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Cliftonmagazine.com • November 2018 

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We asked readers to share stories about people or events that helped shape their lives today. Their responses can be found over the next 40 pages. On this page is my contribution to our Tell Your Story project. - Tom Hawrylko, Editor & Publisher I was blessed as a boy to be raised within the structure of the Ukrainian Assumption Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Perth Amboy. When the school opened in 1963, it was a young Sister Yosephata Litvenczuk who taught us in first grade. Over the next eight years, she and her superior, the late Sister Yosepha Kruchinsky, instilled in my core many basic values, good for a lifetime of living. Most were found in a prayer and study book Sister gave us (and which I still have) before our First Holy Communion on May 2, 1965. Simple things: the Ten Commandments, a devotion to the Blessed Mother, patriotism to our nation and Ukraine. And to follow the teachings and traditions of our Byzantine Rite Church. Over the five-plus decades since, while I have had religious lapses and made mistakes in my 61 years, I’ve pretty much followed those values. My four kids were Baptized in our church. While they did not attend Ukrainian schools, they know of their heritage and follow our traditions. For the two older boys, I took them to Perth Amboy where they learned their First Holy Communion prayers from Sister Yosephata—a nice link to the past.

Tom Hawrylko with school mates and lifelong friends Annie Stepash, Glenys Romanko and our first grade teacher, Sister Yosaphata Litvenczuk, MSMG.

This summer, Sister Yosephata retired from her work in Perth Amboy. While still young at heart, she was called by her superiors, the Missionary Sisters of the Mother of God, to return to her order’s mother house in Philadelphia “due to decreased vocations, aging of sisters and a desire to strengthen community life.” Our parish had a grand send off and Sister had numerous dinners and lunches with “kids” like us pictured above. Thanks Sister Yosephata Litvenczuk for being a guiding light in my life, for helping to shape me and so many others into the people we are today. 16,000 Magazines

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November 2018 • Cliftonmagazine.com

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Cliftonmagazine.com • November 2018 

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Clifton’s Storyteller

LKnows oyalty No Bounds Business dynamo Willy Garcia always had an excellent work ethic. Friendship and loyalty made it even stronger. By Tyler Gamba

Guillermo Garcia has always been a builder, though he doesn’t work in construction. Like many proud Clifton immigrants, Garcia is a builder of opportunities where none once existed. The secret to adapting to challenging jobs is simple to Garcia or “Willy” to his friends. If any good fortune comes your way, pay it forward. “Stay positive 24/7,” explained Garcia. “Be there with that smile. Everyone has a tough time—family, work—but when you wake up, be optimistic.” Garcia would know. An odyssey of job changes has brought the 54 year-old from the streets of Lima, Peru, to the aisles of ShopRite on Paulison Ave., located on the Clifton – Passaic border. Today, he is the general manager of ShopRite and right hand man to owner Rafael Cuellar of the Cuellar Family Markets. Garcia began pushing carts in the parking lot of the family’s original venture some 30 years ago. His journey is intertwined with the Cuellars, a result of a friendship that began with Rafael’s dad. The results show with their thriving businesses. When we sat down with Garcia in both the soon-to-be-opened Crunch Fitness and an office of ShopRite Wines & Spirits, his phone did not stop ringing as he took calls in English and Spanish. Some he answered rapidly; others he decided to ignore. Garcia hasn’t shied away from many positions demanding intense energy. Knowing just how much effort to use where it counts is the story of his life.

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Onward to America Garcia did not have a comfortable childhood. During the 1980s, there was a brutal civil war in his native Peru between the government and the communist Sendero Luminoso or “Shining Path,” a terrorist group.  “It was like a war zone,” said Garcia. “As bad as some areas of the Middle East are today.” November 2018 • Cliftonmagazine.com


Clifton’s Storyteller

He remembers the time in 1987 how a gun was pointed at his head by a fighter trying to coerce him to work for the Sendero Luminoso. “Afterwards, I called my dad, and said, ‘Daddy, I have to go. They’ve told me I have to do something I shouldn’t,’” he remembered. “If that didn’t happen, I might’ve spent my whole life in Peru.”  Within a year, he relocated to Passaic. It was not his first trip to America. Since 1981, Garcia had worked here at times flipping burgers at fast food joints, working factory assembly lines and cleaning tables at the Garden State Mall.  “I didn’t know anything about the United States,” laughed Garcia. “Even the food was so different. It took a long time to stop being a stranger.”  The job that left its biggest mark on him was pushing carts in the parking lot of the Cuellar family’s first market, President Supermarket, on Jefferson St. in Passaic. Garcia’s work ethic and energy caught the eye of his boss Evelio Cuellar, Rafael’s father. He took Garcia under his wing and advised him to be somebody in America and not switch between many occupations. One needed to go to school or join the armed forces. 

The Military and Georgia on His Mind Garcia took the advice. He attended Passaic County Community College for a year before joining the service in 1989. After boot camp, he was trained in supply logistics and served stateside in Virginia and New Jersey, finishing his six-year enlistment with the N.J. Army National Guard in Teaneck. Finishing his army hitch, Garcia returned to the Cuellar family’s business where he worked his way up from cashier to frozen foods manager and then to dairy management. Evelio Cuellar passed away in 1996, prompting Rafael to return home from the U.S. Navy and take over the store, renewing his friendship with Garcia. During this time, Garcia met his wife Digna Perez. Seeing the workings of the Cuellar family market, Garcia next became an entrepreneur. In 1997, he and Digna opened their own small business together, Luigi’s Liquor on Jefferson St., across from President Supermarket. Being both an entrepreneur and employee meant long hours for the Garcias. They’d leave work and go to work with barely a free moment for themselves.

Cliftonmagazine.com • November 2018 

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Clifton’s Storyteller

Three years into it, Digna and Willy began questioning the price of the American Dream. They started looking at options for where to raise a family, eventually settling on Georgia. “It’s like day and night from New Jersey down there,” he said. Garcia’s now-thick supermarket resume, along with his entrepreneurial skills, earned him a general manager position of a Kroger supermarket in Duluth, Ga., a community of about 26,000 in the north central part of the state. Soon, Willy and Digna welcomed children Anette and Chris to their family. It seemed he might never return to New Jersey if not for an opportunity to repay the favors of his early years.

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November 2018 • Cliftonmagazine.com

He is as close to a brother without being a brother as you can get.” - Rafael Cuellar

Paying Back In 2005, Rafael called. After his dad’s death, he had sold President Supermarket and bought the much larger Paulison Ave. ShopRite and needed a general manager. “My life was down in Georgia,” Garcia said, “but I wanted to pay [him] back. I remembered when his family was there for me at those first jobs.” Garcia returned to New Jersey and has been working with Cuellar since. A challenge of stocking a supermarket is servicing so many ethnic groups living in the surrounding community, and the job has grown as the area diversified.  “I knew the old fashioned way of running a business under Evelio,” said Garcia. “I’m lucky I got to see Rafael’s new philosophy take over.” When considering how his role has evolved, Garcia said, “I don’t feel that I’m the big shot. I’m one more worker, helping everybody go to one direction. I don’t want a big name. I just want to be one more person helping in the team.” On balancing the tastes of customers with roots from Pakistan to Poland, Garcia laughed, “You try to put five countries in one aisle! When you have that environment, the community gets engaged. We’re at every festival in town. You keep on giving back.”  Cuellar is grateful for Garcia.  “He’s my right-hand man,” Cuellar said. “He is as close to a brother without being a brother as you can get. You can train anyone to do anything, but you can’t train loyalty.” As to Garcia’s never-ending energy, Cuellar said the source is perpetual: “I spin him in the morning to wind him up!”


Cliftonmagazine.com • November 2018 

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Clifton’s Storyteller

If you could interview anyone from your life living or dead, but not a celebrity, who would it be and why? &

Q A

Andrew Polick today and during World War II. He served in the Atlantic and Pacific.

“I’m 92 now, but in 1945 I was a young sailor at the tail end of the invasion of Okinawa during World War II. My ship was one of many screening for Japanese kamikaze suicide bombers. A plane flew in so the sun was against our eyes. All of the ships in the area including mine opened fire, shooting the pilot down. “We fished his body out of the water after. He was so young, definitely younger than me. No beard. Looked like he should have still been with his parents. All he had on him were three little dolls. Sometimes I wonder if the dolls were supposed to represent his family. “Decades have passed, but I still wish I could go back and ask that young man about his life. How was he indoctrinated to hate us so much? Could we have been friends if the war hadn’t broke out? Who knows? We buried him at sea wrapped in a canvas tarp. I’ve never forgotten his face.”

Andrew Polick

“My mom Audrey Woletz (above right) died in 2010 at age 83 and was a fighter, a 24-year breast cancer survivor. I want to make sure she is OK, that she is with dad and their friends, which were in the hundreds. Mom and I had a lot of good years and we were always honest and open with one another. It would be nice to talk to her and ask questions I never got to.”

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November 2018 • Cliftonmagazine.com

Marcia McNeel


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Cliftonmagazine.com • November 2018 

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Clifton’s Storyteller

Q&A

If you had to guess, where do you see life taking you in the next twenty years? Why?

Jordan Duran Jordan Duran, 22, graduated CHS in 2014 and recently completed his B.A in political science with a minor in law from Caldwell University.

“I think my demographic will help build up a less -toxic political climate after we get out of the post-2016 election era. There’s so much potential everywhere you look. Life is very up in the air right now, but I can tell my future is in politics. Ever since I was little, I’ve loved political science. At school, I represented Caldwell for the National Model United Nations. I applied to work for the district attorney in New York City on infrastructure for all five boroughs. I really want to help people and, longterm, I want to get involved in politics at the local, state or even federal level. That means working my way up and getting involved in different ways. Who knows what the future could look like in 20 years if we all banded together to get some work done?”

David Korty

David Korty is 22 and a CHS grad, Class of 2014. He’s currently at NJIT majoring in business and information systems. “I see myself traveling. Having the privilege of studying abroad at the Università di Siena in Italy last year and representing the New Jersey Institute of Technology, ignited a flame within myself. “I want to capitalize on any and all opportunities to travel that I come across. “There’s a point when growing up in the same house for 20 years in Clifton stops being a growth curve and starts being a plateau. Until I went to Italy, I had never been on a plane before or never really been left alone for longer than a day or two. So when I was presented with the opportunity to venture outside of the country,

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let alone the state I was born in, I vowed to connect myself with as many different cultures and viewpoints as possible. “I will never understand the facts that govern the broader human experience without seeing how others live outside New Jersey. “Whether it’s for a week or years at a time, I plan to utilize the creativity, the passion, and the heart-warming feeling that traveling to places like Italy holds. Life is too short to spend it wondering about all of the places you could have gone, and the people you might have met just over the horizon.”


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Cliftonmagazine.com • November 2018 

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Clifton’s Storyteller

Q&A

What are your longtime interests; why do you have them? Tyler Kennedy, 22, is pursuing a masters in clinical & counseling psychology at WPU.

Tyler Kennedy pictured with Nancy Abzakh.

Q&A

“Everything is interesting when you’re a practicing Buddhist. My favorite quote is by a guy named Thich Nhat Hanh, who said: ‘There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.’ If you change your mindset, each interaction we have with each other has the potential to be amazing. “Mindfulness makes everything interesting when you’re in the moment. Even little things, like how I can vibrate the air with my voice and you’ll understand me, are crazy things to be grateful for. “Psychology and brain chemistry are big interests, too. At WPU, we’re doing studies on alcoholism by using mice... looking at how to lower abuse rates and what someone’s environment has to do with recovery rates. When you wake up appreciating all everyday beauty around you, it makes life in the lab less of a slog and more of an adventure.”

Why invest in Clifton?

Eliecer Montoya is opening the latest Banana King franchise on Crooks Ave. in Clifton.

