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.
"….. and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge." - - And so was the case for Peter Dimatteo who dearly loved the Yuletide season and missed his home and family but he fancied himself to be exiled to medical school in the Philippines 25 years ago when he fashioned this home made card with a toast to say he wished to be amongst his loved ones for the Holidays. - - "May that be truly said of us, and all of us!" - - Happy Holidays from the JEDSEY JOURNAL and best wishes for a wonderful 2004! - - "And so, as Tiny Zita ** observed, God Bless Us, Every One!" - - (** see the Christmas Story in Best of) .... every year at Christmas vacation time those who were away at college would return to town and there was no need to mail out the news so the holiday issue of the old JEDSY JOURNAL was usually a "Christmas Story" cartoon featuring caricatures of all of our heros. In one running gag, Bob Cratchyeck and Tiny Zita kept showing up in other stories after their initial appearence in "A Goombirod's Christmas Carol" in the late '50s. Another of these classic specials, "Dee Dranow and the Wizard of Ozville" is reprinted in this Issue. It was in that particular story that little 5yr old Peter Dimatteo made his debut - playing the character of one of the Munchkins.
(Duxbury, MA) Nov 22 - It's hard to believe that someone who you always thought of as being 23 has reached a milestone of more than twice that age, but Peter Dimatteo's New England friends threw him a surprise party to drive home the point. Fiancé Laurel lured Peter to the home of friend Jack Shields (from the Verizon commercial - "President of Shields MRI") while blindfolded because he was getting the inkling that something was going on - which was more than confirmed when Ben Schlossberg called to wish Peter a happy birthday one day early and assure him that Jed was on his way up to Massachusetts.
On hand were Peter's Duxbury friends and his former classmates from Boston College and Med School who were still in the area. College roommate Pat Sullivan is one year older but coincidentally shares the same birthday. Pat recalled this date 23 years ago when his family still owned the NE Patriots and he and his new bride Lynn came to New York for a game with the Jets and Jed took them to Sammy's in Mendham to celebrate the birthdays. Pat said he has been telling people that it was the best steak he had ever had but he has never been able to find the unmarked roadhouse again. (If anybody wants to try - it is 2 miles west of the center of Mendham on the right hand side of rt 24. Look for a lot of cars parked around a white house. The official name is Ye Olde Cider Mill Inn).
Speaking of food, also in attendance were the two most important people in Peter's life, Pasquale and Giovanni Viscariello, the two brothers who own Mamma Mia's Restaurant where Dr. Peter has received the large quantities of carbohydrates needed to train for and run the Boston Marathon every year. Check out the photo link below to see an album of Peter's pictures through the first 50 years.
Dietra Wright (the Jed ex whose boyfriend never watched through a two way mirror while she was "just talking" to her ex husband in a Long Branch motel room) grabbed a great air fair and threw herself a not yet 60 birthday bash in England. Below is the trip report (Ed).
Flight to London was fantastic. We didn't have to stop - we got a $100 eachway ticket in February on British Air. The highlights of the London portion of the trip were: Portobello - fun antique shopping.
(Jed treated us to a wonderful meal and play) Dinner at Belgo something - a Belgian, English, Thai restaurant in a warehouse type place. Such great food. Who said England didn't have good food?
"Jerry Springer The Opera" - Funny. The guy who played Jerry Springer was justlike him and the recurring theme was This is Your Jerry Springer Moment.When you went to the bathroom there was toilet paper with all these musicalnotes on them so i grabbed a bunch to look at when i got back to my seat andthe toilet paper said "That Was Your Jerry Springer Moment." -
We went to the Dickens House where we saw people named Neiman from Jersey City signed ahead of us in the guest book.
Went to Harrods because I thought we could see some beautiful Christmas windows. NOT! ..... I was headed down the escalator when Lucia said "come up here." So I turned and started to go up the down escalator like I always used to when I was 8 years old but alas the stairs were tall and i had big bags so i fell down and hit my knees and shin and rode down the escalator to land at the foot of the Di and Dodi Memorial. HAH!! ........ I was bleeding all over the place and couldn't believe I couldn't still run up the down escalator. What's with that?
