Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
Table of Contents
What’s Inside? 6
Class of 1945 WWII Colored Their Lives
14 Class of 1955 Korea and the Cold War
20 Class of 1965 Clifton Goes to the World’s Fair
30 Class of 1975 The Vietnam War Ends
Look Back in Tens Going into our city’s history in increments of 10 years, we look back at the kids who graduated from Clifton High School over the past seven decades. From the close of WWII to the Mustangs who walked the field just 10 years ago, we peak into each decade in words and photos. We hope you’ll see names and photos of some old friends and perhaps family members.
40 Class of 1985 Big Hair & Achievements
48 Class of 1995 Flannel to Commencement
60 Class of 2005 Mustangs Just 10 Years Ago 16,000 Magazines are distributed to hundreds of Clifton Merchants on the first Friday of every month.
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Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
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John Sucillon, Ralph H. Junge, Robert Meyer, Donald Donkersloot, Harold Barton, Lawrence Boeglin and James Mason were among the Class of ‘45 grads already serving during WWII. At top of page are yearbook staff members.
By Madison Molner Reminiscing on the Class of 1945, perhaps nothing represents their successes and challenges better than the June class motto: Ad Astra Per Aspera or “to the stars through all difficulties.” When both the January and June classes of 1945 came of age, the country was deeply entrenched in WWII. As the Mustang Class of 1945 entered the halls of the old CHS, now Christopher Columbus Middle School, battles were being fought in Europe and the Pacific, virtually bordering the fragile safety of the United States. Bombs were being littered like confetti and an the ultimate weapon was being created, the atomic bomb. War was constant during their high school careers. Families rationed supplies and students sold war bonds, as well as collected scrap metal and worked for the American Red Cross. These kids did this while studying for their school examinations, attending Fall football games and picking out the perfect dress for prom. Seven faculty members and twelve teenage boys from the class were all 6 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
shipped off before the yearbook was published and graduation day arrived. The responsibilities and atmosphere that the Class of 1945 had were greater than any Clifton class before them. When looking back between the yellowed pages and broken bindings of the January and June Class of 1945’s yearbooks, and reading of their hopes, one sees the excitement of graduating high school seniors next to the thoughts of matured young adults with the war always in the back of their minds. The January class’s yearbook entitled Etude is somber with a dark colored cover. Musically speaking, an etude is a short piece of increased difficulty. Etudes are used as practice material leading up to a much larger performance. For the Class of 1945, their Etude would come after graduation and once the war had finally ended. By the June yearbook publication, Germany had surrendered and WWII was another chapter finally closing in the lives of the graduates. The June Class of 1945 yearbook is called, Mission Accomplished.
Now, using the two aged yearbooks as a primary source, we look back at a few distinguished names from the Class of 1945.
Di Ianni, a stalwart Passaic County Democrat, moved onto a bigger stage as Assistant Prosecutor for Passaic County in the 1960s. Years later, he also spearheaded Vision 2020, a nonPat Di Ianni profit group aimed at “I am very fond of the improving Passaic company of ladies,” was County by maintaining its Pat Di Ianni’s yearbook heritage and environquote. His quote does not ment, in 1999. foreshadow the career of Di Ianni testified with a man who worked to Vision 2020 before the improve the quality of United States Congress to programs and parks for petition for the Paterson all of Passaic County. Great Falls to become a Di Ianni served in the National Park. United States Air Force Vision 2020 also during the Korean War. pushed the restoration Pat Di Ianni later in life and as a young man in 1945. He earned a Bachelors of and reopening of the hisLaw Degree from toric Stone Tower on the Rutgers University in 1957 after being honorably disGarrett Mountain Reservation, just off Valley Rd. at the charged from service. Di Ianni’s degree was converted Clifton and Paterson border. Di Ianni never lived to see to a Juris Doctor Degree in 1968. Ianni maintained a the project completed. However, his legacy lives on private practice firm in Clifton for 55 years. with the projects that he helped promote.
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William Weinberg, Shirley Najarian, Stephen Nazimek, Matilda Talingo, Raymond Nightingale, Mary Ann Sloane, Harold “Mickey’ McFadden
Harry Fengya Another member of the Class of 1945 that took up the work of the law was Harry Fengya. Fengya served as Clifton’s notoriously tough municipal judge for 25 years. He eventually earning the moniker of “Hangin’ Harry,” due to his style for managing the courtroom that was full of old school decorum. He had a no-nonsense demeanor which earned him that nickname a stark contrast from the superlative he
The Sag-A-Bits members in 2003, seated left, Tony ‘Yiggs’ Romaglia and Bob Motta. Standing from left, Wally DeVries, Joe Menegus, John Filipone and Mickey McFadden.
Harry Fengya was a member of the Class of 1945 but never made it to Commencement.
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received in his high school yearbook as “Best Dancer.” Fengya never made it to his graduation stage at Clifton Stadium because with his parents’ permission, he left early and enlisted in the United States Coast Guard as a medic. Fengya earned yet another title while in the service. He became known as the Welter-Weight Champion of the U.S. Coast Guard in 1945. Attending college with the help of the G.I. Bill, Fengya began to clerk for lawyer, Harry Peterson. Peterson became Fengya’s mentor, lifelong friend and the two shared office space for decades. Fengya was sworn in as Clifton’s Municipal Judge in 1976 and served on the bench until 2001.
Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
WHERE ARE THESE Bits of Clifton... Twelve years ago, the Clifton Merchant first published a story on the Sag-A-Bits. The Sag-A-Bits was a group of Clifton High School graduates who got together to tell old stories and award the infamous Willy Zawisha ‘Good Guy’ Award. One of the men quoted in that original story was Mickey McFadden, a graduate of the Class of 1945. In his yearbook, McFadden’s senior prophecy was to become a “gas bill collector,” his ambition was “to be on time’’ and the one thing that he could not stand was the “local draft board no. 5.” Although his life may have not gone according to his yearbook plan, McFadden did his best to keep in touch with his Clifton classmates with the help of the SagA-Bits. The Sag-A-Bits were organized in 1977 from a record of old cohorts kept by Zawisha. Zawisha was a mutual, bedridden friend who was visited by all of the boys once they returned from service or were in the area. Since the original publication, the Sag-A-
10 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
Nazimek’s, which opened in 1918, was run by the three remaining brothers, twins Henry and Steve and Joe. This photo was taken in 2002.
Bits’s numbers have continued to shrink. However, the spirit and stories of the group continue to inspire and entertain and are certainly worth repeating here And a local business... A face that was primarily seen upon graduation on Van Houten Avenue in the Athenia section was Stephen
Nazimek. Nazimek and his brothers ran Nazimek’s Grocery at 567 Van Houten Avenue until it closed. The grocery opened in 1918 by the immigrant Polish family. Nazimek’s grocery was frozen in time and run by a group of joking brothers. The grocery specialized in homemade kielbasa and stuffed cabbage to satisfy any hungry mouth. Inklings of a lively spirit can be seen in Nazimek’s answers for the “Awful Truths” page in the 1945 yearbook. Nazimek’s dislikes were “school books,” his inspirations were “pin-up girls,” his favorite pastime was “driving a car” and his secret ambition was “to become a politician.” Although Nazimek may not have lived up to his high school secret ambition, he served the Athenia well with his fun attitude and delicious products.
Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
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Louise Perry, Eleanor Otten, Dolores Fette, Diana Tridente, Betty Andreae, Ann Dunleavy, Barbara Hellegers.
The CHS Basketball team of 1944-45. From left standing, Coach Bednarcik, Elmer Gall, Hal Corizzi, Joe Farkas, Don Parsons, Jiggs Zanetti, Eddie Fisher and manager Herb Klein. Kneeling, from left, Ted Dul, John Sanko and Bob Roberts. Missing from photo: Ray Van Cleef, Joe Scannella and Steve Jakubcak.
Arguably the best Mustang basketball teams ever. They were; however, the same team, practically identical. Only the centers changed from one season to the next. “These guys were incredible, teams just couldn’t keep up with them,” said Lou Poles, chairman of the CHS Hall of Fame Committee. These Fighting Mustangs, under legendary Coach Emil Bednarcik, posted a record of 18-2 in the 44/45 season, and 22-1 during 45/46. The three losses occurred in post-season play, meaning CHS was undefeated in the PV Conference for two straight years. Not bad, considering all of the players, except Hal Corizzi, were 16 years old at the time, explained former Coach 12 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
John Kostisin. “Many of them skipped a grade or were pushed ahead,” recalled Kostisin. “They were all very bright boys. All of them went on to college where they played ball and afterwards became successful adults.” Both squads consisted of forwards Hal Corizzi and captain Elmer Gall, guards Ted Dul and Ray Van Cleef, and center Joe Farkas, who was replaced by Don Parson in 1945. Most were All-Staters. Corizzi led NJ in scoring for two years, averaging 22 points a game, while Van Cleef led the team defensively. In the 1944-45 season, the Mustangs were downed only by East Rutherford in the PVC Jamboree, and Union Hill HS in a State Sectional Final.
Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
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Carol Kievit, Barry Mayer, Carole Stark, Barry Bagolie, Caryle Wiedmann, Donald Foster, Delores Redl.
Growing & Expanding
Class Officers Albert Amadio, Marinus Marynowski, Jean Nash and Isabell Carroll. Right, the entrance to the CHS Freshman Annex on 1st and Clifton Aves. At top, the old CHS, now Christopher Columbus Middle School.
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Edward Szott, Constance Novak, Eugene Toma, Elaine Mura, Joseph Kusmiss, Jean Dawson, Joseph D'Arco.
at the Old Clifton High
By Ariana Puzzo World conflict was a constant backdrop for the Class of 1955. The Korean War was in progress as the class entered the Annex for their freshman year, which was then located on First and Clifton Avenues. The fighting ended after the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed in 1953. However, worldwide political and military tensions persisted. The Class of ‘55 may have been ready to graduate from the main building, but ongoing pressures of the Cold War remained. While President “Ike” Eisenhower led the country, Albert Amadio led the senior class. Amadio, Marinus
Marynowski, Jean Nash and Isabell Carroll were the ‘55 Senior Class Officers. Amadio and Marynowski were also both athletes. Amadio was co-captain of the Clifton Mustangs and played basketball and baseball for CHS. Likewise, Marynowski was the manager of cross-country team and played on the basketball team. Within the CHS Student Council was another organization, known as the Student Court. The Student Court helped maintain discipline. Those who had a position on the Student Court included: Tom Pasternack, Carole Stark, James D’Angelo and Olive Kievit. Clifton Merchant • July 2015
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Joan Janowicz, Paul Siebeking, Joyce Smith, Peter Wyka, Kathryn German, Russell Demko, Jean Nash.
Art students sketch designs for CHS murals that depicted early life in Clifton. Top right, Felix, Ferdinand and Frank Kasper (pictured below with sister Frances) were the first, healthy quadruplets born in the United States.
Two events during the winter of 1954-55 were remembered within the halls of CHS. Excitement was felt throughout the school when Marlene Roodt arrived from the Union of South Africa and M. L. Tuang Snidvongs from Thailand. The families of Kay German and Barry Mayer hosted the two visitors, respectively. The senior class enjoyed exposure to different cultures by having Roodt and Snidvongs participate in classes and clubs during their time visiting CHS. The second event was the installation of a Hammond organ. The organ was dedicated to the late Harold Adams, who was a former principal of CHS, at the Christmas concert. Jane Francis and Nelson Baker were the first students to play the organ for an assembly program. Today, the Hammond organ remains in CCMS. The 1955 World Series matched the Brooklyn Dodgers against the New York Yankees. The loss was shocking for the Yankees, who had not lost a World Series since 1942. The same season saw the CHS baseball team in the process of being rebuilt. The new team produced one of the best pitching staffs in the area. 16 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
However, they were not fully broken in. The team ended with a 4-10 record. Warren “Tunk” Tunkel was voted by the local press as the outstanding baseball player at CHS. Tunkel also compiled one of the best individual records in the Conference, giving up only eighteen hits for twelve runs. The leading batter on the team was the shortstop, Kenny Ledgard, who batted .262. Much like the Cleveland Browns, the Clifton Mustangs entered the 1954 season as a strong team. However, both teams also shared the similarity of uncertain futures. The Fighting Mustangs started the season by defeating Central 12-7. Quarterback and co-captain Al Amadio and Murray Kashtan accounted for the two Clifton scores. However, many injuries impacted the success of the 1954 season. Amadio was sidelined for the season after receiving a broken ankle. Additionally, Walter Calligaro, who would eventually be named to the conference all-
Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
WHERE ARE THESE star team, was out for several games with a shoulder separation. The unfortunate circumstances of these two star players were only the beginning of what would be a tenuous season. Before the season ended, nine of the original starting eleven were benched by injuries.
The Mustangs finished the season in third place in the Passaic Valley Conference with a 4-5 record. Johnny Cash, Tony Bennett and Dolly Parton forged their careers in the music industry in the 50s. The genre “50’s music” would later be considered a culture of its own.
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CHS senior superlatives in 1955 included: Personality Plus Kenneth Nevard and Isabell Carroll, Class Politicians: Kay German and Barry Bagolie.
