Historic Germantown, Philadelphia
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July 1-15, 2010

Bonnie Gatto. Oman...I played many a football and basketball game with you and your brother. You lived next to Charlie Foo didn't ya? What was the name of the corner store that had the pinball machine in the back room? this site is a time machine. Love it. Hope to see you all at the Do Wap festival in Sept. I still dance better than I walk. LOL. Wagner's Ballroom was still my dance place of choice on a Sunday afternoon. Blavit still remembers me from winning the bristol stomp contest there. (I won because I wore a heavy brace and made the loudest noise. LOL)
Joe Graber, Hey Graber...get off the rocks. (bob lewjeski) [07-15-2010]

Frank Klock: I don't know if you remember me but I sure as heck remember you. You always had the greatest sense of humor. Didn't you date my older sister Ann at one time?
Joe Graber, I'm 63 but dont look a day over 64 I swear [07-15-2010]

To anon of 7-6 just watch the news every weekend and look at the mobs on South st. Now they are not calling them Flash Mobs.
anonymous [07-15-2010]

To anon of 7-8, you are so right!
anonymous [07-15-2010]

Well haven't been on for a while, but wanted to say there was another killing in Germantown the other day. It was a mechanic, trying to earn a living.
anonymous [07-15-2010]

JBS: Many good folks write on this site about the decline of our old Germantown. It was a wonderful petri dish like community that spawned a fantastic number of interesting people. I enjoy writing about that time, but that was then, and like our departed loved ones, they and it are not coming back. Better to appreciate what we had, not forget, and look at what's coming at us, than spend our days regretting events in the past. I don't want to enter the fossil record, heels dug in, eyes, ears and mouth closed as tight as a clam and the last word on my lips--STOP! Change is coming and I'm embracing it. It will not look like us nor share our cultural and ethnic backgrounds. It will look very Latin--demographics is destiny. I am looking South and adapting. It's not been too hard letting go of my youthful Irish diet (meat and 'tatars) in favor of more spicy and hot foods. After all, when the actor Peter O'Toole was asked to name his three favorite Irish cuisine dishes, he responded: "Guinness!, Guinness! and Guinness!", obviously not a man that liked chewing his food. And while my Irish ancestors were grand writers, priests, poets and musicians, chef's they were not. That was the easy part. Harder is sharing my beloved rock&roll music along with the deep, exciting rhythms of Latin music and literature you know doubt experienced in Argentina. Your prior observation that Americans have problems with the Tango was spot-on. It took us years to finally accept the hip-gyration moves that Forrest Gump taught Elvis Presley. And old Ed Sullivan, I believe, never accepted nor showed it...Finally, I can see you and Dan are determined to have an enjoyable sail with brother Bernie...despite my previous caution. This is good and I hope the logistics can be worked out. You ought to be fine as long as you can answer in the affirmative the two questions I always ask myself before any rendezvous with Bernie--"Do I feel lucky today?" and "Can I make bail?" Hope you have the proverbial Irish wind at your backs. Adios!
kevin McKernan, Santa Barbara, CA. [07-15-2010]

On the subject of the tango and films. Dan Hartnett was correct in stating that Al Pacino danced the tango in Scent of a Woman-JBS is mistaken, which is a surprize of sorts. De Niro did an artful job dancing the tango in the 1999 classic-"Flawless". As for remarks about Duvall-I feel his paramount performance was as Mac Sledge, the rummy-reformed country and western singer who finds redemption with a young woman in east Texas-"Tender Mercies" Catch it if you can. Dan Hartnett-good luck with your sojourn to Italia in August i hope the soiree is grand.
Jim McKernan, Prof. Greenville NC [07-15-2010]

Cna anyone provide any information on the Prozzillos. Believed they lived on Mechanic Street, near Magnolia
anon [07-15-2010]

Dan H. I thoroughly enjoyed your last blog and remember that quip "...yellow jackets up his pants" well. Whoever writes his lines--Duvall delivers. He's got "game." Interestingly, you were correct in identifying Al Pacino as the star of "The Scent of a Woman." JBS must have thrown you off the scent with his repeated mention of Robert De Niro...I didn't see that version. As great as his memory is, even down to correctly I.D'ing the drinks Frank and the Preppie ordered, he missed the correct actor. No shame in that, both actors are intense, and I, too, often confuse them. Too bad we never met back in the day. I would loved to have done an all-nighter with the two of you at Linton's, talking girls and philosophy, over endless free refills of coffee that cost us .10 cents (such a deal) and lasted until the manager/waitress asked us: "Have you no homes?" Roust!
Kevin McKernan, Santa Barbara, CA. "I am the great Santini! I come from the back of the moon..." [07-15-2010]

Dan Hartnett & JBS: Check it out on the internet - "Scent of a Woman" starred Al Pacino, not Robert DeNiro.
Rosemarie R. [07-15-2010]

How about Bert's Ice Cream truck, who was all over the Germantown area. .10 cents for a pop cycle, those were the good ole' days.
G-town Guy, West Side [07-15-2010]

Dan Hartnett, JBS: You two gentlemen make a good tag team & after those kind words & praises about my siblings The Chesapeake & myself i figured i better get my rear in gear & start the motor running to comply with my initial invitation & your gracious acceptance. At the risk of boring our good readers on this site, i will enclose my offline E-address s that we can work out the details of this mighty venture. However i must let you know upfront that contrary to Bro. Kevin's assessment of my nautical skills i am nary a "Capt. Bligh" or Ahab. Two very colorful characters from the novels Moby Dick & Mutiny on the Bounty so cleverly played by a number of fine actors such as Gregory Peck, Marlon Brando & my personal favorite, Charles Laughton. No, i am a current day version of my self with the help of electronics i can actually find my destinations rather easily. I used to have to bury my head in the paper charts & on more than one occasion i managed to ground dear old Aquila. Thankfully the Chesapeake is a forgiving seabed with it's muddy bottom for i would be filling in the holes with man's best friend, not a dog but "Duct Tape". Dan H. I think doing a sail by August 5th is a stretch but if you can & the weather is actually nicer then, September & October are primo months on the Chesapeake. I envy you & your partaking of the Grapes in Italy for a few weeks. You should be treated like a king over there for their economy is in tatters & the lowly dollar is rising like a strong tide.I have friends who rented a villa there near Florence for a month long tour of the country. We were invited my the Almighty said no. Not the good Lord but the almighty dollar or lack of it. After checking the checking book & shelling out $$$$ on our boat, what else is new? A hole in the water that you pour money into was so aptly described by one owner many years ago. Anyway, before i give our dutiful webmaster cramps from posting this blog which it seems i have a bad habit of posting them as long as one of the many Jesuit homilies on Sunday i eagerly listen to, i will make a sincere attempt to curtail myself. Life was much cheaper with girlfriends but certainly not as satisfying. Enough on that. I wish you a safe & enjoyable trip & will be anxious to hear the details upon your return. Bruce S., Thank you for those intoxicating words of praise of my brothers. The possibly most cerebral of the family, Patrick is a no show on the computer. Living between Florida & Souderton Pa., he walked away from the head of the art department @ the Philadelphia Inquirer eight years ago & hasn't looked back. Different strokes philosophy i presume. The Mc Kernan brothers much like i am sure yourself & the other fine Germantown families of that era were raised in a loving caring manner that instilled a sense of competitiveness in each other without being combative to one another. We speak our minds, disagree on many issues but never attack one another on any front. I enjoyed your many comments about the Jesuits & could do a complete blog on all the experiences i have shared with that order. Did you know of a Fr. Robert (Bob) Braunreuther S.J.? Bob along with Fr. Watters married Phyllis & myself with bro Kevin standing in as best man @ St. Ignatius. Bob later left to head up the beautiful retreat house on the Potomac river overlooking the bay in Faulkner Md. His background was at Boston College & he is quite the sailor. Several times he was crew for me & even on the day i suffered a heart attack while boating, (I ran aground) & was pushing her off the bottom, had the attack later at home & thankfully Bob was not present. I wouldn't want that responsibility. Anyway, it was a smaller vessel than Aquila, (Greek for the eagle) than this fat lady i have now. Bob blessed the boat when i bought her back in 2001. Funny but shortly after the blessing i developed numerous maladies with the old lady. Somewhere there might have been a message. JBS, I enjoyed your comments about Robert Di Niro & my favorite film of him is still 'Raging Bull". Bob Duvall a small time "B" actor had his breakthrough film in the initial "The Godfather". He can make a bad movie good much like Nicholson, Brando etc. Recently saw him in a lame flick called "Three or four Christmases". A slapstick comedy where he was hilarious as the Father of two complete opposite set of sons. Ok, i better reel my tongue in & shut the pie hole & give another a chance to post some space on this site. If space were the determining factor to be published on this site, I would be in deep doo- doo. My email is : Aquila3@comcast.net or bernie.phyllis@gmail.com Either one is fine. Thank you webmaster & all for listening to me.
bernard f mc kernan [07-15-2010]

