Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Baby-sitting Co-ops Give Parents A Break


Posted: February 02, 1986

What does a mother do when she has to get away from her kids for a few hours during the day? Nannies are too expensive. Teenagers are in school. Grandparents often live too far away.

In Moorestown, some women who are hard-pressed by careers, family obligations, volunteer work or the need for silence simply call up their baby- sitting cooperatives and arrange for free care by local mothers, who may be friends or neighbors.

The cooperatives trade in one of the rarest of commodities: time.

Moorestown's first cooperative started 15 years ago as a convenient arrangement between a handful of friends who figured it was just as easy to watch two or three children as it was to watch one, said Caroline Johnson, a member of the original group.

The loose association grew quickly and, with the current baby boomlet among women in their 30s, the original cooperative spawned two more.

These three independent cooperatives involve 75 mothers; two have waiting lists.

They allow the women time to shop, run errands, see doctors, meet with their children's teachers or just escape for a few hours.

Of course, there is a price for such luxury. Members must pay back the cooperative in kind for each hour of baby-sitting they receive. Members are allowed only a 15-hour debit. After that point, they must start paying back the association in sitting time before they can use the service again.

This restriction means that the cooperatives are unsuitable for working mothers who need a full-time baby-sitting service.

Yet many part-time working women prefer the cooperatives over a private baby sitter or a day-care center because the sitters are other mothers, Johnson said.

Alice Child, head of the Newcomers Babysitting Cooperative and mother of two toddlers, added that mothers are afraid "to leave a young baby that's nursing with just anyone."

Also, the mothers say, it is very difficult to find day care on an irregular basis.

The cooperatives have also taken steps to allay the parents' fear of child abuse. A core group from the association screens prospective sitters and scrutinizes their homes, Child said. A new sitter cannot be admitted to the association without the recommendation of a member.

Johnson said she believed the growth in the Moorestown baby-sitting cooperatives had less to do with the number than with the type of women having babies. Most are in their 30s - the age group with the highest fertility rate in 1984 - and most worked full-time before they decided to have children.

Many members who had busy social and cultural lives before having children rely on the cooperatives to remain active, Johnson said. It's "one reason a lot of us had a need to be away from our children. We're used to being busy with other things."

Because, in many cases, their or their husband's careers took the cooperative members away from hometowns, few have families nearby to act as impromptu baby sitters, said Hazel Edwards, who was part of a Delran baby- sitting cooperative. "You don't feel you're using a neighbor or playing on a friendship" with the co-op, she said.

For Child, the cooperative provides a much needed escape valve from the pressures of daily life.

When she isn't watching her children or someone else's, she's playing the violin in the Haddonfield Symphony, performing with her own quartet or administering the Perkins Arts Center's music conservatory in Moorestown. She uses the service when she needs a few hours alone to think, write letters or relax.

She joined her cooperative when her son was born three years ago because she wanted to meet other mothers with small children.

"The first few months of having a baby are wonderful, but very, very lonely," she explained. "All the cliches about people with children talking about diapers is true - and necessary."

Now that her son is older, she said, he is also making friends through the cooperative. She tries to arrange care with sitters whose children are about the same age.

"With the co-op," she explained, "you don't feel guilty leaving your child. You go out, but they go out, too. They make friends."

Twin Dentists Take Pains To Halt Confusion

Source: Posted: May 28, 1986

It's a good thing Phillip R. Barbell and Stephen C. Barbell wear name tags. Otherwise, their staff, as well as patients, would have a difficult time telling the two Pennsauken dentists apart. The Barbells, you see, are twin brothers. Identical twins.

"It still amazes me that even their voices sound the same," said Helen Canaris, who has worked for the Barbell family for 35 years. "I've been around them since they were 10 years old, so I don't have any problems telling who's who . . . er, well, most of the time."

The name tags simply read "Doctor Phil" and "Doctor Steve."

Jeannette McColgan of Barrington, the Barbells' dental hygienist for 11 years, said she had to pay attention to the name tags when she first joined the staff. "If I didn't, one of them would say, 'Oh, you don't want me, you want my brother,' " she said.

The brothers, who are 47, are perpetuating a family tradition that dates back to 1929, when their father, Israel, opened his dental practice in Pennsauken. For 18 years, the brothers and their father worked together, expanding their practice to a Camden office. When Israel Barbell died in 1983, at the age of 77, they closed the Camden office.

"Israel Barbell was kind man, a fair man," Canaris said. "He was also a good teacher."


It was noon. The staff had left for lunch. Steve Barbell was at a nearby deli to pick up the usual: chicken salad and tuna salad sandwiches and a half- gallon of Abbotts' orange juice. Phil Barbell locked the front door of the office on Westfield Avenue, connected the telephones to an answering service and retired to a back office to take care of some work for the New Jersey Dental Association, of which he is president.

By 12:15, he would be joined by Steve, who would put the sandwiches and orange juice on his adjacent desk top and proceed to take care of paper work for the Cherry Hill Board of Education, of which he has been a member since 1979 and of which he is a former president. Both peered through similar wire- frame glasses and rustled papers while nibbling from their similar sandwiches and gulping orange juice.

Phil wore a tan dentist's smock with his "Doctor Phil" name tag and brown shoes. Steve wore white shoes, a light blue sports shirt and no name tag. Phil worked from two black briefcases. Steve worked from two brown briefcases. Except for the colors, the briefcases looked identical, too.

At precisely 12:55 p.m., the staff - Canaris, McColgan, Linda Boyer of Delran, Helen Petruska of Willingboro and Denise Senteneri of Deptford - would return from lunch. By 1 p.m., two patients would be seated in the waiting room, and by 1:15, the Barbells would be busy at work.

There are a lot of similarities in their lives.

In 1963, both were graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's dental school with similar grades. Both served two years in the Army. Both joined their father's practice in 1965. And both now live in the eastern section of Cherry Hill - "I used to live on the west side," Phil said, grinning.

Phil and his wife, Sunny, have two children: Cheri, 18, and Alan, 20.

Steve and his wife, Janice, have two children: Lisa, 18, and Bryen, 20.

Phil's hobbies include golfing and fishing.

Steve's hobbies include golfing and fishing.

"In golf, we're both hackers," Steve said. "We both shoot around 100."

There are some differences.

Phil has a Seiko wristwatch. Steve's is a Pulsar.

Phil is older - by 10 minutes.

"And I never let him forget," Steve said, chuckling.

Steve's hairline also recedes more than Phil's.

"And I never let him forget that," Phil said.

"But Doctor Steve's hairline really helps us tell them apart," Senteneri said.

Do patients ever confuse the two of them?

"We're careful not to intermix," Steve Barbell said. "Once we start with a patient, we follow through."

Because the Barbells work together six days a week, they do not socialize often, only for family occasions.

"Some of our closest friends aren't even aware that we have twin brothers," Phil said.

"That's right," Steve interjected. "One of my friends saw Phil and his wife out one night and later asked me about the woman he had seen me with the other night."

"I've been on the street and people - apparently Steve's friends - start waving at me," Phil said. "I don't know them, but they think they know me."

Even their mother, Hanora, 74, who now lives in Winter Park, Fla., sometimes confuses the two.

"Only on the telephone, never in person," Phil said. "If we don't immediately identify ourselves on the telephone, she has absolutely no idea which one of us she is talking to."

Steve Barbell, through his involvement with the Cherry Hill school board, said he had observed declining enrollments in the schools. Phil Barbell, as president of the New Jersey Dental Association, said he had observed an increase in the average age of dental patients.

"Fewer young people come to our office these days because there are fewer young people," Phil said. "The shift, in dentistry, has been to preventive maintenance and stress management."

"And many districts are closing schools instead of building new ones," Steve said. "In a way, there is a correlation between education and dentistry."

The telephone rang. Before the answering machine could monitor the call, Steve picked up the telephone and answered it.

"Hello. . . . Oh, hi, I was just thinking about you. . . . No, this is Steve."

An Introduction To Cruising On A Trip From Here To 'Nowhere'

Source: Posted: June 29, 1986

Call us party poopers if you must.

Here we are, my wife and I, huffing our way toward the cruise ship Galileo, which we believe is certain to depart from Penn's Landing at any minute. We envision the crew drawing up the gangway and shutting the portal just as we arrive. Instead, we are greeted at the threshold by an aggressive young man brandishing a camera.

"Hold it right there," he orders. Oh, no! Ambushed by the ship's photographer! We are not amused. "No pictures, thank you," I shout back testily. "Oh, come on now, just one," he pleads. "No pictures," I repeat.

I know, I know. Part of the ritual of cruising is to have your official ''here-we-are-getting-on-the-ship" photo taken on the gangway. We simply aren't in the mood to play this game right now - which, perhaps, should be our first warning of impending culture shock.

The trip was billed as a "party cruise to nowhere." For 36 hours, this huge Panamanian-registered cruise ship, with its Greek officers and international crew, would sail out of the mouth of Delaware Bay and skim the open seas, taking along 1,100 or so paying customers intent on a weekend of sunbathing, dancing, eating, drinking, gambling, socializing and who knows what else.

There would be no ports of call, no palm-fringed beaches, no straw markets. Just this big floating hotel, its passengers and crew making whoopee on the high seas.

I'll confess right here: Cruising has never been my idea of the perfect getaway. But when a colleague had to cancel her reservations at the last minute, she suggested that I try it. Certainly, the price was inexpensive (our cabin cost $540 for two, including port tax). The Penn's Landing departure would be an unusual treat. And the trip would provide at least a small glimpse of life aboard a cruise ship - something I knew nothing about.

And so it began. On a muggy Friday afternoon, we made our way into the the main portal, stepping into the paneled B-deck lobby. A steward took our bags and led us down the narrow corridors to our cabin, B-21.

In terms of cabin decor, B-21 seems a bit dated. Metallic walls are swathed in baby-blue hues. The cabin boasts a small porthole, a queen-size double bed, a five-button panel for piped-in music, a private bath and shower, and plenty of closet and drawer space. The cabin measures about 6 feet by 12 feet. On the whole, my wife, Beverly, and I find little to complain about here.

It occurs to me that the passengers would soon be heading for the promenade to watch the Galileo slide away from its moorings at Penn's Landing. Tradition almost demands that we join them.


A casual glance along the promenade indicates that this cruise is strictly a middle-class affair. No mink-clad matrons clutching their poodles; no John Jacob Astor types in blue blazers and cravats - which is fine by me. On the other hand, some seem a bit on the flashy side - a curious mix of Atlantic City and South Street on a Saturday night.

Farther along the promenade, passengers are clutching exotic alcoholic concoctions. A middle-aged woman confides to a friend: "Listen, honey, the bartender already knows me, heh, heh." Not far away, three good ol' boys in baseball caps and Levis are giving themselves whiplash as young women parade back and forth in revealing outfits.

Finally, the Galileo's engines begin to stir. Giddy passengers fling confetti over the railing, waving final goodbyes to friends and relatives on shore. The ship's bow inches out into the river in a gradual 180-degree arc. Two tugboats help turn the ship around.

The ship's powerful horns provide the traditional signoff blast to the two tugs - a light toot followed by three long, deep-throated honks, then a final short, deep blast - now answered by one toot from the tug on the starboard side. We float past rusting merchant ships tied up in the South Jersey Port. The Walt Whitman Bridge slips over our heads, looming impossibly large from our vantage point below.

Yo, Philadelphia. See ya in 36 hours.

It is now time to acquaint ourselves with the ship. It is a rabbit warren, full of mazes, long, narrow corridors, false turns. People are walking around in clouds of confusion. "How do I get to C-deck?" "Where's the casino?" ''How do I get back to my cabin?"

At 6 p.m., passengers who signed up for the first meal seating are searching for the restaurant. It's not easy to find, but we manage. While the restaurant staff works on last-minute touches behind closed doors, we wait in an anteroom ringed with vinyl seats. From behind the closed double doors we hear the clanking of dishes and silverware.

The anteroom is filling up rapidly with - what's this? - waves of well- dressed teenagers. Wisecracking boys all natty in sport jackets, prep ties, neatly pressed slacks and docksiders. Giggly girls dressed to the nines in frilly lace dresses and sharp-heeled shoes. Later we learn that there are about 400 more of these kids on board - three high school graduating classes who have been rewarded with a senior class trip aboard the Galileo. Later on, most of them don T-shirts that read: "Senior Splash." Hmmm . . .

Presently, the double doors swing open to reveal a noisy, low-ceilinged dining room with the dimensions of a football field. Recessed, indirect lighting is beaming dim pools of illumination down upon white-clothed tables. An armada of Italian waiters flits back and forth, looking crisp and officious in white smocks.

The maitre d' shows us our table, where our two dinner mates have already taken their seats. They are a quiet, 40ish Philadelphia couple who look up from the menu long enough to nod quick hellos through tight half-smiles. The man is dressed in a polyester print shirt with the collar open wide to expose a gold necklace with an "A.W." pendant. A.W. is thinly built, with a small face punctuated by a Fu Manchu mustache and large, button eyes. He reminds me of rock-and-roll legend Chuck Berry. His companion, Rosa, is a woman with a round face bordered by a full-curl perm. She wears a modest and subdued dinner dress and a shy expression that seems designed to discourage instant camaraderie with strangers.

In fact, neither of them utters a word to us for practically the entire meal. They seem shy.

Giovanni, our waiter, arrives to take our order. Dark, square-jawed, mustachioed, cool and distant, Giovanni is all business. For the appetizer, I order what turns out to be a tasteless and thin Manhattan clam chowder. Beverly gets an equally tasteless and thin onion consomme. The filet of sole is bland. Beverly's sirloin steak is tough. In fairness, the apricot nectar is delicious and the chocolate torte dessert is sweet enough to kill a diabetic at 10 paces. All in all, this is a meal to be endured.

After dinner, Beverly trots off to find the gift shop and the library while I wander out on deck. The ship passes Wilmington on the right and the twin spans of the Delaware Memorial Bridge overhead. Dusk is overtaking us.

A gaggle of high schoolers strolls by. I tag up with a skinny kid named Jeff, a senior at Central Bucks West High School in Doylestown. Jeff is inexplicably glum. What's up with this kid?

"I'm just disappointed that I can't gamble in the casino," Jeff laments.

Jeff can't touch any of the booze either, a situation more or less guaranteed by the blue plastic wristbands he and his pals have been forced to wear. The wristbands are designed to tip off the waiters, waitresses and casino dealers that the unlucky wearers are too young to indulge.

Jeff sadly recounts how school officials had laid down the no-drinking/no- gambling rules before departure. The consequences of noncompliance are said to be steep. "They told us before we left that anyone caught drinking would be locked up down below and then flown back home in a helicopter," Jeff says in a tone of voice that suggests that he actually believed what they told him.

So what's he going to do for fun, I wonder. His face brightens. "Well, there's this toga party tonight . . . "

To find out what the ship has to offer for the over-20 crowd, Beverly and I scan the Galileo "Seascape," an 11-by-14-inch sheet listing the evening's activities. A quick glance shows a few things we've already missed: deck sports signups at 4:30 p.m.; the Tony Williams Quintet's first jazz set at 5:30 p.m.

Ah, but the night is young. There would be "dance music" with the Amatucci Quintet. A 15-minute life-jacket demonstration and safety lecture. A Vegas-style revue in the Olympia Ballroom featuring a standup comic along with - ooh-la-la! - the Chandris Fantasy Showgirls. Bingo at 10 p.m. in the ballroom. Disco dancing till 5 a.m. on Lido Deck aft. And, yes, the feature film presentation for the night: Jewel of the Nile, 8:30 and 10 p.m. in the theater.

Beverly and I decide to skip the lounge acts and see the movie. The two- hour film promises to let out in time for the Midnight Buffet - the great legendary cruise pigout that now looms as an event of high anticipation after the less-than-inspiring dinner.

Others have the same idea. At midnight, a slow-moving line stretches more than half the length of the restaurant, from the buffet table to beyond the anteroom doors. The air is redolent with garlic. "Hey, how's the food," a young man asks a middle-aged man walking out the door. "Arrrgh, it's pasta, pasta, pasta," the man growls. "If you like a lot of pasta you'll be fine. If not . . . "

We wait for more than 20 minutes before getting even close to the buffet table. The first steam table brims with tiny tire-shaped pasta noodles. The second dish offers square-shaped pizza. Farther down the line, there are cold-cut platters, turkey and ham slices, watermelon balls, tuna fish and potato salad concoctions and, finally, the picked-over remains of a onetime galaxy of cakes, gooey pastries and gelatins garnished with whipped cream.

The quality of the food is passable. On the other hand, I don't notice a stampede of passengers headed towards the end of the line for seconds, either. So much for the Midnight Buffet.

Meanwhile, episodes of high-school hijinks are breaking out all over the ship. From a long corridor, a primitive chant roars with full-throated Animal House glee: "To-GA! To-GA! To-GA! To-GA!" All are wearing their bedsheets as they bound up the staircases, whooping and shouting - acting, in short, as if they own the ship.

Most of the kids are headed for the Nite Owl Disco up on Lido Deck aft, where the sound system is pounding out a heavy funk groove. Beverly and I spot a few adults on the edge of the tiny, crowded dance floor, but this is clearly the hour for youth to be served. We dance a few numbers and head back to our cabin for some sleep.

But the kids have other ideas. "To-GA! To-GA! To-GA! To-GA!" The chant continues throughout a long and mostly sleepless night.

On Saturday morning, we are somewhere out in the Atlantic Ocean. Water, water everywhere. Well, almost. We turn on the bathroom sink tap. Nothing. We try the shower spigots. A few drops. Not quite enough for the shower we had in mind.

The morning fairly bristles with "shipboard activities" - from an aerobics class in the ballroom, where a dozen leotard-clad women and girls have attracted a gaggle of adolescent male spectators, to the A-deck aft, where dozens of bikini-clad sunbathers are paying homage to their tans on chaise lounges and waitresses are peddling Sambucas and Gran Marniers for $2.50.

There is also an outdoor "ice sculpture" demonstration, which draws quite a few spectators. As Filipino crewman Lorenzo Dacsil works his hammer and chisel on the roughly 1-by-3-foot rectangular block of ice, the crowd is encouraged to guess its final shape. "An Eagles cheerleader," comes a shout from the rear. "The Philly Phanatic," guesses another. "Mickey Mouse," offers one woman, who breaks into a Mouseketeer chorus with her two friends. ''A gerbil," suggests a smart-alecky high school kid. Turns out that it's a seahorse. And when it's done, a half-dozen women rush up to fire Instamatic snapshots before Dacsil carts it off to serve as decoration for the outdoor luncheon buffet.

Later, over lunch, we learn, among other things, that A.W. plays pinochle. The three of us - A.W., Beverly and I - immediately agree to meet in the cardroom at 3 p.m. for a game.

We meet at the appointed hour for pinochle. Before the game begins, A.W. teaches us his rules, including a new high-stakes bidding style. He is a razor-sharp player who pays close attention to everyone's hand. We play two complete sets. A.W. wins each of them.

Meanwhile, in the ballroom, a boisterous talent contest among the high school seniors is winding down. Assistant cruise director Trevor Leslie, a slick young Englishman who resembles actor Michael J. Fox in height and demeanor, is busy setting up a bingo game. Three dozen adults of varying ages sit scattered around the room with bingo cards as Leslie calls out numbers and letters. There is $86 in the prize pot.

"Bingo!" a middle-aged man says quietly, abruptly ending the game after only 10 minutes. Leslie starts to pack up. "Aw, play another game," someone complains. "Sorry, just one game," Leslie says. "That stinks," the complainer retorts. The crowd files out of the room, quietly grumbling. Leslie leaves quickly.

At sundown, the ship's entertainment programs kick into high gear.

In the red-carpeted Fantasy Lounge, Trevor Leslie proposes a sexier alternative to bingo. "We have to find a winning James Bond," he announces with a flourish. In this game four young men from the cruise staff will compete for the applause of the crowd as they woo four young women, also from the staff.

Leslie, voice oozing high drama, directs the action from the corner, microphone in hand. "He comes out . . . " (man in T-shirt and golf hat steps onto the floor). " . . . and throws his hat on the hat check . . . " (man flings his hat into the crowd). " . . . He walks over to his lady . . . " (man picks one of the women by hand). "He says to her . . . " (man utters the magic words: 'My name is James Bond. I'm licensed to kill'). "He takes her to the dance floor . . . " (man pulls woman onto dance floor). "They embrace . . . " (man squeezes the living daylights out of woman). "They can't control themselves! . . . " (more squeezing). "He gives her a James Bond kiss . . . " (man bends woman over, plants long romantic kiss on woman's lips). The audience squeals with vicarious delight.

Meanwhile, back in the Olympia Ballroom, stand-up comic Georgie Guy is doing his best to get a few yucks from the audience with an arsenal of tired ethnic cliches. Georgie Guy is bombing badly. At one point, he asks the audience: "What did you folks enjoy most on the menu tonight?" A heckler has an answer: "Not you." Guy segues into the usual Vegas-lounge standards: ''Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree," followed by "Hava Nagila" ("that famous black spiritual," he calls it).

I decide it's time for another nap.

Desperately Seeking Susan is the feature film presentation for the evening. I wake up in time to catch the 10 p.m. showing. At midnight, I'm feeling alert - and curious about how the passengers are spending their final night at sea.

The heartbeat of the ship is now racing ahead, as though conscious of some impending deadline. The dress is a little fancier, the laughter in the lounge is louder, the singing and dancing more charged, the action in the casino more frenetic than ever. Even the high school kids - all dressed up and well- behaved in their senior prom gowns and tuxes - impart an air of festive elegance.

I am watching three well-dressed young New Jerseyites at the craps table. They seem to be having fun, even as their fortunes ebb and flow. "C'mon, eight the hard way, c'mon baby," shouts Paul Reiff of Delran, flanked by his equally animated companions, Kathy Turck of Lindenwold and Karyn Zbranak of Trenton.

After about an hour, they collect their chips and leave the table, all aglow with predictably warm feelings for the croupiers and fellow players. ''We didn't even know how to play, but they just taught us," Turck marvels, adding that such a thing would simply never happen in Atlantic City. The three saunter off into the night with $450 in winnings jangling in their collective pockets.

Outside the crowded disco on Lido Deck, I meet Joe Lain, 38, whom I'd seen earlier on the Fantasy Lounge dance floor whooping it up with a song-and-dance duo. Lain, a tour wholesaler for an area travel firm and a veteran of ''weekend to nowhere" cruises, is lounging in a chair and confirming my theory that the ship now seems more alive than ever.

"You know what happens the first night?" Lain explains. "You have all these people thrown together. They're trying to find their way around. They don't know how to act. They don't expect to walk up the gangplank - and be lost. The second night is when they're sort of starting to relax a little bit."

The ship is moving under full power once again. In the thick night, I can see the green lights of bell buoys shooting beams of reflection on the dark water. Dim lights flicker on the distant shoreline. Land! I know that we are heading up Delaware Bay again and that, by daybreak, we'll be steaming back into Philadelphia.

I return to the cabin to awaken Beverly. "Let's go for a walk," I suggest. She dons a robe and the two of us walk arm in arm out on the promenade. It had been chilly the previous night, but tonight the air is warm and sweet, with just a hint of sea breeze. There is a feeling of romance.

Returning inside, we stand and watch a roomful of sharply dressed, middle- aged couples swaying and two-stepping through the night, accompanied by the hot jazz saxophones of the Tony Williams Quintet.

Here in this room, it is an elegant "Satin Doll/Take the A Train" kind of night. And throughout the ship - for most passengers, if not for me - this ''weekend cruise to nowhere" seems to have finally hit its stride.


The Galileo, whose home base is in New York City, is one of several ships operated by Chandris Cruise Lines Inc., a long-established Greek company known throughout the business for low- to mid-budget cruises in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

Although the Galileo's final "nowhere" cruise from Philadelphia for the 1986 sailing season departed from Penn's Landing on May 16, the ship will offer similar trips from New York City and other East Coast ports for the remainder of the year. The company plans to resume its schedule of Galileo ''nowhere" cruises from Penn's Landing in May.

Rates for two-night "nowhere" cruises range from $195 per person double- occupancy for the most basic accommodations (an inside cabin with upper and lower berths) to $510 per person double-occupancy for an outside suite on the A deck. There is an extra $15 port departure tax as well. If you are traveling as a single, you pay 1 1/2 times the double-occupancy per-person rate.

The Galileo, an imposing Italian-built vessel with a distinctive blue funnel, can handle 1,200 passengers.

The ship has swimming pools, sauna and exercise rooms, a hospital, room service and a gift shop. There are no cabins for wheelchair passengers.

The ship was built in 1963 and renovated in 1978 and 1984. Two recent cruise guide books - Fielding's Worldwide Cruises and the Berlitz Complete Handbook to Cruising - each gave the Galileo two stars, based on a five-star rating systems. Of the Galileo, the Berlitz Guide had this to say: "A good ship for first-time cruisers who are on a tight budget."

For further information, call a travel agent or contact Chandris Cruise Lines at 900 Third Ave., New York, N.Y. 10022; telephone 212-750-0044 or 800-223-0848.

Three To Be Interviewed For Finance Director

Source: Posted: July 07, 1986

Marple officials have scheduled more interviews for the job of township finance director, a post that has been vacant since December.

Three candidates have been scheduled for interviews on July 22, according to Patricia Keates, president of the Board of Commissioners. Eight applicants were interviewed in April. One of those applicants was offered the job but turned it down, Keates said.

The finance position has been a point of contention among commissioners since last year, when finance officer Victor DiFelice announced that he would retire on Dec. 31.

Another job that had proved controversial in Marple - that of township librarian - was filled last week. Harold N. Boyer, 35, of Delran, N.J., began work July 1. He filled a vacancy created by the sudden resignation Feb. 5 of librarian Joan Abrams.

Delays in hiring a new finance director have made a mystery of the township's financial picture, some commissioners have said. No monthly finance reports have been issued this year, and Democratic Commissioner John Butler said last week that he believed the board should declare a "financial emergency" and stop paying bills until a report was issued.

"We do need those financial reports," Keates said in an interview. "We want to get somebody in there as soon as possible."

Plans to interview four applicants before DiFelice's departure were scuttled after Keates objected on the ground that an outgoing administration would have made the hire.

Keates became president of the seven-member board in January. She said in December that anyone hired for the finance job at that time might be fired when she assumed control of the board.

Keates said then that she wanted to upgrade the position of finance officer to that of a more powerful and better-paid finance "director" to manage the township's computer system and $4.1 million budget. In the fall, the township advertised for applicants and offered a salary of between $20,000 and $25,000. DiFelice had earned about $23,000.

Controller John R. Longacre 2d, who advocates upgrading the director's postion, has said a qualified applicant probably would seek a salary of at least $30,000.

Boyer, the new library director, had been the director of the medical library at St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton. His predecessor, Abrams, quit over what she called "obvious differences" with the library board, which is appointed by the commissioners. One library board member said at the time that he believed Abrams had been pressured to resign by other board members who wanted more direct control of the library's operation.

Boyer said last week that the earlier controversy was "history" and "not important from my point of view."

Bids Sought For Delran Soccer Field

Source: Posted: September 21, 1986

Delran is getting a new and badly needed soccer park.

Bids on construction of the park are being sought. The park, in the 200 block of Tenby Chase Drive in the sprawling Tenby Chase housing development, will be on property owned by the school district and leased to the township, said township administrator Matt Watkins.

Watkins said the park was expected to be completed by the spring.

He said the need for a new soccer field was obvious. There are seven hundred youngsters in the Delran Athletic Association's soccer programs and only three fields, Watkins said. By contrast, there are 400 youths in the baseball programs and seven ballfields.

"There is just so much play on (the three fields) that we just don't have enough space," he said.

The township also plans to resurface a basketball court and install new playground equipment and better facilities for the disabled at Princeton Park, which is adjacent to the site of the proposed park, Watkins said.

Construction of the park and the other projects are expected to cost about $100,000. They will be financed by a low-interest loan from the state's Green Acres program. Watkins said the Delran Athletic Association had agreed to pay the costs beyond that.

Across the street from the proposed park is a baseball field that has also been used for soccer. Watkins said that when the soccer park was completed, the baseball field would be used only for baseball.

He said the new soccer field would be called the Tenby Chase Soccer Park.

The 50-hour Solution Penn Pair Is About To Beat Professor Rubik To The Punch

Source: Posted: October 17, 1986

It is not easy to stump Professor Erno Rubik, a man whose puzzles have bedeviled millions around the world and have driven at least one couple to divorce.

Rubik insists that he has never met a puzzle he couldn't crack.

But yesterday, for the briefest moment, the Hungarian millionaire and inventive genius was left speechless, even puzzled. Sitting in the back seat of a Yellow cab, heading to the Latham Hotel, he went pale when he heard the news:

He had been outhustled by a pair of computer whiz kids at the University of Pennsylvania.

"I don't like that," he said.

Rubik, creator of the famous Rubik's Cube, came to Philadelphia yesterday to promote his latest puzzle, Rubik's Magic, a fiendish invention that has more than 43 quintillion combinations - that's 43,000,000,000,000,000,000 - yet only one solution.

Rubik sold more than 100 million of his famous cubes back in the early 1980s, but unauthorized copiers sold 50 million more, cutting into the professor's profits. Three books on how to solve the puzzle also climbed to the top 10 on best-seller lists, none of them written by the inventor.

This time, Rubik took great pains to patent his new creation in 40 countries around the world and wrote his own solution book, which is due to be released early next year.

Enter Ashwin Belur and Blair Whitaker, typical lean and hungry graduate engineering students. They ride around campus on old bikes; they write home for money. And they have beaten Rubik at his own game.

These two students are computer wizards. Whitaker, for instance, specializes in artificial intelligence, which he explains as "a branch of computer science that deals with solving problems that are only solvable by humans."

A few weeks ago, the duo obtained an advance copy of the puzzle, which began selling in local stores Oct. 1. After a 50-hour, nearly sleepless marathon, they solved the puzzle. "We almost gave up a couple times," said Whitaker.

The two then wrote their own solution book and peddled it to a big New York publisher, who jumped at the opportunity. In just two weeks, 500,000 copies will be available in bookstores around the country - months before Rubik's own solution book will hit the market.

"This is beyond our wildest dreams," said Whitaker. "We're not going to be millionaires, but for two college students we're going to clean up."

"We want to have a lot of fun," echoed Belur. "We want to get on Late Night With David Letterman."

The puzzle master and his ingenious admirers never met yesterday. Rubik was too busy, and the students were too intimidated to go to his hotel. But the news did not seem to bother Rubik for long. He was too busy explaining his latest invention.

Rubik's Magic, quite different from its world-renowned predecessor, consists of eight shiny plastic squares that come shaped in two rows of four, somewhat similar to a legal-size envelope.

Painted on the squares in rainbow colors are three unconnected rings. The challenge is to rearrange the squares so that the rings become intertwined, resembling something akin to the Olympic symbol.

"It's like a mousetrap," Rubik said. "It looks easy, but then you get caught."

The most baffling aspect of the puzzle is its construction - all four sides of each square can be flexed and folded. The puzzle is held together by Rubik's patented and mystifying network of what can best be described as fishing line. There are no fixed hinges, and the puzzle continually changes from a two-dimensional object to a three-dimensional one.

"You can have wonderful discoveries," said Rubik. "The cube was very intellectual. This is more fun. The cube was essentially a closed object - the secret was on the inside and the effect was on the outside. This puzzle is an open one. The mystery is that you can see everything, but you cannot explain it."


Rubik's latest invention is sure to baffle, frustrate and tease millions around the world. But he insists that he is not an evil man, that his motives are not to see others sweat. He says his puzzles are a form of art, a means to stimulate and challenge the mind, to be fun.

The small, impish professor with a sharp nose and slight build is not a big talker. He is not the kind of man who could sell you a used car. His English is extremely good, but he talks in short sentences, frequently mumbling.

Usually he is looking down, and always - always - he is fidgeting with his puzzle.

Rubik, 42, is winding up a three-week promotional tour around the United States, and it is obvious that he is getting bored. He is an idea man, not a marketing man. He is happiest at home in Budapest, Hungary, thinking up new designs.

"The biggest game for me is to make another one that does not exist yet," he said.

Yesterday, however, he made the circuit, from radio talk shows to television interviews. Only once was he cornered into actually solving his new puzzle, during an appearance with WDVT-AM talk show host Carol Saline.

He hummed gently as he methodically folded and unfolded his puzzle until all three rings interlocked. Then he quickly jumbled the rings again, as if he were protecting a state secret.

"You are never more than 20 steps away," he said with a half-smile, ''once you know how."


The story behind Rubik and his inventions is remarkable. In the mid-1970s, Rubik was a humble and obscure professor at the Academy of Applied Arts and Design in Budapest. He was toying with 26 wooden blocks and some elastic in his mother's apartment when he stumbled onto the basis of the cube.

He eventually perfected it and used it at first as a teaching instrument to show the possibilities of geometric shapes. Soon his cube became immensely popular in Hungary. He sold two million cubes in a nation of 10 million.

When Rubik tried to market his cube internationally, Western toy manufacturers at first balked. The cube was small and compact. It didn't talk. It didn't sing or dance. It was hardly a Cabbage Patch Doll. But someone at Ideal Toy Corp. took a chance, and the rest is history.

About a year ago, Rubik began working on Rubik's Magic. Whether it can repeat the success of its predecessor, only time will tell.

"We are prepared to sell millions," he said. "It's a good problem, a good toy and a good time." At a recent toy fair in Budapest, he said, 35,000 puzzles sold in 10 days.

Rubik's success has put him in the unimaginable position of being one of the few multimillionaires behind the Iron Curtain. When asked how it felt to get rich, he said, "It's something for which we are not prepared."


Prepared or not, Rubik is doing OK with his fortune. He travels around the world at will; last summer he spent a few weeks in Hawaii and the Orient. He still dresses modestly - yesterday wearing gray corduroy pants, sneakers, a black long-sleeve shirt and sleeveless baby-blue vest.

Rubik, recently remarried, owns three cars, including a Mercedes ("but not a Rolls-Royce," he stressed), and he recently moved his wife and two children into a new home in the best neighborhood of Budapest. He is building an indoor pool with a new gadget that will push the water toward him so that he can swim into it without reaching the wall.

He repeatedly played down any difference between being rich in America and being rich in a communist country. "Is three cars a big deal?" he asked. ''What's the difference between three cars in America or three cars in Hungary? . . . It works the same way as everywhere. You collect your fee, you pay your tax, and you keep the rest."

Penn students Belur and Whitaker may never equal Rubik's fortune, but they long ago surpassed him on enthusiasm.

They have traveled to New York several times in the last three weeks as they worked out their deal with Dell Publishing Co., a division of Doubleday. The Penn campus newspaper ran an article about them, and now other students are demanding their autographs. Already they are more famous than they ever imagined.


It was in August that, Belur, 22, of Bethesda, Md., heard an advertisement for the new Rubik puzzle.

"I bet you we can solve this," he said to Whitaker, 25, of Delran, N.J.

"Yeah, and I bet we can do a solution book," his partner responded.

The pair went to the campus library and did some research. They learned that the solution books for Rubik's Cube sold 10 million copies. They saw dollar signs.

They ordered the new puzzle from Matchbox Toys, the manufacturer, and got it on a Monday, about three weeks ago. "It took us 50 hours to solve this," Whitaker said. "We sat in our offices, ate and worked. We took a lot of notes" ("A mountain of notes," interrupted Belur). "We drew pictures and kept records. By Wednesday night we solved it, and by Friday we had an agent."

The two wrote out a 32-page book, filled with diagrams and color pictures, which they titled Rubik's Magic: The Solution. Dell jumped at it almost overnight.

"If this takes off like Rubik's Cube did, they could make an awful lot of money," said Chuck Adams, managing editor of Dell's paperback division.

Belur and Whitaker won't talk about how much money they could make, but they are hopeful.

"I went to Macy's (in New York) last week, and on the seventh floor in toys, they have six windows filled with Rubik's Magic," said Belur. "I hung out for about 15 minutes, and I saw about a dozen being sold. It's going to sell, man. It's going to sell."

Fame And Fortune: It's Magic

Source: Posted: December 03, 1986

Two months ago, Blair Whitaker and Ashwin Belur were two obscure graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania. Whitaker couldn't even afford to pay his tuition.

Today they are dancing with fame and fortune, negotiating international book contracts, signing autographs and getting ready to make lots of money.

They have even drawn praise from the man they outfoxed, Hungarian puzzle genius Erno Rubik. In fact, he has decided not to sue them but to endorse their solution to his latest puzzle, thereby paving the way for its publication this week.

"We have an agent, a publicist, a lawyer," Whitaker said yesterday. ''We're not just two students anymore; we're a corporation."

Six weeks ago, when Rubik was in Philadelphia to promote Rubik's Magic, he learned that the Dell Publishing Co. was printing 500,000 copies of Whitaker and Belur's 32-page solution book. "I don't like that," he said, and he began to think of filing a lawsuit.

But instead, Rubik has authorized the book in return for what Whitaker would call only "a piece of the action." Dell agreed to delay publication for a month and give the book a new title; Rubik, for his part, wrote an introduction praising the authors for their speed in solving the puzzle and clarity in presenting the solution. The book, titled A Practical Solution to Rubik's Magic, is priced at $2.95.

Even though Rubik has given his blessing to Whitaker and Belur's book, he plans to write his own. He also says in the introduction that "the solution I personally favor differs from the one presented here."

Not to be outdone, Whitaker said yesterday that "we think ours is more interesting and colorful than his."

The deal with Rubik is only the latest twist in a two-month roller-coaster ride that has carried the engineering students to international renown - and could earn them an awful lot of money.

In addition to their deal with Dell, the two have negotiated agreements with publishers in Britain, Sweden and Germany. Contracts with publishers in Italy, France and Japan are also in the works.

"We've learned so much from this experience it's absolutely incredible," said Whitaker, 25, whose family lives in Delran, N.J. "We were two engineers who had jobs in research labs. It's incredible. I bought a briefcase; I'm going out to buy a suit. We're going to be on Good Morning America. I'm collecting M.B.A. applications from Harvard, Stanford, Wharton. It's changed my whole perspective. I think Ashwin feels the same way."

"I signed my first autograph today on a publicity picture," Belur, 22, said yesterday. He also said their success had changed his thoughts about his future - and delayed it as well. All the excitement has forced him to drop some classes, making it impossible for him to graduate in May, as he had planned.

Whitaker and Belur began their courtship with sudden wealth in late September, when Belur obtained an advance copy of Rubik's Magic from Matchbox Toys, the manufacturer. The two decided to try to solve the puzzle and peddle a solution book - a long shot. They sought out other friends, but nobody else was interested.

After a 50-hour marathon, they had their solution. They then contacted an agent with the William Morris Agency in New York, who jumped at the idea, especially when he learned that solution books to Rubik's Cube, predecessor of Rubik's Magic, had sold 10 million copies. The agent quickly worked out a deal with Dell.

"It started out as a cute idea," Whitaker said. "And we had such modest hopes. We just hoped we could get somebody to look at it. That would be absolutely amazing."

Neither will talk about specifics, but both hope to earn substantial royalties - at least enough, said Whitaker, to pay his tuition.

"If it hits in the six figures, that will be real nice," he said. "If it hits in the sevens, nobody would believe it."

And beyond the money, the two have been featured in newspapers and magazines from Portugal to Japan. Stars and Stripes, the newspaper for the U.S. armed services, has published a story about them and their book. Belur, whose parents are from India but now live in Bethesda, Md., has been flooded with letters from relatives in India who have read about him. Whitaker has received a letter from a boyhood friend now living in Bulgaria. They're both scheduling appearances at promotional and charitable events.

The two understand that their fortunes depend directly on the fate of Rubik's Magic, which bedevils the mind in the same fashion as its predecessor.

More than 150 million versions of the cube sold around the world in the early 1980s. And the new puzzle, an eight-panel brain-teaser with a unique hinge, has even more possible combinations than the cube, which had 34 quintillion ones.

"I know the puzzle is selling tremendously," said Diane Ekeblad, a publicist at Dell. "I was told that as far as New York goes, Macy's was selling 1,000 a week, which is extraordinary. People are buying them 10 at a time. And people are going to get frustrated, and they're going to want to learn how to solve it, and I think they're going to buy the book."

Whitaker and Belur hope so. But they're also having fun just going along for the ride.

This Time, Delran's Sacca Starts Healthy

Source: Posted: December 23, 1986

Delran High's Trish Sacca, who led South Jersey in scoring last season with an average of 22.2 points per game, is picking up where she left off.

The 6-foot senior forward, who plans to attend Fairfield University next fall, set a school record for career scoring Saturday, when the Bears opened the season with a 68-35 victory over Cherry Hill East. She scored 22 points to boost her total at Delran to 1,092. The old mark of 1,085 was held by Terri McDermott, who finished her career in 1979.

"I wanted to win the opening game," Sacca said. "That was more important than breaking the record. But breaking it is meaningful, because you'll always be remembered in school history."

Had it not been for a case of mononucleosis that forced her to miss the first seven games last season, Sacca probably would have entered this season already owning the record.

It took her two weeks to get over the illness, and it was another four games before she felt like herself again. She then proceeded to produce points in bunches on her way to the scoring championship.

"That's something I didn't try to do - it just came," said Sacca, whose high game last year was a 33-point effort against Florence. "It's a nice honor, but I wasn't even thinking about it. I had that mono, and I was just glad to be back."

Delran finished last season with a 21-4 record and wound up second, behind Burlington City, in the Burlington County League Freedom Division standings. City knocked the Bears out of the South Jersey Group 2 playoffs.

This season, Sacca is healthy, and Delran, the No. 8 team in the Inquirer's South Jersey ratings, is favored to win the league crown.

Sacca is joined in coach Jim Weber's starting lineup by 6-foot center Marianne Bowker, 5-10 forward Michelle Vranich, 5-5 guard Wendy Razzi and 5-4 guard Kim Bieker. All except Bieker started last season.

"We like being favored," said Sacca, whose brother Tony is a junior and a three-sport star at Delran. "It gives us a challenge, and we're going to accomplish it.

"Last year was a disappointment, because we thought we could go farther. This year, we want to win it all, and we're working super hard."


Nicole Williams was outstanding as No. 4 Sterling won its first two games of the season.

Against Cherokee on Friday, Williams collected 29 points and 10 rebounds to pace a 66-34 victory. And the next day, she came back with 20 points and 18 rebounds as the Silver Knights ran past Willingboro, 83-43.

Williams, a 5-10 junior center, transferred to Sterling last year from Overbrook (N.J.) and averaged 12 points and 14 rebounds.

"Nicole gives us a strong inside game," coach Bill Ulrich said. "She's much more confident this year and aggressive. She's looking for the ball, and we're making more effort to get it inside to her."

"Last season, I had to adjust to switching schools," Williams said. "Now I'm more involved with the team and more comfortable with the players. With the offense we run, if you get open, they're going to find you. I try to get myself free and make good cuts."

Sterling, the four-time defending Colonial Conference champion before it was unseated by Collingswood last season, is considered the team to beat once again.

"We don't let being the favorite go to our heads," Williams said. "I think we'll go far. How far, I don't know, but I think we'll be good. We're just trying to play together as a team and play a good game. We know that people are out to get us."

Wildwood Catholic earned the No. 10 position in The Inquirer Top 10 by downing Middle Township, the two-time defending Cape-Atlantic I champion, 35-32, on Friday in the season opener for both teams.

Kate Caruso, a 5-10 forward, led Catholic to the league victory with 15 points, while 5-11 center Ellen McBride totaled 5 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. Nicole Helverson, a 5-9 forward, pulled down 9 rebounds.

Middle, No. 9 in the preseason ratings, dropped out of the Top 10 after the home-court loss.

"We worked very hard to prepare and did a good job," Catholic coach Matt Tomlin said. "It was an exciting and viciously fought game. My senior players had never beaten Middle Township."

