Sunday, July 19, 2009

I, (say your name), Promise to DO MY BEST To do my DUTY

A story from Joseph Barone
About a month ago, I went up to NYC to visit my parents with my family. On the way to Canal St., Sunday morning, I ran into Anita and Ricky Galasso. Anita gave me a big hug and a kiss. Ricky shook my hand and one of the fist questions he asked me was: Are you involved in Scouting.
That made me think of my very first memory of Cub Scouting with Pack 111 at St. Joseph's. (St. Joseph also had Boy Scout Troop 111.)
My very first memory of Scouting, was one evening while eating dinner, there was a knock at the door. (This had to be about 1968.)
When I opened it, it was my friends Stephen Eidlen and Gerald Alfano. Both were dressed in Cub Scout uniforms and both lived in the I Building. They asked me if I would be interested in coming down. Although I really did not know what it was, but I was so excited I ran to my dad asking him if I could go. I hadn't even finished dinner.
So, he said yes, and off I went with them to St. Joseph's Auditorium. The place was filled with kids that I knew (and some that I did not know) in Cub Scout uniforms.
I don't remember too much of that night, but I do remember my father coming down, filling out some forms for me and giving a couple of bucks for registration.
The Cubmaster at that time as Peter Grillo. Mr. Grillo (who is still alive) worked for Con Edison and was a Battle of the Bulge veteran. Mr. Grillo had two sons (Paul and Peter) and a daughter. Peter I believe is an Eagle Scout.
Some of the other Assistant Cubmasters that I can remember were were Ricky Galasso, a Mike C? (lived in Brooklyn) and Mr. DeBlase (I think Jimmy was his first name). Mr. DeBlase lost his son Jimmy on 9/11. Jimmy was a Scout with Troop 111. (I have a photo somewhere of Mrs. DeBlase -- a Den Mother herself -- with then Mayor Guiliani shortly after 9/11.)
Mr. Molinelli was the Webloes Den Leader. The Webloes, since they were older, got to meet in the back of the auditorium in a room just off to the side of the stage. His son, John, is now a Scout leader and living in KV. John is also an Eagle Scout.
Anita Galasso was one of the Den Mothers (she was the Bear Den Mother?). The Galasso's have two sons. (Ricky is an Eagle Scout and Matt.)
Each week we would meet at St. Joseph at 7pm. Dues were a quarter a month or a week. Can't remember which. The meetings were not much different than they are today. There would be an opening, a den activity, a closing, some announcements and some sort of game.
Each den would do some sort of craft. The one I remember Mrs. Galasso working with us on was making a cat out of a washcloth, a bar of soap and some pins. Another time we made a large cross out of match sticks, and then shellacked them. If you did crafts outside of Cub Scouts, you could bring them in and get points towards your Arrows.
Periodically, we would take a trip. I remember visiting the Staten Island Zoo's Reptile House and another, the Central Park Zoo.
Each year, the Cub Scouts would sell Miss Chocolate chocolates to raise money. Each Cub would receive a box of different items and they would be expected to sell it. The Peanut Brittle was the big seller but there were lots of other boxes you could sell. Beauty Parlors were always a great place to sell. The women would always buy from a Cub Scout who would pop in with a couple of boxes. One year, I was the top seller. I had my choice of prizes and picked this kit by which you could make houses and buildings out of miniature plaster bricks. I probably should have picked something else, but it kept me amused for probably a couple of weeks. Another year, I remember, I could barely sell anything.
At Pack 111, each year we would celebrate Scout Sunday and on that day, those who earned their religious awards, would be given them at Mass. Then afterwards, everyone (Cubs, parents and invited guests) would go down to the auditorium for donuts, cake and coffee. The photo is of me outside of the St. Joseph Rectory after receiving the Ad Altarei Dei Award for Cub Scouts in 1973. The donuts and cake were usually ordered from St. Joseph's Bakery (on Madison) or Savoia (on Catherine).

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