Historic Germantown, Philadelphia
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January 1-10, 2012

Jack Brogan: Saw Myron Cohen at The Latin Casino. He was a real old school commedian, but a very funny man. I say "was" assumming he is deceased. I think he was 103 when I saw him over forty years ago.
John Payne [01-10-2012]

I just read the list of Catholic school closings/mergers at CLICK No mention of IC or St. Vincent's, but Holy Cross in Mt. Airy merges with OMC in Chestnut Hill, at the OMC site, and St. Martin of Tours (formerly SFA) becomes a 'mission school' with no change in configuration, while St. Bridget, East Falls, merges with Holy Child, Manayunk, at the Hermitage Street site. West Catholic HS (from whence came many of the stars of the old Bandstand program when it was local) and Monsignor Bonner/Archbishop Prendergast, among others, are closing outright. See analysis at CLICK
CMM [01-10-2012]

BRUCE when said Mr. FARRELL always drove a Big 4 door BUICK. I was always impressed by his BUICKS. Mr. FARRELLS Buicks were always dark blue, with a gold pin-stripe running the length on the car. When I was Captain in the Police Department I was assigned a PLymouth Grand Fury. I was given a new car every other year. I would always order a car painted Dark Blue. Then I would send it to the garage and get in pinstriped in gold. Mr. FARRELLS Dark Blue BUicks were the sharpest car in Germantown.
Orville T. BALLARD, sfa 56 & nechs 60 [01-10-2012]

Attention John Bruce SCHMITT, Lawrence FARRELL is in a Nursing Home in Chestnut Hill.When I call the Nursing Home an d they ring his room. The phone rings and no one answers.
Orville T. BALLARD, sfa 56 & nechs 60 [01-10-2012]

Iam trying to loacte the following persons who graduated from SFA in 1956. Thomas HEAKE, Thomas HUSACK, James MC INTYRE, Michael PEALE and JOHN SUDER. If you have any information about these former members of SFA please contact me on YOUR THOUGHTS. April of 2012 our class will have a Luncheon at the BUCK Hotel.
Orville T. Ballard, sfa 56 & nechs 60 [01-10-2012]

Jerry McKeon: It is great to see you post on this site and I regret that I missed you at The Pennsylvania Burial Company where AL Patrzi's Viewing was held. I met you in the 50's when you were friends with Frank Crawford who lived next door to your grandmother,Mrs. Morgan. I knew many of your friends including Frank Crawford and Tom Cueball Cusack whom you mentioned in your last post. Many folks visited my home at Hansberry& Schuyler since The Schmitt Boys had a clubhouse in the basement-pool-table,darts,weights,speed- bag,ice-box,and some cool jazz. However, I was not the mayor of that venue since my older brother,Jack[cactus] had seniority. You knew Jack when he was friends with Carmen Volpe[RIP] who lived down the street from Grandmother Morgan at Queen Lane&Morris. You knew so many people from Germantown including your good friend,Tom Cusack. You even gave Tom Cusack,the nickname- "Cueball". I remembered Tom Cusack from SFA, where he was even an altar-boy and was one of the few lads who had rapport with Father PJ McGarrity. Tom Cusack was a nice kid and when he started hanging out with you, his personality blossomed. In Tom's callow youth, he was so clean-cut and drank orange juice. You took him to Sunkin Gardens,Cheltenham and Ogontz, and Tom drank screw-drivers and conversed with the lovely ladies of The Delaware Valley. You also took Tom C. to Memories in Margate which was operated by The Geator,Jerry Blavat,The Philadelphia Icon. As you know,at Memories, many characters hung out there-Little Nicky and his nephew,and Goony whom you and Cueball knew. Goony also hung out at The Dunes,and he felt safe and secure when he had a few brews with you and Tom. Jerry Blavat was friends with Ed Biff Halloran, a former Germantowner and The Concrete King of NYC. Your old friend,Frank Crawford also knew Biff and I am sure you knew him from The Shore. You must have inspired Frankie C. since life has been good to him. Frank lives near the 18th hole of Manny's Country Club in Oreland. I hung out at The 19th hole in Ardsey with your friend,Pat McIlHinney. I agree with Jack Brogan that you were always a cool guy and had cool friends including Al Patrizi. It would be great to see you at A G-town Reunion at The Buck.
Bruce Schmitt [01-10-2012]

'Lay' teachers merely means teachers who are not nuns, priests etc.; level of education has no bearing on it. I doubt there is any developed nation where those without a tertiary teaching credential can teach in accredited schools these days. The problem is that even credentialed teachers in accredited schools are too often mediocre or poor teachers. In every jurisdiction there is the ongoing effort to root out bad teachers, but it is nigh impossible to do, because of opposition from the teachers' unions and the sheer need to have warm bodies to 'man' the classrooms.
Catherine Manning Muir, Mediocre people always do their best. [01-10-2012]

I am watching with interest the various "Weigh ins" as to why the Catholic schools are closing. It reminds me of the "Officer Krupke" song in West Side Story. "The trouble is he's..., the trouble is he...; the trouble is he's..., the trouble is he...." Maybe it just a case of life on the serengeti plain of ideas.
John Payne [01-10-2012]

denise Duckworth Tumelty I believe that Mary Clare Hunt is living in the Boston area. Ronnie Carmody McIntyre
anonymous [01-10-2012]

cmm Mary Clare Hunt was not the May Queen, but she was always picked in the other grades to present the flowers as the Class Representative. Pat Mockaitis was our May Queen in 1957. Ronnie Carmody McIntyre
anonymous [01-10-2012]

Interesting to see so many people that attended the catholic schools acknowledge the great education they received while also deeply embedded are memories of the regime of discipline. Given the large numbers of students in the classes it is hard to imagine how it could have been done without the threat of a ruler over the knuckles. Perhaps because I had missed the first four years at SFA, and perhaps being dyslectic, I was a terrible speller. I hated the spelling bees. I was always the first to sit down with everyone staring at me all alone in a sea of desk. Thank goodness for Spell Check. I had attended Fitler for the first four years of grade school transferring to SFA in the second week of fifth grade. Even Fitler had a few tough teachers. I remember dreading the thought of having the famously tough disciplinarian Mrs. Knight in sixth grade at Fitler, only to learn that there was a dreaded lay teacher at SFA, another Mrs. Knight who also taught sixth grade. I saw on someone’s post something that rang a bell for me. That was, how the nuns always addressed the boys as “Master”. The only exception to the rule in my class was for, “Mister Bates”.
Del Conner, SFA calss of '64 [01-10-2012]

Sorry about the confusing structure of ut the poem....meant to be a prose poem...the poem was inspired by the realization that as ugly as the block was in some parts, the people were great-tolerant of my hitting their cars with a football or cracking their walls from hurling a hard rubber ball... all of them from the mechanics who let me watch them work and chatter with them about wheel alignments to the attractive clerk in the tight skirt that always yelled in her sexy voice, hi honey. And Bill the beer distributor gave me a job during christmas helping him deliver beer and soda....Germantown, a great place to become a poet!
charles carr [01-09-2012]

The comedian was Myron Cohen not the rocker Leonard Cohen. Most of my stories reflect my mind these days. Half baked.
Jack Brogan, Don't look now but you're doin' it again [01-09-2012]

I was taken with the long list of Catholic School closings. Previous blogs explain most, but somehow I feel a part of Gtown and Philly Catholic culture has diminished. Although my Elementary School, OLR, was closed years ago, I thought schools like Immaculate Conception and Cardinal Dougherty would remain open forever.
Ed Farrar, Chester, VA [01-09-2012]

Joe Lynch: It was refreshing to read your blog how you and John Fries in your Days of Innocence at SFA, did not have the confidence and elan to connect with the pretty Veronica who was your classmate. I am sure that some of the lover-boys in your SFA Class,like Ronnie Manzo and Bill Haas would have loved to have connected with Veronica and Paula Simons. You were lucky that you were not in The !956 Class where you would have had to compete with Bob Kephart and Joe Leone. Forget about The 1954 SFA Class-Jack Brogan[your cousin],Tom Cusack,Sonny Kennedy,and Norm Lineheiser whose girl-friend was Carol Middleton and you were younger but she was a babe. As you matured, you developed the confidence and elan which enabled you to dance with many of the lovely ladies of Germantown and Fernhill Park. You,Veronica,and John Fries are so blessed to have wonderful spouses and happy and long marriages with nice kids. Joe! You must be happy that Tom Cusack's good friend, Jerry McKeon, is now posting on this site-some of my best friends went to LaSalle.
Bruce Schmitt [01-09-2012]

I remember Sonny James singing YOUNG LOVE
vera carey canavan, St. Vincent's 1956--Little Flower 1960 [01-09-2012]

