Way back in the day when I was a young boy attending Holy Name, my mom would buy me a box of Christmas cards from Bargain Land. The night before the last day of school before the Christmas break ,I would fill them out and distribute them to my teachers and classmates at school.

Since I don’t send out cards anymore, Pat Fenton’s latest blog entry has given me the idea/inspiration of sending X-Mas wishes via Container Diaries to some old friends from the neighborhood. Keep in mind I have seen this format for many years by Denis and Pete Hamill.

On a cold, snowy, December morning I send my Christmas greetings;

Merry Christmas to my late mother, Carol Corbett. You enjoyed the Holidays as much as anyone. Thanks for always making sure we had clothes on our body, food on the table and the rent paid each month. (Oops, and the tuition paid at Holy Name)

Happy Holidays to my sister Sharon and her family living on Staten Island. Sharon is one of the strongest people I have ever met.

Merry Christmas to Danny Piselli and Mickey McNally; two guys that have always been good friends. I appreciated them allowing me to workout with them on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday mornings. They still train to this day. Danny was one of my first basketball mentors and to this day I recall many of his basketball concepts.

Happy Holidays to Jimmy Cullen, John Cain, Sean, Mickey and Pat Riley. I spent a lot of time with you guys both day and night.

Merry Christmas to Pepe Fis, Michael Layden, Peter Cosentino, Dave Curran, Tommy Brick, Corky, Emmett, and the late John-John Hernandez. To my man Michael Reed,  to Raymond Stewart, Robert Fran, the late Donald Leaver, Chuckie Reynolds, Jimmy Parker, Kevin Molloy, and to John Macalevey who is now living in Florida! Also a shout-out to his sister Annie and their older brother Peter).

To Paulie Ramos, Donato Barrucco, Joey Cannucci and Jimmy Carroll. I cherish all the time we spent together as teens.

I can’t forget about the girls I grew up with on the avenue; Merry Christmas to Maureen Horan (my first girlfriend), Lisa Cosentino, Mary Kawas, Karen Artz, Noreen Davis, Karen Cox, the late Joanne Mackay, Maria J., Stella and Patricia DeRossi. Happy Holidays to Tammy Triolo, Franny Cagino, Laura Williams, Mary Budgell, Donna Leach, Laura Loesch, Christine Regula, Laura Cox and Maureen Delaney.

Merry Christmas to the Bullock’s; Doris, Matt and Chris. The Kawas family from 16th street; Charlie, Ricky, Tommy, Christine and Doreen.

Happy Holidays to Diane Drago, Lynn Delaney, Chris and Dave Logan, Danny Ryan, Ricky and his mom “Luv”,  Danny and Annie Byrnes, Mary Harte, Karen Ann, Gina Ruberto, Gina Tarropino, Kenny Nolan, Gerard Weldon and Eileen Cush.

Merry Christmas to all my teachers at Holy Name, you were the best; especially Mr. Mussa and Miss Monzillo, my two favorites.  I may not have been a good student and I didn’t understand the importance of school but you would be proud to know that I turned the corner and was able to graduate from college. Happy Holidays to Sister Joan and Sister Barbara.

To the Dilgen’s from Fuller Place. The Kurella’s,  Jimmy Maloney from Prospect Avenue, Mary from the Windsor Pub, Teresa Connelly, Kevin Mahoney, Jerry Kavanagh, Mark Longo, Howie and Gloria Bischoff, Kenny Reed, Eugene Reed, James Mowbray, The Plantamura’s, Cliff Bowen, Timmy Horan, Gwen Ruberto, Eileen Leach, Al and Frankie Esposito, Kenny and Robbie Stratton, Jane, Teddy and Cathy Kosokovich. Happy Holidays to you all.

Best wishes to Ray Orlando, Eugene and Eddie Liotta, George Dewey, The Rowland’s from 15th street, Jimmy Johnson, The Conlon’s from Sherman Street, Broadway, Donna Rice, Michelle Moran, Kathy Cain, Eddie Keyes and La-La.

