Historic Germantown, Philadelphia
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Your Thoughts Archive
December 11-20, 2010

to all g towners, a very merry christmas and a healthy new year to you and your families... thanks to all of you for making this a better year with your many interesting and wonderful posts ... rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [12-20-2010]

Bill Cupo .... i love these memories ... thank you! rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [12-20-2010]

Gtn. people are great football fans--beating the Giants with 4 td's in 8 min.to come back from what was a big deficit -WOW! It was the best game comeback I've ever seen-GO EAGLES! SUPER BOWL BOUND! Lou Giorno
lou giorno, lou from burbs [12-20-2010]

Duncan Hubley: I can not believe that it has been 50+ years since the incident between Leroy Kelly[NFL] and Bill Haas[Pro Baseball] took place. It was also ironic that I was the arbiter in that skirmish since I had a similar situation with Bill H. and his father at The GBC. I had rooted for Joe Lynch's team who were playing Haas's team and they[Bill+father] went ballistic against me-mentally and physically. I was put in a position where I had to defend myself. With this history, I was not the guy to stop the fight. Duncan! You had good rapport with the black guys-The Kelly Brothers,Leroy and Harold,Joe Palmer,Irv[Kruschev]. Bill Haas also talked to you in a respectful manner,possibly,The GA connection. You were the ideal person to be the arbiter. Mr. Haas was also there and he should have intervened but he was enabling his son. It was such a tragedy that Bill did not use his athletic talent,especially baseball,to secure a college education like Joe Lynch and Paul Borian. Harold Kelly,An Oriole Baseball player told me Haas was a great hitter. Leroy and Harold Kelly had the right temperament and discipline to compete on the professional level. You were an outstanding coach and Bill could have used your mentorship. Duncan! Have a Joyous Christmas and we will try to get together with Dave Heil,a good guy.
J. Bruce [12-20-2010]

We have ben to many of the same places listing to good music.Sid Mark "FRIDAY with Frank" will go off the air on New Years Eve---I spent countless nights listining for the last 54 years----Sunday with Sinatra is o 1210 Sid Mark is the host---Valley Forge Music Fair is gone---Mann Music does a great job---many a summer night I am enjoying showes----saw a wonderful Tony Bennett concert in Aug.---he sang for a over 90 minutes----what a night!I get to as many concerts as I can --one of my favorite things about the area is so much is available--
vera carey canavan, st. vincents class of 1956 [12-20-2010]

Lou Giorno: Welcome back Lou and a very Merry Christmas to you too! Looking forward to your many interesting questions this coming year, be they about meatballs, movie houses, where we met our wives, whatever...A pox on hospitals.
kevin, Santa Barbara, CA. [12-20-2010]

Catherine Muir- whoa lass. We boys chose our music and we never paid into glitter concerts...Our style was three part harmony on the bricks of Gtn... a la louie, leone; jimmy kuilk; eddie mcloghlin--and a few others...we just gave it all to blue loving..like

I ask yo momma fo you
you tell me she wuz to young (lads)
i wish the lord neer i seen yo face Im soorry you ever was born.. (chorsus)

Sometime i lives in the county...Z(oh jasesu)
sometimes i lives in the toon..my lord
ohhh sometimes i take a great notion
to jump in the river and drown..

Well i love irene the lord knows
I do..i love her til the sea runs dry
but if Irene turn her back
on me i'll take cocaine and die...

These are a few bars of the greatest american blues song writ-i learnt these and a few more lines in Ireland in pubs...as a penniless bar guitar singer. it was mentioned on this site some months ago..its called "Goodnight Irene" I know about seven more verses and can play it on my Saigon 12 string guitar....... Junglejim
Jim McKernan, Temple 68 [12-20-2010]

I lived on High Street in the 60's. I was engaged to Anthony Diferdinando.In 1966 I knew The Gallagers and the Quartucci. Anyone on here from Mchanic Street. Rita Germantown High School 66
Rita Seeberger, High Street in the 60's [12-20-2010]

Mike Buchanan: Excellent twelve days of Christmas in Germantown.
John Payn [12-20-2010]

Catherine Manning Muir:....Your post "Music in Philadelphia " caught my attention & took me back some fifty years. I am familiar with all the artists mentioned & I would like to add a couple that I personally met while on my quest from an awkward teenager to a lanky adult. Does the name Dakota Stanton & Dinah Washington come to mind? The former I saw performing at a little club in Germantown of all places called the "Club Monaco" a small venue tucked away on Armat street close to Germantown ave. It was a small club that catered to primarily blacks & to their credit, blacks of that era were big jazz enthusiasts. The year was 1956 I was a kid of sixteen trying to fit into a an older mans clothes & taste's. Believe it or not the club Monaco was not a racist club & I think it was more a "Live & let live attitude" that white people took in viewing the location as many other activities during that era. This woman could sing sweetly & seductively. Smoother than sliding down a velvet cape using vaseline as a means of transportation. Another time i witnessed the late great Dinah Washington sing her signature song: "What a difference a day makes twenty- four little hours". It seems her life imitated the song for she took it at an early age. Heartbroken, drugs, alcohol, who knows but for the experience I can still recall to this day her sweetness.......I vividly recall Bandstand as it was before it went national & Dick, (smiley face) Clark weaseled his way on the stage. Catherine Muir, we may have rubbed shoulders sometime during the period I attended regularly between 1955 -58. I seriously doubt you took part in some of the shenanigans that took place on the way to & from Bandstand. My late best Bud Jack Kehan, myself & Frank Owens who reads these blogs & occasionally posts but whose job & large family keep him occupied in Spokane Washington. Anyway, a trip to Bandstand required taking the El, (Elevated train subway) to 46th & Market st & along the way we used to hop from car to car like rabbits looking for a carrot. Unscrewing the overhead light bulbs only to toss them on an unsuspecting newsstand operator some thirty feet below exploding upon impact with all the sound of a bomb....Whoaaa, people were sent scurrying like balls on a billiard table while we roared in gleeful laughter. Try that today & you would get machined gunned down or thrown into jail quicker that an acute case of Diarrhea.......And so it went for me from worshiping the soft sounds of Jazz to the raucous sounds of R&R coupled with a few in-between acts of mischievous.......I wish all my dear friends out there who post & do not post a safe & joyous Christmas including our own tested webmaster. May the peace of the Lord dwell at your doorstep & remain throughout the year......Thank you.
bernard f mc kernan, Annapolis Md. [12-20-2010]

