if only I had taped it. It was quite long as I remember. She also, had another one that went like this: "Germantown is a pretty place, it stands upon a hill, and if you want a pretty girl go up to Woodcock's Mill. Logi was the engineer and Nuttle was the boss, they pay you 2 1/2 a week and work you like a horse" How funny as I remember the Rialto movie and many many other things that I read about from people on this web. Thank you so much for the good times. Bette Joan Steltz Zink. born in G-Town 1939. I am still looking for my father's relatives of Norman Steltz. Have a great year 2010.
Bette Joan Steltz, Philadelphia, Pa [12-28-2009]

to Jack McHugh, re: your Santa encounter story...I saw him too. It was about ten minutes after your encounter. He was being patted down by two cops from the 14th district. Turns out, he was a burglar. LOL (sorry, John. Just had to do it).
John Payne [12-28-2009]

Richie Pio - great to hear from you! I see Janet a lot, and the rest of your family fairly often, and Vince Jurgaitis occasionally, but not lately with Robbie or Ralph- probably at least five years in both cases. Thanks for the memories and names! JBS - thanks for the good wishes and Calvary comments - very true. I was in Hopkinsville, KY until last night with my lady friend at her Mom's (no internet) so we went to the 10:30 PM Christmas eve service down there. I got her a 1961 Germantown Crier (the Germantown Historical Society quarterly, that Dennis McGlinchey published in recently) for Christmas because of an article it had on Violet Oakley. It had a year-end wrap-up, which said that in 1961, Santa came to Allen's via helicopter and they had to clear the parking lot to accommodate it. I don't remember this personally, but since everyone was reliving the Santa memories, I wanted to throw this into the mix. New Year blessings to all!
Bruce Marshall, 58, Still in Gtn [12-28-2009]

Okay, Rosemarie Rinaldi, I give up.It's a moot point, that neither of us is going to win.See what you started Bud?! I will ask Sister Rita Josephine next time I see her.She will know the answer to our Querie!Happy healthy new year to all!
ed burke [12-28-2009]

Hey Richie, I haven't talked to you since you owned the Phelam(?) market up on Greene st. How have you been? All is well here. I saw Janet, Joe, Mike, Steven and Jerry at the Post on Thanksgiving eve. They all look good. Post us here next time you come up. We can have a few beers (or sodas) at the Post
Joe DePero, levittown, 52, st mike's [12-28-2009]

Hello everyone. Haven't been on in a while, but want to wish everyone a great Christmas Holiday and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
anthonyg [12-28-2009]

FFK What a delightful adaptation of Camelot - I'm sure enjoyed by all.
HELEN LEONE D'ANGELO [12-28-2009]

JOHN FLEMING: Clicked on the site you posted with the Christmas puppet show and enjoyed it, altho I don't remember it as a kid. I was going to send it on to my youngest grandkids and then thought better of it. With all the electronic gadgets/toys they're into today, I don't think a puppet show will have half the charm it had for us. But it was nice to see - thank you.
Rosemarie Rinaldi [12-28-2009]

MARK BAMBRICK I remenber sleding in logan park on deadmans hill. this brings back a lot of good memories. The best hill to slede down was in fernhill park. You would enter the park at Apsley & Morris. Walk a distance and you were on the upper ballfield, You could slede from the upper ballfield to Roberts & wissahickon avenue. Toget back to the top of the upper ballfield was a good mile walk. It was fun going down the hill. The return trip was long and hard. Then in 1954 the U.S.Army took over the top ballfield. From the top of the hill in Fernhill park you could William Penn statue on the top of City Hall. This was one of the highest locations in the city. The Army placed three anti-aircraft gun enplacements at this location, they had a commanding view of the cities sky line. These anti-aircraft guns would be used to repell a air raid on the city. The Army placed a high chain link fence around the field and also built several buildings to store ammo and house the men assigned. Fernhill was never the same.
BUD BALLARD [12-28-2009]

I log on to this site often .. although I was from the Happy Hollow and Ferhnill Park area and am currently 68, I really enjoy reading about other peoples recollections of Germantown, no matter what section they are from and what age they are ... the overall theme I get from almost everyones blogs is one of fond memories of our growing up in this fine section of the city ... I hope everyone had a wonderful Christman and best wishes to all for a Happy New Year.
Tom Cusack [12-28-2009]

Hey Rich, was at Continental Post on the night before Thanksgiving and was talking with your three brothers about old Germantown. You are one guy who I'll never forget due to the house fire on Schuyler St. where I received a good burn on the back of my neck. We could have toasted a lot a marshmallows that day. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Dave Linn, GBC Blue N' Gold - Commandoes- Cage [12-28-2009]

Paul Borian: Like you I love to ski. Sometimes I go to Blue for the morning shot then head for a nearby bar for lunch and wine. I live in Jamison so it is an easy hop. If you are interested any time let me know if you would like some company. Wishing everyone here a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! p.s. My wife did five fish this year instead of seven but still a great feast.
Dan Hartnett, Former East Germantown [12-28-2009]

Ed Hess, Tampa, FL Boomer [12-28-2009]

merry christmas and a safe and happy new year to all
rich, Huntingdon Valley (West Washington Lane ) [12-25-2009]

Lived my whole life life in G-town untill I moved to Florida in 1995 and it was a good move but you can't replace the memories of your youth and they were great.Living in Germantown was all I ever knew, walking to St. Francis stopping at Moes, getting tomatoe pie at Superior bakery, steaks and pizza at Joes or Sals. I worked at Manny's on Wissahickon Ave. for about 27 years from when I was 12yrs old to 40. And how could anyone forget the blizzard of 66.I walked to Darrows on Chelton Ave. with two of my younger brothers to get malox for my dad, it took us about four hours due to the fact that we helped many stranded drivers dig out there cars and get them moving again.
Richard Pio, Ocala, Fl. area. 59 born and bred in G-Town 1950-1995 [12-25-2009]

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS ! TO ALL OF US AND OUR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS BOTH HERE AND GONE.GOD BE WITH US ALL. Imagine Richard Burton voicing the following lyrics.(adapted slightly from Lerner and Loewe's "CAMELOT")

EACH EVENING,FROM DECEMBER TO DECEMBER,
BEFORE YOU DRIFT TO SLEEP UPON YOUR COT
THINK BACK ON ALL THE TALES THAT YOU
REMEMBER-----------OF GERMANTOWN.

ASK EVERY PERSON IF THEY'VE HEARD THE STORY
AND TELL IT LOUD AND CLEAR IF THEY HAVE NOT
THAT ONCE THERE WAS A FLEETING WISP OF GLORY
-----------CALLED GERMANTOWN.

GERMANTOWN! GERMANTOWN!
NOW SAY IT OUT WITH PRIDE AND JOY!
GERMANTOWN! GERMANTOWN!
YES,GERMANTOWN, MY FRIENDS!

WHERE ONCE IT NEVER RAINED TILL AFTER SUNDOWN
BY EIGHT A.M.THE MORNING FOG HAD FLOWN,
DON'T LET IT BE FORGOT
THAT ONCE THERE WAS A SPOT
FOR ONE BRIEF SHINING MOMENT THAT WAS KNOWN AS GERMANTOWN.

