Steve Sherry's The Vagabonds of '74

The Essex Catholic Wrestling Team 1971
Home
Early '74 Montclair, New Jersey, Alf a most unusual friend
Cedar Grove, New Jersey my little town....Miss Munches House, Newberry's, Cedar Grove Pool
Hitchhiking To Albuquerque 1972, The Commune and Krishnamurti, University of New Mexico
Seeing Badfinger At Carnegie Hall, The Dugout, McSorely's Ale House
Seeing Bob Dylan, "The Poet Lad" At Madison Square Garden
South End Pizzeria, Van Gogh and Plans for California
Jersey Shore Recollections, Summer of '71. St. Louis, The Gateway of the West, The Road to Colorado
Rocky Mountain Panorama, Problems with the Pinto, Ritchfield Utah???
California! Lennon's Lost Weekend, Venice Beach, Malibu
Pacific Coast Highway, Panoramic Visions and the Magic Carpet Ride To Santa Barbara
San Francisco, The Shelter, The Warf and the Hole in the Wall Hotel
Sacramento, Jumping A Train? Wierd But True, The Shock of My Life
Oblivion, Reno, Good Samaritans and The Ghosts of Woody Guthrie, James Dean and Tom Joad
A Night In The Can in Kansas
University of Kansas at Lawrence and The Doobie Brothers
True Meditation Foundation of Human Understanding, "How Your Mind Can Keep You Well"
Vagabonds of '74 Part 2: Old Friend Ollie, Meeting Veronica, The Suburban in Montclair
BOSTON, The Leap of Faith and A Night in a Shelter
Sleeping in a Newspaper Truck, Cambridge Hippies and No Turning Back
Squatter's Rights: 269 BROADWAY, Furnishing Our Hippie Pad
269 BROADWAY becomes Miss Dale's Farm
California Hippies Arrive. Free Food from The Docks, Strange Encounters
Kenmore Square Blood Bank
Leonard Cohen, Patron Saint, Ali Defeats Foreman and the Great Squash Fight of '74
Vivid Visitors from New Jersey,
The Invasion of Boston University, Taking Over The Dorm
Jonathan Swifts, Harvard Square and The Sugar Shortage
Beacon Hill Gulf Gas Station and Reflections Atop The Longfellow Bridge
Christmas 1974 in Montclair, Returning to Cambridge, "13th Floor Panarama"
Bandages, Canes, Barroom Brawls and Spontaneous Conversation
Meeting Leonard Cohen
The Beginning Of The End and Saying Goodbye
Vagabonds of 74 Epilogue
Essex Catholic Memories: Crosby, Stills & Nash, Marty Liquori, Mark Murro, City Stadium, St. Benedicts, Dylan, Positively 4th St.
The Essex Catholic Wrestling Team 1971: 8 District Champs, Ting A Lings, Hitting the Town....
Essex Catholic Teachers and Students, Br. Harrington, Mr. Lamb, Mr. Taglieri, Mr. Zarro, Simon and Garfunkel
Random Events at Essex Catholic 1967-1971: Stuff Happens! Bomb Scare, JUG!, Abbey Road
Essex Catholic Senior Year 1971: World Trade Center Rising, The Staircase from "A Hard Days Night?" Meditation, MySpace: "Jersey Shore," Crosby, Stills and Nash Epilogue
The Jersey Shore: May, 2011 Brielle....Sea Girt....Introspection On The Sand.....
Essex Catholic Memories 2012

The Best Thing That Happened To Me At Essex Catholic  


I didn't join the Wrestling team until Sophomore year so I had a lot of catching up to do......even so, it opened up a whole new world for me.....

In those years Essex Catholic had a very powerful team........I remember all those afternoons in the Cafeteria where we rolled out the mats for practice and the hard work and camaraderie.....

......then running a mile around the track out back.......then three or four of us going down to the gym afterward to do some pull-ups.....

Wrestling is such a great sport and I highly recommend it.....it teaches you so much and makes you formidable ever after.....

I remember the time in Junior Year when about seven of us were in New York at the St. Patrick's Day Parade and we had a run in with a group of young men who had a little too much beer......

One of them threw a punch at Nick Testa who replied immediately with a harder punch of his own.....This set the other kid back on his heels and they started telling us what they were going to do to us......"You wanna go to the hospital kid?"

Rickey Petersen stepped in and calmed down the situation before it went any further. Lucky for them because those guys were all about to go airborne  and didn't know it....

In 1971 Essex Catholic was a Regional Power and we ended up being ranked 8th in the State of New Jersey.....we had eight District Champs that year out of a possible twelve......and should have had nine except for a fluke in the last seconds of the finals....

After matches on Friday night we used to go to a place called "The Blue Gardenia" and buy beer to start off the evening......
 
looking back, we overdid it and were  fortunate to always make it home okay.....
.....even after pulling "all-nighters." 
 
 
 
                                            A Snapshot In Time

 It's 1971 after a match and we're all crammed into a car cruising down Bloomfield Avenue near Ting A Lings......
Ting A Lings was like a Shrine and the place to go for some gnarly potato and pepper sandwiches and french fries....

I'm in the back seat staring out the window wondering about my life, happy to be with those guys, cracking jokes...... philosophizing......

Then, on the radio "The Long and Winding Road" starts playing and Ricky Petersen, who was driving, turns and shusses us all up....."I gotta hear this guys...." and we all became subdued in the sacred reverberations..........

Young men......warriors......teammates........good vibes.........when the world was a different place than it is today...... and The Beatles reigned supreme.....
 
....."Many times I've been alone and many times I've cried.......
but still it leads me back to the Long and Winding Road".........
 
and for three minutes in that sacred vortex there was Peace on Earth.........
 

Once it was over the joking started again as we cruised into the night,
busting chops and exploring the Universe.....
 
those last few months of school were short lived but meant a lot to me......
 
and I was fortunate to be part of that team.....

 
 
 
 
                 A Few Thoughts About Ricky Petersen
 
 
In and out of our lives he came and went bringing camaraderie.....humor.....good advice..... sincerity.....
 
 
Was there anything he couldn't do well ? 
 
We all had many conversations with him in class, in the car, after practice......in the hallway at Essex Catholic......
 
 
Many nights after matches we went out to hit the town ....
 
I remember several times being low on gas so we'd stop at 3 A.M. when all the stations had closed and drain the  pump of the tiny bit of gas still left in the line.....this got us home  every time....
 
 
I remember philosophizing with him...Mark.....Jack....Gary.....John Thomson....Billy Martin....Doug Zemanek....while exploring  the Universe together.....
 
 
 
The passage of time puts everything in perspective.......
 
when I went to pay my respects I got to speak with old friends  and acquaintances  from 40 years ago and it seemed as though it had been a week....
 
 
The River of Time flows on.....
 
I think we can all look back and be thankful for the time we were able to spend with a noble soul......                  
 
                                                                        Thanks Ricky......   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Visit me on Facebook by going to:
 
Facebook.com/stevesherry.1
 

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