In Harrods we did get our shopping for Chrismas done - we got brandy butter to put on the christmas puddings, at Marks and Spencer we bought the Luxury Christmas Pudding. We bought a Thai sauce because we saw a comedy show that said the sauce means "arse" in hindi - Bundh - We bought it because that was funny but now that we lugged it all the way home - who would it be funny to? hah!!!
The Barclay's cash machine ate Lucia's card so she was without access to any money in London. They were very nice and said because it was locked in the time release vault they would send it to their Canvey Island office. Moreon that later.
We had another great meal in our neighborhood (Bayswater) and stayed in the cutest hotel.
Monday at noon Dave and Beryl came to fetch us and our six bags, plus two carry-ons. Good thing they have a beautiful new large Rover. What a nice car. We all fit.
They took us directly to a fabulous restaurant called the Boatyard in Leigh-on-Sea. A very trendy well-appointed restaurant chosen by Mark's girlfriend (Mark is the adorable perfect wonderful son of Dave and Beryl). They could not have found a better place. It was in a picturesque village on the sea with a live piano player and the biggest yorkshire pudding ever. Fabulous food and absolutely wonderful company.
I can't say enough about Mark and his girlfriend. They are just absolutely charming. We are encouraging them to get married. Mostly because I'd like a trip back to attend their wedding. hah
The next day Beryl and Dave took us to Lavenham. It is a mediaeval town with crooked houses from the 13th 14th century. It is full of antique and gift shops. Plus the great restaurant they took us to where Jed treated us to lunch. Absolutely wonderful food and ambience.
All the time we were at Beryl's she cooked a huge proper English breakfast and we always had tea and ever so many meals. They are perfectly wonderful hosts - actually rivaling Jed in his hosting and showing and telling historyof things.
Must also mention that we got to see the video of the THE KISS. The Barry and Beryl kiss on stage. And learned a lot about Barry. Drank tea from Barry cups. Barry on the walls of Dave's office. Barry memorabelia abounds.
Dave and Beryl have built a lovely home on the same spot they used to live - we each had our own bedroom and were absolutly comfortable. My friend Lucia, who had never met them, was treated like someone who had known them as long as they had known me and she was absolutely comfortable and happy. She had a wonderful time. She loves them both and found both Dave and Beryl to be uniquely interesting.
The last day we had to go to the Barclay's to retrieve Lucia's card. Of course it wasn't there but they were ever so polite and asked if we could stop by the next day. We did and it was still not there.
Be that as it may it was one of the most fun trips I've had to England and will be doing it again. Beryl and Dave will be visiting me in Hawaii in February and will see the other side of how hosts treat their guests - HAH
They will be living in the jungle and eating outside and no proper English dining. Sticky rice and papayas and fishing for your meal.
This was a wonderful trip, thanks to Jed, Beryl and Dave and of course thanks to a wonderful traveling person, Lucia, with whom I have taken a lot of trips and will take a lot more.
The news here is that what was to have been the featured Turkey Day dinner did not come off and that for the first time in the last 10 years, Jed did not prepare a Thanksgiving feast for his friends Pete and Marta Fokschaner in Manhattan. The octogenarian couple had been annual visitors to have their turkey in Jersey City until Marta took her stroke a few years ago. Subsequent to that Jed would simply prepare one extra turkey and trimmings and run it over the George Washington Bridge before returning to have his own later in the day. Often Jed was assisted in this effort by Mormon elders who were serving as missionaries in Jersey City and were dining with him on that day. But this year Marta begged off saying she had just gotten out of the hospital. A make-up date is planned to coincide with the availability of PPD's caregiver Basia Pawerova who is a fellow Czech with Marta and this dinner will be done with Basia before she returns home to graduate college. And while everyone was running around looking for someone needy who could use a dinner, arch freeloader Jack Coleman ran around town looking for organizations that gave free turkey dinners and he went to every one he could stuff in him and then took dinners home from the others after he ran out of room.
Notable dinners that did come off included Pete and Mary Ilvento traveling to Santa Barbara for their annual get together with son Joseph's family and Pete's old childhood friend, Hollywood Director Joseph Sargent. Photos from these dinners will be included in the following link as they are received (pls send others along for inclusion while this issue is on line)
Dan Beards' classic video "Jersey City - My Hometown" has always been a great gift for anyone who was born and raised here in Hudsontown, and now it is available on DVD. If you would like to purchase it, use the email link below to contact Danny. For $25 including postage and handling you will have your gift within a week.
