Historic Germantown, Philadelphia
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Your Thoughts Archive
June 17-30, 2010


Bill Cupo I enjoyed your stories. Like you I spent many days on the convent porch. I was writing "I must not be late for school" I was always late for class. I would be combing my hair in the bathroom (when I had hair), hear the bell ring and sometimes could still make the line if we were the last class up the fire escapes. Sr. Mary Bennett always called me James, as she had my brother 4 years earlier. You were right she was big. I used to help the janitor and we would take the convent trash over to the school and burn what was burnable in the basement incenerator. Every week we had to clean out the ashes and whatever did not burn. We found numerous beer and liquor bottles in the grates. The nuns would wrap the empties in newspaper and through it in the cans (they had metal and glass trash cans next to the big cans) I have seen the 6th grade nun, Sr. Maureen Rose a few years ago. I catered her 50th jubilee and I run into Sr. Maureen Thomas a lot. She was a great teacher in 8th grade. We were all mean to the other 8th grade teacher Sr. Regina Patricia (Gumby). I feel bad that Cardinal DOugherty is closing. My brothers and sisters went there ( I am a La Salle boy), as well as all of my friends. See you in October (Reunion at ICC 10/10/10)
Bob Mc Creight, 56 Havertown, PA [06-30-2010]

The whole city of philadelphia has gone down the tubes, not just Germantown. Just look at the areas of Hunting Park Ave, and 5th and Pike where Sylvie's restaurant and Sciolla's were once great spots. Just look at the complexion of the areas and that says it all. Bernard McKernan you said it best. Let's call a spade a spade. Even the lower northeast, which is so heavily populated with section 8 housing, now so ofter makes the 11 o'clock news. Let's all speak up about our once great neighborhoods and what groups have ruined it. I am tired of keeping quiet.
anthonyg [06-30-2010]

I respectfully request that all users of this resource be circumspect about discussing personal opinions as to differences in human character based on race, ethnicity, etc.

G-Man: I stand corrected-Penn turns into King at the bend near St. Catherine's. You probaly remember the garages near that corner -not far from Abe's deli-Queen lane&Laurens. My sister[Joan] had the drug-store across the street. Forgive my senior-moment and I only drink wine.
JBS [06-30-2010]

Jimmy Pinto lives in Bensalem. There were two sisters Bettyjean and Susan. Bettyjean passed away a few years ago. Charlie passed away several years ago. Tommy lives in Fishtown. John lives up state.
Anon [06-30-2010]

Lynne: I agree 100% with everything you just wrote here. "G"town has changed so much....I wouldn't feel safe walking the streets..but, I used to..walk all over the place back in the fifties and sixties..what happened now?
L.Fontana, Montgomeryville, Pa. [06-30-2010]

Bud Ballard organized another great luncheon at The Buck for The Boys from St. Francis. Bud had some great stories about his lengthy and interesting career with The PPD. Bob Durkin,being Irish and very literate, was tempted to take notes-a possible book. Bob was always a bright guy and he had street-smarts- he never complained to Big John Berkery when he went into his shop on Wayne Ave. Bob also remembered Doc Flaherty and some of the musclemen that he was friendly with- Jack was a good physician but he should have been a surgeon. The Burke Brothers[Big John&Tall Ed] did not make the lucheon but The Murphy Brothers[Frank&Tom] showed up. Frank is friendly as ever and I wanted to talk to Tom about the various IRA venues that we frequented back in the day. We also learned that Tom McIntyre's son is going to be a Bishop. We all missed Joe Leone and his wild and crazy stories-Joe and Bud Ballard are quite a team. Al Patrizi is the group photographer and Cueball Cusack can not wait to show the photos to his dancing partners. Bud Ballard mentioned the next get-together will be in The Fall.
John Bruce Schmitt [06-30-2010]

To Al Patrizi: you and my brother, Ralph, were friends and played ball at the Hollow. I played some ball with your brother, Tony. I remember he was a really good football player. I didn't know Bob Durin was still teaching?
Bonnie Gatto [06-30-2010]

I don't believe Paul was recommending that anyone stroll to the Continental Post from the houses where you grew up in and everyone knows that Germantown has changed. The Continental is still open because it is a central location for many people from gtn to meet and have fun. If you were scared away from gtn in the 60's and 70's I would recommend staying out of all metropolitan, I mean urban areas.
anon [06-30-2010]

Thanks for the congrats. Glad you were able to make contact with Joe Razz. He and I emailed back and forth for a while, then I started getting "delivery failure" messages. I'm sure it's me or my computer, but anyway, I lost contact. Tell Joe I said Hi when you communicate.
Joe D [06-29-2010]

Okay, another Catholic School story. Our Lady of the Rosary in the early to mid 60s. I believe it may have been six grade (memory failing), for those that attended OLR the classroom was on the second floor next to the fire escape. Believe the Nun was Sister Mary Angeles. We were playing tag or something at our desks. Sister Angeles caught us and ordered the whole last row to the front of the class. She reached for the pointer and told us to hold our hands out with palms up. Believe I was last or next to the last in the row. She proceeded to whack each set of hands. When she got to me my hands were close and slightly below the ledge of the chalk board. As she came down towards my hands the pointer struck the chalk board ledge and broke in too. I cringed as she looked in amazement as the broken pointer flew up into the air. She must have thought I broke the pointer with my hands and quickly ordered us back to our desks. Does anyone remember Miss Shawn and her Red Paddle? I believe it was two paddles glued together. She must have had it tested in the NASA wind tunnel because it offered little wind resistance. She would identify her target, approach (non-stealth), and with one swift movement flip you across the desk. She had great arm extension, coming down hard on your rear end. I believe she adjusted fire based on the level of protection (clothing) you may have been wearing that day. Oh the memories of Catholic School!
Ed, Chester, VA [06-29-2010]

Germantowner-High & Magnolia, Anything I can do to help, please let me know. I want to know when Eleanor passed away. I would like to have a mass said for her on that day each year. They can take us all out of Germantown but they can't take the love of Germantowners out of the people. Thank God!
ANNAMARIE [06-29-2010]

Peter Coyle, you are correct about Fr. Siegle-he was indicted as a child molester by the Phila Grand Jury-one of ten priests indicted who had taught at CDHS. May he rot in hell.Along with all the hierarchy who covered up these sins.
anon [06-29-2010]

Anyone reading this site who denies that Gtn has not changed much over the years needs to look at their yearbook picture then glance in the mirror. Everything changes & not always for the better. When i left Germantown in 1970 for the last time the decay was firmly obvious. Sure there were pockets of past beauty & even today some still exist. I, like so many others fled the city for a different reason. I was relocated to Maryland with a employment opportunity while i am aware that others left because of the crime etc. Families that were early settlers in Gtn came with a sense of purpose, responsibility, faithfulness & were family oriented. As we all grew together & had quality education opportunities we did what is the great American tradition & that was to try a give our families an even better opportunity than we enjoyed. Moving on & moving up as the old T.V. show went we were followed by groups that not necessarily held to the same judea Christian ethic. our Fathers/ Mothers & their forefathers before them. Until the current set of parents or more likely a one parent household including Grandma's, makes a commitment to their children & pays due diligence to being a responsible parent we will continue to see the crime & decay escalate in Germantown & elsewhere around the nation. Education, job opportunities & family structure are the backbone of any society. Love, faith in God, religious worship of choice, civil rights are imperative to be a happy society. It is not my intention to go all "Orwellian" on you but this is how i view the world.
Bernard f mckernan, 69yrs old, lived on church la # 205 [06-29-2010]