Catholic held a nine-point lead midway through the final period. Then Middle came roaring back. Catholic, which has eight seniors and three juniors back from last season, was up to the challenge, however.

"We thought we could rely on our depth and wear them down," Tomlin said. ''At the end of the game, I was able to put in a fresh and experienced senior team. We didn't lose our composure."

Paul VI and Camden, No. 1 and No. 5, respectively, in the Top 10, had trouble over the weekend with out-of-state teams.

Paul VI, which defeated Edgewood, 86-29, in its season opener on Friday, dropped a 57-51 decision to La Reine (Md.) on Saturday. And Camden, No. 3 in last week, was defeated by Elizabeth Seton (Md.), 76-55, on Friday. On Saturday, the Panthers were downed, 51-38, by Bishop O'Connell (Va.).

Paul VI had a five-point lead at halftime on Saturday but was down by seven points at the end of the third quarter. The Eagles shot 2 for 14 in the third period.

"I thought we played horribly," said coach Jay Stillman, whose team went 26-3 last season on its way to a South Jersey Parochial A title. "Everything fell for us on Friday, but nothing would fall on Saturday. We had one of our off shooting nights. It was just one of those nights. Hopefully, we've had our one bad shooting night for the year."

Camden, the South Jersey Group 4 champion last season, when it finished 22-8, is off to the same kind of start as a year ago. The Panthers lost their first three games last season before winning their next five.

Coach Greg English thinks that his team still may be thinking about last season's sectional title.

"We're still riding on what we did last season," he said. "We haven't got to the point where we know we have to go out and play. But if we're going to lose, I'd rather it be at the beginning of the season than at the end."

Moms: Each Is Different, But All Are Special

Source: Posted: May 10, 1987

Mother's Day is sort of a misnomer. After all, don't most people say Mom?

Mother is so stiff and formal and is usually reserved for those conversations when she addresses you by your full name - including middle initial.

You know: "John Q. Smith, you better clean your room." "Yes, Mother."

But Mother's Day is the day for thinking good things about Mom; for appreciating all the nice things she did for you, even when you didn't know she was doing them. Especially when you didn't know. It's a day for saying, ''Thanks, Mom."

So, it should be Mom's Day.

If you're not sure you buy that, look at it this way: Does anybody ever say mom-in-law?

Some moms have it tougher than others. Some have chronic illnesses, others are single and working and raising children all at the same time. And every day there are women learning to be moms for the very first time.

Here are a few South Jersey moms to remember on Mom's Day:


It was April 18 at 10:55 a.m. and, as quick as you can say "seven pounds, nine ounces," Janet Walsh was a mom for the first time.

For nine months there had been the anxious thoughts: "Is she going to be all right? Is she going to be healthy? Is she going to do all right in school? Is she going to be happy? Will she have a good life?"

But when Alissa was placed in her mom's arms that April morning at Memorial Hospital of Burlington County in Mount Holly, the worries were put aside for a while.

"I thought she was beautiful," said Walsh, 29.

She and her husband, Bill, have been married for five years and knew they were going to have children; it was just a matter of when.

"I didn't want to go through life without being a mother," Walsh said. ''I'm a teacher. I love kids. I felt I would have been missing something if I didn't have one of my own."

It was last summer during a vacation at the shore that she discovered she was pregnant.

So they took their last vacation to New England as a couple, went out for a few romantic dinners for two, and then started buying baby furniture.

As soon as Walsh found out she was pregnant, she said, she felt different.

"It's mind-boggling," she said as she craddled Alissa at their home in Delran. "I look back and say, 'She was inside of me.' "

Now that they're at home, new-mother jitters occasionally return.

"I have to admit sometimes I'm nervous, like if she cries a lot," Walsh said.

But, she added, "I feel confident that my husband and I can handle just about anything that comes up."

Ruth Saulters had seven of her own children and decided that just wasn't enough.

"I feel the good Lord put me on the earth to take care of children," she said. "Everybody's got a talent, mine's taking care of children."

So when all of her children grew up and left home, Saulters, 52, decided her house on Kaigns Avenue in Camden was just too quiet. She enrolled in classes for foster parents taught by the state Division of Youth and Family Services.

"I haven't had an empty house since I got (out) of classes," she said. That was five years ago.

She has lost count of the number of children who have taken refuge from abusive parents and bad home lives at her comfortable rowhouse.

"I've had more than 50 in six months," she said.

The children stay with her until conditions at their homes improve or until they are adopted. Sometimes Saulters does the adopting.

Hakim, 7, whom she calls "Butterball," and Shawn, 9, were placed with her as foster children. Last year, Saulters decided to adopt them.

"I didn't give birth to them, but I feel about these children like I do my own," she said.

DYFS guidelines allow her to keep as many as six children - and she usually has that many.

Her job is simple, she said. "All these children need is some lovin'."

When Gertrude Capone and her husband were fixing up their house in Pitman 25 years ago, it seemed that each time a bedroom was finished, she would become pregnant.

First there was Mary Jo, then Mary Ellen, then Maureen, who was followed by Tim. Colleen, Joseph, Katy and Kevin have followed.

"Last year when I put up the shed out back I said, 'Lord, it's not a room!' " Capone said, laughing.

Eight, she said, was more than enough - eight was a joy.

"You see them growing. Days go by and you don't think about it," she said. Then, those milestones in their lives pass by.

"All of a sudden you're in church, or a graduation or a concert, and you say, 'My God, that's my child.' "

She tries to pass on that thrill of motherhood to the young women she sometimes counsels at Gloucester Birthright, an anti-abortion organization where she is a volunteer.

Several times a year, she and her husband of 27 years, Anthony, take a foster child into their home while the infant awaits adoption. Although she is loving and caring toward those children, Capone said, her thoughts often drift to their mothers.

Most are single, have decided against abortion and have chosen to give their children up for adoption.

"That's the sign of a good mother," Capone said. "To me, that's the ultimate - to give a baby up. Somewhere out there, there are girls who have given their babies up so they can have a better life. Every Easter and Mother's Day it's got to be tough on them."

All the rearing and raising is completed now for Bea Rozier. She and her husband, Garrison, raised six sons in Camden.

Now the boys are on their own and the Roziers are living in Cinnaminson, but Rozier, 55, is still mothering in her own way as a volunteer for Planned Parenthood.

"Family planning to me is planning your life. It's your future," she said. "It's taking care of your health, your pocketbook, your community."

She uses her own experiences as a mother when she speaks to many groups about family planning, from young parents unsure about how to raise their children to students with questions about sex.

"You give them all the same message. It's values and decision-making," she said. "Children are wonderful. They're a gift. They're more though, they're a big responsibility."

Rozier said Planned Parenthood offers advice about how to manage life as a parent, teaches the value of life and tells teenagers it is all right to say ''no" to sex.

Those are the same messages she gave her six sons. Three of them have their own children, and Rozier said the seeds she planted in her sons were showing up in the new generation.

Not long ago she was riding in the car listening to her 5-year-old grandsons.

"They were saying, 'When I grow up, I'm going to get me a girlfriend and I'm going to get married and I'm going to help my wife with the housework. I'm going to have a job. I'm going to get my wife flowers,' " she said. "It was a thrill."

Debra Wood knows what it's like to come home from school and not have Mom or Dad there, to have to cook her own meals and take care of her younger siblings.

She grew up that way because her parents worked. Now 30 and the single mother of 10-year-old Tracy, Wood doesn't want her work at Prudential Insurance in Cherry Hill, where she sells corporate insurance plans and investments, to disrupt her daughter's life.

"One big reason it's important to me is that I went through it," Wood said.

So each morning, she makes sure Tracy gets breakfast and makes her own lunch, and sees her off to school from their home in Woodbury before going to the office.

After school, Tracy goes to a Latchkey program at the Woodbury YMCA until her mom gets home from work. On those occasional nights when Wood must work, she comes home to see Tracy after school and then arranges for a ''grandmotherly-like sitter" to stay at the house.

"She's never left at home alone," Wood said.

All the time together has paid off. An unusually close relationship has developed between mom and daughter.

"It's more of a friendship than mother-daughter," Wood said. "We like to dance together. We like the same music. We like to shop together."

And Wood has passed the toughest mom test.

"The kids think she's cool," Tracy said.

It has been a difficult balancing act between the tugs of a career and the pulls of motherhood.

Wood turned down one job offer from a company that would have required her to meet with clients in the evening because she wanted her time with Tracy.

"I want to be my own person," she said of her career. But, Wood added, ''really, she comes first. If it came down to giving up this career, the career would have to go."

More than anything, Suellen Hancock wanted a baby.

"I didn't think my life would be complete," she said. "My husband and I were always a couple. It's not until you have a baby that you're a family."

But having a baby posed a real threat to Hancock, who suffers from lupus, a form of arthritis that leaves her joints inflamed.

Her doctors warned her against having a child, saying pregnancy could cause the disease to worsen and perhaps even leave her in a wheelchair.

Hancock and her husband, Dave, who live in Cherry Hill, decided to take the risk so they could be more than a couple, so they could be a family.

In her seventh month of pregnancy, Hancock became very ill. She had high blood pressure, her joints swelled. "It hurt when people touched me," she said.

Doctors told her she would be all right, but they were less sure about the babies. Hancock had twins.

Only five weeks after she was born, one little girl, Jillian, died of sudden infant death syndrome.

But Lindsay, now 3, is healthy and happy and gets lots of attention from her mom and dad.

It has not been the typical motherhood for Hancock. Lupus is a physically draining disease, requiring her to sleep 10 hours a day.

She has never been able to bathe her daughter because she cannot get on her knees next to the bathtub. She cannot take her swimming or to gymnastics classes, and she cannot play with her outside for any length of time because sun aggravates lupus.

"Anybody can give her a bath, but things that are fun that I can't do, that's what I miss," Hancock said.

There has been help from her mother-in-law and her husband, and Hancock said she believed that she had missed nothing.

"I heard the crying," she joked.

Her lupus has worsened because of the pregnancy, she said. In January, Hancock suffered a minor stroke.

But she has no regrets about being a mom.

Now, she and her husband are more than a couple. They're a family.

Girl Scouting has changed from the days when Fran Kinsey was a little girl. Now auto mechanics is taught right along with sewing.

There have been other changes at the weekly meetings as well.

When Kinsey leads her sessions with her 13 scouts at her home in Marlton, the conversations are as likely to be about how to act with boys, peer pressure and personal problems as they are to be about how to light the old campfire.

"They've asked questions (about subjects) I never knew they knew about," including abortion, Kinsey said. More than once, she said, she has had to take a big gulp before speaking.

"I was going to give answers that could affect their lives."

Fortunately, she has had some experience. Kinsey and her husband, Paul, have two daughters, Jennifer, 16, and Stephanie, 14, and a son, Matthew, 11.

"If I had to nominate a mother of all time, it'd be Fran," said Fay Dunn of the Burlington County Girl Scouts Council. "She says the word mother and gets misty in her eyes."

What she has learned from raising her children, and uses when working with her scouts, is not to lecture. "You've got to tell them so they think it's their idea," Kinsey said. "That's tough."

Although she has seen changes in young girls and in scouting, some things for parents have remained the same: talking with and listening to their children.

"My mother used to have these family meetings around the table and I used to think it was so dumb. That really dumb thing really worked," Kinsey said laughing, saying she does it now with her children.

She quoted an Ethiopian proverb from a women she tutors in English:

"Children are like leather. Leather should be worked with while it's wet, and children should be worked with while they're young. The trick is to work with them while they're pliable."

Delran To Honor 4 Teams That Won Championships

Source: Posted: January 24, 1988

The Delran community would have been proud if only one of its high school teams had won a championship this past fall; four teams captured titles, and the town is planning a major celebration.

The Delran Board of Education and the Township Council plan a joint Fall Sports Award Night at 7:30 Thursday in the high school auditorium.

The teams being honored that night will be the football team, which won the state championship, and the boys' cross-country team and the girls' and boys' soccer teams, which took division titles.

"I think that's some kind of record, having four teams win championships. Most schools only have one or two teams doing that. We're really going to show our appreciation to these kids for what they have accomplished," said Kathleen "Bunny" Hewko, a school board member involved in planning the evening.

Members of the four winning teams are not the only people to be honored that night, Hewko said. "We're going to honor all the unsung heroes as well," Hewko said, adding that many people in addition to team members had contributed to the school's success.

The cheerleaders, marching band and team managers will be recognized. "At least 160 students will be honored . . . every kid will leave the ceremony with some kind of award," Hewko said.

Several adult groups will recognized, too. The police and fire departments will be cited for their assistance during the games and for providing help during the parade after the football team won the state championship.

The Delran Athletic Association, a community group that runs pre-high school leagues, will also be honored. "These have been the people who have coached these kids up until high school, and all their input over the years has culminated in this," Hewko said.

The school board will pass resolutions honoring the teams, then adjourn to join the mayor and council to make presentations. Mayor Richard Knight and board President Ronald Napoli will speak. State Assemblyman Thomas P. Foy (D., Burlington) is expected to talk, also, Hewko said.

MaryAnn Rivell, a council member helping organize the event, said, "The school board has shown great initiative in honoring their teams. . . .'We're very proud, and the town couldn't be more supportive," she said. ''You can see the community spirit, and that's important."

The ceremony will conclude with the presentation to the football team, Hewko said. Led by coach James Donoghue, the team took the South Jersey Group II state championship, compiling an 11-0 record. Assistant coaches were Louis Stickel, Frank Paris, Peter Mile, Michael Kennedy, James Henion and Paul Cundiff.

The boys' cross-country team, the girls' soccer team, and the boys' soccer team were champions of the Freedom Division.

The cross-country team, under coach Dennis Smith, compiled an 11-2 record. The girls' soccer team had a 17-3 record under coach Carol Young and assistant coach Rudi Klobach. The boys' soccer team compiled a 15-4-2 record under coach John Hughes and assistant coaches Mati Reinfeldt and Richard Bender.

Delran Offers Recreation For Adults In School Gym

Source: Posted: March 30, 1988

At 8 a.m. March 13, about 15 men over 30 gathered at Delran Township's Chester Avenue Middle School to play basketball.

Although that may not sound like the most exciting thing to ever happen in Delran, some local officials think of it as a giant leap for mankind - the first step toward providing indoor recreational activities for adults.

That pickup game could be the first of many, said Burt Bartok, a member of the township's Recreation Advisory Board.

"I think for the first week we had a really good turnout. I was very pleased. It was a nice, friendly game," said Bartok, who put the game together through a newspaper ad.

"I got quite a few calls, and I didn't even know most of the guys who showed up," Bartok said.

The men played informal basketball until 10 a.m. that Sunday. Bartok said he planned to continue scheduling the games through April.

He said he didn't plan to organize any programs over the summer, but in the fall, he planned to resume indoor basketball. He said he also would like to organize co-ed volleyball games in the fall.

Several months ago, Bartok attended a Delran Township school board meeting and complained that although the schools and Delran Athletic Association provided excellent athletic programs for young people, little was available to adults.

Subsequently, Bartok was appointed to the township's Recreation Advisory Board.

Bartok said he started the first game at 8 a.m. because it still gave the players most of the day to spend with their families. Future activities will be held when the participants want them scheduled, assuming the facilities are available, he said.

On that first Sunday, each player paid $2 to cover the $30 cost of having a janitor available. School administration officials were cooperative in providing the facilities, Bartok said.

School board member Mark Kaye supported Bartok's efforts and was one of the 15 who turned out that first Sunday.

"The adult population should have an opportunity to use the facility too," Kaye said.

He said he was pleased by the initial turnout and thought Bartok's basketball program would be a success.

Bartok said he hoped more adults would want to participate in recreation activities sponsored by the community. The future of the program will be dictated by what those people want, he said.

"I want to get to know the people, to find out what they want to do, and that's what we'll try to do," Bartok said.

His Career And Life Have Been In His Hands

Source: Posted: May 08, 1988

Isaac Witkin has created some impressive works of art in his 30-year career, but he doesn't recommend sculpting as a way to get rich.

On May 19, Witkin, a former assistant to sculptor Henry Moore, will have a one-man show at a New York City gallery, the first since his bronze abstract sculpture titled Earth, Water and Sky was installed Dec. 21 outside the Annex Office Building of the state Department of Transportation headquarters in Ewing Township.

"I've made a living," said Witkin, who lives on Scrapetown Road in Pemberton, "but let's put it this way - I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it. I certainly wouldn't do it for the money. Along with ballet, it's probably the hardest known way to make a living. It constitutes the most work for the least reward."

The DOT work, a 3-ton, 23-foot-tall piece commissioned in the fall of 1986, took Witkin about a year to create. The sculpture was cast in metal with a dark patina that complements the building trim. It was contracted by the state Council on the Arts and the state Division of Building and Construction for $100,000 under the Public Building Arts Inclusion Program.

His New York show at the Hirschl and Adler Modern Gallery will include his work of the last several years, all abstract bronzes.

Witkin, 52, began his career while still in his teens as an apprentice to a Hungarian sculptor and then studied at St. Martin's School of Art in London. He was Moore's assistant from 1960 to 1963.

He came to the United States in 1965 and taught sculpture at Vermont's Bennington College for 13 years and simultaneously taught at the Parsons School of Design in New York City. His first one-man show was in 1965 in New York, and he has had about 13 in that city, he said.

In 1978 he moved to New York and lived there several years, then was invited to work at the Johnson Atelier, formerly in Princeton but now in Trenton.

"It became a marvelous place for me to resource my work." He and two other sculptors bought an old Victorian chocolate factory in nearby Hopewell and converted it to living quarters and studios. He lived in Hopewell five years until moving to Pemberton more than a year ago. It was at the Johnson Atelier that he cast the DOT work, the biggest bronze he has ever done.

Witkin was not on the original list of five people commissioned to submit studies for the DOT building. None managed to satisfy the jury, so they and two new candidates, including Witkin, were asked to submit studies.


Dana Shearon, a first-grade student at Millbridge Elementary School in Delran, is one of five finalists for poster child for the Northeast Region of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

Dana, 7, daughter of Patrick and Teresa Shearon of Navy Drive in Delran, was diagnosed with the disease in October 1985.

Her mother is a member of a support group for the foundation that sent out questionnaires and applications.

"Dana is very much in touch with her diabetes and wanted to do something, so we submitted her biography and photos, and they called and said she is one of the five finalists," Teresa Shearon said. The winner will be announced in June.

Dana, who is insulin-dependent, performs her own blood-monitoring tests, but her mother still gives her injections. She is in excellent health except for the disease.

"Within the last year, since she found out there are specialists that treat just diabetics, her ambition is to be a doctor for diabetics," her mother said.

Poster children will be chosen in five regions. The Northeast region stretches from Washington, D.C., to Maine.

Dana, a straight "A" student who loves reading, riding her bike and swimming in the family's backyard pool, is also a member of Brownie Troop 15. In school, she has read the most books in her class in a reading program. She pores through a variety of books but particularly loves Dr. Seuss. She has just begun to keep a diary, and she corresponds with cousins in North Carolina. (Teresa Shearon is from there.)

Dana, her parents and her sister, Kimberly, 3, moved to Delran in September when her father changed jobs. He is a lumber salesman working out of Englishtown. The family had lived for 3 1/2 years in Boyertown, Pa.

Patrick Shearon's family is from the Mayfair section of Philadelphia, and some of them have moved to New Jersey, too. His parents, Lee and Mary Shearon, live on Patricia Avenue in Delran, and his aunt and uncle, Wane and Gina Shearon, live in Burlington.

After spending eight years in night school, lifelong Cinnaminson resident Mark P. Streckenbein figured that he would never want to see a school again, but he was wrong.

Five years after getting his degree (B.S. in industrial engineering), the 33-year-old Streckenbein is director of physical plant operations at Atlantic Community College in Mays Landing, and last week he received the five-year Professional Attainment Award from Drexel University Evening College Alumni Association in an awards dinner-dance in Philadelphia.

He moved to Mays Landing only last year. For the first two of the three years he has been at Atlantic Community, he commuted from his parents' former home on Salem Drive. His parents, William and Ruth, now live in Westfield Leas.

Streckenbein, 34, graduated in 1983 from Drexel University. He had worked for 15 years at National Casein in Riverton while attending classes. He started working there in the 11th grade in high school and was plant engineer when he left.

In his current position, he is responsible for all maintenance, grounds, housekeeping and security, and is in charge of 40 employees.

Eight years of evening school to get a degree is not for the weak of resolve, he said.

"I can honestly say that evening college is not for anyone who is not interested in serious education," he said. Even so, "as much work as it is and as difficult as it is - and it is difficult, because you're working full time - I can look back and say it most certainly paid off."

During the summer, Streckenbein goes to the shore often. He has a summer home in Cape May and spends most weekends there. He said he can usually be found in his aunt's store. He's the one dipping ice cream cones.

On Thursday, George A. Landwehr marks the 100th year of a very full life.

He has spent the last eight of those years at the Masonic Home in Burlington Township, where he and his wife, Florence, 88, are residents.

Ten days ago, Landwehr reminisced about his hundred years. He remembered his years as a traveling salesman (retail clothing) and his years operating a theater in Florida after he "retired" at age 65.

Asked where he was born, he replied: "The greatest city in the world. Go on. Say it - New York City."

Landwehr and Florida's hot summer temperatures didn't mix, and he eventually returned to New Jersey. (His father had moved the Landwehr brood - all 13 - to New Jersey while Landwehr was a teen.)

"He just came home one day and said we're moving," Landwehr recalled. ''We lived in Hell's Kitchen," he said, "the 'worst' district in New York City. Let me tell you, Hell's Kitchen wasn't a bad place. If you came there looking for trouble, you got it. If you came there and behaved yourself, you didn't have any trouble."

In his youth, he and his friends "used to go down to the slaughterhouse and get in the sheep pens and ride the sheep" like horses until the owners chased the boys away.

Landwehr says his sight and hearing are bad and that he no longer stands the "giant 5-2" he once did - he is now around 5 feet tall, but he is still active and alert. For exercise, he said, "I walk when I can and the weather's OK." "I'm an avid walker."

Landwehr, the seventh child in the family, was 28 years old "they sent me a postcard to report" for duty in World War I.

"We were in the cavalry," he said, "and we were on horses. But when they went to trench warfare, they took the horses away from us and we went into the infantry."

He had never been on a horse, he said, but "the Sixth Cavalry came up and taught us in Camp Dix. We got tired riding the horses, and when we curried them, they wouldn't let us take a bath. They made us go and drill with rifles."

A tenor, he sang in three different church choirs and said he was the lead singer of the Choraleers in Bricktown.

He was married to his first wife, who died, for 33 years, and has been married for 33 years to his present spouse. His son died of an aneurism at age 46, but Landwehr has three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren in Maine.

"I had a wonderful life. None better," he said. "I wish everybody else could have it."

Aarp Chapter's Once And Future President

Source: Posted: June 05, 1988

As local groups go, the Burlington Area Chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is so new that the ink is barely dry on its charter, but it represents one busy bunch of seniors, thanks in great part to its outgoing president, Frank Patrick Burke, and its incoming president, Frank Patrick Burke.

Burke will be installed June 14 by state AARP officials as president of Burlington Area Chapter 3998, a job he has held for two years, or since he founded the local unit.

Actually, two years is the limit, but the first year wasn't official because the chapter didn't receive its charter from the national headquarters until June 20, 1987.

Burke will be installed along with Leanore Lontz, vice president; Alma M. Burr, secretary; Violet Tarnoff, treasurer, and Helen Bookbinder, assistant treasurer at the Burlington Adult Center, 522 Wood St., Burlington City.

To say the chapter is successful is to understate the case. Not only are its membership rolls filled to the 200-person limit (dictated by fire regulations on occupancy at the center), but there are 60 people on the waiting list.

"We draw from Florence to Palmyra, all along the river," Burke said. "We have a pretty broad membership."

Community service is the chapter's specialty. "Mostly it's volunteers helping people," Burke said. "We do charity work in the community, but we don't publicize that. The ladies made blankets for people in homes for the aged. We give food to the needy."

There is a social aspect, too. "We go on trips. We went (on) the Spirit of Philadelphia for a two-hour cruise," Burke said. "We went on a bus to Atlantic City; we're going to Radio City Music Hall in December."

Burke, 65, who has lived on Wood Street in Burlington City for 14 years, is a retired machinist who left Gulf Oil in Philadelphia in 1981 after 35 years. A World War II veteran, he loaded bombs on B-29s on Saipan and Iwo Jima.

A widower, Burke is a graduate of South Philadelphia High School. He said all four of his children were college graduates.

He swims two or three times a week at a health club. "I play golf. I do a lot of bicycle riding. I hike a lot," he said.


Tomorrow, Bruce Conway, a seven-year resident of Salem County, assumes the duties of president and chief professional officer of the United Way of Burlington County, and one of his priorities is putting down roots.

Is it important, then, for him to live in Burlington County?

"Absolutely," Conway said, and said he planned to move as soon as he sold his current home in Carneys Point. "I think that to do a good job, you have to be a part of the community."

Conway, 36, comes here from a position as director of the United Way of Salem County.

A graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in psychology, he went to work for Millville United Way in Cumberland County in 1974. During his more than three years there, he also served as executive director of the Millville Chamber of Commerce. In 1980 he went to Salem County.

He does not see his job as begging.

"Not at all," he said, "because most people by their nature are very generous. Most people do give to charity. I happen to believe the United Way is one of the finest charities around."

Conway said that 75 percent of United Way's funds came from industry through employees and corporate gifts. He planned no changes in the Burlington County organization.

"First of all, United Way (of Burlington County) is in great shape. They've had two great campaigns in a row, with double-digit increases. They also have a solid set of volunteers."

Conway, his wife, Elizabeth, and son Christopher, 4, like the outdoors, and go camping from Maine to Virginia. Even at his young age, Christopher is no stranger to the woods.

"He likes it very much," Conway said. "The first time he went camping, he was 6 weeks old. We take him everywhere."

Sisters-in-law Debbie Cormier and Mary Lou Kehoe were expecting their first offspring around the same time, but they managed to stretch coincidence pretty heavily when the blessed events actually occurred.

They had the same obstetrician and planned to deliver in the same hospital, but then the higher mathematics of improbability took over.

Cormier and Kehoe both arrived at West Jersey Hospital in Voorhees on May 15.

"We were due three weeks apart," said Kehoe, 27, "but she was 10 days late and I was 10 days early."

Kehoe and her husband, Greg, were moving that day from the Hollows Condominium in Marlton into a new home on Pine Valley Road in Delran when her labor pains began. "It was a hectic weekend," she said.

Unbeknownst to each other, both Kehoe and Cormier arrived at the hospital around 2 a.m. that Sunday.

By 10 a.m., Mary Lou Kehoe had delivered 7-pound, 10 1/2-ounce Lauren Marie.

Debbie Cormier, 26, who is Greg's sister and married to Michael Cormier, presented 8-pound, 7-ounce Stephanie Suzanne to the world around 6 p.m. The Cormiers live on Delancey Place in Mount Laurel.

It wasn't until the women's husbands bumped into one another in the hospital elevator that they discovered the duality of what was happening.

Both Debbie Cormier and Mary Lou Kehoe were married in 1985. Both are secretaries at Campbell Soup Co. Each of them is taking a couple of weeks off before going back to work.

Dr. Charles A. Kastenberg, an osteopath with a family practice in Mount Holly, enjoys reading, fishing, tennis, travel, gardening.

But none of them to excess, as you might expect of a person whose professional calling includes helping people with addictions.

Kastenberg, 52, who was elected secretary of the New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons at Atlantic City in April, is medical director of Parkside Lodge Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Center in Moorestown and director of the department of alcoholism at Memorial Hospital of Burlington County.

"I don't have time" to do anything to excess, he said with a laugh. Kastenberg lives with his wife, Shirley, on Spring Mill Lane in Cherry Hill.

Medicine is actually his second career.

"I spent 13 years as a pharmacist" after graduating from Rutgers, he said. "I had my own drugstore for five years in Morris Plains - Charles Pharmacy. That helped put me through medical school - the sale of the drugstore."

The family moved to Cherry Hill when he entered the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

He began medical school at age 34. Did it bother him being "an old man" among the others?

"It was probably the most enjoyable four years of my life. After having a career, going back to school is about 75 percent more enjoyable. Everybody else was in a hurry to get out. I just sat back and enjoyed it."

Kastenberg, who is board-certified in alcohol and drug dependencies by the American Medical Society on Alcohol and Other Drug Dependencies, believes dependencies have always been a problem but that they have just become more recognized.

"In the past, it was considered more of a social ill; now it's considered a medical problem. That infers that there is treatment" available. Formerly, overcoming addiction "was considered a matter of willpower or weakness" and the treatment was "not to be weak-willed or sinful."

His big interest, Kastenberg said, is the family.

"I'm a big believer (in the family) in that the health of the population is tied in with a strong family, and I try to practice what I preach. Being in family practice, I can put that to good use."

His own family includes David, 26, a second-year resident at Temple University Hospital; Judith, 25, a systems analyst, married to Barry Klein, an attorney; and Stephen, 21, who is about to graduate from Princeton University with an economics degree and is headed for Harvard Law School.

Seasoned By World Play, Yank Nears Soccer Stardom

Source: Posted: June 06, 1988

Usually, an American soccer player does not reach the sunshine of his sport until it rains. That is, until it rains fruits, vegetables, batteries and burning cushions on a field in some faraway place where the zeal for soccer surpasses that for football in Texas.

Peter Vermes, 21, knew he had come a long way from his high school days in Delran, N.J., when he and his teammates on the U.S. national team dodged enough debris to make a landfill during an Olympic qualifying-round game in El Salvador.

"That's one of the reasons they take us to those places, to see if we can handle that stuff," Vermes said. "You just stand there and hope you don't get hit by a bottle or something, but you can't let it get to you. It's the fans' way of trying to get to you. Or, if their team is losing, to get to them. It's crazy."

It's crazy and it's treacherous, much like the route an American has to travel to reach the international level of a game that is still in the toddler's stage in this country. But Vermes, an all-American from Rutgers and a Parade all-American while at Delran High, has just about completed the first step forward.

It's not yet official, but unless Vermes stubs his toe along the way, this son of a former Hungarian professional will be part of the first U.S. national soccer team in 16 years to qualify on the playing field for the Olympics.

The United States, eliminated in the opening round of the 1984 Games, gained entry that year because it was the host country. In 1980, the United States was reinstated after the international governing body of soccer upheld a protest against Mexico, which had eliminated the United States during first- round play. However, the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Games ended that team's advance.

Vermes, whose clever give-and-go pass led to goal by Brent Goulet in a 4-1 victory over El Salvador on May 25 in the final Olympic qualifying match in Indianapolis, has become a fixture along the forward wall of a U.S. team that has qualified for the Games, to be held in September in Seoul, South Korea.

This month, his plans include trips to Seoul for the President's Cup tournament, and to Lyons, France, for further Olympic tuneups, to which no borderline players have been invited.

U.S. coach Lothar Osiander, who is also a maitre d' at a San Francisco restaurant, strongly suggested that he would not leave for the Olympics without Vermes.

"I'm counting on him to be there in Korea," Osiander said. "I like his speed, his drive to the goal, his ability to crack a ball . . . all the things you need in a forward. He had some bad habits he developed in college, like most college players - like turning into a defender instead of getting the ball off. But he's very coachable, and he learns fast. He does his homework."

Vermes, who recently graduated from Rutgers, said participation in the Olympics was "something I've always dreamed of, because it would mean you're among your country's best."

He also has other dreams, such as playing for a professional club in Europe and in the World Cup in 1990, to be played in Italy, and again in 1994, when the world's most widely viewed sports event probably will be held on American soil for the first time. As the host country, the United States would be an automatic qualifier in 1994.

If all of those dreams come true, Vermes would be making a decent living, something that premier American athletes in other sports take for granted.

But American soccer players out to make a comfortable living twist and turn while they dream, and for good reason. Unlike many of this nation's track and field stars, who get hefty appearance fees, and its basketball players, who vault from college and immediately collect fat paychecks from the National Basketball Association, the elite soccer players must kick open the doors of other countries to get the chance to pay their bills.

The only professional soccer outlets for Americans are the American Soccer League, which is in its first year, and the Major Indoor Soccer League, which, according to the game's aficionados, blunts the growth of a player because it offers a bastardized way to play the game.

"You really can't make good money starting out, and, if you ever do, it takes a long time to get there," said Vermes, who plays for the American Soccer League's New Jersey Eagles. "Your real love is outdoor soccer, but right now, the only place you can play big-time outdoor soccer is to leave the country, and it creates hard feelings among American players, because they wish they could do it here.

"I mean, you go to another country by yourself. You don't speak the language. You're leaving all your friends and family. You're trying to take a position from another guy who probably doesn't want to be your friend and who doesn't want you there. It's definitely tough.

"But you've got to do what you've got to do, because in our country, the opportunities just aren't there yet."

Vermes had 10 game-winners among his 21 goals at Rutgers last season, and he finished fourth in the Missouri Athletic Club balloting for college player of the year, soccer's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.

He has attracted interest from clubs in Switzerland, West Germany, France and Spain, and he said he probably would try to squeeze in a tryout with a club in Switzerland before the Olympics.

"It will take time for Peter to make it with a club in Europe, which is the way it is for most Americans," Osiander said. "Nothing happens overnight for them. But he's tenacious enough that, say, in three years he could be playing regularly for a European club. A problem for our players who want to play in Europe is indoor soccer. It hurts their game, but on the other hand, it pays them some money."

Vermes has expressed his tenacity in numerous ways. He earned his Rutgers degree even though he missed close to a month of classes the last semester while scrambling from Guatemala to El Salvador to Florida to California for training sessions and matches. He overcame the death of his mother to have a brilliant collegiate career.

Then there was last summer, when he drove 13 hours from Austria to Frankfurt, West Germany, to talk to an interested coach from a German club.

"I went with a friend and we got lost on the Autobahn and had no idea where the place was where I was supposed to meet this guy," Vermes recalled. ''I finally pulled off the road and called him to find out where this cafe was where we were supposed to meet. It turned out the cafe was right where I was making the phone call from.

"The thing is, we spent all our money on gas and didn't have enough to get a hotel room. So we ended up sleeping two nights at Frankfurt airport. What an experience."

Regardless, Vermes will take it one dream at a time. And playing in the Olympics may provide the launching pad he needs to realize his other dreams.

"A lot of scouts from other countries will be at the Olympics, so a lot of good things can come out of it," Vermes said. "Plus, if you're on your country's national team, you've already gained a certain amount of respect. It tells them you're one of your country's best. And that in itself is a great feeling.

"Years ago, when I looked ahead to this year's Olympics, I figured the timing would be right, with me graduating from college just in time. So far, things have worked out."

To Tony Sacca, his senior year at Delran High always will...

Source: Posted: June 26, 1988

To Tony Sacca, his senior year at Delran High always will remain a campaign with his friends.

"My biggest memories of high school definitely will be the sports," he said. "You can never forget playing with all your friends, guys you played with since age 7 in the athletic association.

"Having such great seasons was just icing on the cake."

Sacca was an integral part of three Delran teams that won South Jersey championships this year.

Last fall, he completed 96 of 176 passes for 1,666 yards and 24 touchdowns, and led the Bears to their first South Jersey Group 2 football title.

The yardage total is a Burlington County record. The touchdown total is a South Jersey record. (Sterling's Brian Broomell had thrown 23 touchdown passes in 1977.)

He also rushed for seven touchdowns, played outstanding defensive back (he had been an Inquirer all-South Jersey safety as a junior), and led Delran to an 11-0 record.

Sacca was named The Inquirer's Offensive Player of the Year for 1987.

In February, he accepted a full football scholarship to Penn State.

This winter, he led Delran to its first South Jersey Group 2 boys' basketball championship, averaging 31 points and 20 rebounds in six playoff games, as the Bears advanced to the state final before losing.

For the season, Sacca averaged 26.9 points a game, the fifth-highest average in South Jersey. He added 15 rebounds a game, and was named first-team all-South Jersey.

This spring he started for the third straight year on a team that won its second straight South Jersey Group 2 baseball title.

Sacca batted .308 for the season, with 16 RBIs in 27 games. He drew 25 walks and stole nine bases (no mean feat on a 6-feet-6, 210-pound frame).

As a pitcher he was 6-1 with a 2.67 ERA.

The Bears finished the season ranked No. 1 by The Inquirer in South Jersey.

For his varied accomplishments - not the least of which is a 3.3 grade- point average - Tony Sacca has been named The Inquirer male athlete of the year for 1987-88.

"I liked all the sports," said Sacca, who lives in Delran Township with his parents, Peg and John.

"I had no favorite up until 11th grade, when I realized football would be my thing in college."

Although he said that his sports memories of the school year would be especially strong when it comes to football, he conceded that "basically, I always liked the one I was playing at the time."

Delran has been a baseball power for 10 years and has enjoyed some success in basketball, too.

But the football team had never had a contending season (the program began in 1975) until Tony Sacca made the team.

"Our football program, a few years ago, really wasn't anything," Sacca said. "But in the four years our class went through the school, we had a lot of success, and capped it off by winning the championship.

"That's something to remember, because it had never been done at our school before."

Delran has had four straight winning seasons, but had never had a winner before the current streak.

Football coach Jim Donoghue, who built Delran from an 0-9 record eight years ago to its 11-0 record last fall, said Sacca has all the tools to be great.

"Tony's greatest assets are a combination of his composure and his competitiveness," Donoghue said. "I haven't seen him flustered too many times in the three years he's played varsity - not even in the face of adversity or throwing interceptions."

As an example, Donoghue cited last year's Delran game at Florence, a school whose home field is nicknamed "The Pit."

It is not a fond nickname for visitors, and is not a place many teams like to play. Vociferous fans circle the field and ardently back their team.

So strong is Florence's home-field advantage that no Burlington County team had won in Florence since 1984.

When Delran walked off the field at halftime last Oct. 17, the Bears were trailing, 6-0. Sacca had thrown three interceptions and attracted the wrath of the fans.

"I was kind of worried," Donoghue said, recalling the incident after the season. "I asked Tony if it bothered him and he smiled and said, 'It doesn't bother me at all.'

"I knew right then that we'd win in the second half."

Sacca threw two touchdown passes in the second half and Delran won, 21-6.

"He's very competitive," Donoghue said. "He's into it 100 percent of the time. He's constantly capable of making the big play, either on offense or defense.

"He loves to play football and it isn't limited to one side of the ball. He comes up and puts a knock on people. He plays like a linebacker back there."

Even in one of Delran's lowest moments, after having been upset in the state baseball final by lightly regarded Pequannock, Sacca said his greatest thrill was playing beside all his classmates.

"There are about eight of us on this team who began playing baseball together in the Delran Athletic Association when we were 7 years old," he said. "Almost literally, the whole team has been together all of our lives.

"And I owe a lot of my success to them. If you don't have good players around you, it's hard to get noticed."

Sacca will have only a short summer vacation. He is due in University Park on Aug. 7 to begin preseason camp with the Nittany Lions.

"I have not set any goals," he said. "I don't know what to expect. I just want to give it my all to get ready to play."

Watching Tony Sacca play in their own back yard is a privilege the people of Delran no longer will be able to enjoy.

Owner Got His Diploma; The Dog Didn't

Source: Posted: June 26, 1988

His purpose in driving to Palmyra High School last year, Bob L. Gonzales Sr. of Riverside said, was to enroll his dog in an obedience class.

Both he and the dog got sidetracked.

The canine is still unschooled in obedience, but Gonzales, 64, is now the proud possessor of a high school diploma.

When Gonzales arrived at the school, he found a brochure on adult education and decided, "I might as well go back and finish.

"While my wife was alive, she said she wanted me to finish and so did the boys," Gonzales said, referring to his four sons. His wife, Julia, died in 1982.

Gonzales, who has lived on Polk Street for 32 years, said he had completed the 10th grade at Northeast High School and then studied for a year at a night school in downtown Philadelphia. That was "around 1938 or 1939," he said.

"When I dropped out, very few finished high school," Gonzales said. "I went to work because there wasn't any money around. People had to go to work."

Eventually, he was drafted and served with the Engineers in the Army.

After the war, his brother-in-law helped him get a job at the Philadelphia Gear Works in King of Prussia, and he worked there for 38 years, retiring two years ago as a gear cutter.

On June 3, his sons, Bob Jr., Gary, Dominic and Greg, and five grandchildren threw him a graduation party, and 32 people showed up. "They were so proud," Gonzales said.

"I said I didn't want any gifts and presents, and I gave them all back, because between this graduation and my retirement, I'll have my family broke," he said.

The school has had graduates as old as 78 and has many students in their 50s, but Gonzales didn't know that going in. He worried that he was a half- century out of sync, educationally.

"I didn't know whether there would be any mature people there," he said. ''I was surprised. Even the young people called me Bob. Age difference didn't seem to matter."

Gonzales paid the obedience-school registration fee for his dog Damien, a black Great Dane, after he drove to Palmyra, but Damien still hasn't gotten there because obedience school conflicted with Gonzales' human classes. ''Maybe I'll take him in the fall," he said.


The Young Republicans of Burlington County this month named as the first recipient of their spirit award Edwin D. Kohlbrenner Jr. of Westampton, whom the five members of the all-Republican county Board of Freeholders no doubt wish would get out of their hair.

Kohlbrenner, 31, an enthusiastic political animal who initiates debates, brings matters to the attention of the club and was described by an officer as a "die-hard Republican." He is president of Kohlbrenner Recycling Enterprises in Mount Holly, which has brought suit against the county, alleging that it invaded the private sector when it established a county recycling center in Delran in the spring.

Despite the county's competition, Kohlbrenner said the company, in which he represents the third generation, was "very, very busy."

Recycling "is here to stay," he said, which is why he works six or seven days a week. "We can't keep disposing of these materials in the ground or the ocean or the air," he said. "And the only way it can work is with public- private cooperation."

Legislation requiring deposits on bottles or cans will not necessarily hurt the recycling business, he said. "If they put in deposit legislation, we would try to work with the manufacturer" of bottles, he said.

Kohlbrenner also corrected a common misapprehension about recycled cans. ''They don't take the can and wash it and resuse it," he said. "They take it to a firm like ours; we crush it, and we take it to Alcoa in Tennessee. They do that . . . now, even with glass. It's still crushed up, most of it, and sent back to a glass house, where they make a new bottle out of it. It's a lot cheaper than trying to completely clean the bottle out again."

Kohlbrenner, who has been a member of the Young Republicans since about 1984, said the group sponsored voter registration drives and ran a booth at the county fair each year.

Kohlbrenner and his wife, Kathleen, and daughter, Kate, 2, live on Kanabe Drive and are expecting another child. For recreation, it's the shore for the family and golf for him.

"I shoot in the low 90s," Kohlbrenner said. "I don't get out that much. Maybe once a week. When I was younger, in high school, I played constantly."

When he goes to the Young Republicans meetings every month, he often has newspaper clippings in tow or something controversial to toss into the conversational stew.

"I keep the Young Republicans informed of what the old Republicans are doing," Kohlbrenner joked.

On a slow day, Barbara Caruso of Delran sees up to 50 children in her capacity as school nurse at Memorial Middle School in Medford Township, which has about 900 students.

She treats cuts, bruises and sprains and sometimes has to deal with broken bones.

But for the seven years that Caruso has worked in the school system, applying bandages and antiseptics has been a fraction of what she does - a fact recognized by the Medford Education Association, which named her humanitarian of the year last month.

She has been student council adviser for two years and serves on the faculty advisory council for the National Junior Honor Society. In addition, Caruso is a member of SCOP - a community-service project to prevent drug and alcohol abuse.

Under programs with which Caruso has been involved at the school, the students have:

* Adopted a grandmother at Buttonwood Hall to whom they wrote weekly letters and whom they visited on holidays and her birthday.