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“I’m originally from Colombia. I came to the area when I was 23 to work as a business administrator for a money transfer company, but I knew I wanted to do something different. My business partner started Banana King in 1991 in Passaic. Now we have three locations in Paterson, two in Passaic, one in Elizabeth and ones in North Bergen and Jersey City. We are even going international—Panama, Colombia, and Mexico so far. So it’s about time one came to Clifton. “What matters most to me is the quality of the food. We’re bringing authentic Hispanic food with an American twist, especially the fruit milkshakes. It’s all the tropical fruits: mango, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple banana. People come from all over for them. I already see residents driving up Route 46, Route 80 to get to us. “I can’t wait to create jobs here. Clifton is a beautiful town with beautiful people.” Look for the Clifton grand opening of the Banana King on Crooks and Getty Aves. in late November, early December. November 2018 • Cliftonmagazine.com


Cliftonmagazine.com • November 2018 

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H Clifton’s Storyteller

Q&A

What is one of your favorite hometown memories?

Joseph V. DeLiberto and daughter Adeline (DeLiberto) DeVries

Adeline DeVries remembers how she came to love baseball. I grew up on Barkley Ave. and my father, Joseph DeLiberto Sr., was an avid baseball fan. He was raised on the Lower East Side in Manhattan and attended many baseball games at the Polo Grounds and Yankee Stadium, and played ball while serving in the National Guard and locally in Passaic. His hero was Babe Ruth… in fact, many said Dad bore a strong resemblance to his hero. As the family’s youngest child, I loved playing with my dolls but after hearing about “The Babe,” I soon shared my dad’s enthusiasm—even though I didn’t fully understand why this man was such a hero. During World War II, many mothers went to work in the defense plants. Our mom was no exception. After leaving a hot meal on the stove for her family, she left for work at Western Electric from 3 to 11 pm, and Dad, a bus driver by day, was in charge. We always had lots of fun with him, playing cards and other games. We also did our homework but he was a great baby-sitter. Then something new came on the scene… television! One block from our house stood the Federal Appliance Store. Each night, television sets in the window would be turned on and we could watch baseball games from the outside. No more radio broadcasts… now we could actually see the game. Each night, Dad carried our lawn chairs and snacks to the corners of Main Ave. and Hilton St. where the store was located. We joined escalating crowds as we cheered our Yankees on. It was here, on a street corner with traffic passing by, that I learned the intricacies of baseball and became a true fan. But not everyone was pleased about our baseball ritual... my mom was mortified! Her family was hanging out on a street corner! And so Mom saved and saved until she bought our own television. No longer did we have to go out on the

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street to watch a ballgame; instead, we watched in the comfort of our own home. We had a Dumont mahogany console with doors and a 12-inch television screen inside of them. It even had a pull-out drawer with a turntable for records. What luxury! Dad was thrilled and Mom was happy… her family was off the street corner. We had one of the first television sets on Barkley Ave. Years have passed, but my love of baseball that started on that corner of Hilton St. and Main Ave. stayed with me. At first, I was caught up in Dad’s enjoyment of the game; then, I had my own heroes: Joe DiMaggio, Bobby Brown, Tommy Heinrich, Johnny Lindell and, of course, Yogi Berra. Baseball remains important in my life, and I imparted this love of the game to my sons who are all fans. And it started on a busy corner in Clifton.


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Cliftonmagazine.com • November 2018 

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Clifton’s Storyteller

Q&A

How do you choose to honor the previous generation in your family?

Clifton City attorney and author David Bruins pays tribute to his father, Sidney, a WWII veteran. After graduating from Villanova University Law School, I became a lawyer and have practiced municipal law for 36 years. Since 2004, I have served as Clifton’s first assistant municipal attorney. When I look back on my life, my biggest influence is my father Sidney, who grew up in Clifton. He was a humble man, who imparted a true, kind and wonderful form of Christianity to me. It was partly his influence that led me to write the recently published book, Reformation Riches for the Contemporary Church. Like many young men of the time, my father was also a WWII veteran but rarely talked much about his service to our country during the war. The newspaper clippings that I’m holding are from the November 18, 1945, Newark Star Ledger. It features sailors from the battleship USS New Jersey during WWII—the most decorated warship in American naval history. The ship took part in many major battles in the Pacific. My father was part of the New Jersey’s vast crew, serving as a yeoman second class and is shown in three of the newspaper photos. Sidney was the son of Dutch immigrants and lived in the Christian Reformed community of Clifton’s Dutch Hill in the 1920s and 30s. With WWII looming, he enlisted in the Navy in 1942. He was only 17. When not at his battle station, my father was assigned to the captain’s office where he had direct contact with

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some of the legendary figures of the war, like Admirals William “Bull” Halsey Jr., Raymond A. Spruance and Chester W. Nimitz. During his four years away from home, my father experienced great loss when his own father died of a heart attack. After the war, my dad turned down the offer of a naval career and returned to his mother and sisters in Clifton. He eventually married his wife, Rena, and went on to watchmaker school. He opened a small jewelry store in the early 1950s on the corner of Main Ave and Autumn St. in Passaic. He later moved the store to Midland Park and operated it until 1990. My father, a humble veteran, died in 2004, just after I began working for the City of Clifton. As told to Tom Hawrylko


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Cliftonmagazine.com • November 2018 

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Pina Nazario

Clifton’s Storyteller

Q&A

Why invest in Clifton?

Pina Nazario, 52, is a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker and has helped hundreds of clients find homes in Clifton during the last 20 years.

My father was a self-made man who came from Italy with just a suitcase. He brought me up with a great work ethic in our Jersey City neighborhood where we had family living all around us. I graduated from St. Peter’s College with an accounting degree and went to work with UPS for 10 years, making it all the way up to staff supervisor. But corporate life wasn’t for me. I left the workforce for several years when I had Pina’s familia, all in Clifton: Margaret Calzaretta, Joanne Varriano, Teri Pelle, Grace my children and moved to Abatangelo, Pina Nazario and Geri DeSousa. the Richfield section of Clifton in 1995. residential, family-oriented town that’s not overdevelIt was in Clifton that I became a self-made woman oped. Familiar faces are a big plus. It helps to have the with real estate. It started as a part-time kind of job and support of my husband Ken, and my sons Julian and quickly snowballed into a career and livelihood. You Peter. have to learn the industry and help clients overcome There’s all different types of public transportation and every challenge imaginable when looking for a home. highways that lead to easy access shopping. We’re in So why choose Clifton? Well, you definitely still have a central location near New York City. Some towns in the suburban community feel here. I currently live on the region are prestigious but unaffordable. Here you the same block with two cousins and my sister. It’s a have your 50-and-over communities and young buyer neighborhoods. And the diversity! We are one of the most diverse towns by ethnic background, with different ranges for people wanting to buy a home. There’s so much to work with in Clifton as a real estate agent, but I’m your neighbor as well. While I still feel close to my Italian roots here, Clifton is something for everyone. I’m celebrating 20 years of service already, and I can’t wait to see how many homes we can sell in the next 20. As told to Tyler Gamba

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Cliftonmagazine.com • November 2018 

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Clifton’s Storyteller

Q&A

What did you want to be growing up? How close does that match what you do now?

Samuel Mena

Samuel Mena is 28. He is a medical surgical nurse at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson. I was born in a little town called Pinar del Rio in Cuba. There are many things that I learned from those early years of my life, growing up in a farm house composed of wooden planks as walls, palm leaves for a roof and solidified mud as a floor. Things like water and electricity were rare commodities at the time, even more so out where we lived. My father, brother and I had to dig a well for water underneath the soil of our heavily forested backyard. I learned to take nothing for granted. Life was tough, but I was influenced by the medical reforms happening in Cuba at the time, particularly free medical care to all its citizens, regardless of age, sex,

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or skin color. It made me want to become a physician to heal the sick and prevent disease in the healthy, no matter how limited the resources. Since I arrived in America in 2002, I’ve held a series of jobs that have all built toward this goal. I’ve worked as a psychiatric nurse, an emergency room nurse, oncology nurse and a geriatrics nurse. I served as an active-duty combat medic in the U.S. Army at posts across the country. The military taught me to fight for what one believes in with passion and conviction. To become a doctor will mean a life of continuous selflessness and dedication to my fellow human beings, but also a long and expensive education. That is why I continue to reflect back on that family well that we built all those years ago in Cuba. I remind myself that oftentimes all it takes is to keep digging until we find what we are looking for.


Clifton’s Storyteller

Julia Young

Julia Young is 25 and will graduate in December with an associate’s degree from Bergen County Community College.

When Julia Young was 15 in March 2009, a campfire accident left third degree burns over 75 percent of her body. Cliftonites supported her and her family by fundraising and offering good will. Readers were reacquainted with Julia in our November 2015 magazine when she was profiled in a cover story, entitled Being Alive!... being able to still experience life... in which she told us of her recovery and the beginning of her writing career. We caught up with her via email in late October, just as she returned as a guest speaker at her former high school, Monroe Woodbury. Julie’s bio reads: “Her story of overcoming pain and living in a new body with the help of family, friends and medical staff is about learning to love yourself and learning to ask for help when you need it.” She wrote to us: “Growing up, I wanted to be an interior decorator, customizing people’s homes to amplify good energy and their personality. Nowadays that’s portrayed in the constant rearranging of my room, trying to stack more and more plants around the windows. Though writing isn’t like interior decorating, it still includes giving structure to the world. Functional while also beautiful! “My interior decorating teacher actually came when I was presenting and chatted with me. She remembered me from her class and even remembered my last art project that I made the week before my accident. That was humbling—she remembered me after 10 years and had kept me in her prayers.”

Cliftonmagazine.com • November 2018 

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Clifton’s Storyteller

Q&A

What motivates you to vote? Locally or nationally, which one or two issues are on your mind?

Joe Torelli

As a retiree I am most concerned by Republican vows to decimate Social Security and Medicare. These programs have no impact on the national debt as Senator McConnell and Representative Ryan wrongly and knowingly continue to state. McConnell recently renewed that vow once again in a mid-October interview. What will contribute more than $2 trillion to the debt is the tax

Bridget Breen, 48, the mother of two boys, 11 and 14, resides in Athenia. I vote because it is my right as an American. I keep my political views close to my chest as many people have different views-debates and topics can get heated! Nationally, I hope we always put our children and education as a priority when we consider our political leaders and what they stand for. I

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Joe Torelli, 71, is an Air Force veteran and retired after decades of working in private sector IT. cut they approved last year, most of which will permanently benefit wealthy taxpayers and corporations. The benefits that will accrue to middle-income wage earners and pensioners, if any, will expire in 10 years. The national debt is increasing at an uncontrolled pace and poses a grave danger to our nation’s stability and safety. It is imperative that all registered voters cast their ballots on November 6.

Bridget Breen like to take my children to vote with me as my father did. Understanding candidates and what they stand for is important and needs to be passed down to the next generation.


Vincent LoProto Vincent LoProto, 66, works in real estate sales in Clifton.

There are a handful of issues. I think the city is going backwards from the good tax situation and rateables in the late ’60s. I’ve been here 30-some years, and I just feel like we have the problems of a big city creeping in here like traffic, housing and zoning violations. You come up the streets and there’s cars parked right up to intersections. Recently I came off Rt. 80 on Crooks Ave. by what used to be Baskinger’s. There were cars actually parked on the sidewalk. Go down a block and there’s more parked in front of fire hydrants. Look up and you see lights on in attics. There are air conditioners. They stay on all day long. People are living up there. It’s frustrating. The police say they don’t have enough manpower so they can’t check all these things. If I won the Mega Millions jackpot, I’d be out there with a security truck checking up on everyone. If we need more aggressive management of the city to make sure everyone plays fair, why is there not more enforcement? I’m like a fighter, hands-on. We need to put muscle into enforcement. I like the city manager. I like the mayor. And our city officials are accessible. But there are so many violations going on. After these elections, I want to see them getting more in the face of people doing the violations at a local level.

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Q&A

What was your most unforgettable memory?

Walter Pruiksma

Clifton’s Storyteller

Walter Pruiksma, 95, founder of Clifton’s Avenue of Flags, received The Military Police Regimental Association’s Order of the Marechaussee in Silver on Oct. 13 for his 1944 “Mission of Mercy” which he recalls here. Over 74 years ago, I volunteered to escort an injured French woman and her two children to a hospital by horse and buggy. It was a night I’ll never forgot. I had arrived on Utah Beach, four days after D-Day with the 783rd Military Police Battalion, the first MPs there. We were to set up traffic control points, process prisoners of war and establish a supply train. On June 12, 1944, the 12-mile trip to Carentan took place. A local French boy asked if someone could help him transport his mother to a hospital. She was injured after a German soldier threw a grenade into their home.