About Catholic school closings: same thing happening here in Oz. Parishes can't get priests because no one is signing on to seminary. Nuns are no longer the mainstay of the schools; all have lay teachers, unionized, with costly pay and benefits. However, the big difference here is that ALL schools get government funding, whether private, public or religious, according to need. The root cause of the demise of Catholic education is that religion and religious education, except for the fundamentalis, evangelical, bible-bashing type, is not valued. Lucky for us that SFA, St. Vincent's, IC etc existed and flourished despite the relatively low incomes most of our families got by on. We can read, write, spell and even enjoy poetry, thanks to the discipline, often harsh and over-the-top, that was meted out to us. No longer do kids practice penmanship, let alone learn cursive writing, and they can't do sums in their heads because they all have calculators. Progress has not been good for the generation of our grandchildren. We were the lucky ones and we knew it.
CMM [01-09-2012]

I would like to thank all of you for your thoughts and prayers during Al's illness and passing. It was great to see as many of my brother's friend from G-Town and although we knew some but not all it was interesting trying to determine who was whom.Special thanks to Tom Cusack for being such a great friend to Al. Thanks again to everyone.
Rich Patrizi [01-09-2012]

In reference to the Catholic schools now having to pay "lay" teachers...no, they are no longer lay teachers. The schools recieve certain entitlements now that have forced the schools to meet requirements they didn't have to in the past. One of those requirements is that the teachers must be certified in accordance with the state's educational requirements. No longer can a high school graduate take a test to teach in Catholic schools. They must now have a college degree, which in turn entitles them to a salary more lucrative than that of the lay teachers in the past. If the neighborhoods had not gone through drastic changes this would have worked, but without the same financial support of the parish, it cannot.
anonymous [01-09-2012]

Debnnis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [01-09-2012]

To Anon: You can't keep those schools open without tuition,& I lived in the day when nuns & priests were the teachers.I can't come up with a solution & they can't either.This is only a bandaid for what's to come.Catholic Church parishes are experiencing declining enrollments,the money baskets passed in church AINT too heavy anymore-CAPICE!
Lou Giorno, Mr G DOS [01-09-2012]

John Bruce Scmitt: This is in reference to your posting of 12/29/11..I checked with my younger brother (Fr. John) and he indeed has known Fr. Howell for some 40 years..Fr. John is of the belief that Fr. Howell is a native of Baltimore and a distant relative to that "jail-house composer" Francis Scott Key..About this "page", I find it absolutely "off-the-charts"..Someone picked up on a recent submission of mine and got in touch.. The other day I talked for a good 20 minutes with Mrs. Orville Ballard..It's been 60+ years since I've talked with her or members of her Family (The Westermanns of Garnet St. in St. Benedict's Parish.) That was a delightful experience..[Truly a nice Lady.]This "page" is the gift that keeps on giving and I love it..I've met so many nice people and the memories have come storming back to me..May you and all of the folks on the "page" enjoy the healthiest and happiest of New Years...Mike
mike deely, Hiltob Head, S.C. [01-08-2012]

Cholly Carr Your Germantown poem brings a measure of eloquence to this site. I realize that the lines and architectural structure line by line is destroyed with this bungle all in one paragraph. This is what technical rationality does to beauty! I have opposed it most of my life-its intrusions are never- ending and the art always suffers. Anyroad, so happy to see you connect with the Gtn site and salute your finely crafted poems; and above all else-your humanistic work with children and private work in Haiti. I look forward to Haitian Mudpies. Sounds like SOS to me (ol military expression for breakfast).
Jim McKernan, Professor, East Carolina University St VDePaul 1959 [01-08-2012]

Does anyone know where Mary Clare Hunt is? She is lost from my college list.
denise Duckworth Tumelty [01-08-2012]

I am ashamed to say that the boys of SFA, Class of 1957,treated the girls of 1957 with little respect and less regard. Sorry. Our minds were wrapped around comic books, nickel candy bars and Frank's Black Cherry Wishnick (Sp.?)Many of us feared damnation if we had an impure thought or missed Sunday Mass. Many of us were frighted of being picked on or beaten up in the school yard, and many of us just weren't cute or popular with the girls. We tried to dress sharp in those hand-me-downs and we never knew when we were going to talk out-of-line in school and get slammed by the nun. My moment of glory was always the spelling bees when I won every holy card from Sister Clare Eleanor.You could always find a moment of fame if you stole some flowers off a lawn and presented them to the statue of Mary in May. Or bring in $5 for the mission collection. Maybe your spelling test would be taped to the blackboard for a week. You could draw a pyramid or a tulip and get rewarded too with a gold star. We boys were relegated to polishing the floors with old rags and clapping erasers or opening the windows with those long poles. Each boy has a story of running afoul a nun and paying for it with corporal punishment. My ear was yanked out of place once for laughing at Bucky Durney. The pain made Bucky even funnier. So, we boys had a rough course to run. Catholic school was a minefield we had to navigate each day in our corduroy pants, snap-on ties, grunge shirts and uneven haircuts.
Joe Lynch--Think. Talk. Play [01-08-2012]

Lou Giorno: You misunderstand the reasoning behind all the Catholic School closings. It's not just about the money (tuition). Remember, back in the day, the teachers were all nuns - all they required was room and board and a small stipend. With todays's shortage of religious vocations, the teachers today are mostly lay teachers and they demand a lot more money and benefits than the nuns - hence the necessity for tuition and the loss of students who can afford it (a real Catch 22.) Since the Catholic schools cannot claim any tax money to help pay for this, can you suggest another way to keep these schools open, if not with tuition?
anonymous [01-08-2012]

Please view memorial for Sis McCartney. She will be sadly missed.
SueHenigan [01-08-2012]

Lou, it's not just the economy. When you have a parish school that once had close to 100 kids per class, that now has total school enrollment in the 100's, it doesn't make sense to keep that school open. Parishes in some neighborhoods just don't have the Catholic community support they once did.
anonymous [01-08-2012]

Sounds like I might have missed something by transferring from SFA to CA in 8th grade. Under the reign of terror that prevailed in Sr. Mary Immaculate's 7th grade classroom, nascent hormonal urges were kept under wraps, only to be released the following year, it seems. Too bad so much love was not only unrequited but unsuspected. For me, it was Walter Heilemann, who never noticed me. And poor Joe Lynch, whose ardor for Veronica Carmody has only now, 54 years later, come to light. I suppose it's better to be unnoticed than to be rejected, Joe. Ah, young love. I can hear Pat Boone in the background, "Young love, sweet love, filled with deep emotion...." The CA party was no match for the SFA party Joe described, with spin-the-bottle and other risque games that would have drawn more than the usual 3 Our Fathers and 3 Hail Marys at the next round of confessions. The CA class of '57 had a formal dance at Alden Park Manor, all very proper. I have a photo of all of us girls and Bob O'Donnell of the SFA class of '57 is among the boys in the photo. I wonder whose date he was...
CMM [01-08-2012]

Jerry McKeon: What a cool guy. (Understand I'm picturing you at 21 as I punch these keys) You took me to the B.R. Club at Broad and Olney for a twist contest on a Sunday night. I'll never forget it. First, the comedian was Leonard Cohen who had been on the Ed Sullivan Show. Nobody at the B.R. club laughed. Not even a chuckle. Second, the twist contest started. You were lookin' really cool, Jerry. The hair just right. The Mr. B collar. The Old Spice, just enough, lingering. You won the contest. I felt like I did something great just because I was there hanging around with you. The women. God, they loved you. A few of them loved me just because I knew you.
Jack Brogan, Let's twist again, like we did last summer [01-08-2012]

Charles Carr: Who knew? A poet from Pulaski Avenue, right up near Jerry McKeon’s Granny? Charles, I read your post thinking to myself, "I’m gonna' congratulate this guy for breaking the world’s record for the all time longest sentence. But then your writing grabbed me. Instead of ridicule I thought, God, I’ll have to crank it up a notch to compare with Charles. Compare with Charles? Who am I kidding? Only Frankie Baggs and Joe Lynch could approach Charles Carr. Keep posting, Charles. Wonderful stuff. I’ll look for your book.
Jack Brogan, I miss Frank Klock on here [01-08-2012]

