President's Day 2-15-10

President’s Day


Richard J. Garfunkel


Nigel Hamilton is the author of a new book entitled, American Caesars: Lives of the Presidents FDR to Bush. As Hamilton said; the greatest of these Caesars — as the Roman historian Suetonius would have called them — were the first four.


“In FDR the United States found a leader not only committed to rescue America's foundering economy by “bold experimentation,” but when war came, to use America's new industrial arsenal to defeat the empires of Japan and Nazi Germany. He was also a great war leader — patient when battles did not go America's way, but proving himself a great generalissimo in directing the war's political and military strategy without interfering (as Churchill was wont to do) with its prosecution on the ground. It was FDR, after all, who personally chose General Dwight D. Eisenhower to command the D-Day invasion — the largest amphibious invasion in human history, and the making of a great future president, who would keep America out of foreign wars, while maintaining America's global leadership role throughout the 1950s.”


I became familiar with Nigel Hamilton by reading his very interesting 1992, book on John F. Kennedy, Reckless Youth. It was a very controversial book and was never particularly liked by the Kennedy family. Much of it dwelt with JFK’s relationship with his mother, his early years of fragile health, his first college year at Princeton, the Harvard years, his affairs, especially with the alluring Inga Marie Arvad, his heroics in the Pacific, and election to Congress.


Of course, of interest to our family, were the generous quotes from Linda’s cousin, Ensign Frederic W. Rosen (later Lt. Commander, USNR retired) from Georgia. Below Fred talks about JFK:


“I never quite understood, Kennedy being from the Boston area, whey was he was there (Charleston). His job, when I arrived there was on the Commandant’s staff, breaking codes. In other words, when a batch of messages came in, in code, there were a group of five letters or whatever, and instead of breaking that out by hand there was a typewriter that did it for you, and he was sitting there, hunting and pecking on the typewriter putting those codes in, getting the English out of it. And that was his primary job.” Page 462.


Of course, at that time, he was “cavorting” with Inga, who the FBI was tailing. They thought of her as a spy, and it seems like they were hoping to catch him colluding with her in espionage. They were disappointed!


Lieut. Commander John Bulkeley, of New York City, was the hero of the Philippines. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and personally decorated by President Roosevelt for evacuating General MacArthur and his family off Corregidor and to Mindanao, 600 miles across open sea, patrolled by the Japanese Imperial navy. His heroics were chronicled in a best seller, They Were Expendable, and given a ticker-tape parade up Broadway. In his personal meeting with FDR, he also sold the president on creating a large force of PT Boats and wanted permission to start recruiting, “the fighingest, most aggressive, most eager men.” Both Kennedy and Rosen, who were thrown in together in a cryptography unit in Charleston, SC, answered the call for sea duty after being inspired by Bulkeley.


Even though Jack Kennedy was quite frail at the time after spending two months in a naval hospital, he desired some “real” action. Bulkeley wanted 50 men out of the1024 young Ensigns who had stepped forward to volunteer. Bulkeley and his staff settled down with his staff to interview volunteers. Of course it was always debated how Kennedy, with his medical history was chosen. Fifty years later, Bulkeley revealed that he had lunch with Joe Kennedy, Jack’s father. They met at the Plaza Hotel on 59th Street in New York City. Kennedy, who was just fired as ambassador to England by the president had a lot of bitter things to say about his old mentor. But he did indicate some thoughts about his son Jack.


“Kennedy said that his son was a midshipman at Northwestern, and that he thought Jack had the potential to be the president of the United States. Joe said he wanted jack to get into PT boats for the publicity and so forth, to get the veteran’s vote after the war. Joe wanted to know if I had the clout to get Jack into the PT Boats. And I said I did, and would interview his son the next time I was at Northwestern. If I thought Jack would measure up, I would recommend his acceptance, I told Joe. Mr. Kennedy seemed quite pleased and said he hoped Jack could be sent someplace that- wasn’t too deadly- as he put it..” page 504.


