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.
On Thanksgiving weekend in 1959, Bobby Rey and Jed went into Manhattan to see the Holiday sights and eventually ended up for a photo op session on Santa's lap in Macy*s. Jed was holding the latest issue of PLAYBOY, and Santa quipped, "I know what you boys want for Christmas!" Bobby and Jed transformed that photo into a joint Christmas card and then proceeded to send out a few dozen. Almost 40 years later, Joan Dirkmatt Daly (aka Joan the Witch) was rummaging around the attic in the New Jersey home where she had lived with her parents, and she came across the only surviving copy of these original cards and forwarded same to the JOURNAL in its original mailing envelope. - The original sentiment still holds ……................ "Merry Christmas" to all, and best wishes for the coming New Year.
(Hoboken) Nov, 2001 - The first thing Jed did on hearing of the American Airline disasters of 9/11 and again on 11/12, was to call his pal, AA Flt Attendant, Crazy Tissy. On 9/11 she answered and said that she could not have gone flying that day because she was too busy fixing up her four story Hoboken brownstown to resemble something out of BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS. When flight 587 crashed this month Tissy's phone was busy for the entire day, as all of her friends knew that this flight to the Dominican Republic/Venezuela, was one of her regular routes. Finally, late in the day, Tissy was reached by the JJ and reported that she was again just too busy to die, and that she in fact has always been a survivor. Thus far at American, she has survived the recent lay-offs, but even that is not a threat to the versatile Tis who "could make hamburgers at McDonald's", if she had to.
Tis has survived her own past by blotting a lot of it out of her memory and legally expunging a lot of the rest, but the record shows that she truly IS a survivor. She is pretty close lipped about her adventures, which would fill a book too unbelievable to publish. Her first trip to Europe was on a shoestring, where she left with Jimmy Nacion and returned in steerage class on a banana boat. On that adventure, Jim and Tis gained access to a Belgium jazz festival as "members of the press" and Jimmy claims to still have his souvenir credentials which identified him as a reporter for the JEDSY JOURNAL. In Ft. Lauderdale she got out of Lovely Loyd's car and tried to pull Badd Ladd out too, just before the car crashed off the bridge and spawned annual pub crawls around the world. Then there is the story about rafting down the rapids in Africa and being thrown out of the boat into crocodile infested waters, and races around the world with other flight attendants, but in those days Tis often was in a consciousness challenged state and wasn't too concerned about the outcomes.
Tis personally knew 7 of the 9 crew members who perished on flight 587, and flew (all she will admit too) with Captain Edward States, many times. She continues to survive, and she has just about completed work on her town house project. Her personal realtor, Ben Schossberg, is pursuing a property for her in Asbury Park - if that comes through Tis plans to survive the rest of her days by retiring there and living off the income from the beautifully refurbished Hoboken property.
Sheriff Joe Cassidy's re-election rally at Puccini's Restaurant turned into a northern version of Donovan's reunion. Many of the same cast members were present at both events, starting with the principal - Joe Cassidy, who seems to be distantly related to almost everyone in town and friends with all the others. Pete Dinardo and Mike Donnelly were, of course, at both parties, but surprisingly Jerry Ferrentinos who surfaced at Donovan's, not only attended the Puccini's affair, but also brought along his talented daughter and her boy friend and watched proudly as the pair provided the musical entertainment. Rich and Marie Kist were in attendance along with Frankie Lorello who also works in the Hudson County Sheriff's office, but the surprise of the night was Kenny Minerva (last seen in Puccini's at Marty D's repast) who came up from South Jersey with Joe Graziano (who turned out to be another Cassidy cousin). Kenny said his latest racket is dealing antique automobiles and his latest squeeze (in just another example of the "2 degrees") said she was born in Jersey City.
Danny Lamego's annual Christmas Party to benefit the Sylvan School in Rutherford in the name of hemophelia victim Ryan Duda, will be held at the Casino in the Park on Sunday December 9th, and this may have to be it for the West Side Ave Alumni who will be there, because their Reunion (usually held every 5 years) may not be held this year as scheduled.
The final schedule for the Badd Ladd Day Pub Crawl will be in the next issue, but mark Friday, March 15th down on your calendar as a date not to be missed. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Badd's passing and the largest ever roving party is planned for this milestone event. "Seven bars in seven hours" - through some of the pubs that Badd had frequented on his trips to Jersey City and many that he would love to have visited. We are still trying to contact a member of his family to attend in his honor, so if anybody has any contacts, please send them along. In any case plan to be with us on the Ides of March for all or any part of this historic event.