Captain Orville "Bud" Ballard[PPD]. For a former member of The Highway Patrol, you have done some great detective work in that you located Jim Harris of Fernhill Parkl,and St. Catharine's. I conjecture that he might have gone to Roman after he left The Seminary. You even got my good friend,Lin Wilson, to come to the last G-town Reunion which you always organize-I know that we had a disagreement but he was not one of the dudes who sculpted my artistic face. If Joe Lynch comes to a G-town Reunion, he should buy me a drink since I broke up a fight between him and Lin at Fernhill Park-it had to be over a babe. These Lasalle guys were Ladies-men -you and Jimmy Harris know Dancing Tom Cusack. It's great that you always get a new celebrity to come to these Reunions. I am still waiting for Frank Klock and Frank Crawford to make an appearance. Frank Crawford was a car-guy and he also knew Jim Harris. Jim Harris was friend of Leroy Kelly[NFL] and it would be great if he would come to The Buck with Leroy. Back in the 80's, I was crusing through Mt. Airy,and I stopped at a Burger King at Easton& Cheltenham. A big muscular dude is walking around the place like he owned it. I say,"Kilroy! How The Heck Are You. Leroy said," You are going back to the days at Fernhill when we ran some ball. Harold Kelly was alive and he was a minister. Those brothers from Wissy&Roberts were nice guys but tough- including Jimmy Harris. I remember Jim Harris would walk to St. Catharine's from Wissy&Roberts past Lin Wilson's house at Wissy&Abbottsford and go up past my shack at Hansberry and Schuyler. Jerry McKeon must have a good memory and he knows how to spell Schuyler. Possibly, he liked Ruth Ann Flynn on Schuyler St. who was knocked out gorgeous and so classy. Bud! You have to find Larry Farrell from your class and we can talk 50 Buicks since Mr. Farrell drove a big blue Buick-it was a beauty. We always have a great time at the reunions that you organize but we all will miss Al Patrizi-a great guy in that great SFA class of 1956. Brother! Keep Trucking and not in a Volvo.
Bruce Schmitt [01-08-2012]

BEBE Rossi-Hey Buddy,glad to see you're still around--you were one of the best ballplayers in the area. Your second home was HH-if you wanted to see BEBE you had to go to HH-he would always be there. God Bless you. Your paisano, Lou Giorno
Lou Giorno, Mr G dos [01-08-2012]

Hi Goerge,so sorry to hear of Eddie passing,he was one of the good guys,please tell Donna I'am sorry too,he will be in my prayers RIP old friend!
anonymous [01-08-2012]

SFA trivia question: how many times was Mary Claire Hunt May Queen?
CMM [01-07-2012]

Jim McKernan: Thanks for reconnecting me with Charlie Carr and good luck with your presentation in Cork. Topic sounds very heavy; hope you start and end with a couple of good jokes, but keep them clean for the sake of the ladies in the audience. When I worked for the US Army in Hawaii I was often the only woman at conferences and too often had to endure very rude jokes and stories, meant only for the trenches and smokers. Once I walked out and a full bird colonel had to apologize for his poor taste and bad judgment. (I've never taken kindly to being 'dissed'!) BTW, you wouldn't recognize Griffith University now. The surrounding area is the fastest developing growth corridor in Australia and the university now abuts a motorway. What birds there are would be looking both ways before crossing! And all the howling animals are human; the word for them is 'bogans'. It is, however, a great university and The Griffith Review is renowned and often quite controversial.
CMM [01-07-2012]

I predicted the closings & merging of the Catholic Schools years ago.People can't afford those expensive tuitions. This is the beginning of the end for Catholic Schools.Our economy will dictate how long these school remain open.They are beating a dead horse. As usual, it's all about money. Lou Giorno
lou giorno, Mr. G DOS [01-07-2012]

Sam Chapman came to Happy Hollow one afternoon. My father told me he was the best defensive outfielder in baseball except for Joltin' Joe and his brother in Boston. Sam got after the balls. I got his autograph. I bet Sam never made $25,000 a year.
Jack Brogan, Bring in the dog and put out the cat. [01-07-2012]

bebe ! great to hear from you ! i hope your still playing softball ? i saw your son about a year ago and man he looks just like you ! i said wow! a young bebe! good to hear from you . stay well frank margiotti. 76 and still cuting hair ! thank you lord !
frank margiotti, lansdale [01-07-2012]

Joe Lynch Wow I had no idea that you liked me back then. When I talked in 8th grade which was quite often, Sr. Clare Eleanor would punish me by making me go sit in the boys aisle beside Master Lynch. You think that she would have caught onto the fact that I liked being sent over there. Our May Queen was not Mary Clare Hunt although she was always the one that brought the flowers to the Blessed Mother at every May Procession. Pat Mockaitis was the May Queen. Yes, Joe grandchildren are the greatest. I was out to lunch yesterday with 3 of my graddaughters and they are just so much fun. The oldest one is a Junior at Penn State and is going back to school on Saturday.It really is so nice to think about our teen years when everything was so much fun. I will talk with you later.
Ronnie Carmody McIntyre [01-07-2012]

Just saw the list.. did not see any Germantown parish on the list.. Safe once again
Erda Armstrong Graham, From the Westside of Germantown [01-07-2012]

Tom Cusack told me about this website when we were at Al's funeral last week, where I met Ed Burke for the first time. I have spent the last week reading some of the blogs written over the past year and am happy to see some of my old friends are still alive and kicking. Frank Crawford, my neighbor and running mate for a few years. Jack Brogan the coffee shop crawler in the wee hours of the morning during the summer of '60 after our night shift at Vick's. Bruce Schmidt the mayor of West Hansberry and Schuyler streets. Tom will tell you the years (maybe alcohol?) have addled my brain and I have forgotten the names of a lot of my friends from the east side of Germantown as well as the west side. Keep the memories flowing.
Jerry McKeon, St Madeleine Sophie '53, LaSalle 57 [01-07-2012]

Bob Smith: Your last blog to this site was outstanding since it covered a neighborhood in Germantown from a sociological perspective. I had a course in sociolgy at St. Joe and The Famous Sociologist,Max Weber, coined the term,"The Protestant Work Ethic". Our Professor noted that South America was more Catholic and The United States was more Protestant and adhered to The Protestant Work Ethic. I wondered, after reading your blog whether your customers were more Catholic or Protestant when you made deliveries to The Elite Alden Park Manor. You mentioned The Strawbridge Mansion on School House Lane,the famous retail family, and that family personified The Protestant Work Ethic. You talked about The Kelly Family and Grace Kelly became The Princess of Monaco. The Kelly Family and cousins attended Mass at St. Catharine's and St. Bridget's and bought their baked goodies at Hassis's Bakery on Queen Lane. I would see Meg Davis,Grace's Cousin, at St. Catharine's for Sunday Mass. You might recall that she took off with her boyfriend when she was in high-school and it hit all the papers-especially the Daily News. You also talked about meeting the lovely ingenues from The Episcopal Church on Oak Road. The Oak Road was one of my favorite streets in Germantown and I interviewed The Minister of that Oak Road Church for a term paper when I had a course with The Jesuits on Comparative Religions-The Episcopal Minister was Classy and Articulate. Yesterday, I had lunch with 2 Germantowners,Tom Wilkins and Tom Boyle and the three of us talked about JP O'Connor who lived next to The Episcopal Church at Midvale&Oak Road. JP went to The Prep but did not have good rapport with The Friendly Jesuits and transferred to Penn Charter on School House Lane. On the other side of The Episcopal Church on Oak Road, there lived a gentleman by the name of Richard Brown who was the president of Brown Instrument[Wayne Junction] and was bought by Honeywell. My sister owned Manor Drug,about half a mile from Oak Road. Mr. Brown liked to smoke and he called in an order for a carton of cigarettes just 15 minutes before the drug store closed. I hopped on my bike and drove in the heavy rain up Midvale to the beautiful Brown Mansion on Oak Road and hoping to receive a good tip-at least a buck. I did not get a buck or even a quarter but he commented so mannerly,"I Appreciate Your Gargantuan Effort. I made deliveries to The Queen Lane Project,The East Falls Project,and The Abbottsford Project and I always received a quarter and I wanted to give back my tip. When I drove a cab in college, I got better tips from The K&A Lads than from The Fat Cats. I am not a liberal but the middle class is eroding and the wealth is flowing disproportionately to The Elite. I commend you that you are living in Erwinna in beautiful Bucks County which is such a wonderful spot in Pennsylvania. I had a home in Carversville on a creek but you have a covered bridge. I always liked River Road on The Delaware. In my youth,I would raft at Point Pleasant and hang out with The Bikers at Apple Jack's-they were gentlemen and good tippers. Bob! Happy 2012 and never forget your Germantown Roots and remember when you dine at The Golden Pheasant and other upscale restaurants that the waiters are working hard and long and they like serving real people like the folks that we knew from our beloved Germantown.
John Bruce Schmitt [01-07-2012]