Raymond Dawes [07-14-2010]

Does anyone know anything about David and Elaine Stoner? They lived on Rittenhouse St between Green St and Wayne Ave. I know Elaine got married and had at least one daughter.
Dot [07-14-2010]

Spent many a night at the submarine races
rich, huntingdon valley [07-14-2010]

I stand corrected in alluding to Al Pacino as having starred (Tango scene) in "Scent of a Woman". Deep down I know that it was Robert DeNiro. Age related brain degeneration!
Dan Hartnett, Former East Germantown [07-14-2010]

Hello Joe DiPasquale--- Thanks for your kind words on 7/6/10 re: YEATS and "...friends." Great to hear from you. The first memory that came to me: You and John Payne were fresh out of Boot Camp at Parris Island, and Jim Kehan and I asked you both to ride over to Willie Mosconi's Pool Hall in Logan for some"straight pool" shooting. You both said OK, but instead of riding in Jim's Impala,you two would RUN there and meet us. And damned if you didn't. JOE----CLAPIER ST. LIVES ! So many great families lived there. The DiPasquale's---The Kehan's--- The Kohlmeir's---Eddie Durkin and Joe Schimpf---The Schenk's----and many more I can't remember. GOD Bless them. And you and yours. I'll never forget your "wicked" sense of humor. Funny but deadly. Your pal, frank klock.
Frank Klock(FFK) [07-14-2010]

"The area closest to Haines is mostly a parking lot. King is still open and, like every neighborhood high school these days, experiences major problems. Pretty much the only kids still in neighborhood schools are the ones who haven't figured out a way to go somewhere better (charters, special admits, techs, etc.)." Mr. Sillary, You certainly do paint a bleak picture of the public school system in Philadelphia, these days. I moved from Philly in the late 50's to New Jersey, then finally here in Florida, and while I worked in Philly until recently, and saw the changes that occurred in life in general in Philly, I had no idea it was a situation of students finding a way "out" to go somewhere better.
John Fleming, Tampa Bay Florida [07-14-2010]

Lorraine Cupo Kelly: Like you, having lived on the 1300 block of Haines St. for a while, I share your pain. Since I lived on the other side of the street my old house did not get leveled. I was directly across the street from Manny's auto repair shop. I'll never forget the time that I and several others, shot out Manny's windows with a bow and arrow because he had words with my father. Of course my father never knew it or he would have killed me. In any case, the good folks living on both Mechanic and High Sts. lost their homes as well. I knew quite a few of them. I saw your old neighbor at church recently. Her name is "Jackie" and she says she lived next door to either you or Ronnie. I don't remember her last name but she knew the names of your mother and father as well as Ronnie's. She also knew the other people on the block, Borelli, Sacco, Bottorf and others that don't come to mind right now. She sends her best to you. She also talked about going to an IC reunion which I guess is coming up again. In any case, I hope all is well with you in Florida. Ciao!
Dan Hartnett, Former East Germantown [07-13-2010]

Bernard McKernan: Thank you for your most gracious offer of a "sail". Actually I have been a landlubber all of my life and have only sailed once, three days on Chesapeake Bay and loved it. While JBS intimated that I needed a permission slip from my wife, that is not the case. She is at the shore right now with her lady friends and I am working several days this week so I have a few chits in the bank ready to be redeemed at a moments notice. Bottom line, I am good to go. I consulted with the esteemed JBS today and we could drive down for a day. By the time we get there, after a few hours of exposure to JBS, I'll be a walking encyclopedia by benefit of osmosis. He knows more people, places and statistics than Wikipedia. Regarding scheduling, the problem I have is that I work on Tuesdays and Wednesdays but if we can get around that I'll bring my life jacket, pay up my insurance and practice up on the proper pronunciation of "aaarrrggghh". I hope you are not a Bligh or an Ahab. One minor problem, I am off to Italy on August 5th for two weeks in search of a good meal and a bit of grape so if we can't do it by then I'll have to take a rain check. In any case, thanks so much again for the invite. Sounds like a good day!
Dan Hartnett, Former East Germantown [07-13-2010]

Kevin McKernan: I enjoyed your post regarding your brother's skills at the helm of a sailboat. You make him sound is if he is driving a 60s muscle car with a spinnaker and rudder. The mind boggles. The scene in "Scent of a Woman" with a blind Al Pacino doing a tango was unique. That was a jaw dropper. Evita would be jealous if she were still here. Considering Malbec, despite being a little earthy it is more than quaffable. I think I could stick with it all the way down to being on all fours although I don't do that as I used to. It doesn't quite make it to me as a serious food wine (except perhaps for a thick steak from the Pampas) like a fine Brunello or maybe a Bordeaux (oops, the French). More like a tango wine, a little raw but but maddeningly sensuous. As you said it "a perfect pairing". You hit a nerve when you mentioned Robert Duvall, one of my favorite actors and I don't like many. When he made "The Apostle" he studied a rural stump preacher in Tennessee for several months. Duvall said about him "He preaches like he's got yellow jackets up his pants". Eloquent. So did Duvall. Between that and "The Great Santini", I can't decide which is better. Peace!
Dan Hartnett, Former East Germantown [07-13-2010]

wondering about old classmates and places.. mates like... annamarie sassy, floria houser, ruthie and phillip croul, also melinda pennock and more, just curious...
diane mitchell, retired, award winning seamstress, quilter, grannie, christian.. still very good friends with suzanne kieffer and janet morris..... [07-13-2010]

The Mckernan Brothers are a triple-threat on this Germantown site. Bernie is the retired businessman,sailor and historian. Kevin is the cultural critic and connoisseur of wine. Jim,the youngest brother is a Professor. Today,I talked to Dan Hartnett and he mentioned that The McKernans write so well. Bernie! I enjoyed your broad description of The Chesapeake Bay Area. Dan Hartnett was so moved by your beautiful blog that he wants to meet you and visit the Eastern Shore. I hope that you and Kevin do not have a sibling rivalry and is only jesting when he describes your sailing capabilities. Kevin shook me up when he said a ride with Bill Coleston is nothing compared to sailing with Brother Bernie. I am aging and I never could swim like George Shur from The Hollow. The Eastern Shore is so tranquil and beautiful-compatible with peacefulness. You are friendly with Bill Watters S.J.,The Former President of The Prep and my classmate is George Bur S.J.,The Present President Of The Prep. Bill Watters probaly knows Bill Sneck S.J.,who taught psychology at Loyola,a Jesuit University in Baltimore. Bill Sneck was also my classmate and an outstanding intellect. I am friendly with Mark DeStephano S.J., a Spanish Professor at St. Peter's and he is the same age as Bill Watters. We have a few Jesuits who can bless your boat. My brother Rick had a Lancer Sail-boat with a motor. He kept it at Georgetown and Bohemia Bay. Prior to his divorce,he flew his Cherokee into Sam Dupont's farm in Georgetowne,and went out on his boat frequently. His former wife must have thought that his toys were not good for his mental health. Now,we have fun hanging out at various venues on The Manasquan River in Brielle New Jersey-your kind of place. I do'nt believe Kevin-you will have everything under control. Kevin! You must be Irish with your exceptional wit. You also seem to like Hispanic Culture. As you might guess-I did see "Scent Of A Woman". It was one of my favorite films and Bob DeNiro was extraordinary. He did a good job with The Tango but one can only imagine his performance if he had drunk an Argentine wine and not Jack Daniels-he must have thought that he was in Kentucky. He also ordered Schlitz for Charlie The Preppie. Charlie would have impressed the hot laddie if he were drinking Malbec-it worked for Robert Duval. I have to tell you that Robert DeNiro gave an extraordinary speech at The Prep School. I also saw Robert DeNiro in The Mission which took place near Iguazu Falls in Argentina. It depicted The Jesuits in Latin America. Brother Bernie knows some interesting Jesuits-I hope Dan Hartnett and I do'nt bore him. Kevin! You and Bernie have very interesting blogs on this site-you were good role models for your younger brother-Professor Jim.
JBS: [07-13-2010]

