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Clifton Merchant Magazine • Volume 13 • Issue 2 • February 1, 2008

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EXP 4-15-08

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Clifton Merchant Magazine is published monthly at 1288 Main Ave., Downtown Clifton • 973-253-4400

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February 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Telling Clifton’s Story Over our 13 years of publication, we’ve been called several names but the one I like most is Clifton’s Storyteller. It was bestowed upon me back in 1999 by former Board of Education Commissioner Joe Wenzel. I liked the way it sounded and I flipped it around to use as the theme or slogan of our magazine— Telling Clifton’s Story. Since that time we’ve told hundred of stories, dug up some great history, published thousands of photos and have indeed documented what our city is all about. It’s been a lot of fun doing this.

by Tom Hawrylko

On our cover is Billy ‘Kilroy’ Ramoth, a story we tracked down in Toms River. Turn to page 36 for more photos and a profile on this Clifton legend. At left, that’s me and my bride Cheryl, 27 years ago on our wedding day, Feb. 14, 1981.

Our two staff writers, Jordan Schwartz, and my son Joseph Hawrylko, dig a little bit deeper than your typical newspaper and bring a more personal side to our stories, and I know my readers and advertisers appreciate it. On our cover this month, you’ll find the profile of a real Clifton character, Billy Kilroy, who came to our city shortly after being discharged from the Navy in 1946. The story about the former Clifton cop was brought to our attention by none other than Alvin Kipnis. One thing led to another and soon Schwartz was on his way to Toms River to write a cover story. It’s stuff like this and the following 26 pages of love stories (and great then and now photos of those couples) in honor of Valentine’s Day that truly make us Clifton’s Storyteller. So again, thanks readers, for enjoying what we do. 16,000 MAGAZINES are distributed to hundreds of Clifton Merchants the first Friday of every month. SUBSCRIPTIONS $15/year in Clifton $25/year out of town CALL 973-253-4400 entire contents copyright 2008 © tomahawk promotions

EDITOR & PUBLISHER Tom Hawrylko BUSINESS MANAGER Cheryl Hawrylko STAFF WRITERS: Joe Hawrylko, Jordan Schwartz Tomahawk Promotions CONTRIBUTORS: 1288 Main Avenue Jack DeVries, Rich DeLotto Downtown Clifton, NJ 07011 Cheryl Hawrylko, Joe Torelli, John Bendel 973-253-4400 • February 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Since the Summer of Love by Jordan Schwartz

Barry Rosenfeld could have gone to Woodstock. On Aug. 15, 1969, the 23-year-old hippie should have been standing in the mud at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, New York, swaying to the music of Arlo Guthrie and Joan Baez. But, instead, he was three hours north in Lake George, dancing at a church social with his future wife. Sherry Secula and Barry Rosenfeld met the previous year when they were both working at Sears in the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne. Sherry was the manager of store displays and Barry was a carpet salesman. One day, Sherry came into Barry’s department to hang some rugs on the wall as part of a display. “I was completely tongue-tied when I first saw her,” recalled Barry. But he didn’t need to say anything. “I saw him waiting there and I knew right then that was it,” said Sherry, who grew up in Boonton. The couple didn’t start dating right away, though. After several months of talking, Barry was left with that fateful decision one weekend in the summer of ‘69. He was traveling with a friend who was open to either

Sherry and Barry Rosenfeld in June 1969.

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attending Woodstock or playing the part of wingman as Barry went to meet Sherry in Lake George. Barry chose the latter. Following that weekend, the courtship really began. The pair would often go on hikes together in the woods of North Jersey. “We were spiritual,” said Barry. “We didn’t hug trees, but we snuggled them a little bit.” In addition to their work at Sears, Sherry was an aspiring artist and Barry worked at his father’s business, Dundee Floors, on Main Ave. None of this, however, put a great deal of money into their pockets and so the couple’s dates weren’t very elaborate, admitted Barry. “We liked to ride up the coast to Cape Cod and on into Maine,” he said. But it didn’t really matter what they were doing, as long as they were together. In fact, Barry enjoyed spending time with his Sherry so much, that he thought he might as well do it for the rest of his life. Barry first asked his girlfriend to marry him in the early part of 1970. Sherry deferred her decision at that time because she thought they should know more about each other. After the first proposal didn’t take, Barry eventually got up the courage to ask her again. This time, Sherry said yes. The Rosenfelds were married by a judge in Paterson on May 30, 1970. Just six people attended their reception at a Paterson restaurant. “We were broke,” Barry said. The newlyweds first lived in West Paterson before buying a small $19,000 house in Lake Hiawatha. Their first child Ben was born in 1975. Three years later, Barry and Sherry welcomed their second son Jed. Life was pretty much perfect for the Rosenfelds until a minor household task led to a major lifetime problem.

Sherry and Barry Rosenfeld at their home and business, Dundee Floors, on Broad St.

One day in 1979, Sherry was mowing the lawn outside the family’s Lake Hiawatha home. A landscaper the Rosenfelds had just hired recently laid herbicide down on the grass and dust from the plant killer poisoned Sherry. She passed out and was transported to the hospital. For the following decade, Sherry had trouble breathing, a sensitivity to smells and suffered from depression. “Before the incident, I was Superwoman,” she remembered. “Afterwards, I couldn’t even drive.” “My wife used to be a ‘tool belt diva,’” said Barry. “She wasn’t Superwoman anymore and I had to accept that. In the end, it brought us even closer.” Shortly after Sherry got sick, the family moved to Glen Ridge. At this point, Dundee Floors, which Barry claims is the oldest floor covering store in New Jersey, moved from Main Ave. to Rt. 46 in Clifton. In 1997, the family relocated the

business to Broad St. and moved in above the store. “We turned into his parents,” said Sherry. Barry’s mother and father lived above Dundee Floors when they opened the store in Passaic in 1927. Son Ben and his wife Ilona moved in up the street from his parents, but after having their first child Xavier on July 7, the couple is now considering leaving Clifton because they’re not happy with the school system. The Rosenfelds other son Jed works at Dundee Floors along with his parents. Barry, meanwhile, is currently working on establishing his own law office at the store. He credits his wife with helping him recently graduate from law school. “I’m very high strung and she helps calm me down,” Barry said. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else other than right here with her.” Not even at Woodstock. February 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Found in a Botany Pub by Joe Hawrylko

Some people meet their future spouse on a beach. Others might work with them. But for Scott and Darcie Agnoli, it was a neighborhood tavern where they would meet, despite attending CHS together. The two met about a decade ago over at the former Courtside Pub in Clifton’s Historic Botany Village. Scott was in a dart league with his friend, Ray Gelok, at the bar and one evening, and Gelok brought his girlfriend and her sister to watch the match. “Ray was dating a girl named Debra, and she came to the match once with her sister, who ended up being Darcie,” recalled Scott, who graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. “And the rest they say, is history, so to speak.” “She was just watching the match with her sister and I pretty much asked her if I could buy her a drink,” he laughed. “Started talking to her and over the course of a few months I got to know her and we started dating.” Oddly enough, the two were actually in the high school at the same time, yet, never met each other prior to the bar. It just goes to show how large the school really is. “We went to Clifton High School together,” said Darcie, a member of the Class of 1988. “He’s a year older than me and I never knew him.” The two hit it off and began seeing each other regularly, sometimes going out with Darcie’s sister and Ray, who eventually married on Oct. 11, 2003. “They were a given,” said Darcie of her younger sister Debra, who had dated Ray for several years prior. “But they got married a while after my husband and I did.” As for her own relationship, Darcie knew right away that it was special. “I knew I loved him within three months,” she laughed. “He didn’t know right away, but guys usually don’t know right away like girls.” “For me, it wasn’t until about a year later,” explained Scott, who works as a graphic designer for an advertising agency in New York. “We broke up for a little while and that’s when I really realized that I was in love. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t blow it and she took me back and we survived.” The following year, Scott proposed to Darcie so he wouldn’t have to go chasing her around anymore. “I 8

February 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Darcie and Scott Agnoli on their wedding day back on June 22, 2001 at St. Michael’s in Paterson.

proposed to her in 2000 at a New Jersey Jackals game,” he recalled. “I arranged it so that they would flash ‘Will you marry me?’ on the board.” The team used to have a La-Z-Boy chair behind home plate, according to Scott, which they would invite two fans to sit in during the game. The Clifton native made sure they would win the seat, and during the second inning, the announcer congratulated the couple and instructed her to look at the big screen. “I knew it was coming soon, but I had no idea it was coming that day,” said Darcie, a William Paterson graduate who works part time as an auditor at Costco. “We like baseball, but it wasn’t because of that. I guess he just wanted to do something unique and out of the ordinary. But I loved it.” Another year later, and the two would be getting married on June 22, 2001.

“I grew up across the street from my best man, Paul Reyes,” said Scott. “He ended up marrying my sister Jennifer in September 2003.” Scott and Darcie also bought their first home on Beverly Rd. over in Clifton’s Allwood section right after being married. “We got our mortgage through Clifton Savings Bank,” said Darcie. “I used to work at Clifton Savings. I started there when I was 17 in the mortgage department as an administrative assistant to the Vice President and loan officer.” The purchase of their own home was a huge step for the Agnolis. “Previously, I lived in the Richfield Village Apartments when I was single. I also had an apartment in Montclair for a short time, but I wanted to have a house in Clifton,” said Scott. “It’s near my family, I grew up here and I knew the town very well.” Since purchasing their home, Scott and Darcie have gone about

starting a family and now have two children: Jason, who is four, and Kayla, two.

“It’s just a case of guy meets girl, guy loses girl, guy gets back girl kind of story,” Scott laughed.

Darcie and Scott Agnoli with their children Kayla and Jason.

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Miles to Marriage by Joe Hawrylko

How far would you go for love? For Andre Olave, it’s about 3,000 miles west. Since 2002, the Paterson native has been dating Maggie DeMolli, a CHS 2000 grad. However, they had known each other for a while before that. “We both worked at Service Merchandise in Wayne,” said Olave, who studied graphic design at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. “I was in the warehouse and she was a cashier.” “He always used to check me out,” quipped DeMolli, which Andre quickly denied as he stole a chili cheese fry from his girlfriend’s platter at Hot Grill one January afternoon. DeMolli would talk with Olave at work where they both would earn extra cash when home on break. However, when the store closed in 2000, Olave figured he’d never see her again. Little did he know, the two had a connection that neither knew about. “My friend Fred DeMarco, a manager there, was dating Maggie’s sister, Tina,” he explained, adding that they are now married. “In Spring of ‘02, they bought a house in Little Falls. I was back up here, so I went to help them move in.” As chance would have it, DeMolli was there helping her sister move in and the two bumped into each other for the first time in nearly two years. This time, Olave did get a phone number. “He was checking me out too,” said DeMolli, with Andre once again denying her claims. “My uncle said he was too!” 10

February 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Andre Olave, a 1997 PCTI grad and Maggie DeMolli, a 2000 CHS grad, will wed on July 2, 2009. Olave was the graphic designer at Clifton Merchant Magazine from July 2004 to August 2005.

By the middle of May, the two were dating regularly. Early on in their relationship, Andre and Maggie both had to deal with traveling often to see one another because of school. The two also would regularly drive up to Vermont to visit Olave’s father Luis and to work on his 1994 Honda Accord that he has been working on for years. Because of their limited time together, Andre and Maggie had to make the most of their time and the two quickly built up a strong relationship. They also took vacations

to places such as Florida and Ohio. “Most of the times that we fought, it was when we didn’t see each other,” explained DeMolli. In 2004, DeMolli graduated from Ramapo College and started working at the Clifton Immedicenter and MANE USA fragrance in Wayne, but she soon began to rethink going to get her Doctorate. “I was thinking about law school, but then decided I wanted to study forensic psychology at Alliant International University,” said DeMolli. “I knew I’d regret it forever if I didn’t at least try.”

By 2005, DeMolli decided it was now or never and opted to apply to the Fresno, CA school. One day, she approached Andre about it and he said yes without hesitation. “We ended up talking in depth about it and made a deal,” explained Olave. “I said I would go if she would agree to have kids.” So they began to pack. “A lot of people said to me, “If you can make it cross country, you’ll be fine,’” he added. It would be an entirely new experience for both Olave and DeMolli. Aside from their college dorms, neither had ever had to pay rent for an apartment, let alone live with a significant other. But in Aug. of 2005, Andre and Maggie left their friends and family in New Jersey for sunny California some 3,000 miles away. “If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have gone,” said DeMolli, with Andre adding that she questioned herself dozens of times just heading out of Clifton to Rt. 80. The drive out to the Golden State would take the couple about eight days and would prove to be an interesting experience. Olave and DeMolli stopped in Ohio to visit some of Andre’s relatives, when Maggie decided that she wanted to learn Spanish. “She bought a CD in Borders,” laughed Olave. “I don’t think we

got past the first CD. She couldn’t roll her ‘R’s at all.” After a short stay there, the couple was back on the highway, driving more than 12 hours a day. They stopped in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming along the way, making a photo album of their adventure all the while. “You would think that in Wyoming, you would want a big, juicy steak,” said Olave. “But of all things, she wanted Chinese food. We eventually found a store though.” He also remembered about how the couple nearly averted disaster out in the desert when they just made it to a gas station on fumes. Shortly after, they passed Lake Tahoe and finally entered California for the home stretch. “We took pictures at every sign,” recalled Olave. “I seriously made about one turn the entire time.” The couple arrived with about $12,000 and spent the first month in a small studio with a friend before Olave could get a job as an art director. They then moved on to a larger apartment that they shared with another couple. “It’s hard, trying to support two people with one salary,” said Andre. “But in the long run, it’s better. It teaches you responsibility.” With that and his new job, Olave was able to save up for an engagement ring to make his commitment

to Maggie official in 2006. “I proposed to her on the beach on the Fourth of July after the finale,” he recalled, adding that he chose the date because it is her favorite holiday. “You’d think the weather would be nice, but it was freezing.” Even though the two had talked about marriage before and had gone as far as selecting an engagement band, DeMolli didn’t see it coming. “I didn’t think he was going to do it then,” she said. “He even called my dad and asked for permission.” That Christmas, the couple came back to New Jersey to visit friends and family and to book the wedding date. It is set for July 2, 2009 at Sacred Heart Church in Botany Village, with the reception being at the Florentina Gardens in Riverdale. “Our relationship has grown and we’ve grown as individuals,” said DeMolli, who will graduate in May 2009. “You also really begin to appreciate the friends and family you have in New Jersey a lot more.” Maggie also added that she intends to reimburse Andre for leaving everything behind so she could follow her dreams. “We’re taking turns. Andre’s helping me accomplish my dream, and I’m going to help him with his,” she said of her fiancee, who wants to open a car store one day. “It’s a 50-50 deal.”


