Hello Everyone!

As the summer of 2017 ends, it is time for another Juniper Berry and the beginning of the Fall season. Most parents agree, it's “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

June was a month with many celebrations so here we go! On Saturday, June 10th, a wonderful Sweet Sixteen party was held for a great girl, Nicole Werner (my granddaughter) at the Douglaston Manor. Congratulations to Nicole! Pictured here are Nicole and her court of 23 friends. A fabulous evening was had by all. Happy Sweet Sixteen Nicole!

Jane Holden, daughter of Bob and Amy Holden and Christopher Kehrer, son of Margaret and Ernest Kehrer were married on Friday evening, June 16th, at Tribeca Rooftop in downtown Manhattan. Congratulations Jane and Chris!

On Saturday, June 24th a birthday celebration was held for my wife Betty at the home of my son Michael and daughter-in-law Beth Killcommons in Nanuet. A great time was had by all. A very happy birthday Betty!

Congratulations to the OLH 4th grade girls’ softball team on winning the 2017 CYO Diocesan Pee Wee Championship on Thursday, June 22nd. The Hope Hornets played against OLBS and won a great game by a score of 3-2 in extra innings!

Congratulations to Sean Talbot on his graduation from PS/IS128. His proud parents Tito and Laura announce that Sean will be attending Aviation High School in September.

Our Lady of Hope eighth graders attended a prom with their parents at Russo's on the Bay. Pictured from Left to Right: Isabella DeSantis, Giulia Marino, Marina McEntee, Lauren Halpin, Madison Capria, Olivia O'Rourke, Jessica Kelly, Fiona Maloney and Sanela Liam

Congratulations to Our Lady of Hope's class of 2017!

Matthew Lawrence Davide received his First Holy Communion on June 3rd Matthew is pictured with his parents, Keri & Joe, and his brother, Joey. Ma Proud grandparents are Mary Davide and Lynn & Larry Roth of Middle Village.

The annual Jim Barker Memorial Fishing Trip took place once again this summer in Montauk with the guys from Middle Village in attendance. Pictured here are: Back row: Karl Hellerich, John Veracoechea, Anthony Neville, Billy Hennessey, James Barker, Terrence Neville. Front row: Michael Hefner Robert Martin and Steve McFadden.

John Veracoechea caught the biggest fish, an eight pound fluke during the Montauk fishing trip. Congratulations John!

Congratulations to Andrea Sciarrino Roche for the publication of her first novel “Nights Arose”. Andrea graduated from Our Lady of Hope in 1976 and from Grover Cleveland in 1980. She received her degrees from Queensborough Community and Baruch College. Her long-awaited novel has been published by Solstice Publishing and is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Her family wishes to congratulate her on her award for the Solstice Best Cover 2017, and for being on the Amazon Best Sellers list in April 2017.

Paul and Angela DeSantis enjoyed a family vacation with their daughters Isabella and Francesca at the Atlantis in the Bahamas.

On September 28th, Kathy and Felix DeGiovanni will be celebrating their 60th Wedding Anniversary. Family and friends will be joining them to celebrate On Sunday, October 1st at Giando’s on the Water. Congratulations guys.  What a great accomplishment!

The following is sent to me from a neighborhood pal, Greg Gramas:

THIS story is about a ball, the most wonderful ball ever invented. It's better than a baseball, basketball or football. It's better than any ball you can name. It was gone for 20 years, but it is back now. It is called a Spaldeen, which might not mean anything to you, unless you grew up on the East Coast, preferably New York City before 1979. I grew up in Brooklyn in the 1950s and 1960s, which means my childhood memories are filled with Spaldeens.

Starting in the 1920s, the Spalding Co. manufactured tennis balls at its home base in Chicopee, Mass. But overruns would occur, so there wasn't enough of the fuzzy stuff for the outside of the tennis balls. Some anonymous genius and I use that word “genius” with reverence got the idea to market the bright pink, unused rubber cores as the “Spalding High-Bounce Ball.” Because New York City people don't talk so good, they pronounced Spalding as “Spaldeen” as in, “Hey, Joey, you wanna play? I got a Spaldeen!”

