Historic Germantown, Philadelphia
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October 21-31, 2011

Naomi Vitelli, funny you should mention the plastic coffin that opened to reveal a skeleton matches, that was how I first met Mr. Errichetti. I was in 1st or 2nd grade at IC and a classmate had one of those (without the matches of course) and was showing it around. I wanted one and he said Mr. Errichetti was giving them out. Being young, I remember trying to get up the nerve to knock on the funeral home office door. When I did, Mr. Errichetti answered and I probably said something stupid like, "Mr. Errichetti, can I have a skeleton".... I remember him smiling, then going back to get one and giving it to me (without the match). I knew him later from delivering newspapers to him. I imagine most of his funerals were out of Holy Rosary and St. Mike's, but he did a good business at IC too. Altar boys who served a funeral usually got some money from the family, but Mr. Errichetti would always give to the altar boys as well (a silver dollar comes to mind but could be wrong on that). I don't remember any other undertaker doing that. Just a nice, kind and generous man he was.
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [10-31-2011]

Anon, Denise and others, you're being alittle too hard on Lou Giorno. Pulling pranks is age-old and done in the interest of fun and a laugh. As long as nobody got hurt and there wasn't destruction... I've dealt with my own share of soaped windows, toilet paper on trees, etc. and survived. Now, stealing candy or whole trick-or-treat bags froms kids, that I have a hard time with and see to be a greater offense...
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [10-31-2011]

Kevin McKernan:I commend you and your kid-brother,Professor Jim, on 2 excellent blogs-Jim,with commentary on The Crimea and The Charge of The Light Brigade and you ratcheted the conversation down with comments about Halloween and The Continental and Crane's. Dennis McGlinchey of IC and The Eastside had some great photos of Crane's Tavern on W. Queen Lane. You mentioned that I held court at The Continental,back in the day- no fudging way. I am only half-Irish and when Brother Bernie and Dan The Man Hartnett talk, I listen since I am a reserved guy. I developed my reserved characteristics by hanging out at The Continental as a young dude with some rough and tumble motor-scooters. People like Slugger Boyle and Ed Burke Sr.,an very experienced union-organizer did not want to hear ideas from a younger guy. One day, Ed Burke Sr. told Charlie Brown, a rocky former Marine to shut his face since he was really a kid next to Big Ed from K&A. A donnybrook ensued and it was a clash between a tough marine and a very rough gladiator from K&A. The legendary Thomas Goony Walsh,the famous union-guy would stop for a quick pop since he was friends with Hughie Canon,The Continental Mangager. Cueball Cusack would tell you that when Goony was talking,it was wise to listen and when he told you to keep your hands in your pockets,it was wise to comply. One night, I was in The Continental,when Captain Clarence Ferguson[PPD] checked out the place and he observed cops,teachers,firemen,businessmen,and many people in the trades simply imbibing. One night,Gorgo McCartney,invited me to be his partner in a heavy-duty pinochle game upstairs. I'm a college kid and should have never gotten into this game. Gorgo is drinking and wanted to name trump all the time and consequently,we were always going down-it was equal to a semester tuition. John West is Mr. Continental and he told me at Hughie Canon's Funeral that he never knew so many characters as there were at The Continental. You went to CD and you might have known Jack Smith,the great CD soccer coach who was a regular at The Continental. Jack Smith was All-Inter-Ac,All-Catholic,and All-Public and a former paratrooper. Brother Bernie might have known Jerry Gorman who was friends with Dave McNulty at North. Dave McNulty was in North's Plays under the direction of Dave Loscalzo. David was a great Irish Orator and liked his Double-scotch with some ice and no chaser. After a few belts, he would belt out,"To Be or Not To Be"-aka-Richard Burton. Tom Boyle and I would bring lassies from The Pub and Crane' for a night-cap and lads would come over to my table and hit on these lovely ingenues and with my philanthopic inclination, I shared the wealth from a conversational perspective. One night, I had a date with a tall Irish beauty and my good friend with his Irish charm won her over and married her and had beautiful children. Kevin! You get my drift that I did not hold court at The Continental but I did have a lot of fun-drinking,dancing,talking,and a little wagering on pool,darts,shuffle-board,and cards. I also want you to know that I did not drink because I had to but in my callow youth, it just tasted so good-especially Black-Russians. Dave Linn mentioned in his last post that Germantowners will be partying on Nov.23 at The Cotinental. It would be great if 3 very intelligent bloggers from this site, made this event-The McKernan Brothers from St. Vincent's.
JB Schmitt [10-31-2011]

To Webmaster I'm shocked that you would print what anon called me--A BIG ***-it's an insult to me & to other readers that you would put a vulgarity like that & not EDIT that kind of talk.The writer, ANON,( a coward,)has no place on this website. I refuse to retaliate to this person & give him the satifaction of a reply. If insults like this continue to be printed,I will delete this website from my computer.I'm very disappointed in you. Louis F. Giorno
Lou Giorno, Mr. G DOS [10-31-2011]

I've gone back and removed the reference.

