PRH Fall 2018

Page 1

League The


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Salute to Service 2018 Blue Sapphire Award Winners


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Vincent Lombardi Steve Highsmith Leon Huff Bob Shannon Bobby Rydell Vince Lombardi Anthony Lombardi WWW.GOHOMEPHILLY.COM

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Meet our 2018 Blue Sapphire Award Winners Leon Huff / Bobby Rydell / Steve Highsmith / Bob Shannon Jr. / Lombardi’s Prime Meats photos by Phil Kramer

34_ 2018 WISHROCK AWARD WINNERS Gabriel Bendotti / Antonia Brunetti / Eddie Cappio / Vincenzo Congialdi / Jake Kudrick / Paige Romano photos by Andrew Andreozzi




“Hey It’s Richie…” by Mark Moss


64_ MENU

A History of Breweries in Philadelphia by Matt Kelchner



Spotlight on South Philly Sports Training by Dominique Verrecchio




Top Toys 2018 vs. the 1960s

lly i h P




| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018






25% OFF HUGO’S WITH CONCERT TICKET ON NIGHT OF SHOW Subject to change at management’s discretion. Offer valid only on night of show. Must present show ticket to redeem. Excludes alcohol.







Business Spotlight: PHL Athletics South Philadelphia photo by Andrew Andreozzi



Palumbo’s, 1960s. Mary and Tony Casasanto enjoy a meet & greet with legendary ItalianAmerican singer/actor, Sergio Franchi.


Eagles QB Carson Wentz hangs out at Pastificio



Yesterday’s Songs Is there anything better than Thanksgiving dinner? by Mark Casasanto


61_ MENU

Holiday Cookie Recipes Walnut Balls / Pizzelles Courtesy of Debbie Russino


45 Spotlight: Bobby Rydell By Geno Thackara




Pain in the Ass by Dorette Rota Jackson


|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| All Great Accomplishments Begin with a Dream photo by PHIL KRAMER As part of its annual Salute to Service Program, Philadelphia RowHome Magazine presents its 2018 Blue Sapphire Award to individuals whose selfless dedication to the City of Philadelphia has left a positive impact for future generations to enjoy. We’ll see you at Vie on November 1st for our Affair to Remember XIII honoring Leon Huff, Bobby Rydell, Steve Highsmith, Bob Shannon Jr. & 3 generations of Lombardi’s Prime Meats – Vincent, Anthony & Vincent. Page 27 4

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018



Tony “Papa Luke” Lucidonio Founder, 1992

39 East Oregon Avenue Philadelphia, PA 215.551.5725 Get the real taste of South Philly online:

PRH Business Spotlight


SOUTH PHILADELPHIA A Workout You’ll Never Regret! photo by ANDREW ANDREOZZI

Coach |kōCH|noun

an athletic instructor or trainer. • a tutor who gives private or specialized teaching

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1 a gymnasium. • a membership organization that provides a range of facilities designed to improve and maintain physical fitness and health Coach. Gym. You can’t have one without the other. It takes a village, they say. And when you walk through the doors at PHL Athletics South Philadelphia, you’ll feel the energy that fuels this village. From the coaches. From the members. From the kettle bells and jump ropes that await you. From the regular people who want to look and feel better. Who realize that exercise comes in many shapes and sizes. And that journey begins with one step. It’s a workout you’ll never regret! To the team at PHL Athletics South Philadelphia – thank you from the bottom of our hearts. | Do you want RowHome to visit your hot spot? It’s easy! Call 215.462.9777 or for details.

River to River. One Neighborhood.

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(Left to Right: Billy Fulgineti , Joe Renzi, Gia Carangi, Anthony Nardini, Jack Brennan, Ron Malandro, Holly Waters, Francesca Andricola Alexander)

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8:44 AM





EDITOR Dorette Rota Jackson









Kerri-Lee Mayland






Albert Fortino


PHOTOGRAPHERS Andrew Andreozzi Phil Kramer Maria Merlino



ACCOUNT MANAGER Theresa Palestino




Kelley Bregenzer Mark Casasanto David Cava Bryan Culver Joei DeCarlo Frank DePasquale Jr., Esq Victoria DiPietro Liam Divon Larry Gallone Brett Jackson Matt Kelchner Maria Merlino Ann Moschorak

John Nacchio Vincent R. Novello, Jr. Anthony Panvini Santina Pescatore Michael Rhoades Marialena Rago Jane Roser Leo Rossi Anthony Santini John Stabeno Geno Thackara Dominique Verrecchio Robert “Woody” Woodard

PUBLISHED BY Philadelphia RowHome Inc. P.O. Box 54786 Philadelphia, PA 19148 Phone – 215.462.9777 | Fax – 215.462.9770 | Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Magazine and its contents are copyrighted. Content printed in the magazine may not be reproduced or reprinted, in whole or in part, by any other party without the expressed written consent of Philadelphia RowHome Magazine. 2018 Philadelphia RowHome Inc. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the USA. Published by Philadelphia RowHome Inc.


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018


Serving the Community since 1937

Vincent C. Gangemi, Founder (1915-2005) Vincent C. Gangemi Jr., Supervisor Randy L. Goldy, Director James L. Guercio, Funeral Director (1954-2016)

w w w. G a n g e m i F u n e r a l H o m e . n e t DEAR DORETTE, DAWN & BRENDA

In your summer 2018 edition, you featured an article about people collecting things. It inspired me to tell you about my own collection of teapots. Growing up on Clarion Street, my mother and father always drank coffee. There was always a pot of coffee brewing in our house. But in 1949, I learned that not every South Philly house loved coffee as much as we did. My boyfriend (who would soon become my husband of 67 years) visited our home and politely declined when my mother offered him a cup of coffee. You see, in his house, he only drank tea. When we got married in 1950, I decided that one of the things I would do to make a happy home was to make sure my husband always had a hot cup of tea ready. I bought a teapot and we used it every day. I even started to like tea myself. I loved that teapot and soon I was buying and collecting special teapots from wherever we went. My collection grew. Friends and family members started giving me teapots as gifts on special occasions like birthdays and Christmas. As friends and families would travel, they would bring me back teapots as keepsakes. Over the years, my collection grew to be over 250 teapots. Each teapot has its own special meaning to me. I love them all but the international ones that come from far-away places like Italy, Hong Kong, China, Ireland, Germany and England hold a special place in my heart. I also really love a special Shirley Temple teapot and cup set that I found. Now, 70 years later, I find that I am running out of room to keep all of my teapots. My curio cabinet is so full, I have decided to give some away to the people I love. Just as I received many of them as gifts, I have started giving them to family and friends at family gatherings. As I give out my teapots, I try to include a little note about its history and what it means to me. I love that my daughter, my two daughtersin-law, my two granddaughters, my goddaughters and my many nieces will all have my teapots as special reminders of our family history. I hope that they will cherish the teapots and the memories that come with them as much as I do. Thank you for inspiring me to share my love for my teapots with your readers. I love RowHome Magazine and look forward to reading every issue. Keep up the good work. Thank you and all the best, Mrs. Eleanor Casciato

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w w w. d e f i n o l aw y e r s . c o m October / November / December 2018


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ayor Jim Kenney, IBEW M Local 98 Business Manager John Dougherty and union members Dave Mellor and Jim Henry hang out at the Labor Day Parade. Photo by Maria Merlino


etallick cousins hang R out with Aunt Eileen Retallick Eaves for brunch.


angin’ out at Danny & H Jessica’s wedding at The Ben with Victor Baldi II, Victor Baldi III, Andy Gordon & Danny Malatesta.



he American Academy of T the Sacred Arts held its art gallery opening with Fr. Michael Cerrone, who talked about his book, For God & Country: The Heroic Life and Martyrdom of St. Joan of Arc. Guests included William Maffucci Esq., President of the Academy, Joe and Paula Luskus, brother-in-law and sister of the late Sr. Paula Beierschmitt, Academy founder. Photo by Maria Merlino


ike Montecalvo & 122 guys M ride in the 8th annual South Philly Bike Tour in memory of a few brothers who will always be in their hearts.


RH’s Mark Casasanto took P some time between sets to wish local boy, Kingsley, best wishes on the release of his EP at a summer launch party at Tavern on Broad.


ana, Danielle, Michelle, D Dennis, Lisa and Jeffrey celebrate Nancy’s 100th birthday.


ianna DeStasio was choG sen as a new 76ers Dancer! Celebrating in Ocean City.

9. 10. T he RowHome team – Anthony, Stacie, Brenda, Kate, Dorette & Dawn – hang out at Justin Veasey’s new sports bar and nightclub, Stats on 17th. 11.

4 12

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

M eeting at Noir to talk about RowHome’s Blue

Sapphire Night (November 1st). Denise LaRosa, JoAnn Vacca, Edie Pepe, Denise Capone, Nancy DePasquale, Rose Zavasky, Marie Elena Abbruzzi, Danielle DiNapoli & Dennis Pino. 12.

A lison, Brenda, Crystal and Becky hang out at Deco on the Delaware / Glen Foerd Mansion.


agles QB Carson Wentz E hangs out at Pastificio with owners Frank Sanguiliano & Anthony Messina.

14. 15. R eader Greg Froio visited the set of Live with Kelly and Ryan and surprised Kelly Ripa with the spring 2018 edition of Philadelphia RowHome Magazine. She was featured in the issue’s “RowHome Remembers” column [Dancin’ On Air] by Tony Santini. 16.

P at Teti & friends hang out with the Stylistics. “You Make Me Feel Brand New.”


D awn is hangin’ out with Nancy Hinkie to celebrate their July birthdays. Friends for 40+ years celebrate 56! Shout out to Lisa DiFlorio Davis for hosting a fabulous pool party!


hiladelphia Phillies staff Joe P DeJulius, Harold Palmer and Bonnie Eastlack welcome United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Honorable Nikki Haley, to Citizens Bank Park for Billy Joel’s ballpark concert in July.


I ATSE Local 8 President Michael Barnes meets up with State Rep Maria Donatucci at the Labor Day Parade. Photo by Maria Merlino


HL Athletics South PhiladelP phia holds a WOD in memory of Sal “Tankie” DiNubile. It was a tough 13-round workout that started and ended with an 800M run. Everyone finished. Thanks to all who organized and participated in the memorial.





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20 October / November / December 2018


Looking for a local doctor?

Start here  PRH Life


Dr. Rita Carabello


n this age of social media, you can Google everything from fancy foods to fishing rods but when it comes to finding the right physicians, nothing compares to familiarity. In a city steeped in tradition, the family doctor is a mainstay for generations of family members. Primary Care Physicians build relationships with patients and are a key component to personalized healthcare. If you are in search of a qualified professional with a keen eye on your wellbeing, skip the express line. To help with your search, Philadelphia RowHome Magazine is spotlighting some of

High School and completed my undergrad at Temple University. I received my medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM).

the private practice physicians who have been caring for our community for generations. Meet Dr. Rita Carabello. She is caring for patients in her South Philadelphia neighborhood, where she was born and raised.

I was born and raised in South Philadelphia.

Q: What are some of the benefits of regularly visiting a family physician?

Q: Who inspired you to become a doctor? My brother John Carabello, a Cardiothoracic Surgeon, inspired me to become a doctor.

The benefits of visiting a physician regularly are to have continuity of care, preventive medicine and an established relationship with a physician when and if unexpected illness may occur.

Q: Give us a bit of background information on your specialty and your education. My specialty is family practice. I attended St. Maria Goretti

Contact Information Rita Carabello, DO 2201 S. 3rd St. Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.550.1799

Q: What neighborhood is your practice located? Our practice is located in South Philadelphia at 2201 S. 3rd Street. Q: Where did you grow up?


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

Q: How many generations of families do your patients represent? Our patients represent three generations of families.

Row Home Remembers  PRH Life

Names of Endearment


by Tony Santini hen my daughter started teaching, she became friends with her grade partner Sarah, a non-South Philly, nonItalian young woman. One day, Sarah overheard my daughter talking to a second grader, saying, ‘Come here Mommy, I’ll help you with your jacket.’ My daughter thought nothing of it but Sarah thought it was hilarious. My daughter explained the custom but Sarah still found it amusing. She wanted to know if she ever came over to

our house, should she say, ‘Hello, Sarah’ when she met my daughter’s Mom? Of course, when Sarah finally did come to our house, my wife greeted her with, ‘Come in and have something to eat, Mommy!’ I say these are just our names of endearment. Cynics say that our parents and grandparents did this so they wouldn’t have to remember everyone’s name. While growing up, my parents were Mom and Dad to my siblings and me unless we were talking about them – in which case, they became Mommy and Daddy. Our two sets of grandparents were always Grandmom and Grandpop, no matter which set we were visiting. When my wife and I became parents, we were Mom and Dad to our children and, just as it was when I was growing up, Mommy and Daddy if they were talking about us. When they were kids, I called my son “Chief” and my daughter “Gina Bina.” However, now that they are both grown, mar-


ried and out of the house, my son calls me “Pop” and I call him “Junior.” My daughter says, ‘Hello, Father’ and I’ll respond, ‘Hello, Daughter.’ I’m getting used to the change. My kids call my parents Grandmom Nancy and Grandpop Pete. My in-laws are Mom-Mom and PopPop to them. It wasn’t the way I was taught to address my grandparents, but these names seem to fit both sets of their grandparents perfectly. Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco does a skit on this same topic. Sebastian says that as a kid, his grandparents were Grandmom and Grandpop. It never changed. That’s the way it was and he thought that’s the way it was supposed to be... until he met his in-laws. In his wife’s family, they referred to their grandparents as Me-Maw and Pe-Pe. In his animated style, Sebastian says, ‘This is just so wrong. This man is 95 years old; fought in World War II; stormed the beaches of Normandy; and

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

now his name is Pe-Pe? What are you doing to this man? Have some respect!’ But, here’s the thing. These are names of respect. They are just not the traditional names. They are our names of endearment and it’s not just limited to grandparents. My godfather is Uncle Cheech, although his baptismal name is Anthony. His wife has always been Aunt Rita to me but in my teenage years, I found out that her real name is Frances. No explanation provided. None needed. Every family has at least one name of endearment. Sonny, Junior, JohnnieBoy, Cookie, Re-Re and Peaches. Nicknames? Maybe. But so much more. So, here’s to you, Family! You’re our brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and grandparents. Even though we don’t call you by your birth names, you never complain. You graciously respond to the names of endearment we lovingly use. Here are a few more. Recognize any of them? Baba, Blabbs, Big Gina, Boo-Boo, Bucky, Buddha, Butchie, Cheech, Claudipie, Deb-Deb, Dolly, Donny-Boy, Gigi, Grandmom Mole, Hendry, Little Gina, Little Mommy, Lou-Lou, Lulu, Marie Down the House, Matilda Jane, Mee-Maw, Mimi, Minnie, Nannykins, Pee-Paw, Peaches, Poppi, Pops, Popp-o, Re-Re, Snaff, Sonny, Theresa-Mary and Wuggie.


Tis the season to be jolly…  PRH Life

… for winemaking that is. This year’s harvest is one of the best I’ve seen. The grapes and juice contain great sugar content, which is also known as the brick. Rule of thumb: 26% brick will finish at 13% alcohol after fermentation. This year’s harvest is coming in at least two to four weeks late, which may benefit many of

you newer winemakers, giving you more time to make your first brew. Once you make your first wine, you will be making wine for years to come. This year, there is an abundance of new blends available for the holidays. Reds, whites and rosés are available at reasonable prices. With the holidays upon us, let’s eat, drink and be merry!

Wine Recommendations ❚❙❘ RED WINES


2016 GRAND BATEAU Rouge Bordeaux $12 2015 QUINTA DO CABRIZ $10



2016 HALLORAN Pinot Noir Blanc $20

2016 PUYDEVAL $14

2016 TAMARACK CELLARS Chardonnay $16

2015 PAUL DOLAN Zinfandel $15 2015 LOUIS JADOT Pinot Noir $20 2013 ZENATO ALANERA ROSSO VERONESE

2017 BAILLY LAPIERRE Sauvignon Blanc Saint Bris $15 2016 GRAND BATEAU Bordeaux Blanc $12

2015 CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE BLANC $40 2017 MAAL BIUTIFUL MALBEC $20 …and remember “Never save your good wine for tomorrow!” For more information contact Vincent Novello

2016 NICOLAS POTEL Chardonnay $16

Vincent Novello has been making his own wine since 1997 and has competed in and judged the annual Vendemmia. His 2008 Brunello took first and second place in the competition. Today, Novello serves as the Vendemmia’s contest director.

October / November / December 2018




His House is a Memory but His Legacy Lives On


by Dan Vanore t was just a house, I guess. Just an inanimate object. But for some people - including me - it was much more than that. For as long as I can remember, I’d pass by 636 Christian Street and know that was where the great Mario Lanza was raised. It’s the place where he came into his own as a singer, actor and international superstar. Many times on my way to John’s Water Ice and Gatta’s Wholesale as a kid, I’d stop, sit on his step and chat with his

Aunt Julie who lived there until the day she died. She shared many stories of the budding young singer with me. She knew that I aspired to be a singer and showed an interest in my struggles. The Lanza home was situated amid properties owned by the Gatta family. Joseph Gatta purchased the Italian Bank on the corner of 7th & Christian in 1948. In the 1970s, the Gatta family purchased half of that entire block, basically becoming the caretakers of 636 Christian Street while Mario’s aunt was still living there. Well, it happened and it happened quick. That entire area where Gatta’s, the Lanza house and that old corner Italian bank (Banca Cal-


abrese’s exterior remains intact) was sold, demolished and is currently in the midst of becoming condos. Kind of sad when you think about it. I have a pretty good connection with Mario Lanza that a lot of my friends don’t even know about. His father and my great-grandfather Sam Tofani were first cousins. On quite a few occasions (before I was born, of course), Mario and his family visited my house on Queen Street. I’m quite vested in keeping his memory alive in South Philly. There are many local spots dedicated to Lanza’s memory in our neighborhood: the Mario Lanza mural on Broad & Reed; Mario Lanza Park on 3rd & Queen and the Mario Lanza Museum’s new location at Columbus Square on

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

12th & Reed. Let’s not forget the museum’s founder Nick Petrella and its past homes at Broad & Snyder, Settlement Music School & Saint Mary Magdalen De Pazzi Rectory. Mario Lanza influenced so many great opera singers as well as music legends like Jackie Wilson and the king of rock and roll himself, Elvis Presley. Don’t believe me? Listen to Jackie Wilson sing “Night” and notice the similarities. Or watch an Elvis movie from the early ‘60s and notice those similarities. Mario Lanza was doing the Elvis movie before Elvis was! This man, who lived in the same area we lived in, walked the same streets we walked and had the same problems a lot of us had, changed the course of American music by making opera mainstream. We can rename his style of opera “Popera!” We lost his house but his thumbprint will always remain on South Philly. He put South Philly’s thumbprint on the world and nothing can change that.


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12:55 PM

by Dianne Musacchio Spotts As single women, the ladies in the attached pictures met and socialized both in their South Philly neighborhoods and at the YWCA. Their outings on special occasions, like this one at Frank Palumbo’s in 1937, brought out their best suits and hats. You can be sure that their matching gloves were tucked away in their pocketbooks. My mom, Rose LaVecchio Musacchio, is seated in the back left – by the arrow. On other excursions, they vacationed in Atlantic City, spending time on Steel Pier. On their more C outdoorsy trips, they spent weekends in Camp M Arcola in the summer. My mom is on the far left. They maintained their relationships even after Y they married and began their families. I rememCM ber meeting a couple of the ladies pictured. My parents moved from their apartment MY at 15th and Tasker to a row home in West CY Oak Lane to be close to my paternal grandCMY parents. Those newer neighborhoods had been farmland until the early 1920s and K attracted all ethnic groups, unlike the tight circle of my mom’s mostly Italian friends. Mom’s close friend, Peggy Napoletano, is also pictured here. I received these pictures from her daughter Barbara, with whom I’ve maintained contact through the years. Perhaps readers can identify the other women.

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October / November / December 2018




Italian Americans

Celebrate their Heritage photos by ANDREW ANDREOZZI


American Festivals in Philadelphia and it’s no surprise. Second only to New York, the City of Brotherly Love is home to more Italian Americans than any other city in the country with 497,721 people and counting!


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018


Italian Festival & Procession of Saints photos by JADE ROTA

LED BY LIFELONG PARISHIONER AND longtime pastor Fr. Nicholas Martorano, hundreds of people line the streets in front of this landmark Church to enjoy a daylong celebration of food, friends and traditions.

October / November / December 2018



Phestival photos by ANDREW ANDREOZZI *


was a proud sponsor of the 5th annual Yo’ South Philly Phestival that kicked the fall season into full gear with its daylong block party style celebration featuring exciting music, fabulous food and hundreds of friendly faces. Phestival ‘Phounder” Dan Vanore of The Business said the event is his way of bringing people together to showcase the talent of local musicians and entertainers. Special guest Charlie Gracie joined The Business in the lineup that included DJ Johnny Looch, Benny Marsella, Carmine Yusko, Gabby Delisi, Justin Gonzalez, Retro 5, Tony Mecca & the Heavy Mental Gypsies, The E.G. Band, Felicia Punzo & Sugar Rush Rocks. Special guests included King Arthur, Johnny Pompo & Paige Romano.

PRH Life


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018


Rowan Wyatt Jude Moravec TO THE ROWHOME FAMILY! Our amazing assistant (and the GPS that keeps us all on track!) Brenda Hillegas and husband Patrick Moravec are proud parents to this little guy, who made his grand entrance on August 20th — way before his due date on October 10th! Rowan is happy to be home with big brother Roscoe after hangin’ out for 40 days with the amazing team at CHOP! Congratulations and lots of love from your RowHome family!

October / November / December 2018







The Event Center at

SUGARHOUSE CASINO Fun, Entertaining & Magical!

Here for you in PHILADELPHIA. P # ROvIDINg# ^On YOur Side^ s # ERvIcE FOR 26 yEARs.#

At PHILADELPHIA, we’re proud to be part of the fabric of this community, helping you protect what you care about most. We consider it a privilege to serve you.

