Historic Germantown, Philadelphia
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Your Thoughts Archive
August 10-20, 2011

Altus' drug store at Penn & Magnolia had a soda fountain too. Those soda fountains were also the source of freshly scooped ice cream as most of our home freezers didn't allow space large or cold enough to store it.
Sheila [08-20-2011]

Ed, I believe Cashan's was on High Street. When I was first married we lived in a tiny 3rd floor apartment across the street from another grocery store on High St...Caruso's. Cashan's was a couple of blocks above. If my memory serves me correctly they were related.
Sheila [08-20-2011]

Dennis, I enjoyed the link you gave with pictures of Sunken Gardens, and other old photos from Germantown in it's day. Thanks!
Sheila [08-20-2011]

attention tom cusack, bruce schm and ray dawes sfa class of 1956 will hold a reunion luncheon on tuesday, october 4, 2011, at the buck hotel 12 noon. rsvp bud ballard
ORVILLE T. BALLARD, sfa class 1956 and nechs class 1960 [08-20-2011]

Dan Hartnett: No! No! No! You must have misunderstood your good parents. I'm sure they must have said to "keep your head out of the gutter"-- not the cigarette machine. I haven't enjoyed a story from the old neighborhood more since I saw brother Bernie go out our second floor window with an umbrella for a parachute. That didn't end so good either. Hope you were able to score a few packs of puffs after the fracus. Great post, lad. Stay out of trouble.
kevin mcKernan, Santa Barbara, CA. (Rowdy days are behind me) [08-20-2011]

When I take some time to check out this site, it always brings me back to those early days in Germantown when all things seemed possible, when my friends would stay with me forever, when on any summer night a knock would come on the door and my friends would take me out for a night of insane fun. Here's a poem called "Summons" by Robert Francis which echoes my feelings:

Keep me from going to sleep too soon
Or if I go to sleep too soon
Come wake me up. Come any hour
Of night. Come whistling up the road.
Stomp on the porch. Bang on the door.
Make me get out of bed and come
And let you in and light a light.
Tell me the northern lights are on
And make me look. Or tell me clouds
Are doing something to the moon
They never did before, and show me.
See that I see. Talk to me till
I'm half as wide awake as you
And start to dress wondering why
I ever went to bed at all.
Tell me the walking is superb.
Not only tell me but persuade me.
You know I'm not too hard persuaded.

Murph from Cowtown [08-20-2011]

Dennis McGlinchey: My recollection of Sunken Gardens was similar to JBS. I think it depended of what nights you went there. It was definitely a stop for the guys I hung around with when they were going "wenching".
Dan Hartnett, Former East Germantown [08-20-2011]

@ Andy-I went in that bar after I got out of the service in 74 and was given a card that said we do not patronize [blacks hung there] think it was called the Piccadilly inn.
anonymous [08-20-2011]

@Naomi-there was a steak shop on the corner of chelten and heiskell called Pete's -- only drug store in that area was[that I remember] Baker's at Armat and Morton
anonymous [08-20-2011]

Dear Erda: As I recall, our Easter chicks were au naturel. But I am delighted that you remember the dyed ones. I almost mentioned them in my prior post, but passed, not wanting to make the Diner crowd any more hungry than they have made me...I'm still trying to wrap my head around that new menu from the relocated Astor Diner that brother Jim wrote about--talk about haute cuisine! Things sure have changed at the greasy spoons. But about those dyed chicks you recalled; they mesmerized me when they first appeared. I remember pressing my nose, flat against the glass partition, eyes wide as quarters looking at those multi-colored chicks and wondering "What the hell did their parents look like?" I think they starting appearing a few years after we got ours, probably around the same time that folks started to "improve on nature" with flocked, figging Christmas trees. Is nothing sacred anymore? Looking back now at all of our youthful experiences, no matter what parish we came from, I'm amazed how the simple ordinary now seems so extraordinary. Perhaps because so many of us and the places we roamed are gone, or perhaps because we simply can't do them anymore in our September days.
Kevin, We were young, we had fun...playing all day in the sun. [08-20-2011]

Cupo..Podells drug store had a soda fountain in the front along with a full variety of girlie magazines. The soda jerks had to wear a white hat and coat. They also made you any soda from juice mixed with seltzer water and served in a snow cone along with hand dipped ice cream. Doc Podell (Sam) would watch over the fountain and magazine rack from the drug counter in the back. At one time their were 3 soda jerks working that counter. There was always a group of guys that hung out on that corner that were well known in the area.
Gman [08-20-2011]