I distinctly remember that early snowfall in the early 70's. I remember having to navigate my '69 Buick Electra convertible in going to work in the morning. Of course on the way home, nothing remained of the snow.
John Fleming, Tampa Bay, Florida CD'62 [10-31-2011]

Joe Lynch: Funny post. If I would have known you before I headed south for the Sunshine State, I would have given you my snow shovels and snow blower. Just remember you don't have to shovel humidity!
John Fleming, Tampa Bay, Florida CD'62 [10-31-2011]

Helen Leone D'Angelo I really enjoyed the blogs with brother Frank-So delighted he has a www.villaleone.com in the carib isle of Saint Maarten. I write today to say I also connected with my ol pal Cpl Murray McCann (survivor of the historic siege at Khe Sahn..in the Republic of hmmmm?) Murray was my best man when I married Valerie, my Galway born wife in County Derry Northern Ireland in April 1974. He and I were the only Yanks at Galway University. the "North" at that time. We married at a Registry Office and were escorted by the British Army to our wonderful Pub "Campbell's of Portrush, County Antrim" where the local poet, my friend James Simmons, gave us the only bottle of Champagne to be had in the region.....we sang songs and loved and lived very well i seem to recall. Anyroad Murray, was on the Committee that established the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in D.C. He has given me new hope for our Germantown Memorial. He has buds who work the masonry in Vermont, his home state. Vermont White Mountain Marble and Granite their specialities....what would you like to see in Market Square-I would even be happy with a bronze plaque but I see these have been stolen recently by thieves...to wit in Tennessee a number of plaques-about six worth 65K were taken off the walls. SOBS have not been caught. Desecration that would send me back to my weapon. And i do not want to go there. For now, Veteran's Day is approaching. I must relate this story. One Veterans Day-known as "Remembrance Sunday" in Britain/Ireland I put on me medals had a few slugs of ol Paddy and headed out for the Vets service at Christ Church Dublin. I got there early and went to the pub. Drinking a pint I looked down the bar and standing there was a man older than me drinking whiskey. He and I saluted one another and then I saw the green ribbon and a wee undistinguishable medal on his cloak. He asked first-"What war were you in?" I had my five medals on my chest-always felt strange wearing them...I said "Vietnam" he said Oh aye that mess...I asked him about his medal...he answered-"I was a bycycle lookout for Yankee subs and German subs and troops along the Irish seacoast-he told me he would cycle from Dublin to Killiney watching the Irish Sea with binocs...He said "Twas called the Emergency" -Ireland was neutral in WW2(fair play to her) I asked his name he said "Paddy Donegan"-he was, the Minister for Defense for Ireland.We walked in silence to Chist Church-the one thousand year old Proddy Cathedral. I wish all vets an early salute to your service. I shall attach the 17 names in my next post...I am not that clever to do it here. Best wishes for the pagan festivities
anonymous [10-30-2011]

Once upon a midnight dreary.....'twas Halloween night, dank and eerie, when a dismal voice, not so cheery, croaked HAPPY HALLOWEEN to everyone, deary. Sorry Poe!

Hope to see my old friends from Germantown at Continental Post on Wed. night Nov. 23rd. This event is always a good time.
Dave Linn, Westside of G-town [10-30-2011]

Dennis McG. Thanks for the Germantown tour. It was great seeing all the wonderful pictures. It's fun to think of the "Good Old Days" in Germantown. Do you remember Mr. Erichetti giving out books of matches -advertising the funeral home- complete with a plastic coffin & skeleton on top? Does anyone remember what year the 23 Trolley car ride cost 23 cents? Our Lady of the Holy Rosary carnivals were great fun! We can't forget the "Tomatoe Pie"....n
Naomi Vitelli, East & West Germantown [10-30-2011]

Bruce: you are correct, I do solicit funds for The Prep and have done so for a number of years and enjoy it very much simply because they do an excellent job with the boys who go there. You are correct, I do enjoy The Saloon very much, but it is not a place to go for a quick cheap dinner. Dinner for two there would most probably go north of $150.00. The reason I get a good table at Rembrandt's is my cousin's daughter is a hostess there. Don't recall knowing any parking lot owners though. I was not a resident of Girard Estates when Mr. Testa met his unfortunate demise, but I hear from some old neighbors that it was quite an event. My neighbor heard the explosion and thought his home heater blew up. Besides people like Mr. Testa, we also have a number of judges and lawyers who live in the area as well as some business owners. You are correct about the Razzano's selling to the Mc Geehans, but Johnny Boy lived on the opposite side of the street from Ollie Powers. John lived on the north side of Logan Ollie on the South side. Also: Joe D' Augustino, well said. Somewhere along the way we have stopped kids from being kids. They have lost the ability to speak with each other except through the impersonal Internet..
Louis F Pauzano, Sr, 70 hrs, South Phila. [10-30-2011]

Does anyone know the name of the priest who was at St. Francis Church in the 1940's? I'm doing research for a family memoir.
BIlly Fitzpatrick, Born in Germantown in 1958. My parents were from Germantown. [10-30-2011]

You poor guys and gals who have moved to Florida and Arizona. You missed Halloween snow. You also missed an earthquake in August, but that's another story. Oh, and Hurricane Irene. You can have your pythons and iguanas in Florida and your scorpions and rattle snakes in Arizona. I'll take the frozen tundra of the Home Depot parking lot in King of Prussia and the faint sound of "Silver Bells . . . soon it will be Xmas Eve" on 98.1---WOGL. These days we have Halloween and Xmas at the same time in Philly. Remember those old rivalries on Thanksgiving--North and Frankford, Roman and Roxborough,Washington and Ryan, Dallas and Detroit on TV (Burp!)and falling asleep after pumpkin pie and stuffing/filling. (My father used to eat a turkey sandwich before midnight too since we Catholics had to abstain from meat on Fridays.)Black Friday? do you have any of those in your Bermuda shorts and Hush Puppies? Tiring yourself out before the Early Bird Specials? I saw that PBS special on invasive species, the other night, and I'll take the snow shovel over the Burmese pythons, carnivorous lizards, and ubiquitous iguanas in the canals and swamps. Ex-pats: Stay Safe, eat early, and use those hand signals on the golf carts!
Joe Lynch--Sun. Splash. Repeat. [10-30-2011]