CHS students had numerous clubs that highlighted their musical abilities. Music clubs included: The Mustang Marching Band, Mixed Chorus, Advanced Girls’ Glee Club, Beginning Girls’ Glee Club and Boys’ Glee Club. Abstract expressionism and artists such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning were enormously influential in the early 1950s. CHS art students with extraordinary talent created murals for the cafeteria walls beginning in 1952. The murals depicted life in Clifton since the time of Native American tribes. CHS students researched the period that they were depicting and
CHS seniors, Thomas Pasternack, Eugene D'Amico and Walter Calligaro.
then worked diligently to create the pieces. By the Class of ‘55’s final year, two sections were completed and the third was to be finished by June of that same year. The first section showed the lives of Native American men, women and children. The second section was entitled “The Coming of the Dutch” and portrayed the early settlers. CHS cheerleaders, front row, left: Patricia Otte, Judith Boscia, The third section that was completed in Patricia Shraga, Roberta Weny, Doris Pojedinec, Barbara Land. Back June, 1955 captured life in the Clifton or row: Lois Feakes, Alberta Lucchetti, Dorothy Harding, Rosemarie Acquackanonk Township as it was then Maccan, Doris Rottolo, Phyllis Russo. called. The fourth section that would not be graduation on that June day 60 years ago. Murphy was completed until June, 1956 was intended to illustrate then a crucial member of the cross-country team and the modern-day Clifton. team created The Murphy Mile in his honor. As the Class of ‘55 participated and enjoyed student John Murphy was solemnly missed and well-regardlife, they never forgot one member of their class. John ed by the Class of 1955. Murphy was not at prom or sitting in the stadium for
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Diane Sherlock, Eric Glaubitz, Carol Rembis, John Rankin, Cecilia Zwiazek, Joseph Spinosa and Jacqueline Ish.
By Ariana Puzzo
The CHS Class of 1965 was the first class to enter the new high school on Colfax Avenue as sophomores and to graduate as seniors. As they were adjusting to changes, so was the rest of the world. The Civil Rights Movement reached a historical plateau on March 7 in Selma, Alabama. Protestors began the march to Montgomery in support of voting rights, but were stopped at the Pettus Bridge by police. Fifty marchers were hospitalized as police used tear gas, whips and clubs against them. The incident was later dubbed “Bloody Sunday” by the media. The march is considered the catalyst for pushing through the Voting Rights Act five months later. The Class of ‘65 were juniors when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. His successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson, escalated U.S. involvement in the already decade-long Vietnam War and amped up civil rights and affirmative action for Black Americans. Mayor Ira Schoem addressed the public on Clifton Day at the 1964 New York World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York.
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Drum Majorette Janet Siciliano brings the band to formation.
Despite civil and political unrest during their three years at CHS, the ‘65 Mustangs remained lighthearted and their yearbook shows plenty of good times in and around their hometown. For 31 cents per gallon, all of Clifton filled their tanks and drove to Flushing Meadows, New York to attend the 1964 World’s Fair on May 22, 1964. The New Jersey Pavilion was crowded as the Mustang Band opened the program with the National Anthem. Mayor Ira Schoem also addressed the public on Clifton Day at the World’s Fair. Senior class officers Joe Lombardo, Jean Kovaleski, Kathy Raub, Sharon Eschenbeck and Danny Koplish added some new programs. Officers of the Mustang Booster Club were Carol Rembis, Kathy Fava, Bonnie Burdzy, Doris Donnelly and Maureen Havasy who focused on school spirit and sponsored many pep rallies, including the “Spirit of ‘65.” Joe Spinoso and Miriam Lutz were named the king and queen at the The Cupid’s Capers dance on Valentine’s Day. Clifton Merchant • July 2015
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Daniel Vander Woude, June Zabchin, Ronald Minkin, Karen Podlas, Michael Donnelly, Patricia Murdock, Marc Donohue.
Danny Koplish, Treasurer, Sharon Eschenbeck, Corresponding Secretary, Kathy Raub, Recording Secretary, Jean Kovaleski, Vice-President and Joe Lombardo, President.
Sponsored by the Student Council Association, officers were Jacquelyn Ish, Carolyn Foster and Patricia Murdock. The group organized three dances, a play, a talent show, formed a new dance band club and helped put together the student-faculty basketball game. The Fighting Mustangs fought their way to a 5-4 record under new head coach William Vander Closter. Ted Debiak, who led the team in interceptions and played flanker on offense, was the captain. The offense was led by halfback Eddie Zak, who was a P.V.C. All-Star choice. Zak also averaged better than ten yards per carry. Players on the front line included: Steve Libin, Bill Capuano, Rich Schmazel and Ken Hastic. Monika Kalista, an Austrian delegate to the New York Herald Tribune World Youth Forum, was welcomed into the CHS community on Jan. 25, 1965. Clifton in the 1960s did not have the diversity that the town has today, which made the visit unique. Kalista lived in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Emil Sakas and student hostess, Murem Sakas. A farewell assembly was held for her on Feb. 11. Kalista was made an honorary member of the Majorettes, the Concert Choir and was also given a school ring from the S.C.A. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Elvis were discovering or re-discovering themselves during the 1960s. These artists broke barriers and influenced many young people to pursue music. Likewise, there were many talented musicians in the Class of ‘65. All-State Band members who won recog22 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
Mustang Harriers Coach Edward Zak with Co-captains Jim Smith and Ron Ryan.
nition were Leonore Lesh, James Pickart, Arthur Fischman, Frank Phillips, Robert Garrison and Thomas Glerum. Glerum was also recognized for his participation in the All-State Orchestra, along with Eric Glaubitz. Additionally, Robert Walton received recognition for his musical ability in All-State Chorus.
Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
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Jeffrey Dreyfuss, Marilyn Kitzie, Michael Osman, Ruth Wilson, Kenneth Mazzer, Lynne Turner, Marjorie Korn.
Front row: Coach Severin Palydowyez, Louis Hakim, Dale Cunningham, Charles Alboyoun, Ronald Matzner, Roman Domaradsky, Back row: Pete Martin, Teofil Kulyk, Michael O’Brien, Dave Brandenburg, Marvin Talansky, Gene Pfeiffer.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, the Boston Celtics and Muhammad Ali made headlines in 1965. Clifton celebrated the achievements of many teams that year as well, including cross-country. Co-captains were Jim Smith and Ron Ryan. Smith was easily the most valuable player, breaking existing course records and defeating every area runner who opposed him.
Smith and Ryan captured first and second place, respectively and helped the team achieve victory in the P.V.C. Championships. The two co-captains and members Bob Rothe, Joe DeMaio and Bob Scott were all influences in making the 1964 cross-country team one of the most successful teams in Clifton history, according to the yearbook.
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Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
WHERE ARE THESE
War in ‘Nam Made in Vietnam By Jack DeVries
Left to right Elaine Potkalesky, Fred V. Lombardo, Sarah Lombardo and Dr. Joseph V. Lombardo.
While the Clifton High Class of 1965 is the first to graduate from the Colfax Ave. building, history sees them in a more significant light: The last class to graduate before the world changed. “We were pre-hippie kids who respected authority – a class similar to ones in the fifties,” class president Dr. Joseph Lombardo remembered. “Our teachers’ word was law. We came before the age of rebellion.” But the innocence of 1965 came with a price – the growing shadow of the Vietnam War. “Vietnam,” said Lombardo, “weighed on our class a lot. At age 17-18, nobody usually dies. But when bodies began coming home, Vietnam became meaningful. We knew if you were drafted, you might not come back. If you dropped out of school, in 4-6 weeks, you’d get a draft letter telling you to report. That’s probably why many in our class went to college – to take advantage of the student deferment.” Lombardo remembered when classmate U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Alfred “Fred” Pino was killed in action at Khe Sanh in 1967. “I didn’t know Fred well,” he said, “but spent a good day with him and other friends one summer, near my Uncle Charlie’s home on Gregory Ave. Fred was one of the first of our class to go. Clifton was a conservative town then and being part of the military was something you were proud of. Today, the way Clifton honors its veterans with flags reminds me of that.” Classmate and U.S. Army Specialist 4 Bohdan Kowal, whom Lombardo did not know, also died in 1967, killed in action at Hau Nghia. 26 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
Lombardo’s own connection to veterans would come later. A self-described “nerdy kid,” he doesn’t remember being popular in high school, but decided to run for class president after being active in student council. “We had to give a speech,” he recalled, “and I did a good job with it, but was surprised when I was elected. Probably, our biggest accomplishment as class officers was holding the prom off campus. Usually, we held the prom in the gym. I remember people saying, ‘What are we going to do afterwards – shoot baskets?’” Keeping prom bids affordable was a challenge. To keep the price low, the class held its prom at the new Westmount Country Club in West Paterson on a Friday night – which caused another issue. “Because it was a Friday, many Catholic kids didn’t eat meat and not many liked fish,” Lombardo said. “We asked (then diocesan chancellor) Frank Rodimer for special dispensation so we could eat meat, but he said no. There were rules then.” Being the first class in the new high school had its perks. The building was clean and modern, featuring classes to prepare students for a business career or college. “Clifton and the surrounding areas had a lot of manufacturing and factory jobs back then,” Lombardo said. “You could get a job after graduating and live a middle class life. Kids were in no hurry to leave Clifton.” Lombardo remembers his class listening to DJ Cousin Brucie on WABC and being interested in the new folk music. He also remembers the sheer size of
his class. “We were about 1,400 students – there were kids you might not ever speak with or see in a year.” He doesn’t recall any classmate making mention of his father, woodshop teacher and no-nonsense disciplinarian Fred Lombardo. “He drove me, my best friend Ray Vigh and a couple other friends to school each morning,” Lombardo said. “No one said a word about him to me, but he could be intimidating if you got out of line.” After graduation, Lombardo went on to Boston University to study medicine. Three years into his studies, he joined the U.S. Navy, rising to the rank of commander. During his 10-year tenure, he looked after many veterans – including those who served in Vietnam – at Bethesda Naval Hospital and Walter Reed Army Hospital. While there, Lombardo met and married his wife Mary Whelan, a Navy ICU nurse, and began to specialize in nephrology, the study of the kidneys and renal system. Unlike his time in Clifton, he ultimately came faceto-face with the rebellion against the Vietnam War. While attending a medical conference, Lombardo, along with five doctors in full Navy uniforms, walked into a large room filled with hundreds of their profes-
sion. They were booed. “It was embarrassing – wearing the uniform of our country and people booing us. Unbelievable.” Though the public’s perception of the war had changed, Lombardo’s appreciation of the wounded he cared for and lost soldiers like Fred Pino remained. “I remember standing at Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. and getting emotional,” he said. “These weren’t just lists of names, they were people.” After years in private practice, Lombardo cared for veterans during the last nine years of his career in VA clinics in Rome and Catskill, N.Y. Now retired, he and his wife live in Athens, N.Y., spending time fishing and visiting their three sons and grandchildren, along with making trips to nearby Woodland Park to see his mom, Sarah, Clifton City Hall’s legendary former switchboard operator. Although it’s been five decades since he graduated, Lombardo feels the gulf between 1965 and the present is wider than years. “I opened up a package from Amazon the other day,” Lombardo said, “and the product said ‘Made in Vietnam.’ I thought, ‘Well, there you go.’ When I compare 1965 with today, it’s not a different time, it’s a different world.”
Clifton Merchant • July 2015
Colonial Pharmacy is instantly recognizable by its white turret tower. Founded in 1965, this pharmacy has been a Clifton Ave. landmark for 50 years. Owners Walter Voinov (CHS Class of ’71) and his brother-in-law Walter Diduch, purchased the business in 1985 and are now in their 30th year. “My brother-in-law, Walter Diduch, got the lead that Colonial was for sale and we purchased it from Edward Sudol in 1985,” Voinov explained. “It had been a pharmacy since 1965, but was originally the areas firehouse from the early 1900’s.” Colonial’s distinct white tower had been used to string up and dry the hoses and, on Saturdays, the building was used for social functions and dances. To this day, Voinov still enjoys being a small business owner. “You’re your own boss and can make your own policy. You also get to know your patients and clientele better,” Voinov said. “You can make changes that need to be made, which is not always the most pleasant thing, but it has to get done. Essentially, you need to have the motivation to succeed.” Open seven days a week, Colonial Pharmacy also continues to be a family operation. “My son, Alex, works here full-time as a pharmacist and my wife takes care of the frontend of the store, where the cards and gifts are,” Voinov said. 28 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
Founded in 1965 by Edward Sudol at center with tie, from left, in front of the Colonial Pharmacy, Walter Diduch, Walter Voinov, his son Alex and long time pharmacist Clint Spaar.
Walter Diduch said that running a small business requires teamwork, from the ownership to the staff and delivery drivers. Diduch added that over the three decades of ownership, “we have been fortunate to have worked with many wonderful employees over the years. For many, especially high school students, it was their first job and hopefully it was a good learning experience preparing them for the future.” Diduch added that they have seen generations of customers grow up to be adults. “I remember filling scripts for baby vitamins and today those babies are parents and still our customers,” he laughed. “Today, they bring scripts for their kids!” As a pharmacist, both Walters agree that time goes by quickly because every day is different, not a routine. “You feel like you help people and it’s this dealing with people that makes our job interesting and rewarding,” said Voinov. “We have seen many changes over the years,” he continued. “We have gone from typing RX labels with a typewriter to high tech computers, to having doctors send prescriptions through the Internet, what we call e-prescribing.”
Walter Diduch, B.S.R.P.