JOHN FERULLO PHILADELPHIA 215-468-4116 Not all Nationwide affiliated companies are mutual companies and not all Nationwide members are insured by a mutual company. Nationwide, Nationwide is On Your Side, and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2016 Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. NPR-0784AO (04/16) #




by EMILY COSTA Community Relations Manager It’s hard to believe that The Event Center at SugarHouse Casino is quickly approaching its three-year anniversary! With the venue’s first performance by LeAnn Rimes in early 2016, the Grammy® Award winning singer-songwriter helped SugarHouse establish itself as a venue with quality entertainment that spans many walks of life. The Event Center has featured a variety of musical styles and genres, from country to classic rock, and has featured sounds from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s to today’s hits. The diverse lineup of standout performers has included Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Buddy Guy, The O’Jays and The Commodores, as well as Michael Bolton, The Mavericks, Gin Blossoms, Don Felder, Supertramp’s Roger Hodgson and Walk Off The Earth, just to name a few. From lyrics to laughs, The Event Center stage also has hosted top-notch comedy. This year alone, ticket demands were so great for Chris Tucker and Chris D’Elia, that second shows were added to the schedule after quick first-show sell outs. In addition, Brad Garrett, Trevor Noah and Joy Behar are just some of the comedians who have tickled Philly’s funny bone at SugarHouse. Arguably the biggest hit, with four sellout shows and counting, is South Philadelphia’s favorite magician, Jon Dorenbos. The former Philadelphia Eagles player is back by popular demand on November 2nd and 3rd at 8 p.m. to entertain and inspire the audience. Dorenbos will share the magic that shaped his life in this deeply personal and engaging show. “It’s been awesome to share my life story at SugarHouse Casino,” said Dorenbos after the sold out August shows. “Philadelphia has the best fans in America – I’m excited for two more incredible shows in The Event Center!” Also appearing in November at The Event Center is country singer Randy Houser. The singer-songwriter will perform songs from his new LP Magnolia on November 16th. Fans will enjoy the Mississippi native’s incomparable voice and unique sounds, including many tracks with Houser as lead guitarist. As the calendar heads toward 2019, SugarHouse will continue to feature not only some of the city’s best music and comedy, but also a diverse entertainment lineup. The Event Center remains the home for topflight boxing and MMA events, plus culturally influenced shows, which have previously included Vietnamese and Chinese acts. Tickets for all SugarHouse performances, including Dorenbos (November 2nd and 3rd) and Houser (November 16th) — can be purchased at Before your next show, we also recommend grabbing dinner at Hugo’s Frog Bar & Chop House, the casino’s first-class steak house featuring USDA Gibsons Prime Angus Beef, fresh seafood and decadent desserts. We look forward to seeing you soon in The Event Center at SugarHouse Casino.


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018




t’s fall! That special time of year to give thanks in appreciation for the good things in life... a properly roasted turkey, homemade stuffing, candied yams, whole berry cranberry sauce and of course, eggnog! Well, at least that’s my culinary list. But, if I can ask a favor, hold the pumpkin pie please. For that matter, hold anything pumpkin! Leave your pumpkin on the front porch where it belongs. Seriously, is there anything better than Thanksgiving dinner? Olfactory senses are at their pleasingly best and just the sight of a table of plenty can trigger the happy dance in all of us. Sorry to disappoint, though. This column isn’t about food. While many still regale in the traditions of large family holiday meals and still have the opportunity to break bread as one, for some, dynamics changed, life marched on and tomorrow has brought another day. I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that we’ve all been associated with the traditional head of the table holiday toast. And, the ultimate sixfoot table, round robin adventure, too. You know, when those gathered for the feast share why they are thankful - family, children, health and the food they are about to receive. Ah, yes, no truer words. Lately, I’ve begun to see things from a slightly different perspective. These days, when the phone rings and I see that it’s one of my cousins, it’s usually not to plan a Saturday in the park. Apparently, we are the people our parents warned us about, the village elders. Those who showed us the way are now etched in the memories of yesterday when we were young. Almost, as if cruelly on purpose, two keystones of my youth and adolescence recently passed away in relatively close succession. Wonderful role models who were more than dad’s backyard drinking buddies and mom’s Pokeno playing besties. It was Labor Day weekend and freshman year of high school was lurking. During one of those good old, back in the day, unofficial neighborhood block parties, I was asked if I was excited to start Bishop Neumann High School. Little did I realize it would be the start of one of the most profound conversations that I would ever have. Tom Betteridge loved music. He was that guy. Big and gregarious, the leader of the band if you will. Admittedly, he couldn’t carry a tune. His knowledge of music, however, was quite extensive. Explaining that I had changed my courses because I was placed in “vocal mu-

sic” and ordinarily that meant a four-year “sentence” to the chorus, he was having none of my nonsense. With his Irish eyes peering through his hard yet handsome complexion, I immediately sensed his disappointment. Almost 40 years later, I can still see his face. The following Tuesday, I sheepishly returned to the academics office and asked for my original roster back. It was a decision that yielded a lifetime of enjoyment, knowledge and most of all, beautiful memories. Before any of that, however, there was Eleanor. Comare El to be exact – my de facto Godmother. The Condello household on Sigel Street was the house that made me musically. While her son Frank (my compare) made beautiful noise “down the cellar” banging on the drums, upstairs in the living room, that’s where each magic moment came to life. If not for anything else, the player piano could’ve been considered a serious piece of cardio exercise equipment. After selecting your music roll (the song), and inserting it into the spool box to keep time with your selection, you’d pump the pedals on the pianola to play your song. You pumped. It played. Everybody sang. It was mesmerizing and addictive. Imagine listening to a perfectly produced melody while ebony and ivory keys danced before you in two-part harmony. Truly the most giving person I have ever known, Eleanor was as patient as she was nurturing. Allowing anyone, at any time, to play their favorites over and over again. I still marvel how she didn’t tap out after hearing “Rubber Duckie” infinitely. For the insight, knowledge and guidance to live life right, Tom and Eleanor, this one’s for you. PRH Happy Thanksgiving!

October / November / December 2018


IBEW Local Union 98

Lighting Philadelphia One Project at a Time John J. Dougherty, Business Manager

IBEW Local Union 98 SaluteS Philadelphia RowHome Magazine’s

2018 Blue Sapphire and WiShrock aWard WinnerS:

Bob Shannon

Leon Huff

Quaker city String Band Edward J. McBride Service to Community Award

Lifetime Music Achievement Award

Bobby Rydell

Local Business Success Story Award

Lifetime Music Achievement Award

Lombardi’s Prime Meats

Steve Highsmith Media Award

Gabriel Bendotti Antonia Brunetti


Eddie Cappio Vincenzo Congialdi

Jake Kudrick Paige Romano




photos by Phil Kramer hair by The Cutting Point makeup by Bella Angel location courtesy of Cescaphe Event Group / Tendenza

photos by PHIL KRAMER

RIVER TO RIVER. ONE NEIGHBORHOOD. October / November / December 2018 | ROWHOME MAGAZINE | 27



hiladelphia RowHome Magazine is all about neighborhood. Family. Friends. Community. That description perfectly fits Steve Highsmith, this year’s Blue Sapphire Award recipient for Media. Highsmith began his career in 1981 in Philadelphia and people are familiar with him from his early days at WCAU radio where he worked as the morning drive anchor and news director. They also know him as a news anchor and chief political correspondent for WPHL17 and a political reporter for NBC10. Throughout his broadcast career, he covered several blockbuster news stories including the 1985 MOVE confrontation, political conventions, the Reagan-Gorbachev Summit and most recently, the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia. Highsmith also helps us ring in the New Year as the host of the Mummers Day Parade, which he has been doing since the 1990s. He sees many sides to the Mummers, not just as musicians and performers, but as people. “Mummers just want to have fun. They are family members first. They also use their time to surprise kids at hospitals, come to retirement parties, entertain at special

events.” He has seen firsthand how they pull together to take care of each other and the community in times of need. Highsmith says it is the impact of people that drives him. “I really enjoyed covering the passion of people. For example, I continue to be really moved as families say goodbye to a loved one in uniform leaving for deployment overseas. Recognizing what people go through is important.” He eventually left news and broadcasting, however, and accepted a position that has brought him full circle. Highsmith serves as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement for Cabrini University, where he earned his degree in English and Communications. “Once I received my degree, I stayed in touch with Cabrini. I love the mission of the sisters, the hospitals and schools across the world they run. The mission is one I can get behind and support.” Highsmith also is deeply committed to the community and giving back. In addition to serving on several boards for organizations such as CADEKids (which helps inner city kids in elementary and middle school with education and decision-making skills to avoid bullying, gambling and drug use), he volunteers to raise funds for the Devereux Foundation (which helps people with mental and cognitive challenges) and the Special Olympics. He was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Hall of Fame in 2011. “It’s nice to get recognition for what you do.” But he doesn’t think much about the past. “I tend to ask myself, what am I doing now?”


Q: Favorite song from back in the day that always makes you smile?

Q: What did you want to

A: “Blue Sky” by the

landmark would you recommend a tourist

be when you grew up?

Allman Brothers.

visit in Philadelphia?

A: I thought I was head-

Q: What is your best mem-

A: O.V. Catto

ing into writing or law.

Q: What was your

ory from summer 2018?

Memorial Statue.

A: Visiting a home

(Editor’s Note: Octavius

A: Ditch digger,

of Robert Frost in Vermont.

sewer pipe layer.

Q: What do you con-

Q: What was your

sider your happy place/ your favorite place in the whole world?

first job?

favorite pastime as a kid?

A: Playing catch or chess with my father...and hoping I didn’t confuse the two games!

Q: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

A: Follow your heart.

Q: What’s the best advice you ever gave?

A: I’m still waiting to find out.


Q: What lesser-known

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

A: Anywhere my wife and kids are.

Q: Who are your Philadelphia-based idols?

A: Sr. Mary Scullion is an example by name, but more accurately, the nonprofit workers, volunteers and teachers who make life better every day throughout this region, usually in anonymity and sometimes without the respect they deserve.

Valentine Catto was a 19th-century scholar, educator and civil rights activist whose tireless dedication to social justice for African Americans has earned him praise and recognition as “the Martin Luther King Jr. of his day.” A 12-foot bronze statue of Catto was installed at Philadelphia City Hall in September 2017.)

Q: What’s your favorite home-cooked meal?

A: A summer pasta salad


Lifetime Music Achievement Award by GENO THACKARA


or decades, he’s made people shout and scream, then made them dance, laugh, cry and feel the power of love. The classic sound of Philadelphia - not to mention pop and R&B as the wider world knows them - are more rich and colorful today than they might have been without Leon Huff. Along with a wide range of musical collaborators including Jerry Butler, Thomas Bell, Jerry Ross and (most prominently) Kenny Gamble, he’s been responsible for helping shape the soundtrack of countless lives. When they weren’t recording or writing hits themselves, they were bringing others’ songs to life from the producer’s chair and showcasing fellow artists through outfits like Philadelphia International Records. If you’ve ever crooned along with the likes of “When Will I See You Again” or shaken booty to “Love Train,” you have these fellows to thank for it. Huff was into sports like most kids while growing up across the Delaware River in Camden, though it was also accompanied by a burgeoning interest in music – sparked by school bands and encouraged by supportive parents Eugene & Beatrice Huff. Both have proven to be loving staples of his life, along with his sister Jean. To this day he still is “obsessed with music and always thinking about new ideas to write about.” Like any openeared artist, he knows there’s always more out there to learn and discover. The piano remains his instrumental love but

Q&A Q: What was your first job? A: My first employment was with Cooper Hospital in Camden, NJ, as a dishwasher.

Q: What was your favorite pastime as a kid? A: When I was a child, my favorite pastime was playing sports. Q: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

A: My parents told me “keep practicing the piano and be serious with the gift of music and be good at it or become one of the best.” So I would practice every day for a very, very long time and it paid off.

do, work to be good at it – you just might become great at it.”

A: Kenneth Gamble, Thom Bell & Will Smith.

Q: Favorite song from way back that always makes you smile?

Q: What lesser-known landmark would you recommend a tourist visit in Philadelphia?

A: My first hit song as a professional songwriter, “Mixed-Up-Shook-Up Girl,” recorded by a Camden singing group called Patty and the Emblems. It was a top 20 hit on all the record charts. Q: What is your best memory from summer 2018?

A: When my wife Regina and I moved into our new home.

Q: What do you consider your happy place/your favorite place in the whole world? A: My favorite place in the

A: There are no lesser places to visit in Philadelphia. It is a beautiful city to visit. It has so much history and it has so much to offer. Q: Tell us something no one knows about you. A: No one ever knew my nickname. It was “Brother.” My family were the only ones who called me that. Q: What’s your favorite home-cooked meal? A: My favorite home-cooked

Q: Who are your Philadelphia-based idols?

meal is salmon, vegetables and baked potato with a nice cold glass of ginger ale. I really love and enjoy it when my son-inlaw Russell Fraction (who is a chef) prepares it for me.

October / November / December 2018


Q: What’s the best advice you ever gave? A: “Whatever you choose to

those early experiences in school ensembles and talent contests first came from playing the drums. It’s no surprise the rhythm is at the heart of so much of this music. Whether dealing with love or addressing social issues in a spirit of unity, Gamble and Huff songs stay irresistibly groovy and downright funky underneath it all. “Just being born and raised in Camden, NJ, was truly amazing,” Huff recalls, but of course “Philadelphia, too, has had a special place in my life - where I launched and spent most of my music career and had a great time creating history at our offices at Broad and Spruce, now called Gamble Huff Walk.” It’s a history that’s provided a hometown inspiration to countless musical voices that have come after. (Maybe they could write a book.) From the time the Soul Survivors’ “Expressway to Your Heart” made their first co-written hit in 1967, Gamble and Huff have built a catalogue for the ages and notched up enough gold and platinum to make any world-class jeweler jealous. The life of this living legend seems joyful and down to earth today, centered around his wife Regina, family and (of course) music. What other future endeavors might still come? One interesting idea would be “a Broadway musical of Gamble-Huff-Bell and The Sound of Philadelphia,” he declares. Well, that’s certainly a new direction in a city with just about the most creative theater scene you could ask for. Even after a career anyone would be proud of, he’s still not prepared to stop any time soon.

whole world is being at home with my favorite person in the whole world, my wife Regina.


3 Generations: Vincent Lombardi, Anthony Lombardi, Vince Lombardi Local Business Success Story Award by MATT KELCHNER


tepping under the red awning and through the front door of Lombardi’s Prime Meats is like taking a step back in time. An “old world” butcher shop whose owners focus on customer service as they carefully break down and prepare their prime cuts of meats daily is not all that common these days. But owner Anthony Lombardi and his team continue to uphold these traditions of yesteryear for their ever growing fanbase. Growing up, Lombardi was never far from a cleaver and a butcher’s block. His dad Vincent Lombardi began working in the meat industry back in 1960. Over the course of the following 15 years, his passion grew to the point of wanting to venture out on his own. In 1977, Vincent’s dreams turned into reality when he became the owner of his very own shop called Al’s Meat Market. While working in his father’s shop, Anthony decided to follow in his dad’s footsteps and learn the butcher trade. Fast forward to 2001 when Lombardi, just as his dad did before him, went on to open Lombardi’s Prime Meats. Nowadays, the word has gotten out and people come from all over the city and beyond to pick up quality, fresh cuts at unbelievably reasonable pricing. Whether it’s the house-made Italian sausages, bacon wrapped filet mignon or tender, sliced-to-order chicken (or veal) cutlets, it’s all available at 1801 Packer Avenue. And while you’re perusing the selection of quality, Grade A cuts of meats through the glass case of this local hot spot, say hello to the newest family member to join the team – Anthony’s son Vince. Family traditions are the trademark of the neighborhood.


Q&A Q: What did you want to be when you grew up? A: As a kid, I wanted to be a baseball player. Q: What was your first job? A: A delivery boy at

my father’s store.

Q: What was your favorite pastime as a kid? A: Sports. I loved play-

ing all different kinds.

Q: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you? A: “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” Q: What’s the best advice you ever gave? A: “You never get a second chance

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

to make a first impression.”

Q: Favorite song from way back that always makes you smile? A: “Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now” by McFadden & Whitehead. Q: What is your best memory from summer 2018? A: Going to Italy with my family. Q: What do you consider your happy place/your favorite place in the whole world? A: My home with my family. Q: Who are your Philadelphia-based idols? A: [Baseball Hall of Famer] Steve Carlton. Q: What lesser known landmark would you recommend a tourist visit in Philadelphia? A: The Italian Market.

BOB SHANNON Quaker City String Band

Edward J. McBride Service to Community Award by JOHN NACCHIO


eople from the City of Brotherly Love know the excitement of a Mummers performance. Mummers also bring a sense of nostalgia to the City. Quaker City String Band’s longtime Captain Bob Shannon Jr. retired in 2008 after almost 38 years of service. At 6’10” tall, Shannon had been a soaring figure in the parade since 1971, when he became only the second captain of Quaker City String Band. Shannon and his brother Jack were inducted into the tradition of Mummery by their father Bob Shannon Sr., a member of Quaker City String Band for more than 67 years. Shannon is committed to his yearlong passion to bring happiness and smiles to all he meets, especially to children. He has pushed others and himself to burst through personal barriers and reach new heights in physical, mental and spiritual milestones. He knows people are at their best when challenged. Each year, the challenge of arriving at a new string band theme, creating elaborate costumes made of brilliant materials, sequins and feathers, as well as selecting an integrated musical score to which the band members can perform under a strict time limit, is a daunting test. Although he has held an administrative position at the Naval

Shipyard for the past 40 years, (retiring July 3rd) he always has time for Mummery, family and friends, says Susan Ryan-Shannon, his wife of 22 years. She has witnessed the intense effort required by band members to fulfill the obligations of band membership. Things like practices, band jobs, charity benefits, committee meetings, prop-building, costume design and a variety of functions booked by the band throughout the year. Approximately 125-150 days a year are dedicated to everything Mummers. Costumes, alone, cost anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 for an average 64-member band, with the Captain’s costume costs climbing as high as $10,000. Member dues, raffles and yearlong performances help cover some of the expenses but passion and commitment to preserving this 117-year-old Philly tradition is the foundation for its ongoing success. For the last 10 years, Shannon has served as President of the Philadelphia Mummers Association. He provides others with sound advice, keen insights and colorful commentary during the parade’s live coverage on New Year’s Day. He says his greatest contribution was helping others discover their untapped potential and his ability to make people smile with Mummery. Bob Shannon, Jr. lives his passion. “When you smilin’, when you smilin’ The whole world smiles with you. Yes when you laughin’ oh when you laughin’ The sun comes shinin’ through!”

Q&A A: Not everyone means everything

Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?

A: Major League Baseball player. Q: What was your first job? A: I graduated from the University of Delaware and held jobs at a bank, car dealership and then the US Navy -Department of Defense.

Q: What was your favorite pastime as a kid?

A: Hanging out with my Dad at

they say. This is a tough life lesson to learn, especially to those people like me who grow up taught the principles of honesty and integrity. Think about this saying, “Believe only half of what you see and none of what you hear.” Learn to trust those who deserve your trust and know the one who doesn’t.

Q: Favorite song from way back that always makes you smile?

City String band, Ray Endriss. My father and the men who went up Broad Street before me were certainly the most influential. We wouldn’t have been able to get to Broad Street without their support!

Q: What lesser-known landmark would you recommend a tourist visit in Philadelphia? A: The Mummers Museum on Washington Avenue at 1100 S. Second Street.

A: “When You’re Smiling” by

Louis Armstrong and sad goodbyes played to fellow Mummers recalling warm memories, “My Buddy” and “We Will Meet Again.”

Q: Tell us something no one knows about you. A: I feel awkward to dance and one year, the Cuban theme string band routine took some funny spins. But I mastered it!

Q: What is your best memory from summer 2018?

Mummers practices, events and gettogethers. They were like family.

A: Philadelphia Phillies games.

Q: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

happy place/your favorite place in the whole world?

A: Say what you mean and mean what you say.

A: Baseball stadium and Mummers on New Year’s Day.

Q: What’s the best advice you ever gave?

Q: Who are your Philadelphia-based idols?

Q: What’s your favorite home-cooked meal?

Q: What do you consider your

October / November / December 2018

A: One time Captain of Quaker

A: Italian! My wife and I are Irish but she had friends who showed her how to cook the best “gravy” for spaghetti, meatballs and sausage and sides of roasted peppers.


BOBBY RYDELL Lifetime Music Achievement Award



ven though fellow Philadelphian Kevin Bacon is usually associated with the long held theory of six degrees of separation, Bobby Rydell can stake a serious claim that all roads... well... lead to Bobby. Call it the South Philly cousin syndrome. Call it what you wish. Growing up in these parts, it was hard to find anyone who didn’t stake a claim, familia or otherwise, to one Robert Ridarelli. After all, he really was just like us, the “Atalyun” boy from Epiphany (Parish). But the kid from the 2400 block of South 11th Street had a whole lot more going for him than a big grin and a “world class” pompadour. As his dad Adrio (Al) would frequently tell his mom, ‘The kid’s got talent, Jennie!’ As a teenager, it wouldn’t be long before the Bishop Neumann High student would experience a bunch of firsts. Dates, dances and duking it out with rival catholic schools were as normal as playing drums, doing impersonations and singing. All under the watchful eye of a knowing and confident father. It was his dad who first talked local club owners into giving Bobby a shot in the spotlight. The attention, applause and adoration – captivating! Good fortune came when neighborhood chum (and still good buddy) Frankie Avalon came a calling. He needed a drummer for the band he played trumpet in – Rocco and the Saints. With the gig in hand and a simple handshake afterward, quicker than you can drop a needle on a 45, Bobby was represented by a manager. Goodbye Robert Ridarelli. Hello Bobby Rydell! After some forgettable releases and repeated rejections from several of the major record labels, Rydell would eventually settle in with the hometown Cameo Records. Under the umbrella of Bernie Lowe, Kal Mann and Dave Appell, “Kissin’ Time” became the 17-year-old’s first top 20 record. In fact, the very night it was recorded, the dub was hustled to Dick Clark who declared it a hit, which eventually peaked at #11 on the charts. Rydell never looked back. The hits dropped in rapid succession. “Wild One,” “Volare,” “Sway,” “The Cha Cha Cha,” “Wildwood Days,”

“Forget Him” - all part of an impressive catalogue of music responsible for more than 25 million records sold and countless hours of live performances while traveling the world over. By the time Bye Bye Birdie cemented his stardom on the silver screen, he was already a fixture on the Red Skelton Hour. Rydell became like family to the legendary comedian, “a very special relationship,” he says, that is treasured to this day. Times changed. The British Invasion was underway, Cameo-Parkway Records (formerly Cameo) was in demise and Bobby had to reinvent himself, seemingly, time and time again. From the be-bopping teen with the tight fitting suits to the tuxedo clad vocalist, as each decade passed and musical genres began, ended and lingered, Bobby Rydell remained a constant on stages around the world. But through the bravado of the show must go on, and in one of his most poignant performances ever, Bobby, admittedly, was also living in a state of denial. After years of hard living on the road and turning to his friend the bottle in times of heartache and despair, his liver and kidneys had basically said “enough.” On July 9, 2012, Bobby was granted a shot at redemption. A curtain call, if you will. With a new kidney and a partial liver that he shared with a fouryear-old local girl, life summoned Bobby once more for the most important encore of all. These days, he’s in great voice and even better spirits. He’s still gigging with his paisani, Frankie Avalon and Fabian as part of Dick Fox’s Golden Boys. Solo dates continue to sell out and he’s very active on the book tour circuit doing Q & A sessions in support of his bestselling autobiography, Teen Idol On the Rocks. Adding to his accolades, he will be inducted into The East Coast Music Hall of Fame in June of next year, appropriately enough, in Wildwood, NJ. Yet, for all his renown, he has always remained accessible and local, truly a champion of all things Philadelphia. With all the illusion and disillusion behind, we congratulate you, Bobby Rydell. It’s no wonder your happy heart sings!