* Financially supported and wrote to an Appalachian child.

* Sent letters and cards at Christmas to servicemen overseas.

* Staged a fund-raising dance to benefit muscular-dystrophy research.

* Visited the pre-kindergarten handicapped children at the school every week.

In addition, she arranged to get a Big Sister for one of her students and to get clothing for needy students.

Caruso, who lives with her husband, Michael, and 8-year-old son, Michael 3d, on Purdue Drive in Delran, never doubted her career choice.

"I always wanted to be a nurse since I was a little girl," she said.

After getting her nursing degree from Temple University and her bachelor's degree from Glassboro State, she worked as an operating-room nurse at local hospitals. Then she started at Medford.

"I got into school nursing because I thought it was time for a change in my life," she said. "I had started my family, and I love to work with children."

At home, Caruso likes to read, work in her garden and knit counted cross- stitch ornaments for the family. She also likes to walk. "I have become an avid walker," Caruso said. "I try to walk at least a mile in the morning and at night, if not more. It doesn't seem like much, but it adds up." She has been walking since mid-May and intends to keep it up "forever."

Most of the members of Community Accountants of Philadelphia are, naturally, accountants. The volunteers in the nonprofit agency provide pro bono financial-management assistance to emerging small businesses and grass- roots nonprofit organizations in the Delaware Valley.

But the group also needs people with administrative, management and marketing skills, and that's why it invited Patricia A. Peacock of Palmyra to join the board of directors this month.

"Ninety percent of the members are CPAs," Peacock said, "and a smattering of us are marketing and management experts and attorneys. The role of the board is to continually promote the program and to encourage practicing professionals to get involved in and go back to their communities."

The free services are offered to such organizations as Family Counseling Services of Camden County, hospitals, nonprofit groups and clubs.

"It may be assistance with tax filing or with developing a balance sheet so they can can pursue a loan at the bank," Peacock said.

The agency is financed by the United Way, in addition to other foundations, corporations and individuals. "Most of the Big Eight (accounting) firms make their staff available," Peacock said.

A native of Piscataway who received her first two degrees in Colorado, Peacock has been back in New Jersey for about 10 years. She has been director of the Rutgers-Camden Regional Small Business Development Center for about two years and worked for the state the previous seven years in the Department of Education.

"I'm one of these people who took 13 years to get a bachelor's degree," she said, but once she got it, she kept right on going and now has a doctorate from Rutgers in administration, supervision and policies.

She and her daughters - Carolyn, a senior aeronautical engineering student at Purdue University, and Kristin, who just graduated from Palmyra High and is headed for Rutgers University to study biological sciences - have lived for 10 years on Harbour Drive, where Peacock is on the board of trustees for Palmyra Harbour Condominiums.

She is on a lot of other boards - "that's what limits my play time," she said - including those of the Latin-American Development Association in Camden and Family Counseling of Camden County. In addition, Peacock is active with several chambers of commerce, engages in public speaking and tries to help new businesses find money.

She relaxes, too. In her spare time, she reads and sings (soprano) in the Christ Episcopal Church choir in Riverton.

Dancing To A Worldwide Drum

Source: Posted: April 01, 1989

As she sat in the desk at Camden High, 17-year-old Janicka Newbill was worried.

A Camden teacher had thrown down a challenge.

"She wants me to sing in Ukrainian," the high school senior gasped to a friend as she waited to join a group of student dancers practicing in the hallway after school.

"You wouldn't believe the words," said Newbill. "Some of them you can't even spell. You have to go phonetically."

The woman who is pushing Newbill and other students into dizzying challenges is Valentina Bereshny Sierra, who has organized a performing-arts group at Camden High School known as the Cultural Dance Ensemble.

Sierra, who lives in Delran, holds the view that dance can be used not only for entertainment but also as a vehicle to educate teens about the different races and cultures at their school.

The group, which performs on request throughout the area, has a repertoire that focuses heavily on Latin music and dance and also includes Asian, Aztec, Mayan, African and European dance.

To make sure the educational point of it is not lost on its audiences, the dancers intersperse their music and dancing with information about Indians, Europeans and Africans who settled the New World. Sierra calls this mixture the "new spirit" of America.

Last week, the ensemble was preparing for a performance in the Camden County Teen Arts Festival at Rutgers University's Camden campus, a competition that features some of the best teen talent in the county in the categories of dancing, singing, music, art and theater.

Despite heroic efforts of students such as Melissa Ugarte, 17, who practiced despite dizzy spells from the flu, the group did not perform in the festival because too many of its dancers had been felled by the flu.

But this organization takes such setbacks in stride. After all, it has been selected as a finalist in the competition for the last four years to represent Camden County in the New Jersey Teen Arts Festival.

The group currently is rehearsing to perform in the Afro-American Bazaar in Philadelphia on May 13 and is also scheduled to be featured as part of a profile of Camden High in Monday's installment of PBS's Learning in America series (Channel 12, 10 p.m.).

The school's principal, Ruthie Green-Brown, has emphasized innovative approaches to education, including a recent effort to expose youths to culture by having classical music piped into the hallways during school hours.

For the last five years, using whatever tools are available - empty hallways as dance studios (when the auditorium is occupied), hallway trophy cases as mirrors, the teacher's own, old dance costumes - Sierra has volunteered close to 10 hours a week after school to improvising a world of dance as a vehicle for culture for her students.

"I enjoy it a lot," said Ugarte, a Camden High senior and veteran dancer with the group. "I'm learning things I never knew. I knew nothing about the Ukraine before. Now Ms. Sierra is using tapes to teach us Ukrainian dance steps."

Angelique Barge, 20, of Camden, an alumna of the group, who was visiting the campus last week, reminisced as she listened to a practice session:

"To anybody else, the types of things we did (with the dance ensemble) would be a fairy tale," she said, recounting her own experiences. "To us, it was real life. Ms. Sierra would bring costumes. It was like she was sharing a part of herself with us. Through the dance group she showed us how all the cultures are interrelated and that we are only separated because we choose to be."

"We are like family," said Ugarte. "Friends forever. We help each other think clearer."

Luis Rivera, a student writer for the school newspaper, the Castle Crier, wrote in January 1987: "Intending to be only a hasty 15-minute assembly for Hispanic Month, the Cultural Dance Ensemble grew to become one of the most impressive innovations Camden High has witnessed."

He added: "With the purpose of wanting to break up the barriers between the cultures . . . and wanting to unite them, she has succeeded by including dancers, skits and involving members of various backgrounds so that each culture can identify with it."

Herself a Ukrainian-American who is married to a Colombian and teaches Spanish at Camden High, Sierra pushes her student dancers through sweaty practices for two hours each evening after school.

"I loved to flamenco," said Sierra, a diminutive woman who herself was once a dancer. "I decided to explain the different cultures of the world through dance."

She said she discarded the idea of studying international law 11 years ago when she began teaching at Camden High.

She fell in love with teaching at the school.

"People always talk about the bad apples when they speak of Camden. But there is so much talent here. So many good students."

Of her own background, she said:

"My father and mother worked hard," said Sierra. "Ukrainian culture was always stressed. (But) they stressed (that) you have to learn about your own culture and learn about others. . . . They told us you have to keep an open mind. You don't have to accept everything, but you should at least know about them, they told us. It is a belief I want to pass on."

Honoring A Hero And Role Model Peter Vermes - Soccer Star And Pride Of Delran

Source: Posted: April 02, 1989

The good people of Delran, their courage unbroken by allegations of Pete Rose's gambling or Wade Boggs' womanizing or Ben Johnson's steroid injections, yesterday pointed their young toward their own local hero and, saying he was an example to follow, gave a soccer park his name.

His name is Peter Vermes (Ver-MEESE). He is 22, about 6 feet tall, has a jutting jaw, cheeks that dimple when he smiles and a right foot whose skill with a soccer ball has made him the U.S. Soccer Federation's Olympic player of the year and national team player of the year for 1989.

There have been many other honors in Vermes' young life:

He has kicked his way to titles as a high school all-American and all-state player of the year.

He has been a collegiate all-American at Rutgers University, as well as Rutgers' male athlete of the year (1987).

And he has been a professional soccer player for the last year, under contract for the Rabo Eto team of Hungary.

The folks in Delran knew he was skilled all along.

When he was about 8, Vermes led a Delran traveling soccer team to a state championship, recalled Albert Porreca, 53, whose sons played with Vermes. "He was a superstar (even) then," said Porreca, who at noon yesterday was one of several Vermes fans toting video cameras into the Chester Avenue School gymnasium.

Others were filing into the seats wearing white "Peter Vermes Fan" sweat shirts or clutching copies of a poster with a black-and-white photograph of Vermes in soccer action.

Nine months earlier, the people of Delran had discovered that their tenacious soccer tyke - still a Delran resident - had grown into an aspiring Olympian. That was enough of a reason to honor him, said Don Deutsch, chairman of the township's recreation advisory committee.

Someone said, " 'Hey, you know Peter's trying out for the Olympic team? Let's do something,' " Deutsch recalled. "It just snowballed."

Shortly after noon yesterday, Deutsch was sitting on a dais in the gymnasium, along with the mayor, the schools superintendent and Vermes' high school athletic director, two of his former coaches, a representative of the U.S. Soccer Federation, a state assemblyman and a local business leader. In their midst sat Vermes.

The basketball backboard had been swung out of the way over their heads. Behind them, a broad blue banner measured Delranians' enthusiasm about themselves: "Delran: A good place to live, a good place to work."

With Vermes, they felt they had something a bit better than good.

"You don't get many Olympians in the neighborhood, or the Seventh District," Assemblyman Thomas Foy said just before the festivities, while a tape player was filling the gymnasium with the echoing sounds of marching music.

After the boom-box had played the national anthem, the dignitaries stood to praise their local hero.

They called him "a very special young man" and told him, "The respect you have in your home town is no April fool's joke."

They praised his devotion to soccer. He was "never satisfied" with his skills, they said.

"Peter Vermes is an example of what the (Delran Athletic) Association hopes all of our children will become," one speaker said.

Another gave Vermes a plaque in appreciation for his "influence on the youth of Delran."

And the soccer player was hailed as "a true gentleman, an outstanding human being."

Then Vermes, dressed in a blue Olympic blazer, blue pin-striped shirt, red tie, chinos and soft loafers, thanked his home town for the love and support. He told the 200 people in the gymnasium stands that he was nervous about the honor they were giving him - naming the township's two new fields on Tenby Chase Drive as the Olympian Peter Vermes Soccer Park.

A half-hour later and two miles away, the young athlete, again flanked by politicians and mentors but now dressed in his white Olympic warmup suit, cut a red ribbon at the new soccer fields with a pair of gold scissors and then kicked in the first ball to inaugurate the park.

With a biting wind blowing, he patiently autographed the programs and soccer balls of dozens of fans.

"Keep kicking" he wrote.

The Desire To Fight Fires Still Burns In Ex-marshal

Source: Posted: May 21, 1989

Now that Evan K. Kline has retired as the county fire marshal, he finds he has a little extra time to invest in something he really loves - answering fire alarms.

No matter that Kline retired April 30 as chief fire official in the county, he continues to live on Mill Street in Mount Holly, right across from the America Fire Company. And when the signal sounds, well . . .

"I don't aim to quit now," said Kline, who still teaches at the County Fire Academy in Westampton and reviews construction plans for compliance with fire codes in Mount Holly. If an alarm comes in and he feels help is needed, he goes, he says.

Kline said that now that he's without the red fire marshal's car, he doesn't get to fires as quickly as he used to, but that his own car still takes him to the scene.

At 67, Kline has been fighting fires 50 years and says he still can cut the mustard. "Anything the rest of them can do, I can do," he said, adding, ''It's an exciting profession, a gratifying profession to know you've helped save someone, or their house or their property."

Born in Hammonton, Kline began fighting fires for the state forest fire service in 1939 while a senior at Mount Holly High School. He rose to district warden and stayed with the service until about a decade ago. "I ran the tractors, the bulldozers, drove the pumpers," he said. "Periodically, I even spent time up in the towers."

In 1942, Kline moved to Mount Holly and joined the America Fire Company. He worked his way through the ranks to captain, assistant chief and, finally, chief, and eventually became the township fire inspector. In 1970, he was named fire marshal, becoming only the third person in county history to occupy the post. It was Kline's job to investigate the origin and cause of suspicious fires, which numbered close to 200 a year.

This was not Kline's first career, however. He worked 30 years for the U.S. Postal Service, wearing out a vehicle every two years stuffing mail and catalogues into farm mailboxes on rural routes through Lumberton, Hainesport, Eastampton and Mount Laurel - almost 60 miles a day.

"I don't know that I miss the mail route, but I miss the people," Kline said. "At one time, I had close to 800 on the route."

Kline and his wife, Ginnie, have two sons, a daughter and two granddaughters. Close to 400 people honored him at a dinner May 5 at the Lenola Fire Company.


All Peggy Knight wanted to do was get her nursing degree. Now she's going to China.

The Delran woman, wife of Mayor Richard Knight, was invited by People to People International to represent her profession at an international conference on nursing June 1 to 17.

Knight is in the midst of what amounts to her third career.

Early in her marriage, she worked six years in business and marketing, then retired for career No. 2: rearing sons Kevin, 19, and Christopher, 16. The family lives on Kevin Road in Delran.

But she always wanted that white uniform. "It's been my personal goal since I was a child," she said. "I always talked about being a nurse. I think my husband got tired of hearing about it."

So she went back to school, and five years ago, she got a bachelor's degree in nursing from Holy Family College in Philadelphia, and today she is nurse coordinator of the addictions treatment center at Zurbrugg Hospital "and loving every minute of it."

It was tough juggling a family and college, she said, "but they all supported me. It was the family project - mom going to school."

"In my senior year of college, he ran for mayor and I was his campaign manager," she said. "That was the 'fun year.' I did a lot of (personal) stress management that year. But we won the election. That's the other part of my life. Nursing is my profession. Being the mayor's wife is my hobby."

Knight is the chairwoman of a drug and alcohol awareness group in Delran and is a member of the New Jersey Bipartisan Coalition for Women's Appointments, which consists of female legislators and commissioners. The group interviews gubernatorial candidates, meets with state chairpeople and lobbies for women to be appointed to key state posts.

Knight said her "career is going to be shorter than the average person's. I had to kind of condense myself."

Linda Weaver is another who decided later in life that she wanted to be a nurse, and the culmination of that choice occurred May 5 when she was named nurse of the year at Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Browns Mills.

Weaver, who with her husband, Walter, an Air Force flight engineer, and daughters Alycia, 13, and Tina, 11, has lived for four years on Kingsley Road in Mount Holly, received an associate's degree in nursing from Burlington County College in 1986 after working for 13 years as a licensed practical nurse.

"She is a role model to student nurses and to newly graduated students," said Christine Tobin, director of nursing service at Deborah.

Weaver arrived at Deborah in September 1981 and, while working full time there, pulled college courses for the next four years to get her cherished R.N.

It was tough, she said, "but I was very luck working at Deborah. They let me switch shifts whenever I needed to." Now she works a regular day schedule in adult cardiology. Down the road, she'd like to acquire a bachelor's degree in nursing.

A native of Rome, N.Y., she met her husband, who was stationed at Griffiss Air Force Base there, and the two picked up the hobby of dog-sled racing.

"We went to watch his boss race, and we watched one race, and we couldn't wait to get into it. We had only one dog, and we would go around and borrow friends' dogs. Eventually, we got our own," she said.

They raced in the Adirondacks in central New York. "My husband drove the team, and I was the handler, taking care of the dogs and hooking them up.

"We had 13 dogs, and we raced for six years. They were three- to five-mile races. We were amateurs. It was just a weekend sport. We raced every weekend.

"You always see pictures of people riding the back of the sled," she said, "but if you ride the sled you tire the dogs, so you have to run behind the dogs. And you have to train them every day. It takes two to three hours a day, but you get your exercise at the same time as they do.

"It's a great sport. It's natural. The dogs are command-trained only." Each driver invents his own commands. Her husband's was "let's go."

"You didn't have to tell them twice," she added. "They go crazy any time they get near the other dogs because they know they're going to run. They're crying, whining, screaming. We really miss it."

The Weavers once had 13 Siberian huskies. When they moved here, they sold all but one, and he has since died. But they have his issue, 8-year-old Crystal, in case they decide to resume racing.

Nina Malone has been on a fast track since college and shows no signs of getting ready to downshift.

A resident of Crofton Court in Mount Laurel, she was named director of public relations for Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill in March, a natural progression for this cum laude graduate of Rider College.

"I was a journalism major, and I always intended to go into public relations or promotion," she said.

She said her new position is challenging because it also encompasses marketing and advertising.

Originally from Ridgewood, Bergen County, Malone has lived in Mount Laurel for a year and a half and before that in Maple Shade.

She decided to matriculate at Rider because "it was far enough from home that I could live away but not too far." She loved Rider, the professors, the size of the school, and she threw herself into the collegiate scene.

"I never wanted to be just a Social Security number at school. I got overinvolved and never stopped."

Malone was president of her sorority, student center manager, a radio disc jockey for four years, promotions and production director for the college radio station, a member of the communications fraternity, chairwoman for a high school press day workshop and one of four students picked to conduct new- student orientation.

"It snowballed once I got involved. I couldn't stop," she said.

In 1987, she spent a semester as an adjunct instructor of communications at Rider, and she now divides her time between providing public relations counsel for the Leukemia Society and supervision for public service performed by the college chapter of her sorority.

She enjoys the latter "very much," she said. "It's rewarding to be able to see someone grow and to have some input to their lives. It's amazing to see how they change during the year.

"I am as organized as I can be," she said, but she still has little spare time. The closest she comes to a hobby is creative writing. She writes short stories and poetry. "I am collecting rejection slips," she said.

One of her unfulfilled goals is teaching. She enjoyed being an instructor at Rider and said that's something she'd like to do more.

Professor Will Examine 'Deadheads'

Source: Posted: June 06, 1989

Deadheads, devoted fans of the Grateful Dead rock group, are about to become the object of an academic study by Rebecca Adams, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina. Adams calls the Deadheads an American subculture worthy of study. "I'm interested in the Deadheads, not the (Grateful) Dead," Adams said. "How do their beliefs and their values and the rules they live by differ from the mainstream American culture?" Her preliminary impression, she said, is that being a Deadhead is a "state of mind or attitude" and "a belief in the ability of people to get along with one another."


Madonna and Sandra Bernhard, who caused a commotion with a bump-and-grind rendition of "I Got You Babe" at a recent benefit, have something to say about their relationship in this week's People magazine."Don't believe those stories you heard about us," Madonna said. Bernhard's response was "Believe them. Madonna and I have a heart and soul friendship. Beyond that, it's nobody's business." The two appeared together at a "Don't Bungle the Jungle" benefit aimed at protecting rain forests.


Former first lady Rosalynn Carter had some unconventional wisdom to offer when she spoke Sunday to graduates of the private Oakland School in Pittsburgh, where her nephew, Kevin Christopher Smith, was one of the 19 graduates. She said, "Maybe one of you will be president someday. Maybe one of you will be first lady. Or, maybe one of you young men will be first spouse."

Such a prospect might not be especially attractive, according to humorist Roy Blount Jr., who toured the White House while researching his new novel, First Hubby. He didn't like the place. "For one thing," he said, "the thing was full of pictures of Ronald Reagan."


Mickey Rooney, on tour with a variety show also featuring Donald O'Connor, is helping to raise money for a trust fund for the female jogger who was raped and beaten in the infamous Central Park "wilding" incident seven weeks ago. Rooney also is asking his colleagues to do the same. The woman, meanwhile, is expected to be moved soon to a neurological rehabilitation center near her parents' home in Pittsburgh, according to a report in this week's Newsweek magazine. The hospital at which she is now being treated would not confirm the report. The 28-year-old investment banker, the hospital said, has continued showing improvement since coming out of a coma, but doctors said she probably would never return to normal.


Ring announcer Michael Buffer of Delran, N.J., who will be calling the June 12 fight between Thomas Hearns and Ray Leonard, is taking an unusual route to talk up the contest. He'll attend a women's aerobics class today at a Center City fitness club to discuss the bout, which will be televised locally at a number of closed-circuit locations.


The last words of Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini were: "This (life) is an arduous path. Try not to sin." Then, a little later: "Turn out the lights. I want to sleep." The last words were reported to the Islamic Republic News Agency by Khomeini's daughter, Zahra Mostafavi.


Elvis Presley's granddaughter has been named Danielle Riley Keough, a family spokesman said yesterday. Lisa Marie Presley delivered the 7-pound, 2- ounce girl by natural childbirth on May 29, with musician-husband Danny Keough at her side.


Spy magazine polled its readers, asking who they thought would be the best and the worst weekend house guests. Everybody's favorite was actress Teri Garr. The worst were Donald Trump, Dan Quayle and Tammy Bakker. Getting about an equal number of "best" and "worst" votes were Madonna, Sean Penn, Michael Jackson, Roseanne Barr and Whoopi Goldberg.


Drugs, orgies and Satanism, it's all part of life at the top, according to the new book Why Me? by Sammy Davis Jr. Highlights: a porn party for such friends as Milton Berle, Lucille Ball and Shirley MacLaine, a love affair with Linda Lovelace of Deep Throat fame, and dabbling in Satanism for "sexual kicks." Davis says the book is not a "kiss and tell, but an explanation."


Novelist Philip Roth has written a new preface for the 30th anniversary edition of his first novel, Goodbye Columbus, which will be distributed by Houghton Mifflin this fall. Roth was a 25-year-old English instructor at the University of Chicago when he wrote the novel.


Martin Scorsese (The Last Temptation of Christ) has directed his first television commercial - for a new fragrance from Armani for men. The black- and-white commercial reportedly has to do with the end of a relationship, in which a spilled bottle of the stuff reminds a woman of a man who is no longer around. Filmed in Milan, the commercial will debut in the United States on Thursday.


Actor Rob Lowe, accused of inducing a 16-year-old girl into having sex and of videotaping the action, will portray a character who makes a pornographic videotape in his next movie, Bad Influence. The screenwriter for the movie, David Koepp, says it's a "coincidence." The mother of the girl who allegedly took part in a pornographic videotape with Lowe filed a civil lawsuit on May 12 seeking unspecified damages from the actor. Lowe has denied the allegations.


Two years after the courts declared her the illegitimate daughter of the late country-music legend Hank Williams, Jett Williams, 36, made her professional debut as a country singer. She was given a standing ovation Sunday at the annual Hank Williams Memorial Celebration in Evergreen, Ala., where she opened her 20-minute performance with her father's classic "Your Cheatin' Heart." "I'm meeting a lot of people who knew my father," she told the crowd of 4,000 people, "and I'm getting to know him through them."


Britain's Queen Mother Elizabeth was honored yesterday on the 10th anniversary of her installation as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, an ancient but no longer arduous post. Her title gives her the right of claiming any flotsam or jetsam washed up on England's southeast coast. She also is required to pay for the burial of stranded whales. Cinque Ports, from the French for five ports, is the title given to five coastal towns in southeast England.

Announcer Rumbles From Nowhere To Stardom

Source: Posted: June 11, 1989

Tomorrow night, Michael Buffer will step to the center of the ring, raise the microphone to his lips and reach down an octave or two to summon that trademark phrase he booms out to launch all the big boxing matches: "Let's get ready to rumble."

Buffer, 44, who hangs his hat in Delran (although he's hardly ever home), epitomizes what every ring announcer would like to be - resplendent in tuxedo or dinner jacket, radiating a handsome magnetism that disconcerts a considerable portion of the females in the audience.

From nowhere a half-dozen years ago, Buffer has become the pre-eminent ring announcer because he is liked a lot at Top Rank Inc., which promotes much of TV's ring action and brings tomorrow's Sugar Ray Leonard-Thomas Hearns battle to television.

Life is great for Buffer. Because of his good looks and his "ready to rumble" catch phrase, he has become an institution. Celebrities pal with him and write cameos for him in their movies. Budweiser cast him in a commercial promoting tomorrow's fight. Women's clubs invite him to speak at their meetings.

Buffer rose to fame after his eldest son disagreed with the manner in which a decision was delivered by another announcer in the ring seven years ago and suggested his father could do better.

Buffer had done voice-overs for commercials in the Philadelphia-New York area. He decided to give the ring a shot.

He packaged a letter and photograph, and since he stood 6 feet, 165 pounds and wore a 40 regular, he suggested that the announcer's image should be changed.

"Practically anybody could say the words," he said, but historically, the announcers were little guys wearing pinky rings who droned the ubiquitously boring and nasal "Ladi-e-e-s-s and g-e-ntlemen . . ."

But promoters hired the announcers, and "no matter how big the fight, whether it was in Vegas or televised worldwide, they would just use the local announcer," Buffer said. We already have a guy in New York, they told him. Or Chicago. Or wherever.

Fortunately, Top Rank and chairman Bob Arum wanted a change and decided to use Buffer in Atlantic City, and a few months later in Madison Square Garden.

In the beginning, "I got to see a lot of fights. The pay was nothing," Buffer said. But the work increased, and he made something of it. He developed a style.

Over the next six years, he began announcing all the fights on cable's ESPN, except in Las Vegas.

Eventually, Buffer's image grew so strong the locals couldn't refuse him there, either. He did the Mike Tyson fight in Tokyo, and he has called them from Trinidad, London and France.

Born in Philadelphia and reared in Abington, he wasn't always the world traveler. In the early '70s, he was divorced and uncertain where he was going. He was, he said, "almost 30 years old. I was a car salesman, the worst one in the world."

"I went to see an agent. Two days later, I was in a fashion show for Gucci in Philadelphia at Nan Duskin's before 600 old ladies drinking tea," he said. ''I was scared to death, but the pay was great and I didn't have to work myself to death. I haven't had a (regular) job since."

He moved to an apartment in Delran 13 years ago because it was only 20 minutes to Philadelphia, but his second home is in the air. He has logged a quarter-million miles on TWA alone. "I have all these free tickets to the Orient and no time to go," he said.

Ring announcing, once 30 percent of his work, now constitutes 75 to 80 percent. He still models, but "my agents go crazy trying to make my bookings."

He visits women's clubs and gives autographs. "A lot of women want me to sign something a little personal," he said, without getting specific. At mixed groups, "men come up to me and say, 'Could you give me an autograph for my wife? She isn't here, but she just loves you.'

"Appearance has been my forte," Buffer said. "I try to do the thing with the voice - deepen it. It's all part of the image. I always wear the latest in formal wear."

He is affiliated with a large manufacturer of formal wear that supplies him with such an elegant wardrobe that "I'm afraid to go out to the supermarket now in my jeans."

"The big fights attract lots of celebrities," he said, and he has met and became friendly with Eddie Murphy, Gene Hackman and Mickey Rourke. "They would say, 'Gee, I've got a project and you'd be just right.' "

He just shot a piece of a Murphy movie, Harlem Nights, with Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx and Arsenio Hall, putting in two 14-hour days at the old Olympic Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles, which was converted to look like Madison Square Garden.

In a one-day shoot in Asbury Park, N.J., he played a ring announcer in a movie with Rourke - "a big fight fan. It should be out this summer." It's called Home Boy.

Whether his scenes survive or end up on the cutting room floor is the usual gamble. "Hopefully, the editor will be kind to me," he said. "You never know in Hollywood."

He has no off-season. ESPN boxing draws an audience of 5 million, and somewhere in the country, Buffer is on television every week. He may continue to announce for another 10 years. "It would be nice to retire at 55."

But then he would miss such telephone calls as the one he got three years ago. A woman on the line said, "Hold for Cary Grant."

Buffer anticipated a put-on.

"Is this Michael Buffer?" said the voice that came on the line.

"It sounded just like Grant," Buffer said. "A great imitation."

"Last week on ESPN you had on a yellow bow tie and a butterfly (wing) collar," said the ostensible Grant.

So Buffer, conjuring up his best imitation, came back with a typical, schmaltzy, 1940s Grant rejoinder, "Yes. Yes, I did."

After some small talk, the voice at the other end of the line rebuked him, ''Excuse me but you're doing me quite badly."

"Well," Buffer said, "I went back to my regular voice and said, 'Who is this really?' "

And it really was the legend himself.

Grant liked the shape of the bow tie Buffer was wearing and wanted to know where he could obtain one in black.

"He was a fight fan, and he watched every week," Buffer said. "We ended up having a 20-minute conversation. He said, 'I used to box a little bit when I was young.' "

Buffer said he apologized for the mimicry. "It happens all the time," Grant told him. "I can't even make dinner reservations."

"We kept in touch," Buffer said. "A few times we were going to meet and we just missed each other. He died six months before I got chance to meet him."

Wrought Iron And Art Deco Pieces Aplenty

Source: Posted: June 17, 1989

For years Esther Carroll patrolled the auction and flea market trail, buying and selling. Mostly, she just bought.

Eventually her acquisitions exceeded the capacity of the garage at the house at 161 Hartford Rd. in Delran, that she shares with her husband, John. Soon they were scattered around the yard as well.

Eventually, township officials got tired of the sight of the possession- filled property and told the Carrolls to get rid of the stuff. Today and tomorrow they will do just that, at an auction at the house to be conducted by Michael Chiaccio, a free-lance auctioneer who normally works at S&S Auctions in Repaupo.

According to Chiaccio, an old friend of Esther Carroll's, she specialized in wrought iron and art deco pieces, for which she found a market among New York buyers. And both categories will be amply represented at today's and tomorrow's sessions, both of which start at 11 a.m.

In addition to wrought-iron garden furniture, there are sections of iron fence and chandeliers, a baker's rack and a five-foot-high bird cage. Besides the wooden art deco furniture, there is a red and white enameled-iron kitchen table and matching chairs, one of the better items in the sale.

But the wrought iron and art deco account for only a small percentage of the acquisitions Carroll must sell. "Things would just be lying there," she said yesterday, explaining her habits. "Or I'd see something and say to myself, 'Ooh, that's cheap.' "

And so she bought 12 painted panels from a carousel that once operated in the Coney Island area. There is considerable interest in them, Chiaccio said, because they are initialed by their presumed artist.

There are hundreds of paintings, big and small, good and bad, new and old, including one that was stretched across a room divider and may go back to the 1700s. Among the paintings are two unrestored Franklin D. Briscoes, according to Chiaccio.

There is also a glass-doored china cabinet with carved lion decorations, an 18th-century blanket chest, a modern bronze room divider and hundreds of vintage and designer dresses, some with price tags as high as $1,300.

The panels, the cabinet, the Briscoes and the bronze room divider will be sold tomorrow, along with most of the other better items in the sale. Today's session will feature vintage clothing, a lot of the outdoor furniture and other miscellaneous items.

Cherokee High Teacher Honored

Source: Posted: July 09, 1989

Patricia L. Sidelsky's interest in biology was a matter of genes.

"I guess my family was responsible," she said. "My whole family is oriented to science.

"My uncle was a veterinarian. My mother was a biology major. My cousins are all doctors and nurses. My aunt raised dogs. My great uncle was Theophilus Zurbrugg."

He was the builder of the historic Watchcase Factory in Riverside and the man for whom the Zurbrugg Hospital in Riverside is named.

Last month, Sidelsky, a teacher at Cherokee High School and a Marlton resident, was named biology teacher of the year by the National Association of Biology Teachers, an award earned through innovative teaching and a focus on education.

"She's a very caring, dedicated teacher," said Walt Seibel, supervisor of the science and mathematics program at the school. "She's very innovative. She does anything for the kids, and she's here all hours.

"She has presentations all the time for the new curriculum. She has workshops. She developed a curriculum at Rutgers for high school students. She teaches at Rutgers during the summer. She goes to school at night. It's hard to believe she does all this. And she's available for students nights and Saturdays. I don't know how she does it."

Sidelsky, 44, has taught advanced biology and chemistry at Cherokee for 10 years.

Her summers are spent at Rutgers University with such programs as the Douglass College Summer Science Institute to encourage women to pursue math and science.

For the past three years, she has spent time at the Rutgers Center for Mathematics, Science and Computer Education working on modern curricula such as molecular genetics and microbiology, which she takes back to Cherokee and introduces to her classes.

"It's been a lot of fun, and the students do real well," she said. "In fact, they're fantastic."

One student, John Sari, developed an inexpensive method of electrophoresis - separating protein, enzymes and DNA - with a technique using a Rubbermaid container and five nine-volt batteries. It is an inexpensive experiment that can be duplicated cheaply instead of at the usual cost of several hundred dollars with more sophisticated equipment.

In the past academic year, she inaugurated a trial program during nights and weekends, in which students worked on individual projects. The Lenape School District has given her a grant to continue the project.

Science, she said, "was my first love. It was a major interest as a child growing up. When I find students who don't like science, it's a challenge to make them love it as much as I did when I was growing up."

Sidelsky was born in New Hampshire, spent her youth in Riverton, attended Moorestown Friends School, received a bachelor's degree in biology from Bucknell University and completed a master's degree in biology at Rutgers last year. She is beginning work on a doctorate in either education or biology.

She has worked nights and weekends as a medical technician in a clinical laboratory for 10 years.

And for recreation, "I love sports," she said. "I like all the sports the kids play at school - field hockey, football. I'm into all the Philadelphia sports. And golf is my favorite sport," although she doesn't find much time to play. When she does, it's in the evening, alone, when it's quiet.

There, on the course, she doesn't worry about biology, or teaching - or even breaking 100.


In 1992, Heidi Kaye will be 16.

She hopes she will be competing for the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team by then, and the next few years should provide a good estimate of her chances.

Heidi, 13, the daughter of Mark and Judy Kaye, of Delran, already has begun to command attention, and if she finishes among the top 12 from July 21 to 31 at the U.S. Junior Gymnastic Championships at the Olympic Sports Festival in Oklahoma City, it is off to the races.

Heidi competes in the junior gymnastics division, for those 14 and younger, and she qualified for the competition in Oklahoma City by finishing seventh in a meet in Oakland, Calif., and eighth in a meet in San Antonio, Texas, this year. Her best event is the floor exercises, but she performs them all.

The top 12 at Oklahoma City will be chosen to compete in world-class meets for the U.S. junior national team for one year, providing wide exposure.

"If you make the national team, you get to travel internationally and compete against the Russians and the Romanians," Heidi said.

"If you make the national team as a junior, then you make a name for yourself, and people start looking for you in the big competition."

Heidi has been training with the Parkettes, an Allentown gymnastics club, under Donna and Bill Strauss, who were 1988 U.S. Olympic coaches, and it has required intense dedication by the whole family to put up with the schedule.

With mom driving, Heidi said, "we commute five days a week. It's 77 miles one way."

During the past school year, she used the time to do her homework from Delran Middle School.

The family spent about $10,000 in the past year on Heidi's training. She is an only child.

"If she weren't, we couldn't do this," Mark Kaye said.

The Oklahoma meet represents a pleasant change.

"The Olympic Committee is paying for everything, the first time we've gotten anything," Mark Kaye said.

"This is a very prestigious event, like a mini-Olympics. It's going to be on ESPN."

Heidi trains six hours a day, five days a week, but starting this fall, she will board in Allentown and end the long commute.

At the age of 4 1/2, her parents took her to dance class and then to a gymnastics school, where at age 8 her potential was identified.

"They saw she was flexible, strong, very motivated," Mark Kaye said. ''She got some fine training there; they moved her along, made her part of their competitive team."

Along the way, she took up competitive diving, winning 12-and-under titles in the Tri-County and Burlington County Leagues. At 11, she gave diving up for gymnastics.

"She is very motivated," Mark Kaye said. "You have to be very physically and mentally motivated to train 30 hours a week. It's too dangerous a sport to go in with a half-hearted attitude."

Her father is a guidance counselor at Truman High School in Levittown, Pa., and her mother teaches at Maple Shade Elementary in Croydon.

When her gymnastics career is over, she'd like to go into the field of science and become a veterinarian, perhaps. She is not sure.

Etched in her mind for now is just a date: 1992.

When Pernilla Bilfeldt came to the United States from Sweden last fall, she had never heard of field hockey and could not speak a word of English.

She rectified both omissions in quick order, as the records will attest at Burlington City High School, where in just one academic year she was named the school's best athlete in field hockey, given a trophy for outstanding contribution to the track team and learned the language pretty well.

Bilfeldt arrived as an exchange student and stayed with William and Carole Moore in Edgewater Park. On July 16, she will return to Norrkoping, where she lives with her father, Anders.

Although she graduated from Burlington City High School, she has two more years of schooling left in Sweden before college, where she will major in economics.

"I want a job where I can travel a lot," she said, an addiction acquired partly through the Moores, who took her to Florida and South Carolina.

She played center forward on the Burlington field-hockey team. On the track team, she ran the two-mile run. In Sweden, she had played soccer since age 6, and she is best at that and handball, she said.

As for field hockey, "I liked it," she said. "We don't have it in Sweden, but I liked it a lot. It was fun. It's different."

Bilfeldt, 18, learned to read and understand English in the fourth grade but never how to speak it.

When she arrived here, she said, "I could not speak at all. I understood much better than I could speak. It was hard in the beginning. As soon as I started to think in English, it was much easier."

She is looking forward to seeing her family again but sad because she is leaving behind a lot of friends.

Visiting here "helped me be more independent, to think on my own," she said.

The school is looking for one or two host parents in Burlington City or Edgewater Park for the coming school year. For details, call Mattilyn Rochester, superintendent of the high school, at 387-2566.

It was 2 a.m. Kathleen Milano, 28, of Medford Lakes, had been out with friends and was alone in her car, heading back to New Jersey over the Tacony- Palmyra Bridge.

"I saw a man lying in the road," she said, and performed a K-turn, jockeying her car around to block oncoming vehicles so bridge traffic would not hit him.

"I stayed with him and told him not to move, that everything would be fine until the police came," she said.

Milano apparently arrived on the scene seconds after a gang had dumped the man out of his car, which they had stolen.

"He had been beaten up; he was bloodied," she said.

All this happened Sept. 18. On May 23, the South Jersey Police Chiefs Association cited her for meritorious service to law enforcement for her involvement.

It was strictly spontaneous, Milano said. She said she probably would do it again because "I just can't leave somebody there." But she is not anticipating a repeat performance.

"I don't need that much excitement in my life," she said.

Milano lives with her parents, Anthony and Sonia Milano. She is employed at La Patisserie Francaise in Haddonfield as a counter clerk, but she does not sample the merchandise much because she is allergic to preservatives, sugar and additives.

Pa. Teen Takes Offensive In Bid For Olympic Berth

Source: Posted: July 27, 1989

OKLAHOMA CITY — Tiny and quick as a hummingbird, Kristey Reed may be the most endearing competitor at the 1989 U.S. Olympic Festival. Time and travel will tell if she also becomes one of the most enduring.

At age 13, the 4-foot-11, 80-pound eighth grader from Enola, Pa., is pursuing an Olympian ambition in the sport of table tennis.

One of the youngest athletes on any Olympic Festival roster, Reed is coached by her father, Barney Reed, who introduced her to the sport four years ago.

He soon discovered that his precocious daughter was the table-tennis answer to Mary Decker Slaney, who also competed internationally at age 13.

To sharpen her game, Reed has competed in tournaments in nearly every state in the union, as well as in Sweden, the European hotbed of the sport.

Her status, however, has yet to make her a celebrity among her friends at home and at Cumberland Valley High School, outside Harrisburg.

"They don't really know how big the sport is," Reed said of her friends, ''but they think it's really neat I get to go everywhere."

Singles competition starts at noon today in what already has been a moderately successful tournament for the smallish contender. Earlier this week, she was awarded a bronze medal, her first of the Festival, in the team competition.

"We had a chance for the gold, but we lost," Reed said later. "We did really good. We could have got the gold, but some of us messed up. . . . How do you read what you're writing in that notebook?"

Richard Butler of Iowa City, Iowa, commissioner of the national governing body for table tennis, points out that there is a vast difference between the game almost everyone has played at one time or another and the Olympic medal sport, which requires cat-quick reflexes.

"Table tennis at this level in this country," Butler said, "is almost an underground sport. To get to the level of the players in this room" - which included his nationally ranked sons, Jim and Scott - "takes a lot of table time.

"It's so fast, it's an instinctive game," Butler said. "The ball comes off a (serving) paddle at 70 m.p.h. and, through wind friction, it slows to about 50 m.p.h. in a 10-foot span. Even so, that doesn't give you much time to plan your next move."

Butler says that in eye tests conducted by amateur sports bodies, table tennis players are the fastest in the Festival.

Quickness is a singular quality in Reed's game, but her attacking style of play and the way she holds her paddle excite table tennis officials even more.

"She has the potential to be very good," Butler said. "She's an attacking, intelligent player, and the one thing she has in her favor is that she uses the penhold grip rather than the (Western) shake-hands grip. Without getting too technical, it offers some advantages."

The penhold grip, with the paddle held between the thumb and forefinger, is the one used by most Asian players. Used with the rubber-backed paddle, it revolutionized the game in the 1950s.

To reach world-class level, however, Butler said that Reed would have to see more of the world.

"How well she does, and what kind of career lies ahead of her, will be predicated on her training and foreign experience," Butler said. "You've got to go out of the country if you really want to reach the Olympic level."

Since the 1950s, China and Japan have dominated the game, and Sweden has made inroads over the last few years.

"In Stockholm on almost any weekend," Butler said, "you can play in a dozen tournaments, with probably 500 participants each.

"It's really tough in this country to get it done. If you beat the best player in this country, it doesn't mean you'll do well internationally."

In the last world championships, the U.S. men finished 19th, the U.S. women 10th. Butler's 18-year-old son, Jim, went to the second round, but no other American advanced as far.

It would seem probable that as the difference increases between Kristey Reed's height and that of the table she plays on - an increment now measuring 23 inches - the pressure will grow with her.

One hopes it won't diminish the obvious fun this girl has playing her game so well.


A new generation of athletes will start the long road toward the 1992 Summer Olympics tomorrow, when women's gymnastics begins its three-day Festival run at Myriad Arena.

Gone are the girls who used to be the most prominent in the sport: Kristey Phillips, Phoebe Mills, Shelly Stack, Brandy Johnson, each sprung from Bela Karolyi's gym in Houston.

But Bela's wife, Marta, who trains girls on the balance beam, assessed some of the talent yesterday. "Kim Zmesskal reminds me of Mary Lou (Retton)," she said. "She is very small (4-foot-3, 65 pounds) and very energetic."

Marta Karolyi also quietly suggested that 13-year-old Ericka Stokes (4-10, 80 pounds) and 14-year-old Amy Scheer (4-9, 72) might be the names to follow between now and '92.

In addition to Karolyi's girls, the gymnastics field will include Heidi Kay from Delran, N.J., and Jana Reardon from Bethlehem, Pa. Both train under Bill and Donna Strauss in Allentown, Pa.

No fewer than 26 Olympians are entered in the Festival track and field competition, which starts today at the University of Oklahoma track in Norman.

Those from the Delaware Valley include sprinter Dennis Mitchell (Sicklerville, N.J.) and ex-Villanovan John Marshall, who, like his wife, Debbie, will run the 800 meters.

Sixty-four ice hockey players from the Festival manifest of 80 have been drafted by clubs in the National Hockey League.

Only one among that number has been selected by the Flyers. He is Steve Scheifele, 21, a Boston College forward from Greenbelt, Md., who played for the 1988 U.S. Junior national team.

Scheifele, a righthanded shooter, was taken by the Flyers in the sixth round of the 1986 draft.

Battleground Is Civility Now A No-show For Eagles Games At Vet?

Source: Posted: December 17, 1989

Jim Gallagher has been an Eagles season-ticket-holder for 19 years, ever since he was 11. He sits in the 200 level at Veterans Stadium. You see that many games, you come to expect certain things. One of them is that most of the violence will occur on the field, not in the stands.

