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Reminiscence of Growing Up in Northwood

Every so often I get a nice email from somebody who reads the Gazette as a way of keeping in touch with the old neighborhood.  Bill McNamee sent me the email below:

Sorry I missed your recent survey regarding readers of the Gazette.  As a former Northwood resident now living in Swedesboro, NJ, I enjoy your updates on  Facebook.  Growing up in Northwood was the greatest; 11XX Fillmore St., playing sports at Simpson, the park, the lot, in the streets, we did it all.  We had some of the best corner stores, which provided youthful employment after the paper routes.  As a kid Frankford Stadium was like Notre Dame Stadium.  We would peer through the fence to watch #36,  Gary Hegh and legendary coach Al Angelo’s pioneers.  I can remember the parades down Wakeling Street after a win, of which there were many.

Unfortunately for the Pioneers, they had to face the mighty crusaders of Father Judge for the City Title in 1975.  Myself and Mike Mullane were the only two seniors from Judge, from our neighborhood, that year.  And Mike was the starting defensive end on that team.  You have no idea what it was like that cold December day as the Crusaders edged the Pioneers 9 – 6 for the city title.  Many and mean many of friends were not thriled with the outcome.  I myself could not contain pride and joy of beating the neighborhood’s revered team.

Sorry for going on so long about Northwood, but it was the beat of times.  Thanks again.    William Patrick McNamee.

We’ll include this on the history page for future generations.

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Al Angelo

From the Inquirer:

The game was an afterthought.

Most in attendance came to pay tribute to the late Al Angelo.

Former Frankford football players, coaches and fans from various generations came to Frankford Memorial Stadium yesterday for a memorial service to honor the Pioneers’ winningest coach.

And this season’s team perhaps paid Angelo the biggest homage, beating Lincoln, 33-0, in the home opener.

Read the entire store here.

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Al Angelo

From a reader today:

Dear Sir,
I was saddened to hear about the passing of former Frankford High’s coach Al Angelo. I attended the services today. I went to Frankford and had the pleasure of getting to know coach Angelo. He touched so many lives and did so much for us all. I came home and wanted to do something for him and his family. I hope you can print this in your wonderful paper for all to reflect and enjoy. Thank you for your time and consideration during this sad day.
John J. Ruppert

‘Heaven Adds An Angel To It’s Team’ For Coach Al Angelo

I remember long before I attended Frankford High School, I heard about coach Angelo. I had heard all the stories about how great a coach he was and how he gained the love and respect from everyone who met him. He was a great teacher, a great football coach but an even greater man. All you had to do was ask anyone he taught or knew him and you’d walk away with a smile on your face.

As I look back on my four years at Frankford, there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t hear coach’s name. There wasn’t a week that went by that I didn’t hear about another student coach helped in someway. We all looked forward to football season and adding another trophy to our already crowded showcase. I know the name said Frankford but for everyone that attended it could’ve easily read Angelo High and that would’ve meant more sense to us all.

Coach Angelo was Frankford and Frankford was Coach Angelo. I’ve never seen any teacher love his job as much as he did or love his students like he has over all those wonderful years. It was a perfect fit and everyone that passed through those proud halls knew it.

I had the privilege of saying goodbye to a great man today and to thank his beautiful family for sharing him with us all. I saw the pictures and read the stories that were on display at the church and I smiled. I thanked God for the chance to share four years of my life with a legend and a truly remarkable man. I also asked God to tell coach to save a spot on the bleachers up in Heaven for us all. Coach Al we’ll miss you and may God Bless You.

John J. Ruppert

FHS 82