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It was a prime location that Henry Fette, founder of Fette Ford, was interested in buying for his growing car dealership back in the Sixties. Started in 1952, on Main and Madison Avenues, Fette soon moved to the Allwood Circle. As the business grew, Fette knew that he would need more space to display an ever-expanding line of cars. He and son Larry started looking around for appropriate space. On an impulse one day, the senior Fette called the owners of the landmark bowling lanes, Bowlero, asking them if they wanted to sell the property, at the intersection of Routes 3 and 46. The deal was made soon enough and the Fettes got to work to build their dream dealership. Since that time, the building has been renovated and in 2012, another addition is underway to accommodate the popular Infiniti line up. Third generation owner John Fette said he and his family are proud to grow with and invest in Clifton... their hometown.
Clifton Merchant â€˘ February 2012
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4 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
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From the Editor
It’s all about Love... Jerry, Jr. & Amanda Declet This month’s cover features Jerry and Jane Declet, a warming tale about a couple whose first 19 months together were spent by writing thousands of love letters while Jerry was abroad. Their son, Jerry, who tipped us off about his parents’ tale of romance, has a romantic story of his own. Four years ago, he met Amanda, then a coworker at the Newark Port. The two went on a date and immediately hit it off, bonding over their love of sports. But really it was much more than that. “It was her whole demeanor. She’s just a great lady,” he said. Jerry found the girl that he could have a life long relationship with, just like the marriage his parents have and whom he admires so much. “My parents, they’re like an old time romantic movie,” he said. “Even after 43 years, they’re still in love.” Amanda had always said that she wanted to be engaged by
30, and on the eve of her birthday, at her parent’s house with family all around, Jerry pulled her aside just before midnight and proposed. “It was great,” he happily recalled. The two were wed on March 26, 2010, and now reside in Dutch Hill. On the following pages, you’ll find more tales of romance featuring your Clifton neighbors. 16,000 Magazines
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Clifton Merchant • February 2012
What are you doing for
Family, Food & Love at The MacDonald’s saidMacDonald.“Itseemslike the boys and I have ulterior motives to see who can make mommie cry first. She’s very soft. She likes to hear all nice stuffaboutherfamily.Wearea veryclosefamily.” “Ourlifeisourfamily.Thatis what our life is all about,” he said.“Asfarasromance,wejust havethatintheeverydayhustle and bustle of life. It’s just that little peck on the cheek or the hug while you’re washing the dishes—that’s what I live for. That’sthebeautifulnessofatight family.” Ed and Izzy MacDonald with their children Jeremy and Rory from a recent Christmas. Pictured below is Izzy’s love salad.
Ed MacDonald and his wife, Izzy, haveaspecialway thatthey’vecelebratedValentinesDayforthepast15 years.“It’satraditionforus.Everyyear,shepostsa question for the family—what do you love most aboutyourfamily,whatisyourbestmemoryfrom childhood,” he said. “She puts it all on heart shapedpaperandputsitinaheartshapedbasketonthekitchentableandthenshesavesit.” Theactualdinnerisalsofestive. The traditional meal is meatloaf, cut into heartshapedportions.Thereisalsothesalad, whichfeaturesheartshapedcucumbers. The drink of choice is 7-Up with red food coloring. “She’s been making meatloaf, red mash potatoesandallthatforawhilenow,butherideaabout making notes together came up about 15 years ago,” 6 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
48 plus 8 for Barbara & Bill Sala “Bill belongs to the Union League Club in New York, and we usually go there on Tuesdays so maybe we’ll do that,” mused Barbara. She and her husband Bill, the noted land use attorney who grew up in Botany, celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary on Jan. 18. The couple, who still work together at their Parker Ave. storefront office, have two children and four grandkids. Pressed on their plans for Valentine’s Day, Barbara laughed: “When you’re married to the same man for 48 years, you don’t tend to plan anything extraordinary.” Nonetheless, the couple, almost six decades later, seems to have a good partnership as they can often be seen, socializing or dining around town together. How did they meet? “In Newark, where I grew up. We dated for eight years first,” she recalled, adding to the legal 48. “Billy was going to school there. He always tells me that he promised to get me out of Newark.” “Sure,” she says dryly, adding:“but into Botany Village?”
Clifton Merchant • February 2012
Community Comments Joe Shackil “I am planning on taking my girlfriend, Lindsay Dueben, back to the place that we had our first date, Nauna’s in Montclair. The days are slow until you reflect on the first date and see how much you’ve grown together over the years. It’s been amazing. I love you more today than yesterday and it’s been that way for four years. This will be the best Valentine's Day until next year.”
Lynne Bessell Byrne It’s a Tuesday and a school night so making dinner for my hubby (Jim Byrne) and my son and probably a heart shaped cake!
Russell Triolo Unfortunately, I need to attend an evening meeting for work. So I will profess my love for my beautiful wife of 39 years, Linda, right here in the Clifton Merchant.
Keith Oakley Anabela Castro Carrino says she will be spending quality time with her favorite guy...her hubby, Tommy Carrino.
Michele Noblett and I will be celebrating our one year anniversary of meeting on Match.com.
Come Valentine’s Day, Bob and Cathy Ventimiglia will be rehearsing with the Clifton Community Band. “Very fitting,” noted Cathy. “We met in CHS in the Mustang Band.”
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8 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
What are you doing for
Valentine’s Day? “We do about 15 weddings on Valentines Day,” said Kristin Corrado, the Passaic County Clerk. “Marriages are on a first come, first serve basis. No appointments. We decorate the Freeholder room. People tend to be festive. We have a lot of brides come in wedding gowns and people who specifically want that day and take pictures.”
Cassie Craig & Bradley Bassi Ok, sure their names rhyme (Cassie and Bassi) but what else does this couple have in common? “Bradley is a retired cop who worked with kids... we like the simple things and each other’s company. Life is good here in Salt Lake City,” proclaimed Craig who taught at CHS for 39 years. She contacted us through Facebook and offered congratulations on the January edition which featured Marching Mustang Director Bob Morgan. Craig was a mainstay on the band staff for decades. Her updates continues: “I’m enjoying the weather and my granddaughters here in the west.” As for Valentine’s Day? “Going to LaCaille, a premier French Provincial style restaurant, here in Salt Lake City for a wonderful dinner with my beautiful man.” We’ll let you know if she sends a Feb. 15 update...
Bradley Bassi and Cassie Craig in Salt Lake City.
Clifton Merchant • February 2012
Dean and Ashley Veres Once Upon a Time: A Modern-Day Fairy Tale By Tania Jachens
It was a chance meeting at the St. Mary’s High School prom that first brought Ashley Terhune and Dean Veres together. Five years later, they’re now bondedinmarriage. Ashley, a 2005 graduate of CHS, was at the Rutherford school prom in 2006 with her boyfriend, whoattendedSt.Mary’s.Aftershespilledadrinkon her dress, Ashley ran off and bumped into Dean, a classmateofherboyfriend,whowasatthedancewith hisexasfriends. “Iwassittingatthehorsd’oeuvrestablewithsome friendsbecausemyboyfriendwasbeingajerk,plusI hadspilledsomethingonmydress,”Ashleyexplained. 10 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
“I looked up and saw these gorgeous light blue eyes lookingatme,soIasked,‘Canyouseeastain?’He looked at me and said, ‘Nope.’ I immediately disregardedhisopinionbecausehe’saguyandmostguys don’tnoticestainsanyway,butfortherestofthenight, Ikeptthinkingaboutthoseeyes.” “IhadseenAshleybeforeandrememberedwhoshe was,”Deansaid,“butIdidn’thaveanyindicationafter sheaskedmeaboutherdressthatshewasinterestedin me.”Itwasn’tuntillaterthatweek,whiletalkingon thephonewithoneofherfriends,thatAshleyletthe newsslip. “Iaskedmyfriend,whohadbeenatthetablewith
me,whowastheguywiththeblueeyes,”Ashleysaid. “IadmittedthatIthoughthewasreallycute.” Her friend stirred the pot a bit by secretly having DeanonspeakerphonewhilespeakingwithAshley. “I was so embarrassed, so I tried to play it off by joking that he should take me to my prom at Clifton High,”Ashleysaid,laughing. Later on, Dean contactedAshley on the computer viainstant-messenger. “It was quite a bit of a shock,” said Dean, who recalledhowthetwostayedupallnightspeakingon the computer. “It was the last thing I was expecting since she had a boyfriend at the time, but then I got excitedandlookedforwardtogettingtoknowherbetter.Ididn’tjumpattheopportunitytotakehertoprom because the only time we had ever talked was at my promIwasn’tcomfortableyet,plusshewasstilldatingherboyfriend.” A few days later, Ashley broke up with her boyfriend and began dating Dean after a memorable firstdate. “Mybrotherandhiswifedorescueworkwiththe Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League and they
weresettingupameetandgreetforadoptingdogsin Ringwood,”Ashley explained. “I asked him to take thedrivewithme.” “I didn’t really consider it a date at first – I just wantedtohangoutwithher,”Deansaid.“Iwasexcited and nervous because it was the first time I went somewhereunknownwithacompletestranger.” The tension was eased over a mutually shared talent: sign language. Dean, whose parents are hearing impaired, is fluent inAmerican sign, andAshley had studiedinhighschool,soduringthedrive,theentire conversation was conducted in sign. After spending timewiththedogs,AshleyandDeanwenttoanearby RiteAid, whereAshley pretended to be deaf so they couldwalkaroundthestoreforhoursandpracticeher signing. Followingtheirfirstdate,DeanandAshleycontinuedtoseeeachother.However,theirblissfulromance was cut short. Dean and his parents, who over from Hungary in the ’70s, were to travel to their native countrytovisitfamilyforfiveweeks,leavingbehind hisnewgirlfriend. “Unbeknownst to everyone, I already had a
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Clifton Merchant • February 2012
Love Stories planinmindwhileattheairportleavingforHungary,” Deanexplained.“IrealizedthatIwasmakingamistake by going to Hungary then and leaving Ashley behind.” The day after he arrived, Dean schedule a flightbacktoAmericafor twoweekslater “When a 17-year-old boy will fly halfway aroundtheworldtocome home early for you, you know he’s the one,” Ashleysaid. Later on that year, the couple went on vacation with Dean’s father and sister to Cancun, where, befitting their whirlwind romance,Deanproposed. “He was pacing on the balconyoutsideourroom and acting weird, so I askedhimwhatwaswrong,”Ashleysaid.“Hestarted tellingmehowspecialIwastohimandthenIrealized that you only get this spiel on two occasions: you’re eithergettingdumpedorproposedto.” “I was trying to stay calm,” Dean explained. “I
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knew,morelikelythannot,itwouldturnoutOK,but Iwantedtogetthepresentationright.” On the balcony, with a sweeping view of the city, pool and ocean lit up below,DeanaskedAshley tomarryhim. “I was so excited that I didn’t even look at the ring,” Ashley said. “I flungmyarmsaroundhim and almost knocked it off thebalcony.” However, the union would not take place for severalyears,asbothDean and Ashley mutually agreed to complete their studiesfirst. The wedding finally took place on May 27, 2011, two weeks after Ashley’s graduation from MontclairStateUniversity (DeanhadgraduatedtheyearbeforefromSetonHall University.)Itwasalmostexactlyfiveyearssincethe daytheyfirstmetatDean’shighschoolprom. Optingforsomethingmoreuniquethanatraditionalchurchceremony,AshleyandDeanwerewedinan
intimate, outdoor ceremony at Lambert Castle on ValleyRoad. “The flowers and trees were in bloom, so it was beautiful and so perfect,”Ashley said. “More than I couldhaveeverdreamedofasalittlegirl.” After a small lunch reception with their guests, Ashley and Dean went home to their two dogs, got changed and were watching TV, when they realized they were hungry. Where do two newlywed Cliftonitesgoforabitetoeataftertheirwedding?To theHotGrill,ofcourse! “WewalkintoHotGrill,ourcarissittingdecorated in the parking lot, I have my hair and makeup done, butI’minsweats,”laughedAshley.“Weorderedthree allthewayandfrieswithgravy.” For their mini-moon, Ashley and Dean went to Bostonfortwonights.There,theywenttoaRedSox gameasAshley’sweddingpresentforDean,whoisa die-hardfan.Ashley’sfavoritepresentfromDeanisa book, entitled “What I Love About You,” which he gaveherseveralyearsagoforChristmas. “It’sablankbookwithquestionsandhefilledthem all out,” Ashley said, flipping through the book.
