Historic Germantown, Philadelphia
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Your Thoughts Archive
October 12-20, 2010

Many times in life we assume things and later find these assumptions wrong or we did not know all the facts. A case in point in my life. In the 1960’s because of les affaires du coeur for a girl, I became enamored with the song “Goodnight Irene”, I always felt it was a very romantic love song and I thought I knew the words as I sang the words to myself often (it was probably just the first part “good night Irene I’ll see you in my dreams”). It was not until years later that I found out all the words, the song was quite grim. Just a few years ago I found myself working in Huntsville Texas, now Huntsville is if you want to call it “the Texas prison capital”. My first day there I was driving around the place with someone from there that I was working with. I noticed small temporary signs put up at the entrance to the various communities--they read, “This Friday, early release day”--- now I have been in many of the towns in Texas that are near prisons and what the prison system does is because of over crowding they release early those whose sentence is almost up in towns near the prisons with bus fare to their home town. So I then turned to the person with me and said “I see that they inform the communities here when the inmates are to be let out early.” He replied “no that’s talking about the kids getting out of school early”, now I always heard it called early dismissal and I have never heard it called anything else but early dismissal---I guess that’s what happens when your in the center of a stronger sphere. Well back to my story of “Goodnight Irene.” One day I had the afternoon free and the prison system had a small museum so I went in and walked around, on one wall was hanging an 8” X 11” typed paper which said Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter, the man who first recorded “Goodnight Irene” was in this prison---it gave the years----for killing a man. Just recently I have had time to read up and check the history of the song and man, fascinating man and story, plus I checked out the life of Gussie L Davis the man who wrote the song, I gained a lot of knowledge of the early Blues and Ballads from this. I will not take time here to tell you about these men but read up on them if you have the time. I still feel that the song “Goodnight Irene” is very romantic and to me it would be even if it was called “Goodnight Joanne”.
Jack McHugh [10-20-2010]

Good news regarding Arthur Brett aka Sonny Hat. I've learned thru an impeccable source that good old Hat is alive and well and still kickin. Theresa Marchese Yespe, his former girlfriend spoke with him and learned he was out of state for awhile and is now closer to home and ok. So solves the mystery of the elusive and very much alive Sonny (Hat) Brett.

Helen and Rosemarie, I know what you mean about feeling sorry for Frankenstein. He seemed like a Baby Huey. He was so innocent and had no concept that he was harming people. No knowledge of right from wrong. I didn't feel that way about the others though, Rosemarie.
Maryalice, still in Gtown [10-20-2010]

I have been to Dirty Frank's many, many years ago. I also have met Ellen and Joe Tiberino, elsewhere though not at Dirty Frank's. And I happen to own several pieces of her artwork. Maybe I should take them to the Antique Road Show to see what they are worth today. Unfortunately, Ellen died a number of years back. Dan Hartnett, you brought back memories of a wonderful dinner I had at the Happy Rooster but I don't know McGillan's. The White Dog Cafe was another place that I have enjoyed several meals. In fact there are many good restaurants in this city. Does anyone remember the Commissary at 17th and Samson? I use to meet friends there after work and we would go to Warwick for happy hour and dancing. That was a long time ago. Don't think my knees would hold up now. LOL.
Maryalice, still in Gtown [10-20-2010]

Naomi, I remember the games at Waterview! I also think you and I use to play together on Woodlawn Street when you lived on the westside of Germantown.. You had sisters, Betty Lynn, Pat, and Joan and Butchie your brother..
Erda (Armstrong) Graham, Lived on the Westside [10-20-2010]

Cathy Manning Muir. I saw were someone mentioned Patty McPeak and her twin Micky. Patty's death notice was in the Inquirer about a month on so ago. The Inquirer;s death notices are at Philly.com. Ave Fowler died about ten or more years ago. I don't know about Helen or where her sister Pauline is, I lost track of Pauline. It's nice to talk to a fellow Cecilianite. I do remember you. You were two years ahead of me. I'm sorry to hear that Sister Mary Fenton died. Sometime in the 1980's I took my daughter up to Cecilian, as I was thinking of enrolling her in the grade school to follow my tradition there. Sister Mary Fenton answered the door and of course remembered me. She told me that "I did not want send my daughter to Cecilian, as it was not the same school anymore and that it had changed and the high school was closing soon. I listened to her and sent my daughter to Gwynedd Mercy. that was the last time I saw Sister Mary Fenton, and I appreciated her honesty. Sister Ann Marquerite was also one of my favorites and I also thought she missed her calling and should have been a model or an actress. Hope to see everyone on December 12th.
jeanne seifert kilgallon [10-20-2010]

Joe Graber, I remember you well. I was aware that Craig Moore passed away. I believe it's been about 19 years now. We were good friends. I still keep in touch with Joe D'Agostino. We've gotten together several times in the last five years. Things are well with me. I hope you are also well.
John Abbamondi, Choctaw OK [10-20-2010]

John Burke: I do remember you. I also remember Ned, did he live with you? My brother Bobby, lives in Hollywood, PA (outside of Rockledge). He has 2 boys & 2 girls. One daughter was married this year, the other one, next year. This site as certainly brought back many memories of growing up in Germantown. On our street, there were so many cecilian girls, myself, Joan Day, Joyce Marinick, Tonia Wilkins, Kathy Crowley and Jacqueline Susick on Hansberry. I remember fondly walking to the Ave. (either Germantown & Chelten to Rowell's or up to Green & Chelten to Allens on Saturdays. I always painted the Penn Fruit window and Wayne & Chelten for Halloween. Remember when all the windows were painted? Do you remember Nadine & Christine Sloan, they lived at 426 West Bringhurst St.
jeanne seifert kilgallon [10-20-2010]