I read the story about Dewey the Library Cat a while ago and was charmed by it also. Not long after I got a cat of my own (my first pet ever) and now know how it feels to have a little fur ball cozy up with me. Me and James Tailer have become best friends forever.
HELEN LEOE D'AGELO [12-20-2010]

If anyone knows the whereabouts of a Joe Bracken and Charles Tretola please advise. They lived on Mechanic Street in the 60s.
Ed, Chester Va [12-18-2010]

What about music? There was so much good music, from R&R to classical, in Germantown and elsewhere in Philadelphia in the 60s. While fixing dinner just now, a Dizzy Gillespie piece recorded in the 60s was on the radio. I flashed back to the golden days of R&R; I went to 'Bandstand' right after Bob Horn got the sack for frolicing with teenage girls and Dick Clark had to be brought into the studio surrounded by bodyguards, in the days when it was a local program, long before it went national. Great jazz, too, to which I was introduced by Jean Williams. The first LP record I ever bought was one I first heard at Jean's house, by Ahmad Jamal, including the classic 'Poinciana'. I still have it; shipped it out with my belongings when I moved from Hawaii to Australia in 1989. During the late 50s-early 60s, with the Jean Williams Dance Theatre, I danced many times in concerts of the Wissahickon Valley Symphony and in the wonderful musicals put on by the Masque of LaSalle College and, during the summer of '62, in 'Carousel' and 'Annie Get Your Gun' with LaSalle's Music Theater '62. Are the WVS, the Masque and the Music Theater still going? We also did USO shows, concerts in Vernon Park, etc. I remember the hullaballoo when we did a USO show at the Fort Dix Enlisted Club; my partner Paul Reed, a fabulous dancer, was black and in those days white girls didn't usually dance in public with black men. Didn't bother us, but the soldiers seemed to have a problem with it! In those days, there were jazz clubs all over Philadelphia and at the shore; I remember great nights listening to Oscar Peterson and Billy Eckstine at the Showboat on Broad Street, and Fats Domino at the Flamingo in Wildwood. Also, Ella Fitzgerald at Valley Forge Music Fair and summer concerts at Robin Hood Dell. Do these things still exist? I do hope so! There was also the great Sid Marks on WHAT-FM, a sycophantic Frank Sinatra fan, but always put on a great show despite that blind spot. I sent off a postcard to enter a lottery to win tickets to the Quaker City Jazz Festival and, lo and behold, I won two tickets in row 5. The show was the opening event of the new Spectrum in Sept 1967 and started late due to teething problems, but went until all hours. All the jazz greats were there and I especially remember Dave Brubeck and his 'Take Five' and Alstrude Gilberto, who sang (flat) 'The Girl from Ipanema'. A great website about the event is at Click here. The following year, the roof blew off, remember? The next time the festival was held, I bought tickets and it was a very different vibe. Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Mongo Santamaria, Dionne Warwick...absolutely fantastic! Another year I won tickets to an Elton John show, totally camp; what a showman! He did a skit on 'Singing in the Rain', with tons of glitter as rain, that blew everyone's socks off! Philadelphia was a great town for music, wasn't it?
Cathy Manning Muir, SFA'57, CA'61, Temple'73, now in Outback Oz [12-18-2010]

...One bitterly cold January evening, shortly after Christmas, someone put a beautiful orange kitty into the cold, metal, book return box at the library. When the staff found him the following morning, he was barely alive...If you love cats and libraries as I do, and I know a few of our readers do, then you will love curling up with this Christmas read, preferably in front of a nice, warm fire with a spot of reinforced egg-nog. This is the story of "Dewey", the famous Library cat by Viki Myron. It's a delightful read and covers some interesting American history also. Enjoy! And please keep our libraries truckin'. The long knives of fiscal conservatives here are out to cut them--to the bone. Andrew Carnegie, the wealthy 19th century capitalist and philanthropist who donated so many of the libraries across America, would be shocked at how his endowments are being treated. I only wish our Vernon Park Library or the Friends Free Library had had a literary cat...I would have stayed forever. Purrrrr.
kevin McKernan, Santa Barbara, CA. [12-18-2010]