“Ninety-fivepagesworthofthingsthatareimportant to him about me. It still makes me cry every time I readit.” “What makes me smile is knowing that I get to wake up and have such an amazing person by my side,”Ashleysaid.“Someonewholovesmeforme, someonewhohasmyback100%ofthetime.It’san amazingfeelingknowingyoufoundtheotherpieceto yourpuzzle.” Likesomanyothercouplesbeforethem,Deanand Ashleyhavelearnedthatsacrificeandcompromiseare necessary. “The most important element in a relationship is knowingwhentogivealittle,andIdon’tmeanmaterialthings,”Deanexplained.“Ithastobespiritually, mentally,emotionally,plusknowingwhentocompromise.” “Being honest is also very important,” Ashley added.“Don’ttakeyourselvestooseriouslyanddon’t forget to have fun. No matter what, put that person above everyone else, including yourself. Always be supportive, whether they’re right or wrong, because you’regoingtowantthatfromthemtoo.”
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Lenn and Marie Elena Feldmann It Was Meant to Be By Joe Hawrylko
In addition to chemistry, love is also about timing. Eventhemostpassionaterelationshipcanfizzleifthe conditionsarenotright.Butoccasionally,thingssometimes pick up at a later date as it did with Lenn and MarieElenaFeldmann,whometagainatareunionin 1990,30yearsafterdatinginCliftonHighSchool. “HemovedtoCliftoninsophomoreyearandImet him the next year,” said Marie Elena, whose maiden nameisResitano.“Agirlfriendofminebroughthimas adatetomysweet16party.” “Wehavephotographstoprovethatweweresitting together, dancing and chatting the whole time. So I guess I stole her away,” she laughed. “But I wasn’t 14 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
allowedtodateuntilIwasasenior.Icamefromavery strictItalianfamily.” When that day finally rolled around, Lenn asked MarieElenaoutimmediately.Thecouplecontinuedto datethroughouttheirfinalyearatCHSandattendedthe 1960promtogether. “But then our parents got scared that we were too serious,” said Marie Elena, who was headed off to Montclair State College. Lenn, who studied at VanderCookCollegeofMusicinChicago,dumpedhis girlfriend after much prodding from his father. Marie Elenawasheartbroken,andthetwodidn’tspeakagain formorethanthreedecades.
Clifton Merchant â€˘ February 2012
Love Stories “Wehadourseparatelives.Webothgotmarried,” she said. However, both Marie Elena and Lenn were singleagainfortheCHSClassof196030yearreunion, whichwasheldattheSheratonHotelin FairfieldinOctoberof1990. “Iremethimclosetomidnightand wejusttalkedforever,”recalledMarie Elena.“Thethingendedattwoandwe justtalked.Wewerebothprettyoutgoingandcheeryandthat’sprobablywhy we connected in high school. Artistic too.” Lenn, who was living in Florida at the time making a living as an accordion performer, decided he was going to stay in New Jersey for a bit longer afterrunningintohisoldflame. “Idecidedtostayandwecontinued dating,”hesaid.“Afriendofmineup herehadabusinessthatIstartedworkingat.Healso hadaclientthatownedamotelinParsippany,soIgota roombythemonth.” “NeitherMarieElenanormyselfwerereallylooking foranyoneelse,”explainedLenn.“Wekindofresigned
16 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
ourselvestofate,whatlifehadgivenus.” “Myself, I enjoyed being single,” said Marie Elena. “Butatthatpoint,wejustremetanditclickedsowell.I hadsaidtomysonduringthesummer before that I’m never getting married again and he was so shocked when I toldhimthatIwasgettingmarried.” The ceremony has held on Valentine’s Day in 1991. “We didn’t havealotofyearslefttowait,”laughed Marie Elena. “It was very romantic. We’retraditional.Wegotmarriedand thenhemovedinwithme.” “Shehadwellestablishedrootsand my motto was, ‘Have accordion, will travel,’Lennlaughed.“Iwasagypsy ofsortsandthissettledmedown.” “If it was someone who you were friendly with, if you meet them years later you just pick up right where you left off,” said MarieElena.“It’sabouttherighttiming.Itjustwasn’t therighttimeyearsago.Butwhenwegooutandsee people that we knew years ago, they always say, you see,itwasalwaysmeanttobe.”
Schedule your surgery at Clifton Surgery Center. We are a three room state of the art, nationally accredited, physician owned facility. Smaller and more service oriented than hospitals, patients and their families benefit from the convenience and lower cost. PODIATRY Thomas Graziano, DPM, MD 1033 Clifton, Ave. Clifton, NJ 07013 973-473-3344 Jeffrey Miller, DPM 1117 Route 46 East, 2nd Floor Clifton, NJ 07013 973-365-2208 Eugene A. Batelli, DPM 1117 Route 46 East, 2nd Floor Clifton, NJ 07013 973-365-2208 Zina Cappiello, DPM 886 Pompton Ave, Suite A-1 Cedar Grove, NJ 07009 973-857-1184 Glenn Haber, DPM 140 Grand Ave. Englewood, NJ 07631 201-569-0212
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CHIROPRACTIC Michael Gaccione, DC 26 Clinton St. Newark, NJ 07012 973-624-4000
PAIN MANAGEMENT Ladislav Habina, MD 1117 Route 46 East, 2nd Floor Clifton, NJ 07013 973-357-8228
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ENDOSCOPY Piotr Huskowski, MD 1005 Clifton Ave. Clifton, NJ 07013
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ORTHOPEDICS Kent Lerner, MD 17 Jauncey Ave. North Arlington, NJ 07031 201-991-9019
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Clifton Merchant â€˘ February 2012
Dawn and Emil Ihle Same Birthdays, Different Hospitals... By Joe Hawrylko
What’s an Emil? Perhaps a more uptight person would take offense to a joke about their name from a blind date they just met, but Emil Ihle saw it a sign of a good sense of humor in the girl who would later become his wife. Relative strangers for most of high school, Emil met Dawn during their junior year in 1980 after being set up by mutual friends. “Jimmy Monaco, a good friend of mine, was trying to date her sister, Kim, and he said I just had to go,” laughed Emil. “He was taller than me, so we would be walking through the hallways and he’d be like there she is but I never could see her.” The two never met face to face until May 11 of that year, when Emil and Dawn joined Jim and Kim on a double 18 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
Clifton Merchant â€˘ February 2012
Love Stories date at the Allwood Theater to see The Naked Bomb. “His uncle had a jewelry store and we went to go “The movies are always a safe date,” laughed Dawn. check out rings,” she recalled. “I was holding on to a “We just hit it off right away, bonding over many things. diamond with tweezers and I squeezed it and it just goes We were both born on April 29. Same birthday, but difping and flies across the room.” ferent hospitals.” The actually presentation didn’t go down as smoothThough Kim and Jim ly as Emil had envisioned never clicked, the other in his head. “We were couple shared immediate engaged in the bathroom,” chemistry and continued laughed Dawn. Emil had to see each other through stuffed the ring at the botyear’s end before Dawn tom of a pair of Candies cut ties with Emil. shoes he bought for his “Everything was fine girlfriend. Unfortunately, until she broke up with Dawn had no interest in the me,” laughed Emil. It was shoes, and became upset simply at matter of practiwhen Emil kept attempting cality. As a child, Dawn to get her to try them on would spend summers in before finally finding the Connecticut with her prize at the bottom. Previous page the Ihle family, from left Melissa, Christina, grandparents. With so The wedding was held Dawn and Emil. Above, the couple in the CHS yearbook much distance between on Oct. 19, 1988—the them and no facebook or shared half birthday for cell phone to keep up on communication, she made the both Emil and Dawn—with the reception at The Fiesta on choice to break things off for the summer. 17. “We wanted surf and turf,” she explained, adding that “I called him as soon as I got back home!” added Emil may have spent more time eating than socializing. Dawn. This time, the relationship would last. The senThe Ihles now reside in the home that Emil grew up iors dated throughout the their final year at CHS, being in after his parents moved to Clifton from Palisades crowned Class Couple. They continued to see each Park in 1977. other in college, with Emil attending FDU and Dawn at They have two children who also happen to be the Capri Institute. Marching Mustang Alum: Melissa, a 2009 grad, and “He wanted to get serious before I did,” laughed Christina, who graduated in June 2011. “Our kids going Dawn, who now works at Valley National Bank. to CHS was a no brainer for us since we went there,” he When it finally came time to propose, it didn’t go explained. “I married my best friend,” explained Emil. smoothly for either party. “High school sweethearts can last.”
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Clifton Merchant • February 2012
Jerry and Jane Declet Letters of Love By Joe Hawrylko
It wasn’t a typical courtship, but Jerry and Jane Declet wouldn’t have had it any other way. Rather than a series of dates and dinners to get to know one another after meeting in the Summer of 1965, the couple spent their first 19 months writing thousands of letters to each other while Jerry was stationed in Okinawa, Japan while serving in the Air Force. “It’s a real love story that lives on,” Jane smiled. Though the two started dating in 1965, they had first been introduced two years prior. “After graduation years ago, everyone goes to the shore the next day,” explained Jane, who met Jerry in the Summer of 1963. “I was going steady with this fellow, 22 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
and we’re sitting on the beach and I see Jerry on the beach playing volleyball.” Jane’s boyfriend recognized Jerry from his homeroom, and introduced the two. “We saw them later and he said to Jerry, I want you to meet my girlfriend Jane Lewis,” she recalled. “As Pete and I are walking away, I said to him, ‘If it’s the last thing I do, I’m going to marry that guy.’” Jane and her boyfriend did end up splitting, but she didn’t see Jerry again for two whole years. “It was 1965 and I was with my friends at a park and Jerry pulled up in his little Fiat,” she said. “He was home on leave. He got out of the car and I just went whoa! I walked up to him and asked him if he remembered me and he did.”
Clifton Merchant â€˘ February 2012
Previous page are the Declets on their wedding day, an undated photo and Jane and Jerry reviewing letters from his time in Okinawa, Above standing: Jerry Jr., Amanda, Liz and Jason. Sitting is Samantha, Jane, Jayden, Juliet and Jerry. Not pictured is Granddaughter Carlie.
Jerry asked the newly single Jane to go out with him, and the couple saw each other frequently over the next two weeks. However, the Air Force recruit was slated to return back to service half way around the world in Okinawa, Japan. “I went with his family the day after Thanksgiving and brought him to the airport,” she recalled. “There, he asked me if I’d wait for him and I said absolutely.” For 19 months, the two would write each other daily, amassing several thousand letters that Jane still keeps hold of to this day. “That’s how we got know each other and made promises to each other,” she said. “And we both wrote to each other that if the feelings weren’t the same when we got home then we’d understand and it would be a mutual agreement.” “Not a day went by without a letter,” Jerry recalled. Jane also sent his a Christmas tree for their first holiday 24 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
‘together.’ “And each letter that I received from here contained a stick of Wrigley’s spirit gum.” “It was just another place for me to write I love you,” she said. “He went through a lot of gum in his 19 months. I also had a GI Joe doll in an Air Force uniform at my house. If I didn’t get a letter from Jerry that day, my grandfather would hang him from the door.” While the two built a strong relationship through the letters, there was still the creeping doubt in each of their minds that the bond might not be as strong in person. Both Jerry and Jane agreed in writing to mutually end the relationship should that fear become reality, which created some anxiety when he returned home in June 1967. “I had taken off to go on Thursday to go with Jerry’s parents to pick him up, but the flight was so delayed that they weren’t coming in until Friday morning,” she said. “Man, when he got off that plane he looked so good, so handsome. We just sat in the back seat of his parents car,
holding hands. We wanted to kiss but of course we wouldn’t dare.” “I was nervous,” said Jerry. “You’ve been away for 19 months and the one that you’ve fallen in love with is going to be with your parents. But when I actually saw her and my parents, that feeling just came back. It was just a great feeling.” Jerry took a job at the Givaudan Clifton plant to satisfy her father’s demands and soon proposed to Jane. They wed the following year on Aug. 25, 1968, and soon after had two sons: Jerry and Jason. Jerry would later go on to become a member of the Clifton Police Department, enjoying a 27 year career, serving 14 in the juvenile detective bureau. Jane worked for Sun Chemical which became US Ink for a total of 32 years. Now both retired, they enjoy one another’s company, New York sports and their many grandchildren. “What a compliment it is when your kids are at the age that they’re getting married and they say we just hope our marriage is as good as yours,” said Jane. “You can’t have a better compliment than that from your kids.” “We’re very proud of our boys,” said Jerry.