Raymond Dawes: I never met you but I sure remember seeing you driving up to the Acme and unloading carts, then Bill Smith or whoever the manager was at the time would go out and count them. Itís interesting that when I wrote the blog I was trying to remember what color was painted on that little patch, I had never noticed the black patches until you drove up with other carts from different Acmes that had the different colors, then I took notice of ours--the black just blended with the black wheels. The supermarkets at that time were truly neighbor stores and a number of people wheeled their groceries home in the carts, then they just left the cart at the street or in the driveway. Thanks for the update on the Nicolettis
Jack McHugh [07-13-2010]

Anybody remember the submarine races at Valley Green up by the Wissie.
Night Cruiser, around gtn. [07-13-2010]

MLK began as a branch office, so to speak, for Germantown High due to overcrowding in the early '70s. Pretty sure sophs went to King while juniors and seniors attended Gtn. King became its own school in the mid-'70s as more and more Catholics left the area and Dougherty's enrollment began to sag. My grandparents had lived forever at 1357 E. Haines (my mom, a '32 Gtn grad, is still alive and frisky), and that house was among the claimed and razed. The fire hydrant was right in front, so I can still picture where it was, thankfully. The area closest to Haines is mostly a parking lot. King is still open and, like every neighborhood high school these days, experiences major problems. Pretty much the only kids still in neighborhood schools are the ones who haven't figured out a way to go somewhere better (charters, special admits, techs, etc.).
Ted Silary [07-13-2010]

Vera Carey Cannavan: I am glad that you had your Bike-ride with Bob Coleston[Coulston?]. Ed Burke was Bob's neighbor for many years and I only heard good things about Bob Coleston. Bill Coleston was the brother who had the fatal accident on the highway when he was racing another biker. Bill C. did not know what slow meant. You were fortunate that you rode with Bob Coulston and not Bill C. These two brothers were as different as night and day. I also thought that Mrs. Coleston was a nice lady. Bill Coleston[your spelling] was a legendary biker and rider and such an unusual character-not many people eat yellow jackets. I knew bikers who ate raw meat but Ed Burke's comments about eating yellow jackets sent a buzz to The Germantown Bloggers. Vera! Keep posting and your comments about the Coleston Brothers really resonated with me and West Germantowners-including The Burke Brothers[Big John&Tall Ed].
JBS [07-13-2010]

Lorraine, I well remember how the residents of the 1300 block of Haines Street were forced to leave their homes for the building of MLK HS. I knew one of those unfortunate people. However that was not the reason for the early exodus out of Germantown. In some instances neighbors betrayed neighbors when they secretly sold their houses (no for sale sign)and moved/sneaked out lock stock and barrel in the middle of the night. Yes, wake up in the morning and your neighbor is gone! Believe me when I say that I am well aware of how everything changed for Germantown. Strangely, Germantown was always integrated even before that word was a part of our vocabulary. Unfortunately for most of us who hung in and tried to make this new integration work, lack of cooperation/consideration from our long time neighbors caused people to have to leave. As in my parent's case, by the time they found it necessary to leave, their homes lost so much value that they had to settle for close to what they originally paid. Incidentally, and correct me if I am wrong, I think the school mentioned here is still open.
anonymous [07-12-2010]

Lorraine Cupo Kelly - Martin Luther King HS, which your block was condemned in order to build, is still around and open. Although it is regarded as being better than Germantown HS, it is still a violent and under-performing school. The other school built at the same time on Ardleigh Street, Ada Lewis Middle School, closed a couple years ago. Its enrollment was decling due to Pastorius and other nearby schools extending their curriculums through 8th grade rather than thru 6th grade. A part of Awbury Park was taken to build that school and it now sits vacant. Regarding those homes on Haines Street, I never quite understood why they razed them. The school was built far enough away on Stenton Ave that I think those homes could have remained and not been in the way.....
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [07-12-2010]

ANON Yes i remember the family they lived 6 houses up from me on washington lane
rich, huntingdon valley [07-12-2010]

I have so much to say ...I love reading the wbsite - not so secure abot what I have to say - Pick sides!
Sorry, CT, 51, thinking about my childhoood [07-12-2010]

BOB COLESTON took me for the motorcycle ride---he was a friend of my brothers---I never knew Bill -Bob was often around our house on Morris St.
vera carey canavan, st. vincents class of 1956 [07-12-2010]

Lorraine..not only was Haines st demolished but Mechanic and High st were also. I had family and friends who lived their that were forced to relocate. That school was built and was one of the worst schools in the city from the day it opened. They destroyed a neighborhood but the city got their school which wasnt needed since Gtown HS was only a few blocks away on Haines st.
Gman [07-12-2010]

Germantowner - High & Magnolia - yes, my brother's name is Frank. I wonder why our contact in Mass. referred to the Seraphins as dysfunctional? Eleanor & Jim seemed to be perfectly normal? I have a lot of people looking for Sonny but I still haven't heard a thing. Tell Georgie and everyone else I know that I said Hello. If I get even a clue about Sonny, I'll let you know.
ANNAMARIE [07-12-2010]

TO: Anonymous 07-09-2010 The residents of the 1300 block of Haines Street (odd house numbers) did not leave their homes voluntarily nor did they leave because they wanted to relocate to greener pastures. The residents of the 1300 block of Haines Street were forced to leave their home, family & neighborhood friends to make way for a newly constructed high school that was to be built on that site. The entire block of homes was purchased by the city & then demolished to make that site available. If memory serves me correctly, it was only a few years after the school's completion that the school was vacated & boarded up. I don't know if the school ever reopened; but I do know that the construction of that school tore up a neighborhood, not only physically but also emotionally.
Lorraine (Cupo) Kelly, fl; ic '55; cdhs '59 [07-10-2010]

Anonymous wrote: "Remember this, that the people who destroyed Germantown couldn't have moved into a house that wasn't for sale." This is only partially true. Didn't the city government force some folks out of their homes, paying them only a fraction of what is was worth in the early 70s, then gave or sold those homes for very little to others who had no appreciation for what they were given or where they were.
Peggy (Gillespie) Berkey [07-10-2010]

Jack Mchugh. From 1965 to 69 I would drive my truck around and pick up the carts and return them to the stores 71st carts were painted black on the side to tell them from the other stores I collected for.I had 5or six ACMES, couple of penn fruits and a coule of food fairs. I also hung at Niolletes from about 55 to 64 when i got married. A kid put a shot gun to jesses face she gave him the money. He left and she walked over and locked the door and said to nick we are moving. They found a place in hamburg Pa called the American hotel and moved all odities up there.
Raymond Dawes, STF class of 1957 [07-10-2010]

wondering about old high school mates, and neighborhood friends, eldest sister to the mitchell kids, (me)diane, then marian (rip), then patti, then kenny and last, mary mitchell...
diane mitchell, aiken, sc [07-10-2010]

JBS, Dan and and any other bonhomies contemplating a sail with the brother (Bernie). Caution! If you think that little joy-ride you took on the back of Mr. Coulston's motorcycle was a fright, you haven't sailed with the brother. One too many vino's and he'll have you off on a kamikaze run around the bay. Woman, children...not even ducks are safe when he has a good wind in his sails. Keep your flotation vest on, you'll need them to pull/push his fat-bottomed boat off a submerged sandbar, a la Humphrey Bogart in the "African Queen"...sans the leeches... and you'll be laughing the whole time. Seriously, He's a fine pilot and you ought to be safe, but although he's approaching 70, there still that bit of mischievous, Germantown boy in him, and, you never know...Finally, a few thoughts on Malbec and the Tango--a perfect pairing. I don't give a rip what a man drinks, as long as he remains good natured and not become abusive. A disreputable friend of mine who fancies himself a connoisseur of wines and film critic (his opinion) presented this theory: The Argentines' took a perfectly good French grape, planted it in poor soil, and turned it into a weed (the French can be such snobs), from which they squeeze out Malbec wine. Whatever. This vintage has had an anti-aging effect on Mr Duvall, a man who may think youth is wasted on the young. I did not see "Tango Assassination" but you can bet it is now on my bucket list. But I have seen one of the best Tango scenes filmed--Al Pacino, playing the suicide crazy, blind, Lt. Col Slade in "The Scent of Woman". I thought that impromptu Tango he did with Gabrielle Anwar, in a restaurant, was classic-- and earned him his academy award. Bon voyage!
kevin McKernan, santa Barbara, CA. [07-10-2010]

I am looking for Pamela or Stacy Widmaier, they are the sisters of Brian, Gary and David Widmaier. If I recall they lived on Manheim St. Hey girls email me.
Patti Mitchell Valverde [07-10-2010]

