2006-07-28 / Columnists

Erin On The Rox

By Erin Baumann

First of all, I just want to apologize for the mistake I made in the last column concerning that wild Baby Boomer party on the beach on July 8. I mistakenly stated that it was Mary Bosch's party and I was wrong. I am very sorry for any misunderstanding that this caused.

Mary Bosch would like to wish all the people who gave that party a wonderful and Happy Birthday. Mary to admit that she is sixty even though it is just a few months away. Happy 60th Birthday to: Danny McMahon, John & Nancy Benevento, Kathy Monahan, Richie Siniscalchi, Cliff Riis, Larry Fitzgerald, Jack & Kathy Naus and Ed Madson. You gave Roxbury a party to remember!

Congratulations to Nicole Nies, daughter of Lisa & John Nies of Breezy Point as she graduated May 20, 2006 from Marist College as a certified teacher. Nicole will be teaching in the Rockaways this September. Her parents, sister Caitlyn and her Grandmother Cathy Gaeta of Roxbury are all very proud of her. Good luck to you Nicole.

Saint Genevieve's annual Card Party is on Friday July 21. This is one of the church's biggest fundraisers so please try and attend. Admission to the card party at the Church Hall will be $5 starting at 7 p.m. The added treat this year is the newly installed fans and lights to make this the coolest card party yet!

Happy Birthday Wishes go out to: Jeannette Duemig ~ July 17, Lisa Perry ~ July 22, Harold Wilkens ~ July 22, Dolores Lehner ~ July 23, Kathy Duemig ~ July 25 and Anthony Piccione ~ July 25.

And Happy 21st Birthday to Maryann Henderson ~ July 11.

Finally I have included the first part of some memories Mr. Newland entrusted with me to share with all of you regarding the beginning of the Moonshiners Club in Roxbury.

Roxbury Moonshiners


During this past winter, I had the opportunity to peruse the Secretary's minutes of the club when it was first formed in the summer of 1939. Following will be some excerpts from the fading yellow pages of that book. The original members were Bill and John Diffendale, Pete Mitesser, Frankie Ulschmidt, Jim Connelly, Jim O'Toole, Bill Hoebler, Bill Simberlund, Bill Feeley and Eric Barteldt. They were all about 18 years old and many of the meetings were held in Frank's basement in the summer months. Meetings were hot and furious and one no vote would keep a potential member from being admitted. New members were assessed $1.00 and dues were $.25 cents a month whether you came to the meetings or not. If you did not attend you were charged an additional $.25 cents.

A new slate of officers was elected each year. There were several ties for President in those early years when the membership expanded. Re-voting created another tie and then another tie so a name was pulled out of a hat to be the winner. The consumption of beer during those meetings was out of control. Thereafter no one was allowed to consume beer until after the elections and election of a president took about ten minutes.

The beginning of World War II saw many members being drafted or enlisting. I believe Buddy Connelly was first to enlist in the Marines. In 1946 when most of all service men were discharged the club continued to expand as we now had 22 active members. Members started to marry and the club gave $5.00 to the first born only. We did this because someone in the club had a premonition that Charlie Thompson was going to raise a baseball team and we were afraid it would wipe out our treasury. John Diffendale, Phil Mayer and George Plunger were lifeguards. Bill Diff and Bob Simberlund never went into the water until the 1990s. The jetties were still in place and there were three 18 square foot rafts in the water. Most of the meetings in the summertime involved what we were going to wear for Mardi Gras. The girlfriends or wives of our members requested to form an auxiliary to the Moonshiners. Two years later they got the ok and from that time on they decided what the costumes would be. Thank goodness. Louise Diffendale was the prime mover for that event. In the late 1940s Gene Gargulio helped build the platform. The Mayor's Committee requested that they use the platform for Mardi Gras but it would be too crowded. In 1949 the Moonshiners consumed 21 half barrels of beer. They actually had Rheingold and Schaeffer beer. Several members worked for the brewery. The cost of a half barrel was $13.00. Later years when member Joe Stehn co-owned the Barn they bought a gross of glasses for $2.00. Pelligrinos on Fresh Pond Road was the site of many a Christmas party with the tab for a complete roast beef dinner, music, beer and a set up for every ten guests going for $6.00.

To Be Continued......

Take care,

Erin eroxcolumn@yahoo.com

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