MERRY CHRISTMAS !
FFK [12-25-2009]

First time on this site wow the memories came flooding back. Anmes I haven't heard for years,Bob Teranova I used to see you at the Daly's, Joe D'Aastino I coundn't wait to follow in your footsteps in thr Bane Ruth League at the Germantown Boys Club,Jack McHugh I remember playing in the back driveway with you, your brother Joe, Jimmy Howard nad the Right brothers. Billy James aka head, Jack Brogan you coached our basketball team at St. Francis, we almost won the North tournment,Frank Klock what elese needs to be said. Dave Linn it was great seeing your name bringing back all those memories of the boys club evev though you were the old head,Richard Patrisi, I'm in Florida, the Ocala area. Joe DePero how you doing nad what are you up to? Bruce Marshall I talked to you this summer and I still remember burring those bottles many years ago. Have you been in touch with Robbie or Ralph? Irene Bateman a classmate of mine at St. Francis, Duncan do you still need a ringer for Sundays game,give me a call I'm available. Sister Grace the BEST nun God ever put on earth, had her in eigth grade will never forget her. Richard Pio G-TOWN, St. Francis 64, NC 68, Fern Hill, Happy Hollow, Germantown Boys Club and the Daly's back yard.The best years of my life.
Richard Pio, Ocala, Fl. area. 59 born and bred in G-Town [12-25-2009]

Happy Holidays to everyone on this site. It has been over ten years that this site has been up and running. While it is part of a much larger site that is U.S.History.org, an offshoot of that is a nonprofit organization called the Independence Hall Assn. About the mid 1990's we all but took over this page and it has been a great find for a lot of us. If it were not for this site, we would not have reconnected with some of our friends from all over the US and the World as easily as we have been able to do. Germantown was a vast area made up of many little neighborhoods, and luckily, we didn't just stay in our own place, but ventured into every other part of Germantown. We met so many different types of people, made long lasting friendships, and have been fortunate enough to rekindle those friendships through this website. It has enabled us to have reunions with friends who we thought forgot us. It has also enabled us to memorialize friends, parents and shop owners who are no longer with us, but contributed greatly to the way we all turned out. I don't think that it was an accident that, for the most part,we grew up as happy, well adjusted, tolerant, people. That's what we learned at home. That's what we've taught our own kids. I wish everyone could have exprienced what we did growing up there. If you cruise through the actual information on this website you can't help but notice all of the historical buildings and areas in Germantown. We lived in houses occupied by people that lived there in the 1700's and 1800's. We trudged over cobblestone streets and brick sidewalks on our way to a dance or a friends house, that soldiers,on their way to battle, marched on. We played in attics, alleys, parks and little dead end streets that had been there since the first settlers. What an amazing place. As I said, the Independence Hall Association is nonprofit and is run by volunteers. They are stuck with sifting through our sometimes annoying blogs, and probably, by now, know more about us than Santa does. It takes resources to maintain a site like this, so if anyone is able to, and would like to show their appreciation for these wonderful people and their dedication to keeping this site up and running, you can do so by going to the bottom of the Your Thoughts page and click on the "ushistory.org homepage", then click on "who we are", and finally click on "Donate to the IHA" Whew-that's it. Again, I hope everyone and their family has a healthy, safe, and happy new year.
Lynne [12-25-2009]

Bill James. I was always chicken and wouldn't lay down on my sled, I would always sit up on my way down. I was afraid I would run into that framed pipe that was at at the end of the hill by the pool. It was still fun.
Kathy DiFeo [12-25-2009]

To Barbara Webb. I agree with you about this site--too much angst. You can't go back & so many seem to want to do this. Joe Taylor
joe taylor [12-25-2009]

I have been reading about this "fish" thing & it being a tradition. I have never heard of it. Can someone fill me in--please. My e-mail is brbluis@yahoo.com Joe Taylor
joe taylor [12-25-2009]

It is heartwarming to read about those who continue to keep family traditions alive; especially, the Feast of the Seven Fishes (festa dei sette pesci). Like many, I am proud of my heritage and, I enjoy keeping Christmas Eve dinner a special event in our family. Kudos to the Great Generation of all cultural backgrounds, God bless them. To my past classmates who view the site, I send best wishes your way. Also, I look forward to seeing each of you in the near future. Once again, I send best wishes to all at this Website. Merry Christmas! Happy and Healthy New Year! Warmest regards, Linda
Linda M. Chiarolanza-Raven [12-25-2009]

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Martin (Marty) Qualtieri. "Joker" as he was also called was a standout all Catholic in the late fifties @ North Catholic. He could run where few others only wished they could go & he carried himself with great dignity. We prayed for Martin at our fiftieth North Catholic reunion last September (1958). Now that he's home, may he rest in peace.
bernard mc kernan, 69yrs, retired, Baltimore Annapolis Md [12-25-2009]

JBS...My fourty forth ski season is underway.Just got back from a couple of ski days at Camelback. Great ski conditions and comradery on the slopes. Skiing is so much easier than trying to hit a baseball.You should try it!Only problem is to always be aware of the snowboarders who ride fast and furious.Best part of a ski day is at the end when you go home,sit by a warm and toasty fireplace(wood only,and down a couple of Old Fashions.Can't get much better than that,until the next day. To all you Germantowners,you should trade in your sleds and join us on the slopes.Can be fun,can be dangerous.Don't forget your credit cards because it can be costly. Any takers? Like to hear from anyone who enjoys skiing,and plans to hit the slopes this season(especially ski bunnies) THINK SNOW!.....Paul Borian
Paul Borian [12-25-2009]

George, Good to hear from you.. I had some good times with your brother Joe and Noreen back in the day.. Also knew your sister at Yearsley Post.. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year..
Erda (Armstrong) Graham [12-25-2009]

Ed Burke: Have to agree with Anonymous. "Surname" means your last name, not your nickname. "Sur" means "after". Look it up. "Nickname" is your nickname.
Rosemarie Rinaldi [12-25-2009]

60 years ago on Christmas Eve 1949 my father was walking me down Wayne Ave. to my grandmother’s house where I would spend the night and receive my christmas gifts, I was 5 at the time. I remember the night well as it was very dark and as we walked pass the Toddle House on Wayne Ave. the restaurant looked so warm and inviting, it was a small place with big windows and the orange glow of it’s lights illuminated the whole area around it just like the painting you see done by Thomas Kinkade that have been popular the last few years. It was late and the street was empty of people and traffic, all you could hear was the sound of a trolley in the distance rolling down the track. It was a very cold night but I didn’t feel it as I only had one thought in my mind besides I was bundled up with those heavy padded pants and a jacket and cap that only let your cheeks, eyes, nose and mouth show. A little bit pass the Toddle House you come to a group of homes that had cute white picket fences in front of their properties. Then I saw him, their he was---to quote the term use by that American humorist Jean Shepherd (in the 60’s I used to listen to him at night on WOR radio out of NY, he’s also the voice on the movie “A Christmas Story”---that was the kind of stories he told on the radio.) Anyway back to my story---there he was, the big guy himself---Santa Claus-Saint Nicholas-Khris Kringle (my grandmother always referred to him as Khris Kringle or Saint Nicholas), other kids have seen him in stores but here I am actually seeing him at work coming out of a house with bag and all. As he approached me he started to talk to me-- I couldn’t believe it, for the first and only time in my life the right words poured out of my heart and my inter-feeling expressed themselves. I ended our talk by asking him where his reindeers were---he said that they were on the next street as he has to deliver all these houses on both street----he then told me to hurry home because he will be there soon. I took my father’s hand and started to pull him along to get there as fast as my little legs would carry me. I don’t know why but I had the feeling that 2 kids lived in that house, older than me---wouldn’t it be something if one of them reads this blog and they recall Santa’s visit that night.
Jack McHugh [12-25-2009]

Does anyone remember a grocer (grocery store) accross the street from Happy Hollow on Wayne Ave. called McCauley's? We used to go there and shop. Anyone remember Friedberg's Pharmacy at the corner of Wayne & Wyneva? There used to be a soda fountain there and I remember sitting in the tables by the window having an ice cream soda. I used to go up Chelten Ave. all the time with my Mom and siblings; either took the RT 53 up Wayne Ave or RT 23 trollycars up Germantown Ave. I remember Rowell's, Linton's, Hanscom's, the hobby shop,Penny's, Allen's, Woolworth's, Sear's, the Firestone Store. Anyone remember the slot car raceway next to Firestone? Used to go up there with my brother and race our slot cars.
Mark L. Bambrick, raised in g-town 1960-1970 [12-25-2009]

Memories of sledding. I used to sled with my Flexible Flyer in Logan Park, Apsley St. hill in front of Loudoun Mansion. I think the hill is called Neglee's Hill. It was a lot of fun sledding down that steep hill; used to be another spot in Logan Park near Sylvania St. which was Dead Man's Hill.
Mark L. Bambrick, raised in g-town 1960-1970 [12-25-2009]

Dear Bernadete' I am sorry to hear of your Moms passing. I hope the New Year will be a happy time for you. Marie Bommentre,
MARIE [12-25-2009]

