The Marino Magic
by Cate Murway
“People, people who need people
Are the luckiest people in the world”
Sometimes people’s lives reinvent the parable with precious unselfish acts that illustrate moral attitudes and principles with their strong, loving and confident identity.
Executive Officer and Trustee, Anthony [meaning Priceless] Marino, BHS ‘47/Rider U. has been a volunteer fireman since the age of 14 years old for the Consolidated Fire Department of Bristol Station 50. Coincidently, this department took over fire protection in Bristol Borough on January 1st, the very year that Tony was born! Clifford L. Anderson was the Burgess. All of the equipment and the municipal building in which the department is housed was donated by Senator Joseph R. Grundy.
Washington Street resident Station 50 Deputy Chief Michael L. Carosi, BHS ’90 who is also a truck driver for the carpet company, Mohawk, Industries Inc., shared “Tony has always been an important member of the Fire Department and he has also cooked delicious foods for after our monthly company meetings.”
Tony was the President of the Consolidated Fireman’s Relief Association that benefits the aged and needy active and/or otherwise qualified fire persons and their families, and those injured, incapacitated or killed in the performance of their duty, their widows and survivors.
Anthony [no middle name] was born and raised on Dorrance Street in Bristol on the Delaware. His late parents were Rose [Cuccarese], born in Bristol and Italian born James, who came to the USA in 1917 and worked for "Pennsy," the PRR, maintaining and repairing damaged rail ties. Tony lost his dad following a heart attack in 1936 when he was just 7 years old. He can remember waiting in line at the Franklin Street Community center at 6:00 a.m. for the “relief” truck to come in with a food package of canned milk, grapefruit juice, flour and lard. He had 2 brothers, the late Frank [owned Frank’s Shop n’Bag] and the late, Nicholas [owned Farragut Travel Agency]. His late sisters were Carolyn Elizabeth Mignoni [owned and operated Mignoni Jewelry and Gifts for 60 years] and Marie Ungarini [owned and operated Marino's Maple House in Seaside Heights, N.J., for almost 35 years]. His sisters, Rose Kirk [husband, Pat] and Betty O’Brien still reside on Dorrance Street.
When Tony was 16 or 17, he worked at Aita’s grocery store in the Borough. He picked cantaloupes at the neighboring Patterson’s Farm for Senator Grundy and with a smile, said, “Always got a nice little tip”. He chauffeured Joe Grundy for about a week when his regular driver, “Wooshy” was ill, taking him to his woolen mill in Philadelphia. They chatted about the local minor league baseball team, the Landreth Seeds.
He and Tullytown resident, Roberta Marie [Durante] PHS ‘53/BCCC [late parents Humbert and Mary] married in 1960 in the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church on Main Street in Tullytown. His boyhood chum, the late shoemaker Fran DeVita was his best man.
Bert was a member of the Student Council, played tenor sax, (jazz kept the horn in the music’s forefront “a long, long time ago”) and she controlled the defensive half-court basketball guard position. She was the assistant head bookkeeper at Farmer’s National Bank when she and Tony met. He came spiffily dressed in a suit and tie for their 1st date and Bert met him wearing casual shorts and a knit shirt. She quickly changed and they set out to a movie at the Bristol Theatre. Together they had danced the Bristol Stomp in the old canteen on Beaver Street.
“With one person
One very special person
a feeling deep in your soul
says you are half now you’re whole”
The couple has lived on Washington Street since 1962. They have completely remodeled every room and even refurbished the real oak flooring in their 1889 tin-roofed home. The wonderfully nostalgic, comforting, soothing and refreshing sound of the rain on the roof takes them back to a favorite time and place when cares were few. Their very sharing and very giving children are Brookside Avenue resident Frankford Hospital R.N. Mary Jo Hertzog, VJM ‘79/ PSU ‘83/Frankford School of Nursing ‘83; Bristol Lions member and past President/softball coach Frank, BE ’82, who owns the small town café, Pat’s Colonial Kitchen in Newtown; former Captain of the Station 50 & Station 14 Fire Departments, Anthony BE’81; and Michael BE ’83/Pierce College, manager of a Wa-Wa in Plumsteadville, PA, who is active in the Northern Lights Direct Response, one of the world’s largest child-centered international development organizations. They have gifted them with 7 grandchildren!
