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#21 [url]

Dec 3 12 10:44 AM

Jack:  Is anyone else having technical difficulties starting a new topic?  Unless I reply to "Come on back" I've been unable to submit anything new.  This may be causing difficulties for new and returning posters.  BTW, where's JBS hiding?, Boring Bore?  Victims of Sandy?  Still recovering from post election blues?  I miss our old friends...come on back!
Hello Helen--good to see you punched your way back in.  Stafford St girls endure.  I often walked by your home just to take in and savor  the wonderful food odors drifting out and making all in the neighborhood hungary.  It was the next best thing to hugging a freshly cut Christmas tree and drinking in a pine forrest.  Happy Holidays!
Kevin

Kevin Mc Kernan

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#22 [url]

Dec 3 12 11:10 AM

I am guessing, that the reason Harry J Katz, closed the Erlanger, is because he was losing money with it. No denying that good old Harry, had, and still does have a checkered history, but no one has tried more to bring sophistication and glamor to Philly then him.

John Fleming Florida's favorite uncle Uncle Johnny

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#23 [url]

Dec 3 12 12:57 PM

Well, I guess you could call East Falls Harry Jay Katz a bon vivant.  But, Ive heard him called many other things too, like Hottub Harry, Craigslist Creep and other things unprintable in a public forum.  I dont know how he came to own the Erlanger, but he had no clue what to do with it.  Supposedly, he turned it into a failed nightclub/discoteque of sorts called the Katz Meow.   I guess it was just a lobby thing since he didnt dismantle the theatre part for his nightclub.   In the right hands, not his, the Erlanger might have made a go.     

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#24 [url]

Dec 3 12 1:38 PM

As previously stated Hot tub Harry, did and still does lead a “checkered” life. He was just one of the many cause célèbre's of the 70's that could be assured of always being “on the scene” in Philly's nite life. Others included Stanley Green, Harlow (Born Richard Finocchio), Benny Krass, who would seen riding around in his yellow cab yellow Rolls Royce, and Center City Sonny. They all contributed in their own way to making the nite club scene what it was in the 70's. Unfortunately old Harry, didn't know when it was time for him to hang up his spikes.






Harry and Arnold


John Fleming Florida's favorite uncle Uncle Johnny

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#26 [url]

Dec 3 12 4:50 PM

I had lunch today with John Bruce Schmitt, the erstwhile blog Chairman of the Board. I am pushing him to come back and even sent him his logon ID. Lunch, of course with glasses of Malbec, was an enjoyable BS session mostly on city characters which suburbanites will never understand. Try to explain Harry J. Katz, Ben Krass or Center City Sonny to one of them and you will get the "deer in the headlights" look.

Ben Crass used to hang at the bar in the Warwick Hotel by Rittenhouse Square where he lived for a while. Several years ago I saw him paying off the waiters and the piano player so he could sing without objections from the clientele. He then had what sounded like a voice from the grave, wispy, thin and barely alive, which is where he is now as he assumed room temperature several years ago. A real  Philadelphia guy!

If anyone has a message for JBS, post it here and I will cut and paste it to an email and forward it to him.

Dan Hartnett

Dan Hartnett Former East Germantown Presently Warwick Twp.

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#27 [url]

Dec 4 12 9:57 AM


YO !! JOHN BRUCE and BROTHER KEN___________

                   I desperately need some "HANSBERRY HOWLS !!!"
c,mon back and bring THE "BOR" withyou.

frankie baggs klock.

  p.s. thanks for your troubles, Dan.