The Poetry on Pulaski Avenue between Chelten Avenue & School House Lane Covering Washington’s Retreat from the redcoats in the Battle of Germantown a Polish General gave his name to this block where I lived among the shoulder high wrought iron fences, that held my father’s arm for his short walks after the stroke, and stood like sentries between the semi-detachments. There was a spiteful tree that tormented me, but others lined up, lavishing leaves,raked into mounds; gathered in armfuls; tossed at one another; igniting the nights with incense from their burning; beyond is a gravel fjord carved out flowing back to the upper peninsula of three story stone houses with gardens- homes of the intelligentsia- topless, a French woman sunbathes on a brick patio beyond the clotheslines strung, hung bed linens billowing; crosses a Maginot line that separates the homes of a violist from the Philadelphia Orchestra and a cranky old man, his fields and the rear yard of the China Mission; hiding a secret path to cut short the time it took me to race back to school from lunch break.; on the other side of the driveway is the “going up the street” houses, rising above two levels of concrete steps: the Irish boarding house for men, sit on the front porch dressed in shirts with yellowed collars, a tie, vest, greased work boots, read the Evening Bulletin, waiting for Mrs. Toye to serve them dinner; they always smile and buy my chances; two doors away from a kneeler facing a coffin, a wake for a boy swallowed by the Wissahickon Creek; cars parked on both sides tolerate the thud from an errant football pass or soccer shot beyond the west side of this block a sprawl of buildings intrude on the idea that this block could ever be called charming or quaint: the two story smudged rouge red brick Davis Buick garage with its specialists for brakes, tune-ups, wheel alignments; dents and dings sitting against the wall eating their lunch, choking a sandwich wrapped in wax paper with their grease stained mitts, joking with a little boy carrying a I LIKE IKE placard ;the beer distributor, its whitewashed wall soars as high as the right field fence of Connie Mack stadium with the stucco cracked in the center by the imaginings of a boy flame thrower, hurling a rubber ball in the ninth inning of a one run game, facing Stan Musial; snaring a line drive against the back wall of the Dry Cleaners on the other side; where the clerk in the tight skirt always says Hi honey; cross the street,buy ice cream with a sugar cone at a German delicatessen that catered lunches after the baptism, dinners after wedding rehearsals,graduations, refreshments on the other side of the curtain for home wakes, owned by émigrés from Germany, he fought on the other side of the Marne from my father drinking a bottle of Ballantine Ale, eating a ham sandwich and german potato salad reliving the armistice across trolley tracks glow the aqua blue, lime green and cheery red globes of Leedom & Wistler Pharmacy where you could always find relief.
CHARLES S. CARR, Born and raised on Pulaski Ave. between Chelten Ave & School House Lane. Age 68. I am among other things a poet and in 2010, my first book of poems, paradise,pennsylvania was published by Cradle Press. It is available from Amazon. Many poems inspired by memories of Germantown. My forthcoming book Haitian Mudpies, will be coming out in APril 2012. Love growing up in Germantown. Attached is a poem: The Poetry on Pulaski Avenue between Chelten Avenue & School House Lane. Enjoy. [01-07-2012]

Sad news..... Rumor has been spreading about IC and SFA closing. Sadly, there is truth to the rumor. The Archdiocese announced last month that they will be reviewing every parish and school in the archdiocese, and great change will result. But, their review of the Germantown parishes had already begun, and the reviewing committee has already put two proposals/recommendations on the table for consideration. Final decision on those proposals will be made in March. But, both proposals call for the closing of IC and SFA, keeping St. Vincent’s open. Since one of the proposals will be accepted, it is certain that IC and SFA will be closing. The closing will be effective July 1, 2012. For those connected with IC, the next Friends of Immaculate Reunion is scheduled for Sunday, October 14, 2012. We’re looking to move the reunion up to Sunday, June 24, 2012, to coincide with the closing. Please mark your calendars to join us that day, to fill that beautiful church one last time as we say goodbye to a beloved old friend.
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [01-06-2012]

To all from gtn who knew my oldest brother eddie greene ( fast eddie ).I am sadden to tell that he has past away on 01/ 04/2012 of cancer. I will miss my brother deeply. gg
george greene, retired in gilbertsville pa [01-06-2012]

Lou Gorno: Re A's catchers in the fifties; does the names Astroth and/or Tipton ring a bell? Tony Risi
anonymous, Tony Risi, Lancaster County, Pa. [01-06-2012]

Dear Catherine Manning Muir, God Bless ye and yours on the other side of the planet.And Happy New Year! I shall certainly pass on your kind words to Cholly Carr, poet of Germantown. I hope to hear him read a few pomes in the ould country soon. I'll be at University College Cork in late March giving presentation "Reconstructionist Philosophy and Socialism" and how it has effected education in Europe. A pity the policymakers are all right -wing here for decades-and that includes Democrats. But there it is.I am back in class on Monday next-welcoming graduate students to the study of Philosophy of Education. This could be the last time-as the tune goes? In 1992 I was invited to the First World Congress on Action Research in Australia-we pioneered this idea of research on practitioner problems in the 70's in NI and UK colleagues-I was given an around the world ticket from Dublin to Brisbane (Griffith University-which i loved as it was in a semi-tropical rain forest I recall..thought I was in a Tarzan movie at night with the howling animals!)Anyroad loved Australia and people I met-a lot of Irish nationals there. Got jumped in Figi by ex British Army soldiers because I was wearing an Irish shirt and they had done a tour in Ulster as soldiers and hated Irish. I took care of them both easily-no joke they were strung out on drugs- and the black women cheered me on as the police arrived. But I lost me good Ireland t-shirt. Bloodied and barechested I left Figi. The police Sgt was so kind and told me his wife was a teacher at a local school and they needed books. I mounted a school book drive upon arrival in Dublin. 600 elementary school level books went there-this was just after their independence from UK. Love to go back sometime to Australia-(not fights in Figi)...to the sheep ranches and the beeeeeer!
Jim McKernan, Professor, East Carolina University [01-06-2012]

Vera Canavan, I have known 'Cholly' Carr since the 50's at SVDePaul School. But I did not know his family of which ye speak. We have recently re-connected-his poetry; my love of Ireland. I shall certainly pass on your best wishes. Happy New Year Vera from Jim,"Jade' (the rescued pit bull) and my own Ross and Abby McKernan-now working in Philly!
Jim McKernan, Professor, East Carolina University [01-06-2012]

The Anonymous Poetry Man: I have to tell that your poignant analysis and understanding of the free-verse poetry and your comparative analysis of Frank Klock's poetry with EE Cummins,the great American Poet, was oustanding. I am impressed with the poetry and poets and writers that some of the bloggers on this site find so appealing. Catharine Manning Muir likes Carl Sandburg, Frank connects with Rudolph Steiner,The Austrian Phiosopher and Intellectual, and you are fond of EE Cummins who thinks outside the box like You and Frank Klock. Some of the purists on this site might find the metric and language of Mr. Klock's Poetry-cacophonous. I learned on this site that Joe Lynch was a Choir-boy and he is probaly looking for the resonance of a dulcet sound in poetry-it does not have to happen in poetry as you well know. Frank Baggs,with his great Jesuit Education,experience in sports as a player and coach,being a musician and actor under the tutelage of Dr. Dave Loscalzo, is well qualified to pen and craft excellent and creative poetry. Joe Lynch and Frank Klock were coached by Robert Goo Guarinello, The Hollow Icon and Poet. Goo taught Joe L. to be tough and play hard to win and forget about the soft and dulcet sounds of The SFA Choir. On the other hand, Goo was a different kind of mentor to Frankie Baggs in that he taught Frank how to use cacophonous and poetic language- our opponents are a bunch of pussy-cats and we should be kicking their fudging butts. Goo was a great poker player and Frankie Baggs picked up this talent. I knew some of the lads who played poker with Frank and they had the potential to use colorful and cacophonous language. Germantowners! May Frank continue to post his fluid and colorful poetry on this site and it is OK if it flows like a muddy river and not a pristine lake.
John Bruce Schmitt [01-06-2012]

On November 21 Germantown lost another son.John (Jack) Barnes born and raised at 1045 East Chelton Ave. passed at age 80.He lived there until joining the Navy and when he returned he married at IC.I have many fond memories of visiting my grandparents and aunts and uncles from Chelten Ave. Jack Barnes,
anonymous [01-06-2012]

Ronnie (Veronica to me!) I had 3 sons, too. We might have had 6 sons together if fate (and high school) hadn't separated us like that in 1957. So, John's story is true; you did dismiss him after all those years of devotion, all those Christmas presents (jewelry, I suppose). And what about me,standing in the wings, just waiting my chance like Cyrano de Bergerac? Must I, 56 years later, pine for what might have been. John has married happily, as I have, but how often did I have to rig spin-the-bottle to get your attention? And follow you around Willow Grove Park on the roller coaster (3 tickets!)? I even went to the novenas of St. Francis Xavier (O, pray for us. . .) in February in the hopes of saying "Hello, Veronica, can I carry your books. . . and your heart?" I feigned devotion in that big SFA church, missed basketball practice with Goo-Goo at the Hollow,and endured mockery and scorn for my new-found religiosity. .but then I fell in love with Patricia Mockaitis for about 3 months (Forgive me!).It was a Girl Scout Dance at Happy Hollow that night in 8th grade and every time I hear "On the Street Where You Live," by Vic Damone, I am transported back in time to Sylvania Street, 1957. Did I have your old address correct, 152? It came out of nowhere the other day as I was blogging.I am sure both of us, all of us, righted the ship and married sensible, loving people. Aren't grandchildren the best! If those little girls ever try to play spin-the-bottle with the likes of me, there will be hell-to-pay, I can assure you.Elvis reminds me of that time, of that place with Bandstand--Justine and Bob. I remember the May Queen Mary Clare Hunt, Paula Simon, Judy Kiely, Carole Scampton,Barbara Botta, Regina Mellon and others who tolerated a gawky, socially-awkward string bean of a fellow. Still, as Carly Simon sings "These are the good old days."
Joe Lynch--I know a lady oh so fair/To me she gives such loving care/I love that lady like no other/Because that lady is my mother. [01-06-2012]