JBS: Bruce, I see that you have mentioned Villa di Roma on 9th St. numerous times. You must have really liked the place. So did I. I used to go there frequently and I thought they had the best pasta fazool around, but every time I ordered it, the waitress always made a face as if to say "you're not really going to eat that, are you?". I would then order another bowl. Some things I'll never understand.
Dan Hartnett, Former East Germantown [06-29-2010]

Does anyone know Odie(JOHN) WARTMEN--lived on Chelten Ave.-off Morris
vera carey canavan, st. vincents class of 1956 [06-29-2010]

Reading about the destruction caused by the students walking down Germantown Avenue was very disturbing. I went to GHS in the early 60's, and my cousins also attended for the next few years. A few hundred of us walked down the avenue after school, and never once even thought of bothering any store owner or damaging his property. We may have stopped into Lowells for a transistor radio, or the little beauty supply store near Chelten Avenue for our Aqua Net hair spray. All of the store owners were nice to us. Then we ended up at Lintons or Dairy Maid for something to eat, hung out at Germantown & Chelten for a while, and then walked or took the bus or trolley home. We had a great time with our friends. Also, I lived on the west side near Morris & Chelten, and we would walk to the Hollow many nights through the Queen Lane Projects, and never had any problems. We were completely safe. Paul, I truly wish it had never changed, and I have a hard time sharing your optimism. It's wonderful that you still are comfortable living there. I've driven through my old neighborhood a few times in the last couple of years, and it is heartbreaking. It's a complete mess. It was absolutely a shadow of the place that I grew up in. While I agree that we all have a special bond and a love for G-town, many of us wouldn't drive for an hour to the Continental Post, so we have frequent little reunions instead, and they've been great. Wherever we meet, we still have that love of growing up together in Germantown. That bond is still very strong.
Lynne [06-29-2010]

Jim Lyons: I liked your Germantown BIO. I was hanging out recently with some young guys from St. Francis[1956] and low and behold,an older dude arrives-Tom Cueball Cusack,the renowned Germantown Raconteur of Irish Persausion.After he talked about some of his basketball days,he drifted into one his favorite topics-dancing and his dancing partners. One of his prettiest dates was the lovely Sue Pinto-John's sister. Tom C. had worked with John Pinto at Tastykake on Hunting Park- He had a very funny story about John's monkey. It was not about the monkey wraping his tale around the flag-pole. Possibly,Tom could tell us that story. I was hoping that Big John Burke would show up and tell me about The Pinto Family since he was friends with Charlie Pinto. The Burke Brothers did not make this luncheon. It would be great if you get connected with John Pinto. I noticed that you left Germantown before things got bad. On Friday,I was talking to Capt. Bud Ballard about your old neighborhood. Bud mentioned how the Black Mafia[JBM] were operating out of the car-dealership at Wayne and Washington Lane. I am so old that I remembered when The Black Mafia operated out of North Philly-The Broad and Ridge area comes to mind. Father Divine had a hotel there and Julie Gibson would dance at The Wedge. I know that you and John Pinto would never frequent such places. Jim! Keep posting and there will never be another Germantown.
John Bruce Schmitt [06-29-2010]

Jane West:Your brother-in-law[John West] has no time for computers -he is too busy being a runner. Jane!It's good to see you posting again. I heard a speech by Sister Mary Scullion,The Advocate for The Homeless. She is doing a great job in North Philly. Jane! You and Bill were a great couple.
Bruce Schmitt [06-29-2010]

I've noticed over the years that this site has changed considerably from its beginnings in 2000. If you check out the very early submissions, it was all about the wonderfulness of Germantown's colonial history. Somehow over the years it has evolved into a nostalgia haven for alumni from mainly Catholic elementary schools, specifically Holy Rosary, St. Francis, St. Vincent's, and Immaculate Conception; and certain high schools - North Catholic, Little Flower, and CD. If you were to ban Italians and the Irish (especially those who went to school in the 50's and 60's) from contributing to this site, I suspect it would shrivel up and die. Please don't take this as a put down of the present situation. It's just an observation. A memory of a good place for cheese steaks somehow trumped the foggy Battle of Germantown.
Jerry Murphy, Yreka, CA [06-29-2010]

I lived on High Street in Germantown in the 60's. I knew the DiFerdinando's and the Gallagher's and the Quartucci's would love to hear from people from the neighborhood. I live in Northeast Philly.
Rta Seeberger [06-29-2010]

Paul A, just saw the latest posts and I see a few people see Germantown as I do, GONE!. It is sad to say, but true.
anthonyg [06-29-2010]

Attention members of Class of 1956 Saint Francis of Assisi who could not attend the luncheon today at the Buck Hotel. I good time was had by all. There were three new class members in attendance. They were Frank Murphy, Bob Durkin and Bill Slaven. Our next Luncheon will be in late October of 2010. Attention Al Patrizi please put the photographs you took on the Germantown web-site. Looking forward to the next Luncheon. Bud.
Bud Ballard [06-29-2010]

Anthony G,Mark and John- I can understand where all of you are coming from. The whole city of Phila has major crime issues. I guess you can call us optimists or crazy but many of us still like going back and hanging in germantown. I do not disagree with any of you. Its just the choice that many of us have made. We cherish the memories and enjoying the present. If your ever in the neighborhood, stop in the Continental post. It is my turn to buy.
Paul Amendolia [06-29-2010]

Jane West- Great Story. I will pass on your message onto John. He stops in the post every sunday. Take care
Paul Amendolia [06-29-2010]

JBS, Penn & Laurens ? I think you mean King St. & Laurens. Right?
G-Man [06-29-2010]

saint michael's class of 1954. i lived at 75 e. bringhurst st. 1948-1961
Ted Cirillo, Age 69 Living in Marlton,NJ [06-29-2010]

Hello everyone! It is indeed a sad day as Cardinal Dougherty H.S. has closed it's doors for the last time. As a resident of Germantown, and having attended Immaculate Conception, I couldn't wait to get into that school. It was not that old when I graduated in 1969; it was a modern high school that had close to 6000 students. I believe our class was the largest graduation class in it's history. We had the best high school band in the country as well as a championship football team that year as well as a baseball team. We won the Catholic league soccer title that year, having defeated North Catholic for it's first loss ever in league play. We had great school spirit and every dance was well attended. I can still remember boarding the bus at the corner of Stenton and Haines for my first day as a freshman with great anticipation and just a little bit nervous about what was to about to happen. Needless to say, I made so many new friends and enjoyed seeing all my former classmates from Immaculate. Our senior prom was held at the old convention hall in Philly as well as our graduation ceremony. So many good memories of a great school that is now closed forever. Here's to all the graduates of that great school! "We hail Cardinal Dougherty High".
Bill Cupo, Immaculate and C.D. grad/Chalfont,Pa. [06-29-2010]

Jim McManus,Johnny Pinto and my brother,Bill were friends----if memory serves -about 1951 they got into some trouble-big flap at home-something to do with missing railroad ties-cops came--Mr. Pinto got everything under control--cooler heads preveiled.I remember Betty Jean Pinto---such a pretty girl.Does anyone remember Bob Coleston-he died very young -motercycle accident (I think) he also hung around with my brother---I remember him as kind and funny.
vera carey canavan, st. vincents class of 1956 [06-29-2010]

My husband Jack Lennon originally from Cowtown passed away August 11, 2009. Irene De Lellis Lennon, Warminster, Pa.
Irene De Lellis Lennon [06-29-2010]