John Bruce Schmitt: thanks for the information on Joan Day. My sister, Janice, lost contact with her and was wondering what happened to her.
jeanne seifert kilgallon [10-20-2010]

Cathy Manning Muir stated, in a message dated 10/15/10, "I support Pres. O. 100%. He inherited a terrible mess and he's so articulate, well-educated, focused, and also HOT." She provides us with a perfect example of why women should never have been given the "right" to vote!
Appropriately Anonymous [10-20-2010]

I'd never vote for someone based on their abiity to talk their way through, or for their good looks. Education is a plus but I want to experience more evidence that the person is more than book smart. And focus depends on what the focus is on.
anonymous [10-20-2010]

It's a beautiful, balmy spring night here in the Outback, almost a full moon and lots of stars, not my stars, strange stars. Some nights I can see the Southern Cross but for over 20 years I've longed to see the Big Dipper again. It appears only in the Northern Hemisphere and I miss it so. The things I've missed since leaving Gtn behind: the water ice on Logan Street, the Memorial Day parades and the Gimbels' Thanksgiving Parade. Especially the Mummers Parade and the magnificent Fancies and String Bands, viewed from the steps of the Phila College of Art. And because I lived in Honolulu for many years before migrating to Australia, I also miss the slack key guitars, the picnics under the monkeypod trees at Ala Moana Park, the outrigger canoes going out every evening and back in at sunset. In my (now frequent) correspondence with Jim Breen, who lives in the Poconos, I mentioned another vivid memory: autumn leaves ablaze in the Delaware Gap. Although we can never go home again, because the home we remember -- Happy Hollow, Fernhill Park, walks up the Wissahickon -- can't be revisited, it lives and breathes in our mind's eye, doesn't it? There's a tree in front of the Valley Green Inn that I planted as a Girl Scout and there's a plaque beneath it to mark the date. If you happen to stumble upon it, please think of me and the memories we all cherish of our Germantown of the 50's.
Cathy Manning Muir, SFA '57, CA '61, Temple '73, Outback Australia [10-20-2010]

Sheila: You were prescient about The Phillies hitting since they did well in the 2d game. Jimmy Rollins is a good fastball hitter and he showed patience and discipline taking a 2-0 fastball and eventually walking and forcing a run in since the bases were loaded. Later,he hit a 2-0 fastball for a double to drive in 3 runs. Ryan Howard had a good 2d game against a left-hander. The Phillies also played outstanding defense. Let us not forget that Oswalt pitched a great game- his fastball was moving. Cliff Lee just pitched a super game for the Rangers- it would be great to have Doc Hallaway go against Lee. Sheila! Enjoy those exciting Phillies.
JBS: [10-20-2010]

Gman, we're on the same page.
anonymous [10-20-2010]

My brother and I couldn't wait for Halloween each year. We would get so much candy we would go home in-between so we could empty our bags. After we did all the houses in our neighborhood, we'd go down to my aunt's near Old York Road and Erie Avenue. Yep, some folks woudl ask us to do a trick before getting a treat and we always did some crazy thing. Then Dad would take us to the Eagle Bar on Germantown Avenue. I know he wanted a beer with his cronies. The patrons gave us pennies and nickels and we thought how lucky we were.
Joyce Radocaj Ruggero [10-20-2010]

helen leone deangelo im so happy you felt that way about good ole frankenstein .. ha! my sentiments exactally ...:>) i felt this way about wolfman, and dracula as well.... poor poor monsters! :>) rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [10-20-2010]

Dan Hartnett: I am surprised that you spent some time at 13th&Pine-Dirty Frank's. In our callow youth,we were all much more liberal but our hero,"JFK", was not a liberal like the politicians today. This Wednesday, I am having lunch at The Springhouse Tavern at Norristown&Bethlehem Pike and the venue is so different than Dirty Frank's. Tom Wilkins from W. Bringhust St. will be there and he would go to Dirty Frank's with me. Many of the guys from Mt. Airy will be there. You know Tom Boyle from Tioga and he will probaly be there. It would be great if you could make it at 12 o' clock. The Springhouse has a cool-bar and we can drink some Fine-wine. As they say on Bourbon Street[New Orleans],"Let The Good Times Roll".
JBS [10-20-2010]

As election time draws near....I think it is best not to make this site become a 'political forum'...let's keep our party affiliations and opinions vague, so we can all continue to be civil here and not get 'off on a hot ticket'....of conversation. Sincerely,
anon-male [10-20-2010]

To "Independant", as YOU typed it/ I do agree with your CEO comments re:the "President"...thanks....for your candor, but, remember the next time around the word is "Independent". ANON.
ANON [10-20-2010]

Congrats: "G"man,you finally hit the nail on the head...and made sense.anon
Anon-fem [10-20-2010]

It has very sadly come to my attention that my brother John J. Holt has passed on. He was listed as deceased on the 2007 alumni list from NECH. I want to thank anyone who reached out to me from this site. I thank all of you for your kindness. Now, I am left to wonder if he had a wife and/or children, if so I wish them peace. I alwasy believed that John and I would meet again, so now I guess it will have to be in the after life. I will always have love in my heart for him and miss him everyday. Jane Holt Rauscher
Jane Holt Rauscher, Bell, Fl [10-20-2010]

dan hartnett i do remember those wonderful movies and i dont know if you felt this way back then ...but, i always felt so badly for frankintein, dracula and even the wolfman...they always came across as the victims even when they were breaking somebody's neck, ripping the body apart of another and sucking the blood out of yet another ... ha! there was always a sense of melencoly coming from them ... :>) rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [10-18-2010]