The next issue will announce the JEDSEY JOURNAL award winners for this year. The John D. White MVP award is given annually to the person who best carries on the spirit of the Jersey City that we knew, and the Robert Penn Rey award is made for the best contribution to JEDSEY JOURNALISM. John White was a past MVP award winner and the all time champion networker, while Bobby Rey was a published writer who had often provided literary contributions to the original JEDSY JOURNAL. Following the upcoming official announcement, the actual presentation of these awards will be made on March 15th as part of the Badd Ladd Day ceremonies. Take a second now to write down your own two choices for these honors in 2001 - chances are you will all come up with the same two names.
Bret Schundler stood on the podium in the Princeton Mariott Hotel ballroom and told his disappointed supporters that he conceded victory to Jim McGreevey and urged them to turn their support toward the newly elected governor, and also to watch the Governor-elect to insure that he adhered to the promise made during the debates, not to raise taxes. In contrast the primary victory earlier in the year over Bob Frank was more emotional, and this actual defeat was anti climatic, since Bret trailed by double-digit figures for the entire campaign. For one brief shining moment the beleaguered New Jersey common man felt empowered by a champion who would stand up for them against all of the State's special interest groups, but in the end Schundler proved that with the aid of an army of well meaning do-gooders, you can not defeat both the Republican and Democratic machines in the same year. In many ways Schundler's campaigners were ineffectual and reminded of the Save the Loews people who mean the best, but never get a lot done. Two exceptions on the campaign staff were Scott McIntosh and Kathryn English, who gave their all every step of the way, only to come up short. Both stood in the rear of the ballroom as Bret spoke on this election night and then went through the audience to personally thank everyone who attended. The defining moment of the night came when Bret finally met Kathryn near the end of the receiving line. The two hugged and didn't have to speak - Kathryn's pretty face, heavily stained with tears and mascara told the whole story. Bret told the JEDSEY JOURNAL that his immediate plan was to take his family to Disney World, and then, not to let the ballroom go to waste, Bret kissed his lovely wife Lynn and proceeded to dance the night away and even led a conga line that picked up all the remnants of the party as it snaked around the room. See the link below for a retrospective photo essay on the campaign.
(Jersey City) 11/26: Jed blew a chance to do a Howard Stern type interview with ex Yankee, Jim "the Bulldog" Bouton, who received $10,000 from New Jersey City State University to speak about his new book. Jed was unable to locate Crazy Tissy for the bit, but he had wanted her to ask the embarrassing questions, since Tis as well as Badd Ladd, Jolly Uncle Joe and NY barmaid Hanna Beam, hung in Ft Lauderdale with NJ native Bouton as well as Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle in the spring of '62, which was Bouton's rookie year. Again, Tissy will never tell of the nefarious uses that their little efficiency apartment was put to, but Jed learned enough to make a bundle by betting against the Yanks in every game Whitey started up until mid-May of that year. One thing Tis did report was that Roger Maris steered very clear of their little clique. It's been downhill for Bouton ever since he alienated all of his ex teammates in his tell all book, BALL FOUR, but an interview with Crazy Tissy could really have greased the skids.
The big 48th anniversary reunion dinner dance for Lincoln High School class of June 1954 will be held on October 5th of this year. After much early interest, the returns have slackened off, so send in those checks after the holidays, and call your former classmate friends to remind them to do the same. More classmates have been located and there are only about 50 out of 174 who have not been accounted for. We can all stay in touch and updated via the class website. Please check the list in the attached link to see if you have any leads on missing classmates, and don't forget to send along your own bio information to update the records.
The attached list linked at the bottom of this article includes an update on who is still missing from our accounting. We are asking help from our readers to pass this along, and help fill out this list. Although most of the males can be tracked via internet search engines, the females who give up their maiden names are difficult to find this way. Information on class members should be sent to Bill Gill or Lynn (House) Burke at the email addresses included on the attached links below. Save these addresses and bookmark the URL for the list to be able to get news on the latest updates.