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Warren and Linda Orey It Began in Mustang Band Camp By Joe Hawrylko
Top: The Orey family, from left: Michelle, Warren, Linda and Doug. Middle. Warren and Linda in a recent picture, and two takes of the couple in band camp at top right and above, with friend Nancy Terry.
26 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
It’s not often that high school romances work out. Immaturity and a general lack of life experience tend to make sure of that. However, if those two same individuals were to give it a second shot years later, would the results be the same? For Warren and Linda Orey, that second chance at love worked. The Clifton High School graduates first started dating in high school before splitting and coming together a few years later after bumping into each other one again. “We met in August 1974 at band camp,” he said. “Linda went to Christopher Columbus and I went to Woodrow. She was a majorette and I played sax.”
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Clifton Merchant • February 2012
Love Stories “What happened is on the last day of school, Linda, being the nice person she is, said to keep in touch with me over the summer,” said Orey, whose father, Emil, was the principal of CCMS, and knew his son’s future wife when she attended the middle school. “I called her the very next day and said what are you doing, and she said, well it’s summer...” After some talking, Warren convinced Linda to go on a date with him to Berterand Island, an amusement park near Lake Hopatcong. “It was love at first sight for him,” she said. “For me, it was the son of my junior high school principal.” The two started dating before junior year during the summer of 1975. “We went to senior prom together, but I’ll be honest, I had dumped him before that,” she said. “Before we were even dating in high school, he said he wanted to ask me to senior prom. Even though we broke up I didn’t break my promise.” During high school, Warren and Linda had a tumultuous relationship—a fact that was well known amongst friends. “At the band’s Christmas Dance (now known as the formal) seniors always get gifts from Santa,” said Linda. “We were given the record ‘Breaking Up is Hard to do’. Our reputation preceeded us... it was the typical type of high school sweetheart relationship. I hate you, no, I hate you. Senior year, I felt, and it was more me, that we needed to explore different avenues to see if it was really true love.” And as seniors in high school, Warren and Linda went their separate ways. It would be more than two years before they reconnected again. “My dad had left CCMS and was principal of School 3. Every spring, he’d take the third grade class on a field trip. They’d get on at Clifton Blvd., take the train, take the ferry over to Manhattan,” he said. “I was a chaperone, and I was working the night shift at the time. 28 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
I got off of work at 7 am and I was going to meet my dad at the train station.” Driving on Paulison Ave., Warren ended up crossing paths with his old flame. “I was on my way to the train station and she was on the way to work. We had not so much as crossed paths in two years,” said Warren of the meeting which took place in May 1979. “A month later, I am at a grad party for a friend of mine that lived up the street... and Linda shows up with a girlfriend and she came up to me and said hello.” That brief encounter was all that was needed to rekindle their relationship. Early the next morning, Warren and Linda set out for Point Pleasant together and caught the sunrise. Almost a year later, they were engaged on May 21, 1980. On July 11, 1981, the couple was married. “I bought the diamond at Lacki’s on Van Houten,” he said. “He already put a deposit on that diamond in December,” added Linda. The Oreys would go on to have two children. Their son Doug, a 25 year old musician, currently lives in Boston and was profiled by the Clifton Merchant in Aug. 2010 while he was living in Clifton. Daughter Michelle, 27, is a teacher in Manhattan. Though the couple is originally from Clifton, they left the region to pursue job opportunities in Fredrick, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC, where the Oreys eventually stayed to raise their children. Warren was originally with Hilton Hotels and is now in the radio business. Linda is the executive assistant for the Director of Transportation of Fredrick County Public Schools, where she has been for 18 years. “My mom and dad still live on Highview Dr.,” said Warren. “All of our family is up in the New York, New Jersey area, so as soon as the opportunity permits, we will be back up since there’s nothing like Hot Grill and White Castle.”
Clifton Merchant â€˘ February 2012
Cathy and John Burke Five-O... In Pursuit of Love By Joe Hawrylko
When she first met Clifton Police Officer John Burke in November 1979, attraction was the furthest thing from Cathy Latteri’s mind. Instead, she was more focused on making sure the person who just hit her new car was brought to justice. “I had an accident at the corner of Clifton Ave. and Lakeview. I was coming from my dad’s restaurant, The Dayton Restaurant, where I worked,” she recalled. “A young kid in a pick up truck threw a bottle out the window. He had been drinking and when he did that he lost control of the truck and slammed into my new car... then he lost control a second time and smashed right into the front end of my car.” 30 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
The two pulled into the gas station at the corner and not long after, a cop car arrived with John and another officer inside. “He showed up with his partner and I was a raving lunatic. I felt he should have gone into the middle of the street and retrieved the bottle,” laughed Cathy. “He just kept on telling me, ‘Go talk to my partner, go talk to my partner.’ That was just getting me all the more angry.” “I said to her that I’m just driving, he’s writing the report. Go talk to him,” recalled John with a laugh. Cathy almost found herself in trouble when she was unable to find the proper documents for her car when John asked for them.
Clifton Merchant â€˘ February 2012
Love Stories “And as a usual, typical woman, in the glove comJohn. But just a few weeks later, fate brought him down partment are all the expired insurance cards. I must to Botany Village. have had 15 in there,” she said. “And then I start getOne evening, an alarm went off at the jewelery store ting nervous, I know it’s in here and he starts pulling this next door to The Dayton Restaurant. Cops cleared the attitude.” building, but the owner could not be contacted, and John Later on that night, a went inside to see if they friend, also a cop in anothknew the owner. er town, advised Cathy to “The minute he walked go file a complaint the next in, I was like, here we go day at City Hall. again,” Cathy recalled. “I had firm resolve “But when he came in, he going in there and I’m was just so very sweet to almost at the chief’s door, my mother. I just kind of but who comes walking melted so to speak and down the hallway,” she then I couldn’t let it go laughed. “He was so sweet after that.” I couldn’t go through with This time, she got it and I kind of turned John’s address from John and Cathy Burke, with their daughter, Erin, in a recent around and walked out.” Kenny and went to leave a photograph. Cathy is a history teacher at Christopher Cathy suddenly found note on his car, only to Columbus, and John is a retired lieutenant in the CPD. herself constantly thinking realize a few weeks later about John, and pressured her friend, Kenny DalPos, a that she had placed it on an identical car on the same beat cop in Botany Village, for more information. street. Cathy then tried a more direct approach, going However, she assumed that was the last she had seen of through Kenny.
View The Giblin Report Sunday at 8:30 pm Cablevision Ch. 76 Check with your Cable Provider for Other Listings
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www.assemblymangiblin.com 32 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
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“I wrote my name and number on a paper and gave it to him,” she recalled. “But then his wife found the number in his pocket and then Kenny comes to me and says that I’ve got to explain it to her because she’s not going to believe me.” After many hang ups in trying to contact John, he finally got the message and the two went on their first date on Dec. 7. “We went on our first date to New York City to see the tree,” said Cathy. “That night I happened to mention I had season tickets to the Giants, and that in my heart of hearts is what got him. Plus, my father owning a restaurant.” “I only tell her that part of the story when I want to harass her,” John added. Both Cathy and John had previously been married, which made them approach the new relationship in such a way that they easily connected. “We both knew what we were looking for,” said John. “I was madly in love. At the beginning, there was a miscommunication,” I didn’t even know about the things with Kenny at first. Our relationship started off slow, but once we went out, I think I fell in love with her that night.”
Sensing that he had found his true love, John wasted no time and proposed on Nov. 6, 1980, exactly a year to the day of the accident. “He said we’re going to see my mother, hurry up, hurry up,” she recalled. On the way, John stopped at the same gas station that he met Cathy. “He stopped the car, handed me the accident report and reached in the back seat and he had a box all wrapped up with a ring in it.” Just a year later, the two were wed on April 25, 1981. However, in those early years, married life was sometimes difficult. At the time, Clifton officers worked rotating shifts, and John’s hours were unpredictable. Cathy worked as a teacher, and was also studying for her Master’s, But the two agree that the early adversity helped build their relationship, create understanding and made them appreciate each other and personal space. “What it all boils down to is what we agreed upon a long time ago,” said John. “People get married and it’s for life. Somehow that becomes a stumbling block. We said we’re getting married for 100 years with the option to renew.” “I think the best compliment my daughter has given us is that she hopes she can find herself in a relationship like the two of us have one day,” said Cathy.
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15-33 Halsted St., Suite 202 East Orange, NJ 07018 973-395-1166 • AswOliver@njleg.org Clifton Merchant • February 2012
Russ Schneider & Courtney Coleman A Life of Truth & Happiness By Carol Leonard
More than 20 years ago, as a young gay man, Courtney Coleman was cautioned by a friend not to worry about trying to change everyone’s perception of his sexual orientation. “He told me to just live my life with integrity and truth,” Coleman said. “That advice became my driving force.” While growing up, Coleman, now 45, lived with his parents and two siblings in California and Hawaii before the family moved to Washington State. After graduating from high school, he attended culinary arts school in Seattle and landed a job for Exxon, cooking on ocean-going tugboats. After a few years, he was transferred by the company to a position based out of New York. Coleman and his dad packed up his car with all his belongings and two cats, and drove across country, where he settled in North Haledon. “It was a bit of culture shock for me when I arrived,” he said. “The East Coast was completely alien to me, but the job worked out well, so I stayed.” About a year-and-a-half after starting his new position, Coleman was laid off. He worked a few odd jobs here and there for a while, but he felt unsettled. “I wasn’t having much success with dating and meeting people, so I planned to go back to Seattle,” he said. Then, in June 1994, Coleman met Russell Schneider at an event sponsored by a gay social networking organization. The group arranged gatherings at private homes to enable gays to meet in places other than bars. “We went out on a couple of dates and really hit it off,” Coleman said. “I called my dad and told him that I met someone and that I decided not to come back home.” 34 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
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Coleman had come out to his family in his early 20s, so his father knew that the special someone to whom he was referring was another man. Eleven years older than Coleman, Schneider, now 56, had grown up and lived most of his life in Clifton in a home attached to his parents Clifton Ave. floral business, Schneider’s Flowers. After graduating from CHS, he attended BaldwinWallace College in Ohio and, upon completing his bachelor’s degree, took a job in the school’s admissions office, where he stayed for another four years. In 1981, he returned home to take an administrative job with the Chamber of Commerce and continued to work for the Chamber in various positions for 18 years. Before meeting Coleman, Schneider had previously been in a seven-year relationship that had ended. It was during that time, when he was about 28 that he came out to his family. “It had become pretty obvious to them,” he said. “I think most already knew or assumed that I was gay, but it was hard for me to actually come out to them.”
Eight months after they met, Coleman and Schneider decided to solidify their growing relationship with a service of unity. They flew out to Seattle for the ceremony, which was held in a Unitarian church on February 19, 1995. It was at a time before the passage of laws in some states allowing civil unions or gay marriage, so the couple only received a Certificate of Holy Union from the church. “It had no meaning under the law,” Coleman said, “but it meant a lot to us.” About 30 family members and close friends of the couple attended the service, and Coleman’s brother served as best man. Among those not attending was his father. “I knew that he loved me and wanted me to be happy, so I just had to accept his decision not to come,” Coleman said. At first, his mother also said that she would not attend, but surprised him when she showed up and walked him down the isle. “That was pretty cool,” he said. Coleman also received a number of hurtful replies from extended family members he invited who not only
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declined the invitation, but also sent notes expressing their disgust with the idea of a gay union. Most disappointing to Coleman, though, was the absence of everyone from Schneider’s family. “He didn’t invite them,” Coleman said. “I didn’t think that was fair.” For Schneider, it was a difficult decision to exclude his family, but at the time, he said, he just didn’t feel comfortable with telling them about the ceremony. When the couple returned home, Coleman framed a photo of them walking down the isle together and proudly displayed it in their home. As the laws in New Jersey changed, the couple later entered into a legal domestic partnership and on April 22, 2007, they renewed their vows again in a civil union service. This time, 120 of their friends and family members from both sides attended the ceremony. During the early years of their partnership, Schneider continued in his job with the Chamber of Commerce and Coleman got a job working for Nordstrom, first in sales and later in management and human resources. In 1998, they took over the floral business, which was being run at the time by Schneider’s mother and sister-in-law after the deaths of his father and later his brother. “On a wing and a prayer I learned how to do flower arranging,” Coleman said. “We bought into the business on the assumption that I could learn to do this. It wasn’t as easy as I first thought.” “He’s actually very good at it,” Schneider chimed in. “He’s has a very good eye. It’s not something that I could do.”