Jim Lyons and John Bruce Schmitt.. The last I heard of John Pinto he lived in the PA Mountains I think Jim Thorpe. He moved there with his 5 kids in the late 60s or early 70s.I baby sat for his kids as a teenager. Charlie Pinto has passed.. I was close to Tom as a youth Went to his prom.. Great Friends! He is still in Philly Fishtown the last I heard.. When I was still on Morris St (the house we grew up in) Charlie lived on Woodlawn (he took over his grandparents house) and worked for SEPTA. I would see his sibling often, but I donít remember seeing John, Just Betty Jean, Jim, Tom and Sue. Our families where close because my dad grew up next door to their father and hung with their motherís family.. Anyway I hope this will help you find your friend John Pinto.. We could sit on our porch and see the DeMar Morris.. and I spent a lot of time in Darrow's.. Erd
Erda (Armstrong) Graham [06-29-2010]

I would like to get in touch with a girl I was friends with. Her name was Marguerite Canavan.
Irene De Lellis Lennon, Grew up on Sharpnack St. Went to St. Madeleine Sophie School. Then Little Flower High School [06-29-2010]

Folks, further to our progress with the Germantown Vietnam Memorial I am still searching for names of the fallen in Vietnam. I have forwarded my request to the Germantown Chronicle-the newspaper that has replaced our beloved Courier for publication and solicitation of information. Still no word from Historical Society about official go ahead for the site. I shall keep all posted. I attach a link sent me by Bill Honnen, a Gtn guy that refers to the removal of the monument to the 27 Vietnam dead from Cardinal Dougherty High. I understand there were three other students who died who attended CD but did not graduate-I would include them on that marble stone if I could. Here is the link . You might be interested to know the CD memorial has been moved to the VFW Post on Martins Mill Road http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/95203439.html Bless all Germantowners past and present. Jim
Jim McKernan, Professor, Greenville CDHS Class of 63' [06-29-2010]

Joe DiPasquale, Bob Durkin is a high school teacher at Roman Catholic. If need more info contact Budd Gallard Im sure he will know what u need
Albert Patrizi, happy hallow - fern hill pk. [06-29-2010]

Dan Hartnett: Thank you for the crime blotter you posted on 6/19. I had no idea Philly had so many candidates for the Darwin Award ( An award given for stupidity). Hope these people are not still breeding; Philly always had an excess of "wiseguys". Sometimes when I'm speaking with non-Philadelphians about our youth, they think I'm speaking a foreign language. They are simply dumbfounded when I use such names as: Cherry Hill Fats, Snake face, Soupy, Two thumbs etc. "Doesn't anyone you grew up with have a christen name?" they ask me. I usually tell them that's a "cheesey" question and leave them wondering what that means. We certainly had a cast of characters and a unique lingo.
kevin Mckernan, Santa Barbara, CA. [06-25-2010]

Annamarie, Thank you once again, this time for the recent info. I will be in touch whether or not I have any success in making contact with the people in Mass.
Germantowner- High & Magnolia, 70 plus High & Magnolia [06-25-2010]

John Bruce Schmitt: I remember Johnny Pinto's sister well -- she was a beautiful young lady. John's father was also handsome, like a movie star. I don't remember John's younger brother. Speaking of Darrow's Drug Store -- I worked as a dishwasher at Darrow's for a time and also worked at the Manheim stables on Rittenhouse St., a few blocks from the Delmar. I attended Mass at St. Catherine's many times but I usually went to St. Vincent's and after Mass would go to Linton's at Germantown and Chelton for breakfast. I moved from Germantown in 1951 and have wonderful memories of the neighborhood. Keep in touch if you hear anything about Johnny. Jim Lyons
Jim Lyons [06-25-2010]

Cupo- Your head must have gone soft from the repeated beatings that you and Streck received from Sr. Mary of the Holy Child, Sr. Mary Vincent and later from Beonis and Siegle. The only thing funnier is when Sr. Maureen Thoms put Michael Sands in the front of the room to watch him. Somehow he could turn is eyelids inside out. He did it and turn around to the class with the guys laughing and the girls shrieking in disgust. What a zoo!
Peter F. Coyle, Lafayette Hill, Pa. [06-23-2010]

Jim Lyons: I liked your take on The Coyle Brothers. I have not seen Jim McManus in many years- he was a feisty Irishman and good friends with John Pinto. I have not seen John Pinto since the 60's. I was in a garage at Penn&Laurens and I talked to John P.,Al Parsons and George Weller-they all went to St. Vincent's. Some of the women on this site,mentioned Sue Pinto who was Johnn's sister-she was very pretty and a very nice person. John Burke{PPD] talked about Charlie Pinto who was John's younger brother. Possibly,Big John will be at The St. Francis Reunion on June 25 and I will ask about Charlie P. Jim McManus,John Pinto,and Frank Reagan lived on Morris Street between Penn&Coulter. You lived at The Delmar Morris at Chelten&Morris. In my callow youth,I had some good times there-I did not drink alone. Many women on this site,talked about hanging out at Darrow's Drug Store which was across the street. You lived in a great neighborhood. I knew Apples Kelly who ran The Hathaway House at Chelten& Wissahickon. You probaly went to St. Catharine's on Penn St. Like you,I would like to know what happened to The Pinto Family. By dint of this Germantown site,I am in contact with many old friends. Jim! I wish you luck in getting connected with those good old boys from G-town.
John Bruce Schmitt [06-23-2010]

Paul A,I am sorry to disagree with you. I was in Germantown last week at the shrine. I could not believe all the deterioration. Even saw chairs up on a porch roof with no railing. People crossing in front of my car against the light, sipping their sodas and taking their good ole time. My lady friend will never go back. She knows neighborhoods gone south, also. She was from Overbrook. It will never be the same. There was another shooting there just the other night. It is so sad but true. Loved that neighborhood. In fact I loved the whole city of Philadelphia.
anthonyg [06-23-2010]

Anthony Campagna, you have got to be Frank's son. I only knew one person by your name from Germantown. How about your mom? Mine is still going strong at 92. My dad passed away in '97. Let me know if you are who I think you are.
anthonyg [06-23-2010]

Paul, I'm sorry butI won't live where I have to duck gunshots. I'd rather keep the memory of the Gtn. I knew and loved than have to struggle to survive in the Gtn of today.
anonymous [06-23-2010]

Paul, when you see John West at the continental please tell him what he is missing without a computer. I spent many a happy evening at the Post. I also have a nun story. On the second floor of our convent we had a large bulletin board in the hall. On that board was a bath list for the 22 sisters who lived there. No one came to the second floor except the 8th grade boys who carried out christmas trees to the study room. They stopped and read the board. Next day they spread the news what time each sister could take a bath!
Jane West, from Logan = married to a Germantowner [06-23-2010]

Attention all alumni of North Catholic, the annual FALCONS FUN IN THE SUN day is at the Lighthouse Pointe Wildwood, N.J. on Saturday, August 7, 2010. Tickets are $ 25.00each.
Bud Ballard [06-23-2010]

To Paul Amendolia: Hello Paul, yes, there is crime everywhere but it is more frequent in some places than others. I watch the news all the time and in the past year alone there has been many shootings and murders on the 100 block of Apsley St. where I used to live. As I had mentioned earlier the are lots where houses used to be and trees torn down, also, the institutions of GTN no longer exist such as Rowell's, Allen's, and all the other stores and shops on Chelten Ave. If this is not demise then I don't know what is. I lived in GTN from 1960-1970 on Apsley St., THEN, I lived on Coulter St. from 1983-1991 and THEN on 38 E Penn St (1 block from the Boys Club) from 1991-1992. I have lived a total of 19 years in GTN. In 1992 I was jumped and robbed by a group of four at GTN Ave & School House Lane; I was BEAT and I'm lucky they didn't kill me. AND, I went to the ST. Francis reunion Mass in Oct. 2009 so I know what the neighborhood looks like; and in my opinion it is DESTROYED. As I have said it's a real shame the good people who still live there have to worry all the time.
Mark L. Bambrick, raised in g-town 1960-1970. [06-23-2010]