Hello G-towners ! Sorry I missed the luncheon on the 12th but I was also at the Forrest theatre with my wife enjoying the Jersey Boys; we were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. This is the second marriage for each of us and we have always enjoyed going to Center City. We took the train out of Hatboro to Market st.East, and since we were early, we decided to go to Macy's to see the Christmas light show. Now,of course, this used to be the old John Wanamaker store that was famous for so many years in Philly, and famous for the light show in the grand forum. For me, this was a great memory of Christmas past and I'm sure for most of you. My mom and I would always take the subway from Broad and Olney and go right to "Wannies". Every hour, on the hour, they would present the light show with the booming voice of John Facenda. After the light show, she would take me up to the "Crystal Room" for lunch. This was a very special treat for me and I would always have a chocolate ice cream soda and a hamburger. It was a beautiful restaurant and still is in use now as a wedding and banquet hall. After we had lunch, we would travel Center City and go to Lit Brothers for their Christmas Village and then on to Gimbels to their toy department to see Santa. Somewhere along the way, she would buy me a bag of pretzels from the guys on the corner selling pretzels out of those little carts with the glass all around them. I loved the "mini" pretzels they sold; always fresh and always tasty. I would enjoy them on the way back home on the subway. When my wife and I married 20 years ago, her daughter treated us to 3 nights at the Hershey Hotel, now the Doubletree hotel, on the very top floor. You needed a special key to the elevator to get there and we had our own conciegere'and maid service. We got tickets to the Academy of Music to see Handel's Messiah and it was tremendous. Needless to say, we went down to Wanamakers to see the light show and shared memories of that from when we were little kids. So, 20 years later, we did the same thing and she reminded me that when her kids were small, she also took them to Wanamakers and in the basement, they had an ice cream stand and she would always buy them an ice cream before getting on the Market st El. Some traditions never go away I guess and I hope to return to Center City again next year. Unfortunately, I don't think I could take her to Germantown and Chelten(the Avenue)because it's totally different now, but that was also a favorite thing to do at Christmas and the Avenue was decorated so beautifully. Oh well, this site is dedicated to memories so I'll retain that memory for the rest of my life and be glad I had the chance to grow up in Germantown. Merry Christmas everyone !
Bill Cupo, Immaculate Grad "65". C.D. "69"- Haines st 1300 Block [12-18-2010]

Dear good friends and family from G-town, Heard it was a great Party on Sunday. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a safe, happy New Years for 2011. God bless you all. Jim Breen, Pocono Mountains, Pa.
James F. Breen, 63 year old East Seymour Street. [12-18-2010]

Greetings To Everyone! Warm wishes are being sent to each of you for a very Merry Christmas. Happy & Healthy New Year, one filled w/many blessings! God bless us everyone! Linda
Linda Chiarolanza-Raven [12-18-2010]

Wishing all people who log in on this site a happy holiday including web master GOD BLESS ONE & ALL. LOU Giorno
lou giorno, lou from burbs [12-18-2010]

Well, Erda, I'm taking you up on your suggestion & submitting one of my memories of Christmases past in Germantown.....shopping "round the bend" My dad didn't like going into the woman's shop; so it was up to me to buy the presents he would later give to my mom. My dad would give me $25 & tell me to pick out something "nice" for my mom. I would do that at the Hahn Shoppe, which I considered, at that time, to be a "high end" woman's store. They offered good quality clothing as well as personal service. They knew my mom so they knew which size would be needed. Then there was Jacobson's Pharmacy, where you could purchase just about anything. The one thing I always bought, at Jacobson's, for my dad was the Old Spice shaving mug with soap & shaving brush ($5). My dad smoked Camels; so for another $2.00, I would include that in my gift-giving. I would then cross the avenue to Sutter's "5 & 10" for gift wrap, tags & ribbon. (I also had to WRAP my dad's gifts to my mom). The "avenue" was aglow with Christmas lights, decorations & neighbors, who when in greeting each other, would wish each other a Merry Christmas. So, in this present day, as shopping places; technique; prices; and technology have changed, it's always nice, (for me at least), to hear people wishing each other a "Merry Christmas". It brings back pleasant memories of Christmases past in Germantown. "Merry Christmas", everyone & thanks for the memories.
Lorraine (Cupo) Kelly, FL; IC '55; CDHS '59; Dec. birthday ?? [12-18-2010]

JBS: So glad that you were able to make the LaFontana gathering. And, let me just add that your date was so personable....joined right in/ and warmed up to everyone... ...you certainly are a 'chick magnet'...(lol) Can't wait to see what's up your sleeve at the Spring get together in May. Jeanne Seifert-Kilgallon will be bringing her sister, Jan, next time,too (for sure)...This time Jan was in Las Vegas, but, she missed not being with all of us...take care and have a wonderfully peaceful Christmas.Linda "F>
L.Fontana [12-18-2010]

Helen Leone D'Angelo: Yes, you sure were missed last sunday... BTW, I loved your 'take' on the Vernon Park Library...hope to see you at our next affair..Enjoy the upcoming Holiday, and have a blessed Christmas.
L.Fontana [12-18-2010]

Absolutely hysterical Erda - I'm laughing out loud at that picture of a Santa who couldn't walk on his own.

Hi All! I would love to read Christmas memories from everyone. Either of Germantown in general, or something that happened you on in your neighborhood, let’s share. I will start with one of my memories, it was Christmas eve in the late 60, the older guys in the neighborhood decided to dress Steve as Santa so he could visit the little ones in the neighborhood.. Well by the time they got to our house he was so drunk he could hardly walk.. But his HO! HO! HO! was right on. I do remember the wide look in my nephew’s eyes when he saw Santa sitting in our living room not knowing that Santa could not walk without help of his friends..
Erda (Armstrong) Graham, Grew up on the West Side [12-17-2010]

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.
Shay McWilliams, GBC Alumn, Germantown always! [12-17-2010]

John Bruce Schmitt and Dan Hartnet,Thank you for all of your kind words. I have always been proud of the fact that I was born in Germantown. One of my earliest memories is from the 50's when I was around 3 or 4 years old. We lived in the corner house at Beachwood and Grange. Across the street in the ball field after Christmas was over, everyone would bring their Christmas trees, pile them up and have a huge bonfire. To a young boy it was magic. Does anyone else remember that? By the way, I took my son for ride through my old neighborhood a few years ago to show him where I was born. Went down Wister, left onto Conlon, Left onto Beachwood, got to Grange and the house was not there, fell right off the end of the block. Just an empty lot...sad.
Gary Donnelly, IC, St.A's & GHS [12-17-2010]