In 1944, he went halfway around the world for the Normandy invasion. Bulkeley led torpedo boats and minesweepers in clearing the lanes to Utah Beach, keeping German E-boats from attacking the landing ships along the Mason Line, and picking up wounded sailors from the sinking minesweeper USS Tide, destroyer escort USS Rich, and destroyer USS Corry. As invasion operations wound down, he got command of his first large ship, the destroyer USS Endicott. One month after D-Day, he came to the aid of two British gunboats under attack by two German corvettes. Charging in with only one gun working, he engaged both enemy vessels at point-blank range, sending both to the bottom. When asked, he explained, “What else could I do? You engage, you fight, you win. That is the reputation of our Navy, then and in the future.” Bulkeley stayed in the navy and retired as a Vice-Admiral.


Of course, there is much, much more. Many have criticized Hamilton’s book and his inferences, but I knew Fred Rosen for over 30 years, and for one thing he was an upfront guy who would never embellish anything. If he said it, it was true. Fred stayed friendly with Jack Kennedy up until his death. He was the only other PT Boat captain who was invited to his wedding at Hammersmith Farm in Newport and was later invited to the White House for a personal tour on March 14, 1962. He represented the PT Officer’s Alumni group, Peter Ter, and returned to the White House to present to the president a Steuben glass model of his boat, PT-109. The model always remained on his desk and one can see it today at the Kennedy Library in Charleston, Massachusetts.


Maybe Hamilton was right. The first four presidents, in what we know of as the post-war era of the presidency, were larger than life. Maybe it was a simpler time when people were willing to go along with leadership and see what played out. I haven’t read his book yet, and I have many others in front of me, but I have been inspired to re-read, Reckless Youth. Too bad Fred Rosen is long gone these past nine years, I would have liked to asked him a few more questions.






Mary Bochow's Passing 2-10-10

Only a few weeks ago the Mount Vernon Community was shocked by the tragic death of George Bochow, Jr., who was a friend to many. I had known that his mother, Mary, had been ill for quite some time, and I am sure that the sad news regarding George was a great blow to her, as it was to all who knew George. I met the late Dr. George Bochow and Mary Bochow, his wife, on the playing fields of Mount Vernon. Along with her late husband, Mrs. Bochow was an important part of not only the Mount Vernon community, but the athletic fields, playgrounds and gyms of Mount Vernon. Where ever the young Bochow children played, their parents were there giving support to them and the teams that they played on. It is too bad that other parents didn’t follow their lead. I remembered their example quite well, and when my son played sports at Solomon Schecter, the Recreation League, and White Plains HS, my wife Linda and I made it our business to support his efforts and support the White Plains’ teams that he participated with. Our society should take a lesson from their commitment to their children and the importance of being close to our children’s lives and activities.


Richard J. Garfunkel


The Journal News 2-10-10


Mary M. Bochow, 89, passed away on February 6, 2010. Predeceased by her husband Dr. George Bochow and her son George Jr. Survived by her 5 children Beryl(Norman) Hay, Alyson (Gary) Cohen, Michel (Peter Francese) Bochow, Brian (Donna), and Gregory. Also survived by nine cherished grandchildren and four great grandchildren. She will be fondly remembered by all who knew her for her kindness and selflessness. A memorial service will be held at Yannantuono Funeral home on Friday February 12, 2010 at 7pm. In Lieu of flowers, to honor Mary's spirit of giving, donations to a charity of your choice would be appreciated. YANNANTUONO BURR DAVIS SHARPE FUNERAL HOME 584 Gramatan Avenue Mt. Vernon, NY 10552 914-699-4010

Chinese New Year 4708 2-6-10

Chinese New Year 4708

February 6, 2010

The Year of the Tiger


It is always cold in early February here in the northeast. Up here on Watch Hill, which looks down on the wide, frozen Hudson River, it can be especially windy and bone chilling in the winter.

In the Gregorian calendar, Chinese New Year falls on different dates each year, a date between January 21 and February 20. This means that the holiday usually falls on the second (or in very rare cases third) new moon after the winter solstice. In traditional Chinese Culture, lichun is a solar term marking the start of spring, which occurs about February 4.

This year, 2010, the holiday period begins on the first day of the lunar New Year, February 14th. We wanted to hold our annual party next week, but because of a coming three day holiday, too many people had plans to leave for parts unknown. Bowing to reality, we scheduled our annual Chinese eat-a-thon to Saturday, the 6th.