Hi, from BEBE. I sure miss everybody. Those were great days and we lived in a great neighborhood. There was nothing like the Hollow. It's a shame all good things come to an end. I would love to hit the lottery and have a big party and get together. I used to keep in touch with Goo who lived in WildWood. I talked to him quite often until one day I got a call from Joe Rafael (Shangee) that they found Goo dead in his room. So sad. He was a legend in the Hollow. We all remembered Goo, a great basketball player in his day. I was sorry about what happened to him. I will try to keep in touch. I sure miss you all and thanks for bveing a part of my life. Also Ralph Gatto died, a great quarterback. I got this info from Scully and was glad to learn about "your Thoughts" I live in FLA but I miss Philly. Love Joe (BEBE) Rossi
Joe (BEBE) Rossi [01-06-2012]

Johnny Markee, May he Rest in Peace. Great Memories of a fine gentleman.
GBC-er [01-06-2012]

Helen Leone D'Angelo: Then my mother knew all of those DiCondinas....and we were in their home a lot/ and vice versa. They were best friends with my parents. Small world in good old "G" town, eh? Have a nice day. :)
L.Fontana, Montgomeryville, Pa. [01-05-2012]

Joe Lynch That was a fun party at Frank's house and of course we played post office and maybe even spin the bottle. I'm married with 3 sons and 8 grandchildren, but I don't have a poodle skirt. I did see John Fries at the shore and didn't realize it was him until he started to ask me if I went to SFA and then I knew his voice. It was nice to see him and Maureen. I have seen him a couple of times since then. It is always nice to see someone that you went to school with and talk about the old days.
Ronnie Carmody McIntyre [01-05-2012]

Erda, you are right that St. Vincent's is the Catholic mother church of Germantown, with all the other Germantown parishes having established from it. It is historic, but there are probably close to 100 Catholic churches in and around the city that pre-date it.
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [01-05-2012]

I remember going to Shibe Park in the early fifties,to watch the PHILA. A's. I can remember all the players-Ferris Fain-Pete Suder-Eddie Joost-Hank Majeski-Sam Chapman Elmer Valo-Gus Zernial-School Boy Rowe Et Al. I can't remember the catcher-was it Stan Lopata or Buddy Rosar?? How about paying neighborhood kids to watch your car?/ EXTORTION?????? Lou Giorno
lou giorno, Mr G Dos [01-05-2012]

Frank Crawford: You have known so many interesting people from Germantown- John Granozio,the great baseball slugger,Ed Biff Halloran,The Concrete King of NyC, Jim Harris,former seminarian,great athlete,and great member of one elite units of The PPD,and Tom Cueball Cusack,the dancing machine and dynamic raconteur. Tom C. should always be invited to a party because he can really work a room. It was so sad that Tom's good friend,Al Patrizi passed and you knew Al well back in the day. I saw a photograph of your old buddies on Bob Kephart's yacht and I thought that Bob Kephart was you. I talked to Pat McIlhinney at Al 's viewing and he is still a smooth talker but Tom C. is the best. You should get together with your old friends, Cueball and Jerry Mckewon. You always liked to drive nice cars and Bud Ballard informed us on this site that Jim harris drove a Corvette. You also knew that Biff Halloran had a Rolls Royce and Poor Old Biff and his Rolls just disappeared as did Jimmy Hoffa-you live by the sword and you die by the sword. Frank! It has been too many years since we talked and played football across from your Grandmother on Manheim St. and Logan Park. Frank! Keep posting and May 2012 be healthy and prosperous.
john Bruce Schmitt [01-05-2012]

Dan Hartnett, It was a nice journey visiting Willow Grove in the 1960 clip. Looks like it might have been done professionally for the Park. I had written earlier that around that time I worked in Laurel Hill Cemetery, there was an old man that worked there with me by the name of John McShane---he was in his 70”s and I believe he lived in Germantown, anyway he had a girl friend that worked the carousel at the park and every Sunday he would spend the day sitting there waiting for her to get off work. She had worked many years at the park and John would tell these fascinating stories of the past that she related to him.
Jack McHugh [01-05-2012]

CMM. The mummers are alive and well here in South Phila but it has not been a good year for them. About a month or two ago, the clubhouse of The Downtowners was raided by the police. It seems that there was something more than mummery going on there . Then on Sunday even ing as some of the bands were making their traditional march down 2nd St, some sort of riot of yet undetermined origin broke out. There was some serious roughhousing but to the best of my knowledge no serious injuries. From what I hear, someone took serious offense at some liquid refreshment either being spilled or poured on them, and it escalated from there. But I guess mummers will be mummers. See Tom Cusack's blogs for some good mummer stories. Hope all is well.
Louis F Pauzano,Sr, 70yrs, South Phila. [01-05-2012]

Attention Bruce SCHMITT, as per your orders I called the telephone number listed for Michael PEALE, I left a message on his answering machine. I left my telephone number and requested that he call me. Bud
Orville T. BALLARD, sfa 56 & nechs [01-05-2012]

Attention Bruce SCHMITT, as per your order, I contacted James A. HARRIS. JIM still drives a Corvette. I read off a list of names who attend our BUCK Hotel Lunches. Jim remembered some of the people from lower East Germantown. Tom CUSACK you will be getting a telephone from Jim HARRIS. Jim stated he would like to come to the next Luncheon. Jim HARRIS retired on 11-01-2003. Jim does not have a computer, but his daughter has a computer. JIM will get on your thoughts via of his daughter.
Orville T. BALLARD, sfa 56 & nechs 60 [01-05-2012]

Ronnie (Veronica), the last time we talked we partied like it was 1999 (It was really 1957 at the 8th grade graduation dance in the basement of old SFA.)John Fries was your boyfriend all those years ago. One Christmas I even walked him over to Shedaker Street (152?) so he could give you a present. Was "heart-broken" the best adjective for me? John tells the story that he approached you dounnashore on the beach, but you somehow didn't know him. If you knew us both now, I am sure you would go for me. I come with references. I waited 4 years for you, we danced one night, then I went off to another high school. I remember how proud I was to be asked to Francis Jamison's party and how all of us danced to Bill Haley and "Rock Around the Clock." I am not sure there were any kissing games at that 8th grade party, but it was raucous in that small house by Wister Woods. We had an RCA record changer and a stack of 45s. At that time, if you weren't asked to a class party, you were crushed by embarrassment and moped around the house, no one loving you on that Saturday night. If you were asked to the party, you went up to older Cousin Jack Brogan's house for advice on argyle socks, buzz-cut hairstyles, narrow ties and breath freshener. He would explain social situations to me:how to dance with a live person, not a chair; whom to dance with, only females; placement of the hands on the girl's hips for a cheap thrill;the value of the dip at the end of the ladies' choice, an absolute requirement; sweaty palms and who's to blame; walking her home and approaching the father. Jack's encyclopedic knowledge of the female guided me through my life until I married at 25 and started having children of my own. A quick phone call and I'd know obscure prom etiquette (how close to shave), when to take off your tuxedo jacket (after 11 PM), the address of The Hawaiian Cottage in Jersey, wasn't everything across the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge, how much to tip, and whether it was worth it to have your picture taken and placed on a pack of matches.Jack was an older brother in some ways, resourceful, like Chingachook in James Fenimore Cooper's novel.If Jack didn't tell me, I might have worn white socks to Frank Jamison's party, you might not have danced the night away with me in 1957, I might not have had the courage to marry a Mt. Airy girl in 1968. Ronnie, don't tease me and say you are single, own a poodle skirt and have gotten over John Fries. It's too much to bear.
Joe Lynch--To live in hearts left behind is not to die.--epitaph of the real Boo Radley [01-04-2012]

St Vincent's is an historical site.. It is unlikey that they close it.. It was the first Catholic church in Germantown and if I remember the first out of center city..
Erda Graham, From the Westside of Germantown [01-04-2012]

My first kiss was with Johnny Markee,may he rest in peace. Marie
MARIE [01-04-2012]