I'm still searching for Pat Ballard-she lived on Lena St in the 50's- She was a regular at St.Vincent's dance on Friday nights-5ft2-platinum blonde-good looking chick-first girl to ride in my car circa 1951.Please contact me if your still around.Lou Giorno.
LOU GIORNO, LOU from North Wales [07-10-2010]

Ed Burke Jr: Your comments about the nutty biker,Bill Coleston, does not surprise me-he had unusual appetites including eating yellow-jackets. You and I know why the cats and dogs were terrified by him. These animals did not even know that he was a dynamite expert. Did you remember when the police came to Bill C.'s house,looking for dynamite? If Ed Burke Sr.[father] and the nutty biker had a run-in that would be mixing fire and kerosene. As you know,your father was one tough Irishman and he did not like to take stuff from young dudes even if they were crazy bikers. I can not believe that little Vera Carey[9 years old] rode with Bill Coleston on The Expressway-that was pure madness. I am sure that she rode with Bill C. and not Bob who was a nice guy and grounded. You mentioned that he won a trophy on his last race. I understood that he told another biker on his last day,"Lets Take It To The Streets". After the track,they were racing for some high stakes on the highway and he ran into a truck. He was one of the strangest dudes that I ever knew-I still tremble when I remember him motoring over 100 MPH in the rain,going down Midvale Ave. He must have gotten a double rush when he hit high speeds on his bike combined with dangerous situations. I do not know whether it was Coleston or Coulston. Ed! How did we turn out so stable and normal with all those characters from West Hansberry Street. I only hope that the legendary Biker,Billy C., is resting in Eternal Peace.
J. Bruce [07-10-2010]

Once again, the 'Tug of War' has begun with regards to certain individuals on this site.....so, let's get back to why it was started..e.g.discussing nice memories of the good old "G" town days.thanks anon.
ANON [07-10-2010]

Annamarie, I knew/know everyone you named in your recent entry, & I have an idea who you might be. Do you have a brother Frank( aka Bickie?) I'm glad I had the correct year that Eleanor died, but must have mistaken the month. Still have not had a response to my inquiry to Eleanor's daughter. I'll continue to wait to see if she will respond, but my contact in Mass. hinted that the family may well be dysfunctional, & may choose not to respond to requests for help in locating Sonny or anything else. I will let you know if I hear anything because George Fresolone and the rest of we guys from the corner would sure like to locate our good friend Sonny.
Germantowner-High& Magnolia, High & Magnolia [07-10-2010]

Kevin McKernan: Your last blog was short but rich and pithy. I have spent time in Tango Country[Argentina]. I was not Fred Astaire like Cueball Cusack but I did appreciate The Tango. I did spend some time in Buenos Aires at Tango-Bars and Clubs. Gringos can not do the Tango like The Argentines. However,your hero,Robert Duval likes to do the Tango and drink Malbec. I surmise that you saw the movie-Tango Assassination. Robert D. taught the Argentine Actress Luciana Pedraza how to tango. He taught her so well that she married him- Bobby robbed the cradle since she was 41 years younger. Malbec must have done the trick-I never leave home without it. You are from California and you probaly forgot more about wine than I know but I recommend Punto Final Reserve Malbec-so good with steak. Your brother Jimmy seems to like Bulgarian Proleterian wine. I have spent time on The Black Sea in the cities of Yalta and Sevastopol where The Russians have a Naval Fleet. I knew people who hung out in Sozopol in Bulgaria on The Black Sea. Their Cabernet of choice was "Bouquet Telish 2005"-for a few bucks more,one can go top shelf. When I hang out with Dan Hartnett,he goes for it-Malbec acourse. Possibly,we might see Bernie in Maryland if Dan can get a pass. I think that Dan admires Robert Duval for two reasons Malbec and use your imagination for the other reason. Kevin! Keep posting and stay off slippery dance floors.
JBS [07-09-2010]

Dennis McGlinchey: On one of your past blogs you asked a question if there was an Acme at Stenton & Washington Ln. During a good part of the 1960ís I worked at the Acme at 7100 Ogontz Ave. in West Oak Lane, a number of times the store on Stenton Ave. was short handed so they sent me over to be a cashier. The last time I worked there was in late 1967 or early 1968---up to that time there was no talk of closing either store, so I donít know when it closed. If you were driving up Washington Ln. from Germantown, Washington Ln would curve to the left as you got near Stenton. Before it starts to curve left, if you were to go straight the Acme would be in front of you on the other side of Stenton. Now if you were to stay on Washington Ln., on the left side of the street was an A&P, it closed around that time--the next A&P up the line was at the end of a strip center across from the Cheltenham Mall I believe it was Ogontz ave. it closed later, both stores used the Colonial American design---that was with the white cupola and weathervane. When the store near Stenton Ave. closed, the new owners removed the cupola. Interesting that at the time I started at the Acme- -the A&P was the largest chain in the country. Maybe it was the age but I really enjoyed working at the Acme on Ogontz. It was at the tip of a small triangular shopping center and Iíll never forget some of the great folks that worked in those other stores---One man went to great lengths to help me out. We had a few people from Germantown that worked at the Acme---Iím sorry to say I only remember their first names, but I never will forget them. One full name I do remember was Louie Nicoletti, he & I played simple fun games to past the time while checking out people. His father had a small store, I believe it was around Wister & Wakefield, and he had a tremendous knowledge and appreciation for art and their house was full of paintings. One of my jobs was to walk around the streets near the store and collect the shopping carts, while passing a pizza place on 72nd Ave. I would order a pizza on my first pass (pre cell phones) and then on the second past I would meet Louie and we would get the pizza & finish eating it while pushing all the carts back to the store. To me, the pizza of this shop were the best I had and to this day I judge others by what I had at this place---but then there is no contest since all the pizzas Iíve had from any store are no way near the way they were made in any store during the 50ís & 60ís. A little bit up Ogontz there was a small electronic store that open up in the 60ís and for the inauguration they had Vaughn Monroe appear, well about 200 plus people were there and all day it was busy, I had not idea who in the world Vaughn Monroe was. That evening I asked my father and found out Monroe was a Big Band singer of the 40ís and a cowboy actor in the 50ís---it amazed me the difference a generation makes when talking about Hollywood people. See we are always learning.
Jack McHugh [07-09-2010]

JBS: Now that would be some trip to Tangier Is. Like "Taking a trip but never leaving the barn". Lyrics from a popular song, circa 1970's. Tangier island for those folks not in the know sit's slightly south of Smith island in the Chesapeake bay. West of a great fishing town named Crisfield Md. Smith is. is named after Captain John Smith & of Pocahontas fame. Tangier island is a pretty beautiful but stark place where all the dead are buried above ground due to the water table & in the front yards of the families who live there. Ironically, most of the dead have the last name of "Johnson" which only reinforce's my theory that someone with that last name had a pretty active Johnson, pun intended. I was holed up there several years ago during a fierce blow from Mother nature with my bro-in-law & we consumed several cases of fine wine to pass the doldrums as we had low water & could not escape our slip while taking a boat to Florida for the winter. Now Tangier is. is a dry town but most of the watermen are quite stoned at day's end from their trips to Crisfield to re-stock booze wise. Another unique difference is the language the local inhabitants speak & it isn't the Queen's english but a form of Elizabethan with the dialect & wording sounding like nothing ever i heard before. (The prior was an example). Perhaps in Lancaster co. Pa. you might catch a glimpse of what takes place on Tangier is. JBS, the local few restaurants which mainly are houses converted will feed you as if you were going to the electric chair in the morning. The works & i mean everything including Philadelphia scrapple for under $6. I think we would wear our welcome out rather quickly JBS, Dan H. & others Smith Is. sitting just a stone's throw to the north doesn't have the lure it once claimed. I've seen more land on a soggy muddy football field than what you can put weight on at Smith Is. The Bay is claiming back these two parcels of land that were so instrumental in the early settling of our country. Nah, we would be best served crashing St. Michaels off of the Miles river for we would have the opportunity to say hello to our former Vice President Dick Cheney & his cohort Don Rumsfeld. I give a wave each time as i pass by the Miles river or should i say, Moon river:?...because i drop my drawers & give em the old salute. Another time another story on those two birds. Georgetown at the head of the Sassafras is nice but the further north i go the shallower the water gets. The Waterman's is a great place for hard shell crabs & live bands on the wkn'd. Since i received my new hip six months back i am dying to recapture my old "Bandstand" days with Bob Horn (Horny) & D.Clark. Interesting you have a brother who sails. What type of boat & does he have & does he still have it. If so where does she lie? Fr. William Watters has been @ St. Ignatius for almost nineteen years & originally was sent to close it. His sheer personality & steely resolve not only kept it open but it is thriving & a few years back was renovated from several million dollars in benefactor;s donations. I believe he was the Principal @ the prep back in the sixties or seventies among stints to India. He is deeply loved & admired by this individual & countless others from all walks of life. He could drop names like a booking agent of the rich & famous but a more humble man you'll never meet. Well, i've been running my chops ilk a CD player so i will close for now wishing everyone on the Germantown site a safe & blessed weekend. I promise the next time there is a reunion of some magnitude run by Linda Fontana or other's that i will make a concerted effort to attend. Peace to all.
bernard f mckernan, Retired mfr.'s rep. Baltimore / Annapolis Md. 69yrs. [07-09-2010]