Professor James McKernan: Your last post about Dirty Frank's was very colorful and descriptive about this bohemian-type bar. I find it ironic that I met Brother Bernie in an upscale restaurant,LaFontana in Hatboro and your friend John Wetzel at The William Penn Inn which is another upscale-restaurant. In my callow youth, I did frequent unique bistros and bohemian-type cafes. Recently, I was talking to a lady who hung out at Dirty Frank's in past years. She was a literate,liberal type who taught English and literature at various educational institutions- including LaSalle. She enjoyed the eclectic and creative people who hung out there and where one could exchange ideas and various points of views. The last time that I went to Dirty Frank's, a former Eagle was tending bar. This was not the place for tough guys. I liked to have lunch at Kellis's which was located at K&A-those dudes were really rough. The meanest and most obnoxios of them was Charlie Devlin. When he entered the place, smart people would leave. He intimidated everybody. However, Charlie died early and not from natural causes-he had a lot of enemies. I found it more comfortable in cafes and bistros with the ambiance of Dirty Frank's. Brother Kevin lives in California and Cafe Trieste in North Beach, San Francisco was a cool place for writers and poets to hang out- Jack Kerouac of On The Road,hung out there. One of The McKernan Brothers spent time in Buenos Aires. The Intelligentsia in this great city hung out at LaPaz on Corriente-many of them were big Che Guevara fans. In The Big Apple, these literate folks, hang out at The Doma in The Village. Being a seasoned citizen, I prefer The Alonquin on 44th st where Dorothy Parker, the legendary writer, held court. Frank Klock,The Hollow Poet, posts on this site and he hangs out at Dirty Frank's. Your artist-friend, lives near Spring Garden, I have lunch at Rembrandt's which is in that area. The Barnes Foundation is moving to that area on The Parkway. Germantown and Philly were great places to grow up- I still miss the old neighborhoods and the people.
JBS [10-18-2010]

Obama would make a great car salesman, but a lousy CEO, he has no management skills, he's just a good speaker.
Independant [10-18-2010]

Re Roland: I remember he would sometimes cut in during the movie to join in a scene. Once during Frankenstein (Boris Karloff, of course), when the townspeople were chasing 'the monster' across the mountainside on the way to the wind mill, Roland popped in carrying a lighted torch to join the chase.
Bonnie Gatto [10-18-2010]

dot wilson . i use to do your moms hair and some of your aunts . and !grandmom welsh (fran ) . did ileen,may, clara,and mary cashmen for her weddin ! joan,and mary jo .bob curran bought his boys to my shop in roslyn . long time now ! great family ! frank .
FRANK, north wales [10-18-2010]

JBS, I'm afraid we'll have to wait for game 2 :( The Phils have to start hitting like they mean business.
Sheila [10-18-2010]

Jim McKernan: Great update on Dirty Franks. JBS has broached this one also. I put some time in there also. It seemed to come out of the beatnik days and the clientele was basically counter cultural. They had the most creative graffiti on the men's room wall although I don't think the distinction between the men's and ladies room was very important. You could always get into an interesting conversation there although it could get pretty heated at times especially considering that we all went there to get fueled up. Some other center city places that I liked were McGillan's on Drury Lane, the White Dog Cafe near the Penn campus and The Happy Rooster at 17th and Sampson, one of my favorite haunts in the late 60s and early 70s. It was owned by a former dentist, Doc Ulitsky, a Russian Jew with a Parisian wife named Madelleine who had a flair for cuisine. Doc used to play a lot of Ivan Rebroff Russian folk songs in the background and if he didn't like the way you looked, he just threw you out. No argument! In those days, prior to the restaurant renaissance, you couldn't get a very good restaurant meal but you could there. The Happy Rooster also had the most well stocked bar in the city. These places all bring back memories although there are nights that I could remember going in but not leaving. I must have had a good time!
Dan Hartnett, Former Easr Germantown [10-18-2010]

The Gman likes to know his audience and which side of the aisle they sit on, right or left. I did not and would not attend a hood rally listening to the pres beg for votes. Being in Gtown watching our hood collapse and our parents forced to move was enough for one lifetime. Also I was not a fan of Lennon and Yoko. My tastes leaned toward Sinatra, Mathis, Babs and Green.
Gman [10-18-2010]

To Paul Borian I remember walking down Gtn ave well after 10pm and a group of older kids took my bag of candy and beat me up. It never bothered me don't let it bother you. I learned not to be afraid to take a beating therefore not to be afraid of anyone.
William Dougherty, Doc from Portico St [10-18-2010]

Is it just me or did anyone else feel sorry for Frankenstein when the angry crowds were after him?