Well, it has been long awaited and often promised, but the debut of the musical play "Ben - or What to do if the Bomb Doesn't Drop", will happen at our favorite venue Havana Bay Coffee (31 St and JFK Blvd south, North Bergen) on Thursday December 18th at 8pm. This is the play that Ben Schlossberg has been revising for the last 20 years and he finally finished it at the urging of PPD's former caregiver Basia Pawerova and will put it on as a present for her on the Thursday before she returns to graduate her college in Czech Rep. This promises to be a real fun holiday happening where you will not only get to hear Ben's great music, but you will meet with all of your old and new friends and talk about Hudsontown's Christmases of the past. Come early to get a good table - food and coffee etc is available but no alcohol - free parking in the adjacent mall lot. Hope to see you all there!
A group of Jim Nacion's old friends from St Aedens grammar school found each other on the Net and arranged to get together at Jim's home in Vero Beach. - - Joe Ferrara, who can be seen walking all over Jersey City, is just back from spending two weeks in Italy, where he said he walked all over the 7 Hills of Rome. - - Danny LaMega's annual Holiday Charity Bash will be held at the Casino in the Park on Dec. 14 4-8 PM - Jersey City Radio Players will recreate two Christmas radio programs at the Fairmont Hotel 7pm on Dec 21 - - Bobby Blue, agent for Andre and Cerell, said at Puccini's that he had closed a deal to book them in Jersey City next month. They had been favorites of Sammy Davis and Liza Minelli and were voted the top lounge act in AC a few years back. - - Andre is Bobby D'Andrea of Union City who had once had a #7 song ("Darling Loraine") when he was with the Knockouts. - - Also at Puccini's, Albert Johnson revealed that he had finally made his goal of being selected Honorary Irishman of the Year for this year's St. Pat's Day parade. - - Robbie Dimatteo passed a test for an advanced belt in martial arts and then ran over to his school team's first basketball game of the year where they were holding up the start for him. Robbie opened the game getting fouled on a 3 point attempt and then calmly stepped to the line and sank all three foul shots to give his team the early lead but in the end they had to win the game in OT against a tough opponent. The first thing Robbie wanted to do after the win was to tell Billy Driscoll, whose basketball camp he had participated in last summer. Also in school this week Robbie had an interesting field trip with his Community Involvement group to tour a recycling facility. - - Phyllis Del Re is always complaining that she can never go anywhere because she has to tend to the menagerie of animals that she keeps in her home - so what does she do about it? She got another rabbit. - - 6 1/2 pound Jacklyn Szabados became Peter and Mary's first grandchild on Nov 25th.
The predecessor to this Best of … feature were the inclusion of Vintage Issues of the early years of the JEDSY JOURNALS and the first of those published was actually a Christmas Story special rather than an actual JOURNAL. A check of the records indicates that the referenced dates are each a year late and this story was actually produced in 1958 not '59 as originally recorded. This same story was used twice as a Vintage issue - first in 1996 and again in 1998. This one featured 32 of our local characters and was full of in jokes, but this version is footnoted to explain to the newcomer and remind the rest of us seniors of what was going on back then. Perhaps the most interesting footnote involves the disappearing drops from the Tin Jedsman's faucet……… read on.
This year we are reprinting the Wizard of Ozville Christmas story that was included in the first Holiday Issue of the New Jedsey Journal. Our readership has increased more than tenfold since that early issue, so there are many who have not seen the story, and it is timely since the "Oz" movie classic has just been re-released. Here attached is the only surviving piece of the Christmas story trilogy: "Like Dorothy Dranow and the Wizard of Ozville". The story stars Dee Dranow as Dorothy and features a broad cast of characters including our three patron saints; John White is a corpulent centaur, Bobby Rey is the Cowardly Lion Boy and Badd Ladd is a hideous face of the Wizard. The lost pieces of the trilogy were victims of the Daddy purge and included 1958's -"Gombirod's Christmas Carol", with Jedeneezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchyeck and Tiny Zita-and 1960's - "A Child's Garden of Jed", wherein each loveable character is featured in his own nursery rhyme. Christmas Stories were the comic strips of the JEDSY JOURNAL and were produced at holiday break time when everybody was home, so that there was no need for a newsletter, per se.