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I thought of my mother, so I volunteered. At 1 am. along with another MP, we climbed on the two-wheeled, horse-drawn carriage and began our trip through non-man’s land to the hospital. I knew which direction Carentan was because I watched it burning the night before. In the scorched town, 101st Airborne Division soldiers watched from windows as our carriage rolled by. When we reached the hospital, I saw a church across the street. Two piles of dead German and American soldiers were stacked in front, reaching five feet high. We rang the hospital’s bell, and a pegged-leg French man opened the gate. Nurses, or maybe they were nuns, took the injured French woman. Just like that, it was over. While it was just one night compared to the rest my time overseas, I never forgot that trip to Carentan. As I got older, I started to think more about that night and the people I never really knew. It was like a book, but without the last chapter. After writing letters to Carentan’s mayor, I finally learned the names of the people we escorted, 40 years ago. The name of the injured French woman was Madame Andree Tourraine, and I wrote to her daughter, discussing what we remembered from that night. “Upon learning your name,” I wrote, “I finally feel like I began to read the last chapter and the story is coming to a completion.”


April Rastatter Q&A

What motivates you to vote? Locally or nationally, which one or two issues are on your mind?

April is 22 and a CHS Graduate of the class of 2014. She studied Environmental Policy, Institutions, and Behavior at Rutgers University. Even before I turned 18, I was always interested in politics and how they affect our world. Now, at 22, I’m more motivated to vote than ever. I feel like a lot of people my age are not interested in voting because they feel that their vote will not make a difference. However, that mindset has gotten us into a lot of trouble. With this administration, so many policies and accomplishments we took for granted have been taken away. I want to be able to feel secure and trust that those in office will have my best interests in mind. Right now, I do not feel that sense of security. With climate change, our entire world will be affected. It will cause a global crisis if we don’t change our ways of consumption. Additionally, the threats of this administration to strip women and the LGBTQ+ community

of their basic rights is just bringing us back in time. I refuse to stand by idly and allow the administration to keep rolling back the progress we have made. We need to remind ourselves that regardless of what party we align with, we are all human and we all deserve our basic rights and fair treatment. If our current elected officials will not provide that, we must continue to vote them out.

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Clifton’s Storyteller

Kathy Grimshaw

A true Clifton resource, the library’s reference guru is a research detective, able to help past and present generations of residents—and always with a smile. By Jack DeVries

Kathy Grimshaw is good at helping people learn about their family. She’s also good at helping the departed reach back into our world. As the Clifton Public Library’s head of reference and local history, Grimshaw is a practitioner of forensic genealogy. Instead of starting with a living person and looking back, forensic genealogy begins with the deceased and moves forward. Often, she said, government-hired research firms use this method to find servicemen’s relatives. “They’re still finding remains from WWII, Korea and Viet Nam,” Grimshaw said. “As borders change or construction happens, they discover remains. Because of the privacy laws, I never know the ultimate outcome, but it is interesting work. “It’s also moving when you realize that you’re helping someone reunite with their family after all that time.” Other requests come from overseas. “A lot of Americans from WWI and WWII are buried in Europe,” she said. “People there adopt a grave to keep it clean. I’ve had a couple of requests for biographical information of Clifton men buried there.” Uncovering the past is only part of her job. Grimshaw and her team of intrepid librarians are also masters of helping people in the present. “People come in, not just for books, but for information in general,” she said. “During tax time, it’s finding forms. We also help people sign up for health care or even find housing.” She tells a story of a family who came in one night

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with no place to stay. “We hooked them up with St. Peter’s Haven,” she said. “Unfortunately, there are not many resources in Clifton for the homeless. Some of them come to the library to look for help or just a quiet place to sit.” Library visitors want assistance with ESL classes. Some want to become citizens. Seniors unfamiliar with computers get help. “I have such a cool job,” Grimshaw said. “I get to help people and learn all the time.” Following Her Passion Grimshaw, 56, grew up in the Albion section, the only child of Fred, a postal worker and Isabelle, a homemaker. Her family nurtured a love of the past. Her father was proud of his British heritage, and her mom was a gifted storyteller, who often told of how her own mother and grandmother nearly died coming to America when their ship was caught in a bad storm. Years later, Grimshaw discovered a New York Times article about the ship’s dangerous crossing. Its captain was Edward Smith, who would later die while captaining the ill-fated RMS Titanic.


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Clifton’s Storyteller

A 1980 CHS grad, Grimshaw ran track and played trumpet with the Marching Mustangs, going to Disney World and England with the band. After graduating, she went to Montclair State University. However, when she was 19, Grimshaw’s father died. To compound matters, her mother, who had been losing her sight for years, was now legally blind and needed assistance. “Getting through college was a bit challenging,” she admitted. But she did, graduating with a degree in English and minors in archeology and cinema studies. Grimshaw then took a job as a clerk in the William Paterson University Library. “After a few years, I knew I was as smart as the librarians,” she remembered. “I thought I may as well get my degree and make more money.” Grimshaw enrolled at Rutgers-New Brunswick to earn her master’s in information sciences while commuting from Clifton, assisting her mother and working full time. After graduating in 1997, she got part-time jobs with the Passaic County Historical Society and Clifton Library (later becoming full time at Clifton).

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“It was like a kid going into the family business,” she laughed. Grimshaw has worked for the Clifton Library for 15 years. She still lives in her family home, now with her husband Jerry Haven and their daughter Aby. Telling Your Family Story In her role, Grimshaw has assisted people looking for varied information, like the location of slave burial grounds, the life of Clifton artist Robert Smithson, and rare fireplace tiles in a city home. And she can help you with your story. “People learn about their families through census records, city directories and maps,” Grimshaw said. “High school yearbooks are another source. People also don’t realize how much info they can get from old newspapers. Sometimes they make surprising discoveries, like finding family members they didn’t know existed.” Her advice on uncovering the past? “I’d tell anyone researching their family history to start with a basic genealogy book that we have here, use ancestry.com, which we have here for free, or ask me or the other librarians to help them get started.”


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This year, the Boys & Girls Club of Clifton is proud to induct its newest Hall of Fame class. The 12th annual “Fall Into the Past” beefsteak will celebrate the lives and achievements of outstanding alumni, each representing a decade, and honors former members who have contributed a great deal to the Clifton organization and believe in its mission and purpose. Tickets are $40 and include dinner, beer wine & soda. For information or tickets, call John DeGraaf at 973-773-0966, Ex. 111. Stories by Jack DeVries and Tyler Gamba

Tom Contrino Photographer Tom Contrino will be the first one to say the difference the Clifton Boys & Girls Club made in his life. “There were so many opportunities to learn positive values, habits and skills,” Contrino said. “I don’t think that I would have accomplished what I have in life had it not been for the Club.” Accomplish, he has. Born in 1952, Contrino graduated CHS in 1971 and went on to be a top photographer, working for retail fashion giants like J. Crew. And, in an earlier life, he worked for promoter John Scher as a concert manager, supervising rock and comedy shows from 1971 to 1983. For his lifetime of accomplishments and commitment to the Clifton’s Boys & Girls Club’s mission, Contrino will be inducted into the Club’s Hall of Fame on Nov. 16. “The Club made a huge difference in my life,” he said. “Their programs weren’t just to keep us busy— they taught you so much. The skills I learned in the craft classes are ones I still use in my photo work today.” Contrino found his way to the Boys & Girls Club through his aunt and uncle’s tenant.

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“I moved a lot in Clifton, but spent a lot of time on Highland Ave. in the Dutch Hill section,” he said. “My aunt and uncle lived on Sheridan Ave. Mr. Paige, who was the Club’s associate director back then, lived upstairs. He said to my mom [Rose], ‘You really should send Tom to the Boys Club. It’s a great thing and it will keep him out of trouble. “Staring at age 7, I would ride my J.C. Higgins 20-inch bicycle to the Boys Club every day. I’d park it in the stand with no lock, and it would be there at the end of the day.” Contrino immersed himself in the Club, playing pool, shuffleboard and sports. He joined the track team, and participated in craft classes, featuring woodworking and pottery. He became editor of the Club’s newsletter, picking up “good experience,” and went to Camp Clifton in the summer.


“They created an entire yearlong program,” he said. “And look what it’s turned into now—an even more phenomenal service organization for the city.” Interested in the arts and music from an early age, Contrino said the Club fueled his creative side. “Pete Messier who was always there devoted himself to us something fierce,” he said. “He started the Boys Club Glee Club and, along with Miss Chambers on piano, taught us discipline and how to harmonize. “The Glee Club was an awesome experience. We would sing at the Robin Hood Inn for local business associations, wearing our red blazers and tie with Boys Club logo patch. The most memorable day was singing at the New York World’s Fair at the New Jersey Pavilion.” The people working at the Club also positively influenced Contrino. “They were so nice to us,” he said. “Mr. Paige instilled in me the message that I was a ‘leader.’ Interest-

ing how things like that stay with you and come back throughout your life. That meant the world to me!” Along with working in his father Lenny’s tailor shop, Contrino pursued his artistic interests through high school and college. “I sang at Nash Park during Youth Week like Dylan with a harmonica and guitar,” he remembered. “I was also in a successful 10-piece rock band in high school, featuring five of the best horn players ever who were also in the Mustang Band. Together, we won the final Battle of the Bands at Palisades Amusement Park the last year it was open, competing against nearly 250 other bands.” In his second year of college at Jersey City State, Contrino took photography as an elective, and the result was “magical.” Afterwards, he focused all his creative energies into his new outlet, even creating a darkroom in his aunt and uncle’s Sheridan Ave. basement. “The practical side of me said, ‘I can make a living at this at least doing weddings,’” he said. “Then I saw [the work of photographers] Scavullo and Avedon, and knew this is where the money is, and it looked like a lot of fun.”

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Contrino graduated from college in 1975 and earned his master of fine arts degree from Pratt Institute in 1978. He began assisting other photographers, some of the best in New York City, but earned a paltry $75 a week. To supplement his income, he worked for music promoter John Scher, rising from a job in the box office to concert manager and assisting with many shows at the 3,200-seat Capitol Theater in Passaic and at Casino Arena and Convention Hall in Asbury Park. Contrino also helped Scher with acts performing at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City and at a historic Grateful Dead show at Englishtown Raceway Park in Old Bridge with 150,000 in attendance. He worked with nearly every big name in music, including the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and Queen, to name a few (more about Contrino’s Capitol days on page 42). “Thanks, Mr. Paige,” Contrino said, “for telling me to ‘be a leader.’” But his dream of being a photographer never left him. “I am tenacious,” he said, “and never give up.” Contrino’s big break came in 1983. While working as a freelance in-house photographer for Bamberger’s Department Store in Newark, he saw a catalogue for a company called J. Crew, formerly Popular Merchandise (which did business as the Popular Plan Club). “They were based in Garfield,” Contrino said, “and I was living in Rutherford. J. Crew was just starting and had four people working there. I got vice president on the phone.” And, as the cliché goes, the rest is history. With a portfolio filled with work from Italian fashion magazines, J. Crew gave Contrino a chance. His

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first official shoot was done at the Harvard University boat house with four models, one of which was Elle Macpherson doing her second shoot in the U.S. After the 1984 catalogue came out, Contrino’s phone didn’t stop ringing. “The catalogue became incredibly popular,” he said. “It wasn’t posed, like Sears or JC Penny. I made it more filmic.” Contrino used a technique where just the model wearing the featured clothes was in focus, not the rest of the people in the shot. “I set it up in tiers,” he said. “It’s how you see. And it became real popular. Everyone now wanted the J. Crew look. I had to get an agent, and she landed Target.” His client list grew to include Perry Ellis, JoS. A Bank, The Gap and Old Navy, among others. Later, he created another business, Studio 201 in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, buying a shooting space and renting it to other photographers. Today, the father of three children—Andrew, 31, Kelly, 30, and Caroline, 24—continues to work in New York City and is living back in Clifton in the Allwood section. He has also reconnected with the Boys & Girls Club, helping produce its recent comedy fundraiser and becoming a regular contributor. “I’m extremely honored and humbled to be named to the Boys and Girls Club Hall of Fame,” he said. “It is a testimony and validation of the incredible work that the Club does, and the incredible impact it has on so many young lives. “I am just so grateful that the Club was there for me as I was growing up.” To see Tom Contrino’s work, visit his web site at contrinophoto.com.