Walter Voinov, B.S.R.P
On the business side, there have been industry changes. They have seen the insurance companies take more control of the marketplace by pretty much dictating to the physicians what to prescribe and how much they will reimburse to the pharmacy. “Words like Tier 1, Tier 3, non-formulary, not covered, prior authorization required, did not exist 20 years ago,” said Diduch. “But we work through this tangled web to try to get the patients the medication they require. It all comes down to customer service.” So what makes going to a local pharmacy better? “Customers see a familiar face, get to know their pharmacist, get to know the staff, and be very comfortable asking questions about both over-the-counter stuff or prescriptions, which is really great,” Voinov explained. “We also know the doctors in the area and we stock special medication that these doctors request. We’re able, should we not have something, to have a driver pick up the medication somewhere else. Since we usually have three to four pharmacists on duty at once, we can fill prescriptions right away, so there’s no wait like at bigger chains.”
Dorothy Duffy, B.S.R.P.
Alex Voinov, Pharm-D
Lisa Saeman, B.S.R.P.
Clifton Merchant • July 2015
Gary Kleinman, Cindy Pych, Rich Sussman and Carolyn LaBate sitting in the CHS green, now the soccer and band fields.
From left, Dante Liberti, Julia Kluth, John Traier, Audrey Casperino, Dean Corizzi. Bottom, Barbara Brask, David Brancato, Veronica Brancato, Robert Puleo, Lynda Raphael. At left, Chris Media conducting an “egg and glass” experiment, asking his class mate: What could go gone wrong?
Story and photos by Michael Gabriele
They say “you can never go home again,” but when the Clifton High School Class of 1975 reunites later this year to celebrate its 40th reunion, much of the conversation, no doubt, will focus on the classmates that never left town and decided to stay in Clifton. Many of them are involved in business, politics, or have maintained close friendships and are active in community life here in the city. Home sweet home 30 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
WHERE ARE THESE
This past winter: Lenny Mongelli, Bob Puleo, Jane Seigel Mongelli, Nick Bellafonte, Barbara LaRosa Bais, Robin Young Bellafonte, Lynda Raphael Puleo, Judy Adragna Millier. Doug Miller, Ronnie Brancato Sokerka, and Al Sokerka.
Lyn Raphael Puleo, was the recording secretary for the Class of 1975 and has put her organizational skills to good use by maintaining a network of married classmates. She married her high school sweetheart, Bob Puleo, and stays connected with: Bob Bais and Barbara DeRosa; Lenny Mongelli and Jane Seigel; Doug Miller and Judy Adragna; Nick Bellifonte and Robin Young; and Al Sokerka and Ronnie Brancato. Lyn said that the network extends to other Class of 1975 couples living in Wayne, West Milford and Woodland Park. “We’ve stayed close all these years,” Lyn said. “Our friendships were so strong at CHS. We’ve made it a priority to stay in touch. We love living in Clifton. It’s home.” She has two daughters, Kim and Casey, who have graduated from CHS. For 21 years, Lyn worked as a coordinator for the intensive care unit of Hackensack University Medical Center. She’s currently gearing up to start her own cookie-baking business, “The Cookie Studio.” Bob is a senior partner at a CPA firm and a member of Clifton UNICO. A politico and patron of the arts To keep up with events in the lively political career of John M. Traier, all you have to do is pick up a local newspaper. As reported in the June 10 edition of The Record, Traier emerged from the Passaic County Republicans’ “primary squabble” and was re-elected to 32 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
a three-year term as party chair. He defeated a challenger from Prospect Park during the Passaic County Regular Republican Organization’s post-primary reorganization meeting, held at party headquarters in Wayne. Traier confirmed that he is a candidate for a seat in the state Assembly representing the 34th District, which includes Clifton. For nine years (2002-2011), Traier was a member of the Clifton Board of Education. A patron of the arts, Traier is the treasure of the Theater League of Clifton, a non-profit organization that celebrated its 10th anniversary with a production of South Pacific. He also has worked on numerous cultural projects with the Clifton Arts Center. Traier is a partner in Jimenez & Traier LLC, an accounting and financial firm in Wayne that specializes in serving the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Let’s go to the video tape One-hundred years from now, when future historians review video footage to ponder the meaning of Clifton community life in the early days of the 21st century, they’ll have Michael Molner to thank for capturing the moving images. For several years, Molner and his trusty camera have videotaped football halftime shows by the CHS Mustang Marching Band, performances by the Clifton Community Band, city parades, high school and
Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
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Barbara Larosa, Alfred Dubois, Jayne Modean, Robert Genuardi, Patricia Delora.
Michael Molner with his daughter Madison, a 2013 CHS grad who is currently an editorial intern with this magazine; back in the day with accordion player and SCA Treasurer John Traier; cross country runner Jim Hobin.
middle school plays and musicals and numerous other local events. Next time you’re at a Clifton event, just look around; if you see a guy with a video camera, it’s probably Michael Molner. In addition to taping band performances, Molner also served for three years as the trip chairman for the Mustang Band Parents Association. His daughter, Madison, a 2013 CHS grad, who performed as a trumpet player for the Mustang Band for four years, is currently a journalism major at Rutgers University. Molner has lived at his home on Delawanna Ave, previously owned by his parents, since he was a child. He and his family say that they appreciate the reassuring familiarity of their neighborhood and the tempo of life. “There was a time, about 15 years ago, when we considering moving out of Clifton, but we’re glad we decided to stay,” said Molner’s wife, Karen (Klein), CHS 1977. A three-sport athlete (football, wrestling and track) at CHS, Molner went to Pratt Community College in Kansas on a football scholarship. However, after a year in Kansas, he realized that his heart was in Clifton and he returned to be with Karen. The two had dated during their high school years and were married in 1979. Molner established his own construction business 34 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
(Woodsmith House Improvements) in 1983. Each year he donates his time and talents to his other Clifton alma mater, Christopher Columbus Middle School, helping with the stage construction for the school’s annual musical, as well as the “farewell” dance for eighth graders. Clothes have made the man There are two clichés that, quite literally, serve as a “perfect fit” for Bob Genuardi: “Clothes make the man,” and “Dress for success.” Clothes, specifically the classic tuxedo, indeed have been the focus of Genuardi’s career. He operates DeLuxe Formal Wear in Downtown Clifton. Interviewed in mid-June, he was immersed in the busiest time of the year for his business: Prom and wedding seasons. During this two-month period, his shop will receive handle 200 to 300 tuxedo orders per week; that translates into 12-hour days, seven days a week. Genuardi quite literally, “grew up” in the formal wear business. He became general manager in 1985 and has been running DeLuxe since 1989. His grandfather, Joseph DeLora Sr., started the operation in 1930, at 1268 Main Ave where the Moose Lodge is located. The current shop was constructed during the
Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
ass of Cl
WHERE ARE THESE
NNJIL Championship Basketball Team. Standing, from left, Assistant Coach Robert Castronova, Ron Haraka, Bob Genardi, Rick LaMonica, Bud Campbell, Larry Gibson, Bob Reinerts, George Olier, Steve Gallik, Head Coach John Kostisin. Kneeling, Mark Presby, Adam Stachura, Brian Stasiak, Captain Ed Bednarcik, Michael Goldstein, Joe Bellone, Brian Walsh, Joe Prebish.
have resided in Sparta for the last 24 years. They have two sons, Nick and Jonathan, both in their 20s.
mid-1940s. Genuardi said that, for many years, his late uncle, Pat DeLora, was the “backbone of the business.” Among his memories was being on the Mustang basketball team senior year, when the squad posted an impressive 20-3 record. But even closer to his heart, he recalled his many years learning the game during leagues at the Boys & Girls Club. Genuardi and his wife Nancy 36 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
The circle of life Philosophically speaking, Dean Corizzi knows that every day is a full-circle moment. As a matter of fact, he creates hundreds of warm, tasty full-circle moments for friends and strangers, by the hour, year round, at Mt. Prospect Plaza, 850 Van Houten Ave. Bagels, that is. Plaza Bagels and Deli, (also known as ‘Punk-Rock Bagels,’ thanks to Corizzi’s 1990’s punk rock band BackStreet Driver) churns out 19 varieties of bagels from its rotating oven. Corizzi learned the business as a teenager, working at Clifton Bagel Bakery on Rt. 46 and then continued his apprenticeship at a Passaic bagel bakery on Hope Ave. He opened Plaza Bagels and Deli in 1988 and has become a renowned purveyor of delectable bagels ever since. Corizzi said that his bagels are hand-rolled, baked fresh daily
and are cholesterol and preservative free. Everyone has a favorite, but according to his reporter’s taste buds, the whole wheat and the Asiago bagels are at the top of the list. These days Corizzi is reaping the success of his hard work to perfect his craft and establish a business. “Life is good. I’m a happy guy,” he declared. Sh-Boom Since 1980, Carolyn and Dante Liberti have been “out together, dancing cheek to cheek” (apologies to Irvin Berlin). Or, put another way—considering their fondness for oldies and Doo Wop music— “life could be (and has been) a dream; Sh-Boom” (another 1950s hit recorded by The Chords and The Crew Cuts). Through their years of marriage, Dante and Carolyn have presided over a clan of five beautiful daughters, all of whom have delightful musical talents, and now they appreciate the joys of doting over four grandchildren. They remained connected
Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
C to Clifton, staying close with friends, family and classmates. The Liberti family has supported the Clifton Boys & Girls Club for decades and Dante serves as vice president on the Board. In addition, he is the guiding light of the ‘Manhattan (sic) Brothers,’ the oldies band that includes several classmates. Dante has worked in the financial planning field for 35 years, became a certified financial planner in 1986 and is associated with Dynasty Advisors LLC in Iselin. Best friends For Julie Kluth and Lynn Rosenberg, their friendship began one September morning in 1971, while waiting for the CHS bus at Roland and Virginia Aves. As freshmen, they were Virginia Ave. neighbors with simpatico personalities and interests. They’ve remained best friends ever since. “We just can’t do anything without each other,” Lynn said. “Lynn is a kind-hearted and generous person,” Julie said. “We have a lot of things in common. We’ve
WHERE ARE THESE
Dean Corizzi pictured with his punk rock band BackStreet Driver. In the early 90’s, the band achieved some regional fame and cut a few CDs. He is also pictured today at Plaza Bagels, at Van Houten and Mt. Prospect Aves.
always been good friends.” Both were married in 1989—Julie to Michael Gabriele (the author of this article), and Lynn to Matt Mallinson. Today Lynn lives in New York City while Julie and her husband have owned a home in Clifton for more than 25 years. Julie’s oldest son, Michael, is a 2011 graduate of CHS. Today the friendship of Lynn and Julie involves frequent get-togethers to see Broadway shows, visits to the Jersey Shore and occasional weekend excursions. Both say that they look forward to reconnecting with classmates later this year. Drum Majorette by Kristina Azevedo To some, the Clifton of 1975 is an entirely different world than the city that we see today. But Jill Visicaro (Renta) said that she still sees the wonderful hometown that she grew up in. “I visit several times a month
38 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
to see my 93-year-old mother and two sisters,” Jill said. “It still looks the same to me. Many of mom’s neighbors still live in the same houses they did when I was growing up.” She grew up in Richfield with four sisters (Donna ‘64; Barbara ’66; Karen ’71; Kim ’80) and attended St. Andrew’s and Woodrow Wilson Middle School. Jill’s true legacy at CHS lies with the pride of Clifton, the Mustang Marching Band. In 1973, the band was enormous and former long time director Robert D. Morgan had only taken up the baton a few years earlier. This was the year that Jill started out as a majorette. For the 1974-75 season, Jill’s senior year, she was selected as the Drum Majorette. “It was competitive,” Jill recalled. “There were quite a few girls who tried out. It was a coveted position.” The transition from first year majorette to the Drum Majorette was not easy. She needed to quickly
were young, a wholesale tradlearn how to be a strong ing card company, T & L leader. “It was hard for me to Baseball Cards, Inc. Outside of transition from being one of work, it is an exciting time for 16 Majorettes that depended Jill whose daughter, Diana is on each other to being in front recently engaged. Jill is hoping with a lot of responsibility. As to convince her daughter to the year went on it got easikeep a family tradition of being er—I was more comfortable.” married at St. Andrew’s Church In May of ‘75, the band in Clifton. “I’m trying to get went to New Orleans for the my daughter to get married at spring fiesta. “We were the the church I was married at. host band. We led a parade My parents were married at that down Bourbon Street. I think same church and so were most they gave the keys to Mr. of my sisters.” Morgan,” Jill recalled. When asked how her expeReunion plans for rience as Drum Majorette the Class of 1975 influenced her life Jill said, Doreen Delancy Williams, a “the position prepared me to Realtor at Clifton’s Coldwell be more assertive in my career Banker Residential Brokerage, and helped me to be more is the point person organizing organized in our business and the 40-year reunion celebration dealing with four children.” for the CHS Class of 1975. The After graduating from CHS, festivities will take place in Jill went to St. Barnabas Clifton during October’s Medical School of Nursing Columbus Day weekend. where she got her RN. Working The main event will be a at St. Barnabas, she met Tom beefsteak dinner on Oct. 9, at Visicaro and moved to Staten the Boys & Girls Club. On Oct. Island before settling in 10, she is planning a reception Hillsborough. and dinner at Mario’s. During In 1987, Jill and Tom had the day there will likely be triplets at the same hospital informal activities for classwhere they met. Then in 1989, mates. they had another son. “It was On Oct. 11, she hopes to very hard,” Jill said of raising organize a pancake breakfast four little ones all at once. It’s with members of the CHS Class like a blur to me now.” of 2016 (venue to be finalized Even though Jill lost touch Jill Renta then and now; soon). The breakfast will be a with many from CHS, she still Julie Gabriele and Lynn Rosenberg today. benefit event, with proceeds makes time to go to marching going to a scholarship fund at CHS. band reunions. Just recently, Jill found out that another Details for the reunion plans are forthcoming. Mustang alumni, Joe Gerbino, lives around the corner Contact Delancy Williams by phone (973-760-2986) or from her in Hillsborough. “I used to drive him home from practice because he lived in the neighborhood,” e-mail (email@example.com). Born and she said of their days at CHS. raised in Clifton, Delancy Williams has been in real Now with her children grown, Jill focuses on the estate since 2002. She volunteers for numerous civic business that her husband created when the children groups and is a Board of Recreation Commissioner. Clifton Merchant • July 2015
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Dorothea Breen, Steven Abill, Paulette Balkjy, Dorothy Baran, Bohdan Baran, Ernest Berthold, Kenneth Blum. Tanya Maultspy.
