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From the Editor - Tom Hawrylko It is heartening to see how welcoming Clifton can be as over 125 people attended the 4th annual pride flag raising June 22 on the City Hall lawn. While NJ Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal (above left) was the featured speaker, he was among the many who received a blessing, saluted the American flag and then shared stories of growth, acceptance, love, equality, family and pride.

The rainbow flag, known as the gay pride flag or LGBT pride flag, is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) social movements. In a world where people can still be hated for how they look or who they love, it is wonderful for our hometown to essentially say “welcome” as we raise the six-stripe rainbow flag. That’s Pride in Clifton. God bless America. 16,000 Magazines

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“Chances are,”

wrote Michelle Piekarus in the CHS 2009 yearbook, Rotunda, “high school hasn’t been perfect. There was no Breakfast Club; there were the jocks and there were the outcasts, but, chances are, they didn’t unite. “In a school of over 3,000 students and a class of over 700, the ‘09 Yearbook halls were filled with more strangEditor Michelle ers than friends. The classes were Piekarus. more difficult, the teachers more demanding, the sports more competitive.” Piekarus went on to write when her class was younger, they may have envisioned “freedom” and “perfection” in high school but later discovered that was not always the case. “But there have been moments,” she continued. “Four years have gone by, and although you haven’t found perfection, there have been moments that were perfect, if only for a fleeting instant. “The bright lights and resounding applause as you finish your first solo in the spring musical; your face and helmet buried in the grass, hands still gripping the leather football over the white line as your teammates rush at you with shouts of victory. These are the moments buried in your memory with the beauty and clarity of a photograph.” Piekarus writes her class will not remember the missteps, but rather the better times. “You’ll be thinking about the moments that were, if only for a moment, picture perfect. These are the moments you’ll carry with you for the rest of your life.”


Here’s a look at some of the Class of ’09 who connected with writer Casey Hawrylko, CHS ’08: July 2019 •

Brenna and Matt Kyper.

Brenna (Heisterman) Kyper After Brenna (Heisterman) Kyper graduated from CHS, she followed a path less traveled. Kyper was accepted at West Point and pursued a bachelor of science in systems engineering. She was then commissioned as an engineer officer in the U.S. Army and stationed in Hawaii. She was then deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, did a disaster management exercise in Kunming, China, and next deployed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Atlantic Division in Atlanta, Ga., to aid in Hurricanes Irma and Maria relief. After five years of active duty, she is now in the U.S. Army Reserves while working on her master’s in public management from Johns Hopkins University. Married to

Greg Nowicki, Alexander Obolsky, Kyle Regan, Kyle Fitzpatrick, Christopher Harsaghy and Michael Eierach.

husband Matt (who is still on active duty), the couple is expecting their first child in September and moving to Fort Stewart, Ga., this August. Kyper considers herself fortunate to have traveled extensively since graduating. “I visited,” she said, “Mexico, Grand Cayman, Bahamas, Canada, Cuba, Germany, Italy, Greece, Kyrgystan, Afghanistan, Romania, Australia, New Zealand, China, Scotland, Great Britain, France, Spain and Switzerland.” However, Kyper always considers Clifton home. Her dad, step-family and sister still live in Clifton, so she visits frequently. Victoria Petrovic Victoria Petrovic pursued her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in child advocacy from Montclair State University. While in college, she juggled many jobs, including working at Spuntino’s in Clifton.

Petrovic then went to New Jersey City University to continue her education, leading to her career as a school psychologist. While studying at NJCU, Petrovic did her internship at CHS and viewed her old high school with a different perspective. “I got the opportunity to reconnect and learn from old classmates, now professionals, and past teachers,” she said. Although she works in Newark Public Schools and resides in Montclair, Petrovic maintains her hometown ties. She visits her parents’ Clifton home weekly for dinner and bar tends on the side at The Clif Tavern. • July 2019 


In 2009: John Muska, Gary Spingarn, John Komar, Bryan Stepneski and Mike Rhodes; bottom: Melissa (Ihle) Papp, Jessica Elliot, Alyssa (Trommelen) Stepneski and Andrea Waxman. At right, Alyssa and Bryan Stepneski today.

Brian Stepneski “When I was in high school,” said Brian Stepneski, “I considered my current position a dream job. But I had no idea I would ever have the opportunity.” Today, Stepneski is the Marching Mustang Band director and wife Alyssa Trommelen, his high school sweetheart, is assistant band director and a teacher at Clifton’s School 1. “This is the greatest job on earth,” said Stepneski who is also a CHS music teacher. “I’m incredibly fortunate and grateful to get to work with the best kids CHS has to offer. I love that I can give back to a program and community that gave so much to me.”

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Born and raised in Clifton, Stepneski has been playing trumpet for 19 years. He received a degree in music education from Montclair State University and worked as band director at Hackettstown High School for two years before beginning at CHS in 2016. During Stepneski’s tenure, the Mustang Band has hosted the high school band from Brisbane Boys College in Australia for a 2016 shared concert, marched in the NYC Columbus Day Parade that same year and performed alongside the Presidio Brass in 2018. They also traveled to Quebec, Canada, to perform in the annual Carnival de Quebec night parade in 2018 and hosted the Montclair State University Wind Symphony for a shared concert in 2019. “In 2020,” Stepneski said, “we’ll be traveling to San Francisco to perform in the Chinese New Year Parade.”

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Jamie Lisanti After a great CHS soccer career, Jamie Lisanti, above, went on to play Division I soccer and study communications at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City. After four years, she went on to Columbia University to complete her master’s degree in journalism. Two weeks after graduating, Lisanti started an internship at Sports Illustrated, where she has remained,



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serving as a reporter, tennis editor and now special projects editor. She writes stories, produces and co-hosts a podcast, and oversees some of SI’s events and franchises, such as Sportsperson of the Year and Fashionable 50. While Lisanti lives in nearby Woodland Park, her connections to Clifton remain through family and the countless great friendships built at CHS. Christine Siluk Christine Siluk (right) graduated from Penn State University in 2013, majoring in biology, and parlayed her Clifton Mustang Marching Band experience into four years playing trombone for the PSU Blue Band, performing in front of more than 100,000 fans at Beaver Stadium.


July 2019 •

After graduating, Siluk worked as a field biologist for the university before moving to Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, about a hundred miles north of Tokyo. Siluk teaches English as a second language to people of all ages throughout central Japan, including for companies such as Honda Racing, Komatsu and Yazaki. She’s even taught at a Shinto Shrine in the World Heritage site at Nikko. Recently, Siluk has been studying the art of wearing a kimono and will be taking her professional kimono licence test later this year. Greg Nowicki After juggling years of Mustang swimming, lacrosse and lifeguarding, along with academics and a social life, Greg Nowicki graduated from CHS and attended Rutgers Business School. There, Nowicki (left) met his fiancé Bryanna and graduated with a degree in supply chain management and business. In 2013, he started working for Clarkston Consulting and later PwC, helping clients in the pharmaceutical and consumer products industries. Nowicki considers consulting an amazing career and encourages people, especially those unsure of what they want to do after college, to try it. “You get to experience a bit of everything and decide what you like,” Nowicki said. He credits CHS teachers, classes and coaches for impacting his career. “Consulting is a broad skill requiring creativity, leadership and critical thinking,” Nowicki said, “all of which I was lucky enough to learn through the classes and sports.” He is especially grateful for his swim coaches, Ms. Bobby and Mr. Montolvano, who saw something in him he did not see for himself. They challenged him to train harder and pushed him to lead the swim team senior year when he doubted himself. That support helped Nowicki develop his own confidence, positively impacting his life. After working with many Fortune 500 clients, Nowicki settled into a management position at Amgen, a major biotech com-

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pany. He and Bryanna are now based in San Diego. You can find them in the Eastern Sierra rock climbing, ski mountaineering, trail running and camping. He considers his biggest accomplishment running the SD 50, a 50-mile ultra marathon in San Diego County. Although settled on the West Coast, Nowicki still makes time to visit family and friends in and around Clifton, and eat at the Hot Grill and Plaza Bagels.


Joey Scotto In 2009, Joey Scotto (right) was sure the restaurant business was his passion. He followed his dream by working his first managerial job in Wendy’s in Jersey City with the plan of gaining experience and eventually opening his own restaurant. Those dreams ended one day when Scotto realized he did not want to pursue the restaurant business anymore. He left Wendy’s to figure out

what his calling was. During his soul searching, Scotto became a Little Falls fireman in 2010. After a few weeks, and with encouragement from wife Amanda, he decided to give real estate a try and did what was necessary to earn his real estate license by 2016. “It was one of the best decisions I ever made,” said Scotto. Although fire-fighting was not his calling, he credits his community involvement to his real estate success. “If I’m trusted with fighting fires,” he said, “trusting me to sell your home is a no brainer.” Scotto later realized he was drawn to the restaurant business because he loved dealing with people. “In real estate,” he said, “I enjoy helping people make, in most cases, the biggest purchase of their life.” For the past three years, Scotto has hung his license with Century 21 Cedarcrest of Caldwell and an additional office in Little Falls. He has sold houses from Sussex to Middlesex County but concentrates on Essex and Passaic. July 2019 • • July 2019 


“One of my favorite things,” he said, “about helping people find homes is staying connected to Clifton. A number of CHS alumni and teachers have reached out to me with their real estate needs.” Scotto and his wife currently reside in nearby Wallington, but he typically finds himself in Clifton daily, stopping at his teenage place of employment, The Hearth (now Maple Valley Diner), for his morning coffee. Chris Tietjen A Montclair State University graduate with a degree in organizational communication and minor in public administration, Chris Tietjen has loved government since he was Clifton’s mayor during Youth Week 2009. “I remember watching Clifton Board of Education and City Council meetings with my parents on Channel 77,” Tietjen said. “I was always interested in the process to see how things in Clifton happened. “During my time at CHS, I ran for Student Council Association president my senior year and won. I was also a tuba player in the Marching Mustangs Band.” After MSU, Tietjen continued his education at Seton Hall University where he earned a master’s degree in public administration. He was also the recipient of the Thomas J. Stanton Public Service Award. “During my time at Seton Hall,” he said, “I completed a fellowship with the City of Jersey City and their municipal court.” He also completed a fellowship at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the Department of Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals focusing on risk management.


July 2019 •

Sawyer, Erin and Chris Tietjen.

“My first job in municipal government,” Tietjen said, “was with the Township of Pequannock. I was hired as the assistant to the township manager and helped in the oversight of day-to-day operations.” He next became borough administrator for Peapack and Gladstone, located in Somerset County, with a population of just under 3,000 residents. Tietjen is now attending the Rutgers University Center for Government Services to attain purchasing and finance certifications to assist in his role. “Going to work is different every day, whether it’s navigating the $10 million municipal budget, planning community events, or figuring out why the sanitary sewer system is backed up. Having the opportunity to serve others is what makes me love my job.” In August 2016, Tietjen married “the love of my life” Erin, whom he met while attending MSU. The following year, the Tietjens welcomed their first child, son Sawyer Jacob Tietjen.

union for over six years. “Being part of the union,” he said, “changed my life for the better, helped me mature and shaped me into the hard working, responsible adult I am now.” He reminds all college is not for everyone. “If you are in high school,” Obolsky said, “and still as undecided about your future as I was—and you wouldn’t mind learning a trade or working with your hands—I would highly suggest looking into the local unions and their apprenticeships.

“You can work at a great job making into the six figures, get excellent health insurance and benefits/ pension, and work great hours. But, most of all, you learn something that can never be taken away: a skill.” Obolsky moved to Passaic in 2010, but stays connected with his hometown as most of his friends and family live there. His aunt, Mary Sadrakula, is a Clifton councilwoman and he said he is very proud of the job she is doing.

Alex Obolsky Alex Obolsky was unsure of what he wanted to do after CHS. He enrolled in Passaic County Community College, remembering how family, teachers and administrators emphasized the importance of college. Though Obolsky (above) started college with a focus on environmental science, he was unsure what he would do with his degree. On the first day of classes, Obolsky knew college and desk jobs were not for him. But he stuck to the routine while he applied to several labor unions, hoping to get into an apprenticeship program. After over a year-and-a-half of applying to different unions, he started to lose hope and thought he would finish college and go on to a desk job. “I will never forget when I finally got that phone call from Carpenters Local 253,” Obolsky said. “I’d been accepted into their apprentice program and would start training within two weeks.” He returned his rented books to the college library and never looked back. Obolsky has now been in the • July 2019 


Chrissy Cetinich, Michael Graziano, Lisa M. Mycyk, Michael Rossi, Amy Pasternack and Courtney Skipper.