Helen Leone D'Angelo: The sort of memories you have of the Vernon Park Library are just like my memories of the Friends Free Library on Gtn Ave near Market Square. I have always been a prolific reader and spent many hours at that library when I was in primary school. The summer book club was great; I earned a certificate every year for reading all the books required. I remember especially, during the summer of 1952, a biography about Queen Elizabeth II, after watching her coronation on our 12" B&W TV. I recall being sad to learn how she came to the throne, succeeding her father who had been burdened with the crown when his brother abdicated to marry the Baltimore divorcee, Wallis Simpson. QEII's portrait hangs in every public space here in Australia and, back in 1993 when I became an Australian citizen (only because I needed it to get permanent status in my government job, still retaining my US citizenship, of course!), I crossed my fingers behind my back and remained silent while the others swore allegiance to the queen. I said at the time that we Americans beat the pants off the Poms at Yorktown and sent them packing and I wasn't going to swear allegiance to any British queen. (These days, no such oath is required; at citizenship ceremonies, new citizens now swear allegiance to the Commonwealth of Australia and I'm sure that when she dies, Australia will finally become a republic.) Anyway, I had no idea back in 1952 when I read that book at the Friends Free Library that I would later live within one of Liz' dominions. Our libraries here in Oz are every bit as fine as Vernon Park and Friends Free were. Even in our remote outback town, I have access to any book in any library in the country and I am a member of the National Library of Australia as well, which has fantastic online collections available at my fingertips. Libraries are and have always been great levelers in society; doesn't matter whether you're rich or poor, black, white or brindle, the library is open to all. So sad that kids today don't read; I know I wouldn't have achieved much if it hadn't been for books.
Cathy Manning Muir, SFA'57, CA'61, Temple'73, now in Outback Oz [12-17-2010]

Helen&Vera: We all missed you at the very nice luncheon. I also enjoyed your comments about Vernon Park and the library where my mother,Marguerite,worked for many years. My mother was so happy when I told her that The Mckernan Brothers remembered her when they were students at St. Vincent's. It was such a beautiful place with the old-design and furniture. I always liked walking through Vernon Park from Germantown Ave. to Greene St. At The Vernon House was a statue of John Wister and Wister St. was named after him. Incidentally,Ray Dawes and other guys from The Yard[Brick] hung on Wister St. and especially at Nicoletti's at Wakefield&Wister. As You know President Obama spoke at Vernon Park. On this site,one must be careful with their poitical views. However,Bernie McKernan,Dan Hartnett and I have good rapport notwithstanding that our political compasses point in different directions. Back in the day,we all liked JFK who spoke at Vernon Park. I hope to see both of you at the next luncheon and have a Joyous Christmas.
John Bruce Schmitt [12-17-2010]

JBS: Thank you for your kind words and thoughts much appreciated.All of the McIntyres, Betty(Shields),Tom,Jim,and Kathy(Keller) thank you.
Steve "Nana: Keller [12-17-2010]

Dan Hartnett: Also forgot about FDR (of course, that was before our time).
anonymous [12-16-2010]

Today,December 15,Joe McIntyre of Zerelda St. in Germantown was buried. The Funeral Mass took place at Resurrection in Ne Philadelphia,and a very beautiful church. On the altar was Bishop McIntyre and other priests who celebrated The Eucharist so piously. Jim Coleman and his friend Tom Kehan along with many Kehans attended the service. There were many McInytres and Kehans from Germantown.Joe McIntyre was the oldest McIntyre Brother and he was an easy-going guy like his brothers Tom and Jim. Joe McIntyre had a love for cars as did the Kehans. Joe also had a love for golf which started in his childhood when he was a caddy at Philmont. He enjoyed this great sport in Florida. I had not seen Jim McIntyre and his brother-in-law,Tony Shields, in a few years and they are aging well. Joe McIntyre was a nice and generous man and he will be deeply missed by his family and friends. "May Joe McIntyre Rest In Eternal Peace.
John Bruce Schmitt [12-16-2010]

It sounds like everyone had a good time at the Germantown get-together on Sunday thanks to our two Christmas angels, Linda and Rosemarie. Jersey Boys was everything I expected it to be and more with the lively music of the Four Seasons and the unlimited energy of the actors. My two daughters and I left the theater singing and in high spirits on this last night in Philly performance. Someone told me that on the last New York performance Frankie Valle came on stage to the surprise and delight of everyone. Peace to all.

to d.hartnett; how about LT lawrence taylor,ladanian tomlinson:MJ michael jordan,michael jackson.i'll stop here,but there are many more.
anon: [12-16-2010]

Vera, the Vernon Park Library was a wonderful place to be. I can still remember the feeling I got when I first visited it with my 2nd grade class; the smell of old books, the dark wood everywhere, the check out desk, a whole new world! I too began with the biographys and do the same even now. I've been around the world many times and have met the most interesting people without ever having to pack a bag, just right here in my cozy armchair.