Q: What was the best advice you ever gave?

Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?

bad, a learning experience.

A: Consider every gig, good or Q: Favorite song from way back

A: A drummer.

that always makes you smile?

Q: What was your first job? A: Paul Whiteman’s TV Teen Club.

A: “When You’re Smiling” by Louis Armstrong.

Q: What was your favor-

Q: What is your favorite

ite pastime as a kid?

memory of summer 2018?

A: Playing half-ball with a broom-

A: Walking on May 11 after break-

stick and a pimple ball cut in half!

ing my leg on March 30 (that was a not-so-Good Friday for me).

Q: What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? A: “Never lower your fee.” - Red Skelton


Q: What do you consider your happy place / favorite place in the whole world?

A: Wildwood, New Jersey. Q: Who are your Philadelphiabased idols? A: Al Martino and Mario Lanza. Q: What lesser-known landmark would you recommend a tourist visit in Philadelphia? A: The streets of South Philly at Christmas time. Q: Tell us something no one knows about you. A: My hair is portable! Q: What’s your favorite home-cooked meal? A: My grandmom’s stuffed artichoke hearts. No one has come close!

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

River to River. One Neighborhood.


Philadelphia RowHome Magazine Blue Sapphire Award Honor Roll 2017 Blue Sapphire Award

The Phillie Phanatic: Edward J. McBride: Dei Lynam: Chubby Checker: Dee Dee Sharp: Anthony Messina & Frank Sangiuliano:

Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award resident / EOM Athletic Association, Service to Community Award P Comcast SportsNet, Media Award Lifetime Music Achievement Award Lifetime Music Achievement Award Pastificio, Local Business Success Story Award

2016 Blue Sapphire Award

2015 Blue Sapphire Award

Jim Donovan: CBS 3 News Anchor, Consumer Reporter, Media Award Billy Paul: Grammy Award Winner, R&B Soul Singer, Lifetime Music Achievement Award Frank E. Olivieri: Owner, Pat’s King of Steaks, Local Business Success Story Award Vai Sikahema: Co-Anchor NBC 10 Today, Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Dr. James Moylan: Service to Community Award

Kevin M. Dougherty: Administrative Judge, Court of Common Pleas Trial Division, Community Service Award Merrill Reese: Sports Announcer, “Voice of the Philadelphia Eagles”, 2015 Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Lady B: Artist / DJ / Old School 100.3, Entertainment Award Patti LaBelle: Grammy Award-Winning Queen of Soul, Lifetime Music Achievement Award

Philly 2014 Blue Sapphire Award John J. Dougherty: Business Manager, IBEW Local 98, Community Service Award Kenny Gamble: Songwriter/Producer, Lifetime Music Achievement Award Ukee Washington: CBS 3 News Anchor, Media Award Joseph Volpe: CEO, Cescaphe Event Group, Local Business Success Story Award

2013 Blue Sapphire Award Michael Barkann: Sportscaster, Media Award Earl Young: Singer/Drummer/ Founder, The Trammps, Lifetime Music Achievement Award The Philly Flyers Broad Street Bullies: Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Wendy Hamilton: GM, SugarHouse Casino, Community Service Award Tony Luke, Sr.: Local Business Success Story Award

2012 Blue Sapphire Award Pat Ciarrocchi: CBS 3, Media Award Doug Collins: Philadelphia 76ers Coach, Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Sal Dupree: Vocal Coach & Entertainer, Lifetime Music Achievement Award

Councilman James Kenney: Community Service Award

2011 Blue Sapphire Award Bob Henon: Chairman, Political Action Committee, IBEW Local 98, Community Service Award Charlie Gracie: Entertainer, Lifetime Music Achievement Award

2010 Blue Sapphire Award Charles Pizzi: CEO, Tasty Baking Company, Local Business Success Story Award Bunny Sigler: Singer, Lifetime Music Achievement Award Larry Kane: Broadcast Journalist, Media Award Dick Vermeil: Former Eagles Coach, Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Honorable Annette Rizzo: Court of Common Pleas, Community Service Award

2009 Blue Sapphire Award Sid Mark: Radio Show Host, The Sounds of Sinatra, Entertainment Award Ray Didinger: Sportswriter/TV Commentator, Pro Football Hall of Fame, Harry Kalas Memorial Sports Award Ed Sabol: Filmmaker & Founder, NFL

Films, Local Business Success Story Award Steve Sabol: President & Founder, NFL Films, Local Business Success Story Award Cathy Gandolfo: News Reporter, Action News, ‘RowHome Grown’ Media Award Michael Toklish: President, Friends of Jefferson Square Park, Community Service Award

Blue Sapphire Award Alumni Sharon Pinkenson: Greater Philadelphia Film Office, Local Business Success Story Award Jerry Blavat: Geator Gold Radio, Entertainment Award Ed Snider: Chairman, ComcastSpectacor, Sports Award Dr. Jack Carr: Founder, Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP), Leaders in Education Award Rev. Gary Pacitti: Pastor, Annunciation BVM Parish, Community Service Award Michael Neill: Director of Apprentice Training, IBEW Local 98, Leaders in Education Award Mario Tropea Jr.: Spectrum Realty, Business Mentor Award Barbara Capozzi: Capozzi Realty, Business Mentor Award

Philadelphia RowHome Magazine congratulates our 2018

WishRock Winners 2018 WishRock Award

Anything is Possible if You Believe in Yourself by BRENDA HILLEGAS photos by ANDREW ANDREOZZI

From the time we published our first issue in 2004, Philadelphia RowHome Magazine has honored people who have changed lives for the better. For us. For our neighborhoods. For generations of families. For years to come. Every year, we present these individuals with our Blue Sapphire Award to thank them for their selfless dedication to our City. In 2012, we decided to honor talented youngsters who aspire to the same commitment as their seasoned mentors. We call it the WishRock Award. It is a reminder that all great accomplishments begin with a dream.

EDWARD CAPPIO Q: Who are you? Tell us a little about yourself in five sentences or less.

A: I’m a hard worker and

a dear friend on whom everyone can rely. I’m always setting an example of how


a diligent student should be at Philadelphia Performing Arts: A String Theory Charter School. I am ready to sacrifice my own time to help my friends, family or anyone in general who needs my help. I am always ready to step in and provide a solution to problems that anyone faces even if it has nothing to do with me. I listen to problems, whether it’s personal or not with the intention of just trying to be a good friend.

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

Q: What are your hobbies? A: Hanging out with my friends and the Mummers. Q: What is your favorite song? A: “Good Riddance” by Green Day Q: What do you and your family like to do together? A: Go on vacations, day trips to

the beach and Six Flags.

Q: What are your favorite places to

hang out in Philadelphia?

hang out in Philadelphia?

A: My Mummers club, the Avenuers.

A: The Art Museum steps, South Street,

A: It would have to be Dr. Jack Carr because he always inspired me to do more when I thought I couldn’t.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? A: Working in the Engineering industry,

Passyunk Ave, Penn’s Landing, Center City, the Schuylkill River Trail and the Navy Yard.

Q: Name a teacher who has made a

Q: Tell us about an accomplishment

lasting impression on you and why.

gineer with my own studio recording and working with bands and artists.

A: My ELA 2 and AP Language & Composi-

Q: Name a teacher who has made a last-

A: Winning a local singing competition when I was

hopefully my own company, and providing my family with whatever they need.

tion teacher Ms. Rachel Hunter. No matter if you had a problem with English or a personal problem, you know you can always go to her. She’s taught me how to write more efficiently and all the different styles and devices you can use in your writing the proper way. If any teacher has left a lasting impression on me, it was her and I couldn’t have asked for a better English teacher.

Q: Name a person in history you would invite to dinner. A: Thomas Edison. I would ask him what

prompted him to all of his thoughts.

Q: Tell us about an accomplishment

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? A: I see myself as a successful sound en-

ing impression on you and why.

A: My high school music teacher Jeremy Rosa who taught rock band elective is the most humble and down to earth teacher I’ve ever had. Whenever I was doubtful of myself when it came to preparing for a performance, he showed me to be confident and to not give up.

Q: Name a person in history you would invite to dinner. A: George Beauchamp, the inventor of

the electric guitar. I would love to have a deep conversation about the science that was put into his instrument building.

that has made you the most proud.

Q: Tell us about an accomplishment

A: So far, receiving this award. If I didn’t have such a great support team with my family and friends, I would have never made it this far.

A: Definitely winning this award. It is truly humbling

Q: What advice would you give to someone wanting to reach their goals?

A: Things will get hard and you can not let

the roadblocks get to you and make you think about quitting because you failed the first time. Keep trying. You will only get stronger and you can accomplish anything.

Q: What was your favorite memory of summer 2018? A: A day at Six Flags with my friend Juls.

VINCENZO CONGIALDI Q: Who are you? Tell us about yourself in five sentences or less.

A: I’m Vincenzo and I also

go by the nickname Cenzo or Cenz. I started playing guitar at the age of four after my father introduced me to rock virtuoso guitarist Joe Satriani. I went to Girard Academic Music Program for middle school and I’m part of the first graduating class of 2017 from String Theory High School. Throughout my high school career, I majored in creative writing and was involved with the school’s rock band elective. I now attend Community College of Philadelphia for Sound Recording and Music Technology.

Q: What are your hobbies? A: Going to the gun range, bike rid-

that has made you the most proud.

and makes me want to work even harder to reach my goals as a guitar player and future sound engineer.

Q: What advice would you give to some-

13. It really helped build my confidence on stage.

Q: What advice would you give to someone wanting to reach their goals?

A: Everything happens for a reason. You may feel

defeated sometimes but you can always reach your goals by taking things step by step and being patient.

Q: What was your favorite memory of summer 2018? A: Summer 2018 has been memorable for so many

reasons but growing closer to my band and the experiences I’ve had with them has made it phenomenal.

Q: Is there anything else you want people to know about you?

A: I want people to know that I am a big support-

er of the Gift of Life Organ Donation Program. It’s a huge part of my life and I encourage you to sign up to be an organ donor if you’re not already because you can save someone’s life someday.


cused. Be true to yourself with whatever it is you’re passionate about and never give up.

Q: Who are you? Tell

Q: What was your favorite memory of summer 2018? A: Doing the photo shoot with RowHome Magazine.

PAIGE ROMANO Q: Who are you? Tell us about yourself in five sentences or less.

A: I started singing at the age of five and have been doing it ever since. Currently, I’m a barista at Starbucks and teach Rock University. I’m also the lead singer of The Morning After Wedding Band. Q: What are your hobbies? A: I love photography and being

around friends in my spare time!

Q: What is your favorite song? A: “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles

because it reminds me of my dad and every time I hear it, I’m instantly happy.

Q: What do you and your family like to do together? A: My mom and I love to thrift, find new

Q: What is your favorite song? A: “Satch Boogie” by Joe Satriani. This

Q: What are your favorite places to hang out in Philadelphia?

A: Passyunk Avenue, Chinatown and Fishtown. Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? A: In 10 years I see myself pursuing mu-

sic along with being a personal trainer.

during the summertime, spend time together.

Q: Name a teacher who has made a last-

Q: What are your favorite places to

ing impression on you and why.

that has made you the most proud.

one wanting to reach their goals?

places to eat and go to the gym together.

Q: What do you and your family like to do together? A: We like to go out to eat, go down the shore

ration to me as a female in this industry.

A: Work hard, stay positive and stay fo-

ing, hanging with friends and family.

is the song that inspired me to really want to pick up the electric guitar.

Q: Name a person in history you would invite to dinner. A: Janis Joplin because she’s such a big inspi-

us about yourself in five sentences or less.

A: I’m 12 years old and, at 11 years old, I became the youngest String Band Captain in Mummers history. I’m a lifelong member of Duffy String Band and participated in my first New Year’s Day parade when I was 11 months old, held in the arms of my father, Captain Ted Kudrick. Following the unexpected death of my father last year, I assumed the role of Captain. I currently attend 7th grade at Strath Haven Middle School. Q: What are your hobbies? A: Mummers, baseball, basketball and karate.

I play baseball for Top Lumber Baseball/Softball Academy and Nether Swarthmore; play CYO basketball and train at MBMA Karate where I earned my black belt in Winter 2016 and first degree black belt in Spring 2018.

Q: What is your favorite song? A: My favorite song is “Believer” by Imagine Dragons. Q: What do you and your family like to do together? A: Most of my family is involved in our string band.

My dad and grandfather were Captains before me. My mom plays tenor saxophone and my aunts, uncles and cousins all participate. My mom and I love to go to Eagles games together and took a trip to Canton, OH to see Brian Dawkins be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We all like to go down the shore to North Wildwood in the summer.

Q: What are your favorite places to hang out in Philadelphia?

October / November / December 2018


PRHSALUTE TO SERVICE A: Lincoln Financial Field, the Duffy String Band clubhouse in Fishtown and the Mummers clubhouses on Two Street.

so many! At the moment it is “Barracuda” by Heart.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? A: I will be graduating college and looking for a job.

Jersey shore points as well as going out to dinner and celebrating many family events because we are such a big Italian family.

I want to be a baseball player or a police officer. I really hope that I will have won 1st prize Captain!

Q: What do you and your family like to do together? A: We enjoy going to many of the Southern

Q: What are your favorite places to

Q: Name a teacher who has made a last-

hang out in Philadelphia?

ing impression on you and why.

A: I enjoy going to Stogie Joe’s for din-

A: I have had a lot of supportive teachers. One of the most memorable is my 5th grade teacher, Mark Rosenberg, from Nether Providence Elementary School. I always had trouble in school, but Mr. Rosenberg believed in me and helped me gain confidence in my abilities. He helped me learn to believe in myself and I am very grateful to him. Q: Name a person in history you would invite to dinner. A: My dad. Q: Tell us about an accomplishment that has made you the most proud.

A: I tied for 4th place Captain in the 2018

Mummers parade in my first year. Our band finished 9th, which was our highest placement in more than 50 years! It was an emotional day for all of us because we really wanted to put on a performance that would make my dad proud.

Q: What advice would you give to someone wanting to reach their goals?

A: Never give up and always believe in yourself! Q: What was your favorite memory of summer 2018? A: My 12U Cal Ripken baseball team ad-

ner and Rim Cafe for dessert, as well as Jim’s Steaks and John’s Water Ice.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? A: In 10 years I hope to be working in a record-

ing studio while writing my own songs and touring as much as possible. I plan to continue working hard to achieve all of my goals!

Q: Name a teacher who has made a lasting impression on you and why.

A: My Spanish teacher of two years, Señora Kirk. She has taught me so much about life, how precious relationships are, and to always follow my dreams. She has supported and helped me through a lot of hurdles I have been through in life. Q: Name a person in history you would invite to dinner. A: I would invite Celine Dion. She is

an incredible singer and I would love to just have a conversation with her.

Q: Tell us about an accomplishment that has made you the most proud.

A: Getting accepted into Berklee Col-

lege of Music (my dream school)!

vanced through the District Tournament and competed in the PA State Tournament.

Q: What advice would you give to some-

Q: Is there anything else you want

A: I would say you have to work hard and stay driv-

people to know about you?

A: My dream is to be awarded 1st prize Captain in the Mummers parade!

ANTONIA BRUNETTI Q: Who are you? Tell us about yourself in five sentences or less.

A: I am a recent graduate from Washington Township High School and I will be attending Berklee College of Music in Boston in the fall. As of a year-and-a-half ago, I was hired as a lead singer for The Business. I have been singing since I was two years old in addition to dancing for nine years and acting in a variety of musicals and plays for eight years. When I am not working with my band, I enjoy spending time with family and friends. Q: What are your hobbies? A: I sing and enjoy going to the gym. Q: What is your favorite song? A: That’s a very difficult question because there are


one wanting to reach their goals?

en. You need to love the process of it no matter how hard it may be because once you achieve that goal, there’s no better feeling than knowing you’ve done your best. And don’t ever compromise who you are for what you want. Always stay true to yourself.

Q: What was your favorite memory of summer 2018? A: My graduation party! Q: Is there anything else you want people to know about you?

A: I have worked very hard to achieve my

goals and I am so honored and grateful to be a recipient of the WishRock Award.

Q: What are your hobbies? A: Producing music, playing guitar, go-

ing to the gym and traveling.

Q: What is your favorite song? A: Currently, my favorite song is “Legends” by

Juice WRLD because it speaks about the problems of the world and in the music industry specifically.

Q: What do you and your family like to do together? A: Taking day trips to the shore is one of

our favorite things to do in the summer.

Q: What are your favorite places to hang out in Philadelphia?

A: Cira Green in University City, Passyunk Avenue and The Navy Yard.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? A: I hope to be working in a local hospital

as a registered nurse (doing photography on the side) while living somewhere in the Tristate area with a beautiful house and wife.

Q: Name a teacher who has made a lasting impression on you and why.

A: My 11th and 12th grade math teacher, Melissa

Fenske, because she was a young teacher that I was easily able to relate to as a young adult. She is also a very outgoing and meaningful person.

Q: Name a person in history you would invite to dinner. A: I would invite Abe Lincoln because he was a very

underestimated and intelligent man for his era.

Q: Tell us about an accomplishment that has made you the most proud.

A: Completing my first full wedding photography

job as the exclusive photographer at the age of 17.

Q: What advice would you give to someone wanting to reach their goals?

A: I would tell anyone with a goal to work hard

now for the future and do not live in the past. A goal is something that we set and have to work hard to reach for, therefore, if we focus on the future and reaching that goal, it will become much easier. Everything that we do in the present will affect the future, but nothing can change the past. So it is important to work hard now to be rewarded later on.

Q: What was your favorite memory of summer 2018? A: Going to the Bahamas with some of my clos-

est friends. I also visited Canada and Costa Rica.

Q: Is there anything else you want people to know about you?

GABRIEL BENDOTTI Q: Who are you? Tell us about yourself in five sentences or less.

A: I am a hard worker in everything I do. Hard

work is something that is so valuable in life because it represents dedication. And dedication is the strongest form of commitment there is.

A: I am an undergraduate nursing student at Widener University. Photography is something that I loved to do from the moment I picked up my first camera. I also really enjoy playing, producing and listening to music because it is another outlet that I can use to express myself creatively.

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018


“Oh, Dem Golden Slippers” by James A. Bland (1854-1911)

Did You Know…

2531-35 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia PA 19148

“Oh, Dem Golden Slippers” is a popular song commonly sung by blackface performers in the 19th century. Written by African-American James A. Bland in 1879, it is considered an American standard today – particularly known as a bluegrass instrumental standard. James A. Bland was an entertainer and composer who wrote sentimental songs about the American South for use in minstrel shows. Born in Flushing, New York on October 22, 1854, he briefly studied at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Inspired by the spirituals and folk songs he heard performed by ex-slaves working on the Howard campus, he soon abandoned academics in favor of a profession in music. A self-taught banjo player, Bland found work at clubs and hotels before turning his attention to composition and minstrel entertainment. In the late 1870s, Bland began his professional career as a member of the first successful all-black minstrel company, the Georgia Minstrels. He used the minstrel show as a platform for introducing his composed work. James A. Bland died alone in Philadelphia on May 5, 1911 from tuberculosis. His death received little attention and he was buried in an unmarked grave, but in 1939, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) located his burial spot and erected a headstone there to commemorate his life.

October / November / December 2018



DR. MARIA MCCOLGAN Philadelphia Board of Education

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by SANTINA PESCATORE hat is in the best interest of the child?” The question remains Dr. Maria McColgan’s guiding principle. As a new member of the Philadelphia Board of Education, Dr. McColgan strives to put that motto into action. Born and raised in South Philadelphia, McColgan attended both St. Mary’s and St. Paul’s elementary schools and Central

High School. She then went on to Temple University where she received three degrees. “I always planned on being a pediatrician from when I was five years old,” Dr. McColgan says. Though McColgan wanted to be a pediatrician, she also loved teaching and found a special interest in the study of psychology. She decided to first become a teacher in two public schools in Philadelphia and earn her master’s in education. As a teacher, she witnessed first-hand the inadequacies of the school’s facilities. Students performed at levels behind and the administration failed to intervene during a very serious incident. It was time to shift her focus and apply to medical school though she remained steadfast in her desire to improve the Philadelphia education system. Always interested in advocacy and politics, Dr. McColgan completed her residency at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and, encouraged by a mentor, set out to learn more about child abuse. “You don’t pick child abuse pediatrics, it picks you,” Dr. McColgan says. In May 2005, the clinic opened at St. Christopher’s Hospital and Maria McColgan, M.D. became the Medical Director of the Child Protection Program. In 2017, McColgan moved to the


The Tradition Continues the Fourth Generation

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

CARES Institute at Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine to create a fellowship program to train physicians in child abuse pediatrics as the Program Director of the Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship Program. In addition to working as a pediatrician, Dr. McColgan has served on many boards. From 2011 to 2017, she served on the Children’s Trust Fund after being appointed by the Governor. She also served as a member of the Philadelphia Academy Charter School and Northeast Victim Services. She currently is a member of Prevent Child Abuse America. As a new member of the Board of Education, Dr. McColgan already has spent countless hours meeting with other members to learn all there is to know about the education system in Philadelphia. She says the listening tours where she and fellow board members engage with the community to understand the real issues and concerns that plague schools in Philadelphia have been most informative. Dr. McColgan and the Board have identified five areas that need the most improvements in the Philadelphia school system: facilities, equity, hiring and retaining good teachers, structure and stabilizing funding. As a pediatrician, a lifelong teacher and student, a parent, and a new member of the Philadelphia Board of Education, Dr. Maria McColgan strives to put her beliefs into action. “Every child deserves the opportunity for education. PRH


WALTER T. LORD South Philadelphia native named President of Valley Forge Military Academy


by LIAM DIVON n April 2018, General Walter T. Lord began his tenure as Valley Forge Military Academy and College (VFMAC) president. General Lord is the second alumnus to be named school President and the first President ever commissioned at VFMAC during his service. Before taking this position at VFMAC, General Lord served as the Military Executive, Reserve Forces Policy Board, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington D.C. at the Pentagon.