James Breen: I loved your comments on Catholic parishes. I grew up in Germantown (St Francis of Assisi), and then my family moved to the Great Northeast. My mother would always ask my date "and what parish are you from?" to confirm they were Catholic and ensure their 'neighborhood' was OK. Now I have emigrated to London, then Scotland but try to get back to Philly as often as I can. Finally, there is a similar "snobiness" now that I live in Edinburgh: I would be asked "and what SCHOOL did you attend?" Parents will work/fight/pay top £££ to get their bairns into the best schools so they can become Edinburgh Lawyers, Accountants and Doctors. I don't think Philly/America is like that....is it?
Regina Sprissler Davidson, Edinburgh, Scotland, 61, lived on Stenton Ave. [10-18-2010]

CMM> nice to see you back. I haven't seen you on this site for awhile.
John Payne [10-18-2010]

John Abbamondi: I remember you. I dont know if you are aware, Criag,"MO" Morris passed away about 15 years ago. And Joe Dag is a real estate agent in Manahawkin NJ. Hope things are well with you. Joe Graber
Joe Graber, Medford lakes snob [10-15-2010]

FYI, the First Lady of the United States Laura Bush visited the Germantown Boys Club (oldest in the U.S.) about 5 years ago.
X-G-towner, gbc 2 [10-15-2010]

What a wonderful celebration of the Immaculate Conception Parish. It was evident that former and present parishioners love the "Immaculate." I taught 8th grade for 8 years at the Immaculate. They were interesting and a great learning experience for me. Fathers Flaherty and Becker were the pastors when I was there in the 60's. father Nicholas was a good friend and Father dorr and I were in charge of the Altar Boys. (No girls at that time). It was truly a great time to meet so many of my students after all these years. So many of the Vincentian priest I know because I use to make my retreat at the Vincentian Renewal Center. Hos sad I was when I heard it was "on the market." May God continue to bless you and your work. Sincerely, sister Maureen Thomas P.S. I enjoyed my trip down memory lane when I toured the convent. If only the walls coul talk!
Sister Maureen Thomas (aka) Sr. ann McGovern [10-15-2010]

B.McKernan: I didn't realize the Pres visited Gtn; how fantastic. I agree with you 100%. And 'anon' who was so negative is, well, negative. There's already enough of that, isn't there? BTW, I've already voted in the November election. As an US citizen residing OS, I get to vote in September. As my last place of residence in the US was Honolulu, I vote in all the Hawaii federal elections. Glad to see that WWII hero of the 442nd Bn, Sen. Dan Inouye, is still representing the state in the US Senate. I support Pres O. 100%. He inherited a terrible mess and he's so articulate, well-educated, focused and also HOT!
Cathy Manning Muir, SFA, CA, Temple [10-15-2010]

and we all can agree that the Monster Mash and Dinner with Drac was made famous by Bobby"Boris"Pickett initially . . . right?
Don Barrella, Warwick Twp Bucks County [10-15-2010]

I was thrilled to be back in Germantown to see and hear our President. I parked on the Avenue and waited for five hours with some wonderful people. People who were strangers when we entered the line engaged in great conversations. These people shared the optimism that our country is great, that we can get along and when we recognize our similarities, not our differences. A few of those in line had attended Germantown High, one man called his mother who was a graduate. The crowd was like that of a baseball game - all ages, all colors, all social levels. There was pride in the renewal that one could see in the neighborhood. It was a joyous street fair which energized the crowd. There is so much we can find wrong about our world, this was what is right - people working together for the common goal.
Fran aka Cookie D'Angelo [10-15-2010]

Police said the shooting was reported at 9:13 p.m. and officers responded to the intersection of Germantown Avenue and West Berkley Street, where they located the man suffering from a gunshot wound to his chest. They said he was brought to Albert Einstein Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 9:35 p.m. 10/15/2010
Ex Gman, 65 yrs old [10-15-2010]

Sheila: I concur with your comments about the Phillies- especially Cole Hamels and Carlos Ruiz. Doc Halladay will face Tim Lincecum of the Giants on Saturday. This one of the great pitching duels of our time. In our area,the big money is going for Doc Halladay. However,the little pitcher[Lincecum] for the giants,throws hard and has a lot of nasty stuff that is very difficult to hit. The Phillies are not hitting that well and I hope that Howard can come through big time. We do have those outstanding pitchers and our experience does mean something. We are going to do it but it is no walk in the park. Sheila! Enjoy the Saturday-night game which is one of the great matchups in a long time.
JBS [10-15-2010]

All Obama has done since being in office is campaign. That was his agenda when he visited Germantown. The concentration is on getting the voters interested enough to vote.
anonymous [10-15-2010]

Dear John Bruce Schmidt, i enjoy your blogs very much as you are an artistic chap and seem to know the city. I saw that you mentioned "Dirty Frank"s" Bar in centre city. I loved hanging there as a sailor and with downtown artist friends-I do not know if you knew of Ellen and Joe Tiberino-lovely artists-Ellen was perhaps the most amazing black american artist of that time-her husband Joe was a rebel muralist as I recall painting Jesus Christ in Vietnam in army fatigues with the debauched Dirty Franks Customers in his huge wall murals-which covered the entire walls. I belive Ellen died after receiving several Guggenheim awards-she always made this Irishman sing in her kitchen.They lived in Powelton Village off Spring Garden Street and I believe Joe carries on his art in a magisterial manner. I would go there and see what Paris was in Philly-whores, tramps, pimps, artists, poets and painters, even asshole would be writers- all passionate about what they were doing. I loved that bar scruffy as it was. I haven't a clue what it is like today. But many the night when I was based at the US Navy Yard in South Philly I would stop in Dirty Franks and would always go home with a wild woman.
jim mckernan, professor East Carolina University Eastern NC [10-15-2010]

BUD BALLARD---do you remember Herman Reese's mother---she would really scare you!
vera carey canavan, st. vincents class of 1956 [10-15-2010]

