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October 14, 2011     Post-Gazette
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October 14, 2011
 

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POST-GAZETTE, OCTOBER 14, 2011 Page 13 nr ann{ (-' by John (hristoforo 00abb?]nonno A Nostalgic Remembrance The date attached to this col- umn brings back both fond and sad memories. I have mentioned in the past that I grew up with the Manfredonia family. A son, John, who would have been my contemporary was born on October 14, and I on the 21 st. Both his parents, Grace and Ralph, and my folks knew each other from the time they were kids and remained life-long friends. When I was four, Babbononno sold the big house at 70 Eutaw Street and he and Nanna moved into an apartment on Princeton Street. We moved two doors away to 74 Eutaw, then owned by Grace's father, Angelo Baranco. When he passed away, Grace's husband, Ralph Manfredonia, became our landlord and the first three of the four Manfredonia children, John, Fred and Adelaide and I became inseparable. Josephine, the fourth would be born many years later. From that point on when we were four, Mom and Grace began holding joint birth- day parties for John and me, a tradition that remained in place until we started high school. The neighborhood was filled with people the families became friendly with, most with kids at or near our ages. As a result, especially at birthday parties and at holiday time, it seemed like an extended family rather than a bunch of close neighbors. As a pre teen, every Saturday was special. Grace would give each of her three children a quarter and I would receive the same from Mom. At a desig- nated time, we would walk to Bennington Street and head for the Central Theater. On Satur- day afternoons, the Central would have a kids' matinee, usually a Tarzan feature and ten cartoons. If the main feature wasn't Tarzan, it might be a John Wayne westem...just as good as far as I was concerned. At times, people ask me what I watch on TV. I usually tell them I like the old films I remember from when I was a kid. One com- ment that accompanies this is, "I saw an old John Wayne film that was so old, he wasn't shav- ing yet and Gabby Hayes got the girl; now that's old." We kids would get in line to get in to the Central, John or I usually leading the way. After we paid our admission fee of 12 cents, we were given a free comic book each. They were all out of date and the top of each would be cut off so there might be no indication as to what month or even year the book was published, but they were free and they were handed out by a man named Harry Ashton, who was mean looking and no kid ever questioned him. He would be dressed in a theater uniform with a captain's hat on. The one thing I couldn't under- stand was why he had a piece of clear plastic around his shirt collar with part of it tucked inside. I guess it was to keep the collar of his white dress shirt clean, but as I said, he was mean looking and no kid ever questioned him. Once inside the theater, we would line up in front of the candy counter. When it was our turn we would buy either a box of popc6rn for ten cents or two candy bars for five cents each. Let's see, twelve cents to get in and ten cents for popcorn or candy that meant we had three cents left over and that would be spent after we left the the- ater two and a half to three hours later. During the warm months, there was a slush stand right across from the Central. It was actually set up in a door- way and run by the Bellavia family. The price of the one fla- vor they made, lemon, was ten cents for a large, five cents for a medium and three cents for a funny shaped envelope that they would fill for three cents. They would close up during the winter months, but on the way home, there was a penny candy store, and we could spend our three cents each on the many selections the store had. I don't remember the name of the store, but it was on the cor- ner of Bennington and Marion Streets. We bought things like root beer barrels, sheets of nar- row paper with dots on them -- half spheres of colored sugar, Boston baked beans -- oval shaped brown colored candy, little wax bottles rifled with col- ored sugar water, chocolate babies-brown colored child shaped candies, or other forms of candy not as upscale as these offerings. These other forms might be two or three for a cent, and ffwe bought these, the man behind the counter might just add a few more to our bags just to get rid of them. We didn't care, this was our dessert after con- suming a box of popcorn or two five cent candy bars. Back inside the Central, it would be pandemonium. Kids coming out of the woodwork, yelling, screaming, running around, that is, until the lights started to dim. The feature was usually the first film to be shown and we would scramble to our seats and quiet down. As the feature would approach a eli- max, most of us would be fin- ished with our popcorn which came in boxes. We would fold the boxes flat and scale them at the bad guys on the screen. The flattened boxes would sail beau- tifully and hit our targets on the -- FOR YOU WHO APPRECIATE THE FINEST -- THE MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS 781-648-5678 screen. At times, if the trajec- tory was just right, the box would actually stick in the screen and we would all applaud when we saw this happen. Following the feature, they would put on the trailers, pre- views of coming attractions and a group of ads from local busi- nesses in the neighborhood. We would look at the coming attrac- tions and boo the people in the ads, or they would become the targets for the rest of'sailing popcorn boxes or uneaten candy. In retrospect, I pitied the person who had to clean up the stage between the