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#28 [url]

Dec 4 12 10:09 AM

The "Our Gang" comedy series had nothing on us young Germantowners.  Here's an old shot of my brother Jim and I (boys in blue), determined to 'protect & serve', along with our trusty dog "Patches."  Our mission: To keep evil-doers out of East Germantown...we were only marginally successful.  Note the ubiquitous Germantown iron spiked fence and the old roadsters in the background. Good times!
Kevin 


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Kevin Mc Kernan

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#29 [url]

Dec 4 12 11:35 AM

Kevin McKernan - nice photo from days past as a boy scout.   I imagine all of those Catholic parishes had scout troops back then.  IC did (Pack and Troop 118).  I know St. Mike's did as we ran into them on some camping trip.  Until then, I never even heard of St. Michael of the Saints.  I dropped out of scouting 2 merit badges shy of Eagle.  One was lifesaving, which would have been a challenge for me but I could have gotten it done.  It's been a regret of mine not sticking it out for those two merit badges.  But, my friends had left scouting and it just didn't matter to the teenager I was at the time.  But, regretted it since.... A lot of great times scouting, camping trips at Treasure Island and Hart, etc.      

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#30 [url]

Dec 4 12 2:13 PM

Come on back Bruce,  our little in-bred group needs your daily input!

HELEN LEONE D'ANGELO

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#31 [url]

Dec 4 12 5:53 PM


Dennis:  Those are Cub Scout uniforms the brother and I are in.  We never made it into the Boys Scouts.  Puberty intervened; we found it more interesting to pursue knowledge and girls than chase merit badges.  Girls trump pieces of cloth every time!  And, I might add, they are much more fun on camping trips.
Dan hartnett--Are you sure you plied old JBS with enough Malbec to get him posting again?
The silence is deafening...so far.  That Argentine wine should have done it.  The last time Dawn and I did rare beef and Malbec (go together like love and marriage), I ended up under the table with the server.  Hope you weren't driving too far.  --Kevin   

Kevin Mc Kernan

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#32 [url]

Dec 4 12 8:28 PM



I never bothered to join the cub scouts, boy scouts etc. Just didn't seem exciting enough, nor really much fun. I waited to join the Navy, right out of good old CD high. Nothing but fun and excitement from day one, plus girls still like men in uniforms, especially dress blues. You haven't lived until you rode out a couple of typhoons in the South Pacific in a WWII destroyer! No merit badges, but lots of great memories.














Home for a couple of years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtqf0CCVUek

Been there done that! 



Saw this film many times, and seemed like being in the Navy was more fun and adventurous then learning how to rub two stick together to make a fire.







John Fleming Florida's favorite uncle Uncle Johnny

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#33 [url]

Dec 5 12 5:40 AM

Kevin - don't know why I typed in boy scouts as they are obviously cub scout uniforms.  Along with puberty, another factor for me to leave scouting back then was it was around the time my friends were moving out of the neighborhood.  I was the last Mohican in my circle of friends still in scouting around 7th or 8th grade, so I left too.  Still, I have long wished I had stayed just to get those last two merit badges....      

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#34 [url]

Dec 5 12 7:36 AM



Speaking of men in uniform as I was. For those not aware, there is a national project, that can be done locally. The organization is called Wreaths Across America:

http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/


They will be placing wreaths locally


http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/location/philadelphia-national-cemetery-philadelphia/

You can either donate for a wreath or donate your time or both, for this worthwhile project.












John Fleming Florida's favorite uncle Uncle Johnny

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#36 [url]

Dec 5 12 11:41 PM

John Fleming: USN Vet,
I can't imagine spending several years @ sea on a small destroyer.  My only naval experience was spent as a very reluctant Army passenger on the USS Gen. Mann, a troopship I spent 28 miserable sea-sick days on enroute from Oakland, Calif.  to Korea via Honolulu and Yokohama, Japan (1963).  I saw and remember a lot on that passage.  One tends to recall bad experiences, especially the typhoon we encountered off Japan.  The USS Mann was, I thought, a large ship.  However during that storm it behaved like a small cork in that roiling ocean.  My sea-sickness became extreme, turning me yellow and green, what brother, Bernie once described as me looking like a big nicotine stain.  I was never so happy to disembark and swore like Scarlet O'Hara, "In Gone With The Wind": 'I swear, as God is my witness, I will never go to sea again, even if I have to remain in Asia for the rest of my life." Fortunately for me, they decommissioned the Mann and I flew back home, having no desire to ever leave terra firma again.  For those readers that have not gone to sea, I would liken it to spending years riding the "L" train--swaying back and forth with water everywhere for your only vista.--Kevin


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Kevin Mc Kernan

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#37 [url]

Dec 6 12 10:09 AM

Kevinm,




There is no denying that one of the worst feelings in life is seasickness, especially when you are out to sea for weeks or even months at a time. I don't think much could be done to help back in the 60's. I guess “sea sick” pills might have been available. Of course having “old salts” telling you about the greasy pork chops that are being served for dinner, didn't help that much. You got to love this form of male bonding.