Bruce Schmidt, You have an amazing memory. I was in that 4 on 4 half court game when that disaster almost happened. It seems that Bill mised a layup and claimed foul on Leroy and took the ball out of his hands under the basket. Leroy took offense to Bill's style of grabing the ball. and it would have started. Duncan Hubley
Duncan Hubley, 71, McKean Avenue [12-16-2010]

Crash! That was my computer two weeks ago. I missed checking in here. It looks like the luncheon is come and gone and was a great success. Maybe one of these years I will be able to check in. It sounds like a good time.
John Payne [12-16-2010]

I concur with the other Germantowners' comments that we all had an enjoyable time at LaFontana's on Sunday. We came from different neighborhoods and schools but we all loved Germantown and the people. The dapper Bernie McKernan came with his God-daughter and daughter of Jack Kehan and Maureen Kehan,a most charming lady,is also the niece of Tom Kehan. Incidentally,there are 2 Tom Kehans who were very good soccer players. We wondered if these 2 handsome gentleman competed against each-other on the soccer field. At the luncheon,I talked to another great soccer player,Ray Dawes, who played with Charlie Solly[RIP] on The GBC National Champions. At these Germantown-reunions,it is always interesting who will show up. I had known The Seifert Family from W. Bringhurst and it was nice to talk to Jeanne. Her father was known as the warden and he was always walking a German-shepherd. I saw him kicking a soccer ball a very long distance at The Gtn. Cricket Club and he had been in The Olympics. The boys who dated The Seifert Sisters must have been intimidated. There was no intimidation at our luncheon,only conviviality and warmth,which is the prevailing humor when the affable gentlemen,Bernie Mckernan and Dan Hartnett,are present. However,the 2 pillars of group are Linda Fontana and Rosemarie Malageri who posess such personal and organizational skills. This event was such a great way to start The Christmas Season.
JBS: [12-16-2010]

Dan, did you forget LBJ, RFK, how about IKE, which is a nickname.
ABC, gtn. phl [12-16-2010]

Yesterday I mistakenly posted that JBS was the only person in God's creation known by his initials only. Correction, I forgot about JFK.
Dan Hartnett, Former East Germantown [12-14-2010]

Jim Coleman: I thank you for the info about Joe McIntyre and I will attend the Mass at Resurrection Church in NE Philly. My brothers and I have known the McIntyre Family for many years. They are a great Germantown and St. Francis Family. Joe McIntyre was older but he will be greatly missed. On Sunday,I was at a Germantown-reunion and I met Tom Kehan's niece. She is a very charming and nice lady who can communicate so well,even with seasoned citizens like me and Dan Hartnett. I hope Dan is not offended since many gladiators were intimidated by him,especially on the intellectual level. If he takes umbrage with my German- Irish wit,I will have to buy him a Malbec.
J.Bruce Schmitt [12-14-2010]

Joe McCormick: I really appreciate your kind words,especially being a gentleman which is so laudable coming from A Christian Gentleman like yourself. I also enjoyed the content in the posts that you and Dan Hartnett submitted about the characters who hung out in The Proper Place and other gin-mills. You never met me but I am a reserved guy from The Prep whose family owned numerous bars and restaurants. One evening at the bar in our restaurant,The Jarrettown Hotel,my brother asked me to a flag a guy who was a non-union roofer. Kenny and I were 2 typical Germantowners,6 ft. 200+,but in our basement,Kenny was always shooting pool and I listened to the sound of the speed-bag,and I was given the honors. I head to the game room and flag the ersatz roofer[non-union] with his boys. I head back to the bar and Kool Kenny had left. The obnoxiou dude wants another drink but at the bar,there was a muscular storm-trooper with bleached blond-hair,leather jacket and a gold-chain. He was not the toughest dude from K&A but he had quite a rep if you know what I mean. He had parked his big hog[Harley] near the entrance to our establishment. I had a quick conversation with him about my problem. He retorted,"Brutus!,I Am Not Traveling Alone,My 2 Friends Are In My Saddlebag". His 2 friends were Smith&Wesson. Consequently,these suburban sissies complained to Brother Ken that Brother Bruce and The Storm-Trooper were threatening them. The gentleman from K&A saves my life,and my kid brother wants me to tell him to drink somewhere else. In the bar-business,one can meet very tough individuals. Nicky Lazaro was one very tough dude. I heard about Nicky from Rowland Mole Adomoli who had transferred to Roosevelt from St. Francis where we were classmates. Mole was very competitive with his hands which I knew from personal experience. He informed me that he and Nicky L. had no problems roaming the corridors at Roosevelt Jr. High and nobody in their right mind would mess with Nicky. Years later,I was talking to Larry White, a great Tommy Moore athlete and heavy-equipment operator. He told me about a major brawl at Chew&Chelten between Junior Kripplebauer,a storm-trooper, and Nicky Lazaro. Nicky fought gallantly although he was shot and never told the police who shot him. Nicky and his cousin John were two very intimidating guys. You and Dan Hartnett talked about Jack Farrell,another East Germantowner with a big rep-for good reasons. I was friends with a guy from East Germantown by the name of John Blue,IC 51 and The Prep 55. John B. was very intelligent but feisty and he liked talking and dancing with women no matter whom they were with. One evening,at St. Alices's in Darby,John danced with a woman who was with another guy and all Hell broke loose. Jack Farrell dropped them like flies,he was very impressive. My brothers and I knew a guy by the name of Bob Yost who owned The Tabor Junction at 5th&Tabor. This bar was frequented by roofers and construction workers and Jack F. intimidated them all. Bob Y. had to flag him and he was very concerned. He had to consult Goony Walsh,his good friend,before he made any decision. Goony is aging,but he likes to be called" Thomas" and I would abide by his preference. Joe! I have to tell you that anybody who would pug with Jack F. was a gladiator and anybody who overpowered him would get my attention-he was a Brave Korean War Veteran and good football player[FKd. Yellow Jackets ?]. Joe! You should have a beverage with me and Dan Hartnett who is a good tipper and always has green on the mahogany since he is a Germantowner by the way of Tioga.
JBS [12-14-2010]

Mike Buchanan, loved your 12 days of Germantown Christmas ... thank you, Rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [12-14-2010]

