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The birth of this website
I have received many E-mails from people that want to know what inspired me to build this website.
Well, here's the story.
One day I was think about the old neighborhood and all my friends I left behind.
I started to think about my childhood, and in my mind I visualized myself sitting on the steps of 2376 Pacific St. next to Molinari Funeral Home, where I lived.
I could see the Nuns walking down the street wearing their habits and the traffic cop on the corner of Pacific St. & Sackman St.
I could hear the man yelling from his delivery truck trying to sell Bleach and the Ice man delivering big blocks of Ice that he was carrying over his shoulder.
I could see myself on the steps waiting for the Ride Truck. One was called Half Moon another ride was called the Whip.
I'm looking down the street to see if my father is coming home from work only to get yelled at for some unknown reason.
I could smell the Pasta Fazool my mother was cooking inside.
Then I started to think how I miss those days when all of a sudden it hit me.
I said to myself, what happened? Where did everybody go? My neighbors are gone and my childhood friend is dead.
So, with nothing else to do, I went to my computer.
I was searching the internet for Our Lady of Loreto and didn't find any websites so I decided to build the website for Our Lady of Loreto and our old neighborhood.
I had some pictures of Our Lady of Loreto that I took after the April 2, 2000, reunion, including picture of Father Barretta.
So I thought it would be a good idea to add them to the website.
The next thing I knew, I found myself searching the internet for old photos and found a few to add to the website.
After the website was done, with only just a few photos, I opened an account with classmates.com.
I started to email all the members on classmates.com that attended Our Lady of Loreto and some of my friends.
The response I received was overwhelming. So I got back to work on the website and added more photos and pages such as the message board and the reunion page.
It was a lot of hard work and a lot of research to add the information for each photo on the website.
The next thing I knew, I was getting emails from people who heard about the website and wanted to contribute some photos to the website.
I had no idea that the website would turn out as popular as it is.
I received about 15 emails a day from people who visited the website. Even Father Pizzo, who I have never met, asked to have his photo put on the website.
I have been living in Virginia Beach, VA. for the past 17 years and I really miss the old neighborhood, so building the website gave me some comfort.
I am spending about 3 to 4 hours a day improving the website.
Sometimes I ask myself, is it worth all this trouble?
But when I think about all the joy it gives to others and how it brings back so many memories for the people who visit the website, it makes it all worth wild.
So there you have it folks, the birth of this website.
Know that all your hard work is greatly appreciated.
Although the response has slowed down a bit, people still go on it to see if there are any new messages.
I have connected with some friends and friends of my siblings. This may bring about another reunion, we hope real soon.
Bless you for this website.
Carolyn Vignola Taylor
I sat on a nearby stoop and had similar thoughts...unfortunately I don't know how to build a website.
Several years ago I took a course in the History of New York City at Brooklyn College. The term paper for our final grade had to be about a New York City neighborhood. I wrote about our neighborhood...and its disappearance. While researching material on our Ocean Hill neighborhood, I complained bitterly to my mother that no one had written anything about the once thriving Italian community that had lived there.
...And then there was you, Donnie!
I'll never have the words to express the depth of my appreciation for your inspiration and saving us all from oblivion.
Jillian Mulvihill (Miranda)
Although I was only 11 when we moved from Brooklyn to Italy, I have memories of Eastern Parkway & Fulton St. My last home was in front of Del Terzo Jewelry, while my first home was up in Fulton St in front of Di Palma travel agency.
I was student in OLL until 5th grade (1966), I have great memories of my friends, I remember many of them but time past and who knows if they remeber me.
I remember father Barretta and also father Jannelli.
Donny thank you very much for this oppurtunity, wish to be back some day in ENY to meet you and, why not, some of friends.
Pasquale (Patsy) Panico
You bet your sweet bippy it's worth it........you keep up the good work and thanks a million. I can still hear all the doo-wop records being played in the auditorium before the bazaars would start. Especially, sixteen candles by the crests.......now the brooklyn bridge, or hear the cadets from my window when they would practice songs like "night and day" and many others..........they were so professional and I thought then that some of them would go into show business.....pardon the pun, but they didn't miss a beat and the color guards were so coordinated when they marched, those were the days and "yous" out there better not forget them.
Hello Donny, I know that I speak for all of those who are part of the Our Lady of Loretto family in expressing gratitude for following your gut, your inspiration. I love this website and visit it everyday. I am a graduate of the 1968 class and my experience was a wonderful one.
It is disheartening to see the school demolished and the future of the church in question. However, we all know it is not about the buildings but the hearts of those who learned, prayed and worhiped there. It is equally important that as we grow older, we tap into our memory bank to rehearse those years.
I have vivid memories of Loretto. I can name every teacher from kindergarten to eighth grade;I can almost taste the Italian pastry and egg creams from Rocky's. The incense from the 8 o'clock mass is still a scent I am drawn too. Father Barreto used to really lay it on us. Do you remember your First Communion and Confirmation? How about the Sunday the Bishop came to celebrate Mass. I sang in Ms. DeVivo's choir and felt so humbled as he processed in as we sang "Behold the Great Priest"(still remember the words).