"If I had seats in the 600 or 700 level, I'd have given them up long ago," said Gallagher, who lives in Acton, N.J. "Most of the games are turning into drunken brawls. The players are better behaved on the field. People who aren't fighting seem to be there to watch it. It's like going to watch gladiators - thumbs up or thumbs down. I want to see football. I'd stay home and watch TV if I wanted to see the World Wrestling Federation."

Fans who were there and psychologists who study such behavior believe the snowbrawling at the Eagles-Cowboys game last Sunday resulted from a volatile confluence of alcohol, insufficient snow removal, inadequate security, the ''bounty" hype and a legacy of rambunctious behavior by Philadelphia fans.

This ugly episode was simply the latest in a disturbing pattern of abusive fan behavior at the Vet, spectators said. In short, the stadium has become an uncomfortable place to watch Eagles games. Many women and children no longer attend, fans said, and the family atmosphere has disappeared. It is not uncommon to see people urinating on ramps, throwing ice, glass and other projectiles, and fighting in the seats.

The coarseness raises the broader, unsettling issue of fans in the seats becoming more of an intrusive element at sporting events as they emulate the aggressive behavior of athletes on the field.

"Communications have made quite a bit of change with respect to sports," said Steven Rosenberg, a Center City sports psychologist who works with several of the Flyers. "People are fantasizing more. They're trying to get into the game, into the heat of the action. They have dream weeks now, where you can be a pro player for a week. You fantasize about being an athlete. You start to feel the adrenalin pumping. There has to be an outlet. It's almost like getting into the game. People throw toilet paper or snowballs. They shout at the refs."

When Len Ostroff of Medford, N.J., and his wife arrived at the Vet last Sunday, they parked on a snow-covered lot, tramped down an unplowed sidewalk and gingerly navigated a slushy ramp to the stadium gates. At the entrances, Ostroff and other fans complained, few gates were open, and thousands of spectators were forced to wait in long, wet, inconvenient lines. Fans said only one turnstile was open to the 100-300 levels and that only one turnstile was open to the 400-700 levels at Gates A and B. The pushing and shoving led to panic and anger, they said.

"The stadium contributed to making people more irritated," said Ostroff, a season-ticket-holder for 15 years.

Ken Shuttleworth of Delran, N.J., arrived at the stadium gates 20 minutes before game time with his son. He got to his seat just before the 1 p.m. kickoff. The 200 or 300 fans behind him in line weren't so lucky. When Shuttleworth was standing in line, he figured something might be in the air. Something like snowballs.

"A guy behind me - he had to be 24 or 25 - was giving another guy a rundown on the legendary examples of bad behavior by Eagles fans," Shuttleworth said. "He told him about the snowballing of Santa Claus. He was obviously relating the story with pride."

It was almost as if the fans had an Animal House reputation to live up to.

"It was like they were coming into the Delta frat house," Shuttleworth said. "The spirit of John Belushi lives."

When Suzanne Fisher of Merion Station got to her seat in the 200 level, she was, as usual, one of only two women in her row. She said there used to be couples all around her and her husband and plenty of families tailgating in the parking lot. No more.

"I never see any women five rows above and below me on a regular basis," Fisher said. "Some guys bring their girlfriends. As far as families, mothers - you never see anyone like me. People go as long as they can until, finally, they've been defeated and they stop.

"It's mostly young guys now," Fisher said. "You get enough 25-year-old boys together, you're going to run into trouble if they're not supervised.

"The security people's hands are tied unless they see something personally. People are afraid to say anything. Maybe, if the security force was better disciplined, it would help. They are women, people who look like your grandmother. And older men. They are more like targets than security people."

An Eagles-Dallas game is always emotional. This one was fuel-injected by charges from the Cowboys that the Eagles had put bounties on kicker Luis Zendejas and quarterback Troy Aikman for the teams' Thanksgiving Day game. The Eagles had responded by calling the Cowboys crybabies. The NFL let the controversy simmer for two weeks before deciding the charges were unprovable. By then, the fans had been stoked white-hot by the possibility of brutish revenge and painful retaliation in the rematch.

"The NFL let this thing brew as long as it could," said Gallagher, the longtime season-ticket-holder. "Buddy (coach Buddy Ryan) used it to fire up his team. The fans wanted to see people hurt. People were there expecting blood. When they couldn't get enough on the field, they transferred it to the stands."

The nearest available weapon was unremoved snow.

"That was like leaving loaded guns," said Ostroff, whose tickets are in the 300 level. "The minute young fellows see snow, they're going to make snowballs. They don't have to be drunk. Kids will be kids."

So the snowballs rained down. Some were ice-packed. Some, according to police, were stuffed with batteries. A referee was decked. The announcers in the CBS-TV booth had to duck for cover.

"Look at the style of play of the Eagles and the way Ryan has shaped and molded that team - swaggering, cocky, taunting," said Joel Fish, director of the Center for Sports Psychology in Center City. "I think that very much influences fan behavior."

With cable television and all-sports channels, fans have more access than ever to sports. They can watch sports 24 hours a day. They are closer to the players, closer to the game. Sometimes, they can begin to feel almost like part of the team.

While fans have become closer to players, though, the relationship has become ambivalent, Fish said. On one hand, fans idolize athletes. On the other hand, they are repulsed by drug scandals and resentful of skyrocketing salaries. Loyalties become skewed. The Cowboys weren't the only targets of snowballs last Sunday. The Eagles drew incoming missiles as well. Even the Eagles' cheerleaders had to make a run for it.

"If there are mixed feelings toward athletes, fans are more likely to boo or treat them in a more aggressive way," Fish said. "Even toward the home team, there can be a lot of ambivalence. Look at the way Mike Schmidt was booed."

Alcohol, of course, can turn a brush fire into a towering inferno. The Eagles, as part of the NFL, are sending out undeniably mixed signals about drinking. On one hand, the entire NFL is afloat on beer sales. Each week, the best players are voted "Miller Lite Player of the Game." Budweiser frames the screen with its logo as it sponsors kickoffs on TV. Breweries pay big money to advertise on sports programming on the networks, which pay big money in rights fees to the teams, which pay big money in salaries to the players. On the other hand, the Eagles now have decided to ban beer sales at the Vet.

"The hypocrisy is so blatant," Fish said. "That's going to have to be addressed in the '90s. We can't have drug and alcohol problems in this country and wild scenes at the Vet and continue to have beer companies sponsor the overwhelming majority of sporting events. I think the owners are trying not to take responsibility for what they contribute to the problem."

"You have the 'Bud Bowl,' where famous athletes are competing for a case of beer. The premise is that the players will do anything they have to do in order to get that case of beer. By the time of the Super Bowl, I'll probably have seen that commercial 50 times. What is that communicating to anyone watching?"

Jim Gallagher doesn't have to be told what it communicates. Eight years ago, he had a broken leg, so he switched seats with a guy on the aisle. The guy who moved into his seat was hit by a piece of glass. He needed eight stitches in the eye.

"I glance over my shoulder every few minutes - you don't know what's coming down behind you," Gallagher said. "Every year, it gets a little worse. I blame the Eagles' management and the stadium management. The place is run shabbily, and the people treat it shabbily."

The next Eagles home game is the day before Christmas. While many will be in the Christmas spirit, Gallagher predicts that there will be more than a few Scrooges. People upset that those in the skyboxes can continue to drink beer. People defiantly opposing the beer ban in the rest of the stadium.

"The message is 'If you're rich, you can drink,' " Gallagher said. ''People are going to take vengeance, just to prove a point: 'You can't stop us, so you might as well start serving beer again.' It's going to be a nightmare."

The Right Stuff Roman Guard's Friends, Skills Equally Impressive

Source: Posted: January 15, 1990

Mike McKee sits at the right hand of power up to 10 times a week.

McKee, a 5-11 senior point guard, is driven back and forth to Roman Catholic almost every school day by none other than the mayor.

OK, so it's not Wilson Goode. That's because McKee resides in Delran, N.J., where the community's mayor is '63 Roman grad Rich Knight.

"He lives right around the corner and works for AT & T out on City Line Avenue," McKee said. "The first couple weeks (last school year), I was going with different people, sometimes taking the bus; it wasn't working out too well.

"Mr. Knight said he'd take me every day. It's out of his way, but he doesn't even charge. Just give him a cup of coffee and he's happy. To show our appreciation, we try to make sure we give him a real nice Christmas present each year. That's the kind of guy he is - he loves helping people."

The same could be said for Mike McKee, judging by how he performs on a basketball court.

Yesterday, McKee found it necessary to attempt just five field goals as Roman spanked host St. John Neumann, 90-74, in a Catholic South showdown played in front of a lively, full-house crowd.

But if you're dishing out 10 assists, doing 95 percent of the ballhandling, continually making sure that your team gets into its offense, going 7-for-9 at the line (he had 12 points total) and committing just four turnovers . . .

"Mike is so unselfish, we're constantly screaming at him to shoot," coach Dennis Seddon said. "He's probably the best three-point shooter on our team (14-for-30). He just doesn't take enough. But further down the line - for us to be successful, for Mike to prepare himself for college ball - he's going to have to take more shots.

"Mike is the traditional Catholic League point guard. He distributes the ball to the people who should get it, at the time they should get it."

Two years ago, the traditional Catholic League point guard was starting for Delran High. McKee fed, among others, his brother, Pat, and Penn State quarterback Tony Sacca as Delran won the South Jersey Group 2 championship (next-to-smallest schools, by enrollment), then lost in the state final.

In March 1988, Mike's father, Pat, a '61 Roman grad, suggested that Mike could better his situation, and increase his exposure, by perhaps transferring to a higher-profile school. Mike went to the Palestra to watch Roman play Monsignor Bonner in the South title game. Though Roman lost, McKee was impressed.

"Then I went to Roman to see the CYO tournament," Mike said. "Then I spent a day going to classes, checking things out. I liked everything - the kids, the teachers, the basketball players. You could see that Roman had so much tradition. You could feel it. It's been everything I thought it would be. I'm so proud to be graduating in the school's 100th year."

He will graduate impressively, too. McKee, who eyes a career in coaching or communications, ranks second in his class academically and, thanks to his performance in advanced-placement classes, carries a 4.0 grade-point average. He has scored 1,050 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test.

McKee has applied to Princeton, where his brother has played lightweight football and junior varsity basketball, and is being pursued by several Division II schools in New England - Merrimac, St. Michael's and St. Anselm's.

Yesterday, McKee thoroughly enjoyed himself passing to the likes of 6-5 Bernard Jones, 6-4 leaper Mike Watson and guard Marvin Harrison; all are juniors.

Jones, who's becoming a master at post-ups, shot 11-for-18 and 5-for-5 for 27 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Watson, who has exquisite timing and is ultraquick off his feet, shot 8-for-13 and 1-for-2 for 17 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. Harrison, who next year will be a Division I recruit in both basketball and football, shot 10-for-19 for 20 points and added five assists and five steals.

Neumann received scoring from Juwan Campbell (20), Aaron Abbott (17) and Damon Reid (14), but was outrebounded, 36-19, and played woeful interior defense. For the most part, McKee was able to make entry passes at will.

"Ten assists? That's my high for Roman," he said. "One time I had 16 at Delran. I think that was very charitable, though.

"Mike and Bernard, they were horses inside. Marvin, he was just Marvin (running and working). The bench was really into the game and our crowd support was nice. Our coaches did a great job, too. They have the toughest job in the city. They don't get enough credit. It seems like it's easy to win with all the talent. But it's not. It takes work."

During his years in South Jersey, Pat McKee Sr. had maintained only slight contact with Roman. He followed the sports program through the newspapers, but attended no games.

"When my father mentioned Roman, you know what I remembered?" said Mike, who is averaging 8.2 points and 6.2 assists this season. "That time they played on TV when Speedy Morris was coaching and Lonnie McFarlan was playing (in 1980, final city title game, against Overbrook). I can remember that, even though I was young (second grade). Since I've been here, my dad has gotten a lot more involved with the alumni. He's really into it.

"With the kind of team we have, and the places we travel, it's hard not to want to be at Roman. Of course, we have open enrollment now. A teacher, Joe Randzo, has gone out a couple times this year to South Jersey grade schools to speak to students. Dennis Bohn (freshman basketball player; he's also from Delran and the son of Denny Bohn, a star for North Catholic's 1967 Catholic League champs) and I have gone with him to answer questions."

So far, no one has asked: What do you think about Delran politics?

"Mr. Knight must be good," McKee said. "One time my brother and I told him that some rims had been ripped down (at a playground) and he got them fixed right away."

He added, "And this was before I went to Roman."

20-year-old Has Career Plans In Perfect Focus

Source: Posted: January 28, 1990

At age 20, Victoria A. Lim of Delran is on the way to achieving her dream - becoming a television news anchor.

The journalism bug bit Lim at age 13, and since then she has pursued the career relentlessly, compiling an impressive resume.

Although still a junior and a full-time student at Temple University, she works as a production assistant at Philadelphia's KYW-TV (Channel 3), holds one of the anchor roles on Temple Update, a half-hour news magazine show produced weekly by students enrolled in the Radio-TV-Film curriculum at the school, and works as assistant news director for the school radio station, WRTI-FM.

Lim, the daughter of Edward and Laurelee Lim, is way ahead of her peers.

At KYW-TV, she works 3:30 to 11:30 four days a week (five during school breaks) answering phones, digging up file tapes, helping on the assignment desk, assisting the newscast producer and typing "chryons" - that's the text you see superimposed on the screen to identify who's who in the video. "I am the youngest employee and the only one still in school and working part- time," she said.

This workload doesn't seem to slow her down much. She made the dean's list at school, plays soccer and lacrosse and intends to resume the piano lessons she took for about 15 years.

And this is how it all started.

"When I was in the seventh grade, the teacher needed someone to do a small article on the student of the month for the Delran middle school newspaper, so I said I'll do it," Lim recalled. "I interviewed the kid, wrote a little story and I liked doing it. I started doing more stories. Then I went to high school and did same thing and became editor of the high school paper."

In her senior year at Delran High School, she reported, anchored, edited and produced - for no pay - a segment for Storer Cable called Focus, interviewing leaders or outstanding people in Burlington County. Later, for five months, she covered high school sports as a free-lancer for the Burlington County Times.

A year and a half ago, she heard that KYW-TV needed vacation relief help and she sent in her resume. The station gave her a full-time job during the summer as a secretary in the personnel department.

"I did lots of little things," she said. "When People Are Talking was on the air, I was audience coordinator and production assistant for them. I also helped out the program department for a couple of specials. I was vacation relief help for various departments, I ran errands. Then last January, I got a call from the news department asking if I wanted to work for them."

She knows she's got a rough road ahead, and the competition is cutthroat. ''It's very hard to get up there because so many people want to do what you want to do," she said. "If you've got a job, there's always somebody who will do it for less and work more hours. You have to pay your dues.

"We have some people in my position who are 27 years old and married. I've been told by a lot of professionals in the business that I'm very, very far ahead.

"After I graduate, I plan to go to a smaller-market television station where I can not only report but can write and use the camera and edit - learn how to do everything. And work my way up to a bigger market, and a bigger market." Then, laughing at her own boldness, she adds, "I would love to reach network by age 30."


Back when Mary Ann Kalb's life came to a fork in the road, the decision was easy.

It had been a question of selling houses or selling stocks.

She chose real estate.

"I think I was intrigued by the (real estate) field," said the Medford resident. "When it came to a choice of being a stockbroker or going into real estate, I hated to take the responsibility for somebody else's money in stocks."

That was 19 years ago, and in nearly two decades Kalb has sold a lot of houses. These days, she serves strictly as office manager for her employer.

"I've done very well," she said. "I got in the field at the right time. And I enjoyed it in the years when I did sell. I was in the million-dollar club many years. I have helped some families move four or five times, sold the same house four or five times.

"One of the rewards of a real estate career is the way you truly get involved in people's lives. You can't help them unless you get to know them. That's part of the field that's rewarding for most people who succeed in it. And in the years of real estate appreciation, it was fun to share their happiness over that."

She tends to throw herself into activities, and on Jan. 1 she plunged into a new one, beginning a one-year term as president of the Burlington County Board of Realtors.

"I think I'm a workaholic," she said. "When my children were young, I was president of the League of Women Voters and that was very time-consuming. I have done many civic things and I figured if I was going to work that hard I might as well get paid for it.

"When my children were grown, I went back and got my degree," she said. Then, after selling mutual funds for a while, she hooked up with the Hoopes- Alloway real estate firm, which begat Hoopes Better Homes and Gardens, which begat B. Gary Scott Realtors, whose Medford office she manages.

She and her husband, George, a former computer expert, have lived on Lenape Trail for 25 years. They have a married daughter, Merrill Watous in Eugene, Ore., and a 14-year old granddaughter.

To look at Joyce E. Bruch, now 67, you wouldn't think of Rosie the Riveter, as in the World War II popular song.

But that's what she was, briefly, while working on the production line for Avenger bombers at Eastern Aircraft in Trenton in 1943.

"I was not too long out of high school," said Bruch, a resident of Chesterfield for more than 50 years. Working in a defense plant "was the thing to do in those days," she remembered. Although she did a little welding, her main job was fitting fairings (a kind of collar) around the turret gun on the bombers. Most of the men were off in the service, she said, ''so the women supported the work."

She got married in '43, worked a couple of years more, quit to begin a family but then went back to work as a clerk for the military. It was the beginning of a 34-year career as a federal employee, and since her retirement in 1985 she has become active in the National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE).

She was elected president of the Trenton-Delaware Valley Chapter 127 of NARFE in 1989 and re-elected for 1990 and has been named chairwoman of the 29th annual state convention of the New Jersey Federation of NARFE Chapters scheduled for May 21-23 in Ocean City.

Early in her career, she became a consolidated property officer at Fort Dix, then a supply officer at the Satellite Communications Station in Lakehurst, and, moving up all the time, commissary officer at Fort Dix. She also simultaneously ran the commissaries at Fort Hamilton and Fort Wadsworth in New York state. It was comparable, she said, to "running a supermarket."

In 1975, she was named outstanding civilian employee of the year at Fort Dix, and in 1981, she transferred to Hawaii, where she ran an Army commissary for 4 1/2 years before her retirement.

John Chiesa, an osteopath, says he "must be doing something right."

For the second time, Chiesa has been chosen for an Excellence in Teaching award by the Foundation of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Chiesa, 43, a Medford resident, was one of 10 professors selected by students and colleagues for this honor in 1982-83. He received a commemorative scroll and a $1,000 stipend to enhance his teaching efforts. To be selected again this year "came as a complete surprise," Chiesa said.

"I was notified by the dean, and there was a ceremony in Piscataway," he said. "I can use the money to purchase educational materials - books, slides, any resource that I can use in my teaching."

Section head of the gastroenterology unit at the Stratford Division of Kennedy Memorial Hospitals, Chiesa is assistant professor, Department of Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-School of Osteopathic Medicine. He has been teaching at the Stratford-based school since January 1980.

"I see patients and I do clinical work," Chiesa explained, "but I'm also a full-time teacher. I chose academics because I enjoy the stimulation. I like the idea of seeing young students come in here and in five to seven years make the change from neophyte to trained physician."

Chiesa and his wife, Lana, are the parents of two sons - Kris, 14, a student at Bishop Eustace High School, and Drew, 11, a student at Taunton Forge School.

Chiesa's goal is to become a full professor - and yes, he'd like to "go for the hat trick" and repeat his award.

When Karen McGann needed help with eighth-grade mathematics, she found it at Microcampus, a Moorestown tutoring center. She called on Microcampus again when high school geometry threatened to swamp her. Now a 17-year-old senior at Moorestown High School with most of her math problems behind her, McGann is passing on the kind of help she once received.

And recently, the Education Department at Microcampus commended the teenager for her outstanding efforts at the facility as a volunteer tutor working with Down's syndrome children and adults.

"The program is eight weeks long, and we work mostly with computers," McGann said. "Last fall, I worked with a little boy, Mark, on math, spelling and reading. This fall, my student was Franny, a 23-year-old woman. She would write stories and I would help her with spelling."

Franny, she said, did most of the work: "The ideas were hers, and the computer generated the illustrations."

McGann said that during the tutoring process, she usually learns as much from her pupils as they do from her.

The daughter of Francis McGann Jr., a shopowner, and Lois McGann, a homemaker, McGann has two older sisters already attending college and a younger brother.

Vermes Is Realizing His Father's Dream

Source: Posted: May 27, 1990

In November 1956, Michael Vermes, father of U.S. soccer star Peter Vermes, decided that his immediate absence was required from Hungary. Soviet tanks rolling through the streets may have had something to do with it.

The elder Vermes gathered his wife, an aunt and an uncle, and made a run for it. Actually, he made five runs for it. Four times, he was caught and turned back. One time, he was stopped 10 yards from the border. Another time, border guards used him for target practice and shot him through the leg. At that point, two things were out of the question. One was a doctor's appointment. Two was turning back. So Vermes fashioned his own bandage and kept going.

Eventually, his group was stopped again, and he and the others were herded into a boxcar for shipment back to Budapest. That's what the soldiers said, but Michael Vermes knew what could happen with refugee freight. It could be lost and never found. He and his wife escaped from the boxcar, and this time they made it to the Austrian border. He figures they walked 35 miles in all. Part of this little nature hike was through minefields.

"We didn't have enough sense or time to be scared," he said.

On Christmas Eve '56, Michael and Magdalena Vermes, separated from his aunt and uncle, landed in the United States at an Army camp in North Jersey. Some Christmas present. He was happy to be in America and he wasn't. His wife was pregnant, and at least she and the baby would be safe. But there's nothing like having your career interrupted by a procession of Soviet tanks. Vermes had been a professional soccer player in Hungary. Eight of his club teammates were starters on the 1954 Hungarian national team, which finished second at the World Cup. It is considered by many the greatest soccer team ever. In America, football was a popular, brutish game played by men who appeared as if they had been inflated for the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Soccer was nothing.

In the States, Vermes kicked around with a few club teams until the mid-' 60s, but his impact was in coaching soccer, not playing. He coached the sport for 24 years in South Jersey, teaching it to his three sons and opening a soccer complex off Route 73 in Winslow Township. Eventually, the family settled in Delran and his youngest son, Peter, became a star, first at Delran High, then for Rutgers and the 1988 Olympic team.

In 1988-89, Peter Vermes became the first American to play on a first- division Hungarian team. This season, he became the first American to play on a first-division club in the Netherlands. Now, Vermes is a forward and the best player on a U.S. team that will soon make its first appearance in the World Cup in 40 years.

"Some people are born with a basketball; he was born with a soccer ball," Michael Vermes said of his son.

The U.S. team will make its World Cup debut June 10 in Florence, Italy, against Czechoslovakia, then play Italy in Rome on June 14 and Austria in Florence on June 19. Several months ago, the United States was considered a mere novelty, soccer's version of the Jamaican bobsled team. Now the Americans think they have a chance to advance to the second round. A slight chance, but a chance. Some people hear that and say, right, just as soon as they sign up Michael Jordan and legalize the dunk. Peter Vermes says, hey, anything can happen. Both Mike Tyson and the Berlin Wall fell, didn't they?

"Guys are starting to think we do have an opportunity for second-round qualification," Vermes said. "Before, we were hoping to get a little respect, hoping not to get blown out. The way I look at it, nobody knows anything about the U.S. team. I think some teams may take us a little easier. Or they'll get too worried about losing to the team they can least afford to lose to. That first game against Czechoslovakia, it's the first game for them and us. Both teams are gonna be tentative. Who knows what's gonna happen?"

Vermes is 23 now. Already, he has been playing soccer for 20 years. Some kids have basketball goals in the yard. Peter Vermes had two soccer goals. Later, he tried one year of baseball, but like doctors, athletes tend to specialize these days. If he would excel at anything, Vermes decided, it would be soccer. On his way to school, he played soccer at the bus stop. When he went to a friend's house, he didn't just walk over. He dribbled a soccer ball over.

"I'm serious when I say everywhere I went, I had a soccer ball with me," Vermes said.

Professionally, though, soccer is a dead-end street in the United States. Getting a reputation is tough. You always leave home without it. When Vermes showed up in Holland this past season, the newspapers greeted him with headlines that translated, roughly, "Americans? We don't need no stinking Americans!"

"A few of the guys had quotes saying, 'Why did the coach and manager buy this player to play here? How's he gonna help us?' " Vermes said. "After the first scrimmage, six guys were saying, 'This is the guy we've been needing for years.' "

Vermes played for the club team in Volendam, a fishing village 20 minutes north of Amsterdam. After a few games, he was as popular as a mug of Heineken. He lived on a dike, and on Saturday nights, the Volendam fans would walk past after last call and begin clapping and chanting his name in their sudsy revelry. Or they would ring the doorbell at 2 a.m. and ask for an autograph. At the games, they would fly an American flag with "Peter Vermes" written in the field of stars.

Of course, soccer fans can sometimes make you feel as if you were at the average Eagles-Cowboys game, too. Dutch fans have been known to lob coins, rocks, tar-covered bricks, cherry bombs and assorted bottle rockets at each other, and at the players. That is precisely why the Dutch, along with the English, will be sequestered on the island of Sardinia for the first round of this year's World Cup.

On a visit last fall, Vermes' fiancee, Susan Starr, was conked on the head by an unidentified flying object.

"I think it was a penny," Vermes said. "They're always throwing something. Usually, they don't throw at players, but when they do, they shoot fireworks onto the field. You're standing there and something lands next to you and blows up and you're like, 'What happened?' You can't believe it. It's sort of crazy sometimes. It's something you're not used to, playing in America."

Obviously, Vermes hasn't paid too many visits to Veterans Stadium lately during football season.

Forgive him. To him, football means kicking a round ball, not a spheroid.

"Some kids dream of playing in the World Series," Vermes said. "I dreamed of playing in the Olympics and the World Cup."

A father's interrupted dream can now be realized by his son.

Talented Sons The 1980 Phillies Produced Some Fine Offspring

Source: Posted: August 04, 1990

The bases were loaded with Royals and the Phillies were leading, 4-1, in the top of the ninth inning when Frank White sailed a foul pop toward the first-base dugout. Bob Boone, the catcher, threw off his mask in pursuit. Pete Rose, the first baseman, darted in as backup. Boone squeezed, but the ball popped off the tip of his mitt. The fate of the 1980 Phillies hung in the balance . . . when Rose snatched the ball from the night air for the second out. Tug McGraw struck out Willie Wilson. The Phils had won the World Series.

Bret Boone and Pete Rose Jr. were standing by the visiting team dugout at Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick, Md., last week, waving bats and talking about old times.

"Oh, I remember the play," Boone said. "It's almost like Petey and I have been bonded by it."

It was an hour before their single-A Carolina League game was to begin, and Boone, who plays second base for the Peninsula (Va.) Pilots, and Rose, a third baseman for the Frederick Keys, were reliving some shared memories.

"Petey and I used to run around the clubhouse together, take turns being batboy, shag balls," Boone said. "And then things happen and you go your separate ways. We hadn't seen each other in about six years before we ran into each other in the same minor league. Funny how things work out sometimes, isn't it?"

The 1980 Phillies are gathering this weekend to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the team's first-ever World Series championship. Their legacy, however, is more than a championship trophy.

Three sons of men who wore the red and white pin stripes in 1980 are currently chasing the dream of making it to the big leagues - with one in waiting. Boone, the son of Bob Boone, is a highly regarded prospect in the Seattle Mariners' system at Peninsula. Rose, the son of Pete Rose, is making progress for the Baltimore Orioles' club in Frederick. Ruben Amaro Jr., son of then-first base coach Ruben Amaro, is with the California Angels' triple-A team in Edmonton, Alberta. The player in waiting is Ryan Luzinski, the son of former leftfielder Greg Luzinski, an 11th-grader who has already caught the attention of pro scouts.

Sons of major-leaguers are scattered throughout minor-league baseball. A few, such as Ken Griffey Jr., brothers Roberto Alomar and Sandy Alomar Jr., and Barry Bonds, have even made a splash in the big leagues. But perhaps no team in the major leagues has spawned as many future pros as the 1980 Phillies.


When Bret Boone was 6 months old, he was walking. When he was 10 months old, he hit a Wiffle Ball over his parents' roof.

"That's when I knew I had something special," said Bob Boone.

According to former Phillie Richie Hebner, Boone's son routinely amazed the big-league players with his exploits.

"The kid had to be 8 years old, and he's out there shagging flies, catching balls behind his back," Hebner recalled. "His coordination was something else. I don't think any of the players who were around back then would be surprised that Bret is now in professional baseball."

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Boone was drafted in the fifth round in June after a three-year career at the University of Southern California, where he was the school's all-time RBI leader, ahead of notable former Trojans Mark McGwire, Fred Lynn and Dave Kingman. He is currently struggling at .244, but he made the Carolina League's first-half all-star team and remains one of Peninsula's brightest stars.

"Bret's ability in the field is right up there with anybody in the big leagues," said Jim Nettles, the Peninsula manager. "Offensively, we're trying to get him to cut down on his swing. He's hit a lot of home runs in college, and he thinks he's a home run hitter. He has to learn that making contact will be good enough for him because he has natural pop in his bat."

Boone, 21, learned the game on the fields of Medford, N.J., before moving to Orange County when the Phils sold his dad to the Angels after the 1981 season. He says he's still adjusting to the pros.

"The pitching's tougher," said Boone, a righthanded hitter, whose grandfather, Ray Boone, was also a major-leaguer. "I went into an 0-for-23 slump this year, and that had never happened to me. The biggest difference, though, is that people aren't around to do things for you like they were in college. You're on your own out here."

Physically, Boone resembles his mother, Sue, more than he does Bob - he is shorter than his dad and has blond hair.

"People say that I'm less serious than my dad, but we relate well, we talk baseball all the time," he said. "I've always wanted a separate identity, though - I don't want to be judged as Bob Boone's kid. The one thing I remember him telling me, though, is have fun and don't let baseball run your life.

"I still don't know everything about the game. But I feel in my heart that I have what it takes to be a major-league player, and it's just a matter of refining my skills. I've never even thought about not making it."

Pete Rose Jr. has a strip of white athletic tape stretched across his locker with the words "To the Top for Pop" written on it in black Magic Marker. It has been up since Rose returned from a seven-day visit with his father in Cincinnati, following his dad's sentencing for tax evasion.

"We talked every day, and his message to me basically was two words: big leagues," said Rose. "My goal is to do this for him."

He won't talk much about his father's five-month prison sentence, only to answer with a question: "Suppose it was your father who was going to prison, how would you feel?"

It's tough enough pursuing a career in baseball being Pete Rose's kid, without having to deal with all that Rose has faced. In his two years in the minors, he has had to deal with heckling and questions about his father's gambling, and now his prison sentence, all while learning to hit the curve ball. But he says he's not feeling sorry for himself.

"I'd like to think I've come out of it OK," said Rose, 20. "I try to block out most of the heckling. But if you love your dad and you're human, it has to bother you.

"I've been dealing with being Pete Rose's son since Little League. Until I get my 4,257th hit, people are going to come to see Pete Rose play, not Pete Rose Jr. But that's toughened me up, I think, made me work harder."

Though he is about three inches taller than his father, at 6-1, 180 pounds, Rose bears a startling resemblance to the young man pictured on Pete Rose's rookie card - complete with trademark crew cut. Rose, a lefthanded swinger, doesn't run to first base on a walk. He does look each pitch into the catcher's glove, much as his dad used to. Whether he is as good a prospect, though, remains to be seen.

A slick fielder, Rose hasn't hit much in the minors. He is hitting .246 with just one home run in 77 games with Frederick. Last year with Erie, then the Orioles' single-A team, he hit .276.

"He's a little slower afoot than his dad," said former major-leaguer Wally Moon, the Keys' skipper. "Hopefully, he can pick up some power in the next couple of years to make up for that."

Rose's fondest memories of the 1980 Phillies center on his father's relationship with Mike Schmidt.

"I remember my dad calling Schmitty 'Herbie Lee' and Schmitty calling my dad 'Chuck,' as in Charlie Hustle," said Rose. "Schmitty really opened up around my dad, and I think that helped him be the great player that he was that year. Boy, that was really a fun year."

If Ryan Luzinski were a senior in high school, some professional baseball scouts say, the 6-1, 220-pound son of Greg "The Bull" Luzinski would have been a No. 1 draft pick this past June.

Major-league teams will have to wait at least two years, however, since Luzinski is just going into his junior year at Holy Cross High in Delran.

Luzinski hit .428 with two home runs and 25 RBIs as a starting sophomore catcher. In his first appearance in a varsity uniform, he was named the most valuable player in a 10-team preseason tournament Holy Cross competed in in southern Florida. Currently, he is playing with the Medford American Legion team, which has advanced to the final eight in the state playoffs.

Luzinski was just 6 when the Phils won the Series, but he says he remembers it.

"My mom and I were sitting in the right-field stands, and right before the final out she said, 'Let's get in the clubhouse,' Luzinski said. "I remember the champagne shooting all over the place and clowning around with Petey. It was a great night."

One of the reasons Greg Luzinski retired at the relatively young age of 34, he said, was to spend more time with his family. Today, he is the head coach of the baseball and football teams at Holy Cross. His son is glad.

"For the most part, I learned to play the game from other people because he wasn't there," said Ryan Luzinski. "His first year out of baseball, he watched me swing and told me I was terrible. In a way, I appreciated that because it told me I had a lot to learn and that he was willing to teach me. The one thing he told me that has stuck is not to be intimidated by anyone. Because if you think you can't do it, you won't."

When the Amaro boys were hanging around the Phils' clubhouse in 1980, the major-league prospect was supposed to be David, a hard-hitting first baseman at Penn Charter High. A debilitating wrist injury finished David's professional career in single-A ball, however, and his younger brother has since emerged.

Ruben Amaro Jr., a 5-10, 170-pound outfielder who played on Stanford's 1987 national championship team, is currently hitting .271 for the Edmonton Trappers of the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He is a leadoff hitter who gets on base (he had 105 walks in 115 games for single-A Palm Springs in 1988) and can steal.

"Hopefully, I've reached the stage of prospect instead of suspect," said Amaro, 25. "Things are going pretty well. I'm so close to making it, I think I'll stick around for a while longer. There was a time when I didn't ever think I'd get this close."

Amaro wasn't even sure he would seek a career in professional baseball until the Phillies went to the World Series in 1980. He was 15 years old then, a part-time batboy who said he got turned on to the game by studying the professional habits of players like Schmidt and Manny Trillo.

"I just learned so much about the game that year," Amaro said. "I was just in awe of the way those guys handled themselves as professionals. And I made the decision that year that I was going to make myself into a baseball player.

"In a way it's strange that there are three of us (in the minor leagues) right now. But if you were around the game as much as we were - and fortunately the team officials allowed us to be around - you couldn't help but pick up a few things about the game. There has to be a correlation between the excellence that came out of that team that year and the young kids who hung around."

An Award For The Man Behind Another Award

Source: Posted: July 07, 1991

Last year, a former student at Hahnemann University was honored as the Philadelphia institution's alumnus of the year.

This year, the Graduate Student Society got around to honoring the man who helped that student get his Ph.D. - John J. Ch'ih of Cinnaminson, a professor of biochemistry.

Ch'ih, who was born in China, received the society's outstanding faculty award. He was, it said, "a complete teacher."

Such lofty academic distinction was beyond the aspirations of 15-year-old Ch'ih 42 years ago, however, when he and his parents fled to Taiwan in the exodus with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. "That was very traumatic," he said.

Ch'ih came to the United States in 1956 to study at Southern Illinois University, and, because his father was a physician, Ch'ih majored in chemistry; it was reasonably close to medicine, and he could not afford medical school.

"I never thought I would have a bachelor's degree," he said. He certainly never envisioned being a professor "because my goal initially wasn't very high."

But he earned bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry and got a job as a clinical chemist at Saint Mary Hospital in Philadelphia. After two years, he said, "I felt I needed further education and went to Jefferson Medical College and in 1968 got a Ph.D. in biochemistry."

That was his entree as a teacher. In 1969, he signed on as a senior instructor at Hahnemann. "And if I may say," he said, "now I'm a professor and on top of the ladder."

"I really look after my students' career goals," he said. Ch'ih teaches medical students and graduate students and sometimes undergraduate students. ''One year, I even taught Chinese cooking at evening adult-education classes," he said.

"I'm getting old, but my students are not," he said. "They're the same age every year, 21, 22. Always on the go. They keep me learning all the time. You can't teach everything according to the textbook. I think the key is to keep your students . . . and yourself learning."

(By the way, the difference between chemistry and biochemistry, he said, is that biochemistry is closer to medicine because it usually deals with living matter.)

Ch'ih and his wife, Shirley, have one son, Michael, a graduate student in aerospace engineering at Princeton University.

Five years ago, Ch'ih returned to China for a month as a visiting professor at several medical schools.

"China has changed a lot," he said, but even so "the last few days I was there I was restless. From 1956-1991 is 36 years. This is my home away from home. I missed my home here."


His parents handed Paul B. Smith of Vincentown a camera when he was in the eighth grade.

It turned out to be a career decision.

Smith's interest in snapping photos escalated from there, and now he is a student at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, where he received one of four Presidential Scholarships for Photography in May, worth $5,000, for his final two quarters at the institution.

The scholarship is given for grade-point average, attendance and performance. Smith, 20, a 1989 graduate of Lenape Regional High School, has a grade-point average over 3.5.

But back to the eighth grade.

"I started playing around with (the camera)," he said. "I took a course on photography in high school, and, at that point, my family helped me set up a darkroom.

"The class taught me basics, but when I got my own darkroom, I shot ahead of everything the school was teaching me. From there, I just picked it up on my own. I started out with color photography, which is really the harder but which my uncle knew how to do; he showed me that. Then from reading and learning, I picked up black and white photography."

The course for the associate degree he seeks is eight quarters, he said, ''but it will take me 2 1/2 years because I take summers off," he said. ''If all goes well I'll graduate next spring."

Until then, he'll continue building his portfolio. "It gives an employer or client an idea of how good you are, what area you are interested in," he said.

Sports is what he's interested in.

"This quarter, I did a lot of studio stuff," he said. "Baseball players, gymnasts." He finds athletes cool. "They tend be very aware of what you are looking for. If you're shooting a baseball player, you wouldn't have to worry about him looking like a baseball player. They have certain intensities."

He's formulated no concrete postgraduate objectives.

"My career goal is to keep busting. When I graduate, I'm aspiring to work under somebody. I don't want to go in blind. I'd like to find big-time work with someone so I can take my education out there. I want to run, not crawl."

Nobody ever advised Deborah A. Cheeseman of Delran that attending college full time while working 40 hours a week was not, tactically speaking, a good idea.

So when she began falling behind, got discouraged and dropped her classes, she was convinced she wasn't cut out to be academic material.

Was she wrong.

Seventeen years later - in May to be exact - she was honored as the Lewis M. Parker outstanding leader of the year at Burlington County College, which she has been able to attend only part time the last five years because she works full time for Sheet Metal Workers Local 19.

No, this is not a takeoff on Flashdance, because Cheeseman, 35, does not wield welding tools. She used to fabricate ductwork in the shop and install it in the field, but now she's drafting plans and designing HVAC (heating, ventilating and air-conditioning) systems.

Her calling is not one in which you see many women, and it was under government pressure for unions to open up to minorities and women that she was accepted for a four-year apprenticeship, which she completed six months early.

She settled into the job comfortably enough, but every September found herself muttering, "I'm going to go back to school," even though back in 1974-75, "when I failed, I thought I was done, that I wasn't college material."

In 1986, she signed up at Burlington County College, and the school evaluated her as being college-ready except for algebra. "Math is now one of my strong subjects," she said. "It comes easy.

"I hadn't declared a major," she said. "I was just going to take courses. I didn't know what I could do." So it was one course, then two courses, then a couple of summer courses, and then she got involved in Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for community colleges, and her self- confidence and leadership abilities flowered.

She is president of the college's chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and was also regional president for the Middle States Region last year. She has been a student tutor and registration aide and works as a volunteer for the Family Companion program of Burlington County, which matches volunteers with families at risk. At the college awards banquet, she won an academic award for cooperative education and for academic excellence in honors courses, of which she has taken five.

She received an associate degree in liberal arts with highest honors when she graduated May 31. She had a grade-point average of 3.9.

In eight more years, she'll have earned a pension and health-care benefits with the union and plans to change careers - maybe social work or teaching.

"I feel very positive," she said. "I feel I can reach my goals."

Boone, Luzinski Have 2 Reasons To Be Proud

Source: Posted: July 17, 1991

LOS ANGELES — It was a family portrait guaranteed to make any Phillies fan feel old.

Greg Luzinski and Bob Boone were standing with their sons, Ryan and Aaron, at Dodger Stadium the other day, and it was the kids who were in uniform and the fathers who were wearing short pants.

When a photographer said, "OK, dads, face your sons. Now look 'em in the eye . . . ," you couldn't help noticing it was the fathers who were looking up and the sons who were looking down.

Hard to believe, Harry.

It seems like only yesterday that Ryan and Aaron were swatting Wiffle balls around the Veterans Stadium clubhouse while their fathers were busy winning the 1980 World Series.

Today, those pin-striped muppets are all grown up and taking part in the U.S. Olympic Festival, a breeding ground for amateur baseball talent, with 64 players on hand competing for 18 slots on the USA Junior Team.

Luzinski, a 6-1, 215-pound clone of his father, was the talk of Monday's workout. He was the only player to hit a ball over the leftfield fence in batting practice. It was a line drive that still was rising when it slammed into the bleachers, 390 feet away.

Greg was standing behind the cage at the time, fumbling with his home video camera. ("That's the way to swing the bat, Junior," he said dryly.)

A Luzinski goes deep at Dodger Stadium . . .

It was a blast from the past, and also a glimpse into the future.

Ryan Luzinski figures to be a first-round pick in next summer's baseball

draft. Most scouts agree the Baby Bull, a catcher, is ticketed for the major leagues.

"Ryan is probably ahead of where I was, abilitywise, at the same age," said the elder Luzinski, who coaches his 17-year-old son in baseball and football at Holy Cross High School in Delran, N.J.

"He's got real good mechanics and he knows how to play the game. Just from growing up in the big-league environment, he learned a lot. He's mature for his age. He's not awed by anything.

"I'm proud of him," Luzinski said. "What he's accomplished, he has accomplished on his own. He isn't here because of his name. I didn't hit for him, I didn't catch for him. He put in the time to become an outstanding player."

Bob Boone says the same thing about his youngest son. Aaron, a third baseman, is a lanky 6-3 and still growing. He will enroll at the University of Southern California in the fall. Older brother Bret (now a second baseman in the Seattle farm system) played at USC from 1987 through '89.

"I'm not surprised to see how far these kids have gone, they have a lot of ability," said Bob Boone whose own father, Ray, was an All-Star infielder with Cleveland in the 1950s.

"Our families lived in the same community (Medford, N.J.) when Greg and I were with the Phillies, so I got to see the kids play Little League ball. They dominated their peers. As they moved up - Babe Ruth, high school, American Legion - they continued to dominate.

"It was obvious they had the skill to go as far as they wanted to go," Boone said. "This is just another step on the ladder."

It is almost eerie, the resemblance between the fathers and sons. Ryan has the same thick torso and blond hair as Greg. Aaron has Bob's sloping shoulders and body language.

At the plate, Ryan is the image of his power-hitting father: hands cocked above his right shoulder, bat pointed straight in the air. His stroke is the same, too. Quick and explosive.

"Actually, I'm spread out a little more (than his father)," Ryan said. ''I have to shift my weight to generate the power. My father was so strong, he could do this (short stroke) and hit a ball 450 feet.

"I don't know if I'll ever have that kind of power. Right now, I'm more of a gap hitter."

"The farther along he goes (in baseball), the more power he'll show," the elder Luzinski said. "When he sees more quality fastballs, he'll hit more home runs. He doesn't see many fastballs at the high school level. Teams pitch around him.