Dennis McGlinchey: I've been reading your posts on this site for a few years and you have your own unique style and nobody can sterotype you. Some of the bloggers on this site have a problem with my pedantic vocabulary,people like Bob Westside, and consequently I have been trying to use more colloquial language that was used back in the day-50's and 60's. I am older than you and consequently my long-term memory is better than my short-term. I am a reserved guy and when I use colloquial language, it is not my attention to be misogynistic or chauvinistic. When I used the phrase,nitty-gritty,it was meant to imply that Germantown and Philly Girls were down to earth and put on no front and could tell you when to punt. A lot of The Main-Line Ladies were into drama and theater- They were Drama-Queens if you will. Some of them thought they were Hepburn Ladies-both Audrey and Katharine. These ingenues talked beautifully-affected at times. When they used vulgarity, it even sounded poetic- fudge thee was always sweet. Dennis! I think that you get my drift. I hope that you did not take umbrage that I called Sunkin[Sunken] Gardens a meat-market. It was a nice place for dinner or a luncheon but at night, the lights were turned-down and stuff happened there. I knew a great running-back from CD&Temple,Dave Fecek, and he was a bartender on Friday-night when many of the ladies were flaunting what God had endowed them with-their pretty faces and whatever. An expression back in the day was,"Let's Go To The Meat-Market". Sunken Gardens must have had a good reputation because clients came from all over The Delaware Valley and it was not for the liverwurst. In your past life, you frequented The Dunes in Somers Point. I hang out in Spring Lake with the former owner of The Dunes and you would never believe some of the stories-some of those ingenues from The Main-Line could get wild and crazy. Some things never change and these suburban women are still into drama and theater and they could never get down to the nitty-gritty like The Germantown Girls. Dennis! Keep posting and some of my good friends came from the Eastside-including "IC".
John Bruce Schmitt [08-20-2011]

For me, the highlight of the Bob Dylan/Leon Russel concert was seeing Frank Klock again. Lookin' good "Baggs"
Sue Henigan [08-19-2011]

John Flecking, if you ever saw the legendary Fr. Benonis in action, you would know he will be talked about until the last CD alum who witnessed his antics dies off.... He is the poster boy of why corporal punishment is so wrong in the schools.... Discipline is one thing, brutality is quite another....
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [08-19-2011]

JBS, I knew they had dancing at the Sunken Gardens in later years, but I am surprised to hear it being a meat market. You do learn so much on this blog.... My parents had their wedding breakfast there in 1950. Rare anymore, a wedding breakfast was common back then. Never in it, but passed the Sunken Gardens many times in my trek between Korvettes and Gimbel's back in the day. To me, from the outside, it had the feel of an expanded English cottage..... Here is a link to an old ad for it, with the drawing giving a sense of what it looked like. CLICK
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [08-19-2011]

The Immaculate Conception website has some awesome pics of Gtown. Many are of the 1960s which was my era for growing up in Gtown. It was interesting to see there was a trolley that traveled on Chelten Ave before the ol "K" Bus. I also remember the early 70s fire of IC School. Does anyone know who or what became of the vandals who started the fire? I remember Our Lady of the Rosary was reopened for a while to accommodate students. On another note does anyone remember the store on the corner of Ross and High Street? I believe a blind man ran it. Other stores in my area I remember are Cashans and Hunts on Haines St. Our nearest Drug Store was Chanes on Chew and Chelten Aves. It was a short walk from Mechanic and Magnolia.
Ed, Chester, VA [08-19-2011]

Altar boy memories came flooding back following the references to the Little Sisters of the Poor. From 3rd Grade to 8th grade, I was an altar boy at St. Vincent's Seminary. The priests there were assigned to say mass at the LSOTP and also for the Handmaid Sisters on Church Lane. The girls who lived at the LSOTP also attended mass and giggled throughout the entire service. The Little Sisters also provided breakfast after mass. I hope they served the lord better than they cooked in the kitchen. Breakfast was horrible. I remember wrapping up most breakfasts in the linen napkin and placing it into my suit jacket pocket. I didnt want to hurt the sisters feelings when I didn't eat their breakfast. No doubt, I will do some purgatory time for the purloined napkins. No wonder all the Little Sisters were so skinny - I thought it was because they were "poor" - it was really because their food was so bad! Another almost forgotten memory.
Andy Anderson, ICS '58/CDHS '62, USN '62 -'66 - Longwood, FL [08-19-2011]

I wonder if there is anyone but me that can remember when the "Red Cars" did not have a radio. There were police phone boxes on telephone poles. There was one right in front of the Dodge Estate on Clapier Street. Every half hour or whatever the interval was the red car pulled up. The officer pulled out a substantial looking brass key and made contact. I am amazed at how long it could take the police to reach you in an emergency given that system.
Rick Lobs, Resident of NC [08-19-2011]

Fernhill Joe Lynch: I read with great interest your post about hanging out at The Junction Diner with one of the many pretty damsels that you dated in your youth.You characterized yourself as being dumb. This was not really the case since you had not yet acquired the sophistication and urbanity which is now a part of your persona. You knew one of brightest bloggers on this website, Cathy Manning Muir. Our Aussie Colleague would not have associated with a moronic individual. It was not dumbness but naivete that you exhibited at The Junction Diner. What were you thinking when you entered The Diner with a beautiful ingenue when guys like Cueball Cusack and Bob Kephart would be in the place. I saw both of them operate and they were chick-magnets. Back in the day, Tom Boyle and I would frequent The Pub or Crane's and bring the lovely ladies back to The Continental for a nightcap. I never had so many friends in my life and many of the lads came over to our table. One night, I had a date with a very pretty Irish Lassie and Tom B. tells me his date likes me — this was at The Continental. To make a long story short, Tom B. took my date's number and married her. It was always interesting how people met and marched off to the sunset. You seemed to have had a penchant for ladies from CA and The Mount. The Mounties always said, "We Always Get Our Man". Joe! This Is Only My Observation and I was never Joe Palooka.
Bruce Schmitt [08-19-2011]