THE EVE OF A NEW MILLENNIUM During the Class of 1999’s senior year, William Cannici was appointed CHS principal. He began wing competitions, brought back the teacher skit at the holiday assembly and renewed school spirit and pride. One of the most popular classes at school, CAST (Communications, Arts, and Science Training), welcomed Mike McCunney, who taught the course in the new state-of-the-art studio on the second floor of the East Wing. CAST would evolve into a three-year program, teaching television and film production. CHS’s Marching Mustangs continued their international legacy by spending a week in Canada competing in the Calgary Stampede Snowband Competition. CHS earned a gold medal with honors. Not to be outdone, the Concert Choir competed at Music in the Parks in Hershey, Pa., where they received top marks. In May, the choir journeyed to New York City and performed at Carnegie Hall. CHS was also proud when the Madrigals took the stage to sing at Lincoln Center in Washington D.C. The Drama Club presented Arthur Miller’s The Crucible Nov. 20. Jessica Bear played the lead character of Abigail Williams. The CHS musical that year was Sweet Charity by Neil Simon and presented March 12-14, where Bear again played the lead. All got the chance to star in the March 26 CHS Talent Show. Acts included a wrestling skit, singers, break-dancers and merengue dancers. On the fields and in the arenas of athletic competition, CHS shined. Both the boys and girls bowling teams took first place at the Passaic County tournament, led by seniors Ken Gerlach, Justin Lopchuk, Lambert Van Beveren, Joe Lahiee, Amy Pasternack, Robin Jo Paci, Megan Doczi, Aimee Saltzman and Michelle Katuba.


July 2019 •

The Lady Mustangs softball team was a powerhouse. Though they lost their sixth game of the season—snapping the program’s incredible 67 game winning streak— the girls went 23-5 and won the league and county titles before losing in the sectional final. Co-captains Jen Carlo, Megan Doczi and Bobbi Jo Gonnello. Here’s a look at what a few grads are up to: Lisa (Mycyk) Johnson While, Lisa (Mycyk) Johnson was the ’99 yearbook editor, today she is manager of development at the Valley Hospital Foundation, located in Ridgewood. There, she works to support the Valley Health System and coordinates philanthropic logistics for the New Valley Hospital to be built in Paramus. Johnson’s career as a nonprofit administrator has spanned more than a decade. Her expertise in frontline fundraising has enabled her to achieve success for a variety of organizations—including Columbia Law School, RWJ University Hospital Foundation, Somerset Healthcare Foundation, William Paterson University and Ramapo College of New Jersey. “I’m grateful for my CHS education,” Johnson said, “along with the diversity of my class that I had the opportunity to learn alongside.” She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and women’s studies from William Paterson University, and a master’s in fundraising management from Columbia University. Johnson also holds a certificate in project management from Rutgers Business School. Johnson has also continued her love story that began her senior year. In 2006, she married husband Bob, and they have two children, Claire, 11, and Kenny, 7.


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Joseph Canova Though he might not have realized it as the time, when Joe Canova attended school, he depended on the actions and direction of the Clifton Board of Education to provide a quality learning experience. Now he’s part of that same BOE and making decisions on behalf of the next generation of Clifton students. Canova grew up in Botany Village and attended School 12, Sacred Heart School and Christopher Columbus. Today, he resides in Dutch Hill with wife Rose and their two children— Lidia, who attends School 3, and Nadia, who will be in Kindergarten this September. “I learned about Clifton’s funding issues while attending BOE meetings,” Canova said about his civic involvement before being elected to the BOE. “I orchestrated a petition to New Jersey legislators to begin funding our schools.”


In her spare time, Johnson enjoys living in a beautiful lake community in West Milford and spending time with family and their pit bull/basset hound mix rescue dog, Danzig. She is also active in her community and serves as secretary of her local neighborhood association board.


Joseph Genchi, Elisa Loren Tacchi, Kevin Klein, Janell Bania, Chrissie Cluney and George Tsimpedes. Cluney wrote our cover story in December 2012 in which she explained her life’s journey after encephalitis attacked her brainstem.

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BOE Commissioner Joe Canova with Rose, Lidia and Nadia.


July 2019 •

An IT director for 13 years at Berkeley College, Canova believed he had the necessary skills and abilities to serve on the BOE. In April, Clifton voters agreed and he won a seat, totaling the most votes in the election. “It is an amazing feeling,” he said, “to know my contributions are making Clifton a better place to live and a great place for families to raise their children. These past few months have been a great and it feels like everyone is on the same page.” After CHS, Canova earned a degree in electronic engineering. As a senior director in Berkeley’s Information Technology Department, he helps provide technological support and services. This past year, Canova won both the college’s Associate of the Year Award in IT and the Leadership Award. He believes his education at Clifton played a large part in his success. “It all begins,” Canova stated, “with a proper educational foundation and experience that teaches to the whole child. Since our population is large, we offer many clubs and extra-curricular activities other schools do not. Since Clifton has such a large and diverse population, it allows many possibilities that can’t be found elsewhere. “That is a strong perk these days where contacts and Social Media networking can have a positive influence on finding a career.”


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HOLMES Creating a landscape of her own: the flamenco-dancing, chain-saw wielding Rachel Holmes.

She confesses that it might make her mom a little nervous, but Rachel Holmes loves her chainsaw. She’s not as fond of the boots she has to wear when fighting forest fires—they’re just not made for women, and have rubbed her feet into something akin to raw meat—but they help her get the job done. When she’s not fighting wildfires or identifying botanically death dealing insects as a forestry expert, she’s wearing a different kind of footwear: flamenco shoes, in which she dances professionally, complete with a bright red flower in her hair. And let’s not forget about the divinity degree. Rachel is an exercise of diversity in one person—and she thinks it might have something to do with the town she grew up in. “There were so many different kinds of people in Clifton,” she says. “We even had diversity of thought—lots of different opinions!” The experience of growing up in a non-homogeneous town enables her to walk the boundary-lands in her adult life between faith and science, to navigate the testosterone-laden world of firefighting with a sense of comradery


July 2019 •

one day and to embody the power of femininity through dance the next. As a school with over 3,000 students at the time, CHS, she says, is the place she learned how to maneuver comfortably through different social groups. “It was at Clifton High that I learned—and I say this often—to be a part of everyone’s group, but a member of none... and that sets the stage for my being able to navigate amongst a lot of different populations and groups, with different ways of being and thinking and talking. ” Back in the day, some of the groups Rachel participated in include the honor society, the student council and advisory committee, and of course, the Marching Mustangs, where she not only played both flute and piccolo, but also became a majorette. “I was all about the boots and the cape,” she says with an exuberant laugh. “I was like, sign me up for that! That was a life dream!” The marching band taught her “hard work, perseverance and commitment to a goal.” But she learned the ethos of service to others from her parents. • July 2019 


especially true in her urban RACHEL forestry efforts, where she HOLMES believes that “by rehabilitating nature, people can rehabilitate themselves. In urban settings, people can create their own landscapes, and can work with wounded nature to heal their own wounds.” The musicality of her Mustang days has not left her, and she indulges it when she dons the flowy dress and the red flower of Flamenco. She dances professionally in restaurants and teaches it in dance classes, and says it is “the opportunity to merge musicianship with music and physical, bodily expression. One of the things I love the Rachel Holmes with brother Joe Jr., mother Roberta, and father Joe. most is that it is an opportunity to showcase femininity in a position of power,” Her mom Roberta is a counselor at Christopher Coa nice juxtaposition from her days lugging a chainsaw lumbus Middle School and her dad­—known affectionthrough a forest fire—which requires its own certificaately as “Mr. Joe”—is a well-known leader in the Boys tion, by the way. & Girls Club of Clifton. She comes back to Clifton often Flamenco is another way to express who she is, and to visit her parents, who still live in Lakeview. she loves the interaction with the audience and the ability Growing up, there were a few pivotal moments that to continue a life in music that was born during her days may have indicated her future as a specialist in urban forin Clifton High. estry who is federally certified (or “red-carded,” in the Come August, when fire season starts, Rachel will language of the trade) to fight wildfires. again be on call for the National Forest Service, ready to There was the day in fifth grade when all the trees on grab her chainsaw and her ill-fitting boots, and head into her street were removed in order to replace the sidewalks, the wild to fight the next natural disaster. and her mother had to take her away to keep her from Contrary to some local rumors, she doesn’t actually berating the construction workers. jump out of planes. Not only is that insane, according to At 13, she was riding a horse along the Continental Diher, but the government is actually reducing the number vide, and was overcome with not just a sense of awe, but of “smokejumpers” because there is very little land left also sadness, because she knew so many of her friends that is not accessible by roads. back in Clifton would never see something so beautiful. She will work the 14 hour days and attempt to conAnd always, there was her deep Catholic faith undersume the 6,000 calories per day that is recommended to girding her fiery passion for nature. sustain this work. When she comes home, her passion Upon graduating from CHS, Rachel went on to rewill continue to fuel her urban conservancy efforts and ceive two masters degrees from Yale University: one in the fire of her dance. divinity and another in forestry. She will continue to walk the boundaries between her Clifton’s diversity serves her still in this regard: she faith and her science, the power of her femininity and her says it “laid the groundwork for me to be able to run in male-dominated field, and she will carry with her always these two seemingly disparate fields of divinity and forthe true beat of the music she came to love during her estry.” She sees a direct link between her faith and her days in Clifton. conservancy efforts, believing that stewardship of our Rachel Holmes is a woman creating the most unique natural resources is aligned with her religious ethos. landscape of her own life, and she’s doing it to a very “We do conservancy for people,” she says, and that’s special beat: the heart of a true Mustang.


July 2019 •





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It’s located an Aaron Judge throw away from Rutt’s Hutt, adjacent to the new Silk City Distillers. The Ghost Hawk Brewing Company at 321 River Road opened April 20 and is Clifton and Passaic County’s first microbrewery. It features soft purple lighting, a long comfortable bar and a welcoming vibe—the type of business that will bring people to the city. Patrons can sample brews like Ghost Hawk lager; Apex Predator, a New England-style IPA; Cherry Daedalion; and Ravendark, a mighty foreign-style stout. Rotating selections include Sun Soak, an easy drinking beer, and Wayward Hellion, a Belgian golden ale. The first thing people see entering the brewery is the logo, a profile of white hawk—its beak tucked down and fierce eye seeing all. That hawk is Danny’s spirit animal. The late Danny Bauer is the brother of Steve Bauer (Class of ’95) and best friend of Tom Rachelski (Class of ’99), the owners and founders of Ghost Hawk. Together with brewmaster Chris Sheehan, they comprise the team


July 2019 •

bringing the art of craft beer to Clifton. “When we were kids,” Bauer said, “me, my father and my brother did a lot of deep woods hiking—camping trips in upstate New York. My father photographed birds and gave us a great appreciation for hawks and birds of prey.” Danny always loved hawks, even got a tattoo of one. After he died, his brother Steve kept seeing them, often in strange places. “It would give me goose bumps,” he said. When it came time to develop the business name and brand, “Ghost Hawk” popped into Bauer’s head. He scribbled the design on a piece of paper and then designed it on his computer. Rachelski loved it. “I showed it to my mom,” Bauer added, “and she cried immediately. She knew exactly what it was about. I knew right then we were going to go with it.” • July 2019 


Brewing on River Road Danny’s Story After that summer, Rachelski came Danny Bauer, 35, passed away on back to Clifton a changed man. Jan. 23, 2016—the victim of these “I made the honor roll for the first times and his own personal demons. time in my life in my senior year,” The Bauer brothers grew up near Rachelski said. “I got straight As, Garret Mountain off Valley Road, and took the SATs and smoked them—got attended School 5, Woodrow Wilson 1200. I got accepted to Montclair State CHS 1999 grads Daniel Bauer Middle School and Clifton High. University.” (left) and Thomas Rachelski. Danny was a former altar boy at St. He also participated in three George’s Church, an outstanding musports—cross country, wrestling and sician who played many different instruments (and studlacrosse—looking to stay in shape because he was reied with guitarist Sandy Renda for 12 years), and a writer turning to the military for advanced training. and stand-up comedian. “Unfortunately,” he said, “after I joined the military, During most of high school, he was Rachelski’s best Danny and I didn’t hang out as much.” friend. At MSU, Rachelski struggled. “My dad said I was “We met during our freshman year at Clifton High,” good in a structured military environment and suggested said Rachelski, “at my buddy, Mike Miktus’ house, anThe Citadel, a military college in South Carolina. He was other friend who’s not here anymore. right—I graduated Summa Cum Laude.” “Danny had a positive outlook on life. It’s kind of craAfter graduation, Rachelski’s National Guard unit was zy—he always suffered from manic depression. When he activated for a year in Kuwait, and he worked in land was in that happy mood, he wanted to be in the center and mobile communications. Returning to the U.S., he spotlight. Danny always wanted to make everyone hapearned an MBA in finance and marketing from Rutgers py. He was genuine; that’s what I loved about him.” Business School. His death was like too many others today. As his Bauer had a better experience at MSU, making the brother described, after a shoulder injury, Danny became dean’s list and earning a business degree. He also learned addicted to opioid pain pills. When the prescriptions ran about computers and, by 2004, was building web sites. out, he bought them on the street. Finally, he turned to He then taught himself graphic design and realized this heroin and ultimately overdosed. should be his path. “He just got sucked into the wrong thing,” Bauer said, “I couldn’t believe,” Bauer said, “I just graduated four “and it really overtakes your life. It was hard to watch. years of school and it was what I wanted to do. He was a brilliant person, a very, very talented guy. Though he had discovered his passion, he needed to “But he got wrapped up in the wrong things and it pay the rent. Bauer worked for 10 years for a telecom wound up being the end of him.” company as an operations supervisor. He also continued to build his design career through the skateboarding, Hometown Partners snowboarding and art community, starting two businessRachelski’s life took a different turn than his best es—a freelance design business and a clothing company. friend’s. His parents were originally from Delawanna, “Eventually,” Bauer said, “I quit my corporate job beright around the corner from Ghost Hawk. The family cause I suffered some losses.” first lived in Athenia Section and then moved to MontIn 2014, Bauer lost friend Noel Korman, along with clair Heights. Noel’s girlfriend Alice Park, in a carbon monoxide ac“Danny and I partied a little too hard our junior year,” cident. Rachelski said. “I decided to go a different route.” “It changed my whole perspective. I’d seen people go That route was the Army National Guard’s Split Opin the past—drugs, things like that, things that were maintion Program, which allows 17 year-olds to complete baly their own choice. That was the first time I saw a friend, sic combat training in the summer and return to complete way before his time, taken out. So it really changed my their senior year of high school. direction in life. Otherwise, I’d still be at a desk.”