Hi Naomi,yes I remember all those things at Waterveiw,was great time,sorry Rollie died over 8 years ago,and the jacquinto's are my cousins,hope you are fine,Sandy Cipriano
Sandy Cipriano [10-15-2010]

On mischief night my friend and I rang doorbells-broke old light bulbs-& Used crayons instead of soap on car windows-it was harder to take off.
lou giorno, lou from burbs [10-15-2010]

John Fleming I have to agree the three you mentioned are all great,we have been to all three. We were going to Anna Maria every thursday for months but as in life things come up and we haven't been down since the middle of August. Now is the best time, water in the 80's with warm afternoon sun and no crowds you almost have the beach to yourself. Richie
Richard Pio, Ocala, Fl. area. 60, born an bred in G-town 1950-1995 [10-15-2010]

Dave Linn, I've lost your contact information. Email me & I'll update you on John Petty.
John Abbamondi, Choctaw OK [10-15-2010]

Naomi Vitelli, Did you at one time live at 420 West Woodlawn with your sisters Betty Lynn, Pat and brother Butchie? There was another sister also who I cannot remember her name. Did your father deliver ice? Your family had a parrot. It was the first time I had ever seen one. How are you? Maryalice
Maryalice Armstrong Brennan, still in G'town [10-15-2010]

Bernard McKernan, I agree with you 100%. I did not go as I don't large crowds but I did see him drive by 1 block from my home as he traveled across Chelten Ave. from Wissahickon to Germantown Ave.and back again. This is a very important election and I hope everyone gets out and votes. Maryalice
Maryalice Armstrong Brennan, still in G'town [10-15-2010]

The recent Halloween blogs brings back some unpleasant memories during my youth.Apparently it was too much work for me and a couple of my partners in crime to go out Halloween night tricking and treating.Someone came up with the bright idea(not me I swear)to steal all the treats from the other kids in our neighborhood.I don't believe that this was a common occurence at the time(was it?).This past behavior,in my advancing years,continues to haunt me.Thank God my kids did not take after their father....Paul(the Goul)Borian
Paul Borian, Still ashamed of my bullying antics [10-15-2010]

RoseMarie Hite Malageri: Yes, Roland's show featured horror movies and as Bill Cupo says, he would appear out of nowhere on the screen occasionally and act scary. He was hilarious. The horror movies back then were terrific. No chain saw massacres or anything like that. Frankenstein I think was played by Boris Karloff complete with avenging crowds armed with pitch forks and torches; laboratory scenes with lightening devices and, of course, the monster's head with stitches where the brain was sewn in (nasty needlework). Then we had The Mummy (Caris) with lots of gauze wrap. They would burn the ancient Tanna leaves to the God Amman Ra and restore life to the Princess Ananka. Great stuff! You could top it all off with Wolf Man played by Lon Chaney. As a post script, came Frankenstein meets Wolf Man. The kids where I went to grade school ate it up, especially Wolf Man's leaps when the two of them fought it out. I don't remember which one won. I am betting they did each other in. The only thing I have seen since (horror wise) that is good was Young Frankenstein which is a totally different thing and also The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Younger Brother, both with Marty Feldman as "Igor" (pronounced eye gore) and other zanies.
Dan Hartnett, Former East Germantown [10-15-2010]

Are you kidding "G"man?
anon [10-15-2010]

Bud Ballard: I am laughing so darn hard, that was just the best Halloween story ever.....I will bet those kids never parked at that particular spot for a long time, ha ha..thanks for the afternoon smile......Linda
L.Fontana [10-15-2010]

Naomi Vitelli: If you lived close to Chew and Chelten did you know either Ermmano (Herman)Borza or Rocco DiPompeo? They were the co-owners of the Chew Tavern.....I think everyone has heard of the nice Jacquinto Family. I knew of Vicky and Franny.....
L.Fontana [10-15-2010]

Cousins Susan O'Brien and Jimmy Kulick went to Germantown on Sunday afternoon to partake in the excitement of possibly catching a glimpse of the visiting president ( I declined the invitation, hate big crowds) They had to park all the way back on Woodlawn Ave. near the Shrine and walk up to Price and Wakefield but even then they couldn't get anywhere near Fulton School unless they had a ticket (who knew?) They still enjoyed the afternoon walking out to Vernon Park, sitting on the steps of the YWCA until they were chased by a policeman, talking to people outside St. Vincents church who also had no tickets, and just remembering who lived in which house and the long lines of school kids walking home from school after the nuns would call North Baynton, South Baynton, Track, all going in different directions in all kinds of weather. Their last stop was my house. they came back to my house not too far from the old neighborhood and had supper and a drink and that was the end of their adventure.

G-Man, You reminded us of Obama's rally in Germantown,our old neighborhood. Many of the tough minded and rich guys from Happy Hollow would not attend that rally. They do not want their taxes raised and that money going to the government for excessive spending. The liberal people on this site want taxes raised because they are very compassionate and are very concerned about the poor and the sick. Obama wanted Specter to be the senator from Pennsylvania although he was a republican. Now Obama wants the Admiral to be the senator, they are so admirable. Many people of West Virginia and Kentucky are poor but they are for God,mother,country and guns. They did not vote for Obama. Did you enjoy the rally and will Obama's supporters vote for the Admiral?
anonymous [10-15-2010]