With the ethnic discussion here of late, have to say that I have always been impressed with the Italian Christmas Eve tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes. What a nice Christmas tradition with family and friends. When the kids moved out, there was always one or more of my extended family that would go to my Irish mom's house for Christmas Eve dinner. She adopted her own fish tradition, but just one fish. Jokingly, we called it her Feast of the Seven Fishes----seven pieces of fish. If more than seven showed up at her house for dinner then they were out of a piece of fish! I suppose she wasn't too bothereed by the joke because the invitations went back out year after year. There has been some nice sharing of Christmas memories here folks. A very Merry Christmas to you and yours......
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [12-25-2009]

To Tom Walsh: Hi Tom, what is the last name of your grandmother and uncle? Maybe I knew them. I don't remember anyone getting killed on Apsley ST. in the 60's; it may have been kept from me since I was very young. It's ashame that something like that happened,but, things are not what they were in Germantown.Have a great Holiday.
Mark L, Bambrick, raised in g-town 1960-1970 [12-25-2009]

don't hear much from anyone up this end of Germantown, Roosevelt Jr, high had two banks on the Musgrave st. side great to slide down in snow or on the grass, just had to try not to go over the wall! Merry Christmas and a healthy happy prosperous New Year to all!
George Chatburn, Chew & Belfield, rices' gas station [12-23-2009]

I haven't been on this site for awhile (too much angst on it about the past) but reading about Christmas Eve I thought I would share that here in Louisville Kentucky I cook 7 fish on Christmas Eve. However, I don't make all the Italian favorites (because they are not everyone's favorites). I do make a baccala casserole and linguini with crab, but the rest of the meal is adapted to more "American" tastes. My husband's family (who are English, Irish, and Scottish) enjoy the seafood and if it's been a good fishing season at the lake, we even add bluegill, crappy, and bass to the mix. It's not about the types of fish, it's about family getting together to celebrate the holiday and enjoying a good meal. Merry Christmas, Y'all!
Barbara Barrella Webb, Louisville Kentucky [12-23-2009]

Thanks anonymous? Surname also means nickname! My last name is always listed on the blog, so why would I not think it meant my nickname? lol Hey Bud, it sounds like quite a few of our classmates are still kicking. Maybe we can all get together sometime and throw a couple sodas down???
ed burke [12-23-2009]

On the Westside of Germantown we would go sledding in Alden Park Manor and Tommy’s Hill on Blue Bell Hill.. Alden had a nice hill that went into the playground it more for when we where younger but once we became teenager you had to go to Tommy’s hill. It was steeper and sometimes seemed like you where going to end up on Lincoln Drive sliding down the hill.. What a rush!. What fun!. Merry Christmas Everyone!
Erda, West Norriton PA [12-23-2009]

bernadette ianuzzi - i'm sorry to hear about your mom. i will say a prayer for her. now she is bring her beauty to heaven and i know she is very happy. she was a good person.
ANNE [12-23-2009]

bernadette innuzzi - i don't think you would remember me. i was a lot older than you and moved out of mechanic st when i was 10 years old. where do you live now?
ANNE [12-23-2009]

Bud ballard, I relayed your request to my older brother, Al. Rich Patrizi NC68
RichPatrizi [12-23-2009]

TO ALL ON THIS SITE TODAY: Merry Christmas and Happy N.YR. '2010'.I won't be back on 'til 12/28/09. I took several days off to spend quality time with my family/ and friends. We all need that. Respectfully, Linda.
Linda Fontana, Montgomeryville, Pa. [12-23-2009]

Donna Padova..Miss seeing you. I am having dinner with your Mom and Carole, tonight to exchange our gifts. I wish I could have known your dad,too. You are a beautiful and wonderful lady inside and out/ I wish you and your family a great Holiday and a very Happy New Year. I am sure we'll see each other soon,again.Linda
L.Fontana, Montgomeryville, Pa. [12-23-2009]

Bernadette Iannuzzi: That name is hard to forget...from long ago. Did you belong to Holy Rosary Church? I feel as if I know you. I used to walk around that neighborhood with my friend, Marianne Borza..or Judy Pacifico..who later married Tony DePaul of the DePaul Bros. Constr. CO. Did you know Rosaria Fontana? She was one of my bridesmaids.....I married her cousin, Flavio...Fontana...also from "G'town..Marianne and I also were friends with the Victor Errichetti,Jr. crowd...Tommy Ward, and Sonny Maida..this was still on the East side of "G" town. Have Blessed Christmas.Linda P>S> If I remember correctly, you were a very pretty girl.
Linda Kulik-Fontana, Montgomeryville, Pa. [12-23-2009]

To Bud Ballard: Hey Bud, you were my nieghbor and you moved out two days before my third birthday which was 8/27/63! Liz now lives in Elkton MD. She had breast cancer a few years ago but she survived it. She's doing fine and I will tell her you were asking. Merry Christmas to you.
Mark L Bambrick, raised in g-town 1960-1970 [12-22-2009]

This was in the obituary on the infamous Fr. Benoni, "Father Benonis had a reputation as a tough high school educator, but he mellowed over the years and was very kind, Madison said." I'm really glad to hear this. Yet, somehow I can't seem to shake the image of Fr. Benonis swinging a kid around by his hair and banging his head into a locker.....
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [12-22-2009]

Mike Deely: I just had a senior moment and I posted your name as "Mike Feely". I went to The Prep with Pat and some of our classmates thought that we were wild and crazy guys from G-town. If they read this site,they will think that I am in the early stages of dementia. My older brother-"Forgive Me".
JBS [12-22-2009]

Mike Feely: It's great to see a guy from St. Benny's appear on this site. Incidentally,back in the day, many G-town cats wore 6-button bennies. North and CD are closing-you probaly went to North when they had great teams. I wonder if you knew The Sweeney Brothers from St. Benney's,-Charles,Patrick and Edward. I was friends with Pat- The Lord threw away the mold when He made him but he was a good guy to have in the foxhole since he was fearless. Charles is probaly your age and lives on the main-line. Merry Christmas and I am looking forward to your comments about East Germantown and that great Parish at Chelten&Medeary.
John Bruce Schmitt [12-22-2009]

linda fontana .... i look forward to seeing you again as well ... we did have a nice afternoon didn't we .. we sat down at that table barely knowing each other and left with the wonderful sense of friendships made and old ones renewed ... you made it all happen kiddo ... thanks again ... i had a wonderful time! rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [12-22-2009]

Kathy: I always felt the red brick hill at the Hollow was more dangerous than the park hills that were 'open'. The red brick hill was narrow and between a cyclone fence and a stone wall. We sledded on catering trays, usually on our backs and we tried to keep our heads uphill so we could use our legs to push off from the incoming wall, if need be, instead of crashing head-first into it. And it was also a distance challenge to try to sled far enough to go over the edge of and into the sprinkler pool. The returning sledders on their way back up the hill, used to try to jump over the downhill sledders at the last minute. Sometimes they didn't make it and they ended up a rider again, hitching an unplanned ride back down. And sometimes, that WAS their plan. I don't think the red brick hill would make the top 25 in Germantown for sledding hills, but it sure was unique. One other thing: It's pretty cool that most parks in Germantown, and probably other places, all had a Deadman's Hill and a Suicide Hill.
Bill James [12-22-2009]

Merry Christmas to you and yours Rosemarie Malageri and may the peace and joy that the season brings remain in your heart the year through. Love, Helen
HELEN LEONE D'ANGELO [12-22-2009]

Mark l. Bambrick: I moved from Germantown as an infant, but my grandmother and uncle lived up the street from you until the late 50's, at 155 Apsley. I remember the house very clearly. I recall reading in the Bulletin in the 60's that somebody got killed in the old homestead.
Tom Walsh [12-22-2009]

Just a little irony concerning Fr. Benonis's funeral arrangements. It appears as though the Givinish family, through one of their funeral businesses, is handling the final arrangements for Fr. Benonis. When my mother passed away, a few years ago, we used one of the Givinish funeral homes for her funeral. I don't know exactly how it came up, but I learned the manager, Mike Givnish was a CD grad. I went up to him and told him that I was also a CD grad, and the first thing out of his mouth was "Remember Fr. Benonis?" That was not the first time I heard that question from other CD grads. So now the Givnish family is giving Fr Benonis his send off. Some may say poetic justice.
John Fleming, Tampa Bay, Florida [12-22-2009]

