This project revives a Jersey City based newsletter from the late '50s/early '60s, and is dedicated to John White, Bobby Rey and Badd Ladd - holding a spot at the bar for us at that big Joe Crine's in the sky.
Jeff/Geoff Hermes and Tom Belton were the 2003 JEDSEY JOURNAL award winners for MVP and Writing Contributions respectively
Although remote from this area, Jeff/Geoff constantly had his finger on the pulse of this area- contributing to the JJ and giving heads up on potential items gleaned from his Internet contacts here. He is active in the Jersey City Internet forum and has picked off many items on local history by monitoring the Net. He had planned several trips here which had to be put off until this year when his Internet girlfriend completes her divorce proceedings. Several years ago, J/G petitioned himself onto the inaugural Hudson-Bergen Light Rail ride and last year he used his same writing skills to petition for Tom Gaynor's inclusion in the Hudson County Sports Hall of Fame. And all this in a year when he had heart bypass surgery. Congratulations to Jeff on receiving his first John D. White, MVP Award.
The Robert Penn Rey Writing Award given annually for contributions to the JEDSEY JOURNAL had its toughest ever competition in 2003. In the end Tom Belton's "Boot Camp" story (JJ Jan. 2003) was selected as the winner because besides being so well written it captured a part of time, space and social history that was the very same one that most of us emerged from. "An electric haze drifted up from Paulus Hook ..... ", and we were all catapulted back to the days of our carefree youth.
Long recognized as a top sportsman, class act and all time local good guy, Jack Miller is now recognized by being selected to the JEDSEY JOURNAL Hall of Fame of local characters.
Jack began his career as a schoolboy athlete at St Aloysius where he excelled in baseball. He developed a friendship with Whitey Lockman (then with the Jersey City Giants and rooming with teammate Don Mueller on Gautier Ave.). Whitey would sneak Jack into the Jersey's games or meet him at Mike Knapp's tavern where the team bus left from, to take him to the Newark Bears games. Through the years Jack continued to amass the sports memorabilia displayed in his Academy St. pub. Jack managed six time world champion boxer Emille Griffith and several of Emille's belts had been on display in the boxing section of the pub/sports museum. That section of wall has now been rededicated as a memorial area for Jack himself. In his later years Jack continued to play sports and could be found cutting work in the afternoon to go to the YMCA and play hoops with youngsters like Harry Laurie and his St Peter's college teammates who were cutting classes to meet there with their friend Jack. Jack loved this town and its natives - he is credited with pinning the nick name "Wahoo" on his former neighbor Jimmy McLaughlin, and he was a force in the local St. Patrick's Day parade where he and his patrons always put on a classy presentation. He was a hard nosed guy with a heart of gold and he symbolized everything that came out of this town that was good. It is with great pride that the Jedsey Journal makes him the 10th member of our Hall of Fame.
(N. Bergen) Dec. 18 - This was a wonderful event. It was a tribute both to Ben's genius in many areas and to Basia Pawerova's ability to stay focused and to pick up and learn many new technical skills. The net result was an awesome accomplishment. If you consider the fact that Ben wrote the words and the music and then set up the flow and integrated the songs into the dialog and after all that had to go out on stage and perform the entire program- you have to be amazed that one person has done what it takes an entire company to do.
Although Ben wrote and performed this entire musical-comedy-psychodrama and was on stage for the entire two hours of both acts, he was ably assisted by Basia who had to learn and do all the technical work of a skilled sound man as well as assist with the props and the many costume changes. Another highlight was Ben's old running mate stand up comedian Steve Friedland, aka rock musician "Brute Force", who got up out of the audience during the first and second act and integrated himself into the music and the skits.
The on stage monologs were very clever and the performance of the various characters were amazing, but if there was one thing that the audience who stayed after to critique agreed upon it was that these words should be less complex and should be there to establish the character and introduce the music. Now that this play has debuted it should and probably will go further, but those who attended knew that what they witnessed at the Havana Bay Coffee Bar was one unbelievable and epic performance. - We have known and appreciated Ben for over 50 years, but no one would have thought that he or any one else including professionals could have accomplished the performance that was seen tonight.
This year's holiday get togethers included the charity party that Danny Lamega runs annually at the Casino in the park. This year's benefit was a sold out success, but many missed a really great time and did not attend because of the bad weather on the day of the event. The Prep Class of '58 held their annual dinner party at Casa Dante while in New England Dr. Peter Dimatteo and family and friends made their annual pilgrimage from pilgrimland into Boston to hear some classical Holiday music. Back home at the Fairmont Hotel in Jersey City, Mike Donnelly and Jed attended a local theater groups recreation of to Holiday Radio programs from the 40's. For more of these photos and to see what others were up to over the Holiday season, click on the link below.
This annual historic tour of establishments that Badd Ladd had actually visited (and those new ones he would have loved to vist) is set for March 12th. Each year these tours become more and more important as it becomes evident that each year could be the last chance we have to all have fun together and in these places. Some of the venues as well as some of the previous attendees have already passed into history. Ilvento's and the Dohoney's we knew were bars that Badd had actually been in but they have closed as well as Roy's and the historic Harbor Casino. Also this year Jack Miller who had been a previous tour grand marshal will be marked as one of those who have passed into history when Jack is inducted into the JEDSEY JOURNAL Hall of Fame during the hour spent at his former establishment. If you have always been meaning to attend one of these roving parties, don't miss out this year - we never know when the big bartender in the sky will give that "last call".