Sue Simon, Sue O’Leary and Cathy Taylor of the 1985 CHS Dance Club.
Big Hair, Big Achievements for the Class of ‘85 By Madison Molner When Drum Majorette Lisa Koller led the Mustang Band in Washington D.C. for the inauguration ceremonies of President Reagan on Jan. 20, everyone knew it was going to be a year of big achievements for the Class of 1985. In the Fall of 1984, while the San Francisco 49er’s were working toward their eventual Super Bowl title over the Miami Dolphins, the Fighting Mustangs were gaining victories of their own. The ‘85 Mustangs won a Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League divisional title and tackled the competition all the way to the state playoff tournament. The team was led offensively by Captain Joe Della Fera, Mangus Jernigan and Joseph Silva and covered defensively by seniors Eric McShane, Stan Fletcher, Stan Galarowicz, Vinny Colavitti and Owen O’Rourke. The Fighting Mustangs ended the season with a record of 7-2-1. Likewise, the soccer team, under Coach Fernando Rossi, was big.
40 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
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William Mocek, Theresa Najjar, Michael Porter, Annemarie Sabatino, Victoria Sala, Pamela Chomiak, Michael Skala.
They ended 1985 with a 20-2 record, Grabler, Joann Alfonzo, Kris Comment, the team’s best tally in recent years, earnDiana Pataky, Teresa Cerpa and Beth ing them a place in the state finals. Green. Meanwhile, their classmates capWhile those were the dominant tured these stories on CHS-TV’s two new Mustang sports, they were not the only programs: “Sports Break” and “News ones. By the end of the 1984-85 season, Break,” directed by Karl Nilsson and his over 40 CHS student athletes won at least team of reporters. one award across 10 sports teams. Barbara Iskra and Joann Alfonso repreOn the political and social front, things sented the Class of ‘85 as co-valedictoriwere changing rapidly. President Reagan ans and showed 85’s academic achievemet with Mikhail Gorbachev, the General ments were as big as the class’s extracurSecretary of the Communist Party of the ricular awards. For many, their big David Kishbaugh today. Soviet Union. Words such as perestroika accomplishments did not end once they (restructuring) and glasnost (openness) crossed the stage at Clifton Stadium. became commonplace, introducing profound changes in Today, members of the Class of 1985 can still be seen economic practice, internal affairs and international around Clifton using the strengths that they discovered in relations. high school to better their community. While Reagan and Gorbachev were mixing it up, CHS delegates for Boys’ and Girls’ State were meeting Pedaling through life other political proteges and debating big topics. CHS David Kishbaugh was one of Clifton’s original bumdelegates included: Mike Carlet, Frank Zilinek, John blebees. Bumblebees, being Clifton Police Department’s Conklin, Bill Guarini, Tom Macaluso, Jim Lauer, Joe original bike patrol unit, are known for their bright yelArcher, John Stachura, Laura Robertson, Stephanie low shirts and black shorts.
1985 Football Seniors, not in picture order, Marino Albino, Tony Cancilleri, Vinny Colavitti, John Conklin, Joe Della Fera, Steve DeStafano, Stan Fletcher, Stan Galarowicz, Magnus Jernigan, Eric McShane, Mary Meyer (Manager), Jack Mistretta, Owen O’Rourke, Mike Porter, Hernando Rangel, Valerie Russo (Manager), Joseph Silva.
42 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
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Vincent Colavitti, Gina Corradino, Carol Filipowicz, David Kishbaugh, Karin Korb, Jean Labriola, Jacquelyn Majka.
Kishbaugh began as a standard patrolman in 1987 and when the bike unit was established in 1995, he was already looking for something bigger. Bike units were a new concept for police departments in the 1990s. After Clifton’s success, other local towns began to join the trend that had given new life to Kishbaugh. The high school ice hockey player was back in shape as he rode around town and earned the title of Law Enforcement Bike Administration master instructor by 1997. He soon extended his cycling route beyond the CPD and began competing across the country in races. Now retired, Kishbaugh is a master technician for the bicycle and focuses his experience and knowledge to help build bikes that cater to personal and physical needs.
44 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
Man of many hats If you need your street plowed during a blizzard, your phone lines repaired during a hurricane, or a ferris wheel delivered for your next carnival, Ernie Berthold is your guy. Berthold carries on the big spirit of the Class of 1985 through his energetic approach to everything. Fleet manager for Verizon’s crisis response unit and driver for McCafferty Enterprises, which specializes in carnival amusements and area manager for a snow plow outfit, Berthold never seems to stops. Berthold also made sure to stay involved in the activities of his children, such as helping out with Clifton Little League and acting as chair for Kids First Clifton, a group active in the early 2000s when they campaigned for the
1985’s superlatives also stayed with the times. Most Conservative were Joe Silva and Vicki Sala. Most Dependable were Marlana Stoll and Jerry Parent.
building of another high school. He consider their efforts half successful as it resulted in the construction of the Brighton Rd. Annex for 500 students—not enough to house an entire class of freshmen but certainly some progress. If you thought that Berthold’s schedule still looked a little weak, he has served as a volunteer fireman for
31 years, first in Nutley, then Passaic and currently in West Paterson. As a firefighter, he is a member of the Clifton chapter of the Red Knights International Firefighters Motorcycle Club. Members in the chapter ride in events to help promote motorcycle safety and also enjoy the company of fellow firefighters in the area.
Clifton Merchant • July 2015
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At left, Dori Breen and Kelly Douglass in December 2014 as Douglass shot her way to the 1000th point title. Right, top row: Coach Madsen, Ellen Oostdyk, Missy Quicker, Erin Shaughnessy, Michele Miller, Dori Breen, Coach Carline. Bottom row: Debbie Quicker, Lori Pletenik, Robin Greenwald, Theresa Messineo, Christa Breen, Janet Domino.
Join the Club Dori Breen swished into school record books on Jan. 24, 1985 as she scored her 1,000th point as a Lady Mustang basketball player. Breen was the first ever Lady Mustang to reach such a milestone over her three-year career at CHS. Breen kept herself busy at CHS as the captain of softball and field hockey teams. She was also the sports editor of the Rotunda, writer for The HUB and member of the psychology club. She returned to the CHS court in Dec. 2014 to cheer on current senior, Kelly Douglass, as she worked to become the second Lady Mustang to join the 1,000 point club. After entering the record books and adding to the Class of 1985’s big year, Breen attended St. John’s University and is now a Catholic School Principal.
46 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
Gary D’Annuzio and Gina Corradino had the Million Dollar Smiles in 1985.
Front row (left to right): Greg Bajek, Joseph Koziol, Stan Lembryk, Tom Acton, Mike Schimpf, Edward Schroers, Emanuel Skounakis, Robert Kotlar, Joseph Casey. Second row: Maria Orlando, Coach Fernando Rossi, Robert Krzanowski, Augie Ros, Franco Strippoli, Mark DiGennaro, Bill Wilson, Ted Kania, Salvatore Inforna, Richard Acosta, Bruno Vargas, Mr. Lou Capuano, Sophie Sroka.
New computers were just a step above typewriters in 1985. Clifton Fire Chief Vincent Colavitti today.
Burning Down the House Although the 1983 Talking Heads song lives on, Class of 1985’s Vincent Colavitti prides himself in doing the exact opposite as Clifton’s Fire Chief. During his high school years, Colavitti could be found with the NNJIL winning title, on the Fighting Mustang Football team or on CHS’s basketball team. Today as Chief Colavitti, he provides the equipment and education needed for Clifton’s firefighters to perform at their highest ability. Colavitti was sworn in to his post in 2011, becoming one of a few Clifton fire chiefs to be promoted directly from captain, skipping a rung on his career ladder. As mentioned when he began as chief in 2011, Colavitti’s big, long-term goal for the Clifton Fire Department is to be upgraded to a class 1 department. Currently Clifton is rated as a class 2 department, an upgrade they received in Jan. 2012.
Clifton Merchant • July 2015
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Michael Daniel Doktor, Rachel Deutsch, Michael DeVita, Mary Foukas, Linda Boesz, Kent Bania, Craig Hammer, Dennis Mikula, Adrianna Calise
The Spirit of ‘95 Resonates Today In many ways, 1995 was the end of an era. In that year, there were many final appearances by cultural icons. After spending a decade on the comic pages of newspapers, the final Calvin and Hobbes strip was published. The Grateful Dead went on one final tour before Jerry Garcia passed away and the band split. Danny Tanner and the rest of the Full House gang also went their separate ways that year. Likewise, June of 1995 marked the end of an era in Clifton, as students left CHS for the final time. However, those Mustang graduates left with a lifetime of memories, and the skills needed to go on to accom48 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
By Joe Hawrylko
plish great things in life. One of the great stories of this class was the bonds built through high school sports, and how that helped springboard several careers. When talking about Clifton sports in 1995, there was no greater team than the Clifton Mustang soccer squad. Under head coach Fernando Rossi, Clifton was a rising soccer program that finally broke through in the 199495 season. Led on the field by Polish-American standouts Wojtek Krakowiak and Krzysztof Halupka, Clifton marched through the state tournament and defeated longtime rival Kearny by a score of 3-0.
Joseph Torelli, Robyn Triolo, Christopher Rold, Lisa Rothe, David Roe, Stacy Ricucci and Ryan Rieder.
That capped off one of the most domiKrakowiak and Halupka were later honnant seasons in New Jersey soccer history. ored with induction into the Clifton Among the accolades received by Mustangs Athletic Hall of Fame. were All-League, All-Passaic County, AllKrakowiak went on to Clemson, where Area, All-State (Coaches Association), Allhe started for the Tigers and won the State Top 51 Players, All-East, AllHerman Trophy for most outstanding America, All-State (Star Ledger) and Player male collegiate player. He later went on to of the Year (NJ). play professionally in Major League Although the program had been building Soccer for the Tampa Bay Mutiny and the for several years, the state title win was the San Jose Earthquakes. He is currently the Adrianna Calise culmination of years of hard work by coach of the Montana State University Rossi, Krakowiak, Halupka and the rest of Billings womenâ€™s soccer team. the Mustangs. Even 20 years later, the impact of that Likewise, Halupka went on to a career in soccer, victory is still felt by soccer players young and old. It is playing professionally in Poland after graduating from arguably the point that Clifton transformed into an Princeton University. annual high school soccer powerhouse. Clifton was also successful on the ice, where the The win cemented the legacy of the late Fernando Mustangs were crowned champions of the Charles Rossi, who was also named coach of the year. Housley Christmas Tournament. The team, led by
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The 1994-95 team won the NJ Championship game with a punishing score of 3-0 over the favored Kearny High team. Coach Fernando Rossi was voted New Jersey Coach of the Year.
longtime head coach Tom Danko, also captured the Handchen Cup League Championship during the same season. Adrianna Calise was on that squad. The Class of 1995 grad was one of the first Lady Mustangs to play ice hockey with the boys since Clifton does not have a women’s team. While her hockey career ended after graduation, Calise said that her time in Clifton helped shape her future. “I worked at Richfield Farms in high school and during my summers off in college,” said Calise, who studied undergrad at St. Lawrence University. “It was while working there that I decided to go back to school to get my degree in veterinary medicine.” 50 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
Calise worked to get the credits that she needed locally, then went on to St. Matthew’s University, and then later to Purdue University for her clinical year. Calise now lives locally and practices in New York. Clifton’s sporting success continued into the spring, as the Clifton lacrosse program fielded several competitive teams that made the playoffs. But what members of that squad most remember is the great camaraderie shared by teammates. Mike DeVita was a senior in 1995, and recalled how playing in the youth lacrosse program introduced him to several people that would become life-long friends.
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Andy Seyka, Laura Kolakowsky, John Greco, Kimberly Genchi, Gerald Zecker, Frances Telofski.
From left, the late John Greco at CCMS before his death in 2010. The Mustang Lax team in 1995: Front row: Adam Torrisi, Anthony Malanga, Matt Miktus, Christopher Rold, Robert Kopec, John Greco. Second row: George Visscher, Pat Catroneo, Mansfield Holmes, Stanley Bednarz, Daniel Fleksher, Gerrit Visscher. Back row: Scott Zayatz, Kent Bania, Jerold Blustein, Timothy Garrett, Adam Kopesky, James Kim, Matt Troncellito.
