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Ghosts of Northeast Catholic High School for Boys

Joe Menkevich

From Joe Menkevich

Northeast Catholic High School Crew Team & The Ghost

The older one becomes, the more things one will witness  – strange mysterious beautiful unexplainable wonderful things.

For many years I thought to take a few pictures of some of the facades & windows of buildings along Frankford Avenue. Today I have.

This is the second floor of what was once a dining room inside Horn & Hardart Restaurant. (near Margaret Street)

Old Horn and Hardart second floor window

The reflections upon the window glass brought back the memories of rattling dishes and the smell of the food – the pies and the coffee and the pies!   I remember taking the EL from North Catholic and waiting for my brother to finish his shift as a bus-boy.   A loud crash from the dropping of a whole load of dishes – and there was my brother standing there frozen like a statue with one dish left in his hand.

The old waitresses began gathering around scolding – trying to make him feel guilt & embarrassment. There he stood with that one last dish.

He shrugged his shoulders and threw it into the broken pile, took off his apron and said:  “Now all of you can clean it up – I quit! Are you happy now?”

Some say the Spirit of North Catholic will never die.

It was in building next to Roxy’s Army & Navy Store. [4500 block of Frankford Avenue: ]   Memories of wet t-shirts, the smell of sweat, the working out, & the camaraderie inside while looking at the dyslexic writing on a window: WERC CN

As an alumni of Northeast Catholic High, I knew where the Crew Team used to work out in the late 1960’s. I know because I was there.

But after I took the photo, it appeared as if a strange face was looking back at me.   Is it the face of a young man?   I had to take a closer look.

Some say “the Spirit of North Catholic will never die.”

Take a look and decide – is it just a smudge or something more?

Perhaps it’s just an illusion – perhaps it’s something more.   The strange silhouette reflected on the glass serves to prove – ghosts, spirits & memories will never die as long as we keep them alive.

© 2011 – Joseph J. Menkevich all rights reserved.

5 thoughts on “Ghosts of Northeast Catholic High School for Boys

  1. Love the new photo’s of the days gone by. But the last pic is a little creepy! Does anyone know where I can find out where to view some pic’s of the Overington Mansion? I seen the ones over the message board just looking for others. I tried the Frankford Historic Society but no one got back. So I thought Joe Menkevich would know! Thanks

  2. I see another face in the upper left under the N. And then the face in the lower right, I guess the one you are referring to. I see another head to the left of this lower face. You can see his left ear. Spooky!

  3. I’m wondering if the Horn and Hardart panels could be Lalique? If so certainly worth more than the building and probably that stretch of the Ave.

  4. “…If the Horn and Hardart panels could be Lalique [glass]? If so certainly worth more than the building and probably that stretch of the Ave.”é_Lalique

    In 1999, I was in search of antique glass to replace some of my windows that were broken. They were made of charming “old glass.” I also had a kitchen that was done in glass tiles called Vitrolite.

    [How I was greeted when I first moved into Northwood – broken windows. Then there were the insane scrabbled notes that were left on my wife’s car and the graffiti painted on my garage. It turned out to be the mentally challenged kids the lived behind us – who also may have had a mentally challenged mother telling them to do it, but that is a story of it’s own. She lost the house at Sheriff Sale and the problems left too.]

    Where was I going to find Antique glass, the wavy glass with little bubbles & imperfections? Where was I going to find Vitrolite. Itv took me a long time to learn what it was even called.

    [Years ago – a good defense lawyer would challenge witnesses based upon whether the defendant was seen through the windows or in direct sight. Others attorneys would challenge if glasses were worn and even challenge the materials of the lenses & who ground them.]

    I remembered this place – operated by a very short elderly German gentleman who spoke with an accent. It was located on Orthodox Street.

    This place was like the only old world “Museum of Glass” left on the planet.

    This place that had it all! Every kind of old antique glass was in his old stock & inventory that he inherited from his father.

    I once bought beveled mirror glass from him back in the 1970’s.

    By the time I got there in 1999 – the building was sold with all the old inventory.

    I never could get in or to speak to the new owner.

    I replaced the windows with new glass, but the Vitrolite I found here:

    Knorr Glass at 1817 Orthodox St. Philadelphia, PA 19124, must have supplied all of Frankford as many of the store fronts still have the remnants of the glass tiles. See: Meyers, Allen, and Carl Nathans. 2003. The Jewish community under the Frankford El. Images of America. Charleston, SC: Arcadia.


  5. Alot of old buildings have spirits.They refuse to leave. Some don’t even know they passed.I think they loved living there or working there so much they refuse to leave.Alot of these old buildings are abanded and vandalized or burnt down. You would think philadelphia would make some use of these old buildings.
    I want to thank you for putting these photos on.i remember going with my mother to Horn and Hardart restaurant i was very young.I remember the food being in the glass cases. you could wait on your self.That was a great place to eat.I love the old glass windows that still look so beautiful.I hope to see more photos that you take of old buildings.Thankyou

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