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What’s the Hurry?

Bill Sachtleben had only intended to pick up flowers when he stopped by Ploch’s Farm one day in May 2006, but he left with a whole lot more. Sachtleben, who owns Servicemaster, a carpet cleaning company in Clifton, had been patronizing the Grove St. farm for about ten years, purchasing vegetables and Halloween decorations in the autumn. Upon each visit, he’d spend some time chatting with his old School 2 classmate Lin Ploch, whose great grandfather opened the farm back in 1867. “I’d see his big yellow truck outside and we’d talk about our marriages,” said Lin. Ploch was married to her first husband Rick for 31 years before the couple divorced in 2001. The two have a pair of daughters, Stacey, 36, and Sandy, 32. Sachtleben, meanwhile, was married to his first wife Carolyn for 35 years before she succumbed to cancer in April 2006. A month later, Bill went to go get those flowers to plant around his home in Parsippany. “I went in and we started talking and I asker Lin to go out,” recalled Sachtleben. “I said, ‘I’d love to,’ because I always thought he was just a really nice guy,” Lin said. But Bill left Ploch’s that day without getting Lin’s number so he had to return a few days later. “As I walked in, she handed me a card with her number on it and she said, ‘You forgot something,’” Bill remembered. So Sachtleben picked up his date at her Trella Terrace home and they went to Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Weehawken. The dinner went well and the CHS Class of ‘67 grads continued to see each other for four months. “Just knowing each other made things more comfortable,” Bill said. “Things just started to click.” The relationship was going so well that Sachtleben sold his house in Parsippany and moved in with Lin at the end of Oct. 2006. Two months later, the couple took a trip to Rockefeller Center in New York City. After seeing the Christmas tree, Lin and Bill went to Del Friscos Steak House for dinner. That’s where Sachtleben asked his former first grade classmate to marry him and she didn’t hesitate to say yes. 12

February 2008 • Clifton Merchant

by Jordan Schwartz

Lin Ploch and Bill Sachtleben were married on June 8, 2007.

Lin’s daughters asked them what the hurry was and Bill replied, “We’re old, we’re not waiting.” And they didn’t. The couple got married on a bridge in Verona Park on June 8, 2007 and held the wedding reception at the steak house where they had their first date. The newlyweds then took a honeymoon cruise to Nova Scotia. Bill, who has no children of his own, said he has developed an excellent relationship with Lin’s daughters and their children, Lucas, 2 and Madelyn, 1. “The old saying goes, ‘If I would’ve known grandkids were so much fun, I would’ve had them first,’ and that’s what Bill did,” joked Lin. The former Mustangs recently attended their 40 year high school reunion and their classmates were surprised to see them together. The romance has come as a bit of a shock to Lin as well. “Everything fell right into place and it’s really

been something you wouldn’t expect,” she said. “Bill said he had a wonderful first marriage and now he has a wonderful second marriage.” “She reminds me a lot of my first wife in the way she cares for people,” said Bill. “Our personalities are very agreeable. It was meant to be.”

Miss Vespa’s first grade class at School 2 in 1956. Circled are newlyweds Bill Satchleben and Lin Ploch. Other students in the class include Pat Nancarro, Laura Erikson, Karen Schaffer, Donald Henner, Carolyn Macintosh, Robert Marino, Nancy Dorgas, Phoebbe Polangen, Michelle Potrisso, Lynn Kudlick, Elaine Belack, Stephen Johnson, Carol Rose, Robert Intveld, Robert Young and Chet Helms.


February 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Like Fish and Water by Jordan Schwartz

Helen Post didn’t pay much attention during her eighth period science class senior year. She was too busy looking out the window of the old Clifton High School (now CCMS), scanning the entranceway for a ‘54 Chevy Bel Air. When the final bell rung, Helen would race out of the classroom and into the hallway, now searching for a red DeMolay jacket. Roy’s jacket. Roy Berkenbush and Helen Post both grew up in Clifton, but they didn’t meet until 1954, when Roy was 20 and Helen was 15. Roy was raised on Hadley Ave. by a second-generation painter and his wife. Helen spent her early years on Fornelius Ave., daughter to a plumber and a nurse. The pair were brought together by their involvement in youth organizations. Roy was a member of DeMolay International and Helen belonged to the Rainbow Girls. They’d take trips down to DeMolay conventions in Atlantic City or up to Bubbling Spring Lake in West Milford and Requa Lake near Ho-HoKus. But they’d always go with friends. “We didn’t go out alone,” said Helen. “You just didn’t do that in those days.” In March 1956, they were scheduled to go on a double date to the top of the Empire State Building to watch the St. Patrick’s Day parade. But when Helen’s friend Ann Waitt’s date didn’t show, it was just Roy and the two girls on top of the world. Helen didn’t even go to her junior prom with Roy. She went with his friend Bill Robinson and Roy took Ann due to prior arrangements. “Then we eliminated them,” Helen joked. Just a month later, in June 1956, the sweethearts finally found

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some time alone during another trip to Atlantic City, where Helen’s father was being installed as the president of the Master Plumbers Association of New Jersey. The lovers were spending some time on the beach when Roy knelt in the sand and proposed. “I think I was nervous,” recalled Roy. Adding to the stress was the fact that Helen’s parents weren’t too pleased with the five year age difference between their daughter and her beau. Helen was still in high school when

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Federal Mortgage Offers Senior Citizens A Reverse Mortgage


or some 34 years now, Anthony A. Accavallo, shown here, has been helping make the American Dream become a reality, right here in Clifton. As President of Federal Mortgage & Investment Corp. at 1111 Clifton Ave., Clifton, he and his firm have written millions of dollars worth of mortgages which have allowed people to purchase homes. And while that work has been fulfilling, Accavallo said he is getting his greatest satisfaction these days by helping senior citizens with reverse mortgages. A reverse mortgage is a special kind of mortgage loan for seniors. “It is a safe, easy way to turn your home equity into tax-free cash,” he continued. “Unlike a home equity loan, you do not have to make

monthly payments. Instead, a reverse mortgage pays you. More importantly, you do not have to repay the loan for as long as you live in the house. It’s a great way to keep your home and get money from it at the same time.” The name “reverse mortgage” describes exactly what the mortgage is — it is the exact opposite of a conventional mortgage. That is, with a conventional mortgage the borrower pays the lender but with a reverse mortgage, the lender pays the borrower. In the past, a senior citizen in need of money would have to take out a loan against their house and immediately start making monthly payments again or sell their home. But a reverse mortgage allows seniors to borrow against the equity

How do I qualify for a Reverse Mortgage? It’s simple. You and your co-borrower must be at least 62 years old. You must own your home free and clear or have just a small balance on your existing mortgage. Best of all, there are no income or credit requirements to satisfy. How can I receive my money? You can receive it in several ways: • Equal monthly payments as long as you live in your home • Equal monthly payments for a certain period of time • As a line of credit you can draw upon as needed, for whatever reasons • As a lump sum draw at closing • A combination of the above, to meet your requirements. When must I repay the loan? You must repay the loan if you no longer live in your home. In the event of your death, your heirs can choose to repay the loan and keep the house or sell the house and repay the loan, What are interest rate charges & fees? • An adjustable rate of interest is charged on reverse mortgages • Closing costs are typical for any mortgage closing and all may be financed • No out-of-pocket expenses at closing Are Reverse Mortgages safe? • Yes, FHA and FannieMae guarantee the payments you receive • FHA and FannieMae also guarantee you will never owe more than your house is worth — no debt left on estate

they already have in their home... and they never have to make a monthly payment. Each reverse mortgage candidate is required to attend a free counseling session with a local independent housing agency approved by FHA (Federal Housing Administration). Candidates are encouraged to bring other family members with them to help in the decision-making process. “This process ensures that the borrower understands the program fully and aides them in determining whether or not a reverse mortgage is for them,” said Accavallo.

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she agreed to marry Roy, but Berkenbush, who graduated CHS in 1952, had nothing but good intentions. He even made sure to go Mr. Post first to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage. “That conversation was difficult,” Roy remembered. But Mr. Post obliged and the two families celebrated the engagement with a party at the old Clifton Casino on Grove St. The following fall, Helen returned to CHS for her senior year and Roy continued working with his father as a painter. Whenever he got out of work early, he’d hop in his Bel Air and pick up his fiancee after school. That was until he joined the Army and got shipped off to Fort Dix for basic training in Dec. 1956. Roy returned a year later on leave so he could marry Helen on Dec. 28, 1957 at the old First Reformed Church in Passaic. The next day, the newlyweds were on the road, off to visit Roy’s sister in California and then up to Fort Lewis in Washington, where Berkenbush would be stationed with the 34th Engineer Battalion for the following year. “It was a year-long honeymoon, compliments of Uncle Sam,” Roy joked. The Berkenbushes returned to the east coast at the end of 1958 and moved into a home on Bowdoin St. In May 1962, the couple relocated again, this time, into the Sherman Pl. house in which they still reside. Upon his return from the Army, Roy continued painting homes with his father, while Helen got a job as a secretary with Walter Kiddie, a fire extinguisher manufacturer in Belleville. That all changed, though, when their first son Peter was born in 1965. Mrs. Berkenbush quit her job to take care of Peter and then her second son Bill, who was born in 1967. That same year, Peter was diagnosed as a diabetic. Because of this, Roy was forced to leave his father’s business and find a job that offered medical insurance. In Jan. 1969, Mr. Berkenbush took a position with Singer Kearfott, a defense manufacturer with plants all over North Jersey. When the boys became grown, Helen returned to the working world, becoming a secretary at School 3 in 1978. Six years later, she got promoted to the assistant superintendent’s office at the administration building, where she worked until her retirement in 2005. Roy, meanwhile, got laid off from Kearfott in Feb. 1995 and went to work with his nephew for a while. He says he’s “semi-retired” now, as he works part-time as a bus aide for Clifton Public Schools. 16

February 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Helen and Roy Berkenbush on a 2006 Caribbean cruise.

The children have long since moved away. Peter works in the restaurant business in North Carolina and Bill works with high pressure boilers out in Indiana. Neither are married nor have children of their own and so the elder Berkenbushes have no grandkids. “I’d like to have grandchildren if they were close by,” said Helen. “But with the boys living so far away, it’s probably better this way, because I’d miss the grandkids too much.” Despite the absence of little ones to spoil, the Berkenbushes are keeping busy during retired life. Helen is a Botany Village representative on the ACTION committee as well as a volunteer in the media center at School 17. But the Berkenbushes’ true passion is traveling. They’ve been to Hawaii, Iceland, the Caribbean and Alaska, and to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, they’re taking a cruise in April from New York to Los Angeles, via the Panama Canal. But it’s more than just traveling that has kept the couple together for more than a half century. “We’re the best of friends, we can tell each other anything,” said Helen. “He’s a gentle soul. He never says ‘No’ when I want to go places. Neither one of us is narrow minded.” Mrs. Berkenbush thinks the longevity of their relationship may also have a little to do with the stars. “He’s a Pisces and I’m an Aquarius,” she said. “We go together like fish and water.”

High School Sweethearts by Joe Hawrylko

Julio and Abril Tlatelpa didn’t get married under conventional circumstances. But that doesn’t mean their bond lacks the strength of any other marriage. The two Passaic natives met in their sophomore year of high school. “We met while sitting on the bleachers in gym class. Before that, I never said anything because I was shy,” recalled Julio. “But once I realized that we got along, I noticed she liked me. We went out as friends a couple times and then I asked her out.” The couple dated regularly for nearly two years before Julio proposed in 2000.

High school sweethearts Julio and Abril Tlatelpa in a recent photo with their children Yael and Paizley.

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“We decided to get married because I got pregnant and because we love each other,” said Abril, 27. “I really loved him and just wanted to be together with him for years.” She then went on to recall the day that Julio offered to take her hand in marriage.“He came over my house for dinner one day and that’s how he proposed,” she recalled. “My parents, brother and sister were all there.” Julio, 25, said that he took the traditional approach and asked the parents for permission. “I talked to my parents first,” he recalled. “Then I asked her parents for her hand in marriage. I was nervous; I was afraid of her saying no to me.” Julio and Abril were wed on Nov. 18, 2000. However, the road ahead would not be easy for the young couple. Instead of being able to focus solely on continuing her education, Abril had to work, study and learn how to be a mother all in a short time. It’s enough to make someone grow up real fast. “It was pretty hard. I was young and wanted to keep going to college and I wanted my husband to as well,” she explained. “But once we got married it was very hard. We both had to start working for our future and we had our daughter Paizley who was born on April 5, 2000. “It was beautiful to see my daughter be born,” said Abril, whose daughter goes to School 3. “It’s a wonderful experience, but at the same time, it’s hard. I’m trying to get together and have time for my husband, my daughter and work.” Julio agreed with his wife about the difficulties that they faced. “In the beginning it was hard. I might have been a little too immature, but I still always took responsibilities,” he recalled. “But I was very happy and overjoyed to have my daughter.” Shortly after being married, Abril and Julio moved to Clifton on Harding Ave., where the couple currently resides. They live in a two family home, with Julio’s family above them on the second floor.

