Saturday, June 4, 2016

Big Day Coming

I'm looking forward to seeing many of you next Sunday.  Just to recap the main event is at 4:00 PM at Patsy's Restaurant 332 Bergen Blvd in Fairview.  The cost is $40 per person and the only credit card they take is American Express, so if you have left home without it bring some cash.

That is not all though,  If you are up for more please attend the 11:00 AM Mass at St. John's (remember that church on Walker street and Anderson avenue that was kind of near the school).  We should be able to tour the school building after the Mass and if you are up for it we will do a walking tour of Fairview and Cliffside before the big event.  I would like us to get pictures in front of the original homes of anybody who makes it.  That might be too ambitious, but we will see.  Lunch will be catch as catch can.  I'm thinking White Castle.

I'll be staying at the Marriot in Edgewater and am opening to getting together for breakfast, with anybody who wants to make a day of it. Email me at and I will send you my phone number.

No pressure here or maybe a little.  It would be great if everybody, whether you can make the reunion or not would send a donation to

Franciscan Community Development Center
239 Anderson Avenue
PO Box 89
Cliffside Park NJ 07010

Mention our class. Even a token amount would be a great show of spirit, but if you are the type of person that can write a large check, this seems to be a really good cause.  The Sisters who are living in the old convent are doing the type of work that Father McTague used to do.

See you soon.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Great Find From The Archives - Newspaper Account Of Our Graduation

I found this clipping in a photo album.  It is likely from the Bergen County edition of the Hudson Dispatch, which I delivered while in 8th grade, one of the more miserable jobs I have had, but I'm sure it built character.  I doubt that I can get a readable copy of the clipping so I am retyping it.


Commencement Held
St. John's Awards 40 Diplomas

Msgr. Richard P. O'Brien, pastor of St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church, Fairview, presided at commencement exercises for the eighth graders. at St. John's Parochial School last night and awarded diplomas to 40 graduates.  Rev. Charles McTague and Rev, Charles Petrocci, assistant pastors, participated.

Fr. Petrocci, who gave the address, told of the great changes in the world today and advised students they "must look beyond what they want to be." "Your friends and relatives can only be your guides," he cautioned, adding that in their approach to life-"to love deeply one must take something of one's self and give it to another. Fr. Petrocci congratulated the parents and graduates and thanked the Sisters of the school for all their efforts.

Medals for outstanding scholastics were awarded as follows:

American Legion Award for distinguished achievement to Dennis Kondrat and Joan Huberry (I'm sure they meant Ruberry); general excellence from Fr. O'Brien to Sara Bentz; scholarship from Mothers Guild to Peter Reilly; religion from Holy Name Society to Maria Scala; mathematics form Mothers Guild to Patrick O'Brien; history , from Knights of Columbus to Marie Montelli; science, from Rosary Altar Society to Richard Gagliardi; english, from Veterans of Foreign Wars to Vito Convertini; spelling from Veterans of Foreign Wars to Paulette Bolcik; effort and cooperation from Daughters of Isabella to Richard McCullough; safety essay medals, first place Judy De Barbieri; second place, Sara Bentz and third place, Lourdes de Armas.

Program opened with processional of the graduates "Pomp And Circumstances"

followed by the hymn "When Morning Guilds the Sky"

The hymn "Full of Glory" the graduates act of consecration which was followed by "Tantum Ergo"

and "Now Thank We All Our God" with the recessional concluding the ceremonies.

The graduates are:

William Meier, Patrick O'Brien, Thomas Downs, Frank Marrone, Vito Convertini, Richard McCullough, Norman Parent, Joseph Maglio, Stanley Scoskie, John Konopka, Steven Marzola, Robert Russell, Dennis Kondrat, Richard Gagliardi, Robert Einhorn, Paul Moser, Robert Ryan, Peter Reilly.