Dennis - In addition to the normal ice cream treats, Chane's fountain specialized in a drink called a "lemon phosphate". I joined the Navy in '62 and my recollection is that the soda fountain came out, at least, a few years before that so my guess would be '59 or '60. What a barrage of aromas one could experience walking that area of Chew & Chelten. Freddie's Steak Shop, the tavern on the corner whose name escapes me - then across the street starting with Chane's, then the dry cleaner, then the hardware store, then Carol's Candies. And, as I recall, there was a small shoe repair shop with the distinct aroma of rubber & leather. Isn't it strange that the modern day places like this don't have those distinctive aromas any more - or has my sense of smell diminished with age? Andy
Andy Anderson, ics '58/cdhs '62, usn '62 -'66 [08-19-2011]

Andy A. I don't remember Chanes having a soda fountain, but I do remember a drug store on on Chelten Ave near Heiskell St. having a great soda fountain!
Naomi Vitelli [08-19-2011]

I am glad that I got a few of you talking about the Wayne Junction Diner. I also remember, fondly, many of the other diners mentioned. Especially Belfield diner which my Dad and I frequented when I flunked Physics my Junior year at NC and had to go to summer school. We went there a lot, since the rest of the family was at our home in North Wildwood.On another note, does anyone remember Alesandro's beer distributor ? he was a few doors up from Siani's barber shop on Wayne Ave. He delivered beer to our house for many years. As I recall there was a TV /radio repair shop next to him.Also on that side of Wayne Ave lived the Simparelli's and the Paulzano's. Linda Simparelli was a classmate at St. Mike's and sadly died of cancer a few years ago. She also had an older sister Jeanette,I think.They were very sweet girls from a very nice family.
Bob D'Angelo [08-19-2011]

To JBS (the Chairman of the Board): Bruce, I lost half of the prior post when I hit the wrong key yesterday and I thought that much it made it to print. However it got lost somewhere in cyberspace and I spent my life as a computer guy. Go figure! In any case, I was remarking on your mention of Irv Ott. This was a person whose name I had probably forgotten for more than 50 years but I remember him well, nice guy. I think I met him at Germantown High School even though your posting indicates he was a Saint Francis guy in grade school. This reminds me of another interesting fellow that you mention from time to time, "Bob LaValle". I met him also at Germantown after my departure from Roman Catholic and his departure from North. We were instantly, birds of a feather. I think the Catholic High Schools were cleaning out the system. Bob was my mentor, in that he showed me how to cut double period history class every week without getting attention. We slip out the back door of the school, light up our cigarettes and play the pinball machine at a nearby steak shop on Haines St. We succeeded in doing this for most of a semester and I even passed; not sure about him. These days I read lots of histories and have a fresh stack ready to go. It is one of my passions. Some things just don't compute. As always, thanks for your kind comments and if you see some space for lunch or drinks, give me a toot, that is, after you finish burning up Spring Lake. I have lots to talk about. I just got back from Santa Fe and Taos, places where I like to go to readjust. I think you spent some time there. Then again, I think you spent some time everywhere; kind of like "Kilroy". Remember those signs "Kilroy was here"? I can just see it now, "JBS was here" and that would probably be true, I also have a great story about Bernie McKernan that I can't tell on this blog, something about a broken Tecla toilet. Bernie is in therapy over it. Sorry Bernie, I couldn't contain it. As the Brits say, "Cheers".
Dan Hartnett, Former East Germantown [08-19-2011]

Kevin, Loved your story about the chicken just have one question.. When you got your chicks for Easter were they dyed?? I remember the dyed chicks in Woolworths and a Montgomeryville Farmer Mark off 309.
Erda Armstrong Graham, From the Westside of Germantown [08-19-2011]

Dan Hartnett: It is great to see you posting again and regaling us with the nitty-gritty events that took place in your callow youth. I find it intriguing that a guy that I break bread with,drink Malbec Wine,have high-level conversation about Augustine and Catholic Theology, had such a colorful youth. I also find it ironic that you had to deal with 2 rugged gladiators,Nicky Lazro&Jackie Farrell at The Proper Place and a feisty dude autographs your face at a diner. I knew both of the diners that you mentioned-Oak Lane and Littleton Diners. I even went to The Oak lane Diner in the 80's when Koreans owned it. Not far from there, Officer Cassidy was gunned down and he was a good friend of John Burke[PPD] who posts on this site. You also mentioned Littleton's Diner at Cheltenham&Ogontz where many folks went after leaving The Sunkin Gardens Meat-Market at 2:AM. I knew a guy by the name of Gino who was always hitting on a waitress at Littleton's and as the years rolled on, he did marry the daughter. He is in our age-bracket and still married to his younger wife. Gino is an Italian-American but he likes The Celtic Women's Song,"Raise Me Up". I find it fascinating how we find spirituality in our golden years. Dan! We had some good and interesting times in G-town in our callow youth, but we are now walking with The Lord in The Burbs as we are heading home.
JBS [08-18-2011]

Andy Anderson, liked your story about buying the girly magazine at Chane's. Reading that, reminded me of the film, "Summer of 42" and Hermie in that drug store getting up the guts to buy a condom. Regarding Chanes, never knew they had a soda fountain there. I know many of those old-time drug stores did, but never knew Chane's did at one time. You learn so much here on this blog. For those who know Chane's and Chew & Chelten, here is a link to an interesting 1910 photo of that corner. Chanes, the corner store, was a drug store then too, AJ Meier Pharmacy.... CLICK
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [08-18-2011]