Through the pages of the JEDSEY JOURNAL, PPD had become endeared to us all as we cheered his escape from the clutches of his evil daughter Faith as he broke out to have two of the best years of his life (even though he couldn't remember too much of what he was doing). Actually he did recall and appreciate so much of what the three good European caregivers were doing, and his doctor marveled at the progress he was making both in regaining his spirit and desire for new experiences and his improving overall health. On his last days he was going on walking tours of New York City, playing checkers and trying to figure out how he could tour the Western National Parks with caregiver Basia before she had to return home to graduate. He appreciated life, food and education - he was an inspiration to all of us and his serialized adventures will surely be missed on these pages.
Pooh Pooh Daddy may have left the room but his spirit marches on via the functional use of his apartment furnishings and accessories which have been recycled to benefit the very people who helped situate and comfort him during the last few years. Virtually all of his clothing was donated to a North Hudson Community Service group that Jed had some dealings with over the past year. Giovanna Rameriez, Ben Schossberg, Marta Varchulova and Jed all ended up with some minor furnishings and appliances. Both Alan Campbell and Negash Mohamed who had used their vans to help Daddy move in, also used their vans to move some of the larger items and appliances back out for their own use. Negash who operates a private van service in Northern New Jersey was also able to make use of Daddy's wheel chair for his own wheel chair van. The two most inspired recycling of these items had to be the living room furniture and PPD's famous electric scooter. The scooter went to neighbor Bobby Blue who often came down the hall in his wheel chair to watch TV and play games with PPD ……… Bobby now says the scooter has opened up a whole new world to him as it allows him to go on short local jaunts without having to load his wheel chair in and out of his car. With the living room furniture Michael and Basia Kaczor have redone an entire room in their house and rechristened it as the Pooh Pooh Daddy Family room, replete with decorations of framed vintage photos of PPD.
Here is the annual look at the Christmas card photos and other original Christmas cards and holiday letters that we receive annually. Enjoy this 2003 collection on the link below, but you can understand that nothing will ever top Andy Sydor's 2002 entry showing a terrorist Santa driving his explosive laden sleigh directly into the Rockerfeller Center tree as he gives the triumphant shout, "Jihad!"
Former St. Peter's College Coach, Don Sr. is 97 and in failing health, so Marty Walsh and Fred Cranwell are trotting him out for one last hurrah on Feb 8 this year when St Peters plays at home vs arch rival Manhattan. There will be a halftime ceremony and a reception after the game - If at all possible you should try to attend along with those NIT heroes of the past for what promises to be a nostalgic Jersey City affair.
Please contact Fred Cranwell directly (using the email link below) to be included on the list - The cost of the game and reception is $25 - game only $5 (3 for seniors) - and with Butsy Walsh involved you can also expect the evening to be topped off by a beer party stocked with Jersey City State coeds.
Pass the word - see you there!
Jersey City Mayor Glenn Cunningham was sworn in as State Senator along with running mates for the State Assembly, Louis Manzo and Tony Chiappone from Bayonne (who we met over the Internet eight years ago.) - - It looks like Bret Schundler will be running for mayor instead of governor but he is still being active around the State pushing for return of excess property taxes to home owners. - - Cathy Macchi seen at County Executive Tom DeGise's swearing in ceremony, said that she has been elected at Irish Woman of the Year fot this year's St Patrick's Day parade ….. now who is going to announce the parade on local TV? - - Louis the barber Andreou and wife Odette attended the presentation of what Princeton Grad Students projected for the future of Journal Sq.. The program was presented at the restored Loews Theater. Louis and Odette have now just returned from spending a few wonderful weeks in Australia. - - Beryl and Dave Naulls who hosted Dietra Wright (the Jed ex who is not shallow) in England are having the favor returned as Deitra and family are the hosts in Hawaii. - - Maarrk and Joan Claarrkin have just returned from those same Islands and they hated to leave. - - Other holiday travelers were Art Fredman (Israel), Joe Ferrara (Hawaii), Giovanna Ramirez (Colombia) and Mark "citizen" Kaczor (Puerto Rico). - - Go Mariano Vega Jr Jr and Michael Quijano (son of Boy Quijano?) … both selected to participate in El Mundailito, a junior version of the World Cup which is now being played in Bolivia - - Roch Cappelli touring Florida with family members took advantage of old friend John Arceri's hospitality and stayed at the Arceri's Marco Island retreat. - - Pete and Mary Ilvento left after the holidays to spend the rest of the winter in Florida, but before leaving Pete took time out to assure Corie Godish that she had nothing to worry about if she needed a Carpel Tunel operation that Pete had just undergone. Corie had been in terrible pain after over a year of typing in her new job as a secretary. - - In California Eugene the Doorman had an eye procedure to eliminate the need for glasses and opted to re-up for 4 more years in the Navy who paid for the eye operation. - - Limpy is in need of a major dental operation which is complicated by the medication he is