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Nov 28 12 7:55 AM

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I hope to see many of your great stories and pictures 

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#2 [url]

Nov 29 12 8:32 AM

HI Jack,

Thanks for picking up the ball. I notified a few folks whose email addresses I had. It would be nice to get this going again. Let's see who checks in.

Dan Hartnett Former East Germantown Presently Warwick Twp.

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#3 [url]

Nov 29 12 9:09 AM

Nice to see the Forum back up.   Looking forward to the discussions on Germantown, Philly and other memory lane....  

Awhile ago, there was a discussion on the murder of Mary Ann Mitchell.  There was a book written on it by Donna Persico, a Roxborough resident, called Murdered Innocence.  Here is a link to info on it   

   http://www.maryannmitchell.blogspot.com/  

Myself, not sure if I will buy it, but curiosity will probably win out.  Seems she is on a mission to prove that Elmo Smith is innocent.  I don’t know enough about the case to know the facts that leads her to think that.  But, it makes me wonder why she already announced there will be a part 2 and a possible tv documentary.  Is she remembering the memory of Mary Ann Mitchell, or is she milking it under a profit motive…..  Finally, reminder to check out the Germantown, Philly and other memory lane photos on IC’s alumni website.  All are welcomed there…  Just click on the picture of the photo album to go there   

      http://www.friendsofimmaculate.com/

 

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#4 [url]

Nov 29 12 10:04 AM

I vividly remember the Mary Ann Mitchell murder. I was a sophomore at good old Cardinal Dougherty High School, when the news of the disappearance and subsequent discovery of the body. Needless to say, the story dominated the newspapers and local TV news. I believe that the story was sensationalized mostly, because of her age and it being during the Christmas season. If my memory serves me correctly, there wasn't that much reference to the attack being sexual. The only things you heard about anything sexual was whispered rumors. This was 1959 and we were still in the “age of innocence”

It appears that the Donna Persicl book raises it's own questions about the authors father. He was a Philadelphia policeman and he believed Elmo Smith was innocent! She stated that he not only knew the identity of the true killer, but also confronted him! It makes me wonder why he didn't come forward with him information, or if he did, why was his information suppressed?

Sounds like an interesting read. I somewhat think it would be of interest to those of us that were around, some 53 years ago, but not sure if the event would be of national interest. Being a retired senior, living in Florida, and on a fixed income, I will be going to the library to check out the book.





John Fleming Florida's favorite uncle Uncle Johnny

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#6 [url]

Nov 29 12 11:42 AM

I remember the sensationalism of the story and all of the rumors some of which were sexual but none of us knew if they were true, I also remember that there was something carved on her stomach "TB101", whatever that was supposed to mean. I believe that Elmo Smith was the last man executed in Pennsylvania. I think that is still the case. As to whether Smith did it, there were no doubts expressed at that time.  I guess Mumia didn't do it either as he has a street in Paris named after him. In any event, as John Fleming suggests, it was the age of innocence. We see much worse served up now on a daily basis and have become inured to it, I believe.  At that time sensationalist stories would be picked up and played out by the newspapers, sometimes for months. Some that come to mind are: The Scoleri brothers, The Coyle brothers, The murders in "Dante's Inferno" on Chestnut St. of Joe Melito and Jack Lopenson's wife, The Pottsville heist of the coal baron John Rich, the murder of Jock Jablonski (union chief -coal miners) and anything to do with Cherry Hill Fats "Sylvan Skolnick". Now there was a fascinating guy. If you are bored, just google his name and be in for some real entertainment because the stuff is not made up.

Nice to see this site up again.

Dan Hartnett

Dan Hartnett Former East Germantown Presently Warwick Twp.

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#7 [url]

Nov 29 12 12:02 PM


Jack Mchugh:

In mythology, Atlas only had to support the weight of the Celestial Sphere upon his mighty shoulders.  You, dear sir, have chosen to moderate the impossible--this site!  I'm tipping my hat to you, lad.  Done right I believe this site could become something marvelous.  We certainly have a diverse cast of widespread characters to make for a successful site.  And being disconnected from the Historical Society there is now the opportunity to share a wider perspective.  Apart from personal attacks, which should always be avoided, I would love to see posts from everyone that grew up in Germantown and have now moved on:  what their life was then and how G-town has influenced where they are now.  Good Luck, Jack!  


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Kevin Mc Kernan

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#10 [url]

Nov 29 12 5:00 PM

Wow Cherry Hill Fats!!!! Boy does that name bring back memories of “local” infamous people. Another one that comes to mind, and my favorite is Harry J. Katz. He was a well know bon vivant , and man about town in Philly's social scene. If anything was happening in the Philadelphia night life, you can be sure Harry was there. He attempted to bring a Playboy Club to Philly, but failed, due to Philly's strict liquor laws. When news of his applying for a club broke, I got a Playboy key. Although I never got to use in Philly, I did use it in New York, Lake Geneva Club, Hotel, & Resort, Wisconsin, Great Gorge Club, Hotel, & Resort, New Jersey Miami Plaza Club, Hotel, & Resort .