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February 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Julio and Abril Tlatelpa at the 2000 Passaic High School prom.

“We had our parents’ support, but it was still pretty hard because I had to work and provide for my family because I have a daughter,” said Julio, who is the executive manager at a Walgreens in Paterson. “No one ever teaches you how to be a father. You just learn from it,” he continued. “Our daughter would come down with a fever and we’d get real nervous, but thank God we had our parents to guide us.” Abril opted to take accounting classes at Passaic County Community College while working at the Paulson Ave. Shop Rite. Although she stopped short of getting her Associate degree, Abril is currently the head book keeper at the store after starting out as a cashier seven years ago. “I would love to finish my career, and I would love for my husband to do the same,” said Abril. “I’m still very happy, but it’s better to reach your goals first.” However, once the couple got settled down, Julio and Abril decided it was time for their family to grow since they had become financially stable. “We didn’t plan to have anymore kids,” explained Abril, who had her second child, Yael, on April 19, 2005. “But I have my brother and sister, so we thought our daughter would need someone like that. Someone to trust and always be there for her.” “Relationships are about trust and relying on each other. A lot of kids who get married don’t stay together,” concluded Julio. “But I’m very grateful for my wife and kids. Abril’s support has been huge. If it wasn’t for her, I would probably be a very different person.”

Sweet Success. Success. Sweet Johnny Cupcakes doesn’t need a last name these days. The 22 year old entrepreneur took over the former Pane ed Acqua bakery after seeing it on Craigslist, renamed it and hasn’t looked back since. While one might expect the 2003 Paramus Catholic graduate to have a degree in some fine culinary art, that’s not the case. In fact, Manganiotis, which is Cupcake’s real last name, has only a few credits to his name from his time at the DeVry business school. So why did Manganiotis drop everything for this? “It’s a unique business,” he said. “And it’s in a good location. I was interested in it and I thought to myself, ‘I could do this.’” “My friend recently got a high paying job on Wall St. But there, they tell you when to do everything,” continued Manganiotis. “I just told myself that I have to be my own boss.” The young entrepreneur and his father got the former owner to teach them everything they would need to know about baking. And while successful now, it didn’t happen overnight.

Johnny Cupcakes 1216 Van Houten Ave Clifton, NJ 07013 (973)-859-0180 Tues-Fri: 8am-6pm Sat: 9am-5pm • Sun ti 3

Story & Photo by Joe Hawrylko

Johnny Cupcakes, whose real name is Johnny Manganiotis, with his dad John, displaying some of the sweets that can be found in his Van Houten Ave. bakery. It took creativity, hard work and a big break. “My friend was listening to Z100 and they were talking about cupcakes,” recalled the North Bergen resident. “Elvis Duran went nuts and told him to have me call in.” Manganiotis dialed up the studio and was invited on the morning show. After a taste of his fresh cupcakes, the rest was sweet history. “They all stop in here now,” he said proudly as he stood in front of the Z100 shirts on the wall behind him. “The place has really blown up since being on Z100.” People are coming from all over for his unique pastry treats—which are always baked, not filled—for a total of about 30 options. His signature is a hamburger cupcake, which looks exactly as it’s namesake implies. Others include the pina colada, snowball fight and the average Joe. Next up, he’s planning a margarita cupcake.

The exposure from Z100, combined with his diverse selection has helped sales skyrocket for Johnny Cupcakes. “We get a lot of kids coming in from the middle school and now from the high school,” said Manganiotis, who often jokes around with the throngs of children who frequent his bakery “Some people will come in and say they want to talk to the owner and when I say it’s me, they don’t believe me,” he said. “It’s really overwhelming.” But overall, it’s been a great experience for Manganiotis. “It’s a little scary. It was a big gamble, but I never expected it to be this successful so soon. We’re peaking after four months,” he said proudly while alluding towards the future. “By next October,” Manganiotis predicted,” we’re hoping to open a second store.” February 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Together Forever “I got rhythm, I got music, I got my gal, who can ask for anything more?” sings Thelma Schwartz from her bed in the downstairs den. Upstairs in the second floor kitchen, Herb bangs his foot on the linoleum, dancing to the song. Thelma is so amused by her husband’s antics that her laughter prevents her from continuing the tune. This is one of the happy times for the couple, who have experienced their share of hardship throughout their nearly 60 years of marriage. Herbert Schwartz has been a patriot since birth. Born on July 4, 1923 to Dora and Harry Schwartz, the youngest of four brothers grew up in Passaic. After graduating Passaic High School in 1941, Herb served in the United States Army Air Corps as a Master Sgt. mechanic from 1941-44. He worked on planes in the European Theater during World War II. Thelma, meanwhile, has always been a character. Goldie and Morris Rosenberg gave birth to their daughter on Nov. 18, 1928, the exact date Mickey Mouse first appeared in the Steamboat Willie cartoon. While she spent her early years in Brooklyn, Thelma moved to Passaic at age 10.

by Jordan Schwartz

Thelma and Herbert Schwartz were married April 11, 1948 at the Tulip Street Shul in Passaic.

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After her parents got divorced and her two older sisters married and moved away, Thelma was left to live alone with her mother. In early 1947, Herb and Thelma’s paths crossed at the old Jewish Y in Passaic. They immediately started dating, going out to night clubs in Clifton, restaurants and plays in New York City, and down the shore. At the time, Thelma worked in the pocketbook and hosiery department at the A.S. Beck shoe store in Passaic and Herb was a butcher at the Pick N’ Pay supermarket on Chancellor Ave. in Irvington. Towards the end of 1947, Herb proposed to his girlfriend. “It was simple,” he said. “I just asked.” Thelma said yes and the two were married in a small ceremony at the Tulip St. Shul in Passaic on Apr. 11, 1948. Following the nuptials, the Schwartz’s moved into Herb’s mother’s house in Passaic. After a short time there, the newlyweds relocated to a new apartment in the Borough of East Paterson (now Elmwood Park). A few months later, their first and only child Sheldon was born six weeks early at Barnert Hospital in Paterson on Dec. 21, 1949. Because he was born prematurely, Sheldon had to spend the first week of his life in an incubator to get his weight up, which resulted in some hearing loss that wasn’t discovered until he was five years old. “I was shouting out the window to him and he wasn’t responding,” Thelma said. Sheldon got his first hearing aid when he was in second grade and taught himself how to read lips. A couple years after their son’s birth, Thelma and Herbert bought a house in Fair Lawn. But they weren’t there long. “I was working as the meat manager at the Shop Rite in Rochelle Park,” Herb said. “I came home one day and my wife had sold the house out from under me.” Thelma didn’t like the home in Fair Lawn and so she took matters into her own hands. The family then moved to Day St. in Clifton and Sheldon began attending School 1. In 1962, the Schwartz’s relocated to the home in which they still live today — a three-floor

house on Van Ness Ct. off Van Houten Ave. that they bought for $21,500. The location was perfect for Sheldon, who could just walk across the street to attend what was then Woodrow Wilson Junior High School. It was around this time that Herb began working for Mark Vending in Passaic. He left there in the mid-70s and went to work for another vending machine company in Brooklyn. Thelma hasn’t worked for a majority of the couple’s marriage, in large part because of the arthritis that she has suffered from since the early days of her adulthood. As the years went on, Thelma’s health continued to deteriorate until she experienced a blockage in her intestines and had to be hospitalized in the mid-90s. Since then, her world has gotten smaller and smaller, eventually becoming limited to just a bed in the downstairs den. But Herb has always been there. In these later years, with Thelma not well, her husband has become her loving caretaker. He cooks for her, helps her get dressed and keeps the entire house clean, even though his wife hasn’t seen the upstairs in more than a decade. About ten years ago, Herb began working from home for Brand Vending Products. From his makeshift office in Sheldon’s old room on the third floor, he’s close enough to run downstairs in case Thelma needs something.

Herb and Thelma Schwartz circa 1992, are the grandparents of our staff writer, Jordan Schwartz.

A few years ago, seeing his aging parents in need of a boost in spirit, Sheldon got Thelma and Herb a friendly beagle named Nina. The couple loves spoiling their dog, like they used to do with their grandchildren, Jessica and Jordan. But at night, when Nina lies down to take a nap, it’s once again just Thelma and Herb sitting together watching a “Seinfeld” re-run or the latest Yankees game — sharing time with one another, like they have for the past 60 years.


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Romance in the Aisles by Jordan Schwartz

Tiffany Wright and Brian Cook both lied on their fifth grade eye exams. They both grew up in Passaic and shared the same circle of friends. But these two young adults, with so much in common, didn’t meet until they both started working at Shoppers Vineyard on Bloomfield Ave. in Clifton. Brian, a ‘98 DePaul H.S. grad, began his employment as a stock clerk at the wine and liquor shop in May 1999. In Aug. 2000, Tiffany, a recent Passaic High graduate, joined the staff as a cashier. But before the two could get to know each other, Brian left to take a job with UPS. As fate would have it, though, the delivery service gig fell through and Cook returned to Shoppers Vineyard the following December. That’s when Brian and Tiffany realized they were so much alike. They had the same views on family, the same taste in movies, and a similar affinity for lying to their elementary school nurses so they could get glasses because they thought they were cool. “It was like hanging out with myself, but in a different gender,” said Brian, who finally asked Tiffany out in July 2001. They went to see a movie on a Friday night, but got to the theater late and were forced to sit Shoppers Vineyard employees Tiffany Wright and Brian Cook met at the in the front row. Bloomfield Ave. store in Aug. 2000. The couple will marry on July 19.


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February 2008 • Clifton Merchant


“Brian hasn’t been much of a movie-goer since then,” said Tiffany. However, other than the close proximity to the screen, the date went well and the couple’s relationship became increasingly more serious in the months that followed. They took summer trips down to Wildwood, went out to clubs with friends, and always made sure to have dinner with each other at least once a week. But after a year-and-a-half together, Tiffany began having doubts regarding the romance and the couple broke up in Feb. 2003. “The silence and distance helped me build maturity,” said Tiffany, who quickly got back together with Brian after just a week apart. Since reuniting, Wright, 26, has known that she wanted to marry her boyfriend, but she had to wait for him to pop the question. “I was young, so I was nervous about getting married,” said Brian, who turns 28 this month. Eventually the sweethearts moved into an apartment together on Brook Ave. in Passaic in Nov. 2005. On Valentines Day of the following year, Brian made reservations at Habana Restaurant in Ridgefield Park, where Cook surprised his girlfriend with a romantic, candle lit dinner. After the couple placed their dinner order, Brian started to reach into his coat pocket. By the time Tiffany looked up, her boyfriend was holding a 3.56 carat princess cut diamond ring in her face. Shocked, Tiffany immediately started to cry. Then, Brian got down on his right knee and asked Tiffany to spend the rest of her life with him. She said yes and they called their family and friends to announce the good news. On July 9, Brian’s mother hosted an engagement party in honor of her son and his future wife. At the celebration, the two families learned that Tiffany and Brian’s grandparents were associates in the Passaic meat market in the ‘60s. The couple’s second family are their co-workers at Shoppers Vineyard. “We live here from 9 to 5,” said Tiffany, who handles Accounts Payable and Data Entry duties. “We just sleep on Brook Ave.” Wright and Cook, who is now a Wine Buyer, should have no problem finding a wine supplier for their wedding on July 19 at the Grand Chalet in Wayne, where both the ceremony and reception will be held. The pair will then honeymoon in Riveria Maya, Mexico for two weeks. Brian and Tiffany would like to wait a few years before having kids; they may buy a house in Morris County. Until then, they’re just going to keep enjoying each other’s company. “I admire how he is as kind with me as he is with a stranger,” said Tiffany. “I love her sincerity and honesty,” Brian countered. “She’s my best friend.”

This column was originally started by our founder, the late Murray Blumenfeld. In his spirit, we continue its publication.


ebruary…The month of love and romance is here again to warm our hearts. We are now stocked with a beautiful assortment of wonderful Valentine gifts. Heart jewelry is still the number one choice, in a variety of styles and metals. We also have many other items to choose from, so please come in. As some of you may know - the cost of gold has skyrocketed. We want our valued customers to know we have not adjusted any of our prices to reflect market increases. So have no fear, our in-stock merchandise is priced to please!! Now is the perfect time to raid your jewelry box. We have been very busy buying scrap gold. This includes 1/2 pair of earrings, remnants of chains, broken catches, anything that is gold and no longer being worn. You will be amazed at how quickly these items add up to a considerable amount. A quick story: a woman was going to throw a plastic bag of old gold out. She was embarrassed to bring I in because it was a combination of remnants. One of our customers said no - let me take it to Morre Lyons. P.S. The scrap earned her $500.00 The birthstone for February is Amethyst. It is featured in the British Crown Jewels and was a favorite of Catherine the Great and the Egyptian royalty. Greek legend associates the stone with Dionysus, god of wine. The presence of amethyst is said to dissipate anger and drunkenness. HAPPY VALENTINES DAY - ONE AND ALL Have a fun filled February and we’ll talk to you next month.