Spalding would box the Spaldeens and ship them down to New York City where kids would buy them for a quarter each. And, my God, when you bought a brand new Spaldeen, the aroma alone would cause ecstasy; it was the smell of Bazooka bubble gum and summer and childhood and joy and hope. Then you would go out and play. All those legendary New York City street games began and ended with Spaldeens. I'm talking about games you've heard about but might never have played stickball, punchball, stoopball, hit the penny and a million others. When it came to inventing games with a Spaldeen, the only limit was your imagination. We didn't have baseball fields or any other kinds of fields. We played ball on playgrounds really slabs of concrete surrounded by cyclone fences or we played in the street, using sewer covers as bases.

The virtue of a Spaldeen, besides that you could whack it a mile, was that it didn't break things. You hit Mrs. Smith's Olds 88 with a Spaldeen, no big deal. No broken glass. No broken mirror. No broken nothin'. Of course, Mrs. Smith would come running down her steps, screaming, “I'm gonna tell your mutha.” I apologize, Mrs. Smith, wherever you are.

I mostly played in the playground of P. S. 156. And every kid would come to the playground with a Spaldeen in his back pocket. If someone had a stick, we'd play stickball. The stick was an old broom handle or a dowel from the closet. We'd draw a box on the wall and pitch to it, and if the batter hit it over the fence, it was a homer. We'd play handball with the Spaldeen, and sometimes we'd go to a friend's house for stoopball. A kid would throw the ball at the steps in front of someone's house, and as the ball sailed back, you'd try to catch it on a fly. If it bounced once, it was a single, twice a double, and so on.

But the king of Spaldeen games all over New York City was punchball. You'd toss the ball over your head. You'd swing down overhand as if you were serving a tennis ball. And then you'd punch it with your closed fist. Guys could hit it 200 feet, long fly balls that seemed to never come down. The puncher would be running around the bases painted squares on the playground's grimy concrete while the outfielders ran like mad after the Spaldeen.


Ending with a joke:

As we Silver Surfers know, sometimes we have trouble with our computers.

Yesterday, I had a problem, so I called Georgie , the 11 year old next door, whose bedroom looks like Mission Control, and asked him to come over.

Georgie clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem.

As he was walking away, I called after him, 'So, what was wrong?’

He replied, 'It was an ID ten T error.'

I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, 'An, ID ten T error? What's that? In case I need to fix it again.'

Georgie grinned, 'Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before?

'No,' I replied.

'Write it down,' he said, 'and I think you'll figure it out.'

So I wrote down:


I used to like Georgie , the little stinker.

New Principal at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Academy
The Our Lady of Hope Community is excited to proudly welcome Giuseppe Campailla, the new Principal at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Academy. Mr. Campailla was born and raised in Connecticut, and loved growing up in New England but, always preferred living in a big city.
Working in education was not a direct track for him. He initially began his professional career in financial services, but he wanted a more challenging and rewarding career. Inspired by his wife, who is also an educator, and remembering how certain teachers and coaches had an influence in his life, he was encouraged to pursue a career in education. He feels very fortunate to have received a strong Catholic education from elementary, high school and college. His first job in education was as a middle school Math teacher at St. Margaret School in Middle Village. He loved teaching the students and connecting with them. After teaching for a number of years Mr. Campailla accepted positions as an Assistant Principal and Principal at the elementary and secondary school levels.

“I am honored to have been selected to join OLHCA as principal and believe Catholic schools have a responsibility of merging Catholic values with academic excellence. My expectation is that I will encourage the students to be responsible members of the community and that we are lifelong learners and that learning never stops. I hope to bring my guidance, perspective and leadership ability not only to the faculty and staff, but to the students as well.”

For Mr. Campailla, working in the field of education, especially Catholic education, has become a vocation rather than a profession. His other community involvements includes being a Board member of Cathedral Preparatory School and Seminary. In his spare time, Mr. Campailla enjoys sports, cooking, traveling, visits to the beach and museums with his wife and their two children. Since his family is from Sicily, he enjoys visiting the Sicilian island and parts of Italy as well as New England.