Harry Jay Katz, a guest at Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen's wedding.

John Fleming Florida's favorite uncle Uncle Johnny

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#12 [url]

Nov 30 12 8:12 AM

It’s great to see and read from so many friends from Germantown and those interested in Germantown, Both of these sites, Germantown Thoughts and Germantown Forum offer a great insight of the times that were and where we are now. I believe it to be true to most of you, I think that you have missed this site as much as I did during the last few months. It is nice to hear where people are now and what they are doing. I sometimes find that a word or expression can at times be misunderstood. To show an example, I recently found a card stuck in with some of my father’s papers. It was sent out during World War II and reads: 

Dr. James C. McConnell   5139 Wayne Ave. Germantown Philadelphia                          It is with regret that I must inform you of the termination of my practice for the duration, due to the emergency. As you know our Country is in need of dentists and I felt it my duty and privilege to volunteer my services. I regret not being able to give my patients prior notice of the change, but when I received my appointment, the Army stated that I should report for immediate service. Should you be in need of dental care during my absence, may I suggest that you call on Dr. Elmer C. Stockburger, 5538 Wayne Ave. Germantown. I have greatly appreciated your past business and trust that I may feel free to let you know when I return to civilian practice. Yours very sincerely,

First of all it is a great and articulated message, the expression that I refer to is “for the duration”. This was a very common term during the early 1940’s and if you watch movies made at this time you will hear it mentioned. Many people misunderstood what the duration meant--to most people they felt it meant the end of the fighting. When Germany surrendered in May 1945 most to the soldiers in Europe felt that they would sent on to Japan, then Japan surrendered in August 1945, it was then that many of the Americans found out what “for the duration” meant. What it meant was when the President declared officially an end of hostilities. Now most of the soldiers were sent home in Nov. & Dec. of “45” and Jan. of 1946. President Truman officially declared an end of hostilities on Dec. 31, 1946, a few men in special areas of training had to wait that long. I recall reading that the Germantown Boys Club gave free admission to the service men during the war and also for one year after the duration.

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#13 [url]

Nov 30 12 8:24 AM

word or expression can at times be misunderstood.” Most apropo on message boards and forums, especially this one in the past.



John Fleming Florida's favorite uncle Uncle Johnny

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#14 [url]

Dec 1 12 11:51 AM

Glad we're baaaack...........this is my third try, hope I do it right this time.   So glad to be in touch again, just in time for the holidays.  HELEN LEONE D'ANGELO

HELEN LEONE D'ANGELO

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#16 [url]

Dec 2 12 2:03 AM

Thanksgiving has come and gone.  The huge turkey that fed so many and provided so many great school lunches is now a carcass awaiting the garbage pick-up on Monday morning.  Time to move on.  It's December.   Gtn & Chelten avenues' are already decked out in garland and lights-- the big fat G.E. christmas lights, just like our town's other great intersections.  Christmas is on the way, you can smell it as you pass the freshly cut trees arriving by train at the Germantown station  and being distributed around town to men dressed in warm pea-jackets and navy wool hats covering their heads, as they attempt to stay warm hovering over the fire in the 55 gal. oil drums--their only source of warmth.  On Christmas eve we'll observe the annual ritual of putting out something for Santa.  We always did that as children.  Mom told us to leave milk and cookies for old Nick, while  Dad insisted that Santa needed a "stiff one."  "It's damn hard and stinky work sitting behind the big butts of all those reindeer"  Da would say,  as he poured and left  double shots of Four Roses for Santa.  "That's the boy that will get him through the night.  After all, its a long way back to Dublin," he said with an impish wink.   Being from Ireland, Dad thought everyone had a little Irish in them, including Santa.  Perhaps he was right, come morning I always noted that the whiskey was history while the milk and cookies remained untouched.--Kevin McKernan.


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Kevin Mc Kernan

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#17 [url]

Dec 2 12 6:19 AM

....a sweet memory of the Holidays Kevin - brought me back in time to when our lives seemed simple and orderly .....I can smell those Christmas trees  and see the string of lights on the lot.  I can almost walk up the hill to Stafford St. and get home just in time for dinner. HELEN

HELEN LEONE D'ANGELO

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#19 [url]

Dec 3 12 6:48 AM

Kevin McKernan – great post, and the type of post that made the original blog so great, and so interesting to all.  Your father sounds like a real character, a true Irish charmer and one for a good laugh.  From the old sod, he probably could tell a good story too.    

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#20 [url]

Dec 3 12 6:57 AM

Any mention of Harry Jay Katz makes me think not of his playboy, man about town days and ways, but that he owned, closed and bulldozed that beautiful old theatre, the Erlanger Theatre, at 21st and Market.  I was in it just once, around when I was 20 or 21yo, for a concert, and never forgot the place What a magnificent theatre that was  Here is a link to info and photos of that theatre.
 
http://www.performingartsarchive.com/Theatres/Theatres-E/Erlanger-Theatre_Philadelphia/Erlanger-Theatre_Philadelphia.htm
 
...


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