Vera Carey Canavan When I first met HERMANS mother, I knew where HERMAN got his good looks from. The last time a saw HERMAN was at class reunion party October 20, 1979. HERMAN was living in Fort Lauderdale Florida. He returned to hilly to attend the reunion.
Orville T. Ballard, sfa 56 nechs 60 [10-30-2011]

Whoever dreamt of a "White Halloween", looks like your dream is coming true locally... They say we had one in the 1970s, just not remembering it...
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [10-30-2011]

Lou Giorno I have to agree with Denise Tumelty-Lou Giorno you are a big savage *** if you broke lightbubs on people's porches-shame on you. Your "bS" bravado antics have no place on here-encouraging young rascals to perform the same assinine behavior. I heard of guys who learnt your lesson they crapped in brown bags and set them alight-watching as the old folks had to "put their feet in it" by stamping them out. But that did not match the mad boy who would wind up the fuses on firecrackers and then when children were on his doorstep would light these slow burners so that it would take a few minutes before the candy bags would explode and go BOOM-CRACK !
anon [10-30-2011]

Does anyone recall Herman who worked at sun=rays.He was a little odd,but ok.He would get 4 slices of bolony & roll for lunch.This seemed funny to me,Marie HAPPY HALLOWEEN
MARIE [10-30-2011]

Bonnie Gatto. I was right and wrong. Dave Loscalzo did teach me geometry but it was in my soph. year, 1956, not '57. I remember him and that class because I sucked at math and he gave me my only flunk in third quarter of that year. My saving grace was that I was good in band, which he took over and passed me at end of year. To confirm, I looked at my 1956 yearbook and his picture was there as a geometry teacher. I hate it when I'm wrong but loving it when I'm right.
Charlie Peterson, IC '54, NC '58 LaSalle '71 [10-30-2011]

Bonnie Gatto[Joe]: Dave Loscalzo taught both English and Math-you have the right guy. My father,Urban,taught Dave and Tony D'Angelo Geometry at The Prep. You knew Tony from The Hollow and you were friends with Bob D'Angelo who blogs on this site along with his cousin,the old knucleballer Joe DAgostino. Joe Dags was a good baseball player but now he writes like his other cousin,Dr. Joseph D'Angelo. You probaly read my post where I confused The McGeehan Family house on Logan Street which was sold by your cousins-The Razzanos. Lou Pauzano corrected me and he was kind since I gave a fairly generous donation to The Prep where he is a major fund-raiser and he practices what he preaches. I believe you are friends with his brother Peanut[Albert]. It is challenging to remember all the cousins and nicknames of the guys who hung out at Goo's Shrine-The Hollow. I have to tell you that Dave Loscalzo must have done a decent job when he taught you English at North since you write well. You taught Big John Burke at CD and he will be at The Continental on Thanksgiving Eve with many other Germantowners. I knew his father,Ed Burke Sr.,from The Continental and all The Burkes are big guys. If you would cross paths at The Continental, John would be glad to see you since he passed The PPD Exam by dint of the great learning that took place in your class at CD. John might even buy you a drink and his brother, Tall Ed Burke, promised me a drink at The Continental- I wish that he caught me back in the day when I drank Black-Russians and Scotch. Bonnie! Keep posting and good sledding this weekend-remember the hill at The Hollow?
JBS [10-30-2011]

To Dennis McGlinchey,Enjoyed the pics.of places I had forgot, Happy HALLOWEEN TO ALL. MARIE
marie [10-28-2011]

The first place we hit on Halloween was Dr Renzulli (Spelling?) on Chelten he would give out brown paper lunch bags full of Candy cookies and fruit.. From there we would hit Morris Street, Woodlawn, and School House Lane.. Go home to empty our bags and head out again to Pulaski, and down Morris to Rittenhouse, Stafford and Price Streets.. By that time it late and time to head home.. Guarding our bags, holding on tight because the bag snatchers would come up behind you and run off with all your goods if you were not careful.. I was lucky and never lost mine but several of my friends did.
Erda, From the Westside of Germantown [10-28-2011]

I recently received a call from a former banker who was a Hollow Guy and Prepper-Louis Pauzano Sr. I recognized his voice and quickly donated money to The Prep-Lou lives in Girard Estates where former neighbors such as Chicken-man Testa resided until his early demise. Having grown up on good Italian food, Lou liked to visit famous resaurants such as Villa Roma and The Saloon. Dan Hartnett liked to visit Dante's Inferno where Judy Lopinson met her maker at a very young age. Lou and Dan realize that I am a reserved lad and they choose restaurants with a subdued ambience when we have lunch. Frequently Mr. Pauzano and I have lunch in one of my old stomping grounds-Fairmount. Junior Kripplebauer,Nicky Lazro's nemesis,hung out in Fairmount-back in the day. I like to hangout in Fairmount because it reminds me of our old neighborhood-G-town. It would be nice to spend some time in Chestnut Hill but Bor Borian would never talk to me since he had some nutty and colorful language for Chestnut Hillers-don't forget that he has a PHD in nuttology. Over the years, I have spent a lot of time in Fairmount-at both Irish and Ukrainian Venues. At Rembrandt's, Mr. Pauzano always gets us the best tables. Guys in pin-stripped suits with dark hair walk up to Mr. Pauzano and call him,"Louie". He tells me they own parking lots. When Louis P. talks, I listen. He informed me that The Charlie McGeehan Family bought The Razzano House on Logan Street near The Hollow. I do remember that Johnny Boy McGeehan and Ollie Powers lived across from that house in the 50's. Back in the day,there were so many cousins who lived around The Hollow-Raeffaeles,Razzanos,Gattos,D'Angelos,and The McGeehans. I trust that The Hollow Nation can forgive me since I only played ball there for 5 years but I did contribute to The Guarinello Foundation if you know what I mean.
Bruce Schmitt [10-28-2011]