"But he's got what it takes to be a good hitter. I've been watching these other (Festival) kids and most of them hit off their front foot. They don't shift their weight properly. Watch Ryan. He's been doing it for so long, it's automatic."

Ryan was delighted by his jaw-dropping blast into the leftfield pavilion at Dodger Stadium. His coaches and teammates were awed. (Said Ryan: "I was pumped up. I talked to it all the way, telling it to go, go, go.")

OK, so it was just batting practice, and granted, the Baby Bull was wielding an aluminum bat, but still . . .

The kid hit the ball almost 400 feet on a line.

It is easy to see why the major league scouts and college recruiters are so excited about him. Bob Boone, who has polished Ryan's defensive skills, projects him as the No. 1 catching prospect in the 1992 draft.

"As good as Ryan swings the bat, he is equally good behind the plate," said Boone, who caught more games than any man in major league history during his 19-year career with the Phillies, California Angels and Kansas City

Royals. He was active through last season.

"He has a very good arm, a quick release and excellent knowledge of the game. He has good power, although I'm not sure I'd compare him to his father. Greg's power was something really special."

Next year, Ryan will likely face the same decision his father faced in 1968: Should he sign a pro baseball contract or accept a college scholarship? There will be offers aplenty on the table.

Ryan, an All-South Jersey linebacker, is being recruited for football as well as baseball. Greg was in the same position when he was graduating from high school in Chicago. (Notre Dame wanted the elder Luzinski as a running back.)

Greg opted to sign with the Phillies, who made him their No. 1 pick. He signed for $60,000, a modest sum by today's standards, and played 15 seasons for the Phillies and White Sox, hitting 307 home runs.

Which path will the Baby Bull follow?

"If I'm drafted high and the money is right, I'll probably sign a (pro) contract," Ryan said. "That's always been my dream, to play in the major leagues. But if (the draft) doesn't work out, I still can go to school and take it from there.

"My father isn't pushing me one way or the other. He made his own decision and he wants me to make mine. I'm sure everything will work out. I'm not rushing it. That's still a long way off.

"People always ask if I feel pressure, being the son of a former major league star. I've lived with it for so long, I don't even think about it anymore. The bottom line is, if I produce, that's all that matters."

Over The Hill, On The Field For Seniors, A Bit Of Little League

Source: Posted: July 25, 1991

The catcher is a custodian. The second baseman is a school principal. The centerfielder is a carpenter. The first baseman is temporarily unemployed.

But they don't know that about one another. And they don't ask. They don't even know last names, most of them, or where their teammates live. They just come together on summer Sundays like boys on a sandlot, play hard and go home with scabs on their elbows and dirt on their knees.

They have two things in common. They are 50 or older - the oldest is 71 - and they are looking to recapture some of the good times of their youth, when they could run like Mantle and catch like Mays. Or so they thought.

With spring in their hearts, if not in their legs, they play weekly doubleheaders from April through July and make up the South Jersey Over-the- Hill Slow Pitch Softball League, more than 150 graying boys out to play. Most of them grew up without the grandeur of Little League, with string balls and rag bases, and their childhood memories include the Great Depression, ration lines and World War II.

This is the Little League they never had, with birth certificates required to prove ages, with an annual player draft, with 18-player rosters, an 18- player batting order and an everybody-must-play rule, with real umpires, with T-shirt-and-cap uniforms, which most players pay for themselves.

Although senior softball has been around for years in Clearwater, Fla., it began to mushroom four years ago in California, Michigan and Texas. Now there are senior players in every state, more than 50,000 players in all, and the Senior World Series will be held for the third year in September, in Palm Springs, Calif.

Bob Mitchell, 61, president and founder of Senior Softball USA, said senior softball is beginning to challenge Little League in numbers in some states.

The players in South Jersey also pay for the umpires and the insurance, and use hand-me-down bases (some from Little Leaguers), for this league operates on a shoestring, with games on recreation and school fields in Moorestown, Delran, Blackwood, Pennsauken and Voorhees.

Spectators are wives, children and grandchildren, who cheer them on one minute and howl at their ineptness the next (20 errors a game is not uncommon for some teams). It is not unusual for a runner to be thrown out at first base from left field.

To reduce the risk of collision, two first bases are used - one for the runner and one for the fielder. Metal spikes are banned. No fake tags or takeout slides. Younger players serve as courtesy runners for older teammates. No smoking. No alcohol.

"Hey," said a recovering alcoholic, "this is great. First time I ever remember playing sober."

The season started with a 17-by-32-inch mat serving as the strike zone behind home plate - the pitcher had to hit it on the fly - but a torrent of walks, as many as 25 a game, caused that rule to be dropped at midseason.

Joe Tavani, manager of one of the expansion teams, instructed his players to hit the ball on the ground "because you have three chances to get on base."

"Somebody's got to field it," he explained, "somebody's got to throw it and somebody's got to catch it. The odds are with you."

To prevent home-plate collisions, a rule provided for a scoring line drawn beside the plate. If the runner reached the line before the ball reached home plate, he was safe. But that rule, too, was dropped by popular demand.

Despite the concern for safety, and assurances from the league commissioner that the emphasis should be on fun, not winning, there have been a number of injuries - two broken wrists, a broken nose, a broken finger and a dislocated shoulder so far this season, and uncounted sprains, tears and pulls.

Typically, after the first practice in March, only seven of 16 players on one team were able to walk normally the day after.

But the worst of all, perhaps, fell on Rido "Scratch" Barbone from Stratford, a 58-year-old rookie catcher who went between innings into the woods to answer nature's call and contracted a serious case of poison ivy. He was out for two games.

"The idea in starting the league," said its founder and commissioner, Hank Becker, 65, of Maple Shade, "was to give older guys a chance to play without having to compete against the young guys." Becker, who pitched for 45 years - until he was 63 - in area fast-pitch leagues, got the idea from an American Association of Retired Persons newsletter.

The Over-the-Hill League is a member of the New Jersey Senior Softball Association, which in two years has grown from one league in Monmouth County to 14 counties and about 2,000 players. (The only recognized league in southeastern Pennsylvania is in Chester.)

The South Jersey league began when Becker put a notice in a few suburban New Jersey papers last year and 90 men showed up for an organizational meeting on a rainy Sunday. Six teams competed last summer and two more were added this summer, and about 50 players on the waiting list started a four-team satellite league in Voorhees. A team from Philadelphia will join next summer. A fall league will begin in September.

"I just thought it would give some older guys something to look forward to," said Becker, an engineering technician for a shipbuilding design company in Marlton and a pitcher. "It's a chance for everyone to come out and enjoy themselves. But I've since learned that whether you're 20 or 60, the will to win is very strong. They want to be competitive. After a while the fun is secondary."

And so some tempers flare. Umpires and players insult one another. Teammates bicker among themselves. The manager of an expansion team left the field in a huff during a game when one of his players tried to tell him how to play third base. He never returned.

But when the doubleheaders end each Sunday, players shake hands around the infield, laugh at themselves and limp home to heal in time for next week's games.

The regular season ended Sunday, and now the playoffs begin.

First game: The Church Street Chiropractors vs. Platt's Memorial Funeral Home.

Unplugging The Mystery Project Is Key To Banner Puzzle

Source: Posted: August 08, 1991

It all started with the banners.

Three of them, brown and gold, exhorting Delran residents in 3-foot letters to "LIGHT UP DELRAN."

They mystified the townspeople.

"We would be walking and someone would say, 'What's Light Up Delran?' " recalled Don Deutsch, one of the 17 Delran residents in the know from the beginning. He said many people thought the banners were calling for an anti- crime all-night vigil.

"Nobody really knew what Light Up Delran was," Deutsch said.

The banners were the first announcement of a $65,000 project to install lights on Delran High School's playing fields, so children can play night games there. Delran is one of the few area municipalities that lacks lights, Deutsch said.

To procure the lights without spending tax dollars requires a fund-raising event, Deutsch said, so after he and Joe La Monica came up with the idea in early June, they got started.

The banners have attracted more attention than he expected, but Deutsch said he was even more pleased with the support his project has so far received in town.

"Everybody's behind it now," Deutsch said. At the last Township Council meeting, members publicly expressed their support. The council paid for the banners and had the fire department put them up on Haines Mill Road, in the Mill Side Shopping Center on Route 130 and on Chester Avenue, Mayor Richard Knight said.

Knight, who called the project to install the lights "another opportunity to do things together" for the community, said it had garnered support for two reasons.

First, Knight said, Delran High School teams that would use the fields have been performing well for about five years. He also cited neighboring Moorestown's success with a similar project in 1986.

Moorestown residents, with the help of the high school's athletic director, Mike Palenza, raised more than $100,000 to pay for lights as well as new seats and a track. Palenza, a Delran resident, is now helping his town follow in Moorestown's footsteps.

He said Moorestown's fund-raising campaign went very well. It took about a year to raise the money, Palenza said.

Palenza said Light Up Delran's 17-member fund-raising committee planned to use many of the same strategies Moorestown used to get money: letters to local businesses, knocking on doors, selling tickets to dances and a bus trip to the Meadowlands for the Penn State-Georgia Tech "Kickoff Classic" football game Aug. 28, and selling commemorative plaques at the Delran stadium.

For $50, donors can "buy" one of Delran High School stadium's 1,600 seats. In return, a plaque on each seat will mark the name of its purchaser, Deutsch said. For $500, donors get a commemorative plaque at the entrance to the fields.


Write to Light Up Delran, P.O. Box 914, Delran, N.J. 08075, or call Don Deutsch, 461-5862, or Joe La Monica, 461-6156.

Searching A Different Frontier Ben Stankey Is A Man With A Mission. And It Has To Do With Ufos.

Source: Posted: September 11, 1991

* Probes enable aliens to control a person's brain.

* Aliens have secret bases on the dark side of the moon.

* A UFO with a sophisticated laser system helped win the war with Iraq. The U.S. government got the craft in exchange for mineral rights.

In a carpeted room with cinder-block walls at the public library in Cinnaminson, Ben Stankey, doctor of metaphysics, divulged this information to a dozen adults, some of them listening intently while others browsed through Stankey's collection of tabloid articles about UFOs.

Ben Stankey is a space cadet. Just ask him.

Stankey - who says he is a reincarnated alien sent on a mission to teach metaphysics and spiritual truths - told the group that the number of UFO sightings since fall 1990 was "mind-boggling." South America alone has reported 4,000 sightings during that time, he said.

Not surprisingly, Stankey is used to being viewed as odd.

"I've been ridiculed, even called satanic, heretical and other things, but in the final analysis, in terms of the truth, I think I'm going to have the last laugh," he says.

The group that came together last week - some traveling many miles to get there - had shown up for the first 1991-92 meeting of Stankey's organization, the Jersey UFO Psychic Phenomena Metaphysical Association.

Among the group were three men who said they represented the Texas-based Mutual UFO Network.

"We're interested in what was on those (video) tapes," said Joe Stefula of Browns Mills, who carried a hefty valise filled with folders and documents.

He said the trio was there to gather information about a UFO that was recovered by the Air Force after crashing in New Mexico in July 1947.

"It's the one saucer that didn't get away," said Richard Butler, an engineer who had driven from the Atlantic City area to attend the meeting.

For almost two hours, these folks focused on a small TV screen that presented two crudely produced films: The World's Greatest UFO/Flying Saucer Video and Volume II: Second Best of UFO Actual Videotapes Filmed.

At least two people said the organization offered them a support group, having had personal encounters with UFOs - an experience Stankey himself claims.

Gloria Frank, 62, of Palmyra, a retired school nurse, said she and her husband had seen a UFO from their bedroom window when they lived in Cinnaminson a few years back.

"Our whole house shook," she recalled. "It must have broke the sound barrier. It had flames, like exhaust coming up underneath. We watched it. It went right over Philadelphia and hovered there for a while with bright lights, and then it vanished."

Larry Saylor, 35, of Medford, the association's assistant director, said he also had seen a UFO.

"One night in 1964, when I was a boy, I saw a UFO over my family's house in Camden," said Saylor, a technical support specialist with Okidata in Mount Laurel. "It was like a triangle-shaped thing, with lights."

Saylor said his interest in the organization might stem from a previous life.

"A friend of mine, who is a psychic, told me that in my last life I was a German pilot in World War II," Saylor said. "He blurted it out one night."

Domenic Bilardo, 59, of Delran, a member of the group since Stankey founded it three years ago, said he had come to the meeting because he was interested in the subject and also because he respected Stankey.

"I believe in UFOs. They don't come from this planet. They gotta come from somewhere," said Bilardo, a retired carpenter. "I think he's an intelligent man. He must know what he's talking about. He's been following it for quite a number of years."

Uhhh . . . Woooooo . . .

Uhhhhh . . . A-woooooo . . .

Uhhhhh . . . Wooooooo . . .

Benjamin John Stankey Jr., the 250-pound founder/director of the Jersey UFO Psychic Phenomena Metaphysical Association, is seated in the cedar-paneled basement of his Palmyra home, the audible intonation of his mantra sucking him into a meditative state.

Eyes closed, head tilted back slightly for the Uhh . . . as if gathering strength for the lengthy, head-downward Woooooo . . . , he allows nothing to interfere, not even the telephone at his side, which b-r-r-rings persistently.

After a half-hour, Stankey is still in the basement, meditating in silence. Upstairs, his mother lets in a man she has called to kill bees. "We tried to call you back," the exterminator tells Helen Stankey, 72. "But no one answered the phone."

Her son, Ben, 46, said he had learned much by ignoring doorbells and phone calls. It was during deep meditation, a year ago this month, that he discovered his reason for being - to spread his knowledge of metaphysics.

He learned, he said, that he originally lived on the planet Hectius, in the star system Pleiades. He doesn't know of anyone else who hails from Hectius.

"I visited Hectius in the fourth dimension and was told by an etheric being, a male, that my mission on the planet Earth, in the third dimension or Earth plane, was to teach metaphysics and spiritual truths to planet Earth," Stankey said.

If anyone is qualified for this task, it is Stankey, who grew up like any other child before he discovered his calling.

He grew up in Northeast Philadelphia and in Palmyra; spent 10 years as a catcher in the Midget, Little, Pony and Babe Ruth Leagues; graduated from Holy Cross High School in Delran in 1963; earned a bachelor's degree from Temple in administrative management. He has been a tax accountant and a notary public.

It was after he graduated that he got into metaphysics, earning three degrees from the University of Metaphysics, a mail-order school in North Hollywood, Calif., founded by Paul Leon Masters.

Helen Fox, administration officer at the university, confirmed that Stankey obtained the degrees and said the school had "a huge file" under his name.

His master's thesis was titled "The Basic Ideas and Relationships Between Life After Death, Reincarnation and Karma," and his 200-page doctoral dissertation was called "The Phenomenon of Meditation: Medical Aspects."

He also studied advanced channeling and parapsychology at the Life Nourishment Center in Langhorne.

Stankey said that his studies had enabled him to contact his father, a machinist who died in 1986, and several animals - including a horse named Jersey while on a hay ride, and his beagle, Taffy, who once told him in a clear voice: "Mommy leaves me inside the house during the day. Why are you leaving me outside?"

One night, while Stankey was in bed, a 4-foot "bulbous-head alien" came through his bedroom window and exited the same way, he said.

"I have been sent to upgrade planet Earth," Stankey said.

These days, Stankey has lots of time to devote to his mission. In April, he was laid off from his job as a micrographics technician with Electronic Data Systems.

At the group's next meeting, scheduled for next month, he said, he plans to discuss reincarnation.

At Chemistry, Delran Student Is No. 1 In County, No. 2 In State

Source: Posted: September 29, 1991

For Scott Barber, 17, of Delran, chemistry adds life to life.

"It's a very hands-on kind of science," Barber said. "What makes chemistry so exciting is that you can see it in everyday life. Plus, I like to know the explanation for the things I see."

Barber, a senior at Delran High School, has noticed a lot, apparently. Not only did he do well enough on the advanced placement test in chemistry to bypass the traditional freshman chemistry course when he goes to college next year, but he also earned enough points in state competition to win a chemistry award as the best chemistry student in Burlington County and the second best overall in the state.

Barber is a member of the New Jersey Science League, which holds written competitions in biology, physics and chemistry throughout the year. Competitions take place among clusters of schools within a county, and at the end of the year, the test scores are added up and the winners announced.

Barber won that competition with his performance in a written competition that took place during the statewide Science Day in May. That performance also won him a silver medal and the honor of being ranked the second highest in the state.

Delran student Dan Lange was named the county winner in the physics competition during Science Day. Lange is now a freshman at Rutgers University in New Brunswick.

Barber credits his achievements in the examinations to Frank Schuenemann, who teaches the advanced placement chemistry course at Delran.

This year, Barber is taking three advanced placement courses: physics, English and calculus.

Although chemistry may be Barber's main academic interest, he also enjoys music and is the drum major for the high school's marching band. He is also on the varsity wrestling team and was honored last year for his contributions to the team by the South Jersey Wrestling Coaches' Association.

Camden's Big Day Arrives Aquarium Opens Amid High Hopes

Source: Posted: March 01, 1992

The city without hope finally has reason to be hopeful.

Camden's $52 million waterfront aquarium opened its doors yesterday to nearly 8,000 visitors in a debut that is being heralded as a new beginning for a city long mired in poverty and despair.

Yesterday's opening, which began with speeches and music and ended with fireworks over the Delaware River, capped an eight-year effort by business and civic leaders who envisioned an aquarium as the magnet that would attract new development to the city's waterfront and spark Camden's resurrection.

Political leaders weary of skeptics spoke confidently yesterday about the future of the city of 85,000, where 35 percent are on welfare, more than 60 percent receive public aid and roughly 13 percent are unemployed.

Mayor Aaron Thompson called the event the "rebirth of a great city." Gov. Florio expressed confidence that the aquarium would do "for Camden what the Baltimore aquarium did for Baltimore." And former Gov. Thomas H. Kean, a crucial early supporter, spoke of Camden "going on to great heights."

"A city, a great city, is about hope and it's about opportunity and it's about children and it's about education. And that is what today is all about. That is what this aquarium symbolizes," said Kean.

Those hopes were amplified in song by the Camden Boys' Choir, which sang ''What a Wonderful World" before Florio and Kean cut the ribbon. "The words speak for themselves," the choir's director, Richard Allen Wilson, said. "Camden coming back is a wonderment in itself."

The state-financed aquarium, with its striking views of the Philadelphia skyline, is the centerpiece of an ambitious plan that is already transforming Camden's aging waterfront. About 850,000 square feet of new office and light- industrial construction has begun there, and more is planned.

With its sharks and seals and a 760,000-gallon tank that re-creates the ocean off New Jersey's coast, the aquarium expects to attract more than 1 million visitors in its first year, approaching the Philadelphia Zoo's 1.3 million annual visitors.

First-day visitors began lining up in sub-freezing temperatures outside the aquarium before 8 a.m. yesterday, enduring a biting wind to be among the first to see the inside of the domed complex.

Lee Miller of Delran was one of the early arrivals. She showed up with her husband and three children at 8:15 a.m. and stood outside for more than an hour.

"We can't wait," said Miller, and once inside, she wandered through the complex, marveling.

"Look at that!" she exclaimed as she watched a sea turtle swim by. She pressed her finger to the tank, tracing the turtle's path like a delighted child.

"It's marvelous, wonderful," she said. "You have to come back a couple of times to see everything."

But her husband, Bill, seemed less impressed. He said the fish were smaller and less exotic than he had hoped.

"Have you seen the aquarium in Baltimore?" he asked a visitor. "The fish are a lot bigger."

Camden's aquarium has sought to distinguish itself from its more globally oriented counterparts in Baltimore and New York by spotlighting regional underwater life and emphasizing its preservation.

But comparisons to Baltimore were inevitable, given that about 30 percent of Baltimore's 1.5 million visitors come from the Philadelphia region, according to Camden aquarium officials.

"There is more variety down in Baltimore, because the emphasis here is on New Jersey. I'll still go to Baltimore as well as to here. They're different and you would want to see both," said Sue Wilkins of Mount Holly, a science teacher.

Pam Davis of Pine Hill, visiting with her 2-year-old son, Brandon, called the aquarium "fantastic. The hands-on exhibits are great for kids. They can touch the animals and feel what they're like. And the exhibits are very natural, realistic. It's nice, because it shows what's in our area."

Visitors streamed into the aquarium non-stop during the eight-hour opening day, so many that as closing time approached some had to be turned away.

"We admitted as many people as we could. The only limitation was how fast we could sell the tickets," the aquarium's president, Judith Wellington, said.

She said she hoped to be able to increase efficiency of ticket sales.

Inside, the atmosphere was festive as actors dressed as pirates, sea horses, starfish and other sea creature patroled the hallways. Crowds lined up to peer into the ocean tank's 38-foot-long window. Children squeezed along a shallow tank where they were invited to touch a small shark or ray. And divers fielded questions from visitors, answering over a special microphone hook-up while sharks cruised by them.

Outside, nearly 100 protesters picketed the opening to draw attention to demands to expand employment opportunities for city residents and give them a greater role in redevelopment efforts.

"They come in and give us the janitor jobs and the security jobs and the food-handler jobs, and all the upper-management jobs we don't have a chance for," one of the leaders, Mangaliso Davis, said.

The only other blemish to the day was at the parking garage, where some visitors became angry when they were forced to wait up to 90 minutes in their cars during a noontime back-up.

Anthony Scarduzio, garage manager, blamed the delays on too many people leaving the aquarium at the same time and on a stalled car that backed up traffic.

So far, the Thomas H. Kean New Jersey State Aquarium has been credited with keeping the Campbell Soup Co. and General Electric/Aerospace from leaving the city and taking thousands of jobs. More than $100 million in waterfront building is under way to house those companies.

More construction is scheduled to begin this year on a new $25 million headquarters for the Delaware River Port Authority next to the aquarium's parking garage.

More good news came Camden's way last week when the proposed South Jersey Performing Arts Center, also planned for the waterfront, won a $4 million state grant. Another $5 million in government support and $9 million more in private donations must still be raised.

Plans are also on the drawing board for a $33 million hotel on Camden Harbor, just south of the aquarium.

Camden is one of several cities that have turned to aquariums in recent years following the success of the National Aquarium in Baltimore, where a recent study showed that the facility had brought $128.1 million into the region in 1990 and had created more than 1,600 full-time jobs.

Other cities have sought to duplicate that success. New aquariums have opened recently in New Orleans and Corpus Christi, Texas, and are attracting more visitors than expected. This spring, aquariums are scheduled to open in Oregon and in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The idea that an aquarium might be Camden's salvation arose following a study released in 1983 that concluded that the city would need a major waterfront attraction to bring in new development.

A coalition of interests that included Campbell's, the Philadelphia Zoo, then-Mayor Randy Primas and the city's legislative delegation sold Kean on the idea, and he backed it enthusiastically as governor.

Primas, who remembers being advised after becoming mayor in 1981 to change Camden's name because its image was so bad, said yesterday that he had an ''incredible feeling of happiness to see something that went from a dream to a reality."

"I had a poster on my wall that said if you build dream castles in the sky, you must first put a foundation under them. And I think for sure the foundation has been laid in this city."

Stepping Up To A League That Plays Hardball

Source: Posted: April 19, 1992

William Curzie has been smelling trampled grass, dirt and sweaty leather lately. He sees snappy uniforms, cleats, visored caps and airborne baseballs. He can hear the crack of bat hitting ball, and the grunt and ground-churning slide of a baserunner resound in his ears.

The 57-year-old Delran resident calls it his "Field of Dreams thing."

Curzie, a former high school baseball player, has not gone so far as to build a ball field in his back yard. But early next month, he hopes to recapture some fond memories by organizing several adult hardball baseball teams and joining them with the national Men's Senior Baseball League for adults 30 years and older.

"Now men over 30 don't have to go to a bar to strike out," says an MSBL ad, appealing to age, goading softballers to play hardball.

It was the MSBL World Series in Arizona last year that got Curzie all excited about playing.

Since its inception in 1986, the MSBL has grown to about 1,500 teams and an estimated 22,000 players worldwide, according to founder and president Steve Sigler. There are a few adult hardball leagues in southern and central New Jersey, but they are not affiliated with the MSBL.

"Last year, I wanted to go out and play hardball, but they didn't have enough room," Curzie said, referring to unaffiliated teams in Willingboro and Pennsylvania.

While nothing definite has been established, Curzie feels that glorious opening-day pitch is not far off.

His fledgling effort took a stride in that direction April 11, as about 15 MSBL wannabes, ranging in age from 31 to Curzie's 57, held an organizational meeting at Delran High School.

Sam Peterson, 50, of Delran said he wanted a faster pace than softball. Steve Miller, a Maple Shade resident who gave up hardball in 1982, said he had a point to prove.

"I kind of got hungry. I know I can still do it (play hardball)," said Miller, 37, an umpire in the Rancocas Valley League. "I want to try out for something this year, no matter what it is. My son thinks I'm over the hill. He's 13."

Mike Coburn,38, president of the Connecticut MSBL and the MSBL's Northeast coordinator, came to the meeting to tell the men what was needed to jump-start a new league.

He had resumed a love affair with hardball four years ago.

"Softball really didn't do it for me. I longed to play baseball again," said Coburn.

In addition to a $15 league fee, teams need equipment, at least a semblance of a uniform, insurance and umpires. As a well-established organization, the MSBL can provide all of the above, except umpires, at cut rates, said Coburn.

Most local leagues, he said, manage to attract contributions from sponsors.

The MSBL has the trappings of the major leagues. Each year it hosts playoffs and a World Series in Arizona, but allows local teams to accommodate all ages with liberal rules such as two designated hitters, courtesy runners and free defensive substitutions. The average pitch is about 65 to 70 miles per hour.

Curzie said afterward that members of his local league would have to pay about $50 to join. It would be a sign of commitment, he said.

The league would save on field rentals because the towns of Riverside and Delran have both agreed to allow free use of a field, Curzie said.

While the turnout at last weekend's meeting was half of the 30 Curzie expected after advertising in local papers, Coburn was reassuring.

"Once they (the proposed teams) pick up a little momentum and people find out about them, they take off," he said. In four years, the Connecticut league has gone from five to nearly 40 teams, he said.

Those interested in joining can contact William Curzie, 461-1669.

Council To Help Buy Lights For Field

Source: Posted: June 04, 1992

A yearlong campaign to install lights at the Delran High School football field got a final boost last week when the township council voted unanimously to help pay for the purchase.

The council vote came after Light Up Delran, a residents' group, raised about $40,000 of the estimated $65,000 cost of the project. The lights are expected to cost about $41,000 and installation is expected to cost about $24,000.

The council voted to contribute $25,000 toward the project, but because by law it could not make a direct cash donation to the private group, it decided to purchase the lights and then be reimbursed $16,000 by Light Up Delran, said council President Andrew Ritzie. Light Up Delran will pay the installation costs, Treasurer Don Deutsch said. Following installation, the school board will have jurisdiction over the lights and the use of the field for night games, board President Ronald Napoli said that evening.

Light Up Delran has suggested the board authorize 10 night games. However, teams from other townships must agree to play, said Napoli.

"We've spent a lot of money to bring the field to the level of quality it is today," Napoli said. About $30,000 was spent four years ago to resod and irrigate it, he said.

If the group is right and night games attract big crowds, the school board's general fund would benefit from a new infusion of funds applicable to the sports program or other programs, board members said. Fund-raising efforts began a year ago. The least of the motives was creating a moneymaker, said supporters of Light Up Delran.

"We didn't look at it as something that's going to be a money earning, money losing venture," said Robert Sheeren, a school board member. "We looked at it as something that's going to benefit the community as a whole."

In the age of two-income families, "it will give parents the opportunity to come home, eat dinner and (then) watch their children play," said Mike Pilenza, vice president of Light Up Delran.

Pilenza, Moorestown High School athletic director for the last 16 years, said the installation of lights there had been a success.

While the campaign attracted widespread community support, it did arouse some concerns about future costs and the educational priorities it signified.

In a year in which voters rejected a vastly trimmed down education budget, members of the fledgling group Parents Recognizing Education as a Priority sought assurances that maintenance from night games would not soak the school board budget.

While Light Up Delran is yet to furnish PREP with the figures it has sought, PREP's concerns seemed to abate last week after its members discussed the project with the school board.

Based on Moorestown's experience, electricity would cost the Delran school board about $20 per game, Pilenza estimated Sunday. Because Delran boasts excellent football teams, their games would likely attract bigger crowds than those at Moorestown games, which regularly gross $1,500 per game, he said.

Delran's lacrosse team and Pop Warner football teams use the field, too. Board members said a probable addition would be soccer, but they have not ruled out non-sports events.

"The costs never went up. The only thing that went up is the revenues," Pilenza said of Moorestown's night games. "I anticipate the same thing for Delran."

Moorestown Doctor's Calling Was In The East

Source: Posted: June 21, 1992

Richard Milsten was plenty worried when he came East.

"I was from Tulsa, just a simple boy trying make my way here in the East," said the Moorestown resident.

"I was so scared coming out of Oklahoma. All these other kids had gone to prep school, I had gone to public school. I thought I was going to fail out."

What he feared failing out of was Yale, that effete seat of East Coast learning where he had enrolled to study the law.

Fear can be good. Milsten hit the books so hard at Yale that he graduated magna cum laude.

But not in the law.

"I think I burned out on law before I began," he said. "My father (Travis) was Mr. Probate of Oklahoma - he was granted that title by the Oklahoma Bar Association. My brother is still an attorney and my uncle is retired, 88, and he was an attorney. I'd heard nothing but law and knew nothing else to do."

Milsten turned to medicine, and that has become his life, with a specialty in urology, a field in which he has attained some eminence, as we shall see, and in which his peers elected him president of the Philadelphia Urologic Association, a term he began June 1.

As chief of urology at Underwood-Memorial Hospital, Woodbury, and assistant chief of urology at West Jersey Hospital, Milsten, now 52, has written ''countless scientific papers," as the news releases put it, but it's The Book that he's most known for.

That would be Male Sexual Function: Myth, Fantasy and Reality, a seminal - no pun intended - work that ended up in the offices of every urologist in the nation after it was published in 1979.

"I thought there was a tremendous need for the public to have information about impotence," Milsten said. "I'd only been in practice five years and there was apparently an innumerable amount of (impotent) men - the number is now 10 million - and there was no good basic source for lay people on the topic. And I was young with lots of energy.

"I worked a full day, then I wrote it at night. I know I gave up all my tennis. I dictated everything and had a wonderful librarian to help with research and a wonderful typist."

The idea, he said, was to present the material as "easy reading, broken into sections, and showing how it affected the male and his partner, because I realized not a single person was affected but also his spouse."

The book was a triumph. "I went on a promotional tour. I did a number of radio, TV shows in the East and into Midwest. It was distributed nationally and in Canada and was translated into Dutch and sold in Europe. I know every urologist in the country received a copy. It was sent out by a pharmaceutical company as educational material." The American Urologic Association arranged for him to produce an educational film based on the book.

"I got letters and notes. I had a lot of nice letters from professionals. I had patients coming in from California to see me. I tried to discourage them. There are plenty of good urologists in California." When that died down, the letters started coming in from Europe.

"I'd do it again," he said. "I had a great time with it."

Milsten and his wife, Nancy, an environmental attorney, have three children. "My son just graduated from Duke magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and I have twin daughters in college, one at Bowdoin and one at Stanford," he said.

His rearing explains one of his hobbies - travel. "I was brought up in the outdoors, I used to hunt, shoot, wear cowboy boots." Nowadays, he goes a little farther afield for his extracurricular activities. "We just came from back from Kenya and Nairobi," he said. "Last year I went 1,200 miles up the Amazon river."


The Hartshorn sisters have been inseparable from their piano since they were 6 years old, and this afternoon the Medford youngsters show off their skills when they deliver a piano recital in the Medford United Methodist Church.

Heather, 14, and Andrea, 12, recently received superior ratings in the National Piano Auditions conducted in Marlton in May by the National Guild of Piano Teachers - testimony to hard work and years of practice.

"They've been with me three years," said Olive Knight of Magnolia, their teacher. "They're very good." Knight wanted to enter them in the auditions earlier but got sick. "This is first year I had them ready."

Heather, who'll be a freshman this fall at Shawnee High School, and Andrea, a seventh grader at Medford Memorial Middle School, are the daughters of Katherine and John Hartshorn, an elementary school teacher and an agricultural products agent.

"I started them because it was something I had done and I still enjoy it," said their mother. As for applying themselves, "they've been pretty good," she said. "I pretty much let them go on their own. They have to answer to the teacher. They've been doing very well on what I consider minimal practice."

Although Heather admits practice can be a drag, her conscience refuses to let her dog it.

"I practiced anyway," she said. "I always try my best at whatever I do," which is reflected at school, where she is a member of the National Junior Honor Society.

Heather hits the ivories every other day, sometimes finds it easy, sometimes not, practices the classical music assigned to her and occasionally plinks out a popular song for her own pleasure.

When people ask her to play, her response is "sometimes, but not usually."

She has also been playing the clarinet for four years and performs with the school band. For two years, both she and Andrea have been playing the handbells in services at the Medford Methodist Church.

In addition to taking dance lessons, Andrea also plays a second instrument, the saxophone, in the school band, but says "I think I like the piano better." Sometimes she practices only twice a week, sometimes every day, but she says she finds the instrument is not difficult for her. If she messes up a practice assignment, that just means she has to keep working on it for another week.

Setting a career goal is difficult for Andrea.

"I want to be everything," she said.

Worth noting: Margaret Schweikert, 16, of Delran, will attend the National Young Leaders Conference July 7-12 in Washington, meeting leaders and newsmakers from the branches of government, plus the media and diplomatic corps. She will be a senior this fall at Holy Cross High School.

Burlington City High School drum major Debbie Hammer was awarded a plaque for superior performance at the Myrtle Beach (N.C.) Music Festival '92 in May. Hammer, 17, of Edgewater Park, will be a senior this fall. The school band marching unit won first in the Field Show competition and the Concert Choir won a first in its event at Myrtle Beach.

Chemistry Was Right For Professor When He Met His Love At St. Joseph's

Source: Posted: July 12, 1992

E. Nicholas DiCarlo is virtually married to chemistry, yet until he got to college, they never had been introduced.

Many years ago, as an undergraduate at St. Joseph's College, now the university, he had his first chemistry class.

"I never really anticipated a career in science," said DiCarlo. "I won a scholastic scholarship, and I had a great interest in math. I had never taken chemistry or physics in high school. It was probably a blessing. But I had to take it as a freshman at St. Joseph's as a general science major."

Thereby he launched a career.

The Delanco resident, now 56, was honored for distinguished teaching as a professor of chemistry at St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia, a few years ago. He has published some 30 technical papers. In the spring, he received a research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), which has been bestowing them on him for years.

"It was a professor who really turned me on to chemistry," DiCarlo said. That was George Eichel, now professor emeritus.

"It was his enthusiasm and love for the subject," DiCarlo said. "He noticed I had aptitude for mathematics and would bug me about pursuing a career in science, particularly in the mathematics end of chemistry, physical chemistry."

In 1963, DiCarlo joined the St. Joseph's faculty after getting master's and doctorate degrees from Princeton.

"I usually carry a very heavy teaching load," he said. He conducts classes in introductory physical and quantum chemistry and statistical mechanics.

"It's almost impossible" to divorce teaching and research, he said. "I could do pure research, no questions about that, if I elected to do that in an industrial lab, but if you want to effectively teach in the sciences, it's imperative that you involve yourself in scholarly, publishable research work. It keeps you alive."

His principal influence is in preparing students for doctoral studies. ''Students will complain because I tend to push. At times they think I'm overdemanding," he said.

"I'm fairly one-dimensional. I think that's one of my problems. I ask myself: 'What are you going to do when your career ends.' I don't play golf. I do an extensive amount of reading. I work out in the university gym, but that's a tonic. I don't like to do it, I just do it to relieve anxiety. I've always done a lot of traveling, but it's always been to some university. I'm always surrounded by the same type of people."

In the lab, an NSF grant of $51,000 will support his research on "The Study of Ultrafast Intramolecular Rearrangements via Microwave Dielectric Relaxation." Or what he calls schizophrenic molecules that rapidly change their configurations. Their proper name is stereochemically nonrigid molecules.

"I'm not making lipstick or some end product that will have some use to the public. It's basic research," he said. And basic research, he said, is what leads to such high-technology breakthroughs as lasers and magnetic resonance imaging.

In one aspect, DiCarlo has broken out of his one-note symphony.

"I'm an assistant coach of Little League teams this year," he said.

He and his wife, Jacqueline, a certified medical assistant, have three grown children and one at home, 10-year-old Nicholas.

Being a coach should take him back to his days at third base at the erstwhile Southeast Catholic High School, where he entertained thoughts of a career in baseball.

"I was small," he said, "but my son is a big guy."

"If he enjoys it, he can be a physicist and a professional baseball player at the same time."


The church, said Elsie Elizabeth Ford, "is my life, my commitment."

And members of the church, who know dedication when they see it, installed the Willingboro resident as moderator of the West Jersey Presbytery last month.

Ford, a member of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) of Willingboro, says she'll "keep the flow going" at the presbytery's eight meetings a year. But more important during her year in office, she wants to make personal contact with the presbytery's 66 churches, from Burlington south to Cape May.

"I will try to get to as many as possible," she said. "I have five scheduled (to visit) and I have been to three already."

She considers the moderator the agent who can cement the bond between the individual churches and the presbytery.

Ford, 63, who retired after a career in accounting, is an elder in her church, as is her husband, John, a truck driver to whom she has been married for 43 years. They have three grown children and four grandchildren.

She credits the sisterhood of the Presbyterian Women's Organization for learning leadership, spiritual nurturing and bonding.

"I would not be anything without them," she said.

She has traveled as far as China on behalf of the church.

In 1987, she and 36 others visited the Orient for three weeks at the behest of the Synod of the Northeast to see how Christianity was doing in a communist country.

Despite the Cultural Revolution, "the church in China is alive and well, no matter what they say," Ford reported, although she was saddened by the events in Tiananmen Square. "The land looks the same. The people are the same as here. Their wants are the same. You see the face of God in the people."

She has also traveled to Arizona on behalf of the church and will soon be going to Ghana with a family from her church whose are native Ghanaians.

"I'm going, No. 1," she said, "because I want to go. But in my moderatorial position I will be taking the good wishes of our presbytery to their church, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church."

Ford considers herself an "average, everyday person" who is committed and dedicated to "being a peacemaker and bringing love to one another."

"I don't say it's an easy road," she said, "but we do serve."

TAKE NOTE: C.B. Shingleton, a former Moorestown "citizen of the year," has been named chairman of the board and chief volunteer officer for United Way of Burlington County.

Among those who won scholarships to the Puttin' on the Ritz Summer Theater Arts Day Camp in Oaklyn were three Burlington County youths: Melissa Quinn, an eighth grader at Maple Shade High School, and Moorestown Allen Middle School pupils Dawn Rosen, seventh grade, and Katie Thompson, eighth grade.

Craig Fagan, a senior-to-be at Delran High School, is one of 100 students in the state attending the Governor's School on Public Issues and the Future of New Jersey at Monmouth College. The school began June 28 and will end July 25.

Even Soaked, Lights Give The Delran Bears A New Reason To Shine

Source: Posted: September 28, 1992

DELRAN — It was a bear of a night for Delran High School to unveil the new lights on its football field.

But 500 hearty souls (out of an expected 2,000) stuck out Friday's drenching rain to support the Delran Bears in their first night game - the result of a community fund-raising effort.

The fans - most of them, anyway - huddled under umbrellas, as the cheerleaders' rah-rah enthusiasm and high-pitched voices cut through the incessant patter of rain.

"First and 10, do it again! Go, Go!" they cried, their karate-chop motions defying the downpour.

The football players trudged on, not letting anything lessen their focus on their first home game. They would emerge victorious, 20-0, against the Burlington City Blue Devils.

The Bears' No. 73, offensive and defensive tackle Bill Duff, summed up the effect of the high-speed water droplets that swiveled under the illumination of the field lamps.

"I don't care," he said.

Just let there be light.

The lights had been 15 months in coming. They were the result of efforts by a group called Light Up Delran to fill a social and recreational vacuum in the suburban township, where the local 7-Eleven and fast-food joints are the closest thing to legitimate hangouts.

"There is no community center in town, and the high school seemed to be the perfect place for the community to get together to watch the kids play," said Don Deutsch, co-founder of the group.

While some parents like Donald Joanne DeMaise have always had time to watch their son Don, a defensive guard, romp on the gridiron, many others never enjoyed the opportunity.

"The bottom line was a lot of parents . . . never saw our kids play," because games were restricted to Saturdays, DeMaise said.

Light Up Delran raised about $40,000 to purchase and install 45 lights on four poles. About 700 people contributed, including the five-member township council, which transferred $25,000 in developers' fees to the group.

Deutsch had wanted badly to thank all those who came out in the rain Friday.

But his salutations, scheduled for halftime, went bust because of faulty broadcast equipment. Before the start of the third quarter, Deutsch said he would plan to give his spiel at the next night football game. He also had planned to officially hand school board president Ronald Napoli control of the improved facility and the new snack bar, which was built solely by volunteers.

Light Up Delran is hoping for an increase in revenues from greater ticket and food sales. The money will go toward maintenance of all the district's sports facilities, with "some left over," Deutsch predicted.

Despite the rain Friday, fans were generally positive about the lights.

"It makes the game a little more exciting," said James Haines, a member of the state champion 1990 team, who was watching his little brother Jim - an offensive and defensive tackle - follow in his footsteps. "You'll get a better turnout."

The onset of night games in Delran comes as the neighboring Willingboro school board is considering resuming such events after a four-year ban. The ban was imposed after the post-game beating of a Willingboro football player by four Camden men.

In Delran, up to eight township police officers will be providing security for the games, said Patrolman William Pfeffer.

"We don't anticipate many problems," he said. "We're prepared for anything that happens."

Delran's first night game appeared to be succeeding in one other respect: giving teenagers an alternative to television and video games.

"I'd say all of us" are happy about the lights, said one teenage fan. But added a point about outdoor sports in general.

"That's what's good about wrestling: You're never in the rain."

Blaze At Mall Was A Fitting End To A Difficult '92 Unemployment, Contrary Politics, Crime - The "Annus Horribilis" Reached Burlco.

Source: Posted: January 03, 1993

It was a year that began with phony bombs and ended with a real bang. For many in Burlington County, MCMXCII was not a twelvemonth to cherish.

Too many lost their jobs, even their homes, as The Recession intruded. Crooks fleeced us. The welfare rolls grew. Tragedy's cold hand fell on some. Business, already shaky, got worse when parts of the Moorestown Mall erupted in flames.

At least, we were not alone. Even Queen Liz called it "annus horribilis."

Of course, maybe that's just the impression from reading the newspapers. The bad news, as usual, was plastered on Page One, and the good news was interred among the classifieds. Good, bad and worse, a lot happened in Burlington County in 1992. Here are some snippets. You could look'em up.


Police got a workout in January when they found a mock bomb outside Taunton Forge Elementary School in Medford, then several outside Cherokee High School and another in the basement of an Evesham home.

A year later would come a real conflagration - a quick-spreading fire two days before Christmas that rudely interrupted the holiday shopping season at the Moorestown Mall. The flames destroyed five stores, damaged two and filled the mall with smoke. Some 300 firefighters worked more than 5 1/2 hours to control the fire.

A day later, as the losses were being imagined by some and tallied by others, only the mall's three anchor stores - Boscov's, Sears and John Wanamaker, out on the periphery of the crippled shopping center - opened for business.

Others who counted losses during the year were those who received pink slips from Griffin Pipe and Delaval Condenser in Florence, Hercules in Burlington Township, and Tyco in Moorestown. At Tyco alone, about 300 people lost their jobs when the toy manufacturer decided to shut down its 18-year-old distribution center in Moorestown and move to Oregon.