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Love Stories Instead, Schneider has always handled the financial and marketing end of the business, while Coleman’s role has been the creative one. The downturn of the economy has taken its toll on many small businesses, including the floral business, so a few years ago, the couple started looking for jobs that one or both of them could do to supplement their income. Coleman started working a few days a week preparing meals for another gay couple. That has since expanded into a more full-time role, which includes cleaning and planning parties for the couple at their home. Schneider sometimes helps out as well. Coleman continues to assist the full-time designer at the floral shop with flower arrangements on the weekends, so the couple leads a very hectic life. In their free time, they like getting together with friends, many of whom they know through their church, or going to the theater. “We’ve always pretty much been homebodies,” Schneider said. Schneider is active in town in the Rotary Club and serves on the Board of Directors at the Boys & Girls Club. Coleman often accompanies him to dinners and fundraisers for the organizations. “We also do a lot with family,” Coleman added. “My relationship with Russ gave me a wonderful extended family, which I enjoy a lot.” Coleman and Schneider recently rented out their own home to move in with and help watch over Schneider’s 90-year-old mother. “It has worked out very well for all of us,” Coleman said. Over the years, the couple admits that they’ve had a few tiffs, but they usually get along very well and complement each other.
Housework and chores, for instance. Coleman does almost all the cooking, while Schneider, whom both describe as the fussier one, handles the cleaning. “He does the things that I can’t do, like throwing a great party,” Schneider said of his partner. “He knows how to make people feel comfortable. I was never good at that; I’ve always been the shy one.” Coleman responded, “I’m more outgoing, but he keeps me grounded. I have a tendency to go off in five different directions, but he pulls me back in. It’s a good balance. He makes me feel comfortable in my own skin.” In their younger years together, Coleman and Schneider discussed the possibility of adopting children, but decided against it. “There’s a lot of stress in raising children and being in the minority group of being gay is stressful enough,” Schneider said. “That was true even more so 18 years ago when we first met.” “We have a great relationship with our nieces and nephews,” Coleman said. “We’ve been a big part of their lives.” Asked what they else they want people to know about their partnership, Coleman and Schneider stressed that they have the same hopes and dreams as heterosexual couples. “We’re just two guys who love each other and have been faithful to each other for a long time,” Schneider said. “Being gay is not a choice,” Coleman added. “The only choice is to live it out or live it in the closet. We’ve chosen to live our lives in truth as contributing members of the community.”
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Pearls of Wisdom from a Boy from
Flakkee Roland Krygsman with his wife of 59 years, Lena. Below is the cover of his book, A Boy From Flakkee. Meet Krygsman at a book signing and for coffee and conversation on Feb. 11 from 1 to 3:30 pm at ANT Book Store, near the intersection of Clifton and Main Aves.
In 84 years, Roland Krygsman has lived through The Great Depression, the German occupation of The Netherlands and an emigration to America in 1955. These memories and more can be found in his book, which is now on sale. Recently, we spoke with Roland to get some of his thoughts and opinion on a number of topics... 40 February 2012 â€˘ Clifton Merchant
What makes a marriage last? I’ll tell ya... honesty and love. The most important thing is love, through all things good and bad. You stay together and show genuine love and that overcomes everything in the world. Sometimes you have situations in your life where you don’t know whether to turn left or right and the best thing to do is to take the middle way, which is mostly the honest way. If you’ve done something wrong, be honest about it. If you’ve hurt someone, make up for it. There’s way too much hate in this world. If they can turn that hate into love, the situation would be 100 percent better. What are you doing for Valentine’s Day We’ve got nothing special planned. It’s just another day. We live from day to day, do our weekly shopping, watch a little television and talk about the good old days with my wife. It sounds simple but it is beautiful. Simply beautiful...
er because I was in the water for so long that I couldn’t walk anymore. My legs were swollen to twice their size. I woke up the next morning and my lovely Lena came over. She was there helping everyone and I had the surprise of my life. What role does religion play in your life? Religion plays a big role. All of the religions, they all tell you to believe in God and God tells you to love each other and to help each other, not hate each other and shoot and kill and all that violence. You put that teaching and what your parents taught you, love your fellow human being and try to help them all you can with deeds or words and you’ll come a lot further in this world. What was the most important day in your life? Surviving the war. When it ended, we were all together. Many were missing. Fathers, sons or even whole families that were wiped out by bombs. But we survived without a scratch. We were hungry, but we made it. No more fear of being bombed at night. No more fear of being arrested by the German SS. No more fear...
Tell us of your scariest moment? When the dikes broke on Feb. 1, 1953. We had a very bad storm and the water kept on rising and rising on a Saturday night. The dike watchmen were alerted, but no one expected that water would come so high that the dikes just washed away. Whole villages and farms were flooded. That was the most dangerous time in my life, more dangerous than the war. I was celebrating my future wife’s birthday— she was born Jan. 31—and I came on motorbike to her home. She lived about 10 miles away. It was a big struggle to keep it on the road due to the strong winds. Afterwards, I was planning on going home but her father said you’re not going home in this weather. I went to move my motorcycle to safety and I got surprised by a big wall of water that came from no where after the dikes broke. I was caught on top of the road by the dike in the middle of the night, pitch dark, in a big storm with rising waters.
How did the Depression shape your life? We were not the only ones who were poor. About three fourths of the town was as well, we had no jobs or no food. The men usually worked on the farms in the summer and in the winter, there was no work. They were unemployed and there was no welfare. You had to help each other with whatever. If you had one loaf of bread, you’d try to divide it between many more people than you usually do. One slice of bread is better than none at all. It wasn’t generosity. It was a question of surviving. If you knew the people next door had a big family with young children and no food, and you were lucky enough to have potatoes or vegetables, you did whatever you could to help your neighbor.
Recall your happiest moment? When I first saw my girlfriend Lena again after being separated for three days following the flood. The reunion was in Rotterdam, in a big hall where all the evacuees were. I was brought in on a stretch-
Over your decades, how has Clifton changed? Dutch Hill has no more Dutch people! There’s now mostly Spanish families in the area. Like us Dutch, some are good and some are bad. But in the end, we all want to be loved... Life is simple! Clifton Merchant • February 2012
Meet us at Bliss on Feb. 17 to kick off the 2012 Police Unity Tour Our 16 man team leaving Clifton on May 9 in the Police Unity Tour has an arduous task ahead of them... besides the 300 mile bicycle trek to Washington D.C., the group must also raise more than $28,000 to help build a monument and museum in the nation’s Capitol. The Police Unity Tour is an annual bike ride to Washington D.C. in memory of fallen officers. Nearly 19,000 cops have given their lives in the line of duty, and their names are etched on the National Law Enforcement Officers Monument and Memorial in Washington D.C. Each name represents a sad story of an officer from across the U.S. killed in the line of duty, including Clifton Police Officer John Samra, who died in the line of duty on Nov. 21, 2003. Go to www.policeunitytour.com for details or www.cliftonpba36.com. To help out, call Clifton Police Officer John Kavakich at 973-470-5897 or Tom Hawrylko at 973-253-4400.
42 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
How Can You Help? ATTEND A FUNDRAISER: Feb. 17, 2012 • 5 - 10 pm
Kick Off Night at Bliss March 16, 2012
Pub Night Fundraiser at Pub 46 May 6, 2012 • 4 - 8pm
Pasta Dinner at The Boys & Girls Club of Clifton BUY A RAFFLE TICKET:
Win a TV or a Bike MAKE A CONTRIBUTION:
Officer John Kavakich 973-470-5897 Tom Hawrylko 973-253-4400
Proceeds from these raffles benefit Clifton PBA members who participate in the 2012 Police Unity Tour. This annual 300 mile bicycle ride leaves NJ on May 9 in an effort to raise awareness of police officers who have died in the line of duty and to raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. The group must raise $28,000 and asks the community to support the effort by purchasing raffle tickets or sending a donation. To purchase tickets, call Clifton Police Officer John Kavakich at 973-470-5897, or via e-mail email@example.com or call Tom Hawrylko at 973-253-4400.
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We Ride for Those Who Have Died Clifton Merchant • February 2012
Alexis and Sylvia Sainz Finding Love & The American Dream By Joe Hawrylko
If it were a movie poster, the tale of Sylvia and Alexis Sainz may scream: The American Dream & Coming to America. Sainz, whose family came from Mexico in 1992 when she was just 10 years old, had to return to their native country in 1998 as punishment for overstaying their Visa—a penance that would ultimately grant them the coveted Green Card. While she was initially upset that she was forced to move from the country she was raised in, Sylvia’s despair soon turned into elation when she met the young boy in a computer class at a local school who would later become her husband. “I was going to pay my tuition and I turn around I see him and he’s grabbing this girl’s leg,” she recalled. “She was in my class and she introduced me to him later. In the beginning, he didn’t think I liked him and I didn’t think he liked me.” Sylvia’s cousin ultimately passed along the world to Alexis, who then proceeded to break the ice. “He came up to me and asked me to marry him. He gave me a lollipop,” she laughed. “And instead of me giving him an answer, he gave me a kiss. And we started dating from there.” Right from the start, Sylvia and Alexis dealt with adversity in their relationship. Shortly after meeting, Sylvia’s moved to the state of Morelos, nearly four hours away from Toluca, where Alexis lived. “We’d call each other every day and he used to visit every two weeks,” she recalled. The relationship continued in this manner for six months until Sylvia’s immigration documents were finalized and she returned to the United States. “We didn’t see each other for about six more months. Everyone was like, oh, you’re not going to last, long distance relationships don’t last,” she recalled. “My phone bill started to get really expensive. It was $1,000 that first month.” That first bill prompted Sylvia to get a job at the 44 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
The Sainz family: Alexis, Alexis Jr., Sylvia and Johan.
Midtown Grill so she could keep in contact with Alexis, while he prepared to leave his family and move to America to be with her. “He had to beg his parents for all the papers to come up here,” she said. “He had broken his leg just before he was supposed to come, and kept the cast on only for 20 days because he didn’t want to wait.”
Clifton Merchant â€˘ February 2012
Love Stories Alexis arrived in Clifton in February 1999, and began living with Sylvia. “I was in high school and I was working. I gave birth to my son in April 2000 and then I graduated that same year,” said Sylvia, who attended night school while working to make sure she could graduate on time. “After I got off the field, he proposed in front of everyone.” But growing up so fast immediately created troubles for the young cou-
46 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
ple. “When I gave birth to my first son, Alexis, I had $35 in my bank account. And on the way to pick me up at St. Joe’s, he got a flat tire and had to spend that money,” recalled Sylvia. “You’re young and you think life is easy. When something like that happens, you realize it really isn’t. I went from teenager to parent, and I didn’t have the learning process. The first three years were very hard. We worked it out by setting goals. I put up the goals and he
gives me the support. That’s why we’ve accomplished goals together. Everything is because he helped me.” The couple worked long hours in the early years, holding multiple jobs to make ends meet, and Sylvia went to school for medical billing to get a better job. Gradually, their plans and goals began to flesh out. After saving their money for several years, Sylvia and Alexis put themselves in the position to have the wedding they had always dreamed of. “Ours was really small,” she recalled. The couple was wed on April 1, 2001. “We didn’t have any money and we didn’t have a party. We went to a buffet after with just my family.” But those plans were put on hold when, one day after school, Alexis, asked his mother why they still lived with grandma. “It’s the American Dream to own a house,” she said. “When our kids asked, we wanted to provide them with that dream.” After pooling together their money, and with help from her mother, Sylvia, the couple closed on their first house on Aug. 18, 2011. “My mom, she supported us a lot in the beginning. The kids were so excited,” she recalled. “The kids were the ones who opened the house and they started screaming. It is our dream house. It’s not big, but it is a good size, with a finished basement, hardwood floors and it’s near the park. I think this house is meant for us.” “I think we became very good friends,” she said. “We always told each other the truth. In the beginning, it was a bit of a challenge. No one thought we were going to last. “
Clifton Merchant â€˘ February 2012
Ken and Martha McGowan Pursuing Dreams... and Love By Joe Hawrylko
Going clockwise: Martha and Ken on their honeymoon, the couple at their wedding on June 27, 1997 and at Machu Picchu.