That might well have been the headline had Ye Olde Jedsy Journal been around to do the reporting in 1780. Although the story of Janie Van Rypen Tuers may have been lost over the years and the plaque that remembered her was lost when the Fourth Regiment Armory was razed, there is a new plaque now installed on Hudson Catholic HS where her home stood and this is just one of the historical stories being preserved by the Jersey City Historic Preservation site that is the JJ's featured link this month.
The story of Jane Tuers, a patriot during the Revolutionary War, is that she assisted with the derailing of a plan by the British to takeover West Point.
Jane Tuers lived with her husband Nicholas in a farm house located on the site of the present Hudson Catholic High School back to present Tuers Avenue. At the time of the Revolutionary War it was said to be her practice to cross the Hudson River on the Paulus Hook ferry to Manhattan to sell her farm goods, as well as to bring food to the Sugar House prison, where they British detained American soldiers. She also visited the popular Fraunces Tavern, at Broad and Pearl Streets, which was run by "Black Sam" Fraunces from the West Indies. Here British soldiers spent some leisure time and shared the latest military strategy along with their refreshments. Fraunces, a patriot, overhead the soldiers toast some by the name of (General Benedict) Arnold who was to deliver West Point to the British. "Black Sam," in turn, informed Tuers of what he overheard.
When she returned home, Tuers informed her brother Daniel Van Reypen, a blacksmith, who traveled by horse to Hackensack, where he advised General "Mad" Anthony Wayne of the British scheme. Wayne brought Van Reypen to see General George Washington, who offered Van Reypen a reward. However, Van Reypen declined the money award and requested only that Washington intercede in the event of his capture.
The information provided by Tuers confirmed what Washington had heard rumored about Arnold and was received in advance to the arrest of Major John Andre, the British agent working with Arnold. Arnold had been assigned the stationary command at West Point after an injury, but was dissatisfied with the post, wishing to return to military combat. He escaped capture by taking a British ship over to Manhattan. Andre was taken at Tarrytown and tried, convicted and hung at Tappan on October 1, 1780. The intervention by Jane Tuers and her brother secured West Point for the patriots. Its strategic location on the Hudson River made possible the receipt of supplies from New England and upper New York without venturing into nearby British controlled territory.
Years later Daniel Van Reypen built a home at 320 Fairmount Avenue. Jane Tuers died in 1834. She is buried in an unmarked grave (Lot 136) in the Old Bergen Church burial ground on Bergen Avenue. Her home was demolished in 1894 for construction of the old Fourth Regiment Armory.
Local historian Owen Grundy reports that in 1925 a bronze tablet in memory of Jane Tuers was placed at the old Armory, at the southeast corner of Bergen Avenue and Mercer Street, by the Jane Tuers Society, Children of the American Revolution. This society was sponsored by the Bergen Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and organized in 1917. When the old Armory was razed, the marker for Jane Tuers was lost.
By C.A. Karnoutsos (Edited by P. Shalhoub)
This was reminiscent of when the banks hired the retired bank robber Willie Sutton to coach them on security measures: Lincoln High School welcomed back ex-bad boy turned teacher Bobby Mafia to become their Dean of Discipline. Bobby had never been a model student (especially in his marks for Deportment) but after high school graduation he soon tired of the 9-5 grind in an New York City office and opted to join his friends the Blassucci brothers at West Virginia University. At WV, Bob met his wife and changed his life around. After graduation he returned to Jersey City to teach and raise a family. His brother Roddy recently retired as a teacher and AD at Dickinson HS where Bobby Jr. is has followed in the family footsteps and is the present Football Coach. After more than 30 years at Lincoln, Bobby Sr. was transferred to Snyder where he joined up with some of his old high school buddies Mike Basile and Tommy Gallo. At Snyder he is using his disciplinary skills to head up the Crisis Intervention group. He shakes his head and says things are a lot different these days then when he started. For the holidays Bobby will be making one of his two annual trips back the see his in-laws in the Mountaineer State.