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Chris Sheehan, Brewmaster During his 27-year career, Ghost Hawk’s Chris Sheehan won nine Great American Beer Festival medals and other awards, like the 2004 FX Matt Memorial Cup for best brewery in New York State. Sheehan started out as a home-brewer in 1986. He moved to California in 1989 to pursue a career in the craft brewing industry and worked in the Triple Rock Brewery in Berkeley, the nation’s oldest brewpub. After gaining certification in sanitation and microbiology at the University of California at Davis, Sheehan became head brewer at 20 Tank Brewery in San Francisco. He then moved to New York City, becoming head brewer at Chelsea Brewing Company in Manhattan—winning awards and establishing successful brands. After 12 years there, Sheehan established Port 44 Brewpub in Newark. He then worked at J.J. Bitting in Woodbridge and went on to launch Gun Hill Brewing Company in the Bronx, winning a gold medal just months after the business opened. He later worked at Defiant Brewing Company in Pearl River, N.Y. Ghost Hawk is Sheehan’s fourth start-up and 11th brewery.


July 2019 •

After his brother’s death, Bauer was even more committed to his new path. “That leads to when I linked up with Tom,” he said. Hawk Takes Flight With a “great career” in the finance and investment industry, Rachelski was looking to invest in a business. Seeing Bauer’s work on Facebook and Instagram, he was interested in investing in his clothing company. “But Steve had other ideas,” Rachelski said. Along with a friend who worked at the Cricket Hill Brewery in Fairfield, Bauer had envisioned creating a brand, “The Big Grizzly Brewing Company.” But the idea never came to fruition. But, though his friend moved away, Bauer never stopped thinking about it. When Rachelski contacted him about investing in his clothing company, he pitched the brewery idea instead. “Tom put together this insane business plan,” said Bauer. “We originally considered going up to Rockland County, but, ultimately, we decided Clifton is where we both grew up, and we have the hometown advantage here.” After that, he said “the stars aligned.” Bauer was friends with the Silk City Distillers owners, and Ghost Hawk found its location in the same building. Silk City’s owners introduced him to Sheehan. “I didn’t know about these guys,” Sheehan remembered thinking about Bauer and Rachelski. “I didn’t know if they could afford me. But I was open-minded because I was looking for a new venture. “It was a gradual process. It didn’t happen overnight. We had a lot of conversations. Initially, it started out with me on a consultation basis. As we developed a rapport, they agreed to the numbers and we said, ‘Let’s do it.’” However, Ghost Hawk would face a major hurdle before opening when PSE&G wanted $21,000 up front to install a new pole, transformer and three-phase electric power unit. “At that point,” Bauer said, “we’d already paid for all the equipment—everything was in here. They basically said you need to give us $21,000—no payment plans, nothing.” The partners did not want to take on another investor after completing 95 percent of the work. A business loan was out. Instead, they turned to a crowdfunding site that offered exclusive merchandise and the chance for contributors to name their own beer. “We raised a little over $20,000!” said Bauer. “A lot of friends and family donated, but there were • July 2019 


Brewing on River Road complete strangers who donated because they read about it in the paper.” It seemed Danny was indeed watching over them. “It wound up giving us all this notoriety and buzz—people were saying, ‘These guys are trying to open this brewery in town and the utility company gave them a big bill. Let’s help them out.’ As soon as that happened, we had a line out the door for the grand opening. For nine hours straight, a line out the door.” Heart of the Hawk With its shinning silver brewery equipment ringing the establishment, Ghost Hawk offers its customers a unique venue. Unlike a bar, the room is industrial, yet welcoming, with high ceilings and good acoustics to make the music sound better. Re-purposed wood from a 120-year old Amish barn adds to the warmth. And there’s that wonderful beer—fresh and cold, served in the place where it was created. “We wanted a brewery,” Rachelski said. “We didn’t want to open up a bar. A lot of breweries are trying to pretend to be bars. We wanted a place that creates an experience. We want customers to come in and see how the beer’s made. We want them to feel they’re almost part of the brewing process.


July 2019 •

“You’re sitting next to the tanks; you feel the raw concrete of the walls. You see the wood; you see the shiny stainless steel. Some of that you can’t get from any other brewery.” Being in Clifton means much to Ghost Hawk’s owners. “We’ve only been open for a few months,” said Rachelski, “and we’ve already helped so many organizations. We’ve supported School 5 PTA program, are sponsors of a Little League team and helped out at the Food Truck Festival with the Boys and Girls Club. We had a veteran’s night, sponsored two different PBA events and we’re in talks to help the Football Booster Club.” While Danny Bauer’s Ghost Hawk spirit is all around, deep inside the brewery are even more reminders of departed friends and family. Hidden away from view is the “heart” of business— an immense white cooler inscribed with names. “When we were under construction,” Bauer said, “I had a Sharpie and I wrote Danny’s name on it. I wrote Noel and his girlfriend Alice’s name, and a couple of other friends who has passed away. And one day, I took a picture of it for my personal Instagram. “Then someone messaged me, writing, ‘Hey, would you mind putting my cousin’s name on there?’ And then a few other people reached out, and I wound up putting names and names on it.”

Serving it up at Ghost Hawk: Tito, Steve and Aphrodite.

Before long, there were 150 names of the departed written on the cooler, now encased and unseen behind the bar. “We have this whole collection of names you can’t see them anymore,” he said, “but they’re here—they’re part of this place.” And that place is making Clifton history. “We’re the first production brewery in Passaic County since prohibition,” Bauer said. “People are starting to realize that. And we have a great team and we’re putting out a great product.” • July 2019 


The 1989 reunion committee who recently met at the Grande Saloon. They are pictured from left with photos below of them back in the day. From left, Stephanie Schmidt, Renee Wos, Jeffrey Kracht, Jill Caruso, Kenneth Colluci and Samantha Schlossberg. For information on the reunion write to

The Class of ’89 was a class of “firsts.” They were the first class to have a junior prom, allschool pep rallies eighth period, mid-term and final exams, and third and fifth period lockers. They were also the first to receive college credit for high school courses and enter CHS under Principal Aaron Halpern but graduate under Principal Robert Mooney. In sports, the girls volleyball team captured its third straight league title; the boys bowling squad won their division, county and section with a record of 100-19; and the hockey team won a state record 25 consecutive games and a division championship before suffering its only defeat in the state playoffs. Finally, the softball team enjoyed a 24-1 season, which included a league crown and the program’s first of 10 county championships. The CHS play was The Prisoner of Second Avenue, starring Chris Taylor and Sandra Lucignani, and featuring Eileen Hudziak and Jessica Sherman.


July 2019 •

Top news events were the election of President George H.W. Bush, the terrorist bombing of Flight 103 over Scotland, and the return to space with the shuttle Discovery. In their spare time, the Class of ’89 went to the movies to see Rain Man and Working Girl, and listened to Lost in Your Eyes by Debbie Gibson and Straight Up by Paula Abdul. Here’s a look at what’s happened to some class members since their CHS graduation: Renee Wos-Vanderburgh As a member of the Marching Mustangs Band, Renee Wos-Vanderburgh played alto saxophone and reached the rank of sergeant and drill instructor. She also played tenor sax in the Jazz Band. “My class was a part of the 50th Anniversary band,” Wos-Vanderburgh said. “We also got the chance to travel to California and Hawaii in the summer of 1986 after our freshman year. We performed in San • July 2019 


Brian Kulesa, Lisa Mieczkowski, Loreto De Santis, Anniemarie Vasilenko, Alexander Kramarchuk, Jamie Van Blarcom.

Francisco, on the island of Oahu, marched down Disneyland’s Main Street U.S.A., and performed at the San Diego Naval Base.” Wos-Vanderburgh attended School 3, Christopher Columbus Junior High and CHS—part of the first group of freshman to attend the high school. Today, she is a registered certified perioperative nurse. “I work in the operating room,” she said. “I first worked on a medical surgical unit dealing mostly with pre and post-operative patients before going to the OR.” Wos-Vanderburgh is also proud to have finished her 12th year as a Girl Scout leader in Clifton. “I started with my daughter who graduated in 2018,” she said. “My son is also in the Clifton School system.” Ken Collucci Ken Collucci was an involved kid in Clifton, and perhaps that’s why he has stayed connected to his classmates and is part of the 1989 reunion committee. But, before graduation, he was anxious to get on with the rest of his life. In June 1988, his junior year, Collucci signed a delayed enlistment for the U.S. Air Force. When he turned 18, he shipped out in November 1989 for basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Collucci served in Operation Desert Storm and was deployed to Dhahran Air Base, Saudi Arabia, where he was a freight and packaging specialist. “My father, Vito, was in the USAF and he pretty much was the reason I enlisted,” recalled Collucci. “I wanted to follow in his footsteps.” Collucci finished his military service in 1993 and worked in shipping and receiving in the private sector before being hired as a Clifton firefighter in December 1997. He has served the Clifton community for close to 22 years.


July 2019 •

Looking back on his CHS days, Collucci said that Project Graduation, as well as the year he spent in the DECA program, were among his favorite memories. “I worked for Colonial Pharmacy as a delivery driver,” said Collucci. “It wasn’t glamorous but it actually taught me how to deal with people in a professional manner. My employers were great people and some of my coworkers were fellow CHS classmates.”   In April 1997, Collucci married wife Christina, and the couple have two daughters, Sophia, 18, and Olivia, 16. The family resides in Pompton Plains, but Collucci is often in town for his job and to see his parents, MaryEllen and Vito, who still live in Lakeview. Adrienne B. (Del Favero) Vorolieff & Andrea R. (Del Favero) Gilkes Twins and still great friends, the former Del Favero Sisters are in completely different occupations, but do similar things for people: care, comfort and heal. “Adrienne is helping them to get better and I am helping them back from their pain of loss,” said Andrea R. (Del Favero) Gilkes, a fifth-generation funeral director. Her twin sister, Adrienne B. (Del Favero) Vorolieff, has worked at Hackensack Meridian Medical Center for the past 28 years, having earned her associate of applied science in nursing at Bergen Community College and her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Jacksonville University. “I specialize in radiology and oncology,” Vorolieff said. “Taking care of sick patients and comforting their family members has always been my passion in life. Vorolieff is married to “my amazing wife Laura.” The couple has a dog named Duncan and a cat named Clarke. “I am also a very proud aunt to two handsome nephews and four beautiful nieces,” she added. • July 2019 


Amy (Sandy) Kozell and her husband Rob with their children Kayla and Daniel.

Her twin sister Andrea has worked in the family business since childhood at the Aloia Funeral Home and Attentive Cremation Service in Garfield. After graduating CHS, Gilkes earned a degree in owner management from the University of South Carolina-Columbia and was awarded the 1993 Dean’s Award for the Most Outstanding Business Student. The following year, after earning several scholarships, she received her funeral degree from Mercer College and became a certified funeral service professional. Gilkes said she “enjoys being a part of the community and becoming a funeral director has given me my greatest rewards. Helping grieving families get through a difficult time has been a gift.” In her community and church, Gilkes is a past president of the Garfield Rotary and was a lector for 20 years at Our Lady of Mount Virgin R.C. Church. She’s also a member of the Italian-American Women’s Forum of Lodi, Garfield Women’s Club and Garfield Chamber of Commerce. In 2018, Gilkes was recognized by the Marine Corps League, receiving the Distinguished Citizen Award and Distinguished Citizen Medal. Married to husband Gregory, they have two children, Aaron and Rosemarie.