When young ones ask me "What was Halloween like when you were a kid?" I pause and smile. Do I give them some sanitized version that reflects Ms. Tumelty's memories, or something resembling the actual reality described by Lou Giormo and Mr Ballard? Would they even understand "Soap or Mischief Nights? After all, Halloween was not Bean bag for us. We took it seriously. Once the leaves started turning in Wister Woods and Vernon Park in mid-October, our thoughts turned to Halloween: what we would go as, the route we take, and how many bags we could fill before returning home. While our plans were pretty ad hoc-- I don't think we planned as meticulously as Joe Lynch's little brother--he sounded really good! But the one thing we never seem to have planned for was when some John asked for a "Trick". That request always stopped us cold. I can still recall rolling my eyes under my ghostly sheet and thinking: "Is this guy crazy? Just give us your candy if you like your mailbox and want to see your dog again, pal. We know where you live." After a quick huddle with my fellow pirates, we would come back with some gig or other and even throw in a little "When Ghostly eyes are smiling..." We always got our sugar and were off, avoiding dark, crooked lanes and any cracks in the pavement that might break our Mother's back. I also learned that small, poor homes with many children always gave out the best treats. Large homes in the neighborhood (we had a few) often had their lights turned off or gave us treats that never matched our expectations. I also don't remember too many store bought costumes; everyone seemed to make their own and they were endlessly creative. That's what I tell the young ones, omitting the mischief stuff. And, yes, Virginia (CMM), we did cross Germantown Ave...but not too far--being seen at Linton's for the monster parade was almost obligatory. We also never hit Crane's or the Continental-- that would have been a bridge too far on our little two foot legs-- where a young JB might have been holding court...or doing this own trick for a treat. It all ended too soon.
Kevin, Old St. Vincent's, '58 [10-28-2011]

For all of us who Survived the 30ís, 40ís 50ís 60ís and 70ís First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and /or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then, after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets, and, when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps, not helmets, on our heads. As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes. Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And we weren't overweight. WHY? Because we were always outside playing. that's why! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. We had no Cell Phones.--And, we were OKAY. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We did not have Play Stations, Nintendos and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVDs, no surround-sound or CDs, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms. WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from those accidents. We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand, and no one would call child services to report abuse. My father used his razor strap. It brought fear in my eyes! We ate worms, and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever in our stomach. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, 22 rifles for our 12th, rode horses, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and -although we were told it would happen- we did not put out very many eyes. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them. Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors ever. The past 50 to 85 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. If YOU are one of those born between 1925-1970, CONGRATULATIONS! You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good. Sent to me by my cousin Maria. Joe DAgostino- Born in he 40ís Loved the Drifters and Baseball. Still do!
Joe DAgostino [10-28-2011]

ORVILL--I remember Herman he was a good fried----do you remember his MOTHER-she was something---not sure what but something!
vera carey canavan, St. Vincent's 1956--Little Flower 1960 [10-28-2011]

Lorraine (Cupo) Kelly: There is no denying that moving to Florida from the Delaware Valley is, to say the least, a very radical change in culture. The biggest change is getting used to leaving behind the "old neighborhoods" and many traditions that Philly has, not to mention leaving behind family and friends. On the other hand, the Philly we all grew up in, isn't the same now as it used to be.
John Fleming, Tampa Bay, Florida CD'62 [10-28-2011]

JBS and Charlie Peterson: I didn't know Dave Loscalzo was a geometry teacher at North. I had him for English in my freshman year '59. Maybe we're not talking about the same guy.
Bonnie Gatto [10-28-2011]

This time of year brings back wonderful memories--Germantown was a very special place,what a great place to have been a child----
vera carey canavan, St. Vincent's 1956--Little Flower 1960 [10-28-2011]

dennis mcglinchey: thanx for the link,brought back good mmemories.
ed mccaulley [10-27-2011]

Charlie Peterson: It was so laudable and kind of you to remember your old teacher,Dave Loscalzo,from North Catholic-a great Catholic Institution. My father,Urban, taught Dave Loscalzo at The Prep and was my neighbor for many years. Dave L. was a bright guy,literate,creative and musically inclined. He was dedicated to North and eventually left North to teach at Trenton State where he was a Professor of English. My brother,Urban[Jack] went to North and liked his teachers but had a major confrontation with Knobby Walsh,The Prefect of Discipline and was suspended and almost joined his classmates from SFA[1953] at GHS-Bob Lavalle and Mike Masterson. I knew many of your classmates at North including Ralph Gatto and Joe Gallager who were great football players. I played b-ball against Ron Ebert at Fernhill and he had a good game. I knew Tony Bateman from The Prep which he left for North and he graduated with you. His classmate at St. Vincent's was Bernie Mckernan who blogs on this site along with his brothers-Kevin and Jim.Charlie! I commend you on your great Catholic Education-IC,North,and LaSalle. Brother! Keep The Faith.
JBS [10-27-2011]

Dennis: I enjoyed the pictures of old Germantown sooo much. Every inch of that neighborhood was so familiar and we were all very fortunate to have walked the avenue and eaten in the restaurants and shopped in the stores and sat in the magical movie houses. How good the memories are!