Ann Miranda, Lourdes de Armas, Judith De Barbieri, Bernadette Battish, Mary Scala, Vivian Tarello, Joan Ruberry, Carol Bruno, Lucia Scarnecchia, Marie Montelli, Marsha Dalhelm, Veronica Mugavin, Delia Gonzalez, Cheryle Ballingal, Karen Keady, Oriana Sartor, Kathryn Larson, Sara Bentz, Paulette Bolcik, Genevieve Houston.

Top honor students of the First to Seventh Grades also were announced.  They were:

Seventh Grade: Joseph Scala, Anita Tedesco, Joseph Bentz.  Sixth Grade: Debra Fagnano, Eleanor Cahill, Barbara Meier. Fifth Grade: Gina Scala, Mary Ellen Dever, Joseph Rinn.  Fourth Grade: James McGowan, Mark Fagnano, Theresa Orecchio. Third Grade: Dawn Criletti, Colin Dobbyn, Barbara Bentler.  Second Grade: Susan Stanich, Barbara Rinalti, Michelle Ricciardi.  First Grade: Jane Galina, Cynthia James, William Pedoto.


The real hilarious thing to me is the order that the names are in.  I am close to certain that it is by height.  I do remember sitting next to Robert Ryan, but that is pretty much it.  I also find it interesting that the priests are featured while "the Sisters" are barely mentioned and none by name.

Memorable Pop Songs of 1960

1960 was quite the year as we moved from second to third grade.  There was great excitement as JFK became the first Catholic to be elected President.  I had a hard time understanding why it was such a big deal.  The special history books we had seemed to imply that iconic figures like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln would have been Catholics if only they had had better educations,

Regardless this is about pop music and here is the selection from the top 100 pop songs of 1960 that is most meaningful to me.

Theme from a summer place set a record by being at the top of the Billboard 100 hot singles list for nine consecutive weeks.

I don't know what the thing was with songs about teenagers getting killed in car crashes being so romantic, but Teen Angel was probably the epitome of the genre.

The Twist by Chubby Checker created a new Fairview tradition.  As part of the Fourth of July celebration, before the fireworks, there would be a Twist contest.  I never won.  Mainly because I never entered, but I don't think I would have won anyway.

And who can forget the Itsy Bitsy Tennie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Biking? I remember singing that on the bus going to CYO day camp when we got tired of 100 Bottles of Beer On the Wall.

Save The Last Dance For Me seems very evocative of that era's concept of romance.

You know what I said about Teen Angel being the epitome of the teenager dying in the car crash genre.  I was lying.  It was actually Tell Laura I Love Her.  Not the importance of a ring in both songs.  Rings were big back in the day.

That's it for me when it comes to 1960. Let me know what you think I missed.

The reunion crowd is shaping.  There will be at least 15 people at Patsy's and I am hoping for me.
Peter J Reilly CPA is organizing a reunion for the St, John's Class of 1966 even though he is not good at things like that.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

How I Almost Got Arrested Organizing This Reunion

The headline is kind of an exaggeration, but that's the way it is with us bloggers, bunch of sensationalists. My son graduated from Pratt Institute this morning.

The ceremony was at Radio City Music Hall.  So I stayed at a HO-JOs on Tonnelle Avenue and drove over to the ferry.  On the way back home I decided to stop at the school to take some pictures and also drop off a check and say hello to Pat, the church secretary who has been helping me out

So here's what the old place looks like now.

Guess what?  A 64 year old guy in a suit taking pictures of a school looks suspicious.  You know how it is.  If you see something, say something.  Somebody in the neighborhood called 911, I guess.

So by the time I got to Anderson Avenue, one of Fairview's finest indicated that he wanted to talk to me.  I told him what I was up to and that my last encounter with the department was when Bobby Einhorn and I were rolling old tires across Fairview Avenue.

He took down my information, so hopefully no Fairview kids will run away with the circus too soon.  I did pick up one piece of information relevant to the reunion.  He told me that Stanley Scoskie passed away a couple of years ago.  Although I could not find an obit.  There is one for Norman Parent.

