The events of the last few days had gotten me decidedly out of the warm, fuzzy, nostalgic mood that usually accompanies my New Year's Day. But then two of my best sources of inspiration came through and got me back in the holiday frame of mind.
First it was the office manager at my church, who decided in a whimsical moment to issue a special edition of this week's parish bulletin -- a reprint of a recently uncovered bulletin from 1947. Every item in there was worth relishing, but I thought readers of this blog might especially enjoy the back page, where local businesses took out small ads. I'm sure these merchants are all gone now, but I wonder if any readers remember any of them when they were still functioning -- or can tell us what's in their locations today. Anyway, with apologies for the size of the file (I wanted to keep the resolution as best I know how), here it is:
But the nostalgic motherlode was struck later in the day, when my beautiful bride uncovered a document that I had been tearing the house apart looking for for months -- my grammar school diploma, which included a sheet of photos of the members of the graduating class. For you Googlers out there, this is the Class of 1966 at St. Aloysius School in Newark, N.J. -- in the Ironbound, or "Down Neck," section of town.
I'll post the identifications of the class members shortly (I remember all of the names except a very few), but for now I'll ask readers if they can spot me:
A cup o' kindness yet, to all of them.
UPDATE, 1/3, 12:30 p.m.: Here's my best shot at identifying everybody.
Left to right. Top row: John O'Regan, James Katsempris, Christine Byrne, Anthony Sharon, Judith Baylock, John de Grazia, Gloria Klosowski, Joseph Becker, John Jakimas.
Second row: Angel Perez, Patty Sikora, Walter Ramsey, Patty McNally, Deborah Walsh, Dennis Pinto, Cynthia White, Thomas Gilk.
Third row: Edward Dombrowski, Patricia Armstead, Antonio Silva, Gerald Curren, Dorothy "Dolly" Nieratko, John Bujalski.
Fourth row: Christine Coppola, James Dula, Deborah Owens, Thomas Murphy, Mary Gomes, Robert Bedford, Kathleen Bitz, Thomas Crappse, Sheila Farley.
Bottom row: Joseph Smanski, Michael Conklin, Mary Bedford, Hugh Byrnes, Robert Mazur, Joseph "Spike" Browarski, Linda Lee, Rodolfo Gonzales, Jack Bogdanski.
Thanks to former school chums Matt Jusinski, Harry McAleavy and Patty White-Bittner (St. Al's alums all, but in different classes) for their help with the ID's.
Missing from the photo for some reason or other (which I can't recall) were classmates Carol Ann Klotz and Mary Lou Kowalski. Among those who left St. Al's but were in our class in the early years were Barbara Horan, Laura Stapleton and Marilyn Kielkowski.
For more old Newark stuff, go here.
UPDATE, 1/16, 1:53 p.m.: The identifications are now complete, thanks to a note from Kathy Bitz (now Wesolowski). Great to hear from her -- thanks, internet!
UPDATE, 9/9/08, 1:25 p.m.: Barbara Horan (now Vitale) notes that we had a classmate named Cathy O'Connell, who for some reason is also missing from the photo.