February 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Music & Marriage by Joe Hawrylko

Sometimes, you know you’ve met the girl you want to marry right away. However, that doesn’t always mean that you’ll get her just as fast. For Andy Swiderski—better known by his stage name of Andy Ray—that’s exactly what happened. He first met his future wife, Bunny, back in May of 1957 in Passaic’s Mt. Carmel Church. Swiderski was performing with his band The Melody Makers and Bunny was to accompany a different singer on piano. “She was playing piano for a vocalist and that’s where we met,” he explained. “I was the first guy she ever dated. I was attracted to her and I asked her out, only to eventually find out that her father was the head of Passaic Detectives. “He was a very intimidating guy, to say the least,” Andy said of Bunny’s father, Andy Celmer. “But a nice guy.” “When he asked me for a date, I said, ‘Who, me?’ and he said, ‘That’s who I’m talking to,’” recalled Bunny, who graduated from Immaculate Conception in 1959. “I was just so surprised. It was my first date and he was my first boyfriend.” “I think Ray was a little bit nervous when he met my father,” she laughed. Ray, a 1959 graduate of Passaic Valley, would continue dating Bunny throughout high school and continued when they both went to Fairleigh Dickinson University in Rutherford. However, as is with many young high school couples, their relationship would be tested by the rigors of college. “She was a full time day student and I was an evening student. During the day, I worked for JP Stevens in Garfield as a lab technician,” recalled Andy.

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Bunny and Andy Swiderski, along with Jim Carfora, make up the Andy Ray Band, which will perform at CHS on Feb. 27 at 7 pm. The event is free, just be sure to bring a non-perishable food item to benefit St. Peter’s Haven.

“Eventually, due to outside stresses, we just went our separate ways.” Following their break up, both Andy and Bunny went on with their lives without speaking to each other for more than 20 years. Andy went on to do sales for General Felt Industries and Bunny was a teacher in the Paterson Diocese. Even after 22 years, Andy would still occasionally find himself wondering what his former love was up to. One day, he finally decided to find out. Ready to lose weight? We have a way to make weight loss easy... patches to a New You. to find out more go to

“I was wondering where she was and what was going on,” said Andy, who finally reached out in Feb. of 1985. “I called her at her parents’ house and she was living at home with her mother and father. I asked her out and we started dating.” “Strangely enough, I had a dream about him six months before he called,” recalled Bunny. “He said that he was going to give me a ring and I was totally surprised. Six months later and he gave me a ring on the phone. “I always felt that we were going to be married one day, and I wondered why we weren’t,” she continued. “I was startled by the call because I didn’t think that what I had dreamt about would come true.” After their first date at The Cameo (now The Venetian) in Garfield, the two began seeing each other regularly. In Sept. of that same year, Bunny got another ring, this time on her finger. “I proposed to her in Holy Angel’s Church in Little Falls after the mass,” recalled Andy. “She immediately started crying and said of course.” They wed on Feb. 15, 1986 at The Bethwood in Totowa, where Andy used to perform as the house band. Bunny finally was wed to the man she had wanted all along, and she was also about to have another dream come true. “Bunny always thought that one day, we would be together as entertainers,” explained Andy. “Her father and brothers were drummers—they used to perform together.”

Bunny continued to perform with her family, however, one day in 1988, there was a scheduling conflict and bunny needed someone to fill in for a show. Andy stepped in and soon the couple began thinking about another dream that started more than 20 years earlier. “Performing together was a dream I had a long time ago,” said Bunny. “It finally came to fruition, but it took many years.” Soon after that first fill-in show, Andy and Bunny were performing duets regularly in 1988. They continued performing in this manner for several years, until 1997, when the Swiderskis met Jim Carfora and formed the Andy Ray Band. “He approached my wife when she was teaching his children in Catholic School and told us he’s a trumpet player,” said Andy. “Ever since then, he’s been a tremendous asset to the group and has become a very good friend. “It’s been a tremendous experience for all three of us,” he continued. “We play everything from soup to nuts; from the 40s to 2008.” Even though their group is successful now, Bunny said that it took a little convincing on her part to get Andy to believe that it could work. “When we got together after getting married and talked about starting our own group, he couldn’t understand that two keyboardists could perform together,” she recalled. “But I said it could be good together and we tried it. I’m so happy that after all those years, it finally happened.”

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Snowflake Fantasy by Joe Hawrylko

Staying together through five decades of marriage is no small feat. These days, you’re lucky if you’re still with your spouse for even one decade. That’s why the children of Arthur and Sandra DeRose honored their parent’s golden anniversary with a surprise party on Jan. 26 at Christopher Columbus Middle School. “They met in 1955 and had their first date at the Snowflake Fantasy Dance at the old high school (now CCMS),” Samantha DeRose-Travia said of her parents, Arthur, a 1955 Clifton High School grad and Sandra, Class of 1956. “It’s been a joke throughout the years with our family: the Snowflake Fantasy Dance, that’s the reason we’re all here!” Samantha, along with her sister Alisa and brother Arthur Jr., began to plan for the date well over a year ago. “This was my sister’s idea,” said Samantha. “We knew we wanted to do something, but we didn’t want to go to a restaurant and have everyone come and surprise them. Then my sister said we should recreate their first dance.”

Arthur and Sandra DeRose in a recent photo and at right, in their engagement photo some 51 years ago.

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However, that’s easier said than done. But luckily, the DeRose family had a few connections. “We’re good friends with the Tietjens and Mark is the Vice Principal at Christopher,” said Samantha, an English teacher at CHS. Most of her family has worked as an educator at some point. “He’s been an integral part in helping us pull this off. He told us who to speak to at the Board of Ed. If it wasn’t for Mark, we would have been running around willy nilly.” The family had to go through all of the legal hoops— insurance, calling the fire department and making sure that custodians were on duty—but the anniversary event went off without a hitch. The couple was picked up from their house in a 1954 Chevy Bel Air and brought to their school around 7 pm. After being greeted by about 100 family and friends, Arthur and Sandra then watched a video scrap book made from old high school year books and other assorted home videos. After that, it was down to the lower gym, which was decorated in a winter theme. Dogs from Hot Grill and burgers from White Castle— the favorites of Arthur and Sandra respectively—were among the appetizers that evening at CCMS. Of course there was more traditional food as well, and even a snowflake wedding cake made by Samantha Fairless, Sandra’s niece. For just one night, it was the 1950’s all over again.

February 2008 • Clifton Merchant


From Tragedy to Triumph Dennis Benigno & the Coalition for Brain Injury Research to receive UNICO’s Service Above Self Award on Feb. 29 ––– Story by Joe Hawrylko ––– The date was Aug. 22, 1984. Dennis Benigno had already left for work that morning when he received the call that no parent ever wants to hear. A Clifton Police Officer dialed up Benigno at his job at Hoffman LaRoche to notify him that his son, Dennis John, had been struck by a car while on the way home from a football physical. Although the initial prognosis from the scene was just a broken leg, Benigno learned that it was much worse when he called St. Joseph’s Hospital. The doctor notified Benigno that his son has suffered a severe head injury and was in brain surgery to relieve bleeding. Although the surgery was successful, Dennis John would never return to his former self once recovered. “Dennis John spent nine months at St. Joe’s,” recalled Benigno. “He is still unable to walk or talk or even communicate in any way.

Dennis Benigno with his son Dennis John in a recent photograph. Below at left is Dennis John prior to his 1984 accident, then a CHS sophomore.

When we took him home 23 years ago, we knew this was probably going to be forever.” At the time of the accident, there was little research in the field of brain injuries, leaving the Benignos with little hope. At first, it was just a matter of making his life comfortable. However, eventually there would soon be hope on the horizon. “Around 1990, I began to hear rumblings about nerve regeneration research at different facilities around the country,” said Benigno. 32

February 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Then in 1995, actor Christopher Reeve broke his neck and began to bring awareness to spinal cord injuries. As discussions about stem cells began, Benigno’s thoughts were on finding a cure. “I thought, ‘If you can cure spinal cord injuries, you can cure brain injuries,” he said. In 1996 Benigno and his wife Rosalind formed the Coalition for Brain Injury Research. The non profit group raises awareness and funding for research in the field.

Service For UNICO & Others For more than nine decades, Michael N. Corradino, at right, has strived to help others in need. Born in Passaic, he moved to Clifton when he was eight, in 1925. Corradino, now 91, attended School 10 and right away found a way to pitch in, joining the Junior Police Organization after being invited by Principal Harold J. Adams. It was the start of a lifetime of helping others. Whether it was something as simple as helping his younger sister with school work or coordinating UNICO’s annual dinner for the Cottage 10 women of the North Jersey Developmental Center, Corradino has always been one to volunteer his time. Corradino joined UNICO in 1949 and made his mark on the Italian-American organization in the years that followed.

He chartered new chapters, held posts as the Vice President and Treasurer and headed the mental health research committee. In 1985 at UNICO’s national convention in Phoenix, he received the group’s highest honor—the Dr. Anthony P. Vastola Gold Medal Award. “I don’t think I’ve ever met a human being who was more kind or generous,” said the late Frederick M. Testa in 2005, when the Passaic Clifton UNICO Chapter established the Michael N. Corradino Service Above Self Awards Dinner. The annual ceremony honors individuals in the Passaic and Clifton communities who have provided volunteer ‘service above self.’ On Feb. 29 at Il Tulipano in Cedar Grove at 7 pm, Dennis Benigno and Nina Corradino, this year’s recipients, will be feted at a black tie affair.



Tickets to the gala are $100 per person. An ad journal is also being published, with rates Q: at $150 or Suffer Do You $100. Proceeds fromCoughing? the affair will benefit UNICO’s Frederick A: Your Work Exp M. Testa Scholarship fund, the Allow You to File a Clifton and Passaic marching bands, as well as the annual CHS Project Graduation and Q: otherHave caus- You Bee A: All Injuries, Spr es. For tickets or info, call David Hearing Loss May Q D’Arco at 973-417-0731.

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UNICO will honor Nina Corradino for her charity work at Cottage 10 and other local endeavors...

Frank and Nina Corradino will be been married 35 years on March 25. Nina is to be honored at the Michael N. Corradino Service Above Self Awards on Feb. 29. She credits her success in business and the ability to help others to her husband.

For Ninetta Corradino, just seeing happiness on the faces of those she’s helped is reward enough. The owner of Nina’s Salon on Valley Rd. has supported dozens of causes, from cancer patients to the developmentally challenged. Part of her motivation may come from her past.



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The Italian immigrant came over from Sicily in 1972 with almost nothing, wearing her brother’s coat because she could not afford one of her own. While Corradino initially immigrated with nothing, her fortunes would eventually change for the better.


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“What started out as a passion for my son—and still is—has expanded something for the entire population,” explained Benigno. “It’s been quite an experience. We’ve tried to make something good out of a tragic situation and I think it’s going to really produce some results.” Following the formation of the Coalition, the Benignos aimed to have legislation passed to support funding for studies in the field. After numerous attempts, thenGovernor James McGreevy passed a law that would charge drivers a $5 renewal fee if they had their license suspended. On Jan. 2, 2004, the Governor signed the bill —which would fund brain injury research—in person at the Benigno’s Clifton home. “Without my wife taking care of Dennis, I could have never done this,” said Benigno, who now works in Trenton as the Director of the Commission on Brain Research. “Hopefully people will have hope when they had none before.” The work of Benigno has created awareness to brain injuries nationwide and brought hope to those that had none. For more info on the Coalition, visit

Corradino married her husband Frank a few months after coming over and now has two children, Peter and Frank Jr. and a successful business, Nina’s Salon on Valley Rd. And all the while, she has never forgotten her less affluent roots. “Michael Corradino taught me English when I came here,” she recalled. “He’s my mentor. To accept this award is a great honor.” In befriending him, Nina was exposed to many Italian-American groups that she still supports today. They include the San Bartolo Society, the Geraci Citizens League and UNICO. One of her biggest events is UNICO’s annual Winter dinner for the Cottage 10 at the North Jersey Developmental Center. “I love to do things like this,” said Corradino. “It’s a beautiful thing.” The Sicilian immigrant has attended the UNICO Cottage 10 dinner for the past 16 years. The first time around, it only attracted about 45 people. That number has ballooned to more than 200. “Michael Corradino introduced it to me and the first time I went, I looked around and felt like crying the whole night,” explained Corradino. “I regretted not helping more that night and the next year I

made sure I did more. I’ve been doing it ever since then.” For her other charitable endeavors, Nina uses her corner shop near School 5 as a mini headquarters. She once raised $850 for books so that Ronaldo, a young boy who worked for her son, could go to college. Corradino also did a walk-a-thon for multiple sclerosis, raising $1,500 in the process. And she helps out with Locks of Love by giving free haircuts to those who come in to donate. “What you get back is seeing people happy. These good causes

and that’s my reward,” explained Corradino, who supports City of Hope, a group which helps those with life threatening illnesses. “I love to do that and God willing, when I retire, that’s what I want to do: donate my time.” “With what I have achieved all of my life, I just have to thank God for my husband, Frank,” continued Corradino, who will celebrate her 35th anniversary on March 25. “He has supported me all of this time, year after year in our marriage and I love him very much. I am a very lucky woman.”

Back in Christmas of 2002, Mike Corradino, center, stands with Santa, Nina Corradino (far right) and others at the annual Christmas party for women living at the North Jersey Development Center in Totowa. Nina now coordinates the event after assisting Mike Corradino for the last few years.

