home | alumni | veterans | faculty | photos | clubs & activities | messages | stories | reunions | places | memorials | links | about

The “Eerie Dungeon of Bergenfield”

     I have many wonderful memories of growing up in Bergenfield during the 50’s and 60’s, but some memories were not so nice. As a young boy there was nothing better than going to the Palace theatre (Pop’s Flea House) on a Saturday for a full day of movies and cartoons. We would pack a lunch, be dropped off late in the morning and picked up again late in the afternoon.  It was a perfect day, right?  Wrong! There was one thing always present in the back of your mind, something you dreaded, hoping to avoid, but couldn’t.  “Going down to the Bathroom in the Palace Theatre”! Especially when the movie was a horror movie that scared the crap out of you. You waited and waited, but eventually you had to make the trip, no matter what horrors might await you. The bathroom was in the back of the main floor and you had to go down this long flight of stairs. The further down you went, the mustier the smell got, you “knew” you were “underground”, and you knew evil waited.  The room was covered in those little bathroom tiles, the urinals were on the left and the shitters were towards the back. It did not feel like a nice place. I’m sure I was not alone in these feelings and many a pee or poop record was set, and we certainly went up the stairs faster than when we went down.  My personal record was set the day I saw “Invaders from Mar’s”.  I never moved or went faster than on that day, bad enough I watched almost the entire movie thru the cracks between the seats. Was I a pussy? We’re the other kids scared? I didn’t know and I didn’t care, I only went down to the dungeon because I had to.

     Years later, I worked at the theatre, brought dates to the theatre, sat in the balcony,  made out next to the projection booth ( left side facing screen), even took my children there. Know what, even after all that time had passed, I still got an eerie feeling down in the bathroom of the Palace Theatre. I wonder, was I the Only One”?

Rich Conti, BHS'66

Class of 1965
 50th Reunion Info 
October 9, 10,11, & 12, 2015
Columbus day weekend
Woodcliff Lake Hilton, Woodcliff Lake NJ
October 9th informal “Meet and Greet” at the Woodcliff Lake  Hilton Lounge and our own Hospitality Room -  No charge,  but there will be a Cash Bar. Light snacks served.      8:00PM-Midnight
Dinner Buffet and Dancing  7-8 PM Cocktail Hour (Open Bar) including hot and cold hors d’oeuvres.  8 PM - Midnight Buffet Dinner & Dancing (Wine, beer, and         Soda included during Buffet Dinner, cash bar available).
$125.00 per person

Please take a minute and register below,
It helps us to have your current address and email so you will not miss out. Thanks!

A block of rooms has been set aside for us.  If you plan to stay  at the Woodcliff Lake Hilton the room rate is $139.00 per night.

Additional Rooms Available At:

The Hampton Inn of Mahwah
290 RT 17 South and Corporate Drive
Mahwah, NJ 07430
Phone 201-828-2031
Fax     201-529-1824

The three letter code for the group rate is BHS
$149.00 per night, includes breakfast

  Linda (Carlson) Wayne 201-666-0346

Click Here to Register
To register. This does not commit you, 
it just puts you on the mailing list for info!

Frank D'Ambra

D'Ambra, Francis (Frank) N. age 78, of Bergenfield, passed away on June 9, 2015 at Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, NJ. He was born in Brooklyn, NY. Frank was predeceased by his parents, Frank and Philomena D'Ambra and his son, Daniel Lee Brown. He is survived by his beloved sister Nancy (D'Ambra) Lescher, his niece Elizabeth (Lescher) Chirafisi, and nephews Francis and Fred Lescher. Frank was a graduate of Holy Trinity High School, St. Francis College where he earned his doctorate and the Catholic University of America where he earned his law degree. Frank started his career teaching at St. Helena High School in the Bronx, NY. He went on to be a history teacher at Bergenfield High School, the Head of Guidance at Teaneck High School, an attorney for Sill Cummis and finally the Supervisor for Special Education Services for the Passaic School District. Family, Friends and others whose lives Frank touched are invited Saturday June 27th from 11:30AM-12:30PM in the Funeral Home. Humanist Service at 12:30 PM, to reminisce, grieve and support each other. In lieu of flowers a tribute donation may be made to AMFAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research in honor of Frank D'Ambra by visiting their website at www.amfar.org    For information call (201) 944-0100 or www.frankpatti.com

BHS class of 51-52 Band

photo submitted by Janet Tepper Riemer, Class of '52.
Dr. Bernard Baggs, Director
Third guy sitting, back row, might be Al Carlson. 
Color Guard Captain positioned in the front row on the right is Gail (Lubrano) Griffin, BHS'53
Do you know any of these folks, send me an email or post on the bulletin board.
~Joe DiMaggio, BHS'67

A Mighty “Mite” Friendship

Sometime in the winter of 1948, Mrs. Margaret Conti and Mrs. Helen McMullan pulled their little bundles of joy down Surrey Lane in a sled. The bundles of joy were Richie Conti age one (Class of 1966) and Donald McMullan age two (Class of 1964). Little did the kids realize that it was the beginning of a lasting friendship that still thrives today, almost 67 years later.