Kevin, your chicken story brought memories back to me. We didn't give our chickens to the LSOTP though. We took them to Jersey for my grandpop to "raise." Never saw them again after that!
Sheila [08-18-2011]

[CD’s legendary disciplinarian, Fr. Benonis didn’t seem to know how to bring about discipline and order without a heavy hand and brutality. Now gone, maybe he assumed the role of heaven’s disciplinarian and banging the saints heads on lockers like he did back in the day at CD….] Will this mans memory ever be able to rest in peace?
John Fleming, Tampa Bay, Florida CD'62 [08-18-2011]

JBS: I hit the wrong key in the middle of a post and it executed in mid sentence so I am resuming. Talking about diners: As a former frequent habitue of the local diner scene, I used to really like the Oak Lane diner. They had a short order cook named "Tom" who put on a performance. Actually, he conducted breakfast, especially after closing time at the bar. One hand would be scrambling eggs and the other hand would be making a sandwich. He never wasted a move; a sight to behold and never missed a beat. Watching him was like free entertainment. I also spent a lot of time (after hours) at Littleton's near Ogontz and Cheltenham (outside Germantown's borders, thus foreign). I tried to help a guy out there one night who was being attacked, and wound up tangling with a guy who slammed my head through the cigarette machine. I got 21 stitches. Believe it or not I whipped it on him then; he lost. Thank God that all nights were not entertaining. Those were the days, were they not? The diner scene was rich!
Dan Hartnett, Former East Germantown [08-17-2011]

Hi Lorraine Cupo Kelly. Your post on neighborhood small businesses past, resonated with me. I can well identify with Arnone's, Trio, Abe's, Jacobson's amd Podells, but for the life of me could not remember the others. Then again, you were not the drinker that I was, thus the loss of brain cells. Its a scientific fact. Say hello to your mom for me.
Dan Hartnett, Former East Germantown [08-17-2011]

Yo Ray Dawes and 'anonymous' thanks for the info on the Belfield Diner. I never knew it by the name "Astor Diner" but when Ray Dawes mentioned it was towed to Lansdale I did an internet check and for sure the new Astor Diner turns up there-just like us guys this diner has had a second life out of Germantown and I must say I am impressed with the reviews-I mean they offer Gourmet Cuisine e.g french breakfast food in bananas, blueberries and even margarita pizzas! Whoa! And it seems the customers rave about the prices-check out the Belfield Diner on Sumneyton Pike in lansdale. This is a story with a happy ending so far. Peace... Jim in hot NC
Jim McKernan, Greenville NC [08-17-2011]

Bud Ballard: It will be a honor and a privlige to attend The SFA Reunion at The Buck on October 4. I always enjoy this great reunion that you organize so well. With a little luck, I'll you at The Buck, what the heck.
Bruce Schmitt [08-17-2011]

All this talk of diners has made me hungry.When I first went to the Wayne Junction Diner, I was so stupid about social ways, I asked for milk AND lemon for my tea. I can remember the waitress saying "That's a new one on me." I was listening to "Maria" by Johnny Mathis on the juke box with a female friend. I didn't know how dumb I was. I could hear the trains rumbling when the juke box wasn't on. The diner is still there, though not serving tea with lemon and milk anymore, tucked away in a corner of my memory.
Joe Lynch--Never take friendship personally. [08-17-2011]

I worked at Zeiger's and know Bonnie well. I knew her parents, Betty & Paul Raser also. Good people.
Sheila [08-17-2011]

Naomi - Did they still have the soda fountain when you worked at Chanes or had it been removed? It was a sad time when they took it out! I bought my first "girly" magazine at Chanes. I was about 14 so it would have been in '58. There are more risque photos in "People" today than there were in that magazine at the time. Still, after I picked it out, I roamed around the store for about 25 minutes waiting for all of the other customers to clear before I made my purchase. I also made sure it was a guy who waited on me and not a female. My hands were so sweaty by the time I got to the counter, my money was soaked and the magazine was a soggy mess. Thank goodness we only go through puberty once. I haven't thought about this incident in a long time - thanks for the memory jog and the chuckle as well. Andy
Andy Anderson, ics '58/cdhs '62, usn '62 -'66 [08-17-2011]

Naomi Vitelli's mention of the home that the Little Sisters of the Poor operated for the poor and elderly awakened a dormant memory in me. She was correct, they were located on upper Church Lane and the order was French in origin. They have been in the Philadelphia area, in various locations, since the 1860s, I learned a very tough but valuable lesson there. Some sixty years ago my mother and I stood outside the Sisters' gate with a sack full of chickens--very unhappy birds, as I recall. I was very young and naive and thought we were taken them to the Home's "farm". These chickens had been hatched under heat lamps at Woolworth's for Easter and raised by us in a cardboard box with a weak lamp for warmth. Unlike so many other "peeps" many of us purchased back then, two of ours thrived, one to the point ("Chesty"), strutted around our yard like some John Travolta like character in "Saturday Night Fever." He was a very handsome Rhode Island Red specimen-- with attitude-- and quickly took over our yard. However, when he started that cock-a doodle- doo reveille thing at first light, I knew the jig was up for old Chesty and his chick friend. They had to go! Barnyard sounds like he was emitting had not been heard in our neighborhood since colonial days. He was totally out of sync with the mill sounds. After assuring my mother and myself that our chickens would be "well taken care of"--with a wink and a nod-- the good Sister took our chickens. Later I would learn that our beloved pets had been eaten--turned into much needed sustenance for the poor, most likely that very night. That was a difficult but necessary lesson for me to accept, but would not be the last in my loss of innocence. There still was that Santa Clause thing out there...
kevin McKernan, Santa Barbara, CA., Old St Vincent's (1958) [08-17-2011]

