Memories


Here is a place just for you. Have some memories about Troop 273? Jot 'em down and send to me. I'll include in this space. Thanks and Enjoy!


Henry Perez Sep 2015:


I was reading your web page on Troop 273 and it brought back many fond memories. Specifically the story about marching in the Memorial Day Parade. I recall one year it was raining and while some of the scouts were surprised the parade would still go on. Like you said the Scoutmasters insisted men going to war didn't have the luxury of stopping so we would march to show respect rain or shine. 

 

Thanks for the memories. If you can add me to the roster that would be great. I was active 1981-1982

 

Henry Perez (Sep 2015)

Hughie Flynn Jul 2015


Gerard,

            Great site. I came across it quite by accident and was very surprised to see someone thought enough of their scouting experience to post. I was a scout in troop 273 from 1958 to 1963. A few of us moved up to the Explorer Post. A couple of names I didn’t see on the list, Jack Curtain and Dennis Wittekind. Jack I remember because it beat me on boxing night. Dennis and I attended SBJL along with James Oberle. Dennis has since passed on. I’m not sure how Dennis’s father, Paul, was connected to the troop but he was at most meetings and very often drove a station wagon full of scouts on camping trips.

 

Story: We went on a weekend camping trip to Sanita Hills, probably April 1962. Robert Stutzbach and myself along with a visiting Air Scout rode up with Tom Costigan. There is a large rock that sits near the end of the inlet to the lake. It was a warm day and we had worked up quite a sweat. We stripped down to our underwear and dove in. Did I mention it was April?  The shock of the cold water literally took our breath away. We were like those cartoon characters trying to walk on water. We later found out that the last of the ice melted just two weeks prior. Well Sunday came and everyone got in cars and left. We three Robert, Anthony and myself waited for Tom Costigan to come get us. Somewhere somehow there was a “failure to communicate”. Tom was not on his way. About sundown we realized we probably not going home soon. We built a lean-to from pine boughs, hiked down to Lake Whaley and caught fish. We would miss school. Not sure when be we went to sleep in our lean-to with the lashing we had learned for our merit badges. Somewhere around 3:00 AM we heard our names being called. It was Paul Wittekind. He was asked to come get us since neither my father nor Anthony’s knew where Sanita Hills was and Robert’s didn’t have a car at the time and he wouldn’t have known where camp was either. Yes we did attend school that day.

That Air Scout, Anthony, and I are still in touch.


Again thanks for the web site. Just writing this email brought back some great memories.

(By the way, I enlisted in the US Coast Guard and got stationed in Galveston, Texas. I am still in Galveston, Texas.)


Hughie Flynn, Stag Patrol (Jul 2015)

Mr Bill Sullivan May 2015


Dear Gerry

I joined Troop 273 in April 1942 and I was assigned to the Flying Eagle Patrol which consisted of what was to become many long-time friends such as Ed Feeks (Captain USN Retired) as patrol leader and Tom Costigan as the assistant. Ed is still with us (Jacksonville FL) but Tom went to God a few years ago.

After about four years, the Troop was top heavy with junior leaders and some of us were restless to find a more challenging experience. In 1946, Ed, Tom and I joined Sea Scout Ship Stella Maris (#173) sponsored by St. Mary Gate of Heaven Church in Ozone Park. After a few years of hiking the Appalachian Trail and with very little sailing, we decided that it was time to become scout leaders. Ed went to an out-of-state college but Tom and I enrolled in St. John’s University which gave us the opportunity to serve locally as assistant scoutmasters. Tom went back to 273 but I stayed with Troop 173 which had no adult leaders except an outstanding but overworked scoutmaster.

In the late forties and early fifties, we ran a summer camp at Camp Newcombe in Wading River, NY (closed today). It was here that Ja-Di-Gon-Sa was conceived. At the time, the only avenue to Order of the Arrow membership was via attendance at camp in Ten Mile River, although it was available at Kanes Open (Tallman, NY) which operated briefly during WWII as a long term camp.

I was inducted into the OA in 1945 at Camp Man, Ten Mile River and, although I was thrilled and extremely flattered, there was something missing. I was elected by 31 camp mates whom I never saw again. We were supposed to be role-models providing cheerful service and leadership but to whom? But at home, it was same old same old for no one knew anything about the OA; in fact, besides me, only two other scouts had ever attended Camp Man. It was then that I thought OA elections should be held in local troops as it is now. That is why I organized a “Troop OA” called JaDiGonSa.