taking for his heart valve replacement. - - Jed drove Crazy Tissy for injections to alleviate a sciatic nerve problem and stopped in Yesterday's for lunch where they met Mark Hanlon, Jimmy McLaughlin and Jerry DeAngelo. - - Jed had a scare himself and spent a lost weekend in the ER, but after a battery of tests his heart and new stent were deemed better than ever and his Achilles tear had healed to the point where he was able to return to playing ball and running. - - The best was Dr Peter Dimatteo (never go to him for the cure to a cold). Peter was sniffling on January 2nd and then revealed that he had gone on his annual dip in the ocean with his Duxbury friends on January 1st. He thought it would make his cold feel better!!! - - Ari Schlossberg (son of Ben) is in New York and Pennsylvania shooting a film "Hide and Seek" that he wrote for Robert DeNiro - - Ben is having tryouts this week with a Long Branch Theater group, re putting on his play there. - - talking about sons, Robbie Dimatteo did well in his winter concert where he played in an Afro-Cuban drum band. Robbie and Jed had the best weather as they joined the Jersey City Recreation group for the annual ski trip to Vernon Valley. They will go several more times over the next few weeks as Robbie has his winter school break. - - Billy Driscoll Jr. announced that he is going to make Billy Driscoll Sr. a grandfather and Jeff Hermes first grand child is only a few days away. - - Want to really feel old …. Phyllis Del Re's son "little Nicky" is now 6'3" and 25 years old. - - Phyllis did a Howard Stern type interview on Polish Maria who had been the companion to Dorothy Woerner (Bob's mother) in Jersey City and after being badgered by questions about what she was doing with her life, poor Maria up and moved out to live with her boyfriend in Bayonne. Now if Phyllis would only ask herself those same questions……. - - Gloria Bonacolta, former owner of the West Side Travel Agency and a JEDSEY JOURNAL reader dating back to the time when the JERSEY JOURNAL did a story about our newsletter, passed away in Florida - - Back in Bayonne Anne Nostrame, the mother of Frank and Jack, passed away without any indication of illness or failing health. Mrs. Nostrame had reportedly been active right for all of her 88 years. - - Someone else passed away as his body was shown on the news being dug up out of the concrete on the grounds of a former Staten Island chop shop site where Pierre Armani is camping for this winter.
The mission of initiating the official JEDSEY JOURNAL archives just beat the year end target date as one of the all time favorite issues was uploaded onto a Geocities site during the last week of 2003. The work of Robbie's cousin Hubert Bibrowski who was visiting from Canada was critical in this effort and now that the first archive has been established, the procedure is set up for the rest. Also each new issue will be established in the archive before it is taken off line and previous Holiday Issue (Nov/Dec 2003) is also installed in the JJ archives.
We are looking for some issues that have been lost due to computer crashes, so if you have saved any electronic copies please contact us so the lost issues will not have to be reconstructed from scratch.
The May 2003 issue carried the contest about sneaking in to Jersey City movie theaters as well as the Moose Mooney story about the long arm of Hudson County politics extending out to take over Avon. In another story Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise was photographed performing with an Afro-Cuban Jazz band at Councilman Mariano Vega Jr's house party. The class of 2003 was pictured graduating from various institutions, Fred Corbalis was located in New Mexico and there was a reprint of part of Kevin Crane's thesis on Baseball in Jersey City. If you missed any part of this issue or you want to revisit it just click on the link below or visit the JJ archives in the Jedsey.com links section.
It was shortly after the first "golden age" of college basketball crashed in the aftermath of the point shaving scandals of the early 1950's that a young, inventive coach arrived in Jersey City to guide the program of tiny St. Peter's College. He arrived with a solid reputation, having molded his scholastic teams to reach lofty heights, and with an arsenal of innovative tools designed to compete squarely with more heavily armed opponents. His defenses anticipated the match-up zone that would still be such an effective weapon for successful programs a half century later. His fast break offense anticipated the tempos of today's open game, and helped offset the size disadvantage his Peacocks always faced. His teams first made their mark in the National Small College Tournament; and then later in the National Invitation Tournament at Madison Square Garden, reaching progressively higher levels of success in each.
Don Kennedy crafted a program that achieved amazing results, and did it without the aid of the budgets and other recruiting tools that today's major programs employ. (There is probably little truth to the rumor that he was once discovered tightening the famously unforgiving rims of the J. C. Armory baskets.) In those less advantaged times, only a generation removed from the Great Depression, and scant years after a world war, when student-athlete meant just that, he found players among returning servicemen, unheralded walk-ons talented, but undersized, locals, and even raided the college's tennis team, and then he molded them into the smoothly operating units that consistently overcame superior firepower. Don Kennedy created a tradition of excellence that lives on in the memories of its participants and many grateful witnesses. It was a wonderful trip.
Thank you, Don Kennedy!