In January, the state shook up Riverside and other riverfront towns by recommending that Zurbrugg Hospital eliminate 110 of its 154 beds by 1995. The public outrage continues.

In September, the Johnstone Training Center for the mentally retarded closed in Bordentown.

In October, more than 1,000 people showed up at a job fair at Burlington County College to apply for 600 new jobs at the minimum-security federal prison at Fort Dix.

Unemployment in the county, based on statistics through October, was up about 1.5 percent over last year. Joblessness among county residents hit a peak of 8.6 percent in July - three points higher than in July 1991.

But look past the front page, and the economic news was not all gloomy.

The Burlington Center in Burlington Township celebrated 10 hang-in-there years in August.

Willingboro and Moorestown each got a shot in the arm when the Boscov's department-store chain converted its discount Ports stores at Willingboro Plaza and Moorestown Mall to full-fledged, upscale Boscov's department stores, leading to new hires.

Wal-Mart, the nation's leading retailer, broke ground in October for a store in the Liberty Square Shopping Center in Burlington Township. And in November, Mount Laurel was told that construction would begin this summer on the first of a dozen buildings at Burlington County College's high-tech campus on Route 38, to be operated as a joint venture with the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.

In February, international furniture distributor Ikea got approval for construction of a 721,000-square-foot warehouse, now being completed in Westampton.

Also in Westampton, the county reopened its library with one-third more space in April after a six-month, $2 million renovation. In December, the Evesham Library reopened at double its old size.

As for politics, it wasn't all politics as usual.

In January, Burlington City installed Robert W. Vandegrift, its first Republican mayor in nearly three decades.

And Sheriff Henry Metzger was disavowed by his Republican Party after he called an African American subordinate by a pejorative term. Metzger ran as a write-in candidate but lost to Edward Cummings, the GOP's subsequent candidate for sheriff.

Meanwhile, defying Bill Clinton's coattails, Republicans won all the county offices.

On the bench, John Sweeney of Florence and Jan Schlesinger of Moorestown were sworn in as Superior Court judges in February after the retirements of Paul R. Kramer and Anthony P. Tunney Jr.

And Paulsdale, the Hooten Road farmhouse home of suffragist Alice Paul in Mount Laurel, was dedicated as a national landmark.

Last month, Mount Holly joined a trend and elected its first fire commission, which will levy taxes to support firefighting.

The headlines also told of crime, horrifying and senseless, and of misdeeds that were just stupid.

In March, a gunman killed Raymond Muller 3d, 22, of Burlington City, execution-style and severely wounded another person during a holdup at the McDonald's Restaurant on Route 130 in Burlington City, where the victims worked. Indicted was parolee Charles A. Williams, 29, of Burlington City.

In April, a former Fort Dix drill sergeant - Earl Richmond of Fayetteville, N.C. - was charged with the killing of Spec. Lisa Ann Nadeau, mother of two little girls.

In Philadelphia, a jury convicted the killer of Assistant Burlington County Prosecutor Richard Barbour. Barbour was shot in April 1991 as he withdrew money from a MAC machine. Yerodeen Williams, 17, of Philadelphia, was sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder.

Reacting to lack of a first-degree murder conviction, Assistant Philadelphia District Attorney Roger King declared: "If someone can walk up to a person, point a gun, press it flush against their head and pull the trigger, and that evokes sympathy from the jury, then maybe it's time for Scotty to beam me up."

And in an event presaging a rash of carjackings to come, a McGuire Air Force Base airman, Douglas A. Cutcher, 21, was shot to death by two Camden youths. The two had called him out of a celebration in May at Butch's Place, a country-western bar on Route 38 in Pemberton, on a pretext so they could steal his 1991 Ford Mustang. The two died within hours when they crashed the car into a tree.

In a slaying that stunned Willingboro, Cherrell Bell, 17, was knifed to death outside her home in December in a melee that followed a fight earlier in the day involving her sister. An 18-year-old from Pemberton Township, Lanise ''Baby Sis" Sutton, was charged in the killing.

In March, Chris Hatcher of Riverside was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to setting 15 fires in four towns in 1990-91. One fire was set at the abandoned Roebling steel plant in Florence while Hatcher was a member of Washington Fire Company No. 1 in Delanco. Two brothers, Paul and Patrick Lynch of Delanco, had pleaded guilty in 1991 to helping set some of the fires.

Rip-off artists again proved they were no respecters of institutions, appearing even inside the Burlington County Jail. There, officials discovered in March that a prisoner had been bilking women in a romance-by-mail scheme, passing himself off as a CIA employee and sweet-talking the women into sending cash to "B.C.J., 54 Grant Street, Mount Holly" - which, of course, is the address of the jail.

In November, Evesham police, FBI agents and the State Police Bomb Squad surrounded William Baitinger's car at the Commerce Bank on Route 70 near Marlton Circle. A co-worker of Baitinger's, Alvin Blome of Sewell, had reached the bank's drive-in window, noticed Baitinger behind him and left a note in the transaction tube reading "I want all your money. I have a bomb." When the teller read it, she forked over $1,575 and triggered an alarm that caused all hell to break loose around the innocent Baitinger.

Blome, back at the office, heard of this unanticipated turn of events and phoned in to admit the mischief. Police were not amused. He was charged with disorderly conduct.

In April, several toll collectors were charged with skimming thousands of dollars from the Burlington County Bridge Commission collection booths and counting room. One collector later killed himself. Incidentally, the tolls on the Tacony-Palmyra and Burlington-Bristol bridges were raised to $1 from 50 cents - but to be paid only one way, traveling westbound into Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, the Riverside Township Committee suspended Police Chief Harry Collinsworth and Cpl. Edward M. Curtis after the discovery of $5,300 in bogus overtime.

In June, a Moorestown High School student was punished for concealing a racial slur in the text under his photo in the school yearbook.

Last month, while breaking up an Evesham escort service, authorities found four pipe bombs. Earlier, Medford police uncovered an LSD ring at Lenape and Shawnee High Schools.

On May 1, the county finally activated the 911 phone number for police, fire and emergency-squad calls.

And there were people in the news.

A Delran teenager and firefighter, Ron Vandermark, was fired from his supermarket checkout job for not showing up at work after spending 10 hours fighting a blaze at Riverside Metals. He got a job at another grocery.

John Curtis of Moorestown High School scored a perfect 1,600 in the SAT and said in November, "It's nice to know I'll never have to take it again."

In September, George Barbour died. Barbour, 75, of Maple Shade, was former president of the State Board of Public Utilities and a former assemblyman.

In October, two other familiar county figures passed away: Francis P. ''Luke" Brennan, 77, of Cinnaminson, who served 27 years as Burlington County sheriff until retiring in 1986; and Walter W. Kanigowski, 68, of Riverside, who taught an estimated 45,000 people to swim after launching his first class with seven students at Moorestown Community House in 1950.

Riverton Borough moved from its old Town Hall, an 84-year-old former bank on Hanover Street, into a new Town Hall on Egbert Street in July.

In August, the last combat training recruits graduated at Fort Dix.

Florence High School marked its 50th anniversary in September; Maple Shade dedicated a new municipal complex in October.

And as the year wound down, Moorestown proposed fining people $100 for feeding geese at Strawbridge Lake.

Delran's 3-sport Star Defeats Time No Wonder Melissa Roberts Looks To The Future. College May Be Calmer.

Source: Posted: April 15, 1993

Delran's Melissa Roberts goes to class, works out, competes in three sports, and works part-time.


Roberts, a senior who will leave Delran with an impressive 12 varsity letters, says coping with being busy is not that tough.

"You just have to know how to manage your time," she said. "It's not as hard as it sounds. I work it all out somehow."

Roberts has been playing soccer, basketball and softball since she was 6 years old. Soccer is her love; basketball is her vehicle to college. Softball is, well, softball is not Roberts' favorite thing right now.

"My coach will kill me for saying this, but I really don't enjoy softball," said Roberts, a first baseman. "If I had it to do over, I'd play lacrosse or run the hurdles in track. Softball's a drag this year because it's been so cold, and because I got into it late because of how long our basketball season lasted."

Roberts wasn't complaining about the basketball season. Delran won its first 26 games, taking the South Jersey Group 2 title and reaching the state final. The Bears, who finished No. 3 in The Inquirer's Top 15, didn't lose until the state final, when they dropped a 34-27 decison to Mahwah.

Roberts, a 5-foot-11 center, averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds this past season, and was an Inquirer second-team all-South Jersey selection. She finished her career with 1,282 points. She has accepted a full scholarship from Iona.

"Basketball was a dream season for us," Roberts said. "We hadn't won a lot of titles before, and it was great to get as far as we did. It was kind of sad we couldn't win it all. Individually, I didn't have a great season. I'll have to improve my mental game, my rebounding and my defense for next year."

Delran girls' basketball coach Jim Weber said he thinks Roberts will do just fine at the next level.

"She's obviously a very good all-round athlete," he said. "Her strength is her speed and quickness. She can handle the ball left or right. She's very, very quick, and she can hit the outside shot, which she's going to need to do at Iona."

Roberts will slow it down some in college. Basketball will be her only sport.

"I'd like to play soccer, but I'm not going to because I have to concentrate on basketball," she said. "I had to learn to love basketball, but I always loved to play soccer. People don't realize it's a great sport."

Roberts, who dreams of piling up goals from the left wing, lined up as a defender in her soccer career. Last fall, Roberts scored once.

She's hoping to score more often in softball. Roberts, who missed the Bears' first three games because of a senior trip, played her first softball game this season on Tuesday. Delran lost, 6-0, to Rancocas Valley and fell to 1-3.

"We've missed that spunk she provides for us," Delran softball coach Nancy Fanelli said. "She's a decent player, even though it's not her first love. She hustles and she's a leader. Last year, she fielded 1.000; she can really dig out the balls at first base. She hit about .300, which is about what she's hit every year. Everybody respects her and her talent."

Competing Freedoms 2 Students At Poles Of Debate That Splits Penn They Came To Penn, Expecting Academic And Social Freedom. On Opposite Sides Of A "Hate Speech" Policy, Both Were Disappointed.

Source: Posted: May 13, 1993

Khalil Muhammad is a young black man from Chicago. His neighborhood back in Hyde Park was integrated, his high school was integrated, and so was his circle of friends.

They knew their coterie was somewhat charmed. "We discussed at certain times how insular our experiences were," Muhammad said, "and we hypothesized about what it would be like when we went off to different colleges."

Muhammad imagined many things about college life, but he never expected to come face to face with racism in the idyll of the Ivy League.

Yet that is what he says he found at the University of Pennsylvania.

Gregory Pavlik is a young white man from the South Jersey town of Delran. His neighborhood was integrated, he played basketball with black friends. A neighbor across the street, a black man from the Caribbean, "was probably the man closest to me of anyone other than my father."

He came to the University of Pennsylvania 1 1/2 years ago, a transfer student, thinking: " 'Gee, this is a great place, I'm going to find all this intellectual debate.'

"That didn't happen," he says.

Muhammad and Pavlik, two students among 22,000 at Penn, have never met.

But their lives have become tangled at the center of a highly public months-long campus drama of racial sensibilities versus free speech.

In some ways it seems they've attended different schools altogether.

To Muhammad, a 21-year-old senior about to join a Center City accounting firm, this year has been an unremitting reminder that no matter how educated he becomes, no matter how hard he works, there will always be a white person who will demean him for his race. His university is a place where blacks keenly feel their minority.

To Pavlik, a 21-year-old junior who writes occasional columns for the Daily Pennsylvanian, the student newspaper, the year has shown that expressing opinions detested by minority groups can provoke a powerful backlash that chills free expression. His university is a place where white males are on the defensive.

In February, Pavlik wrote a column claiming Penn's admissions and disciplinary practices were biased in favor of blacks. Black students and staff, outraged by what they read, demanded that he be punished.

Thirty-one students filed complaints against Pavlik under Penn's racial harassment code, an administrative policing of "hate speech."

Muhammad led the drive against Pavlik.

A judicial officer dismissed the complaint, but that did not end the discontent. On April 15, a group of black students confiscated nearly every one of the day's 14,200-paper run of Daily Pennsylvanians.

Muhammad was among those arrested taking newspapers.

To outside critics - from conservative columnist George Will to the Village Voice's Nat Hentoff - Penn's troubles have crystallized the absurdities of political correctness.

To others, including the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the controversy lays bare the hostile climate that black students must endure on many of America's campuses. They say speech codes should be made even stronger.

Penn's president, Sheldon Hackney, has angered both camps by seeming to agree with both. Hackney sees himself as searching for common ground. His critics see him as spineless.

"Two important university values now stand in conflict," Hackney wrote in a statement last month.

"There can be no compromise regarding the First Amendment right of an independent publication to express whatever views it chooses. At the same time, there can be no ignoring the pain that expression may cause."

Hackney is soon leaving Penn to face Senate confirmation hearings as President Clinton's nominee to head the National Endowment for the Humanities. It's a bad time to be seen as soft on free speech. He is pleased to clarify his position.

"Even though the situation is very complex," Hackney said more recently in an interview, "and I am beset by conflicting forces, I have been very clear in my own mind that the freedom of the paper to publish and for people to say what's on their mind is the paramount value at the university."

Yet no one has been disciplined for taking the newspapers.


Khalil Muhammad's great-grandfather was Elijah Muhammad, founder of the Nation of Islam, the Chicago-based organization that threw a fright into White America with its message of black pride and self-sufficiency, with its uncompromising spokesman, Malcolm X.

The prophet died when Khalil was 3. The Black Muslims were a shadow in his childhood. He thought his great-grandfather's religious and political ideology - "knowledge of self, economic independence, that fiery religious emphasis," as he put it - were out of date, byproducts of a time of segregation that had passed before he was born.

Khalil had his eye on the American pie. He came to Penn to be an Ivy Leaguer and played lightweight football for Penn for two seasons. He did not mind much that he was one of only three blacks on the squad.

He picked economics as a major and earned good grades.

Yet it was hard to identify wholly with the mainstream. Though Penn regards itself as a leader in minority recruitment among elite schools, only 5.5 percent of its undergraduates - 524 students - are black. Only 53 of 1,900 faculty members are black.

Muhammad joined a black fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi, and last year helped found an interracial Greek group, Fraternities and Sororities Together to End Racism. He took courses in black history and culture, "celebrating my heritage," he said, and made Onyx Senior Honor Society, a black achievement group. Black identity was becoming increasingly important to him.

The first Rodney King trial was a turning point. The not-guilty verdict was enraging enough. But when black students and faculty gathered in front of the W.E.B. DuBois College House, a Penn residence for African Americans, a few white students jeered them, Muhammad said.

Last fall, he said, white students threw eggs out a dorm window, hitting him and a few fraternity mates during homecoming weekend.

In December, an incident took place on the Onyx Society's initiation night that made it to the university police blotter. By Muhammad's account, he and a few other Onyx inductees were walking to the ceremony around 2 a.m. when white students in a dorm threw a pail of water on them.

The Onyx members reacted by hurling two eggs they were carrying, intended props for the induction rite. Security guards investigated.

The blacks complained of racial harassment. The Judicial Inquiry Office could not confirm that charge, but did punish two white students for general misconduct, making them do 15 hours' community service, write a letter of apology and move to another residence.

Then in January, Muhammad's girlfriend and her sorority sisters - black women all - were practicing dance steps in front of a high-rise residence hall on a Wednesday shortly before midnight. Some whites yelled for quiet. Epithets were hurled. "Nigger." "Bitch."

One freshman called the women "water buffalo." He alone was disciplined - charged with racial harassment.

The freshman, Eden Jacobowitz, said he meant no racial insult, explaining the term as a carry-over from his years in Jewish day school. A hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.

The episode is by now famous, the charge against Jacobowitz widely mocked as ridiculous. But to Muhammad, the incident stood as one more indignity.

Whites were doing ugly things to blacks on campus. The administration wasn't doing enough to stop it.

Gregory Pavlik came to Penn from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, N.Y. He said he wanted wider intellectual dialogue than he found in engineering school.

He enrolled in Penn's materials science and engineering program and got A's. Tall and loose-limbed, he played intramural football and basketball. He reads constantly - to the point of consuming textbooks of courses he's not taking. He figured he might like the discipline of putting thoughts to paper. This year he became a Daily Pennsylvanian columnist.

The paper runs 14 columnists a semester, each appearing biweekly. All the others were "liberal to left," Pavlik said. The youth delegate for Pat Buchanan at last summer's Republican Convention was proudly conservative: "I see myself as an apologist for Western culture."

Pavlik heard about the Onyx Society incident, and it distressed him. By the account of the white students, the Onyx members had been noisy and argumentative and had thrown eggs at the residence hall before anyone retaliated with water. Yet only the whites were disciplined.

"It seemed like an unfair situation," Pavlik said.

So he wrote about it. Already he had attacked the Martin Luther King holiday, on the ground that King "was associated with communists and praised them." On Feb. 25, he asked "whether the Onyx Society should even be allowed to remain on campus. Any predominately white organization that behaved in a similar fashion would have been kicked off."

He went on to claim Penn's admissions standards were twisted to favor black applicants, calling the policy "our dirty little secret."

Then he broadened the attack, railing against "the wave of anti-white fervor" supposedly sweeping the United States in the form of federal hiring laws, street crime, rap lyrics. He belittled the history of lynchings.

"I didn't write it to be provocative," Pavlik said recently, "but to say there was a prevalent double-standard when it comes to race, and it's acute on college campuses."

Muhammad felt assaulted.

He read Pavlik's column as an attack on his legitimacy as a Penn student.

"I felt he was really harassing me," Muhammad said, "because he doesn't know what I've been going through at Penn. . . .

"I don't feel stuff like this should appear in our representative student newspaper. Maybe in a right-wing political paper, but not the paper I'm going to open every morning for news and the NBA score. Here I open it up and I read, 'Black folks don't belong at Penn.' "

In short order, Muhammad was leading an effort by 31 people to file racial harassment charges against the writer.

Catherine Schifter, then the acting judicial inquiry officer, telephoned Pavlik on March 2.

"She said charges were filed for racial harassment," Pavlik said. "I said what for? She said, 'You need to ask?' - a kind of sarcastic comment."

Pavlik was shocked. "I asked, 'How could this happen? Aren't I covered by the Open Expression Guidelines?' " - university rules ensuring the freedom to criticize school policies.

"She told me I was under investigation as to whether they applied to me."

Schifter then said things could be eased if he met with the 31 complainants, Pavlik said.

"She called it a discussion. I sort of called it a hate session," Pavlik said. "I can't fathom sitting there with 31 students blaming me for racism and oppression. I would probably devolve into a lump of jelly, or something."

Pavlik added: "She told me she was doing it for my own good because there might be a violent recourse taken if I were not punished."

Schifter would not comment on the conversation.

After the phone call, "I was literally terrified," Pavlik said.

"You don't know what to do, you don't know where to go. I contacted people to see what legal help I could get. I was distraught. I do have an engineering workload, so it was not the best of experiences.

"It seemed the university was mobilizing to suppress the press, and punish me for it."

There were no written charges, and the investigation was dropped the next day. But Pavlik didn't know that until Alan Kors, a history professor who is outspoken in defense of civil liberties, found out in a phone call to Hackney. ''For at least nine days, the columnist was under threat of harassment," Kors said.

Pavlik worried he would be expelled from school - a possibility under Penn's range of sanctions. He worried that any disciplinary decision would mar his academic transcripts.

For weeks, the controversy occupied the Daily Pennsylvanian. Some writers voiced fear that the university's threat to investigate a conservative columnist was an ominous chilling of speech.

Dozens of others tore into Pavlik, but not in person. "The picture that goes with the column doesn't look like me," he said. "I just got hate mail, day after day after day."

On March 19 the newspaper published a letter from 202 African American students and faculty. They branded Pavlik a racist. "We believe it burns his white skin black to see us every day at this institution."

They insisted the campus judicial process has never been tilted their way. ''We assume that bigots constructed the racial harassment policy," they said, "since it does absolutely nothing to protect anyone from discrimination."

Race is a dividing line at many of the nation's campuses. In a 1990 survey by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 48 percent of college presidents said racial tensions were "moderate" or "major" problems at their schools.

"You've got students coming together in close quarters," said David Merkowitz, spokesman for the American Council on Education, a lobby group for higher education, "including people with no previous exposure to various racial or ethnic groups. Tensions are inevitable. In a way, the university is a kind of testing ground for society at large."

At more than 100 campuses, administrators have looked to speech codes as one answer.

"Universities have undergone a metamorphosis in the last 20 years," said Harvey Silverglate, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney in Boston. ''They now exist primarily for the administrators, and what the administrators are more interested in than any other single thing is having quiet on their watch."

The American Association of University Professors has strongly criticized speech codes. "On a campus that is free and open, no idea can be banned or forbidden," the group said last year. "No viewpoint or message may be deemed so hateful or disturbing that it may not be expressed."

But that is not how Penn's administrators see it.

In their view, the university has an obligation to shield minority students, as much as possible, from insult.

"In a public forum, or marketplace of ideas, you don't have free speech unless it's free for everybody," said Stephen P. Steinberg, an assistant to Hackney.

"The problem is with hate speech - especially with historically under- represented minorities in an environment where they don't feel ownership - they need protection from the effects of hate speech, to make sure they are part of that dialogue."

Penn has had a hard time defining hate speech. One code, instituted in 1988, was deemed too restrictive and discarded. Two years of debate produced a 132-word sentence saying, in essence, that racial slurs "intended only to inflict direct injury" are banned.

Hackney defends the policy by saying he had thought of it as a "symbolic" act that would show the university's high regard for its minority members while actually doing little to hamper free speech.

"It's meant to ban only the kind of face-to-face insult and slur that we all recognize as hurtful," Hackney said.

Hackney acknowleged the importance of free speech. He also said: "There are people on campus and in society who think racism is so bad that solving racism is more important than free speech."

Khalil Muhammad's father, Ozier Muhammad, is a staff photographer for the New York Times. So Khalil did not take lightly the implications of shutting down a newspaper, even for a day.

Yet he decided it was necessary because "no one was listening to us." The Daily Pennsylvanian had done a poor job of covering minorities all year, he said. One issue last fall was particularly offensive; the paper ran a photo of a black street person lugging a wine bottle. The headline: "West Philadelphian."

And so Muhammad, along with some other black students, rose early on April 15 to raid several dozen drop boxes where the day's run of the Daily Pennsylvanian was piled for distribution, and tossed them into dumpsters.

The issue contained Pavlik's last column of the year, a complaint that ''reasoned discourse" at Penn "is largely nonexistent."

The paper's editors called for criminal charges against the "theft." John Kuprevich, university police commissioner, said no charges would be filed because the newspaper is free of charge.

Afterward, Muhammad focused on his treatment by Penn security officers who caught him with a bundle of newspapers. Muhammad says he resisted handcuffs, and Officer J. Washington rapped the back of his right leg with a baton. In an incident report, Washington said Muhammad took a swing at him first. Muhammad denied it.

He was arrested and held at security headquarters several hours before being released. No charges were filed.

The security officer was transferred from patrol duty pending an inquiry - "to help defuse tensions," Kuprevich said.

Two weeks later, Hackney spoke as if above the fray. "The papers being taken is a wrong thing, but there's more to it than that. If I had said it was wrong, and we're going to punish people, and I'd paid no attention to other aspects of the situation, I think we still would be embroiled in rather grave confrontations, and I really wanted to use this as an educational opportunity."

He said he had received more angry letters and phone calls than any time since 1988, when Penn permitted Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan to speak on campus.

"It's not fun," Hackney said. "I'd prefer not to go through this."

On Monday, Sheldon Hackney will preside over his 13th and final commencement ceremony as university president. Criticism of him has not abated. Just last week, 16 members of the Law School faculty, including Dean Colin S. Diver, signed an open letter urging Hackney to take tougher action against the newspaper confiscations - "conduct," they said, "which cannot be tolerated or excused."

Gregory Pavlik is thinking about writing a column again next year. For a while, he was certain he would not. "To be honest," he said, "I think this whole experience will be repeated, unless the university makes some real changes.

"The whole academy has been politicized and polarized," Pavlik added. ''It's almost like walking to another world, where you come from an environment where you have no problem with people because they happen to be of a different race. And then you walk into an environment where you are told that you do have a problem, because some people are oppressed and other people are oppressors. And it's got to be a culture shock for everyone."

Khalil Muhammad also wants the university to change. Talks among blacks and administrators are underway. "We'll see how much the university internalizes our experiences," he said.

Muhammad will work next year at the large accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche in Center City. He is happy over the way the protests with the newspaper turned out.

"For once," Muhammad said, "we felt that instead of getting kicked in the head, we kicked back."

A Delran Gymnast Springs Back Into A Demanding Sport Kaye Left The Sport Because "I Was So Afraid I Was Missing Things."

Source: Posted: June 01, 1993

Picture an athlete who quits a sport for two years, and ends up earning a scholarship by sending a video of a workout to a college a few weeks after resuming practice.

Envision the same athlete winding up a national champion and earning a berth in an international competition.

You have just described Heidi Kaye, a 17-year-old Delran High School senior.

Kaye gave up gymnastics after her freshman year of high school. Then she returned to the sport. Now she will be competing in gymnastics in the Maccabiah Games in Israel, July 5-15.

The Maccabiah Games bring together Jewish athletes from around the world to compete in Olympic-style events.

As a high school freshman, Kaye was considered a rising talent. In 1989, the summer before her freshman year, she won a bronze medal in the floor exercise at the Olympic Sports Festival in Oklahoma. One of the gymnasts she beat was Shannon Miller, who went on to win five medals - two silver and three bronze - in the 1992 Olympics.

At the time, Kaye was living and training away from home. She trained with the Parkettes, the gymnastics club in Allentown, Pa., and lived with a family there and attended a local school while her family remained in Delran.

All that was too much for the ninth-grader. After her freshman year, she decided to return to Delran and give up gymnastics.

"I was so afraid I was missing things," Kaye said before a recent workout. "Gymnastics was my whole life."

Kaye didn't exactly sit around and watch television. She was a cheerleader her sophomore and junior years at Delran and became consumed with diving.

As a junior, she made first-team all-Burlington County in diving.

During the winter of her junior year, she broke her left hand while making a dive. The injury, combined with sinus trouble that had developed, convinced Kaye to bid farewell to the sport of diving.

The spring of her junior year, she started coaching gymnastics. That summer, she enjoyed her first extended vacation. Her mother, Judy, and father, Mark, took her to California for three weeks.

"It was great, because in the past I couldn't take a long trip like that because I was always practicing for gymnastics," said Kaye, who began gymnastics at age 4. "We had a great time."

By the time she returned from her August vacation, her appetite for gymnastics had returned.

Kaye began working out, and three weeks into her comeback, she asked her father to tape one of her practices. They sent the tape to a number of colleges.

Starting in October, Kaye visited several colleges. She later was offered full scholarships for gymnastics by several schools, including Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts and Ohio State. Kaye accepted the scholarship to Ohio State.

That she had gained national prominence as a freshman didn't hurt when she contacted colleges. The video she sent out was also a major selling point.

"When I got the tape, I was impressed by the workout," said Ohio State coach Larry Cox. "I was so impressed that somebody who had taken two years off from the sport was doing what she was. I kept in mind that she had only been practicing three weeks after a two-year layoff."

Cox was so intrigued that he flew to New Jersey to watch Kaye work out. He then offered her the scholarship.

"When I saw my friends competing in the Olympics I thought, 'What would have happened if I stayed in the sport,' " said Kaye. "But I'm happy I took the time off. It's so much fun now. Back then, it was getting to be a chore. Now I can't wait to go work out."

Kaye usually practices five days a week for four hours a day.

"After going seven hours a day (in her first experience with the sport), my schedule seems so much easier now," said Kaye.

Tom Krupa, who coaches Kaye and other gymnasts at Cherry Hill's Gymnastics Academy, marvels at the dedication Kaye has shown since returning to the sport.

"It's not something just anybody can do," said Krupa. "The biggest challenge in taking off and coming back is getting back in gymnastics shape. The sport demands everything of every joint. Conditioning is the biggest challenge. You don't lose your skill, just your conditioning and timing. This sport demands a lot, and it takes somebody very dedicated like Heidi to succeed."

The 5-foot-2 1/2, 115-pound Kaye proved she was back by winning the balance beam at the U.S. National Championships in April in Colorado Springs, Colo. Kaye also finished third in the floor exercise.

She competed in level nine in both events. There are 11 levels, one through 10 and elite, in ascending order of skill level.

"Level nine is very high competition," said Ohio State's Cox. "In many cases, the difference between them and elite isn't a lot."

Based on her performance, Kaye was selected to compete in the Maccabiah Games.

"I'm really looking forward to the Maccabiah Games," she said. "I've never been out of the country. It's such a great honor."

Kaye, who has a 3.2 grade-point average, says she has no aspirations to compete in the next Olympics.

"I'll be too old," she said. "The teenagers dominate in world competition. My goal is to have a good college career. I want to prove to people you can take time off and still be successful."

She's already proven that point.

At Veterans Stadium, It's Not Just The Bases Being Stolen Game Attendance Has More Than Doubled. But The Crime Increase - 24 Autos In 5 Games - Is Cooling Some Fans' Ardor.

Source: Posted: June 26, 1993

At 10:20 p.m. Tuesday, Carole Grob was wandering around a dark parking lot on Broad Street, across from Veterans Stadium, holding her 11-year-old daughter, Nicole, by the hand.

Until then, it had been a good night. The folks from Delran, N.J., were among the 41,557 who saw the Phils beat the Braves, 5-3. Grob had her keys in hand, and she remembered exactly where she parked. But her 1987 metallic-red Trans Am was nowhere in sight.

"I knew right then it was stolen," Grob said.

She was right. And she wasn't the only victim.

Her Trans Am was one of eight cars reported stolen from parking lots in and around the Vet. That same day, another eight cars were reported broken into. The night before, seven cars had been stolen, and four cars broken into.

Last season, when the Phillies were in last place and averaging 24,984 fans a game, about two cars were stolen each game and about two broken into, according to police sources.

This year, the Phillies have the best record in baseball, and attendance at the Vet is up dramatically. So is crime.

Over the last five games at Veterans Stadium, with attendance averaging 51,235, 24 cars were reported stolen from parking lots in and around the Vet, and 24 were broken into.

"We are seeing an increase in thefts from vehicles and thefts of vehicles in the stadium complex area," said Lt. William Grutzmacher of the city's traffic district.

"We are aware of it, and we're doing our best by patrolling the lots all during the games," he said. He declined to discuss the number of crimes but said police were considering increasing patrols in response to the incidents.

In addition to the increase in stolen cars and break-ins, two food vendors were robbed inside the stadium last weekend. One was a cotton-candy vendor on the 500 level, who was held up, bound and robbed at gunpoint of $2,600. As far as anyone could remember, it was the first armed robbery inside Veterans Stadium.

"That's totally new," said Mike DiMuzio, the Phillies' director of stadium operations. DiMuzio said the club had stepped up security measures this year. Last year, the Phillies had city police inside the stadium only when the Mets were in town or when there was a sellout. This year, police are inside the Vet at every home game.

DiMuzio said he was disturbed by the thefts and break-ins.

"I'd hate to come here to a Phillies or Eagles game and come out and find my car's not there," he said. "My first reaction would be, 'I'm not coming back.' "

But on game day, "you have to envision this place as a small city of 50,000 people," he said. "And I think this is a pretty good area."

None of which helped Grob. She got home about 1 a.m., after she telephoned her brother, who drove Grob and her daughter back to Jersey.

She said that it had cost $5 to park in the lot, and that no attendants were left in the lot after the game.

"I paid the $5 so my car would be safe," she said. She said she would not return to the Vet unless new security measures were implemented. "I don't want to sit there and worry about whether my car's going be OK or not."


At 4:37 p.m. Sunday, Keith Franklin, 24, was inside his lemonade-and- cotton-candy stand counting the day's take, when two men showed up. One wore a striped shirt, the kind issued to stadium food vendors.

One of the men brandished a .38-caliber pistol, stuck it in Franklin's mouth and yelled, "Where's the money? . . . Is this all the money?" before they stole $2,600, said Bruce Ground, general manager for Ogden Foods, the contractor for refreshments at the Vet. Franklin works for an Ogden subcontractor.

The thieves then used orange masking tape to bind Franklin's arms, legs and mouth. After they escaped, Franklin wiggled a hand free, and - with his legs still bound together - hopped over to a refreshment stand to report the theft.

Food-service employees carrying walkie-talkies chased two men into a parking lot outside the Spectrum, where several police officers collared the suspects. They still had the cash and a set of keys stolen from the vendor, Ground said. During the chase, one of the thieves tossed away the loaded pistol, which was recovered by police.

Police arrested Martin Lucas, 23, of the 2600 block of Phipps Avenue, and Mark Lee, 23, of the 2500 block of Hamilton, both of Willow Grove. They face numerous charges, including robbery, theft and assault.

"Thank God nobody got hurt," Ground said. "Apparently they had everything planned except the getaway. The whole situation was bizarre."

There have been three break-ins at refreshment stands in the eight years Ogden has had the contract to sell food at the Vet, Ground said. Two robberies occurred this year; the other was four years ago.

At 4:55 p.m. Saturday, an assailant jumped Ogden vendor Juan Rodriguez, 27, as he was walking to his stand before a night game. The assailant escaped with $30 taken from Rodriguez's shirt pocket.

Ground said his company would double the number of cash pickups at the Vet. In the past, Brinks employees picked up cash at the 80 refreshment stands inside the Vet only once a night. The firm's 500 employees also are being told to lock their refreshment stands before they count the cash. On Sunday, Franklin left the door unlocked while he counted the money, Ground said.

Up In Smoke: Mall's Ban Sparks A Fire Some Workers Object To Smoking Outside. But Customers Love The Idea.

Source: Posted: August 02, 1993

CHERRY HILL — The future began yesterday at the Cherry Hill Mall, and it looked like this:

Employees were clustered along the mall's outside periphery, sitting on benches or curbs with cigarettes in hand. Tables and hallways were stripped of ashtrays.

Patrons whipped out cigarette packs the moment they stepped into the parking lot. Uniformed security guards watched for illicit smokers.

Polite signs were posted on doors, in the food court, on countertops: For your shopping pleasure, this is a smoke-free center.

The era of smoke-free malls has hit New Jersey.

Cherry Hill is just the first to ban cigarettes. Echelon Mall, Burlington Center, Woodbridge Center and the Bridgewater Commons will soon follow suit.

At Cherry Hill, smoking is now taboo in most stores and in all of the common areas, including concourses and the food court.

And even though the signs throughout the mall insisted that the move was for everyone's good, a lot of people were grousing as the ban went into effect yesterday.

"I've got a serious problem with it. It's not right," said Pam Blackshear, 31, of Delran, a Gap employee who spent her lunch hour sitting on a curb with a Newport in her hand. "It's crazy."

She was joined by two fellow Gap workers - both smokers, both angered by the ban.

Usually, the trio would grab a quick cigarette break in the smoking section of the food court. But from now on, they'll be doing their lighting up outside.

"In the wintertime, I'll be outside, freezing and smoking," said Blackshear, who smokes four to five cigarettes in an eight-hour shift.

Added Eric Marmon, 21, of Northeast Philadelphia: "You've got to look at it from both sides. It's a big mall. It's not like you're condemned into one small area. There's plenty of room for smokers."

And a few havens will remain. Several restaurants, including Houlihan's, Roy Rogers, Skolnick's and Harvest House, still allow smoking. So does Littman's jewelers and, of course, the Cherry Hill Smoke Shop.

Yesterday, a sign was on prominent display next to the shop's lottery machine and the fragrant pouches of tobacco: Smokers Welcome Here. Directly below was a roomy ashtray, with smoke wafting up from newly discarded butts.

Many of the shop's customers were outraged by the ban, said store clerk Eleanor Lacca, 61, of Turnersville. "They don't like what's going on out there."

Not Lacca. She has smoked for 44 years and doesn't plan on quitting ("It's my only vice. I'm not giving it up."). Yet, she is thrilled about the ban.

"Why should people who don't smoke inhale our smoke?" said Lacca, as she took a quick cigarette break. "I haven't smoked in front of my grandchildren for eight years."

The smoking ban stemmed from growing evidence of the dangers of secondhand smoke and from anti-smoking letters from patrons, said Leesa McPherson, the mall's marketing manager.

So far, she said, customer feedback has been positive.

"The compliments far outweigh the complaints," she said yesterday.

All mall employees were asked to watch for errant smokers and to remind them politely about the ban. But few were spotted yesterday.

For most nonsmokers, the ban was welcome news. For some smokers, it may be an incentive to kick the habit.

"I think it's the coolest thing that ever happened," said Victoria Ziring, 21, of Newtown, Pa., giving a thumbs-up with both hands. "I don't want to die from secondhand smoke."

Ziring, who does not smoke, was sitting on a bench outside the mall with a fellow Macy's employee, Tracey Gratz, 23, who does smoke.

On Saturday, "Everyone was smoking three packs. They were all saying, 'Oh my God, today's the last day to smoke,' " said Ziring.

Gratz, a smoker since she was 19, was puffing on a Marlboro Light. It would be her last cigarette ever, she vowed.

"I've thought about quitting a lot. It's bad for your health," said Gratz. She was determined, although she worried about gaining weight when she quit.

"Then we can start shopping at Lane Bryant," joked Ziring.

Despite Injury, Delran Gymnast Makes Most Of Maccabiah Games Heidi Kaye Sprained An Ankle In Practice. Still, She Managed To Finish Fourth In Two Events.

Source: Posted: August 11, 1993

For an athlete performing at less than 100 percent of her capability, Heidi Kaye turned in an impressive performance at the Maccabiah Games last month in Israel.

Kaye, a 1993 Delran High graduate, was a member of the United States team in gymnastics at the Maccabiah Games, which bring together Jewish athletes from around the world for Olympic-style competition.

On her second day of practice in Israel, Kaye suffered a sprained ankle.

"I was doing a full, twisting double back when I got hurt," said Kaye, who will attend Ohio State on a gymnastics scholarship. "I had to stay off it a few days."

Despite the injury, Kaye finished fourth on the balance beam and fourth in the floor exercise in the senior division, which is for competitors 15 and older.

"I was excited about performing there, and I feel if I hadn't hurt my ankle I probably would have done better," Kaye said, adding that her ankle is back to 100 percent.

Kaye said that competing against some of the world's top athletes was a thrill. She also enjoyed the friendships she made in Israel.

"It was the best experience I've had," she said. "I traded clothes with people from Australia and Great Britain. I met so many nice people. A few of them I met, I will be competing against in college."

Before leaving for Ohio State next month, Kaye has one last bit of business. She will undergo sinus surgery on Tuesday and is expected to be sidelined from gymnastics for a month.

"After that, I'm really looking forward to competing in college," Kaye said.

Ex-delran Swimmer Eyes Games

Source: Posted: August 30, 1993

At the tender age of 20, Peter Wright thinks he may be on the verge of becoming one of our nation's next Olympic swimming stars.

"Right now, I guess I'm considered the favorite in the 400-meter freestyle," Wright said, "and to be honest, that's a pretty funny feeling."

Wright, a junior at the University of Virginia and a former star at Delran High School, has indeed become one of the better freestyle swimmers in the United States.

He competed in the Pan Pacific Games in Japan earlier this month and did well, finishing fourth in the 800-meter freestyle.

Wright's strong showing in Japan came on the heals of a record-setting 1992-93 season at Virginia and an equally impressive performance at the national swimming championships in late July.

"Making it to (the Olympic Games in) Atlanta in 1996 is definitely something I'm shooting for, but I don't like to think about it a lot or worry about it," Wright said. "I've always learned to keep my goals pretty simple because if I make them too hard or try to look too far into the future, I usually don't perform well. At this point in my career, my goal is to just keep improving."

Wright, who is a systems engineering major, qualified for the Pan Pacific Games by winning the 800-meter freestyle - an event not offered in Olympic competition - and placing second in the 400 freestyle at the national championship in Austin, Texas. His time in the 800, 7 minutes, 58.9 seconds, was the second-fastest posted in the event in the world at the time.

After qualifing for the U.S. team in Austin, Wright flew to Hong Kong for a week of practice with his teammates, arriving on Aug. 3. He then flew to Kobe, Japan, and arrived on Aug. 9 for the Pan Pacific Games.

"I loved it over there," Wright said. "The people were great, and I got to to go to a lot of neat places to shop, especially when I was in Hong Kong.

"In Japan, I was too busy to sightsee most of the time, but there were times I got to go out and look around. Kobe is a pretty big town, and the place had some great places to shop and some great buys. It was neat.

"I was a little disappointed with my performance, but there was a lot of great competition over there. Swimming for your country was a great experience. All my life I had been swimming for my school or for myself. Swimming for your country put a little more pressure on me.

"I was pretty tired, physically, after the meet in Austin. I'm not trying to make excuses, but in a sport such as swimming you really need to rest between meets, and I didn't get to do that very much. I'm sure I could have done better."

Wright's rise to the top of his sport should come as no surprise.

Teaming with Jason Rosenbaum and Dean Hutchinson - two young men who have also made their marks in freestyle swimming at the college level (Rosenbaum at Yale and Hutchinson at Auburn) - Wright helped Delran capture a Division B state title in 1990, crushing Scotch Plains, 99-57. He also won two individial state titles, in the 200- and 500-yard events in 1990.

Wright transferred to the Peddie School in Hightstown for his senior season and graduated from the school in 1991.

Wright has been attending Virginia ever since, and last season was his finest with the Cavaliers. He set two Atlantic Coast Conference records, taking the 500-yard freestyle in 4:17.8 and the 1,650-yard freestyle in 15:01, in the conference championship meet at the University of North Carolina in late February.

"I'm on the five-year plan at Virginia, so that would keep me in school when it's time for the Olympics," he said. "After school is over and after the Olympics, I'll probably retire from the sport, although I know I could make some money if I stayed in it.

"But that's looking a little too far ahead. I wouldn't be distraught if I didn't make it to the Olympics in '96, but it's something that I really would like to accomplish."

Sacca, Benched Early, Suggests He Might Quit

Source: Posted: September 19, 1993

IOWA CITY, Iowa — His eyes welling with hurt and anger, Penn State quarterback John Sacca strongly suggested that he might quit the Nittany Lions football team.

"It's time for me to sit down and think about my future," Sacca said last night after State's 31-0 victory over Iowa at Kinnick Stadium. "I might just pack it in . . . that's what it comes down to."

Penn State coach Joe Paterno pulled Sacca after three offensive series when the quarterback from Delran (N. J.) High misfired on six of his first seven passes. Sacca was replaced by Kerry Collins with State ahead, 3-0. Collins completed 6 of 16 for 57 yards.

Sacca and Collins both have a year of eligibility remaining beyond this season.

Asked what his options might be, Sacca said: "I really have no other option. My back is against the wall. But I'll go home, talk to my parents, and flip around some ideas."

Sacca got off to an excellent start when he threw four touchdown passes in State's 38-20 opening-day win over Minnesota two weeks ago. Last week, he labored against Southern Cal, hitting on 6 of 17 passes and throwing two interceptions.

Paterno said he just felt that it was time for a change and added that he might play both quarterbacks throughout the season.

"If that's his choice, I think it would affect the team," Sacca said. "I think it could hurt the chemistry of the team."

Sacca Says He'll Likely Leave State The Nittany Lions Qb, Yanked In Saturday's Game, Seems Prepared To Take His Arm Elsewhere.

Source: Posted: September 20, 1993

Sounding dispirited and grimly determined, Penn State quarterback John Sacca said yesterday there is a "very strong possibility" he will no longer be with the undefeated Nittany Lions when they take the field against Rutgers on Saturday night at Beaver Stadium.

Sacca, a fourth-year junior from Delran High in South Jersey, said that if he quits the team, he also will leave the university and try to resume his football career elsewhere, even though he would be unable to transfer to another Division I-A school.