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
ORVILLE T. BALLARD, sfa 56 nechs 60 [10-27-2011]

We moved to Florida (the first time), Nov. 1,1978. It was hot & humid & the Kelly family was not prepared for the heat & humidity we faced that day when we arrivd at the Ft. Lauderdale airport. We had just experienced our last neighborhood Halloween in Penndel, PA. We had lived there for 10 years after leaving Germantown in 1968. The Penndel neighborhood was a family friendly one. Halloween night, after the movers had emptied our home of all its contents, neighbors sat on the floor of our chairless kitchen to say their last good-byes to our family. Our first Florida Halloween (1979) was quite different than any other Halloween we had ever experienced, either in Germantown or in Penndel. I made a scarecrow with dried palm fonds rather than cornstalks & I had to use a plastic pumpkin, rather than a real one, for its head. Our four children dressed up in their creative, home-made costumes & left to canvas the neighborhood. They arrived home shortly after departing it, only to tell of their disappointment. The houses were not decorated nor were their owners very receptive to trick or treaters. It seemed that most of the neighborhood families left their treats in a plastic bowl, by their front door; thus eliminating the need to answer it. Most of the fun of Halloween night (for me, at least) was to see if I could guess who was who; or which costume was most creative or scary; or to experience the excitement of the neighborood children arriving at our front door in search of their treat. I fondly remember my childhood Halloweens in Germantown & my children fondly remember their Halloweens in Penndel. As for the "one & only" Halloween in Florida, I'd compare it to my Florida scarecrow...definitely different! Happy Halloween, everyone!
Lorraine (Cupo) Kelly, fl; ic '55; cdhs '59 [10-27-2011]

Sorry about that....the whole link to the Halloween party that Victor Errichetti hosted in 1954 did not get in. Here is the whole link... CLICK photo
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [10-26-2011]

Recently, I was visiting a friend at Holy Redeemer Hospital in Meadowbrook and crossed paths with an old Germantowner-Ron Boyle from SFA and West Germantown. His father was the lengendary "Slugger Boyle" from The Continental at Wissy&Hansberry where Germantowners will hangout on Thanksgiving Eve. Slugger[Joe] was a member of The Boyle Family who owned numerous saloons in Tioga and North Philly. Slugger Boyle was friends with Ed Burke and Goony[Thomas] Walsh-2 legendary union organizers. Ed Burke's son posts on this site and Ed Burke Jr. will be having a few shots with a couple of beer chasers at The Continetal. Ron Boyle and Tom Cueball Cusack liked Goony Walsh since he was a stand up guy. Ron Boyle told me a story how a businessman was trying to pull some stuff until Goony Walsh had to straighten him out.Slugger Boyle knew Hughie Cannon who was the manager of The Continental. Dave Linn,and I went to Hughie's Funeral along with Big John West. John Burke did not think John West is big these days. Big John Burke is bigger and come to The Continental on Thanksgiving Eve and you will understand where Big John is coming from. Ron Boyle remembered me from Fernhill Park where I would be passing the ball to Joe Lynch-Bor and I would get picked in games since we were passers although one might know from this site that Bor was all about The Hollow. Ron Boyle knew Joe Lynch and Bill Haas from SFA[1957]-2 good athletes. Ron bought appliances from Bill Haas's store down The Shore. John Fowler might have gotten a discount since he was the best man at Haas's wedding-possibly Denise Duckworth was there. Ron mentioned John Fries and Ray Dawes from The Yard[Brick] and Ray and other Brickyarders will probaly be at The Continental. It is always great to meet Germantowners at various venues. Many of these Germantowners were feisty and it is quite refreshing to see how mellow they have become as they enjoy their golden years.
John Bruce Schmitt [10-26-2011]

Halloween has greatly evolved since many of us to go trick or treating years ago. Most notably is the extent of decorating many do to their homes for the event. I have heard the money spent comes close to the the amount spent on Christmas decorations. Another common practice, that I think is mostly in the suburbs, is some parents, when the kids are done in their own neighborhoods, load up their trucks and vans with kids and invade other neighborhoods. I never heard of any incidents of bigger kids stealing candy from the younger kids. I think it was sometime in the late 50's that reports of razor blades first surfaced. Its gotten to the point that some hospitals offer free x-raying of candy bags. Being a Tastykake stock holder for many years, my main treat was a selection of Tastykakes. Needless to say I was one of the most popular stops in the neighborhood, with many repeat customers. Ironically I gave out sodas one year, which was someone popular. I only had one kid that refused me. My "decorations" consisted of playing a Halloween tape, which did scare some of the younger kids. While not in a 55+ community here in Florida, our subdivision really don't get that many kids. In fact last year I think we had only about one or two. This year, I think me and my wife will go out for dinner and feast on a couple of great Philly Cheese steaks. Of course as a backup, we bought a box of bags of pretzels, in the event we do get visitors.
John Fleming, Tampa Bay, Florida CD'62 [10-26-2011]

Jack McHugh thanks for your note about the US air base at Toome. The bridge there on the Antrim/Derry county border is where the brits hung young Roddy McCorley in the 1700's uprisings. The Yanks were given a number of airfields mainly to fly support with the Atlantic convoys of ships bringing war materials to the UK. Ireland (the Republic) was neutral during WW2-though Dulin was bombed by the Jerries who thought it was Liverpool with a loss of 700 lives one night. The Americans also had a base at Derry-I refuse to call it "Londonderry" as it was always Doire (Derry) in Irish before the aliens came. That is where we played basketbll on the fine hardwood courts. They closed the base in 1977 -which was sad for locals as the Yanks were good spenders! I once gave a lecture in the Omagh Hotel in Tyrone where Eisenhower made his plans for D-Day Happy Halloween-an Irish pagan festival to mark the harvesttime.
Jim McKernan, Professor Greenville NC [10-26-2011]

