Central High School Philadelphia 214th Class Website
Did you know?
Our 214 12B Senior gorgeous gal pin was created by Chuck Blardone?
He modeled his seductive temptrous friend after the French actress Bridget Bardot. Voila! Don't believe me, Chuck told me so. Here's his original artwork for comparison.
Did you know that there were four high schools built in Philly in the 1937-39 period. Only two of them, Central and Bok was built under the auspices of the WPA (Works Progress Administration. They are Central, Dobbins Vocational, Bartram and Bok; they all shared similar Art Deco styles-popular in the 1930's and designed by architect Irwin T. Catharine. Central and Bartram are almost identical. Central overlooking Ogontz and Olney Avenues, and Bartram at street level.
John Bartram High School
Dobbins Vocational and Technical High School
Edward Bok Vocational and Technical High School (now closed)
Central High School...Dear High Dear Central High
Did you know that the following celebrities graduated from Central?
Bill Cosby,comedian/ predator (204)
Arnold Roth, cartoonist (186) Norman Fell, actor (176)
Larry Fine -The Three Stooges -(132)
Dr. Andrew Weil, physician/ nutritionist (212)
Raymond Teller (Penn and Teller)-224 magician/comedian
Samuel Dash, Esquire (178) Watergate Investigation
Jed S. Rakoff (214) US Judge Southern District NY
Dr. Henry Abraham (214) Psychiatrist co-recipient Nobel Peace Prize (1985)
Ed Wynn, actor, comedian (110)
E. Urner Goodman (114) Early Boy Scouts of America Early leader, founder of Order of the Arrow
Dr. Noam Chomsky (184) linguist
Ed. Weinberger (204) TV Producer
Thomas Eakins (38) Painter *
*Until the 60s, originals of Thomas Eakins were displayed in the corridors of Central. They since have all been removed and replaced by prints.
What did we eat back in the day....special of the day. What is it?
Shephard's Pie, of course....
and going out the door to grab the bus....why of course
soft salted pretzels and yellow mustard
Some of the other Philadelphia-produced stuff we ate as teenagers
McDonald's started out in 1955. It became commonplace in the next couple of years. Image 15 cents a hamburger! Shakes and fries were also an economical treat.
"The cake that made mother stop baking were my favorite."Tastykakes in all flavors and shapes. My favorite wqas the Butterscotch Krimpet, but no matter what was offered, I never had a problem..with a cold glass of milk.
I couldn't resist when I was downtown stopping for a hot dog with all the fixings at Levis' Hot Dog on sixth street. My brother, Elliott Hirsh bought the store and the recipes, added Champs Cherry soda(in honor of the Phillies 1950 World Series Championship). In the 2017 he closed the store which he had relocated to Abington,after having expanded the menu to include fish cake sandwiches and knishes. It will be missed by a legion of people who stopped by for a dog and fries.
Favorites from the Philly area- did you know that there were so many of the treats we enjoyed were manufactured (and still are) in the Philadelphia area?
What can I say? I am addicted to Goldenberg's Peanut Chews. I have a stash hidden away from prying eyes. The company continues to manufacture these delicate morsels, now into its second century.
When talking about Philadelphia ice creams, we have to include Good Humor. Why you ask? I had a summer job (1960), post- Central in which I drove that confounded truck all over Fox Chase and Bustleton for six weeks. I had to ring the bells, wear a white uniform with a black bowtie, and be mindful of the dozens of rules that had to be followed. Oh, yes, I had a few Almond Crunch bars along the way, but it was not a profession that I planned to pursue. Where was Good Humor originally manufactured....?
My favorite of all ice creams. There used to be a Bassetts at 33rd and York Streets in Strawberyy Mansion. I was good for at least a cone a week... who counted calories or worried about cholesterol. Thank goodness they are still making this delicious Philadelphia treat, and you can enjoy yourself at the Reading Market downtown.
Breyer's Ice Cream was a mainstay of Philadelphia ice creams. My grandfather used to drive a Breyer's Ice Cream truck in the thirties. It is still one of the best. The vanilla and chocolate are as good as any (except for Bassetts). Today Breyers is sold everywhere and has been sold several times over the years. I loved their dixie cup (that's what we called it) that featured the picture under the lid of some actor or baseball star. I had a collection of them...before my mother threw them out.
And last, but certainly not least there's Mr. Softee, originated in Philly in the early fifties. Just thinking about it starts me reminiscing about that hokey jingle, but the soft vanilla ice cream without all of the add-ons was the best.
What can you say about Frank's Black Cherry Wishniak Soda. You can still get it, but it is pricey since the Frank's Company (family owned) went out of business decades ago. Try one of the other brands. I like Dr. Brown's as a second choice. Pretty much the same rich flavor.
Mmm! Mmm! Good! That's what Campbell's Soups are....But the high sodium factor will kill you. The Company now has more healthy versions of their soups, But there's nothing like the old tomato soup in th red and white can. Just don't look at the ingredients. The Camden facility had the huge Campbell's Soup water tower...which was a welcome sight before getting to the Ben Franklin Bridge on Route 30. In 2015, however, the eight-story building was imploded, but not before the iconic tower was diassembled to later be refurbished and placed on the banks of the Delaware River where it once again announce the origin of the Campbell Soup Company.
Best root beer ever made. Makes a great float.
Although technically produced in Trenton, New Jersey, Taylor Pork Roll is a treat not to be missed. Not available in your Jewish mother's kitchen as a staple, you could find a tasty, juicy grilled Pork Roll samdwaich in just about every respecdtable greasy spoon.
Pat's Philly cheesesteaks
Geno's Philly cheesesteaks
Take your pick. I've eaten them both---no red meat these days! Nowhere, no one makes a Philly Cheesesteak like these guys. New Jersey restaurants that feature a Philly cheesteak...there are a few that have something similar. But it's the Amoroso Bakery Steak Roll that makes the cheesesteak. It stays crispy even with the grease and cheese that permeats the roll.
And to the former Scouts of the Philadelphia (now Cradle of Liberty) Council, some trivia about our favorite long-term camping site at Treasure Island Scout Camp. 'TI" was the oldest continuously- operated scout camp in the United States, The camp is located in the middle of the Delaware River. The last season, 2008 for camping was due to a string of unparalleled hurricanes and resultant flooding. Philadelphia Council had spent $1,000,000 to refurbish the camp after hurricane damage and flooding the previous year. Valient attempts to purchase the camp from the Council were undertaken by the Friends of TI group (raised $600,000), but to no avail. Then, suddenly, without drum roll or other fanfare, a private corporation purchased both Treasure Island and Marshall Island, and according to the descriptive literature recently published plans to re-open the camp soon to families and, of course Scouts. I visited TI in 1985 with my son's troop from Monmouth Council, NJ for a weekend encampment, and all of the joy of camping on TI came back to me. Eight units were on the island that fall weekend, and the PX and other favorite sports were opened by TI staff to accommodate the guests. Games, scout skills, Capture the Flag on Friday night with a roaring Saturday night campfire complete with skits, songs, and the old worn- stories to end the weekend. Everyone had a great time....especially me.