Thanks again Donny for allowing us to smile each and every day.
Sincerely, Regina Bird-Russ (1968)
Donnie we will be forever grateful to you for putting this website together, because of you we can all take a trip down memory lane and share our experiences.
Little by little more people will know about this website. I check the website every other day for new messages and new pictures. It's a beautiful thing. Thank you for not giving up, you have put smiles on so many faces. Thanks for the memories.
Let me introduce myself, my name is Pasquale (Patsy), as I said in my previous mails I lived from 1955 up to 1966 in Eastern Pkwy, OLL had been my school.
I live in Italy now, and one of theee days I was catched by your same thoughts about my childhood.
I think that all of us may have to be grateful to you. I am sure that everyone on the web shares what I am saying.
I wish to be back some day in USA and I will be proud to shake your hand.
My best regards
Pasquale (Patsy) Panico
Thanks for putting this website together.
That is a wonderful story.
It's amazing that your thoughts of the old neighborhood inspired you to build this website.
Yes in deed, it was a very unique neighborhood.
It makes me think about my childhood when I was growing up in the old neighborhood.
The people from that neighborhood were the best. They were all hard working families that watched out for each other. Nobody was rich and we didn't have much, but we shared what we had with our neighbors and friends.
All the kids had a lot of respect for the adults. They would help them carry their groceries home for them and run errands for them.
If you ever had an emergency, you would run to your neighbor for help.
This website now gives us the chance to relive those memories.
We are all grateful to you for taking the time and effort to build this website.
Keep up the good work.
donnie thanks for the site . renewing lots of friendships, havent seen or heard from people in 30 yres. i got a phone call 1 nite , they asked for me i sais who are you it was johnny wop, i havent heard from hin in 30 yrs, but it seemed like yesterday, after getting off the phone my kids wanted to know when was the last time i talked to him,when i told them they said you were talking like it was yesterday, i told that they will never have what we had grrowin up in that neighborhood.
What you have built for all of us who had the pleasure of growing up in ENY and went to OLL gave us back our youth, thank you.
Memories are all we have left, most of the people have gone on to others places but yet through the web site we can stay connected.
By the way the Ice man you refer too in your email was my grandfather has he sold ice for so many years on Pacific Stree and elsewhere.
Virgini Beach, I have been there many years ago and I remember it has being so beautiful, ocean etc. I live in Arizona and all I have is the desert,and mountains and lots of hot temps.
God bless you for what you have given all of us.
Donnie thank you first of all for making this happen. I lived on the next block up. I lived at 2283 Pacific St. I truly miss the old neighborhood. Everyone knew everyone and it was a great time in all of our childhoods. I have wished so many times as we all have that we could go back for 1 day. The smell on Sunday was unbelievable every house was making sauce. I remember going to Carlucci's with Rose Marie Chetti, Carol DeNicola, Joanna Cantone. We would get a pizza ( the best ) and just laugh and hang out. I miss the old days.
I also live in Virginia. My neighbor told me her dad was from Brooklyn. When I met her dad, I asked where in Brooklyn was he from. He told me the street (I forgot) and then I asked him what parish did he belong to. He said Our Lady of Loretto. He is Irish but spoke Italian when he was little. He grew up on Long Island; left East New York at 10 years old (?)
I never saw hime again, but if I do, I will tell him about this website. I enjoyed hearing his stories about East New York.
DON, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS WEBSITE. I HAVE ALWAYS ENJOYED HEARING STORIES ABOUT BROOKLYN IN THOSE DAYS. I WORKED AT PS 155 YEARS AGO AND MET PEOPLE IN QUEENS WHO WERE FROM THAT NEIGHBORHOOD. EVERYTIME I TOLD SOMEONE WHERE I WORKED, THEY SHARED WONDERFUL STORIES ABOUT THEIR CHILDHOOD. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.
YOU ARE BRINGING SO MANY PEOPLE BACK. GOD BLESS YOU.
My sister told me about the website. Myself and 3 siblings attended OLL church and school in the 70's. It was great seeing the pictures you have; brought back a lot of memories. Thank you for making the effort. Please don't stop. I'll look to see what I have and send it to you.
I believe I either went to school or hung out with Linda Amaturo. However when you try to access her email address nothing comes up. If you have info on Linda and its shareable contact me. Thanks
okay you know on your site you have the pay loreto to help save it
will theres a problem right now
loreto and the other church olop
have join together
and all funds for loreto goes to that church
nothing put away for the church
please note that call me i have some big big bigger news 4 you to
I'm so glad I discovered this website. My sister, brother and I attended Our Lady of Loreto and lived on Fulton Street. We always reminisce about the old neighborhood and school.
Thank you for developing the website.
Grace (Marullo) Sanders
I'm not very computer savvy, but this website is a gem. I spent a lot of time in ENY, even though I moved to Woodhaven when I was 6 yrs old. My mother worked in Brooklyn, and I attended OLL K-8 and graduated in June 1951. Sr. Mary Virgilius was 8th grade teacher and Sr. Mary Celine was the principal. Fr. Capobianco was the pastor.