Joe Ilvento the 2nd, passed away following a long illness. He was remembered as the sometimes maverick Ilvento brother and a legendary tough businessman. It was actually Joe who befriended his Dickinson High School classmate Frank Sinatra and brought him home to meet the Ilvento family during the early '30s. After a stint of operating Ilvento's in the early '40s, Joe struck out on his own and opened the first of many restaurants that he would own at the Jersey Shore. This first restaurant, The Sea Shell, was on the site now occupied by the Headliner near the Shark River bridge in Neptune. Although he operated numerous restaurants in the Shore area, there are two that stand out - Ablondi's Farm and the Brielle Inn. Ablondi's was an old farmhouse out in the Wall area where you could request a home cooked meal and be served family style in a private room. If you didn't call ahead for your reservations, you could play bocce ball and drink wine under a grape arbor while you waited for a room to become free. The Brielle Inn catered to the boating crowd, and Joe had a photo taken with VP Richard Nixon when he sailed in one afternoon, and another time when Bobby Rey took his speed boat up to pick up Jed on the Spring Lake Beach, the two boys availed themselves of dockside service when the stopped at the Brielle Inn and Uncle Joe brought them out a few meatball sandwiches. A few years ago, Jed ran into the owner of a restaurant near where Jed has his cabin in Sussex. In going through the "two degrees", Jed discovered that the man Frank Santell had once done business in Jersey City. Frank recalled all the Ilventos as wonderful people, but he said, "that Joey was one tough businessman!" Joe had retired to Florida, but as his illness progressed he returned to New Jersey to be close to his doctors. He was waked in Belmar and buried out of his local church in Bricktown.
Looks like nobody is afraid to fly after all, or maybe it's all those promotional fares, but Dietra (the Jed Ex who does not justify the way the Taliban treat women) made her second trip to Europe this year, as she and friend Lucia flew to Paris for a week to celebrate their birthdays. - - Beryl and Dave Naulls flew to their vacation home in Florida and then to Las Vegas before stopping in for a chat in Newark on their way home to England. - - Bettie Richert Monaghan went to Branson MO - - And the flying Kaczors resembled a circus trapeze act as Michael, then Mark and then Basia flew back and forth to Poland, with one going just as the next one returned. - - Mary and Pete Ilvento made their annual pilgrimage to son Joseph's Montecito, Cal. home for Thanksgiving turkey and their annual meeting with Pete's childhood friend from MacAdoo Ave., Hollywood Director Joseph Sargent. Some of Joe's movie credits include "…Pelham 1 2 3", "MacArthur" and "Jaws #147". - - For the second year in a row, Jed and Robbie had the pleasure to bring Pete and Marta Fokschner a separate Turkey dinner, because Marta has become a semi shut-in and can no longer make the visit to Jersey City on Thanksgiving Day. - - Marie Laski is quite confident with the care her mom is receiving at Overlook Hospital in Summit, but when Jed visited he winced and gasped in horror as he read the engraved name of Bart Sheehan as a past CEO and member of the hospital's Board of Directors. - - Jed has been spending time helping to tutor at Robbie's new school where the math level is below his former school. - - Congratulations on new grandsons for the Roch Cappellis and the Kenny Scharks (Brendan Andrew Cappelli and Mathew Schark) - - Old time radio guru Tommy Riggs was quite impressed with the tour of the $4million media arts lab at Snyder High School that Jackie Schaeffer arranged with Tom Horan who has recently taken over directing that facility from Larry Coca. - - Gary Bacon's dreams of being the Pizza King of the Atlantic City area came crashing down in a stream of unforeseen problems ending with the local gas pressure being too low to support a service needed for a restaurant. - - Good guy, good athlete and retired Con Ed Vice President, Dick Morgan of Glen Rock was among those killed on 9/11 as he had gone to the WTC site working as an Emergency Management consultant to the Fire Department. - - Creative genius Andy Sydor's 2001 Christmas card is a 31 day Advent calendar featuring the sites of the NYC tours that Andy guides inside of the little windows that open up for each day.