Does anyone remember Mary Ryan of Walnut Lane back in the 60's ?
anonymous [12-14-2010]

helen leone deangelo You were missed on Sunday but we were happy that you were having a good time. If your ears were ringing it is because your name was mentioned a couple of times (all good of course) and we all hope you will be able to make out next get together sometime in the spring along with your cousins of course. I hope the Jersey Boys concert was all you expected and more ... Our luncheon was wonderful and it was great seeing the people we interact with on this site and put faces with names ... i believe we all feel the same way ... getting together and sharing memories and laughter with our germantown family is wonderful and gets better every time. Take care Helen and i wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy New Year ... Rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [12-14-2010]

Glad Sunday was fun---I was at the library this morning---I was thinking about the Vernon Park Library---that place was magic!Does any one remember the biographies,in the kids section,they had orange covers---I read them all in 3--4 grade---gave me my lifelong love of history---another postice memory from GERMANTOWN!
vera carey canavan, St. Vincent's 1956--- [12-14-2010]

Dan Hartnett: P>S> I almost forgot to thank you for bringing the Bottle of wine, which was deeply appreciated, and will be put to 'good use' during the upcoming Holidays... So nice to see you, again. Looking forward to the next one in the Springtime/e.g. around May......Respectfully, Linda
L.Fontana [12-14-2010]

B.McKernan: I think you missed your 'calling in life'...you should have been a writer.....I could not have said anything better, myself..about yesterday's luncheon. Talk about a diverse group...and yet, all blending together in some great conversations...Like Rosemarie stated, I only wish we had more time.....because it flies by when everyone is getting along so well. My deep thanks to Ray Dawes for helping out with the lights on my car, situation.....he is so nice...take care and have a great day everyone.Linda "F">P>S> I ate so much good food, yesterday, I went home and laid down like a little beach whale.amen
L.Fontana [12-14-2010]

Hi to everyone who joined us on sunday at la fontonas... It was so good to place faces with names and even nicer to get to know all of you better too . The only down side of yesterday ... it ended too soon ... even though we were there for a couple of hours it really didnt seem that way. I guess this is what happens when your spending quality time with old friends and new ones ...and really enjoying each others company. I cant wait to see all of you again in the spring at our next luncheon .. Rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [12-13-2010]

To coin a worn out phrase used commonly by the Post office of past, Neither rain sleet or snow could keep me away from visiting with my Germantown friends at La Fontana's on Sunday. I almost got my worse dreams realized when on the return trip back to Maryland, It was raining harder than a cow peeing on a flat rock. The weather gods at least saw fit to toss me a bone in the form of mild weather, fifty five plus degrees but the rain which this time last year produced the first of many big snow storms. Aside from the weather the fun was chatting with all of my friends who I have come to admire & respect. A special note of thanks to Linda Fontana & Rosemarie (angel) Hite malageri for coordinating the luncheon. For all you Boys & Girls who were not able to attend, I hope you will be able to break bread at the next get together for it is a truly remarkable group that has a very diversified set of personalities, humor, (The Germantown gallows) that is understood only if one lived there during the era of the forties, fifties & sixties. I am sure those that lived in Germantown during the seventies found it just as pleasant it's just that I left for the service in the late fifties never to really return, so my time was done. At the table were the distinguished group with guests. I brought along my goddaughter Maureen Kehan, daughter of Jack Kehan formerly of E.Queen la. & Manheim st. Jack was my best Bud & left us too soon back in 1992 at age 52. Entertainment at a Gtn gathering is always a learning experience & Sundays was no exception. I especially enjoyed the discussions about former wives which brought me to the conclusion that marriage is similar to a deck of cards.In the beginning all you need is two hearts & a diamond, by the end you'll just wish you had a club & a spade. Every one there knew everyone's name, no anonymous were present & I felt sooo very much at home. I know my goddaughter enjoyed herself & there were several decades of age difference between her generation & ours which brings me to the point again that the Germantown group bridges all generations. It is a cast of characters that is made up of simple yet complex personalities with a common thread that is based on love & compassion. I am happy I joined, the dues are, just give of yourself & a few hours of your time. Thank you all.
bernard f mc kernan, annapolis Md. [12-13-2010]

Linda Fontana: Thanks so much for setting up the Christmas luncheon. It was truly enjoyable but time went by so quickly. It was nice to meet your friend Jeanne and also RoseMarie Malageri, Ray Dawes and JBS lady friend Caroline. Of course it was nice to renew with the Master of Ceremonies, Bernie McKernan together with his God Daughter Maureen, and, the one and only Chairman of the Board, JBS, the only man in God's creation who is known by his initials.
Dan Hartnett, Former East Germantown [12-13-2010]

Joe McCormick: Thank you for your kind compliments. There is nothing that you said that does not apply to you, and more. I liked your story on taking your future wife, Beverly, to the Proper Place. You are the only guy I know who tried to impress his date by taking her to a bar room brawl. In my most wild pursuits of romance, I could not top that. As to the matter of not setting up free drinks, I suspect that I never got a tip. Hey, that place was a good time, wasn't it? I couldn't believe that I actually got paid for working there. One scary experience I had there was when Johnny Lazaro came in one day and he was so drunk he could hardly stand up. He was joking around with me and pulled out his six shooter and began waving it around for fun. He pointed it at me and believe me, as drunk as he was, I was afraid the thing was going to go off. I did succeed in getting him to put it away. As you know, he loved to fight and was a tough guy. He kicked the crap out of Jack Farrel who was bigger, outside on Stenton Avenus. Not too much later, he got into it with a truck driver, Jimmy Glemser. Jimmy was a quiet guy who didn't bother anyone and he was a good bit lighter than John. Glemser then really tore Johnny up. So there you have it. I had a ring side seat to top shelf entertainment. It all became neighborhood lore. The best brawl that I saw was between two Belfield guys. I'll leave out the names. They left the bar and went across the street to the gas station and went at it. When the dust settled, one had a broken leg and the other a broken arm. Germantown had some tough guys. I guess you changed your ways and didn't bring Beverly to those since you subsequently succeeded in marrying her. You could not have done better. She gifted you with eleven fine children and all of this would not have happened if you had taken her back for more entertainment. Merry Christmas!
Dan Hartnett, Former East Germantown [12-13-2010]