My grandmother from 9 Pleasant Place looked after me after school, and in the summer. So, even though, I was a Woodhavenite, I treasure my memories of Bklyn.
I'm older than most of you and remember all the places you talk about, but don't recognize the member names. Thanks for the memories, and keep up the good work.
You are savvy enough to have a message dated tomorrow appear on the board today. :) Pleasant Place? I used to live on Marconi Place, corner of Atlantic. Our windows and garage roof garden had a great view of the House of the Good Shepherd.
Thank you for taking the time to create and maintain this website. I'm a professional web developer and I hadn't even bothered to do this. I give you a lot of credit. It's organized nicely with loads of great pictures and info. I can see you put a lot of work into this and did so from the heart. It was definitely worth your efforts!
Thanks for all your hard work!
I'm so happy to have found your website. I did not live in Brooklyn, but my parents did in 1933, and raised my older sisters there until the late 1940's. My father was baptized at the church in 1917. I remember going every month to visit my Grandmother who lived in an apartment on the corner of Seckman and Herkemer. There was a candy store on the ground floor.
My grandmother's sister lived directly across the street. I also had an aunt who lived on Truxton St. with her family. I found your site while looking for family ancestry info. You have managed to preserve beautiful memories for so many. I lost my parents in '07 and '08 both at the age of 92. I only wish I would have found your site sooner. They would have enjoyed having me read the entries to them. They both really loved the old neighborhood! I recall so many family names from their past conversations along with the people and things I remember as a child.(the bocci park, going to the bakery with my uncle Nicky for bread to enjoy with the best macaroni ever, going to the feast, going to the soda shop with my cousin Barbara, listening to the family stories, walking past the tinsmiths shop on our way to the park and just seeing all the relatives who somehow had trouble remembering me, because I was born in New Jersey, a good 12 years after my sister.)
Thank you again for bringing me back to a wonderful place and time, where so many wonderful lives, families and memories started. I'm sure all who have passed away are smiling down upon us, and saying an extra special prayer for you!
PS: It's great how everyone got together to save Our Lady of Loreto Church. Bless you all.
Finding the OLL site was a major nostalgia journey for me. In light of our phone conversation last week, I'd like to add a note of appreciation for your time and effort putting the web site together. I note that most of the people contributing memories are from the '70s (my apologies if I missed any from earlier days in the neighborhood). I grew up attending Our Lady of Loreto School, living on Stone and Liberty in Brownsville) during the mid-'30s thru the end of WWII. I remember Fr. Capobianco was the pastor and Fr. Russo his assistant. My Kindergarten and 8-a teacher was Sr. M. Donat. Our ending class, 8-B was taught by Sr. M. Virgilius. The Principal was Sr. M. Hyacinth, a very tough lady. She had me scared half to death when I was in Kindergarten. Our class (Jan-46) was the first to graduate after the end of the war. With a contingent of pals from OLL, a bunch of us went on to Boys High School.
One thing I remember was standing on the Church steps watching Fr. Russo chase a bunch of kids from the back of a small factory across the street. Evidently, they broke into a back window and were in the process of stealing web belts made for the military. I never found out if the good Father ever caught any of them. Lots of memories about Italian bakeries around the corner from the school making some of the most delicious cakes and pastries-wonderful cannoli and sfogliatelli.
I'm not sure if any in my age group(78-79)will remember me or if they are searching this site, but if so, send an email to me. I've been retired from the defense electronics industry for 21 years and have plenty of time to "chat". God Bless everyone.
I lived at 273 Stone Ave. (now demolished) and my grandparents lived at 2198 Dean St. I attened OLL in the 1st and 2nd grade. I remember the nuns' names were Sister Mary Ida Joseph and Sister Mary Evangelista (a meanie). We then moved to Canarsie and that's where I actually grew up. I remember "The Cow", on Eastern Pky. (a deli I think)...there was a cow in the window. Also, Pellegrino Pastry Store and a chicken market where my mother use to have a live chicken killed (UGH) . I also went with my mother to Belmont Ave. to shop at all the pushcarts. I now live in Staten Island.
Cool that you remember the "Cow in the Window. On the same side of the street a couple of doors down my parents used to own a luncheonette/candy store called the J&J. It was kind of an after school teenage hangout as I recall. Do you remember it?
Thank you for taking the time to build this website. I enjoyed the pictures and the trip down memory lane. We left OLL and East NY in 1962. I would have graduated in the class of 63. I remember fondly Father Baretta. We hail from Dean Street across from the 'pickle factory'. Great memories - a lot simpler then.
In Florida and NJ now.
HELLO MY NAME IS ELIZEBETH CORDERO I ATTENDED OLL IN 1967-1969 I WAS IN MR. MASOCIOS CLASS 5TH GRADE AND ALSO MR.JERIMIAH KORKRIES CLASS 4TH OR 6TH GRADE. SOME STUDENTS THAT I BEEN TRYING TO FIND IS CARMEN DIAZ AND NEOMI CRUZ THEY WHERE SISTERS, GEORGE TORRES,IF YOU HAVE ANY MEMORIES PLEASE CONTACT ME OR IF YOU KNOW ME. I WAS BORN 1957