Usually with the JEDSEY JOURNAL the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts, but Marty Walsh provides the exception in this issue with a letter that gives a condensed version of his auto-biography. This personal letter was written to provide the JEDSEY JOURNAL with fodder for a few short paragraphs to bring us up to date on Marty Walsh's career, but you will see that there is so much here that it had to be used in the original and with that is still way short of telling the full story. Now we just have to wait to see who plays the role of "Butsy" in the movie version.
From: Walsh, Martin
Here is the story of my winding journey from St. Al's to St. Peter's College to the Jesuits to the nation's capital, with a number of stops along the way. I have been very blessed. I have lived a very interesting and fulfilling life. I consider myself somewhat of a vaudeville performer since I have done so many things. Here's a longer summary of where I have been, where I am and where I am hopefully heading.
Grew up on Van Nostrand Ave in Jersey City. St. Paul's parish. My mom and dad were Irish immigrants. My dad owned a bar on Van Nostrand and Ocean. He died in 1943 when I was 5 years old. My Mom owned the bar for a few more years before she sold it. I later learned the bar was known as the "Bloody Bucket" after the war. An Irish watering hole where blue collar guys would have a few "balls and beers" and then, fists would start flying. I have three great sisters. All have done well. We were all blessed to receive a parish scholarship to go to high school. 3 of us went to St. Al's. My sister Ann went to Holy Family in Bayonne.
After St. Al's, I went to St. Peter's College and earned a basketball scholarship as a walk on. Playing on the first St. Al's state championship team under Coach Bob O'Connor made me a very solid defensive player with a lot of basketball smarts and a rich sense of teamwork. I was captain of the St. Al's team. I played three years on the College varsity, and started both my Junior and Senior years. I went to the NIT in 1958 as a sophomore when Tom Gaynor was a senior. I rotated between 6th, 7th and 8th man on that excellent team. I captained the team in my senior year. My claim to fame was my defensive ability and hustle. I was also class President for all four years. I understand I am the only one in the college history with this distinction. Richard McLoughran was my Vice President in the Junior and Senior years. You can imagine the fun we had. Like Damon Runyon, Richard never used contractions when he spoke. He was the first to call me "Martin T.", a name that I often use these days..
As a college senior, Richard and I played a major role in helping to change the form of government in Jersey City. Fr. Canavan SJ taught Political Science at the College. He was part of the citizen coalition to improve city government and recruited me to head up the college students (St. Peter's and State Teachers) in the city. I had a lot of contacts at State Teachers since I had run college beer parties beginning in my freshman year. Fr. Canavan didn't know that, of course. By the time I was senior, I was co-hosting singles dances with Pat Allen at the Robert Trent Hotel in Newark on Sunday nights.
I was planning to go into politics after college when the Lord unexpectedly tapped me on the shoulder and I ended up in the Jesuits. I must say that I was reluctant to go. But I knew I had to follow the spiritual quest deep inside if I was ever to find peace and meaning in my life. Going into the Jesuits was one of the best gifts I have ever received. I spent 9 years in the Society, and left after my second year in Theology. During that time, I taught 3 years at the Prep including coaching the freshmen basketball team. One of my teams went 32-0. In addition to teaching three years of Religion and one disastrous year of Latin at the Prep, I also moonlighted as a counselor and community organizer with the neighborhood kids, most of whom were poor. They called me "Fatha Walsh". I have many fond memories of those wonderful years on Grand Street.
In the Jesuits, I picked up several degrees including one in Philosophy and a Masters in Sociology from St. John's University--where I would work out with Danny Waddleton and the varsity basketball team. I was studying Philosophy at Shrub Oak at that time. The Jesuits believe very much in having you fulfill your potential. It's amazing how much I learned from the guys who were my classmates in the Society. They were lawyers, doctors, scientists, artists, writers, community organizers, scripture scholars, psychologists, college professors, and anti-war protestors.--and most important of all, they all wrestled with God in their own way. Together they personified the Renaissance man. In Theology, I worked at Johns Hopkins Hospital in adolescent psychiatry as a volunteer. In the summers, I went through weeks of training in group dynamics, and even co-taught a graduate course at George Washington University. The best way to sum up my Jesuit career is to paraphrase a popular song from West Side Story, "Once you are a Jebbie, you are Jebbie all the way to your last dying breath." I feel very close attachment to the Society and am actively involved in Holy Trinity parish in Georgetown, which is run by the Jesuits. In fact, the former pastor Larry Madden taught me in Theology. I expect that when I retire from my job in the next year or so, I will sign on as an Ignatian Corps volunteer, most likely working with the poor in inner city DC.
My life after the Jesuits has been equally exciting and rewarding. Woodstock College was located on the outskirts of Baltimore. I often traveled to Washington DC for graduate classes at GW. In the summer of 1969, I loaded trucks and then journeyed to Ireland, to the towns where my parents were born, and then onto Rome where my Catholic roots were, and finally pulled all the soul searching together on a solitary 8 day retreat in Marblehead, Massachusetts. I knew then it was time to leave the Jesuits, and made the decision to move to Washington DC, a place that fascinated me from the first time I went there on a senior field trip at St. Al's in 1956.