Looking for Maryann & Bettyann Hedges who lived on Greene St.
Dave Micklosky, St Francis 64, Knox&Hansberry [07-09-2010]

Ok, let's just agree to disagree, and if we can't do that let's ignore posts we don't like. Bickering could lead to the demise of this wonderful site..so let's be civil.
anonymous [07-09-2010]

Ahhh, yes...the demise of the Germantown we knew. Let's blame the first people to panic and sell at the first sighting of something different. They're the people to blame. Many hung in there until they could no longer handle the crime and disregard for the neighborhood. They took a huge loss on their homes too.They didn't move because they wanted to. Being realistic isn't being racist or bigoted. That was how it all went down and the truth can't be criticized.Remember this, that the people who destroyed Germantown couldn't have moved into a house that wasn't for sale.
anonymous [07-09-2010]

Jim McKernan: "We" is MOST of us! I'm signing "Anonymous" b/c I don't want to be sued. G-MAN: I agree with you, but take a hint from the rest of us - just ignore the Prof's vitriole - he's an unhappy constant complainer. He's anti-totalitarian only if you agree with him. Either that, or he's imbibed too much "Bull's Blood".
Anonymous Also [07-08-2010]

G-man with hyphen, I am glad you see that fool for what he is and he knows it. We wish he would just go away.
Gman without hyphen [07-08-2010]

Dave Linn, I can still remember walking to St. Catherines on Sunday mornings and when I would walk past the Continental Post on Wissahickon Ave. I would see Jack's car in the parking lot with him sleeping in it during the mid sixties, before he cleaned up his act and became a family man and coach at CD. He was a good guy, would have run through a wall for him.
Richard Pio, Ocala, Fla. area 59,born and bred in G-town [07-08-2010]

JBS---My best Bob Coleston story---he took me for a ride on his motorcycle----on the Schuylkill expressway--BEFORE it was open--I was about 8 or 9-it was fun and I was never afraid-my mother would have killed me,him and my brother.
vera carey canavan, st. vincents class of 1956 [07-08-2010]

Bernard McKernan: I trust that you did some good sailing in The Chesapeake and got a good table at Waterman's in Rock Hall. My brother Rick sailed out of Georgetowne and he is happy that The Kitty Knight is open. It would be great if The Old Gymnast[Dan Hartnett] and I met you somewhere in Maryland. I was thinking about flying into Tangier Island and having lunch with a few beverages-this would avoid traffic. The pilot does not drink on the job. I am open to any possibilities-Chesapeake City is close and Georgetowne and the Sassafras River is outstanding. You are so fortunate to live in The Chesapeake Bay-so beautiful. I am sorry to hear that your kid-brother broke a leg-sounds like an exciting Irish Wedding. It interested me that you go to church at St. Ignatius in Baltimore,a Jesuit Church. Your pastor is William Watter's S.J. I never met him but I know his name-he is highly respected. I believe that he is affiliated with Cristo Rey,The Jesuit High School that works so well with urban minorities. I surmise that your brother would support their efforts. I agree with Dan Hartnett that your family is so very literate and add a lot to this site. I did not want to be controversial in my comments about Orwell. My political compass does not tilt to the left but I did not have umbrage with George Orwell since he was so anti-communist and anti-Stalinist. My father-in-law who grew up under Bolshevik-oppression in Ukraine applauded people who detested communism. I get the idea that we might be on the same page. Notwithstanding my chiseled face,I am not that hard to get along with-I have an open-mind. We had a mutual friend-Tony Bateman. Bernie! Keep posting,you are the voice of civility and common-sense.
J. Bruce Schmitt [07-08-2010]

Bruce, You brought back a lot of memories with the Coulston brothers. Many a night I sat on my porch steps watching the man work on his motorcycle,with his girl by his side. I can remember many four letter words springing forth from his mouth, and she never batted an eye. He was never satisfied unless that bike was running like a charm.Billy Coulston was totally and unequivocally nuts, God rest his soul.I remember one Saturday afternoon and he was doing his thing and he called me down from the porch. He showed me his fist an said that he had something in it that he wanted me to dare him to swallow.As if he needed someone to dare him to do anything, so I said OK .He opened his hand slightly to reveal a yellowjacket, and before I could say a word he popped it into his mouth and closed his lips.Maybe I have told you this story before, but he swallowed hard, and I was impressed. Then he opened his mouth to prove to me that he had indeed devoured it . I saw nothing in his mouth nor his hand. No doubt in my mind. The night that he was killed, he was coming home from the race track, where he had finally won a trophy, after all those years. Or so his mother told me! I don't remember him ever crossing paths with the old man, which was probably a good thing for him.
ED BURKE [07-08-2010]

Can anyone remember the family Braspenning They used to live on Washington lane back in the 60's. I remember Tony, Peter and John. They also had a sister.
Anon. 08-07-2010 [07-08-2010]

To Anon 07-06,obviously you are one of the bigots. Please do not post here again. If you do, eventually you will have to come out of the closet and face the music. You need to observe America's civil rights laws. No ethnic or racial discrimination. Get it?
Anon [07-08-2010]

No one is blaming 'complexion change' for the demise of "G"town/ however, when it was totally Caucasian ...homes were neat and safe, now look at it? I am done. anon.
Anon [07-08-2010]

BILL: Thank you, thank you, thank you for the info on Bonomo's Turkish Taffy! I immediately went online and ordered 2 boxes of 24 each - been waiting a long time for them to come back. The imitations just didn't cut it. TO BERNARD McKERNAN: To each his own and as for your teeth, just let them dissolve if you're afraid to chew them. You can crack them on a hard surface to make pieces. Besides, they're worth it.
Anonymous [07-07-2010]

Rich Pio. I remember those days and nights at the GBC with Jack Smith, Bucky, Duff and Mike Gallagher playing soccer in the cage then playing Camandos with all the lights out in the club. Wow! those were great days.
Dave Linn, Still in Philly [07-07-2010]

Sandra, there was another Allens store on Chestnut downtown Philly. I worked there when I was in high school during the Christmas holidays. That was in the early fortys. At that time they only hired maiden ladies.
jane west [07-07-2010]

To G-Man. I am a Doctor. And who is "we" who believe your rot? I guess I am "big" i have grown a lot in 64 years. Your remarks, and anonymity, are childish.
Jim McKernan, Professor, North Carolina [07-07-2010]

Hey Anon, then according to you how was Germantown destroyed?
Mark L. Bambrick, raised in g-town 1960-1970. [07-07-2010]

To A.M. Forgione, I was a sub. for you for a few months in 1993-I talk to your Dad 3-4 times a week and he visits me twice a month,while your Mom gets her hair done.I have known them for over 70 yrs.We are the best of friends!
LOU GIORNO, LOU from North Wales [07-07-2010]

Sandra - Allen's was originally on the 1200 block of Chestnut Street, before building and moving to the Greene & Chelten location in the 1920s. Other than the next door Allen's Men Store, Green & Chelten was their only store. That was a great store. You mention the Errichettis. I'm not surprised they hosted a dinner every Sunday for the extended family. They were very generous people. For years, Mr. Errichetti hosted Halloween and Christmas parties by the doll house for any kid in the neighborhood who wanted to come.
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [07-07-2010]