Joe McIntyre, who was living in Florida Passed Away on 12/6/2010 and his Funeral will be on Wednesday 12/15/2010 at 9:30am, Resurrection Church (Castor ave &Shelmire st). Joe was a Germantown guy from Zerelda st. Brother of Betty(Shields), Mary(O'Brian), Tom, Jim, and Kathy(Steve (Nana)Keller)
Jim Coleman [12-13-2010]

Hey Frank Klock whatever happened to SWEEN BEAN ???
Jim Burke, new hope 64 yr old [12-13-2010]

Frank Klock: You and Mike Buchanan take me back the to the 60's when poetry was always in the air. Sister Grace would be so happy that you and Mike B. are so poetic during the Christmas Season. With a little egg-nog,our two poets must be awesome. Like you,Mike must have known Goo and that great Hollow poet must be smiling. Incidentally,I took a poetry class with your old friend,Ken Schmitt. I hung out with Brother Ken at The Chadds Ford Inn in Chester County and we could have had some good times with you and Mike B. talking about Andrew Wyeth[Andy] and drinking Chadds Ford Wine. I liked your last post where you talked about your halcyon days in the poconos,your days of glory at Fernhill Park with Pat McIlhinney and Ralph Gatto,and you even slipped in Boswell who was the great biographer of Samuel Johnson-I am glad that I spent some time with my Jesuit educators who talked about these writers that you posit on this site. Frank! We were fortunate to have lived in Germantown where we could climb the rocks at The Hollow,walk in Fairmount Park,play ball at Fernhill Park,swim at the Gtn. Y, do our thing in the Poconos and ride the waves at The Jersey Shores-Cueball Cusack and The Bor hung at The Dunes,they should have gone to Temple since they were Owls[night]. I commend you on your trophy from The Fernhill Summer League where your precision passes made a major contribution. I can envision you passing the ball to Ralph Gatto in the post,and Ralph dishing the ball to Pat Mc.,a deadly shooter,or doing a pick and roll. Ralph was a great quarterback in football but he knew basketball well and was such a team-player. I enjoyed playing football with him at The Hollow. You also mentioned that you beat Leroy Kelly's team at Fernhill. One day,at Fernhill,Bill Haas,a great baseball player,tried to beat Leroy K. with his fists when we were playing basketball. Leroy was an All-Public Football Player at Gratz with good-hands and a Floyd-Patterson Peek-A-Boo stance in boxing. Like you and John Lennon,I was a man of peace and I broke up the fight. I did not have good rapport with Billy Boy but I did him a major favor albeit he was bigger than Kilroy[Leroy]. You were always an eclectic guy-sports,literature,poetry,and music. In your last post,you talked about Boswell but I must be very candid with you about this literary giant who wrote so well about Samuel Johnson. Mr. Boswell had some major flaws in his character but Bill Clinton would have forgiven him. Boswell would not have survived a confession with Father Mcgarrity from St. Francis. P.J. McGarrity never intimidated Tom Cusack but again,he hung out at The Dunes. Frank! Have a joyous Christmas and I am looking forward to beautiful poetry from you and Mike Buchanan.
J. Bruce Schmitt [12-13-2010]

Mike Buchanan...Your 12 Days of Germantown Christmas was really neat.I think that you could give Frank Klock a run for the money.Frank,are you ready for a challenge?....Paul Borian
Paul Borian, Wishing you all a Happy Hollow Christmas and a Goo Goo New Year [12-13-2010]

Linda, Rosemarie, Bernie, Dan, Bruce, Ray,and all the good people gathering on Sunday to celebrate this wonderful Christmas season - lift a glass on high, warm your spirits with the company of family and friends, and always remember that we are part of the universal energy of goodness, truth and beauty.

Cathy MM I enjoyed the Australia pictures so much, what a beautiful place to live. My cousin, Jackie Leone who also grew up on Seymour St. moved to Australia a few years ago after marrying a fellow from there. Thanks for the scenic trip and Merry Christmas.

Bill Cupo: Here in Oz the public demanded and got Free-to-Air TV covering all the major networks, who all have several channels, all HD, plus the two public broadcast channels which are also free. We don't have to have cable unless we want 24-hour sports and movies etc. Next week, the analogue TV signal will be switched off so it will be all digital from now on. A $50 set-top box is all we need to covert our old bedroom TV to digital and we have an HD digital in the living room, so we'll be ready. We don't pay anything for TV. If I had to pay, I'd do without. By the way, one of our public broadcasters, SBS, is the multicultural channel and has the best programming, on the lowest budget, of any of the channels. We watch the PBS News Hour five nights a week on SBS and I can watch the news from Indonesia every day, as well, helping me keep my language skills sharp. All free.
Cathy Manning Muir [12-11-2010]

Dr./Professor (Raised in the Projects) Quite a few years ago, I read about a scenario similar to your encounter with the elderly woman in that it changed one's life. The article went something like this: There was a homeless man living on the beach. He was quite depressed about his situation & was contemplating suicide before the day's end. A young woman, who was walking the beach, stopped in front of the gentleman; looked him in his eyes, and said, "good morning, how are you?" He was so taken back by her greeting & that she took the time to care & ask that he "cleaned up his act". Over a period of time, he & the young woman became friends & together they started a homeless shelter. Little did that young woman know that by her act of kindness that day, she had saved one man's life and would change the lives of many others. Thanks, again, for your message of hope. Take care.
Lorraine, fl; ic '55' cdhs '59 [12-11-2010]