Erda - both St. Catherine and Holy Rosary did become misssions of St. Vincent and IC, respectively, but that was after they were suppressed as parishes. But, they both were true parishes in their own right before that suppression. There was once another Germantown parish that few would know as it was only around from 1925-1934, St. Brendan. The church, for whatever it happened to be, was located at 507 W. Manheim St, near Erringer Place. Whatever its purpose or intent, it merged into SFA when it closed.
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [01-04-2012]

Jim McKirnan-----the Cholly Carr that you wrote about---did he live on Pulaski and have older sisters Anne and Cathy??I spent a lot of time with that family in the mid-50's---their mother was a warm wonderful women-Cathy was my age-Anne a year or so older-Cholly was the youngest-nice kid even then--thanks for bringing that pleasent memory back--HAPPY NEW YEAR
vera carey canavan, St. Vincent's 1956--Little Flower 1960 [01-04-2012]

Last time I went to the Mummers Parade, in 1980, I think, it was a bitterly cold day. Stood just near the south side of City Hall. Was terribly disappointed that the parade was totally for the TV cameras and not for the people who had braved the cold for hours and hours to stand and watch the parade. A few years earlier, 1976 or '77, I stood on the steps of the Phila College of Art and the string bands stopped to perform in front of the crowd there. Each string band was accompanied by a transvestite in fabulous, atrocious finery. It was wonderful! As Tom Cusack pointed out, it was a real folk tradition in South Phila with a million stories like the one he told. Is there still a Mummers Parade? I so hope it hasn't gone the way of so many of the wonderful Philadelphia traditions of our day, like the Memorial Day parade on Germantown Avenue, the Halloween window painting contest, trick-or-treating and so on.
CMM [01-04-2012]

Jim McK: Please give my regards to Charlie Carr, whom I haven't seen or heard of since the early 70s. So pleased to hear of his success and his charitable endeavors. Yes, Cholly was a St. Vincent's boy, later an historian of sermons of the Great Awakening at Bryn Mawr College. All the best to him.
CMM [01-04-2012]

Bud Ballard: The consensus is that your old colleague from The PPD,Jim Harris, was a class act and a good guy. Many Germantowners including you,knew Jimmy Harris from playing ball at Fernhill Park. The 39th Pal,22d&Hunting Park, was heavily involved with baseball at Fernhill Park. As a PPD Guy, you know the great work that The PAL did with The Youth of Philadelphia. Like you, Jim Harris was a recipient ol PAL Instruction and Catholic Education and he was admired and respected by so many people-both black and white. I surmise from your post that Jim H. was a dedicated and excellent member of " The PPD". You are a "Car Guy" and you mentioned that Jim had one of the greatest cars of the "60's"-A Corvette. I knew a few lads who had Corvettes and they would talk about the 61-Vette. You,Jim Harris,and many Germantowners were really into cars. It would be great to see Jim Harris and the many SFA Guys that played ball with him. Tom Cusack mentioned Mike Peale played ball with Jim Harris and he was in your class at SFA[56]. Possibly, you could connect with Mike and Jim and bring them to A G-town Reunion at The Buck which you organize so well. Bud! Happy New Year 2012.
Bruce Schmitt [01-04-2012]

Happy New Year to you also Linda F..Yes, Dominic DiCondina's Mom was Anna and they lived in East Germantown across from Erichetti Funeral Home. Dom married my cousin Mary.

A Mummers Memory … I have been an ardent fan and admirer of the Mummers from a very early age. During my teen years in the fifties, I used to argue with my Mother about ownership of the TV on New Years Day. I wanted to watch the Bowl Games and Mom said we are watching the Mummers. Since it was her house and her TV, naturally we watched the Mummers. My Mother never saw a Mummers Parade in person, but she knew everything about the Parade. As we sat and watched the Parade, she would tell me all the history about the Comic, Fancy, and String Band Divisions, and make her picks on who would win the String Band Division … and her picks were pretty accurate. Through the years, I always felt connected to the Mummers Parade. To this day, I still get filled up when I first hear string band music as I think of Mom, one of their biggest fans. Many years pass, and in 1995 when I was 54, a good friend of mine, Richie, who was in the parade from when he was a kid, asked me why I was such an enthusiast of the parade but was never in the parade. I said I just never made a connection over the years to be in the parade. He said I was coming with him and his group and I was in my first parade in 1995 marching with a group in the Comic Division called the Irish Cousins. To say that this was a big thrill for me is putting it lightly. Driving over to Two Street at 7 AM on that New Years morning, dressed for my first Mummers Parade, you can imagine how I felt, thinking about Mom and all the Parades we watched together ... now I was actually going to be in the Parade. Now for the Mummers Memory … it is 7:30 AM on New Years day in 1995 and I am marching with a Wench Brigade (we are all dressed up in historic wench costumes .. true mummers never call it a costume … it is called a suit!). To say that South Philly on New Years morning is absolutely electric in atmosphere is putting it mildly. For those of you that know about the parade, 1996 was the one and only year it did not go up Broad Street, but instead the parade route went across Market Street. So here I am with 30 other guys at 7:30 AM on 2nd Street and we are supposed to fall in behind the infamous Froggy Carr Comic Club, whose clubhouse was right down the street on 2nd Street. They had about 350 marchers, all in wench suits (not costumes!) with a big truck out in front with their name on it (the inside was loaded with beer) and a blues band on a flatbed playing great music … and off we went. As we marched up 2nd Street, behind Froggy Carr, and started to work our way to the 5th and Market starting point, the word came back to my group that the police were checking for alcohol so we should finish what we have and get rid of the rest .. which we did. However, the infamous Froggy Carr guys (who were a lot of fun loving raucous types), either didn’t get the word or didn’t care. When they reached 5th and Market, the police confiscated their big truck (with 200 cases of beer for the 350 marchers .. obviously very thirst people) and arrested their captain. The next thing I know, all 350 Froggy Carr marchers sit down in the middle of Market Street in protest and said they are not movingand this parade was over. The TV announcers even announced that there was a demonstration at 5th and Market that was stopping the parade. A very upset police captain came running over to the Froggy Carr demonstrators and said to get up and get moving or else they would get arrested. The demonstrators told the police that since the police took their Froggy Carr captain and took their beer, they weren’t going anywhere. Next thing I know, the police captain drags the Froggy Carr captain out of the police car and into the midst of the demonstrators and said here is your captain so get moving. It was hilarious … almost on queue, 350 guys yell out “@@##$$%% our captain, we want our beer” .... everyone broke up laughing, including the police captain. The stalemate was broken, the demonstrators got up and the parade continued. I laughed all the way to City Hall … a sitcom writer on TV couldn’t have scripted the scene any better. That was the first of 5 straight parades I was in … each with treasured memories. A true Philadelphia tradition.
Tom Cusack [01-03-2012]

I played on the 39th PAL baseball team with Joe Palmer (one really good pitcher and a nice guy), Jimmy Harris (the catcher and a great guy), Leroy Kelly was our shortstop and a real talent (Harold, his brother, would pitch one no-hitter after another in the earlier junior game ... then years later he made the majors), Vince Weikel, Mike Peals, Frank Crawford .. a friend of mine, Terry Wochok, played with us for a while ... he later became a lawyer and represented the Duponts ... we played our games at Hunting Park ... a memorable time in my life.
Tom Cusack [01-03-2012]

Helen Leone D'Angelo, hello and Happy New year. My mother had friends with the last name of DiCondina. I think it was Mary and Frank, or maybe Anna? Does this info ring any bills with you? Dom DiCondina also stays in my memory of names...thanks, Linda "F".
L.Fontana, Montgomeryville, Pa. [01-03-2012]

Another one gone to soon, Johnny Markee passed away on Sat. Dec.31st and today he would have been 66 yrs. old. John lived in Brickyard and was always at the Germantown Boys Club. He will be missed by his family and friends. His funeral will be this Wed. & Thurs. at the Tomlinson F.H. on Bristol Pike, Bensalem PA. R.I.P.
GBC-er [01-03-2012]

Bob & JBS As I remember St. Catharine’s was not actually a parish but a mission school, the same as Holy Rosary.. Both belonged to St. Vincent's Parish. Back in my father's day catholic school where segregated. I worked with an Italians American woman who told me she grew up on Rittenhouse Street behind St. Vincent’s and was not allowed to attend school or mass there. She had to go to Holy Rosary. Emma’s niece went to school with my sister at St. Vincent’s the difference of one generation. In our day the 1960s St Vincent’s was de-segregated but it was just the beginning. In the 60’s the Italian and African Americans could choose the parish school (St. Vincent, Immaculate Conception, St. Frances or St Bridget’s) or the segregated Holy Rosary, St Michael’s and St Catherine’s. My oldest son attended St. Vincent’s in the old Holy Rosary school in the 80”s for a couple of years. The old St. Vincent school (on Lena and Rittenhouse) was a Senior center.. Not sure what they are doing with it now. In the late 70’s & 80’s St. Catherine’s Sunday Mass was served by St. Vincent priest and my oldest boy served as an altar boy there. St Vincent’ s sold both St Catherine’s and Holy Rosary in the late 80’s early 90’s. I still belonged to St. Vincent’s parish and we lived on Morris Street when the sales took place. It was around the same time they merged the schools.. Moved in 1998 when our youngest was ready for high school. I think Bob is right; we grew up in a better time. We lived in a neighborhood that was class mixed, that had all types of people with different backgrounds. Growing up in a neighborhood like that teaches you to understand people, accept them for the person they are not judging people because of their race or class.
Erda (Armstrong) Graham, From the Westside of Germantown [01-03-2012]