Their only daughter, Mary Jo who is a rower and fundraiser on the “OR” boat in the Annual Dragon Boat Festival [this is all about TEAM!] competing over water courses on the Schuylkill River to benefit Huntingdon’s Disease, shared some favorite memories. Her dad “tried to dance” at the VJM Father/daughter dances but the diner experiences afterwards were the best! “My dad always gives selflessly, never expecting anything back! He’s a good, kind soul with a heart of gold.” A special recollection is the Russell Stover candies in the heart- shaped boxes that he would present to her every Valentine’s Day.
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." Leo Buscaglia
Tony was "Serving Our Neighbors One at a Time" as the assistant manager at the family owned business “Frank’s Shop n’Bag” for 35 years. Per Pennsbury Hall of Fame swim coach/SpecialEd teacher and valued customer, Rocco T. [Rocky] Dattola, Springfield College ’38, “They were a very nice family. Good guys!”
He is also educated in Real Estate, accounting, and insurance.
Tony retired in 1995 and then began working again in the food service industry in the N.J. Mid- State Correctional Facility in Fort Dix.
He is currently “tied up” for 4 hours on 3 days a week [Monday, Wednesday, and Friday]
on life-sustaining renal dialysis. “This is my second chance on life. I feel better than I felt 6 months ago!”
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."
As past president and current board member, Tony has been active in the Bristol Lions since 1968, especially contributing with the hot dog stands at the concerts and the incredible food offerings at the Italian Day festivals.
Past president and current board member, Angelo F. Grisolia, BE ’69 who assists him with the cooking, shared, “It’s an honor to be associated with Tony and a pleasure to have him as a friend. Whenever we are in a pinch, Tony will volunteer. He is the one who brought me into the Lions.”
The Bristol Lions host a FREE Concert for an average of 2,000 people each weekend in Bristol Lions Park every Sunday, June through September.
His other longstanding civic involvements include driving the Bristol Blood Donors Rescue Squad ambulance, membership in the K of C, performing the duties of altar server at St. Ann Church, representing the BB Council as the Republican Councilman 1970-1980, and his commitment to the Board of the BB Recreation Center.
Tony is also proud of his position as crossing guard at Jefferson and Pond on Monday, Tuesday and Friday.
“I do lots of stuff… it keeps me young!”
Pictures from various sources, including children of the Borough policemen, are being prepared for the police department station dedication exhibit for early next year.
“Tony helped to identify the timeline and most of the individuals.”
William J. Salerno, Sr., Esq. was pleasantly astounded!
Bert also keeps a very busy calendar with volunteering at the St. Mark School library and supervising in the playground, as well as serving as Instructional Special Ed assistant in the Neshaminy School district. Special involvements have included coordinating the Brad Little Concert Fund Raiser for the Borough 325th Anniversary, celebrating the history and heritage of Bristol on the Delaware and teaching adults to read in the VITA program. “My first student, Isabelle, wanted to learn so she could read to her grandchildren. I never quite forgot her! This is a situation where I received more than I gave.”
She is also involved in the intergenerational initiative, the Oral History project and helped to set up the presentation function at the BRT. Tony was just interviewed for this unified “high touch / high tech” multi-dimensional agenda.
“Everyone is the age of their heart.” Guatemalan Proverb
Bristol Lions’ “2000 Citizen of the Year” Tax Collector Anna Bono Larrisey has been involved with Bert for a number of years on the Columbus 500 committee. “Bert is the “go to” person and she always has a smile! She volunteers for Bristol day and is willing to help in any way. I can’t say enough about her, and Tony gives it his all, even to his wife’s organizations!”
Life in Bristol on the Delaware has been incredible for them. A special memory is he and all the kids from St. Ann school watching the Hall Aluminum Company’s first mail seaplane take off from the boat wharf in 1937 or 1938. Tony’s youth recollections include delicious meat patties at John Field’s hamburger place, shopping for clothing at
Marty Green’s Army-Navy store and choices galore at the J.G. McCrory's “5 & Ten-y”.