This year, according to the Chinese Zodiac, is the Year of the Golden Tiger. The Tiger is the 3rd sign in the cycle of 12 animals that makes up their Zodiac. The Tiger is the sign of courage that legend tells us wards off three household disasters; fire, thieves and ghosts. On this day one should be happy, to have a smiling face and refrain from quarreling and being critical. The Tiger, being a beautiful animal, is feared and revered equally. It symbolizes, in many Asian cultures, courage, power, passion and regal strength. In the celestial sense of Feng Shui, it is one of four animals which include the Green Dragon, the Red Phoenix, the Black Tortoise and the White Tiger. The Tiger is the female counterpart to the male dragon. The ancient Chinese sages saw in the markings of the Tigers forehead the Chinese character “Wang” or “King.”  In the days of Imperial China, the dragon was the insignia of the Emperor, and the Tiger was the military emblem of the emperor’s greatest, most fearless, and victorious commanders. The Tiger also represents earth, while the Dragon represents heaven. The Tiger is a natural born leader, who is courageous, passionate, daring, active, and self-assured. The Tiger can be optimistic, passionate and independent, along with this independence often comes rebellion and unpredictability.

Alongside the 12-year cycle of the animal zodiac, there is a 10-year cycle of heavenly stems. Each of the ten heavenly stems is associated with one of the five elements of Chinese astrology, namely: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. The elements are rotated every two years while a yin and yang association alternates every year. The elements are thus distinguished: Yang Wood, Yin Wood, Yang Fire, Yin Fire, etc. These produce a combined cycle that repeats every 60 years. For example, the year of the Yang Fire Rat occurred in 1936 and in 1996, 60 years apart.

The Chinese character for “Yin Earth” represents a field or a garden. It is associated with the quality of moderate, peaceful, intellectual, charming and charitable kind of person. People born in a day of “Yin Earth” are often moderate and harmonious and slim.


People born in the Year of the Tiger are straight forward and uninhibited in nature. They will never give up no matter how frustrated they become. Quite often they love competition, cannot pass up a challenge, appear cool and are unpredictable. Some people born in the Year of the Tiger are gentle and full of sympathy. Among some of the well known personages born in the Year of the Tiger are; Queen Elizabeth II, Mary Queen of Scots, Marilyn Monroe, Tom Cruise, Agatha Christie, Diana Riggs, Jodi Foster, Norma Shearer, Charles De Gaulle, Dwight Eisenhower, Tony Bennett, Tennessee Williams, Alec Guiness, Rudolph Nureyev, Marco Polo, Beethoven, Isadora Duncan, Renoir, Karl Marx, Hugh Hefner, Chuck Berry, and Mel Brooks.

Meanwhile, many confuse their Chinese birth-year with their Gregorian birth-year. As the Chinese New Year starts in late January to mid-February, the Chinese year dates from January 1 until that day in the new Gregorian year remain unchanged from the previous Gregorian year. For example, the 1989 year of the snake began on February 6, 1989. The year 1990 is considered by some people to be the year of the horse. However, the 1989 year of the snake officially ended on January 26, 1990. This means that anyone born from January 1 to January 25, 1990, was actually born in the year of the snake rather than the year of the horse. Many online Chinese Sign calculators do not account for the non-alignment of the two calendars, using Gregorian-calendar years rather than official Chinese New Year dates.

Traditionally the color red is worn on and during the Chinese New Year to scare away evil spirits and bad fortunes. Red is a bright and happy festive color, which is sure to help bring the wearer a sunny bright future. It is considered lucky to hear a songbird or a swallow or a red-colored bird. One should not greet a person in their bedroom, and therefore even the sick should be dressed and be seated in the living room. The use of knives and scissors should be avoided because their use may cut off good fortune. No borrowing or lending should be done on the New Year and the use of off-colored language is strictly forbidden. Good luck is encouraged, by opening doors, windows, switching on lights at night to scare away ghosts and spirits, and candy is eaten to insure a “sweet year.” One also will avoid bad luck by not buying shoes, pants or having a haircut. It is said that on the first day of the New Year one should not sweep the floors or buy any books!