When Martha Seminario Llong came to America in March of 1995, it was supposed to be a one month trip to New Jersey to help prepare her thesis on designing toys for children with physical disabilities. “I came with $60 in my pocket. My friend lent me the money for the ticket,” recalled the graduate of the Catholic University of Peru. “It was supposed to be an adventure trip and I’d come home in a month. Go make a couple of bucks, do my research and go home.” But those plans quickly changed once Martha settled down in Montvale with her sponsor family, the Diamonds. Unable to find jobs in her intended field, she extended her stay, which later stretched to six months after two of her friends were involved in a serious accident, Martha volunteered to help with their care. But even after all of the unexpected hiccups, Martha was steadfast in her decision to return home to Peru until 48 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
the day she met a worker who had come to install a wall unit in the Diamond home. “It was the day after Labor Day in 1995,” recalled Ken. “We went to install a custom wall unit and that’s when I met Martha.” The two struck up a friendly conversation over a cabinet that Martha used to store her possessions. “He came back the next day and Mrs. Diamond (Mindy) was so concerned that I didn’t go out for all of those months that I was there,” she said. At the end of the second day, Ken asked for Martha’s number. “She told him that I never go out, and she’s like go, go, go!” However, after that first date, Martha and Ken’s relationship was kept to the phones, as she tried to keep her distance since the plan to return to Peru was still in place. In December, Ken returned to the Diamond household to repair a cabinet and was surprised to see Martha, who once again extended her stay. please turn to page 52
founder of e are the sons of the , a family R.F. Knapp Construction ed in Clifton owned business found the beginning, nearly 50 years ago. Since Siding prodwe have been using Alcoa ens-Corning. ucts as well as GAF and Ow ing, gutters, We specialize in roofing, sid e us a call and leaders and windows. Giv appointment to we will gladly set-up an and go over a discuss your job needs . complete written estimate
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Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin Precision Motors Athenia Mason Pub 46 Century 21 Sign-A-Rama Tom Siso, Sr. Smith Sondy Coldwell Banker Clifton St. Mary’s Hospital Frances Rosado Styertowne Shopping Center Gina Torres The Diamond Agency Pina Nazario Carlos Cortes Corradino & Papa Christine Romanelli Downtown Clifton Frank Cortes Fette Ford Stanley Gottlieb Genardi Contracting Inc. The Salt Cavern Neglia Engineering Associates Thomas Graziano MD, DPM North Jersey Vito’s Towing Federal Credit Union Weichert, Realtors Paramus Catholic High School Passaic County Community College Passaic County Elks Cerebral Palsy Treatment Center
Clifton Merchant • February 2012
50 February 2012 â€˘ Clifton Merchant
Clifton Merchant â€˘ February 2012
Love Stories “I asked him what he was doing for New Years Eve and he said he didn’t do much, so I was thinking that he’s ditching me,” she recalled. “He said why don’t we go out Saturday and then he asked me for a Christmas kiss and that was the beginning of the end!” Sixth months later, Martha moved in with Ken in July 1996. “I really began to integrate into the American culture,” she said. “I started learning about football too. Actually, our first date was all about football. I taught him about soccer and he taught me about football.” But a new immigration law that was to go into effect in August 1997 hung over the relationship. If Martha were to return home as intended, she was not able to come back to America for 10 years. “I said to him I like you very much, but you don’t want to stay with someone that can’t go ahead,” she said. “And then he just says don’t go, let’s get married. No kneeling, no ring, no love story, just don’t go and let’s get married. I said, are you serious? And he said yes. But the problem was that we had to tell our parents.” Martha’s family was already unhappy that she had stayed for so long and was living with her boyfriend out of marriage, and Ken’s parents were still recovering from the surprise of their son showing up with a steady
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girlfriend at the regular McGowan Sunday dinner just a month prior when they revealed their plans. “We had to get married in three months and the first thing everyone thought was that I was pregnant,” she laughed. The pastors at St. Andrews Church where the couple attended and planned to marry were also unsure of what to make of it, and only accepted their intentions as legitimate after Mr. Diamond vouched for the couple, who were wed on June 27, 1997. Martha’s mother, Sara Llong, and some relatives did make it up from Peru to meet her husband at the ceremony, as did Martha’s penpal of 16 years, Gina SunderPalssmann Weiland, who flew in from Germany to meet Martha for the first time. Eventually, the Ken and Martha did make it down to Peru to visit Martha’s large and diverse family that could not make the trip. “It’s like the United Nations,” laughed Ken. Martha’s family includes people of Peruvian, Chinese, French, Dutch, Spanish, Chilean and Argentinian backgrounds. When Ken and Martha welcomed their two children into the world a few years later, the briefly considered various traditional names from their backgrounds before settling on two choices that had a more significant meeting. “Y means and in Spanish, so Kym was for Ken and Martha—no more discussion there,” she laughed. “Patrick was because he loves St. Patrick’s Day. On our first St. Patrick’s Day, we joked that if we had a son, his name would be Patrick.” Kym, 10, and Patrick, 7, both attend St. Andrew’s School, where their mother has been a fixture eve since coming to this country. “She does everything but park the cars in the parking lot,” laughed Ken. Martha has volunteered for numerous positions, and worked for some time as an art teacher. She said her friend and fellow parishioner, Rosemary Trinkle Baran, is the one who got her involved in the church community. “She was my sponsor when I first came to St. Andrew’s,” recalled Martha. “The best part is I’m very involved with my kid’s school.” However, her involvement at the parish has been put on hold recently, as Martha pursues the thing that brought her to America in the first place: her Master’s in industrial design. Though she has freelanced in the field over the past decade, Martha took a break and has been taking courses online at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and will graduate this coming fall. “It’s never too late to pursue your dreams,” smiled Martha. “I’m 45—I still have plenty of time.”
Clifton Merchant â€˘ February 2012
Tub to Shower Conversion
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54 February 2012 â€˘ Clifton Merchant
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Clifton Merchant • February 2012
Bob and Elaine Robertazzi Faith, Friendship and Philanthropy By Joe Hawrylko
Bob Robertazzi has advice for all young men: If you see a good looking girl in distress on the side of the highway, stop your car and help her. Your act of chivalry might just go a long way. “I was down at a friend’s house in Brooklyn and long story short I am on my way home and I’m driving by when I see this car with a hood up and I see this blond,” he laughed. It was a late evening in June 1960 on the West Side Highway, and that was the first time that Bob laid his eyes on Elaine, striking up conversation in perhaps the most unlikely of spots. And thanks to the technological limitations at that time and his natural charisma, he came up with the perfect line for how to get her number. 56 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
“We tried a phone booth but that thing didn’t work, and I’m looking at my watch because I have a date and the time is coming up,” Bob recalled. “so I said I am going home, give me your number and I will go call your mother and tell you’re alright and that you weren’t in an accident.” When he returned home the next day, the New York native still had the girl he met on his mind. “I found out that what she did for a living was in the modeling business with photography,” he recalled. “I was with my brother and I told him that I hit paydirt! I met a girl who works with models, isn’t that great?” But as excited as he was, Bob couldn’t get Elaine to commit to a date until a few weeks later.
Let’s Do Lunch! nd
2Tuesday Series @ the
Boys & Girls Club
Join us at the Boys & Girls Club of Clifton on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 11:30 am for a new topic of interest!
Hosted by: Dante P. Liberti, CFP - Upcoming Dates & Topics
Tuesday May 8, 2012
Tuesday March 13, 2012 College Financial Aid Planning Guest Speaker: Chuck Drawbaugh President of College Funding Associates, LLC
Medicare Planning Speaker & Details to follow
Dont forget it’s the 2nd Tuesday at 11:30 am Tuesday April 10, 2012 Medicaid Planning Speaker & Details to follow
Tuesday June 12, 2012 Real Estate Investing Speaker & Details to follow
Complimentary lunch is provided
Free Lunch but Suggested Donation: $5
To benefit the B&G Club of Clifton. Make check to
the Boys & Girls Club of Clifton
Please RSVP Dante Liberti at 732-734-0053
so we have enough good food for everyone!
Securities offered through Securities America, Inc-Member FINRA &SIPC. Dynasty Advisors, LLC, and the Securities America companies are not affiliated entities. Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. Representatives of Securities America do not give legal advice.
Clifton Merchant • February 2012
Love Stories “The following week, he asked me out but I said I had something going on,” said Elaine, who added that they finally went out two weeks after meeting. “When I first went out with him, I thought I had known him all of my life.” The couple’s first date was at the New York Athletic Club, where Bob played judo. “That was our first date and we’ve been going back forever,” Elaine recalled. The Robertazzis have been members at the club for 57 years. “We’ve gone there for New Years Eve for almost 50 years.” After that, the couple began going steady, going to see each other as frequently as their busy schedules would allow. At the time, Elaine was living in Ridgewood and working as a fashion stylist doing photography in New York. Bob worked at General Precision Aerospace, where he had been since being discharged from the Army. Prior to enlisting, he worked at Curtis Wright. “He lived in New York and worked in New Jersey. I lived in New Jersey an worked in New York,” recalled Elaine. “There was a lot of traveling back and forth. But we were always good practicing Roman Catholics.
58 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
On Sundays, he would come down by me and we’d go to mass.” The couple continued to date for about two years before Bob decided that he wanted to make his relationship permanent. For the proposal, he took Elaine to the New York Athletic Club and enlisted the help of the waitstaff. Bob’s plan was to take a large wrapped box and fill it with several smaller boxes, the smallest of which would contain a ring. “I gave the signal to the Captain that I knew and he brought out the box like it was for her from the staff,” he recalled. Bob and Elaine were wed on May 25, 1963. “Finally she got down to the ring and that’s how we got engaged.” After living for a short time in Caldwell, the Robertazzis moved to Bloomfield near the CliftonNutley border. “One of the reasons we bought the house was because the St. Thomas the Apostle Church was very close by and it had a school,” said Elaine. The couple would go on to have three daughters: Michele, Denise and Renee. With their family rapidly growing, the Robertazzis
were in the market for a new car, a decision that would ultimately bring them to Clifton. Bob and Elaine had their hearts set on the new Ford Mustang, which they went to purchase from Wayne Ford. Owner Frank Nappa, now a personal friend of the Robertazzi’s, did not have the popular car in stock, and it would take several months before the vehicle arrived. “I would stop by there every once in a while because it was on the way,” he said. “Between when I ordered it and when it came in, I had an order for $250 over cost. He asked us if we still wanted it and we said we still wanted it, and he invited us down to the opening on April 17, 1964, in a little three car show room.” “Finally the car comes in and seven months later I am really disillusioned at Aerospace,” he said. “I went back to Frank and said, hey, you remember that offer you made to me about maybe selling cars?” In a rather unexpected decision, Bob decided he would be switching careers, and in turn, giving up a decent amount of salary in the process. Elaine, who at the time was staying at home to care for the children, was taken by surprise. “I figured I could always go back and go into the city to work,” she recalled. For several years, the Robertazzis lived very lean as they saved up money. “This kind of business always has ups and downs, hills and valleys,” said Elaine. “When we first started out, we had a lot of Hamburger Helper. My aunt lived in Little Falls and she used to make us wonderful tomato puree. That was the story.” Those meager years ultimately paid off when an opportunity to own a dealership appeared in 1976. The couple purchased a Lincoln Mercury dealership in Lyndhurst with two partners, but two years the Robertazzis found themselves on the rocks with those same partners and bought them out. “We went to bank, hawked the house for a third time and said how much to pay them off,” Bob recalled. “Then we were the proud owners of Lincoln Mercury and then we truly kept struggling.” It was the decision to relocate the franchise to Route 3 in Clifton in 1983 that greatly helped spur business. For 21 years, the Robertazzis held a lease on the highway until purchasing property next
Clifton Super Bowl Family Day, Feb. 5 A family friendly event at the Boys & Girls Club which is alcohol, gambling & tobacco free. Bring your Swim Trunks, Open Gym, Pizza, Hot Dogs, Large Screen TVs... Thanks to our Sponsors, Admission is Free... BUT please bring a canned food item so we can make a donation to St. Peter’s Haven Food Bank. Sponsors include CASA, Clifton Against Substance Abuse & 1) Jim & Rita Haraka & Family 2) Rotary Club of Clifton 3) Tom Fieldhouse & Family 4) Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin 5) In memory of Florence, George H. Trinkle, Jr. & George H. Trinkle III 6) Barbara Dougherty in memory of Henry Dougherty 7) Clifton Police PBA Local 36 8) Clifton Firefighters FMBA Local 21 9) St. Philip the Apostle Council 11671 Knights of Columbus 10) JSK Landscaping/The Bassford Family 11) Mayor, Council, City Manager & City Attorney 12) Carlet, Garrison, Klein & Zaretsky 13) Vito’s Towing / Vito & Pete DeRobertis
$100 Checks should be made payable to:
Boys & Girls Club of Clifton note: Super Bowl Party
Questions regarding donations? Call
Tom Hawrylko @ 973-253-4400 Clifton Merchant • February 2012
Bob and Elaine Robertazzi with their daughters, son-in-laws and grandchildren.
door at 798 Rt. 3 West and building a new building for their franchise, which is now known as Liberty Motorcars. In the several decades they’ve been working together, the couple has each settled into their own roles at the company. “In the beginning, we had a wonderful book keeper in 1976 who was doing all the book keeping manually. She taught me how to do that, and I used to help in the parts department, the manual department. I got to know all of the departments,” said Elaine.