Before embarking on a distinguished military career that spanned 36 years, Lord grew up as the youngest of four on the 2400 block of Phillip Street in South Philadelphia. He attended Our Lady of Mt. Carmel grade school before attending Saint John Neumann High School. General Lord said that while growing up, he always wanted to join the military, which led him to accept a scholarship to VFMAC’s College Class of 1984. He was commissioned in 1984 through the Army’s Early Commission Program offered at VFMAC’s College. Finally, General Lord went on to receive his bachelor’s degree from La Salle University, in addition to other degrees from the United States Naval War College and United States Army War College. He said he felt both honored and intimidated when he was offered the Presidential position, however, his passion for the school influenced him to accept. “Passion made me take the job. The institution needs to turn a corner. I saw the school was heading down a rocky path and knew I needed to make an impact.” Military schools throughout the United States have been closing and VFMA has gone through its own ups and downs with enrollment and finances. General Lord said his main goal as President is to raise enrollment and donations in order to provide the best

circumstances for incoming cadets. During General Lord’s first nine weeks as President, he raised more than $600,000 to help the school reach its fundraising goal of $1.5 million. For the 2018-2019 academic year, VFMAC expects to enroll about 560 to 580 cadets in the academy, which includes a middle school and high school as well as the college. General Lord understands the position will be demanding but is confident that his military background will help him achieve his vision for VFMAC. Unlike most Pentagon officials, General Lord chose to have his retirement ceremony in the VFMAC chapel. He said it was important to mark his retirement in the same place where he was equipped with the foundation to succeed. The chapel at VFMAC is also a very special place for the Lord family because it is where General Lord married his wife Grace - also a South Philadelphia native - in 1990. “Every great foundation is built into bedrock. Valley Forge Military Academy and College is the foundation for every success I have ever had. South Philadelphia is my bedrock because it taught me grit, toughness and determination. South Philadelphia prepared me for Valley Forge. Valley Forge prepared me for success,” he says. To learn more about Valley Forge Military Academy and their opportunities, you can visit their website at PRH

October / November / December 2018





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In Chicago back in 1916, Melvin Jones founded The Adelphia Lions, a non-political service corporation. Helen Keller went to one of Jones’ meetings and asked if he would help the blind. He graciously accepted her heartfelt request. As of April 2015, there are more than 46,000 local Lions clubs and 1.4 million members in over 200 countries. Here in South Philly, a small group of women with

very big hearts rule the Adelphia Lions’ local chapter. They raise money for charities like The Ronald McDonald House, St. Lucy’s Auxiliary to The Blind and Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech. The Lions are volunteers who serve their community in the name of humanity, taking time out of their lives to help those in need. They keep a low profile, never expecting recognition because it comes from the generosity of their hearts. These small acts of kindness reinforce the fact that there are good people in the world. Volunteers do not concern themselves with race, color or religion. They simply want to help anyone in need and this is the force that drives them. Adelphia Lion Phyllis Liberati says “it is so gratifying to know that we are helping the hearing impaired and the blind lead more




| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

productive lives. Being a part of this group has greatly enriched my life.” Members of this humanitarian society are the unsung heroes for their selfless work in our great community. It takes one random act of kindness each and every day to change the world and the women of the Adelphia Lions Club are always ready for the next challenge. Lions is an acronym. It stands for Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation’s Safety. Their motto is simple. “We Serve.” The agenda at every meeting is just as simple. Members sing “God Bless America,” say a prayer before dinner and raise a water glass while proclaiming, ‘Not above you, not beneath you, but with you.’ “I am truly honored to be a part of this noble and successful charity,” says Phyllis Marino, a chartered member since 1980. “Hopefully, this great tradition will be carried on for generations to come.” PRH



500 E Chelten Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19144


Built in 1875 by LAUREN LAMANTIA he Miraculous Medal Shrine, located in the heart of Philadelphia, provides a sense of calm and peace to all who enter. The comforting motherly presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, helps visitors feel God’s love. Through her motherly intercession, she provides solace and hope to those who visit, seeking guidance and hope. The Miraculous Medal is unique among all medals. Our


Lady manifested the Medal to St. Catherine Labouré on November 27, 1830, in Paris, at the motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac. This was the third apparition to St. Catherine Labouré: St. Catherine saw Our Lady standing on a globe with dazzling rays of light streaming from her outstretched hands. Framing the figure was an inscrip-

with a piece of the cloth from the original chair on which Our Lady sat when she appeared to St. Catherine. Originally known as the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, the Shrine was built in 1875 as a place of worship for the Vincentian priests of the Congregation of the Mission— commonly known as Vincentians, after their founder, St. Vincent De Paul. The Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal was added to the west side of the Chapel and dedicated on September 8, 1927. The Miraculous Medal Perpetual Monday Novena began at the Shrine in 1930; it has been prayed at the Shrine every Monday without fail since that date and is now prayed worldwide. The Miraculous Medal Shrine, an official designated Pilgrimage Site

of the Philadelphia Archdiocese, welcomes thousands of visitors a year. If you are interested in visiting the Shrine to pray, meditate or to continue your religious journey, this beautiful church is located at 500 E. Chelten Avenue, Philadelphia. Visitors enjoy lighting vigil candles for their personal intentions, often in memory of loved ones who have passed. These can be lit for varying lengths of time. Although the Shrine’s beauty is breathtaking, the comfort people feel and the graces and favors received through the intercession of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal have touched many, attracting the faithful from all over. Why not visit to see for yourself? “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” PRH

October / November / December 2018


tion: “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” Then Mary spoke to Catherine, telling her: “Have a medal struck upon this model. Those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around the neck.” In the first Miraculous Medal apparition, Our Lady was sitting in a chair and St. Catherine knelt beside her, conversing with her for a long time. The Miraculous Medal Shrine displays a replica of this chair, along


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Marine Mom starts support group for soldiers’ families

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iving from the heart is in the blood of Marine Mom Karen Jennings. “My father always helped people,” she begins. “He did for the neighbors - shovel snow and look at oil burners. He instilled that spirit in me. In high school, I volunteered to help the mentally challenged, and helping in the Pre-K. When my son was small, we made peanut butter sandwiches and fed the homeless.” In September of 2003, her son made the decision to serve

his country in the United States Marine Corps. He deployed to Iraq in July of 2004. Anxiety set in. “To say I was distraught is an understatement. I was frightened and so worried. I cried for three weeks. I contacted the Marine base in Camp Lejeune North Carolina. I asked about support groups. I was told only spouses, nothing for parents. I even offered to go down there at my own expense for training because they train the spouses. They told me no. I thought about it for a few days and decided to start my own group, to support military families that are going through this. I thought


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That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.

I can’t be the only parent that is distraught for your child being in the war. I flew by the seat of my pants.” From the very beginning, it was a grassroots effort. Her church gave her use of a meeting room. “I made flyers and dropped them off at people’s homes; put them on windshields of cars, any veterans groups, American Legion Posts, VFW halls, Veterans Affairs Offices, all churches…. I just called everybody!” Seven people showed up for her first military support meeting. Soon, though, word spread and now 30 to 50 people meet every month at an American Legion Post. “At first, we just talked about our kids being de-


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

With a handmade blanket as a background, Karen Jennings is surrounded by photos of her son, awards and an overflowing care package of love. ployed, as a support group. But someone read on the Wounded Warriors website that when the injured are taken off the battlefield and to the hospital, all their clothes are removed and they have nothing. So we started to gather handmade afghans and quilts. We also started to collect small toiletry items, snacks, food and entertainment items for weekly care packages.” Today, family members of the deployed are supported, as are all men and women of all military branches. It costs $17.99 to send a fully packed box and 600-700 boxes are sent out each year. “People genuinely want to help our troops but they just don’t know what to do. Yes, we hear of bad stories but there are more kind and loving people out there. Send a card or a letter. The troops are very grateful when they receive a box. I hear from them many times and they say ‘you don’t even know me and you sent me a package.’ It’s not so much about what is inside the box. I call them boxes of love. We care, love and support you. Someone is thinking of you; praying for you. I sometimes get asked why do we have to buy them toothpaste. It’s not so much about the toothpaste but if they don’t have it, they have to buy it. If you’re fighting for your country and you’re in a hellish place, where are you going to be buying soap or toothpaste? We always send enough to share for the group. We get names and addresses to send from all over the country.” Locally, groceries, clothing, school supplies and gift cards are distributed to military families. “I always thought if you volunteered one hour a week, the world would be a nicer place. You need to bring joy and love to our fellow citizens. You end up being blessed.” If you wish to donate or support: MSGNJ P.O. Box 118, Stratford NJ 08084 | 1-609-206-2015

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October / November / December 2018


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Sal DiNubile


beyond Words by REV. JOHN STABENO


utumn is traditionally a time we remember those who have gone before us. It has been said that when the leaves fall from the trees, it is a sign of our future return to the Earth. Death is something none of us will be able to avoid; nothing can stop the inevitable course of nature. Yet, we are not supposed to outlive our children. The death of a child seems to go against the natural order and remains the worst nightmare of any parent. Words seem so inadequate to express our sympathies and even less able to describe the pain and emptiness in the life of the parents. Some years ago, I assembled a group of parents with deceased children and a handful of their still living children to meet regularly in the homes of one another. In the course of one of the gatherings, a parent mentioned this was the only place she felt comfort. From that time on, we called ourselves the Comfort Club. We realized that there was no one who understood a grieving parent more than another grieving parent. When they gather, there is no need to wear the mask that a grieving parent uses all day long to hide the brokenness and sadness tucked just beneath. It does not matter how your child dies. The pain is the same.


It doesn’t matter if you have one child or 10. The pain is the same. Sure, there are variations on the theme; suicide, homicide, disease, accident and overdose all leave families with different questions, struggles and aftermath. They are different but the loss of a child unites them. Many people don’t know what to say to parents who lose a child. No one wants to risk saying the wrong thing. Don’t be afraid to talk about their child. Trust me, they don’t want anyone to forget them. People fear bringing up their children will remind them of their loss, but the thought of their children is always on their minds. No one wants to walk in their shoes but we can all walk with them. Often times, the circle of family and friends surrounding parents of angel children gets smaller. Regardless of whether people are avoiding them or they are avoiding others, it is almost always the inevitable result. It is called the new normal. The everyday tasks of cooking, food shopping and other daily life chores and events change dramatically. Things that mattered before, matter little now. Things that once seemed taken for granted are now valued. Nothing puts life in greater perspective than death. And the death of a child is unlike any other

loss. Please do not tell a parent in this situation that you know how they feel because you have lost a spouse, a parent or a pet. Those losses fail in comparison. Don’t tell them that this was God’s plan, their child is in a better place or that they will feel better in time. God mourns with the parents and so should we. As family members and friends, the most we can do is show up and be there. No anecdotal niceties, pious religious platitudes or motivational quotes can relieve any of the foundational questioning of faith, heartcrushing ache or endless streams of unconnected thoughts that seem common in the days, months and years following such a loss. Recently, our community has had its share of losses of some of our finest young. The tragedy of the murder of Salvatore “Tankie” DiNubile has given witness of an entire community suffering the loss of one of our own. The outpouring of grief and support gave testimony to the character of Tankie and the love and loyalty he possessed even at the tender age of 16. When Richie Hinkie died from an overdose, the touching words of his mother Nancy Hinkie stated how proud she is of her son and the man he had been. Despite his addiction, he was always close to God and a person of respect and love. After the death of his son, Dave

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

Griggs said, “If money can solve your problem, you don’t have problems.” The stories and journeys of parents is a journey like no other. When one loses a child, most often they go deep within to hold onto the treasures that time can never take away. In the fall of 1962, on the eve of The Second Vatican Council, Pope John XXIII gave his most memorable speech from the balcony of the Apostolic Palace under a full moonlit sky. His words still impart wisdom to us today and are worth remembering this fall. “And so, let us continue to love each other, to look out for each other along the way: to welcome whoever comes close to us, and set aside whatever difficulty it might bring. When you head home, find your children. Hug and kiss your children and tell them, ‘This is the hug and kiss of the Pope.’ And when you find them with tears to dry, give them a good word. Give anyone who suffers a word of comfort. Tell them ‘The Pope is with us especially in our times of sadness and bitterness.’ And then, all together, may we always come alive — whether to sing, to breathe, or to cry, but always full of trust in Christ, who helps us and hears us, let us continue along our path.”

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“Hey, it’s

Richie.” by Mark Moss


t 12:28 AM, in the early morning of May 12, 2018, a nurse from Pennsylvania Hospital gave me a stethoscope. I put the eartips in and placed the bell on his chest. “Hey, it’s Richie.” My friend Richie Hinkie always started a call or text that way, like the caller ID didn’t alert me to who was calling. It drove me out of my mind. I’ve known Richie since he was born. He and I became closer in his late teens. Give or take some


periods, I’ve seen or spoken to Richie every day for 25 years. Rich had struggles. He was honest about them – never hiding behind or blaming others for his addiction. His mom hopes his life story will help addicts seek recovery. Or maybe their loved ones can learn the causes of relapse. I’ve been blessed with the greatest friends in my life. Richie was kind and generous. He once left my house to buy cigarettes. But, when he ran into a neighbor who needed $13, Rich gave him his last $7. He returned later to the neighbor’s house with the remaining $6 – never mentioning where he got it. He was loving and always gave the


best hugs. It was probably the Italian in him. When he hugged you, his arms wrapped around you and he’d place his head on your shoulder. Immediately, you knew his love and affection for you were sincere. He didn’t care what color you were, who you loved, what political party or mental state you were in. His friendship was undeniable. He was like an old Italian grandmother. He could never do enough to help people. He was caring, compassionate and empathetic. I recently had a serious illness. Treatments following the surgery were unbearable. I couldn’t lift my head off the pillow. When my daughter wasn’t available, Richie was there. Even though he was going through his

own hellish struggles, he cared for me. Cleaning up when things got messy, with never a complaint. I’m that guy who comes home, drops his pants and kicks off his socks in his room. What I take off stays there until it’s time to wash. It drove Richie nuts. One night I arrived home and Richie was sitting on my front step. He needed a place to crash. We popped in a movie but I was out cold on the couch, instantly. Hours later, I woke up and he was gone. I walked in to find my bedroom transformed. He picked up and folded my clothes, organized my papers. He had gotten milk crates, stacked them neatly and used them to place his belongings in so it wouldn’t intrude on my space. Most people remember Richie’s incredible smile. It shone like a bright light. To me, I recall his intelligence. He was so smart. We talked endlessly for hours and he was fluent in all topics. And funny. I had worked for the Philadelphia Film Festival in Special Events, accompanying guests. One

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

night, the creators of Adult Swim on Cartoon Network were being honored. I asked Rich to come along. After the screening and obligatory meet and greet, the guests wanted nothing to do with parties in posh nightclubs. A guy named Ira from the Berlin Film Festival wanted to come along. Twelve hours of dive bars and underground nightclubs later, at an after-after hours club, it was 7:30 AM. Rich was laughing. After all my training on being attentive to guests, it was Richie who figured out that Ira was actually a woman named Era. Rich never tipped me off. Obviously, he had a wicked sense of humor. Richie Hinkie’s story sounds like unicorns and rainbows. This is not that kind of story. Already, 72,000 people have died from an overdose in 2018 and the year’s not yet over. Drugs don’t care how smart you are, how rich, poor or connected your parents are. They have no interest in how much you are loved. Rich, on his very first try, was

hooked. Drugs enter your body seeking vulnerability. Once found, they feed off it – tricking your brain into believing it’s something you want, but in reality, forcing you to need it. A weekend warrior, a teenager wanting to be cool or long term pain are innocent reasons to begin. Addiction is a power without equal. Richie was vain. Looks were important and he was an impeccable dresser with a body he kept proudly in shape. He spent hours on his hair. But, as with most addicts, vanity becomes an afterthought. Rich explained, ‘You forget who you were.’ You stop caring what you need to do to get high or that you hurt your loved ones. People give up on you. Once an addict, it forever becomes your scarlet letter. Which, then, causes deeper self-hatred and guilt, triggering a vicious cycle of detox, rehab, 12 steps,

While typically cognizant of triggers around Richie, one night, I convinced him to come out. A few of my friends were having a 21st birthday bar crawl. He wanted to stay in and watch a movie or talk. Rich had been sober for 12 months and remained diligent while I enjoyed myself. Even with temptation everywhere, he got me home safe. I didn’t see him again for three months. Richie was not a sensitive guy. He was strong, never needing safe spaces. But triggers for an addict are many and varied. I told a friend how sick I was for ignoring Richie’s wellbeing. I knew I was to blame for his relapse. The friend responded, ‘No addict will dictate the fun I have. It’s called freedom. That’s not who we are.’ Wrong! That’s exactly who we are. It’s our humanity, our community and friends. People we grew up with

strength, power is your addiction. I’ve watched Ritchie struggle. I sat with him waiting out withdraw as he wriggled in pain – sweating and vomiting blood. If this epidemic hasn’t affected you yet, it may. Pharmaceutical companies continue to develop powerful drugs and doctors continue to prescribe them. A new drug, Adzenys – a gummy for children suffering with ADHD – has been approved by the FDA. It is an amphetamine; a gateway drug for eight-year-olds. Fighting this epidemic needs to begin in our neighborhoods. Elected officials only answer to donors and lobbyists. Politicians are our employees. Demand a tangible plan. If they have none, seek out one who does. Helping an addict can be as simple as a kind word or going home and

will forever remain empty wishes? My hope is all memory of the horrible person he at times could be faded away and he realized what a warm, friendly, kind, funny, loving and beautiful human being the real Richie Hinkie was. I am hopeful he knew how much his mother cherished him, how much she loved him. A love that knew no boundaries. He meant more to her than any treasure on earth. I hope he remembered he had a life full of family and friends who loved him unconditionally despite the choices he made. I hope he knows we forgive him. I’m hopeful that they were his last thoughts instead of being there on a cold, damp pavement on a dead end street alone. At 12:58 AM, after having just listened to his very last heartbeats, cables were pulled, tubes removed and the life story of Richie Hinkie ended.

recovery houses and relapse. That once vain, beautiful person loses self-respect. Rosy red faces, fit bodies and gorgeous skin transform into sunken cheek bones, jutting jaws, gray skin and ill fitting, filthy clothes. Once, Richie got arrested. I bailed him out in the past but this time, I refused. He understood and suggested someone who might. He said, ‘Can you go to that hardware store I like, on that street I go and ask that guy I talk to sometimes?’ I said, ‘What?’ Richie responded, ‘That’s all.’ Another time, he left my house to go to the store. He borrowed my new green hoodie. He was gone, tops, six minutes. When he came back, he had on a black hoodie with a gray horizontal stripe that read, “Top Dog.” There was no point in even asking. That was part of the fun of Richie Hinkie.

and have known all our lives. Families in our neighborhood watched over each other; helped raise and care for each other’s children. We’ve been asking to get back to a Christian nation. Now, we judge? If we want to do as Jesus would, the mantra every man for himself doesn’t work. I am not blaming society for Richie’s bad choice. But, it hurts hearing people call him a loser; calling drug addicts a waste who should kill themselves. Some do. Richie gave me perspective on addiction. If you easily stress and crush cartons of ice cream to soothe anxiety, than food is your drug. Spending $12 two times a day instead of buying your child a new backpack? Cigarettes are your drug. Power – the more you have, the more you want. If having control over others gives you

making calls. Find a recovery or detox center. Offer a ride. Let’s look out for each other. We must work harder to stop mothers like Nancy Hinkie and others from having to publically air their anguished grief after the loss of their beautiful babies. Rich once told me, an addict will steal your wallet then help you look for it. Rich was selfish and broke our hearts. I will always wonder what more I should have done to save him. I cannot stop thinking about what was going through Richie’s mind when the needle entered his body that last time. Did he become instantly immobile, unable to reach out or scream for help? As he lay there paralyzed, did he know it was the end? Did he think of all the trips he and I had planned? Trips we could no longer pursue. Did he recall all the dreams he had, that now,

With his mom lying next to him, Richie was already turning blue. His eyes - Richie, since the day he was born - had life in his eyes – a sparkle. They were now black and wide. His chest ceased to rise and fall without the assistance of machines. But it struck me. He appeared to be smiling. I’ll never forget that. He seemed to be looking directly at me with a glimmer of joy. He was free. But I thought to myself selfishly, I didn’t want him to be. I wanted him to be at my house when I got home every night. I wanted to endlessly watch movies with him and listen to him laugh. I wanted to talk all night, again, not noticing the morning sun had risen. I once again want to smell his vulgar scent of cigarettes and cologne. What I wouldn’t give one last time to hear him say, “’s Richie.” PRH

October / November / December 2018




Courtesy of Philadelphia Department of Public Health


n response to a public health crisis unlike anything in the last century, the City of Philadelphia recognized International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31st. This is a global event held every year that aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. As part of the City’s comprehensive response to the opioid crisis, the City also released a new website that contains information about the crisis, what the City is doing about it, resources about where to get help and the latest data on the crisis and the City’s response. You can find it at In recognizing this day, the City of Philadelphia acknowledged the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. “Philadelphians deal with the effects of the opioid epidemic directly or indirectly every day,” Mayor Jim Kenney said. “The opioid crisis is a tragedy that affects all of us, from Kensington to South Philly, from West Philly

Dr. Adam Ellis family medicine

to the Far Northeast. My administration is working to not only save the lives of those affected by substance use disorder, but also to work to get them into treatment.” Philadelphia has been seen as an epicenter of the opioid crisis and has responded strongly to combat it. In 2017, the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office recorded 1,217 deaths from drug overdose. In 2016, there were 907 deaths from drug overdose. Mayor Kenney convened the Mayor’s Task Force to Combat the Opioid Epidemic in January 2017 to develop all-encompassing strategies to help save lives and bring about an end to the crisis. The Task Force made 18 recommendations that can be found at In addition to implementing those recommendations, the City filed a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers in response to their deceptive marketing practices and has worked to clear encampments in Kensington, linking people experiencing homelessness and substance use disorder with social services and treatment. To learn more about these initiatives and other ways the City is addressing the opioid epidemic, visit:

Why did you become a family doctor?

Any special areas of expertise?

I have many physicians in my family so you could say it was already in my blood as a child. When I was in elementary school, I couldn’t think of anything more valuable or interesting to me than a career in medicine. I liked getting to the root of a problem so I trained in both psychiatry and general surgery as a resident. I was given extra training in family medicine since I wanted to go into practice for myself.

I have a special interest in treating knee and shoulder pain. By using joint injections, I have helped patients decrease their joint pain and maintain their usual lifestyle until surgery is required.

What is your personal care standard for your patients?

Where did you grow up? I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended both the University of Pennsylvania and LaSalle University before going on to medical school.


Care with me is always personal with only me as the doctor. There are no other people between me and the patient. No students or physician assistants are in my office, so my patients get true continuity of care. This has been my standard for over 20 years. I offer house calls, visiting my patients right in the comfort and privacy of their own home. This is something only a private practitioner can offer their patients. I am happy to do it since I really enjoy getting to know the patients and their families. South Philly is very family-oriented; it’s just a special place and has wonderful families I have had the chance to care for.

During undergraduate summers, I sold art, as it was one of my interests as well as playing golf. Like most Philadelphians, I also enjoyed Ventnor growing up.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future? My hope is to spend the rest of my career practicing in South Philly as my patients have really added color and richness to my life. It’s been 20 years and continues to be a rewarding ride. I have admitting privileges and am on staff at both Jefferson and Methodist Hospitals. And I continue to make house calls. My staff and I welcome new patients to our office. Please give us a call if you would like to schedule an appointment: 215.334.2550.