Enjoyed the lively discussions of late on poetry. I have recently received a wonderful book of verse from my old Germantown friend Charles Carr-who we referred to as "Cholly". He attended St Vincents and later LaSalle and Bryn Mawr Colleges gaining a masters in History. Cholly has been a child advocate by profession for 30 plus years. He has the great talent of being a poet with an eye for the human condition-what is called "the voluptuousness of looking". His book is free verse titled "Paradise, Pennsylvania" (St.Louis Mo.) Cradle Press, 2010. Titled after the murder of the five schoolchildren there in 2006.As a scholar it would be inappropriate ethically for me to repeat any of his poems here due to his copyright of the works but I loved the "Philadelphia 1956" piece and "Rittenhouse Square" poems. Cholly devotes his earnings to the children and women of Haiti. A true man of Peace. I am honoured to know him as a friend and recommend his book to you. Happy New Year
Jim McKernan, Professor, East Carolina University, St Vinny's 59' [01-03-2012]

Ed Burke: I want to wish you and your family including your very nice mother-" A Happy and Prosperous 2012". I regret that I did not see you at Al Patrizi's Viewing. I always enjoyed Al's wit when he responded to Tom Cusack's comments at The G-town's Reunions at The Buck. Tom Cusak told a story when he was buying a product at a Pep Boy Store which Al Patrizi was checking since Al was a Regional Supervisor for Pep Boys. Cusack's heroes must have been Jack Brogan and Paul Borian since he was busting[nutting] on the Pep Boy's clerk at the store. Al walks over and takes the clerk to the side and tells her,"Charge That Asshole Double"-as you know, Al had a great personality and was quick. I and all your SFA classmates will miss Al Patrizi. At The Viewing, I talked with The Joe Pesci Look ALike, Tom Cusack, Pat McIlhinney, who looked like that he just won the lottery,and The Old Banker,Lou The Arm Pauzano. You probaly knew Pat McIlhinney when he worked for my sister at Manor Drug.The other viewers must have known this illustrative group because they responded to me as I was leaving. On New Year's Day, I visited my mother with my siblings-Joan,Ken and Rick whom you knew back in the day. I know that you shot pool with Ken in our basement on Hansberry. He still shoots pool and I guess that you are still a great dart-shooter like your legendary father from K&A. You knew my brothers, Ken and Rick, and they were in your sisters' classes at SFA. We should probaly get together in Skippack where you live. Back in the day, I spent some time at The Trolley Stop on Skippack Pike-it was a good stop but it is probaly gone. Bob Smith of West Germantown made some excellent comments about St. Catharine's where you and Lin Wilson went to Mass on Sunday. He really knew that neighborhood and it must have resonated with you. Bob Smith did not mention Queen Lane Playground where your brother,John,and I ran some ball. I took Jim Wilkins,Big John's friend,to The Project Court and Those No good motor-scooters stole his b-ball. I am not a smooth talker but I persuaded the dudes to return the ball. I am having lunch with Tom Wilkins and Tom Boyle whose uncle was Slugger Boyle who was good friends with Big Ed Burke Sr.[father] who held court at The Continental. I am happy that so many friends from Germantown are still kicking but it really hurt all of us when Al Patrizi passed away.
Bruce Schmitt [01-03-2012]

I just received an email informing me that the Archdiocese has decided to close Immaculate Conception. Is it true?
Lorraine (Cupo) Kelly, FL; IC '55; CDHS 59; 70 on 12/28/11 [01-03-2012]

JBS, you mention that Frank Klock's poetry is not so structured, flows freely and employs poetic freedom. Immediately reminds me of e.e. cummings, another of my favorite poets. who, as detailed in Wikipedia, created poems that feature "a typographically exuberant style, with words, parts of words, or punctuation symbols scattered across the page, often making little sense until read aloud, at which point the meaning and emotion become clear. Cummings, who was also a painter, understood the importance of presentation, and used typography to "paint a picture". His work often does not act in accordance with the conventional combinatorial rules that generate typical English sentences (for example, "they sowed their isn't"). In addition, a number of Cummings' poems feature, in part or in whole, intentional misspellings, and several incorporate phonetic spellings intended to represent particular dialects. Cummings also made use of inventive formations of compound words, such as "mud-luscious", "puddle-wonderful", and "eddieandbill"." (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._E._Cummings.) Also reminds me of 'Archy and Mehitabel', a series of newspaper articles created in 1916 by Don Marquis. Because he was a cockroach who came into the newsroom at night to write, archy was unable to operate the shift key on the typewriter (he jumped on each key to type; since using shift requires two keys to be pressed simultaneously, he physically could not use capitals), and so all of his verse was written without capitalization or punctuation. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archy_and_Mehitabel). The work of these poets is so approachable that I sometimes used it with senior secondary students in my ESL classes, along with the Beatles' songs. Frank Klock is in eminently good company with his freewheeling poetic style.
anonymous [01-03-2012]

Donald Rossi...How nice of you to post on this site looking for some comments about your dad.Bee Bee was a Happy Hollow legend.He was extemely well liked by everyone in our neighborhood.Your dad was handsome.Always wore a smile on his face.He was a hard worker and provided well for his family.He was a very good athlete,especially in football.He and Ralph Gatto were quarterbacks with rifle arms.Today,he would be quarterbacking a college football team to great heights.Bee Bee was a great drummer.He really had rythem.He was the Ringo Starr of his time at the Hollow.I'm guessing that your dad is about 75 years old,and handsome as ever.So happy to hear that all is well with him in Florida.Please give him my regards.....Paul Borian
Paul Borian, A fine is a tax for doing wrong.A tax is a fine for doing well. [01-03-2012]

With the Archdiocese's announced undertaking of looking at every parish in the archdiocese and considering closing or consolidating those not self-sustaining, don't be too surprised if Germantown's IC, SFA and St. Vincent's don't survive. St. Vincent's odds look a bit better since they seemed to have found a niche where most of their members come from outside the neighborhhod, even from suburbia. Whatever they are doing over there, it seems to be working.... IC and SFA haven't found that niche. Same with the schools, parish and secondary achools that have less than 200 enrolled will be considered for closure or consolidation. It hasn't been said specifically, but don't be surprised if the concept of a "parish school" goes away, replaced with a "region school" concept. That has actually started.... Those still local and still Catholic can expect great change in the coming year or so. With change, there can sometimes be pain....
Dennis McGlinchey, Born & raised in East Germantown [01-03-2012]

Black kids could not attend St. Vincent's till 1956---first student I recall was Duanne Blackwell-she was in my 8th grade---looking back I realize how hard that was for that young girl
vera carey canavan, St. Vincent's 1956--Little Flower 1960 [01-03-2012]

Anyone who knew/knows the Markee family, John passed away. See the Inquirer obit at CLICK Also go to the facebook Grew up in Germantown group
anonymous [01-03-2012]

JBs Iplayed with Jimmie Harris and Joe Palmer in the Pal league.Excellent players and class acts.I know jimmie wentA good man and a good friend long overdue. in the priesthood but his friends knew that would not work.A good friend and missed. thx
frank crawford [01-02-2012]