Happy Holidays to Rae and Otto; the best candy store in the neighborhood. Otto always kept an eye on me whenever I entered his establishment. It was hard to steal anything with you being a hawk.

Happy Holidays to Red from the shoe store on the corner.  Can’t forget about Pierre from 10th avenue. Also, to the Pynn Family who made the best Rice Pudding!

Merry Christmas to Timmy Hardy, Willy Wickham, Tommy Burns, Jimmy Prendergast, Tommy Houk, Sal Marino and my main girl Gladys Mastrion.

Happy Holidays to the late Mickey Breen, Bob Terry, Bobby Burke, Mario Barrucco and his late dad Paulie. To St. Rose of Lima graduate Gabby Higgins to Kenny Whelan, Paul Mourry, Rabbit, Mary Anne Brick, the late Rita Brick, Rocky (L&J owner), Fanny and Morty Hyman.

Merry Christmas to Jimmy Vackner, Louie Fis, Eddie Valdone, Danny Mahoney, Gene Green, Larry Maloney, Kevin Maloney, Michael Troeller, Victor Vientos, Fat Jack, Joey Gallagher, and the Langton’s.

Happy Holidays to The Riches Family from Terrace Place, Michael Bundrick, Tony Fasano, Chuckie Raub, The Sullivan’s, and everyone who hung out on the Parkside.

Merry Christmas to the Krumbholz family, Carson Tang and Nat, who always had cold water on hand for us thirsty young boys across the street from P.S. 154’s schoolyard. Remember how we passed the jug around?

Happy Holidays to the late Officer Doyle of the 7-2. He was a pain in the ass but it was always tough love.  To the late Leo Ferrity and his son Butch. Leo loved basketball so much; I miss our hoop chats.

Merry Christmas to David, Frankie and Ann Cullen. I probably spent more time at your house on Windsor Place than any other house in the neighborhood. At times you made me feel part of your family. I can’t forget your mom, dad and Aunt Marge from 16th street.  Happy Holidays to the entire Rutter Family from Howard Place.

Happy Holidays to Hooley in Farrell’s. You were always nice to me whenever I walked by or popped in. To Roachie and Willie Hugenon from the Avenue.  To Alan Lang one of my favorite point guards of all-time. You had a nice game.

To Curtis Walker and Timmy Kemp. To the Martinez brothers, Barry and John Ginda. Merry Christmas to the guy who used to sit at the desk at Smith’s up on the Avenue, thanks for allowing this thirsty young boy a drink from the water fountain when he had no money to buy a drink from the store.

Happy Holidays to the Dolan family from 10th avenue. Mrs. Dolan, you are one of the best! Your family did things the right way.  Also to the Corrigan Family on Howard Place.

To Bill Khaley, Gerard, Betty and Bobby Trapp. Four people whom I looked up to from afar.

To Jimmy Rauthier, one of the best the neighborhood has produced both on and off the court.  Also to your brothers, Georgie and the late Michael. Georgie was my first basketball coach at Holy Name and Michael was always cool to me. Merry Christmas to Charlie Alberti, a quiet man but a great athlete.

To Richie, Mickey and Eileen Deere; my neighbors on the avenue. I’m sorry I talked back to your mother when she scolded me for crossing against the red light on the Avenue.

Happy Holidays to Jerry and Helen Cole, John Brown, Frankie Papa, Danny Raymond, Harry the Barber, Lorenzo the stylist,  Richard Day, Eddie Cush, Dennis Mullalley, Joey Mastrion, Robert Lanagan, Jimmy Parker and the Lawson family.

Merry Christmas to Danny Mills, Mike, Eileen and Eddie Slavin. The Fifield’s, to Hughey Quinn, Nicky Fucci, Jimmy Peterson, Mark Lewis, Frankie Lakat, Rosemarie Talierico, Donnie Tighe, Mark Elkhouri, The Heaney Family, Diane DiTonno, Jay from Ballard’s, Jane Hart, Lisa O’Connor, Karen Burke, Eric Swanson, and the late Peter Vega.