July 2019 •

Amy (Sandy) Kozell Amy (Sandy) Kozell is passionate about animals. “I have lived my whole life in Clifton,” Kozell said, “attended all the schools and played the trumpet in the Mustang Band. I have been doing animal rescue work for over 25 years.  “I started Angels of Animals in 2006. As a kid, I started working for animal hospitals and volunteering at local shelters. I also worked for several veterinarians in my late teenage years. I discovered I had a passion for saving animals no one wanted—the really hard cases.” Kozell’s organization focuses on special needs animals and hospice cases. “We to try to give a chance to animals that nobody wanted,” she said. “Angels of Animals requires a lot of fundraising. As long as we can provide a good quality of life, we will fundraise to make that goal happen” Hoping to give each animal a pain-free happy life, Kozell and Angels of Animals are constantly seeking donations and foster families for special needs animals. Married to Rob Kozell, she said, “I met my husband as a teenager working at the Allwood Movie Theater. He was the projectionist and I worked the candy counter. We’ve been together since 1990. “We have two awesome children. Daniel, 16, is currently in 10th grade at CHS. Kayla, 9, attends School 16. Both of my children have a deep love for animals. Daniel has been very active and will accompany me on jobs to rescue animals, medicate ill cats and socialize feral kittens.” To support Angels of Animals, write to Kozell at Samantha Schlossberg Samantha Schlossberg still resides in Clifton after returning from Glassboro State College where she earned a degree in sociology. While working as a case manager for Christ Hospital in Jersey City, Schlossberg found herself in Liberty State Park on Sept. 11th as a first responder. That event shaped her decision to return to school and get a master’s degree in counseling so she could spend the rest of her career helping others. Schlossberg has worked the past 15 years in substance abuse prevention for at-risk youth in Pat- • July 2019 


Scott Crum, Kimberly Meyers, David Moore, Michael Soccol, Genia Filewicz and Michael Chomiak.

erson. While she has no children of her own, she has had much joy in watching her “kids” grow up and flourish. In her spare time, Schlossberg has performed standup comedy and gone to vintage race car driving school, among other pursuits. She is thrilled to be on the 30th high school reunion committee. Michael Rinzler A child at heart, Michael Rinzler has spent the last 25 years in the toy industry. Rinzler is co-president/founding partner of Wicked Cool Toys, a Bristol, Pa., company with 125 employees and offices in Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China. His company makes toys for well-known brands, such as Pokémon, Cabbage Patch Kids, Micro Machines, Halo and more, along with producing their own brands.   Rinzler serves on the Toy Association board, is an advisor to Women in Toys, and active in several different charities, including Make-a-Wish and the Toy Industry Foundation. He earned his bachelor’s from Washington University in St. Louis and his MBA from Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania. “I live in Newtown, Pa., outside Philadelphia with my wife Zyta and 8 year-old daughter Zoe,” Rinzler said. “In my spare time, we love to travel and hang out with our many pets. I’m also always looking for other entrepreneurial pursuits.” Jeff Zuchowski A veteran of the radio and streaming space, Jeff Zuchowski leads the team at Pandora that intersects with the music industry, forging and maintaining relationships with record labels, agents, artists and their managers. Pandora, combined with its parent company SiriusXM, is the largest audio entertainment company in the world. 


July 2019 •

Jeff Zuchowski with Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters.

“I always remember Clifton High as this melting pot of so many different cultures and ethnicities,” said Zuchowski. “Having the opportunity to walk through the halls and hear hip-hop, rock, dance and many other genres of music is something I feel impacted my passion and desire to get into the music business.” He got his start in radio, spending nearly a decade at iHeartMedia, programming radio stations—including the relaunch of New York’s flagship station WKTU. Zuchowski’s performance earned him multiple industry accolades, including the prestigious Billboard Magazine Award for Program Director of the Year in 2005 and 2006, and Music Director of the Year in 1999, 2000 and 2001. In 2001 he was an executive producer on the Michael Jackson 30th Anniversary concert event.

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When he joined Pandora in 2012, the company’s relationship with the music industry was tense at best. As Pandora began its move into on-demand streaming, Zuchowski was charged with rekindling productive relationships with the industry.  To start, he led an effort to harness Pandora’s deep knowledge of music listeners to create a powerful marketing platform for artists. In 2014, the company introduced its Artist Marketing Platform, which empowered artists by plugging them into Pandora’s data to help them make informed marketing and touring decisions.


July 2019 •

Zuchowski and his team also began to find ways to build alliances between artists and brands—producing custom sponsor-supported shows for artists to perform to their most loyal fans.   In 2018 alone, Zuchowski plugged national brands into exclusive performances by more than 150 artists, including Cardi B, Fall Out Boy, Zac Brown Band, Jason Aldean, Metallica, Maren Morris, Taylor Swift and others, generating more than $100 million in revenue.  This year, he was named one of Billboard Magazine’s Branding Power Players of 2019. Zuchowski also serves on the Country Music Association and TJ Martell Foundation boards.  Married for 12 years to wife Sabrina, he enjoys spending down time in New Jersey with his 10-year-old twins. Zoe and Nevan. And, while he doesn’t have any family left in Clifton, Zuchowski visits Rutt’s Hut and the Hot Grill as much as he can. “Gotta go Rutt’s,” he said. “Their dogs cannot be compared to anywhere else where I have traveled. Hard to be so passionate about hot dogs but hey, when ya got the best in the world right here, you gotta love it!” • July 2019 


Above, the ’79 Reunion Committee at the Grande Saloon and below their senior portraits. Above front: Maureen Cavanaugh Hagan, Rosemary Trinkle Baran, Sharon Ofsowitz Kozinn, Jody Wehr Pecci; back: George Hariton, Douglas DiFalco, Linda Haraka DiFalco, Debbie Hatem Gorny and Frank Pecci (CHS ’77). At right in ’79, Linda Haraka, Debra Hatem, George Hariton, Jodi Wehr, Maureen Cavanaugh, Rosemary Trinkle and Sharon Ofsowitz.

By Donna Popowich In June 1979, the CHS senior class celebrated their impending graduation. Dressed in the finest formal wear, they danced the night away at The Town and Campus in West Orange, celebrating their youth, potential and future. While Town and Campus is gone, the Class of ’79 remains—ready to remember and celebrate their lives after CHS at this year’s 40th reunion. While the class held reunions at 10, 25 and 30 years, this four-decade gathering will be the culmination of their time together. The idea for the 40th reunion came about at the CASA Super Bowl Party, held at the Clifton Boys & Girls Club. There, Rosemary (Trinkle) Baran met classmates Linda (Haraka) DeFalco and Debbie (Hatem) Gorny, and they decided to reconnect with old friends.


July 2019 •

Maureen (Cavanaugh) Hagan is one of the reunion’s driving forces. She was on the committee for the 10-year reunion. The 40th, Hagan feels, will be the last big reunion, as 10 years from now, many may not be willing or able to return. And, even if you haven’t been to other reunions, Hagan encourages her classmates to attend. “It’s like a book series,” she said. “You read the first

one—our time at CHS—and may have missed some novels in the middle, but you read the last one to see how everything turns out. “We all get busy with kids and life, and then 15 years passes and you haven’t seen each other. This will be our chance to reconnect, more than a phone call or email.” Though the Class of ’79 left CHS June 13, 1979, each one took a piece of Clifton with them. This reunion will provide the place for all to share their own personal book chapter, showing how CHS influenced their lives during the past 40 years. The Class of ’79 reunion committee members are Hagan, Baran, Gorny, Doug and Linda DeFalco, George and Maryann (Hanie) Hariton, Jodi (Wehr) Pecci and Sharon (Ofsowitz) Kozinn. Class members are encouraged to reach out to them on the Facebook reunion page, “Clifton High School Class of 1979.” The reunion will be held at the Black Bear Golf Club in Franklin, N.J., November 16. The night will feature a buffet dinner, cash bar, dancing in the ballroom and a spacious outdoor veranda where the class will laugh, share and come together again around the outdoor fire pits. Cost for Saturday event is $79 a person and reservation deadline is September 1. For questions, email the committee at

Marching Mustang Ilene Kamine contemplates. • July 2019 


Douglas DiFalco, Mary Ann Hanle, John Blesing, Donna Hoogmead, Mario Bochna and Gaye Noval.

Some reunioners also plan to spend the weekend at the Crystal Springs/Mineral Resort and Spa and will to get together from Friday night through Sunday brunch. Contact the hotel for reservations. The Class of ’79, after 40 years, what have they done and where have they gone? Here’s a look at a few: Sharon (Ofsowitz) Kozinn Sharon (Ofsowitz) Kozinn was raised on Haddonfield Rd. and lived in the same house her entire life until marriage. Today, she helps others discover their dream home as a senior real estate specialist and sales associate for Coldwell Banker. Kozinn’s senior specialty now refers to her peer group. “In real estate,” she said, “‘senior’ starts at age 50 for adult communities. But people today are much younger and more active in their 50s. They want more out of a living community and their homes.” Kozinn lives in River Vale with her husband of 35 years, David. They have two grown children and are excited to be welcoming their grandson in a few weeks. Inspired by her mother to help others, Kozinn donates her time with many local community service organizations including the National Council of Jewish Women, Temple Emanuel, the Jewish Community Center of Northern New Jersey and Sharaheret. She fondly remembers her time at CHS, especially Mr. Voightlander’s sociology class. “He made such a lasting impression on me,” Kozinn said. “He was funny, kind and loved to teach—a winning combination. He is a dear friend.” Debra (Hatem) Gorny Debra (Hatem) Gorny is back at CHS. During her senior year, Gorny worked as a guidance office helper, doing clerical tasks for the counselors. Today, she works for the Clifton Board of Education as a


July 2019 •

secretary to the CHS supervisor of counseling. Gorny now has a different appreciation for the CHS counselors. “As I student,” she said, “I didn’t realize what else they did besides scheduling. Our counselors are invested in the whole student approach. They are kind and concerned about the emotional well-being of the students. “The times are different from 40 years ago. The staff and administration talk things through with the students. The students are respectful. “One big difference is the role of the female students who are more career-orientated and driven to attend college. Forty years ago, the focus was more on getting a job and eventually marriage and a family.” Gorny grew up in the Albion section, attending St. Philip’s, WWMS and CHS. After graduation, she attended the Berdan Institute to become a medical assistant. She has worked for physicians in Clifton, as well as the surrounding areas, for 38 years. Married for 36 years to husband John, a CHS ’75 alum, Gorny has three grown sons, Michael, Ryan and Brandon. “I’ve enjoyed being on the 10th, 25th and now 40th CHS reunion committees,” Gorny said, “reconnecting with old friends, such as Maureen Hagan, whom I became instant friends with in the 6th grade. She also mentions her CHS classmate Linda DeFalco. “We’ll both be back on the field helping with the 2019 graduation, 40 years later,” Gorny added. Maureen (Cavanaugh) Hagan Maureen (Cavanaugh) Hagan moved to Clifton in 1972 and went to St. Philips, WWMS and then CHS. Married to husband Chris for 25 years, the couple now lives in Sussex County. Hagan has five children and two grandchildren. She and her husband have a construction landscaping business, and she also works in the local school. • July 2019 


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At Deluxe Cleaners and Formalwear, from left, Bob Genuardi, ’75, and Pat, ’79, and Colleen (Quick) DeLora, ’88. At the Grande Saloon, Lenny Giacose, Gregg Geider, Pat DeLora and Dave Wallace meet for a mini ’79 reunion.