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Kilroy Was Here –– Story by Jordan Schwartz –– Most 80-year-old men have a scrapbook lying around their house somewhere, documenting accomplishments of a lifetime. Some, more successful men, may have two books. Billy ‘Kilroy’ Ramoth has four. During an interview on a mild January afternoon at his Toms River home, the octogenarian leans over the dining room table, flipping through the volumes that illustrate his life. There are clips of his boxing triumphs in the ‘40s over the likes of Sal Belloise, Gene Boland and Rocky Castellani. Pictures of his days as a Clifton cop and movie stuntman in the ‘50s, brushing shoulders with Marlon Brando and Paul Newman. And even a 1966 letter from a First Lady thanking him for his beautiful poetry. As he readies to narrate his legendary tales, Kilroy ignores the offer to sit — he’s always been more comfortable on his feet.

“A Real Sensation” The first binder tells of Kilroy’s days as a fighter. Born in Wallington in 1927, the pugilist grew up in East Rutherford and began boxing when he was just a sinewy teenager. “I was always a rough kid,” he said. By the time he was 15, Kilroy was already on the circuit, training at Whitey Plunkett’s gym in Paterson and being featured in seven amateur fights at Kantors Auditorium in Passaic. “He fought in the Diamond Gloves and was a real sensation,” said New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame President Henry Hascup. Like many in his generation, a 17year-old Kilroy enlisted in the Navy during World War II. 36

February 2008 • Clifton Merchant

A wiry 15-year-old Billy hits the speed bag at Whitey Plunkett’s gym in Paterson back in 1942. The kid from East Rutherford would go on to become a professional boxer and actor, Clifton Police Officer and United States Marshal.

Stationed out of Jacksonville, Florida and working as a radio operator, Kilroy continued to box, becoming an All-Service Middleweight Champion. By this time, Billy, whose real last name is Ramoth, began fighting under his mother’s maiden name of Kilroe. Some changed this to the similar-sounding Kilroy, after the WWII pop culture expression “Kilroy was here.” Legend has it that during his first bout in the Navy, those in attendance began chanting the phrase and it stuck. That’s one version of how Kilroy got his ring name. There’s another story about a sports writer misspelling ‘Kilroe’ in an article, and that leading to the alias. Ramoth can’t remember which tale is true, but from that point forward, he was Billy Kilroy. After he was discharged from the Navy in 1946, the boxer turned pro. “I was a stand-up fighter with a fast jab and a good right hand cross,” recalled Kilroy. “I was pretty fast,” he added, “and I would make my opponents miss quite a bit so they would get tired.” Billy Kilroy fought professionally between 1946 and 1949, with a record of 35-7 and 21 knock outs.

That became a winning strategy as Kilroy went undefeated through his first 24 professional fights, scoring victories in gyms and halls from the Jersey Shore to Hudson County. Kilroy eventually lost to Tommy Marra and Rocky Castellani in a rematch, but he said his toughest fight came against Walter Cartier on Jan. 20, 1948 in White Plains. “That was the hardest I was ever hit and they stopped the fight.” Kilroy remembered being knocked down six times before the match was called and he lost a TKO. “He was a beautiful puncher and I left myself open and he got me.” Seven months later, Kilroy fought Charley Zack in Scranton, Pennsylvania. “Charlie and I had a war and I hit him with a good shot and he collapsed in the ring and had a cerebral hemorrhage,” Kilroy said. “He was paralyzed and never fought again. I started thinking that could easily be me.” After delivering the devastating blow, Kilroy appeared on just six more cards, getting TKO’d in the first round of his final fight against Georges Chappe on May 20, 1949 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

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“I didn’t realize that in fighting, you had to get hurt no matter how great you were,” said Kilroy. “Sooner or later, you’re going to get hurt in that game and when you start thinking like that, you can’t fight. I started to have the wrong thoughts in my mind to be a fighter.” So Kilroy retired from professional boxing with a record of 35-7, including 21 knock outs. At one point during his career, he was ranked the 13th best middleweight on the planet, but at the age of just 22, Kilroy turned in his gloves for a pair of handcuffs.

Walking the Clifton Beat

Casey DeGroot (behind the wheel) was one of Billy Ramoth’s first partners when he joined the Clifton Police Department on Jan. 1, 1950.

In 1949, Billy Kilroy purchased a home on Dawson Ave. in Richfield with his wife Doris, a high school classmate whom he married two years earlier at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in East Rutherford.

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On the first day of 1950, Ramoth took the oath as a Clifton Police Officer and thus began the second scrapbook of his life. “My beat was the whole city of Clifton,” he said. “The roughest parts were down Main Ave. by the Paterson border.” When Ramoth first joined the force, he was shown the ropes by Casey DeGroot, father of Det. Sgt. John DeGroot, who was tried and acquitted of the infamous 1966 Judi Kavanaugh murder. A few years later, Ramoth returned the mentoring favor when Ira “Cook” Van Dorn started with the CPD. “He had the nicest personality of anyone in the police department,” said Van Dorn, who went on to become a lieutenant. The two became great pals and the Ramoths would frequently attend parties thrown by Van Dorn and his wife Anne at their Sylvan Ave. home, a few miles away. Being a cop and an ex-fighter,

Mrs. F. Schwartz, thanks Officer Ramoth for rescuing her from a flooded car in Styertowne in 1962.

Ramoth was somewhat of a celebrity at these family gatherings. “Billy was the nicest guy in the world, you just didn’t want to fight him,” said Cook’s nephew John Van Dorn, a Clifton firefighter and former boxer. “To look at him, you would think he was a poet.”

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“It’s a privilege to know Billy,” said Ira’s son Pete, who lives on Huemmer Terr. in Clifton. Cook and Billy developed such a close relationship, that in the ‘70s, they joined with four other men to open the Neutral Corner Bar at Highland Ave. and Second St. near the Passaic border. Two decades later, the old police buddies even retired down to Toms River at the same time in 1996. Back on the force, Ramoth was as much of a hero as he was in the ring. Following a bad rain storm in early 1962, an elderly woman in a car got stuck on a flooded road down by Styertowne Shopping Center. “He ruined his uniform going through the water, but he got her out,” said Doris, pointing out a picture in the photo album of Mrs. F. Schwartz, who was planting a kiss on the man who saved her. Kilroy had a lot of admirers during his time walking the beat, but it wasn’t just for his bravery.

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From left: John Saykanic, Billy Kilroy, Anthony Apostolico, Rocky Graziano and Tippy Larkin. 40

February 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Dr. Alphonses L. Doerr from our March, 1998 edition

Big Screen Stuntman The third book in the life of Billy Kilroy began a few years after joining the Clifton Police. While off duty, Ramoth took a ride to Hoboken where he heard former heavyweight boxer Anthony ‘Two Tons’ Galento would be for the filming of a motion picture titled On the Waterfront. Drinking a beer and sporting a leather jacket in a local bar, Ramoth caught the eye of Elia Kazan, the movie’s director. Kazan thought Ramoth looked a lot like the film’s star, Marlon Brando, and he hired the ex-boxer to act as Brando’s body double in the picture’s fight scenes. At the age of 27, Kilroy reprised his stage name for his new career. He got to meet Brando as well as co-star Eva Marie Saint on the set of the movie that the American Film Institute last year named the 19th greatest of all time. After On the Waterfront won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1954,

Will the real Marlon Brando please stand up? Billy Kilroy (at right) did some of Brando’s fight scenes in the 1954 movie On the Waterfront.

Kilroy’s buddies back on the force teased him by giving Billy a baseball trophy that they dubbed ‘a replica Oscar.’ On the beat, women began approaching the officer to get his autograph.

Officers Agnoli (at left) and Harry Sims (at right) look on as Kilroy kisses a trophy they gave him after On the Waterfront won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1954. Kilroy appeared in the movie as Marlon Brando’s stunt double.

“All the girls loved him,” said Doris, his wife of 60 years. But the Clifton cop’s brush with Hollywood didn’t end there. He acted in fight scenes and worked as a technical adviser in 12 other movies, appearing as Paul Newman’s stunt double in Somebody Up There Likes Me and The Hustler. Some 50 years later in his Toms River home, Kilroy flips to a page in his scrapbook with a picture of Newman in a wheel barrel while Billy looks on laughing. Kilroy tells a story of how the actors spent their down time on the set joking and smoking. “In between takes, Paul lost a card game and he made me go to the bank to get him $100 in pennies to pay off the debt to another man,” recalled Kilroy. While filming The Hustler, the Clifton patrolman ran out of vacation days and Chief Joseph A. February 2008 • Clifton Merchant


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Nee wouldn’t give him any more time off so he couldn’t complete the movie. Newman heard this and personally phoned City Manager William Holster to ask him to give Billy more time. Kilroy said Holster’s secretary nearly passed out when she realized who was calling. Kilroy went on to make guest appearances on a number of television programs such as I’ve Got a Secret and To Tell the Truth. But in 1962, Kilroy left the entertainment world and traded the company of national celebrities for that of international criminals.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Ramoth After 12 years and eight months of service to the Clifton Police, William Ramoth left the department to join the U.S. Marshals Service. This, after newly appointed District of New Jersey Marshal and former Paterson politician Leo A. Mault suggested he make the move. Shortly after joining the Marshals in 1962, Ramoth went to work on the trial of Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa, during which he guarded defendants. Ramoth also worked the trial of John Butenko, who was accused of spying for the Russians. Butenko was found guilty of treason on Dec. 2, 1964 and there’s a picture of Ramoth escorting the handcuffed spy within the pages of his fourth scrapbook. The Deputy may have even played a small role in the infamous Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter case. In his autobiography, The 16th Round, Carter claims he was warned in advance by a dozen policemen that the authorities were out to get him.

“Quite a few people who I could call my friends were lawmen,” he wrote. “There was Billy Kilroy, a U.S. marshal and an old friend...” Ramoth just smiles and laughs when asked if this is true. “I knew Hurricane from Tex Pelty’s gym in Paterson,” he said. “He’d come to our house in Clifton sometimes.” “I can’t see Billy tipping off anybody,” said Clifton defense attorney Miles Feinstein, who represented Arthur Dexter Bradley, one of the witnesses who testified against Hurricane. Feinstein, who was also John DeGroot’s lawyer during the 1966 Kavanaugh murder trial, described Ramoth as a decent, very soft spoken man. “One time he invited me to go to the veteran fighters dinner in Brooklyn with his boxing buddies Fitzie Pruden and Tippy Larkin,” Feinstein said. “We picked up Rocky Graziano too, which was a

guys who got themselves into jams,” said Ramoth. “Most of the prisoners would always rather be guarded by me than anyone else.”

“The Bard of Federal Square”

Did Ramoth tell his friend Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter that the cops were out to get him?

thrill for me because my father and I were big boxing fans.” Ramoth said he utilized his experience in the ring during his time as a Marshal. As a former fighter, he was able to identify with the prisoners. “A lot of people get the wrong impression of them, but they’re just

While serving 18 years as a Deputy United States Marshal, Ramoth began writing poems about the inmates he would transport from jail to the courtroom and back again. He became so well known for his verses that Herald-News writer Les Plosia once labeled Ramoth “the Bard of Federal Square” in a 1973 article. But the poet wrote about more than just prisoners. His pieces also explored his days as a fighter and his love for his country. In 1966, Ramoth sent a poem about beautification to the First Lady. “The preservation and restoration of our Nation’s beauty is

Ramoth and five business associates opened the Neutral Corner Bar at Highland and Second St. in 1975. From left, Jerry White, Ronnie Bouse, Ray Nolan, Billy, Ira “Cook” Van Dorn and former Canadian welterweight champion Fitzie Pruden. February 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Former business associates and old Clifton Police buddies Ira ‘Cook’ Van Dorn and Billy ‘Kilroy’ Ramoth are now neighbors down in Toms River.

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indeed an appropriate subject for poetry, and I appreciate your sharing your creative efforts with me,” Lady Bird Johnson replied in a thank you letter to Ramoth. Old Billy Kilroy doesn’t write much poetry these days. The onetime local celebrity has been out of the limelight since 1979, when he was inducted into the NJ Boxing Hall of Fame. That same year, the city of Clifton drafted a resolution recognizing his boxing achievements. In 1996, Ramoth and his wife left the town that had been their home for 47 years, and moved south to Toms River with their good friends Ira and Anne Van Dorn. Not too many people hear from Billy anymore except maybe his daughters Nancy and Irene. He keeps to himself aside from the occasional lunch with his old pal Cook. But ask Kilroy about the glory years, and he’ll be more than happy to fetch the four scrapbooks and put up his dukes for a picture. He’s still got it.

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The Moose ––– Story by Bill Kennedy –––

Dave ‘Moose’ Bosson does not accumulate a multitude of frequent flier miles, but that has not prevented him from being a rolling stone for many of his 68 years. Bosson, a New Jersey All-State tackle at CHS in 1956, has sold land, homes and high end fractional time shares for more than 40 years, a business which has taken him all over the United States. Proof of this is that he is licensed to sell in 11 states—New Jersey, New

York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North and South Carolina, New Mexico, Colorado, Georgia, Florida and Vermont. Real estate of this specialty seems to be a business which attracts many retired professional athletes, but that was not in the original game plan for Bosson, after graduating from Clifton High in 1957, following an athletic career in which he was a three-sport—football, basketball and baseball—athlete.

Dave ‘Moose’Bosson, CHS Class of ‘56.