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June McGreggor June McGreggor has worked for Passaic County Social Services as a keyboard clerk for over 30 years,. She will never forget the memories she made at the Girls Club as a young girl. “I remain very loyal to the Club,” said McGreggor. “When I was in my 20s, I used to work in the bingo hall. Now I attend as many events as possible sponsored by the club and help whenever I can. It has a special place in my heart.” Patty Lavender and MaryJo Anzaldi-Foster were wonderful mentors to her in those early days, when afternoons could stretch out long in a child’s mind. “Everyday, everyone, was great. We played dodgeball, kickball, steal the bacon and other sports games with Patty. MaryJo would help with homework when you came in from school. When the Girls Club was open on Saturdays, we went horseback riding or just hung out at the Club for a fun full day! These are memories I will never forget.” McGreggor lives in Dutch Hill with her husband Kevin and mother-in-law Frances. She is a secretary treasurer of the Passaic County American Legion Auxiliary, and will be sworn in as a four-term president in May 2019. She’s proven there’s plenty to do around town as an active participant, no matter the role. “I am so happy and honored to be inducted to the Hall of Fame. The greatest reward was having the opportunity to attend the Girls Club. I want to say thank you for all the support and fun times through the years!”

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Paul Dooley Paul Dooley may be far from his childhood home on Cloverdale Road in Clifton, but the Boys Club’s influence has never left him. “I lived a block from the building, and I paid for it by never doing my homework,” laughed Dooley. Dooley has fond memories of him and Bob Lipala not only at the Boys Club, but navigating the rapids of the Delaware River and hiking the Appalachian trail during Camp Clifton. “You couldn’t beat it,” said Dooley. “The more you helped out in activities or fundraising, the more you felt involved with something big.” And it doesn’t get much bigger than the armed forces. After graduating high school, Dooley held a series of construction jobs before enlisting in the United States Air Force. He worked in aircraft maintenance on F-4s and F-16s, then as a flight engineer on a C-141B. In 1991 he flew in Operation “Desert Storm” when Iraq invaded Kuwait. “I’ve been to more countries than most people will ever dream of going to, even if it was usually for less than 24 hours.” Now a resident of Lexington, S.C., Dooley works for McGee Real Estate and is involved in a number of charitable organizations through his church like Habitat for Humanity. “I started just volunteering, helping out. I was raised to be a team player, thanks to the Club. It’s one of those things that stays with you when you grow up. What an honor to be inducted.”


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Dany Qassis Dany Qassis remembers ping pong, air hockey, and “lethal” games of dodgeball during his childhood at the Clifton Boys & Girls Club. “I used to live right behind the building on Colfax Ave.,” said Qassis. “My family immigrated from Lebanon, and my parents and brothers were always working so I would walk there everyday. It meant so much to me that it was there.” His favorite sport was indoor soccer, where familiar faces Bob Foster and Don Knapp coached him through afternoons. “Pretty fun, very competitive,” he said. “It kept you out of trouble.”

His best memories were of the field trips to Six Flags Great Adventure and Point Pleasant Boardwalk. At Clifton High, Qassis learned to play chess and became a champion player in 1996 and 1997. Qassis attended William Paterson University, studying business. Though he remains some credits short of graduating, he put his studies to good use becoming a commercial manager for Stanley Steamer for the New York City and North Jersey region. However, Qassis said the Club also played a part in his success. “The Club helped me learn how to deal with people from a young age,” he said. “I wasn’t isolated. When you hang out at the Boys & Girls Club, you get to hang out with those of different age brackets. At the Club, everybody knew your name.” Now living in Lodi, Qassis is honored to be associated with the Clifton Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame. “It feels great to be nominated,” he said.

Joe Tuzzolino, Jack Corradino, Robert C. Papa, John Ferrari, Michael Ferrari, Michelle Stroble and John Kungl.

Joe Tuzzolino A Club member since the 1959, Tuzzolino served as a U.S. Marine, spent 29 years as a Clifton police officer and assists with Clifton’s Avenue of Flags. Jack Corradino and Robert C. Papa Attorneys Corradino and Papa have practiced law in Clifton since 1999 and employ 32 people. They recently donated two buses to the Club to transport the current generation of members. John and Michael Ferrari The soccer-playing Ferrari brothers were fixtures at the Club in the new millennium. Both went on to successful careers and credit the Club for being a positive influence in their lives. A Paramus High soccer coach, John is planing to sign his stepson up for Club soccer, while Michael hopes to get back to coaching there.

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Michelle Stroble Stroble’s mother enrolled her at the Club when she was 10, and she credits Executive Director Bob Foster for being a positive mentor in her life. Stroble lives in Clifton with her husband and three children, and is a senior partner at her firm, KPM Sports and Entertainment, where she works with athletes and entertainers. John Kungl A lifelong Clifton resident, Kungel brought his years of experience at different IT jobs to the Club and updated its computer network. Having retired in 2013 as the Club’s IT director, Kungl spends his time fishing in New Jersey and Florida. He also formed the Club’s Bluegills Fishing Team and taught many boys and girls to fish. Three years ago, Kungl started a STEM scholarship for members in his and his late wife Margaret’s name.


The Marshall Family Remainder Trust has bequeathed $89,678 from the John & Janet Marshall Family Estate to the Clifton Boys & Girls Club. The Club’s Board of Trustees thanked the Marshall’s sons at their Oct. 18 annual meeting. Coincidentally, John and Janet Marshall would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on the date. “I could not think of a better way to honor their memory than to award the Club a gift,” said Jack Marshall, a 2011 BGC Alumni Hall of Fame inductee.

His brother Jim also attended the meeting. The Marshall brothers were BGC members in the sixties and seventies. Their father John, a Clifton Rotary Club member, embodied the Rotarian creed of “service above self.” The gift will be used at the board’s discretion to aide in providing services for the Club’s 5,200 members. Pictured above with the board are Jack (front, third from right) and Jim Marshall, next to his brother (front, fourth from right).

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The Capitol Theatre was like a musical “Field of Dreams,” attracting the biggest and best acts and creating indelible memories for thousands of area fans.

Bruce Springsteen sings at the Capitol Theatre (photo by Jack Parow); Jorma Kaukonen performs during one of his Capitol shows (Parow). Facing page, Mick Jagger on the Capitol stage (Parow), a typical crowd at the Capitol (photo Chris Cooke collection) and John Scher in front of the marque at 326 Monroe St. (photo by Tom Contrino).

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The world’s greatest rock & roll band had just finished a 90-minute set at the Capitol Theatre and now it was time to leave—quickly. Mick Jagger wished the audience good night, but the crowd didn’t want to let the Rolling Stones go. The old theatre held 3,200 fans and probably half of them planned to find the backstage door to get another glimpse of the band. The Stones’ appearance had put the Capitol and Passaic on the map. Before the Passaic City Council complained about promoter John Scher and his shows, saying they created traffic, noise and crime. After the Stones played on June 14, 1978—and the national press followed— the little theatre with the amazing sound became a city treasure.

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Before the concert, the Capitol staff had done extensive planning about how to get the band out of the theatre without getting mobbed, having them exit to a white panel van parked at the loading dock. “Usually, the bands exited the stage to the left and went to the dressing rooms,” said Clifton’s Tom Contrino, the Capitol’s concert manager. “We needed the Stones to exit to the opposite side where the van was and hightail it down Monroe St. to their limousine parked where Rt. 21 ended.” The Stones ripped through their last song, Jumpin’ Jack Flash and headed off stage… except they went the wrong way. “We’re yelling: ‘No! Go to the other side!’” said Contrino. “There were probably hundreds of people already outside.” Realizing their error, the Stones turned around and went back on stage and played a rushed encore of Street Fighting Man. Then they put their instruments down and ran to their waiting van. “They had to play more,” Contrino laughed, “just to get the hell out of the theatre without getting mobbed.” The Place to Rock Now long gone, the Capitol Theatre in Passaic lives in music history—an iconic venue that hosted every big and small act from 1971 to 1989. The Stones, The Who, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, U2, Prince, Queen… with the exception of Led Zeppelin, David Bowie and a few others, every name artist played the Capitol. And there was no better area venue for fans to call their rock & roll home. One of those fans was Matt Penney, who lived just over the Clifton border on Dundee Ave. in Paterson and later worked for promoter John Scher on the Capitol’s backstage security crew. “I was 12 years old,” said Penney, “and there almost every weekend. We’d ride our bikes or take buses to get there. John liked us and would give me and my friend backstage passes. We’d go back and drink soda and eat the leftover chips.” During the seventies, Penney saw Kiss play at the Capitol and sat directly in front of Gene Simmons. “They subbed for Climax Blues Band who couldn’t get their equipment through customs,” he said. “John called Kiss in, refunded the Climax tickets, and we went to window and bought first row Kiss tickets costing $6. I even got fake blood on me.” Cliftonmagazine.com • November 2018 

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Above, the Capitol crew today: front row, left, Matt Penney, Jim Perry and Don Rossman; rear Gary Pinhiero, Don Salmanowitz, Jack Parlow, Tom Contrino and Annmarie and Chris Cooke. Below, 1979-80 Capitol Theatre staff Kathy Kopec, Ann Marie Cooke and Maryann Marchesen. At left, a promo sticker from a Southside Johnny performance.

In June 1971, New York City’s Fillmore East closed, leaving a void for many rock bands. In the days before stadium tours, most could only fill small theaters, like the 2,600-seat Fillmore. Seizing an opportunity, Scher, the 20 year-old promoter and West Orange native, set his sights on the run-down Capitol Theatre—a 3,200-seat venue at 326 Monroe St. in Passaic reduced to showing porno films. The Capitol, born in the 1920s, had once presented films like Cobra starring Rudolph Valentino, put on vaudeville and burlesque shows, and later hosted performers like Lou Costello and the Three Stooges, along with showing first-run popular movies. In 1971, with early partner Al Hayward, Scher rented the theatre and bought it the following year. His first Capitol show was on Dec. 16, 1971—a double bill of the J.Geils Band and Humble Pie. Tickets cost $3.50, $4.50 and $5.50. Passaic soon became a rock & roll destination as bands came to love the sound within the theatre’s walls covered with two inches of acoustical padding.

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Until its final show in 1989, the Capitol hosted more than 500 dates and welcomed over 1,000 bands, solo artists and comedians. It also was home to wrestling and boxing matches, and pay-per-view events. And it would create a family from those who worked there.


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Rock & Roll Tales Tom Contrino remembers on December 16, 1976, when the “Father of Rock N’ Roll” Chuck Berry played the Capitol. “Chuck Berry shows up in a white Cadillac,” Contrino said. “Right across the street from the Theatre was a parking space. He pulls into the space and—boom! He hits the car in back of him. He pulls forward and— boom! He hits the car in front of him. “He gets out, goes into his trunk, gets his guitar and walks right into the lobby and Outside the Capitol Theatre before the Rolling Stones show on June 14, 1978. says loudly, ‘Where’s John Scher?’ “Jim Croce was a lovely man,” added Contrino. “I bring him to the office “So was Richie Havens. Prince was nice but very and Chuck says: ‘I want my money!’ shy. We all became friendly with the Allman Brothers “Before he went on, Chuck made sure to get paid— Band.” he’d probably been stiffed a few times in his career. But not all rockers were easy to work with. John paid him and Chuck did a great show.” “The flash-in-the pan bands were tough,” said Jim Contrino told this story at a recent reunion of his Perry, another member of the security team, who reCapitol crew. Though they haven’t worked together membered making $18 to $25 per show. in years, the bond forged working for Scher at the “Like New Kids on the Block,” added SalmanowPassaic theatre and other venues remains strong. itz. “They burst on the scene and thought they had On a recent October night at a Fairfield steakhouse, all the answers. I told them that I’d been doing this a they gathered to talk about their rock & roll days. long time and don’t tell me how to do my job. They Penney remembered when The Who rented the thought they were God’s gift to the world.” Capitol to use as a rehearsal space before their Amer“John Waite was another,” said Perry of the Baby’s ican tour in 1976, their first U.S. concerts without lead singer. “We had barricades set up, and a bunch of founding member and drummer Keith Moon. us would lock arms to protect him against the crowd “John ended up talking Roger Daltry into selling to get him to his limo. They start pushing us, and we tickets,” Penney said about the September shows. pushed back. “Roger was one of the nicest guys you ever met.” “He comes out the backstage door and starts “It seemed the bigger they were,” said Don Salscreaming, ‘How dare you? These are my fans!’ Kenmanowitz, the backstage crew chief, “the better they ny Viola [of the Capitol staff] said, ‘OK, all you guys were. For example, Mick Jagger was one of the nicest inside,’ and we let the crowd have him.” guys I ever worked with.” Talk around the table mentions Brian Setzer of the Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind Stray Cats, Ron Wood of the Stones, Geddy Lee of But Scher and the Capitol crew could always be Rush as “nice guys.” The Capitol crew counts the counted on when artists needed help, including in band, The Outlaws, as friends, and others mention 1973 when the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia was Springsteen and Southside Johnny as favorites.