Vera Carey Canavan: I would be remiss if I did not proffer a few comments about the Coleston Brothers. You mentioned that Bob Coleston was such a nice guy-that was correct. Mrs. Coleston was a fine lady. However,The Lord threw away the mold when he created Bill Coleston. Bill Coleston lived on Hansberry St. next to The Burke Brothers[Ed&John] who blog on this site. Bill Coleston was a biker who rode hard,fast,and reckless. His motor was always roaring and belching-he drove my mother crazy and she thought that he was the midnight-rider and no easy-rider. Mr Ed. Burke Sr.,a rugged and handsome guy from K&A, had no encounter with Billy C-it shows me that Ed Burke Sr. was an intelligent man. Billy C. was very mechanical and knew a lot about explosives and electricity. One day,the police searched his house for explosives. My brother[cactus Jack] knew Billy C. since his friend Bill Hickey rode with him. Bill Hickey liked high-speeds and I cruised with Bill H. at sppeeds over 100 on the streets of Germantown[Wissahickon]. My brother Jack marched to his own drum. He hung out with many characters some of whom worked for the teamsters-they were not truck drivers. Jack's best friend Charlie,liked to drink whiskey and play Russian Roulette. One day,they were hanging out in center-city and the cops were chasing a bank-robber and Jack tackled the guy. The cops asked,"Why Did You Capture This Dangerous Man?" He retorted,"I Have Money In That Bank and I Need Money For a Downpayment On A Car"-There are deep-thinkers in my family. His friend Charlie combined whiskey with Russian Roulette-this was his downfall. My sad brother was morose that his smart friend would play that dumb Russian game of chance. Jack liked to swim in rivers and quarries with water-snakes but his favorite river was Da-Nile in Egypt. Jack knew that dogs and cats were afraid of Billy C. I had an encounter with a big German-Shepherd who feared Billy C. My fearless brother told me never mess with Billy C.,always agree with him,and never even glance at his girlfriend[Sue]. George Weller[another character] gave him a nickname-it was a product that squirrels eat when they are hungary. Bill C. spoke softly and kindly to his girlfriend but he put fear in the hearts of men including me and Cactus Jack. One rainy day,I'm waiting for the 52-bus at Ridge&Midvale with The Moon-Man on the corner and Bill Coulston pulls up on his big bike and tells me to hop on-this was an order. I was not thinking straight and I retorted,"Thanks". He heads up Midvale Ave in the rain doing 80-MPH with his engine roaring. We arrive at Stokely at the top of the hill and I thought that I heard him mumble,"Geronimo". He heads down the hill so fast that I thought I was in an airplane. At the corner of Midvale&Wissahickon, he does a LeMans turn and I fly off the back and he crashes. I"m bloody,scratches, and he shows his sensitivity-Let's Get Moving. I declined his generous offer since I had to head home to change my underwear. Not too much later, Billy Coleston was racing another biker on the highway for a wager and he ran into a truck. Billy Coleston was a man of the highway,and he loved his girlfriend who always rode with him. "May Bill Coleston Rest In Eternal Peace." When Frank Klock and Bob Durkin write a book about Germantowners-Bill Coleston deserves a chapter because that Biker could ride.
JBS [07-07-2010]

Bonomo's Turkish taffy?..Ewww. Prior to ordering those chewy delights, one should first recall the trips to the "Star Center" & or make a dentist appointment on the spot. I can vividly recall sinking my chicklett's (teeth) into a strawberry mass & almost leaving my choppers imbedded as souvenirs. Once i left a bar in the back seat of a 55" chevy with that tacky vinyl upholstery covering & needless to say on a hot day it resembled something of a play dough design. For a far more nefarious use a few of the clan (no names please) & this writer would roll several up & they made excellent projectiles at the Saturday afternoon movies . Be it the Colonial or Orpheum, both had great balcony's to launch from.
Bernard f mckernan [07-07-2010]

Okay, for all you nostalgia fans I promised to alert youÖBONOMO TURKISH TAFFY are back in-stock. All four original flavors, vanilla, chocolate, strawberry & banana. You will find them on this page... http://www.oldtimecandy.com/bonomos.htm Please enter coupon code 55691 during the check-out process for a 10% discount. Eat them at your own risk, LOL
Bill [07-06-2010]

I remember that Allen's Department Store was in Germantown back in the 1960's. Does anyone remember if there was another one.
Sandra Karian, I am related to the Errichetti family who had a funeral home in Germantown. I spent every Sunday at their home for dinner with my aunts and cousins. What wonderful memories. [07-06-2010]

Anon, If all it took to get the bigots on the site to proclaim that they would be "dropping out" was the Webmaster asking us to not use this site to malign other ethnic groups, then we thank him. This is a public website for anyone with access to a computer to enjoy. If you have something derogatory to say, (and you certainly have the right to think and say whatever you want) you should probably keep them to yourself, or take them elsewhere more private. It's a matter of knowing when you are saying something that would offend others, as well as simply having common courtesy. Our Germantown mothers proudly raised us to be better than that, and that's what we should project when the world is listening to us talk about growing up there.
Anon - hoping this will be the end of the whining [07-06-2010]

To germantowner High & Magnolia - i called in a favor and found out that Eleanor passed away on April 18, 2005. i too, am searching for Sonny. So far, no luck.
ANNAMARIE [07-06-2010]

Ok, I'll admit to being naive..... The recent posts about the nuns drinking back in the day continue to surprise me. I didn't think they imbibed..... Recently learned that, whenever the sisters at Immaculate Conception wanted to have a party on a Friday night or whenever, I guess to let off some steam, a onetime well-respected parishioner and longtime friend of the sisters would come to their aid and generously donate and deliver the whiskey sours and whatever else they wantedÖ. While I know they were human, I just canít picture those habited nuns cutting loose....
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [07-06-2010]

I have been spelling Odie's name wrong--it is ODIE JOHN WHARTEN
vera carey canavan, st. vincents class of 1956 [07-06-2010]

Ah Germantown and our youth and all things good, St. Francis, North Catholic,Fern Hill Park, Happy Hollow, Germantown Boys Club can't go back but what great memories, they will last for a lifetime. As you all know, you had to be there. Just a side noteit was a Germantown guy ( Jack Smith) that coached CD to its victory over a very good NC team in 68, its first catholic league loss in well over 100 matches.
Richard Pio, Ocala, Fla. area 59,born and bred in G-town [07-06-2010]

RE: The webmaster's reply to Anthony G. The webmaster is absolutely correct. We cannot paint a racist brush across Germantown blaming its demise on a racial group. That was sheer 18th and 19th century thought for which our nation fought a deadly civil war with a half million dead as a result. Look to understand the dynamics of social class, economic strife and other factors to apportion blame for crime. That would be more intelligent an explanation.
Anon [07-06-2010]

Hey Big Jim, go see a Doctor, we all think you need one. Happy 4th on the 5th to everyone else.
G-man, in Philly [07-06-2010]

Vera Carey Canavan- Your blog about John Pinto,Jim McManus,The Coleston Brothers, and Railroad Ties really resonated with me. It took me back to the fifties when I tried to keep up with traffic and follow the ten-commandments. I will attempt to make some salient comments about the aforementioned people and some info about the infamous railroad ties. I do not want to be judgemental and I will attempt to be politically correct in accordance with our great Web-Master. I was never saintly since I liked to go to the track,I danced with a few women,some of whom were tango dancers,and I have sipped some potato-juice[vodka]. Some people on this site think because I drink Malbec that I am a bourgeoise-snob and that I can not connect with Proleterian-cuture-On The Contraire. Back in the day,I knew both the black and white dudes from Pulaski-town. You and your brother,Bill Carey knew some interesting guys-John Pinto,Jim McManus and The Coleston Brothers. Jimmy McManus was one tough kid and knew Jesse Turner-a guy with exrtraordinary pugilistic talent. The Pulaski-town guys would roam through the land between Wissahickon&Fox and sandwiched between the railroad tracks and Queen Lane. This land was a forest,jungle,with wild berries,flowers,trees and yet having a desolate beauty to it. However there were snakes,rats,roaming dogs and hard-nosed kids from Pulaski-town and Abbottsford Homes hanging out there. One can can only imagine some of the strange things that took place there. Kids took target-practice there and rats were their favorite and pigeons were also an easy target. Some couples played Romeo&Juliet which I found bizarre in that eerie setting. There was conflict between the 2 neighborhoods. I believe that the Abbottsford kids thought that The Pulaski-towners were invading their turf. The kids had built forts and used railroad ties near the tracks for a foundation- forts were set on fire. Battles would take place and Jim McManus would recruit Jesse Turner and George Brookins[another good boxer and black] as allies in the turf-war. I believe that you get the gist and the drift of the situation. I surmise that the railroad detectives were investigating not only the railroad ties but the fires. Pulaski-towners were not pyro-maniacs. Many good guys came from Pulaski-town and like me-they were not choir boys.
JBS [07-06-2010]