Hello again G-towners! I'm glad many of you liked my story about the laundry room in the convent at Immaculate. Allow me to tell you another hilarious story that happened in the 7th grade with Sr.Mary Bennett. She was a very tall and loud nun who did not tolerate any nonsense in her classroom. We had our share of class clowns in the seventh grade but it was difficult to get anything past her. Well, this one morning, as we were about to start our day with a prayer like we always did, one of the funniest guys in the classroom, whose name I will protect, was having some stomach distress. Right in the middle of the prayer, he had to break some wind and it was very loud and of course everyone laughed in the middle of the prayer. Sr.Mary Bennett expressed her displeasure with a look on her face that would kill but kept on with the prayer. Well, it happened again very quickly and very loud again and by this time we were all just laughing so hard that she stopped the prayer. She shouted to us to sit down and then promptly told all the girls to go into the cloak room and close the door. She then started to lecture the boys on how and when to properly excuse yourself if you find yourself in this situation. Well, she hadn't gone but about 30 seconds, when we just couldn't contain our laughing out loud at her telling us about how breaking wind was a natural thing but not forcing it on everyone in the room and especially in the presence of the girls. She started to get angrier at the situation because now some of us are just over the top laughing and no matter how she screamed it just got funnier. She told us that if we thought if was so funny, she would put us all over her knee and hit us so hard we would all break wind. That did it! Now, every guy in the room was just rolling in the aisle laughing at that statement. I think she realized it was futile to continue with the lecture, and to top it all off, she noticed that one of the girls had opened the door to listen and all the girls were giggling in the cloak room. She promptly told them to get back into the room and sit down. Things started to settle down and the good sister proceeded to tell us to open our arithmetic books as if nothing had happened at all. Needless to say we had spent a good portion of our time that morning on a subject that wasn't covered in any books that we knew about. So there you go, another funny story about the great nuns at Immaculate. Stay tuned to a story soon about some altar boys at a funeral Mass and how we almost killed the surviving members of the deceased by our laughing at a mishap involving the burning of incense. Take care!
Bill Cupo, Immaculate Conception School: 1965 [06-23-2010]

john payne congratulation to you and cher,great news trust everyone is doing fine. made contact with joe Razzano,it was sure good to hear from him. Joe DiPasquale
joe DiPasquale [06-23-2010]

Mr.Paul Amendolia how could you possibly disagree that the Germantown today isn't much different then the Germantown of days gone by? Folks stopping by the Continental post (?), does mean the neighborhood is still vibrant as in days gone by. I am originally from Logan, right next to Germantown, and like Germantown, is nothing more then a ghost of what is once used to be.
John Fleming, Tampa Bay Florida [06-23-2010]

I disagree with many of you who talk about the demise of Germantown. Yes,their is crime. Turn on the news, their is crime everywhere. Many of us are still hanging in Gtown(Continental post) and some of us are still living there. One of the true blessings is i see my friends i grew up with all of the time. Many of us read these post and see the many years of seperation among friends. That is sad. This is one of the reasons why we keep the Continental post going. So at anytime, you can walk in and run into another gtowner. It does not matter if your 40 or 80 years old. What we have in common is the love of the neighborhood and the special bond only Gtowners can appreciate.
Paul Amendolia [06-22-2010]

Kevin McKernan: Like Sheila,I liked your comments about Alfred Hitchcock,The English Gentleman who was Jesuit-educated. You mentioned that you have an eerie feeling about crows. You must have seen Hitchcock's-The Birds which was filmed in beautiful Bodega Bay in Russian River Valley. That is a great area to visit and enjoy some Salmon. You and I have thought about why some folks commit heinous acts. In Hitchcock's film,we never learned why the birds attacked people. Similarly,we really never know why people do evil things. Your explanation of the Coyle brothers was reasonable. Dan Hartnett wrote about Frank Birdman Phelan whose nickname came from The Movie-Birdman of Alcatatz. In the movie,Burt Lancaster had a sparrow. Birdman should have bought a sparrow and listened to Jessi Colter's-My Eye is on The Sparrow. This song is so calming and beautiful. Hitchcock had 3 films which I liked-Dial M for Murder,To Catch A Thief,and Rear Window. Grace Kelly performed in these 3 movies. She lived at Henry&Coulter which is not far from Germantown. Grace was a striking beauty and I was surprised that Catharine Deneuve never acted for The English Gentleman. Kevin! Dan Hartnett and I appreciate your interesting blogs.
John Bruce Schmitt [06-22-2010]

Bill Cupo et al: I'm still LMAO rereading your I.C. nun story (6/18)--ranks right up there with some of my favorite humorists' storytellers: Jean Shepherd's "A Christmas Story" and "Wanda hickey's Night of Golden memories", also Garrison Keillor stories come to mind. Well done, lad. I was only called to the St Vincent's convent once myself for punishment--to bang the chalk out of erasers--no way did I get near the "unmentionables"-- the "holy of hollies". After a bit of this I said the magic words: "You know I have an Aunt that's a nun." Quicker than I could say "Jesus, Mary and Joseph" I was on the porch, in one of those large rockers, having tea and little butter cookies with my new best friends--the nuns. I would like to say a word about my Aunt Rose, the nun. Her name was Sister Helen Rita SSJ and there's a good chance she taught one of our older readers, but more likely taught one of your parents, aunts or uncles. She taught Kindergarten and first grade for more than 65 yrs. in area schools. First at St Vincent's till after the war (WW11), many more years at St. Bart's in the N.E. and finally ended her labor in the vineyard @ St. Andrew's in Bayone, NJ. where she joined her bridegroom for eternity (Oct 1997). After all those years teaching children, she had become very childlike and innocent herself at the end. The words of Matthew 18:3 came to mind: "...unless you become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of God." I admired, respected and loved my beautiful Rose. R.I.P.
kevin mckernan, Santa Barbara, CA. [06-22-2010]

I went to the Star center a few times it was awful.Then to Dr,Chlarsti(SPELLING MAY BE WRONG.That was another,bad time.Marie Bommentre
Marie Bommentre [06-22-2010]

Happy first day of summer hope everyone has a great summer.Marie
Marie Bommentre [06-22-2010]

Joe D: My son Josh and his wife just had a baby girl this past weekend. Their first child, my second grandchild.
John Payne [06-22-2010]

Joe DiPasquale: Hey Joe, I saw Jean Masterson when I was at my sister Pat's funeral last year, and she told me that Dick Masterson was living in Ocala, FL at a retirement community. I forgot obout that until I saw your note. So he is about an hour or less from me. I should look him up. JP
John Payne [06-22-2010]

Bill Cupo: That nun/"laundry' story was a riot/ keep us all laughing on here, we need it, in today's world..Thank you, your email buddy, Linda "F"> I hope you're having a great summer...email me, anytime.
L.Fontana [06-22-2010]

N.Lazaro: Nice to see you on here, I used to have such a huge crush on you.
L.Fontana [06-22-2010]

Mark and also Sheila: I agree with you both: My mom and dad held out as long as they could,too. They got almost nothing for their beautiful "G"town home...for being the last of the bunch out, Linda "F".
L.Fontana [06-22-2010]