afternoon matinee and the evening show. The one thing we had to be careful of was kids who would walk around stealing comic books from other kids who were smaller than they were. Often, kids would sneak back in the line of children being handed the free comics. As a result, ff you were careful and worked the system just right, you might wind up with several free books. When John Manfredonia and I would try the line for the sec- ond time, we would swap coats and hats to try to fool the man handing out the comics. If there were other kids we knew and they were willing to swap cloth- ing, we might wind up with a half dozen or more give aways. Come October, Grace Manfre- donia and Morn would begin to plan the one big birthday party for both her John and I. It was often held in the basement of their Monmouth Street house, which had a partially finished basement. Relatives and friends would bring us gifts and there was always enough food to feed an army. At a given time, two birthday cakes with lit candles would be placed on an antique kitchen table and everyone would sing happy birthday to both of us. After the cakes were cut up, the kids would devour them like piranha on a food craze. Several bottles of Saraford tonic were available to wash down the cake and we kids were then ready to resume whatever game we were playing, only now with the addition of new toys we had received as birth- day gifts. Those are my memories of this time of ye/r from days past. John has been gone for a few years now. Grace Manfredonia, I understand is still alive. I think she is in her mid-nineties and the rest of the Manfredonia's are alive and well. Actually, my birthday is on the 21 st. I'll talk to you then. GOD BLESS AMERICA Remember Your Loved Ones The Post-Gazette accepts memorials throughout the year. Please call 617-227-8929 FinanciallyS peaki n g with Ben Ooherty JOBS ADDED IN 103,000 jobs added in September, exceeding views but still sluggish. The jobless rate stays @ 9.1% with unem- ployment hitting a record 40.5 weeks. Employees added a net 103,000 jobs last month as about 45,000 striking Verizon workers returned to work and construction hiring picked up. Wall Street had expected a much smaller gain of 60,000 workers. August employment was revised from fiat to up 57,000 and July was revised up by 42,000 to 127 up by 42,000. "It was a very positive report said Kurt Karl economist for S&P. In January, the current jobs reces- sion will be the longest since World War II. Fitch downgraded the debt of Spain and Moody's downgraded 12 United Kingdom banks and put Belgium's credit rating on review for a possible downgrade. For the week, the NASDAQ added 2.6%. The S&P 500 added 2.1% and the NYSE Composite rose 2%. The Dow's copper exchange that reflex the price of copper. The ETF rose 5.8% halting five weeks of losses. After the close, Moody's put Belgium's debt on review for a possible downgrade. Google, and Mistras provided some sur- prises as their earnings were better than expected. Apple's stock fell 2% after losing its co- founder Steve Jobs. The iPhone 4S and discounts on older mod- els could give Apple record sales for the holidays. The stock mar- ket has jumped 800 points in the past week to post new highs on the Down Jones. Averages climbed above the record high for the year. The best rally of the year. Thirteen years ago President Clinton put Social Security re- form on top of his agenda and six years later President Bush did the same, both to no avail. The day of reckoning. Now the day has decreased to 25 years. This year the government will pay out $46 billion more than it takes in as that time frame passes. The IOU's from the Trea- sury Debt is projected to be SEPTEMBER spent by 2036. The cost of inac- tion is substantial growing. In 2036 the government will pay for 77% of total benefits. European leaders are racing to calm global markets jittery over bank holdings in Greece as well as debt laden Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy, but Morgan Stanley rose for a third straight day. The sudden col- lapse. Deutch Bank wrote down its value of Greek debt by $250 million euro debt. The IMF says acting banks will need capi- tal from the national govern- ment and private services. The IMF and EU will need an eight billion rescue plan, Germany wants private investors to take a 50% loss on Greek debt ver- sus 21% assumed in July's deal, Utility PG&E jumped 4% in double its volume. Retailers, The International Council of Shop- ping Centers said revenue jumped 5.5% in September beating the estimates. This cast some doubt that the U.S. economy is heading toward a double dip recession. DSW, Lulumelon Athletics, discounter Ross Store's, all added 2%, all at new highs. Apple sold off after unveiling its iPhone which disappointed many despite several new fea- tures. The stock was at a record high on concerns of manage- ment changes and rising com- petition. NASDAQ beat earnings of 22 by 30c/share as the indexes are coming off the low- est levels in more than a year. The market is still focusing on earnings reports. Federal Chair- man Ben Bernanke said that the Central Bank is ready to help boost the cash whether to gi,e Greece another boost next March and that European banks are looking at ways to recapital- ize banks. Apple fell 8% below in nearly a year its buy point of 329.18. Earnings were forecast @ 20-22 versus 30 per share/ for the quarter. It's time to call your financial advisor or call me at 617-337- 5712. Leave the DELIVERY to Us! With a Gift Subscription to the Post-Gazette, your generosity will be remembered every week of the year. We'll send the recipient an announcement of your gift. Their subscription will begin with the current issue and continue for one year.  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