With the talk about diners, I agree they were (and are) special, but never knew the Wayne Junction Diner. On the east side, we had the popular Stenton Diner on Stenton Avenue. Here is a link to a photo of it for those that remember it. CLICK Littleton’s Diner at Ogontz and Cheltenham was also special. Passed it often on the way to CD, but never in it, is the Oak Lane Diner at Broad & 65th. Not exactly a diner, but the Hot Shoppes at Broad & Godfrey was also a good place to go on a date, after a movie. In the Northeast, where I moved to from Germantown, there was the Country Club Diner and the Mayfair Diner, and closer to me, Mil-Lee’s Luv-in Diner in Lawncrest. No, they weren't 4-star restaurants, but were fun and memorable places....
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [08-17-2011]

Marianne Regan, nice post of memories. Along with MEK’s post, sounds like it was a war zone in the halls and classrooms of SFA. IC was like that and I imagine the other Catholic schools were too. Corporal punishment in the Catholic, public and private schools was a fact of life back in the day. Never quite understood how parents tolerated it. Seems they viewed the priests, nuns and teachers as always right. If punished, and I didn’t have to, I would never tell my parents. Their reaction would have been, what did I do to deserve it, and maybe get punished more. Fortunately, that no longer goes on in the schools today, Catholic or public. CD’s legendary disciplinarian, Fr. Benonis didn’t seem to know how to bring about discipline and order without a heavy hand and brutality. Now gone, maybe he assumed the role of heaven’s disciplinarian and banging the saints heads on lockers like he did back in the day at CD….. JBS, your comment, “I liked the babes from the city because they could get down to the nitty-gritty”. I’ll pass on asking you to elaborate on this family values board…...
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [08-17-2011]

@ Jim was that at belfield and wister ? I remember the astor diner on belfield ave
anonymous [08-16-2011]

The Belfield Dinner was towed to North Wales and survise today may be a different name now. The name of the flower shop across the street from Garfield st. Was Razer(not shore of spelling) had daughter bonnie jane who married one of the Zigler roses suppliers
RAY DAWES, 68 years old saint francis 1957 germantown 61 nickolettes64 [08-16-2011]

What's in a name?? Arnone's, Trio Cold Cuts, Salenzi's, Abe's/Heller's, Jacobson's, Podells, Sutter's, Smitty's....just a few of the stores I remember patronizing when I was "growing up" in Germantown. Somehow, Starbucks, Papa John's, Domino's, CVS, Walgreen's, Macy's, JCPenny's, just don't have the magic I associate with the small, friendly, family-operated stores of my past. Thanks for the memories.
Lorraine (Cupo) Kelly, fl; ic '55; cdhs '59 [08-16-2011]

I attended St. Francis of Assisi for 8 years during the late 50's, early 60's. During that time I personally witnessed a favored nun beat, kick and slap many of us. I've seen young girls hair wrapped in rubber bands and cut arbitrarily and young boys thrown into the blackboard, with broken teeth as the result. Several nun exercised corporal punishment. So, athough some may not have witnessed (or remembered) such forms of punishment, I can tell you, first hand, that it surely existed. Did I receive a good education? Without a doubt. Surely the punishment tactics of that time would never happen in todays classroom. However, the beatings were real, painful and very memorable.
MEK [08-16-2011]

Bob D'Angelo: I enjoyed reading the posts about diners and how you funtioned at the Junction- The Diner. I can only imagine you and Cousin JOE DAGS bumping into Cueball[TC] and Bor[PB]. You and Joe D. are smooth talkers but you could only listen to Bor and Cueball. The D'Angelo Brothers married lovely ladies and back in the day were known to keep the company of some pretty-women but Cueball, the dancing machine would have regaled you with all the purdy ladies that he rocked and rolled on the dance floor. Bor and Joe Dags would have been talking baseball and Bor would have told him how he would have hit the knuckleball since he remembered Hoyt Wilhelm. Like you and Professor McKernan, I closed a few bistros and clubs and then did the diner-thing. Bob Eastside thinks that I was home on Friday night reading the New York Times or the Thesarus building up my vocabulary to impress those ingenues from The Main Line. I liked the babes from the city because they could get down to the nitty-gritty. It was always quite a scene in diners after the clubs closed-especially in Somers Point after The Dunes closed at 6:AM. Borian and Cusack had been there and done that. Diners were such a part of the culture of Germantown,Philly, and Jersey back in the day. Breakfast is so great at diners even at The Jersey Shore. I go to Spring Lake and there are some upscale places for breakfast but I like to go to Belmar to A Greek Diner- The Acropolis. It reminds me so much of the diners in Philly and Brooklyn. Bob! I hate to bring it up but you are not going to find The Junction Diner or The Acropolis in Sarasota.
Bruce Schmitt [08-16-2011]