One of Hagan’s favorite Clifton memories was ice skating on the pond at Christopher Columbus Middle School. “One night,” she said, “a very strong gust of wind came out of nowhere and pushed us right across the ice onto the bank of the pond. Of course, as soon as our skates hit the grass, we all went tumbling. It was a hilarious scene.” She considers this reunion the Class of ’79’s “last hurrah.” “It’s a chance,” Hagan said, “to gather near the end of our working experiences and share what we have learned since we were teens.” Anthony Imperato Anthony Imperato has lived a life of service and valor since leaving CHS. After graduation, Imperato joined the New York Air National Guard. He became a Clifton Police officer for a few years, then decided to take the fire department test. Anthony has spent 28 years on the Clifton Fire Department and now works at his own lawn maintenance business. Imperato married CHS alum Erin McCarth, Class of ’81. They have two daughters and a son who is continuing the family tradition of service as a U.S. Marine. The Imperatos live in Jefferson Township, but hope to someday become South Carolina snow birds. Patrick DeLora Although he lives in Cedar Grove since 2000 with his wife Colleen, Pat DeLora said Clifton remains at the center of his world. Along with sister, Linda, Class of ’76,


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the DeLoras are the third generation running the family business, DeLuxe Cleaners, founded in 1930. Looking back at CHS, he said Italian teacher Fernando Rossi remains a memorable mentor. A group of students would meet with Rossi in Sussex County Thursday nights for a few hours of skiing the slopes. “He was different than he was in school,” recalled DeLora. “Much more approachable and human.” DeLora’s dedication to Clifton is evident in his volunteer work with the Downtown Clifton Special Improvement District. He was the founding president and served in that capacity for eight years, helping to establish the district where business owners pay an additional tax to promote and improve the area. DeLora said he is “proud of the eclectic businesses on Main Ave. that meet the needs of the diverse community of Clifton.” DeLora’s volunteer work doesn’t stop there. A Clifton Rotarian, his group provides scholarships, helps seniors in need, runs food drives and promotes philanthropy throughout the city. They also make donations to Relay for Life, Clifton Library, Clifton Art Center, DIAL and Boys & Girls Club. The Rotary Club encompasses DeLora’s philosophy to see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe and in our communities. Whether cleaning clothes for the less fortunate, protecting the environment, revitalizing Main Ave. or his volunteer efforts with the Rotary, Pat DeLora and his family has left their mark on his hometown—one even DeLuxe can not wash away. • July 2019 


Dr. Scott Mitchell Smith Dr. Scott Mitchell Smith, son of Glory Smith and the late Ralph Smith, is a captain in the U.S. Navy. Smith is a dentist specializing in prosthodontics and has served in the Navy for 30 years at various stations, including the U.S. Naval Academy and aboard the USS Belleau Wood during the Gulf War. In 1979, Smith was captain of the Mustang baseball squad, as well as the Post 8 American Legion team. He went on to play baseball while at Gettysburg College, Pa. Married to wife Susan, the couple reside in Chestertown Md., and Green Pond, N.J. They have three children, Tyler, Madison and Justin—who is following in his father’s Navy footsteps and attempting to become a Navy Seal. Rosemary (Trinkle) Baran Rosemary (Trinkle) Baran’s family has been in Clifton since 1800 when the city was part of Acquackanonk Township. “My great-great grandfather,” Baran said, “left for the Civil War from his home on Dumont Ave. and Valley Rd., which still stands. My grandmother was a teacher in Clifton.” After CHS, Baran went to Fairleigh Dickinson University and earned a degree in hospitality. She first worked at


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the Waldorf Astoria and then the Hyatt for 20 years, living in places like Seattle, St. Louis, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. While in Atlanta, she met John Michael Baran. They were married and had a daughter, Patricia. In 2001, the Barans returned to Clifton, this time to the Allwood section where they reside live today. She works for New York Presbyterian Hospital as an organizational development consultant, talent development, and uses her skills volunteering with Clifton groups. “I do pro gratis coaching of leaders,” Baran said. “Anything to help people be better at helping the community.” Baran’s family has a legacy of city service. Her grandmother Florence Trinkle was involved in the first Youth Week in Clifton. Today, Baran is the president of the Clifton Board of Recreation after serving six years as a member. She also volunteers with St. Andrew’s School, helping with events, and taught CCD at the parish. Baran has also remained active with FDU community and currently serves on the Alumni Board of Governors and the Advisory Board of the School of Hospitality. Her goal is “to help individuals and organizations be the best they possibly can be.” She lives this motto everyday—helping others in her family’s Clifton tradition. • July 2019 


Diane Baran, William Eickhoff, Nadia Kotlar, Stanley Jakubczyk, Dennis Bizub and George Cholewczynski.

Lest, during a halftime show, Diane Baran leads the Mustang Band; middle from top, Kenneth Lombardo, Kent Bania and Louis Borbas; right, Gary Ecker and Pat Dickerson prove that phone booths were built for two.

The Class of 1969 lived through one of the most historic years in our nation’s history. After graduating, they witnessed man land on the moon in July, the Woodstock Music Festival take place in August (with performances by Janis Joplin, The Who and Jimi Hendrix), and the 1969 Amazin’ New York Mets win the World Series in October. But, before that summer, the Class of ’69 would make a little history of their own. Clifton High’s athletic teams had great success during


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the ’68-’69 school year. Led by Coach Edward Zak, the cross country team finished 9-4 in dual meets and captured the PVC championship. On the gridiron, the Fighting Mustangs led by Coach Bill Vander Closter, went 8-1, earning a share of the conference and sectional titles. Gary Ecker earned All-County honors, while end Steve Soroka made the All-Metro team. Twelve of the 22 positions on the All-PVC team were filled by Mustangs, including team captain Rich Tate, Joe Vrecenack and Bob Kurley. • July 2019 



In front of the footlights, for the first time in its history, the Drama Club toured its one-act play, Cupid on the Loose. Members also went on a field trip to see a Broadway production. The school newspaper, The Hub, expanded into a 10-page publication and won first place in the Columbia Scholastic Press contest. And, as they had for many years, the Marching Mustangs performed at every football game. They also held three jamborees and participated in the Herald News Band Festival. The band capped off the year with a trip to Washington D.C. in May. The Class of ’69 also featured a bit of today’s diversity. A Brazilian foreign exchange student, Bouza, attendedand CHS for six weeks that Above, Donna Scancarella (third from left) with Jimmy, Jim and Gabrielle. Oscar Nancyde Samra-Szymansky Donna Sinisi in 1978. winter. He stayed with Steven Zubatkin’s family “Our and daughters at the class age of When Donna (Sinisi) Scancarella forms a close relareceivedmet a Mustang ringfour-years-old before headplaying ing recreation tionship, she makes it last. The CHS ’78 graduate also home. soccer and then they got very friendly at SafetyThe Town beforeDepartment the start of Kindergarten,” she passed that trait to her daughter, Gabrielle (CHS ’14). English introduced a film Here are three Mustangs from ’69 and an update on their lives. continued. “They’ve beenInbest friends evergrade since.” Scancarella grew up in Lakeview on Piaget Ave. In festival program. October, each viewed That’s Fred Powasnick on the left (story on the next page). At center That films friendship even followed them to college. her early years, she went to School 11 and Christopher illustrating their common readings. The seis Walt Barna who worked at Athenia Steel until its closing in 1988. Recently, the familiesLilies celebrated the girls’ graduation Columbus Junior High School. niors watched of the Field and Requiem for He then joined the NYC Tile & Marble Union and lives in Denville from Monmouth University. While at CHS, her best friend was Nancy Samraa Heavyweight. The Distributive Education Club and is retired. Nick Olivia at right still lives in Allwood and for 45 admits that she and Was got closerJersey over Szymansky. Sheoperated also Richard’s knew Robin years owned and Shoes, aMarkowitzchildren’s shoe storeScancarella was named Outstanding Chapter of New in Wayne. and He isJane alsoWas, retired. the yearsand thanks to their daughters’ friendship. Rosenberg who still lives in Clifton. Mike Kowal was Student of the Year. high “Jane and I traveled different social She remains close with them today. However, she and Finally, the in Horseback Ridingcircles Club in attendschool, so we didn’t spend much time together,” said Was are connected by another generation’s friendship. ed the National Horse Show in New York City, Mustangs boys soccer, coached by Severin PalydowyScancarella. “Butattended we became fast,York goodColiseum’s friends when is best friends with Was’ daughter, and the Ski Club the New Ski cz, Gabrielle won the third straight conference with a 10-4-2Anna. mark. our girls became friends.” “Jane’s daughter Anna and my daughter Gabrielle Show and took 10 trips to Great Gorge. Senior goalie Roger Paradiso had seven shutouts behind These Rather, they and are have been of best friends Zito since at School Here’s friendships a look at a cannot few of be theforced. history-witnessing the defense Salvatore andKindergarten Ed Bednarz. Halfbacks results of people who genuinely enjoy each other. 16,” said Scancarella. making graduates: Andy Lichter and Bogdan Kowalski also contributed.


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Fred Powasnick Fred Powasnick shoulda, coulda been a Marching Mustang. What stopped him? “I couldn’t play an instrument,” said the ’69 grad, who is often around Clifton as president and owner of Grove Maintenance Corp. The company does seal coating and stripping as well as building and grounds maintenance for various Clifton firms, including the Boys & Girls Club. “I was a singer,” said Powasnick, who was the “F” in his band, The Soul Session, featuring the F&M Soul Brothers. “I think we were among the first integrated groups in the area.” The Ashton family: Mike and Lauren Fox (CHS 96) with daughters Julia and Katie; Along with Maurice (the Richie (CHS 00); Dot Ashton; Dave and Kim Wells (CHS 03) with son Matt and daughter ‘M”) Woodard, a Passaic Emily and Rich Ashton (CHS 69). High School grad, the group was a 12-piece show band, the Art Students League and the School of Visual Arts with horns and brass, doing lots of R&B and Motown in New York City. music. “We had a sound in the style of Sam & Dave, Although he could have taken a student deferment and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels,” said Powasfrom the military draft, he decided instead to join the nick, who grew up on Knapp Ave. and Comfort Pl. and Army National Guard, taking a leave of absence from went by the stage name Fred Post. “It was much easier his studies for six months to attend basic training. He to pronounce,” he explained. returned to complete his course work, while serving his country in the National Guard for six years. Rich Ashton Ashton spent the early part of his graphic arts career When fellow CHS ‘69 grad Andy Rostkowski asked working for a number of different employers, including Rich Ashton if he wanted to go to Woodstock in early print shops, advertising agencies and an art studio. In August after graduation, Ashton only saw roadblocks. 1982, he started his own business, Ashton Art & De“The day pass was $8,” recalled Ashton, who was an sign, which he continues to operate out of his house. office boy at Travers Associates then. “But then we had He and wife Dot have lived in their Allwood home to pay for gas, some place to stay, food... then I had to since 1978, raising three children, Lauren, Richie and call out of work. Really I just couldn’t afford it.” Kim. In addition to his family, Ashton said he has enRostkowski went on his own, and his day pass turned joyed many other successes in Clifton. into three days of peace, music and memories. Ashton, He coached his kids in baseball and softball, and volhowever, went to work making blueprints and doing a unteers for the Athenia Veterans Post as well as the little drafting on his way to a career. Clifton Arts Center and other events. Following high school, Ashton’s artistic talents won “Clifton is really a great town,” said Ashton. “I’m him a partial scholarship to the Newark School of Fine really happy that my family and I are part of Clifton.” and Industrial Arts. He also completed course work at • July 2019 



Mustang William Eickhoff and wife and Rose.


MUSTANG By Kerry Connelly

Pride, honesty, and trustworthiness: these are the qualities of a good citizen, and Dr. William Eickhoff learned them—as well as how to work hard and proud —from his CHS coaches where he played on the 1968 championship football team. If anyone embodies good citizenship, Eickhoff qualifies. Not only has he been in practice in Clifton for 43 years—helping more than 10,000 patients live painfree—but he has been an active volunteer. He assists with the national organization, Kid’s Day America, to help educate children on safety issues or assist district teachers with living stress-free lives. Eickhoff moved the city at the age 5 and was educated in Clifton schools. He attended School 14 before heading to Woodrow Wilson Junior High, where he participated in both basketball and the track team. Along with being part of the state champion football team, he lettered in JV basketball. He didn’t have much more time for extracurriculars, he said, because when he wasn’t in school, Eickhoff was often working at a job. He remembers working at the Horowitz Book Bindery, as well as one summer spent at the Clifton DPW. These experiences gave him insight into manufacturing processes and taught him organizational skills. They also helped Eickhoff realize that he wanted to attend college, because manufacturing was not for him. Eickhoff originally went to college planning to go into dentistry, as a health care career was always a given for him. “I just never really thought of anything else,” he said. After high school, Eickhoff headed to Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rutherford Campus, where he enrolled in the pre-med program. But when he learned


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about chiropractic from a friend, Eickhoff was intrigued that it was possible to relieve pain and improve health without using drugs or other interventions. “That resonated with me,” he said, “that idea of helping the whole body get better or relieving pain without the use of drugs or surgery—it was just an amazing concept.” Eickhoff continued on to the Columbia Institute of Chiropractic (now known as New York Chiropractic), where he became a licensed chiropractor at a time the profession was still struggling to be perceived as valid. “There were still a lot of people prejudiced against it,” he said, “because of the information being propagated by pharmaceuticals and medicine about chiropractic, which wasn’t true.” Still, chiropractic was aligned with the culture at the time and the trend toward more natural, holistic healthcare. That also appealed to Eickhoff. “I don’t want to say I was a hippie,” he said, “but there were those viewpoints of natural things starting to sprout up, doing things more holistically—that all started around that time.” After completing his license in chiropractic, Eickhoff returned to Clifton to start his practice and has been serving the city and surrounding areas since. In addition to chiropractic care, Eickhoff’s business, the Natural Health Center, offers massage therapy, acupuncture, and nutrition and weight loss programs. The center prides itself on educating its patients to make the best decisions possible for their health, • July 2019 


and Eickhoff has treated thousands of them since he founded it. An education enthusiast, he has done hundreds of lectures to Clifton students about the benefits of a natural approach to healthcare. In addition, for over a decade, he partnered with Kid’s Day America to run a program promoting kids’ health, safety and environmental awareness. At these community-centric events, children get free screenings for scoliosis, learn about safety issues, and get a free child I.D from the local police department. Eickhoff also volunteers with the Passaic County Health Department. The history of chiropractic was part of what initially drew him into the field. The stories of the old timers— pioneers who faced a lot of persecution in their day— and their case studies of what had happened as a result of chiropractic care intrigued him. “People experienced miraculous changes,” Eickhoff said. “That’s what can happen when you make the nervous system work properly, then the body works properly. “The things I’ve seen change for people by doing things naturally is what you’d never expect.” Recently, the center added a nurse practitioner, who specializes in


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“I don’t want to say I was a hippie but there were those viewpoints of natural things starting to sprout up... around that time.” primary care and pain management. She is available to administer cutting edge technologies, such as stem cell injections, which can help injured tissue regenerate. It is, according to Eickhoff, and exciting time for chiropractic. The type of regenerative medicine stem cell work promises is revolutionary; stem cells have been used in wound management and cancer treatments, but Eickhoff’s team uses them to treat muscular-skeletal issues. In fact, Eickhoff recently had an injection of stem cells in his knee, and it was exponentially better after the treatment. As a doctor committed to helping his patients regain health and live pain-free, the future looks bright for chiropractic care. Chiropractic care, said Eickhoff, is “better than ever.” • July 2019 


In 1958, rebel Fidel Castro, Cuban President Fulgencio Batista, and at right, Mustang Drum Major Diane Reichardt.