For an appointment, call:

Adam Ellis, D.O.

1641 Jackson Street, (corner of 17th & Jackson)

P: 215.334.2550 |Open Monday through Saturday 48

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018




Real Estate Sales

Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays

1033 N. 2nd Street 5th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19123 Office: 215-400-2600 Cell: 609-636-9783




by FETTERMAN DESIGN GROUP The holiday season is fast approaching and many people will soon focus on decorating their homes to host family and friends. Dinner parties, happy hours, cookie swaps and get-togethers are in the near future. To help you avoid the dreaded decorating stress, Fetterman Design Group has some simple, inexpensive ways to help deck your halls.

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From planning to completion. All your contracting needs begin here. Licensed & Insured

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Start with a clean slate. Remove and store any knick-knacks that are not being used in the decorated rooms. Clearly label storage bins to make it easy to find the stored items when the holiday is over. Clearing your space before decorating can better help you visualize the area and conceptualize your plan.

THEME Choose a theme that complements your existing décor. Use decorations to enhance the room’s colors (walls, floors) and motif (antique vs modern). Keep your plan simple and don’t overclutter a room with holiday accessories. Don’t forget your entryway. It’s the first glimpse your guests will have of your home’s holiday warmth.

DO Support your holiday theme with simple accessories like throw rugs, blankets and pillows. Use colors (a red velvet throw) or patterns (plaid or beaded pillows) to highlight your theme. Consider hanging a new picture with a background that suits the time of year. String garland on a mantle or staircase or hang seasonal lights for soft background accenting. Complement your theme with colorful accents. Fill jars, bowls, vases, baskets, crates or cans with pinecones, flowers, ornaments, fruits (mini-pumpkins, squash, cranberries) or candy for added feeling and flair. Turn a simple antique bowl and colorful candle into a focal display on a shelf, table or dresser. Choose holiday decorations that you love. Arrange them so you feel warm and cozy in the spaces you decorate. If your holiday décor feels warm and cozy to you, chances are it will feel the same to your guests. Enjoy the season!

Fetterman Design Group / 856.534.3094 / 856.264.6816 / is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network.

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018


Brand New 3-story Townhomes with Garages starting at $475,900 Invest in a unique and luxurious lifestyle in Packer Park, one of Philadelphia’s most desirable neighborhoods, with its own fusion of style, culture and personality. Sports and entertainment venues are nearby, and great restaurants and FDR Park are right around the corner.

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Philly Dream Homes


& RDER LAWO Life Care Plan What is it & why do I need one?


Q: Why do we all need

a Life Care Plan?

A: Every person should have a

Life Care Plan, which insures that your wishes regarding end of life medical care and distribution of your assets are carried out. A Life Care Plan consists of a Will, Living Will or Health Care Directive and a Power of Attorney.

A: Will is a legal document that states your wishes regarding the administration and distribution of your assets upon your passing. Dying with a Will is called Testate. If you pass without a Will, it is known as Intestate. In that case, the Intestacy Statutes of Pennsylvania will dictate what person and in what proportion they will receive the assets you leave upon death irrespective of what you may have wanted.

A: Living Will or Health Care

Directive states your wishes about end of life health care in the event you are unable to make your own decisions or are permanently unconscious or have an end-stage medical condition. This only becomes effective when your doctor makes the determination

that one of these three conditions is met. This document can be drafted broadly or as specifically as stating who is to make those decisions on your behalf and what end of life care you desire.


Durable Power of Attorney is possibly the most powerful document of the three. This allows a person you appoint to act in your place and stead. This can be drafted in two ways; effective now or effective upon your subsequent incapacity or disability as determined by two competent physicians. The latter is what I recommend and is also known as a Springing POA. Durable means that the document will survive your subsequent incapacity or disability. To insure that your most important wishes are carried out without limitation, you should have a Life Care Plan. Once again, Frank DePasquale has been recognized by his peers as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for 2018. He heads DePasquale Law Offices, 2332-34 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145. P: 215.755.4410. Email him at or visit


Construction & Improvements LLC Licensed and Insured

215-669-7248 215-260-0748 October / November / December 2018



#BeSafe&EnjoyTheHolidays Look for the padlock when shopping online courtesy of RON RABENA Chief Administrative Officer, Allied Universal

Remember to keep the following safety and security tips in mind this holiday season. Share them with family, friends, colleagues, coworkers and building occupants to let them know you care. #BeSafe and Happy Holidays!

9 Smart Shopping Tips ❚ Park close to your destination, in a well-lit area and lock packages in the trunk. ❚ Carry your purse close to your body and stow your wallet inside a zippered pocket. ❚ Report any suspicious activity or unattended packages to store/mall security or law enforcement. ❚ Stay vigilant. Be aware of your surroundings: “If you see something, say something.”

❚ Pay by credit card instead of check/debit card to reduce the risk of funds being taken from your bank account. Keep all receipts and compare them to your monthly statements. ❚ Avoid being overcharged. Review your receipt if you pay by debit to ensure the transaction is correct. ❚ Keep your car key handy and lock your doors as soon as you get inside your vehicle.

❚ Shop online with known businesses. Avoid shopping online through pop-up ads. They may be phishing scams or contain malware. ❚ Conduct transactions on a secure server only. Look for the padlock device on the browser’s status bar. The URL should change from http to shttp or https when asked for payment information, which indicates the purchase is encrypted or otherwise secure.

8 Workplace Alerts ❚ Report all solicitors or suspicious persons to security immediately. ❚ Be suspicious of unfamiliar people claiming to be repairpersons. Thieves are apt to disguise themselves. ❚ Make sure your receptionist and/or security team clear any workers or contractors before allowing them into your office.

❚ Question visitors who wander throughout your offices. Legitimate guests will appreciate your offers of assistance, while potential solicitors or thieves will be deterred. ❚ Lock all personal items in a desk or file cabinet. Employees should never leave purses or wallets exposed where they can easily be stolen. ❚ Draw blinds after hours

so computers and other valuables are not visible from the outside. ❚ Close doors when the office is empty. Secure all valuables in a desk or closet when unattended. ❚ Request a security or buddy escort you to your car if you are working late and feel vulnerable.

Ron Rabena, Allied Universal, is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network.


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

7 Home Safety Guides ❚ Refresh your holiday lights. Consider buying energy-efficient LED types that are cooler than conventional incandescent lights and heed indoor or outdoor use labels. ❚ Point any decorative outdoor laser light at your home and not toward the sky. ❚ Turn off lights or decorations before bedtime. Set automatic timers for six or eight-hour increments to conserve energy. ❚ Monitor candles and fireplaces. Extin-

guish them before leaving the house or at bedtime. ❚ Install motion or lighting sensors that turn off automatically when no one is around. ❚ Let strangers who knock know you are home without opening your door. Do not feel compelled to donate to solicitors. ❚ Ask a neighbor to collect your mail or have the post office hold it if you plan to travel for an extended period.

6 Basic Fire Rules ❚ Fires peak, particularly in kitchens, during the holidays. Remain alert when preparing meals and keep potholders and food wrappers at least three feet away from heat sources. ❚ Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure they work at optimal level year-round. Replace batteries as needed. ❚ Know where your exits are located and hold regular fire drills. Practice at least two

evacuation routes from every area or building to your safe refuge area. ❚ Notify the property manager about exit lights that are broken or vandalized. ❚ Never prop open selfclosing doors. They are designed to keep flames and smoke from spreading. ❚ Keep exits and stairways free from obstructions at all times. Don’t store things on or under stairways or on landings.

5 More Tips & Resources ❚ Be sure to thank security professionals and others who help keep us safe and secure. ❚ Electrical Safety Foundation International’s Holiday Decorating Safety guide lists many resources. ❚ The National Safety Council recommends several Holiday Safety Tips.

❚ Be prepared for more thorough airport security checks by TSA and register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program before traveling abroad. ❚ Consult the Consumer Product Safety Commission website for recalls and alerts on toys and other products before making purchases.

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215.462.0505 DELIVERY AVAILABLE Hours: Mon-Fri. 7am – 5pm Saturday 8am – 1pm SOUTH PHILADELPHIA 1600-30 Washington Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19146

October / November / December 2018






This is an original recipe from Sicily that dates back many generations.

INGREDIENTS ➜2 lbs. of cod fish ➜2 onions (baccala) (about 8 ➜8 fresh large tomatoes pieces) or 8 pieces of pesce stocco (stock fish). Baccala or stock fish should be soaked in water for at least two days after purchase. Change the water every few hours. ➜O live oil

215.755.7180 3120 S 20th St, Philadelphia, PA 19145

Monday-Thursday • 11am-9pm Friday&Saturday • 11am-11pm Sunday • 12pm-9pm

We would like to welcome Benny Marsella and friends back every Saturday night. Happy Hour Monday through Friday 4:006:30PM. Visit our website for all of our upcoming events! Visit

w w w. p o p i s r e s t a u r a n t . c o m

or 2 cans of tomatoes

➜C apers ➜G arlic ➜5 -8 potatoes cut into chunks

➜2 0 pitted black olives ➜B asil, salt, red pepper flakes

➜S alt & Pepper to taste


Sauté garlic, onion and pepper flakes in olive oil. When the onions wilt, add tomatoes, sauté for five minutes. Add fish, potatoes, olives, basil, salt, black pepper to taste and capers. You can add a splash of wine if desired. You can also add two teaspoons of sugar or a few raisins for some sweetness. Add water to fill the rest of pot. Cook for a few hours (at least three) on simmer with lid on. Taste for salt. Let the stew cook slowly. Do not stir too often or you will break the fish apart and the mixture will be too thin.

PRH Signature Wine Pairing by Vincent Novello 2015 Pezat Bordeaux Supérieur $13

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| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

The Birthplace of Freedom

Still Has a King. 9th & Passyunk Avenue





INGREDIENTS ➜4 garlic cloves (run

through a garlic press) ➜1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest ➜2 cups coarsely chopped

fresh herbs (such as tarragon, rosemary, and basil or mint) ➜1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

DIRECTIONS Reverse searing means slow-cooking the meat for a long time in a slow oven, then quickly browning it in a very hot oven. Clear a shelf in the refrigerator. Rub a small amount of salt on the meat and place the unwrapped roast in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. This will dry age the meat to give it a nice crust. Depending on the size of the roast, a two-rib will need 3 hours of cooking time and a 30-minute rest. A four-rib roast will need


w w w . l o m b a r d i m e at s . c o m

➜1 Prime Rib roast, 2-4 ribs ➜S alt ➜P epper ➜1 /2 cup olive oil, divided

a 4-hour cooking time and 60 minute rest. Pre-heat oven to 225 degrees. Put a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet or use a V-rack in a roaster. Place the roast fat side up on the rack. Remove when internal temperature reaches 125 degrees. This will take three to four hours. Remove from oven and rest it for 30 to 60 minutes. In the meantime, increase oven temperature to 500 degrees. When oven is ready, return roast to oven and hot sear it for 10-12 minutes to crisp the outside.


A half-hour before serving time, make the Salsa Verde by mixing 1/4 cup oil, garlic and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let it sit for Lombardi’s Prime Meats is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network.

20 minutes. Add all the herbs and stir until well coated. Let stand until herbs begin to wilt, about 10 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup oil. Slice ribs and serve with sauce.

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Gourmet Gift Baskets & Specialty Italian Foods Shipped Anywhere! 58

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018




This is the original Spaghetti and Clams recipe from Naples. Whenever I am in Italy and I see fresh Verace clams in a restaurant, I order this specialty. It is a simple recipe that relies on fresh, high quality ingredients to express a harmony of flavors that always transport me back to Napoli and the Amalfi coast of my youth.

➜S paghetti (.75 Lb) ➜ V erace clams,

two lbs. (if Verace are not available, substitute with fresh high quality cockles or manilla)

INGREDIENTS ➜ F resh garlic to

taste (at least 1 large clove) ➜ F resh parsley (a healthy handful chopped fine) ➜H igh quality extra

virgin olive oil

➜D ried chili pepper (a pinch)

➜C racked black

pepper to taste

➜S ea salt to taste


Prepare a pot with well salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Add spaghetti (should be undercooked about 2 minutes). While water/pasta is boiling, clean the clams vigorously under running water, making sure to discard any that are broken or open. Rinse thoroughly, making sure that all sand has been cleaned away. Heat extra virgin olive in a large pan then add garlic. As the garlic becomes golden and infuses flavor in the oil, add the clams. Cover the pan with a lid and allow to cook until the clams open (few minutes). Separate the clam reduction into a new large pan on medium-high flame. Add spaghetti into the pan with the clam reduction, allow to finish its final two minutes in the pan. Add additional sea salt or cracked black pepper to taste if needed. Add back the clams as well as parsley with the pasta and clam reductions, toss. The key to this recipe is to time everything so that the pasta is ready when you drain the juice so that the clams don’t sit more than a few moments before they are tossed back in. When plating, place pasta in bowl, then clams, then add the reduction. Garnish with some fresh chopped parsley to taste. Pour a nice glass of local Falanghina or Fiano wine from the hills near Naples and enjoy the aromas and flavors of bella Napoli!

B E E F / P O R K / P O U LT R Y / V E A L / L A M B / P R E PA R E D F O O D S


“Three generations; a team that is a cut above the rest.”

Serves four guests. PRH Signature Wine Pairing by Vincent Novello Bailly Lapierre Sauvignon Blanc Saint Bris $15

Anthony, Vince & Vincent 1801 Packer Avenue / Philadelphia, PA 19145 P: 215.940.2211 / P: 215.334.1212 / F: 215.940.2210 Photo by Andrew Andreozzi

October / November / December 2018



The historic rebirth of one of Italy’s premier cafes

KAY KAY’S More than just a


authentic italian restaurant & bar gastronomic gelato artisan coffee roasting assaggi (tapas) / crudo regional italian wine & beer italian cultural school



Philly ast summer, RowHome highlighted the opening of Kaylyn Kahana’s and Tom Deeney’s Kay Kay’s (formerly Kay Kay’s Cakes and Cafe JEET) at 1850 W. Ritner Street. Their menu included an array of items ranging from fresh donuts and cakes to bagels and pastries. This past summer, Kay Kay’s turned it up a notch with a company rebrand. The rebrand included a name change, website overhaul, new menu and ordering options.

AP: Tell me about the company rebrand and why you chose to go in this direction? KK: We changed the name; we’re dropping the

“Cakes” and the “Cafe JEET” part. It seemed a little confusing to have two different names; people didn’t know if we were just cakes, just food. A lot of people to this day tell us they didn’t even know we had food. We want to rebrand under one name and just have people associate it with the coffee shop, the pastries, the specialty cakes, the full food menu and the catering that we do.

AP: With the rebrand, are you also serving new items on the menu or is it just the name and logo? KK: We are adding a bagel bar where we will

1716 CHESTNUT STREET PHILADELPHIA, PA 19103 215.568.5600 W W W . G R A N C A F F E L A Q U I L A. C O M

carry a bunch of different cream cheeses. We’re going to have guacamole cream cheese, crab rangoon cream cheese and more. We’re going to do a couple different filling options. We’re also adding hand-cut fries and we’re going to do different toppings. Also, bagel burgers!

AP: That’s a pretty creative menu. Where did the inspiration come from? KK: Tom is actually a chef. He’s worked in tons of

restaurants and even owned a couple, so these are all ideas he’s always had but never really had an outlet for.

AP: Are you open all day or just certain hours? KK: We open at 6:30 in the morning and close at 9:00 at night during the week, and we deliver all day long. We do breakfast or lunch with pastries and coffee all day long. We’re going to put that on our new menu but we are also on GrubHub for pickups and deliveries.

AP: Why such long hours? KK: With all the food options that we have - like the chicken cutlets and eggplant - it’s a pretty good dinner variety as well. We found that we get a nice dinner crowd around 5:30-6:00 pm and then again around 7:30-8:00 pm.

AP: How would you encourage people to stay connected with your company and get information about the updates? KK: For the time being, I’m keeping everything

pretty much day to day on our Facebook and Instagram. Facebook and Instagram are always going to be the most up to date way to follow us. The website itself is probably just going to have our regular menu, our catering menu and maybe some pictures, but we run specials a lot, including seasonal pastries and seasonal dinner specials. We’ll always put those on our Instagram story (@KayKaysCakes) and post them to Facebook (Kay Kay’s), as well.

Kay Kay’s is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network.


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018



This recipe has been in my family for generations and hopefully always will be.

INGREDIENTS ➜ 3 sticks of but➜1 tablespoon vanilla ter (softened) ➜4 cups flour ➜1 2 tablespoons ➜1 cup chopped sugar

➜1 /2 teaspoon salt



PIZZELLES INGREDIENTS ➜1 2 eggs ➜7 cups flour ➜3 cups sugar ➜2 teaspoons vanilla ➜2 cups oil ➜1 /2 jar anise seeds ➜8 tsp baking powder DIRECTIONS

Mix eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla and then dry ingredients. Put a small amount into a preheated pizzelle maker until golden brown.

➜P owdered sugar


Mix butter, sugar, salt and vanilla; slowly add flour until batter is firm. Add walnuts and roll into balls and put on a cookie sheet. Sometimes I add semi sweet morsels into the mix but that is optional. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees until light golden brown on bottom. After they have cooled down, roll in powdered sugar and serve.

October / November / December 2018




7 of the


Where did this custom begin? by MARIA MERLINO


La Vigilia or the Feast of the Seven Fishes as it is now known, has its roots in ancient Rome. In the year 312, Emperor Constantine spread Christianity throughout Europe in a more structured hierarchy. Over time, rules and sacraments were added. One of the rules was that all followers must abstain from meat or dairy on the vigil of Christ’s birth or la cena della Vigilia on the 24th of December. Mediterranean people naturally ate fish that day, probably calamari (galamaddi in Sicilian or galamadd in Southern Italy). During the mid-1800s-early 1900s, Southern Italy and Sicily were going through a radical change in leadership, which brought about higher taxes. A great wave of Italians arrived at Ellis Island to escape poverty and contribute their skills to the new land. They also brought their food culture. Eating a fish dinner from their region on Christmas Eve embraced their past. With newfound wealth, a variety of fish were added to the dinner but always an odd number of servings for “luck.” (i.e. 3 representing the Trinity; 7 representing the Sacraments; 11 for the Apostles (minus Judas); 13 for the Apostles (+ Jesus). More than a hundred years later, this ItalianAmerican tradition has endured. And each generation leaves its distinct imprint on it.

Meet me at the Penrose

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Food for thought 62

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

S E RV I N G B R E A K F A S T, L U N C H & D I N N E R



CALAMARI j o h n s c u s t o m s ta i r . c o m


One of the 13 fish dishes of the Tenaglia family Christmas dinner traditions!




1921 South Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19148 215-336-3557 800-248-3557

INGREDIENTS ➜5 pounds medium sized calamari, at least 8 inches long STUFFING ➜4 stalks celery, finely chopped ➜S alt ➜2 Vidalia onions, finely chopped ➜P epper ➜1 red pepper, finely chopped ➜1 pound jumbo lump crab meat ➜3 garlic cloves, finely chopped ➜3 eggs ➜O live oil ➜1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs ➜P aprika ➜H andful chopped parsley

Bella Angel Bridal Hair & Makeup

GRAVY ➜5 two-lb cans San Marzano ➜ F resh basil tomatoes, hand crushed ➜ F resh parsley, chopped ➜M inced garlic ➜3 small anchovy filets DIRECTIONS

Fresh calamari must be cleaned thoroughly by pulling off the filmy purple skin of the body. Turn each tube inside out and remove all interior contents. Remove as much skin as possible from tentacles. Set aside in the refrigerator. Heat olive oil in a heavy pan until shimmering. Add celery, onions, red pepper and garlic. Season to taste with salt, pepper and paprika. Sauté until onions are translucent and vegetables soften. Remove to bowl and cool to room temperature. Add jumbo lump crab meat, eggs, parsley and breadcrumbs. Mix well as you would meatballs. In a large pot, add olive oil, minced garlic, basil and parsley. When garlic begins to bubble, add anchovies and break up with a wooden spoon to dissolve. Add tentacles and stir in. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and bring up to a simmer. Begin stuffing tubes. You can use a wide-mouthed funnel or a zip-lock bag that has a corner removed. Stuff only two-thirds full as stuffing will expand in cooking to plump up calamari. For safety, do not use toothpicks to close. Carefully add the stuffed calamari to the pot and simmer for three hours until tender. Serve over cappellini or pasta of choice. Makes enough for a dining room full of people.

Happy Holidays!

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October / November / December 2018



A History of

PHILADELPHIA’S FAVORITE DRINK From Schmidt’s & Ortlieb’s to Yards & Love, beer lives here by MATT KELCHNER


merica’s lifelong love affair with a sudsy beverage that comes from mixing water, barley and hops together should not come as a surprise to anyone. Beer was a favorite amongst the first people to set foot on what would become this country and it has remained a favorite through today. Even during times when it was illegal, America craved its frothy brews. As one of the country’s first cities, beer production and brewing has always found its place in Philadelphia. This was just as true centuries ago as it is now. We even have an entire neighborhood called Brewerytown! Breweries large and small, young and old, dot the city. Each year, one or more new ones join the evergrowing list. Philly Beer Week, the annual celebration of all things beer, is one of the largest of its kind in the country. Need we say any more?


Despite the years apart, the makeup of breweries from the 1700s and 1800s does not look all that different than today. There were the bigger ones producing quantities that could cover the greater metro area, smaller neighborhood ones that were just a few minutes away and everything in between. Just as Philadelphia was known back


then for its beer, the country is taking notice of our evergrowing beer scene, once more. We’ve gathered together a dozen breweries that have called the City of Brotherly Love home to share with you. We hope this list serves as a starting point to discovering the long and cherished relationship between the city and the brews. Don’t see your favorite below? Or do you have your own personal beer story? Feel free to share it with us!

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018


Joseph Potts Ale Brewery

John F. Betz & Sons Brewery

Christian Schmidt Brewing Company

Ortlieb Brewing Company

If you were given the cross streets of Fifth and Minor, would you be able to spot it on the map? The intersection dates back many decades to the beginnings of the city. In 1774, it also housed the Joseph Potts Ale Brewery, one of the first in Philly. It changed hands many times over the years, even functioning as a barracks when the city was taken over by the British. Potts’ brewery would eventually become Robert Smith’s Ale Brewery more than a century later. Up until Prohibition, the brewery was proudly known as the longest continuously operating brewery in the country.

The John F. Betz & Sons Brewery was founded in 1775, originally as the Robert Hare & J. Warren Peter Brewery. Located near 4th and New Market Streets, Hare and Warren were two of the first brewers to introduce the porter to America. After moving down the coast from New York in the 1860s, Betz wound up working at the brewery, which, at this point went under the name Gaul Brewery. More than a decade later, Betz would end up purchasing the brewery and renaming it the John F. Betz & Sons Brewery. It went on to survive prohibition and last until 1939.