“I played in high school and I’m still friends with a lot of the guys from that team,” he recalled. DeVita has been a business administrator in Kearny schools for over five years and lives in Cedar Grove with his wife, Amanda. “Anthony Malanga, Kent Bania, Adam Torrisi, Adam Kopesky, Jerry Blustein. All of those guys, we played together from the 7th or 8th grade. It was a close group of guys that played together over the years at the lacrosse camp and that helped us in high school.” “We went to the playoffs a couple of times and got as far as the second round of the state tournament, losing to Mountain Lakes, the eventual champion,” he said. “When we were there, it was one of the toughest divisions: Mountain Lakes, Delbarton, Ridgewood, Montclair.” After graduating from Clifton, Kent Bania went on to coach at the high school level and then at Montclair State under the late John Greco, a teammate from the Class of ‘95 who passed away unexpectedly in 2010. Now a science administrator in the Nutley School District, Bania played with Greco in high school, and continued to play in college at Rutgers before turning to coaching. 52 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
“I ended up starting out as a volunteer during my first year at Montclair and then they brought me on as an assistant coach and I was there for five or six years,” he said. “We won the Skyline Conference there. At one point the program was in danger of discounting, and John was the guy who pushed to keep it.” Bania, DeVita and several other Mustang lacrosse members, young and old, celebrate the life of their friend, teammate and colleague in an annual golf outing. This year’s event took place on June 29. “It’s really amazing to continually have this. Mike and the Greco family have done a great job,” said Bania, who lives in Cedar Grove with his wife, Candace, and daughters Avery and Victoria. “It’s a great chance to see people that love John and just touch base with those guys. It’s a great chance to remember.” “The original concept came from Mike. We’ve been a team along,” said former City Manager Al Greco. He, along with his wife, Karen, daughter-in-law, Susan and other family members and friends, help coordinate the annual event, which has generated more than
Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
WHERE ARE THESE
‘95 MUSTANGS NOW?
Front row: Craig Polk, Dan Wisniewski, Tom Brown, Brad Tyburczy, Kevin Russnak, Jeff Mosher, Adrianna Calise, mgr. Kristen Varelis, Head Coach Danko. Back row: Mgr. Cristy Kuzmuk, Bart Popa, Rob Montana, Ross Petruska, Gary Shpungin, Mark Branter, Assistant Coach LaDuke, Mike Stepien, Mike Baker, Chris Gorvan, Joe Paradiso, Derek Dandy, Steve Bivaletz, Paul Zimny. Not shown: Mgr. Lisa Roth, Assistant Coach Chomiak.
recalled. “He really was the first $50,000 in scholarship money guy to give me an opportunity.” since 2010. “One goes to a gradMikula has held various titles uate who played lacrosse, one over the years at Hofstra, Bailey goes to an alumnus of Ellard and even started the footChristopher Columbus and one ball program at the now-closed goes to a Montclair State student Don Bosco Tech. He is currently who is going on to teach. It the offensive coordinator at touches all aspects of John’s life. Delbarton High School. He was a very giving person. The While building his career in staff and faculty of CCMS and coaching, Mikula continued to the CHS lacrosse program have Diana, Dennis and Lucy Mikula. work at the family business, been some of our biggest supMikula Construction, under his porters.” father, Dennis Sr. In addition to juggling coaching, Denis Mikula, Jr. is another former Mustang athlete work and family life, the Clifton native is working whose interest in sports led him to coaching. Mikula towards his MBA at Rutgers. was a standout offensive and defensive lineman at CHS “I grew up in it. I’ve pretty much been here since I and fondly recalled the Mustang gridiron tradition. was five,” he said. Mikula and his wife, Diana, just cel“When I was a kid attending games I always wanted ebrated five years of marriage. They have a daughter, to run out on the field with the band playing,” he said. Lucy. “I’m the third generation. My father, Dennis, is “There is something special about playing football at still president. The business has been there for about 70 Clifton School Stadium. The tradition of playing years. God willing, we will continue to be here for Passaic on Thanksgiving also provided experiences, many more years to come.” which I will never forget.” Mustang football coach Jim Kelly also influenced While he went on to play football at Montclair, injuries kids in the classroom. In addition to the gridiron, Kelly derailed his career in his freshman year. However, that same season, Mikula got into coaching. 20 years later, was in charge of the Clifton CAST program, which prohe’s still on the field. “Jim Kelly was my coach and I duced the morning news, in addition to some careers in worked with him for two years as a volunteer,” he media and entertainment. 54 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
Thirty two Clifton seniors were among the 364 PC Class of 2015 grads who took part in the Commencement at the Prudential Center on June 8. Classmates came from some 83 towns in North Jersey and Rockland County as an audience of over 3,000 parents, family members, and friends cheered them on.
Members of the Class of 2015 earned about $56 million in scholarships and grants.
Congratulations to all our graduates from Clifton! Hugo Castro - GPA: 94.5, SATs: 1840 Attending Siena University Earned $160,000 in total scholarships. Allison Szeliga - GPA: 93.46 SATs: 1910 Attending Rutgers University. Earned $655,360 in total scholarships.
Alyssa Alden Sarah Alwan Michael Boccafogli Alexis Capobianco Samantha Contreras Christopher Daniello Kathryn Davis Jason Delaney Natasha Dizon Anthony Donato
Jonathan Ebrahim Julius Gastone Kevin Gellido Rachel Gergats William Goehrig Ramdy Horna Stephanie Jakimec Marta Maciejewski Fiorella Medina Austin Mino
Virna Mogilevsky Gianna Monaco Alyssa Pesoli Joemel Reyes Austin Rio Michael Santeramo Brian Sobczak Krzysztof Tyszko Rezart Xeka Max Yaurimo
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Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
WHERE ARE THESE
Gerald Zecker, Andrew Wilson and Scott Alboum all work in the film and TV industry thanks to the CAST program.
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56 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
MUSTANGS NOW? Andrew Wilson works in L.A. at Zero Gravity Management, where he specializes in representing horror writers. The CHS alum broke into the business with a company called Evolution, which was attached to the Saw franchise. “I worked my way from the bottom up, answering phones, fetching coffee, stuff like that,” he said. “I learned how to represent writers, directors, do deals, produce movies.” “It definitely all started with the CAST program,” said Wilson, who went to MSU for broadcasting. “As soon as I was done with school in June of 1999, I moved out to LA with another kid that graduated with us, Mac Torluccio.” The story was the same for Gerald Zecker Jr., who quickly fell in love with the program, and video editing. “My sisters Kelly and Kari were in CAST and they said it was a great class, you’re going to have a ton of fun,” he recalled. Zecker is now a freelance video editor living in New York City. “I ended up getting really into it. I learned how to video edit since they had one of the first computers for that. I started doing that at 15 and here I am all these years later.” After CHS, Zecker went to UMass Amherst to study communications. “When I got there, their television studio wasn’t as good as Clifton’s. It was technically a step backwards actually,” he laughed. Zecker noted that many others were influenced by CAST. “Scott Alboum, he’s awesome. He runs a studio over at Ryder University now,” added Zecker. “I remember back in high
Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
Above, at the June 29 John Greco Memorial Golf Outing from left, Kelly Koneckny, Gerrit Vischer, Kent Bania, Brian McEnerney, Anthony Malanga, Adam Torrisi, Mike DeVita, Adam Kopesky, Amanda Koneckny. The group raises funds and gives $2,400 scholarships to commemorate Greco’s lacrosse number (24) at MSU. CHS Seniors Leila Baalbaki and Erique Coronel were the 2015 recipients.
school, he used to do this project called School of the Month where he shot at different Clifton Schools. He worked really hard in high school and stayed in education all of his life. Now he’s doing that.” Alboum, along with Robyn (Triolo) Caruso, are coordinating the Class of 1995 reunion for later this year. Caruso currently works as a brand promoter for Le-Vel, a premium lifestyle products company. She lives in Verona with her husband, Robert, and has two kids: Nicholas and Abby. Prior to having kids, she was a first grade teacher in Parsippany. “I absolutely loved high school. I was a cheerleader, probably one of the best times in my life,” she said. “I still keep in touch with a lot of people through facebook. And now many of my friends have kids and our children are all hanging out.”
Above in a recent photo, Robyn (Triolo) Caruso with Nicholas, Abby and husband Robert.
“I still see Daria Meoli Pietras. We were best of friends in high school,” said Caruso. “Kelley Russo Perusso, she was also a cheerleader and now has two kids that are a little younger. Her son, Jayden, and my daughter are little pen pals. They go out to dinner with us a lot. There’s a little budding romance with those two.” “I feel like our class was always close,” said Caruso. “It wasn’t specific cliques. Everyone was friendly. I don’t think many classes were like that.” Classmates can get in touch with Caruso on Facebook by joining the Clifton Class of 1995 Reunion group. The CHS Cheerleading Team at Homecoming 1994.
58 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
WHERE ARE THESE
Dave Smith, above center, was given an in-the-paint farewell from his fans and fellow CHS seniors at the last home game of his Mustang basketball career on Feb. 17, 2005. Smith played four years of CHS roundball and he and the team dominated the game against Nutley, beating the Raiders by 17 points. The Mustangs, under second year head coach Jon Santulli, finished the season with an 11-12 record. Members of the rooting section pictured with Smith, from left, are Adam Bania, Joe Musleh, Joe Hathaway, Tom Szieber and Tom Hawrylko jr. Below the 2005 CHS Gymnastics team.
Story by Tom Szieber
60 July 2015 â€˘ Clifton Merchant
WHERE ARE THESE
Diana Santos, Mark Stuart, Jessica Russell, Joseph Musleh, Jenny Hlavaty, Peter Aziz, Laura Peskosky.
Class of 2005 alumni Tom Szieber tells us what some of his classmates are up to. Mukarram Razvi Throughout his life, Mukarram Razvi has always been a learner. His inquisitive nature and second-to-none work ethic combined to produce brilliance, as he became Clifton High School’s 2005 class valedictorian. Even in the face of adversity, the now Dr. Razvi has found ways to discover important lessons, which he did in the face of one of his few tough academic setbacks. “I didn’t get into medical school the first time I applied,” said Razvi, now a graduate of the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. “It helped
me to stop procrastinating. For medical school, it is really important to get your applications in on the first day. I didn’t have a system to keep on top of all of the different responsibilities that I had. That setback taught me to be organized and get things done early.” At CHS, Razvi, pictured here, was a member of the Academic Decathlon team, Science League, Conservation Club and tutored math for Knights of Pythagoras. He took advanced placement courses in calculus, history, literature, statistics, biology, physics and chemistry, and attended The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City as an undergraduate.
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Clifton Merchant • July 2015
‘05 Initially planning to pursue a career in an engineering, time as a volunteer at several hospitals as a sophomore steered him toward medicine. He worked with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on projects related to lead poisoning prevention and drowning prevention during college, and stayed on after graduation, before attending Rowan (formerly the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Osteopathic Medicine). Razvi is currently starting a residency in family medicine—in which he plans to specialize—with the Christiana Care Health System in Delaware.
Joe Hathaway During his days at CHS, Joe Hathaway was a bit of an introvert. He was soft-spoken—a gentle giant, if you will. If you knew Hathaway during those years, you probably never would have guessed he would end up working in the universe of communications and politics. “I find it kind of funny myself,” 62 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
That’s coach Ron Agnello and Fighting Mustangs captains Joe Hathaway, Bryan Barker, Emmanuel Ihim and Tom Jacobus handing the game ball to lineman Tom Szeiber after his leg was broken in a 32-24 victory over Eastside on Oct. 1., 2004.
Hathaway said. “I always enjoyed English, I even took drama my freshman year. Even though I was one of the quieter kids in school, I always enjoyed classes that allowed me to develop the strong communication skills that would end up being critical to my career.” As quiet as he may have been in the halls, he was loud on the football field. A 6-4, 240-pound tight end/defensive end, he was an AllPassaic County player for Clifton on offense. In addition, he broke the indoor and spring shot put records for the Mustang track teams. His accomplishments on the gridiron led him to Yale University, where he majored in political science. A second-team All-Ivy League defensive tackle, he graduated in 2009. A year later, he began a nearly four-year stint in the Office of New Jersey Governor Chris
Christie, where he served as the Advance Director of Special Events. Since June of 2014, he has worked for Bayer Corporation as its Executive Communications Specialist. Adam Bania A success in and out of the classroom at CHS, it seems fitting that 2004 CHS Homecoming King Adam Bania chose a career path that would allow him to help bring success to the lives of young people, now a high school math teacher at Passaic County Technical Institute. “I always thought I would end up a teacher,” said Bania, who initially pursued several majors in college before focusing his attention toward a career in education. “I thought I would go into the business world, and then end up in education.
which means Tomahawk Jr. is trained and nationally certified in restorative water drying methods by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, also known as IICRC. Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
Vanessa Matthews today in Abu Dubai. At right, back in 2005, that’s Kimberly Topping and Adam Bania, the king and queen of homecoming.