“I was the sales manager and Elaine did everything else in between,” explained Bob. “We’ve always shared an office, small or large,” she added. “We always knew what was going on. And it was always constantly family. Our three daughters have worked in the business, and the youngest one wanted to stay.” Today, Elaine and Bob have less of an active role in the business, serving as Secretary treasurer and president, respectively. Their daughter, Renee, Vice President, and along with her husband, John
Chirico, the general sales manager, handle day to day business operations. The transition has given the Robertazzis much more free time to pursue their other passion: philanthropy. Since relocating their business in the 80s, the Robertazzis have dedicated themselves to Clifton and the greater community, serving on many civic boards and charities. The couple is involved with Bob’s alma maters, Xavier High School and St. John’s University, For over a decade, Elaine was a mainstay on the North Jersey Regional Chamber of Commerce, serving as board chair from 1998 to 2000. Since 2005, Elaine has also been the vice chair of St. Mary’s Hospital, where she has been involved since 1995. The couple will be honored for their work at St. Mary’s at the Big Band Gala on March 24 at the Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange, and tickets can be purchased by calling 973365-4615. “When someone wants to honor you, you’re humbled,” she said. “You’re honored. You do it not for praise, but because there’s a need and you can satisfy that need.”
You Don’t Have to Wait Until Friday to Eat Pirogies !!! Varieties Come to The Famous & Original (from Lexington Ave)...
M-F 8 - 6 Sat 10 - 4 1295 Main Ave • Downtown Clifton Across from DeLuxe Cleaners
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NEW! Great for Parties... Hot, Homemade Empanadas! 60 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
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Clifton Merchant â€˘ February 2012
Business & Commerce Clifton’s International House of The Passaic County 200 Club host Pancakes restaurant has a breakfast on March 13 at The announced that its seventh annual Brownstone, featuring guest speakNational Pancake Day is Feb. 28. er Charles B. McKenna, Director of This event is a fundraiser for NJ Homeland Security, at 7:30 am. Children’s Miracle Network The Passaic County 200 Club is Hospitals and other charities. an organization of concerned citiGuests who dine between 7 am zens who have pledged to honor and 10 pm at the Clifton IHOP on and support law enforcement offiRoute 3 will be given a free short cers, fire fighters, emergency medstack of pancakes. But there is a ical services personnel and other catch: “We hope that instead of public safety personnel. paying for their pancakes our The 200 Club will also assist the guests will donate what they surviving spouse and children of would have paid or more to our those killed or severely injured in charity,” said owner Kevin O’Neil. the line of duty. The assistance proThe Feb. 28 event culminates a vided can consist of cash grants month of fundraising. Throughout and/or scholarships. February, the O’Neil family and Damien Burke of Clifton IHOP reminds The 200 Club also has other their staff will also raise funds readers that Feb. 28 is National Pancake events coming up during the year. through the sale of paper “Miracle Day. Stop in for a free short stack. On May 1, the Passaic County Balloons’ for $1 and $5. Proceeds 2012 Valor, Merit and Scholarship go to charity. The balloons can be personalized and disDinner will be held at 5:30, and on Sept. 25, the Fourth played in the restaurant. Guests who purchase $5 balAnnual Beefsteak Benefit Dinner will be held at 6 pm. loons will receive a $5 off coupon good on their next Both events will take place at The Brownstone. visit with a $20 purchase. Membership info and more at pc200club.org. Call Clifton IHOP at 973-471-7717. Muscle Maker Grill has opened in the Styertowne Shopping Center, upper level. Some of the recently hired Clifton employees, include from left: Megan Hammer, Chris Campbell, owner Tom Buckley, Alejandro Caballero and Erica Bauernschmidt.
62 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
Located at the intersection of Routes 3 and 46, Fette Ford, KIA and Infiniti is building a new showroom for the Infiniti line. At the Jan. 19 ground breaking, from left: Al Engel, Executive Vice President of Valley National Bank, Gloria Martini, Executive Director of the North Jersey Regional Chamber of Commerce, John L. Fette, President, Kristin M. Fette, Vice President, Jim Anzaldi, Mayor, John Manfra, Dealer Operations Manager, Infiniti East, Jeff Harris, Regional Vice President, Infiniti East.
Styertowne Shopping Center has added a number of new shops and services and expanded some existing properties as its owners continue to upgrade the retail landmark just off Route 3 on Bloomfield Ave. Owned and managed since 1999 by JK Management, Muscle Maker Grill is the newest national retailer to join the center. Opened the first week of February on the upper level, the franchise is a nutritious alternative to fast food eating. Owner Tom Buckley said everything is prepared on premises with a menu that features lean, protein-based dishes—chicken, seafood, pasta, burgers, wraps and entrée salads. It also offers a wide selection of protein shakes and supplements in an assortment of flavors, such as Tropical Paradise and Snappy Apple. On the lower level, the Lucille Roberts, a women’s only health club next to the AC Moore, has expanded their space to accommodate a growing membership.
Food diversity in the center seem to be a major attraction—from Chinese to Italian—and that is attested to by the Taste of Tuscany. This bistro has received glowing mentions and reviews and has become a dining destination for the region. By adding more seating, the restaurant has become more open and inviting. Dinning there is now much more comfortable, adding the right amount of upscale but still managing to keep it casual. Want to do business? Offices on the second floor are convenient and affordable. With the US Post Office downstairs and plenty of parking in two lots, many professionals have made Styertowne their headquarters. Among the green innovations at the center are solar panels which now provide energy for the office suites, elevator and canopy lighting in the front of the center. Office suites and retail opportunities are available. For information, call Jamie Wohr at 973-591-5222, ext 16 or write Jamie@jacobs-enterprises.com. Clifton Merchant • February 2012
CHS Junior Steven Spies is seeking support and donations for his Eagle Scout project which is the restoration of the score board in Albion Park. He is pictured with his dad, George who is a Deputy Chief with the CFD, and his brother Dylan, a member of Cub Scout Pack 74 at First Presbyterian Church.
WEE CARE C HILD CARE CENTER
Steven Spies of Troop 8 has assumed the Eagle Scout project of replacing the scoreboard at Albion Park, which has not worked in more than 10 years. The CHS Junior wrote in a solicitation letter that the completion of this project would benefit the Clifton Midget League, which calls Albion home. “The scoreboard has not worked in over 10 years. The league would benefit in many way... allowing fans and players to keep track of the score of the game.” Spies played in the CML for many years and decided on the project to help the league that has done so much for him. Scout Spies is currently soliciting donations for the project, and the top 10 will have their names permanently posted. To have the job done before Opening Day, he has set a March 1 deadline for donations. To donate, call Spies at 973-787-4521 or email his dad at Buckjasper@optonline.net.
Registration Now Ongoing! Give Us A Call Today!
Accepting Children from Birth to Age 12
0 1 S
• Open 7 am to 6 pm • Weekly Chapel • 16 Teachers & Aides — Many here over 20 years!
• After-School Pick-Up at School 5 • When public schools are closed, we’re open!
Jennifer Henkel, Director • First Presbyterian Church 303 Maplewood Avenue, Clifton • 973.523.7704
64 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
Odette and Noel Coronel of NOC Autobody on Van Houten Ave. are again offering a $500 scholarship to a high school senior with an established Autism Spectrum Disorder or Asperger Syndrome diagnosis who will be attending an accredited institution of higher education. Eligible individuals must be accepted to or enrolled on at least a part time basis or be working toward certifica-
tion or accreditation in a particular field. To qualify, applicants must fill out an application form which must include an essay and other information. To get an application, call or visit their shop at 574 Van Houten Ave. in the Athenia section. Deadline is May 31 and the winner will be notified the week of June 11. For more info and details, go to www.nocauto.com.
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SEE US AT THE SHOWS! World Fishing & Outdoor Salt Water Fishing Exposition • March 1-4 Exposition • March 16-18 Rockland Community College, Garden State Exhibition Center, Suffern Somerset
VISIT US FOR DISCOUNT TICKETS!
Great Selection of New & Used Guns, Ammo, Safes Clifton Merchant • February 2012
Clifton’s Garden State Opera offers fully staged shows in March and April.
The Garden State Opera presents Santelli’s ‘Il Consulente Matrimoniale’ (The Marriage Counselor) on March 30 at 8 pm at the Allwood Community Church, Chelsea and Merrill Rds. Suggested donation is $10. Then on April 14, the GSO presents ‘Il Consulente Matrimoniale’ and Mascagni’s ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’ at the San Giuseppe Santa Croce Camerina Society, 131 Wagaraw Rd., Hawthorne at 8 pm. This performance will feature the chamber orchestra. Tickets are $25. For tickets, call 973-685-9972 or visit the GSO website at www.gardenstateopera.org. ‘The Way It Is’ is a competition open to middle and high schoolers, sponsored by Action Theatre Conservatory Studios in Clifton. Students submit short one-act plays that reflect the way they see the world. Students may submit their short one-acts, for 2-10 actors, with simple tech requirements to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include name, age, grade and school. Deadline is March 15. The Giggles Children’s Theater at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Paterson seeks volunteer performers to act, sing, dance and do magic and puppetry for the pediatric patients at St. Joe’s. The goal is to prove that “laughter is the best medicine” by lightening their hearts and taking their minds off pain and fear for at least a little while. Shows are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:30 pm, and occasionally on Tuesdays at 6 pm. For a list of shows, contact Caliendo at 973-7544623 or email@example.com. 66 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
Blue State Productions, in residence at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 380 Clifton Ave., Clifton, presents the comedy-drama Mass Appeal and Maltby & Shire’s Closer Than Ever. Mass Appeal focuses on the conflict between a Pastor and an idealistic young seminarian with performance dates on March 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31. Closer Than Ever is a musical revue with performance dates of April 27 and 28, and May 4, 5, 11, 12. Call 973607-1924 or visit www.BlueStatePRoductions.com. The Clifton Stamp Society, Inc. meets at the Community Recreation Center, 1232 Main Ave., Clifton in meeting room 3 at 6:30 pm on Feb. 6, March 5 and 19, April 2 and 17, May 7 and 21, June 4 and 18. For more info, go to www.cliftonnj.org/stamp. The Theater League of Clifton presents Lethal Lecture, a murder-mystery dinner theater. Show dates are March 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11 at Mario’s Restaurant, 710 Van Houten Ave., Clifton. Friday and Saturday shows start at 7 pm and Sunday shows at 4 pm. Tickets are $35 and include dinner. A cash bar is also available. Make checks payable to Theater League of Clifton, P.O. Box 4072, Clifton, NJ 07012. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.theaterleagueofclifton.com. Amogn the goals of TLC is to nurture the development of theater arts in Clifton’s youth by creating a scholarship for CHS seniors who will be continuing their education in theater arts. For more info on Lethal Lecture or TLC, call 973-928-7668 or follow TLC on Facebook at www.facebook.com/theaterleagueofclifton.
680 Rt. 3 West Earth into Art Encore, an exhibit and sale of pottery by the Potters’ Guild of New Jersey, is displayed through Feb. 25 at the Clifton Arts Center, 900 Van Houten Ave. Admission $3. The center is also home to the Sculpture Park with nearly 30 pieces of art showcased on the sprawling municipal campu. For more on the arts Center, call 973-472-5499 or visit www.cliftonnj.org.
973-471-7717 www.ihop.com enter from Allwood Rd.