Founded in 1860 by German immigrant Christian Schmidt when he acquired Courtenay’s Brewery, the Christian Schmidt Brewing Company was located in Northern Liberties at the site where the Piazza currently stands. Originally named Christian Schmidt, Kensington Brewery, the company lasted through four generations of family ownership before being sold in 1976. Eleven years later, the company was sold again to the G. Heileman Brewing Company before closing its doors for good.

Following a short stint in the army, Trupert Ortlieb purchased what would become the Ortlieb Brewing Company in the late 1800s. Located at 845 N. 3rd Street, the company remained within the family until they sold it to neighboring Christian Schmidt Brewing Company in 1980. Best known for its namesake Ortlieb’s Beer, the company saw tremendous growth following the repeal of Prohibition. Today, all that is left is a small neighborhood bar named “Ortlieb’s” (not affiliated with the Ortlieb family), surrounded by the recently built townhomes and apartments that have replaced the former brewery.


Dock Street Brewery Many are familiar with Dock Street Brewery and its tasty and adventurous brews (stouts brewed with goat brains anyone?), but not as many know about its long and cherished history. Back in 1985, the West Philly brewpub, then located at 18th and Cherry Street, opened its doors as one of the first post-prohibition craft breweries in the entire country. Fast forward to today and they remain one of the cornerstones of the beer scene around the

city. Be on the lookout for a brand new production warehouse and brewpub opening next year along Washington Avenue, west of Broad Street.

Yards Brewing Company It was the combination of two homebrewing college friends and their mutual love for English-style ales that proved to be the right mixture to create what is now one of the largest and most wellknown craft breweries in the city. Yards Brewing Company

was founded in 1994.While libations like Brawler, a Pugilist style ale, and their ESA (Extra Special Ale) have overseas origins, Yards doesn’t ignore America’s history of beer. Their “Ales of the Revolution” line draws inspiration from 18th century recipes from our country’s founding fathers.

Philadelphia Brewing Company You can’t mention Yards Brewing Company without Philadelphia Brewing Company. Prior to 2007,

they were one and the same. Disagreements between owners led to the split and in the following year, Philadelphia Brewing Company was born. It is housed in the former Weisbrod & Hess Oriental Brewing Company building that dates back to 1885. Stalwarts like their easy drinking pilsner Kensinger and Belgian witbier Walt Wit can be found in bars throughout the greater Philadelphia area. The annual release of Kenz O’Lantern pumpkin ale is one of the telltale signs that Fall has begun.


Brewery ARS Housed in a former auto body shop on the West side of Passyunk Avenue, Brewery ARS was founded in 2016 by brothers Andy and Sean Arsenault. What began as a mutual love for homebrewing and Belgian styles has now transformed into a thriving member of the city beer scene. Brewery ARS churns out new offerings on almost a weekly basis. They recently have expanded to pushing kegs to bars outside their own as well as occasional canned beer releases. Above all else, they have a strong passion for supporting the surrounding community.

Separatist Beer Project Separatist Beer Project started out

as “Søle Artisan Ales,” a one-person operation that travelled from brewery to brewery concocting his creations inside other production facilities. Known as “gypsy brewing,” Søle Artisan Ales eventually settled down at its own location in Easton, PA. After a rebranding and name change to Separatist Beer Project, they are now expanding to South Philly along East Passyunk Avenue with the opening of their Blendery later this year.

Love City Brewing Love and beer go hand in hand for owners Kevin and Melissa Walter (back in 2011, they brewed a special beer together for their own wedding). Earlier this year, their highly anticipated project Love City Brewing finally opened in a spacious warehouse just

South of Spring Garden Street. In a rapidly redeveloping section of the city, Love City aims to be one of the focal points in the area. The Walters take a no-nonsense approach to their offerings, creating straightforward brews like their flagship Love City Lager.

brewery has seen rapid growth year after year and you can now find favorites like Inca and Wit or Witout in the likes of Lancaster and South Jersey.

Saint Benjamin Brewing

“Very silly names for very serious beers” is one of the slogans for Evil Genius Beer Company and it’s one that couldn’t be any truer. With brews like #ICANTEVEN watermelon blonde ale and I Love Lamp pineapple hefeweizen, there’s no confusing an Evil Genius beer with the others. Their “tasting lab” under the El along the Fishtown/Kensington border has quickly grown to become a favorite amongst beer drinkers who are looking for taste and flavor unlike anything else in the city.

Founded in 2010, Saint Benjamin Brewing sits at the site of the former Theo Finkenauer Brewery in Kensington. Their name harkens back to one of the city’s oldest and most wellknown homebrewers, Benjamin Franklin. With Belgian dubbels, cream ales and grisettes on the menu, St. Benjamin’s focuses on beers that are not as commonly made throughout the city’s long list of breweries. Since opening, the

October / November / December 2018

Evil Genius Beer Company


PRH Brides Guide

Anna Marie & Joseph Maglio

A winter wedding warms the heart by Joe Volpe

H 66

ello to all my Brides Guide Readers! This issue, I’m excited to talk about my personal favorite season of the year – winter. While many do not immediately think of winter as the prime season for a wedding, I have always found the best cel-

ebrations happen after the New Year and before the first buds of spring bloom. Winter weddings are where the real parties happen! Guests are always the most excited to attend winter weddings since it gives them an excuse to relieve their cabin fever at what is often

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

their only big event of the season. Last January, Cescaphe was fortunate enough to host the wedding of Anna Marie and Joseph Maglio at Cescaphe Ballroom. I took some time to speak with them recently as they reflected on their special day and all of the planning that went into it.

photos by MARK LOUIS Photography How did you meet? We had lots of mutual friends and our families were friends. We met on a Saturday night in Center City at G Lounge nightclub. How did the proposal happen? It was New Year’s Day and my family is big on the South Philly tradition of going to the Mummers Parade. All of our family and friends were over my mom’s house to celebrate the New Year and Joe (my husband) surprised me with a String Quartet that came walking up our street all dressed up and playing a beautiful melody. We all went outside to watch and then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was so wonderful to have everyone

who is close to us there. Why did you choose a Cescaphe Wedding? We knew from before we got engaged that we wanted to get married at Cescaphe. Every Cescaphe wedding we attended was better than the next. The expertise and creativity that goes into every wedding is really what we loved. What was your favorite part about wedding planning? As stressful as wedding planning can be, we loved going to the Cescaphe University events that Cescaphe hosted once a month. They were so helpful and we got some great tips and vendor recommendations. When it came

down to final decisions, we knew exactly what we did and did not want because we went to those events. What was your favorite part of your wedding? Our favorite part of our wedding was definitely our grand entrance. The love you feel and see around the room as soon as those doors open. All of our family and friends in one room and the excitement. We will never forget that moment and how we felt right then and there together as husband and wife.

ion Rolls Royce from First Class Rolls Royce and it was so special driving together from the church to reception. There was a red carpet as we entered the venue and a champagne greeting. On our way there, we had those 15 minutes together to take everything in. Oldies music was playing, we felt like we were in a movie. So perfect!

by JOSEPH VOLPE, Cescaphe Event Group

What advice would you give to future brides and grooms? Decide what your vision is for your perfect wedding and stick with it. There are plenty of people who will give you advice or their opinions but ultimately the day is for the two of you. Stick together and enjoy each moment as they come and go so fast! Cescaphe is a member of the PRH Business Network.

Ever keeping his eyes focused on the latest wedding trends, Cescaphe Event Group CEO/Chef Joseph Volpe is recognized as the area’s leading authority on ballroom bliss. With his innovative approach to the most important celebration of your life, his awardwinning Cescaphe Ballroom, Tendenza, Vie, The Down Town Club and The Water Works combine a captivating ambiance with exquisite cuisine for an unforgettable experience. Visit or call 215.238.5750.

What did you do to make your wedding day extra special? We rented an old fashVENDOR CREDITS

Venue: Cescaphe Ballroom

Florist: Frannie’s Fancies

DJ: Johnny Looch

Invitations & Stationery: Michael Erace

Photographer: Mark Louis Photography

Videographer: Mark Louis Photography

Transportation: Cescaphe Trolley and First Class Rolls Royce

Dress Designer/ Dress Shop: Essence of Australia/ Dress Up Time

October / November / December 2018

Menswear Designer/Shop: Domenico’s Formal Wear

Makeup: C.E Facial Artistry Hair: April Talotta Hair


-2018 NER hoice N I W ers’ C R e a d Aw a r d !


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Back to the ‘80s? Our lips are sealed!



2515 S. Broad Street / Philadelphia, PA 19148


THIS SEASON, THINK 1980S! I LOVED THE ‘80S (who didn’t?). I think of Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and Debbie Harry, just to name a few. The music, clothes, hair and makeup from that era gave everyone something to love. The makeup was so creative, bright, unique and groundbreaking. That same energy is back, again.

Eye on Neon

Break out of your comfort zone and try something new and different this season. Neon colors are back and as hot as a music video on heavy rotation in 1985. If you are a risk taker, you will be very excited with the makeup trends this season. For sunshine eyes, try a canary yellow shadow all over your lids with a black eyeliner and heavy mascara. If yellow isn’t your color, try a fuchsia or blue shadow with a heavy black liner and a stained berry lip. For a smoky eye, stick with a traditional black or charcoal grey shadow and make it sparkle by adding a touch of gold glitter on top with a neutral lip.



Smoky Twist

Rather than using dark colors like charcoal or black for a basic smoky eye look, try a new twist. For example, pick two colors

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

like a dark pink and dark purple. Apply the dark pink all over your lid and then “smoke it out” by blending the dark purple all over to highlight the dark purple.

Sticky Stones

Maybe you like makeup, but you don’t love makeup. No worries. You can still go for a dramatic look in a minimalist way. Try a neutral eyeshadow in cream with mascara and add a deep berry lip to complete your look. Pearlescent eyelids will take you to a new level. Take a risk with some glittery accent colored sticky stones to complement your look. Are the ‘80s really back? Our lips are sealed. But your lips – and eyes – will look great with these tips for the season. Totally rad! Victoria DiPietro and Bella Angel are members of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network.

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| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018



| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

Tony Luke’s

Iconic Steak Shop Serves a Dish of Nostalgia by Jane Roser photo by Andrew Andreozzi


hen I was growing up, South Philly was a neighborhood where everybody looked out for each other. Back then, you didn’t have to lock your doors. It was great growing up that way, but of course, times change, people change and you move on.” Tony Lucidonio, Sr. is reminiscing. His famed Tony Luke’s Old Philly Style Sandwiches has been a South Philadelphia fixture


for more than a quarter of a century – a local version of Cheers – “where everybody knows your name.” “We see the same people all the time,” Tony says. “They keep coming back and when Nicky and I are in the store, they always call out to us.” Tony’s son Nicky adds that they have a regular stream of tourists that stop by, too. “They were told to come here for the best cheesesteak. The recipes haven’t changed since 1992. From now and beyond, that won’t ever change.” Tony started out with a lunch truck business but when they began to lose their popularity, he purchased a property on Front and Oregon. He sat on it for two years before

building the iconic restaurant it is today (which still occupies the same space it has for the past 26 years). Through the years, his motto never wavered. Give people the best of what you do and you’ll always come out on top one way or the other. “We’ve always given our clients a top quality product for a reasonable price and the business grew. When I moved to Oregon Avenue, there was nothing there, then all of a sudden, people came and kept coming. The restaurant industry is a tough business. You have to be on top of it all the way. It’s something that takes your undivided attention seven days a week. We’re here every day. Everything comes to our commissary. We prepare it here, then deliver it to our store.” Tony Luke’s is one of those rare gems that still prepares its

food daily, with fresh ingredients from local markets. “We bake our own bread,” Tony points out. “It’s not something we buy early in the morning and then it just lasts all day. We have two ovens and we’re constantly baking the bread to keep it fresh. Our meats come from Kissin Fresh Meats, which is the last of the hanging meat markets. We go to a local farm for our broccoli rabe and spinach and we pick up fresh mushrooms at the produce market. All of the seasoning mixes and recipes are my own.” Besides their best-selling cheesesteak (made with your choice of American cheese, provolone or Whiz), their roasted Italian pork and chicken cutlets are also popular. There’s even a sandwich option for vegetarians. The Mixed Veggie is made with sautéed broccoli rabe, sautéed spinach, sweet peppers, fried onions and marinara sauce. It’s heaven on a bun. Online reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with raves such as, “Epic original Philadelphia cheesesteaks,” “Best Philly cheesesteak and chicken cutlet in this universe” and “Wow oh wow are these sandwiches delicious. Tony Luke’s for years

October / November / December 2018

consistently puts out great food.” Enormous popularity can lead to a crowded eating space, however, and the Lucidonios are currently working on expanding their Front Street location to introduce more seating. “We’re working on acquiring the property behind us so we can have more seating capacity,” Tony says. “For the clients who want to sit down and stay awhile - that’s our main goal. There’s times we’re so crowded, people can’t stay. They have to take their sandwiches with them, so we want to make it more comfortable for our clients.” Tony reminds anyone who is thinking of going into the restaurant business to “always appreciate the people who come to your door and buy your product. Be honest, respectful, work hard. Be passionate about the food and the way it’s prepared.” And what do Tony and Nicky love to do on a rare day off? Nicky jokes, “Sleep!” Tony Luke’s is located at 39 East Oregon Avenue. 215.551.5725. PRH Tony Luke’s is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome (PRH) Business Network.


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ary Ellen Sokalski, CEO of Cherry Hill creative marketing agency The Scarlet Marketeer, received the Woman of Achievement Award from Promotional Products Association International at its annual Women’s Leadership Conference in Hollywood, California, this past June. She has been recognized with more service, creativity and speaking awards in her industry than any other professional and is the 13th woman to receive this honor since its inception. First presented in 2009, the prestigious award recognizes those who lead the way in the advancement of women, exhibit outstanding leadership and make significant contributions to their community and to the branded products industry (also known as SWAG or 3-D marketing). Sokalski, a long-time Cherry Hill resident, graduate of St. Maria Goretti High School (Class of ’77) and Temple University, has had a long and distinguished 37-year career in this marketing industry as a volunteer, speaker, mentor, advocate and educator with more than 200 sessions on effective promotional strategies to her credit. She served on the PPAI board as vice chair of marketing, as President of the Philadelphia Area Promotional Products Association and also served on numerous boards and committees which fostered networking, learning and professionalism both locally and nationally.


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

Sokalski was introduced by Cathy Miller, MAS, regional VP for Geiger (a leading branded products agency), who was one of a dozen who wrote letters in support of Sokalski’s nomination. In accepting the award, Sokalski recalled her first industry trade show more than 30 years ago and how the fellowship she observed there inspired her to volunteer for the industry. She saw that people wearing volunteer ribbons seemed to be having the most fun and she wanted to be part of it. In her speech, she also credited several industry leaders for teaching and supporting her over the years. “I learned from these industry icons that these ribbons and pins weren’t a symbol of status … but of service,” she said. Then she challenged her listeners to open an envelope on the table and find the volunteer ribbons that match what they are doing now or want to do in the future. “Share your goals of service, of involvement, of ways you can give back,” she urged. “Because I truly believe that if you’re giving, you’re truly living.” Promotional Product Association International is a 115 year-old trade association representing the most welcomed form of marketing today – promotional products – and its over 500,000 industry practitioners. The Scarlet Marketeer is a boutique ad agency for companies who need marketing help -- everything from news releases to marketing strategy, brand development to promotion plans, copywriting, social media to videos, found at PRH




by Bryan Culver


as a Philadelphia musician. Occasionally he waxes philosophical: “As long as you keep in mind the work is the reward, you’ll never go wrong.” Mecca has lived by these words and as such, he has no shortage of vivid memories playing on stage, interacting with fellow musicians, soaking in Philadelphia’s manic musical landscape. He’s been able to do it all while holding down a successful 34-year career in real-estate (his “bread n’ butter”), and helping to raise five children, now fully-grown adults. This guy is no slouch. Jump back to 1989—hair metal is in full-swing; the biggest band in town is Cinderella. Mecca has two

project would allow him to keep music at arm’s length, while providing an opportunity to see the business-side of the industry. Slowly, but surely, Mecca started dabbling with his own songs. It wasn’t until 2007 that the first iteration of the Heavy Mental Gypsys would assemble. At first a trio, over the course of several years, The Gypsys would expand into a much larger and diverse ensemble. The current lineup consists of singer and clarinetist Stephanie Davis, Joe Pettit and Steve Wiggs alternating on guitar, keyboardist John Merlino, drummer Jim Drnec, Angelo Esposito on bass and Michele Davis on violin and vocals. This might seem like a random scrawl of musicians but it gives live performances a gypsy-like mystique. And there’s no telling how many more Gypsys might join the lineup: “There could be a hundred Heavy Mental Gypsys, doesn’t matter to me.” Mecca has released a commendable quantity of material. Since 2003, he’s released five full-length albums, as well as a slew of singles.

In 2018 he released remixed versions of his first two albums Purple Monkeys (2003) and Princes of the New Dark Age (2005), as well as two fresh singles: “Terrifying Lies” and “The Dark Side of Love.” His music is available on both iTunes and Spotify. A schedule of his upcoming performances as well as links to his music is available on his website: Tony Mecca fits cleanly within the singer-songwriter tradition of Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits. His music incorporates a hodgepodge of styles ranging from hard-edge rock bangers to sentimental pop songs, interlaced with patches of folk, soul and blues. He uses this eclectic mix of sounds to tell stories about a wide range of characters such as “Plain Jane and Average Joe,” “Annie Crime-Fighter” and “When Eileen Dreams.” As Mecca explains, “I’m an urban guy. I talk about real situations, sometimes surreal, but it’s gritty hardedged music, so that’s why I have to inject a little bit of humor.” PRH

October / November / December 2018


eople don’t starve for their art so they can make money, they starve for their art because they love it.” It’s a muggy late-August afternoon – the pavement outside is damp, steaming with a fresh coat of rain, and my right ear is buzzing. The charismatic ringleader of Philly pub-rockers Tony Mecca and The Heavy Mental Gypsys is exuberantly doling out personal recollections from his four-decade tenure bands: Habits and Mecca, and he’s come to that pivotal fork in the road most musicians are aptly familiar with: commit to being a professional musician or switch gears to a steadier occupation. The choice becomes easier after being offered a financially underwhelming recording contract, which he declined. “I couldn’t go on the road for $150 a week.” With a young family at home, he chose the more pragmatic approach. This isn’t the end of the story though—just a brief intermission. In 1991, Mecca purchased the Opera House, a dilapidated rehearsal space he would eventually transform into a fully functioning recording studio. For the next two decades, this pet



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by Geno Thackara rom catchy pop to classic oldies, a tune can spark a memory like nothing else. Kal Mann and Bernie Lowe were thinking of things with universal appeal as they spun out bouncy R&B singles through the 1950s. They already had success co-writing “Butterfly” for Charlie Gracie, and a young Elvis Presley couldn’t help adopting their cuddly love theme, “Teddy Bear,” when making his second feature film. That same feel of open-top convertibles, poodle skirts and ice cream shops is still timelessly evoked in lines like “summertime is kissin’ time USA.” Actually, any place and time is a good one when you’re 17 years old, as Bobby

Rydell was when he recorded his initial hit. Philly’s handsome heartthrob had already made a handful of recordings while finding his feet, but this snappy tune turned out to be his step onto the top-40 charts - the first of 34 such placings in his career. Maybe he wasn’t even old enough to legally test the second chorus’ “sweeter than wine” line for himself, but clearly there was a burgeoning talent behind the pretty face. It’s what always ends up separating the bland teen idols from the Davy Joneses or Justin Timberlakes who have some staying power. Mann’s lyrics to this song may sound like arbitrary rhymes, but it was really a broad capsule of its time - yes, even more than most pop tunes tend to be. Jimmie Rodgers had a hit just a couple years earlier with the Irish folk tune “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine.” In 1959, Stonewall Jackson’s “Waterloo” reached the charts and Connie Francis bopped through “Lipstick on Your Collar” – words and phrases Rydell put to good use in these verses with his easygoing charm. “Feels So Fine” also appeared as a popular title from Johnny Preston soon afterward in 1960. Maybe he’d taken a cue from Rydell and Mann around this time. “Treat me right, don’t make me fight / the Battle of New Orleans tonight” also seems a little out of left field until you consider that was the title of Johnny Horton’s historical country ballad recorded in the spring of that year. Horton was singing about the actual event in the War of 1812 where Andrew Jackson’s troops fought off the British

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

against some long odds. Okay, that can seem like an uncomfortable parallel for teenage romance when you think about it, but more likely, it was just another familiar reference to the soundtrack all the kids were hearing down at the diner that summer. Whatever the case, the handclaps and sunny school-days sax helped spread “Kissin’ Time” all over the place, right alongside dance tunes by fellow Philadelphians like Frankie Avalon and Chubby Checker. This debut was the one that Rydell sang on American Bandstand and soon got to re-record on a short tour of Australia with the Everly Brothers. (Naturally that one changed the lyrics to include places like Brisbane. It’s really too bad he didn’t have the chance to do the same thing in Japan or South America.) The band Kiss even gave it a later ‘70s glam-rock makeover which, to their credit, stays pretty much on the right side of parody. The song ended up peaking at #11 and bigger hits were still to come - Lowe & Mann’s Motownish “Wild One” became Rydell’s all-time most popular song at #2, though the jangly “Swingin’ School” and the slinky semi-mambo of “Sway” weren’t terribly far behind. “Wildwood Days” still remains an iconic anthem for its New Jersey namesake. As Grease fans out there may know, it’s no coincidence that Sandy and Danny’s school is named Rydell High. “Kissin’ Time” was just the start of a catalogue that’s deservedly become a defining piece of rock and roll history, endlessly familiar and always well-loved by those who know the score. PRH

The Theatre Geek

Steven Wright, Maria Konstantinidis, Carlo Campbell, Colleen Corcoran and Chris Anthony in The Hairy Ape, directed by Brenna Geffers, set by Thom Weaver, costumes by Robin Shane, lights by Matt Sharp. Photo by Dave Sarrafian. [Brenna Geffers will direct Three Sisters Two this winter. Steven Wright will direct A Human Being Died That Night this fall.]