My whole family is in education. I feel strongly that kids need role models.” In high school, Bania was well-rounded, and a member of an impressive array of extracurriculars. He was a three-sport varsity athlete, earning letters in baseball, football and basketball, and was also a member of the Keystone Club for the Boys & Girls Club of Clifton. He also participated in student government, as a president (sophomore class) and vice president (freshman class, and SCA as a junior and senior). He is also an Eagle Scout, a highly prestigious honor. After high school, Bania attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned a B.S. in mathematics-economics, and went alternate route to become a teacher. He earned his Masters in Educational Leadership from Montclair State University, and was certified as a Teachers of Students with Disabilities, K-12, at William Paterson University. In addition to his teaching, Bania serves as a role model for students as an assistant football and baseball coach. He is also a co-owner (with fellow class of 2005 CHS grad Adam Satkowski) of A Squared Management, LLC, a facility maintenance and staffing company. Kimberly Topping Cheerleading was, and continues to be, a major part of Kimberly Topping’s life. Dedicated to the sport (and she’ll be quick to remind you it is, in fact, a sport) for as long as she can remember, she excelled on the mat at both the high school and college levels. Today, though her days of competing are behind her, she excels at 64 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
teaching its finer points to the girls she coaches at West Orange High School. “After I was done cheering myself, the next step was to move on to coaching and be able to share my expertise and knowledge of the sport to allow these girls to have the experience I did,” Topping said. “It is very rewarding at this point. At the end of the day, I am teaching them something I love to do.” Topping was the Homecoming Queen for the CHS class of 2005, and was also a morning news anchor in the CHS C.A.S.T. program. She also cheered for the World Cup Shooting Stars, a nationally ranked club team based in Freehold. She continued her career at Rutgers, where she became a captain of the cheerleading squad as a senior, and earned a degree in broadcast journalism in 2009. During her college career, she won the 2009 UCA Girls Partner Stunt National Title (the first national title ever won by the Scarlet Knights cheerleading program). Later she coached at William Paterson University, and at Clifton High School as an assistant, before taking over the West Orange program two years ago. In addition to her coaching duties with the Mountaineers, Topping works for Rebel Athletic by day, as the Northeast Account Manager for the Dallas-based company.
Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
WHERE ARE THESE
Adam Ahmad, Megan Lake, Alfred Martinez, Denise Wells, Jon Whiting, Yevheniya Gleba, Andrew Garcia
Vanessa Matthews Intellectual and worldly, class of 2005 SCA president Vanessa Matthews always seemed destined to have a wide reach. Voted “Most Likely to Succeed” by her graduating class, she carried herself with an air of confidence that few have in their mid-to-late teens. Today, she is working to help young adults move toward their potential—and she is doing so on the other side of the globe as the Assistant Residential College Director at NYU-Abu Dhabi. “When I went to grad school, I pursued public policy,” Matthews recalled. “Then I worked in public affairs for a private company. That wasn’t really for me. I really missed working with students and making an impact. This opportunity came up, and I decided it was one I wanted to pursue.” At CHS, Matthews was a manager for the Mustangs boys basketball team, and worked at the Clifton Boys & Girls Club throughout her four years. She was also active in the school’s service-oriented Interact Club, president of her freshman class and SCA president for two years. At Rutgers University, she earned a B.A. in political science and Spanish literature, and later achieved a Master’s in public policy. She arrived in the United Arab Emirates a year ago after being offered her current role at New York University’s UAE campus. Working in the school’s Office of Residential Education, she supervises resident advisors and advises residential student government, while also adjudicating student conduct cases, supporting multi-student led initiatives, and co-chairing the professional development committee. Gabrielle Picarello Gabrielle Picarello had danced from age three all the way until the time she went off to Marist College. A dancer for Broadway Bound Theatrical and Dance Center beginning in sixth grade, you could say that she 66 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
was always somewhat artsy. Dancing was a hobby that always required a time commitment, but Picarello got a rush out of working toward the final product—in that case, a dance routine. It was that same feeling of gratification that, after being introduced to the world of broadcasting in CHS, led her to her current career as a freelance producer in New York City. “I became interested in television and media through the C.A.S.T. program,” Picarello recalled. “I really liked putting together a broadcast and working with people to turn a proposed final product into a reality. When I started applying to colleges and thinking about a major it just seemed like the natural fit for me to continue that. I didn't really see myself doing anything else.” After graduating from CHS, she headed to Marist in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where she earned her B.A. in communications with a concentration in radio, television and film. She was active in the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority, and gained some impressive internship experience with Fox 5 News, Entertainment Tonight, The Insider and Nickelodeon. She interned internationally, as well, working with the Community Channel in London (during which time she traveled to eight European countries). After spending a year as a marketing and public relations coordinator for All-American Games, LLC, she worked for Spark Productions from 2010 to 2014. With Spark, a boutique video production company, she worked her way up from a production coordinator to a producer before branching out on her own. Jennifer Nelson No matter what Jennifer Nelson was doing, she always wanted to make sure that she was making a difference. Whether on student council, in her sorority or at work, she wanted to impact someone. It is for that reason that her new gig at the South Bronx Classical Charter School as an instructional coach fits her
Clifton Merchant • July 2015
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to a tee. “It is really on point, because I think my intention is that we live in a world that works,” Nelson said. “I never wanted to do something else. I guess I have always naturally been a helper. I really enjoy taking on challenges that are meaningful, and I enjoy getting into leadership roles. I never wanted to do something that was self-serving.” Nelson was Clifton’s senior class president for the Class of 2005, helping to make her class’ final year at CHS memorable, while also serving as a second chair violinist in the school orchestra, a member of the swim team and an employee at the Soda Pop Shop in Montclair. She went Villanova University after graduation, where she majored in English and double-minored in psychology and poetry. During college, she ran recruitment for her sorority, Delta Gamma, and served as an aide for an autistic child. She considered becoming a professor, but began her career at a hedge fund as a legal
assistant after earning her degree. Deciding that she wanted to go into teaching, Nelson got her Master’s degree in education and was hired as an English teacher at Future Leaders Institute Charter School in Harlem. She has recently been involved with an organization called Landmarks, as well, which trains and develops people for personal and professional breakthroughs. James Osmak When Jamie Osmak suffered a painful back injury while playing baseball during his sophomore year of high school, he probably never guessed that it would be a watershed event that paved the way for a foundation for his career. But it did just that, igniting a passion for keeping the body healthy and functional, which burns as bright as ever as he works as a performance specialist at New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery. “I was tight, I swung [the bat], and something went in
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C my back,” Osmak recalled. “Then, after the injury, I kind of realized that after I started lifting weights a lot that lifting and becoming stronger made my pain go away. I was kind of fascinated by it. I got into personal training, and it was kind of a segue into the things that I am doing. It all kind of slowly progressed into this.” A member of the varsity golf team, Osmak became dedicated to the weight room following his injury. He also stayed dedicated in the classroom, becoming an enshrinee in the National Honor Society. He went to Rutgers University, where he majored in exercise science and minored in psychology. After working as a personal trainer starting in college, he began his post-academic career at Canfield Scientific, where he was a project manager, overseeing the medical photography for pharmaceutical products.
During the same time that he worked at Canfield, he achieved his C.S.C.S. (Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach). Then, three-and-a-half years ago, he was hired at the Hospital for Special Surgery. At H.S.S., he rehabilitates injured clients—sometimes athletes, sometimes children and sometimes elderly people. Pratik Shah & Heta Shah An unusual twist of fate (and innocent delinquency) led to the first real interaction Heta and Pratik Shah ever had. The two had been in the same 10th grade geometry class, but hadn’t ever truly had a conversation of substance until both showed up late for Ms. Kathie Brach’s senior year calculus class, and were consequently seated next to one another by their teacher. The chance situation led to a friendship, and a decade later, the two are now engaged to be married.
Clifton Merchant • July 2015
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C “If it wasn’t for that, I probably would have never met her,” Pratik said. “If one piece didn’t fall in line, things may not have worked out the way they did.” After leaving CHS, Pratik attended St. John’s University, where in 2011 he finished a six-year doctorate program in pharmaceuticals. He was a Rite-Aid pharmacy manager in Highland Park for a year and half and then moved on to Johnson & Johnson as a senior therapeutic manager. He is currently employed by Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company that deals primarily in diabetes products, as a medical information manager. For most of her life, Heta danced at private studios, as well as for CHS’ Asian Club during her teenage years. She went to Rutgers for her undergraduate education, majoring in genetics and minoring in public health. After earning her B.S. in 2009, she used the next two years to earn her Master’s in biomedical sciences at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now the Rutgers School of Health-related Professions). Originally planning on attending dental school, she changed course and went into the pharmaceutical industry in the quality control research lab for Sanofi Aventis (makers of drugs like Allegra and Nasacort). Then, a year ago, she took a job with Johnson & Johnson in its regulatory affairs department. The two didn’t actually start dating until three years ago, but Heta agrees with the assessment of her former classmate—and current fiancée—of their relationship. “It was so by chance. Had both of us arrived to class early, we definitely wouldn’t have known each other,” she said. “At least not then. It’s very serendipitous.”
Tom Hawrylko Jr. Tom Hawrylko was always a hard worker and knew how to get a task done, always earning a few bucks doing it his way. Back in CHS, Hawrylko made it a priority to maintain a job (or several jobs) and stand on his own two feet. With that attitude, it is fitting that Hawrylko is now running his own business here in his hometown, having launched Tomahawk Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning in the spring of 2013. He has since expanded into flood restoration for carpeting and furniture. “Being self-sufficient was always really important to me,” Hawrylko said. “I always liked to work. A good work ethic is what gets you along in life, and if you don’t have that you can’t achieve what you want.” In the tenth grade, he picked up his first job at Ploch’s Garden Center, where he worked for four years. After high school, he began a seven-year stint at ChemDry, where he learned the techniques of carpet cleaning that would prove valuable years later. He also attended massage therapy school at the Fox Institute of Business on Lexington Ave, finishing the one-year certificate program in May 2009. He worked that trade for about three years but said “it just didn’t pan out.” In 2013, after doing volunteer clean up work following Hurricane Sandy, Hawrylko put his energy and resources into vehicles, equipment and training for his carpet and upholstery cleaning business. He continues to go for additional training in areas such as flood restoration. “I put my future in my own hands and became my own boss,” said Hawrylko. “Now I know who is in charge and I make it happen everyday.”
Clifton Merchant • July 2015
People who smoke hookahs inhale significant amounts of nicotine, a physically addictive chemical, as well as compounds that can cause cancer, heart disease and other health problems, multiple reliable studies show. Hookah is a bowl-shaped device with a tubular pipe. It also may be called waterpipe, shisha or hubble-bubble. Charcoal-heated air is passed through a tobacco mixture and then through a water-filled chamber and, ultimately, through the pipe for the user to inhale. Often cited as a cultural practice, hookah is used in many countries around the world, and people seem to be accepting and embracing it quickly. In the U.S., it’s usually young adults, with studies indicating that about 10%-25% of them used hookah in the past month. While it is against the law to smoke in public places, except in three Clifton businesses, hookah is nevertheless often offered at some restaurants and coffee shops, with retail shops also becoming common. Some say leave it alone and argue that hookah is a cultural practice. Others say that hookah smoking is a good alternative to cigarette smoking. But the facts dispute that. The fruit, honey and other flavorings that are used in hookah tobacco may make it sound healthy, plus its moistness due to being passed through water, all mask the fact that what hookah users and those around them are inhaling is simply tobacco smoke—with all of the health dangers that accompany it. The Essex-Passaic Wellness Coalition (web.njms.rutgers.edu/EPWC) and the Clifton Health Department are working to educate our communities about the hazards of hookah use. Read more information on Hookah and Health in future issues of this magazine. 72 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
NEXT MONTH: We’re Mythbusting E-Cigs and Vapes
H abit Forming • Every bit as addictive as cigarette smoking (clevelanclinic.org) • Water pipe smoking delivers nicotine – the same highly addictive drug found in other tobacco products (CDC)
O ral Cancers • Tobacco liquids from hookahs irritate the mouth and increase the risk of developing oral cancers (CDC)
O ther Diseases • Other diseases associated with hookah use: • Lung Cancer • Cancer of the Esophagus • Stomach Cancer • Reduced Lung Function • Decreased Fertility • Bladder Cancer (CDC)
K ills Brain Cells • 1 hour-long hookah smoking session = approximately 200 puffs, while smoking an average cigarette = 20 puffs (CDC)
A dditional Health Risks • Infections may be passed to other smokers by sharing the mouthpiece: • Oral Herpes • Tuberculosis (CDC)
H igh Levels of Toxic Agents • Charcoal used to heat tobacco products contains high levels of: • Carbon monoxide • Toxic Metals • Cancer-causing Chemicals (carcinogens) The Essex-Passaic Wellness Coalition (on the web at web.njms.rutgers.edu/EPWC) is made possible by a grant from the NJ Department of Health’s Office of Cancer Control and Prevention to Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. The EPWC implements the New Jersey Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan (see www.njcancer.gov) in Essex and Passaic Counties. The EPWC also receives in-kind support from Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and other organizations. Call the EPWC at 973-972-4623.
It’s Against The Law Only three Clifton businesses—Jamie’s Cigar Bar, Kamil’s Restaurant and La Ziza lounge—were permitted to offer indoor smoking when the State-wide Smoke-free Air Act Initiative was approved in 2006. Since then, the Clifton Health Department has issued over $70,000 in fines to establishment owners and most of these offenses are related to indoor hookah smoking. Both patrons who are observed to be smoking and establishment owners can be fined up to $1,000 for smoking indoors. If you find any establishment in violation of the NJ Smoke-free Air Act, contact the Clifton Health Dept. at 973-470-5760. Clifton Merchant • July 2015
School’s out, but we’re not finished with featuring some of the outstanding Mustangs of CHS. Each month Vice Principal’s from each wing of Clifton High nominate select students to recieve this award. Profiles of the May and June Students of the Month are featured below.