Responding to JBS's post of 08/14/11: I went to SFA in the 60's, from most likely 1962-1970. In 8th grade we had a nazi for a teacher, Sr. St. Johanna. At the beginning of the year, she said, "I'm not here to police you, but teach you." Then she proceeded to beat up, mostly the boys, throughout the year. One boy whose name I do not recall, was thrown from the back of the class all the way to the front of the classroom and he hit his head on one of the corners of the Sister's desk, causing a large, gaping hole in his forehead. Needlesstosay, that caused a lot of drama in the classroom. The rest of us were all scared stiff in our seats. I had the dubious honor of being kicked off the safety team - remember how we had safety teams that used to walk the kids in straight lines about a block in each direction from the school? (I think I was Line 5.) I was kicked off the safety team because I had the misfortune to use my handicapped sister's reel-to-reel tape-recorder for a science fair project and it got stolen. The day after the fair, when we realized that it was stolen, my mother called the school. Sr. St. Johanna came to my desk and said to me "doesn't your mother know anything about depreciation?" I had no idea what she meant. But since we demanded the school replace the tape recorder, I got thrown off the safety team. Another classmate of mine said that when Sr. St. Johanna passed away, only two class mates went to her funeral. So, while I had "Oh my gracious Sister Saint Ignatious" in first grade, it was Sr. St. Johanna who lingers in my nightmares.
Marianne Regan, San Diego, 54 years old [08-16-2011]

Hi Andy A. I worked at Chanes Pharmacy in the early 60's. My cousin Joe Caroluzzi worked at the Walton. I lived across the street from Waterview Playground. Great times there & at Happy Hallow!
Naomi Vitelli, Born in "Germantown Hospital" 1949 [08-16-2011]

Just came across this great website! Would love to know of a reunion of SFA CLASS OF 1960. Saw a posting from Maryann McIntyre - my class! Anyone on Face book - I'm there too - let me know of info of any of our classmates - please. I'll check back here to see if any reply's are posted.
Barbara Jo Aherne Hartzell, lived on Zeralda St. fraom 1947 till 1968 [08-16-2011]

Does anyone remember-a man dressed in a chef's coat & hat standing at corner of GTN & Maplewood Aves near the Colonial Movie he sold what tasted like Turkish Taffy?? He had a big block of this candy on a table & broke pieces off the block with a hammer-weighed the pieces-put the broken candy in bag & collected your money-WHO REMEMBERS???????? Lou Giorno
lou giorno, Mr g dos [08-16-2011]

I can’t resist posting one more quick story. The Kern Dodge Mansion was mentioned for giving out shinny dimes at Halloween. I remember a big fish bowl of pennies that a maid, in her black and white outfit with a butler nearby, would dip her hands into to give each kid a handful of shinny pennies. The elder kids, like my brother Alan, would get to go upstairs to see Kern Dodge. I can still picture him climbing the stairs in his mummy costume and thinking maybe he won’t come back down. To illustrate how far we would travel on Halloween, returning a few times to unload the full bags, I remember one night of Trick or Treating ended just a few doors down from Superior Bakery on Logan Street. That’s a fair hike for kids in costume from Erringer Place.
Del Conner [08-16-2011]

In the few years I have been reading these blogs I have heard of many shops,clubs, fields and eateries but I have never seen any talk of the BELFIELD DINER (Belfield Ave under the Reading railway line). It was a classic diner-silver chrome external and came to life in the wee hours of the morning. Guys from our neighbourhood would meet up there after the 4-12 shift at Midvale or the regular pub crawls finished at 2 a.m. They did mighty breakfasts and even cheesebugers/fries and Philly steaks. One wonders why and how it could happen that they are no more. I believe that Philadelphia area and New Jersey were especially blessed with good Diner emporiums.
Jim McKernan, Greenville, NC [08-15-2011]

Hi Naomi - I lived on Musgrave St. across from St. Vincent's Seminary but Chew & Chelten was our corner of choice for hanging out. We hung in front of Freddie's Steak Shop and also in front of the Chanes Drug Store. I have a kid brother, Jim (aka Peakin) and a baby sister Madeline. My Mom worked at the Miraculous Medal Assn for many years. Spent many a Saturday afternoon at the Walton Theater before it switched to "adult" films. Attended record hops at Knights of Columbus & IC Parish Hall. Where'd you spend your time? Andy
Andy Anderson, Longwood, FL USA - IC '58 CD '62 [08-14-2011]

Someone brought up the Wayne Junction Diner. That sure brought back good memories. My family was not affluent to say the very least so eating out was a very very special treat. The WJD was a place where we ate because of the cost; and becuase it was near my grandparents who lived in Nicetown. In any case, I always ordered the "combination seafood" meal. The reason I remember that is because it was the single most expensive item on the menu - 0.75 cents. My father would squirm and do the body language thing but never denied me.
Rick Lobs, Lived on West Clapier 1943-1956 [08-14-2011]