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stopped for speeding on the New Jersey Turnpike and arrested for drugs. Because they were in New Jersey, the Dead’s road manager called Scher asking to bail Garcia out of jail—though the guitarist was in Mount Holly, N.J., about two hours away from Passaic. Had the road manager called the Philadelphia promoters, they could have rescued Garcia in 40 minutes. “John called,” said Contrino, “and said, ‘How much money do we have?’ I think we had about $34,000 in the box office. He said, ‘Don’t make the night deposit—I’ll be right down.’ “John ended up bailing Jerry out, and Jerry was very appreciative.” By June that year, Garcia was appearing at the Capitol and would continue to do so throughout his career, performing there more than 25 times with his band, other artists and the Grateful Dead— who played three-night stints in 1976, 1977 and 1980. “The Dead had rabid dedicated fans,” said Ann Marie Cooke. “We called the female fans ‘washing machines’ because they would dance in these long flowing skirts that moved up and down.” “They’d follow the Dead around the country,” said Penney. “When they’d arrive without a ticket, they’d

ask outside, “I need a miracle,” after that song from their [Shakedown Street] album. Then somebody would ‘miracle them’ and give them a ticket.” While Dead fans were passionate, they could also be problematic. “Dead fans were tough to handle,” said Jack Parow, head of the Capitol’s inside security, “but they wouldn’t fight you.” “And when the Dead played,” remembered Ann Marie Cooke, “the Hells Angels would be there.” “You left them alone,” Penney added. “Sometimes,” said Contrino, “the Dead shows went on so long—they’d be still playing after two shows at 3 am. We’d be sitting on the radiator covers in the lobby saying, ‘Would they just stop! We’ve been here since noon!’” Showtime At the Capitol Theatre, comics like Eddie Murphy, Rodney Dangerfield, Martin Mull, Henny Youngman and George Carlin made people laugh. John Belushi did cartwheels across the stage. Hollywood’s Faye Dunaway canoodled with husband and lead singer Peter Wolf in a construction-strewn dressing room before a J. Geils Band performance.

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Under the marquee, the Capitol entry doors (photo Chris Cooke); sisters Pat and Terry with Tom Contrino in 1976.

But it was the bands that kept fans coming back. While many of the Capitol crew said the Guitar Greats show filmed for MTV in 1984 was their favorite (“Just to see all that talent backstage working things out and performing onstage was incredible,” said Salmanowitz), perhaps the most memorable show outside of the Stones’ concert was Springsteen surprising appearance on New Year’s Eve in 1977. “Bruce showed up,” said Contrino, “and played with Southside. He didn’t go on (with the E Street Band) until after midnight.” In 1987, The Record described “…the house lights had been turned on and one third of the audience had already made its way out onto the streets” when Springsteen asked Scher’s permission to go on stage and play. Scher ordered the house lights off and sent ushers to round up those who had left. “Bruce came back out,” said Contrino, “and played for another hour—a great experience because it was so unexpected.” Springsteen’s shows at the Capitol are legendary, with some believing his second performance of a three-night stint in 1978 was his greatest career show. Another Capitol-Springsteen story involves the former lead singer of the Lovin’ Spoonful John Sebastian, who was scheduled to headline a triple bill with Springsteen and Dan Fogelberg in 1975. After hearing Springsteen and the E Street Band during the afternoon’s sound check, Contrino said Sebastian told Scher: “I’m not following that.” The order was switched, and Springsteen closed the night.

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Other memorable performances were ones audiences never saw. “Billy Joel played a number of times at the Capitol,” said Contrino. “Besides Billy being a nice guy, his sound checks were great. We would all just stop and sit in the back of the theatre and listen because all he would play were Elton John and Beatles songs.” Another impressive act was Frank Zappa. “Zappa was a nice man and totally drug free,” Contrino said. “His music was incredibly avant-garde. His sound checks would consist of him rehearsing his band for four hours in the afternoon—going over these 8- and 16-bar sections of this cacophony of his music. He was a taskmaster and his band, the Mothers of Invention, were a well-drilled unit.” Keeping the Peace Maintaining order at the Capitol was sometimes a challenge, as the crew will attest. “During the B-52s show,” remembered Perry, “kids were coming through the roof. We had to put someone up there to stop them.” “Some fans of the metal bands were tough to control,” Salmanowitz said. “Judas Priest and Molly Hatchet,” agreed Ann Marie Cooke. “The Capitol,” she added, “was ahead of its time with hiring women for security. Three of us were in charge of checking for bottles and cans. I was a female in my twenties patting down strangers. If any one tried something, these guys made sure I was safe.” continues on page 52


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Parlow, who supervised a security crew of 25-20 inside, said smoking caused most disturbances. “You could smoke in the lobby,” he said, “but we had to keep a hard-line in the house because of the fire laws. My guys would have high-powered flashlights and, if they saw someone smoking, they would blind them and tell them to put it out. “You generally gave them three chances. The fourth time, you’d take them out, hand them to front door security and say, ‘He’s expelled.’ The fans of cowboy bands—like the Outlaws, Marshall Tucker and Charlie Daniels—were the hardest to control. They were usually so liquored up with Jack Daniels that they always wanted to fight when you told them to put the cigarette out.” “After doing it for so long,” said Salmanowitz, “you could tell

Tom Contrino (left) and John Scher.

the people who were going to be troublemakers, and you could nip it in the bud.” “We were in actual battles,” said Parlow. “Some shows, we had to stand back-to-back, fighting people. We protected each other. When the lights went out and you got in trouble, all you had to do is flash your flash light and you had a brother there. “The bond we made over all these years is still tight. To this day, if you get in trouble, all you have to do is make a phone call and you’ll have people there to help you out.” Contrino added the Capitol employees were known

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throughout the industry and many were plucked out and went on to work for the artists, including Southside Johnny, Prince and Springsteen. “We’re sort of like a motorcycle club,” said Parlow, “without the motorcycles.” The Capitol Family The Capitol employees began getting together in 2010, organized by the late Billy Vitale, who had dreamed of a reunion. They gather each year with members coming from as far as The legendary Capitol Theatre, near the intersection of Monroe St. and Main Hawaii and a smaller group meetAve. in Passaic where Rock & Roll history was made, being demolished in 1991. ing periodically. In his basement, Parlow keeps “We’d be together sometimes Thursday through three seats from the Capitol and has the theatre’s anSaturday,” Contrino said. “We came to depend on one tique exit signs, rescued after the final fire. another, trust one another and know we had each othChris Cooke, Ann Marie’s husband whom she met er’s backs.” at the theatre and is its former security director, keeps With the opening of the nearby Brendan Byrne a “Capitol Memorial Garden” in his backyard, with Arena in 1981, the bands gradually began abandonthe side of a seat frame at the center and bricks from ing the Capitol. the theatre encircling it. The theatre’s last concert was by Duran Duran “John Scher was a good boss to work for,” Cooke on March 11, 1989 (tickets for the show were $20said. “Like any relationship, you have your ups and 18.50). The band ended the performance with their downs, but he supports us and comes to the reunions. hit song Rio. For two years in a row, we’ve submitted his name for The Capitol soon fell into disrepair. consideration in the New Jersey Hall of Fame.” “There were a few fires before the last one,” Cooke The Capitol crew also worked for Scher in shows said of the Capitol’s last years, his voice pained thinkproduced at the Casino Arena and Convention Hall in ing of it. “Then vagrants got inside.” Asbury Park, Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City and During the first part of 1991, there were four blazes the Meadowlands Arena and Giants Stadium. set inside the theatre. The fifth one on April 15 burned A bunch also worked at the 1977 Raceway Rock the Capitol’s distinctive facade and marquee, and the concert at Englishtown Raceway with 150,000 in atCity of Passaic ripped it down, fearing it would coltendance, maybe the largest gathering in New Jersey lapse onto Monroe St. history. The rest of the Capitol followed. Today, stores and “Some of those years were lean,” said Contrino, a parking lot stand on the site. “right in the middle of the recession and gas crisis. It Like Elvis, the Stones, Springsteen and others have was not that easy to put butts in the seats, even with left the building… never to return. some great acts. “The kids didn’t have any money—some bad ecoMany of the Capitol Theatre’s concerts are thanknomic times. But John made it through.” fully preserved online. View them on YouTube. More And so did his coworkers and friends, who realize info is also available at capitoltheatrepassaic.com today how special their time together was.

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HOT DOG NIGHT

2018 @ Passaic on Thanksgiving Day, 10am

Passaic vs. Clifton A history of one of New Jersey’s most storied Turkey Day rivalries

1923 Indians

37 Wins 47 Losses 5 Ties

Mustangs 47 Wins 37 Losses 5 Ties

1923.....Clifton 12............ Passaic 7 1924.....Passaic 23.............Clifton 0 1925.....Passaic 21.............Clifton 6 1926.....Passaic 21.............Clifton 6 1927.....Passaic 13.............Clifton 0 1928.....Passaic 24.............Clifton 0 1929.....Passaic 24.............Clifton 0 1930.....Passaic 26.............Clifton 0

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1931.....Passaic 7...............Clifton 0 1932.....Passaic 26.............Clifton 7 1933.....Clifton 7.............. Passaic 6 1934.....Passaic 26.............Clifton 0 1935.....Passaic 6...............Clifton 0 1936.....Passaic 34...........Clifton 14 1937.....Passaic 6...............Clifton 0 1938.....Passaic 19.............Clifton 6 1939.....Passaic 31.............Clifton 6 1940.....Passaic 13.............Clifton 6 1941.....Passaic 0...............Clifton 0 1942.....Passaic 19.............Clifton 0 1943.....Clifton 12............ Passaic 6 1944.....Clifton 26............ Passaic 6 1945.....Clifton 6.............. Passaic 0

1946.....Clifton 26.......... Passaic 14 1947.....Clifton 32............ Passaic 0 1948.....Clifton 7.............. Passaic 7 1949.....Clifton 12............ Passaic 0 1950.....Passaic 20.............Clifton 7 1951.....Clifton 26............ Passaic 6 1952.....Clifton 33.......... Passaic 12 1953.....Clifton 21.......... Passaic 20 1954.....Passaic 7...............Clifton 6 1955.....Passaic 7...............Clifton 0 1956.....Clifton 48............ Passaic 0 1957.....No Game 1958.....Clifton 40............ Passaic 7 1959.....Clifton 41.......... Passaic 21 1960.....Clifton 28............ Passaic 6 1961.....Clifton 35............ Passaic 7 1962.....Clifton 31............ Passaic 6 1963.....Clifton 50............ Passaic 0 1964.....Passaic 27.............Clifton 0 1965.....Clifton 15.......... Passaic 13 1966.....Clifton 7.............. Passaic 0


1967.....Passaic 7...............Clifton 7 1968.....Clifton 27.......... Passaic 10 1969.....Clifton 40............ Passaic 0 1970.....Clifton 49............ Passaic 0 1971.....Clifton 20.......... Passaic 12 1972.....Clifton 35............ Passaic 6 1973.....Clifton 75.......... Passaic 12 1974.....Clifton 47............ Passaic 6 1975.....No Game 1976.....Clifton 28............ Passaic 6 1977.....No Game 1978.....No Game 1979.....No Game

1980.....No Game 1981.....Passaic 20.............Clifton 3 1982.....Passaic 33.............Clifton 0 1983.....Passaic 20.............Clifton 7 1984 ....Clifton 16............ Passaic 0 1985 ....Passaic 28.............Clifton 7 1986 ....Passaic 21.............Clifton 8 1987.....Clifton 24.......... Passaic 13 1988.....Clifton 22.......... Passaic 22 1989.....Passaic 22.............Clifton 0 1990.....Passaic 14.............Clifton 7 1991.....Passaic 33...........Clifton 16 1992.....Passaic 13...........Clifton 10

1993.....Passaic 0...............Clifton 0 1994.....Passaic 12.............Clifton 7 1995.....Passaic 21.............Clifton 7 1996.....Clifton 23............ Passaic 6 1997.....Passaic 22...........Clifton 20 1998.....Passaic 25.............Clifton 0 1999.....Passaic 20.............Clifton 7 2000.....Clifton 21.......... Passaic 14 2001.....Clifton 20.......... Passaic 19 2002.....Clifton 19.......... Passaic 14 2003.....Clifton 17............ Passaic 0 2004.....Clifton 48............ Passaic 0 2005.....Clifton 7.............. Passaic 6 2006.....Clifton 14.......... Passaic 12 2007.....Clifton 18....... ...Passaic 13 2008.....Clifton 28............ Passaic 0 2009.....Clifton 7.............. Passaic 0 2010.....Clifton 42............ Passaic 0 2011......Clifton 55.......... Passaic 29 2012.....Passaic 29.............Clifton 0 2013.....Clifton 21............ Passaic 6 2014.....Clifton 20.......... Passaic 14 2015.....Clifton 35.......... Passaic 12 2016.....Clifton 48.......... Passaic 20 2017.....Passaic 42...........Clifton 35

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Clifton’s Storyteller

Ralph and Barbara Davella, Bob D’Arco, Norm Tahan, Bob Fierro, Ken Kurnath and John Filippone.