Happy Holidays to Gary Homan, Jeannie Cummins, Michael Kennedy, John and Michael Karvounis. Merry Christmas to Gerry Cregg, Susan Rail, her late brother Jimmy and the Hickey Family from 8th avenue.

To the entire Ferro Family, Joe Santos, Edgar Dela-Rosa, Jimmy Wheeler, Danny Leary, Fiore Tierno, Artie Lee and Michael Scotto Di Clemente. To Willie Lanzisera, Marty Lake, Buddy Thompson and Mr. Zoli….oops, Happy Holidays to Emily Zoli too.

Happy Holidays to the past owners of Associated and Key Food up on the avenue. Another place where they always kept an eye on me like I was going to boost something. Believe it or not, I never stole anything from their stores.

Merry Christmas to Angel Flood the crossing guard on Windsor and ninth.

Merry Christmas to all the priests at Holy Name. Especially Father Jim. I have heard so many wonderful things about you and the direction the Church is headed. And Father Peter, even though you are no longer at Holy Name, once you have spent time there, you are considered family for life.  And I can’t forget Father Devlin; he helped me out a couple of times when I was trying to find my way as a young adult. Father Shine, Brother Flanagan and Msgr. Downing, all good men.

To the Fields family, the Heegan’s and the Keating’s. To Gene Green, Bill and Carol Gogarty, Robert and Jeffrey Price, Eddie Mayrose, Billy Shaw, Harry Mills, the late Frankie Pali, Joe Sullivan and Joe Sabbagh.

Merry Christmas to Joe Hurley, Louie Sardella, the Raffertey’s from tenth avenue and Big John.

To Pat, Timmy and Michael Cain. The Priolo’s, Joey Stasiak, Patrick and Phil Cregg.

Merry Christmas to The Brunton’s and The Powers’ family.

Happy Holidays to Anthony Page, Jackie and Mike Kelly and to a loyal reader and contributor of Container Diaries, Maureen Rice.

Merry Christmas to Louie Weber, Junior Kemp, Peter Flynn, Richie, Bobby and Dee-Dee Dixon, Donald Barbeiri, and the Kash Brothers. Also to the Rower Family from Howard Place.

Happy Holidays to my guy Carl Manco and Loretta from Sport Prospect. To Chris Johnson, Big Kev,  Al McNeil, Jimmy Budgell and Terry Green.

To Richie Ferriolo, Jocko, Tom Brady and the late Joe Farrell. To Charlie Worsdale, Eddie Kearns, Martin, Chris and Amy Cottingham. To Ronald St. George, Gerard Grayson, Joanne Monti, Barbara Artz, Collen Davis, Liz Peterson, Rosemarie Tallierco, Susan and Bobby Meyerson, Pete Iulo and Ricky Hederman.

To Louie Weber, the late John Devaney, Danny Ryan, Jim Fox, the late Joey Corrar. Happy Holidays to Michael and Gerard Fraser, Chris, Carlos and CJ Robinson, Orlando Pabon, Brian D., Eloy and Charlie Miralih.

Happy Holidays to Jimmy and Kenny Rallis, the Rooney’s from Fuller Place, the late George Brossard and Ray Collurra.

Merry Christmas to Ray Nash, the late Forte Bellino and Pete Goyco. Happy Holidays to the Palanca’s of Prospect Avenue. The McGovern’s and my guys from IHM, Kerry McKeon and Ron Hardy.

To Paul Quirk, Bart Pollack, Joey and Jamie Caputo, Pam May, Rabbit and Slick from the Parkside.

To the Mardini Family from 15th street. The LaVasseur Family and the Sturgis Family. To Bubba, The Mastrandrea Family and Anthony Demarco.

The Orego’s. The Purdy’s. The Corrigan’s. O’Brien’s and the Mackey’s…Merry Christmas to you all.

Happy holidays to all my relatives around the world.  The Leopoldi’s, Sabbagh’s, Corbett’s and Melfi’s.