According to custom, the entire house should be cleaned before New Year’s Day. On the eve of the New Year’s all cleaning equipment should be stored away. Shooting off firecrackers on New Year’s Eve is the Chinese way of sending out the old year and bringing on the new. One should open all their doors in windows to allow the old year to escape forever. If one cries on New Year, they could be cursed to cry throughout the year.


Despite all of these forebodings, we did celebrate another edition of our annual Chinese New Year’s fandango. On a cold clear night here in the lower Hudson River valley, all our guests arrived safely and without much of a problem. Like last year, the threat of snow, was on the lips of every meteorological forecaster, up and down, the east coast.


It was clear all week, but a storm started to brew in the south and predictions for a massive storm to hit Maryland, Washington and points north was all over the media. But all the experts were hedging their bets, and most thought NYC would get, at the most, between; 3-6” of snow, and whoever lived above the Cross Westchester Express, Route 287, would probably be spared. As the fates would eventually determine, we lucked out and whole Metropolitan area was hit by nary a flake. On Saturday, we were well prepared for the coming feast. All of our guests were given culinary assignments and came through well. Meanwhile the party was called for 7:30 PM and by 8:15 almost everybody had made their arrival. We served the appetizers downstairs, and the main courses and desserts upstairs.


Amongst our repeat guests were Linda’s old Barnard classmate Abby Kurnit, who is semi- retired from teaching in the chemistry department at Pelham High School and her husband Jeff, who is a professor City University of New York. They brought homemade fried rice. They both are Life Members of the Village Light Opera Guild, and over the years we, along with the Adises, have seen many of their fine productions.


My old buddy Mount Vernon buddy Warren Adis, who is a professor at Iona College, and his wife Mary brought a Chinese pasta dish. They have made every Chinese New Year’s party that we have held. We have traveled often to the New York museums with the Adises. Warren and I met in the third grade (1952) in Mrs. Krohn’s class at the William Wilson/Traphagen School in Mount Vernon and have had many adventures that included being at the NCAA hockey finals in Syracuse in 1967 when our two schools, Cornell and Boston University, collided for the title. Warren met Mary, who was an English gal, born in India, while he was traveling in Europe after his service in Vietnam.


Sol and Linda Haber play tennis with Linda and me in our weekend indoor games. Sol, who played basketball at Yeshiva of Flatbush, long after Warren and I were through shooting the roundballs in Mount Vernon, hits an excellent serve and a potent forehand. Sol is a dentist who specializes in oral surgery and Linda, who is by training a CPA is in the real estate business in Westchester County.  Linda prepared an Asian inspired-salad. This year, their neighbors, Herb and Marian Schoen, were not skiing and were able to make their first experience since 2006. They brought brownies.


Back again were John Berenyi and his wife Eileen, who hail from Connecticut. John has been a frequent guest on my radio show, and we are working on a sustainability and resiliency initiative for the City of Mount Vernon. The Berenyis brought olives and grapes for dessert. As it turned out, Rosalie Siegel did graduate work with John’s wife, and Linda Haber knew the Berenyis when they all lived in Manhattan. Neil Goldstein, the former head of the American Jewish Congress, and now the Executive Vice-President of the Israel Energy Project has been a guest on my radio show, The Advocates, , returned with his wife Laura and they brought a delicious bottle of plum wine.  As it turned out, Abby Kurnit knows Neil’s wife, because they taught at Pelham together for many years.


Rosalie Siegel, who is also a Mount Vernon gal, and a former flat mate of Linda’s from Barnard, works for the Port Authority, came with her long-time companion Jeff Tannenbaum, a financial writer. They brought assorted egg rolls and three books regarding FDR, the WPA and Frances Perkins. Another old friend Paul Feiner, who is the Supervisor of the Town of Greenburgh, stopped by for his fifth visit over the past six years,


My friend Rosemary Uzzo, a top-notch educator from Yonkers, who spent 35 incredible years working for the Yonkers’ Board of Education, and is getting her PhD, was able to return after her first visit last year. Rose brought scallion pancakes. Another return couple were Allegra and Larry Dengler from Dobbs Ferry. Allegra is the Co-chairperson of the Greenburgh Office of Energy Conservation, and her husband Larry, a lawyer is a trustee of their village. They also brought brownies.