Mustangs Road Trip

When the Clifton Mustangs football team kicked-off its season in Canton, Ohio, Sept 7, they played before the smallest opening day crowd in CHS’s history. “We tried to do the wave,” laughed Norm Tahan, “but there were only 30 of us in the stands.” That mattered little as Clifton beat Northern Highlands, 28-14, at Tom Benson Stadium, located at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “The Mustangs were amazing,” said Bob Fierro, one of Tahan’s traveling cohorts. “They dominated the second half, including a nine-and-a-half minute drive.”

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With Clifton leading, 21-14, quarterback Armani Brinson marched the Mustangs down the field, sneaking in for a touchdown with just over a minute left, his third TD of the game, sealing the victory. While the Mustangs’ win was reported in the newspapers, another story was taking place—that of the journey of Tahan, Fierro and friends Bob D’Arco, Ken Kurnath, John Filippone and Ralph and Barbara Davella, who boarded Tahan’s RV at 6 am the day before and traveled 1,000 miles round-trip to watch their beloved Mustangs.


The day before the game, they stopped first at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. “I liked it better than the NFL Hall of Fame,” said Fierro. “There was an Elvis display, Springsteen, cool stuff.” Tahan drove every mile of the trip. “I’m very particular about who drives the RV,” he said. “Most people have never driven anything bigger than an SUV, and this is a bit different. But that’s what I got it for—to have good times with family and friends.” “We all took turns,” said Fierro, “keeping Norm company in the front. In the back, we laughed, joked and talked about all the things you’re not supposed to— like religion and politics.” Like his friends, Tahan has a long history of rooting for the Mustangs.

Though he didn’t go to CHS (he graduated from Paul IV), Tahan started going to Clifton games in the early sixties with his dad, Basil, and remembers watching the Mustangs play Garfield from his father’s shoulders one Thanksgiving Day. “Even when I was at Paul IV,” he said, “I went to the Clifton games. When my kids played at Clifton (son Joseph played football, baseball and indoor track; daughter Nicole played soccer), I watched them. Now, I just go to watch all the sports.” Another moment of Clifton pride took place at the NFL Hall of Fame. “The team had been there the day before,” said Tahan, “and we walked in with Clifton shirts. The people working there said, ‘Your boys were very well behaved yesterday. Do you have a grooming policy? Because they were all dressed well, too.’ “It was great hearing those unsolicited compliments about the kids.” Looking forward to the playoffs this season, Tahan and his travel mates are ready for a another Mustangs road trip in 2019. “We heard that there’s talk of the team going on another trip next year,” Tahan said, “and if they do, then we’re going!”

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Photo Garfield Historical Society

A City of

CHAMPIONS Garfield High’s 1939 mythical national championship team has strong Clifton roots.

By Jack DeVries Benny Babula waited for the snap. Garfield’s great running back was about to do something he had never attempted in his storied high school football career: kick a field goal. The Orange Bowl’s goal posts beckoned on that warm Christmas night, as the Miami (Fla.) High Stingarees crouched at the line of scrimmage, desperate to block the kick. Under two minutes remained in the 13-13 game. Back in Garfield, it seemed the entire city of 29,000 had pressed inside the School 8 gymnasium, braving 22 degree temperatures to get there. When the gym overflowed, a custodian flung open the classroom doors to fit more people. On the gym’s stage, an announcer prepared to read the play-by-play of Babula’s kick from the tickertape set up by the Herald-News. Just before the snap came, Babula (no. 16 in the above photo) made the sign of the cross as he had done so often in his home church of St. Joseph’s in Passaic.

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The ball was snapped, Babula kicked and the ball floated up toward the goal posts into the moonlit Miami night… Labor of Love As Clifton loves its Mustangs, Garfield loves its Boilermakers—especially its native son, author Hank Gola, a former sportswriter for the New York Daily News. Gola has written the definitive book, City of Champions, about Garfield’s game against Miami for the mythical high school national championship of 1939, transporting readers back in time. The book is a study of contrasts—of north and south, winter and perpetual summer, and grit and affluence. Gola provides an exhaustive history of the de-


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SPORTS HISTORY termined and mostly first-generation Gola chronicles the teams starting in Eastern European and Italian, Irish and the 1937 season and follows each to the German players from Garfield, and the 1939 title game, christened the “Health defiant Southerners from Miami. Bowl” by the National Sports FoundaAs you read, you can feel America tion with proceeds going to fight infanshaking off its Depression dust and the tile paralysis. winds of WWII intensifying. He details rivalries on both sides, esStarting his work four years ago, pecially Garfield’s battles with IrvingGola said his only regret was “I didn’t ton, Bloomfield and Passaic (Clifton start 15 years sooner, when so many was mediocre then), as well as the undemore players from both teams were feated Boilermakers choice as Miami’s still around.” Still, he fills his 466 pagopponent—despite overtures from New es with facts and buried anecdotes— York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia including how the Garfield Boilerand New York Governor Herbert LehHank Gola makers, formerly the Comets, got their man to pick an Empire State team. (photo Julianne Gola Papa) name. Throughout, Gola weaves a compelIn 1931, players printed their favorling tale, transporting readers until they ite college team on their hip pads, and Garfield player and are sitting in the stands watching the game, knowing alPurdue fan Larry Grinch wrote “BOILERMAKERS” on most as much about the teams as the actual 1939 fans. his. Since Hackensack High was also called the Comets, Garfield coach Art Argauer wanted a new team name. Clifton Ties “I’m not the Pope,” he said to his players. “But I chrisGola’s story is also significant to Clifton. Had it not ten you all Boilermakers.” been for a few determined CHS students and their coach Even if there wasn’t a boiler plant in Garfield, Argauer Carlton Palmer, the Garfield-Miami game would have liked the name’s blue-collar sound. never taken place.

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SPORTS HISTORY

Charles Argauer’s tailor shop at the corner of Clifton and Main Aves. where son Art was recruited to play for Clifton’s first football team (photo Clifton Public Library); right, Coach Argauer on the sidelines (photo Walter Young collection).

In 1921, Clifton’s Milt Sutter and his friends began circulating a petition to form a high school team at CHS. They enlisted Palmer’s help, who secured $300 from the school board for equipment and uniforms. However, Palmer was not content to enter the first season with just Sutter and his friends. Because of the era’s

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lax high school age rules, Palmer recruited young men like Vince Chimenti, 18, from Brooklyn; Ray Bednarcik, 20, out of a local silk mill; and William Ziegler, 19, employed by the railroad, to strengthen his team. He also lured Art Argauer, 20, out of his father’s tailor shop on the corner of Main and Clifton Aves.


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SPORTS HISTORY With his powerful recruits, CHS was a first-year sensation, going 9-1. Argauer played three seasons for Clifton. Inspired by Palmer, he became Garfield’s head coach in 1930 and complied a 177-67-13 record in the high school ranks. He ended his career as Clifton High’s athletic director in 1964. Mustangs coach Joe Grecco called Argauer a mentor. The star of Garfield’s 1939 team, Benny Babula was also from Clifton, living on Trimble Ave. Argauer had recruited talent like Palmer. Because Babula’s father owned a wholesale meat distribution business in Garfield, Argauer was able to use the address as Benny’s “official” residence, bringing the 6’1” 191-pound player to the Boliermakers. Blessed with a powerful arm, booming punting leg and bruising running ability, Babula made nearly every newspaper’s all-state team and was recruited by powerhouse Fordham University (knee injuries hampered his college career). With wavy blond hair and Flash Gordon looks, Babula was a media magnet, who was quick to praise his teammates. His kick in the Orange Bowl gave him high school immortality. Back to the Game… As Gola writes: “The kick was no thing of beauty but it was indeed granted Godspeed and accuracy as it eked over the crossbar. From the goal line, referee Harkness used only one arm to signal good. Perhaps he doubted it himself. Babula sunk to both knees in thanks to the heavens.” When the gun sounded that night, Garfield had defeated Miami, 16-13, to win the national championship, making New Jersey the king of high school football.

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Hometown History Gola’s book is filled with other stories—of Garfield’s wagon filled with local water brought to the Orange Bowl; of Argauer’s insistence of his players spitting the water out to show they were unaffected by the heat; and of the segregation of the south the Garfield boys saw firsthand. Gola also highlights Garfield’s “Boy Mayor” John Gabriel, sage Herald-News sportswriter Art McMahon, and young Garfield vocalist Letty Barbour, whose later obituary failed to mention her early fame as a songstress. On his pages lives fearsome Miami star “Li’l Davey” Eldridge, who would shred Garfield for 211 yards in defeat, and the indomitable Boilermaker John Grembowitz, who would die in an aerial training accident near the end of WWII. It is truly a book of local heroes—ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things. So has Gola. With his tireless research, he has crafted a great read for fans of football and local history. He has also written a book to make his late father proud—the man who told him stories of Garfield’s victory and the great Benny Babula. And he has honored his friend Walter Young, one of the last of the 1939 Boilermakers who helped Gola with his research. The day before he died, Young’s son read Gola’s first chapter to his father on his hospice bed. Though Walter flickered in and out, his son Dave was sure he heard Gola’s words. It gave him one final time to relive an incredible story. Hank Gola will discuss his book, City of Champions, on Nov. 18 at the Clifton Jewish Center and Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Clifton Public Library. Learn more about the book at hankgola.com/city-of-champions.

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Retired Firefighter Jerry Ferrence,

seen at left, who served four years with the U.S. Marines from 1957 to 1961, will be the grand marshal of the Nov. 4 Clifton Veteran’s Parade. While the parade honors all who served to protect our nation, in peace and at war, it acknowledges the centennial of the Armistice that ended World War I, signed at 11 am on 11/11, 1918. Approximately 20 million people died in the war to end all wars. The parade begins at 2 pm at the intersection of Huron and Van Houten Aves. and continues to the reviewing stand on the steps at City Hall. To participate, or become a sponsor, contact Keith Oakley at 201-774-6666 or email him at oaknuts26@aol.com.

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Avenue of Flags volunteers are needed on Nov. 11, at dawn to help set up, and at dusk, to break down and store 2,065 flags.

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Blue skies prevailed on Sunday, Oct. 28 for Clifton’s

Halloween Parade & HarvestFest. It began at Van Houten and Huron Aves. and paraded through Athenia led by the Marching Mustangs whose drum section was powered by the Energizer Bunny. Along the route, they picked up groups of costumed kids, moms, dads and animals, including the crew from Dance World Academy who did a kickin’ Thriller show. Their destination was the City Hall complex where judges selected the best costumes, from kids up to age 12, teens, adults, families, floats and pets. Sarah Dupree won top prize in the apple pie contest, followed by Donna Popowich and Fatimah Pesocan, with honorable mentions to Ruth Oyanguren, Naomi Oyanguren and Marlene Chidiac. Enjoy lots of photos on the following pages...!