To John Godfrey, Julian Ramos, Whizzer White, Diane Campos, Paulie Paliciano,  Hodgie and Phil McNiff.

To Timmy Horan, the Weiberg’s and the two Davis families on Windsor…

Happy Holidays to Gutter from the shoe store, Buggy Bill, Junkie Joe, The Bove’s, Raymond Buzzo, Catherine Maloney and Eddie Timp.

Merry Christmas to Turk, Chris Logan, Barry Rohrssen, Chris Ryan, Mark Pearson, Billy Geli, Jazzy Art, Milo, Guido, Jack and Billy Ryan, Randy Reis and Edgar Dela-Rosa. Happy Holidays to Paulie Medina out in Cali.

Happy Holidays to Donnie Kent, Bob Leckie and Timmy Leary.

Merry Christmas to Joe Lee, Billy McNally, Jimmy Ferry, Brian and Michael Lang, Brian and Peter Nash and of course my good friend Dennis Nolan.

Happy Holidays to John and Jimmy Corrar, Corrado, Eileen Devaney, Tommy and Mergin Sina, Bicky, Michael, Tommy & Patrick Larkin; to Michael Kawas and Cadge. To Big Jimbo, Carmine and Jimmy the Greek.  Season Greetings to you all.

Merry Christmas to Joe from Joe’s Pizza and his guy, Kenny. Also to the Sabella’s who ran their pizza joint on the avenue for many years.

Last but not least, Happy Holidays to Pat Fenton and the Hamill brothers. Three writers who have inspired me to work very hard on the writing craft. And of course, their idea for a piece like this one.

To conclude, forgive me if I left you out, it was not done intentionally; it’s called getting older.

Happy Holidays!


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  1. Frank papa says:

    Merry Christmas to you…for someone I have never met I have so much respect for you and think the would of you… make it such a special thing living in Windsor terrace and I hope to someday finally meet you…have a great holiday to you and your family!!

  2. Merry Christmas, Steve!

  3. Gene Green says:

    Merry Christmas to all. This missive was a walk down memory lane. The Blog has allowed me to see just how much I learned growing up in Brooklyn. To all; when I see you next in Farrell’s introduce yourself I will trade Beer’s for memories. To all a safe and Happy New Year in just one week. Who knew we would be alive when the teen years start again!!

  4. Kenny Whelan says:

    Merry Christmas y’all from Austin, Texas

  5. Maureen Rice (Flanagan) says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, (btw, I also get my hair cut by Lorenzo, lol) Thank you for the gift of the Diaries..

  6. Fr. Peter says:

    Steve, I hope you and your family continue to have a Blessed and Peaceful Christmas

  7. Diane Campos says:

    Merry Christmas! and a very proseprous New Yr.

  8. Mary Anne (Brick) Monaco says:

    Thanks so much for remembering us! All the best to you Steve in 2013
    keep up the great work!
    Mary Anne(Brick)Monaco, Tommy and the Brick family

  9. bob terry says:

    Merry Christmas to you & thanks for constantly reminding us of where we came from & what a fine place it was because of its wonderful people.

  10. John Langton says:

    Merry Christmas, Steve! Thanks for the mention. And thanks for all of your hard work on the Diaries, it is greatly appreciated!

  11. richie k says:

    merry Christmas to u and your family Steve, no wonder why you don’t send cards out anymore, you would need another job for the stamps alone lollllllllll amazing how you remember all the names of the neighborhood, when we read them we say wow i remember them lolll

  12. Maureen Rice (Flanagan) says:

    Ellen has been washing hair for years now- I believe her maiden name is Smith-one of many sisters- she lost her teenage son to leukemia years ago..(sigh)

  13. Kevin Mahoney says:

    Thanks for the shout out Steve, happy holidays to you and your family!