FFK,Yeats put it best,perfect of you to quote him at a time like this in our lives,and in our world. Wonderful to see you on this sight.
Joe DiPasquale [07-06-2010]

RE: I just heard a rumor about some NC students. There are purportedly some 150 stuents from NC who have tried to get into Roman Catholic for the 2010-2011 school year. Maybe Bobby Durkin could address this since he is a teacher at the oldest catholic high school in the country. It's difficult to imagine that many guys in such a little building,but hopefully it can happen for them to continue to attend catholic schools.Has anyone else heard this?
ed burke [07-06-2010]

FFK, I commend your saluting of Ernest Hemingway "PaPa' on the 49th anno of his demise-a writer I truly enjoyed-reading all of his works while I served in the Vietnam War-12 hour watches were long. He is despised by feminists but I understand his ability to see culture and life through a strong man's eyes. If you haven't read yet-try his 'A Moveable Feast' or his collection of, I think, 51 short stories. They are classic and magic. Thanks for your poem, though you need to work on your rhyme & meter if you wish to do serious work. Try 'free verse' it is less compelling of rules. I also wrote you as I disagree with a recent blogger that this site should be limited to Gtn history/memories. WE are all resources that Gtn has thrown into the world and I enjoy hearing from these folks. Jim
Jim McKernan, Professor Eastern NC [07-06-2010]

When my husband and I were dating a bunch of us from High & Magnolia would go to Sylvi's. Their mussels were the best!
Sheila [07-06-2010]

Mr. Giorno, I remember you. Didn't you substitute teach for me once???? My dad can't believe you're on the Germantown Website. Email mom. Her address is: vacuumangel@verizon.net Love, Anna Maria
Anna Maria Forgione, Skippack, Pa [07-06-2010]

To Rich(HV)I agree with you 100%,this is a fun site-not a site to air out gripes.Lou Giorno
LOU GIORNO, LOU from North Wales [07-06-2010]

Today is the day that we put dead animals on the grill and blow things up. Sounds like fun. Happy 4th
Dyke, Ex Germantown Guy [07-04-2010]

helen--Jane was in our 8th grade class -also Little Flower-I was thinking of Odie Wartman---he was called John in school--a bit of a devil-he was a neighbor of mine-first kid I ever knew who had BRACES!
vera carey canavan, St. Vincent's 1956 [07-04-2010]

silvys was the best,guys from the hollow used to go there often first time i had calamari scungilli ugost mussells etc used to take mizzu there often we used to go there 4 every ones bd veal was great prices were great
anonymous [07-04-2010]

I remember Silvi's well. Went there often for a very late night serving of home made ravioli.
Bonnie (Joe) Gatto [07-04-2010]

BRUCE------ Thanks for the kind words. frank.
FFK [07-04-2010]

To Anon--Silvy's was a great restaurant-it was across the street from Sciolis night club-Silvy's had the best pizza-crabs-clams and Italian food-my mouth is watering as I'm writing this to you. Did you know they had a small night club upstairs with a small bar and dance floor?--I played there with my trio many times.LOU Giorno
LOU GIORNO, LOU from North Wales [07-04-2010]

Lou, I agree we are seeing the beginning of the end of catholic education as we knew it. Also with the O-man pulling the strings we may be seeing the end of our liberties as we once knew and loved. On this 4th we should reexamine our priorities and stop the madness. Some on this site want to see this happen and it is plain to see who is preaching politics here. They try to disguise their agenda with the good old Gtown speak but it is a ruse and dont fall for it.
Gman [07-04-2010]

I think a special site should be started for the guys that all they want to do is bitch.I personally don't care what your education is how much money you make or your political views are. I thought this site was for past memories.?
rich, huntingdon valley [07-04-2010]

Proberty Phendersonk
Robert Henderson, 3604 Germantown Avenue Room 216 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19140 Age 32 [07-04-2010]

To Anon: Still here. Just "listening" quietly for awhile. The site meanders through neighborhoods and age groups. I enjoy reading the posts; even some from folks I do not know, but I recognize their nostalgia.
John Payne [07-04-2010]

John Bruce Schmidt, I am saddened by your messages which purport to divide my family. My brothers, all four, are unified (Patrick, Bernard, Kevin and I, Jim)through our lives. You seem to infer in your messages that you are anti-communist and anti-totalitarian. So are we. You do not have to hold those beliefs to be a Socialist-Democrat which I am proud to be.But what concerns me is your continuing declaration of "hi-culture" as a lifestyle....for example your constant reference to adoring fine wines, art objects, and connoiseurship of Malbec, and Cabernet Saugvignon. I was rude once when you called a laugh about my profession and named your mates to it. I apologized for what I said..which was a common Irish chastisement.. but you were the only one who did not accept that sincere apology. But still you attempted to manipulate and divide my family on political and cultural issues. I must confess I am more left wing than my brothers but you are wrong to think you can divide this family. I know them. I leave it to them if they wish to agree with you and disagree with me-which I doubt very much on core issues. So please dont paint me as a totalitarian and communist. I seek equality for all citizens. You should actually try what is regarded as the best of Europe-"Bulls Blood" a real full bodied proletarian wine out of Romania/Bulgaria Jim McKernan
Jim McKernan, Professor, North Carolina [07-03-2010]

Will Paul Borian,Jack Brogan,and John Payne please report to this site immediately. Also, is there any truth whatsoever to the latest rumor that Dom Raffaele and Kevin Mc Carthy have resurfaced as friends? And finally, I'll just come right out and say it--- "GOO GOO."
anon. [07-03-2010]

FFK----- I liked your Hemingway poem well enough. But, not to nit-pick, I should inform you that Ernest used a shotgun, but his father used a handgun.
ANON. [07-03-2010]

Malbec? I thought only crazy Tango dancers drank that stuff. Are you and my main man, Robert Duvall, another Tango guy ( The Great Santini, Tender Mercies and Lonesome Doves fame among many gems) cutting the cards? You're alright JBS.
Kevin McKernan [07-03-2010]

There will now be a couple of 'dropouts' here on this site: Due to the obvious censorship of certain verbal rights...due to maybe reverse discrimination?People should always be able to speak what's on their minds.This is, in fact, the USA.
Anon [07-03-2010]

JBS: I share your thoughts and clearly see that the McKernan's are all gifted, creative thinkers with a literary flair, regardless of their political persuasions. I bet the conversations at their dinner table were interesting, funny and thought provoking. A bar session would be amusing and illuminating but there are some minor geographical dispersion problems. Talking about going places, here's one for you since I know you like to get out and about. Friday nights in the summer there is a very good fireworks display on the river between New Hope and Lambertville. I think it is between 9 and 9:30 and I am going tonight (Friday June 2nd). The best places to watch from are the deck at Martine's restaurant (you and I did a little Malbec there) and from the New Hope - Lambertville bridge. They shoot the fireworks off from a barge and it is free. I am going with some friends tonight to the Hamilton Grill Room with a couple of wines at the Boathouse, then to the bridge to watch the fireworks. Maybe a Germantown crowd would like to tap in on this and show up. Spontaneity is not a bad thing. In any case, I know that you have been to all of these places. In fact, Bruce, you personally could compete with the "Kilroy was here" signs of post WW II fame. I don't think I could have kept up with you. Have a great 4th everyone! Nas Drowie!
Dan Hartnett, Former East Germantown [07-03-2010]

On July 2th, (not the 4th), 1776, the second Continental Congress voted on and passed a resolution of Independence from Great Britain. John Adams wrote his wife, Abigail that evening and told her "... this day, (the 2nd of July), would be remembered by all future generations of Americans and will be celebrated with music, guns, bonfires and other illuminations". He was wrong! What we celebrate is the date of the draft, drawn up by five members and explaining why we were kicking King George and the British Empire off the bus. This draft was completed two days after the formal vote, dated July 4th and is what we call the Declaration of Independence. Fifty-six members signed it, including two who would become future presidents of these United States--Jefferson and Adams. These two men, friends in the beginning would become bitter political enemies throughout the course of their lives, even to the point of death, when it is said that one of their last regrets was anguish that the other "still lived'. Little did they know, in an ironic turn of history, that they both would die on the same day--July 4th 1826--fifty years to the day that they both had signed that immortal document. You can't make this stuff up! Neither of these men, sitting in Independence square, could have imagined how the then small township of Germantown would grow and celebrate the Fourth of July in the centuries to come. They couldn't see all the good folks and their children, starting out before sunset, joining the human river headed in the same direction-- north to those beautiful 33 acres in Mt. Airy that was home to the Penn. School for the Blind. (since relocated to School House Lane...so close to the home of my princess Grace. A fact not lost on the astute Mr. Schmitt). We would lie on that great, green grass, bellies filled with the day's hot dogs, potato salad, chips...and if you were fortunate enough...the best damn Italian water ice you could find on a hot July day. And then we would watch the "biggest and baddest fireworks in the whole world"...at least to our young eyes. Happy 4th of July, Germantowners!
kevin McKernan, Santa Barbara, CA. [07-03-2010]