Anne..Yes my moms name was Helen and dad is Chinny. She had blue eyes and was beautiful inside and out. Sadly we just lost her in August. What is your last name, do I know you?
bernadette Iannuzzi Rizzo [12-22-2009]

Out of respect for clergy, family, and friends, I will not comment on the death of Father Benonis. I will only say he had made it to this blog on several occasions. He will now be judged before the Great Almighty. RIP.
Ed, Chester, VA [12-22-2009]

Merry Christmas---to all -a special wish for all St. Vincent's class of 56
Vera Carey Canavan [12-22-2009]

Speaking of CD, one of its most famous faculty member has recently passed away. I had him for Religion III starting in 1960, and found him to be most personable and patient teacher. It's my understanding that in later years, he wasn't admired as much as he was in the earlier days of CD. I suspect this was due to the changing attitudes of some students, toward respect greatly changed, and it was up to him to keep 5000+ students in line. REVEREND WILLIAM J. BENONIS, on Dec. 18, 2009, of St. Mary Manor, Lansdale, PA. Pastor Emeritus of Notre Dame de Lourdes in Swarthmore, PA. Beloved son of the late George and Lenore M. Liebner Benonis. Dear brother of George J. Benonis, Fred J. Benonis, Rev. Richard R. Benonis and the late Anne Marie Benonis. Also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Reverend Clergy, Religious, relatives and friends are invited to his Concelebrated Funeral Mass with His Eminence Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009 at 11 A.M. at Notre Dame de Lourdes Church, Michigan Ave. and Fairview Road, Swarthmore, PA, where friends may call from 9-11 A.M. Transferal of the Body from the rectory to the church at 8:30 A.M. Interment on Wed. at Calvary Cemetery, Pottsville, PA. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Food for the Poor, 6401 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, FL 33073. Life celebration services provided by JAMES F. KNOETGEN OF MORTON. 1-800-GIVNISH www.lifecelebration.com
John Fleming, Tampa Bay, Florida [12-21-2009]

Mr. Barrello and Mr. DiRenzo: Thanks for the 'heads up' with re: to the steak shop name...Freddie's yep, that's it. Have a wonderful Christmastime with your family and friends, wherever you go. Does anyone still keep the Italian tradition of Vigilia up? Remember the house smelling like fish for days??? My mom was very old school and did everything from scratch...no 'hungry man dinners' for my dad. he'd have barfed them all up...ha (LOL)..Rosemarie hite-Malageri/hope to see you real soon, again, once the Holiday celebs calm down. ok? Are we 'on"? You were a blast to sit with at LaFontana's...Merry Christmas, only three more days. yahoo.L.Fontana
Linda Fontana, Montgomeryville,Pa. [12-21-2009]

How about sledding in Waterview Park. That was a pretty decent hill. There was a factory in the area which made these awnings or rippled plastic composite things that just flew on the snow. Anyone Remember?
Ed, Chester, VA [12-21-2009]

Pocono Paul[Borian]: Gemantowners on this site prayed for you and Gerry sent greetings to the bears and the heavens imploded with tons of snow. You have received a wonderful Christmas gift. Now you must stock your Pocono-chalet with good liquor and cognac for your guests after a day on the ski-slopes. For your Irish-friends,Hennessey Cognac would be appropriate. Your International friends might prefer Corvosier Cognac.Antoinette and Napolean Bones Parted Not when they sipped Corvosier. Marie Antoinette wanted the proleteriat to eat cake but the Noble French Couple liked their cognac. Bor: Merry Christmas to you and your wonderful family and do your thing in the Poconos.
JBS [12-21-2009]

helen leone deangelo i wish you and your family a blessed christmas and a healthy new year rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [12-21-2009]

linda fontana this snow storm sure was a doozy .. ha and you are so right ... the true meaning of christmas is the celebration of the birth of christ ... sharing it with family and friends ... merry christmas and a healthy happy new year linda to you and your family rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [12-21-2009]

lorraine kelly cupo what a nice story ... memories like this are worth sharing ... thanks rosemarie that was one of the reasons why we were so close knit ... merry chistmas to you and your family shilea and of course a happy, healthy new year, rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [12-21-2009]

hi shiela well ... we got more than a little snow didnt we .. ha no! im not ready yet for christmas a few more things and then i will be. i am sorry you missed that lunch but im sure we will do it again ... your right ... back in our day ... we walked everywhere ...i suppose that was one of the reasons why we were so close knit ... merry chistmas to you and your family shilea and of course a happy, healthy new year, rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [12-21-2009]

marie i wont be doing the entire fish dinner stopped some years back ... but i will be doing some of it with the pasta ... i loved that meal .... buon natale to you as well and a healthy happy new year rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [12-21-2009]

Hi to all those remembering Phil the Tailor. My name is Donna, and I am Phil Carrozza's daughter. I'd like to thank all of you for the kind words you had about my dad. He was a good and caring man. He brought much love and laughter to our lives. As was mentioned my mom (Phil's wife)is 90 years old. Still active, a great cook, and a kind woman. How timely to have come across these postings about my father. My dad loved the holiday season. The lights, decorations, music, food, gift giving, but mostly, it was about his family. So again, I thank you for this gift of remembrance. Best wishes for a joyous holiday season and a happy, healthy 2010. Donna Note: Linda Fontana, Thank you for the contact.
Donna Padova, Fort Washington, Pa [12-21-2009]

Does anyone have any good stories about sledding down the hill at the Hollow. All that snow yesterday brought back some great memories. Kathy
Kathy DiFeo [12-21-2009]

tom cusack on 9-23-09 you stated that al patrizi told you about this web-site. if you intouch with al would you have al contact me thru this web-site. bud ballard
BUD BALLARD [12-21-2009]

ralph benner on 10-16-09 you asked what happened to john mcintyre. i found a old telephone book from 20yrs ago. i called the phone number and spoke to johnny mc- intyre. i told him about the web-site & told you were inquiring about him. john said he would contact you thru the web- site. bud ballard
ORVILLE T. BALLARD AKA BUD BALLARD [12-21-2009]

mark l. bambrick i lived in the second floor apartment at 100 west apsley street between june 9, 1962 and august 25, l963. i went to grade school with your sister, elizabeth. the last time i saw eliz. was at the st. francis of assisi 1956 class reunion which was held at casa conti on october 20, 1979. i hope she is ok. bud ballard
ORVILLE T. BALLARD AKA BUD BALLARD [12-21-2009]

st francis of assisi milne street fernhill park
marie adams hughes [12-21-2009]

Clarification on identifying Alexander Scourby as the narrator of "Victory of Sea". It was actually Leonard Graves,that did the original TV version, and Alexander Scourby did the condensed theatrical film release. The links I posted were from the TV version. Here is the voice of Alexander Scourby, that did the classic Bell Telephone "Spirit of Christmas" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsDBfPWDv28 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsDBfPWDv28
John Fleming, Tampa Bay, Florida [12-21-2009]

[ How about the Bell Telephone Spirit of Christmas puppet show. The Night before Christmas and the Nativity.] Ah yes, one of the great traditons of "Christmas Past". Recently the PBS stations would start airing them again, and what a surprise and treat to see that they were filmed in color, and once again hear the resplendent voice of Alexander Scourby, who also narrated the classic TV show "Victory at Sea". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lr-gEtPQoZE&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32TkR3m-Aog&feature=related
John Fleming, Tampa Bay, Florida [12-21-2009]

Just heard on the local news that Philly has had it second biggest snow fall ever! It's sort of surreal sitting here looking at sunshine with temps in the 60, after living in the Philly area for 61 years. Although I can relate to how we all had to change our daily "routines" to compensate with the snow and everything it brought with it, it reminds me of how I felt, when living in the Philly area, and hearing about the hurricanes in the South, or the earthquakes in California.
John Fleming, Tampa Bay, Florida. [12-21-2009]

Marie, I'm also keeping the Italian tradition of the 7 fishes on Christmas Eve. My mother and sister did it until last year when my dear mother died and now it is my turn along with my sister and daughters. It is with joy that I make the fried smelts and baccala and verdes and clams linguini and all the other goodies that have been part of our Christmas Eve feast for generations. Again, I wish all the good people on this site a Blessed Christmas and happy and healthy new year.
HELEN LEONE D'ANGELO [12-21-2009]

