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Letters: GROWING UP GLOUCESTER...The Junior Guild-cnbnews.net

Bill,

                Msgr Lucitt (Big Ed) (inset) was the driving force behind the St. Mary's 6a00d8341bf7d953ef01543608f200970c-200wi men’s Guild that was started probably by Msgr Brick during the depression. Both priests were similar in nature, great heart, passionate and when something went wrong they took no prisoners.

 

 Big Ed was my first basketball and football coach in grammar school.

               

The men of the Guild made fishcakes on the first floor and delivered them and other food to the citizenship of Gloucester during those awful years of the depression.. During the war years, while I was in grammar school (St Marys), all the fellows were in the service

and the men’s guild evolved into the junior guild. It also kept a lot  of young guys out of trouble by giving them a place to hang out.. Not to mention that Big Ed also kept an eye on us and the building..

               

I still get my haircut every three weeks with probably the last of the Annelo’s (Frank & Gentlemen’s Den), still subscribe to the GC news, and always make it a point to get gas and take a ride around the city.. I must admit I feel sad when I see some of the changes, but it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better.

               

My era (Mooney Spencer, Ping Sheldon, Jack and fat eye Kane, Lou McQuillen, Henny Murphy, Vince Reed, Bill Garland, Donny McMichael’s Jerry Sampson, the Nolan brothers etc) were the last to keep the tradition alive. I went to the old timers regularly went they first started it Nanny (Ray) Ford was my high school freshman basketball coach and a friend of the family.. The original night was composed of those that had a sports network throughout Gloucester and Camden county. My network was playing baseball in the Camden county league, the Camden Twi-night league and refereeing high school and college football and basketball.. We all knew one another and spent the evening making better catches, scoring more points etc., than we ever did..

             

   As the years went by and as was to be expected a younger element made up much of the audience, and fellow like me knew less and less. Last time I went (about 4 or 5 years ago) I maybe knew 15 people and some of them have since died (Toper Stone for one).. I will try to get there this year, and visit what I called the Gloucester Catholic table (Joey Murphy, Bill Patton, Charlie Murtugh(sic), Joe Denoto etc., all who are closer to my age. The publics J also had a table with Leon Harris Sr., Jim Hagen, Toper etc..

               

Hope this didn’t bore you I tend to get carried away when remising about the era and great  city I was privileged to grow up in, have a business that provided some jobs and embedded every fiber of good that I might possess..

 

Tom Bowe

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