He shined shoes on Mill Street for a nickel and his area included Cedar Street to Radcliffe. “Cookie” would pick him up at the boat wharf and transport him on the William E. Doran Ferry boat to the Burlington Island for $.10
The Bristol Free Library was the place to “hang around more than read, but you couldn’t say a word in there!” Make-your-own-fun included games of hose ball with a broomstick, using cut up pieces of hose, playing in lots and in Leedom’s Field.
They shared the most delicious hoagies stuffed with varied thicknesses of knife-sliced meats and cheeses at Joe Valenti’s on Washington and Pond Street. He wore a zoot suit
and Bert teased her hair! Regrets? He wishes he had started to play the piano.
They enjoy the incredible seared prime rib at The King George II Inn, the timeless Italian classic, Chicken parm at “Cesare’s Italian Specialties Ristorante” [the closest thing to home cooking!] and totally appreciate the essence of romantic dining at the Kelch House with their fantastic traditional roasted pork loin.
Marino family traditions are important and delicious! Bert keeps the cookie tin full of her incredibly thin waffle pizzelles, lovingly made with pure anise extract from South Philly. She even rolls some of them up with chocolate chips!
"Home" is sacred, and family is always special.
They have savored the priceless ness of their children’s fleeting childhood and continue to master their skills of adaptability and change tinged with their natural resourcefulness and enthusiasm as a couple. The Marino magic includes their wonderful characteristic of multi-talents and versatility that they willingly share with Bristol on the Delaware.
“No more hunger and thirst
But first be a person who needs people
People, people who need people”
Italicized lyrics from Bert's favoroite song, 'People' by artist Barbra Streisand
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Bucks County Courier Times
Anthony Marino passed away peacefully, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010, at Lower Bucks Hospital, surrounded by his loving family. He was 81.
He was born and raised in Bristol Borough.
He was a graduate of Bristol High School and attended Ryder College.
Mr. Marino was a manager of the former Frank's Shop-N-Bag in Levittown, and more recently, was employed at the Mid State Correctional Center at Fort Dix.
After his retirement, he enjoyed getting a beep and a wave from all his friends, and a loving smile from the children he crossed at Pond and Jefferson streets.
Mr. Marino was a proud Bristolian, involved in the Oral History Project of the borough. He loved his Italian heritage.
He was a religious and devout parishioner of St. Ann Church, a member and past president of Bristol Lions Club, an integral part of the Italian Day Festival, a lifetime member of the Bristol Consolidated Fire Co., where he was a past president of fireman's relief, a member of the Columbus 500 Fund, a board member of Grundy Recreation Authority, a former member of the Bucks County Rescue Squad, and also held office in the Bristol Borough Council.
Tony was a loving, caring husband, father, and grandfather. His kind soul and manner endeared him to all who knew him. He loved spending time with his family, especially with his wife at their home in Seaside Heights.
Tony was an avid Philadelphia sports fan, and especially enjoyed the Philadelphia Phillies games.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Rose Marino; his brothers, Frank and Nicholas Marino; sisters Carolyn Mignoni and Marie Ungarini; sister-in-law Anna Marino and brother-in-law Carmen Mignoni and brother-in-law Joseph O'Brien.
He will be greatly missed by his wife of 50 years, Roberta (Durante); his loving children, Mary Jo Marino Hertzog and her husband, Paul, Frank Marino and his wife, Lisa, Anthony Marino, and Michael Marino and his fiancee, Donna. He was adored by his eight grandchildren, Jenna, Alexandra, Melissa, Anthony, Christian, Andrew, Emily and Joseph. He also is survived by his sister, Rose Kirk and her husband, Patrick; his sister, Betty O'Brien; brother-in-law Harry Ungarini; sister-in-law Angie Marino; and nieces, nephews, cousins, and good friends and neighbors.
Relatives and friends are invited to call from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and from 8:15 to 9:30 a.m. Thursday at Galzerano Funeral Home, 430 Radcliffe St., Bristol, followed by his funeral Mass at 10 a.m. at St. Ann Church. Burial will follow in Tullytown Cemetery.
Donations in his name may be made to "Scholarship Fund in memory of Anthony Marino," NBA Credit Union, 23 Commerce Circle, Bristol, PA 19007, to honor the high value he placed on education. Galzerano Funeral Home,
September 14, 2010 2:50 AM