To those who may be interested, the heavy-handed, physically abusive, kid-beating ex-disciplinarian at Cardinal Dougherty HS has passed away. He is a legend in CD circles, but not exactly in a good way. Let's hope that, now that he has met his maker, that he had changed his ways after he left CD. I never experienced his wrath myself, but saw him in action many, many times. Never saw anyone quite like him...... Here is his obit------------------- BENONIS, REVEREND WILLIAM J., on Dec. 18, 2009, of St. Mary Manor, Lansdale, PA. Pastor Emeritus of Notre Dame de Lourdes in Swarthmore, PA. Beloved son of the late George and Lenore M. Liebner Benonis. Dear brother of George J. Benonis, Fred J. Benonis, Rev. Richard R. Benonis and the late Anne Marie Benonis. Also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Reverend Clergy, Religious, relatives and friends are invited to his Concelebrated Funeral Mass with His Eminence Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009 at 11 A.M. at Notre Dame de Lourdes Church, Michigan Ave. and Fairview Road, Swarthmore, PA, where friends may call from 9-11 A.M. Transferal of the Body from the rectory to the church at 8:30 A.M. Interment on Wed. at Calvary Cemetery, Pottsville, PA. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Food for the Poor, 6401 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, FL 33073. Life celebration services provided by JAMES F. KNOETGEN OF MORTON. 1-800-GIVNISH www.lifecelebration.com
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown - CD '74 [12-21-2009]

Ed Burke: You asked what "surname" means. That is your last name, not nickname.
anonymous [12-21-2009]

to bernadetti iannuzzi. was your mom's name helen? a beautiful lady with big blue eyes. i was a little girl and always wished i 'd look like her.
ANNE [12-21-2009]

Does anyone remember the Christmas Eve snow storm of 1966?
Donna Stokes Kennedy, 54 [12-20-2009]

NO JOKE...Anyone remember Santa and his Sleigh with Reindeer being towed by an airplane with lights shining on the sleigh? It flew around the city at night in the late 50s during Christmas and would be announced on the news. What a great sight that was for little kids. How about the Bell Telephone Spirit of Christmas puppet show. The Night before Christmas and the Nativity.
Bernadette Iannuzzi Rizzo [12-20-2009]

To all Buon Natale & Happy New Year.I wonder how many of you will be cooking the fish dinner for Christmas Eve, I know my family will.To the old days
Marie [12-20-2009]

Dave Linn good to hear from you, still working but probably retiring in 2010 going to hit that rte 66 come March. Thinking back I saw your sister Joan about 18 or 19 yrs ago, she was working for the Phila school dist. Don't know if you and Steve worked together on the FD, told him to say hello next time he saw you. Hope all is well with your family and a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year..
Lou Fondi [12-20-2009]

The 1966 blizzard was just fantastic if you lived near Awbury Park on Haines st. That park had three great hills to sled on; "Suicide", "Dead Man's", and "Ski Jump". Suicide hill was a long looping hill that you had to manuver through some trees and not everyone made it through them; I was one of them. Dead man's hill was a straight drop down and very steep. Ski jump was also straight but it had some bumps that could propel you through the air. The amount of kids on those hills was amazing; kids from everywhere seemed to come to Awbury Park. The blizzard of 66 provided days and days of great sleding. We were just caked with snow on our clothing and boots, in our hair, and our hats, and you had to pick it off you at times. Our family has some old 8mm film of that day that we had transfered to video tape a while back. In that film, my cousin Dom and Tom and I are seen building an igloo on our front lawns. We lived next door to each other so we had plenty of ground to build on. We just piled it high and then opened a couple of entrances that we could crawl through or even sit inside the igloo. What a great memory! I also remember a lot of kids grabing on to the bumpers of cars or trucks trying to get up Haines st. Talk about dangerous; but what fun it was. Midnight Mass at I.C. was canceled, but the next day, my aunt Pauline walked through all the streets to get to church on Christmas morning. Today, the snow is falling outside and they are predicting about 12 to 18 inches. What I wouldn't give to be able to get back to Awbury park and do it all over again! Hot chocolate anyone?
Bill Cupo, Immaculate and C.D. grad/Chalfont,Pa. [12-20-2009]

Hi Rosemarie, I'm good,and I am ready for Christmas! Are you? I'm not looking forward to a white Christmas though..maybe a little snow, but nothing like we're getting today! It makes it too difficult for family to visit each other. It's not the good old days when we could walk a few houses or blocks to celebrate with each other. I apologize for not making it to the lunch in Hatboro. It was my grandson's birthday. Maybe the next time. To you and everybody here, MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Sheila D. [12-20-2009]

Hi Mark, We lived on Ashmead Place . My mother was Emily "Babe" and my sister is Irene...They may have came to your shop... Roy B
Roy Bateman, Bellefonte Pa 55 [12-20-2009]

Hey Ed, your right, I still have a scar on my left hand from being hit with a triangular ruler also a black mark on my palm from being stabbed with a pencil although that was an accident. Most likely I deserved it.
anonymous [12-20-2009]

Good morning, everyone! It's Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009. Listening to the weather forecast on our local Florida station, and learning that southeast Florida has had a cold front move in overnight, and that the northeast is experiencing blizzard conditions, prompted this email and this memory. Having read the "your thoughts" entries about the Christmas blizzard of 1966, I would like to share my memory of that Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I had moved from my childhood home on Haines Street (1333 E). I had married in 1962; moved to 1914 Dallas Rd. (West Oak Lane) and by 1966, had given birth to two sons. Christmas eve day, my husband, Dan, and I and the two boys decided to do some last minute Christmas shopping at the Gimbels store in Cheltenham. In the toy department was a large, ride-on green and yellow tractor. The boys' eyes "lit up" when they saw it. It cost $25 (a LOT of $$$ "back then")! My husband and I decided that we would buy it for our sons, Michael & Dan, Jr. It would be their BIG gift from Santa. The only problem was that if this gift were to be a surprise from Santa; we wouldn't be able to take it with us....Dan would have to return to Gimbels, alone, and take it to my parents' home on Haines Street. Our intention was that late Christmas Eve, after the boys were fast asleep, Dan would drive to my parents' home, pick up the tractor and place it under OUR tree. Dan returned to Gimbels; picked up the tractor; delivered it to my parents' home; and was home in time for Christmas Eve dinner. As the song lyrics state, "life is what happens while we're busy making plans" (??) Due to the blizzard conditions on that late Christmas Eve night, Dan was not able to drive from Dallas Rd. to Haines Street to pick up the tractor to place under our tree. Awakening EARLY Christmas morning, as children ALWAYS do, the boys proceeded to open their gifts. Needless to say, Dan & I were disappointed that they were not able to be REALLY surprised by the sight of that green & yellow tractor under our tree. However, this story has a happy ending! Dan and I bundled up the boys in their snowsuits; wrapped them in blankets, and set them on our LARGE Flexible Flyer. We were "heading out" to my parents' home in knee-deep snow. It seemed as though the distance from Dallas Rd. to Haines St. had more than doubled during that snowstorm; but we made it to nanny & pop-pop's house where Santa had delivered a green & yellow tractor under THEIR tree. The story goes "that because the snow was soooooo deep and Santa didn't want his sleigh and reindeer to get stuck in it; he had to lighten the weight of the toys on his sleigh.....so he dropped off the tractor at nanny & pop-pop's house". So, as you worry about how you're going to finish up that "last minute" Christmas shopping in the blizzard-like conditions; take some time; and think about Mary & Joseph making their long journey; looking for shelter; worrying about where they would spend the night and finding comfort and joy in a humble stable. Merry Christmas, EVERYONE!
Lorraine (Cupo) Kelly, fl; ic '55; cdhs 59 [12-20-2009]

marian krause, maryland 55 years old [12-19-2009]

roy bateman ! did you live around new hall st . I did a lady and her daughters and they were batemans. i had the beauty shop on wayne avenu from 1960 to 1968 .FRANK MARGIOTTI.
FRANK, north wales [12-19-2009]

Never saw that blizzard, I was at Camp Snow, South Korea. Only missed two Christmases thanks to my Uncle Sam.
PFC Dave Linn, 1966 [12-19-2009]