EgoPO Theatre of Empathy


by Marialena Rago


It was a real wonderful relocation in the end. Of course, it was a hard, physical transition in every way, but everyone who was here stayed up here for about a year to get the infrastructure back.” EgoPo’s name means “The Physical Self” in French. Its theatrical style uses the whole body to create highly dynamic, visual and awardwinning productions. In 2017, EgoPo won Outstanding Overall Production of a Play at the Barrymore Awards in Philadelphia for their production of Anton Chekhov’s classic, The Seagull. “There is a whole acting technique that is imbedded in what we do. We learn to think and feel with the entire body. It is really getting back to our DNA. It’s getting really back to the core of theatre where the whole body is involved in the process.” Taking their physical style and pairing that with classical theatre and literary works give Savadove and the company a chance to reinvent the works for contemporary audiences. “Often when plays sit on a shelf for

that transition but what they were able to accomplish in 18 years is more than we were able to accomplish in 150 years, since the end of slavery.” For Savadove, the power of empathy and stepping into someone else’s shoes is a powerful tool. “For me and just for me - one of art’s functions is to create empathy; to support empathy, to encourage empathy in our audiences and in ourselves. Empathy for people who are different, whose situations are different, for time periods that are different, for histories that are different and for cultures that are different. I certainly do believe that the more our muscles of empathy are worked out throughout our country, the healthier our country will be.” The company is located on 3rd and Dickinson, which makes it one of the few theater companies that can call South Philly home. “We feel very tied to South Philly. Our offices are here in South Philly and virtually all the artists we work with are South Philly based. It is sort of the community that has evolved around us.” EgoPo performances are held at The Latvian Society. Savadove uses his power of empathy to connect with those in his own community. He mentions that South Philadelphia’s cultural landscape is changing, but for the better. “South Philly is, more than it’s ever been, an amazing melting pot right now. It has this incredible, wonderful Southeast Asian population that was relocated

here after the Vietnam War. There’s the traditional Italian immigrant communities of South Philly and there is the African American community of South Philly and they’re all intersecting now in the same areas. And on your very block, these larger ideas, these challenges following apartheid, challenges of social justice and empathy, they don’t happen at a global level, they don’t even happen at a governmental level, they happen on our blocks in South Philly.” EgoPo Classic Theatre will be performing A Human Being Died That Night – a play based off of the award-winning 2003 book by Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela about her own life. The play is “some ways theatre at its best,” Savadove says. It follows two people, a GobodoMadikizela, a sociologist, and a white prisoner convicted of atrocities during apartheid. “It looks carefully at the atrocities that happened under apartheid so just from a historical perspective, it is a wonderful look at what apartheid was, what it did to the country, to look at how apartheid fell and how the country reacted afterwards. But it is also a look at a true challenging moment for empathy and understanding. And how heroic empathy can be.” A Human Being Died That Night opens October 24-November 11 at EgoPo Mainstage. The Latvian Society Theater, 531 N. 7th Street, Philadelphia, PA. PRH

October / November / December 2018


n 2005, the New Orleans based theater company, EgoPo Classic Theatre, was set to perform one of its pieces at the Philly Fringe Festival. After Hurricane Katrina hit, the company relocated to Philadelphia. “Myself and most of the company members lost our homes and the theater was permanently destroyed,” says artistic director and founder Lane Savadove. “After a few months of figuring out what we were going to do next, we decided we were going to relocate to Philadelphia. many years, they kind of get cellophane wrapped. When we speak of Death of a Salesman or Our Town, we have a stereotype of what those plays look like. We really enjoy the process of blowing the dust completely off the play and getting back to their DNA and really finding the initial impulse that the playwright had to write the play. In some ways, we are like archeologists a little bit.” The company’s seasons are themed, which gives the audience a fuller experience. This season’s theme is South African theatre. “The reason for that is, we wanted to address the transition America is going through right now in terms of a deeper sensitivity and understanding of diversity, inclusion and social justice. I think we are in the midst of a wonderful transition. It’s a challenging transition right now but we wanted to both be part of that and support that transition. And in some ways, celebrate that transition. For me, the transition of South Africa from apartheid to postapartheid is one of the greatest social justice transformations in the history of mankind. They’re not done with


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by Ali Hackett n my last article, I introduced myself to the great readership of this wonderful magazine. I thank you folks who have since joined me on my Friday Night Radio Broadcast. Judging from the great questions and responses that I have been receiving through my website, it appears that we are on the right track. By now, you have heard that the legendary Aretha Franklin has left us. I don’t know of anyone who does not love Aretha. Her music covers all genres from Gospel, Jazz, R&B, Soul, Classical, Blues, Country and Western. She was a very multi-talented human being and gems like Aretha only come around once

in a lifetime. There is not enough time or space to list the musical gems that have touched our lives. Frank Sinatra, James Brown, Sam Cooke, Etta James, Chuck Berry, and so many more. Aretha, in some way, had a hand in their success. I plan on doing my tribute to Aretha on my radio show around the time of this printing. WPPM Radio 106.5 FM Every Friday Night - 10pm - 12 Mid FaceBook Preliminaries around 9pm You can also listen from my website at

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some, family-oriented and broken down into categories for women (soap operas and Marcus Welby), men (Friday night fights and Westerns) and children (Sally Starr, Gene London and Saturday morning cartoons). Don’t forget the Ed Sullivan, Don Ameche, Dinah Shore and Carol Burnett variety shows, which brought the world of Hollywood into our homes. My TV show, Salt …Pepper N Memories, was built around the same concepts. The show is a cross between American Bandstand and Soul Train with a major twist. That twist is that my guests and I actually cook on the show. It was created to improve my own personal health and quality of life in a non-stressful, fun atmosphere (I suffer from diabetes and hypertension). It’s listed as a wellness show because the goal is to get you to move without even thinking about it. No gyms or special clothing needed. The show consists of a performance (an artist), the music, cooking and dancing. Our “oneminute clinic” features tips from a doctor. The award-winning TV show is full of nutritional, educational and motivational ideas for health and wellness for the whole family. Tune in every Wednesday evening 6:30pm Comcast Channels - 66 & 966 Verizon Channels - 29 & 30 Or go to my website




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It’s Gibby’s world and I am happy to be part of it! I have finalized an agreement to write a screenplay based on the novel, La Casa Nostra, written by South Philly’s own Gibby Palmaccio. The novel is a “page turner” that takes place from 1908 to just after the end of WWII. The recurring theme of the story is the importance of family and home. These two storylines are what Gibby is all about. Four generations of her family live with her in a beautiful Packer Park home. Her daughter Denise lives there with her daughter Marisa and her sonin-law Joe. And their children Riley, Brody, Joie Rae...and another one on the way! They always say write about what you know. I am dedicating this screenplay to Gibby’s late husband Ray who died this year. They were married for 68 years and I’m sure Ray has

a big smile on his face knowing Gibby’s story is going to be turned into a film. The book costs $25 and part of the proceeds go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. You can purchase a copy by contacting 215.389.2741. Murder Book, the reality show I am producing with FBI Legend Joe Pistone (aka Donnie Brasco) looks like it will get the “green light” from the Oxygen Network. I’ll give you the details next time. This is not Hollywood related, but wouldn’t local boy Mike Trout look great in a Phillies uniform? His contract is up after next year and the LA Angels are going nowhere. Also, he’s great friends with Carson Wentz. Lastly, The Greater Philadelphia Film Office is putting on some great events. Sharon Pinkenson is the force behind GPFO. Go online to: to get more info.

Ciao Philly!

October / November / December 2018




t South Philly Sports Training, it all begins and ends with one thing: a love for the game of baseball. Dom Nardini, Lou Cammisa and Dewey LaRosa are the masterminds behind South Philly Sports Training and their love for baseball runs deep. Nardini started playing baseball at the age of seven at DVYAA and continued through high school. If asked, he tells you that baseball is in his blood, a trait that he passed down to his “About four years ago, this facility opened under different management but lacked the connections to a South Philly network to make it work,” Nardini explains. When the opportunity to take the location over from the last management team came up, it was presented to each of them to open on their own. “Each one of us knew that it would be a tough task to try and get all areas of the community involved, since before this gym, DVYAA & TANEY were two strong organizations unto themselves.” One night, all three guys decided to meet prior to meeting with the gym owner. They agreed to work together and form a partnership with the common goal to mesh

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018


Local athletes bring baseball back to the neighborhood 82

by Dominique Verrecchio


South Philly

three sons. Cammisa also has been connected to baseball since childhood and has coached at the Community College level. He currently coaches American Legion Baseball. LaRosa is the League President at TANEY, the same organization that made it to the Little League World Series. For years, the three had been looking separately for a warehouse space for a baseball training facility to house their organizations and their sons’ teams for year-round play. At the time, the facility they had in mind was lacking in South Philadelphia. As a result, baseball players were at a disadvantage, causing a loss of interest for the sport in the area.

Banking this Great Community Since 1912! the gym into the South Philly Community. Their team took over in December of 2015 and immediately connected with Neumann-Goretti High School, DVYAA and TANEY, along with other travel baseball teams in the area. The rest was history. “From that moment, the gym not only thrived but TANEY and DVYAA have enjoyed the facility and its resources, enabling the organizations to work together, making each other stronger than ever,” Nardini says. “Our goal from the beginning was to provide a top-notch facility with all of the amenities and training opportunities that major baseball programs offer, all at a fair price. That mission continues today as we provide an above average product at a below market price.” SPST offers a range of different classes. Some of these include weeklong camps over the Christmas holidays and summertime; strength, speed and conditioning classes; and the Driveline Arm Care Programs. Customers’ ages range from 6 to 22 years old. “We listen to our customers and offer the programs that they want. Our instructors are awesome and moderate the classes accordingly. Whatever the class is called, we focus on the kids having fun and making a connection back to baseball.” They have begun to expand into connecting with EOM Angels Softball program and are bringing on instructors for that sport. You also can have a party here. Although the parties usually revolve around baseball, SPST has hosted team fundraisers, birthday and Super Bowl parties in the past. They are currently outlining their events for the winter and fall. In addition to classes, SPST will be managing travel teams this fall at 7th and Packer. SPST works with many local teams such as the two-time State Champion Neumann-Goretti Saints, the Taney Dragons and the Del Val Senators (both inhouse and travel), the Philly Shock, String Theory and Prep Charter High Schools. They also have attracted teams from outside the area, such as the LL State Champion Ridley Little League.

The excelling clients are a reflection of the top-notch instructors. Nardini is proud of his staff. “I would put our instructors up against anyone in the tri-state area. They are all homegrown talents who are giving back by working with our young people.” Their roster boasts well-known local ball players like Nicky Nardini, NG class of 2012 who has three Catholic League Championships under his belt as a player for the NG Saints and two State Championships as a coach. “He is our resident expert with hitters, fielders, catchers and defense.” Joe Messina, the pitching coach for the NG Saints for the past 13 years, has five Catholic League Championships and two State Championships. He works with pitchers from Little League through College. He also develops programs for pitchers returning from injury/surgery. Albert Baur, a Minor Leaguer with the Pittsburgh Pirates, is a 2010 NG graduate who helped put that program back on the map in 2009. Jimmy Kerrigan, another Minor Leaguer with the Minnesota Twins Organization and 2012 NG graduate, handles some of the Strength and Conditioning programs over the winter. Joe Kinee is a recent addition to the team since his graduation from West Chester University in Exercise Sciences. Another NG graduate, Class of 2013, Kinee oversees the day-today Strength and Conditioning and the Driveline Arm Care programs. He also offers massage therapy for their athletes. Finally, Fran Caruso has been with the team for the past two years. A graduate from Chestnut Hill College, Caruso is an accomplished teacher of the game to their young players who are looking to build their skills. When asked what is the most fulfilling part of owning a sports training facility, Nardini says it’s “seeing the players smile while they are getting better.” Aside from making SPST stand out from other sports training facilities in the area, they are focused on bringing an interest in baseball back to South Philly. Their message is clear. “Work hard, have fun, learn to be a good teammate, player and person through the great game of baseball.”

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he holidays are upon us once again…a wonderful treat for our senses. The beautiful visions of brightly lit decorations, endless Hallmark Christmas movies, the wonderful aroma of cookies and pies baking in the oven, cinnamon scented candles burning and the cheery and festive songs that are played not only in our homes, but also in every shop and supermarket in the city. We can feel the warmth of the season by the hospitality and good cheer that seems to be all around us. Yes, the holidays can also be bittersweet; being apart from our loved ones for many different reasons and missing the members of our family who have sadly passed on. I always have tried to hold on to the sweet memories of yesterday and keep some of the traditions alive to honor them. I am still baking the cookies that my mother made for us when we were children. This is my way of keeping her spirit alive at my Christmas gathering. I also feel that many people are much more charitable this time


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

of year. Love, caring and kindness can be felt along with the cool, crisp air. We can only hope it will find its way into the New Year and celebrated all year long. I wear my “customary red attire” every day in the month of December, especially my favorite pair of red boots (a fairly new tradition that just makes me feel really happy). Maybe this will become one of the many things that my family will remember about me one day during my favorite time of year. We may all be way past the age of believing in Santa Clause but there is no age limit for keeping the magic of Christmas in our hearts 365 days a year. I would like to end this story by honoring the real reason for this wonderful and spiritual season. The birth of Our Savior. I do get caught up in the commercialized version but also hold steadfast to my faith and never lose sight of the true blessings of this special day. I would like to wish everyone a Magical Season and a healthy, peaceful and kind New Year as we all remain one nation under God. PRH







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Fanning the fires of Incivility


’ve been spending so much time looking at social media lately that I decided to put the phone down and get back into the gym. A few months late, yet keeping with my 2018 New Year resolution, I am resolute in returning my body to a shape more or less resembling the letter “V” and much less like the letter “O.” Kokoro is a Japanese word that best describes the heart, mind and spirit as a singular concept. Peace, harmony and balance are achieved with a healthy mind, body and spirit working together as one. Exercising is a great way to relieve stress. And exercising in a place that treats everyone with a level of respect and civility helps even more. My gym happens to be Planet Fitness, whose company mission is to create an environment different than its competitors. Members enter a Judgement-Free Zone every time they walk through the front door. What a good idea it was to create a space where anyone could go to work out without feeling “gymtimidation.” It would be nice if we could implement a similar philosophy when utilizing social media platforms. What if there were rules that assured users would be treated with a modicum of civility? Wouldn’t it be nice to extend balance and harmony to the virtual world as well? Because right now, out in cyberspace, there is no sign of Kokoro at all. At the planetary rest stop of physical conditioning, all are welcome no matter what their level of

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

fitness. Yet on social media, whether discussing hot topics like politics or lifestyle, controversial categories like movies or fashion, or even something as benign as what we ate for dinner, users hide behind their avatars and drop little word bombs of negativity without fear of retribution. I get that we all have a right to speak our mind, but shouldn’t we try and be affable? Have we really lost the ability to have a healthy conversation without feeling lousy afterwards? Cyberbullying, depression, anxiety, addiction, unhealthy sleep patterns and fear of missing out are just a few of the very real effects that social media can have on people and users. It’s not the friendliest of places to spend our free time, yet many of us can’t seem to avoid fanning the fires of incivility. I’m happy to report that thanks to a fairly regular gym schedule, I’m not yet a “V” but satisfied with progressing to a somewhat wider version of the letter “I.” One of the many benefits of exercising in a large, reasonably priced fitness center is the social aspect – a plethora of fellow gym rats to talk to. People in the same boat just trying to reach that balance. Even though it’s impossible to stop people from judging, it’s nice to know that there is a big sign on the wall reminding people to try. In the end, we have no other choice but to share the same planet. Achieving a healthy mind, body and spirit sounds like a nice way to exist, and the gym might be a good place to start. Social media might be a great place to go next. PRH



fter working at a job for several years where I basically traded hours for dollars, I’m having the time of my life doing what I love doing - helping others. In this “Salute to Service” issue, I’d like to salute the company where I work. For the past 12 months, I’ve had the honor of introducing a specially designed telephone for clients of CaptionCall, which created the device for hearing-impaired individuals and those who have difficulty hearing on the phone. Millions of Americans suffer from hearing loss for many reasons - age, illness, injury, loud working conditions. CaptionCall has made it possible for people to communicate confidently and easily with friends, family and colleagues by using a revolutionary captioned phone. Similar to captioned television, CaptionCall communication assistants use voice recognition technology to quickly provide written captions of what callers say on a large, easy-to-read screen. I tell my customers, “What you can’t hear, you can read.” Plus, CaptionCall offers exceptional sound quality with amplification and customizable audio settings to match an individual’s specific hearing loss. Provided by the Americans with Disabili-

ties Act of 1990, this service is available free of charge for individuals who qualify. The U.S. federal government has established a fund to give individuals with hearing loss access to captioned telephone service at no cost. This captioning service is funded using surcharges on all telephone bills. If you’ve paid a phone bill, you’ve already contributed. The CaptionCall service and phone is free with a professional certification form from your family doctor or audiologist confirming your hearing loss. My job title, Trainer, is what I think is the best position with the company. I get to meet people of all ages and help change their lives for the better. I recently installed and trained the oldest person this company has given a phone to at 106 years of age. She and her caretaker (who was 93 and hearing-impaired too) called me a week later to thank me, saying that this was the first time in 20 years that she was able to communicate on a phone. CaptionCall is available throughout the United States and in Puerto Rico. In the first year that I have been here, I have received many “thank yous” and “God Bless yous” and I just want to say a big “thank you” to CaptionCall for giving me this great opportunity to make a difference in a person’s life. PRH

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ith all the negative news going on in the City of Brotherly Love, it was very refreshing to see the positive energy that entered this city via the American Idol tour. Americans came together as neighbors and enjoyed the entertainment at the Tower Theatre on August 14th. My nephew, Michael J. Woodard, was part of the tour and I was proud to see him on stage giving an outstanding performance. The Tower Theatre was packed with diverse cultures from around the world. Performers on this tour included Maddie Poppe, this year’s American Idol winner; Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Gabby Barrett, Michael J. Woodard, Cade Foehner, Catie Turner and Season 8 winner Kris Allen. Each one of these performers made it an outstanding evening. Some of the best entertainers in the world started at the Tower Theatre. The World Renowned “Queen of Soul” Miss Aretha Franklin was one of them. I send my condolences to her family for their loss. I can recall Mr. Georgie Woods, “The Guy with The Goods,” discussing the highlights of the excellent performances held at the Tower and Uptown Theatres, where he introduced many rising stars. A prominent Philly DJ, Georgie Woods was well respected in the music industry for showcasing new talent. Aretha Franklin was one of those performers and became one of the most well-known superstars in the world. I remember getting a phone call at my barbershop for Mr. Woods while I was cutting his hair. I asked who was calling and she said, ‘Aretha.’ Georgie took the call. He seemed a little upset when he hung up. His last words to the young lady, in a stern voice, were, ‘You tell him to call me, now!’ A few minutes later, a second call came in for Mr. Woods and again, I asked, ‘Who’s calling?’ He said ‘David.’ Georgie took the receiver and responded quickly with a few very strong words. After his haircut, Georgie shared with me who was on the line on the two

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

by Robert L. Woodard The Wynnefield Barber calls. The first was Aretha Franklin and the second was David Ruffin, lead singer of The Temptations. I was totally shocked that The Queen of Soul called Woodard’s Barbershop. I was equally shocked by the second caller. Georgie Woods was like a father to many entertainers. He was a great problem-solver. He had a way of bringing people together to resolve their differences. Hence, our police and community must work as a team to become problem-solvers. This will help them aid each other in resolving dilemmas that permeate neighborhoods throughout our nation. The number of shootings and killings are at an all-time high. Communities along with police nationally must collaborate to make our world a better place. Captain Javier Rodriguez of the 25TH Police District is a team worker and practices ways to bring police and community together. His Precinct recently sponsored a Community Appreciation gathering to remind the neighborhood that police do care. Hats off to Captain Rodriguez for helping us build a better future by bringing police officers and the community together. We, as Philadelphians, have to share our American Idols in every neighborhood. Our city encompasses people from a multitude of cultures and ethnicities who, together, can help solve our national and local problems. Remember, the goal is to share our differences and gain more understanding about one another. I appreciate the entertainers of the world-renowned American Idol organization. As a service, they share their love of entertainment, which brings all cultures together as “One Human Race.” I believe that we as individuals can all become American Idols within our communities. That way, we as neighbors can learn to view “Race” as singular – the human race – and not plural. Take the “RACE Test” today for a better way at Remember, neighbors come in all shades, cultures, shapes and sizes. Being a “Good Neighbor” is the greatest title and service that any human being can have. PRH


s a kid growing up in Southwest Philly in the 1950s, I knew where I’d be spending about an hour or so every third Saturday morning. I’d be sitting in one of 10 chairs waiting to get a haircut from the one and only Chris Arcadi, who owned and operated his barbershop at 65th & Buist Avenue. Back in those days, few kids would dare wear long hair. It was either a crew cut or be prepared to suffer the consequences as soon as you left the shop. Three or four of your best crew-cutted pals would stand in ambush to launch an attack, messing up your hair while yelling the dreaded term, “swats.” It was common for Chris to have the shop full of kids from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday. Our block contained about 70 homes as did the adjoining streets. Being a mostly Irish and Italian Catholic neighborhood, these homes provided lots of youthful mush-filled heads that needed to be pampered. Saturday was the big day. Chris was a master of the automatic clipper. He would attach a plastic crew cut gizmo onto the clipper and away he went. Once you made it to the barber chair, he could finish the job in about 15 minutes. He was like an Italian Leonard Bernstein, in full command, orchestrating the thing he did best in the world. Chris was also a skilled hair stylist. Once we all got older and realized girls were not just put on this earth to be the target of snowballs, we availed ourselves of his artistry. And so it was for me, seeing Chris on a regular basis throughout high school, college and beyond. He and I had a special relationship and some remarkably deep conversations in the 30 minutes it took to cut my hair. When he found out I was taking Spanish in high school, he’d spend 10 of our minutes speaking Spanish to me with the hope that I would benefit from his multi-lingual skills. Nice try, amigo. Some of us are preordained to struggle with only one language. As the ‘70s rolled around, Chris was elderly and not in the best of health. He decided to sell the business he loved for so many years and retire. This would be doubly difficult because his shop was located on the ground floor of his home. His sweet wife Rose operated a dress shop that had an adjoining door to the barbershop. So Chris might be “gone” from his business but he wouldn’t be gone. The sale happened and almost

immediately, he regretted it. I lived right across the street and I would see him on his front step watching all of his customers enter and exit the shop. He wasn’t regretful because of the loss of income; he missed the banter with his buddies and seeing all of the new flock of little kids that took our place. Most of all, he was sad that he was deprived from doing the one thing he loved the most. I found a new barber whom I visited twice. Not bad, but he only spoke English! I missed Chris, too. As I sat with him on his steps one afternoon, I suggested he become semi-retired and pick up one customer. There was an “understanding” that Chris would not suddenly decide to work again and compete with the new owner. That was fair. This new guy had to protect his investment. However, since Chris was like family, I saw no harm in his cutting my hair in his home. And he did for about four more years until his health really started to deteriorate. By now, I was out in the working world and a bit concerned about Chris’ health. I was equally concerned with my potential danger given the fact he was getting quite forgetful. It wouldn’t be good if he forgot what that straight razor was for! I had grown quite fond of my ears. However, when I sat down in his kitchen chair for my haircut, it was like an automatic pilot kicked in. He still cut hair flawlessly. The Maestro still had his touch. About a year later, with Chris well into his ‘80s and continuing his journey, I got engaged to Luann. When I told Chris, the first words out of his mouth were, “I promise, Imma gonna givva you da best haircut you ever had for da wedding.” I wasn’t surprised at Chris’ promise and didn’t hesitate at all to tell him I would be honored. In my neighborhood, my friends and I were raised to value loyalty and there was no way anybody else would touch this noggin once Chris made that remark. So, on Friday, May 30, 1975, the day before our wedding, I walked up Chris’ front steps and was greeted by a big hug from Rose. We walked into the kitchen, with the fragrance of peppers and eggs in the air. The Maestro put on his smock and proceeded to give me a haircut that lasted a good hour. It was flawless. Not long after, Chris passed away. Thinking of him now, some 40 years later, and realizing the blessing he was, I can still see him, clipper in his hand, talking to the kids, unlit cigar in his mouth, keeping that Saturday morning assembly line moving on and on. PRH


Maestro’s Touch by Charlie Sacchetti Charlie Sacchetti is the author of It’s All Good: Times and Events I’d Never Want to Change

October / November / December 2018



Going Green in

Philly Schools We are well on our way

➺ by KERRI-LEE MAYLAND Walking my son to school in Center City was always my favorite way to start the day. We would crunch the freshly fallen leaves or pine cones in our path with our feet and raise our eyes to the sky to marvel at the changing colors of the city trees all around us. Sometimes we would bike, but we never drove or took a school bus and the conversations we shared on the way to the big brick building that is McCall Elementary is something I will always treasure. It was our small way of going green every day and it’s just one of many ways one can positively contribute to the environment now that the kids are back to school.From transportation to greening up schoolyards, to simply teaching our children to love the world around them and learn about efficiency and sustainability—these are all things the Philadelphia School District is embracing in a number of ways.