Latest USMC Bumper Sticker: "IT'S GOD'S RESPONSIBILITY TO FORGIVE BIN LADEN... IT'S OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ARRANGE THE MEETING!!!" (The United States Marines)
The second Internet issue of the JEDSEY JOURNAL came out 5 years ago and sent holiday wishes to all through a Christmas card like front page enhanced by a photo showing Maarrk Clarkin's extended family in Joan Clarkin's very Christmassy parlor. This newsletter also reported on Jugger and Melanie Donnelly's honeymoon in Bermuda, Jeff/Geoff Hermes falling out of sight for a long period and featured Jimmy Nacion in the Where are They Now column. Richie Kist provided the first of several columns about the West Side Ave alumni and mentioned that the 2nd reunion of the group would take place in September of '97. The issue also had the first vintage issue of feature but that vintage issue turned out to be Jed's 1959 Christmas Story (the holiday issue of the old JEDSY JOURNAL) - "Like, Dee Dranow and the Wizard of Ozville". Perhaps the most interesting item in this issue was the included reader's feedback from the first issue. The comments are reprinted below and this column was incorporated into the JOURNAL and has proven to be the most popular single feature over the first five years.
Without any fanfare- here is the reaction to the JJ's return: · The first issue was really great.. thanks for including Mary and me. (Ed Ellis, Hudson, OH) · That's some funny stuff, Boy! (Limpy LaForge- Sea Girt) · Great idea for a homepage- I've got the JJ marked as one of my favorite spots! (Andy Sydor, Jersey City) · The furst issue wuz verey gud. (Maarrk Clarkin, Matawan) · I cried when I read the dedication. (Dietra Wright, Seattle -Jed Ex who has character) · err, there's too much white space on the side of one of the photos. (Alan Campbell,- Chatham and Campbell Coffee Bar, Manhattan) · The Jedsey Journal is really funny. I'm hysterical and I don't know any of these guys … Oh yeah I met Limpy … er, Mr. LaForge a few times over a bowl of soup. (Greg Reed, North Carolina) · Enjoyed the revival of the Jedsey Journal (sent to us by Cosgrove) - Gave copies to Mary Kelly + Limpy + Jimmy Nacion…. Looking forward to the next issue. (Jim + Pat Dettlinger, Manasquan) · Ngoi m jee do nee-dee hay mut. (Mei Li, Chinatown, NYC) · ..... Jed! .... You're back! (Moose Mooney, Avon) · The JJ does a great service with the WHERE ARE THEY NOW feature. I enjoyed the one on FXTY. He's behind in his alimony and now I know were to find him. (Shelly Yeck, UT) · When will you ever grow up? (Stupid Mommy, Heaven) · Pox Vobiscum! (Fr. Tommy Carlton, St Anns RC Church)
Musician Danny Lamego originally hales from Rye, New York, but he has lived most of his life in Hudson County where he made his name by headlining for many years with his group, the Jumpin Jacks, at Molinari's in Union City and where he met his wife Betty (daughter of Harry "Square-head" Lagregen). Although Dan has retired from his regular job he still helps out in his daughter's business, and he will "never" retire from performing. Now his group is working on a steady basis for Bernie Sweeny, with a contract to perform every Saturday night at the Shore Casino in Atlantic Highlands and on many Friday nights at the Casino in the Park in Jersey City. As mentioned in the Reunion item above, Danny hosts an annual Christmas Party at the Casino in the Park for the benefit of a charity that is very dear to wife Betty and himself. Danny now lives in Kearny and besides performing his music he enjoys spending Saturdays watching his grandson, Danny Lamego, who is a star quarterback for Queen of Peace HS in North Arlington.
Krys was a borderline hypocondriac, and when he lived in NJ he really missed the socialized medicine of Poland. (In fact, he eventually moved his family to Canada to avail himself of the medical benefits.) He had been complaining to his co-workers about all of his aches and pains, and one day they told him that there was a free clinic in Woodbridge that he could go to, but he would have to say he was an American citizen. Krys took off and visited this facility, and finally after some taking some literary license with the admission forms he was ushered into the doctor's office. He told the doctor that his body hurts wherever he touches it. "Impossible," replied the doctor. "Show me." Krys took his finger and pushed his elbow and screamed in agony. He pushed his knee and screamed, pushed an ankle and screamed, and so on. Everywhere he touched himself made him scream. The doctor said, "You're not really an American citizen, are you?" Krys replied, "No, I'm really Polish." "I thought so," the doctor said. "Your finger is broken."