Hey Bud, By surname do you mean my nickname? My old Irish Grandmother called me Ned all the time and it stuck. I don't remember if the nuns called me that. I remember that that always called us by our given names, so I was Edward in class."Edward I just saw you and Joeseph Leone talking! Come to the front of the classroom and get your knuckles cracked, WHACK! That son of a gun used to get me in more trouble. The favorite trick of one nun was to pull you out out the chair by your sideburns.Ah the good old days!Merry Christmas Bud. I live two blocks from joe leone now and we had a couple of beers early in the summer.
ed burke [12-19-2009]

Joe DAgostino: What that man did for you is priceless..and brought tears to my eyes...do people like that still exist? Someone please restore my faith in humankind..and tell me that kindness is still around, lately. Share your stories...thanks, Linda P>S> Get your shovels out/ they're predicting a doozy of a snowstorm, like in 1966??? (for tomorrow.) yikes.
L.Fontana, Montgomeryville,Pa. [12-19-2009]

I remember my father and myself going to Vernon park and buying a Christmas tree from Dominic Jacquinto. He would give everybody a disocunt, because he know everyone. I also sold Christmas trees at the Food Fair at Chelten and Pulaski. I dressed real warm and was still cold. That was one of the odd jobs I had after I graduated and it made me realize I better learn something that was going to be both secure and a decent income. I started court reporting school two months later and am so glad I did.
anthonyg [12-19-2009]

Joe D'Agostino, Fred the Park Guard's last name was Meyers. He was a good guy when you got to know him. I even invited him to my wedding. There was another Park Guard named Nick. His last name was Italian, but I don't remember it. Might have been Cinquanto. There was a third Park Guard whose name I can't remember. He looked a little like Lee Marvin. He kept me out of jail once. A friend from LaSalle & I picked up a couple of high school girls at the corner of Broad & Olney. We drove to fernhill Park & were followed & stopped by a truant officer. If the Park Guard hadn't vouched for me, I think I would have been run in.
John Abbamondi [12-19-2009]

The store that was referred to at Chew & Woodlawn was really at Chew & Locust and it was called Krause's. It was between the drugstore & Theresa's gift shop.I remember going there many times and having gifts wrapped there.It was run by two old German women.
MaryAnn Pellizzeri LaMarra, 62 yrs now living in Fox Chase, used to live near Bloyd & Locust [12-19-2009]

Bruce Marshall: I liked your blog on ethnicity and stereotyping in Germantown and spelling correctly the name of Larry Daurelle Sr. who was the great orator from the Continental. My step-father attended Cavalry Church and he and Rev. Lessing[Pastor] would have been outraged if stereotyping had taken place during their time at Cavalry. My mother and F. Gordon Bradley were married at St. Catharine's[Penn St.] and Father Bogart and Rev. Lessing were both participants in the wedding-ceremony. In the 60's,the ecumenical spirit was present in Germantown. Recently,I was in your neighborhood in W. G-town and the homes were standing tall. I was also impressed that the old Manheim-Gardens was so well maintained. The Cricket Club Block looked as good as ever and The Continental is still that beautiful building on the Hill. Bruce! Merry Christmas and I hope that you can attend Midnight-Mass with your lovely lady at that beautiful Church at Pulaski&Manheim-Cavalry Episcopal Church.
J.Bruce [12-19-2009]

WOW, one wk, from today is Christmas eve and all the little ones will patiently await the arrival of good old Santa. But, let's not forget the true meaning of Christmastime ..the birth of Jesus Christ/ and Peace on Earth, Good will to men. I hope God blesses each and every one of you with good health and lots of love in the New Year of '2010".Linda Fontana
L. Fontana, Montgomeryville, Pa. [12-19-2009]

paul borian ok paul do you have magic powers ??? a sales rep just came into my office and told me that we are in for a snow storm starting this saturday and going into sunday ... he didnt hear about accumulation.. but, i hope this makes you happy snow boy ... ha . now i know who to come to when i want to do or get something ... rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [12-19-2009]

Joe DAgostino: Mr. Landis the farmer? I wonder if he is NOW the owner of all those Landis Supermkts. up where I live in Montgomeryville, (Sellersville and Telford areas)....If so, he is NOW very rich.
L.Fontana, Montgomeryville, Pa. [12-19-2009]

Lyne: The sounds of chains on tires you spoke of > just brought back so many memories of my wonderful dad. Too numerous to mention, but he'd put those darn things on to stop from sliding in snow/ice. Does anyone remember their first car? I remember going out with Frankie Cascerceri in a gorgeous Pontiac GTO brand spanking new.That would have been around 1965/66.
L.Fontana, Montgomeryville, Pa. [12-19-2009]

Joe D'Agostino - Cuz,you are somewhat correct, I do get nostalgic when I think of Germantown ( more than fruit and vegetables) and all the wonderful people who were in our lives . I loved your 1966 story about your trip home for Christmas.Proved that there was, and I hope still is, kindness and respect in the world ! My recollection of that time was us having a pretty wild run before you left for Nam, and ED Tutro coming to my house on Christmas Eve covered in ice and snow, since he had walked from his home off of Germantown Ave. That was also the year that we cut the $20 bill in half, so we could have a drink when you got back from Vietnam. I have been telling you for 40 years that I did not lose my half of the twenty dollar bill, I lost the entire wallet, while I was off at college. But.... you gotten plenty of mileage out of the story and I got to pay you back many times since then. God bless your dear Mom, she cried every day you were in SE Asia, and I still feel guilty sometimes when I think I was having too much fun in college while you were in Nam. Love you Cuz !
Bob D'Angelo [12-19-2009]

Charming reading for a day by the fire is A Childs Christmas In Wales by Dylan Thomas. Merry Christmas and God Bless you every one.
HELEN LEONE D'ANGELO [12-19-2009]

Who could forget the Blizzard of '66? It seems everyone has a recollection of that Christmas Eve and where we were and what we were doing. Paul Borian, I too would love to see another one like it this Christmas - it would be the best present ever. Charming reading for a snowy day is
HELEN LEONE D'ANGELO [12-19-2009]

Hello Everyone, I've been reading the posts for months now. My name is Mark Bambrick and we lived at 108 W. Apsley St. and we went to St. Francis. I am the youngest and I have two older brothers and two older sisters; they are: Elizabeth Bambrick-graduated St.Francis in 1956;Little Flower in 1960,married in 1963; lived on Seymour St. near Wayne Ave. Hal Bambrick-graduated St. Francis class of 1960; he had Sr. Grace Winifred.He lived on Reger St. Cathy Bambrick-graduated St. Francis class of 1966; she had Sr. Agnes Dorothy also principal was Mother Alphius. Tim Bambrick-graduated St. Francis in 1969. Myself- went to St. Francis 1966-1970 principal was Mother Rita Josaphine. We moved out in 1970 to Olney. I have many fond memories of Germantown especially at Christmas. I remember Santa Claus going into Allen's. The blizzard of 1966 we got the last trolley car down Wayne Ave. from Chelten with our Christmas tree. My Dad was sick with the flu so it was my Mom, Cathy, Tim and I who got the tree. I wish all of you a Merry Christmas! I went to the St.Francis reunion Mass back in Oct. and the Upper Church is still in great shape. It was just like I remembered it with the Apostles on the ceiling. Take care all. I will post again.
Mark L. Bambrick, raised in g-town 1960-1970 [12-19-2009]

Joe D'Agostino: I was an alter boy at St. Mike’s for four years. I always hated when I was scheduled for a week to serve at the 6:00 am mass. I remember getting up in the morning and walking alone in the dark up Logan St., making a right at Germantown and arriving at the sacristy at 5:55 am. Can you imagine a fifth grader making that trek alone today? I loved the ‘Old’ church; it had character. I sometimes went to the midnight mass there; it was always packed to overflowing.
Bonnie [12-19-2009]

Would like to hear from anyone from Germantown who is living in Arizona.
John DiRenzo, Mesa, Arizona [12-19-2009]

Kathy DiFeo Kirchenbauer: I remember all the DeFeo’s on Keyser St. You, Danny, Johnny, Mary and the others.
Bonnie Gatto [12-19-2009]