Anthony Campagna: Your name sounded really familiar, so I just emailed you, personally. I am not sure if I know you or not...Linda "F".
L.Fontana [06-22-2010]

Jane Holt R: Wow, nice to see you still on here...Respectfully, Linda F>
anonymous [06-22-2010]

Germantowner-High & magnolia - the complete name and address is "Shaw-Majercik Funeral Home, 48 School St., Webster, Mass 01570 - 4308 The phone number is 508-943-6278. Please let me know if you are more successful than me? Eleanor was like my sister. Thanks
ANNAMARIE [06-22-2010]

Germantowner - High & magnolia --the funeral home's name is Shaw-Majercik. their e-mail address is Webmaster@shaw-Majercik.com. I do not the date Eleanor died. That what I was trying to find out. Mr Shaw couldn't have been more helpful. he did try to call the girls a couple of time. When he finally go thru, they gave him the story about the computer. i hated to have to bother him again so I'll be happy if maybe you can get some answers. Eleanor's husband's name is Jim Seraphin. They had twin girls, Lisa ans Lynn and 2 younger boys. Evidently, one of the boys, "Butch" passed away. That's how I picked up on Eleanor. I'm sure they can give us all the answers if we could only talk to them. I will be happy to help you anyway I can. I am going to look up the undertaker's address and phone number and will get back to you. Thanks Germantowner.
ANNAMARIE [06-22-2010]

Anthony..I remember you in OLR and was in your class. My grandmother lived on Mcmahon and Price and I spent a lot of time their. I remember when you married Carol and I worked with her in Eddies beauty shop. I married Rich Rizzo. I hope you and Carol are well, so glad to see you on this great site.
Bernadette Iannuzzi Rizzo [06-22-2010]

To John Bruce Schmitt: I have been reading this site for over a year and with the exception of the Coyle brothers I have not seen a name of anyone I actually went to school with. Now you write about John Pinto and Jim McManus. I knew them both at St. Vincent's. Indeed, Johnny Pinto was one of my dearest and best friends. I lived in the Delmar Morris Hotel at Morris and Chelten Ave., a few blocks from where Johnny lived. Please send me any information you have about Johnny and McManus -- are they still living, etc. If you see them, please give them my very best. Jim Lyons
Jim Lyons [06-22-2010]

All this fuss about CD closing-what about NECHS-our school was much older than CD--at one time NECHS was the largest high school in the world for boys-we were in existence long before CD and FR.JUDGE-I feel badly about any catholic schools closings,but I think this is only the beginning,- the tip of the iceberg-tuitions are too high,and most families can't afford to send their kids.I think this is beginning of end for catholic schools -HAIL ALMA MATER NECHS & CD.
LOU GIORNO, LOU from North Wales [06-22-2010]

Annamarie, I just had a thought after reading your recent experience trying to contact Eleanor Brett, Seraphin. I'd like to try contacting the funeral director you were in touch with. My thought is that I would contact him or her & explain that some of the guys from Sonny & Eleanor's old neighborhood have been trying to contact Sonny. I would hope to send the funeral director a letter written to Eleanor's husband or children that he or she could send to the family explaining who we are and how we are trying to find Sonny. I would appreciate it if you would let me have the funeral director's name, address, tel# & e-mail adddres, & the date of Eleanor's death so that I can take another shot at trying to locate Sonny. Thanks.
Germantowner--------High & Magnolia [06-21-2010]

Happy Birthday to my brother John J. Holt wherever you may be. Love always and I hope you are well. Jane
Jane Holt Rauscher, Bell, Florida [06-21-2010]

John Fleming, and other CD grads: I contacted the school about getting my transcript, just for old time memories. I think they are only available through the school until the end of June.
Tom Walsh, born, but left Germantown in 1950 [06-21-2010]

I was in my 40's till I found a dentist who helped me over my fear of the dentist-remember the box of hard candy we would get for Christmas from the school-we would all chew away and then back to the clinic-as time pasted we were sent to Dr. Zayon -over H&h on gth. ave --a step up--I still have most of my teeth so it all helped.
vera carey canavan, St. Vincent's 1956 [06-21-2010]

Dan H.[The Man]: You have taken me back to June,1964 when Jack Lopinson had his pretty wife Judy killed. The man convicted of the crime was Frank Birdman Phelan.The Birdman had gone to St. Colomba's which was south of your old parish-Holy Souls. Frank Phelan had gotten that nickname after seeing the movie-"Birdman of Alcatratz". John Patrick Walsh bad been the lawyer for Birdman but he resigned from the case. Richard Sprague prosecuted the case and he wanted Ferdinand Fala to testify. Fala was a tough boxer but all boxers are not dumb-he did not testify. You remembered the case well and it took place in the basement of Dante's Inferno-a well known mob joint. Being a reserved guy,I was not as courageous as you and I did not frequent Dante's Inferno. I have stopped at Villa Roma which was a safe place when Irish Frank Sheeran dined there. You could not hear a pin drop when he entered the restaurant with his very well connected friends. Frank Sheeran was one scary guy-he went to MBS but I do'nt think that he was an Altar-Boy. I always liked the fact that the mothers would say My Johnnie was a good kid but he was a little misguided. Dan! As you know,Jack Lopinson,the nice kid from Lincoln passed away,and I believe The Birdman is still kicking-it must have been the water in swamp-poodle. The St. Francis Folks are having lunch at The Buck on June 25-it is safer than The Old Dante's Inferno.
JBS [06-21-2010]

I went to holy rosary 55 t0 59 ...lived at mc mahon and rittenhouse...
anthony campagna [06-21-2010]

Ms. Helen, as the good sisters probably addressed you: "...and that's where my life long fear of dentists began." Too funny! A lot of us shared the same phobia. Good to see age has not dulled your humor. Also good to see you weren't bought off with some cheap, colored lollipop. What was with that practice? Guaranteed return visit? We actually have a local dentist that buys Halloween candy knowing the tooth decay it causes...but not all the kids are turning their 'stash' in, at least not the "good stuff." Keep up your timely comments. I've noticed your "cat-quick", and spot-on intuition.
kevin mckernan, Still with most of my teeth... [06-21-2010]

Attention Class of 1956 Saint Francis of Assisi our next luncheon is schedul- ed for Friday, June 25, 2010, at 12 noon at the Buck Hotel. Please send me a E-Mail confirming you will or will not be attending, so I can firm up our reservation with the Buck Hotel. Oballard89@aol.com
Bud Ballard [06-21-2010]

Helen Leone D' Angelo, Annemarie, Thanks for the info. you were able to share with us Re. Sonny Hat. Looks like there is little doubt about Sonny's sisters situation. Looks like she has died as well as a son of hers. I remember Sonny & his Mom used to call her "Sissy", but she did not like anyone of Hat's friends calling her that. It also seems that there is still some doubt about Sonny's status, so we can continue to hope he is still with us somewhere but flying under the radar. We'll hold off having a Mass said for him pending more definitive info.In the meantime we will remember him in our prayers whereever he is. One of our guys received information that an Arthur Brett was located on Hoffnagel St. in Phila. & tried making telephone contact. He said someone,with an accent, answered the phone & vehemently denied any Arthur Brett lived there. Our friend also said that he felt the voice on the other end of the line did so protest too much, and he thinks he might try a drive by the neighborhood.just to satisfy his curiousity.He thought it might be possible that maybe this was Sonny's sons place? We will continue to keep a sharp eye & ear open for any further info. on our old fried, & think good thoughts of him. We think that Sonny fell on to some hard times since any of us saw him last.
Germantowner- High & Magnolia Sts., 70 Plus [06-21-2010]