I was hired as a consultant by Peat Marwick Mitchell in Washington DC where I spent 18 months learning about business. Through contacts at Peat, I then found myself working for the Assistant Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare,(HEW) doing executive recruitment of Harvard MBA Baker Scholars, and putting together the plan for identifying executive talent for the proposed new department, the Family Assistance Program--which died aborning in Congress. Shortly after, I became special assistant to the top Management executive in the Social and Rehabilitation Service (SRS) in HEW. I soon learned that I was not cut out to be an executive staff person. I like to make things happen, not watch them happen. Fortunately, I came upon my God given strengths in this boring job. I took responsibility for running the Combined Federal Campaign (a broader version of the United Way campaign) for our agency. It was the first assignment where I could uncork my creative juices, take risks and achieve tangible results. The campaign was so successful that I won a community award from the local United Way and also got the attention of the HEW Secretary, Elliot Richardson. As you might remember, Elliot Richardson became famous for resigning as Attorney General rather than fire Archibald Cox during the Watergate investigation. Elliot later became a personal friend.
The next thing I knew I was working for the HEW Secretary on Special Projects, namely Combined Federal Campaign and the Savings Bonds campaigns. Most people viewed these campaigns as a nuisance. I saw them as an opportunity to be creative and to make a difference. Over the next three years, I built a reputation as a special project wizard. I won something like 15 national and local awards including the Department of Treasury's highest Savings Bonds award for a creative national campaign. I was then loaned to Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz as a special assistant in his role as Chairman of the National Savings Bonds Campaign. A colleague and I produced the national advertising campaign including PSA featuring Secretary Butz. As you may recall, Butz later resigned as Secretary after telling an off color and offensive joke to reporters. He was a character but a lot of fun to work with. Years later, I got to know Dave Butz his nephew who played for the Redskins.
During the same time, I was living in Georgetown and saw nothing happening on March 17, St. Patrick's Day. The top special events guy for the National Park Service told me that the Irish group in town was planning a parade on Constitution Avenue and needed someone like me to make it a success. So I volunteered and put together a parade on a shoestring like PT Barnum would have done. I recruited every Senator, Congressman and White House official who was Irish for my advisory Committee, produced a series of public service spots, and worked with local TV talent to do funny stories including a story about a leprechaun elephant being in the parade, initiated the Irish Colleen of the Year contest with Willard Scott, the local NBC weatherman, held a cocktail reception with the Irish Ambassador, and much more. 65,000 people turned out to watch the parade that day, surpassing the Cherry Blossom Parade attendance that was held in monsoon rain. So the St. Patrick's Day parade became a popular Washington event overnight, and still is.
The next year, 1976, I was the parade chairman, and we doubled the number of marchers, parties, PSAs, and attendance to 125,000. By this time, I was well known in Washington for making things happen. It is important to understand that Washington is actually a small town.
I was then loaned from HEW through the White House to the local business leadership group to help put on the Bicentennial parade on the July 4th weekend. I was to be the number #2 guy to Tommy Walker, the best special events maestro in the country. Tommy later did the Statue of Liberty extravaganza. I was looking forward to working with Tommy and seeing how he could pull off the impossible. You see, it was not until spring of 1976 that the Washington Bicentennial committee decided to add a big parade to the big fireworks celebration. By this time, the TV networks had committed their resources to cover Bicentennial events in 5 other cities, all the best bands and horse units were signed up by Philadelphia, Boston or New York, and most corporations and associations had spent their Bicentennial budgets on other events.
On the Monday after the successful St. Patrick's Day parade, I checked into my office down the street from the White House and found a telegram on my desk from Tommy Walker. It said he had to back out of doing the Bicentennial parade because he was opening the Seattle Superdome and was concerned for his health. He had had a heart attack the year before. So, overnight, I became the parade director, much to my dismay. The first thing I did was call Tommy and asked for his advice. He said he would bring together the best float builders in the country, from the Rose Bowl, Mardi Gras and Orange Bowl parades. I flew to Seattle the next day along with the local float builder in Washington. We met for 6 hours. Yet I didn't learn anything that I could use. On the red-eye back to DC, I created the parade concept, using my knowledge as an American history major from St. Peter's College. I broke the parade down into (8) 25 year segments. Each parade segment would have two floats, -a theme float of that period and a hero float. The bands would be dressed in period costume and play period music. The transportation would also be from the period. So as you watched the parade, you could see 200 years of American history pass before your eyes in floats, music, marchers, and transportation.
When I shared the parade concept with the board, they loved it. So did the media. Everyone agreed that it was a winner; unfortunately it was a year too late. However, I had a terrific volunteer chairman who thought outside the box as I did. He headed IBM in Washington. As we looked at our dilemma of time and resources, he and I suddenly hit on the solution. Instead of marching on Sunday, July 4, we would hold the parade on Saturday July 3, the first big parade to kick off the Bicentennial weekend. To make a long story short, I was able to recruit the best bands and horse units who had signed up for Philly, NY and Boston. They loved the opportunity to participate in another pageant. We then put together our own TV network, clearing 95% of the TV markets. Using that TV exposure and with the leadership of Katherine Graham and other prominent business leaders, we raised enough funds to build 20 floats. Johnny Cash agreed to be the Grand Marshall, along with now Senator John Warner who headed the Bicentennial, and Telly Savalas, The final present came in mid June when Vice President Nelson Rockefeller called to say that he would lead off the parade. His decision suddenly gave us an abundance of riches as the best military bands in the land and the President's Guard were now conscripted to be at the front of the parade. The Pentagon planning team descended on our offices. I was now in command of colonels and the military. I am sure my ROTC officers would be pleased to hear that especially since I did not shine in the ROTC.