“Roger Fardin (Mustangs AllState quarterback on the ‘56 team) and I were recruited by 76 colleges, so we had a lot of choices,” said Bosson, also an All-Metropolitan selection in 1956. “He picked Notre Dame, and I knew I wanted to go to Duke when I visited there. I fell in love with the Gothic architectural beauty of the campus.” At Duke, Bosson not only excelled at football, but he was a baseball player for four years. Did he play baseball to get out of spring football? That’s his secret, but it did not adversely affect him on the gridiron, because he started for three years, was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team and played in the Coaches AllAmerica East-West Game in 1961. He was a member of the Duke (8-3) 1961 Cotton bowl championship team, arguably the greatest football team in Duke history. (Duke’s 1938 team was undefeated and untied.) From college, Bosson played professionally in the Canadian Football League with the Ottawa Rough Riders and British Columbia February 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Lions and then in the American Football League for the New York Titans. A balky knee shortened his career and got him thinking about “civilian” life. He earned a master’s degree at Indiana State University, scouted for the St. Louis Cardinals of the National Football League after which he used some of his summerjob skills from the Osprey and Dodd’s in Brielle to open a restaurant-bar called The Village Edge in Sugarbush, Vermont, with his older brother Jerry. “We did that for about two-and-ahalf years,” said Bosson, who became an avid skier. “Some of my professional football friends came up to visit me. They said I should sell my place and get into real estate.” And that’s how his nomadic career began. In 1971, he found himself working out of an office in Clifton, selling land and homes at the Hideout in the Pocono Mountains for Boise Cascade. Basically, realtors like Bosson remain at a site like the Hideout as long as it takes to reach total sales. “That’s the industry,” he said. “You sell a place out and go to another project. After that I went to Hilton Head, S.C., to work for Dunes Marketing,” Bosson said. Bosson lived in Montclair before his family moved to Clifton in 1954, and his friend Bill Byrne,

In a photo from a 2002 get-together, from left: Moose, Coach Joe Grecco, Dick Moran, Roger Fardi, Passaic Indian’s Coach Boverni and writer Bill Kennedy.

also an NFL player, started his own company, The Byrne Corp., in Hilton Head, so Moose became a part of that operation. As business developed on Hilton Head, Bosson decided to do some work on his own and the Bosson Real Estate Company was founded. Today the Bosson Co. operates in Pinehurst, NC and Aspen, Col. with much of the work over the years done by Moose and his two sons, Erik and Curt. Bosson is also employed as regional director of the Ritz-Carlton Club, based out of Pinehurst and Aspen and working globally for RCC. Bosson is not a name-dropper, but over the years he has become acquainted with some very famous

people. At the East-West game, he roomed with Mike Ditka, former Chicago Bears and NFL Hall of Fame tight end. He got to know Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton as a teammate in that game, too. His Colorado work in Aspen, Vail and Copper Mountain have drawn him close to NFL Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, and Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan. Bosson also became a good friend of former Broncos general manager John Beake, whose wife Marcia Menegus, just happens to be his Clifton High classmate. He did not, however, just become a casual acquaintance of these football people.

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February 2008 • Clifton Merchant

1814 1814

In the 1961 All American Game, that’s Moose wearing #60. Legendary Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka is #62.

“I was the founder of the ElwayBroncos celebrity ski race,” said Bosson, who has worked to support many charities in many states, such as the Jimmy Huga (1964 Olympic ski medalist) celebrity golf-trout tournament. The two he founded along with the NFL Alumni Charities (caring for kids) and Fight Night for Children, have raised more than $196 million for charity. For Bosson, it has been a career of numerous financial decisions for his clients and himself. Some have been good, some have not worked out. He will tell you that the toughest decision and situation he has had in his life was when his father purchased the house in Clifton. “Did I want to go to Clifton?” said 24Hr Water Damage

Bosson, not only about to enter and become a sports star for Montclair High School, but a member of the undefeated Montclair YMCA Jr. Swim team, and a powerhouse basketball squad at Central Presbyterian Church. His initial days at Clifton High were difficult. “I was lucky. Vandy (the late Clifton coach Bill Vander Closter) took me under his wing,” Bosson said. “I might have been a screwed up kid in ninth and 10th grade, but Vandy saw something in me.” Like most kids moving to a new town, Bosson eventually made friends. Fardin and Mike Novak, a class of 1957 Clifton basketball star, accepted Bosson, and 50 years later they remain best friends. Zeke





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Knight, a basketball star in the class of ‘58, is a fourth member of this Clifton High rat pack, along with Bill Farkas, Bob Nightengale, Nick Russo and Clifton City Clerk Dick Moran. After high school, that group expanded to include Joe Fazio, and brothers Billy and Joe Martini. “We were a tight group then,” said Bosson, an inductee into the second class of the Clifton High Hall of Fame. “And it’s the same today. I talk to Roger at least once a week, and to Mike and Zeke frequently.” And when an old-timers event is scheduled in Clifton, he hops a plane to Newark Airport. The Bosson rolling stone may gather no moss, but it always is coated with some Clifton dirt. Only









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Clifton’s Own Makes Big Apple Bench by Jordan Schwartz

Growing up on Rutgers Place, Andrea Masley was exposed to a great deal of diversity in her neighborhood. Her Ukrainian mother Irene would invite over nursing colleagues, who were from around the world, for dinner and holidays. And when Andrea went down to her aunt’s bakery (Clifton Bakery) or her Russian father William’s butcher shop (Masley Brothers Market), both on Hope Ave., she’d experience the cultures of Botany Village. From an early age, Masley has been around people of different cultures, and she believes that will have a positive impact on her ability to perform her new job. “I think it’ll make me a better judge because people of many cultures appear in court and I am sen-

Andrea Masley (center) being sworn in as a New York City Civil Court Judge by Justice Fern Fisher (left). That’s Dr. Samuel D. Albert holding the bible for her.

A number of Clifton residents made the trip across the river to attend Andrea Masley’s swearing-in ceremony in New York. Pictured here are Masley’s parents’ Rutgers Place neighbors Maryann and Anthony Genchi. 48

February 2008 • Clifton Merchant

sitive to the troubles they may be going through,” she said. On Jan. 10, Andrea Masley, 44, was sworn in as a New York City Civil Court judge, assigned to Family Court, at the Civil Courthouse on Centre St. in Manhattan. Hundreds were in attendance, including many friends and family members from Clifton. “I’m extremely proud of her,” said Andrea’s sister Barbara. “I think it’s an amazing accomplishment.” Masley wasn’t always interested in law. She began her education at School 2 on Van Houten Ave., before attending WWMS and Clifton High. Having completed all her course requirements by the time she was a junior, Andrea left CHS early and enrolled in Douglass College at Rutgers University.

The Masley family at Andrea’s swearing in ceremony on Jan. 10. Standing, from left, sisters Barbara and Nancy, Andrea, mother Irene and family friend Helen Fedori. Sitting, is her father, William.

“You definitely miss out on some things, but I had finished everything I needed to do,” said Masley. “I was anxious to go to college, so it seemed like the right thing to do, and it was.” Andrea was a Math major during her first year at Douglass, before changing course and graduating with a BA in Economics in 1984. “Everyone thought I’d end up on Wall Street, and I did for a couple years,” she said. After her time with a grain trading firm, Masley went to the Rutgers University Graduate School of Management, earning an MBA in 1988. She then moved to Manhattan and took a job with the Better Business Bureau, investigating businesses that were accused of ripping off consumers. This is what motivated her to go to law

school. “I realized that money was not inspiring me,” said Masley. “I realized that public service was the most rewarding thing for me.” After her first year of law school at Fordham, Andrea spent the summer working for the Clifton law firm Celetano, Statdmauer and Walentowicz. “She was a superb employee,” said John Celentano, who is now the Chairman of the Board for Clifton Savings Bank. “It was a pleasure to have her.” Following her graduation from Fordham Law in 1991, Masley’s legal career began at the firm Dechert where she was a commercial litigator. She also took pro bono cases representing victims of domestic violence. Andrea then worked for ten years as the Principal Court Attorney to Justice Charles

Edward Ramos in New York State Supreme Court. She also became an active member of the New York City Bar Association, even chairing

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the Committee on State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction. Last Nov. 6, Clifton’s daughter was elected to the NYC Civil Courts, assigned to Family Court. Her ten year term began Jan. 1. “I’m so thrilled,” said Masley. “I’ve been sitting here since Jan. 2 and it’s been just inspiring to see people work hard to save and protect their families.”

Every time Andrea takes the bench in her Manhattan courtroom, she will remember what she learned about family and culture back in Clifton, because for Masley, her hometown is never too far away. In

fact, Della Terre, formerly on Van Houten Ave., catered her swearing in ceremony reception. “My very good friend recommended the place,” said Masley. “It was Clifton, how could I say no?”

Above, Masley’s aunt Mary Tkacz, and Masley speaking with Judge James DenYul, with whom she grew up on Rutgers Pl.


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7:30 am to 7 pm, M-F Sat 10 am to 7 pm Frank Corradino Jr. announces the new and value-oriented Papaya King of Clifton. The CHS ‘97 grad owns the first Papaya King franchise in NJ. Say the words Papaya King and hot dogs and fruit drinks will instantly come to mind. But Frank has put a new twist at the Clifton store. He offers breakfast, burgers,cheesteaks, flat bread sandwiches & more. Located at Corrado’s Wholesale Store —and with plenty of parking—Frank promises a quick & delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner!

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For the last seven years, Arnie Kobernick, 75, has been running a Tuesday and Thursday night basketball league at School 15 in Dutch Hill. Here’s a recent picture of Kobernick with some of the 15 to 30 players who participate in the year-round league.

It was just over 60 years ago when some of the “kids” pictured at left graduated from Clifton High School in January 1948. They met recently at the behest of Rudy Hudak, pictured in the center holding a sign, who is trying to organzine a class reunion later this year. Also in the photo, sitting left, is Vic Rossi and at right is Board of Education commissioner John Traier, whose mom was Hudak’s homeroom teacher. Standing from left is Henry DeVos and his wife Wilma, Hudak’s wife Mary Beth and Dominick DiPaolo. Hudak said he would like to hear from classmates or those who graduated in the June 1948 class. Call Hudak at 973-777-4376 52

February 2008 • Clifton Merchant


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February 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Have one on IHOP... or three! Celebrate National Pancake Day on Feb. 12 by stopping by the Clifton IHOP from 7 am to 10 pm and receive three pancakes for

free. Owner Kevin O’Neil just asks that patrons support local children’s hospitals through the Children’s Miracle Network. Last year, IHOPs nationwide raised

more than $625,000 for charities using this method. Stop in the Clifton IHOP to get your free short stack—coffee, juice eggs or meat will be extra. And don’t forget to leave the staff a tip. VFW Post 7165 on Valley Rd. hosts its next two monthly breakfasts on Feb. 3 and March 2, from 8 to 11:30 am. The $5 donation includes a full breakfast of eggs, choice of meat, home fries and beverages. The public is welcome to attend. For more info, call Pete Caroll at 973-661-2265. Annual Beefsteak and Night at the Races: St. Andrew’s Home and School Association will be sponsoring its Annual Beefsteak Dinner and Night at the Races on March 8 in the church hall at 6 pm. Tickets for the BYOB event are $35. There will be prizes and many opportunities to win. Tickets are available through the school office at 973-473-3711.

Free Pancakes at Clifton IHOP on Feb. 12

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February 4th and February 7th — 6 – 9 PM Senior Citizen registration 3:3 0 – 5 PM

Classes Begin Monday, February 25 56

February 2008 • Clifton Merchant

The Clifton Elks Lodge #1569 is sponsoring a Tricky Tray at 6 pm on March 9 at the Boys & Girls Club of Clifton. Tickets are $10 and must be purchased in advance. Admission includes a sheet of tickets and coffee, tea and cookies. For tickets or to make a donation, call Audrey Casperino at 201-757-7880. Fish & Chips Dinner: SS. Cyril & Methodius Church, 218 Ackerman Ave., Clifton, hosts its annual Fish & Chips Dinner, catered by Argyle’s, on March 5, starting at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 and include cake and coffee. Takeout orders are also available. Call 973-777-9617 or 973-772-8806 for tickets. Take the family ice skating at Floyd Hall Arena in Montclair on Feb. 2 from 1:15 to 3:15 pm. Hosted by the Clifton Rec Department, the cost is $4 and includes two hours of skating, skate rental and a candy surprise. Pick up coupon at the Recreation Office, City Hall, 2nd floor, 900 Clifton Ave. Call 973-470-5958. Students from the Pioneer Science Academy participated in the 23rd Annual National Invitational Science Olympiad in Washington, DC on Jan. 26. The middle school students competed in 25 categories against more than 340 students from 17 different states. The total medal count for the Main Ave. school was four golds, eight silvers and 12 bronze medals, good enough to earn them second place overall. The Academy earned the trip after winning the regional event at the New Jersey Institute of Technology earlier in the month. It was the fifth regional championship for the school. To prepare, students spent the last six months preparing their projects after school hours. For more information about the school, visit

Clifton Optimist Club member Joe Bionci with American Legion Post #347 member Lou Poles. The Post recently made a contribution to a camp sponsored by the club.

Marrocco Memorial Chapel of Clifton on Colfax Ave. has been accepted in the International Order of the Golden Rule, a professional association of independently owned and operated Golden Rule funeral homes. These select homes follow a rigid code of ethics and standards, making sure members provide caring service at fair prices. A CPR and First Aid Rally will be held on Feb. 9 from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm at the Community Recreation Center on Main Ave. The Clifton Rec Department’s program will provide a modular selection of training. A wide variety of choices are available. Cost is $20 per module and $5 for the Challenge, which is for already certified individuals needing review. American Red Cross certification will be given upon completion. Call 973-470-5956. The Clifton Lakeview AARP Chapter 1995 is holding its next meeting at 9:30 am on Feb. 4 in St.