Pat at the church might be able to help me with a list.  I had a nice chat with her after my brush with the law.  She showed me a really neat picture

It is Father McTague with Father Maguire, whom I had forgotten about.  I think he was replaced by Father Petrocci.

The current pastor is Rev. Jose Gamba.

Pat suggested that I go next door to get a sense of what the Franciscan nuns living in the convent are up to.

FCDC has implemented a comprehensive program they help people with health care, adult education, immigration assistance, food bank and counseling.

There are two sisters.  I had a nice chat with Sister Gloria.

It seems like they are doing things a lot like Father McTague used to.  Although, they probably are more organized.

I was hoping to come up with something that we could do as a class to help out and I think donations to the center would be just the thing.  I don't want to handle your money so send a check to Franciscan Community Development Center of Fairview - 239 Anderson Ave Fairview NJ and mention the class.  We'll see if it amounts to anything.

I checked out Patsy's and put down a deposit.  The cost will be $40 per person and you can just pay the restaurant at the time. One little thing though.  They don't take most credit cards. American Express and debit cards are it.  Or cash.  That works too.  It is at the corner of Bergen Blvd and Jersey Avenue

Peter J Reilly CPA would really like you to email him at to say for sure that you are coming June 12th and 4:00 PM and whether you have a guest so he can get a good count.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

St Johns Fairview Class of 1966- Reunion Dinner

We will meet for dinner at Patsy's 334 Bergen Blvd Fairview New Jersey at 4:00 PM on Sunday June 12th.  If we can get to a commitment over 30 we can have our own room.  The only choice that remains is a limited menu with three choices for $40 per person or just ordering off the menu.

I don't want to be handling money so, everybody can just pay the restaurant.

I would appreciate feedback on whether to go with the limited menu or not.  I should have more information when I stop in there in two weeks to firm things up.

In the meantime, if you are certain that you can make it please email me at Do that even if you have already told me by some other means so I can have a solid list.

Showing up at Patsy's around 4:00 is just fine, but there are other events.  The 11:00 AM Mass at St John's is dedicated to our class and it will be arranged for us to have a tour of the school afterward.  This will be followed by a walking tour of Fairview and Cliffside.  We will take pictures of the group along the way.  Lunch is still iffy, but if we can make it Nungessers we can hit the White Castle.

If you would like to share memories just email them to me.  Period pictures would also be great. The event is mainly for the Class of 1966, but anyone who feels a connection (earlier and later classes, siblings, Lincoln school kids who used to harass us, etc) is welcome.

Peter J Reilly CPA looks forward to your emails which you will send to

Monday, May 2, 2016

1959 - At The Top of The Pop Charts As St. Johns 1966 Goes From First To Secord Grade

I'm hoping to put together some sort of slide show for our reunion that includes period songs in the background.  Here are the songs from 1959 that strike me as good candidates.

The number one song for 1959, and one of my all time favorites is Johnny Horton's Battle of New Orleans.  I can remember us singing it as kids.

On reflection, given what is going on with the $20 bill maybe they should redo the 1959 list and substitute this one.

Number 2 and also a favorite of mine and also of Julia Scotti was Mack the Knife.

If you ever get a chance to see The Threepenny Opera, take it.

Further down the list is Ritchie Valens Donna

Then we have the Coasters with Charlie Brown. I will shamelessly cross promote here by sharing something about my 45th high school reunion, which is somewhat behind my inspiration to make this one work.  The Cadet Colonel of the Xavier High School Regiment in 1970 was named Charlie Brown.  Our classmate Patrick O'Brien will appreciate that Charlie and a couple of others painted the Fordham goal posts maroon and blue before the big game in 1969.  By the way that Thanksgiving game is the oldest high school rivalry in New York City.

Dion and The Belmonts with A Teenager in Love is certainly memorable

And who could forget the Chipmunks

Toward the end of the list there is Take A Message to Mary by the Everly Brothers.

