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CNBNews Tips/Snippets: Growing Up Gloucester; White Supremacist a Fireman; Graffiti Problem in City


William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews


GROWING UP GLOUCESTER--Back in the day, everyone knew everyone in Gloucester City. In those days it wouldn't be unusual if you even knew some members of the outlaw Pagan's MC, who had one of the first chapters in the state located in Gloucester City.  The head of that chapter was a childhood friend of my wife Connie. He went through the local school system and graduated with her and other members of the GHS Class of '62.


Related: New Jersey Crime Investigators Say Pagan's MC Expanding Into State


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After we got married we lived in one of the row homes in the 700 block of Powell Street. This one particular day in 1967, Connie was sitting outside on the front step with two of our kids who were no more than babies at the time. A roar of motorcycles come riding up Powell Street heading east towards Broadway. There were 20 or more guys dressed in dungaree jackets with Pagan etc written on the back.  It was a scary sight. At the head of the pack was this guy with shades on with a goat tee and a fu man mustache wearing a Viking helmet with two horns. He had pythons for biceps and his arms were decorated with tats from his shoulders down to his wrists. He and some of the others drive pass Connie when the guy in the front, apparently the leader, suddenly raises his hand signaling everyone to stop.

Related:  Fond Memories of Growing Up in Gloucester City/South Jersey Area and The Geator

The leader turns his big Harley around and drives up on the sidewalk stopping in front of Connie and the kids. The guy with the Viking helmet jumps off the cycle gives her a hug and a kiss on the cheek. She didn’t realize who it was until he removed his helmet; it was her childhood friend and classmate. 

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GROWING UP GLOUCESTER--The Cleary Family celebrating Christmas in the 1950s


In the meantime, traffic is backed up on the street in both directions as the members remained on their cycles. None of the neighbors came outside. Instead, you could see them peeking out their blinds no doubt wondering what was happening. After five minutes or so the leader of the pack jumps on his Harley and drives to the front of the line signaling everyone to follow him. You could hear their Harleys roar all the way to Broadway and beyond.

Related: Gloucester City History

Finding a parking spot on Powell Street in front of your house was a daily challenge but after that day we never had a problem. The spot was always open for our car. I always wondered if that day we had the leader of the local Pagans visit our family had anything to do with it. 

GROWING UP GLOUCESTER--from left to right, Billy Hampton, Marie Connoley, Trudy Bodenschatz, Tom Ferry and Ed Ferry. Location 8th and Division Streets. Check out the shorts the two Ferry boys are wearing? Sixty plus years ago if you were a kid your underwear could also be worn for your summer shorts. And nobody cared. Of course, if your Dad or Grandpop tried to get away with running outside in their underwear, there was a good chance they would go to jail.


WHITE SUPREMACIST WAS A FIREMAN--Brooklawn resident Richard Tobin who was arrested last week for allegedly conspiring with a hate group against the rights of minorities and Jewish people, was a member of the local Downloadvolunteer fire department, according to several news outlets including 

Brooklawn Fire Chief John McKinney told the media that Tobin had been a fireman for less than a year.

Federal authorities said Tobin expressed a desire to attack African-Americans. He is accused of telling people to vandalize Midwest synagogues.

Tobin was originally part of the fire company’s “Fire Service Explorers” program, a Boy Scouts of America program that introduces adolescents to a firefighting career, the chief said. A March 2018 Brooklawn fire company Facebook post congratulated Tobin on completing the Camden County College Fire Academy Junior Firefighter course. The chief said that he never had any issues with the 18-year-old.

Tobin told investigators that he was thinking about going to a North Jersey mall and attack African Americans with a machete. He blamed his hatred on all the turmoil in the United States. 

McKinney said there was never an issue with Tobin. The chief declined further comment. On Monday, Tobin was still listed on the borough’s website as a member of the exploring program, but his name was removed by Tuesday.

Brooklawn Police Chief Shamus Ellis echoed those remarks, "Prior to this investigation, I don't believe we have had any negative encounters with Tobin."

RELATED: Alleged White Supremacist from Brooklawn Charged with Wanting to Kill Blacks, Jews, and Gays

According to the criminal complaint, Tobin allegedly directed members of a “white racially motivated violent extremist group" to vandalize minority-owned properties through online platforms and encrypted messaging applications. The complaint did not identify the group but described it as a far-right group that has “proclaimed war against minority communities within the United States and abroad."

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Tobin was acting as a member of The Base, a neo-Nazi group that “trains members in violence at ‘hate camps,’” according to The Daily Beast.

Tobin allegedly directed the group’s "Great Lakes Cell” from his Brooklawn home, ordering an “Operation Kristallnacht,” a reference to Nov. 9 to 10, 1938, when Nazis in Germany burned down synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes and businesses and killed about 100 Jewish people.


GRAFFITI PROBLEM IN CITY--A Gloucester City community activist, who wants to remain anonymous, submitted several photos of unsightly graffiti on Nicholson Road under the 676 overpass. The individual believes by bringing attention to the graffiti someone in the highway department or some other department will remove it.







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RELATED: Graffiti in Gloucester City