Two regular attendees, who returned after a year’s hiatus, were Wally and Ronnie Kopelowitz. Wally is an ophthalmologist whom I met many years ago on the tennis courts of County Tennis. They live in Great Neck, and Ronnie is a lawyer and a NYC judge who sits in Brooklyn. Wally is a long-time tennis rival, who punishes his opponents with his wicked baseline slices. They brought kosher chicken and egg plant dishes. They love to travel, and they have finally finished their long re-modeling of their home.


Corinne Levy, one of Linda’s tennis friends, and her partner, psychiatrist Bob Schulman came up from Irvington and added dumplings and tofu to our appetizers. Robin Lyons, another former Mount Vernon resident, who lives in White Plains, was able to escape the ravages of 18” of snow, at her daughter’s house in Princeton, NJ, brought lo mein. Robin, returning after a year absence, is the widow of the late George Lyons, a very dear friend. George was one of the leading experts on baseball in America, and had a remarkable collection of baseball memorabilia that featured unique and rare game-worn baseball jerseys. He also was the eldest of the four sons of Broadway columnist Leonard Lyons and is the brother of Jeffrey Lyons, the movie critic. Debbie Rubin, a regular guest, whom Linda knows from Barnard College alumnae events, again joined us after a year’s absence and brought chicken.


Michael and Marci Shapiro also joined us after a year’s absence. Michael is a lawyer with Carter, Ledyard & Milburn in NYC, which will be eternally famous for giving FDR his first job as a lawyer. It was there in 1907, that FDR predicted to his fellow juniors that he would be elected to the New York Assembly, then be appointed assistant secretary of the navy, and be elected governor of New York. His legal friends, who were quite accustomed to his breezy manner and thoughts on various topics, were very impressed with his frankness. FDR eventually left Carter, Ledyard in 1914, while he was serving as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy. His next job was with Fidelity & Deposit Company of Maryland, and there he hired Marguerite “Missy” LeHand. Marci teaches in the Edgemont schools, and their son Ben, who is a talented teenager, plays a great game of tennis. The Shapiros brought bok choy.


Among the few newcomers this year were my old political buddy and friend from White Plains, whose kids went to high school with our children, Kevin Moran and his companion Val, who was a year behind me at MVHS brought string beans.


Last, but not least, were first time guests, Art and Susan Zuckerman. Art and Susan do a great radio show on WVOX devoted to travel, and they combine their show activities by being expert tour guides of NYC.  They specialize in talking about the hidden stories of NY and they brought a DVR about their visit to the Discovery Channel. It was all about the hidden tunnels of Chinatown which were used during the Tong crime wars of the early part of the 20th Century. The Zuckermans also brought authentic shrimp and beef with black bean sauce from Chinatown. I have had the pleasure of being a guest on their radio show, and Art will be a guest of The Advocates this Wednesday, the 10th, which can be heard at 12 noon on 1460 AM radio or live-streaming on one’s computer at


We supplied the Tsing Tao Chinese beer, other soft drinks and libations, plus egg rolls, dumplings and lo mein.. Linda made sweet and sour meat balls, along with an excellent minced beef dish with hoisin sauce and pickled ginger in lettuce wraps. She also made a minced chicken wrap and an Asian salad. For dessert we had oranges, grapes, fortune cookies, and brownies.


In keeping with the red theme of the holiday, we had red and white plastic plates, cups and plastic utensils made setting up and clean up very easy!!  We had our usual Chinese decorations and candles lit at the front door to lead our guests to our home.


Finally after four hours of culinary debauchery the party ended and everyone escaped into the chilly, but clear air. By the way, “Happy New Year” is conventionally thought to mean in Cantonese, Gung hei fat choi. But that really means, “Congratulations and be prosperous.” In reality the Cantonese saying for “Happy New Year” is Sun nin fai lok. So either way, thanks for coming, we had a great time so let’s look forward to a better year than the last!