I started to spar with Kevin Smith when he was the New Jersey Light Heavy Weight Champion. Kevin had a shaved head, he had tattoos, wore a diamond ring, and had an earring. Kevin was from the Greenville section of Jersey City, and he hung out with a gang called the Bones. Every time Kevin fought there would be hundreds of Bones that went to see him. Kevin was a knock out artist. I would watch Kevin hit the heavy bag in the gym. When Kevin hit the heavy bag with his right hand he pivoted with his right foot and hit the bag with all of his weight. Kevin broke the bag a few times. When Kevin fought and hit the guy with the right hand he would knock them out. Most of the times when I would spar with Kevin he would hit me in the middle of the nose and I would get two black eyes. I think my teachers in school thought I was an abused kid, but I told them I was a boxer. One time I was hanging out on the corner with my friends, and Kevin was selling his boxing tickets in a bar he saw me with my friends. He came over to me on the corner with his manager and shook my hand and ask me how I was doing. After he left my friends mouths were open they said wow you know Kevin Smith. All of the guys from Buffano's gym always took time to talk to you when they saw you on the street. I went to see Kevin fight at Dickinson High School in Jersey City he fought this older black guy. Kevin knocked him out in the second round with a right hand. A week later they had the fight on TV. Kevin was beating everyone in New Jersey and he had a fight with Mike Quarry, Jerry Quarry's brother. The fight was called a draw I saw a piece in the newspaper Kevin was mad he thought he won the fight and he was robbed in his own backyard. One Friday night I was at this house we were having an all night party. When the doorbell rang it was like 3 A.M. it was Jo Jo he asked me if I heard the news. I said "what news?" and he said Kevin Smith got shot in the head. I said "oh man how did it happen". He said he didn't know, it is on the News. I was praying for Kevin. The next day he died. The Jersey Journals headlines were "Prince of Jersey City Dead". I heard a lot of stuff from Kevin was a junkie to he was mad that he did not win the fight with Quarry. I heard they told Kevin to take a dive and he did not take the dive. When you heard something like that, you knew that you should not go asking any questions. All I knew was that in was a shame. Kevin had a great future ahead of him and then it was over. Kevin would always tell me after he beat the shit out of me sparring "nobody ever said it is gona be easy". Every time I get down I think of Kevin-how no one said it would be easy and how hard he worked. Maybe he worked too hard maybe he needed a break to have a good time. Me and Tommy D. took the bus to see Kevin at the wake. I kept telling Tommy on the bus if you make me laugh at this wake I am gona kill you. We walked in the wake- the funeral home was full of the Bones and Kevin was in the casket. Kevin had a big family. Me and Tommy went up to the casket to say our prayer. I was looking at Kevin and I thought I saw him move. I don't know why the hell I had to tell Tommy D. that I thought I saw him move. As soon as I said he moved Tommy started laughing. I looked at all of the Bones and I told Tommy they were gona kill him. I knew Tommy could not help laughing because both of us were so nervous. He said I am sorry but I guess laughing is better than crying. Nobody ever really found out what happened to Kevin. There was a lot of stuff that happened then like that they would find a guy dead in a park and no one would ever know what really happened.
Possibly as appeasement and possibly as a response to Allyanna Zoilko's "grate" letter, NJO has now established a separate Jersey City forum. If you want to get a message to Tommy Gaynor any weekday from 9 to 5 you can find him there. Pat O'Melia is another interesting character in there, playing counterpoint to Tom. Pat also hosts a Jersey City talk radio program on Monday nights 1430 AM at 9pm - wherein he takes calls and conducts interviews re local issues. Following the last complaint about NJO, that company deleted the JEDSEY JOURNAL community website, where the JEDSY JOURNAL vintage issues had been cataloged online. NJO has not responded to queries as to why this was done, so the battle continues. Stay tuned!
Now is the time to send a Christmas email greeting to an old friend who you haven't heard from in a while. 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. Check out this issue's featured website, which is the DRUDGE REPORT- a site where you can read many important news stories before they break. Also note that we have slipped in the link to the DONOVAN'S REEF website which includes entertainment schedules and photos. The best search engine for finding the JJ continues to be mamma.com, while, courtesy of Pierre Armani, this site can now also be reached by typing "jedsey.com" in your browser window.
JAN/FEB New Year Issue (due outJan 23) - JEDSEY JOURNAL AWARDS FOR 2001 - BADD LADD PUB CRAWL SCHEDULE- PHOTOS FROM THE HOLIDAYS - WHERE ARE THEY NOW? - THE WAY WE WERE - BEST OF JEDSEY - - JCNJ REDUX,