What do Clifton’s Marching Mustangs and the late Cuban President Fidel Castro have in common? Both were making history on New Years Day in January 1959—about 3,000 miles apart from each other. Shortly after Christmas of 1958, the Marching Mustangs were aboard a train en route to Pasadena, Calif., getting ready to perform in the Tournament of Roses that year. The Tournament is an annual parade seen by millions on TV that traditionally is held the day before the Rose Bowl, a major college football bowl game.

December 31, 1958, on the way to the Rose Bowl...

Traveling Marching Mustangs


This group of Mustangs were listed in the First Chair of America, a yearbook honoring the top 200 high school and college bands, orchestras and choruses in the nation. The highly touted ’59 Marching Mustangs, who were under the baton of Saul Kay, consisted of 82 members and were one of 20 high school bands—the first ever from the Garden State—selected to participate in the Tournament. In short, it was a memorable honor for these Clifton kids and, as the Mustangs crossed the country, chaperons Peter and Helen Abbate, whose son Donald was in the band, made sure to save keepsake items from each stop. Among the items they saved was the Jan. 1, 1959, Anaheim Daily Bulletin, which detailed the latest news about the Cuban Revolution. Fidel Castro, the then-rebel leader of the 26th of July Movement, was on the verge of taking July 2019 •

Once in California, one of the more memorable moments was upon arrival when the band was greeted with a 35-foot telegram from 805 Cliftonites—newspaper reports said it was the longest telegram ever. After their performance, the Mustangs also attended the annual Rose Bowl and watched Iowa defeat California, 38-12. The band visited many points of interest, most of which was documented by the Abbates. The Marching Mustangs in Pasadena at the 1959 Rose Bowl on Jan 1 and fundraising in Clifton below.

control of Cuba on New Years Day, after General Fulgencio Batista fled into exile. In addition to saving this historical newspaper, the Abbates held on to several other items to commemorate the trip. The Herald-News had daily articles that followed the band on their trek, which were saved by the Abbates. For the cross country train ride, which was a two-and-a-half day trip each way, they saved all of the Erie Railroad brochures, which gave the day’s menu, news and words of encouragement. • July 2019 


Joanne Gursky, Gerald Zecker, Jo-Anne Molodowitz, John Zipf, Barbara Fornelius and Alan Rehnberg.

The students visited places such as Disneyland, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Knott’s Berry Farm and several other California landmarks. To finance the trip, the Clifton Mustang Band Tournament of Roses Committee, Inc. did a lot of fundraising—the trip cost about $30,000. It must be noted that this information would not have been available had it not been for the Abbates, who gave us this time capsule of Clifton and national history shortly before they moved to Alabama and their son Donald relocated to Key West. There were 52 boys and 30 girls that made up the group that traveled to Pasadena. They are as follows: Donald Abbate, Paul D’Angelo, Jeffrey Anderson, Jeffrey Ball, Robert Baum, William Bower, John Brudzinski, Robert Davis, Dale Lorenzo, Kenneth Douglas, Penny Dyer, Steven Fazio, Henry Grilk, Leonard Grossman, Fred Huber, Donald Hugo, James Kennedy, Daniel Kopcha, Daniel Leslie, Ronald Lewkiewicz, Marylou Lowry, Vincent Lupinacci, John Maguire, Briant Marsh, Leslie Marsh, David Marsh, Edward Meade, John Minnella, JoAnn Minardi, Robert McGruther, Barbara Novak, Dennis Paris, Albert Pitoniak, Peter Pizzi, Barbara Plog, Beverly Rand, Sheila Rnad, Phillip Randazzo, Arthur Reimer, Dennis Sabaday, Doublas Sabady, Barry Sachais, Paul


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Sanders, Thomas Schwend, William John Sholander, Paul Stefko, James Sura, Donald Sweet, Robert Tiedemann, Fred Truntz, Maron Van Son, John Van Winkle, Ray Walsh, Edward Waysek, Joel Wilson, Donald Zaentz and Kenneth Zaentz. The following are members of the color guard, majorettes and twirlers: Evelyn Abele, Nancy Anschuetz, Jay Coponigro, Barbara Casagrand, Roberta Casini, Cindy Elbeck, Barbara Fornelius, Patricia Graff, Carole Kaiser, Gloria Majewski, Karen Pavan, Diane Reichardt, Pat Retherford, Barbara Svec, Dorothea Vanak, Betsy Wakefield, Maxine Weisfeld, Gloria Yaycehnik, Flora Constantino and Lorraine Jacob. While generations of students have marched with the Mustangs, here are some other milestones from this era: In 1955, the Mustangs became the first high school band in the country to play on the steps of the Capitol in Washington as the guest of Rep. Gordon Canfield (R-8th Dist). They also repeated their concerts in 1956 and 1957. The Marching Mustangs also placed third in 1957 among 90 competing bands in the National Safety Day parade in Washington and won first prize in the Bamberger’s Thanksgiving Eve band contests in Newark in 1955 and 1956.

James Boettcher, Charlotte Haddad, Robert Leciston, William Vernay, Joan Vernay and Gerald Friend.

Class President John Scancarella, Vice President Harold De Muth, Secretary Barbara Casagrand and Treasurer Cynthia Elbeck. Class flower: White sweetheart rose Class colors: Silver & blue Class motto: “May our voyage through life be as happy and free as the spirited waves on the deep blue sea.” At right, Best Dancers, Joanne Gursky and James Russo. • July 2019 


For many, the last time they saw Clifton’s former mayor Jerry Zecker, a proud member of the Class of ’59, was at the city’s 100-year anniversary outside City Hall. “They introduced me as the only living former mayor,” Zecker laughed. “That was a scary thought for me.” While the 77 year-old Zecker jokes about his years, he seemingly never slows down. Born in Passaic, Zecker moved with his parents to Clifton at age 9 to a house on Maplewood Ave. As a boy, he delivered circulars and newspapers, cut lawns and worked in a drive-in movie. He also worked at Frankie’s Market in Lodi, the Mohawk Market in Passaic and Main Way Supermarket in Paterson. He later served beefsteak for Hap Nightingale. “I took every job I could,” he said. “I always loved to work, always liked money.” His first brush with politics came at Woodrow Wilson Junior High, running for freshman class president against an Eagle Scout. “The teachers thought it more appropriate that he win,” said Zecker. “Though I got more votes—this is the God’s honest truth—they named the Eagle Scout class president. That left a bad taste. Through high school, I had no interest in politics.” Zecker attended classes at CHS from 7:30 am to noon, giving him ample time to work. As one of the youngest in his class (he turned 17 on April 12), he said his best high school memory was “getting my driver’s license on May 12 and being able to drive alone in a car.” Zecker treasures the people he met in high school.


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Jerry Zecker was profiled in September 2004.

“What was special about my class was the camaraderie,” he said, “not only with the Class of ’59, but with the people in the Classes of ’57, ’58 and ’60. I made so many good friends and these people went on to accomplish so much in life.” After graduating from CHS and Farleigh Dickinson University, Zecker got a job with State Farm Insurance,

hired by Clifton friend Bob Nightingale. He also served with the National Guard Reserves. Zecker would be with State Farm for 24 years. He got into politics in 1962, helping former CHS football coach Joe Grecco run for Clifton City Council. After his own surprising run in 1970, Zecker won council election in 1974. “At first, politics was nothing serious—just a matter of helping people out of friendship,” Zecker said. “But in 1970, I spent $200 and got 2,500 votes. Other guys spent thousands and didn’t do as well. That put the taste of politics in me.” In 1978, he shocked many by becoming Clifton’s mayor, running as an anti-establishment candidate and totaling 11,051 votes. He cited paving every Clifton road, improving the Department of Public Works and toughening up zoning laws as term accomplishments. After a losing election in 1982, Zecker won a seat in the New Jersey State Assembly in 1984, embarking on an 18-year career that included positions as minority leader, speaker pro tem and deputy majority leader. In the private sector, after leaving State Farm to have more time for politics, Zecker worked for National Community Bank, established his own insurance agency, and was later employed by New Jersey Transit.

Today, he works as a legislative aide in Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin’s Clifton office—a position he’s held for the past eight years. Zecker also continues to live in his home of more than four decades on Clifton’s McCosh Rd. with wife Arlene. There, the couple raised three children—Kelly, Kari and Jerry—and are grandparents today. So... will Jerry Zecker ever slow down? “I had some health scares this year,” he said, “but the doctors say I’m in great shape now. I should slow down, but I get all those things thrown at me that I should say no to… but I’ve got a big problem doing that.”

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When JFK challenged NASA to go to the moon, the space organization knew it would take the contributions of every one of its people to meet that goal—including a communication engineer from Clifton, N.J. On July 20, 1969, Harold Black witnessed history when the 1957 Clifton High School graduate helped Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin land and walk on the moon. “It was very tense, very exciting,” said Black, 79. “The viewing room behind us was packed with people, but there wasn’t a sound in the control room. Every man was fixed on his screen, trying not to miss anything.” Black says NASA had run four months of simulations and rehearsals on “every conceivable scenario that could happen.” On the day of the moon landing, he recalled thinking how prepared they all were, almost like athletes before a big game.