To 'Raised in the Projects': I've always believed in the power of an individual to overcome a rough hand dealt by life. There are many examples of people like you who rose above their circumstances to make something of themselves. Having a 'hand up', as that kind lady gave you, is helpful but not essential. When we see mountain climbers with no legs, blind and deaf people getting PhDs, etc, we know that the power within is greater than the power of external forces. Many thanks for sharing your story, which is an inspiration. There is a drive on in Australia now to do five random acts of kindness every day. I'm trying to do that; feels good and gets surprising reactions. Cheers to all.
Cathy Manning Muir, Outback OZ [12-11-2010]

Steve Burns, contact me, I'd like to contact Vinnie G. Dsprdo95@aol.com. George Schur, It was a pleasure meeting you and your lovely wife today at my family's gathering. And to "Raised in the projects", acts of kindness such as the one that you received, are meant to be passed on. Chances are that that women experienced a similar moment in her young life. Go in peace and God Bless in this holiday season. Joe DePero
Joe DePero, 53, levittown, st mikes 70. [12-11-2010]

Joe McIntyre formerly of Zerelda st. passed away on Monday the 6th.Joe is the brother of Betty(Shields),Mary(O'Brian),Tom,Jim, and Kathy(Keller). Viewing and Mass will be on 12/15 at Resurrection Church (Castor and Shelmire)starting at 9:30 am
anonymous [12-11-2010]

Pulaski-Towner[Project-Resident]:I must begin by stating that you write well and your blog was so interesting. Bernie Mckernan is a street-savy motor-scooter and I would have listened to him back in the day and avoided the projects. However,in my callow youth, I enjoyed playing basketball,baseball,and football,and some gambling where the brothers could be very competitive. I participated in these activities at Happy Hollow but I thought at the time that The Hollow gamblers were superior shufflers and had more experience. The athletes at The Queen Lane Project always treated me with dignity and fairness. At that venue,I was a minority and I never felt discrimination,I was called homeboy and not honky. I did have some confrontations with gang-bangers but the athletes had better boxing skills. I played ball with a guy by the name of Jesse Turner,he was a bad dude and although I was bigger,Jesse always outrebounded me,my mother did not raise a fool. You grew up at 301 W. Queen Lane where The Queen Lane Apartments[The Project]was located. That was quite a quadranle,Queen Lane,Morris,Penn, and Pulaski. I knew Herb Adderly from that neighborhood and he and his brother Charlie lived on Alfred. Herb Adderly was All-Public in football,basketball,baseball and had great speed and power. I was very fortunate that I never had hookouts with Herb or Jesse Turner. Carmen Volpe,a very strong guy,had a fight with Herb and he went down gallantly.Paul Borian who posts on this site went to Fitler with Herb and Jesse Turner. However,you went to Pickett and not to The Kelly School whicj was named after Grace's father. I went to church at St. Catharine's on Penn St. and Grace's relatives went to church there. I also played ball at Pulaski&Coulter[Wissahickon Boy's Club],Bill Cosby played ball there and went to Germantown High. I also hung out at 333 W. Queen Lane] which was called Crane's,an Irish Tavern. At the playground,I played ball with the brothers and at Crane's,I hung out with The Irish Lads,what a dichotomy. Around the corner from Crane's,was a boot-black by the name of Ferdinand Eskridge or "Cabbage". I played pin-ball there and talked boxing with him,and Ed Loughran whose brother Tommy was the former light-heavyweight champ of the world. You grew up in a very interesting area and it prepared both us for the world. How did Germantown,Pulaskitown and life at The Queen Lane Project prepare you for the future and life in Europe and other venues? My sister Joan owned a pharmacy at 468 W. Queen Lane and I delivered medicine to The East Falls Project. Joe Queenan,the famous writer and satirist grew up in that project and wrote about his experiences. Mr. Pulaskitown,"Do You Get My Drift"?
John Bruce Schmitt [12-11-2010]

Westside "G"towner's I just found out some good news. My dear friend Jeanne Seifert-Kilgallon will be coming to the luncheon on sunday, too. Her sister, Janis cannot make it, only because she's in Las Vegas right now...but, will make the next one in the Springtime.JBS, you lived right behind the "Seifert's" on Bringhurst St. back in the day..you should have a lot to 'catch up on'..Jeanne is very well travelled herself.. & the two of you have a lot in common..This should be a nice day...Linda "F">
L.Fontana [12-11-2010]

Ray Dawes--after meeting you again at the lunchen I remembered knowing your wife---long ago -when are kids were in 1st grade-sorry I won't see you on Sunday-see you at the spring lunch
vera carey canavan, st. vincents class of 1956 [12-11-2010]

have a wonderful time on Sunday--I will miss the old and new friends---hectic family time---hope to see you all again .
vera carey canavan, st. vincents class of 1956 [12-11-2010]

On the first day of Germantown Christmas the webmaster gave to me a gift of poignant Frank Klock poetry.

On the second day of Germantown Christmas the webmaster gave to me two thoughtful JBS posts and a gift of poignant Frank Klock poetry.

For the sake of brevity….

On the twelfth day of Germantown Christmas the webmaster gave to me
Twelve Garvey children (yes I know there were more but not all made the nice list)
Eleven Poison Pete pretzels.
Ten disputatious Old Heads.
Nine comical Paul Borian sign-off monikers
Eight sniper-shot anonymous postings
Seven games of “Chink”
Six searches for the elusive “Sonny”
Five tales of “Goo”
Four indignant professorial rebuttals
Three New Lyric Matinees
Two thoughtful JBS posts
and a gift of poignant Frank Klock poetry

Merry Christmas to all!
Mike Buchanan, Kennett Townshp, Chester County [12-11-2010]

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