So on July 3rd, 1976, over 500,000 people watched the Bicentennial parade that numbered over 10,000 marchers, 20 floats and a nationwide TV audience. The Washington Post said it was the largest attended parade in the history of the nation's capitol. It was a truly inspiring event, with people bunched together 10 deep along Constitution Avenue and even perched on lamp posts and trees, waving American flags, and singing joyfully along with the Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force bands. It was the first patriotic celebration in the post-Vietnam era. I still have a copy of the parade script that we wrote for the TV commentators.
I didn't have time to enjoy the triumph since I had to go soon afterwards to Atlanta to produce the opening of the Georgia World Congress, then the largest convention facility in the country. You see, right after the Bicentennial, I resigned from government and set up my own business with my wife, who was a TV producer and whom I met while doing the St. Patrick's Day parade in 1975.
46 days later, we opened the center. 100,000 folks turned out. The Chairman and CEO of the Omni and Atlanta Hawks and Flames hired us to do marketing and promotion for the hockey team. We decided to stay in Atlanta and grow our business. We had a nice home and a lot of success including managing the Southeast Foodservice Show for the National Restaurant Assn. Both of us missed Washington DC however. The south is a different place. I felt like an expatriate, as if I was overseas. The culture and contacts in the south are more linked to your family heritage, to where your daddy and grand daddy grew up and went to school. I think Vermont and Maine are like that too.
We moved back to Washington. I took a job with United Way of America where I stayed till I took early retirement in 1993. The years at United Way could fill a book. As Vice President of Production, then Marketing, I worked with a boss who was a creative crazy man. He did the award winning United Way NFL spots and annual campaign films. I found myself going to Hollywood, Las Vegas and New York, doing campaign-film or PSA related promotions with Tony Bennett, Barry Manilow, Sly Stallone and other celebrities. I soon found myself doing special projects that included co-writing an United Way award winning film featuring Charles Bronson, producing an acclaimed series of video programs on critical issues for use in workplaces around the country, designing a United Way Rose Bowl float, getting a United Way commemorative US Postage Stamp, and doing promotion in Hollywood for a Oscar nominated film that we produced at United Way about the Holocaust called "The Courage To Care." I played a major role in getting this film funded and aired on PBS. I also attended Harvard Business School program for nonprofit executives.
During my United Way days, I was always been on the frontier of bringing exciting projects to life. The most exciting and rewarding project occurred in 1989 when I was charged with helping foreign owned companies, particularly Japanese companies who were buying US companies to understand our tradition of good corporate citizenship. I was the only non-profit organization representative invited along with IBM, American Express, Exxon and other US companies to address Japanese business leaders in Japan about our tradition. Eliot Richardson invited me to first speak on the first program that he had put together with Akio Morita, head of Sony. The irony was that the event was on the same day as the reunion of all the St. Al's players who played under Bob O'Connor. I had organized that event and had even written and produced a "This Is Your Life" slide show that I planned to narrate. Freddie flew in from New Mexico, and several other guys came from across the US only to find out that I was in Tokyo.
I gradually became a Japanese expert, wrote a book on this subject, and helped raise over $13 million for United Ways from Japanese companies in the US. I also worked with President Reagan's staff when he spoke in Japan after leaving the White House. I wrote the text about US corporate citizenship and United Way for his speeches in Osaka and Tokyo. I have many very funny stories working with the Japanese. They are a delight. It takes sometime to build the relationship but once you do, you have a friend for life.
While at United Way, I was very involved as a volunteer in the Washington community. I was one of the first persons to sign up as a volunteer for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. I produced PSAs starring Rocky Blier, and served on the parade committee. I headed the team that wrote the TV script for the Vietnam Vets Memorial parade that preceded the opening of the Wall. That was one of the most emotional days in my life. On the wall in my office is a large framed picture of the Wall in the early morning mist with an engraved plaque of appreciation from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. Later, I was surprised to find my name listed in Jan Scruggs' book about the Memorial under the Wall of honored volunteers. Recalling that November weekend in which America finally thanked and welcomed home the Vietnam veterans, and the smiling, weather beaten, tired and proud faces of those guys still gives me goose bumps and brings tears to my eyes.
I also served for almost twenty years on the Pageant of Peace committee where the President lights the National Christmas Tree on the ellipse. Being on this blue ribbon committee gave me a chance to personally meet a number of Presidents and be invited to the White House Christmas party on three occasions. There are a lot of special moments connected with this Washington tradition. I remember when President Carter made the big mistake of not lighting the tree (to our surprise) during the hostage crisis in Iran. As the tree sat unlighted for two successive Christmases, it served as a reminder to the nation of Carter's impotency in solving this crisis. I can also remember when you could go up to the President after the ceremony and shake his hand like you do the Mayor in Jersey City. Those days are forever gone.