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Harold Black at work, circa 1995.

things started to change in Europe.” He remembered Apollo 11 almost His father Louis, a barber, had died never landed. An alarm had sounded when he was 13, and the only career in the space capsule and in Houston, advice he received was from his mother alerting the astronauts and their team on Marylyn, who supported them with her earth the computers were overloading job at the Botany Worsted Mills. and might shut down. “No one in my family had ever gone “We weren’t sure if it would affect to college,” Black said, “so it wasn’t the landing,” Black remembered. “But even discussed in my house. My motha friend of mine, Steve Bales, looked er said that I should be a printer. She at the data and made the right call—the must have met someone who was a alarms were temporary and would soon printer and decided it was a good castop. The landing proceeded.” reer for me.” Harold Black, Class of ’57 When Neil Armstrong stepped on But another path waited, one his the moon and said: “That’s one small mother could never have imagined. step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” Black knew Black loved geometry. He also loved his general scihe’d just heard something special. ence course. After doing well in aptitude tests, his CHS “Neil, who was not a talkative guy, had picked the teachers recommended he pursue a career in engineerright words,” he said. “They fit so well.” ing. Leaving Mission Control after that historic day, “I was always interested in aviation and did well in Black remembered looking up at the moon and saying, math,” said Black, a member of the CHS math club, the “Good grief, there really are people up there.” Even Knights of Pythagoras. though he had helped with their journey, the magnitude “If it hadn’t been for my math teachers, things would of what they had accomplished was almost too much to have been different.” fathom. With his teachers’ recommendations, Black’s mother “It was so gratifying that everything had worked,” went to work and secured a $500 a year scholarship to he said. the Newark College of Engineering through IT&T (InAnd, in other moments following the moon landing, ternational Telephone & Telegraph). he sometimes wondered what he might have done with “I don’t know how she did it,” he said, “but I couldn’t his life if not for his CHS teachers. have afforded to go to school without it.” After graduating from CHS, Black commuted to the Clifton Days Newark school from his Christie Ave. home, carpooling Entering high school, Harold Black was unsure of to save money. what he wanted to do with his life. He also enrolled in the Air Force’s ROTC program. “My mother and father came from Poland,” said “They paid us $27 a month so it was a good deal,” he Black. “They came to this country in the 1930s before said. • July 2019 


After earning an engineerguy, but a good pilot. Jack Swiing degree, Black was commisgert was serious, more of an sioned as a second lieutenant academic. And Fred Haise was and assigned to Hill Air Force also serious, analytical, and deBase in Utah. As a radar extail oriented—a good engineer. pert, his job was to travel to air “And my boss, (lead flight defense sites to test their radar director) Gene Kranz was a real systems, a critical role during hero.” the Cold War. During the Apollo 13 mis“From 1961 through 1964,” sion, Black had to communicate he said, “I got to see the counwith the lunar module through try.” small antennas on each side. To At Ellington Air Force Base receive limited data, he alternatin Houston, his life took another ed antennas as the ship rotated turn. Black met engineers from through space. NASA. When they talked about “We got the information we their work, he grew interested. needed,” he said. Deciding whether to reenlist Another historic memory was in the Air Force, Black chose when the space shuttle Chalthe private sector. lenger exploded on January 28, The cover of Life Magazine, July 1969. “The Air Force told me my 1986, killing its seven-member next assignment would be in a crew, including school teacher remote place like Alaska,” he laughed. “I was a young Christa McAuliffe. Though not working, Black was at guy and didn’t want to go there. I applied at the Manned the Johnson Space Center at the time of the disaster. Spacecraft Center (renamed for former Pres. Lyndon B. Though he realized the magnitude of the loss, his enJohnson in 1973) and was hired without an interview. gineer’s mind took over as he watched Challenger fall “I never forgot the letter I received from NASA when from the sky. “I kept thinking, ‘What could we have I was hired… it said: ‘Welcome to the astronauts’ team.’ missed?’ It took two years and four months before we That was exciting.” flew again,” he said. In 1995, Black was a member of a NASA consulting “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” group working in Russia during the Discovery mission Joining NASA in 1964, Black’s first job was analyzthat rendezvoused with the Russian Space Station Mir. ing ground tracking sites for the Gemini missions. After It was his third trip to Russia—his first two coming in three years, he moved into the flight control division, 1974 and 1975 when he assisted with the Apollo and working directly with the astronauts with their commuRussian Soyuz spacecraft rendezvous. nications, and was later part of the Houston Mission Harold Black worked for the space agency for 32 Control Team that directed the Apollo missions and years. Now retired and living in Florida, Black has fond Space Shuttle flights. memories of Clifton, though he doesn’t visit often since “NASA does an excellent job selecting astronauts,” his mother died in 1998. Black said. “They are smart, motivated… it’s rare when “The last time I was back was about 10 years ago,” they don’t select outstanding individuals.” he said. “I still keep in contact with my Clifton classAnother memorable mission for Black was the ill-fatmate Harold Grieves, who lives in West Milford.” ed flight of Apollo 13, documented in the Ron Howard As for advice for science-minded students at CHS, film. Two days into the mission, Apollo 13 was crippled Black said simply: “Do what you love. by an explosion, causing the ship to lose its oxygen and “It was pretty amazing that a guy like me from Clifelectrical power. Its crew used its lunar module as a lifeton who led a sheltered life and had no idea what he was boat and was able to survive and return to earth. going to do, could have such a great career. I was lucky. “They were an outstanding crew,” Black described. “I was privileged to be part of the beginning of our “Jim Lovell was a boisterous guy, outgoing—a party space program.”


July 2019 • • July 2019 


“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard…” — President John F. Kennedy, Sept. 1962

Like all cities and towns throughout the world, Clifton watched and waited on July 20, 1969 as the Apollo 11 crew of Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” AlThe crew of the Apollo 11: Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Coldrin and Michael Collins flew through lins, command module pilot; and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot. space toward the moon. But, unlike other locations, the city Kennedy swam to safety but his passenger, Mary Jo had a real connection to the mission— Kopechne of Berkeley Heights, N.J., did not. though most did not know it at the time and others will Kennedy never reported the incident and the subfind it surprising today. merged car was spotted by fishermen that Saturday On July 20, 1969, the city was in July’s firm grip. morning. The night before, storms had ripped through the area It was ironic that Kennedy’s fall from grace coincidtearing roofs and damaging businesses along Main St. ed with his late brother JFK’s vision of landing on the in neighboring Paterson. moon—something the president challenged America to That Saturday afternoon at Nash Park, the Clifton accomplish in 1962. Phillies lost, 6-4, to Wayne’s Packanack Lake team— Armstrong and Aldrin landed the lunar module Eamuch to the chagrin of manager Bob Potts. In nearby gle on the moon on Saturday at 4:17 pm (Collins reUpper Montclair, cars and pedestrians journeyed by Almained with the orbiting command module). With the drin’s boyhood home at 44 Princeton Place where he moon walk coming later, people gathered in the middle lived before going on to West Point. of Central Park’s Sheep Meadow to crowd around three Buzz had played for the Montclair High Mounties nine-by-twelve-foot television screens. football team as a 160-pound center (never facing the Rain fell. By that night, 10,000 people were there Clifton Mustangs), part of the undefeated 1946 state and 500 waved American Flags—made by the Americhampion team. His coach, Clary Anderson, who atcan Flag and Banner Co. of Clifton. tended the Apollo 11 launch, said Aldrin played like a Elsewhere in space, a Russian spacecraft, Luna 15, “bearcat—a tiger.” orbited the moon. Soviet scientists said it had the ability In the news, the country was shocked by the actions to collect surface samples and return to earth. Instead, of Senator Edward M. Kennedy. That Friday-Saturday it crashed into the moon, well after the Americans had between 11:30 pm and 1 am, Kennedy drove his car arrived. off the Dike Bridge on the island of Chappaquiddick.


July 2019 • • July 2019 


At Camp Clifton in Jefferson Township, counselors Keith Oakley and Mickey Montanio, along with their campers, huddled around a small black and white TV in Huron Cabin, watching history about to be made. Throughout the city, Cliftonites did the same. But at 257 East Seventh St., what was about to happen would mean even more to Mrs. Louis Rosen. Her son, Harold Black, a proud Mustang from the Class of 1957, was seated in the center of Mission Control. “I was watching the whole thing on TV on Thursday when all of a sudden, I saw my son,” Rosen told the Herald-News. “I said to my husband, ‘That’s Harold.’ He was sitting with his back to the camera but I still knew him.” Black had not told his mother of his important role working for NASA. “He’s a brilliant boy, my


July 2019 •

son,” Rosen told the paper. As Armstrong took his first steps at 10:56 pm, JFK’s vision was realized and America had achieved what many once doubted—man had walked on the moon. The nation celebrated that night and Sunday. On Monday, “Moon Day” was celebrated in Clifton, along with 15 other Passaic County municipalities as city governments shut down. Newspapers asked if people would want to make the space trip. “I would like to go,” Clifton’s Greg Betar told Paterson’s Evening News. “It made history and I like to see history made.” History had indeed been made… helped in part by the contributions of Harold Black, a Mustang from Clifton, N.J. At Camp Clifton in 1969 are Keith Oakley( left) and Mickey Montanio, with David DeVries.

By Jack DeVries • July 2019 


On June 9, The Club’s newest annual event, the Food Truck & Music Festival, attracted over 4,000 visitors. They enjoyed food and beverages from 40 food trucks and vendors from Clifton and beyond. Patrons ate, drank, enjoyed live music and helped to raise funds for year-round B&G Club activities.


July 2019 •

On June 20, RC Papa and Jack Corradino, the principals of the personal injury law firm Corradino & Papa, donated a SECOND yellow school bus to the Boys & Girls Club of Clifton. Pictured above are RC Papa and Jack’s sister Gina with B&G Club Board Chair Gloria Martini and Bob Foster, the Club’s Executive Director. • July 2019 



Clifton’s Brian Counterman Jr. carried the torch through Downtown Clifton June 7 as officers from Clifton and others towns escorted athletes to The College of New Jersey for the 51st edition of the Special Olympics of New Jersey. Athletes, ages 8 and up, competed in 24 Olympic-type sports with medals awarded to the top three in each sport.

Visit the Avenue of Flags on July 4 when volunteers set up the display of 2,108 flags through lanes of the City Hall complex. The flags go up around dawn and come down at dusk. They’re quite a sight, the Stars and Stripes billowing in the breeze of a sunny, blue-sky day. As you walk through them, the flapping of the nylon in the wind and the grand display of the red, white and blue


July 2019 •

makes visitors appreciate American values. Sponsor a flag in the name of a Clifton veteran at a cost of $110. Volunteers are welcomed to put up and break down the flags. There are two more dates for the display this year which are Patriot’s Day, Sept. 11, and Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11. To help out or for details, call Keith Oakley at 201-774-6666 or Joe Tuzzolino at 973-632-9225. • July 2019 



1954 MUSTANGS Mustangs from the Class of 1954 met at Bella Napoli in Bloomfield June 7. Class statistician Robert C. Braverman reported that of the original 471 graduates in 1954, “Finding 232 of us that are still around and kicking with their address information had to be a monumental task! Getting almost a 16 percent reunion turnout at our advanced age (all of us well over 80 years old) is something else!  Interestingly, 40 of these classmates still live in Clifton and another 63 live in nearby towns. Half of our group are north Jersey people, 33 more live in south Jersey, so almost 60 percent of our living alumni are still Jersey people! The rest live in 20 other states with the largest group, 21 living in Florida, then New York with 12, Pennsylvania with nine, and 17 other 17 states each have just a few.”  

CHS Class of 1969 plans a big weekend reunion, starting Oct. 25 with a 3:30 pm tour of CHS. Other events include dinner at the Hot Grill, attending a Mustangs football game and miniature golf at the Willowbrook

Golf Center. The weekend culminates with a buffet dinner from 5:30 pm to 10 pm at the Double Tree by Hilton, 690 Route 46 West in Fairfield. Register with CHS Class of 1979 will hold its 40th reunion Nov. 16 at the Black Bear Golf Club in Franklin, N.J. Tickets are $79 and must be purchased by Sept. 1. For details, email Debra Hatem Gorny and Linda Haraka DiFalco at CHS Class of 1989 30th reunion is on Oct. 5 at 7 pm at Portobello in Oakland. The $100 ticket includes dinner, a five-hour open bar and DJ. Committee members include Ken Collucci, Renee Wos, Stephanie Schmidt, Jill Caruso, Jeffrey Kracht and Samantha Schlossberg. Tickets must be purchased by Aug. 30. For info and details, go to Clifton High School Class of 1989 on Facebook. You may also call or email Samantha Schlossberg at 973-951-5886 at CHS Class of 1970 is looking for the info on class mates, such as mailing addresses, emails and phone numbers. Ann Marie Ayers-Williams is beginning the planning stages for the 50th reunion on Oct. 11, 2020. Send your info to


July 2019 •

America’s Polka King Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra perform their 16th consecutive free concert at Third Ward Park in Passaic July 18 at 7:30 pm. Sturr, an 18time Grammy winner, will be on the bandstand and likely working the crowd at the corner of Passaic and Van Houten Aves. across from the train station. “I can’t believe it is our 16th year,” said Sturr. “It will be another night under the stars in an area that has such a rich heritage for polka music. We are planning a great show. Tell your neighbors: We’re having a party.” Concert organizers Lou Gill and Greg Komeshok want to thank the many sponsors that have made this concert possible along with the City of Passaic for their assistance. Concert-goers are reminded to bring their own chairs or blankets. For more information, call 973-473-5111. The Clifton-based Garden State Opera will present The Silk City, libretto and music by Francesco Santelli, Oct. 27 at the Clifton Jewish Center on Delaware Ave. The opera is set in the turbulent times of the Paterson Silk Strike of 1913. Tickets are $25 ($20 for seniors) and can be purchased through starting August 1. An Oct. 26 dress rehearsal is open to Clifton schools students (accompanied by teachers) by reservation. Call 973-986-4600 for info.

With 10 drum corps in competition, the Hawthorne Caballeros present the 55th Drum Corps Grand Prix on July 13. With literally thousands of brass performers, percussionists and color guard, look for dancing and acrobatics in this movable, musical performance at Clifton School Stadium on July 13. Gates open at 5:30 pm and performances begins at 6:30. The Cabs show for 2019 brings “a new look for the field with a never before heard musical style,” said Adam Freeman, the Caballeros music director. Tickets at Day of show call 973-945-5912. • July 2019 


July 2008_cover


10:50 AM

Page 1

Clifton Merchant Magazine • Volume 13 • Issue 7 • July 4, 2008

Free, Please Take One

Kudos to Superintendent Richard Tardalo who has guided our schools since 2008. He is pictured with his wife and daughter at his June 10 retirement dinner. At top of page, Tardalo when he was featured on our July 2008 cover.