The SuperBowl of Eating is Tomorrow 2-6-10

The Super Bowl of Eating is Tomorrow!

February 6, 2009

Richard J. Garfunkel


Recent prognostications about eating tomorrow forecast that 30 million pizzas will be consumed by fans of both the Colts and the Saints, along with the casual and curious, chow down with their buddies while watching Super Bowl XXXXIV.


With all that in mind, while Linda and I were watching another DVR recorded episode of “Have Gun Will Travel,” which featured Paladin supping on fine San Franciscan cuisine, I decided to make my culinary choices along with my football pick.


Therefore, before I get into my football crystal ball, my culinary choices are the following:


Hot Dogs- Nathan’s Coney Island, Brooklyn (1916) Yonkers

Pizza- Johnny’s Mount Vernon (since 1942)

Hamburger- Nat’s, Elmsford, NY, Prince George Hotel, Manhattan

Seafood, The Black Whale, Anna’s, Lobster Box and others on City Island, the Bronx

French Fries, Bethany Beach Boardwalk, Delaware, the Farm, Brugge, Belgium (1000 ce)

Chowda in a Loaf of Bread, Alioto’s. Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco (1925)

Oysters and Cherrystones, The Union Oyster House, Boston (since 1826)

Popover’s, General Glover’s Inn, Lynn, Ma., (since 1957), Popover Café, Manhattan

Steak, Maloney and Porcelli’s, Manhattan, Bern’s in Tampa, Fl (1956)

Onions and Tomatoes, Peter Lugar’s, Brooklyn (1887)

Pastrami, Katz’s Deli, Houston Street, Manhattan (since 1888)

Brisket, Leshin’s, 27th and Broadway (out of business)

Pacific Rim Cuisine, Dish of Salt, Mid Manhattan (out of business)

Lamb chops, Keen’s Chop House, Manhattan (since 1885)

Lobster, Smith and Wollensky, Manhattan, any place in Newport or Maine

Tortellini with Bolognese sauce, Barbetta’s Manhattan, (1906) Ernesto’s White Plains

Veal parmigiano sandwich- Albanese’s, Eastchester, NY (out of business)

New England Clam Chowder, Any food bar, Quincy Market, Boston

Manhattan Clam Chowder, Thwaits, City Island, Clam Box, Cos Cob, Ct (both out of business)

Dim Sum, Empress of China, Grant Street, San Francisco

Chinese food local, Lum Yen, Mamaroneck, Hunan Village, Yonkers

A turkey dinner, The Washington Arms, Mamaroneck, NY (out of business)

Bread- Onion board, Zabar’s, Manhattan (1934)

Triple-Decker Sandwich, Jack and Marion’s, Brookline (out of business)

Greek food local, Santorini’s, Sleepy Hollow

Rye bread, Alters, Tarrytown (out of business), Moishes, Manhattan, Chester Heights, Mt. Vernon

Gazpacho, Columbia Cigar Bar, Sarasota, Fl, Marfil Café, Madrid, Spain

Alaskan Stone Crab legs, Joe’s Miami Beach, (1913) Tale of the Whale, Ocean City, Md

Roumanian Steak-Wilsker’s, County Center, Yonkers (out of business), Sammy’s, Manhattan (1976)

Roast Beef Wedge. Knopf’s Deli, the Circle, Mount Vernon (out of business)

Melon- Hand Melons, Saratoga Raceway, Saratoga Springs, NY ($8-10 per slice)

French Onion Soup- Brasserie, Manhattan, (1959)

Chicken Pot Pie- Durgin Park, Quincy Market, Boston (1942)

Pickles, Guses, (1915)  Pickleman, Manhattan

Roast beef- Downing Square, Manhattan (out of business)

Best Deli in LA- Brents

Best Deli in Palm Springs- Sherman’s

Olives- King David’s Palace, Jerusalem, Israel

Israeli breakfast, King David Hotel, Jerusalem, Israel

Gorgonzola Salad, Manero’s, Greenwich, Ct (out of business)

Italian Food- Lusardis, Larchmont, (1982) Guido’s, Ossining (out of business)


Part II


Of course, without betting interest on this game, the broadcast network would lose about a third of its audience automatically. According to, Mike Francesca, my radio guru on the latest point spread, the Colts are 5 point favorites. As any half-interested sports fan will tell you, betting games with the spread and consistently picking winners “ain’t” easy. With that in mind, I like the Colts, who are the favorites to win the game, but they haven’t done well covering the spread and Super Bowls can be close. The better, who gives the points, always fears a last minute “back-in” cover, when the losing team, who cannot possibly win, scores a late touchdown, while the winning team is willing to have the clock run down and plays uninspired and loose defense.