Someone here mentioned Facebook awhile ago.... If you belong, there are various Germantown groups, including Brickyard and GBC, There is also a SFA/St. Mike's group. IC has 2 groups, St. Benedict has 1 and Germantown High has several as does CD and NC. Search on them and join the ones of interest.....
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [08-14-2011]

One of the recent blogs mentioned one of my favorite hangouts in the late 50's early 60's .... the Wayne Junction Diner. When I saw the movie "Diner" years ago it made me think of the Junction Diner. Go in there late at night and you would see different crowds/corners in different booths ... the Hollow, Fernhill Park, Zeralda Street to name a few ... the owners were two Greek brothers, one was named Gus .. I forget the other name. They were nice guys and patient with all of us. After a dance on the weekend or after a date, you would head for the Diner and trade stories about what went on that night. Something about a cheeseburger, fries and a coke at 1 in the morning made me sleep better.
Tom Cusack [08-14-2011]

The grocery store at the corner of Seymour St and Knox was owned by Gus and his wife, Lee Bergman. They were a little tiny Jewish couple. They had penny candy behind the counter and many times you would see his wife gabbing on their pay phone in the store; the phone being up two steps behind the cash register. (I was a frequent flier to their store, as we lived two doors away.)
Arlene (Bloomer) McMahon [08-14-2011]

May Flannery: Thanks for the information about the Doo Wap festival. It's a good time and many GTN people attend. Hope to see lots of people there for a good cause.
Joe Graber [08-14-2011]

Bob D'Angelo...Last week I commented on some of the happenings at the Wayne Junction Diner.Perhaps that is the reason the Server crashed?If you go back to the archives,you will run across several funny stories about the Boys of the Hollow and their near distruction of that fine diner.(go back about the last year or two)By the time you started to frequent the diner,we older and crazy Hollow guys were moving on to other targets.Many a night during the 50's,after a night at Nick's,Herb's,Cranes,etc,we would stop off at the diner at 2 a.m. for bacon and eggs,toast with butter and jelly,coffee,etc.,and take over the diner.Looking back,we were rude,crude and discourteous to the normal people who patronized that fine diner.You know,it is never too late to apologize.On behalf of the bad boys of the Hollow,we are truly sorry.....Paul Borian
Paul Borian, Proud survivor of the Wayne Junction Diner [08-14-2011]

Tom Cusack, Del Connor, et al: the bakery at Keyser and Logan was indeed Superior bakery. My family lived directly across the street and at about 11 pm every evening we would get the glorious odors of fresh rolls coming right out of the ovens. Often we'd walk across the street at that hour to get our hands on one of those oven fresh rolls. My mom, Caroline, worked in the bakery store for many years. On the corner by the side of our front porch is where we sold our ‘lemonade’. My dad, Bonnie senior (his real name was Domenico), made the lemonade in our back yard every morning. The corner often became a gathering point for old and young together. The small cup was 2 cents and the large cup was 5 cents. We kept our earnings in a cigar box that sat on the porch rail. My mom often gave away more than when we sold whenever there were little kids around who had no money.
Bonnie (Joe) Gatto [08-14-2011]

Like Mr. Anonymous, I'm trying to remember what I posted and the blogs that I read. I recall FFF[5 for 5] Giorno suggesting that some of The St. Joe Nuns at SFA utilized brutal methodology in teaching the students. Lou! I went to SFA and I have to tell you that I never had great rapport with the nuns and I was not the dumbest kid in the class. One nun,Miriam Delores, thought that I used vulgarity which could be heard in the school-yard and I told her,"Negative". She wanted me to rat on Irv Ott who slipped with a f-note. How could I possibly rat on Irv whose mother was The Den-mother for The Boy Scouts. I was never a choir-boy,an altar-boy,or boy scout but I never tried to use any friggin vulgar language. Having said that that, I am not sure that brutal is the proper adjective to describe the sisters at my beloved SFA. I was elbowed by Fernill Joe Lynch,kicked by his friend,Neal McElroy, tackled by Bob LaValle,and sparred with Mole Adomoli who threw wicked roundhouses- this is the real meaning of brutality. Is it any wonder that I don't look like a choir boy. For me, it was really a fudging joke, when a nun slapped a kid. If I had been hit by Rocky Raeffale,Herb Adderly or Paul Borian that would have been brutal. The Bor speaks like a highly-educated guy but I don't know what he was thinking when he had an altercation with Herb Adderly. People like Jack Brogan saw him rebound and it was smart to get away from him- Herb was all-man. Nobody is perfect but The St. Joe Nuns at SFA were good teachers. Observe some of the great bloggers on this site who went to SFA- Jack The Explorer Brogan,Fernhill Joe Lynch,Tom Cueball Cusack, John The Red Baron Payne, Frankie Baggs Klock, Texas Jack McHugh, and last but not least,Aussie Catharine Manning Muir- all products of SFA with literary and compositional skills and steeped with erudition. Some of these folks were taught by Sister Grace,the esteemed and wonderful nun at St. Francis. Brother Ken had Sister Grace and he would have died for her. However, I am happy that you could see the compassion and gentilesse in Father Cavalucci at St. Mike's. My friend, Lou Pauzano, would be a better judge of Father Cavalucci since he went to St. Mike's. I have to tell you that your posts are not always congruous with my thinking but they certainly solicit some interesting retorts and commentary.
JBS [08-14-2011]