My favorite Christmas memory was walking to my aunt’s and uncles’ houses to wish them a merry Christmas with a hug and a kiss. I went with my brother, Ralph, and my cousins Jim, Joe and Tommy Razzzano. We’d spend a few minutes at each house and then move on to the next. Our favorite was Aunt Nelly on Keyser St. Even though we were all young kids, she gave each of us a shot on anisette each year.
Bonnie Gatto [12-19-2009]

to everyone on this site .... i wish you and your families a very merry christmas and a very happy and healthy new year ... rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [12-19-2009]

paul borian i do like to see snow but not on the ground ha! i think when it is draping the trees it looks so beautiful ... i will pray for snow for you but only on the roof and tree tops ... i know my grandchildren would love to have a good snow storm as well so as the song goes "let it snow ... let it snow ... let it snow" merry xmas and a happy new year ! rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [12-19-2009]

Hey Linda, the steak shop was called " Freddie's ".
John DiRenzo [12-19-2009]

hi shiela how are you ...hope you are well! do you remember the thunder and lightening that night as well ... it was quite a storm ... rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [12-19-2009]

To Joe DAgostino, Your memory of Christmas of 66 made me feel good about humankind, that was the true meaning of Christmas.. I am sure your business man received his reward for helping a young man trying to get home for Christmas before going in harms way.. . We seem to only focus on the negative action of those times and forget all the good people who supported our young people in the military. When my spouse was in Vietnam I received a lot of support from friends and the people I worked with. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!
Erda, West Norriton PA [12-19-2009]

Lynne, nice post of Christmas memories. Those Christmas tree lots sprang up everywhere. How you described them, is just how I remember them. And those bubble light plastic lamps may have cost $1.98, but they are priceless...
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [12-19-2009]

Don Barrella/Linda Fontana: I believe the steak shop was called "Freddy's" It was next to the Idle Hour Taproom about five store fronts up from the Chew Tavern. Spent many a misspent hour hanging-out at Freddy's. Regards, Tony Risi
Tony Risi [12-17-2009]

Marie,I think the shop you are thinking of that sold stocking and many other girlie items was Pandora Box,it was run by 2 old ladies at least they were old to us back then Ha Ha,it was on Chew Ave near Woodlawn Ave,hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and Happy an Healthy New Year Sandy
anonymous [12-17-2009]

Rosemarie, I remember that snowy Christmas Eve too. We were snowed in at my parents house in Jersey, but we planned to be there for Christmas morning anyway so we had our daughter's gifts with us. I remember driving across the bridge and it started to thunder and lightening.
Sheila [12-17-2009]

The Christmas eve blizzard of 1966 was a gift from heaven for this snow lover.The Accuweather meterologists are talking about a possible east coast snowstorm this Christmas eve and day. Could it be?? I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the joy,the hope and the wonder of Christmas.May the New Year bring good health and happiness,and several snowstorms.THINK SNOW,PRAY FOR SNOW.....Paul Borian
Paul Borian [12-17-2009]

The blizzard of 66’ was a very profound time for me. As a Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton in California I was on my way to Vietnam, but our platoon was given a choice (Unheard of in the military) we could go to Vietnam and be home for next Christmas or go home now but spend Christmas in Vietnam. I immediately said let’s go home now, for making it through Vietnam was not a guarantee, so home we all went. My mother walked from Pulaski Ave to Broad and Erie to the Western Union to get me the plane fair. As I was waiting in the LA airport on “Military Standby”, (for half of the world was traveling at this time). A man in a well tailored suite asked me where I was going. I told him I was trying to get home for Christmas before I was to go to Vietnam. As we all know, this was a different time then. We in the military were not a welcome site. This man said that he has a “First Class” ticket to New York and that he was only going on a business trip,he told me that her too was a former Marine, and he gave me his ticket .The plane for New York was at the gate so I never got his name and I never been able to thank him. But he gave me the greatest Christmas present I had ever received. I made it home and remember spending Christmas Eve going to church with all my friends at the Midnight mass. The time was simple back then but good deeds are timeless.
Joe DAgostino [12-17-2009]

This home-page is something else..I've spent tha last day and a half reminiscing with Dennis McGlinchey about his "Grandfather" who was our Church sexton @ St. Benny's...Priceless memories.
mike deely, 72, Hilton Head Island S.C. [12-17-2009]

The children's shop on Germantown Ave. was The Joy Kiddie.
Sheila [12-17-2009]

Hi Bob D'Angelo, I do remember you hanging out with by brother Danny. I will tell him you said hello. Life is good and glad to hear from you. Have a great holiday Kathy DiFeo
Kathy DiFeo [12-17-2009]

Merry Christmas Happy New Year, Thank you all for sharing your memories. God Bless, Roy B.
Roy Bateman, 55 Bellefnte Pa [12-16-2009]

dennis mcglinchey the blizzard of 1966 is very vivid memory for me ... my husband and i and our 8 month old baby went for a visit to my husbands aunts house in g town and our defroster stopped working on our car and we were stranded there for the night ... it was so funny the three of us in this small bed the baby between us and not happy about it either ha! the next day we couldnt find a garage opened that could fix our car and we had to wait a few days before it was repaired ... but, the nice part is we got to celebrate christmas again since we were not home to exchange our gifts or for the baby to get his things from santa ... so we finally did enjoy our christmas a few days later, rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [12-16-2009]

dennis mcglinchey what a beautiful memory ... thanks for sharing
rosemarie hite malageri [12-16-2009]

That blizzard was 1966: 12 and a half inches, per the internet (it seemed like more then, of course). I grew up at Calvary Episcopal Church, Pulaski and Manheim. We also had Mass on Christmas Eve (10:30 pm, running through midnight), which was a big production. The year of the blizzard, all able-bodied man and boys were outside shoveling the sidewalks and paths up to the church so the show would go on, which it did. On a related topic, I was going to avoid the ethnicity discussion, but since JBS dragged me into it a few weeks ago (just kidding, Bruce - you quoted Larry Daurelle in a charitable way, and mentioned me in passing) I need to mention: my mother was Italian, from the Italian ghetto in Nicetown (Cayuga St), and growing up in the 1910's got involved -ultimately for life- with Calvary's outreach to the underprivileged kids from down her way: Sunday school, sending them to Stone Harbor in the Summer, etc. As noble as all this was, nevertheless the Italians were not welcome at the late service, when all the wealthy / upper-crust types attended, and had to go to the early one. Thus, the stereotypes and discrimination was present there too, not just in the Catholic realm. But as has been said, it was a sign of the times and we've all moved beyond that and should celebrate what we have in common: our Germantown bonds, fond memories, and the special environment we all shared and benefited from. Peace on earth, and goodwill to all - Merriest of Merries, everyone, and thanks for all the great stories and recollections!
Bruce Marshall, 58, Still in Gtn [12-16-2009]

rumor has it that gerry is not from germantown.
JOE [12-16-2009]

There was something magical about the Christmas tree lots, cramped into a small space filled with trees. The lots illuminated by white lights that were draped over poles. Some had music coming from a radio, while others had a fire burning in a big metal can. Add some snow, and it went up another level. Speaking of snow reminds me that a lot of people shoveled a path in front of their houses a little wider than the shovel itself. Our shovel was one we used for coal before we had our furnace replaced with a newfangled heater. Anyway, everyone knew that they had to walk within that path. If we slipped, it was our own fault. Our parents didn't have to worry about getting sued if someone slipped on a minute piece of ice. As soon as the snow started to accumulate, the boys were out with their shovels to make some money. I'm also one of the bubble light lovers. The old strings of bubble lights didn't have any clips on them so you had to nestle them among the branches. it's unbelievable that our houses didn't go up in flames from those trees full of huge bulbs too. I have two very cheesy plastic hurricane bubble light lamps with faux brass bases and plastic holly that I bought at McCrory's 5&10 for $1.98 each in the 60's. I have used them every year since then and they still work. Another thing that I miss during a snowfall is the sound of chains on the cars. They were a pain to put on but you could drive through anything.
Lynne [12-16-2009]

Sister Grace Winifred's birth given name was Georgeann O'Conner. And she had relatives in the kensington section of Philly.
somebody [12-16-2009]

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL.I've enjoyed this site tremendously since discovering it a few months back.
John DiRenzo [12-16-2009]