>Denice Tumelty--You must have lived a sheltered life on Wyneva St-most of the things we did,were done by all the kids in our neighborhood. By the way,we never stole Christmas lights or damaged any decorations while growing up.You should lighten up a little bit & try to remember not to assume things about people in general.Louis F. Giorno
Lou Giorno, Mr G DOS [10-26-2011]

An east side memory that was before my time.... Victor J. Errichetti, the undertaker with his Germantown funeral home at Price St & Chew Ave, would host an annual party at Halloween and Christmas for all the neighborhood kids. All were welcomed. He had a big back yard where he had a huge doll house for his daughter. That is where he hosted his parties, and the doll house was decorated for the holiday. He would pay for everything. These were done from the 1940s thru the 1950s, maybe into the early 1960s. While the parties were before my time, I did know Mr. Errichetti later and knew what a kind and generous man he was. Here is a link to a photo of one of his Halloween parties, in 1954. When there, also toggle over to the next two photos, another of his Halloween parties and one of his Christmas parties. http://pub3.bravenet.com/photocenter/album.php?usernum=199947123#bn-photoce nter-1-1-199947123/55519/1/177651/
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [10-25-2011]

Some nioe memories posted here of Halloween in Germantown. Bill Cupo, being from the east side, I could relate to your post completely. Paul Borian, what can I say....stealing candy from kids???? Well, at least you deserve credit for being honest about your bullying days. My kids are grown now, but oh how I loved bringing them around trick-or-treating. It amazed me what folks would give out by then. In my time, it was the big candy bars. In their time, Sips were big and a few would throw in a can of soda. A can of soda? Some would give out a bag of potato chips or pretzels. Another guy gave out Tastykakes. Tastykakes and potato chips might sound like a nice treat, but try throwing a bunch of candy, Sips and soda cans on top of it and see what you get... I used to carry an extra bag myself just to hold the heavy stuff and the treats that are crushable. Well, at least their heart was in the right place for this fun holiday. Now I give out the candy. We went from 125 kids when we first moved there in 1993 to 5 last year. I guess we're going through the cycle... But, I will still decorate and be ready to open with candy bars, even if no kids show up.
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [10-25-2011]

> Lou Giorno - in regards to your Halloween antics & you have the nerve to criticize kids today - not to mention your snowball comment. We raised our children with the mantra that something is only fun (or funny) if everyone thinks it is. I'm sure the people who had to clean up the light bulbs or car windows did not think it was funny. It was antics like this that caused my father to stop putting up Christmas lights long befor the "neighborhood changed."
Denise Duckworth Tumelty [10-25-2011]

JBS, you mention Dave Loscalzo frequently. I knew Dave as a geometry teacher at North, but more importantly as the band director at North. I was in band all 4 four years and Dave was BD in my Junior and Senior years. Are we talking about the same Dave Loscalzo. Hard to believe there was any other.
Charlie Peterson, IC '54; NC '58; LaSalle '71 [10-25-2011]

Dom Raff: It was great to read a post from my old SFA classmate-Dom Raffaele. You mentioned The McGeehan Family in reference to "Whitey" whom Bud Ballard[SFA] remembered from his G-town days. Bonnie Gatto,Ralph's Brother,also made some comments about Whitey and The McGeehans. You were a very good friend of Johnny Boy McGeehan and I surmise that Bonnie was a friend of Cousin Charlie. Your cousins were The Razzanos who lived on Logan Street when we went to Saint Francis. Jim Razzano was in our class at SFA and his family might have sold that house to Mike McGeehan-a great and friendly guy. You probaly read on this site that Paul Borian and John Fowler visited The Buck at a G-town reunion.Frank Murphy was at The Buck and you talked about his cousin,Chris Maher,whom you mentioned in your last post. Chris Maher was another classmate at SFA and the last time I saw him was The Raffaele Steak Shop on Wayne Ave.,back in the 60's. Chris M. might have bought that great steak-shop at a later date. You and Chris were friends with The McCarty Brothers-Dennis and Kevin. Frank Murphy told me that he is still in contact with Dennis McCarthy. It would be great to meet you and The Guys in Wildwood or some other Jersey Shore Town. I have friends in Wildwood including Bob Dolge who is a local Radio-Guy in Wildwood-Jazz. There will be a G-town Reunion at The Continental on Thankgiving Eve and Happy Hollowers will make this "Happening". Dom! Keep posting,drink fine wine,eat good food,and keep dancing with beautiful women.
John Bruce Schmitt [10-25-2011]

Why do we need to occupy Wall Street when we have the great savior Obama to lead us into the future
anonymous [10-25-2011]

Adultering Citizen, Germantown Ave was too far away to be the DMZ for me. My friends and I covered a lot of territory on the east side. That would be a couple blocks of Price, Stafford, Rittenhouse and maybe Haines if we had enough time left, usually not. With most folks opening, I usually got two bags worth of candy. 8th grade was my last year going out. That year I got jumped by a couple older thugs and dragged down the steps. I may have had a couple cuts and bruises, but I see myself as the victor on that one - they didn't get what they were after, my bag. Many happy memories trick-or-treating in Germantown. Sad that such a fun tradition turned dangerous in a changing neighborhood.
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [10-24-2011]