May Students of the Month from left to right, Dania Yousef, Marash Barot, Diane Roque and Jazmine Capeles.
By Madison Molner Junior - Dania Yousef May Student of the Month Even as a high school junior Dania Yousef is well on her way to achieving her career goal as a pharmacist. “My experience working [at the pharmacy] was eye opening and fits in perfectly with my love of chemistry,” Yousef said of the hours she puts in either helping people at the counter or watching and following instructions from the pharmacists. Yousef keeps busy in the classroom and has proudly and consecutively achieved distinguished honor roll every marking period since beginning at CHS. Yousef’s favorite subjects are math and chemistry because both help her to have a greater appreciation and understanding of everyday life and what all things are made up of. Additionally Yousef is a member of CHS Key Club, a service oriented group that holds multiple drives and fundraisers throughout the school year benefiting children’s hospitals and aid organizations. She also tutors children after school. Now as she enters her final year at CHS, Yousef is spending her time preparing for her next life chapter and appreciating all that CHS has to offer. “Clifton High School is truly a melting pot of all different cultures and people...and there is something for everyone,” Yousef said. 74 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
Senior - Dianne Roque May Student of the Month Senior Dianne Roque is now seeing the world through chemist’s goggles as she has gained inspiration and classroom confidence with her AP Chemistry course. “From the very air you breath, to the food you eat, to the clothes you wear, the things in your house, school, everywhere... Chemistry is involved in one way or another.” Roque credits her appreciation of our chemically founded world from CHS teacher, Daniel Chilowicz, or fondly nicknamed by his students, Mr. Chil. “Mr. Chil has always pushed us to our limits and challenged us to do more than our best,” Roque said. Chilowicz’s expectations are somewhat due to the nature of an Advanced Placement, or AP level courses. Students and teachers must complete the instruction and absorption of a college level course by the end of April so in May students are well prepared for examinations on amazing amounts of content. As Roque now begins life as a college student she looks to not only apply her knowledge of chemistry, but the bits of advice Mr. Chil has imparted on all of his students. “Mr. Chil once said in our class, which I will quote, “It doesn’t matter how you come in the room. What matters is how you leave the room”. This is something I will live by for the rest of my life,” Roque said.
Senior - Maharsh Barot May Student of the Month As Maharsh Barot prepares to move forward from CHS on to Seton Hall University where he plans to major in Biology and eventually become a wildlife biologist/zoologist as well as an accomplished author, he reflects on all he has done to get to this point in his life. “Mr. Meck, my biology teacher, is a great teacher and teaches the material while making it fun to learn. I have a great respect for the natural world and want to know as much as I can about the mysteries of life, possibly even contribute to the field of biology,” Barot said. Aside from excelling the classroom Barot has a laundry list of activities which kept him an involved and contributing member of the CHS community. Here is his short list: member of the CHS Orchestra under Natalie Babiak, vice president of Class Ring Club, member of GLI, Presentation Officer and member of National Science Honor Society, member of National Honor Society and lastly, Eagle Scout and assistant Scoutmaster from Clifton Troop 40. With his Eagle Scout Community Service project Barot became involved with the Clifton Public Library and now works there.
Interestingly Barot’s best high school experience was the lunch periods. He appreciates his time spent around the crowded lunch table not for the food, but for the conversation and interaction with the diverse opinions, experiences and mindsets of the many faces of CHS. Barot has taken his own advice in account while at CHS by saying, “Remember, YOU play a major role in how your high school experience plays out, so take an active interest in the decision making.” Freshman - Jazmine Capeles May Student of the Month As her Freshman year comes to a close, Jazmine Capeles has advice to share for younger students who will soon be walking the halls of CHS. “Look forward to meeting new people... for who they actually are in their years here,” Capeles said. She played on the Freshman Girls’ Basketball team and is will try out for the 2016 Lady Mustangs Varsity Basketball squad. Capeles addressed her personal success from transitioning into public school from early years at private school: “Public school has been a great experience for me, making many friends and learning new things with them,” Capeles said.
Clifton Merchant • July 2015
Students of the Month Senior - Gianna Cordi June Student of the Month For Gianna Cordi it is all about school spirit as the three-year varsity cheerleader excites the players and crowd at CHS sporting events with skillful routines and catchy cheers. Cordi’s future aspiration is to become a Special Education teacher. “My favorite subject is sign language, I have grown to love it. It is my favorite because Mrs. Lesler, my teacher, inspires me and makes the class extremely fun,” Cordi said. If speaking to younger students, Cordi would recommend to get involved in as much as possible in sports, clubs and classes, for her these are where her best memories were made. Senior - Kamil Garbowski June Student of the Month New town, new sports, new adventures. That is how Kamil Garbowski acclimated to CHS when he moved here from Wallington. His height played a factor in the sports he selected, volleyball, basketball and football. Garbowski played with the Fighting Mustangs football team freshman year, but did not find his calling with volleyball until he was a sophomore. “Sophomore through senior year I played my favorite sport, volleyball. After my first season I knew that I had the potential to be good at my favorite sport,” said Garbowski. Garbowski began putting in extra practice time at NJVBC, a club in Nutley and also began weight training to improve his game. The 2015 Mustang volleyball senior recognition game where he, as well as a teammate, had one of the best games of their high school careers. “With 19 kills and my teammate, Nabil Jamhour with 16 kills. It was an intense game which led up to the 3rd set game point. After we won [the game], it was a bittersweet moment,” said Garbowski. 76 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
In the fall, Garbowski will be attending Kean University and plans to major in aluletic training with eventual plans of possibly going to Poland to play on volleyball club teams there. No matter what, Garbowski will have the sports he loves somewhere in his life. Senior - Miral Zakaria June Student of the Month Sometimes it is the little things that count. For Miral Zakaria school did not always come easily, but after putting in extra effort and having teachers who would do the same, academics finally clicked. “Some teachers just want to get their job done and leave. When there were some who really cared about their students. Just getting a smile or a “How are you?” from one of my teachers would honestly make my day,” Zakaria said. After almost having to repeat the seventh grade at Woodrow Wilson, Zakaria began to focus and put more value on her academics and found distinct interest in her english classes. “The process of reading different books by different authors makes you visualize different scenarios. It makes you think the way author does and realistically you can relate to real life situations,” Zakaria said. Today, Zakaria is looking ahead to a career as a cardiac sonographer, while learning sign language. Zakaria’s advice to young students is, “To stay focused on your academics. Also do not ever think you cannot do it because you can ad do not be scared to reach out to your teachers or VP’s... they will never reject you and will always help you and encourage you to be your best.” Freshman - Kiara Villela-Vega June Student of the Month When Kiara Villela-Vega walked on the stage for the Distinguished Academic Awards this past spring, the evening meant more to her than a free dinner and a pretty medal to eventu-
ally wear on her graduation gown. “I have always been a hardworking dedicated student to say the least. But I have also struggled a lot with math for as long as I can remember. When I was little my mom put me in summer math classes to get a jump start on fractions and it helped me so much when I started school,” VillelaVega said. Now when Villela-Vega does not understand a math concept or a science formula she is not hesitant to ask for remedial help or look for assisted solutions online. Although math may not come naturally, Villela-Vega loves to read and write. “Reading makes me feel like I am in another world. And I love to write because it is a great way to express your emotions, usually when I write so many ideas come to my head and I can’t stop,” she said. Villela-Vega is also a member of Key Club, the CHS Varsity Girl’s Tennis Team and will soon be trying out to become a majorette with the Mustang Marching Band. Looking ahead, Villela-Vega wants to utilize her skills in reading and writing and her love of all things fashion and work as a fashion writer for a high end fashion company and eventually own a fashion magazine herself.
Clifton Merchant • July 2015
Good Neighbors Cliftonites have appreciated the care provided by Daughters of Miriam Center/The Gallen Institute since its founding on Hazel Street in 1921. Residents are a priority at the non-profit organization, which is known for its devotion to enhancing and respecting individualized traditions and lifestyles. Daughters of Miriam provides 210 beds and houses 198 residents. Additionally, the Center participates in Medicare and Medicaid. The Center is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). Established in 1966, the Joint Commission’s Nursing Care Center Accreditation Program accredits approximately 1,000 organizations nationwide that offer nursing and rehabilitation services. Receiving accreditation gives Daughters of Miriam the processes needed to improve the care that patients and residents receive. Frank DaSilva, the Center’s Chief Operating Officer, was understandably pleased with the results of the survey. “I am always proud of the staff of Daughters of Miriam Center/The Gallen Institute and the exemplary care they administer to our residents,” said DaSilva. “It is gratifying to see their hard work recognized through the Joint Commission’s accreditation.” To contact the nursing and rehabilitation facility, call 973-772-3700. Former Governor Richard J. Codey was the Keynote Speaker for the 30th celebration of The Mental Health Association in Passaic County on June 10 at Valley Regency. The MHAPC strives to help children, adults and families who are impacted by mental illness. The organization’s work is accomplished by support services, education and advocacy for those in need. The MHAPC can be contacted at 973-478-4444.
A Cupcake Wars TV veteran and genre innovator: Johnny ‘Mr. Cupcakes’ Manganiotis and his dad John. The duo are running a charity car show on July 26.
Mr. Cupcakes will host its 2nd annual car show on July 19 from 9 am to 4 pm at Bennigan’s on 405 North Midland Ave., Saddle Brook. Serving up some 40 varieties of cupcakes, and always innovating, Mr. Cupcakes was founded in 2007 at 1216 Van Houten Ave. by Johnny Manganiotis and his dad, John. Since then, they have added three locations and make community service part of their way of doing business. Their annual car show is a way of giving back and to raise funds for Jason & Justin’s Journey, a northern New Jersey charity (learn more at jasonandjustinsjourneyx2.com). To register any show-worthy car, truck or motorcycle, the cost is $20. All proceeds, sponsorships and funds raised go to the charity. The rain date is July 26. Visit the Clifton store for details or call 973-859-0180.
Good Neighbors, Great Rates
973-772-8451 Thomas Tobin 973-779-4248
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Bill G. Eljouzi 973-478-9500
Roofing • Siding • Gutters Ventilation • Chimneys
Some of the volunteers at the Clifton Animal Shelter, from back left: Kelli Buckalew, Liz Taranda, Nancy Comito, Linda Gimon, Anna Proszowski. Bottom row: Rebecca DeSimone, Pam Sinatra, Michelle Cupo, Andy Bove. Below center are just two of the animals up for adoption at the shelter. Meet them in person six days a week on the city hall campus.
Friends of the Shelter is the all-volunteer group who help care for and find homes for the cats and dogs housed at the Clifton Animal Shelter. These volunteers can always use more support. Recently they received a national honor from Purina Cat Chow to make some much needed changes. Liz Taranda was chosen as Purina’s Volunteer of the Year and thanks to about $25,000 in services, they are helping build better lives for the animals. Friends of the Shelter was the only New Jersey shelter chosen and Taranda and her team are pleased with the changes. The front office, new floors, new windows and an improved visitation area were just some of the changes made. “This gives adopters a better experience and hopefully will help the animals find more homes,”
explained Taranda. “The warm weather brings a lot more cats and kittens to the shelter and the medical bills can be quite high. Every animal adopted from the shelter has seen a vet, is up to date on vaccines and spayed and neutered. This is a good time to remind everyone to spay and neuter your pets,” she added. Despite the gift from Purina, donations of food, bedding or cash are ongoing, added Taranda. “They can be done on line, in person or via the shelter’s Amazon Wish List. Every penny donated goes to the adorable faces of those animals in need of a new home.” Learn more about the services and see pets which you can adopt at cliftonanimalshelter.com or call 973-470-5936. The shelter is open Monday to Friday from 6:30 to 8 pm and on Sunday from noon to 4 pm. Clifton Merchant • July 2015
Arts & Music The Clifton Association of Artists’ Summer Art Show is the first exhibit in Lambert Castle’s newly reopened third floor space. The diverse work of over 50 artists will be displayed through July 28. A presentation of awards and reception is on July 11 at 2 pm. Lambert Castle, at 3 Valley Rd., Paterson, is the home of the Passaic County Historical Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, whose mission is to cultivate
interest among individuals and the community-at-large in the rich history of Passaic County. To this end, the museum showcases examples of the county’s cultural and artistic diversity, as well as examples of the county’s natural, civil, military, and ecclesiastical history. The society offers a library and archives, manuscripts, books and photographs related to Passaic County history. Go to lambertcastle.org
Art to Reduce Dope Demand Competition: Heroin abuse and addiction in New Jersey is widespread and growing. That’s why a few state agencies are inviting artists to address the issue with original artworks on the theme of heroin abuse, addiction and recovery. The top prize is $500 and up to 30 pieces of work will be selected and displayed at an exhibit and reception on Aug. 20 at the Gateway Gallery, Newark. Deadline is July 28. The NJ Drug Enforcement Administration, in conjunction with the Partnership for a Drug Free NJ and the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, are hosting the contest. Details and prospectus at drugfreenj.org/HeroinArtExhibit or call 973-776-5168. The PCCHC is offering arts and history re-grants. The deadline for arts applications is July 9 and for history applications, July 16. The applicant must be based in Passaic County; be a tax-exempt non-profit organization or a municipal government entity; have been in existence at least two years; demonstrate that the project has clear artistic or historic merit; match every dollar of the arts re-grant with one dollar of its own and match every dollar of the history re-grant with fifty cents of its own; create programming that culminates in a public presentation; and use the re-grant for an arts or cultural project to take place in Passaic County in 2016 or a history project, between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. For further info, contact Susan Balik at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-684-5444 .