"I doubt that I'll be at practice (today)," Sacca said. "I just don't think I've gotten the proper respect I deserve here. Right now, that's the way I see things happening."

Sacca, whose brother Tony established several school passing records in his four-year career at Penn State, was replaced by Kerry Collins early in the second quarter of the Lions' 31-0 win over Iowa on Saturday in Iowa City.

After the game, he suggested that he might leave the team, and after a night to mull it over, his determination to go elsewhere seemed strengthened.

Sacca said he had met with coach Joe Paterno yesterday morning, but that he had received little satisfaction.

"He told me why he took me out, that he felt obligated to give Kerry a chance and that the competition for quarterback would continue," Sacca said. ''But I can't play under these circumstances. I won the starting job during the preseason, and now, all of a sudden, this happens. I don't know what else I can do. I've worked hard. I've done everything they've asked of me. It just doesn't seem fair I'd get pulled so quickly."

In a shocking move, Paterno pulled Sacca after three series and with State ahead by 3-0. Even though Sacca had misfired on six of his seven passes, Paterno's move was surprising. The coach had said before the season that he would pick a starting quarterback and stay with him. On Tuesday, during his weekly teleconference, he had said: "I don't want to get to the stage where I start sticking another quarterback in if one isn't doing well. That would only hurt the team."

Sacca conceded yesterday that voicing his displeasure when the team was off to a 3-0 start in its first season in the Big Ten Conference was awkward.

"I care about my teammates, and I'll pull for them to win every game," he said. "I'm in a tough situation because I have a lot of good friends on the team, and I feel most of them will support me 100 percent. That's the worst thing about all this. But it's a matter of respect. Joe Paterno's decision to take me out at this time tells me which direction he wants to go. And after talking to him, I can't see things getting any better."

Sacca's fortunes have undergone an amazing turnabout in this young season.

In the opener against Minnesota, Sacca completed his first six passes and went on to throw for four touchdowns. He finished 18 for 32 for 274 yards and wasn't intercepted.

The following week, he struggled through most of State's 21-20 victory over Southern Cal, completing only 6 of 17 passes for 65 yards. He threw a TD pass but was intercepted twice.

Even after that game, Paterno praised Sacca for his poise and leadership.

If Sacca leaves Penn State, Collins, also a fourth-year junior, will have the starting job to himself, with sophomore Wally Richardson as his backup. Paterno had hoped to redshirt the talented Richardson this season.

Against Iowa, Collins was 6 for 16 for 57 yards. All four Lions TDs came on the ground. State's quarterbacks have completed only 13 passes in the last two games, but the Lions have won both with fierce defense and a powerful running game.

BIG LEAST? The notion that the three-year-old Big East is a top-heavy conference - with Miami the only real heavy - was supported over the weekend by the following results: Texas 21, Syracuse 21; Northwestern 22, Boston College 21; Ohio State 63, Pitt 28.

Syracuse's tie with a Texas team that had lost its first two games had to be particularly galling for conference officials because it will take much of the luster out of the Orangemen's Oct. 23 matchup with Miami. In the preseason, Miami-Syracuse looked like a matchup of two top-five teams, but the deadlock dropped Syracuse from No. 6 to No. 12 in the Associated Press poll.

Boston College (0-2) dropped out of the top 25 with its loss to Northwestern, a loss that coach Tom Coughlin, who has spurned offers to go to the NFL, labeled "devastating."

Meanwhile, Pitt has given up an incredible 126 points in its last two games. No wonder coach Johnny Majors took out an ad in the Pitt News inviting anyone who wants to walk on to the team to a meeting.

Pitt has only 60 scholarship players, 28 fewer than allowed under NCAA rules.

GEEZ, THANKS. After Texas A&M scored on five of its first six possessions en route to a 73-0 victory over Missouri on Saturday, Aggies linebacker Steve Solari called it a game. "I went up to one of their guys in the second quarter and said, 'The game is over,' " Solari said. "And he said, 'Yeah, nice game.' "

HERE AND THERE. Frank Costa, the Miami quarterback from South Philadelphia and St. Joseph's Prep, is having a little problem he didn't anticipate: The Hurricanes' receivers are dropping a lot of his passes. "It's frustrating," he said. "I'm expecting those guys to catch the ball. I know their abilities. They do it in practice. They should be able to do it in games. It's something we have to get better at." . . . The likeliehood of a Florida-Alabama showdown for the Southeastern Conference championship and the automatic bid to the Sugar Bowl increased with Florida's 41-34 victory over Tennessee on Saturday. . . . Arizona has held its first three opponents to minus-67 yards. . . . Wisconsin had its first home sellout in eight years for its 28-7 win over Iowa State on Saturday. . . . Brigham Young's NCAA-record streak of 50 games with at least one TD pass ended on Saturday in the Cougars' 27-22 victory over Colorado State.

Vermes Is No Sure Thing For World Cup The Forward From Delran, A Veteran Of 1990, Is Battling To Stay On The U.s. Roster.

Source: Posted: February 09, 1994

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. — Peter Vermes sees the World Cup in his sleep. Not the next World Cup. The last one. The one where Vermes, a starting forward for the United States who grew up in Delran, N.J., was playing in the soccer match of his life. In Rome's Stadio Olympico, against Italy, the beloved home team.

In Vermes' recurring dream, a shot rebounds right to him. The Italian goalkeeper, one of the best in the world, is sprawled out on the ground, so there is a lot of net showing, inviting the ball right in.

Vermes drills the shot, nice and low, and . . .

"Most of the time, I wake up before he saves it," Vermes said.


Walter Zenga, the Italian keeper, really did save it, and, worst of all, he saved it with his rear end. Four years ago, the Americans lost, 1-0, and went home from their first World Cup appearance in 40 years without even a measly tie in three first-round games.

"I really believe Zenga just got lucky," Vermes said.

Vermes, 27, knows his own career might have skyrocketed if that ball hadn't smacked against that goalkeeper's butt .

"A lot of things could have happened," he said.

Instead of being a hero, or at least a well-compensated curiosity all over Europe (an American who scores!), Vermes has been here in Southern California, this time in an uphill battle to make the U.S. team playing in this summer's World Cup.

He has become a solid journeyman instead of a world star. He is a leader among the players who train with the U.S. team full time, the third-leading goal scorer in national team history, yet he really has no idea if he will make the final World Cup roster.

He is just back playing after missing two months because of back surgery for an ailment that started when a U.S. team bus hit a bump in Ecuador last summer. And Vermes really can't know his status because he plays for a coach, Bora Milutinovic, who concedes that he likes to keep his thoughts to himself.

"It's a tough thing to deal with," Vermes said. "All the players . . . you always try to figure out where you fit on the measuring stick. And you don't know what the measuring stick is. It's not easy."

The processes of testing the American players will continue tomorrow, when the United States plays Denmark in the first round of a tournament in Hong Kong.

Vermes hopes that when the final 22-man roster is selected, from a player pool that is almost double that number, World Cup experience will be a factor. He doesn't have to fall asleep to remember how happy everyone was just to be there and also how nervous everyone was before the first World Cup match in Florence in 1990, against Czechoslovakia. He sees no reason why there should be a team full of players like that this time.

Whoever is selected, there will be a mix of players with European professional experience and those under contract with the U.S. Soccer Federation, training here all the time.

Vermes is one of the few who fits in both categories. Soccer has made his life an interesting one, even if he hasn't made the really big money that a goal against Italy might have brought.

There was the night Vermes drove his car onto a side street in Budapest and narrowly missed being hit by a runaway Russian tank, back when he was playing in a pro league in Hungary, then still under communist control.

And there was the season just before the last World Cup, which he spent playing in Holland and living right by a dike in the town he played for. Vermes said he would be serenaded by fans in the early-morning hours, singing fight songs and chanting his name. Everyone in town knew who he was.

And there also was a third trip to Europe, in 1991, the year he spent groping with the language in Spain.

Life is interesting enough in California, though, even if Vermes feels as if he is in some sort of preseason that lasts an entire season. Vermes could see himself playing in New Jersey if the proposed professional league ever takes off. Back in the place where he grew up. Grew up playing soccer.

"I used to bribe my friends, take them to the movies if they'd play two against one," Vermes said. "They'd have to play for like four hours."

And Vermes would spend a month of the summer in Hungary. That is where his soccer roots are. He would play with the youth team attached to the most successful club in the country, the army club.

His father, Michael, used to play for the army club. It was an epic team. Eight members played on Hungary's wondrous 1954 World Cup team, which was considered maybe the best of all time until it was upset by West Germany in the finals.

Michael Vermes wasn't a World Cup player. His true heroics came a couple of years later, when Russian tanks rolled in. The soccer player became a freedom fighter. Michael Vermes, along with his brothers, was in a shootout with Russian soldiers at a police station. The bullet holes were still there at the station when Peter Vermes returned to play more than 30 years later.

After the Russians became entrenched, Michael Vermes left the country. He left five times. Or tried to. Running for the border, one time he was stopped 10 yards from freedom. Another time, he was shot in the leg. Finally, he and his pregnant wife walked 35 miles. Part of the way through minefields. They ended up in Austria, then in an Army camp in New Jersey.

It is hard to imagine the son of such people giving in easily in his own quest for a World Cup spot. Especially when Vermes has some unfinished business, a dream left to fulfill.

"I don't have bad dreams about it," Vermes said about his World Cup moment. "I have exciting dreams."

Camping Near The Shore - So Near, Yet So What? Folks Say The Amenities Beat The Beach. Cape May County Is A Hotbed Of These Camp Towns.

Source: Posted: July 19, 1994

ERMA — Carl and Margie McDaniel of Pennsauken picked the right time for a Jersey Shore vacation. With the heat wave in full tropical force last week, they packed up their three sweaty children and a niece, and headed for Cape May County.

Five miles short of the beach, they stopped.

And, happily, stayed right where they were.

"This is so much nicer" than the Shore, said Carl McDaniel, digging his toes into the sandy beach bordering the lake at the Beachcomber Camping Resort here.

The Beachcomber is one of about 50 campgrounds in Cape May County, nearly half the state's total. Many line Route 9 in Lower Township, roughly paralleling the strip of hotels and motels along the beach just a few miles away.

But those few miles might as well be light years, given campers' disinclination to travel them.

That's because campground owners, with more than 15,000 sites in the county, are giving them plenty of reasons to stay put, redefining traditional notions of roughing it.

"Camping," said Diane Wieland, division director of the Cape May County Office of Tourism, "has gotten away from just pitching a tent."

There are big pools for grown-ups and little ones for toddlers. Lakes provide more swimming, and fishing, too. There are playgrounds and game rooms and volleyball courts and tennis courts and miniature golf courses. There are laundries and convenience stores. There are bus trips to casinos in the daytime and bingo games at night, and even an annual Miss Campgrounds beauty contest, with the winner eligible for Miss Cape May County.

At the campsites themselves, there are sewer hookups for trailers, and even the tent campers can get electrical hookups so they can plug in their radios and TVs - or microwaves for the folks who didn't bring their fancy gas grills.

"It's like a summer home," said Kathy Randle, owner of the Lake Laurie Campground, also in Lower Township's Erma section, "except that it's a little cheaper and a lot less upkeep."

"Cheaper" was the main reason campers gave for eschewing the hotel route. Campsites go for between $20 and $30 a day, compared with more than $100 for beach-front hotels.

Seasonal rates, for people with trailers, are about $2,300 for the most expensive sites - those with telephone and cable television hookups - at Beachcomber. But the campground season can be as long as six months, from March to October, instead of the Memorial Day-to-Labor Day schedule for beach houses.

"Where else can you get a summer place for $300 a month?" said Joe Okomski of Delran, a 13-year camper at Lake Laurie. He and his wife, Maryanne, have lakefront campsites next door to their friends Mitch and Patty Mason of Pennsville. They're 15-year veterans.

Ken Gomez, manager of the Beachcomber, said his campground was about evenly divided between seasonal campers, and people who just come in for a weekend or a few days.

With 600 sites, his campground is one of the larger ones. "It's like a city," he said. "It's got its own water and sewer service. There's trash collection and a security force."

Still, he said, compared with the real city where his campers live - the New Jersey Campground Association estimates that half the campers come from Philadelphia and its suburbs - Beachcomber's leafy drives are downright bucolic. "People coming from the city feel like this is really the country," he said.

Gomez said repeat campers tend to follow a pattern. They start off in tents - like the McDaniels, who were joining 16 other relatives at Beachcomber - then move up to pop-up trailers, then regular trailers.

"The trailers get bigger and bigger," he said, "and more and more plush."

At Lake Laurie, the Masons and Okomskis fit the profile. Their trailers hardly resembled temporary quarters. Both had screened porches. An Uncle Sam windsock rippled from the Masons' trailer while wind chimes tinkled at the Okomskis'.

Like many campers, the couples said they rarely venture any farther east. ''It's beautiful right here at the lake," said Patty Mason.

"We wouldn't go in (to the Shore towns) before Labor Day," added her husband. "Too crowded, too honky-tonk."

Over at Beachcomber, it was lunchtime. Margie McDaniel called her children in from the lake. The water there was bathtub-warm, they said, unlike the ocean, which has been running a bone-chilling 60 degrees.

For the McDaniels, nearby Wildwood wasn't even a temptation.

"We can do everything here that we can do at the beach," Margie McDaniel said, "and we don't have to pay."

They're Out With The Stars Of Sky And Screen At The Bucks Drive-in Theater, Business Is Booming. It's The Region's Only One.

Source: Posted: August 07, 1994

If you keep it open, they will come.

In cars big and small, foreign and domestic; vans, station wagons and pickup trucks.

Bringing with them lawn chairs, loungers, pillows, blankets, cushions, baby buggies, ice chests, and sandwiches, potato chips, popcorn, pretzels and candy.

They come, from New Jersey, Delaware, Philadelphia and all its suburbs, to see the last picture show, drive-in style, in the Philadelphia region.

It's the Bucks County Drive-In Theater on Route 611 in Warrington Township, about four miles north of Willow Grove.

On a recent Saturday night, the twin-screen theater was 14 acres of tailgating families with children in pajamas on blankets spread out on the blacktop, or on the hoods of cars or the tailgates of vans, with their parents sitting in lawn chairs, eating and talking while waiting for the movies to start.

This is not the stereotypical passion pit of the past, with tinny speakers and low-budget horror and action films, where often there was more action in the cars than on the screen.

The Bucks County Drive-In is clean, recently repainted and renovated. On this night, one screen was showing The Lion King and The Flintstones, and the other had The Mask and The Shadow - all first-run movies.

The sound comes through vehicle radios. It is better than the old speakers, which used to disappear, by accident or design. Today's 75-by-33-foot steel screens, painted in a special reflectorized paint, yield a far superior picture from two projection booths that house new 4,000-watt xenon lamps.

And, for the most part, the customers are families.


Kelly Garlitz, 28, of Pennsauken, pushed through the crowd a double baby stroller containing daughter Kaitlin, 2, and son Bryan, 7 months.

"I didn't even know this place existed," said her husband, Bill, 30. "I work in Doylestown and saw the sign one day. We love the atmosphere and the freedom. Your children can scream and yell and it doesn't bother anyone."

Many of the customers had stopped at a nearby Wawa store to stock up on hoagies and other goodies.

Just after 6 p.m., the sun was still high, but the line was beginning to form at the box office.

Linda and Frank Marinella, with son Frank Jr., 18, and daughter Melissa, 11, in the back seat, were first in line. The movie wouldn't start for more than 2 1/2 hours.

"We wanted to make sure we got here early. We were here a month ago and had a very long wait to get in," said Linda, 44, of Delran, N.J.

She said they had left home at 5 p.m. for the hour's drive to the theater and stopped along the way for sandwiches, chips and sodas, and bug spray, just in case the mosquitoes came out.

Killing time until dark, Ken Esbenshade, 33, of Horsham, was playing catch in front of the big screen with his sons, Ken, 8, and Gregory, 4, while Daniel, 18 months, watched.

"We wanted our children to see what it was like," he said. "It brings back a lot of memories. As a kid, my parents brought me here in my pajamas."

By 8:30 the theater was stuffed with 800 cars, 100 more than the usual capacity because managers John Mellor and Ed Gower had allowed the overflow to park on grass areas near the box office.

More than 200 cars were waiting up on the highway. The line stretched a mile south to County Line Road and almost a mile north to Street Road.

Mellor said 250 cars were turned away because there was no room.

"We tell people that on Saturday night they had better get here before 8 p.m.," Mellor said.

Going to a drive-in movie with your children or a date has been an American tradition since "The World's First Automobile Theater" was opened in 1933 on Admiral Wilson Boulevard in Camden by a Villanova man named Richard M. Hollingshead Jr.

Bruce Austin, a professor of communications at the Rochester Institute of Technology, said the period just after World War II was perfect for drive-ins.

"Gasoline rationing stopped, cars were once again produced, and the returning soldiers were spreading out to the suburbs in housing developments like Levittown, and there were no indoor theaters out there," said Austin, the author of a study on drive-ins.

"The drive-in was a great place to pack the kids into the station wagon, and not dress up, and talk and smoke largely without fear of disturbing people next to you," said Austin.

The number of drive-ins peaked in 1958 with 4,063, then declined as expanding suburbs made rural land too valuable to waste on movies. The decline quickened in the mid-1970s with the advent of multiscreen indoor theaters and videocassette recorders, according to the National Organization of Theatre Owners.

The number nationwide is down to 837, mostly in Sun Belt states and the Midwest. New Jersey, Delaware, Alaska and Rhode Island are the only states without a single drive-in, said Jim Kozak, director of communications for the theater owners association in North Hollywood, Calif.

In 1982 there were still 156 open-air screens in Pennsylvania. There are only 39 now, Kozak said.

"They just disappeared because the land was being bought for tremendous prices and being developed," said Kozak.

One by one, the drive-ins in the Philadelphia region darkened.

All except the Bucks County Drive-In.

It has survived largely because of the dedication of Mellor and Gower, who have worked long hours to refurbish it, starting in 1989 when they came there to work.

Now that it's the last one, it draws huge crowds of people who enjoy the ambience and freedom and the casual atmosphere.

"We wanted the children to come and see it before they are all gone," said Warminster resident Kevin Blakeslee, 40, who was with his wife, Jeanne, 43, and daughters Kendra, 8, Krista, 7, and Kimberlee, 6. The children were in their pajamas.

Barbara McCamey, 31, of Warrington, was sitting in her car with a passel of children, three of whom were sitting on top of the vehicle.

"You can be with the whole family and sit together, and you've got fresh air, and you can bring babies and the kids can go to sleep while you watch the second movie," she said.

Jerry Barber, director of operations for the Northeast U.S. Division of American Multi Cinema (AMC) in Voorhees, which owns the Bucks Drive-In, said it was the only one he knew of in the area still open.

AMC acquired the drive-in when it bought out Budco in 1987.

"We are not normally a drive-in operation," he said. "It's the only one we have. The fact it's an artifact of a different era helps. There is a nostalgic feeling amongst the baby-boomer group bringing their children to have the drive-in experience, and this is the one; this is the only one."

The drive-in first opened in 1953, said Mellor, one of three managers who take turns running the place.

"About five years ago, the theater was destined to close," he said. "It was run-down and not in good shape. Ed and I worked hard to try to make it go. We impressed AMC that the numbers are there, and they kept it open."

The drive-in is open from late April through October, usually. It depends upon the weather and the crowds. After Labor Day, it is open only on weekends.

Jane and David Hemphill spent one hour driving to the theater from Chester Springs, Chester County.

"I remember going with my parents and as a teen with a bunch of people, and I did some dating at a drive-in," said Hemphill, 37, owner of a computer business.

"Not with me," said Jane Hemphill, 36, quickly, as she and sons David, 6, and Brett, 3, sat on the car's hood.

"When my friend and I come together, we bring 10 kids," said McCamey, of Warrington. "Where else can you bring a cooler and food and watch a movie?

"I hope it never closes."

Art? Everyone's A Critic At A Marriott Debut. Opinions Shroud Unveiling Of Artwork

Source: Posted: June 30, 1995

Public art used to be heroic, magnificent, inspiring.

Think Benjamin Franklin. The China Gate. The Swann fountain at Logan Square. Or all those stern-looking people who just stepped off the battlefield.

Somewhere along the line, the creative minds decorating this landscape got a little goofy.

Think Clothespin. Rocky. Or anything involving shapes you learned in kindergarten.

The latest addition strays none too far from those aesthetic lines.

The latest public offering, outside the new Philadelphia Marriott at 12th and Filbert Streets, was dedicated yesterday. At the same time, it was devoured, derided, debated and decried by the legions who consider themselves art critics.

What does the piece, entitled World Park, say about our cultural psyche?

"I think it's crazy, to be honest with you," said Abdul Malik Aziz Shabazz, a Marriott banquet worker from North Philadelphia. "It seems like something that came from outer space. 'Alien!' That's what comes to mind."

At its most pedestrian, he said, it's a baseball and bat "inside a batting cage."

At this rate, World Park could eventually be as revered as "Government by the People," the hands-and-feet hulk that looks like people playing ''Twister" but that former Mayor Frank Rizzo likened to a pile of excrement.

World Park is set off by large sandstone columns that taper in the middle and are embedded with stones buffed by the sea. Block benches of the same material line the area. Foundling pear trees, their trunks no thicker than a goal post, are supposed to give shade to the benches, the borders, and the two objects facing off within.

One is the world: a marble mosaic-tiled sphere with gentle blues and grays depicting the Earth's seas and lands.

The other is a towering, blaring gold cone, electric with bits of colored glass.

It brings to mind disco, a giant snowcone, or a Las Vegas honky tonk.

In a city of diplomacy, that may be the kindest thing anyone will say about it.

"The columns could be nice, if it was just straight cement," said John Grant, an assistant rail conductor, whose final commentary rhymed with ''bucks." A conga player in his off hours, he said he had good aesthetics. ''I like the globe. That's about it."

The artist, Ned Smythe, first named the piece "Orders and Perspectives." But as he explained yesterday at the dedication, Smythe realized no one was going to refer to it that way. His 9-year-old son, Roman, suggested World Park.

"What I tend to do instead of an object is to try and make a space - with an object," Smythe said, as women in linen blazers and straw hats glided over to shake his hand. His aim, he said, was to create an outdoor room as an extension of the Marriott and the adjacent Reading Terminal Market.

At the same time, Smythe wanted to express the awe he felt a few years ago after his farmhouse was sucked away in a tornado. "It's the idea of history and American culture." In other words, order. "The cone is a symbol of the power of nature and that it's uncontrollable."

The six guys from a sheet metal company chewed on that one while on their lunch break from working on the new Criminal Justice Center.

"It's a nice place to eat lunch and watch the girls go by," foreman Terry Noonan of Philadelphia said.

They were told the title.

"You're kidding," Noonan laughed.

"I think they got the 'world' part right," offered a colleague who wished to critique only as Ken from Delaware. "But order?"

"It's standing too straight," suggested Joe Cane of Delran, N.J. "Knock it down."

Smythe constructed something similar to World Park a few years back in Battery Park City in Manhattan. People skate on Rollerblades around it.

"We're fortunate to have an artist of this stature create a statue in the heart of our metropolis," said Gilda Ellis, chairwoman of the Fine Arts Committee of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and a resident of Bala Cynwyd. ("I wouldn't mention that," she said. "It's not politic.")

She repeated Smythe's concern that people will jump to judge before they see the finished work - which is years away, when the pear trees are at full height and full bloom.

"Yeah," said sheetmetal worker Cane as he gnawed a peach. "That will cover it up."

Beneath the golden snowcone, guests at the dedication were eating, too. Passersby watched the lithe and beautiful society people sup daintily on the melon on skewers.

Fruit wasn't the only thing being skewered.

"They should've made a sundial," offered Cane's coworker, Chuck Beyer, of Norristown.

Some onlookers mistakenly thought World Park was incomplete. One thought the contractor had accidentally left materials behind.

Others were more enthusiastic ("Very clever!" retired pharmacist Harry Friedberg said.) Others, wishing to be kind, suggested alternative uses. Or redesigns. Or names.

"Stonehenge. Like a Roman ruin," said Ted Oponski, a guitarist from Fairmount.

"A great place to skateboard," offered Craig W. Hillwig, an attorney who rather liked the piece.

"It will be a good place to eat your pizza and soda," said retiree John Welsh of Roslyn, trying to be diplomatic.

A fountain would have been better, said his wife, Anne Welsh. "But then you would've had people wading in it."

World Park was commissioned as part of the One Percent Fine Arts Program, which requires developers building on Redevelopment Authority land to set aside 1 percent of their budget for art.

In the case of the Marriott, $1.3 million was set aside for art, with $870,000 spent on World Park.

In striving to interpret, everyone may be missing the point.

"There is no real meaning to the piece," artist Smythe confided. "The thing about public art, it's nice to stimulate the thinking."

Letter Carrier's Heroics Earn Community's Stamp Of Approval The Delran Postman's Warning Bell Rang Twice - And, Each Time, He Saved A Life. No Big Deal, He Says: "We Look Out For Each Other Here."

Source: Posted: November 06, 1995

DELRAN — Mail carrier Chaley Mitchell stacked the letters and newspapers into the crook of his arm and prepared to walk his route. At about the same time, Tom Edge was pulling out of the Delran Coffee Shop. Edge stopped his car, partway onto Bridgeboro Road, and ran up to shake Mitchell's hand.

"Good job, Chaley. You deserve a lot of credit. Some people wouldn't bother, but you always do," said Edge, a 74-year-old Riverside resident who lives along Mitchell's route.

Mitchell took the compliment - one of many he received from passersby that day - modestly, head-down and smiling. He said he's not used to being a hero, but in this small community, he ranks up there with Superman.

For the second time in his letter-carrying career, Mitchell's attention to detail and caring for his customers has saved someone's life.

"I grew up here and I know the people. We all think of each other as family," Mitchell said.

Last week, Mitchell noticed that one of his patrons, 85-year-old Karl Schilpp, hadn't emptied his mailbox in a few days. Strange, because he knew Schilpp looked forward to getting his mail every afternoon.

"He religiously picked up the mail. And if he goes away, he'll let me know," Mitchell said.

Concerned, the postman walked over to the coffee shop and called police. Schilpp, who suffers from poor circulation, was found inside his home, in the same spot on the floor where he'd fallen three days earlier. His legs were swollen and discolored and he was severely dehydrated.

"If (Mitchell) hadn't found him, he would've just laid there. I thank him, and I appreciate him getting something done," said Schilpp's nearest relative, nephew Dennis Eichel of Pennsauken.

Schilpp is still resting at Rancocas Hospital in Willingboro, undergoing tests, his nephew said. Originally, doctors thought both of Schilpp's legs would have to be amputated, but that decision has been postponed, Eichel said.

"I hope he pulls through," Mitchell said.

In 1992, on the same route, Mitchell smelled gas coming from the home of 99-year-old Ellis Stott. Looking through a window, he saw the resident lying unconscious on the floor. The postman - also a firefighter - then broke down the door and pulled the elderly man from the house.

"I kinda like to think this is part of my job description," Mitchell said. "We look out for each other here."

That's true for the whole Bridgeboro community. Mitchell describes it as the type of place where "people grow up here and they don't move away. They stay here. It's the kind of community I like." He himself is a lifelong resident, and lives on the same street as two of his brothers. He even delivers their mail.

John Leach, owner of Delran Auto Body, which sits across the street from Schilpp's house, said all the neighbors looked out for the elderly gentleman and everybody knows the mailman.

Lorrie McKee, co-owner of Delran Coffee Shop two doors down, added, ''Chaley is the type of guy who takes a lot of pride in his work. Everybody is his family."

"He deserves a medal," said McKee's husband, Bob.

Even if he does receive a medal, it is unlikely that hero status will ever go to Mitchell's head. The father of two has a 13-year-old daughter who keeps his feet planted firmly on the ground.

"She's teasing me," Mitchell said. "She said I pushed (Schilpp) down to get my picture in the paper." Then he adds: "I know she's proud."

Swimming Steadily Toward Atlanta His Last Shot At The Olympic Dream Allows Peter Wright Little Rest.

Source: Posted: November 29, 1995

CHERRY HILL — Peter Wright is tired.

"Almost all the time," he says with a laugh.

The former Delran High School and University of Virginia swimmer is sitting on a stool in Bob Clarke's Gym, dressed in sweats and a T-shirt, his morning workout finished. He's munching on some fast food.

"I try to eat all day," he says. "I try to get as many calories into my body as I can."

Wright swims five hours a day, five days a week. He swims only 2 1/2 hours the sixth day. When he's not in the pool at the Jersey Wahoos in Mount Laurel or the Pennypack Fitness and Aquatic Club in Philadelphia, he's in the weight room at Bob Clarke's (yes, that Bob Clarke) in Cherry Hill.

Calories are important when you're feeding an ambition to make the U.S. Olympic team.

Winning one of the 26 berths on the men's team - there also will be 26 on the women's team - is not just a pipe dream. Wright has been ranked as high as third in the world in the 800-meter freestyle. He won a national championship in the 400 in 1992 and national championships in the 800 in 1993 and 1995. He was a six-time all-American at Virginia.


Wright, who will turn 23 on Sunday, started swimming with the Wahoos when he was 10, "and I can't believe I'm still there," he said.

Swimming has taken Wright from Delran High to the Peddie School to Virginia on a full scholarship. It has taken him from local club meets to national college events to international competitions.

Even though he's tired now of the training grind, weary of the daily routine, he keeps at it because there is one more place he'd like to go.

"To go to the Olympics is a dream for everyone," said Wright, who is concentrating on the 1,500-meter freestyle. "I know I'd regret it 10 years from now if I would have quit without going for it. I don't want to be one of those people who look back and say, 'I might have done it.'

"This," he continued, "is something I have to do."

So Wright swims from 7 to 9:30 a.m. at Pennypack, 10,000 meters a day, six days a week. He swims at Wahoos from 3 to 5:30 p.m., about 8,200 meters a day, five days a week. "After the water," he said, "I come to Clarke's and lift for 45 minutes to an hour on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays."

Order that man more large fries and a soft mattress.

Wright swam for Delran for three years. He won state championships in the 200 and 500 freestyle as a junior before leaving to attend the Peddie School, a private school in Hightstown with a national reputation in the sport. He graduated from the Peddie School in 1991 and went to Virginia, where he set Atlantic Coast Conference records in the 500-, 1,000- and 1,650-yard events.

When his college eligibility ran out last spring, he decided to put off getting his degree - he was enrolled in a five-year engineering program - to train for the Olympics.

Before he left Virginia, the school named him its outstanding athlete. "I was surprised," he said. "Swimming is a sport that not that many people really know about, and it's not really a spectator sport, and there were so many good athletes in other sports there, so I was really honored to be recognized."

Wright always has had an appetite to compete in the Olympics. In the summer of 1992, he got the victory that told him he just might be able to satisfy that hunger. He won the 400-meter freestyle championship at the senior nationals.

"That's when I said to myself that if I kept training, I might be able to do it," he said. "That's when going to the Olympics started looking more like a reality than a dream, something I could attain."

In 1993, he won the 800 freestyle and finished second in the 400 at the senior nationals. "My times were still dropping steadily," he said. He also was ranked third in the world in the 800, so he pressed on.

He pressed hard enough to come down with mononucleosis in the summer of 1994.

"That was scary," he said. "Swimming is a sport where you can't take off a season and expect to come back and be where you were. I trained just as hard, but the mono really had an effect on me. In a way, I'm lucky it happened when it did, because now I'm over it; I'm back to where I was."

He knows that because over the summer he won the 800 freestyle at the senior nationals in Pasadena, Calif. He also competed in the Pan-Pacific Games in Atlanta, in the pool that will be used for the Olympic competition in the summer of '96. He swam the 1,500 freestyle in 15 minutes, 29 seconds, the third-fastest time of the season for an American.

"Throughout my career, I guess, I've been geared toward the 400," Wright said, "but this past summer I seem to have excelled in the 1,500."

"He's definitely a contender," said John Carroll, Wright's coach with the Wahoos. "It's just a matter of putting together a good meet, and he's capable of doing that. There might be a couple people who on paper have better times. But if he's at his best, nobody can stop him."

Wright will have to be at his best for the Olympic trials, which will be held March 6-12 in Indianapolis.

"Swimming is like that," said Mike Parker, who retired as Camden Catholic's swimming coach after last season and now manages Clarke's Gym. "A guy can be the best there is, but if he happens to come down with a cold or something the day of the trials, he could be shut out."

And what if Wright is shut out? When he's swimming the 1,500 at the Olympic trials, what if it just isn't his day? What if he just isn't good enough?

"I'll stop swimming," he said. "If I make it, I go to the Olympics and then stop. If not, then I go to the Olympic trials and stop.

"This sport takes a lot out of you physically and mentally. If I make the team, then it would be a great way to end it. If I don't, then I still had a good career.

"It'll be weird when I stop swimming. I've been around it for 13 years. I don't know any other way to live."

He might start by eating a big dinner, then taking a nice, long nap.

Ex-painter Brushes Through Life As Model The Delran Resident Hardly Stays Put These Days, Moving From Job To Job.

Source: Posted: January 07, 1996

DELRAN — When Dave Curzie got off the plane in Madrid, there wasn't a limousine waiting to take him to his modeling job downtown. Not even a rental car. So the Delran resident hopped into a taxi.

He was immediately dragged out and thrown to the ground by a band of striking cab and bus drivers.

``I thought, where's the glamour scene'' associated with modeling? the 28-year-old recalled recently. ``I ended up hitchhiking to my hotel.''

Just another day at the ``office'' for the South Jersey house painter turned international model.

Curzie - ``six foot two, eyes of blue'' just like the song says - was ``so-called discovered'' while vacationing in Miami a few years ago. He and a friend were standing in their hotel lobby when a woman asked Curzie whom he was with. He told her he was with his friend. She, of course, meant which modeling agency. She wanted him with hers.

``I actually thought it was a big scam,'' Curzie said. But he called his mother, crossed his fingers, and stepped into the modeling world.

Posing for pictures was a far cry from Curzie's former profession: co-owner of Fresh Look Painting, a Delran-based contractor company. Curzie started the business after graduating from Holy Cross High School in 1986. His family now runs Fresh Look.

``I always was pretty handy so I bought a paintbrush and started painting,'' Curzie said.

While working, he attended classes at Burlington County College and Rutgers University-Camden before finishing his bachelor's degree at the McGuire Air Force Base satellite campus of Southern Illinois University.

Then he took the fateful trip to Florida. Now Curzie is walking runways in Barcelona, sipping wine in a Riunite commercial in Italy, and looking out at the readers of Germany's Otto magazine.

``I like the business a lot,'' Curzie said. ``I'm meeting people I never would've met if I was painting a wall in Delran.''

He even likes it when assignments get slightly odd: On a recent winter day, he had just returned from Penn's Landing, where a photo shoot had required him to hang from an icy ladder for up to a half-hour at a time.Another memorable workday in the area had him holding a naked woman upside down for about two hours.

``That was pretty strange,'' he recalled.

Stateside, Curzie's work has appeared mainly in catalogs, although his handsome mug has been spotted in Cosmopolitan and other magazines. He hopes his European work will mean more attention on this side of the ocean, as well as an opportunity to explore acting and photography production.

But becoming famous isn't what is important to Curzie: ``I think that's kind of shallow,'' he said. Enjoying your work and living life to the fullest are what matters, he said.

Modeling has certainly brought Curzie adventures he never would have had in Burlington County.

His recent seven-month stint in Europe, for example, took him from Greece to England and stops in-between.

He took the trip, he said, to get himself exposure, as the Delran area isn't a hot bed of modeling jobs.

Exposure does mean more money and fame, but it also means never staying in one place for very long, he said.

With portfolio in hand, the model freelanced through Europe, going door-to-door and referral to referral.

``I had to make money, and usually I made enough money in each place to get to the next,'' Curzie said. ``I was on a train from Munich to Hamburg and I started worrying, `What if they don't like me? I don't have enough money to get back.' ''

When modeling was slow, Curzie picked up a paintbrush:

``If it weren't for the painting and my parents, I wouldn't be this far,'' he said.

Spending time in countries where English isn't the norm also challenged Curzie.

He spent a lot of time living and working in Germany but - besides bitte and bier (please and beer) - he doesn't know any German.

``It was lonely,'' he said. ``The best part of this business is you get to travel. It's also the loneliest part.''

Curzie comes home to Delran, his home base, every now and then, visiting family and friends - and sometimes picking up work as a model in the area.

Curzie met his first group of adoring female fans in Barcelona. They cornered him after a fashion show and wanted autographs.

``I thought it was a joke,'' he said, laughing. But the girls, overwhelmed, then began to cry. Unable to speak Spanish, Curzie consoled them the international way: He took them out for ice cream.

He has gotten to meet the famous himself. He crossed paths with supermodel Elle MacPherson, for example, as she came slinking off the runway in Madrid.

``She said hello but I could only stammer,'' he recalled. ``My friends and I just kept hitting each other.''

Curzie plans to fly off to Florida this week for another job.

``I don't know where that's going to lead,'' he said. ``It could be Europe or New York, but it's definitely not Delran.''

He Worked His Way To The Olympics Delran Swimmer Peter Wright Almost Gave Up His Quest. He Came Back With A Vengeance.

Source: Posted: May 21, 1996

PHOENIX — An hour before the biggest race of his life, in the middle of the toughest swim meet in the world, Peter Wright saw more than just the blue lane ahead of him.

For the previous year, the Delran, N.J., freestyler had put his life on hold to try for the U.S. Olympic team in the grueling 1,500-meter event.

But when Dean Hutchinson, his best friend from the Jersey Wahoos Swim Club, failed to advance to the 50-meter freestyle final at the Olympic trials, Wright couldn't stay within the cocoon of positive thoughts that swimmers like to spin before a race.

``We had always talked about making the team together and about how we were going to room together in Atlanta,'' said Wright, 23. ``The trials are a nerve-racking meet. You see so much disappointment that you have to stay away from the pool as much as possible because there's so much tension in the air. But Dean had always been there for me.''

When Wright was thinking about quitting the sport last year after a disappointing senior season at the University of Virginia, Hutchinson was one of the people who talked him off the ledge. During the endless side-by-side laps at the 25-yard Wahoos pool, Wright and Hutchinson swam toward Atlanta.

So when Wright saw Hutchinson finish ninth in his preliminary during the March trials, Wright didn't turn his back.

``He came over to cheer me up and was saying really nice things,'' Hutchinson said. ``But there was no cheering me up at that point. I put my goggles on because I started crying and I didn't want anybody to see that. My goggles were filling up with tears.

``I wanted to be upbeat for him. I knew he had a real good shot. And it helped me to get myself fired up for him. For the 15 minutes he was swimming, I forgot how poorly I had done. Seeing how he did was a little bit of redemption for me.''

Wright finished an easy third in the preliminaries to draw a favorable lane for the final heat. Then, with family, friends and Hutchinson cheering him on at the Indiana University Natatorium, he chopped nine seconds off his personal best time. Wright finished behind only Pan-Am Games gold medalist Carlton Bruner, earning one of the two slots on the U.S. team for the event.

``I've always believed that swimming is a sport where it's all a reflection of how hard you work,'' said Wright, who swam at the Speedo Invitational in Phoenix last weekend, a training meet for all U.S. team members.

``And I don't believe there's been a time in my career where I've worked harder than leading up to the trials. Knowing that gave me a different attitude to winning at that meet. For me, confidence is a rare thing. But because of all the work I did, I was very confident.''

Both Bruner and Wright were out to hunt down Lawrence Frostad, a 1992 Olympian, in the final heat. Bruner did it by going out extremely fast. Wright did it by coming on strong at the end, with a trademark finishing kick that leaves his competition gasping.

``Something I always tell myself when I'm swimming is that if I'm hurting, the other guy is hurting more,'' Wright said.

Frostad was almost five full seconds behind when Wright touched the wall in a time of 15 minutes, 17.96 seconds.

``I came up and looked at the scoreboard,'' Wright said, ``then looked up at my family and it just went through my mind over and over, `Oh, my God, I made the team. Oh, my God, I made the team.' ''

When the U.S. delegation marches into the new Olympic stadium for the July 19 opening of the Atlanta Games, there will be plenty of athletes who worked hard to get there. But perhaps none harder than Wright, who routinely churns out 100,000 to 120,000 yards of workouts each week during the peak of his training.

``He's never cut any corners,'' said John Carroll, who has coached with the Wahoos since 1979 and headed the senior program the last nine years. ``Everything he did was hard and right. The only practice he missed all year was the day of the 30-inch snowstorm, and he made it up during the week.''

Success in the pool didn't come quickly for Wright, who took up swimming in elementary school to help rehabilitate a badly broken arm. His work began to pay off when he was 15 or 16, leading him to transfer from Delran High to the Peddie School program for his senior year.

Earning a scholarship to the University of Virginia, Wright went on to become a six-time all-American for the Cavaliers. In his freshman year, he qualified for the 1992 Olympic trials in the 400-meter (finishing sixth) and 1,500-meter freestyle (fifth).

Just as his swimming career began because of a broken bone, however, it almost ended for the same reason. Going into his senior season at Virginia, Wright was coming off a bout of mononucleosis when he broke an elbow in a bicycle accident. His training schedule was ruined, and, after a poor collegiate year and a disappointing showing at the summer nationals, Wright was ready to quit.

``I was really questioning my ability and thought it might be best for me to move on and start my career,'' said Wright, who will graduate with a systems engineering degree. ``But then I thought about what I'd be like 20 years from now. I don't want to be one of those people who says, `I could have.' So, I wanted to find out.''

He threw himself back into the pool and has been grinding ever since.

``I knew there was no way he wouldn't make the Olympic team,'' said Hutchinson. ``He never backed down from a practice. Even early on, when we were in high school, he was always another level ahead. He showed all of us that there was more out there than high school swimming. You saw how he trained, and now the kids are seeing that you can work that hard and become an Olympian.''

That's a Jersey Wahoos tradition handed down for years, most recently by Sean Killion, who swam the 400-meter and 1,500-meter events in Barcelona and still holds the U.S. record in the 800-meter freestyle. He also still holds the Wahoos' club records in all of Wright's events.

``The only swimmer I ever idolized was Killion. He was 6 years older, and I'd watch him train incredibly hard,'' Wright said. ``I'm still trying to get his records. One of my goals is to break a Jersey Wahoos record at the Olympic Games.''

Getting there is the hardest part, and Wright has done that, surviving the U.S. trials, which traditionally feature stronger top-to-bottom fields than the Olympic events themselves. The third-place finisher at the Olympics gets a bronze medal. The third-place finisher at the U.S. trials gets a plane ticket home.

But the 1,500-meter event in the Olympics will be extremely tough this year, with Australians Kieren Perkins and Daniel Kowalski dominating the rankings. Wright will also have to find a way to get past teammate Bruner.

``I just want to perform well, but I don't feel a lot of pressure,'' Wright said. ``I want to do it for me and my family, and represent my country well, and go out on a great note. Sure, I'm happy just to get there, but I also want to do more.''

They're Over 30, Graying, But Still Playing Hardball To The South Jersey Senior Baseball League, Softball Is Something You Do At Picnics.

Source: Posted: May 25, 1996

It is 8:15 on a Sunday morning, 45 minutes before game time. Most of the players are already at the field, taking batting practice, playing catch, shagging fly balls.

``I love playing,'' says Rich Bendel, who is a state trooper when he's not catching for the over-40 Cardinals. ``I love it. I'll play as long as there is a league.''

This is a league unlike any other. The men at Notre Dame Avenue field in Delran on this Sunday are not here to play softball. They are here to play old-fashioned hardball. Nine innings. Wooden bats. Ninety feet between the bases. Regulation mound, 60 feet, 6 inches from the plate.