I have enjoyed the Halloween blogs immensely of late. I too had several experiences & Halloween for me holds cherished memories but the days leading up to that magical evening were reserved in my mind for "Payback" The " meanies" as I referred to them felt my full wrath on chalk night, gate night, (Do todays youth know what a gate is?), soap night & the grand-daddy of them all rolled up into one: Mischief night!.....To be continued in Heaven If I make it & the Denizen's of Gtn are there with me. On a more serious note, how about a tip of the hat to our sitting President Barack Obama visiting Gtn last Sunday with Jumping Joe Biden riding shotgun . Regardless of your party affiliation I think his coming & the message spoken should resonate with all citizens on this site & of Germantown. What an historical venue in that Germantown which once served briefly as the capitol of the U.S. would also Sunday serve as a forum for hopefully a renewal. Someone in the crowd remarked that they had never seen the streets washed & cleaned in the twenty years that they had lived there. Still another chimed, "First time I saw the neighborhood washed & there wasn't any blood involved". Wakefield st was the site, a mere few blocks away from where I grew up & oh how I would have loved to have been there. Hopefully Obama's message will stick long enough to get the locals who now own that neighborhood regardless of their ethnicity, religious or political preference to make & take a stand for a better way of life & to control their own destiny's. I know it's easy to be skeptical & even downright negative but I shudder at the alternatives. More & worse of the same don't sit well & this is our childhood town, our history & the fact that our President who I believe is the first President to visit the neighborhood since JFK back in 1960. An honor for sure as he could have been just as easily seen in the "Burbs", Love plaza downtown or in Chestnut hill. Because of the historical nature of Gtn & to get out & exercise the vote come November, he chose Germantown. He did his part now it is up the the residents of our old neighborhood to champion the cause. I hope I haven't offended anyone with this posting but it's just so important that we not lose sight of who & what we are when we see neighborhoods in transition & to remember the significant history of Germantown. Thank you.
bernard f mc kernan, St. Vincent's 54, N. Catholic 58". [10-14-2010]

Dan Hartnett - thanks for the Roland memory: John Zacherle also used to hang out at my uncle's Grove Diner at the top of Germantown Avenue where the trolleys turns (now the mall with Barnes & Noble or Borders). His album was the Monster Mash, and included the song you quoted, which was "Dinner With Drac". Other songs on the album were spoofs of Cameo-Parkway (Chubby Checker's label also) hits, such as Weird Watusi, Hury Bury Baby, Popeye the Gravedigger, Gravy (With Some Cyanide), Limb From Limbo Rock, Let's Twist Again (Mummy Time Is Here), I'm the Ghoul from Wolverton Mountain, etc. Anyway, I was able to get the album personally inscribed and autographed by Zach. He's still alive (92) and there's stuff on the web about him, including some clips, such as Dinner With Drac. He was / is a real character and innovator. For any Fernhill Park devotees in the area, there will be an event this Saturday morning with some planting, activities, food, inauguration of some new equipment, and a visit by "Elmo", the Sesame Street character.
Bruce Marshall, 59, still in Gtn [10-14-2010]

To Dan Hartnett: Yes, I do remember Roland....my parents and I would watch his show and they would always laugh at his antics. Being only about five at the time, I was terrified. I seem to recall that during certain edge of your seat moments in a horror flick, something would open up and there'd be Roland's face staring out at you! Pretty cool effects for over fifty years ago! I just googled him and discovered that he was born in Germantown in 1918, was a close colleague of Dick Clark, and graduated from the University of Penn... It also mentioned his hit song, Dinner with Drac. What a fun memory!
Patricia Carr [10-14-2010]

John Abbamondi, thank you for the information on my classmate John Petty, who recently passed away. I saw it in the paper but there were no arrangements, do you have any information about his death. God Bless my friend John Petty.
Dave Linn, Fitler Kid [10-14-2010]

Does anyone remember football games and soccer at Waterview Playground. Does anyone remember the Jacquinto family from McMahon St? Rollie Hart from Stafford St. The Bonner's, The Romano family. Those were the days!
naomi vitelli, Lived in Germantown in the 60's -near Chew & Chelten [10-14-2010]

Anon: Your message to Frank Klock about John Lennon was not clear to me. I did discern that you both admired and loved John L. You suggested that FFK should get to work. Obviously, you liked John Lennon's "Working Class Hero". Marianne Faithful did a great cover of Working Class Hero- she dropped the F-note with artistry in her version. Marianne cavorted with Mick Jagger-especially in Australia which caused a bit of a scandal. Marianne's Lucy Jordan was used in Thelma&Louise-the great feminist flick. You appear to be the poetic-type. Possibly, we could we hang out with FFK at Dirty Frank's where the literate folks congregate. Back in the day, Frank was witty and had a sharp-tongue. I can be the arbiter.
JBS [10-14-2010]

Gman: Why would any sane person attend an Obama marxist forum & listen to more of his lies? What a waste of resources & time.
anon [10-14-2010]

Anyone recall on Holloween,I think it was Church lane one house gave out cider & spice cake & cookies another candy apples .I think another house had music,.Marie
MARIE [10-14-2010]

Gtnrs,past&present:Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.It worked for many from HH.
anon: [10-14-2010]

Hey Dan Hartnett ! I remember Roland on t.v. because my cousin Dom, who lived next door, used to watch it with me and then scare the hell out of me when I wanted to go home. All I had to do was cross over the railing to our porch to go home, but he had me convinced that Igor was waiting outside. I was probably 6-7 years old at the time and let me tell you that was scary. It was one of the few times I was allowed to stay up so late and even though that show and Dom scared me, I watched it almost every week. The guy who played Roland, lived in Glenside, I believe, near my Aunt and Uncle's tavern on Limelikn Pike, called "Marrone's Tavern" Spooky guy without a doubt. Take care !
Bill Cupo, Immaculate Grad "65". C.D. "69"- Haines st 1300 Block [10-14-2010]