GREEN FUTURES We are all concerned about our children’s futures. We need to make sure they understand the importance of going green, too. Green Futures is on the case, making our schools more environmentally friendly from the ground up. The program was created by Francine Locke, environmental director of the Philadelphia School District, after she discovered a lot was being done to encourage students in this direction. But the efforts seemed scattered and were not under the same umbrella. Green Futures was born and is now bringing together various efforts with the hope to green up five different areas by 2020—efficiencies, engagement, equity, environment and education. The actions range from greening schoolyards and decreasing energy use to improving transportation, facilities and fitness.

PARKS FOR PEOPLE Kids are people, too, and they need to play! For several years now, Parks for People –Philadelphia has


been creating green play spaces in the neighborhoods that need them most and the results have been staggering. By partnering with other groups sharing their mission, they have been able to turn pavement-coated play areas into parks and playgrounds fit for the entire community. And their efforts appear to be expanding. “Our city-wide partnership has recently expanded to impact more neighborhoods throughout the city. These special places will provide opportunities for play, exercise, community gathering and environmental education for over 40,000 children and their families who live within a 10-minute walk.” Studies also have shown that urban greening can lead to improved mental health and wellbeing and our kids deserve to love where they live and play.

HARVEST OF THE MONTH We are what we eat! Even before Green Futures, Philly schools had Harvest of the Month, a program that provided Philly school kids with fresh fruits and vegetables every month. Last year, children ate food at school sourced from nine local family-owned farms in Greater Philadelphia including lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cheese, mushrooms and apples. Fresh, whole ingredients to help mold these fresh young minds and bodies. Talk about farm to table! And the kids are learning about that process while enjoying food that is good for them and their developing brains and bodies, too.

GREEN SCHOOLS PROGRAM A lot of waste is brought to school and generated during the day. As parents, we can try to do our parts by using reusable lunch boxes and packaging, and limiting the amount of disposable waste we send with them to school. But recycling is another life lesson they are learning in the classroom. The Green Schools Program is associated with the Phila-

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

delphia Recycling Rewards Program - a partnership between the Streets Department and Recyclebank that allows residents with City-provided recycling collection to earn points for the amount they recycle and reduce trash. The program could earn schools up to $2,500.

HOW IT WORKS Schools submit applications for a green project they want to do this school year ��� Recyclebank evaluates the applications and selects the schools that will receive the grants (maximum $2500 per school) ��� If accepted, it’s up to the school to get teachers, parents, friends and community members to donate their Recyclebank points to raise the amount of donations for the project ��� Recyclebank points will be turned into dollars. For every 250 points donated to a school, Recyclebank will award $1 toward the school’s project Students and teaching staff are encouraged to get the word out and share it with neighbors, friends and family. Donated Recyclebank points can come from anywhere so schools can reach out to members outside of Philadelphia to help make their goals a reality. These are just some of the green programs and practices going on in Philly schools and there is still so much more that can be done to benefit both students, the city of Brotherly Love and the world around them. The belief is children learn best in schools that are healthy and give them time outdoors during the day, as well as have a progressive way of looking at what can be done better. Megan Garner, sustainability director for the Philadelphia School District said it perfectly. “Every school a green school. That’s the ultimate goal.” Green Space readers, we are well on our way.

10 Top


s y o T

ays d i l o H for



Is there a kid on your gift list? Scratching your head wondering if the Easy Bake Oven is still a popular pick? Here’s a list that Amazon says will take the worry out of this wondrous season.

Ozobot Bit Coding Robot (ages 6+) Teaches kids coding by coloring on a tablet. Depending on the colors and designs they use, Bit follows commands. Scruff-A-Luvs (ages 4+) This matted ball of fur in a box comes with only its eyes peeping out. Once kids wash, dry and style its hair, their new pet is revealed! Order this asap! Word has it that it already is back-ordered! $39.85

Watch Ya Mouth Throwdown Edition Card Game (ages 8+) Players wear cheek retractors to make it tough to say simple phrases. Teammates have to guess what they’re saying to win. $24.99

kids get to add a sticker to her reward chart. $48.82

teries required, just your cell phone! ($35)

Pomsies Plush Interactive Toys (ages 3+) Clip them to an arm, backpack or jacket to keep kids company all day. $24.95

furReal Munchin’ Rex (ages 4+) It’s the year of the dinosaur and this baby T-Rex eats, jumps and hops. ($47.72)

Baby Alive Potty Dance Baby (ages 3+) Yep. She does a little dance to let mommy or daddy know she has to use the bathroom. She peepees when you put her on the potty and

The Moonlite Starter Pack (ages 3+) Tell stories on the wall using your mobile phone. Comes with two stories! Works with most Android & iOS devices. No bat-

Paw Patrol Ultimate Rescue Fire Truck (ages 3+) Comes with a 2-foot tall extendable ladder and water canons so Marshall & his crew can put out any fire.

Lego Boost Creative Toolbox (ages 7+) Packed with over 840 Lego pieces, along with a move hub and an interactive motor, the possibilities for your child’s robot creations are endless with this 2017 Good Housekeeping Toy Award kit. Melissa & Doug Pet Vet Play Set (ages 3+) This doctor’s kit for young veterinarians helps teach empathy and caring while they play. $27.56

Toys of the 1960s Chatty Cathy. Top-selling (behind #1 Barbie) of the decade. Pull the chord on her back and she said phrases like ‘I love you.’ Etch A Sketch. A magic drawing board that used aluminum powder & tiny plastic beads to draw its gray screen when you turned 2 white plastic dials.

Barbie Doll. Every little girl’s favorite doll introduced by Ruth Handler in 1959. The first Barbie dolls were available in blonde or brunette and wore black & white striped swimsuits. Barbie’s Dream House. A cardboard ranch complete with fabulous furniture like coffee tables and ottomans.

Easy Bake Oven. Two light bulbs turned your cake mix into a real treat (icing included) you couldn’t wait to eat! Came in 2 colors – yellow & light blue.

Rock Em Sock Em Robots. Red Rocker & Blue Bomber battled it out in a ring controlled by 2 players using joysticks until one of the robots’ heads popped up.

G.I. Joe Doll. Finally, an action figure for boys! Dressed in cammies with boots & helmets. Move over plastic green army men!

Ken Doll. Introduced in 1961 (Barbie in 1959). He had “real hair” (felt) the first year before getting a plastic hairdo.

October / November / December 2018

Hot Wheels. Matchbox was selling tiny cars for 10 years when Mattel jumped in with Hot Wheels in 1967. Original models included the Camaro, Corvette, Firebird & Mustang. Lite-Brite. Paint your pictures with lights on your magic board!



A message from NG President

SS NeumannGoretti High School

Developing the minds of future leaders for 84 years & counting

As the smells of autumn fill the air,

the 2018-2019 school year is in full swing. We are excited to welcome the Class of ’22 - our largest freshman class in nine years – into the Saints Neumann & Goretti family and have high expectations for their future success. Academically, they are very strong, which, after all, is why we are here. It is our objective that when they leave here in four years, they are well prepared for the challenges that await them. We also need to welcome six new faculty members into our family. Our academic leadership, under the direction of Hugh Quigley, our principal, is strong, passionate and committed to seeing our students thrive. We have not one but three PhDs on our academic staff; a Maguire Fellow in Educational Leadership at St. Joseph’s University – a very prestigious program; we are partnering with multiple colleges and universities, offering our students college credit courses; we have partnered with Play On, Philly! - an innovative nonprofit that provides opportunities for personal development through the study of music - to help enhance our music program, the largest in the Philadelphia Archdiocese. We have many more opportunities in the pipeline so that we can continue to advance the academic outcomes here at Saints Neumann & Goretti.

As I have said often, it is our goal to create the finest academic institution in the city of Philadelphia over the next three to five years. We are not just preparing students to go on to great colleges and universities but also searching for those who are overachievers - those who desire to someday cure a disease or lead a country, or even land on another planet. And if this is not their desire, we are still committed to preparing all students to be the best at whatever they choose to do in life. Saints John Neumann & Maria Goretti Catholic High School has been an anchor in our community in one way or another for more than 84 years, developing the minds of future leaders. We all need to embrace its existence – graduates and non-graduates alike. I welcome Abbot Richard Antonucci, O. Praem, as the new chairman of our Board of Trustees. Many of our alumni will remember Fr. Antonucci both as an educator and principal at St. John Neumann. We are all excited for his knowledge and leadership. Until next time, Joseph M. McColgan President Ss. Neumann-Goretti High School

Saints Neumann Goretti Catholic High School Compassion � Courage � Commitment


| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

NG Alumni Spotlight

Neumann DOMENICK SS Goretti High D’ORAZIO School Class of 1961 Q: What year did you graduate from Neumann? a: I graduated then Bishop Neumann High School in 1961. Q: You recently retired from teaching at Neumann and Neumann-Goretti after 52 years! What did you teach throughout your time there? a: Most of my teaching was in biology. There were years in which I taught, along with biology, freshman physical science. The first two years, some chemistry and physics. Q: While a student at NG, what did you enjoy studying? Were you involved in any extracurricular activities? a: As a student at Neumann, I thoroughly enjoyed studying biology and German. As much as I always enjoyed the various branches of biology and teaching biology through the years, I probably would have been equally happy had I majored in languages in college and then taught language. In high school, I was a member of the biology club and the chemistry club, and I was the president of the German club. Q: As a student, were there any classes or teachers that stood out to you? Why? a: Father John Cox, the biology teacher. Many Neumann and Goretti graduates my age and even years younger remember Father Cox as running the Saturday night dances (in an extremely strict and intimidating way). He later became principal during my early teaching years. My German teacher, Father George Feider, was equally inspiring. He had a way of making a difficult language seem easy. Q: Tell us about your education after graduating from NG. a: I attended LaSalle College (now University) and majored in biology, minoring in chemistry. The great Dr. Roland Holroyd, for whom a building is named at LaSalle, was my incredible biology and teaching inspiration. During my teaching years at Neumann, I always tried to model my teaching after

this great man After graduating LaSalle in 1965, I began teaching both biology and chemistry at Neumann. I got my certification in secondary school science in the early 1970s at St. Joseph’s College. Q: What constants have you noticed in the education and within the students at Neumann Goretti? a: One constant in education I observed throughout the years is that so many students seem to project a resistance to learning. I usually broke the resistance down just by being myself, no fancy, trendy teaching techniques. And then, of course, there were the students who simply were so, so eager to learn right from the get go.

Why is Steam Coming from the COOLING TOWER? Water is used throughout the refinery to heat fluids during the refining process and to cool various production units while they perform refining functions. In some units, water temperature reaches more than 140 degrees fahrenheit. In order to continually reuse and conserve the water, it is sent to be cooled and stored in the cooling towers. Once in the cooling towers, hot water is cooled by an airstream that is blown at it as it enters the tower. The cooling process causes some of the water to evaporate while the major portion is cooled and stored to be reused in the refinery. The evaporated water mixes with the airstream on its way out of the cooling stacks at the top of the towers. This mixture forms the visible “cloud” over the cooling units. The only thing coming out of he cooling tower stacks is the water in the form of STEAM and AIR that cannot be retained and reused in the refining process.

Philadelphia Energy Solutions believes in going beyond supporting the communities in which we live and work. Through our active support of youth, culture, health, education and environmental opportunities, we strive to improve the quality of life for our employees and our neighbors.

We are focused to be the best every day.

Q: How did your time at NG as a student prepare you for your role as a teacher? a: As a student at Neumann, the dedication and commitment which the Norbertine priests (my teachers) displayed seemed to be a great preparation for me as a future teacher. Q: What are your plans now that you have retired? a: Now that I’ve retired, I definitely want to travel any time of the year, not just summers! Golf, and the proper, legal and safe use of firearms also interest me.


Q: Do you still plan on being involved with NG? If so, how? a: I definitely plan on still being involved, perhaps as a volunteer in some capacity, attending various Millay events and reunions and continuing to attend the sporting events. Q: Any advice for the class of 2022? a: My advice is the same as my role model, the great LaSalle professor Dr. Holroyd, would always give to me and my fellow college classmates: DON’T MISTAKE THE SIDE SHOW FOR THE MAIN EVENT! In other words, while extracurricular activities and participating on the sports teams definitely enrich one’s school experience, the main focus must be on the academics.



Excellent Rates & Excellent Customer Service Auto Homeowners Business Life Insurance 2700 S. 18th Street * Philadelphia, PA 19145 Call For A Free Quote!


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_____________________________ Twins Auto Body & Detail Centers 2525 S. 72nd St. Philadelphia, PA 19142 215.365.8212 7931 Oxford Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19111 215.745.8428


Construction P. Agnes

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1901 South 9th Street, Suite 501 Philadelphia, PA 19148 610.764.9035

_____________________________ Strands 25 Hair Salon 2504 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19145 215.923.5849


Financial Services United Savings Bank

1510 Packer Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19145 215.467.4300

_____________________________ Univest Bank & Trust Co.

Financial Solutions for Your Business 1536 S Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19146 215.462.2265


Florists & Decorators The Petal Pusher

2515 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.463.5485

Specializing in weddings, funerals & corporate events

PHL Athletics


Home Improvement Novello Contracting 267.688.4879

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1641 Ritner St. Philadelphia, PA 19145 215.334.4927

_____________________________ Rita’s Unique Painting Inc. Rita Trombetta 856.986.0252


Home Services

Clean Green Lawn and Landscapes Affordable, reliable landscaping 856.513.5758 @cleangreenlawnandlandscapes on Facebook & Instagram

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Restoration & cleaning service Fire/Smoke/Water/Mold 215.704.4958

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We rid your pests so you can rest Frank Fioravanti, route supervisor 2909 S Franklin St. Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.768.1804

_____________________________ Filippone Electric & Contracting 856.952.8197 24-hour emergency service 215.783.3844

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Philip's Moving & Removal Services No job too big or small. Licensed & Insured. Free Estimates. 215.500.3903


Insurance Services

Troast-Singley Insurance Agency, LLC Kim Troast-Singley 2700 S. 18th St. Philadelphia, PA 19145 215.339.0333



Olivieri Jewelers

2523 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.336.1130

_____________________________ Realm Fine + Fashion Jewelry Designer Jewelry & Events 215.852.0798

Perry deMarco, Jr. Esq.



Dr. Denise D’Adamo DC

2432 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19145 215.468.2999

_____________________________ Pennsport Physical Therapy 2101 S. Columbus Blvd. Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.467.4431


Music Lessons

Joe Cuglietta Guitar Lessons Washington Township, NJ

Specializing in blues, jazz, rock & roll Beginners to advance



Professional Organizations

South Philadelphia Business Assn.

Oldest Business Association in South Philadelphia

Join today! Russell Shoemaker Director of New Membership 267.597.7154


Real Estate

Fetterman Design Group, LLC. 211 East Palmer Ave Collingswood, NJ 08108 856.264.6816

_____________________________ Leonardo Realty

2136 S. 16th St. Philadelphia, PA 19145 215.389.7944


Restaurants Caffe Chicco

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_____________________________ Francoluigi

1549 S. 13th St. Philadelphia, PA 19147 215.755.8900

_____________________________ L’Oceano Ristorante

833 Haddon Ave. Collingswood, NJ 08108 856.833.9888

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1801 E. Passyunk Ave Philadelphia, PA 19148 215-463-3030

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26 E. Oregon Ave Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.644.8388


Security Services

Allied Universal Security Services Ron Rabena 1760 Market Street, 14th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19103 1.866.825.5433

SPI Security Services Inc.

2440 Federal St. Philadelphia, PA 19146 215.338.0800


Senior Services

Senior Companionship & Home Helper Carmen DeSanto 610.908.4811

Meal preparation, grocery shopping, light housekeeping. 30+ years of experience. References available.


Spa Services Bella Angel

158 N. 3rd St. Philadelphia, PA 19106 856.227.7774

_____________________________ Hot Hands Studio & Spa 2545 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.467.9666

_____________________________ Philly's Nail Spa

Wellness and Beauty Spa Refer three customers and get $20 off the service of your choice! 2502 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19145 215.271.9831


Specialty Foods & Catering The Beer Peddlers

1942 S, Christopher Columbus Blvd. Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.755.2337

_____________________________ Big Nick’s Cold Cuts & Italian Specialties 1311 W. Moyamensing Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19148

(Between 13th & Broad on Moyamensing)


_____________________________ Cannuli’s Sausage

1640 Ritner St. Philadelphia, PA 19145 215.468.7997

_____________________________ Dad’s Stuffing

1615 W. Ritner St. Philadelphia, PA 19145 215.389.3237

Giovanni’s Italian Catering

Located in the heart of South Philadelphia


_____________________________ Mike's Hot Dog Cart 24th & Passyunk

_____________________________ Palm Tree Gourmet

Special gourmet food, Boar's Head deli Delivery and party trays available

1940 Pine St. Philadelphia PA 19103 901 South 2nd St. Philadelphia PA 19147 717 North 2nd St. Philadelphia PA 19123 215.334.2400

_____________________________ Swan Caterers

Now serving at 2 locations 2015 S. Water St. Philadelphia, PA 19148 215.389.8888 1500-02-04 Shunk St. Philadelphia, PA 19145 215.389.2045


Tailoring / Custom Clothing Alana Ferr Atelier

Clothing/Accessories/Custom Clothing/Alterations

2403 S. Broad St. 215.336.6166

Travel Services At Escapes

Your boutique travel company Gina Casella / Founder & President 917.514.5566

_____________________________ Travel with Pam Draper

Full Service Agent 856.956.3532


Ass D in the


Jackson ta o R e tt e r o D By


don’t know what I was thinking when I dialed Dr. Aronchick’s office and made the colonoscopy appointments. For three of us. The friendly young lady on the other line wanted to make sure she was hearing me correctly. ‘Let me understand this. You’re calling to make THREE appointments for the same day?’ “The same time, too,’ I answered. We stalled long enough. My sister Dawn, her husband Mike and I were about 10 years past our preventive screening deadline. Dr. Badolato was not happy. Every office visit, he asked the dreaded question. Did you schedule your colonoscopy? No. Hard as we tried, none of us wanted to take laxatives, drink magnesium sulfate and eat lime Jello for 24 hours. None of us looked forward to wearing gowns (opening in the back) and baring our souls to strangers holding long hoses. If I scheduled all of us together, we’d be more likely to show up. Thing is, I didn’t think this through. I figured we’d each have our own cubicle where we’d anxiously await our turn in silence. I’d get a much-needed break from the family tree, coupled with some anesthesia to help me relax during the procedure. I’d wake up healthy, rested and happy to put this test behind me.



Dawn was the first called in. Big mistake. She’s not a big fan of medical procedures. She didn’t want to go first. ‘Are you coming with me?’ she asked me as they led her back, pathetic look on her face. ‘Eventually,’ I smiled smugly. ‘I’ll see you in a couple of hours.’ Mike was next up. The odds of me getting a solitaire cube were looking pretty good, I thought. I could soothe my meditative self into a blissful state of Zen. I heard a voice call out in the waiting room. ‘Rota Jackson?’ My chariot had arrived. They rolled me through the sparkling white corridor of the OR until reaching my final destination. Curtain #3. Right after Mike in #1 and guess who in #2! God has a sense of humor. ‘Don’t you love the booties!’ she smiles broadly as my gurney approaches. ‘Take our picture!’ she says as they whisk me past her. ‘Seriously?’ I’m thinking to myself. Only Dawn can be this chipper about a colonoscopy. Mike slaps his pasty-colored forehead and lowers his hospital-capped head onto his pillow in disbelief. After a few minutes, I see her fingers clutching the blue curtain that divides us. She pulls it aside like she’s in the shower to reveal her cheery-eyed, broad-smiling self. ‘Wait till they give you the blanket.

| ROWHOME MAGAZINE | October / November / December 2018

It’s heated! I feel like I’m in a spa!’ Mike grunts in the distance behind Curtain #1. Within minutes of one another, we’re whisked away for the procedure. It’s the last thing I remember before the anesthesia took hold of my anxious, scrambled, Zenless consciousness. After what seemed like hours of the best sleep of my life, my eyelids slowly lifted to the smiling face of a soft-spoken nurse. ‘Your procedure is over. Everything went well. Take your time getting up.’ ‘Hahaha! I told them you were going to sleep longer than us. Twenty minutes! We’ve been ready,’ Dawn’s voice travels from the nurses’ station a few feet away. Same smiling face and wide-eyed wonder. ‘Get a soft pretzel. And juice. You can’t leave till you eat something. Mike’s outside. He needed some fresh air …’ So, there you have it. Our Colonoscopies for 3. No need to procrastinate. It was a breeze. If you want some company, call my sister. And to Gastroenterologist Dr. Craig Aronchick and his talented team of professionals, thank you for caring for the health of so many patients over the past 30 years. We salute your service to our community. Dawn loved the booties. PRH

‘TIS THE SEASON! A r e y o u r e a d y fo r t h e p a r t y ? F e s t iv e t o Fo r m a l

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All Great Accomplishments Begin with a Dream Gabriel Bendotti NeumannGoretti HS

Antonia Brunetti

Washington Township HS

Eddie Cappio

String Theory

Vincenzo Congialdi

GAMP, String Theory

Jake Kudrick

Strath Haven Middle School

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This Award is given annually to young dreamers whose passion to succeed has inspired a new generation of believers. The WishRock symbolizes one of many steps along your journey to success. May it always remind you to believe in yourself, follow your dreams and reach out to help others along the way.

photo by Andrew Andreozzi

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