Naomi, thanks for the info.Lou G.
Lou giorno, Mr G Dos [08-14-2011]

Del Connor, you brought a very painful memory to mind with your post. In 1964, I was a Junior at North catholic and like many kids was intently watching the Phillies heading to what I thought would be a world series victory. I had a school buddy who worked at Connie Mack stadium and had secured a job for me for the series. I would have been at all the home games and could have witnessed history. Alas, Chico Ruiz of the Reds stole home and that loss concluded the Phillies collapse. A bitter disappointment for me, and no world series for Philadelphia. Interestingly, my Dad was never a Phillies fan, as he loved the A's . He always said the wrong team left town. He wasn't alive for the 1980 championship, but I toasted him when they won . I did so in 2008 too Hopefully, I can toast him again this year
rjdangelo9@yahoo.com [08-14-2011]

what was the name of the flower shop at Seymour & Gtn aves?
anonymous [08-14-2011]

Recently I learned the Secret of Life, but it was lost forever on the server.
Joe Lynch/NAPA Know-How [08-12-2011]

Wow, a lot of very interesting posts recently. On Monday I had met my girlfriend at the Kelpius site off of Henry Avenue to show her out of town Daughter-in-Law and grandson a bit of Germantown. I’m a member of the Kelpius Society but that is another story. I then took them to Toleration point in the Wissahickon with the statue of William Penn; his head is still on, then to Kitchen’s Lane. After that I dropped off some material to Philips Casting off Penn Street near the Reading Railroad Bridge. They say Germantown is coming back and I did see a little evidence of it on Monday. Certainly there is still a lot of great architecture in place.

I participated in an event at Vernon Park this past spring. Not what it used to be. I remember the Annual Vernon Park Fair as a kid. They had a dark tent in which I remember watching the silent film of Lon Chaney in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Bob Moore’s mother was a volunteer. I think I noticed that the statue of Pastorius was still there.

Yes, Gagen’s was at Keyser and Seymour and it was Superior Bakery. Thanks for that, but I don’t remember the water ice. When I think of that block of Logan Street I will always remember walking home from school in the fall of ’64 and the Phillies having to win just one game to go to the World Series. I was on that block when I heard that they lost that last chance. Coincidently, I have a cover for the World Series Program that never was for Philly that year. The full-color cover has a picture of Connie Mack Stadium with two pennants, the Phillies and a blank one that was to be imprinted with their opponent. My father worked at Budd’s with a man who’s Son-in-Law worked for one of the big printing companies in town, (Consolidated Drake I think). He gave that collectors item to Dad and at about the same time he gave him uncut sheets of the Beatle Cards! I cut those sheets down with a pair of scissors for a complete set of the cards! Still have them. I always said I would match up the uneven cuts and put the sheets back together. Never did.

My true love as a teenager was Linda Westenheffer who lived just in from Keyser on Wyneva. The Harkins. Always liked them.

Someone mentioned the Sommers who lived on Caliper across from the Kern Dodge Estate. That old house had some historic significance if I remember correctly. A girls school at one time? The Sommers had two beautiful blond haired daughters. I saw my first color TV in their living room while Trick or Treating.

The Sommers had a very big old Black Cherry tree in the back yard. We would harvest bags full every year. The week of August 16, 1958 we kids were sitting in front of my house on Erringer Place eating our cherries when my father showed us a copy of the Saturday Evening Post. In it was a big article about my 3x great grandfather Dr. Philip Syng Physick, “Father of American Surgery”. In that article it mentions that among his many first was the introduction of artificial carbonated water to America in 1807, and perhaps the first in the world to add flavor. Dad pointed out that by family tradition his first flavor, coincidently, was Black Cherry. I founded a company on the soda’s Bicentennial and sell the Dr. Physick Black Cherry Soda in the historic district of Philadelphia. Sweetened with pure sugar cane. As good as old Franks’ Black Cherry Whisneack. And for those who always wondered, Wishniak is Polish for Black Cherry.

That Saturday Evening Post also featured an article on the late night TV horror show host then popular. The best of them was Philadelphia’s own Roland. That article hit home more than Dr. Physick. We loved Roland. I looked it up on the internet and just a few weeks after that article Roland left town and went to New York City. The Philadelphia station owned the name Roland so he then used his own name Zackarly, or something like that.

Sorry for the long post. I hope that I didn’t crash the webmaster’s computer. Maybe the master will keep the paragraph breaks to help folks find what interest them if anything.

I would add my condolences to fellow North Catholic grad, Navy Seal, Michael Strange who died in service to us all last week. May he rest in peace.
Del Conner, I could go on forever with these stories [08-12-2011]

Andy Anderson, I forgot a about those candy apples! Thanks for reminding me. Yes, they were great! Did you live near Chew & Chelten? naomi
Naomi Vitelli [08-12-2011]

Hello Lou Giorno, My sister Betty was married to Joe Ambrose. He lives in Hatboro PA naomi
Naomi Vitelli [08-12-2011]

I don't know about you but I can't remember if I bloged or not. Senior moments are coming faster and more frequently.
anonymous [08-12-2011]

Thanks for your efforts. Was it connected to the stock market?? : ~ )
denise Duckworth Tumelty [08-13-2011]

If it were connected to the stock market, I would have just waited a day for the system to correct itself!

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