Brendan’s Church Hall, 154 East 1st St. In the event of inclement weather, the meeting will be held on this month’s Social day, which is Feb. 20 at 10 am. Atlantic City trips to the Taj Mahal are always the second Thursday of each month. For more info, call Angela Puleo at 973-470-0587. Casino Night: The Boys & Girls Club of Clifton is holding a Casino Night with a Mardi Gras theme at the Club on April 11. Club Historian Dante Liberti says the event will be a major fund raiser. Anyone interested in helping organize the night should call 973-773-2697. The Ladies Auxiliary of the Boys & Girls Club hosts a tricky tray on May 9 at the Club. They are seeking prize donations. Cash will also be accepted and will be put towards prize purchases. All proceeds will benefit the Club. For more info, call Lori at 973-773-2697 ext. 52 or Lesia at 973-773-2697 ext. 50.

American Legion Post #347 of Clifton recently made a contribution to be used for Camp Quality, a camp sponsored by Optimist Clubs nationwide for children with cancer. CHS classes of 1958 and 1959 are hosting a joint 50 year reunion on April 25 at the Bethwood in Totowa. For more information, visit, write or call Marie Hakim at 973-246-7440.

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Jim Marrocco during construction of the Marrocco Memorial Chapel on Colfax Ave. in 2000. The Chapel was recently honored for its professionalism by the International Order of the Golden Rule.

Thursday Night Botany Blues: Clifton’s Historic Botany District has committed to help keep the blues alive. Beginning Thurs, Feb. 21 at 7 pm, and on every Thursday 58

February 2008 • Clifton Merchant

night, one of the district’s bars or taverns will host a live blues band. Thre will be a $5 cover; bands and venues are yet to be determined. Details at

Historic Botany new home of The Blues Victoria Warne Band Feb. 21 Gar Francis Band Feb. 28

Thursday Night Botany Blues: Another Botany Blues event was just completed this past Saturday, but it’s the start of something bigger. Beginning Feb. 21 at 7 pm, and on every Thursday night, one of the district’s bars or taverns will host a live blues band. On Feb. 21,Victoria Warne (above) and her band will perform at the Italian American Cooperative Hall. On Feb. 28 guitarist and singer songwriter Gar Francis is at Johnny’s. There is a $5 cover. Details at

Health &Wellness in the March 7

Clifton Merchant Magazine

At left, Chaz DePaolo, who will be performing aboard the St. Peter’s Haven Summer Sunset Cruise on the Hudson, with organizer and Clifton Blues advocate John Muller.

The 2008 St. Peter’s Haven Summer Sunset Blues Cruise has set dates, and tickets are now on sale. St. Peter’s Haven for Homeless Families in Need of Clifton is the beneficiary of this fund raiser, now in its sixth year. For $50, enjoy beer and soda (bring your own food) on a two-and-a-half hour cruise in New York Harbor on the deck of the A.J. Meerwald as you listen to live blues bands. Boarding begins at 5:30 pm in Liberty State Park, Jersey City, and cast off is at 6 pm. The line-up is as follows: July 11, the Chuck Lambert Band; July 16, the Victoria Warne Band; July 18, the Chaz DePaolo Band. Only 40 tickets are available each cruise, so reserve early. For info, call John Muller at 973-546-3406 or e-mail him at

Dr. Stephen LaPoff from our March 1999 edition

Call Tom at 973-253-4400 for advertising info. February 2008 • Clifton Merchant


17th Annual Fraternal Beefsteak Feb. 15 at 7 pm

Members of the Clifton PBA #36 and FMBA #21 invite you to a beefsteak. Top from left, PBA President Stephen Berge, FMBA Committee Co-Chair Jeff Bracken, FMBA Committee Chair Frank Yodice and Firefighter John Bisaccio. Bottom from left, PBA Committee Chair Randy Colondres, PBA State Delegate Michael L. McLaughlin and FMBA President Robert DeLuca.

It’s always a one heck of a a party when Clifton’s Bravest and Finest get together. And on Feb. 15 at 7 pm at the Clifton Boys & Girls Club, that’s exactly what is going to happen for the 17th Annual Fraternal Beefsteak. There will be

a comedian, door prizes, beverages and beefsteak by Baskingers. Additional parking will be available at the Clifton Elks at the corner of Colfax and Clifton Aves. For tickets, which are $45, call Randy Colondres at 973-830-7161,

John Cusack at 973-470-5879, Frank Yodice at 973-464-7027 or Jeff Bracken at 973-979-3695. Send your community news to or to Clifton Merchant Magazine, 1288 Main Ave., Clifton, NJ 07011.

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Project Graduation ‘08 Events and Fundraising The CHS Prom Fashion Show is Feb. 10 at 2 pm in the JFK Auditorium at Clifton High. Dozens of seniors from CHS will model outfits provided by Deluxe Formal Wear and Angelica-LaFaye Fashions. Hair designs are by the following salons: Santa Fe on Clifton Ave., Guy Anthony in Richfield Shopping Center, Salon Ilona on Clifton Ave. and Lunar Eclipse on Market St. The auditorium will be decorated thanks to contributions from AGL and Mille Fiore Floral Design on Lakeview Ave. Assemblyman Tom Giblin and Youth Based Services are among the monetary sponsors. Proceeds will benefit Project Graduation, the school’s annual drug and alcohol free trip for seniors which follows graduation. For tickets, sponsorship or more information, call Project Graduation Coordinator Maryann Cornett at 973-779-5678. CHS PTSA Comedy Night: A hypnotic night of comedy for adults only (18 and over) featuring Dr. Level and other comedians is on March 14 at Holy Assumption Orthodox church, at the corner of Huron and Orange Ave. Doors open at 7:30 pm and cake, coffee and tea will be served (bring your own beer and food). Reserved tables for parties of ten or more. There will also be a silent tricky tray and a raffle. Tickets are $15. For info, call Judi Bassford at 973-278-6496. Cliftonite Gerard Anthony Nisivoccia was recently approved to practice law in New Jersey after passing the State Bar Examination. The 1998 CHS grad was a member of the Montclair State University class of 2003 and a 2007 graduate of the Tauro Law Center. The son of Charles and Peggy Nisivoccia is an associate attorney at Greenberg Minasian, LCC, in West Orange. 1799

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Clifton Firefighters Joseph Verderosa, William Henn, Miroslaw Micek and Philip Cheski were promoted during a ceremony at City Hall on Jan. 24. Verderosa is now a Deputy Fire Chief, Henn made Fire Captain and Micek and Cheski were promoted to Fire Lieutenant.

CONSUMER ALERT FOR WATERPROOF CASKETS If you or a loved one purchased Batesville “Monoseal Protective Casket” (waterproof casket) casket between the years 1989 through 2007, you may have a claim. Find out how you can protect your rights. Call Attorney Ricky Bagolie now for a confidential and free consultation at 201-656-8500.

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126 Oak Ridge Rd. Clifton, NJ • 973-472-1707 OFFERING THE FOLLOWING PRODUCTS & SERVICES: RETIREMENT PLANNING IRAs • 401(k) Plans • SEPs and Simple Plans • Pension/Profit Sharing Plans ESTATE PLANNING Business Ownership Succession Plans • Charitable Remainder Trusts EDUCATION PLANNING 529 Plans • Coverdell Education IRAs INSURANCE Fixed and variable Life Insurance • Disability Insurance • Long term Care Insurance • Fixed and Variable Annuities INVESTMENTS Mutual Funds • Stocks and Bonds Investment and insurance products distributed by Genworth Financial Securities Corp., member NASD/SIPC & a licensed insurance agency (dba Genworth Financial Securities and Insurance Services in CA). Home office at 200 N. Martingale Rd., 7th Fl., Schaumburg, IL 60173; phone 888 528.2987. ©2005 Genworth Financial, Inc. All rights reserved. NS19664B 08/15/05


February 2008 • Clifton Merchant


CHS Freshman Paola Velandia, above, skating for the Montclair Inside Edge, took first place in two events at the 2008 Ice Skating Institute Lake Placid Championships from Jan. 17 to 20. Paola, daughter of Don and Franciose Nyland, continues to train at Floyd Hall Arena and Clary Anderson Rink and will be competing in future regional and national events. Interwoven Influences, an exhibit and sale of tapestry art by the New York Tapestry Artists, is displayed at the Clifton Arts Center behind City Hall on Van Houten Ave. through March 1. Sculpture artist Miklos Sebek will also showcased. Admission is $1. Gallery hours are Wed. through Sat., from 1 to 4 pm. Group tours are available. Call 973-472-5499 or visit

Jasmine Luciano of School 12 in Clifton was named third place winner in the Passaic County Clerk’s Annual Calendar Poster Contest. The other Clifton winner was Danielle James. All winners will have their art published in the 2008 calendar. Call 973-225-3632. The Clifton Association of Artists features artist Fernando Santos, who will be demonstrating his watercolor painting techniques at the Association’s meeting on Feb. 4. The meeting is at 7 pm in the Senior Citizens off Linzenbold Dr. behind City Hall in the Clifton Municipal Complex. Admission is $1. For membership info or details call Dom Mauro at 973-627-4369. CHS Senior David Burszan, pictured below, was one of 90 individuals who completed an expedition to Antarctica as a part of the Students on Ice’s International Polar Year. Students and researchers between the ages of 13 and 86 from 15 countries boarded the research vessel Ushuaia for this adventure. Over the course of two weeks, from Dec. 25 to Jan. 8, the ship allowed students to explore the world’s fifth largest continent and explore its ice sheets, climate, wildlife and much more. For more information about the trip, visit

Senior Health Partners Michael P. Lewko, MD Adult Rheumatology Geriatric Rheumatology

Tatyana Grinchenko, MD Rheumatology

871 Allwood Rd., Clifton


Cheng-An Mao, MD Gamil Makar, MD Geriatrics, Acupuncture Family Medicine

Geriatrics Family Medicine

Drs. Lewko & Grinchenko specialize in Arthritis, Rheumatism & Osteoporosis in Adults of All Ages. Drs. Mao & Makar specialize as Geriatric Primary Care Physicians. 62

February 2008 • Clifton Merchant

The Board of Education donated a 12 year-old school bus to the Clifton Adult Opportunity Center. It has been repainted free of charge by Brett Ranges of Suburban Automotive. The presentation ceremony took place Jan. 16 at the Adult Opportunity Center building on the City Hall campus.

Ashley Gagnon, a CHS Class of 2007 graduate, has graduated from Air Force Basic Training at Lakeland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Gagnon, the daughter of Bill and Lizz Gagnon, is currently stationed at Kessler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi for additional training and will soon head to Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma to specialize in operation management.

Woodrow Wilson Middle School H.S.A. is holding a tricky tray on Feb. 29 at the Boys & Girls Club on Clifton Ave. Tickets are $10 and include a sheet of small prize tickets. For tickets/info call 973-5465111 or 973-546-0758. Folk Arts Apprentice Grants: The New Jersey State Council on the Arts 2008-2009 Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program deadline for submission of applications is April 4. Workshops will be conducted by NJSCA staff to furnish prospective applicants with technical assistance and guidance in applying at locations around the state. To

reserve a space at a workshop, contact the Council at 609-292-6130 or visit

The Board of Education donated a bus to the Adult Opportunity Center and Brett Ranges of Suburban Automotive painted it at no charge.

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February 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Catholic Schools: Options &Service From Elementary to Secondary Schools, such as Paramus Catholic High School, pictured right, parents have educational options. by Joe Hawrylko Catholic Schools offer parents options and provide a service to our community. With hundreds of Clifton school children attending elementary or secondary Catholic schools, the option takes a burden off our public education system. For some parents, such as Ray Lill, incorporating religion into the learning and nurturing process of children is important. “All four of my kids have gone to Catholic schools,” said Lill, who is the Grand Knight of the St. Philip the Apostle Knights of Columbus 11671. “I pay my taxes just like everyone else, but we just felt that it was important for the kids to have a background in religion. To my wife and I, it was worth the extra money.” Beyond the religious aspect, Lill said the region’s Catholic schools give parents options and stave off overcrowding problems in the public schools. “It’s important to have options. Some people look at it and say, ‘Why would I support a program for that?’” said Lill. “People think taxes are bad now. Where would we put all these kids if there were no Catholic schools?”

TENAFLY ENAFLY PEDIATRICS EDIATRICS 1135 Broad St., Suite 208 • Clifton • 973-471-8600 Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 am – 5 pm Wednesday 8:30 am – 8:30 pm (for check-ups, too!) Sunday 9 am – 12 noon •

Dr. Aviva Schein

Dr. Maury Buchalter

in the March 7

Clifton Merchant Magazine Dr. Robert Jawetz

Dr. David Wisotsky

We welcome new patients in Clifton and our other locations! Tenafly 32 Franklin St 201-569-2400

Fort Lee 301 Bridge Plaza N. 201-592-8787

Paramus 26 Park Place 201-262-1140



February 2008 • Clifton Merchant

Oakland 3 Post Road 201-651-0404

Health &

Wellness Call Tom Hawrylko at 973-253-4400 for advertising info.

Fortunately, in Clifton, parents have many affordable choices as to where to send their children. Within its boundaries, Clifton has five Catholic elementary schools and others in nearby towns. At the high school level, there’s dozens of options, some just minutes away in Passaic County, others in Hudson and Bergen Counties. Catholic Schools Week is an annual celebration of the role that these academic institutions play in American society. This year, it is being observed from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2. The 2008 theme is Catholic Schools Light the Way, which underscores the role of these institutions in providing a faith based education that supports the child academically and spiritually. A total of 2,083 students attend Clifton Catholic schools, according to the Paterson Diocese.