  14. Sal Marino (Junior) says:

    Steve, I wish and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

  15. BUTCH FERRITY says:

    MERRY XMAS RED, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE HOLIDAY WISHES, thank you for giving my dad a shout out from time to time, YOUR A GOOD MAN..i miss you and him talkin hoops , i learned ALOT from the 2 of you, and i hvae to give you some of the credit for makin me the hoops junkie i am today,you were the first person to take me to the garden to a knick game,it seems like yesterday we were waiting outside the players exit to try to grab a pair of sneakers from the players…crazy to think its 30yrs ago.. HAVE A GREAT NEW YEAR ..THANK YOU AGAIN

  16. Bill LaVasseur says:

    Red I’m sorry it is late but I hope you had a very Merry Christmas with your wife and daughter. We all went to Scott’s house in New Jersy yesterday for Xmas. I wish you and your family a safe and healthy Happy New Year. Thank God the Mayans were wrong. GO IRISH!!!

  17. Laura Carrino says:

    Red – It’s Laura, Leo Ferrity’s daughter. Thanks so much for the shout out to my dad and brother Butch. It means so me to me! Ironically, I married Chris Carrino, the radio announcer for the Brooklyn Nets. My dad would have been in his glory!!!!

    • hoopscoach says:

      Hi Laura,

      Congrats. Say hi to Chris he is very lucky. I like the Nets and your dad would have been in his glory for sure!

      Happy Holidays!

  18. Jim Fox says:

    Merry Christmas and a Happy and healthy New year to you and your family.
    Keep up the good work.I look forward toreading you blog to see just what is going on in the old neighborhood.
    Jim and Linda Fox in Sunny Tampa,Fl

  19. Glenn Thomas says:

    Thanks Steve! I feel the same way! I loved the Christmas Card list!

  20. H. Mills says:

    Merry Christmas, to you and your Family, Coach !!!

  21. Helen Cole Prestia says:

    Merry Christmas to you & your family. What a nice tribute to the old neighborhood and people in it.

  22. Willy Wickham says:

    Thanks for the shout out! And let’s all have a great and safe New Year.

    • hoopscoach says:

      Willy, you the man. Hope all is well.

      • Willy Wickham says:

        Steve, saw your note to Tony F below and found in another reading that there is not only Junkie Joe. You also included notorious Windsor Place candy store guy Buggy Bill and Sam Gutter from that shoe store on 7th avenue my father patronized because every sale came with a shot of booze. Thanks for the memories.

      • hoopscoach says:


        Thanks so much!

        Happy New Year!

      • bob terry says:

        His name was Arnie Gutter, not Sam & besides a shot of booze, you could place a bet. I always enjoyed going into Mr. Gutter’s store. He would measure your foot & bring you one pair of shoes, but they were good shoes @ a very fair price. He was a fine guy.

  23. TonyF16th St says:

    Steve you missed Junkie Joe and LALA.
    Have a Happy New Year LOL

  24. C. C. says:

    Merry Chirstmas Steve to u and your family and to all my friends on container diaries and Happy New Year to all god bless

  25. Glenn Thomas says:

    I could remember getting my sneakers from Gutter’s. Old man Gutter must have had some aches and pains and hated to limp back and forth to his store room to get the right sized sneaker for me. I remember trying on a pair that were much too tight. He (Gutter) tells my mom that the sneakers fit (all because he didn’t want to go back to the store room and get the right size) The circulation in my feet were being cut off! I looked over at that table with the cop hat and booze on it and at that time could have used a shot of wiskey and I was only 8 yrs old! LOL

  26. JOE HURLEY says:


  27. Don C says:

    Happy New Year to all
    Don Cush

  28. John Fields says:

    Happy New Year, Red. Awesome neighborhood shout-out.

    Best Wishes to All from Nashville, Tennessee.

    John Fields

  29. Jimmy Sturges says:

    Happy Holidays !

    (a month late)

    Jimmy Sturges

    • ann heaney dunn says:

      Thanks for this incredible list of names. I loved reading your blog (I wish I read it sooner). Wishing you very many Merry Christmases and Happy New Years to come. Keep Writing!

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