Does anyone remember a great Italian restaurant (Silvy"s) at 5th and Pike?
anonymous [07-03-2010]

Happy 4th of July Everyone! Stay safe.
gtn girl, gtn [07-03-2010]

There have been several stories about Catholic School convents. I have my own story. When I was in 8th grade at Saint Francis of Assisi on friday afternoons myself and johnny Baron would be sent over to Convent to help the local Beer Truck Driver unload the nuns weekly beer supply, which was 12 cases of quart bottles and 4 cases of Ginger Ale. The nuns liked their beer. When I think about some of the charters these poor nuns had to put up with, I can see why they turned to drinking. Amen.
Bud Ballard, oballard89@aol.com [07-03-2010]

Germantowner High & magnolia - Thank you so much for the year. 2005 - I will try and research it. I hope the girls answer you. I sponsored lisa in baptism together with georgie frizzalone, sonny and rosie fatiga. I don't know if you knew them. The girls were baptised at Holy Rosary Church. then they moved up to Mass when Jim came out of the service. the last time I saw them was when the girls made their first holy Communion in Mass.
ANNAMARIE [07-03-2010]

Erda Armstrong-Graham: I appreciate the info about the Pinto Family. You had a good-looking date for your prom[Tom]-The Pintos were a handsome family. It was sad to hear that Betty Jean had passed away-she was also attractive and a very nice and friendly girl. Jimmy still lives in the area and he had a great personality. Possibly,he can get John Pinto in touch with his old friend from St. Vincent's,Jim Lyons. I knew your cousin-Wayne Armstrong[VIP]. Wayne liked cars and Big Bikes. He worked on cars with the good old boys in the garages at King&Laurens-G-Man knew that corner. You were probaly too young to remember some of those older guys-George Weller comes to mind. He could intimidate people when he was making a point since he wore a six-button benny with a bulge-I could only guess that he carried an umbrella. Some of those older guys from Pulaski-Town were characters-I'm talking about both sides of Morris Street. Lynn thought her walk through Pulaski-town was calm and peaceful. I guess that she never noticed the jitterbugs who hung at Penn&Pulaski-they were always juiced up. I must be careful with my language since The Web-Master has adviced us to be discreet. Germantown will always be in my heart albeit some of us had warts. Our Germantown Poets helped us to understand and tolerate human weaknesses. FFK,The Hollow Poet,still enlightens my soul and energizes my spirit with his beautiful poetry. May he set off some firecrackers,this week-end and have a big bang-up 4th of July.
Bruce Schmitt [07-03-2010]

Yo Ant! Why don't you tell us how you feel?

JBS, Dan Hartnett, Aquila 111 lies in the Annapolis harbor beckoning the call. She is a 40'ft cutter rigged sloop with a 61' ft mast so she'll sail in light wind. Her structure is as taunt as a seventeen yr old lassie but she has the soul & inner strength of a seasoned woman. JBS, awhile back i extended an open invitation to you & yours for a sail around the Chesapeake. The invitation still holds & i would welcome Dan Hartnett or any other current or former Germantowner. I trust your good taste in company & anyone who is Jesuit educated ranks high on my list of friends. Not to get off the subject which i will for the moment but do you know of a Fr. William (Bill) Watters S.J.? He is currently our pastor @ St. Ignatius here in Baltimore Md but is from the Jesu, St. Joe's, Philly area. Bill married my beautiful wife Phyllis & I in 2001.Phyllis, the real sailor was instrumental in introducing me to sailing back in 1991. Anyway, getting back to an outing on the bay, you gentlemen drive down to B'more & we'll handle the rest of the details when & if you take me up on said offer. This weekend i will be charting a course to Rock Hall Md on the Eastern shore of the state for the weekend with the Annapolis yacht club docking @ the Osprey marina which is a delightful anchorage that includes a five star restaurant, a real jewel of a fine dining establishment run by a part owner chef who after traveling the world has settled into her roots at home. Don't we all want to return home at some point in our lives? Later in the summer as fall approaches, we will journey to St. Michaels Md. (chicks love this place???) Again, i digress. You get the picture, life is good even when the forecast is cloudy. Due to logistics between Ca, & Md i think it;s less than prudent bro. Kevin attend this sojourn but bro, James the professor might want to crew. Brother Kevin, while his love of the sea is absolute, it is i confess mostly from watching it on land. Jim, a seasoned Merchant marine from his youth (callow) as you would say JBS, & later having served his country in the Navy during Vietnam. Jim is recovering from a broken foot sustained at his son's recent wedding. (No, it didn't happen with Jim kicking somebody's a***s using the foot). I wish all the good souls on this site, those that post but the many others who just have eyes for reading the contents a safe happy fourth of July & to those who have made it possible for this generation to enjoy their fruits of labor.
Bernard f mckernan, retired mfr.'s rep. Baltimore / Annapolis Md. 69yrs. [07-03-2010]

Vera, I remember Jane Wartmen who was in my class at St. Vincents.

For those of you interested in obtaining information regarding the life status of old friends and aquaintances that you know or suspect have died you can use this website. Just follow the instructions. http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ This is a free site.
Bill [07-03-2010]

I really enjoy reading this blog ... it brings back fond memories and has offered me the opportunity to reconnect with folks that I have not been in contact with for over 50 years ... however I am concerned that this blog could be discontinued if the racially charged references continue ... See the note from the Webmaster from a couple days ago .. I respectfully request those posting these references cease so this really nice communications facility can continue.
Tom Cusack [07-03-2010]

More and more catholic schools are closing due to high tuition costs--I think we are witnessing the beginning of the end.
LOU GIORNO, LOU from North Wales [07-03-2010]

Dan Hartnett: You have been around the block when it comes to Italian Restaurants. The Web-Master has suggested that we be discreet when it comes to names-I will be nebulous.Like you,I liked The Villa Roma-good Italian food and resonable. Back in the day,it was prudent to develop good rapport at Villa Roma. The silent-partner was really connected and I was shocked when he got whacked on Snyder Ave. Dan! You went to some interesting places-you still do. Recently,I was in your area,and I had some wine[Malbec] at The Black Bass in Lumberville-too civilized. I was reading the blog from Bernie McKernan and I thought that I was listening to you. He seemed to be apologetic for being slightly Orwellian-you and I have no problem with a guy who is anti-communist and anti-totalitarian. Personally, I like the way Bernie and Kevin McKernan think and write. The four of us could probaly do a number on a few bottles of Malbec and Cabernet Savignon. Maybe,we should cruise to Annapolis and hang out at The Maryland House or some of the joints on The Dock.
JBS [07-01-2010]

Annamarie, I spoke to the funeral director you referred me to, & you were absolutely correct about how helpful he is. He gave me Eleanor's daughters address, & I sent her a note a few days ago inquiring about her uncle Arthur, Sonny, Brett's where abouts. I'm waiting to see if she responds, or gives me the same routine she gave you. The funeral director said that Eleanor died in 2005, but he did not tell me the date. He said that Sonny, his wife Pat, and his son David were at Eleanor's funeral in 2005, I think he may have said November-2005-, but had no address for them except PHILA. Pa. He also said that Eleanor's husband, Jim was in very bad shape, & recommended not contacting him. He also said he was not sure where Jim was living at this time. He made a similar comment about the remaining son & other daughter. I will let you know if I get a response to my note. High& Magnolia.
Germantowner- High & Magnolia, 70 plus [07-01-2010]








And for each and every one of my friends on this site, I send you the following: from "THE MUNICIPAL GALLERY REVISITED" a POEM by WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS.


My love goes out to you and yours, Frank.
FFK(Frank Klock) [07-01-2010]

Webmaster: what ever happened to 'freedom of speech for all?" Isn't that a protected first Amend. Right? thank you, respectfully, re: Anthony G'.s comments and in agreement with him.No offense intended, just wish to 'speak my mind'.....
anon [07-01-2010]

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