Most guys get their “sea legs” in a very short time. Unfortunately there are those that never get over it. We had one guy that we called “buckets”. Even before the ship was completely untied, he had his bucket near him. Once I got used to constant pitching and rolling of the ship, it really was an exciting experience. Unlike you experience, which was basically being a passenger on a troop ship, I was a crew member on warship with a mission. We rarely sailed alone. We were usually part of a carrier battle group. Regardless of the seasickness, I had to still go through my daily routine of “life at sea”, living, sleeping, eating, working etc. While it meant long hours awake, there was enough daily activity going on to make it exciting. I was in Operations, so, with my secret clearance, I more or less knew what and when things were going to happen. When we refueled, my station was on the bridge with sound powered phones, communicating with another sailor on the bridge of the either the carrier or oiler that was refueling us. I had a birds eye view of the entire operation. Many times when off duty, I would go back to the fantail and watch flight ops off the carrier.



You had to learn basic things like eating and sleeping with the constant motion of the ship. Sleeping was the easiest, as the motion would rock you to sleep. Of course you had to learn how to brace yourself, so that in larger rolls you didn't roll out of your rack.



All things considered, I was happy with my decision to join the Navy. I didn't like the idea of possibly having to live in a foxhole and eat out of my helmet. I liked the prospect of getting 3 hots and a cot.







12USSTheSullivansCrewsBunks






My rack was the middle one on the extreme left.  This was located under the fantail (rear of the ship) right by the rear hatch.  This is how the basic racks looked. We did have mattresses and sheets.






















John Fleming Florida's favorite uncle Uncle Johnny

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#38 [url]

Dec 6 12 12:30 PM


This picture sort of gives you an idea of what Harry J Katz was all about. Cafe Erlanger on its opening night. A large crowd gathers outside the entrance. A truck with a spotlight is parked in front of the building. Opening night-patrons arrive at Harry Katz's new Cafe Erlanger, formerly the Erlanger theater at 21st and Market sts. Harry Katz served champagne, but he did not sell any liquor. Note the Rolls Royce parked out front to add to the glamor. Also noticeable in the background is the Penn Center Inn, which was also eventually demolished. It was replaced with what is today known as the Independence Blue Cross Tower.



John Fleming Florida's favorite uncle Uncle Johnny

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#39 [url]

Dec 6 12 2:03 PM

I guess the Katz Meow came after the Cafe Erlanger.  This photo would have been 1973 or 1974.  However they did this cafe, they didn't touch the theatre because I was at a concert there in 1975 and never forgot how magnificent a theatre it was...  You are partially right....   The Penn Center Inn was razed to make way for the twin tower to the Blue Cross building, a tower that was never built.  Imagine, prime center city location that has been an empty lot for almost 23 years now....   Always plans, but always falling through....   I guess the same is true about the Gimbels Dept Store lot.  At least, that was put to use for parking.  The Blue Cross building was built on the site of some stores and a porn theatre....  

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#40 [url]

Dec 6 12 3:00 PM

When the skyline of Philadelphia evolved with major projects i.e. One Liberty Place, Two Liberty Place, Bell Atlantic Tower etc. I think Philadelphia finally got the proper national recognition it deserved. There was talk of a Disney entertainment center being brought to the 8th and Market location, vacated by Gimbels, but as we all know it never happened. It is most unfortunate, that all this redevelopment, basically only happened in the CC area, and didn't spread to the outlying neighborhoods.


















John Fleming Florida's favorite uncle Uncle Johnny

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