After Badd Ladd's tragic end Tissy left Ft. Lauderdale and returned to home where she took a job in the NY Garment Industry. One of CT's duties there was to produce a small industry newsletter and she soon found out that to cover events and shows she would need Press Credentials. To this end she found she could simply have her own Press Pass printed and that would suffice. Rather than waste the opportunity, while all that type was set, Tis printed out several hundred of these passes and doled quantities of them out to her friends according to need. The only problem was that every pass was "No. 28", so two people couldn't cover the same event using these as ID.
Later when Tis left that job and went to Europe with Jimmy Nacion, they were able to use the pass to gain free entry into a Jazz Festival in Belgium but when asked what paper they represented, they put down the JEDSY JOURNAL and were issued formal ID with that name. Jimmy who is the consummate hoarder had saved that memento but has been unable to locate recently, and no one seems to have any of the original passes so you will have to take our word that they looked official and were modeled directly after a real pass that Tis had borrowed from a colleague.
Jed used his own pass to go to games at the old Madison Square Garden and he would even park on the 50th St side by the Press Entrance and then flip down the "JEDSY JOURNAL WOKING PRESS" sign that Gene Mead had provided and ask the usher who was guarding the Press Gate to watch his car for him during the game. Tennis fan Alan Campbell did him one better at the New Garden, as Alan infiltrated the Press Box where he was provided with refreshments and phones to call his friends all over the world as he watched the match. The US Open was a much hotter ticket and Alan soon found that the passes became useless as that event had much better control of the Press.
The all time best use of Tissy's Press ID was at Jersey City's Roosevelt Stadium. Jed was alone one Saturday night with nothing to do, so he went down to see the Bobby Lisa led farm team of the NY Jets as they played against a team from Westchester. After gaining entry to the Stadium he asked directions to the Press Box and as he got off the elevator he spied Doug Brophy who had parlayed his tenure as a Seton Hall Radio sports announcer into the job of announcing the plays at the game. Doug realized immediately what was happening and made room for Jed with his binoculars to sit in and spot the game for him, but the Dean of the Press Box was some guy from the Hudson Dispatch who smelled a rat and asked the new guy for his Press Pass. Doug heard later that the guy was showing the pass around and asked if anyone had ever heard of the "New York Trade Press" and somebody thought that he had and since the visiting team was from New York the ruse worked. At half time Jed was treated to sandwiches, cake and coffee and he was provided with volumes of game stats. When the game was over Jed stopped off at Dohoney's but word of his coup had preceded him as Doug had gotten there first. For the entire evening Jed was the talk of the older crowd who toasted him and bought him rounds in honor of the scam he had just pulled off.
More and more people are using a Christmas Letter instead of a Christmas Card and in the letter they catch you up on whatever is new in since you last heard from them (usually the last Christmas letter). Well Poland is no different and here is the Krzystmas letter that I just received.
My Dear Jedski, Speaking of Christmas, the other day I was reading the History of Poland and Christ was originally supposed to be born here, but they couldn't find three wisemen and a virgin. And then the reasons that the Germans conquered Poland so fast was that they marched in backwards and the Polish army thought they were leaving Last week our oldest daughter announced that she was pregnant, but we sent her for DNA tests to make sure it was hers before we make a decision on what to do with the baby. I was firm about stopping our own family after the 4th child, because I had read in the newspaper that one out of every five babies born in the world today is Chinese. Last week I went on a trip and locked my keys in his car. I had to use a coat hanger to get my family out. We had hoped to visit the Polish National Library, but just our luck when we got there, someone had stolen the book. You know how I am always investigating new business ventures - my contact in America offered me a deal on selling water skis over here, but I backed off because I have not been able to locate a lake with a hill in it. I discussed coming back to live in the States, but I understand that the biggest problem facing the Polish people in the USA is the four-ten split. Well that's all for now, Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia. Krzys
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 shows Jersey City PAST and PRESENT. The Jane Tuers story above came from here and stories and references are being added all the time - - 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.
JAN/FEB - (SCHEDULED ONLINE JANUARY 21) - - AWARDS ANNOUNCED FOR 2003 - - REVIEW OF XMAS CARDS - - THE WAY WE WERE - - BEST OF JEDSEY - JCNJ REDUX STARR'S LONG BAR - WHERE ARE THEY NOW - - AND MUCH MORE