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TRUNK At Schools 3, 9 and Rainbow Montessori

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OR TREAT

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Freshman Jacob Maldonado, sophomore Camille Yambao, junior Andrea Dubbels and senior Qusai Jabbar

November has arrived for Mustangs of the Month.

The vice principals from each Clifton High wing have spotlighted four students who have gotten a head start on the latest activities on the campus, one from each grade. Growing Beyond the Classroom Senior Qusai Jabbar has found a friend and teacher in Mr. Bryan Armstrong, one who can help him translate his broad interests into activities both during and after class. Committed to making sure every student reaches their potential, Mr. Armstrong’s classroom is designed to give special education students as many opportunities for growth as possible. With his strong interests in computation, consumer, and money skills, it’s no wonder Jabbar’s favorite subject is math. Jabbar participates in the Special Olympics of New Jersey for track and field and bowling, and shoots hoops at the basketball court in his downtime. Jabbar might put those skills to use at any number of employers as the countdown to graduation begins. He misses friends who have since moved on from the special ed program at CHS, and the time to transition into the adult world is coming soon for him as well. While he’s currently employed at Stop N Shop in Clifton, Jabbar hopes to join his father in the family’s food business. No Workload Too Large Junior Andrea Dubbels is shaping up to be the Renaissance woman of her class year. She sprints on the

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girls cross country and track teams. She thrives in the science labs. From the pit of the CHS orchestra (where she is a cellist) to her role as the recording secretary for meetings of the Junior Class Student Council, there is never a dull moment with Dubbels’ packed list of activities. “The beginning of the year is always daunting for me due to adapting to new classes and schedules,” said Dubbels. “However, I have repeatedly learned to manage the work that I have received.” Dr. Lori McCoy has been her most influential teacher. “She is a teacher that understands not only the importance of her class,” she said, “but everything her students are juggling in their lives.” Dubbels is considering majoring in Chemistry and entering pharmaceuticals in college as a result of her “fun, stimulating” experiences with McCoy. On top of the physics and chemistry is a knack for literature. “I have a passion for writing and being and author is my ideal career.,” Dubbels said. “I love the endless arguments I conduct with my friends about our favorite authors, book characters, and fandoms.” One of her goals it to get a book published and printed before the end of the school year.


“To many students, the easiest way to have a good high school experience is to simply be like everyone else,” said Dubbels. “This problem could be addressed through a stronger acceptance of individuality.” “Individuality” in her case means staying right on course as an standout student. Empowering Girls Everywhere Sophomore Camille Yambao has adjusted well to CHS and is looking for more ways to get involved. Her favorite subject is chemistry, but more important to her is the chemistry a good club can add to each day. Already a member of the Sophomore Student Council, Key Club, Asian Club and the Tennis team, Yambao has her sights set on Clifton High’s branch of GLI, or Girls Learn International. GLI’s mission is to promote female education and empowerment in countries not as developed as the United States. Members fundraise for other branches and campaign for human rights abroad. This list of extracurriculars could already pad a strong college application, but Yambao isn’t done yet. “I also see myself taking advantage of either the PCCC or MSU academic programs, maybe in my senior year.”

Yambao’s 8th grade teacher Mrs. Nicole Russo was most influential to her for her kindness and skill at helping her understand material. She hopes the tips she learned at staying organized will help her stay away from feeling overwhelmed by work or procrastinating. Sweat and Hard Work Ahead Freshman Jacob Maldonado dived full steam into Clifton High’s athletics programs. Whether it’s catching passes in football, perfecting his techniques in wrestling or vying for a varsity spot on the lacrosse team, his hobbies are sports-based. He’s made close bonds with his friends on the teams, which has helped with the transition from middle to high school. When asked for his favorite subject, Maldonado replied, “Language Arts is the class that interests me the most. It has my favorite teacher.” That would be Mrs. Renee Holland, who Maldonado enjoys for, “Talking about the real world and being very realistic.” He also cites his father as an inspiration for being a hardworking man, and believes all problems that students have with grades can be solved through working harder.

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CLASS OF 1948

On Oct. 11, CHS Class of 1948 celebrated their 70th class reunion at Mario’s Restaurant. Twenty-six members gathered to remember their high school days at what is now Christopher Columbus Middle School. As keeper of the ’48 class log Angela Guilli wrote then, they “set sail on the great liner CHS.” Their journey continues today.

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PICK 7 ON NOV. 6

7 MEMBERS ON THE CITY COUNCIL, 9 ON THE BOARD OF EDUCATION City Council candidates pictured at the Palestinian Community Center on Lakeview Ave. Oct. 11 for the candidate forum: seated, from left, Joe Kolodziej, George Silva, Mary Sadrakula, Lauren Murphy and Peter Eagler; standing Malvin Frias, Frank Fusco, Steve Hatala, Bill Gibson, Ray Grabowski, James Anzaldi and Steve Goldberg. Not pictured: Rosemary Pino.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6, with polling hours from 6 am to 8 pm. All seven seats for the Clifton City Council will be decided. In last month’s magazine, we profiled the 13 candidates. We also featured six Board of Education candidates then vying for three seats, but things have changed. Passaic County Superior Court Judge Ernie Caposela agreed with a challenge to move the Clifton BOE election from November back to April 16, 2019, when residents will vote for three candidates as well as the BOE budget. The Nov. 6 election will also decide which candidates will represent New Jersey in the Senate and Congress. A nasty battle has heated up between Democratic Senator Bob Menendez and Republican challenger Bob Hugin. Congressman Bill Pascrell is also running, as are Passaic County Democratic incumbent Freeholders Cassandra “Sandi” Lazzara, Assad Akhter and John Bartlett. Danielle Ireland-Imhof is running for County Clerk against Republican Ron Fava. Republican Gary Passenti heads the charge as a candidate for Freeholder along with Frank Pietropaolo and Lori Mambelli.

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Clifton is operated under a council–manager form of government. The mayor and council’s role is to establish policy, pass laws, approve budgets, advocate citizen concerns and set policy for of the operation of the government. Clifton’s city manager—who is appointed by the mayor and council—is to enforce the council’s policy and to manage the day-to-day operation of the city. A seven-member council is elected at-large in a non-partisan election held once every four years. The next election will be held this coming Nov. 6. Unlike the Clifton Board of Education, all seven Clifton City Council seats are up for election simultaneously. Residents do not vote for the mayor, as he or she is appointed by acclimation by the seven newly-elected council members. Traditionally, but not law, the highest vote getter is chosen to be mayor. Council members, who are considered part-time employees and receive a health and medical benefits package, are paid $4,000 annually; the mayor receives $4,500.


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Also on the ballot, Congressman Bill Pascrell, Senator Bob Menendez and his opponent Bob Hugin, Passaic County Democratic candidates Sandi Lazzara, Assad Akhter, John Bartlett, Danielle Ireland-Imhof. They are opposed by Republican candidates Ron Fava, Gary Passenti, Frank Pietropaolo and Lori Mambelli.

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The city council meets and third Tuesday The daily operation of the Clifton schools is run by forevery County Clerk for Freeholder for Freeholder for forfirst County Clerk for Freeholder for Freeholder for County Clerk for Freeholder for Freeholder for Freeholder for Freeholder for Freeholder at 7 pm at Clifton City Hall, 900 Clifton Ave. Meetings the superintendent, appointed by the BOE, to manage are televised live on Clifton’s Cable TV Channel 77. day-to-day responsibilities and enforce policies manFormer County Prosecutor, •Prosecutor, Sergeant & 20-Year • Certified NJ• Public • M • Former Prosecutor, • Sergeant & 20-Year • of Certified NJ PublicNJ Public • County Former CountyNJ • Sergeant &Department 20-Year Certified County Prosecutor, • Sergeant &•20-Year • Certified Public Manager, NJ’s largest dated by the New• Jersey Education and Assemblyman Veteran, City of Clifton Manager; Masters Degree, Judge, Assemblyman Veteran, City of Clifton Manager; Masters Degree, Judge, Assemblyman Veteran, City of Clifton Manager; Mastersco D AssemblymanClifton Board Veteran, CityJudge, of Clifton Manager; Masters Degree, construction company of Education the elected BOE. and Acting Sheriff Police Department Administrative Science and Acting Sheriff Police Department Administrative Science and Acting Sheriff Police Department Administrative Scien ng Sheriff Police Department Administrative Science • M • Manages multi-million With 19 schools and more than 10,000 students and • Member, New Jersey • President, Clifton Board of •ofFormer Member, New Jersey • President, Clifton • Former • Member, New Jersey • Office President, Clifton Board ofAdjunct • Adjunct Former Adjunct do , New Jersey1,200 employees, • President, Clifton Board of • Former Adjunct dollarBoard budget and Clifton is •the second largest public Running for & Passaic County Education, 2012-Present Professor, FDU School co & Passaic County Education, 2012-Present Professor, FDU & Passaic County Education, 2012-Present FDU Sch c County school district Education, contractrunning negotiations in New 2012-Present Jersey. In addition toProfessor, the kin- FDU School If you are considering for office onProfessor, eitherSchool Bar Associations ofserving Criminal Bar Associations of Criminal Justice Bar Associations ofof Criminal Justice ciations of Criminal dergarten•through 12thWounded grade program, Clifton Public •Justice the•BOE orWounded council, consider on Justice one the Supporter, • M Supporter, Wounded •city Supporter, Wounded Supporter, • Mentor & Coach, Wayne Schools also operates a federally-funded pre-school many statutory and advisory boards, and commissions • Former Chair, Boy • Retired Captain; Warrior & Special gi • Former Chair, Boy • Retired Captain; Warrior & Special • Former Chair, Boy Warrior & Special • Retired Captain; Chair, Boy • Retired Captain; Warrior & Special girls softball, flag football program for eligible three-to-five year-olds. and committees, ranging from the beautification comof America, Olympics Managed multi-million an ofScouts America, OlympicsOlympics Managed multi-million of America, Managed multi-millio f America, Olympics ScoutsScouts Managed multi-million and boys basketball The pre-school program is for students who have mittee to the zoning board. Passaic Valley Council, dollar grants. PresidentPassaic Valley Council, dollar grants. PresidentPassaic Valley Council, dollar grants. Preside Valley Council, dollar grants. Presidentphysical andDistrict developIt will give prospective candidates aElect tastePaterson ofElect whatPaterson is Northof Valley District Elect Paterson Rotary North Valley Rotary North Valley District Rotar alley District been diagnosed with a variety Elect Paterson Rotary mental disabilities. involved in public service. Setting policy for the district and overseeing the budAnother good place to get involved is a board posiget is a the nine-member elected Clifton Board of Edtion with a neighborhood home & school association. Passaic Palm Card_general.indd 1 Card_general.indd Passaic Palm Card_general.indd 1 Passaic Palm 1 ndd 1 8/2/18 6:56 AM ucation. Start by volunteering in a classroom. School board commissioners are unpaid and receive Anyone interested in serving on a board, commission no health benefits. They serve three-year terms, with or committee should express their interest in writing to three seats up for election in April of each year. OperClifton’s City Clerk Nancy Ferrigno or expressing your ating independently from the Clifton City Council, the interest with any of the seven city council members. BOE consists of elected community residents. BOE meetings are the second and fourth Wednesday Getting Started of the month, September through June. During July and The next election open to candidates is to serve on August, the BOE meets monthly. Meetings are televised the Clifton Board of Education, and the BOE offers an live, from 7-9:30 pm on Clifton’s Cable TV Channel 77. easy-to-use info packet to get started and available at Numerous committee meetings and planning sesthe BOE business office at 745 Clifton Ave. For more sions also take place each month. Most meetings are at information and specific details, call the board’s busithe BOE Offices, 745 Clifton Ave. ness office at 973-470-2288.

nty Clerk

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CHS THESPIANS

These Mustangs will turn the stage at CHS into “the thrilling days of yesteryear” by presenting the old-time radio play, the Mark of Zorro. The actors will be on stage performing the play, as well as commercials for sponsors’ products from that time period. Students will also be creating various sound effects next to the actors as was done when radio plays were presented in the past. The audience will actually be witnessing a “play within a play,” since the performance of the radio play takes place in the 1940s and the adventures of Zorro—a masked avenger who makes the sign of the “Z” with his rapier—happens in the early 1800s when California belonged to Spain. Pictured are Mark of Zorro performers Dayanara Moran, Ian Kearney, Sarah Siano, Michael Da Silva, Angelina Reyes, Sebastian Gallon, Nevaly Placencia, Evan Martinez, Danielle Nelken, Christian Collazo and Anthony Zawrak. Missing are Aysu Cengiz and Sylvia Dwornicki. Performances dates and times are Friday, and Saturday, Nov. 16 and 17 at 7 pm; Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2 pm. For more information, visit the website our.show/cliftonboe/zorrochs

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MARCHING MUSTANGS

James Moscati (1938-1950)

Stanley Opalach (1950-1956)

Saul Kay (1956-1970)

West Milford Drum Majors Theresa Santa Lucia, Connor Partington and Cindy Cintron stand with Mustangs Drum Major Matt Troller.