JBS, The Phillies are amazing! Cole did everything right this year. I was so proud of Halliday that I cried like he was my own son. Ruiz is my favorite! Go Phillies!
Sheila [10-14-2010]

hey jimmy pretty interesting stuff ... thanks for sharing ..:>) rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [10-14-2010]

bill hartnett i do remember roland ... didnt he have a late night or perhaps not so late night t.v. program that showed horror films ... well not like the horror films out there today but they were pretty scarey and entertaining to us way back when ..well i should say to me anyway i loved those old horror movies and still do ... :>) rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [10-14-2010]

Richard Pio, We also love the beaches in the Tampa Bay area. Really a welcome change from "going down the shore" to the Jersey Beaches. Always plenty of free parking, great facilities, usually with picnic tables and grills, with clean and clear beaches and water, not to mention being able to go most times in the year! Among our favorites are Ft Desoto, Siesta Key and Fred Howard Park.
John Fleming, Tampa Bay, Florida [10-14-2010]

Dan Hartnett Roland, (John Zacherley), just turned 92 and still does appearances! You can catch him, and other great stars at the end of this month at Hilton Parsippany,Parsippany, N.J. http://www.chillertheatre.com/main.htm
John Fleming, Tampa Bay, Florida [10-14-2010]

A Holloween Story, afew days before holloween Herman Reese showed up at Ken Clarks house 88 East Seymour street with a old heavy rope with a hangmans knot. We decided to have some fun with this hangman rope. The day before holloween we went up to Valley Green, lovers lane parking area, whick was on the Germantown side of the park. There was a steep hill facing the parking area with large trees and heavy brush. We found a tree with strong branches extending out over the parking area. We attached the hangmans rope to the tree along with a airplane seat belt. Herman took a couple practice swings out over the parking area until we foound the best location. We went home to prepare for holloween. Holloween night around 9:30 PM we returned to Valley Green's Lovers Lane. We parked are car on a service road just east of Lovers Lane. Lovers Lane was full with cars. Not a parking to be had. We put Herman in the Air Plane Seat Belt and put the hangmans rope around his neck. Herman Reese let out a ungodly screem and off he went swinging off over the tops of the parked cars, with his feet kicking. The kicking stop after 30 seconds. Herman was swinging by his neck, no other movement. The were guys and girls screaming. When Herman stopped moving, someone hollered Let's Get Out of Here.In less than one minute the parking area was empty. We got Herman down. We could hear Police Car Sirens in the distance. We went back to Ken Clarks house and had a good laugh
Bud Ballard [10-12-2010]

Kudos to all of the organizers and/or committee members who worked so hard to make the 10/10/10 reunion at IC a very special occasion. The upper church was as beautiful as I remembered it. I received the sacraments of Baptism, Penance, Communion & Confirmation in Immaculate Conception. I participated in the annual May procession while attending IC school. I walked down the long aisle, and took the vows of Matrimony at IC. That church holds so many memories for me and everyone of those memories was with me on 10/10/10. Thanks, again, to all those who made the day a very special one!
Lorraine (Cupo) Kelly, fl; ic '55; cdhs '59 [10-12-2010]

Passed my local grade school today-they are having a Fall Festival Parade on 10-29--Halloween is a non-holiday---POOR KIDS! another loss for childhood
vera carey canavan, st. vincents class of 1956 [10-12-2010]

John Lennon was not only a music-man but a prophet who had his senses tuned to our off-rail american bullcrap it is good he is remembered but cheap doggeral poems lack respect-he is worthy of a higher and more elegant and eloquent poem..pehaps 'free verse' ?not dum de dum de dum. Get to work FFK
anon [10-12-2010]

Bill Cupo...you said it all about Halloween in Gtown. I remember the good ones and the bad ones too.
Ed, Chester, VA [10-12-2010]

I hope we had a big Gtown showing at the Obama rally over the weekend located around High & Bayton. The weather was just perfect. Lets share stories.
Gman [10-12-2010]

You're right, Halloween was fun when we were kids. The only thing made better are the masks. I remember wearing masks made of fabric, and they got soggy around the mouth and had loose threads that I had to keep puling away from my eyes and mouth. LOL Every now and then you'd get a neighbor that made you sing or dance for your candy and that was usually the house with the best treat, so we'd humor them! The people who owned Peberdy's Mill on Penn Street lived in our neighborhood and always gave us nickels. In those days that was a thrill. We'd make our way to the Penquin Bar on Penn Street where the patrons gave us more change. It's not the same for kids today but I'm glad to see they're still carrying on the tradition of trick or treating.
Sheila [10-12-2010]

Remember those Wildwood days.The crowds will be back next weekend for the seventh annual Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce Fabulous 50's weekend.Chubby Checker,now 68 years old,will be part of the celebration,which will run from Oct.15-17.He is also one of the reasons for it,as the event marks the 50th anniversary of "The Twist"(and it goes like this),a dance craze he started.Even though the 50's was Wildwood,I was twisting the night away in Bay Shores and Tony Marts.Seven draught beers for a buck at Gregory's got me started.Sommers Point was the place to be for me,but many of my Hollow buddies were doing their thing at Wildwood by the sea.HAPPY 50TH!....Paul Borian
Paul Borian, Twisting the night away(in my dreams) [10-12-2010]