And somewhat odd  for the pop charts is The Battle Hymn of the Republic by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Clearly the video is not from 1959.

In terms of pop music there is one day in 1959 that was immortalized 12 years later in the song American Pie

On February 3, 1959, rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, together with the pilot, Roger Peterson.

I don't remember that making much of an impression of us first graders, but maybe some of you do.

Peter J. Reilly CPA hopes the St John's 1966 reunion is shaping up, but he would love to hear from more of you.

Friday, April 29, 2016

1958 Pop Music Review

I'm going to go through each year of our grammar school days and pick from the list of pop songs, the ones that I liked.  If I manage to put together a slide show we will use whatever you indicate the favorite is for the background of that year.  Here is the list I am drawing from and here are the ones that I find particularly likable or familiar.

Beep Beep is definitely my favorite.  When we were older I remember Bobby Einhorn having a copy of it and my making him play it till he was sick of it

And then there was the Purple People Eater

How about He's Got the Whole World in His Hands?

Yakety Yak

I don't remember listening to the Kingston Trio back then, but 1958 was the year for Tom Dooley

Great Balls of Fire

Peggy Sue

On a military note there was the March from the River Kwai and Colonel Bogey March

And then there was Western Movies

In the comments section of this blog vote for your favorite or suggest an alternate from 1958.  Be sure to comment here.  Facebook comments don't count.

Peter J Reilly CPA is organizing the reunion for St Johns Fairview Class of 1966, which means it will not be real organized.

Reunion Plan Shaping Up

The main event of our 50th reunion will be dinner at Patsy's on Bergen Boulevard near Cliff Street with festivities kicking off at 4:00 PM.  Some will want to make a day of it though, so there is more.

The 11 O'clock Mass at St. John's will be dedicated to our class and there are arrangements being made for us to tour the school building afterwards.

So what do we do for the afternoon ?

I propose a walking of Fairview and Cliffside with lots of stopping and picture taking.  I will lead the first leg which will follow in the hallowed footsteps of myself, Richie McCullough and Paul Moser as we made our way home every day.  Down 4th Street up Kamena Street where will stop at Our Lady of Grace and debate whether it is better to cut through the little path or go all the way to the corner of 6th Street.

Proceeding down Sixth Street, we will stop at the corner of Roosevelt Street at the site of what was once a vacant lot, where I managed to get my first communion suit covered in mud as Paul Moser gave me a good shove.

At the corner of Kennedy Drive (formerly Broad Street), I hope to hand off leadership to someone else.

If we do it right we will stop in front of every house of anyone on the tour and take pictures.

Peter J Reilly CPA is self appointed czar of the St Johns Class of 1966 reunion.  He keeps hoping to be deposed, but no luck so far.  Volunteeers can contact him at

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Call For Submissions - St Johns Fairview 1966

Planning for a reunion of St. Johns Class of 1966 is proceeding.  It is scheduled June 12 at 4:00 PM at Patsy's Restaurant  332 Bergen Boulevard.

As we get ready this blog will serve to put out announcements and for whoever wants to share memories.

If you would like something posted here you can just include it in the body of an email to

It would really be great if people would start sending me pictures as I would like to put together a slide show.

So far I have mainly been working through facebook and have not identified any way to get a complete list.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I have received inquiries as to whether people form other classes might attend.  I am not going to try to broaden the group as I don't even have a good handle on this one, but anybody who in anyway feels connected to the class (year before, year after, brothers and sisters, whatever) is welcome. You don't have to have graduated with us either.  Anybody who was part of the class for any of the eight years is part of the class.

I would really appreciate a couple of volunteers to step up and help me organize things, but I will plug along regardless.  If it ends up just being a couple of us at Patsy's swapping tales, I'll call it a success, but I do have more grandiose ambitions, which I will share over the next couple of weeks.


Peter J Reilly CPA is organizing a reunion of the St. Johns Fairview NJ Class of 1966.  He is not very good at stuff like this and keeps hoping somebody will steal the project, but no luck yet.