Every Halloween my brother Tommy heisted from unsuspecting homeowners as much chocolate as one could eat in a month. He and Neil McElroy rode the PTC,formed a string of informers and spies, deputized the little kids, mapped the community, rode the rails, hit everyone including the rectories and convents, even threatened the dentist (who gave only toothbrushes). He'd sling his ill-gotten gains over his shoulder after Fernhill Road (4500 and 4600), saunter down Apsley, make a left on Pulaski, threaten the folks with "Trick or Treat for about two blocks, make a right on Clapier, maybe hook-up with the Kohlmeirs, do Seymour, Manheim, the Apartments, always bypassing the stores and their meager spiced wafers or candy corn (ugh). He was an artist with the pillowcase. We had candy until Christmas. He was always generous with his older brother and younger sister (Cathy) and his sweet-tooth Dad, Maurice. We all dressed up in home-made costumes, usually female clothes and some lipstick and rouge. Cheap. Outrageous. But we were very Jung, then. It was a time--innocent, memorable, embarrassing to the highest degree. And, best of all, the next day was All Saints Day, a holiday. Publics had to go to school; we ate chocolate all day. Heaven. (NB-- This Halloween, bite the bullet, give the kids chocolate--kit-kats, mounds,hersheys,snickers. Let the kids get as sick as we got.)
Joseph Lynch--Cicadas: SING. MATE. DIE [10-24-2011]

I saw a t-shirt on an old guy, the other day; it read "The Sun Is Out To Get Me" with a big frowning sun. I thought, Global Warming? Skin Cancer? I like the double meaning (triple?). I'll find some way to use it in class.
Joe Lynch--Shut up and Sweat. [10-24-2011]

Going to Philly on Sunday to support OCCUPY WALL ST.
vera carey canavan, St. Vincent's 1956--Little Flower 1960 [10-24-2011]

In the spirit of the season, I have a tale to tell, of a Zombie (the undead), and a haunted house. Every neighborhood in old Germantown seemed to have had one, if not both. Our haunted house was located at the top of Baynton Hill near Coulter Street, just off the Reading Railroad tracks...the place where we buried our dead pets. There really wasn't much remaining of this house by the time I first became aware of it. A past fire had consumed most of it; only the metamorphic, mica stone stairway remained. A staircase that lead nowhere, or, one that led into the other world? Stink weeds, poison ivy and seven minute itch brush had overgrown its remaining footprint. But there were stories told around cub scout campfires (Blue Bell) about that house and its unfortunate occupants, stories of terror and the mayhem that supposedly took place there, and the spirits that still hovered over it. It gave me the willies! And I pretty much avoided it until late one Halloween evening when a gang of us kids descended on the house next to it for some trick or treating. Nothing like a crowd to deter the ghosts, eh? Wrong! Out of the dark remains of that house sprang a Zombie, attired in a large black hat and cape with one of those red-filtered lights illuminating its face... and those horrible, red eyes... Nothing will focus the mind or loosen the bowels like a good fright. Many kids lost their water in that moment of panic, and then we did what came naturally-- we screamed and fled, leaving behind a trail of candy corn. Better to feed the beast than to be devoured by it. Yes? Some days later, in the bright light of day, several of us returned to that house and salted the grounds with the city rock-salt we "borrowed" from the bins the city kept in some neighborhoods for snow removal. (remember them?) Salt, you know, is the only real way to get rid of Zombies, according to Voodoo Witch doctors. Happy Halloween, Germantowners! Walk with a stake tonight and a little salt might be helpful also, if you know what I mean...and treat those little goblins and ghosts well; one may be writing stories about you in the future...the little Devil.
kevin McKernan, This Halloween night, I dine with Poe, his Raven and the Conqueror Worm. [10-24-2011]

Prof. jim mckernan, You mentioned Toome, N. Ireland in your last write-up, interesting that I came across this item the day before your post, and I wanted to share it. During WWII, Toome had an American Air Field. Tenís of thousands of men, including many guys from Germantown were trained there at this Base. It was one of the first American bases in Europe, being a Bombardment Combat Crew Training and Replacement Centre for B-17, B-24, B-26. New crews came together and learned the skills off working together as a unit. On completing the course they were sent to operational squadrons at other bases. The base was on the Derry side of the river and the men called their base Toome Bridge. The following is just part of Toomeís Conquest written by someone back in the 1940ís who listed themselves as anonymous. TOOMEíS CONQUEST In heart of Antrim County midst fields and hills so fair, A bunch of G.I.ís made their camp direct from over there, Who made the city girls rejoice--and city prices boom, That bunch of Uncle Sammyís boys who made their camp at Toome. This sleepy northern City with its climate so unsure, Had never seen its women folk display so much allure, Who was the cause of countless girls rush headlong to their doom, That bunch of Uncle Sammyís boys who made their camp at Toome. If you stood at any corner and watched the girls pass by, Youíd see their jaws fast moving, and list, Iíll tell you why- Tis habit chum of chewing gum, and been shown to them by whom, That bunch of Uncle Sammyís boys who made their camp at Toome.
Jack McHugh [10-24-2011]

Hello G-towners ! I haven't been on this site for a while; I usually wait for a special event or holiday to write about my days growing up in Germantown. Halloween was special for me on Haines st. The 1300 block was a gold mine of candy; there must have been 50 or more houses just on that block and I knew most of the people. After 1 trip, I had to come back to the house and empty my bag and then cut through the alley way at the end of Haines st and go onto Naragansett st. Then it was on to Crittenden and back to the house for another bag. Now I was headed out to Brush rd and Stockton rd, Price st, Stafford, Wister, Rittenhouse, a little bit of Stenton Ave, Mechanic, High, and then back home. At the height of my Halloween days, 4-5 bags of candy was the norm. The candy bars were full size; Hershey, Kit Kat, Milky Way, Snickers, Baby Ruth, you name it, I had it. Of course there was always someone who just threw in a piece of fruit or some pennies or maybe some spiced waffer cookies in a bag; a little bit of a downer but over all a great night. The candy must have lasted all the way to New Years day I think. Anyway, towards the end of my years on Haines st, I just stayed close to the house so as not to be jumped by someone out to get my candy. The last Halloween in 1968, we turned out the lights and put a blanket over the window so nobody would knock on the door and we could at least watch t.v..; very sad. In my neighborhood now in Chalfont, if we go through 2 bags of candy, that was a lot. Oh well, great memories stay with you forever and that's what I have with me now; great memories of a neighborhood that I grew up in. Take care everybody !
Bill Cupo, Immaculate Grad "65". C.D. "69"- Haines st 1300 Block [10-24-2011]