The South Jersey Men's Senior Baseball League does have a couple of wrinkles in its rules, not to mention on its players. Everyone plays, even if that means batting more than nine men in a lineup, and there is free substitution. Games are stopped after seven innings if one team is ahead by at least 15 runs or after three hours, whichever comes first. Usually, the mercy rule beats the clock.

Bill Curzie of Delran formed the league in 1992. He is its commissioner. Curzie, Allen Scott, the president of the over-40 division, and Wayne Baker, the president of the over-30 division, have nurtured the league, overseeing its growth from six teams in '92 to 32 teams and nearly 500 players today.

Sponsors are scarce, so most of those 500 guys pay their own way. Dues to the national association are $65 a season, but the price to play can be from $180 to $250 a man to cover the cost of uniforms, equipment and umpires' fees.

The teams play a 16-game schedule from late April to mid-August with postseason playoffs.

The teams are spread all over South Jersey, from Tabernacle to Millville, from Cherry Hill to Williamstown. There's even a team from Philadelphia. It's not the Whiz Kids.

Curzie is 61, a training coordinator for Burlington County College and the third baseman for the Gashouse Cardinals, the only over-50 team in the league. Gashouse distinguishes the really old guys from the old guys on the over-40 Cardinals and the not-quite-so-old guys on the over-30 Cardinals.

``There's nothing like the thrill of getting out there on a Sunday morning and realizing you can still play ball,'' Curzie says.

That's why he started the league. Just to play. Slow-pitch softball, the hybrid that has turned a complex game of skill and grace into a simple matter of fence-bashing, ``is something I'd play at a picnic,'' Curzie says. ``But to me, that's what softball is - a picnic game.''

This game today is no picnic for the over-50 Cardinals. They fall behind, 8-0, and just keep tumbling. The mercy rule is invoked in the seventh with the over-40 team holding a 17-0 lead. Neither manager wants the game stopped, but the umpires have pressing business elsewhere. No matter. Someone is recruited from the stands to call balls and strikes from behind the mound, and the teams play one more inning.

``We have all been through it with Little League and all,'' says Jerry Lomurno, 49, who lives in Moorestown, runs a small electronics company and manages the over-40 Cardinals. ``We're finished with the kids growing up and now it's our turn to have fun.''

The skill level of the league, Lomurno says, ``is spotty. You might have a former triple-A pitcher one week and a guy who hasn't pitched in 20 years the next.''

``We make errors,'' says Bendel, 41, who lives in Cinnaminson. ``But we're not pros.''

None of the players in this game would be mistaken for Darren Daulton. They look about the way you'd expect middle-age men to look. Some of them are in pretty good shape, but more than a few are a little round in the middle, a little gray on the top.

By weekday they are cardiologists and chiropractors, carpenters and plumbers. There are even a few lawyers, which gives the league properly credentialed spokesmen for arguments with umpires.

Loud voices are conspicuously absent from this Sunday morning game. There is no bench-jockeying, no dugout debates over who should have taken charge on the pop-up in shallow left. No one says boo to the umpires.

There is some gallows humor.

Ron ``Rip'' Kline's first pitch of the game is ripped down the third-base line foul by the over-40 team's leadoff hitter.

``OK,'' says Howard Bartman, the over-50 Cardinals' first baseman, ``that's one strike.''

``No need to get sarcastic in the first inning,'' says Kline, 52, a salesman for a Princeton computer firm who lives in Westmont.

The batter doubles to left-center on Kline's next pitch. The next hitter singles to left, the next drills a two-run double to right-center.

``This has been so much fun, this league,'' Kline says. ``It's a new lease on life. You think your hardball days are over, and then you get to do it again.''

The second inning is no fun for Kline. But he escapes the third without allowing a run. ``Just another scoreless inning,'' he deadpans. ``We had one last year.''

Kline is done pitching for the day. He moves to first base. Mike Knoll takes the mound for the over-50 Cardinals. He is 53, lives in Edgewater Park and works for a garage door company in Bristol, Pa. He joined the team two weeks ago.

``I haven't played since 1970,'' he says. ``I coached baseball for a long time, and now I've decided to give playing a try. It takes time to get it back. The first couple times I pitched, I couldn't reach the plate.''

A straggler arrives. He's a painting contractor from New Egypt who got lost on his way to the field. The over-50 Cardinals have recruited Jim Martino from a league in Central Jersey. They want him to pitch. He is a lefthander by necessity; he was born with nerve damage in his right shoulder and cannot use his right arm for much.

When he takes the mound, he holds his glove with his right hand, makes his pitch, then puts the glove on his left hand, in the manner of the Angels' Jim Abbott, who has one hand. Two balls are hit back to the mound while Martino is pitching. He gloves the first, knocks down the second, and throws out both runners.

``I never played baseball before in my life,'' says Martino, 42, who is in his fourth year in the Central Jersey league. ``I grew up watching my brothers and cousins play and thought I could never do it.

``One day - I was 38 years old - I saw Jim Abbott pitch and I realized how foolish I'd been.''

So here is Martino, pitching, fielding, playing hardball with all the others who woke up one day and realized the game was waiting for them to open their eyes.

All they had to do was take the field.

Delran's Wright Finishes A Little Short In Final Swim After Years Of Preparation, He Failed To Qualify For The Final In The 1,500-meter Freestyle Event.

Source: Posted: July 26, 1996

ATLANTA — Peter Wright climbed from the Olympic pool yesterday, shook off the water and realized his swimming career was over.

``It's weird to think about it,'' Wright said. ``I'm done now. I may not even touch the water again.''

Even for competitors who reach the Olympic Games, the ultimate showcase for the ultimate athletes, there is sometimes the bitter disappointment of a performance that could have been better, a day that unexplainably didn't work out as expected.

That was the feeling yesterday for Wright, the 23-year-old from Delran, after finishing 12th in the 1,500-meter freestyle preliminaries, failing to make the eight-man final tonight.

``The warm-ups felt great. I felt strong and powerful,'' said Wright. ``I thought I was going to have a great swim.''

He certainly prepared for one. In the last year, Wright churned out the hundreds of miles necessary to become an elite distance swimmer, turning lap after lap in the Jersey Wahoos pool under the direction of coach John Carroll.

The work paid off at the Olympic trials in March, and Wright then dedicated himself to being finely tuned for the Games themselves. He went back to a heavy training schedule that peaked with a weekly total of more than 65 miles.

``It's a grind, and many times I thought I was burned out,'' Wright said. ``But it's easy to keep going when you have something like the Olympic Games in front of you.

``The whole year, whenever I had a bad workout or I was suffering, I'd tell myself, `This is it.' And I'd always tell myself, `Remember this workout.' Because when you're done, that's the kind of feeling you'll never have to deal with again. It was something I was looking forward to. But now that it's all over, it kind of hits you.''

Wright has been doing this seriously since joining the Junior Wahoos program when he was 9, and he first thought about the Olympic Games watching the U.S. men win the 800-meter relay in 1984.

Through his high school years at Delran High and the Peddie School, and through his college career at the University of Virginia, Wright kept that goal in sight. He alternated between the distance and middle-distance events before deciding on the 1,500-meter freestyle, the marathon of swimming, as his best shot to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

``I honestly didn't think anybody could have trained harder than I did,'' said Wright. ``I also believe that I'm not as talented as most of the guys here. For me, the more I train the better I am.''

Wright started out well enough in his heat, which included the top two qualifiers, Daniel Kowalski of Australia and Jorg Hoffmann of Germany. He couldn't keep pace with those two, but was on pace to swim about 15 minutes, 15 seconds after the first 500 meters.

``My race strategy is the same as always. I've been swimming this race a long time, and when I go out too fast, the results aren't that good,'' said Wright. ``I wanted to stay in [Kowalski's] draft, but he just took it out too fast.''

The middle 500 meters is where Wright lost his chance at the final. He was caught between an extremely fast pack of swimmers and a much slower one, and found himself without a pace car to latch onto.

``He couldn't hook up with anyone and was kind of out of it,'' said U.S. assistant coach Jon Urbanchek. ``It's easier if you can make eye contact, lock horns with someone. He settled back with the pack and had too much left in the end.''

Wright's last 100 meters were done in under one minute, and he touched the wall in a time of 15:25.43, far from from his morning goal of 15:10, and more than four seconds off the time he needed to make final.

``The first 500 were fine. The last 500 were fine. The middle 500 were terrible,'' said Wright. ``It's hard to take, because my goal here was to make finals. Everyone who doesn't really know says, `Get a medal,' or, `Go for the gold,' but I knew that was a little out of my range. I knew it would take my best time to make finals, but I thought it was in my capabilities.''

Wright was faster at the March trials than he was yesterday, and the mystery of how that could happen will bother him for a while. But not forever.

``I want to go on to other things now,'' said Wright. ``I want to see if I can be successful at business or engineering.''

Survivor Of War Remembers Kosovars' Plight Stirs Memories For Refugee From Bosnia.

Source: Posted: May 05, 1999

BURLINGTON CITY — She was serving up navy bean soup, hamburgers, gravy-slathered turkey, hot cups of coffee. But her thoughts were elsewhere, in a place and time she has been reliving each night in front of the television.

While nearby McGuire Air Force base and Fort Dix prepared yesterday to accommodate today's expected arrival of about 400 Kosovar Albanian refugees, Adisa Smajic worked her shift at the Burlington Diner and remembered when her plight was like theirs.

Trying to survive was the most terrifying moment in my life. It was April of 1992. Living in a basement for days with lack of food and drinks was not fun, but in order to survive I had no choice. I had to hide from my neighbors, from the people I lived with all my life, just because of my religion.

So wrote Smajic in February, in an essay for her freshman English class at Burlington County College, where she is studying to become a nurse. She titled the essay ``Escaping From the War.''

It was only five years ago that Smajic, then 15, arrived here from Croatia, a Muslim forced to flee her Bosnian home of Glamoc during a murderous Serbian assault. A nephew of her mother's and an uncle were killed. Smajic escaped with her parents and an older brother, all of whom now live in Delran.

``When it happened in Bosnia, it was as bad as it is for these Albanians,'' she recalled in an interview yesterday at the diner. ``I had to walk through the forest for 12 hours to get to another city. There were 19 of us. The Serbs closed the roads into our town, and everybody was blocked. They burned my house.

``I don't know if I'll ever go back there. I want to go back to visit, but after everything that has happened, I just don't want to live there anymore. Most of my friends were Serbs. I can't say that I hate them. You really can't judge everybody by their president. They were really good, until I left. But then I heard bad things. Like they killed my dog.''

At 5:10 p.m. we left our home and everything else we had. The only things I took with me were the clothes I was wearing and a few photographs that were lying on my desk. Half an hour later we got to the forest. Running away from death and knowing that I could die with every step I took was a feeling I'll never be able to fully describe. It felt like I was in a horror movie that had no ending to it.

Smajic said she had been thinking more about her past since the images of Muslims like herself persecuted by the Serbs have been brought home to her on TV newscasts.

``I know what they are going through, and it's worse for them than it was for me,'' said Smajic, who has worked at the diner for 3 1/2 years.

She has been thinking about going over to Fort Dix to try to visit with them after they arrive. The Bosnian and Albanian languages are similar, she said.

``I know that when I came, if there was anybody that came to see me I would probably feel a lot better,'' said Smajic, who flew with her family from Croatia to New York and was welcomed by a cousin in Burlington County.

The area has no mosque, but her family has not seen the need to visit one since arriving, she said.

``I was glad when I came here,'' she said. ``It's better to be here. They'll be happy. Almost everybody is nice here. They'll get treated nice.''

There were land mines around me, and trying not to step on one was the most horrifying and unspeakable emotion that a 13-year-old kid could live through. After two hours of walking through the snow, I stopped, looked at my parents and said, ``You go on without me because I won't make it. I am tired, my feet are frozen, and I can't walk any longer.''

She said the hardest challenge for the refugees will be the language barrier, as it was for her at Burlington City High School.

``When I first came here, I didn't know a word of English,'' she said. ``I started going to school, and it was a lot easier. They put me in basic-skills classes.''

Her father watches TV news constantly these days, she said. ``He says this is going to go on forever,'' she said of the ethnic turmoil in the Balkans. ``Because even when the war stops, there are always going to be people that will want to kill somebody because somebody killed their relatives. Like revenge. I think I agree with him.''

Smajic supports the NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. ``I don't know if it would teach them a lesson,'' she said. ``But maybe.''

Going through all the fear and horror, walking through the forest covered with land mines for 13 hours and starting over from the beginning made me realize that life is worthwhile.

``Writing essays takes me a long time, and I go back and change everything like 20 million times,'' she said, while doodling on her order pad. ``So far, I've gotten all A's, so hopefully it'll stay that way.''

Carli Lloyd: A Bear Necessity Delran's Junior Midfielder Is At The Controls.

Source: Posted: September 17, 1999

DELRAN — Carli Lloyd is almost a contradiction on the soccer field.

After all, how can someone with such a soft, deft touch on the ball unleash such a powerful shot? And how can someone who is a proven scorer say she prefers to pass the ball?

There is, however, one thing about Lloyd that is hard to contradict: She is among the most complete players in South Jersey, and perhaps the most complete.

Lloyd, a 5-foot-5 junior midfielder for Delran, is a master distributor. She also can score, and this year, that should happen more frequently on a young but talented Bears team. Her ball control is impeccable, and when needed, she can rifle a shot that would blister the hands of the best goalie.

At Delran, which has produced such prolific players as Peter Vermes, a former member of the U.S. World Cup team, and three-time high school all-American Boo Schubert, the mantle has been passed to Lloyd.

Don't think she will be overwhelmed by being Schubert's successor. After all, Lloyd scored a goal against a World Cup team this summer. So replacing a three-time all-American who is now a freshman at the University of the Florida isn't a burden.

``I loved playing with Boo, and she taught me a lot,'' Lloyd said. ``But she was more of a scoring type, and I'm there to distribute the ball. I know people will compare us because we went to the same school, but our games are different.''

Lloyd, though, is receiving the same type of national attention from coaches that Schubert did when she was at Delran.

This summer, Lloyd played for the New Jersey Splash, who featured mostly women who were college age and older. Lloyd was the only high school junior on the team. The Splash played Mexico's World Cup team in an exhibition. It was considered a World Cup tune-up for the Mexicans and turned out to be a showcase for Lloyd.

She scored her team's lone goal in a 3-1 defeat at Memorial Stadium in New Brunswick.

``It was such a thrill to sit in the stands and see her score a goal against the World Cup team,'' said Pam Lloyd, her mother. ``Just to see her be able to stand up against that type of talent and not be intimidated was something, but to get a goal was unbelievable.''

Pam Lloyd is accustomed to marveling at her daughter's soccer accomplishments. Carli began playing at age 5, and Pam was one of the coaches in a Delran instructional program. She watched her daughter make an immediate impact.

``At that age, it was coed, and Carli was hanging with the boys,'' Pam Lloyd recalled, laughing. ``She always loved it and showed a lot of ability from an early age, but she also has always worked hard.''

In addition to the goal against the World Cup team, Lloyd had other memorable moments this summer. She and Lenape's Katie Ludwig were the only players from the seven-county South Jersey area selected to the Region 1 under-17 team, which consisted of the top players from Maine to Virginia.

Lloyd went to Portland, Ore., to train for a week with the Region 1 team and then was selected to try out for the under-18 national team in November in Arizona.

``When I first made the regional team, it didn't hit me until after I came home from Oregon,'' Lloyd said. ``Over the previous two years, I was nervous trying to make it. This year, I finally set my heart to making the team. Now I'll just give it my best to try to make the national team, because I realize everybody is in the same position.''

Closer to home, Lloyd is intent on helping Delran contend in the difficult Burlington County League Liberty Division. The Bears are off to a 2-0 start. They opened with a 1-0 victory over Cinnaminson as Lloyd assisted on the goal. She scored two goals in a 4-0 win against Northern Burlington.

Lloyd is one of the team captains, along with the Bears' only two seniors, sweeper Ann Ryan and goalie Betsy Kennedy.

``She can do anything on the field,'' coach Rudi Klobach said. ``If you need her to score, she will. She sees the field so well and is a great passer, and she comes back and plays defense.''

The only thing Lloyd can't do is escape the comparisons with Schubert.

``I have faced both of their shots, and she shoots as hard as Boo did,'' Kennedy said. ``She doesn't shoot as much, but I'll tell you, I don't enjoy facing her shots in practice. And her passing ability is unbelievable. She is one of the most unselfish players you'll ever see.''

Klobach has asked Lloyd to be a little more selfish and go for the goal more.

``Her ball skills are phenomenal,'' he said. ``There's no doubt that she has the moves as a junior that Boo showed as a senior.''

Everything seems to be happening so quickly for Lloyd, but just as she does on the soccer field, she is taking her time in surveying the situation. She would like to play Division I soccer, which appears to be a realistic goal.

The letters are arriving regularly from Division I schools, and if Lloyd continues to make plays on the field - in all her levels of competition - more are sure to follow.

Level-headed Lloyd Set Standard At Delran

Source: Posted: December 07, 2000

Throughout her four years at Delran, Carli Lloyd has dazzled soccer observers with her fast footwork, her rocket shot, and her innate ability to break down defender after defender.

In her final game, Lloyd showed her all-around development in another area: the postgame interview.

Delran had just suffered a 1-0 defeat to Ramsey in the state Group 2 final. It was an especially bitter loss because the Bears had dominated play and outshot Ramsey, 24-5. Lloyd controlled the game, hit the post once, and was consistently setting up scoring chances that Delran could just not finish.

Then, after the game, while noticeably downcast, Lloyd faced reporters from around the state. She patiently answered the same questions over and over about the disappointing defeat. Everybody, it seemed, wanted to talk to her. It was a time she could have chosen to hide, but she did not.

"Carli doesn't change," said her mother, Pam Lloyd. "She was sad and upset to lose that last game. She obviously wanted to win, but she wasn't going to have a pity party. She is very even-keel and takes after her dad."

Her father, Steve Lloyd, has always tried to teach Carli not to get too high over the highs or too low over the lows.

Make no mistake about it, there were plenty of highs this season, for which Lloyd has been selected as The Inquirer's South Jersey girls' soccer player of the year for the second straight season. Yet even when Lloyd scored both goals in Delran's 2-1 win over Haddonfield in the South Jersey Group 2 championship game, she remained level-headed, looking forward to the next game, the next challenge, instead of focusing on her heroic exploits.

"Carli was always the same, win or lose," Delran coach Rudi Klobach said. "It was a good lesson for our younger players."

Just because she did not throw a tantrum does not mean Lloyd was not hurt by that final loss. It was her second straight year in a state final, and once again, Delran came away with a one-goal defeat.

"It was an important game and was really disappointing, but what are you going to do?" Lloyd said. "I wanted everybody else to move on and not get bummed out by it."

Lloyd needed that type of attitude because of the constant attention she received on the field. Teams routinely assigned one player to mark her. One team had two players following her every move. During one game in which she had two players on her, Lloyd went to the sideline to get a drink of water and one of the players marking her went with her.

"Sometimes you wonder how you play soccer when there are two and three people on you," Lloyd said. "It is a difficult way to play."

Yet nothing was impossible for Lloyd. Despite the strong defensive attention, Lloyd scored 26 goals and added eight assists this season. She finished her four years with 78 goals, all as a midfielder.

Her level-headed personality was tested by the physical way in which opponents defended her. Lloyd was frequently tripped after dribbling through a maze of defenders. Most of the time, she would show little emotion after getting hacked.

"The one thing I'm looking forward to in college is that there won't be so much defensive attention on me," she said. "At that level, everybody has to be marked, and teams can't afford to put more than one player on somebody."

Shortly after the high school season, Lloyd made a verbal commitment to attend Rutgers on a soccer scholarship. She vows to continue to improve, realizing that her college teammates will not care that she has been a member of the under-18 national team or that she has been a Parade magazine all-American.

"With all the attention she has gotten, she could have turned out egotistical, but she has handled everything really well," Pam Lloyd said. "Again, I credit her father, who always told her not to focus on what others do but to be the best that you can be."

That sage advice has been adopted by Lloyd. Her long-range goal is to play professional soccer. At times, when Lloyd allows herself to dream, she envisions herself as a member of the U.S. World Cup team.

No matter what she accomplishes in the future, Lloyd has set the highest of standards at Delran. Her ability to cope with both stardom and defeat has been just as impressive as the way she has shredded defenses during four scintillating seasons at Delran.

Marc Narducci's e-mail address is

Her soccer future looks good, but Lloyd lives in the present

Source: Posted: July 26, 2001

Carli Lloyd will leave it up to others to predict her future in soccer. All she worries about is playing in the next game.

It's tempting to look into the future, where the possibility of professional soccer appears more real each day, or to revel in the past. But Lloyd's mind is clearly on the present.

It seems that not a month goes by when the recent Delran High School graduate doesn't make a major impact on the soccer world. South Jersey fans have known about Lloyd's exploits for a long time, and now, she is earning a national reputation.

Lloyd is a midfielder with a booming shot and the flashy one-on-one moves that evoke outward fear in any defending opponent. One person can rarely stop her, which is why, in high school, there were usually two defenders by her side. It still didn't matter. She was The Inquirer's South Jersey girls' soccer player of the year as both a junior and senior, helping guide Delran to consecutive South Jersey Group 2 championships.

Lloyd has earned a soccer scholarship to Rutgers University in New Brunswick. Sometimes, players who have a scholarship in hand might opt to take it easy in their last summer before college. Not so with Lloyd. Actually, since the spring, she has been on a whirlwind tour of soccer, displaying her talents throughout the United States and abroad.

During that period, she has played on championship teams and been named the best player in a high-profile tournament on more than one occasion. Still, she refuses to look ahead to what soccer could offer her in a few years. Instead, she is only hoping to settle into college like any other freshman.

"I just pretty much go out and play, and I try not to think too much about the future," she said. "I love playing, and whatever happens, happens."

What might happen is that Lloyd could make a career out of playing this game, especially if she continues her development.

In April, Lloyd traveled to Europe for the Menton Tournament, which was in Nice, France. Lloyd played with the Region I all-star team, a group of the top high school-aged players from Maine to West Virginia.

The Region I team won the championship, and Lloyd had some hardware to carry on the plane ride home after being named the tournament's most valuable player.

This summer, she was a major part of a national championship team. Lloyd played for a North Jersey team called the PDA Galaxy, which won the U.S. under-23 national title in Orlando, Fla. The tournament was July 13 to 15. Lloyd scored the lone goal as the Galaxy beat Texas, 1-0, in the championship. At 19, she was the youngest player on the team but still wound up being named the tournament's most valuable player.

Lloyd wasn't sure she was going to compete in Orlando because she had just returned from a week of working out with the Region I all-star team in Rhode Island.

"I only had 2 1/2 days between returning from Rhode Island and going to Florida, but then I realized it was the national championship and I might never get this chance again."

Lloyd has one other bit of unfinished soccer business before heading off to Rutgers and preseason practice, which begins Aug. 14. In June, while competing in a tournament with the Region I team in Lancaster, she was selected to attend the National Amateur Select Festival from July 29 to Aug. 5 in Chicago. Lloyd will be the only New Jersey player at the festival, which again will consist of some of the top amateur players in the country.

Most teens would have trouble keeping a level head with all the attention, but Lloyd almost seems embarrassed to recount all of her accomplishments.

Usually when she receives another award, she'll say, "It is pretty cool."

She knows what is at stake when she goes to Chicago, but the unflappable Lloyd refuses to be overwhelmed by all the attention.

"I look at it as very good competition, and it will prepare me for college," she said. "I know the national team coaches are there and they may select future players for the national team from that camp, but all I want to do is play to the best of my ability."

Marc Narducci's e-mail address is

Earl E. Rowe, 81, actor; starred in 'The Blob'

Source: Posted: February 06, 2002

Earl E. Rowe, 81, an actor who starred as the police chief in the The Blob, a 1958 science-fiction classic filmed in Chester County, died of complications from Parkinson's disease Friday at the Lutheran Home in Moorestown.

Mr. Rowe, who formerly lived in Delran in Burlington County, worked on Broadway, in soap operas and in commercials. But his most famous role was Lieutenant Dave, the small-town police chief fighting to keep a slithering ball of goo from eating Downingtown.

Mr. Rowe was part of a cast and crew that in 1957 filmed the campy flick for $125,000 in Phoenixville, Downingtown and Chester Springs. The movie - featuring a mass of man-eating cranberry sauce billed as "Indescribable! Indestructible! Nothing can stop it!" - contained 27-year-old Steve McQueen's first starring role, and its title song, "Beware of the Blob," was written by an uncredited Burt Bacharach.

The Blob became a cult favorite, the subject of sci-fi conventions and countless Web sites. Mr. Rowe went on to appear on stage and in television, commercials and industrial shows.

He was born in Delanco, grew up in Delran, and attended Palmyra High School and the Bessie V. Hicks School of Dramatic Arts in Philadelphia. He was inspired to become an actor after playing a French count in a junior high school production.

His professional career began in 1941 when he played summer stock in Yardley. Emboldened, he moved to New York, but his career was interrupted by World War II. He worked in an aircraft factory for two years before joining the Army in 1944. After he was wounded in Germany, he transferred to Army Special Services and for 10 months toured Europe in a GI version of the cross-dressing comedy Charley's Aunt.

After his discharge, Mr. Rowe returned to revive his acting career, working at the Playhouse in the Park, at WCAU-AM, and in Broadway productions of Playhouse Lullaby and Anniversary Waltz.

He had a three-year role in the now-defunct NBC soap opera The Doctors and appeared in the 1980 television-movie Attica.

Mr. Rowe is survived by his longtime companion, Amelia McCardle.

Friends may call from 9 to 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at the Lankenau Funeral Home, 305 Bridgeboro St., Riverside. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Trinity Episcopal Church, Route 130 South, Delran. Burial will be at Odd Fellows Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, 840 Third St., Santa Rosa, Calif. 95404.

Kristin Holmes' e-mail address is

They arrived early, shopped heartily A big Black Friday turnout seemed to confirm retail analysts' optimism.

Source: Posted: November 29, 2003

Bargain-hunters jammed stores locally and nationwide early yesterday, seeking sales and gift ideas on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

At the Gallery in Center City, shoppers crowded the food court and waited - patiently, for the most part - through long lines for everything from compact discs to model cars.

Toy shoppers began lining up at 4 a.m. to get into the KB Toys store in the Moorestown Mall. Store manager Allen Goland said the line had stretched a couple of hundred feet by the time the doors opened at 4:45 a.m.

Dominique Cox, of Woodlynne, Camden County, said she didn't mind fighting the crowds to save a few dollars, "but there is no way you would see me in a store line before the sun has come up."

Across the nation yesterday, crowded stores, long checkout lines, and packed parking lots were the norm. Many bargain-hunters lined up before dawn and braved chilly weather as retailers inaugurated the holiday shopping season with early-bird specials on toys and big-ticket items such as TVs and computers.

Store owners dubbed the day after Thanksgiving Black Friday because it once marked the day when retailers got out of the red. Because of aggressive discounting in recent years, many retailers now don't post profits until December.

Brian Ford, a partner and retail specialist with the accounting firm of Ernst & Young in Philadelphia, does an annual "shopping bag survey" to measure how many consumers are actually spending money. On his annual Black Friday trek to shopping centers across the region, he encountered parking lots that were full and people loaded with packages.

"It was very robust. Everybody seemed to be buying something. I think it would have been the best start [to the season] since 1999 if it weren't for the rain," he said, noting a lull in activity only at strip shopping centers when it was raining.

Wally Brewster, a spokesman at General Growth Properties Inc., which owns and manages 166 malls in 39 states, said business yesterday was up from a year ago by a percentage in the high single digits.

The Washington-based National Retail Federation projects total holiday sales to be up 5.7 percent, at $217.4 billion, from last year. That would compare with a 2.2 percent increase last year.

Still, though many retailers believe that the 2003 holiday season will be better than last year's, the question is by how much. The economy is on the rebound, but the job market, though improving, remains sluggish.

At the Oxford Valley Mall in Langhorne, most stores had posted signs touting sales. At the Bath & Body Works, sales associate Casey Graff said customers came looking for one thing: "The first thing they say to you when they walk in is, 'What's on sale?' and the next question is, 'Can you show me where that is?' "

Myla Rogers became worried as she arrived at the Toys R Us in Burlington Township yesterday morning at 11. The store had been open for five hours and she wondered whether she were too late to find the toys on the Christmas lists of her 4-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter.

After waiting for a parking space, waiting to get inside, and waiting even longer for a cart, the Delran resident headed in search of a Rescue Heroes Mission Headquarters, which at $29.99 was half-price.

Her anxiety heightened when she saw just one remaining box on the shelf and several shoppers between her and the item.

She got there in time to grab the toy. But in the frenzy for bargains, that was no guarantee she would get to keep it.

"Some guy tried to steal it out of my cart when I was looking at something else," she said. "He told me he was just looking at it, but he had it in his hands. I said, 'That's the last one, and no, you cannot have it.' "

The Zales jewelry store in the Oxford Valley Mall was empty at noon, but the scene had been very different just hours before that, employees said.

"From 8 to 10 a.m. we had a sale," Andrew Datesman, a sales associate, said. "We did phenomenal. We had 30, 40 people in here at one time. It was sick. Really sick."

Still, the crowds were bigger last year, Datesman said. "I think the war really had an impact. I think people are a little more cautious. And when you cut back, I guess you could live without diamonds," he said.

Evelyn Starace, a nurse, and her daughter, Jessica, stopped for a breather about midday to eat some cherry water ice outside Strawbridge's.

"We've been at it since 6:30 a.m.," Evelyn Starace said. "We started at Circuit City, but the lines were too long, so we went to Wal-Mart and bought TVs and DVDs. There were some good deals there. And then we came here. We've been here for four hours and we found some good sales.

"But we're leaving after we finish our water ice," she said. ". . . Shopping is tiring, and shopping for Christmas, that's even worse."

After five hours of shopping, a tired Kyle Harper, 23, of Southwest Philadelphia, had only a few gifts for his fiancee - he wouldn't specify what for fear of spoiling the surprise. "Everyone's bumping into each other," Harper, an assistant fast-food manager, said as he took a break in the food court. "But at least they're being polite. It might not be that way in a couple of weeks."

Childhood friends Betty Lou Eisenman, 67, of Ridley Park, and Dottie Johnson, 66, of Wilmington, have a tradition of post-Thanksgiving shopping. Eisenman said news of a rebounding economy would not change her spending plans. "I spend the same all the time," she said. "Too much! I'm retired, she's retired, and we spend the whole pension on Christmas."

For some, the day was more about work.

George Quinn, Melanie Truett and Kristin Arterbridge, cast members in a Christmas show at a Wilmington dinner theater, rose early for the drive to SEPTA's 69th Street Terminal, where they were to play Santa's helpers on one of the transit network's five "Santa Express" trains carrying shoppers to the Gallery.

"We were on the trains with the kids, painting faces and singing songs," said Truett, clad in a red velvet outfit lined with white fur, and knee-high leather boots. "The kids loved it."

At the end of a shift helping out at the mall's "Santa's Court," the trio were to head back to 69th Street, retrieve their car, and return to Wilmington in time for last night's 8 o'clock show.

Contact staff writer Joel Bewley at 609-261-0900 or

Inquirer staff writer Tom Belden contributed to this article, which includes information from the Associated Press.

Joseph E. Hunter, 83, a talk show host and journalist

Source: Posted: December 22, 2006

Joseph E. Hunter, 83, of Delran, a talk show host, journalist, and jazz aficionado who hosted the public-affairs show Perspective: Youth on Channel 6 (WPVI-TV) for more than 15 years, died of heart failure Dec. 10 at Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County in Willingboro.

Mr. Hunter began his career in the Philadelphia media at a time when doors weren't always open to African Americans.

He was a top graduate in the journalism department at Pennsylvania State University in 1950, but while other bright prospects were securing reporting internships, Mr. Hunter was offered a post as a copy boy.

A writing career had long been his goal, so Mr. Hunter took the job. He became one of the first African Americans to work as a copy boy at The Inquirer and later the first to work in the library at the newspaper, said Acel Moore, associate editor emeritus of The Inquirer.

"He's one of the pioneers whose name isn't often mentioned," Moore said, "but he clearly set a path of excellence for people to follow behind him."

Mr. Hunter grew up in South Philadelphia and graduated from South Philadelphia High School. He earned the rank of sergeant in the Army while serving with an amphibious truck company in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

After he was discharged, Mr. Hunter studied at Penn State. He left The Inquirer in 1964 and worked as a public information officer for the Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America Inc., a news director at WHAT-AM (1340), and a reporter and columnist for the Philadelphia Tribune.

In 1969, he was hired as a writer with the Temple University News Bureau, and he went on to become the school's director of student affairs. He also hosted a jazz program on the school's WRTI-FM radio station called The Night of the Hunter.

Mr. Hunter began working for Channel 6 as an independent producer in 1973 and was named the station's affirmative action director and corporate recruiter in 1976. He hosted public-affairs programs including Perspective: Youth, a panel discussion featuring area high school students, and Changes, which examined issues in the minority community.

His marriage to writer Kristin Eggleston Hunter Lattany ended in the early 1960s. He married Mary Ann Parson in 1971.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Hunter is survived by several nieces and a nephew.

Friends may call 12:30 to 1 p.m. Jan. 6 at Snover/Givnish of Cinnaminson, 1200 Route 130 North, Cinnaminson. Services begin at 1 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association, 1 Union St., Suite 301, Robbinsville, N.J. 08691.

Contact staff writer Kristin E. Holmes at 215-854-2791 or

Working to hit the right notes Jeffrey R. Smith enjoys molding about 150 boys into a cohesive group that continues a tradition.

Source: Posted: May 04, 2008

Jeffrey R. Smith probably was destined to become artistic director of the Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale.

Although he initially resisted becoming the hand-picked successor to founder Robert Hamilton a few years ago, he eventually felt "called" to lead the Philadelphia institution.

Smith, a Delran High graduate, sang for Hamilton as a boy growing up in Delran, one in a long line of South Jersey boys whose voices helped form the choir's reputation as a world-class vocal group.

After studying music composition at Ithaca College in New York and a stint in New York City in which he found steady work - if not soul satisfaction - off Broadway and on, Smith returned to the choir as a fill-in accompanist in 2001.

By then, Hamilton, who had started the choir in 1968, was making noises about retiring.

"For him, this was his entire life," Smith said. "I couldn't spend 24 hours a day with it. I had a family. I just didn't see how it would work."

So Smith left the group. But he and his wife, Carla, "continued to talk about it, pray about it," Smith said. "We felt we were being led."

In 2002, he rejoined the choir as assistant director, and when Hamilton retired two years later, Smith took over.

Now, at 30, he's in charge of molding about 150 boys ages 7 to 12 - 90 in the performing choir, the rest in cadet programs - into a cohesive group that hits just the right note and makes just the right harmony - at just the right moment.

The choir is preparing for a busy couple of months. On May 17, the boys will perform at a private gala honoring Drexel University president Constantine Papadakis. On June 1, the choir will celebrate its 40th anniversary with music performed throughout its history. Then in late June, the group will travel to Spain and Germany.

The music isn't the only place Smith must strive for harmony. It's not easy to grab the attention of boys on weekday afternoon - many of whom have rushed from school, climbed immediately into a car, and been driven long distances to get to the rehearsal hall in West Philadelphia.

But listen to the parents, and they'll tell you Smith manages quite well.

"He's very good at what he does," said Jeannie Weber of Logan Township in Gloucester County. Her 12-year-old Sean is in his third year in the performing choir.

That choir has six boys from Logan and a total of 12 from Gloucester County. A dozen come from Camden County towns, and three are from Burlington County.

"The boys can get antsy," Weber said. Smith "knows the boys well enough that he handles them individually, which to me is amazing. He requires a lot, but he gives them some slack. He knows that boys need to be boys. He lets them have fun when they need to, but when it's time, it's like, snap, now it's down to business."

Smith says he enjoys interacting with the boys.

"It's so rewarding being a mentor to them," he said. "It's a great feeling knowing I can be a good role model for them and help them."

Setting an example is important to Smith, a man of strong faith, who attends Calvary Chapel in Bellmawr. His sons bear Old Testament names: Elijah, 3 1/2, and Isaac, 9 months. Smith left New York City, in part, because he found that his beliefs clashed with the behavior he saw in show business.

"I found the actors - they were very liberal, not so much politically but in other ways," he said. "It's frustrating because I'm not."

But he is romantic. Above the fireplace in his Haddon Township home hangs framed sheet music for a song called "Marriage Proposal," which he wrote and performed when he proposed to his wife.

Through all, music, which has been part of Smith's life since he began "banging on the piano" at age 2, is what drives him.

"We get to make some great music," he said. The boys' "concerts are just unbelievable. They all know the music. They all feel it. And it's like, 'Wow!' "

Contact staff writer Rusty Pray at 215-854-2502 or

In Concert

The Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale will present its 40th anniversary concert at 2 p.m. June 1 at Irvine Auditorium of the University of Pennsylvania, 3401 Spruce St., Philadelphia. Tickets are $25 to $45.

The choir will perform at 7 p.m. June 8 at the First United Methodist Church, 446 E. Camden Ave., Moorestown. A freewill offering will be taken.

For more information or to buy tickets, call 215-222-3500, Ext. 1 or visit

Marc Narducci: Pioneering passer Sacca wins spot in S.J. Coaches Hall

Source: Posted: May 22, 2011

The former Delran and Penn State standout will be inducted on June 29.

Tony Sacca in 1986 at Delran. He still lives there with his wife and son. He teaches and coaches in Willingboro.
Tony Sacca in 1986 at Delran. He still lives there with his wife and son. He teaches and coaches in Willingboro. (Inquirer File Photo)

Back before it was in vogue to be throwing the ball all over the field in high school football, Tony Sacca was ahead of his time.

During his senior year at Delran in 1987, Sacca completed 96 of 176 passes for 1,665 yards and 24 touchdowns. At the time, the touchdown mark was a single-season South Jersey record. (The current record is 40 by Holy Cross' Jason Amer in 1999.)

Sacca also led Delran to an 11-0 record and the school's first South Jersey Group 2 title.

Sacca became a four-year starter at Penn State, where he threw for 5,869 yards and 41 touchdowns, and he was drafted in the second round by the Phoenix (now Arizona) Cardinals and was with the team in 1992 and 1993. He threw only 11 passes in 1992 and didn't attempt any the next season; he later played two seasons with the Barcelona Dragons of the World League of American Football.

So football took Sacca to quite a few locales, but he never abandoned his roots. He is living in Delran and teaching in Willingboro, where he serves as the team's offensive coordinator, and he still enjoys his association with the game.

After Sacca, the passing gates flew open with the likes of Glenn Foley of Cherry Hill East and Al Mallen of Holy Spirit, both of whom were 2,000-yard passers in 1988. The passing craze has continued to this day.

Yet it was Sacca who was one of the trailblazers. His place in South Jersey history has long been established, but now we're reminded of his excellence with his impending induction into the South Jersey Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony will be June 29 at Masso's in Glassboro. The event is held the night before the Adam Taliaferro Foundation all-star game, which will be held at Rowan University.

"It was around that era when it wasn't such a stretch to throw the football 20-25 times a game," Sacca said. "And what helped me is I had great receivers such as John Ellison and a coach [Jim Donoghue] who played quarterback in college."

Ellison would earn a scholarship to Michigan, and Donoghue, who had quarterbacked at Syracuse, was able to teach the intricacies of the passing game.

And Sacca was a willing pupil.

He was also among the more impressive athletes in South Jersey history. In addition to being The Inquirer's South Jersey player of the year in football, Sacca was an all-South Jersey basketball player and a first baseman and pitcher in baseball. He won South Jersey championships in all three sports at Delran.

Sacca will always be associated with the town of Delran, where he lives with his wife and 4-year-old son.

"We enjoyed it so much in Delran growing up and going to high school there," Sacca said. "It's a great place."

Sacca became a starter as a true freshman at Penn State. With all he has accomplished in the game, this latest honor has caught him slightly off guard.

"It's a humbling experience anytime you get an award like this," he said. "It is an exciting event and means a lot to the Adam Taliaferro Foundation."

It also means a lot to still be associated with the game. After Sacca finished playing football, he was a business owner for nine years before turning toward teaching.

"It's great, and if I had to do it over again, I would have gotten into high school teaching and coaching after playing," he said. "I just love doing it."

He admits to one day wanting to run a high school program of his own, although he says he is in no hurry.

"I really enjoy being an offensive coordinator, but at some point I'd like to be a head coach," he said. "I do realize that being a head coach is a year-round job."

Not everybody gets to set a goal at a young age and then achieve it, but Sacca always saw a future for himself in football.

"From the time I was a young kid, I always wanted to be a football player, even though I really liked basketball and baseball," he said. "But I always felt I could be a football player."

The sport helped him earn a college education and a pro salary and to travel the world.

"I feel so fortunate to have been able to travel, to play in college and a couple of years in the NFL," Sacca said. "It was a tremendous thing to go through and to be a football player, so to speak."

Marc Narducci: Hall of Fame Inductions

The South Jersey Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame's Class of 2011 will be inducted during a banquet at 6 p.m. June 29 at Masso's in Glassboro.

Among the inductees will be Bruce Lazaruk (high school coach), formerly of Hammonton, Rancocas Valley, and Riverside; Bryan McKinnie of Woodbury High and the Minnesota Vikings (named as the pro active player); and Tony Sacca of Delran (pro inactive player).

The post-playoff legend inductee will be Mike Koerner (Washington Township), who won two NCAA baseball championships at LSU, and the pre-playoff legend inductee will be Wilbur Fennal, who starred at Clayton before playing at Montana State.

Former Inquirer South Jersey player of the year Adam Taliaferro of Eastern will be inducted as a player and for achievement, with the success of the Adam Taliaferro Foundation.

Paul Mauriello, longtime assistant at Overbrook, Edgewood (now Winslow Township), and Timber Creek, will be the assistant coach inductee. Kathy Moscufo, a founding member of the Adam Taliaferro Foundation, will be inducted for distinguished service.

Tickets for the banquet are $30 and may be obtained by calling 856-582-0212. The banquet precedes the Adam Taliaferro Football Classic, which will be played at 7 p.m. June 30 at Rowan University.

- Marc Narducci

Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225,, or sjnard on Twitter.

A Delran-Rutgers connection

Source: Posted: July 16, 2011

The U.S. team's Carli Lloyd and 1990 men's player Peter Vermes share alma maters.

Carli Lloyd is in her second World Cup.
Carli Lloyd is in her second World Cup.

What is it with Delran and soccer and Rutgers and the World Cup?

First, there was Peter Vermes, a 1984 Delran High School graduate who went on to play soccer at Rutgers and then for the U.S. men's national team at the 1990 World Cup.

Now, there is Carli Lloyd, a 2004 Delran graduate who went on to play soccer at Rutgers and is a star for the U.S. women's national team that will play Sunday against Japan in the 2011 championship game.

Lloyd, a two-time Inquirer South Jersey girls' soccer player of the year, turns 29 on Saturday.

"I'm so happy for Carli," Vermes, the coach of Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City, said in an e-mail. "We have a lot in common, being from Delran and going to Rutgers, and I wish her all the best. She really is a tremendous competitor, and it's shown in this tournament."

This is the second World Cup for Lloyd. She also scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 overtime victory over Brazil in the gold-medal game of the 2008 Olympics.

"I'm ecstatic for them," Vermes said of the women's team, which is going for a third World Cup title. "It's been such a pleasure to watch this team play. They play every roll of the ball, and they're reaping those benefits right now."

Vermes was named the 1988 U.S. Soccer male athlete of the year. He also played in the 1988 Olympics and 1991 CONCACAF Gold Cup. He ended his international career with 67 caps and played for three MLS teams and was the MLS defender of the year in 2000.

- Marc Narducci

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