The Hamilton House hosts A Tea with Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln, on Feb. 25 at 2 pm. Another in a series of historic people who have visited the Hamilton House, this event will feature food typical of the Civil War Era. Guests are encouraged to bring their own teacup. After the tea, Mary Todd Lincoln will talk about her life as the wife of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Space is limited— make reservations by Feb. 14. The Hamilton House, at 971 Valley Rd., is a restored Dutch farmhouse,. It offers rooms in three restored time periods: Victorian, Federal and Colonial. Visitors will experience how people lived in the past and learn about Clifton’s history. Tickets to the event are $18.62. Call 973-744-5707.
Clifton Merchant • February 2012
Writing... Reading... Fun?
If you’re a CHS student who has any inter- By Joe Hawrylko Educational Testing Service, which makes the SAT. est in English, you’ve heard of Dr. Elissa “I didn’t get tenure at Rutgers and wanted Greenwald. Within the school, the educator is to stay in the area and the job was related to education,” regarded as one of the best by both students and peers, said Greenwald, who worked for the ETS for 12 years. and is annually cited a favorite of graduating seniors in “It was a good job, but I always wanted to get back to the Clifton Merchant June graduation edition. teaching.” Greenwald, in her ninth year at Clifton High, Greenwald returned to teaching 12 years ago, startexplained that the reason for her success is teaching, ing at another high school for three years before comreading and writing are her passions. “Writing and reading to Clifton, where she has some longstanding ties to ing—it’s what I do for fun,” she said. “It’s great to have the community. a job where I can do what I love.” “I grew up mostly in the NY suburbs, but my father The Yale graduate originally harbored aspirations to is from Passaic,” explained Greenwald. “About 14 of become a novelist, but ultimately changed her mind my cousins went to CHS. I’ve been visiting Clifton after meeting inspiring professors while at college. Her ever since I was a kid. It’s kind of where my roots are career began at Rutgers New Brunswick, where she in a way.” taught for seven years before taking a job with the 68 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
Clifton Merchant â€˘ February 2012
Clifton Teachers In her first few years, Greenwald taught juniors in college prep and honors, but for the past six years she has exclusively taught Advanced Placement classes. “I am very, very lucky to have dedicated students. Students who really want to be there,” she said. “They really enjoy learning. It’s just a pleasure to have such dedicated students.” The students share a similar respect and admiration for their teacher: “I love that she’s so enthusiastic about her subject. It comes across when she teaches and when she goes into discussion when we talk about issues as a class. Everyone gets involved and it’s very inspiring,” said Serah Shahar, a senior in Greenwald’s class. “I work with elementary schools kids and teaching is something I’ve
been thinking about. It’s definitely very inspiring to have a good teacher. Even the other teachers look up to her too. They think she’s one of the best educators in the district. I actually took the course because of what I had heard about her.” “I think a lot of it has to do with students and the energy they bring to class,” Greenwald continued. “I try to give students a lot of opportunities to be independent, to do speeches and presentations where they are taking initiative and taking an active roll in the classroom.” Currently, all of her classes are preparing for the annual mock trial, which will feature characters from the book, Crime and Punishment. “I think it’s very important for students to have the chance to be at the focus of attention and to be able
to develop more of their ideas and their capacities as speakers and actors,” said Greenwald, who said that the lessons learned in her class are beneficial to all students, not just ones seeking a career as an English teacher. “To play in an active role in a debate or trial, or maybe doing something that they want to do in their careers, analyzing something or just trying to persuade someone and give a speech,” she explained. “Even just an impromptu talk. Most people in leadership positions have those skills. You want to develop them and in the process, for the kids to develop confidence in themselves.” Greenwald said that she’s seen many students go through transformations over the years in her class. “I had a student last year, Kaitlin
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Fusco, who was kind of quiet in class. But then she was one of the lawyers in the trial,” she recalled. “She was totally confident, totally self assured. I saw her recently and she’s doing very well in college and I can see that same self assurance in her.” When her students graduate, some go on to teaching and many others go on to study other professions. But Greenwald said that the lessons learned in class are beneficial to everyone no matter what path they chose. “When we talk about characters, we try to figure out how to apply to our own lives, and how people behave,” Greenwald continued. “Whether some actions can be judged as morally good or bad. it’s looking closely at people in books and I think it helps with your understanding of the world as a whole.” She said that the diversity of the classroom contributes to lively discussions. “Students come from so many different backgrounds that you get an intenerational perspective. We might have seven different countries in the class, with many students who either lived there or have visited it, or their parents came from there” said Greenwald.. “When we talk about moral issues, we have perspectives from several different religions. I feel like I learn something every day I walk into CHS. I walk into my classroom and there’s always something new and interesting to me.” “I feel a lot of the strength of the English department is to supervisor Dr. Chris DeVink,” said Greenwald. “He is a very helpful and caring person, and he is a great role model to me, and as a result of him, we have a very close and cooperative department. I just love teaching. I feel really at home in Clifton.”
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Clifton Merchant • February 2012
Moments of Grace The only way we can protect ourselves from evil is to break the bonds of spiritual isolation from one another, to break down the wilderness in our minds and reconsider God’s laws and not church laws...
Are We on a Vacant Path? By Dr. Christopher de Vinck Many people believe we have fallen into an epoch of common disorder. It appears that no matter where we look, government, religion, education, business there is hidden inside seemingly solid patterns, chaos and evidence of disintegration. Our politicians are trying to separate who they are with how they conduct affairs of state. Priests, Rabbis, ministers, Imams bend the laws of God into the laws of men in authority. Children are taught less and less about earth, reading, charity, and love and are given, instead, state exams. Wall Street is run according to the rules of greed, and not according to the rules of an honest profit. Where do we turn for what was once consider moral beacons? The French poet, Paul Valerie, wrote in his little book Sea Shells that we can “conceive of the structure of shells, and this is what interest us and holds our attention; but we do not understand their gradual formation.” Our culture overseers seem to have evolved into score keepers taking the measuring stick of morality and unmercifully using it to beat upon our backs, and so we live with guilt, and not with a gradual formation of goodness. 72 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
The government berates us for not saving enough money, and when the economy is stagnating, we are told to spend. Religion bangs into our dark souls that we are sinners. Schools tell us our children are not as smart as children in Japan or New Zealand. Business executives dangle their wares before us as if we are easily duped into giving them a dollar for a product that is only worth ten cents. My mother tells a story about her neighbor during World War II. “She lived with her mother, and when her mother died, she lived alone, a quiet, former school teacher. When the Nazi troops invaded Belgium, and the rest of Europe, all was changed.” My mother tells the story how her quiet, unassuming neighbor joined the underground, lending her home as a portal for British pilots who were shot down in occupied territory but not captured by Hitler’s troops. The little school teacher opened her home as one of the check points for the British pilots to use as they made their way from house to house in the middle of the night on their way to freedom. “One day the SS troops knocked on her door and took
her away,” my mother remembers. “They searched her home and found many, many coats, and pants and boots hidden in one of her closets. When my neighbor was interrogated about the clothes, she said that she was selling them, as used clothes, trying to make a bit of extra money to buy a bit of bread or coal.” Because this woman was so unassuming, she was released, and she immediately returned home and continued saving British pilots until the end of the war. Today no one knows her name. Few people remembers what she did. We, as a people, are the formation of millions of years of DNA, and natural selection. We took steps toward survival, cobbled together bits of earth and hides for protection, learned how to make fire and predict our meals with agriculture, and still, to this day, there are more wars going on than ever before. More people are going hungry today than have ever been hungry in the history of civilization. More children are dying every day in numbers that far surpass any death rate of the past. A woman in Belgium saves a few British pilots. The tobacco industry kills millions of people world wide. What propelled this woman to risk her life for the life of the other, and what allows us to spend $400.00 on a meal in New York City while 130,000 children will die from starvation by the time you finish reading this essay? Anne Morrow Lindbergh, in her little book, The Gift from the Sea, wrote: “It is not physical solitude that actually separates one from others; not physical isolation, but spiritual isola-
tion. It is neither the desert island nor the stony wilderness that cuts you from the people you love. It is the wilderness in the mind, the desert wastes in the heart through which one wanders lost and a stranger.” The Vatican is promoting a return to the Latin mass, while we are running out of priests to bless the dying. Political campaigns are focusing on vacuous ideologies while millions of people are being pushed out of their homes. Many people do not find solace in the Ten Commandments any longer, or in the educational theories of John Dewey, or in the business acumen of Henry Ford. The only way we can protect ourselves from evil is to break the bonds of spiritual isolation from one another, to break down the wilderness in our minds and reconsider God’s laws and not church laws, to redefine profit as the results of integrity, to combat ignorance with purposeful wisdom. In today’s unsettling events, we are lost and strangers to each other, and the only thing we have to fear is not fear itself, but the lost will to seek out people who collect used coats to save us from a calculated death. Dr. Christopher de Vinck’s most recent book is Moments of Grace. Chris is the Language Arts Supervisor at CHS and the author of 13 books, his best known work is The Power of the Powerless a frank reflection on the struggles and joys of loving his severely disabled brother. To order the book, call 1-800-218-1903 or look for it in bookstores or online.
Clifton Merchant • February 2012
SHE DOES IT ALL By Joe Hawrylko Sam Pedraza doesn’t like to have any downtime. Luckily for her, a busy schedule at Clifton High School that includes challenging courses, her role as the Student Council treasurer and three sports keeps the CHS Student of the Month quite busy. “I like being involved in something,” said Pedraza. “I would be bored if I didn’t do anything. I can’t sit at home. I’m not that kind of person.” Athletics are Pedraza’s hobby of choice. The CHS senior plays soccer, basketball and lacrosse. Pedraza, a defender in soccer, captained the Lady Mustangs on the pitch in the fall, which was her third season with the Varsity club. “I definitely look up to Lembryk,” said Pedraza, who also played Varsity basketball and lacrosse for two years. “His passion for the game is inspiring. He made me love the game even more . Every practice, we had something different to do. One day we’re doing passing and another shooting. He always changed it up and it made it more fun.” Over the past three years, the Lady Mustangs have traveled to the County Finals three times, taking the title twice. Pedraza hopes continue her soccer career in college. In the fall, the CHS senior hopes to be at the University of New Haven, where she wishes to study forensic science. “I wanted to do pharmacy at first,” said Pedraza, a fan of the CSI 74 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
Sam Pedraza, CHS Student of the Month for January. Her story was accidently omitted from the previous edition.
shows. “I interned at Walgreen and realized I didn’t like it too much. So I started thinking about other things and forensics came along.” The forensics program at New Haven is what attracted her, and Pedraza has already been in contact with the soccer coach about joining the team. All that is necessary now is for her to submit an application, and Pedraza has the academic credentials to be accepted. Pedraza is a member of the National Honor Society, and has been on the Distinguished Honor Roll every year. As a junior, she took honor courses in history and English, and this year, Pedraza is
studying AP English with Dr. Greenwald, who is her favorite teacher. “She just loves her students so much and she’s so happy at work every day,” said Pedraza, who also cited Mr. Newman as a teacher inspiration. “She’s never been absent and never will be. She loves being there so much and it creates a nice environment.” Pedraza said her parents, Rita and Luico, are two other individuals she looks up to in life. “They’re supportive of everything I do,” she said. “They’re always at all of my games. They’re proud of me no matter what.”
Help for Ventilator Patients Preakness Healthcare Center, Passaic County’s nursing home in a new facility at 305 Oldham Road in Wayne, is providing care for residents with ventilator requirements. A Vent Unit Support Group is open to the public. The state of the art nursing facility was opened in February 2011 and is home to 406 residents. Preakness obtained a special care license from New Jersey Department of Heath to provide respiratory care to ventilator and high intensity pulmonary residents with requirements for ventilator and tracheostomy management and weaning. The new ventilator unit consists of 11 beds for patients with respiratory problems. Additionally, there are 9 beds for tracheostomy patients. The 11 bed vent unit has the capability of providing dialysis treatment for these patients. There is a 24 hour respiratory therapist on staff. A team of a social worker, dietician and a therapeutic recreation aide provide services for all vent unit residents. “The patient’s quality of life is important to us,” said Dr. N. Matalkah, Medical Director of the Vent Unit. “We treat them with dignity and respect.” Dr. Matalkah is board certified in Internal Medicine; Pulmonary Medicine; Critical Care Medicine; Sleep Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine.