At St. Brendan Elementary School, 154 E. First St., the Roman Catholic faith is present in all learning. Principal Patricia Deleu oversees about 394 students, who are educated by 17 teachers. The school utilizes Smart Board technology in every classroom. St. Brendan offers co-ed classes from grades Pre-K through 8. For details, call 973-772-1149. With just over 200 students at Sacred Heart School, 43 Clifton Ave., the enrollment rates are not that staggering. However, the school offers much value. Its Child Care Center is open 6:30 am to 6 pm every day—including snow days—to students from pre-school through the 8th grade. This tight knit community is overseen by Principal Linda Merse. For more info, call 973-546-8774.

St. Andrew the Apostle School 418 Mt. Prospect Ave • Clifton


Register Now for September

...Lighting the Way.

Small, Caring Environment, High Expectations, Religious Teachings PreK – Full Day/Half Day – K Full Day Middle School Program Grades 6–8 Full Academic Program PreK-8 Before & After School Care Second Language in Middle School Internet Access in all Classrooms Cafeteria & Secure Play Area Computer Lab • Library

Call for a tour & details February 2008 • Clifton Merchant


St. Andrew The Apostle School, 418 Mt. Prospect Ave., is under the guidance of Sister Margaret Murphy. The school was founded in 1953, influenced by the tradition of the Presentation Sisters, and offers opportunities for both academic and personal growth through adult/student interactions, modeling and cooperative learning. Sister Margaret stated the school is committed to the Catholic faith, personal integrity, high academic skills and respect and service to all God’s people. The school currently serves about 230 students, from Pre-K to Grade 8. Call 973-473-3711. St. Philip the Apostle School, on Valley Rd. near the Montclair border, is a Pre K through 8 preparatory Catholic school offering a well-rounded Catholic education. Students are not only taught academically, but spiritually as well. St. Philip also offers programs for the academically gifted, music and band, sports, fine/performing arts and has a leading edge tech program. Call 973-779-4700 and speak with Principal Barbara Zito. The Knights of Columbus 11671 will be hosting a beefsteak to help establish the Msgr. Peter Doody Scholarship Fund on Feb. 16 at 7 pm in the school’s auditorium. Rev. Doody was the former pastor of the church. The scholarship will benefit St. Philips children who wish to continue their Catholic education. Tickets are $30. Ad journals and commemorative plaques also available. Call Grand Knight Ray Lill at 973-472-1756.

St. Clare School, located down in Clifton’s Allwood section at 39 Allwood Rd., has roots in the neighborhood dating back to the 1950’s. There are 186 students that are educated by 15 teachers from Pre-K to grade 8. A faith-based education, combined with up-to-date computer access for students, makes this a fine school. Call Principal Sister Joseph Nelida at 973-777-7582. St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic School on President St. (just off Lexington) in Passaic offers parents a PreK to grade 8 setting for those interested in giving their children an education rooted in the Ukrainian Byzantine Rite. Currently, there are 88 students that are educated by 10 full time teachers, with five more part-time teachers on staff. Sister Anne oversees all activities within the school. The core curriculum includes religion, music, physical education, computer technology and more. For info, call 973-779-0249. Pope John Paul II School, 775 Valley Rd. near St. Philip Church, serves 660 students from Pre-K to grade 8. Sister Judith Suprys is in charge of 32 full-time teachers. The school offers all of the basic academic courses and also has two special ed classes, as well as classes for ESL and speech therapy. Now in its 16th year, Pope John Paul II School has a large computer lab, a science lab and a beautiful library. There is also a before and after school program on the basement level. Call 973-458-9282.

Give your child or grandchild the priceless gift of a Catholic School education.

St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic School 223 President St., Passaic, NJ 07055 • 973-779-0249 • email:


See what a difference we can make in your child’s life. We offer a progressive educational experience: • • • • • • 66

Pre-Kindergarten – 8th Grade Small Class Sizes Dedicated Teachers Religion Classes Science Lab Computer Classes

February 2008 • Clifton Merchant

• High-Speed Internet, Cable TV’s & VCR’s in Every Classroom • Library Program • Music Program & School Choir • Physical Education • After School Program for Working Parents


Paramus Catholic High School can be found at 425 Paramus Rd. in Paramus, across from Bergen Community College. The school utilizes Citrix Thin Client technology, giving the ability to use a virtual learning desktop, which students can access from anyHIGH SCHOOL where. There are more than 450 computer workstations in the school, spread out between four computer labs. As Place • North Arlington, NJ 07031 for sports, the Paladins offer a wide191 range Rutherford of activities, from bowling to volleyball. For info, call 201-445-4466. Queen of Peace High School, 191 Rutherford Pl., North Arlington, is a school rich with history. Founded in 1930, the school has transformed from its small roots into a 625-student facility, which is overseen by Principal Cathy Condon. Queen of Peace offers standard classes, as well as ones for Advanced Placement and college credit. The school offers a progressive Roman Catholic education in a co-ed learning environment. For information, call 201-998-8227. DePaul Catholic High School, located at 1512 Alps Rd. in Wayne, is a Catholic high school that just celebrated its 50th anniversary this past year. More than 900 students from five counties attend DePaul, which also offers 21 varsity sports teams and 30 extracurricular activities. Like all Catholic schools, the curriculum includes the standard academic studies, as well as sevAt Queen of Peace, a relatively small student body does not eral required hours in religious studies. DePaul is a costop the North Arlington high school from having a big sports program. Above is wrestler Matt Fusco. ed school. For more information, call 973-694-3702.

Twice honored as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence

Queen of Peace

201-998-8227 •

These students are going to the college of their choice! Where did they come from? Queen of Peace High School of course!

Twice Honored as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence

Twice honored as a Blue Ribbon S Queen of Peace High School

Queen of Pe

191 Rutherford Place, North Arlington, NJ 07031 191 Rutherford Place • 201-998-8227 •


201-998-8227 • ww

• Student to Faculty Ratio 15 to 1 • Total Enrollment 625 • Affordable Tuition • Academic Scholarships • Award Winning Theatrical Program • Accelerated AP Courses & College Programs • Golden Griffins offer 20 Varsity Sports Private Bus Service from Clifton at •11:00 a.m. at no out-of-pocket expense

These students are going to the college Where did they come from Queen of Peace High School of

OPEN HOUSE: Sunday, October 21 at 11:00 a.m. Timed program beginning

Queen of Peace is a Catholic, co-educational, affordable college prepatory high school. Our school is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and has twice been honored as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Come see and feel the excitement generated by our students. February 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Celebrations! send b-days & names:

Lola Ann Carroll, at right, turned 60 on Jan. 5 and celebrated with a party on Jan. 13. Pictured are daughter Eugenia, son-in-law Michael Refinski and granddaughter Sophia. Tara Fueshko. . . . . . . . . . . . 2/8 Natalie Pych . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/8 Jamie Carr . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/9 Craig Grieco . . . . . . . . . . . 2/9 Steven Becker . . . . . . . . . 2/10 Bryan Kelly . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/10 Matthew Seitz. . . . . . . . . . 2/10 Bob De Liberto . . . . . . . . . 2/11 Valentine Le Ster . . . . . . . 2/11 Sarah Mikolajczyk . . . . . . 2/11 Joseph Hilla . . . . . . . . . . . 2/12 Anthony Musleh . . . . . . . . 2/12 Dolores Rando . . . . . . . . . 2/12 Knapp Brothers Birthdays Don celebrates Feb 6 & Richie parties on Feb 27.

Lux siblings Eric turns 13 on Feb. 3; Renee is 7 on Feb. 14.

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Mary and Bob Henn will be married 57 years on Feb. 3 John Hodorovych . . . . . . 2/13 Amin Zamlout . . . . . . . . . . 2/13 Orest Luzniak . . . . . . . . . . 2/14 Jeanette Ann Saia. . . . . . 2/14 Christine Canavan. . . . . . 2/15 M. Louis Poles . . . . . . . . . . 2/15 Frank Klippel . . . . . . . . . . 2/15 Ashley Brandecker. . . . . . 2/17 Leann Perez . . . . . . . . . . . 2/17 Lorraine Rothe . . . . . . . . . 2/17 Michael Del Re. . . . . . . . . 2/18 Michael Papa . . . . . . . . . 2/20 Ron Stell turns 30 2/26!



194 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell • 973-403-9968 –– 2 Union Ave., Paterson • 973-595-1647


February 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Alison Degen . . . . . . . . . . . 2/1 Robyn Feldman . . . . . . . . . 2/1 Kristin Reilly . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/1 Emil Soltis, Jr . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/2 Haley De Liberto . . . . . . . . 2/3 Joseph Fierro . . . . . . . . . . . 2/3 Bob Naletko . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/3 Catherine Grace Burns . . . 2/4 Jordan Schwartz . . . . . . . . 2/4 John Nittolo . . . . . . . . . . . . 2/5 Courtney E. Carlson. . . . . . 2/6 Joseph DeSomma . . . . . . . 2/6 Robert D’Alessio. . . . . . . . . 2/7 Maksymilian Koziol . . . . . . . 2/7 Nicole Tahan . . . . . . . . . . . 2/7

Visit us in Downtown Clifton: 1103 Main Ave • 973-473-4999

We Don’t Sell Parts… …We Sell Service Olivia Coronel turns 5 Feb. 24. Taylor Jesch . . . . . . . . . . . 2/22 Diana Murphy . . . . . . . . . 2/22 John T. Saccoman . . . . . . 2/22 Robert Adamo . . . . . . . . . 2/24 Eileen Feldman . . . . . . . . 2/24 Kimberly Mistretta . . . . . . 2/24 Kimberly Gasior . . . . . . . . 2/26 Brittany Helwig . . . . . . . . . 2/27 Joyce Penaranda . . . . . . 2/27 Lauren Ricca . . . . . . . . . . 2/27 27th Anniversary! Cheryl & Tom Hawrylko are married 27 years on Feb. 14.


Machine Shop On Location No Order Too Large Or Small FREE DELIVERY

Two Stores In Clifton 973-473-1997


802 Van Houten Ave • Clifton Mon-Fri 8-6pm • Sat 8-5pm • Sun 9-1pm

1103 Main Ave • Downtown Clifton Mon-Fri 8-6pm • Sat 8-5pm • Sun Closed

Our Other Locations: 201.843.8040


136 Essex St • Rochelle Park Open Sundays

101 Route 46 West • Saddle Brook Open Sundays



5 Hawthorne Ave • Park Ridge New Location

614 Pompton Ave • Cedar Grove New Location

201. 261.0411 59A E. Ridgewood Ave • Paramus New Location

Bar & Grill

973.338.9292 1278 Broad St • Bloomfield New Location

166 Main Ave • Clifton


973-694-2228 1168 Hamburg Turnpike • Wayne New Location

973-423-1700 93 Goffle Rd • Hawthorne New Location 1036

Day Dining

Bring your love for lunch or dinner!

Chinese New Year!

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Visit us in Athenia: 802 Van Houten Ave • 973-473-1997 February 2008 • Clifton Merchant


Optimist Club’s Friend of Youth Jon Vinci knows Coach Anello is deserving

Jonathan Vinci knows why Fighting Mustangs coach Ron Anello is receiving the Clifton Optimist Friend of Youth Award. Vinci, a fifth grader at School 5, slipped and fell during a Halloween party last October, suffering a devastating spiral break of his femur. Doctors had to make a long incision from Vinci’s hip to his knee, before inserting a nine-inch metal plate to stabilize the bone.

As a result, Jonathan was forced to miss three months of school this year, away from his friends and favorite activities. Recently the boy’s mother Vincenza was telling School 5 counselor Michelle Walsh how frustrated Jonathan was from the injury. Hearing this, and knowing how much Vinci loves football, Walsh put a call in to Anello. The coach was not only happy to speak to Jonathan, he even gathered up a few Fighting Mustangs and dropped by the Vinci’s Ploch Rd. home. Last month, Anello and three of his players visited for about an hour, bringing along a football signed by the team and assuring Jon that he would play football again one day. “It was really special to see the coach from the high school team

take time out of his busy day to come and speak to a kid he didn’t know,” said Vincenza, whose son is scheduled to return to school on Feb. 4. Simple actions like this are among the reasons why Anello was selected to receive the ‘08 Optimist Friend of Youth Award—an honor he will share with CHS softball coach Cara Boseski on May 4 at the Boys & Girls Club on Colfax Ave. Also at the 4 pm beefsteak, Ralph Eodice will receive the Community Service Award and Fire Chief John E. Dubravsky will be honored with the Judge Joseph J. Salerno Respect for Law Award. For tickets, call Clifton Optimist Club President Mike Gimon at 973-779-5810 or fellow Optimist Tom Hawrylko at 973-253-4400 or write to

Watch Dr. David Moore on Health Talk, Clifton Channel 77 Friday 9:30 pm & Sunday at 8 pm

Dr. David R. Moore, Chiropractor/Director

David R. Moore, D.C. 850 Clifton Ave., Clifton 973-253-7005

No Insurance Required 70

February 2008 • Clifton Merchant


• Rock Salt • Sand • Chloride

Ice Control Products

From Lakeview Ave • Enter on Mina Ave

Athenia Mason Supply • 973-253-0570


Tomahawk Promotions 1288 Main Avenue Clifton, NJ 07011







1624 Main Ave. Clifton, NJ 07011

Office: 973-340-1202




Having trouble making your Mortgage Payments?

Call us 973-859-2270 We have several options we can offer you.

Profile for Clifton Merchant Magazine

Clifton Merchant Magazine - February 2008  

Clifton Merchant Magazine - February 2008