I remember the Dylan Poster on the wall in Mr. Forgeone's
classroom. It was the same one from Dylan's Greatest Hits Album.
This made Mr. Forgione a pretty hip
guy. But how was it he was into Dylan?
kind of music was for young people like us
for Old Guys who were around 25 years old.....strange.....
I remember Br. Harrington being so into Poetry that one day he passed out lyrics to
One of the songs was "Mr.
Tambourine Man" and it really started me wondering about Dylan.....
that summer, when I heard Positively 4th Street for the first time
I was to become a die-hard Dylan fan....
One day Br. Harrington was teaching vocabulary and wanted to test us on words beginning with the
prefix"anti" like "antithesis, anticipate etc.....
After several kids gave correct answers one
"wise guy" raised his hand and said as sincerely as he could manage
" Ant eater?" ........
.....which ticked off Br. Harrington......who responded
very slowly: "Okay.....don't be a wise guy....."
One of my favorites was
Br. Dunne, my French teacher who when he walked into the classroom the first day looked like someone not to be trifled
with but was really a mellow guy......
I remember him being quite amused at the student who showed up one day in Bell Bottoms, a sweater instead of a jacket
and no tie!
The Dean of Discipline used paper clips to rein in the bell bottoms and gave the kid
Br. Dunn walked over to him with a smile and asked: "What were you thinking ?
What were you trying to prove?"
The kid replied "I thought maybe I could
start a revolution."
You were going to start a revolution?"
The following year we were allowed to wear Bell Bottoms.....so maybe Ben Fusco really did start a revolution.....
Other teachers I liked were Mr. Lamb who taught English....really nice man and Mr. Taglieri the football coach who
taught history.....both were entertaining in the way they taught which is the best way to teach.....
Gym teacher was Mr. Zarro (RIP) because he was more than just a gym instructor.
I remember him, after warm ups always saying:
"Remember, you're good
Some of those guys
hanging around who get a little money in their pockets think their cool and they get themselves in trouble. Remember
you gotta do the right thing!"
Mr. Zarro would be there at most of the sporting events too. He was 100
per cent behind the students.
I remember one afternoon after practice on the upper level of the gym when the
song "Leaves That Are Green" by Simon and Garfunkle starts playing on some kids radio....
twenty one years when I wrote this song
I'm twenty two now but I wont be for long
time hurries on and the
leaves that are green turn to brown...."
I stopped and really listened. When you're 16 you can't wait
to turn twenty one. To me twenty one seemed far, far away......
I was with Doug Zemanek that afternoon .....
After 40 years it's hard to think of everybody you once knew.
My year book was damaged by a flooded basement so I can't look up students and teachers
but I remember names as if I was hearing roll call again or someone's name being
announced on the intercom system....
One kid I remember fondly was Richie Rinaldi (RIP). A year
older than me, Richie was on the wrestling team and many afternoons after practice we'd go outside and do laps on
the wooden track in the back of the building and maybe talk with teammates before going inside.
The school would
be empty and it was clear sailing from the back door on Summer Ave all the way to the front door on Broadway......
"Think you're fast Sherr?" He'd ask.
"Man, I know I'm fast," I'd say, and we'd
take off on a full sprint from the back door, under the Rotunda all the way to the front door and usually ended up in
a flat footed tie.
Sometimes Richie would beat me by a step, sometimes I beat him but it was difficult running
in wrestling shoes....while laughing hysterically....
One thing more. Richie was one of those guys who had
a large share of humanity and a vulnerable soul. He was someone you could talk to and looked out for the younger guys on
the team. When you saw Richie Rinaldi coming your way it made you feel good.....
Carrino always made fun of me for being from Cedar Grove.
"How are things up there in the sticks?"
One Saturday, during Freshman year I'm on Pompton Avenue in Cedar Grove trying my best to look cool, hanging out
Suddenly the 114 Bus pulls up to the traffic light and I see Tom Carrino who is just as shocked to
see me. He waves as the bus pulls away.
On Monday, back in school, he approaches me with a wicked
"Hey I saw Sherry up in Cedar Grove looking cool, all dressed in black! The bus drove through downtown
Cedar Grove but I missed it. I sneezed!"
Curt Shumate was quite amused....
Once Curt and I and another friend went to a Concert at Shea Stadium. It was billed
as a Peace Concert and hastily put together. We jumped on the New York Bus and took in a remarkable show.
was the first concert I'd ever been to. The roster consisted of Paul Simon, Janis Joplin, Pacific Gas and Electric,
Johnny Winter, Dionne Warwick, a few others I can't remember and Credence Clearwater Revival.
Credence came out in early evening and really brought the house down.
They had to stop the concert and ask the crowd
to all come down to a lower level
because the stands were shaking so much.....
I remember a lot
of guys from a distance...vivid characters who I didn't know well but were in a class or two with me ....Guys
like Gary Rich, who was in my Religeon class with Brother O'Neill .....
Henry Samuel, an all around good
Richie Squillaro, on the wrestling team and in my history class....great kid.....
(RIP) whom I didn't know well but was someone I'd say hello to in the hall.
An athlete and a mellow guy. There was a noble quality about him....
guys like Ed Abramski, Chris Butler, Phil Cifelli and so many others......
I can still hear
roll call in class....kids of all ethnicities with amazing sounding names....
some short, some four syllables....Italian, Irish, Check, Polish.....
some sounded humorous....some sounded like exotic diseases......amazing!