I also was actively involved for a number of years in the Touchdown Club of Washington DC. I ran the Washington Redskin luncheons during the season, chaired the Army-Navy luncheon for four years and got to know the stories and folk lore of the academies, especially how West Point cadets stole the Navy goat in 1954 and again in 1966. Very funny stories. I chaired three Hall of Fame induction events including the dinners for Tom Landry, George Allen and Larry Brown. All very good people. I also chaired the nationally famous Touchdown Club black tie awards banquet and recruited Jane Pauley as the first ever woman MC. She is a magnificent, class human being. The dinner head table was the best ever. Included were Colin Powell, my boyhood heroes, Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cal Ripken, Justice Byron White, Paul Tagliabue, George Allen, Jim Brady, Elliot Richardson, Larry Brown, and many more sports stars. I got to know George Allen quite well in the twilight of his life and did a half hour video documentary featuring funny memory stories from Joe Theisman, Billy Kilmer and other "Over-the Hill" gang members on the occasion of his memorial at the Club.
And of course I have been a board member of several charities in DC, and in my Alexandria community especially coaching basketball teams during my daughter Sarah's growing up years. We were the only team to play man-to-man defense and make the city playoffs every year. I learned a lot about coaching from girls. Relationships are more important than winning or losing. It's a wonderful antidote to today's competitive craziness of parents whose kids play sports.
In 1993, I headed the CEO Council for the National Organization on Disability where Jim Brady was Honorary Chairman. I worked with Business Week. I again learned a lot about wisdom, courage and overcoming the odds from people with disabilities. I worked there at the time when I was going through a painful divorce. Rabbi Nachman, a profound and deeply spiritual Hasidic master once wrote " Nothing is as whole as a heart that has been broken and mended." I learned that mending takes time, patience and silence. It also helps to have a deep faith caz as Jimmy Leo reminded me during this difficult time, "life will get better and you will meet someone special." And I did in 1995. Melanie and I just celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. She is my soul mate in the deepest sense of that word. I am also pleased to report that my ex-wife and I are good friends today.
In 1996, I was recruited to run the SHRM Foundation.( that's the foundation for human resource professionals) For the past seven years, I have been having the time of my life, breaking new ground through research, books and educational initiatives for the HR profession. I have great people on my board. Many are Thought Leaders who are not afraid to think outside the box and dream impossible dreams. I call us a small foundation with big ideas that we make happen.
My daughter Sarah is 20 years old and goes to Northwestern outside Chicago on a lacrosse scholarship. She is like her dad in several ways. She wasn't a big star in high school, having been sidelined with an injury in her junior year just as I was at St. Al's. She is tall, strong and fast and loves lacrosse, just as I did basketball. She has started every game on defense since her freshman year. She is more adventuresome than I am, having climbed mountains, shot rapids and lived in the wilderness for over a month as an 8th grader and again last year in Outward Bound. She is talking about joining the Peace Corps after college which I heartily approve.
I just celebrated my 65th birthday at a party at St. Peter's College in September, thanks to Fr. Jim Loughran, my classmate in the Jesuits. Going back to Jersey City is always a special occasion, for that is where my memories are most vivid, where my soul was shaped and where my dreams were born.
To steal a line from Robert Frost, I have .."miles to go before I sleep." I have several projects that I must do; one is to write a book of stories entrusted to me by a wise Jewish friend who headed the President's Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities. Another project is to do a small book about a great Jesuit, Fr. Tom Burke, SJ, who was my spiritual director, close friend and a saint who walked in the presence of the Lord. A third project is sharing my insights and scholarship into Jewish-Christian relations, particularly the holocaust. I had occasion to give a lecture on this subject at the University of Maryland in the fall to excellent reviews. It is only in discovering our Jewish roots as Christians that we can fully understand and appreciate Jesus the Christ. I also need to give back to the community beyond my volunteer work at Holy Trinity. That will come in time. And finally, I continue to learn and grow as a husband, father, friend, brother,humancaringfeelingbeing so that I may fully enjoy the Thousand Clowns bursting with life within me.
Jed, this is more than you probably expected or wanted to know. As I mentioned in the beginning, I have lived a charmed life. I have had many wise mentors who have become dear friends along the way. The older I am (or really the younger I see the world), the more I am overwhelmed with gratitude, wonder and amazement that this relatively poor (though we never knew it)Irish kid from Jersey City could be so lucky to have so many wonderful friends, unforgettable experiences and so many opportunities to live my life to the fullest.
-Marty/alias Butsy. Otherwise known as Martin T.
Tale of the tape Chicken Mary Ellis Age 3 31 ht 16" 65" wt what's a Henway? 124 best move peck and pull index finger push
The restaurants of Chinatown are like the various religions of the world. They are all good, but you have to find the one that fills your particular tastes and needs. Our restaurant of choice was always Sam Wo which was strategically situated on Mott at the intersection of Pell. Perhaps it was Duke Barry or Jim Nacion who first led us to that place where we could get a bowl of fried rice for 95 cents at the all the free tea we could drink to cap off a night in Manhattan at 3AM, and although we may have tried others, in the end we always returned to Sam Wo and that restaurant endured as the Chinatown stop for entertaining visitors from far off places.