Patrick Curcio (1970-1972)

Bob Morgan (1973-2016)

In last month’s article, “A Legacy Spanning Generations,” we incorrectly identified two of the Marching Mustang band directors; above is a corrected lineup with years served, plus current Mustangs director Bryan Stepneski (above). The Marching Mustangs will perform at an indoor musical showcase, the West Milford Highlander Marching Band Bagpipe Concert and Tattoo, on Nov. 10 at 6:30 pm at West Milford High School at 67 Highlander Drive, West Milford. Advance tickets range from $10 to $20 with children under 4 free. For more information, visit wmhighlanderband.com or call or text Eileen Marzalik at 973-699-8664.

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MANGIA SCOUTS! Boy Scout Troop 21 will be having their Annual Spaghetti Dinner on Nov. 4 from noon to 5 pm at the St. Philip Auditorium, 797 Valley Rd. Adults $10, seniors $8, kids (4-11) $5. Under 4 years free with an adult. Dinner includes all-you-caneat spaghetti with homemade sauce, fresh salad, garlic bread and dessert. Refreshments will also be served. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

The Chopin Singing Society presents its 14th Annual Christmas Concert on Dec. 2, at 3 pm at the Polish Peoples Home, 1-3 Monroe St., Passaic. Tickets are $40, which includes hot Polish buffet, guest choir and guest artists. Call Arthur Sroka 973-641-9174 for information or tickets.

American Legion Post 8 would like to acknowledge Regina Mundi K of C 3969 of St. Andrew’s Parish for their support of many years in sending the students on the Boys State trip profiled in last month’s issue.

Fighting Jeffries, a team in the Relay for Life Clifton, will be hosting a beefsteak in memory of Jeff Dvorak Nov. 17 from 6:30 to 10:30 pm at the Clifton Elks Lodge, 775 Clifton Ave. Proceeds benefit the team. The donation of $55 will include Nightingale beefsteak, beer and soda (cash bar available). Contact Ryan Dvorak for tickets at 973 477-4381 or email at rdvorak18@yahoo. com, or Marianne Dvorak at 973 464-1391

Bloomfield Symphony Orchestra, Israel Herman, conductor, opens its 86th Concert Season on Nov. 18, at 3 pm. in Bloomfield Middle School, 60 Huck Road, Bloomfield. The program will be Carl Maria von Weber Overture to Oberon, Max Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 (Pastorale). Featured soloist will be violinist Susan Heerema. Tickets are $15 adult and $11 student/senior. For more info, go to www.bloomfieldsymphony.org or call 609-273-6869.

Relay for Life of Clifton 2019 will be at Clifton Stadium on May 18 from 2 pm to midnight. The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life is a celebration of hope and survivorship. Team members take turns walking or running on the track in the spirit of fighting cancer. Cancer never sleeps and neither do the teams. For more about Relay for Life Clifton visit www.relayforlife.org/ cliftonnj. If you need information on the services provided by ACS visit cancer.org.

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PUMPKIN PICKIN

Garden State Honda brought the farm to Clifton last month. The dealership purchased thousands of pumpkins to give to customers and set enough aside to donate to the Clifton Boys & Girls Club. More than 50 Club members took home a harvest-time prize. Coordinating the pumpkin-picking event were Garden State Honda General Manager Eric St. Hilaire and Club Resource Director John DeGraaf. Garden State Honda has a long history of supporting the Club, most recently sponsoring a summer dance party.

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GOLF FOR DMC

Closest to the Pin Shootout winner Adam Cutler (center) is presented with a $2,500 check by Golf Committee Co-Chairs (left to right) Andrew Kanter, Alex Fleysher, Leslie Levine and David Kessler.

Drenching rain and floods could not stop the golfers at the 38th Annual Daughters of Miriam Golf Classic. Rescheduled from Aug. 13 to Oct. 3, the tournament took place on a beautiful day at the Arcola Country Club in Paramus. The outing brought business and community leaders together for a day of golf and providing support. “The combination of a great day benefiting a great cause­—raising money for Alzheimer’s and dementia care—proved an unbeatable combination,” said one of the event’s co-chairpersons David Kessler. Sponsors included: Premier Flag Sponsors; McCutchen Foundation; Gutenstein Family Foundation; A.L. Levine Family Foundation; Levco Shopping Centers; Sylvia and Avi Safer, Safer Textiles; Carole and Joel J. Steiger; Valley National Bank; Cole Schotz,

P.C.; Integra Housing Group and The Joined Management Team; and Leslie, Peter and Rachel Levine; and Planned Companies. Other sponsors included Jay Horwitz; Partners Pharmacy; Evco Mechanical; Anne and Andrew Kanter; Lisa and David Kessler; Nursing Network; Dr. Dely Go, Stephen A. Ploscowe, Fox Rothschild; Randi and Tedd Kochman; OptumCare; The Preferred Client Group; St. Mary’s Hospital and Wuhl Investment Group. Daughters of Miriam Center/The Gallen Institute on Hazel St. is a state-of-the-art long-term care and subacute facility. Founded in 1921, the Center is a non-profit, non-sectarian organization with a mission to provide quality health care and housing for seniors in an environment which respects traditions and lifestyles. Call Caren Speizer at 973-253-5281 for more info.

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NOVA Opening

On Oct. 20 Board Chair Michael Lewko, at left, and CEO Val Bogattchouk, cutting the ribbon at the Nova UA Federal Credit Union building. Below from left: George Oliarnyk, Walter Voinov, Lewko, Bogattchouk, Pawlo Figol, Volodymyr Hunko, Jaroslav Fedun and Nicholas Kosciolek.

Nova UA Federal Credit Union held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 20 to celebrate the completed construction of its main facility at 851 Allwood Rd. At the core of the name “Nova” is the concept of innovation - the process of meeting new challenges with new approaches. And in Latin, as well as in Ukrainian, the word “nova” simply means new. “We understood that to maintain our service to our members, the credit union needed to expand not only our physical location, but the way we do business overall,” said CEO Val Bogattchouk. “With our rapid growth and the increasing demand for mobile banking and online services, we remain committed to the credit union philosophy of people helping people, being owned by our members and serving our community,” Rates offered for IRAs and CDs are the highest in the region, and Bogattchouk said while personal service remains at its core, mobile banking is just a click away.

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In short, he added, Nova has grown and become a “The New Way to Do Your Banking.” Established in 1959 to serve the Ukrainian American community, the credit union officially opened in Jan. 1960 as Self Reliance (Passaic, NJ) Federal Credit Union in a rented room within the Ukrainian National Home on Hope Ave in Passaic. “We had zero assets,” stated Bogattchouk. “There were no investors. People became members and deposited five and ten dollars. As our assets grew we began making small loans for cars and home improvements… then mortgages.” Led by a Board of Directors who purchased its present location at 851 Allwood Rd., in 1989, the Board shortly after changed the charter to allow anyone who works, lives worships or attends school in Passaic County to join. Find out more. Go to novafcu.com or visit them at 851 Allwood Rd. or 237 Dayton Ave.


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Birthdays & Celebrations - November 2018

Happy Birthday to.... Send dates & names .... tomhawrylko@optonline.net

Julie-Anne Cupoli & Michael Sanchez were engaged Oct. 19. The happy couple is currently living in Boca Raton Florida. Jazzlyn Caba.................... 11/1 Robyn Jo Paci.................... 11/2 Thomas Scancarella........... 11/2 Kelly Tierney...................... 11/3 Paul Guzowski................... 11/3 Lance Dearing................... 11/4 Olivia Nysk....................... 11/4 Andrew Seitz..................... 11/4 Mr. Cupcakes.................... 11/4 Victoria Krzysztofczyk......... 11/5 Tanya Ressetar................... 11/5 Kristina Azevedo................ 11/6 Nicole Lorraine Bonin......... 11/6 Martha Derendal............... 11/6 Danielle Osellame.............. 11/6 Kristen Soltis...................... 11/6

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Dominic LoPronto will be 4 on November 5th. Wish Rosario LaCorte a happy 72nd birthday on Nov. 16. Nicole Mokray turns 18 on Nov. 7. Bev Lacsina celebrates her 29th birthday on Nov. 8. Gabriella Marriello............ 11/7 James Ball......................... 11/7 Kevin Lord......................... 11/7 Francine Anderson............. 11/8 Ray Konopinski.................. 11/8 Beverly Lascina.................. 11/8 Marie Sanzo..................... 11/8 Donna Camp..................... 11/9 Tricia Montague................. 11/9 Brandy Stiles................... 11/10 Tom Szieber.................... 11/10

Stacey Takacs.................. 11/10 Joseph Franek III.............. 11/11 Laura Gasior................... 11/12 Geraldine Ball................. 11/13 Patricia Franek................. 11/13 Robert Paci...................... 11/13 Gregory Chase................ 11/15 Ken Peterson................... 11/15 Kathy Schmidt ................ 11/15 Matthew Phillips............... 11/16 Anthony Wrobel.............. 11/16


Niece Nancy Anne Hawrylko & Ryan Alexander MacCubbin, announced their plans to marry on Nov. 2, 2019. Nancy also celebrates her 33rd on Nov. 19. Michael Zangara............. 11/16 Marilyn Velez.................. 11/18 Joseph Tyler..................... 11/19 Joseph Guerra................. 11/20 Jon Whiting..................... 11/21 Andreas Dimitratos........... 11/22 Katerina Dimitratos........... 11/22 Margaret Egner............... 11/22 Carol Peterson................. 11/24 Brian Derendal................ 11/25 Eileen Fierro.................... 11/25 Peter Kedl....................... 11/25 Crystal Lanham................ 11/25 Rachel Prehodka-Spindel... 11/25 Brian Derendal................ 11/25 Kristen Bridda.................. 11/26 Jessi Cholewczynski......... 11/26 Dillon Curtiss................... 11/26 Bethany Havriliak............. 11/26 Kelly Moran.................... 11/27 Sami Suaifan................... 11/28 Amanda Grace Feiner...... 11/29 Anne Hetzel.................... 11/29 Christopher Seitz............. 11/29 Adeline DeVries............... 11/29 Kaitlyn Graham............... 11/30 Barbara Luzniak.............. 11/30 Cliftonmagazine.com • November 2018 

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MR. CUPCAKES

Grand Opening

While it all began 11 years ago here in Clifton, Amy and Johnny Managaniotis and his dad John, along with Garfield Mayor Richard Rigoglioso, and others, opened the fifth Mr. Cupcakes at 60 Passaic St. in Garfield. Despite the rain and cold, patrons lined up on Oct. 27 to help in the celebration. Find Mr. Cupcakes at 1216 Van Houten Ave. as well as within Paramus Park Mall, 684 Lafayette Ave. Hawthorne and at 385 Kinderkamack Rd., Oradell.

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DEDICATION

Jim Anzaldi is a lifelong Clifton resident dedicated to our city and its people. He has been a special part of the city’s civic and charitable causes, helping people from all walks of life. He is an outstanding public official who is respected throughout the community.

Jim Anzaldi deserves our support and help on November 6.

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Profile for Clifton Merchant Magazine

Clifton Merchant Magazine - November 2018  

Clifton Merchant Magazine - November 2018  

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