On July 1, Danny Robertozzi became the Clifton Superintendent of Schools. Robertozzi, at right, has served as Linden Schools Superintendent since April 2013. While he comes from a district considerably smaller than Clifton’s, his accomplishments are impressive. Robertozzi became a full-time social studies teacher in 1997 and was named Linden High’s Teacher of the Year for 2003-04. He soon was named vice principal and has served as a supervisor, an elementary principal, high school principal and assistant superintendent. In 2016, he was named Superintendent of the Year by New Jersey Teachers of English as a Second Language. Robertozzi has undergraduate degrees in law and justice with a minor in psychology from The College of New Jersey. He has a master’s in education with a concentration in teaching from St. Peter’s University, and a master’s in educational administration from Kean University. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Kean University


July 2019 •

in the Department of Educational Leadership. He was selected from a list of 39 candidates provided by the New Jersey School Boards Association. Mustangs Coach Mike Cadmus’ basketball camp is July 1519 for players entering 5th to 9th grades and July 22-26 for players entering 2nd to 5th grades. Camp is from 8 am to noon and cost is $100. Focus is on developing skills and keeping it fun. To sign up and details: Lembryk Soccer Academy’s 2019 Summer Camp enters its 26th year of training. Led by Stan Lembryk, head boys soccer coach at CHS, the camp runs from July 22-26 at Woodrow Wilson Middle School. Session 1 (Pre-K through Grade 8) is from 9 am to noon; Session 2 (Grades 9-12) is from 4 to 6 pm. Visit or contact Lembryk at 973-460-9026. Part of the proceeds support the CHS soccer programs.

Despite overwhelming physical and health challenges throughout his short life, the late Hugh Brown’s joyful spirit brightened the lives of all who came to know him. He was a beloved student at School 14, WWMS and CHS. His ever-present smile, positive attitude, fierce determination and faithful, faith-filled life left an indelible mark on the lives of all who knew him. To honor the memory of her son, Audrey Hunt established the Hugh D. Brown Memorial Scholarship Award, given to a CHS student who possesses

some of the same qualities of hope, determination and belief that Hugh embodied. On June 13, Ms. Hunt presented the first scholarship to Natalia Ramos-Rosas at the 29th Annual Scholarship Awards Program. St. Philips Knights of Columbus presented scholarships on June 5. Pictured above right from left are: Ryan Kevin Berse, Rich Donkersloot, Caroline Mary Bizub, Gabriella Volonnino and Alexa Gayle Stoepker. The Theater League of Clifton (TLC) awarded its annual scholarships at the June 13 CHS Scholarship Awards Program. TLC President Mark Peterson presented three $750 scholarships to Madison Potash (left) Christian Collazo and Zariah Rivera. Rivera, who performed in the group’s 2018 production of “Godspell 2012,” was the recipient of the TLC’s Joanne Mazzarisi Memorial Scholarship. Founded in 2005, the TLC is a non-profit community organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the arts through theater.

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Kolo #6 Kazimierza Tetmajera—aka Polish Highlanders of New Jersey. Members wear traditional clothing, sing in their native Polish dialect, and celebrate their culture through architecture, dance and art. The members are keeping the promise to their forefathers to pass on their Highlander traditions. Join the Polish Highlanders at their annual picnic at the Clifton Masonic Lodge on Van Houten Ave. Aug. 4 at 1 pm. Come watch performances, enjoy Polish food and beer.

Columbia Bank President Tom Kemly and employees presented a $5,000 check to the Knights of Columbus at the June 23 Tank Pull Challenge. From 8 am to 4 pm, teams like the Columbia Crew (pictured) pulled an 80,000 pound tank mounted on a flatbed truck. Funds raised benefit veterans and particularly the Wounded Warriors, and ensure their service will not be forgotten. The 2019 event was the 10th annual Tank Pull and the event raised more than $1 million over the decade.


July 2019 •

Through their Columbia Bank Foundation, Columbia Bank awarded a $10,000 grant to Mount Pleasant Animal Shelter as a result of the bank’s Employee Sponsored Giving Program. Shown in the presentation are Tony Rose, Columbia’s marketing director, and Clifton resident Gary Perino, who nominated Mount Pleasant. Perino is Columbia’s public relations officer and is holding “Guinness” one of two Mt. Pleasant rescues he and his family adopted. “We are pleased to partner with the Mount Pleasant Animal Shelter in their efforts to find forever homes for stray pets,” said Thomas Kemly, Columbia Bank president. “As a true community-based bank, we remain committed to helping local organizations that make a difference.”  Each month, Columbia’s employees nominate and vote on organizations to receive special donations. In this case, thanks to Perino’s advocacy, the funds will be used to help renovate the no-kill shelter in East Hanover, including new pet washing stations. The Columbia Bank Foundation provides grants and contributions to organizations recognized as tax-exempt under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The Foundation focuses support in affordable housing programs, community investment and economic development opportunities, financial literacy and educational opportunities, health and human services, food pantries, and the arts. Priority is given to programs that provide a measurable community impact. For information regarding the Columbia Bank Foundation and grant eligibility requirements, visit www. • July 2019 


Preservation New Jersey cited the former U.S. Animal Quarantine Station in Clifton on its most endangered list.

The Animal Quarantine Station By Tom Hawrylko and Jack DeVries

Anyone 50 and above who grew up in Clifton has stories about the former U.S. Animal Quarantine Station where the Clifton Municipal Complex and High School now sit. From 1900 to 1979, nearly 95 percent of imported animals entering the nation passed through the station. Served by a rail line connected to the Hoboken piers, the Quarantine Station, sometimes referred to as the “Ellis Island for animals,” put Clifton on the map. Though farm animals also passed through the property, Cliftonites would line the station’s tall fence to catch a glimpse of the “circus” parade that would disappear into one of the 18 barns, as antelope, giraffe, camels and zebra, on their way to U.S. zoos, made their way through Clifton. After 1949, the quarantine station also served as a temporary roost for birds and other flying creatures of major collectors.


July 2019 •

Champion horses were flown in to be inspected before racing and show events. It was not uncommon for expensive animals under quarantine to be bought and sold while in Athenia, as caretakers inside could parade animals before prospective buyers who peered in from the Colfax Ave. fence. Now, a Clifton group is seeking to preserve the quarantine station’s history and its remaining buildings. Founded in 2019 by Councilwoman Mary Sadrakula, the nonprofit Clifton Historic Quarantine Station Preservation Foundation was formed to help preserve buildings currently unused, underutilized or needing repair. The non-profit’s goal is to assist Clifton by seeking grants and private donations specifically for restoration, and help the city prioritize the repairs based on a planned, more thorough assessment, of the buildings. “While several buildings are being actively used by the city,” said Jeffrey Kracht, a member of the • July 2019 


A renovated and expanded Quarantine Barn has become the Clifton Arts Center.

preservation group, “local citizens are rallying to save the site’s remaining buildings. “We have a long road of fundraising and rehabilitation ahead to ensure the site’s preservation before the buildings fall victim to demolition by neglect.” The group hopes the quarantine station’s recent addition by Preservation New Jersey to its annual list of the “10 Most Endangered Historic Places in New Jersey” will bring attention to their efforts, before Clifton’s “Ellis Island for animals” is no more. Contentious History In its day, the station was self sufficient. Its superintendent and family lived in the recently restored home on the front of the property, which faces Clifton Ave, and the site drew its water from an artesian well. Clifton acquired 15.5 acres of quarantine land from the United States in 1956 and another eight acres in 1959. The 23.5 acres were used to develop Clifton High School, which opened in 1962. The purchase of the remaining 27 acres occurred in 1966, though the actual possession of the land could not take place until a new quarantine site was found. It eventually was relocated to Stewart Air Field in Newburgh, N.Y. The total cost of the purchase of the 50.5 acres was $667,900.


July 2019 •

By 1977, more than 1,200 Clifton residents had signed petitions distributed by the Committee for Civic Center Alternatives opposing construction of a new City Hall. Along with the historical loss, many saw an impending negative impact on Main Ave. commerce—something most agree came to fruition. At the time, City Manager William Holster called the CCCA’s position “sabotage.” But, before he died, Holster said he regretted moving City Hall from Main Ave. After the Federal Government vacated the site in 1979, construction began. The Municipal Complex was dedicated on Sept. 14, 1980, relocating Clifton City Hall and the Police Department from the corner of Main and Harding Aves. to the corner of Van Houten and Clifton Ave. Today, many of the quarantine’s barns have been repurposed and are used, including a senior center. However, the Clifton Historic Quarantine Station Preservation Foundation believes much more can be done. For example, Building S6, where more than 2,100 flags are stored for the Clifton Avenue of Flags, needs various repairs, as water infiltration threatens the $200,000 worth of flags stored there. To learn more about the Clifton Historic Quarantine Station Preservation Foundation’s efforts, visit their Facebook page. • July 2019 


Birthdays & Celebrations - July 2019

Nicolas Calvo turns 10 on July 11. Isabella Andruch is 14 on July 1. Walter Pruiksma turns 96 on July 26. Mammie Angello hits a milestone on July 3. Happy belated birthday to Emilia Dymora who celebrated 4 years old on June 24. Kenneth & Donna Chipura on July 11 celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary.

Happy Birthday to.... Send dates & names ....

Mary (Brugnoni) Kennedy will be 90 on July 18. Bob Obser, The Music Matador, will be 86 on July 18. Stallions Coach Jesse Hasting turns 34 on July 10. Fabiola Vasquez retired at the end of June 2019. Robert Marriello celebrates on July 9. Former Downtown Clifton Post Office guy Harry Quagliana celebrates on July 23. Happy Belated to Matthew Derendal who turned 64 on June 27. Amanda Di Angelo............. Ray Merced....................... Marie Angello.................... Chris Torrao....................... Nicholas Iannacone............ Bob Landrith....................... Robyn Sue Lord................... Frank Rando....................... Lori Lill............................... Susan Rego........................ Darlene Franek................... Ron Curtiss.........................


7/3 7/3 7/3 7/4 7/5 7/5 7/5 7/5 7/6 7/6 7/7 7/7

July 2019 •

Angelo Grippo................... 7/7 Thomas Marriello................ 7/7 Edward Sepulveda.............. 7/7 Jenna De Liberto................. 7/8 Christopher Landrith............ 7/8 Cynthia Kester.................... 7/9 Kristi Schopfer.................. 7/10 Anthony Zaccone.............. 7/13 Alyssa Marie Misyak......... 7/14 Ann Schamble.................. 7/15 Derek Dobol..................... 7/16 Jessica Dobol................... 7/16

Joanne Gursky.................. Carrie Szluka................... Alexander Razvmov.......... Ryan Saccoman................ Cocoa Saccoman............. Ashley Jacobus................. Linda Portaro.................... Megan Suaifan................. Kaitlin Vinciguerra............. Harry Quagliana.............. George Shamar................ Kayla Lord.......................

7/17 7/18 7/19 7/19 7/19 7/19 7/20 7/20 7/22 7/23 7/23 7/24

Peace and Love to Guru of Brew Skip Kazer who celebrates July 6. Anna Schubert.................. 7/24 Eva Gasporowska............. 7/25 Kathy Valdes.................... 7/25 Jack DeVries Sr............. ....7/26 Joseph Lopez.................... 7/27 Ornella Ganoza............... 7/27 Gina Oliva....................... 7/28 Amanda Fabiano.............. 7/29 Lee-Ann Varga.................. 7/29 Stephen Camp Sr............. 7/30 Joe Prebish....................... 7/30 Obs Zayatz...................... 7/30 Frances Greco.................. 7/31 Sue Sadik........................ 7/31

Dorothy and Ted Guzowski will be married 37 years on July 10. • July 2019 


Kevin Colavitti was promoted to Passaic Fire Department battalion chief on June 24. The Clifton resident has 27 years with the Passaic FD. Fire service is a family tradition as his brother (left) Vincent Jr. is a retired Clifton Fire Chief and their dad, Vincent Sr. (right), retired from Passaic as a lieutenant. Also pictured is their mom Mary. Gloria Tramontin Struck (right) will park her Harley outside the Clifton Public Library on July 30 from 6:30 to 8:30


July 2019 •

pm as she’ll be discussing and signing her book, Gloria, A Lifetime Motorcyclist. At age 93, Tramontin Struck, grew up and still lives in Clifton, may be the oldest woman rider on two wheels in the world. She still rides to rallies in Daytona Beach and Sturgis. Tramontin Struck’s book is not only about her more than 75 years of riding in the U.S. and in other countries, but about growing up during the Great Depression and working through World War II in Bendix Aviation Corp.

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Clifton Merchant Magazine - July 2019  

Clifton Merchant Magazine - July 2019