The closing of CD was inevitable. Aside from declining enrollment, the physical size of that school had to be what cemented that decision. Fact is, in the Philadelphia archdiocese, none of the high schools have the enrollment they once had. city or suburban. Remember too, some suburban HS's have closed or merged due to declining enrollment. What is bringing this about is affordability. Back when CD had 6,000 students, there was no tuition being charged. The parish was assessed the costs, and all the parishioners helped pay for it through the collection basket. When they did start charging tuition, it was just a fraction of the cost to educate that child. As more of the cost of the child's education was passed to the parents, more and more kids were moved into public schools because it was out of the parents' affordability. Nowadays, tuition is over $5,000 a year for 1 child. Tuition breaks only kick in when there are 3 or more children in high school at the same time. Add to that the fees, which total annually between $500 to $1,000. The new HS being built in Royersford, Pope John Paul II HS, their tution is $6,200, probably to defray the costs of building that school. As a Catholic HS tuition continues to go up, Catholic HS enrollemnt will continue to go down. The Catholic school system, as we knew it, is dying. Demographics may have impacted certain schools, such as CD. Those moving in, mostly, were not Catholic. But, for Catholics, Catholic school education is becoming unafforable. City, surburban, it's all the same.
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [06-21-2010]

Mark, I agree with you about the demise of Germantown. I am one who would still be there had it not changed as it did. I grew up there and hung in there for as long as I safely could after I was married, but when our first child was born we knew we couldn't safely raise a family there.
Sheila [06-21-2010]

Kevin, You made me giggle because you're right that Hitchcock's movies left us with eerie feelings about everyday things.
Sheila [06-21-2010]

Mark L. Bambrick: You say you totally disagree with me, but it appears as though you are saying exactly what I said. Don't we both agree that the reason CD closed was due to the lack of parents sending their kids to CD. because of many moved out of the feeder parishes? The only difference I see in our posts, is that you alluded to why they moved, a statement that I fully agree with.
John Fleming, Tampa Bay Florida [06-21-2010]

anthony campagna, palm beach fl 64 [06-19-2010]

Kathy Elis send me your adress not email.have a pic for you e.mail void
Nicholas Lazaro [06-19-2010]

Good to hear from you on the site again Bernie McKernan.
HELEN LEONE D'ANGELO [06-19-2010]

Kevin, they used a jackhammer at the Star Center Clinic to put the fillings in the tooth, that's why they only charged $.35/.50 cents a cavity. OUCH
HELEN LEONE D'ANGELO [06-19-2010]

JBS: Your reference to Hitchcock's "Pyscho" made me smile. Do you know till this day, I maintain a wary lookout for any gathering of "Birds" and old ladies sitting in rockers in front of upstair windows atop creepy old victorian houses. Such was the influence on me by this old English gentleman. We have many bird feeders throughout our yard...but I keep a sharp eye on them, especially the CROWS.
kevin mckernan, Santa Barbara, CA. [06-19-2010]

Funny but just walking by the star clinic you knew it by that smell of ether that gaged you. How about how scared you were sitting and waiting for your turn in the chair.
anonymous [06-19-2010]

The stories posted here on the Coyle Brothers brought back a flood of memories on some of the Philly areas notorious criminals. I remember the Coyle brothers well. Here are a few others from that period of time that we grew up in. The Scoleri brothers who killed a guy Max Gordon in Philly then went on a crime spree which resulted in a huge manhunt and they were finally caught in the midwest. The details read like a book. Sidney Scolnick, also known as Cherry Hill Fats who swindled so much money from so many scams and schemes that he didn't know what to do with it all. He was a brainy criminal master-mind and would have been good material for a Batman episode. Also, Sidney Brooks, who among other things, got involved with "The Fat Man" (Scolnick) to steal his own safe deposit box that had been impounded by the Feds (another great story). Last of all, Birdman Phelan who murdered Joe Malito in his Chestnut Street Restaurant "Dante's Inferno" at the behest of Jack Lopenson who shot himself in the leg and pretended to be a burglary victim. Lopenson was Malito's partner and his wife Judy was also a murder victim. Then there were all the characters (Berkery, Staino, Lillian Reese)involved in the Pottsville heist of a coal baron. We had some of the most notorious and colorful characters.
Dan Hartnett, Former East Germantown [06-19-2010]

To John Fleming: I totally disagree with you. We had nothing to do with the closing of CDHS. I am an alumni of CDHS and after being chased out of GTN in 1970 we moved to St. Helena Parish in Olney. The feeder parishes are no more because most of the Catholics moved to the suburbs in the 50's, 60's and 70's. Germantown and Olney (were I used to live) and all other parishes that fed CDHS; these neighborhoods are now a complete WRECK! On Greene St. there are lots where houses used to be and the trees are gone where there used to be trees. I am not a racist but there are bad people (no matter what color you are) and these bad people destroyed GTN and Olney and all the parishes that feed CDHS.
Mark L. Bambrick, raised in g-town 1960-1970. [06-19-2010]

What a sad day. I played against and with some great people who were CD guys. Vince Berry played a terrific game against La Salle High School when he was a junior. I rowed in the same boat as the runner/rower Bill Clark. The boat was an eight at Penn A.C. but Bill Clark was an All American runner at Notre Dame and a great guy. His coach, Jack St. Clair was hall of fame track coach and tried to teach Joe Gallagher, Charlie Little and myself, (can you spell blue collar?) how to row. I saw one of the best high school basketball teams in the City play against La Salle High School when my cousin Joe Lynch was at La Salle. The two guys I remember are Ed Hockenbury and Vince Richardson but I believe all five CD starters went on to be college captains. I met Hock when he was the coach at St. Michaels in Vermont. Bob Cousy said in his book that Hock was the best college point guard he'd ever seen. Last, to Bill Cupo. I washed windows in the convent and that was funny but nothing compared to your story. I howled out loud at that story and shared it with my Prod. wife. She didn't understand. I loved that story. Thanks.
John Brogan, Bummed out about CD [06-19-2010]

can anyone share any information about: Jim Keehan,rich masterson,bob Durkin,from the Hollow?
Joe DiPasquale [06-19-2010]

bill cupo ... im still laughing ...what a wonderful story and i can visualize the two of you with that underwear ... toooo funny thanks rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [06-19-2010]

to germantowner - i used to hang around with soony's sister eleanor. as time went on, we sort of parted ways. last year, i tried to find her. i knew she lived in mass. her marriage was seraphin. when i pulled up her name, i found myself reading an obit from a funeral home. her son passed away and they refered to his mother as the late eleanor rita seraphin. i contacted the funeral home and they told me that they contacted one of her daughters. her daughter told them that she had just gotten a new computer and would contact me when it was installed. to this day, i have never heard from her. i did try to get in touch with sonny but no one knows where he is.
ANNAMARIE [06-18-2010]

Jim Lyons: I enjoyed reading your comments about the Coyle Brothers. I remember a couple a couple of guys from St. Vincent's by the names of John Pinto and Jim McManus.Both of these lads had been around the block and they were surprised that these regular-type Germantowners had drifted to such criminal activity and to borrow Kevin McKernan words-"Cold Blooded". It has always amazed me how good people can do evil things. I recall a case in the 60's at Simon Gratz where a dude was shaking a kid for some change on a daily basis.One day,the kid snapped and said," Here's Your Quarter",and blasted him. However,I do believe that most people from Germantown were good people-every barrel has a few bad apples. Jim! "Semper Fidelis"
John Bruce Schmitt [06-18-2010]