Once when Ed Ellis and family had come to visit New York, Jed stuffed his perennial foil Mary Ellis at Sam Wo and then while she could barely move he walked her across the street to the Chinatown Arcade and shoved her in front of the game where a chicken "played" Tic-Tac-Toe, and threw in 50 cents and told the unsuspecting Mary to "play". In reality the chicken operated a computer by pulling a string to get feed and set off the next programmed move - the computer always went first and couldn't lose, but Mary who was lethargic from her big meal actually assumed she was playing against the chicken …….. and she promptly lost the first two games to the great amusement of a crowd of Chinese children who gathered around to squeal with delight, "Chicken beat lady - chicken beat lady!" . Mary was humiliated and eventually mustered a few ties with a few more losses thrown in. In the end, Mary Ellis had to be dragged away saying things like "I'm smarter than that chicken - let me play him again!" She was not hearing the voices of reason, but she was most cognizant of the taunting of the Chinese children.
Years later the chicken disappeared and we heard that it had been "saved" by animal rights activists (see link below), but until then, there persisted rumors of a woman who would come in from the suburbs wearing a raincoat with collar pulled up and her hat pulled down and dark glasses, who would play against the chicken for hours every day. Some of the neighborhood children seemed to recognize her as the same woman who they had taunted one night when she had first played against the chicken.
The JEDSEY JOURNAL is always provided online without charge and will be as long as possible. The research funded by your previous generous contributions to find a cure for Lymphoma has already "extended your subscriptions" with the discovery of the drug Rituxin which was used to treat Jed this year. Hopefully there is a cure waiting right around the corner and ready to be discovered. The letter below is Dr Peter Dimatteo's annual plea for support of his personal effort to raise funds for this cause.
To All JEDSEY JOURNAL Readers, This April I will run the Boston Marathon for the sixth time for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I will run in the honor and memory of members of my family and my friend’s families who have been touched by these diseases. I will also be running in memory of my father who at the age 94 finished his own marathon this year. Together with my team mates pictured above we will raise $800,000 for research to cure blood related cancers. Please give your generous support to me in this effort. Thank you, Peter J Dimatteo MD
Print out and use the form in the attached link or simply mail check payable to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to: Dimatteo, PO box 1854, Duxbury, MA 02331
For many years while Krzys' mother worked for LOT the Polish Airlines, Krzys received free tickets, but the first time he flew after his mother's retirement and had to buy his own ticket to Toronto, he really got his money's worth.
Apparently the LOT pilots had never been to Toronto before and as the flight was descending for a landing the pilot looked out the windshield and suddenly exclaimed to the copilot, "Holy kielbasa! Look how short the runway is! I've never seen one that short!" The copilot looked out the windshield. "Wow! - you're right! That's incredible! Are you sure we can make it?" "Well we better, we're almost out of fuel." So the captain got on the intercom and notified the passengers to put their heads between their knees and prepare for an emergency landing. Then he set the flaps to full down and slowed the plane to just over stall speed. The big jumbo jet came screaming in, on the ragged edge of control. The pilot's hands were sweating, the copilot was praying. They touched down and came screeching to a halt JUST before the edge of the runway, the tires smoking. "WHEW! That was CLOSE!" yelled the captain."That was the shortest runway I have ever seen!" "Yeah!" said the copilot as he looked out the side windows,"and the widest too!"
The newest additions and changes for our online network of readers are included here. Add these address changes to your e-mail listings, and send a note to an old friend today. We will direct link to your websites as they come on line, and there are also websites of local interest included here. Save any or all of these sites in your favorite places. Click below to access new and previously published links and addresses. - - This month's featured website is a parody of the "Weird New Jersey" site that tells about alledgedly strange sitings in this state .... click in to see the weird things that can be found in Jersey City - - The best search engine for finding the JJ is now google.com, while, courtesy of Pierre Armani, MBA, the JJ can again also be reached by simply typing "jedsey.com" in your browser window. Also there are still some who do not recognize that the JOURNAL does not get mailed to you - it is always at the same spot until it is replaced by the new issue at that same spot (the address never changes so keep it saved in your cache of favorite places). - - Finally, for those of you who want to save these issues for you collection use the following instructions: 1- open the on line issue of the current JEDSEY JOURNAL - (make sure it is completely downloaded) 2- click on "file" and then click on "save" and then select a folder to keep each issue in - create a file name to index the issue and make sure it is saved in an html type format and then you will be able to open and read each issue long after it is replaced on line.
MAR/APR - (SCHEDULED ONLINE MARCH 21) - - BADD LADD DAY REPORT - - DON KENNEDY DAY - - JERSEY CITY ST PAT'S PARADE - - THE WAY WE WERE - - JEDSEY JOURNAL ARCHIVES - JCNJ REDUX STARR'S LONG BAR - WHERE ARE THEY NOW - - AND MUCH MORE