I just thought of more stores Duvals,children shop can not recall name on germ,ave.on chew st was a store we called the old maids they had candy,socks,hankies & notions,Marie
anonymous [12-16-2009]

Hay Don Barrella Merry Christmas to you and Lynn and your family,The stake shop was Freddies stake shop I worked for him when i was a kid he was a good guy.
gregg striano [12-16-2009]

anyone remember Mr. D and George who worked at waterview playground. How about shooting pool and playing ping pong in the basement of waterview rec. Mr d. would charge 5 cents a game of pool to help pay for the chaulk. Did anyone ever eat at Buddy"s luncheonette on Green Street across from Vernon Park or swim at the Y at greene and chelten.
louoldies [12-16-2009]

Sister Grace was a Brand new teacher in 1954. She was our fifth grade teacher in 54. So she was fresh with new idies and we ejoyed that year Class of 57
Raymond Dawes [12-16-2009]

I do remember Jackie McGann's father selling Christmas Trees every year at Germantown Ave. and Seymour Street. We bought our tree from him every year. My mom would try to get the tree cheaper than the price, and Mr. McGann would always let her have it for a lesser price. He was a really nice guy and well liked by all.
Ginny McCurdy Clark [12-16-2009]

Does anyone remember the Park Cop at Fernhill. His first name was Fred and what a pain in the A. Also, remember when the park police stayed in that little green and white shack not much bigger than a phone booth. There was also another park cop who was real cool and would let us hang all night. Does anyone know his name. I can remember spending many a summer night in that park "Making out" with my girlfriend and listening to Gerry Blavat, Joe Niagra, Don L Brink etc. on WIBG on my transistor AM radio. As they say, I would give 5 years on my life to spend 1 week back in the day. Music was the backdrop to our time in Germantown. Parties, Mixers, Crusing, all with the radio blasting. I had a convertible so the summer nights were the best. All this great fun and it was basically FREE! Gas was the big expense, but for $1.50 you could crusie all night.
Joe DAgostino [12-16-2009]

Cousin Bob, if you are getting all this nostalgic over fruits and vegetables, than how about the farmer with the milk and eggs his name was Mr. Landis...
Joe DAgostino [12-16-2009]

Rosemarie Rinaldi: Ludmila would have truly enjoyed a dialogue with you-she connected with The Italian Culture since many of her friends in Argentina were Italian-Argentines. A large part of The Argentine-Culture is The Opera and soccer by dint of The Italian influence. One of the Great Opera-Houses in the world is The Colon which means Columbus in Spanish-it is located in Buenos Aires. Incidentally,I was hanging out with a guy from The Hollow[Lou Pauzano] and we went to an Italian restaurant in Marlton,NJ. Larry[husband] remembered John Berkery from Wayne Ave. and he must be very sad that his old friend,Tiger Lil passed away. Lil and Junior[Ralph Staino] were a strikiing beautiful couple with unique personalities. John Berkery,from St. Francis sent a beautifu condolence-message to the Staino Family. Germantown people never forget their friends as you witnessed when you met Larry's many friends from The Hollow. Merry Christmas and keep posting.
JBS [12-16-2009]

attention ed. i spoke with jacques senechal and he remembered his first day at st. francis of assisi. he was in 5th grade and it was cold day. he did come to school in a sweater. he wore a sweater because he did not feel cold since he had just moved from canada to philadelphia. it was not cold to him. jacques senechal lived in the unit block of west ashmead place. ed what is your sir name?
BUD BALLARD [12-16-2009]

attention ray dawes. this is bud ballard i did not live on wakefield street. i was born and raised at 4603 germantown ave. i did hang out at wakefield & seymoure. janet nicoletti and my wife were friends from high school, ancilla domini academy, located at chew & church lane. i was at nicoletti's store and janet introduced me to dot westermann. i joined the philadelphia police department on 4-2-1962 and got married on 6-9-1962.
BUD BALLARD [12-16-2009]

Lou Fondi Thanks for refreshing my memories of the Gentile Brothers. I remember them well, but could not think of their first names.As I recall I only knew them as Gentile ( pronouncecd Gentilli. They were very nice gentlemen.I'm sure they taught you the art of the sale very well. I do remember my Mom "negotiating " with them on occasion. They always had the frehest fruits and vegetables, and I think in some way, it reminded many people of what it must have been like for our European ancestors who shopped for fresh food every day instead of stocking up at a supermarket once a week.Great memories and much simpler days !
Bob D'Angelo [12-16-2009]

Kathy DiFeo Kirchenbauer....It has been many years since I last saw you. Iremember you and your family fondly. I believe your brother Danny lives in King of Prussia now. He and I were in every class from first to twelfth grade ! I have tried many times to contact him, but have never heard back from him. Please tell him hello for me. We were very good friends as kids. Hope you are well too Kathy and have had a wonderful life. Bob
Bob D'Angelo [12-16-2009]

What about chicks candy store on germantown ave.He gave all his favorite customers a gift at christmas,and than there was bettys hosiery,lottigs cleaners, bargs grocery store,spences hardware, superior furniture kitchen equiptment,janes candy store,scarpello i could go on and on those were the days!
KIZZIE FROM WEST GTOWN [12-16-2009]

hi don the name of the steak shop near the chew tavern was called freddie's.sandy
anonymous [12-16-2009]

Hey Lou Fondi, where have you been? I saw your brothers and sister down the shore at the Brickyard Reunion in 2008.I talked to your son's father-in-law and he told me you're still working. When are you going to retire? Maybe I'll see you at the next reunion which might be this coming year.
Dave Linn, G-town West Side 50's & 60's [12-16-2009]

We would get our Christmas tree at the Penn Fruit lot on Chelten and Wayne.. I remember we where only allowed a 2 dollar tree.. All 3 of us would go with our father and pick the tree.. Then it would come home to be put in a bucket of water in the alley.. By Christmas eve the water was frozen... We alway decorated the tree on Christmas eve..
Erda [12-16-2009]

Don Barrella: You mention Hanscom's Bakery, which was city-wide. My mother worked for them at one time and said they were a great company to work for. Sadly, the last Hanscom's store closed on the same day that Mr. Hanscom died.
Rosemarie Rinaldi [12-16-2009]

Dennis McG..I sure do remember that snow storm on Christmas Eve, of 1966..that is the year I met my 'to be' husband, Flavio..and we went to Immac. Concept. church that night, and I got my first ring from him, a blue star sapphire, and he only met me three months prior. It was the beginning of a beautiful romance that lasted through marriage, and two gorgeous daughers. Thanks for taking me down (memory lane) for a few. We are now divorced/and he returned to Italia where he was born, but we are still friends.Respectfully, Linda Fontana
L.Fontana, Montgomeryville,Pa. [12-16-2009]

Don Barrella: Gosh I should know the name of that steak shop next to the Chew Tavern, because my best friends dad, Herman Borza owned that Tavern, & we got sand. from the steak place, but I cannot remember it now. Whew, does that mean I've passed '50', sure does.Maybe someone will remember it/because now that will 'bug me'.Linda
Linda Fontana, Montgomeryville, Pa. [12-16-2009]

Anonymous, I remember the Christmas trees at the corner, $2 up to $5 and they came with a green wooden stand.
joe leone [12-16-2009]

On the Germantown Brickyard site I found the 1960 photo of St. Francis of Assisi graduation class, it even had some of the signatures on the back. My brother Joe’s was on the top of the boys side and breaking out from the girls side I was delighted to see the name of my friend Irene McMenamin, or at least some of her name. If Irene ever finds this web site, I would like to answer that question of years ago---Irene, I do remember pulling your hair while you were in line at school. I’ve had never looked at the Brickyard site before because I thought I didn’t know anyone from there, me living on the west side. I have to say that it is a very interesting site plus you can add photos. Looking at the 1960 picture, I guess it was the connection with my brother in that class but I practically knew everyone. Looking at the faces and then the names, amazing memories came flooding back---I was in a time warp where everything was as I remembered it years ago. I then looked at the 1961 class picture and the images did not jar me the same, I suppose it was because I did not have that connection. What was also interesting about 1960 that I forgot was the fact that a number of the students had brothers in my class of 1958. Wow What Great Memories.
jack mcHugh [12-16-2009]

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