The Star Clinic - Oh yea. The nuns marched us over there (through the Fulton school yard) once a month. My memories are mostly of vaccinations and the dentists. We used to sit in a side room, listen to all the crying and yells, and wait our turn.
John Krause, St Vincent's ('54); NC ('58) [06-18-2010]

JBS & Jim Lyons--Gentlemen, thank you for your collective memories about the Coyle brothers. Like yourselves, I always wondered about the WHY & HOW this could have happened to these two brothers that shared our environment and schooling. However, for the sake of brevity, I restricted my remarks to the barest of facts. Left unanswered was why did one of the brothers go AWOL from the Air Force? Why did they not immediately kill their abductee instead of putting him in the truck of their car for ten days because he had recognized them--how scary was that? And, finally, why did John meekly surrender? This is why I had wished Mr. Capote ( "In Cold Blood") had chosen to write about this case in lieu of the farm family murdered in Kansas the same year. He really examined the minds of the killers. Perhaps there is one out there that could add more light/explanation to the behavior of the Coyle brothers. For my part, I am left with thinking that they did it for the $. Petty crooks! Finally, I must admit, with regret, that my search for these answers was stymied with the demise of the Evening Bulletin and an archive at the Inquirer that only goes back to 1977. This is most deplorable in a city as great as Philadelphia.
kevin mckernan, Santa Barbara, CA., St Vinny's '58, CD '62 [06-18-2010]

Vera Carey Canavan: Don't remember much about the STAR CLINIC...but my teeth do. In retrospect, I amy grateful for the clinic; the Public Health Service and the good and decent Dr. Phillip's $3 house-calls. they're all we had and kept us 'trucking' until times improved. Thanks for the memory. (P.S. Did we really pay $ .35/.50 cents for fillings?)
kevin mckernan, Santa Barbara, CA., St Vinny's '58, CD '62 [06-18-2010]

While the closing of CD is being felt by many, 40,000+ grads, and the sadness is more with some, I think it is unfair for people to ask "Why did 'THEY' have to close the school?", when in reality it was "WE" that closed the school, not the archdiocese! If the grads in the early years would have continued to live in the Philly area, send their kids to Catholic schools, and most importantly continue to go to Mass and fill the collection baskets, as our parents did in the past, CD would still be alive and humming. The reality is that most of us left the feeder parishes of CD, many started to abandon the Faith, which started the vicious cycle, of having less in the collection baskets, which resulted in higher tuition's, which caused the enrollment to drop, which exacerbated the whole scenario. The archdiocese had no choice but to do, what any other business does, when faced with a shortage of cash flow, but to downsize. Quite frankly I was quite surprised they were able to stay open as long as they did.
John Fleming, Tampa Bay Florida [06-18-2010]

Germantowner from High and Magnolia - A few of us who were friends with Sonny Hat have tried to locate his obituary with no success. I've spoken to Theresa Marchese who was at our last reunion at LaFontana and she is trying to contact Hat's son, also with no success. We even called Holy Sepulcher cemetery and the only Arthur Bret burried there with that name is his father who died in the 50's. We thought he might have been burried with his mother with whom he was very close. I would be happy to say that word of his death has been greatly exaggerated and that he is alive and well and living in Boca, but as of now it seems that Sonny is no longer with us.
HELEN LEONE D'ANGELO [06-18-2010]

Vera Carey Canavan, Your blog about the Infamous "Star Center" reminded me of a bad root canal. Ewwww, i can still to this day recall blood curdling shrieks where i had my tongue drilled, fillings that fell out & in general, ruined my "Saturday Evening Post " smile forever. However, in their defense after looking back in the rear view mirror some sixty years later realize i was the recipient of a charitable discounted program & these dental technicians were getting some much needed experience before embarking on a career that had actual paying clients. Under today's economic climate conditions our family of four brothers & two sisters, all St. Vincent De Paul graduates, Little Flower, North Catholic & Cardinal Dougherty came from a poor but loving family anchored by Dad who worked at the Midvale steel & later commuted religiously every week to N.Y. & back via the bus for his job & our tireless Mom who was Fr. Skelly's personal secretary at the Shrine for the Miraculous Medal working there for over twenty five years. Excuse me as i got off track but i have been a.w.o.l. from this site for some time & i gather a bit of nostalgia at the moment. Shivers in any event come to mind when i recall the Star Center a clinic that was a sort of graduate school for future dentist's. I can remember with glee the nun's allowing me out of class so i could keep my appointment & me, taking a lot of liberties to stretch that time outside getting into all kinds of mischief. There was the lure of "ripping off the Tasty-Kake" truck parked outside the Food Fair @ Germantown & Haines st, The many steak & hoagie shops that beckoned with their aromas of cooking onions & beef in the air but alas, i couldn't partake with my mouth hurting from the "Drill baby drill" crowd & i didn't dare show up @ the clinic with smelly onion breath. I also needed funds for that adventure & thank god for the handy placed parking meters. Ahhh, they were my first introduction to what is not called ATM machines but i digress & more on that in another chapter. I enjoy reading the blogs almost everyday when i am in town & not on the water. I recall fondly many names, places & characters. Of late the site is a more gentle kinder place & for that i am thankful. Let me throw out a little quiz for all the readers of this site & let's do a memory lane walk on " Diners" & some personal experiences. Linton's & Horn & Hardart had there day & crowd but as we gravitated into the automobile phase Diner's were the place. I can recall visiting (hanging) @ the following & if i missed any, perhaps one of our good readers could chime in. Belfield, Ogontz, Mt Airy, Wayne Junction but to name a few. Let's hear more & their stories. Many thanks for the time & space webmaster. Bernard McKernan
bernard f mckernan, Annapolis Md, 69yrs, retired & sailing [06-18-2010]

Yes, let's put the public vs parochial aside. The truth is that we're all educated!
anonymous [06-18-2010]

Vera, I remember the Star Clinic. That's where my lifelong fear of the dentist began.
HELEN LEONE D'ANGELO [06-18-2010]

Truman Capote's In Cold Blood was on tv last nite - shot in black and white it is a compelling look at 2 misguided youths not unlike the Coyle brothers and their path to infamy.
HELEN LEONE D'ANGELO [06-18-2010]

Talking about the nuns at Immaculate, brought back a vivid memory of some discipline I received from one of the nuns there. Having been somewhat of a class clown along with a couple of other guys, the good sister thought she was going to teach me a lesson once and for all. She kept me and Vernon Streck after school and sent us to the convent next door to do laundry. That's right; laundry. Well, that turned out to be one of the funniest things I've ever done. Here we are, two grade schools kids, in the basement of the convent, handling the nuns underwear. We tried to keep a straight face but just couldn't do it. I must say that under that wardrobe that the nuns had to wear, were some very big people. We held up a bra that could have doubled for a parachute and just fell down laughing. I won't even go into the size of some of the panties. What was she thinking? This was punishment! Needless to say she finally realized what was going on and she told us to get home. I had to serve Mass in the convent for the following week, even though it wasn't my turn and that Mass started at 6:00 a.m.., and that didn't make my Dad very happy to have to take me there so early in the morning. Anyway, I just thought I throw in a funny story about the nuns at I.C.. I thought at times they went overboard in their punishment of other students, especially those who were a little "slow" in the learning process. These kids had some severe learning problems and I guess that wasn't recognized like it is today, and they would embarass these kids in front of the whole class. On the whole, I had a great time at I.C. and I appreciate all the hard work and effort those nuns put in to give us a great education. Take care!
Bill Cupo, Immaculate Conception School: 1965 [06-18-2010]