In 1953, some scouts from Troop 273 camped with us at Newcombe (Bill Welsch was one). By the way, he was a pleasure to work with. He was eager to learn, always willing to help and he was liked by all campers and staff. One of the enclosures shows a picture of our camp emblem. Some 273 scouts may have earned them.

The following year, Tom Costigan (now scoutmaster of 273) joined us for a joint camp and it was then that we decided that JaDiGonSa should include both troops. You know the rest of the story (check who signed your membership card in 1966).

It was during this time, that I met Rev. David Reddy, OFM, a Franciscan from Bishop Timon HS in Buffalo who served as chaplain at Camp Wauwepex which was just down the road (and still is) from Camp Newcombe. We became good friends and thus the troop exchange program began a few years later after I returned to 273 as a scout leader (assistant scoutmaster, Explorer Advisor and Committeeman).

For most of the summer camps (Pouch and Sanita Hills) from 1956-1968, I served as program director of: nature study, fishing contests, athletic events, JaDiGonSa and special events as the “Gold Rush.” One summer, at Camp Pouch, I did all the cooking. To the best of my knowledge, no one died.

I hope some of my memories will be helpful for your excellent website and if I can be of any further help, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Keep up the good work

William Sullivan (May 2015)

Sally Willett  Aug 2014


Hi Gerard,

This is Sally Willett. I lived around the corner from your Aunt Rita, and I was in contact with you I think last year for a '67 SBJL reunion. I know you went to Molloy HS and I read your note about my brother Louis on the Boy Scout web page. I thought you might like to know a former classmate of Louis's from Molloy has arranged a dedication of a new memorial for Louis at Molloy H.S. There will be a ceremony on Nov. 7 at 3 PM in case you are interested and can make it. Maybe you could put it on your Boy Scout web page so others in the group could hear about.

 

I wish I still had a picture of him at the Boy Scout camp that my aunt and uncle took him to when they went to visit him there. I do remember he used to love going camping with the Troop. Louis' getting ready before he left was a big deal for me. I remember watching him pack everything on his list of what to bring- so organized. He made it a game by asking me to help him find the different things he had to put into his duffel sack- kind of like a treasure hunt. Then he would check them off. I was so impressed he was able to fit everything into the sack. Helping him roll up his sleeping bag became a game too. He would have me crawl on it when it was laying flat to crush it and get the air out as he rolled it up tight. Sometimes he would get silly and role me up in it and joke "Where's Sally?" or "I got you!" He was such a fun big brother.

 

He used to bring an old canvas pup tent with him and he would have it set up in our backyard either before he left or after he came back. My other brother, younger sisters and I used to pretend camp inside it and Louis would tell us not to touch the side because it could leak. So of course that meant we would have to pile in even closer than we were. Sounds kind of silly now, but it was a lot of giggling and fun for us since we didn’t get to go real camping. He wasn't the kind of older brother that tried to get rid of us or thought we were in his way and pestering him. He included us in so much of his life. That was why it was so hard to lose him. 

 

I'm glad his classmate Larry is doing this memorial for Louis. He deserves it so much. He shouldn't be forgotten. I'm also glad it is friend of his that has thought of this memorial and arranged it because friends were everything to Louis. As I've said many times before he lived to be with his friends and he died so they could live.

 

I will forward the email to you I got about the dedication.

 

Sally Willett Loree (Aug 2014)


Thank you Sally. Please see our page on Louis Willett here. I have added some photos from the Molloy Veteran's Day Memorial in his honor from Nov 2014. There are many of us that will never forget Louis and his sacrifice, and the sacrifice of many service members who paid the ultimate price for our freedom and way of life.

 

Davy O'halloran Aug 2013:

I was in Troop 273 probably around 1958-1962. Tom Costigan was Scoutmaster and Bill Welch was second in command. Went to Sanita Hills for four years. Greatest of times. From 58-62. Played steal the bacon at monthly(?) meetings at St. Bennies basement. Went to Boy Scout Olympics at Victory Field each year. Earned Swimming, Life saving, Canoeing , and Boating badges at summer times at Sanita Hills (the term sanita comes from subway cars donated to camp from NYC to sanitation dept. campground). Camped at Palisades Alpine, Ten Mile River and numerous jamborees around NY area. I was "tapped out" for ja di gon sa around '63. I remember the Thursday night meetings were the same night as tv viewing of "Untouchables."

Thanks Davy: I was later in Scouts than you. My Thursday evening viewing after Scout meetings was the Dean Martin Show.
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