Rich Conti, BHS'66
Donald McMullan, BHS'64
I lived at 45 Surrey Lane (location of the neighborhood whiffle ball, stoop ball, and stickball stadium). The punch ball stadium was over on the next block.  Donald lived diagonally across the street from me and it was exactly 23 running steps from his front porch to mine, a journey I would literally make thousands of times over the years and also spend thousands of hours there as well. Don was the only child of Frank and Helen McMullan.  I was one of five belonging to Andrew and Margaret Conti,so it was more private and quiet at Don’s house so we mostly hung out there. 

Throughout our school years we went to all the sporting events , religiously visited places like Callaghan’s hot dogs in Fort Lee, Stockdale’s in Park Ridge, played basketball at the Tenafly courts, went to and worked in local movie theatre’s like The Palace (Pop’s flee house) , and the  ones in Englewood, and Teaneck. We played PAL baseball and basketball, neighborhood stick ball, whiffle ball, stoop ball, and went to Fishie’s.  We went thru the teenage years, the dating, the music, and all the confusion that time period brings. 

Donald went off college a year ahead of me, him in Oklahoma and me in New Mexico. We would talk and hang out during breaks, but the visits became less, and less frequent. Both of us married, had children, but always t kept each other updated, never missed a birthday phone call and the years rolled on. Helen and Frank (my first PAL baseball coach) passed away as did my parents, Andy and Margaret.  During visits we saw each other’s children and then grandchildren.  He was my first call when I took my fourth generation to Fishie’s just before it closed. Last year, we took 2 of my granddaughters on a cross-country trip and we visited Oklahoma, and spent some time with Don and his wife Donna. .  By the way, not many people know this, but Don was one building away from target zero in the Oklahoma City bombing. His name is on the wall for his role in rescuing a great many children at the various day care centers affected by the bombing, an action that took a toll on Don’s health.

Well, here we are, March, 2015 and our friendship is still intact , 
67 years, and counting ,a true

BHS Class of 1975
40th Reunion
Saturday, October 10, 2015
7:00 p.m. at the Elks Lodge in Bergenfield
Come join us as we celebrate our 40th High School Reunion!! It seems 
like only yesterday when we were roaming the halls of BHS, playing the 
juke box in the cafeteria, walking over to Dan's Deli for a fantastic 
egg sandwich, or cruising down the Avenue, but now here we are 40 years 
later, better than ever! We are attempting to get a head count as to who 
will be coming, so please click on "GOING" and stay tuned for more 
details. The Elks Lodge can only accommodate about 150 people, and we 
want to give Class of '75 folks (and their guests) first choice, so 
please feel free to invite all of our 1975 classmates if you do not see 
them on the invite list.

Contact Peter Furhman



Class of 1965 - 50th Reunion

The class of 65 will be holding it's 50th reunion on
October 9,10,11, & 12, 2015, Columbus day weekend

For more information and to pre-register:
Click Here




Bergenfield Alumni is now on Facebook,
you can link to us to receive updates and event news.

 Do you enjoy the BHS Alumni Website,
Then please consider a membership.

-- Site Map --

 Address Book | Reflections | linksPhoto Gallery | Doo Wops | homepage | Business and Personal Web Hosting
Bergenfield Education Foundation Band Room Friends of Music | Class of 1967 | Calendar of Events| BHS logowear
   add your name to address book | change your address or e-mail | view alumni addresses
 find alumni by state | view bulletin board | sign the bulletin board | search by state .
 read news and stories about bergenfield | view memorials | add a memorial |
Faculty, Staff & Friends Address Book | Faculty, Staff & Friends Registration
. . .
BHS honored Veterans  ||  Alumni Veterans List  ||  Veterans Registration  |
. . .
| St. John's K-8 school | Bill Eaton Memorial Golf  | Bergenfield Museum | BHS Drama Club |
Bergenfield Education Foundation | | BHS Chearleaders | BHS Band Room | Alumni Association
. . .
Photo II Galleries
1950's photos | | 1960's photos | | 1970's photos | | 1980's photos | | 1990's photos
Bergenfield Gallery Today | | Bergenfield Sports | | Bergenfield P.A.L | | Bergenfield, The Early Years | | Bergenfield Today
Elementary school photos
DooWop Bands || 1960 Bergenfield High School Dedication

. . .
... Space and funding for the BHS Web site has been donated by
JED products,  promotional products,  restaurant supply,
Custom Embroidery, Screen printing, T-shirts, Jackets, caps, sports uniforms, promotional supplies.......