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Jimmy Sturr returns to Passaic’s Third Ward Park on July 30 at 7:30 pm. He is pictured with Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik and Greg Komeshok. The former Passaic High School Athletic Director, Komeshok is the producer of the show and its chief fundraiser. Sturr performs clarinet, trumpet and saxophone on top of his lead vocals with his orchestra.
He’s performed with Willie Nelson and other national artists but Jimmy Sturr still enjoys staging a free concert in Passaic’s Third Ward Park every July. Dubbed America’s favorite polka band, Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra performs on July 30 at the bandshell on Passaic and Van Houten Ave. Fans and newcomers should bring a blanket and a lawn chair for an evening of lively dance music, which begins at 7:30 pm. Sturr has won 18 Grammy Awards for Best Polka Album. His orchestra is on the Top 10 list of the AllTime Grammy Awards, with more Grammy nominations than anyone in the history of musical polka awards.
Returning for the 12th year to perform in Passaic, some 1,000 fans fill the park’s lawn and listen and dance to Sturr and his 10 piece orchestra perform not only Polkas, but also country music and American standards. Greg Komeshok began the shows in 2003 and does all the fundraising through the Holy Rosary Young Mens Club which is affiliated with the Passaic church by the same name on Wall St. attended by many Poles. He has a list of sponsors, including the Passaic County Cultural & Heritage Council, but can always use additional monetary support. To contribute or find out more, call Komeshok at 973-473-5111.
The Clifton Recreation Department’s Sunday Night Concert Series returns to Main Memorial Park on Park Slope and Main Ave. The weekly concert series extends until Aug. 30 and is sponsored by the Clifton Board of Recreation. Shows begin at 7:30 pm. It opens on July 12 with Joey Arminio and the Family, a night of music from the 50’s and 60’s; The Clifton Community Band performs on July 19; Swingman and the Misfit-Mutts does their Swing, Rock, Rhythm & Blues show on July 26; Eaglemania returns on Aug. 2; The James Dean Orchestra does a Frank Sinatra Tribute on Aug. 9; Parrotbeach brings their Jimmy Buffet Tribute and Island Tunes to the park on Aug. 16; The Emerald Experience Party Band make you want to dance on Aug. 23 and it closes with a Children's Concert on Aug. 30. If the weather is iffy, call 973-470-5680 after 5 pm to see if the show is cancelled. Clifton Merchant • July 2015
After an unforgettable 2014 season, in which the Hawthorne Caballeros ‘Entrapped’ the audience of every stadium they performed in, the Cabs are back in Clifton, pushing the envelope again in 2015. With a continuation of their 2014 program, the corps promises to test every boundary of “All Aged” drum corps to new heights! ‘With the chains that bind each and every one of us throughout our lives, the program will depict how we can transform from being Entrapped, Bound and Restrained to Breaking all the chains and becoming free and ‘Unchained!’ Led by program coordinator Clifford Bialkin, the 2015 program will feature original music and arrangements by Key Poulan and Rob Ferguson, and visually brought to life by drill designer Drew Framer and colorguard designers Bobby Biddle and Matthew Hurley The Hawthorne Caballeros, sponsored by American Legion Post #199 in Hawthorne, are in their 69th season of competition and have amassed a remarkable host of records. The Caballeros founded in 1946 by our Director James J. Costello who still holds that title even after his death in 2000. The Cabs have won the DCA World Championship 9 times, the American Legion National Title 16 times, the National Dream Contest 17 times, and the New Jersey State American Legion Title 43 times. 82 July 2015 • Clifton Merchant
51st Annual Grand Prix returns to Clifton Stadium on July 11 It’s not the conventional Caballeros but Clifton’s favorite and oldest Cab George Hayek loves the show. From their ‘deconstructed’ uniforms with the bell bottoms gone, to maneuvers of close to 200 steps per minute, the Cabs produced a whole new show which promises to leave audiences in awe. Snare drummers and horn players literally fly, each line sports a different color and their stream line pants make the whole crew seem taller. With some 64 brass performers, 35 percussionists and 32 color guard, look for more dancing and acrobatics which in some amazing way, still incorporates the traditions fans have know for 69 years. Clifton Merchant • July 2015
Clifton Reunions Two longtime Clifton friends met unexpectedly in New York City at Lincoln Center on June 11. They were attending The Dalton School’s high school graduation ceremony of their grandchildren, Chloe Goldstein and Matthew Celentano. The proud grandparents, Passaic’s Blanche Krischer Goldstein (an attorney who was Clifton’s longtime Municpal Prosecutor) and Clifton’s Jack Celentano (an attorney who was the longtime Chair of Clifton Savings Bank) reminisced about the glory days of their hometowns —‘40s football, mutual friends, and their experiences in the Clifton Municipal Court. During the course of the conversation, Jack let out of the bag a Celentano family story known to few. In the ‘20s Jack’s Uncle Jim Celentano of Clifton fell in love with Passaic’s Fannie Bodner. In those days, marriages between the faiths were very frowned upon, but a deal was struck. The nephew explained the details from there: ‘Jim Celentano’ would become ‘Jack Stearns’ and no one would ever know that Fannie Bodner had married a Celentano. What a disgrace!
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Jack Stearns became the beloved father of Harold, Donald and Bobby Stearns. Jack Stearns was also the uncle of Herman and Harold Packer, all of Passaic. Jim Celentano remained the beloved uncle of Jack, Kathy, Louise, Pete, Ralphie, Raffie and Smokey Celentano, all of Clifton. Love prevailed!
Glory days are what the Fighting Mustangs will relive at the Boys & Girls Club on Oct. 23 at 6:30 pm. Charles Digiacomo, CHS ‘74, organized the first Fighting Mustangs alumni beef steak dinner in the hopes that the event will become an annual tradition. Digiacomo played right guard and defensive tackle from 1970-1974. Checks are $35 and payable to Digiacomo at 208 Grant Ave., Nutley, 07110. All former Fighting Mustangs are welcome. Contact Digiacomo at 973-580-0175 or at email@example.com to get more details or to help out.
Get $19.36 from the NJFCU School activities and sports teams have the ability to raise money with help from the 1936 Fundraiser Program. The North Jersey Federal Credit Union created the program so that participating students can learn how to save money and make smart financial decisions. The NJFCU donates $19.36 to schools for each qualified account opened. The credit union was founded in 1936 and thus the name for the campaign. Parents, students, friends and family can visit any NJFCU branch to open an account. Parents must accompany children or teens up to 17 years old with valid identification to open accounts. Get started by calling 973-559-6769 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clifton’s Hometown Plumber Fully Licensed & Insured Emergency Service Calls
Nearly 40 years have come and gone and the CHS Class of 1976 is ready to celebrate. John George has organized the reunion, which will be held at the Ramsey Country Club on March 25 at 7:30 pm. Checks of $70 can be sent to George at 9 Daniel Drive, East Hanover, NJ 07936. Dinner and cocktails are included in the price. Call 973-766-3300 or visit him at George’s Service Center, 387 Crooks Ave., Clifton.
Buonafina Plumbing & Heating 973-340-2200 • buonafinaplumbing.com Master Plumber Lic. # 12406 Home Improvement Contractor # 13VH05704200 • Faucet Repair & Installation • Drain Cleaning & Rooter Service • Sewer & Water Replacement • Sewer TV/Video Inspection • Boiler Repairs & Installations • Hot Water Heaters • Sump Pump Installation Clifton Merchant • July 2015
Botany Village Historic Botany Village on Parker Ave. in Clifton presents an ongoing series of free, underthe-stars Friday evening concerts in the historic district. The photos on this page were taken on June 12 when Carnaby St. Band (below) performed to a crowd of about 100. Pictured at right is the newest addition to Botanyâ€™s alfresco dining scene, Cafe Bubamara. Located at 263 Parker Ave., the cafe is owned by Alex Milic and his daughter Andjela, pictured on left with waitress Mira Vodinelic. Open Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 10 pm and Sundays from 8 am to 8 pm, they serve up plenty of desert items as well as crepes, sandwiches and salads as well as burek, a baked pie of phyllo dough with meat, cheese or veggies. There are plenty of outdoor and indoor restaurants in the historic district and in the adjacent Botany Plaza so be sure to make time to visit one of the many taverns or dining establishments before or after the concerts. Ranging from swinging R&B bands to the oldies, the free shows begin at 6:30 pm near the fountain in Sullivan Square and run until Aug. 28. Go to botanyvillage.com for details.
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During the annual Knights of Columbus Awards Ceremony, on June 3, at St. Philip's School Auditorium, the Columbiettes of Chapter 11671 (St. Philip’s RC Church) were honored for their fifth year of service to the community. From left, Master of Ceremonies David Cordero, with Sharon Festa, Annamaria Menconi, Arlene Bayeux, Debbie Sirvidio, Pat Wronko, Rita Frank,Mary Flynn, Cathie Murtha and Barbara Ann Lissi.
Krzysztof Tyszko graduated from Paramus Catholic High School on June 8 at The Prudental Center in Newark with a class of 364. Tyszko was a member of the Peer Ministry Class of ‘15. He helped revamp retreat ministries and programs within campus ministry. Tyszko became a trained Peer/Youth Minister. He also completed the challenge course, which provides students the opportunity to work together in various problem solving scenarios. Tyszko’s dedication to his church was further seen through his 100 plus hours working at Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church as a CCD teacher; assisting the administration and setting up and running local programs. Krzysztof received over $66,000 in scholarships and will attend Seton Hall University in the Fall.
Kristin M. Corrado, Passaic County Clerk, and John Harris, Passaic County Veterans Service Officer, will be at Clifton City Hall’s Health Department on July 23, 11 am to 2 pm to process US Passport applications, issue Notary Oaths and Veteran Photo ID cards. They will provide outreach services in Clifton on the fourth Thursday of each month. For info, call 973-225-3690.
Clifton Merchant • July 2015
Birthdays & Celebrations - July 2015
Nicholas Calvo is 6 on July 11. Skip Kazer celebrates on July 5th. Walter Pruiksma turns 92 on July 26. Julia E. Cannarozzi is 7 on July 8th. Harry Quagliana celebrates on July 23.
Birthdays & Celebrations Send dates & names...email@example.com Amanda Di Angelo............. Ray Merced ....................... Marie Angello .................... Chris Torrao ....................... Skip Kazer ......................... Bob Landrith ....................... Robyn Sue Lord .................. Frank Rando....................... Lori Lill ............................... Susan Rego ........................
7/3 7/3 7/3 7/4 7/5 7/5 7/5 7/5 7/6 7/6
Ron Curtiss ......................... 7/7 Angelo Grippo ................... 7/7 Edward Sepulveda.............. 7/7 Jenna De Liberto ................. 7/8 Christopher Landrith ............ 7/8 Joyce Sunshine ................... 7/8 Cynthia Kester .................... 7/9 Jesse Hasting.................... 7/10 Kristi Schopfer .................. 7/10 Anthony Zaccone.............. 7/13
Bob & Chris Landrith celebrated their 40th Anniversary on June 21st. May God continue to bless them both with many years of health, happiness and love.
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Alyssa Marie Misyak......... Ann Schamble .................. Derek Dobol..................... Jessica Dobol.................... Joanne Gursky.................. Carrie Szluka ................... Alexander Razvmov .......... Ryan Saccoman................ Cocoa Saccoman ............. Ashley Jacobus ................. Linda Portaro.................... Megan Suaifan................. Kaitlin Vinciguerra ............ Harry Quagliana .............. George Shamar................ Kayla Lord........................
7/14 7/15 7/16 7/16 7/17 7/18 7/19 7/19 7/19 7/19 7/20 7/20 7/22 7/23 7/23 7/24
Dan Leonard and Sarah Mango will celebrate their 2nd wedding anniversary on July 12. Anna Schubert ................ Eva Gasporowska........... Kathy Valdes................... Joseph Lopez .................. Ornella Ganoza ............. Gina Oliva ..................... Amanda Fabiano............ Lee-Ann Varga ................ Stephen Camp Sr........... Joe Prebish ..................... Frances Greco ................
7/24 7/25 7/25 7/27 7/27 7/28 7/29 7/29 7/30 7/30 7/31
Kenneth and Donna Chipura on July 11 will celebrate their 44th wedding anniversary.
Belated Birthday Greetings to the Lakeview Bakery girls, Silvana on June 14, and Sue Helen on June 25.
Clifton Merchant â€˘ July 2015
The annual Torch Run for Special Olympics New Jersey traversed Main Ave. on June 12 on its way to Princeton for the start of the annual competition. The photos here were taken at the corner of Main and Washington Aves. where Clifton Police Officers who ran and carried the torch as well as those who escorted the runners on motorcycles met with Cliftonâ€™s Special Olympic team members. Events such as the torch run are conducted to raise funds and awareness for the Special Olympics Movement and to serve the athletes of New Jersey.
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