Catharine Manning Muir: I want to thank you for the kind words about Albert Patrizi,a nice kid and a very good guy. In basketball, Al simply played for fun and he had more fun after the game, talking to and with The Pretty Fernhill Ladies. I applaud you on your salient commentary about "The Fog" and author of that great poem, Carl Sandburg. My Beloved Wife, Ludmila was a member of The Literati and she was A Latin-American Scholar of Literature but she was friends with many International Poets and had a fondness for good poetry. Joe Lynch's cousin, Jack Brogan. thinks that I am a nerdy Prepper who submits pedantic vocabulary to this site which I learned from doing term-papers for the demanding and lovable Jesuit Fathers. I only have a tangential relationship with poetry but I have frequented many cafes where poets and writers congregated-Buenos Aires,New York,San Francisco,and Kiev. I knew Frank Klock, our resident poet, and he is no Carl Sandburg, but he is a serious poet, posessing a poetic soul. Like Frank Klock, I appreciate the body of work of our great American Poet, Carl Sandburg-especially "The Fog". Dr. Ludmila K. Schmitt did scholarship work on Hispanic Poets,Borges and Lorca but she admired The American Poets Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman. Some critcs on this site should have a greater appreciation of Frank Klock's Poetry. At St. Joe, Mr. Klock studied poetry and his present poetry is not so structured and it flows freely-free verse if you will and he employs poetic freedom. One must understand that Frank had classes at St. Joe with Renowned Professors and he has connected with the works of Rudolph Steiner,The Famous Austrian Philosopher who can not be pigeon-holed and was a free-thinker like Frank. Frankie Baggs admires the work of the Beatles and Bob Dylan who were influenced by Carl Sandburg. Like Frank, I really connect with "The Fog" by Sandburg, since I like Foggy River Towns-Buenos Aires and Glasgow and on The Delaware,Gloucster City and Bristol. It is cool to drink some Vino on a Foggy Night at a bistro on a river and watch the ships and boats pass by with their lights in the dark. Frank connects with Steiner who was influenced by Goethe, The Great German Poet. I read Goethe's Famous Poem,"Faust" in German. At the time, I was intellectually immature but my take from that body of work was never to make a pack with the devil-morality always transcends materialism and wealth. You, Joe Lynch,and Frank Klock have a penchant for poetry but Joe's cousin,Jack Brogan, is more inclined to satirical commentary. I would recommend that Jack Brogan read the work Of Joe Queenan,A St. Joe Graduate, who wrote Closing Time-talking about life at The East Falls Project living with an alcoholic father. I delivered meds to both The East Falls and Queen lane Projects when my sister,Joan,owned Manor Drug. Jack Brogan attended Mass near Penn&Morris[St. Catharine's] but I would have loved to have seen a cousin match-up between Joe Lynch&Jack Brogan against The Adderly Cousins, Herb& Nate at Penn&Pulaski[The Queen Lane Project]. I know who Paul Borian would bet on. CMM! Happy New Year and I hope that your LaSalle Friends can appreciate the posts of bloggers who walked up "Hawk Hill".
John Bruce Schmitt [01-02-2012]

I knew Jim Harris when he was a teenager at Fernhill Park. Great guy. When I heard that he was almost a priest and then a cop, I thought. Lots of Irish were faced with the same choice. Captain Ballard, it was no surprise to me that Jim Harris was a great policeman. He would have been a great priest.
Jack Brogan, Oh, had I a golden thread, with needle so fine [01-02-2012]

JBS, Your assessment that St. Catharine’s was not officially segregated is correct of course…. I did not really mean to leave that impression…. Black students were welcome to attend St Vincent’s and all of the other Diocesan parish schools. St Catharine of Sienna was a mission school that specialized in educating African Americans and Native peoples. Years later, I became friendly with a few African American graduates from the Drexel Mother House in Cornwall Heights. It seems the small class size combined with a high percentage of religious order teachers provided an excellent education opportunity: the individuals I knew that graduated from this institution were indeed exceptional. Main Line like perhaps. The immediate neighborhood around St. Catharine's was full of Raven Hill, Cecilia and Ancillae academy girls. Not to mention Grace and John B Kelly lived close by; as well as the Hinkle’s and Strawbridge’s. Frequently we would see a few of these individuals stop by the soda fountain at Darrow’s drug store at Morris and Chelten. Conversely, there were also a lot of lower middle class enclaves like Pulaski town, the East Fall projects. There was quite a mix of income and class in a very small geographic area. The funny thing was, although I would not say we necessarily socialized together…. there was little friction. There were of course times that we all crossed class and income barriers, at church, Cranes and Imhoffs, shopping on Chelten av. You could catch the Chestnut Hill Local on Chelten Av, waiting for the train to Chestnut Hill or Center City you would see people of all classes waiting to ride: regardless of what you looked like, what you were wearing; or how you spoke, conversations took place between all types of individuals. Try that today waiting in line at the Mall. A few good places us underclass went to pick up the Academy girls: horseback riding on Catholic holy days [reduced rates] and St Pete Friday dances [Episcopal church off Oak road in East Falls], any event at Penn Charter. Looking back now I do not see why we placed so much emphasis on what school one attended, I think we thought that the class and wealth might rub off. Then there was the overflow of students from Textile University. Many of the big old Victorian houses on our block took in foreign students, Japanese, Israeli, Arab, Indian during the late 50’s and early 60’s these were truly exotic. And so these too were added to the mix. Even within this group were mixed class and income, some students clearly being wealthy and others far less fortunate. All during High School I worked for the Tailor Shop on Woodlawn and Morris. Part of my job was to deliver dry cleaning to the apartments, Alden Park Manor, The Kenilworth, The Cambridge; I was initially deceived by the word apartment. Some of these places were more like mansions, with huge walk in fireplaces, great views, some clearly over 5,000 Square Feet. Many of these places had servant’s entrances and even the servants tipped well: since Joe only paid me $5/week I depended on these tips. We used to go sledding at the Alden park site, right next to the restaurant and we became friends with the kitchen staff that worked underneath the restaurant in the huge basement. They would let us in to get warm and explore the cavern underneath. There were tunnels that led to some of the other buildings. There were always kittens down there and the staff let us keep them. Today we all seem to be cloistered in our own worlds; we only listen to news from our slant or perspective; when we listen to music we only listen to music we know. We live in suburbs that match our economic and class situations; so close that demographer’s can tell by your zip + 4 how you will vote, what coffee you will buy, and what kind of car you drive, and how old you will be likely to live. During my time in Germantown that would have never been the case. Happy New Year…. Bob
Bob Smith, 5534 Morris St... now Erwinna [01-02-2012]

DEAR JOE---- Thanks for your kind words. FRANK. p.s. next time I see you,I'll return your copies of "Pigeon Feathers" and "The Centaur."
FRANK KLOCK [01-02-2012]

Donald Rossi: I knew your father when I was a kid. Your father never stopped running. He ran on his bread route; he ran on the football field and threw hard, perfect passes. He ran up and down the "rocks" as a left fielder at The Playground. He saved my life once. I knew your Uncle Donald too. Your father was the paper boy that started at the Seymour Street branch and ended at The Playgound. I had that route after him. The people hated me. Wherever you saw Bee Bee he brought a ray of sunshine into your day. After he and Ann married they moved into a house on our block of Fernhill Road. Say hello to your dad and mom for me.
Jack Brogan, Happy New Year [01-02-2012]

Yes, Joe, I danced in 'Oklahoma' at CA. I think it was my freshman year, which would have put it in 1957-58. I wouldn't know where to begin to praise Jean Williams. My high school years, as you know, were centered on classes at her studio and the shows she choreographed. I took at least 3 classes a week and sometimes taught classes for her when she had to be elsewhere. She was mentor, teacher, friend, mother, confidant, coach, cheerleader, inspiration and so much more to me. I was like the character in 'A Chorus Line' whose story was told in the song 'Everything is Beautiful at the Ballet'. Maybe you remember the Williams' beautiful home on W. Upsal Street, near Lincoln Drive. So many wonderful memories of times there and of so many shows choreographed by Jean for The Masque of LaSalle College, Music Theatre '62 ('Carousel' and 'Annie Get Your Gun', directed by the great Dan Rodden), the CA shows, concerts with the Wissahickon Valley Symphony, USO shows, WCAU-TV, etc. She introduced me to progressive jazz (I remember hearing Ahmad Jamal's version of 'Poinciana' for the first time at her home) and she was a marvelous costume designer and seamstress. (She designed and made all the costumes for The Masque's production of Richard III, many of them made from fiberglass drapery fabric; lovely but itchy where the raw seams put fibreglass threads in direct contact with skin.) Jean made a positive difference to many lives, mine among them. She was also notorious for overstaying at parking meters near her studio and spent a fortune on parking fines. I remember a party at her old studio on Greene Street where somebody called the cops but when they arrived they were greeted by the Commissioner's daughter, who was one of the partygoers. My dance partner and good friend, Walt Painter, who also studied with Jean, went on to Broadway and to the road companies of 'West Side Story' and 'Music Man', danced in Elvis' 'Viva Las Vegas' and became Ann Margaret's choreographer, for which he won an Academy Award. I last danced with the Jean Williams Ballet in a concert with the Wissahickon Valley Symphony when I was 5 months pregnant with my son. Jean's daughter Kim is the image of her father but with her mother's throaty voice and talent for dancing, choreography and teaching. Jean was larger than life, a genuine phenomenon who deserves a statue in Vernon Park as a memorial.
CMM [01-02-2012]

Jack,great post.bob lavelle owned the very popular wharf restaurant in wildwood and his sons still operate it in the summer.every summer he would stop by my work to say hello and chat about the hollow.his cousin jacks family also moved down from scranton landing on pulaski ave.if anybody has any info on jack lavelle please post.thanks to your cousin joe lynch and bruce schmitt for their fine writings and keeping the site interesting.merry christmas to your wife martha and all the calm gtners. east and west.dom raff night could've help or
dom raff, same [01-02-2012]

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