I loved my brother Kevin's story about goulish arms coming out through cemetary walls to scare the passersby. Halloween, is a Gaelic -both Irish and Scottish (the Scots speak the same Gaelic language) holiday announcing "Samhain" or translated as end of summer festival with fires on the hills and a salute to the harvest. Here is what some of my research turned up: Many scholars believe that it was the beginning of the Celtic year. It has some elements of a festival of the dead as well as celebrating the harvest and letting nearby neighbours know through the lighting of hillside fires. The Gaels believed that the border between this world and the other became thin on Samhain; because some animals and plants were dying, it thus allowed the dead to reach back through the veil that separated them from the living. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. People and their livestock would often walk between two bonfires as a cleaning ritual, and the bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. The Gaelic custom of wearing costumes and masks, was an attempt to copy the spirits . In Ireland the dead were impersonated by young men with masked, veiled or blackened faces, dressed in costumes-often white. Samhnag — turnips which were hollowed-out and carved with faces to make lanterns — (our pumpkins?)were also used to ward off harmful spirits. The Gaelic festival became associated with the Christian All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, and has hugely influenced the secular customs now connected with Halloween, a name first attested in the 16th century as a Celtic shortening of the fuller All-Hallows-Evening.Samhain continues to be celebrated as a religious festival by some Neopagans. The Irish, I can attest were Famous Pagans and continue to be. So there ye have it ! I don't know when small mars bars and sweets came into appeasing the wandering gaels? Best wishes this year Jim
Jim McKernan, Professor, UNC Greenville [10-12-2010]

Al[Patrizi] and Bor[Borian]: It is that time of the year when the only curve that interests me is Cole Hamel's curve on his change-up. I was thrilled and jacked-up by Doc Halladay's no-hitter. However, we must not forget the other two great pitchers- Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt. I was totally impressed with Cole Hamels shut-out. He mixed 3 pitches masterfully-fastball,cutter and change-up curve. Let's not forget the catcher[Carlos Ruiz]who calls for those pitches. Carlos R. saved the no-hitter when he threw the runner out for the last play of the game. He also hit Chapman's 104 M.P.H. fastball. Bor! I was ecstatic when Hamels struck out Scott Rolen,the former Phillie, for the last play of the game for the shut-out. Valdez is much more than an utiity player. He has talent and a positive spirit which is contagious. Germantowners loved baseball, not only as players but also fans. The Phillies are going to be a "Dynasty".
JBS [10-12-2010]

Paul Borian even though I am quite a few years younger than you I to lived foe baseball in the middle fifties till about 1966. I would play baseball all day every day hoping my mother would not call me in for lunch or dinner. I to was never a Yankees fan, they won all the time, I still remember where I was when Bill Maz hit that that home run to win the 1960 world series. I also remember running all the way home to try to catch as many innings of the world series on tv after school as I could. Boy they were the days. Richie
Richard Pio, Ocala, Fl. area. 60, born an bred in G-town 1950-1995 [10-12-2010]

John P I know where the Villages are, what about all those golf courses thet have beaches on them. I go by the Villages a lot on different road trips on my bike. Margie and I are partial to Anna Maria Island in Bradenton, its about a two and a half hour ride but the beaches are great and lots of FREE parking. Richie
Richard Pio, Ocala, Fl. area. 60, born an bred in G-town 1950-1995 [10-12-2010]

Yesterday over 400 current and former East Germantowners got together for a Reunion. A 10 o'clock Mass at Immaculate Conception, a small social afterwards and then a Dinner and awards ceremony at Williamson Restaurant in Horsham. It was great to see so many former members of the Parish. Four People were inducted into the Hall of Fame. My dad Tom Mc Creight Sr, was a Special Friend of the Immaculate along with fellow inductees Fr. Rock, who has been serving the Vincentian Germantown Community for over 30 years, Joe Coll owner of the Glenside Pub for over 30 years, and finally Ed Flynn,who recently passed away, the owner of Flynn and O'Hara Uniforms. These four men gave their time and effort into making Immaculate what it was and continued to support it to this day. Ed Peterson, donated his time and talent to develop the Immaculate Website and traveled all the way from Wisconsin to be there. Graduates from 1959 and 1960 at Immaculate were also honored. A great time was had by all. We would love to have you come to the next reunion in 2 years. You can use the website, Friends of Immaculate.
Bob Mc Creight, 57 Havertown PA [10-12-2010]

Speaking of Halloween, does anyone remember "Roland"? His TV show was Shock Theater. He always did a bit about "Igor" rattling his chains down in the basement again. Igor just ate another mailman. It was pretty funny stuff. The guy who invented and played Roland was John Zacherle who hung around Cisco's bar in Flourtown. Cisco's then started selling Spider hoagies. I don't know what was in them. Roland even wrote a song which was played on Bandstand. One of the stanzas went like this: Dinner was served for three, at Dracula's house by the sea. the hors d'oeuvres were fine, but I choked on my wine, when I found out the main course was me! Great memories.
Dan Hartnett, Former East Germantown [10-12-2010]

hi bill cupo thanks for sharing ... ha ... it sounds as though you had enough candy to last you to the next halloween ... lots and lots of fun ... take care rosemarie
rosemarie hite malageri [10-12-2010]

Kevin McKernan: I saw "Phantom of the Opera" in New York, a couple of years ago. You are right, this was the most entertaining play ever...it was awesome. Respectfully, Linda "F">
L.Fontana [10-12-2010]

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