Kevin McKernan: Your last blog about the Coyle Brothers[William&John] from Cow-town really resoanted with me. At the time,I was a senior at The Jesuit High School in North Philly. The killing of Officer Kane by these deranged individuals took place in Tioga which was North of The Prep by a couple of miles-a little west of Hunting Park. Bob Harrington[A CD Guy] and I were really upset- Bob lived in Paradise which was a neighborhood next to Tioga. My friend,Tom Boyle, lived at 23rd&Venago which was really close to the killing. I knew many guys from Pulaski-town and they talked about going to St. Vincent's with The Coyle Brothers. I still find it absolutely surreal that a policeman was killed over a bottle of milk. I liked your analogy comparing John Coyle to Truman Capote's Cold Blood. Incidentally,this week is the 50th anniversary of Alfred Hitchcock's " Pyscho"-what a shower scene with the shrieking dissonance of the murder. William or John Coyle could have played Norman Bates but these 2 Cow-town dudes were bad actors if you know I mean.The M.A.D.[Mary Alice Duffy] lawyer put up a tough defense for Johnny Boy and the cops were not pleased.
John Bruce Schmitt [06-17-2010]

Ed you said it all in your description of the attackers in Germantown. Just look at the complexion change over the years and also the badlands around Front and Allegheny and 6th & Pike and Overbrook. Should I go on or does everyone get the message? If you don't just watch the local news.
anonymous [06-17-2010]

Does anyone remember the STAR CLINIC?
vera carey canavan, st. vincents class of 1956 [06-17-2010]

Attention Class of 1956 Saint Francis of Assisi. Ronald Manzo, a classmate, passed away in Nov. 2002. Ron had one son, six daughters and 13 grand children
Bud Ballard [06-17-2010]

John DiRenzo, thank you for your help to locate Ronald Manzo. Ron passed away in Nov. 2002. If you want the Manzo telephone number to contact the family contact me at my E-Mail address. Thank you for your help. Bud Ballard.
Bud Ballard [06-17-2010]

Cardinal Dougherty High School is about to close its doors forever after 55 years if educational life. Once the largest Catholic high school in the world, how ironic is it that it is being closed due to declining enrollment??? Here is a link to a wonderful video called "Remembering Dougherty". Comic Joe Conklin, a CD alum, shares his thoughts of the school. Some great photos included in this video. http://www.philly.com/philly/video/BC90498180001.html Soon to be gone, but will live on in our hearts and in our memories. When the last CD alum passes on, it will still live on, in the history books.............We Hail Cardinal Dougherty High!
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [06-17-2010]

Ed..The Rambo you mentioned was Silvy and as I remember it the older guys came back home one specific weekend to defend their relatives who still lived in the neighborhood. Their were guys sitting on their steps of mechanic and magnolia street houses with guns. They were the final days of people feeling safe in their neighborhood and then they began to move out. What a shame to see a whole neighborhood destroyed.
bernadette Iannuzzi Rizzo [06-17-2010]

Mark L. Banbrick - How right you are about the nuns at St. Francis keeping tight control of classes of 60 or more students with no problem. I remember one nun, who was quite a disciplinarian, breaking a chalkboard pointer over the back of one of my female classmates. God forbid if one of your teachers called your parents or sent a note home with you about some infraction at school. You'd get punished a second time. Once walking home in line from school, I only lived a block up Greene Street, I waved across the street at my mother and ended up with detention. Didn't bother my mother. Boy, those were the days!
joyce radocaj ruggero, sfa '62, lf '66 [06-17-2010]

To Kevin McKernan: Thank you for your detailed note about the infamous Coyle brothers. I was a classmate of William's at St. Vincent's and knew his older brother. I believe that William was an alter boy. To my recollection, neither of them exhibited any characteristics that would lead one to conclude that they would get into serious trouble in later life. I was stationed in Hawaii in the Marine Corps when my mother sent me the news clippings about their crime spree. I was completely dumbfounded and simply could not believe it --- but it was true. I remember William's freckled Irish face and smile like it was yesterday.
Jim Lyons [06-17-2010]

Helen Leone D'Angelo & Annamarie, Recently a few of us from High & Magnolia streets got together and realized that we had not seen or had spoken to our old friend & good Buddy Sonny "Hat"(AKA Arthur Brett) for literally 10 or more years.We had all assumed that one of the other guys were probably in touch with him, and dismissed the idea he had disappeared off the radar screen. By reaching out to several other High & Magnolia guys we determined that Sonny had in fact fell off the radar so we decided to try harder to locate him. One of the guys heard about this G-Town site & wrote a message a few weeks ago asking if anyone knew of Sonny Hat's whereabouts. No one responded . Then one of the guys researched the site back to last February & found that you ladies had mentioned Sonny & his sister Ellenor had died. We were stunned to hear this. We started to put together a time line of when any of us had last seen or heard from him. The last time any of us had actually seen Sonny was almost 10 years ago at the race track in Bensalem. We also determined that a few of us had spoken to him by telephone about 8 or 9 years ago when he was living on Almond Street. Since then calls to his phone were taken by his message machine, but no responses were received. Then subsequent phone calls were advised that the # had been disconnected with no forwarding # given. One of the guys said that he had heard about 9 yrars ago Sonny had re-hooked up with T. Marchease & they were living on Butler Pike in Ambler or Broad Axe. He tried to locate Sonny at that time,but could not confirm he was living in that area. Recently, we've heard Sonny might have moved to Florida; he may have moved to Mass. with his sister; or he may still be in Phila. living with his son, all of which are better news than what you ladies said back in February. We hope that what you heard was just another one of the false rumors that G-Town is famous for. We would like to know if the info. you heard was from a reliable sourse & if you know any of the particulars like when& where he died, where he's buried etc, etc...so we old buddies of Sonny can have closeure on this matter & say a prayer or two for him. Thanks from the High & Magnolia friends of Sonny-HAT-Brett.
Germantowner, High & Magnolia Sts. [06-17-2010]

Public School Kid: One big misconception concerning the use of corporal punishment in Catholic Schools, to those that never went, is that the schools were "constant" chamber of horrors. This is not true. Basically the discipline followed the old adage of how to train a horse with a 2x4, which states that you use the 2x4 to smack the horse to get its attention. This method was sometimes used in the military of the past in boot camp, when, sometimes the DI/CC/Drill Sergeant would use corporal punishment on the biggest recruit, just to keep the rest of the men in line. This type of, shall we say, enforcement, was especially needed in schools as large as CD and NC.
John Fleming, Tampa Bay Florida [06-17-2010]

Ed, nothing racist about relaying what happened. I used to get jumped a lot going to Wister & Devon to pick up my newspapers. Very rarely was it one on one. All because I was white. I remember those gangs you mention. They were violent and scary. IC used to have a carnival annually in their school yard. I remember one year, around 1968, members of the Somerville gang lined both sides of the entryway leading into the school yard. Going to the carnival at that time was like going though a gauntlet. I don't recall if any robberies or violence resulted. That was the last year of the carnival. I don't recall the reason given why they stopped, but I often wondered if the Somerville gang played into that decision.
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [06-17-2010]

Is it really necessary to go through this "Catholic schools vs Public schools" discussion again???? It wasn't all that long ago that discussion went on here. It was just as ridiculous then, as it is now. If you didn't go to Catholic school, you are in no position to comment on the quality of education received there. If you didn't go to Public school, you are in no position to comment on the quality of education received there. If you happened to go to both, well you are, but is it necessary???? What is to gain here?
Dennis McGlinchey [06-17-2010]

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