For over 80 years, Preakness has providing care for residents including sub-acute care, long term skilled nursing care, hospice, behavior management care, and respiratory care and rehabilitation services. The facility employs staff for clinical nutrition, therapeutic recreation, social services, nursing, mental health and dietary. Preakness also offers a new rehabilitation center for short term and long term residents. Services that are offered include speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy. In addition to a large gym filled with state of the art equipment, the new rehab wing has a complete apartment or suite set up with a kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. Patients receive therapy in a home-like environment so they can re-learn getting out of bed, taking a shower and working in a kitchen and other activities of daily living. Also licensed under the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services, Preakness provides a 24-bed unit for residents with behavioral disorders using medical neurobehavioral, social and psychiatric approaches for the residents. All forms of payment are accepted. For admissions information, call 973-585-2143 or find out more at http://www.passaiccountynj.org/preakness-healthcare.
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Clifton Merchant • February 2012
ROCKET MAN By Joe Hawrylko A career in engineering may be in the future for Arifur Rahmen, the February Student of the Month, who hopes to attend Carnegie Mellon University in the fall. The CHS senior’s interest in the field stems from his love of math, which he discovered at high school. “Math has always been my favorite subject,” he said. “Right now in AP Calc, we’re just drawing connections from everything we learned in algebra and pre-calc. It all makes sense now. I just like math. You start out with a big problem and then it just becomes clear.” Calculus is one of three AP courses that Rahmen is taking this year, along with English and chemistry. By the time he graduates, Rahmen will also have taken three college courses at Montclair State University: macro economics, intro to economics and Greek mythology. “It was pretty interesting,” Rahmen said of macro economics, which he was enrolled in during the fall semester. “We got to learn how the economy works, how money is developed, how it is backed... you really get a sense of how the economy works.” The CHS senior said that he enjoyed taking college courses, even if the workload was slightly intimidating when he started out. “It was pretty scary at first, but now I see it as normal,” said Rahmen. “There was 35 kids and the professor was pretty remarkable. He really knew his material— he had a doctorate in economics.” 76 February 2012 • Clifton Merchant
Arifur Rahmen is pictured with Norm Tahan, a Deputy Chief in the Clifton Fire Dept. and founder of the Clifton Rocket Club. The group will meet again on Sundays in mid March to launch homemade rockets at Woodrow Wilson Middle School. Registration is $15 ($25 for non-residents). Call 973-452-2688.
“You were independent the entire time. The professor didn’t take attendance and you weren’t required to go to class but I still went,” he continued. “There was no homework either, but the professor taught really well so I didn’t have to study much.” Rahmen said the experience has prepared him for college, and has opened him up to studying business in addition to engineering. The CHS senior has looked at several schools for the two, applying to Rutgers, Boston College and John Stockton. However, his heart is most set on Carnegie Mellon University.
“They’re ranked pretty high for engineering,” he said. “They’re a good school for business as well. I applied to both schools and I’d be happy to go to either one. Carnegie allows you to apply to four schools so I will study whichever one I get into.” Rahmen is particularly interested in the fields of space engineering and aeronautical engineering. “I would like to build objects that astronauts wold use in space,” he said. “For me, it was mostly about what my skills are and what I think I’d be good at. What I like and what I wouldn’t get tired of doing when I’m 50, 60 or 70.”
Events & Briefs The Feast Day of St. Joseph—the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary—is on March 19. In Sicily, where St. Joseph is regarded by many as their Patron, and here in many Italian-American communities, thanks are given on that day to St. Joseph—San Giuseppe—for preventing a famine in Sicily during the Middle Ages. Keeping that tradition alive here in northern New Jersey, the 82nd Geraci Citizens League St. Joseph’s Dinner Dance will be held on March 24 at The Brownstone, Paterson, at 6:30 pm. Coordinated by Nina Corradino, those who attend will enjoy traditional pasta dishes, finocchi and zeppoli. And despite the Lenten season, there will be dancing and music. For tickets, call Corradino at 973-278-0356 or 973-470-0356.
QPHS junior Roman Diduch & frosh Bonnie Macaluso.
The CHS Class of 1974 will hold an informal reunion at the Grande Saloon, 940 Van Houten Ave., on Feb. 25, starting at 7:30 pm. Look up ‘It’s time for our CHS ‘74 Get Together Thing !!!’ on Facebook, or contact Frank Klump at 973862-0203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Geraci Citizens League’s St. Joseph’s Day Gala is on March 24.
The Leisure Club of St. Paul meets the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 1 pm in the church hall. Non-parishioners 55 and over are welcome to join and the church is at 231 Second St. The group heads to Camp Hope on Feb. 15 and on March 7; the group will host a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon at the Mountainside Inn on March 15. Club meetings are scheduled for Feb. 8 and Feb. 22. For more details on the group and its trips or activities, call 973-546-7690.
QP is a Catholic, co-educational, college preparatory high school accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools twice honored as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Students can visit for a school day and experience the excitement of our campus!
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Some seniors who will model at the March 11 CHS Prom Fashion Show. Front; Lori Hart, Kelly Hanrahan and Arantsa Medina. Middle: Ryan Hariton, Michael Jurgowski , Christina Hlavaty, Rachel Ventrella, Bruno Gambirazio and Patrick Ferrara.
Clifton High School Seniors will once again strut their stuff in the annual Prom Fashion Show, which is set for March 11 in the JFK Auditorium at CHS for 2 pm. Dozens of seniors will wear the latest trends as they walk down the aisle in front of family, friends and peers. To put this event together takes plenty of support from the local community. The tuxedos are supplied by Deluxe Formal Wear on Main Ave. Gowns will be supplied by several outlets: Unique Designs by Vikki on Clifton Ave., Just Beautiful Boutique on Lakeview Ave, The Red Carpet on Rt. 23, Wayne and Group USA in Secaucus. AGL Welding will supply the helium for our balloon decorations. 78 February 2012 â€˘ Clifton Merchant
Event chair Maryann Cornett is also seeking hair salons to donate their time for this major fundraiser. There will be raffle baskets and a 50/50 available for sale at the event. All proceeds from the Fashion Show go to help pay for Project Graduation 2012. Project Graduation is an all night, alcohol and drug free event sponsored by the CHS-PTSA that takes place following graduation on June 25. After walking the stage, students return to CHS to board buses for a secret location for a night of partying, conducted within a safe environment. Chaperones are needed for this event. For more about the Prom Fashion show or Project Graduation, call Cornett at 973-779-5678.
Events & Briefs The Boys & Girls Club’s Fifth Annual Mardi Gras Casino Night is March 16 at the club, 822 Clifton Ave. With the sluggish economy, the Club’s fundraising has been down, meaning this event is more important than ever as proceeds go to benefit its many programs. Sponsors and prize donations are needed, and donations are tax-deductible. For info, call 973-773-2697. Jim Haraka, CHS ‘46 wrote a note saying: “of the 37 members of the 1946 Clifton Mustangs Oyster Bowl Team, we are aware of the status and well being of all but 12 of our former teammates. If any of your readers are aware of their whereabouts, please contact me at 973-772-0509. The individuals we are looking for are Don Hagedorn, Dick Vander Laan, Gerry Herman, Wes Van Buren, Rudy Thomann, Evan Cook, Earl Grossman, Frank Petchal, George Rawl, Dick Ames, Jim Cross and Bob DeVido. The Passaic County Women’s Center host a free, 8week psychoeducational support group for female survivors of sexual assault on Tuesdays. Call Maria Pintar at 973-881-0725, ext. 205 to set up an initial meeting.
The Lakeview Civic Association holds its next meeting on March 27 at the First Reformed Fountain of Salvation Church, 165 Vernon Ave. The group serves as an advocate for residents and businesses in the neighborhood along and near Lakeview Ave. Officers for 2012 are copresidents Steve Christopher and Dawn Kaiser and recording secretary Anne Roback. For details on membership and other info, call 973-478-1185. The Dutch Hill Residents Association’s next meeting is Feb. 16 at the Family Fellowship Church, Second St. and De Mott Ave. The Association is open to all Clifton residents. The Association runs two flea markets and offers three scholarships of $750 to high school seniors who live in Dutch Hill. Info: 973-365-2577 The Young at Heart Senior Social Club celebrates Valentines Day on Feb. 13 at Li Greci’s Staaten Hall. The $67.50 ticket includes a one hour open bar, luncheon, entertainment and dancing. Bus leaves at 9:30 am; returns at 5 pm. Meetings are at the Fellowship Hall of the First Presbyterian Church, Maplewood Ave. The next meeting is Feb. 7. Call 973-779-5581.
Clifton Merchant • February 2012
Birthdays & Celebrations - February 2012
Ashley Rose Montague is 6 on 2/6. Leann Perez is Sweet 16 on 2/17. Her brother Anthony Musleh turns 21 on 2/12. Mark Zecchino celebrates on 2/28 and his son Nick is 17 on 2/11. Belated birthdays to Jon Schubert (1/21) and Michael Bandurski (1/27). Eric Lux is 17 on 2/3 and his sister Renee is 11 on 2/14. Brittany Pinter turns 22 on 2/27 and Courtney Carlson is Sweet 16 on 2/6.
Happy Birthday to... Send dates & names...email@example.com Alison Degen.......................2/1 Robyn Feldman................... 2/1 Kristin Reilly........................ 2/1 Mary Jane Varga................ 2/1 Emil Soltis, Jr ...................... 2/2 Joseph Fierro ...................... 2/3 Bob Naletko....................... 2/3 Catherine Grace Burns ........ 2/4 John Nittolo........................ 2/5
Courtney Carlson................ 2/6 Joseph DeSomma ............... 2/6 Robert Dâ€™Alessio ................. 2/7 Nicole Tahan...................... 2/7 Tara Fueshko ...................... 2/8 Jamie Carr ......................... 2/9 Craig Grieco...................... 2/9 Steven Becker ................... 2/10 Bryan Kelly....................... 2/10
Matthew Seitz .................. Bob De Liberto.................. Valentine Le Ster ............... Sarah Mikolajczyk ............ Joseph Hilla...................... Dolores Rando.................. John Hodorovych .............. Amin Zamlout................... Mark Gallo ......................
2/10 2/11 2/11 2/11 2/12 2/12 2/13 2/13 2/14
Happy Birthday to Natalie Pych who turns 11 on Feb. 8. 80 February 2012 â€˘ Clifton Merchant
Orest Luzniak ................. Jeanette Ann Saia........... Christine Canavan .......... Chickie Curtis................. Frank Klippel .................. M. Louis Poles ................ Ashley Brandecker .......... Lorraine Rothe ................ Michael Del Re............... Richie Bandurski ............. Michael Papa................. Robert Mosciszko ........... Taylor Jesch.................... Diana Murphy................ John T. Saccoman ........... Robert Adamo................ Eileen Feldman ...............
2/14 2/14 2/15 2/15 2/15 2/15 2/17 2/17 2/18 2/19 2/20 2/21 2/22 2/22 2/22 2/24 2/24
Knapp Brothers birthdays... Don celebrates on Feb. 6 and Richard on Feb. 22. Kimberly Mistretta ........... Donna Hawrylko ............ Kimberly Gasior ............. Brittany Helwig............... Joyce Penaranda ............ Lauren Ricca................... Charlie Galluzzo ............
2/24 2/25 2/26 2/27 2/27 2/27 2/28
Clifton Merchant â€˘ February 2012
In Sept. 2004, we asked if any of these seniors were future Hall of Famers. Jon Borrajo might be on his way. From left, Kim Habrahamshon, tennis; Jonathan Borrajo, soccer; Marta Leja, cross country. Second row Nina Natoli, gymnastics; Honan Ng, cross country; Maggie Bialek, volleyball. Standing: Patrick Egan, band; Allison Murray, cheerleading; Emmanuel Ihim, football and Kayla Devlin, soccer.
82 February 2012 â€˘ Clifton Merchant
On Jan. 5, CHS Class of 2005 grad Jonathan Borrajo signed a four year contract with the New York Red Bulls, continuing his professional soccer career in America after a two year stay abroad. Borrajo had spent the previous two seasons with the Norwegian First-Division club Hamarkameratene, where he played right back. Prior to that, his professional experience was in the USL Second Division, where he played for the Real Maryland Monarchs. Borrajo, 24, joined the Red Bulls after training in the Red Bulls academy with the U-19 and U-20 squads in the past. At Clifton, Borrajo was a four year standout for the Mustangs, and went on to star for George Mason in college. Borrajo is expected to compete for a starting position during this coming MLS season. The teamâ€™s first home game in Harrison is March 25.
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