Regarding trick or treating,we would steal goodies from the bags of neighborhood kids after they finished their journey.Most of the kids had big hauls;thus,losing a few candy bars was no big deal.....Paul Borian
Paul Borian, Ain't that a shame. [10-24-2011]

Bonnie Gatto: It really intrigued me that you were taught by Professor Dave Loscalzo who lived on W. Hansberry St. which was 2 houses down from my old domicile. I am using some good vocabulary because I might cross paths with our poet Baggs Klock who was also taught by Dane Loscalzo. My father taught Dave Loscalzo. Dave Loscalzo taught you and you taught Big John Burke at CD. John and Ed Burke lived on Hansberry St. near The Cricket Club. My conclusion that Dave L. must have taught you and Frankie Baggs the principles and fundamentals of Enlish since you blog well. In your last post, you made some comments about The McGeehan Family. I remember Brother Ralph was good friends with Johnny Boy as was Dom Raffaele who also posted recently. Ralph was friends with good people and a great guy but very competitive in sports especially football. You and Ralph were Happy Hollowers and I talked with Hollow guys at The Buck. There will be another G-town reunion at The Continental and possibly there will be other folks from The Hollow. Bonnie! I enjoy reading the blogs from the guys who hung out at The Hollow.
JBS [10-24-2011]

Whitey was also a big help to the girls basketball team at the Hollow. He would take us around the city in his white van to other playgrounds for meets. What a good guy!
MEK [10-24-2011]

Tuesday October 25th is the 157 anniversary of the famous 'Charge of the Light Brigade' . We learnt this poem by Tennyson whilst at school.This was the war fought between the British, Turks and French against the Russians in the Crimea at Balaclava. There is a ceremony that takes place every 25 October at Blackrock Cemetery, Phonexville, Pa honouring my ancient Irish cousin, one Barney McKernan of County leitrim who survived the charge. 601 cavalrymen rode into the "valley of death" 195 returned. They charged on 50 battalions of Russian infantry; 6000 cavalry and 50 big gun emplacements. As one French General observing said "It was magnificent, but it was not war-it was madness".the first time the Victoria Cross was issued (Britain's equivalent of the US Medal of Honor) was at Balaclava. The medal is made from the metal of a captured Russian big gun to this day. On tuesday next I'll drink to the "Death or Glory" boys-the 17th Lancers of the Royal Cavalry-nearly all Irish recruited during the Famine years.
Jim McKernan, Professor, NC St Vinnie's 59' Temple 69' Ulster 78' [10-24-2011]

On mischief night we threw burnt out light bulbs on porches of mean old grouches in the neighborhood-we used crayons on car windows (harder to remove than soap )-rang doorbells-we scared people walking near the Hood cemetary.On Halloween, a must stop was St.Michael's Convent. Lou Giorno
lou giorno, Mr G dos [10-24-2011]

How far did you walk when trick or treating? Did you cross the Avenue (Germantown Ave, that is)? I lived at Wayne and Seymour and can remember going as far as the SFA convent but no further. For some reason, didn't go west, just up and down Logan and Seymour Sts and the cross streets between Wayne Ave and Greene St. Never crossed Gtn Ave. How about you? Was Gtn Ave the DMZ for you?
Adulterous Citizen [10-21-2011]

JBS: Dave Loscalzo was my freshman Enlish teacher at North. Among other things, we had to write everything with a fountain pen (remember them)- no ball points allowed.
bonnie (joe) gatto [10-21-2011]

ATTENTION,Dominic RAFFEL,John PAYNE,it was not the McGeehan brothers. Both Jim McKernan and Frank KLOCK gave the name of WHITEY HARKINS. As soon as I saw the name HARKINS, I remembered the last name of WHITEY HARKINS. I am 100% sure the name is HARKINS. Thank You All for your help. Dominic I hope you and Chris MAHER can come to our next reunion at the Buck Hotel. PS CHRIS get on this site and talk with me. BUD. Again thank you all for your help.
Orville T. BALLARD, SFA 56 and NECHS 60 [10-21-2011]

Bud Ballard: those Irish coaches were probably the McGeehan brothers, John (Sr)and his brother (can't remember his first name). Both were avid baseball fans. John was the father of Johnny Boy; and his brother was the father of Chalie.
bonnie (joe) gatto [10-21-2011]

Joe Lynch, I enjoy your free verse and Irish criac. BTW it is the bridge of 'Toome', in County Antrim where young Roddy was hanged. I think Gerry Murphy's mum was from that town-they lived on Woodlawn Ave.near the Seminary- off Chelten Ave. My retirement is planned in West Cork-those lovely peninsulas-four - that jut out into the warmed breasts of the Atlantic. The Gulfstream passes that way and there is a ferry to France if ye wish to dance. Check me out if you ever get to Schull(pronounced 'Skull') We shall have a few jars.
Prof. jim mckernan, St Vincent's 59, Temple 69' Ulster 78' [10-21-2011]

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