Personally I would like to see the Saints win. But their play over the past 5 or 6 games has been mediocre. Their last playoff game, they were way outplayed by the Vikings featured four obvious (conceded by the NFL brass) screw-ups by the officials enabling them to squeak out a victory. Bret Favre’s poor judgment on the Vikings’ last possession didn’t help their cause much either.


On a personal note, I would like to see Payton Manning beaten. Not that he isn’t great, and deserving, but I don’t want him placed in the top, top, echelon of quarterbacks of all-time as of yet. Many have anointed him already as the greatest, and if he gets his 2nd ring in three years, he’ll be more popular than corn flakes and Lucille Ball. Of course, times have changed, and the rules protecting quarterbacks have made his life a lot easier than his predecessors. For my money, the top five quarterbacks since WWII, in no particular order, are: Johnny Unitas, Otto Graham, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, and Tom Brady. Sentimentally, I could throw some others into the mix, namely, Joe Namath, Norm Van Brocklin, Bobby Layne, John Elway and Roger Staubach. So, in the meantime, let’s go Saints.



The Jon Breen Fund and George Bochow 2-4-2010

The Jon Breen Fund

c/o Mount Vernon High School

100 California Road

Mount Vernon, NY 10550



February 4, 2010


Dear Classmates and friends,


The Jon Breen Fund was established to honor the memory of Jon Breen, who passed away in 1993. Jon was an outstanding member of the MVHS/Davis Class of 1963. He was a graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School and a Fulbright Scholar. He was the president of our class, and was an accomplished essayist. After his death, I established the Jon Breen Fund, which has sponsored essays on public policy themes. Over the past sixteen years, the Fund has raised over $30,000, and has given out annual scholarships in his name to essayists. The Fund also awards history prizes in the name of the late Dr. Henry M. Littlefield, a beloved teacher and coach, who had a remarkable presence at Mount Vernon and Davis High School for 10 years.


Recently the Mount Vernon community experienced the tragic loss of George Bochow. The Bochow family has been an essential part of the city for three generations. George’s father was a renowned and beloved doctor who had served that community for over 40 years and George’s nephew Brian is the youngest Commissioner in the city’s long history.


I had the pleasure of knowing George and playing baseball with him in our days at MVHS/Davis. He always exhibited the highest level of sportsmanship and skills and served as a model and inspiration to many of his teammates. George, a member of the Class of 1964, was a leader in his class and a role model for all who knew him. George went on, after a successful academic and athletic career at MVHS to star as an All-American on NYU’s baseball team. He also was a member of the United States Olympic Baseball Team that participated in Mexico City as an experimental sport at the 1968 Olympic Games.


Because of George’s legacy as a great baseball player, I thought it was appropriate to create a baseball award and scholarship in his name. Since announcing the idea for a baseball prize in George’s name, the Fund has raised over $1100. Along with the remaining balance in the Jon Breen Fund, these monies will be pooled, and the Fund will continue giving out its annual awards to seniors at Mount Vernon High School. I was able to meet with MVHS’s fine baseball coach, Walter Allen yesterday, and we discussed the criteria for the George Bochow Baseball Award. The parameters will be the following: senior designees who have combined statistical achievement with sportsmanship and leadership. There will be a select committee, along with the baseball coaches, Walter Allen and John Brogan, who will vote on who will be the recipient. If you, or your friends, or classmates wish to help with this fund-raising effort, please contact me or have them send their check to the Jon Breen Fund c/o George Bochow to the above MVHS address, in care of Ms. Vera Glazewski.


Thank you and regards,



Richard J. Garfunkel