The “Long” way about Town
by Cate Murway
“The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of immortality.”
John Quincy Adams
Some of America's finest choose to keep their identities secret, those whose generosity has greatly enhanced the lives of many and the entire community as well.
Executive committee member of the Bristol Borough Business Association,
Edward [meaning “wealthy guardian”] Long, Sr., JP Jones Middle School/Chula Vista H.S. class of ’67 and his wife, Tri-State President Patricia Ann [McCorriston], Jules E. Mastbaum VTHS ’68 will be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary at the end of this month. Happy Anniversary! That’s a “Long” time!
They have known each other since Pat was just 10 and together they have owned and operated Tri-State Telecommunications with its impeccable reputation for the last 27 years. Responsibility, hard work, commitment, and respect are obviously embedded in their children. Their son Edward Long, Jr., Northeast Preparatory School ’98 is the VP and their daughter, Patricia Ann “Pat” Ellison, Bensalem HS ‘97/BCCC is the secretary/treasurer of the corporation. They have blessed them with six grandchildren ranging in ages from 14 years to the newest addition, 4 month old Mason. Having both children and now all the grandchildren is the joy of their lives!
Ed, Sr. the sixth child of 7 boys and 3 girls born to the late Hilda [Woodcock] and truck driver Roy Vernon Long, earned the all-around skills ingrained in his profound work ethic early. He participated in Job Corps, the education and vocational training program that helps young people learn a career, working for the JFK park commission while he was residing in CA.
He and his wife Pat, the first female Exalted Ruler; in fact, the first woman Elk in 98 years, were both members of the Bristol Elks #970, always willing to serve the people and the community through benevolent programs. They have continued to unselfishly take on whatever was needed in the local area. The 60’ flagpole that they donated to the Lodge, chartered May 25, 1905, for its 100year celebration, physically evidences their true deep spirit of American patriotism.
Ed has always been focused on having a satisfying work life and maintaining valuable friendships. As independent as he has always been, he unapologetically pushes for precision in the workplace.
Ed and Pat Long purchased the old Tupperware warehouse building on Wood Street 25 years ago. Historic Bristol on the Delaware is strategically a prime location, centrally located to all the primary access routes. The Bensalem residents labored to produce a NY penthouse ambiance for their above the store home, moving from Bensalem to Bristol Borough in 1998. They love Bristol! Visits to the Kelch House Eatery are on top of their “to do” list. Ed and Pat really enjoy the imaginative menu offerings, including the cheese steak salad, the signature crab cakes with rice pilaf and the raspberry iced tea
“I’ve met a lot of wonderful people in the Borough. I met a gentleman named Jim Holliday from 1st Federal, one of the most community minded people I’ve ever met.”
Their respect is mutual.
James “City” Holliday is dubbed “City” because he had bragged that Bristol Borough was a city with its 70 stores AND a theatre. Jim stated emphatically, “Ed is a real gentleman. He did a lot for the community. We’ve been buddies for about 10 years. He has given a lot of money to needy people. A lot he did, he did not have to do.”
Work life came early for Ed Long. The first employment he took as a teen when he returned to PA was with Accredited Antenna & Acoustical Service on Frankford & Academy, installing antennas. He “liked being outdoors” but he was constantly seeking unconquered heights, so this fit the bill until he started working for J. J. Sirianni, Inc., Trenton as a steeple jack painting water tanks and flag poles at the age of 16. His very first job was painting the 250-foot high water tower for the Marlboro State Psychiatric Hospital in Marlboro, NJ. He confided, “I lost my nerve” when his late best friend, Tony was seriously injured in a fall from the 3M water tower.
His ever practical, down-to-earth approach came back into play!
His next job venture was as the courier running applications to Harrisburg for Vans Auto Tags located on F & Allegheny. At that time, there were only 60 agencies throughout the state of PA. He ultimately bought the tag agency and his wife, Pat and her sister, Susan Skull ran that business until 5 years ago.
In 1981, Ed began working for North American Phillips GTE in Cinnaminson, NJ as the manager of underground Cable TV construction, running sixty 2-man crews. He enjoyed his work and the pay was rewarding. Then North American Phillips shut down their division. Ed kept his eye on the big picture with courage and daring and his original ideas, with an attitude that was paramount to his present and future success.
He borrowed $150,000 and started Tri-State Telecommunication in 1982 in a rented building on Bent Road in Bensalem and proceeded to pick up all the existing contracts left by the Cinnaminson company. Once again, life was good!
Installing wire and cable is pretty straightforward if you do it the right way, and it's really impossible if you try to do it the hard way.
A pneumatic piercing tool hit an improperly marked 14” main Sun Oil pipeline on Route 332 and pounded itself through. The pipeline break spilled barrels of high octane gasoline onto the roadway. His partner bailed out.
“ 'cause a man who walks by the side of the road
Can turn himself around
He can pick himself up
And dust himself off
And start all over again
My friend...” [Michael Jackson : Goin' Back to Alabama Lyrics]
Saturday's child works hard for a living.
Ed reset his sails to take advantage of the changing winds and prosper as a business and an individual. He made the most of his downturn and positioned himself for the next boom that was going to follow. He converted the cable TV construction business to a telephone construction business for campus environments and began work with Commonwealth Telephone at the University of Delaware. A robust key technology program launched in 1997 and the schools made use of the E-ratable money applied for through the Federal Government for voice data and fiber optics. Practically all communications technologies depend on fiber optic backbones and structured cabling connections, making these important technologies for communications professionals to understand. Tri-State Telecommunications is authorized and certified by many manufacturers to use their products because they are a team of passionate, highly effective experts providing advanced solutions to deliver communications with quality craftsmanship and prompt response time for installation, maintenance and repairs. They have serviced Drexel University, Haverford College, and LaSalle University, just to name a few. Tri-State also provided the card access system for the newly remodeled Borough police station and the close circuit TV for surveillance.
Success did not change Ed’s heart of gold. He is charitable and civic-minded. The generosity of this supporter is quite remarkable.
BHS A.D. Gregory E. Pinelli enthusiastically shared, “Ed is a God-send to the athletic department. He is an unbelievable benefactor to the community. We had been looking for donations for the weight room and Ed said, ‘You got it! I’ll do the whole thing’.” The $50,000 Van Wright fitness facility, home to the BHS strength and conditioning program, where the BHS athletes become champions, is exceptionally equipped with tread mills, loaded with free weights, elliptical cross-trainers, and cable machines all on a mat (rubber) flooring with a key card swipe access system to the weight room. His only stipulation was that it was to be named in honor of Al Van Wright.
The late Albert L. Van Wright, BHS '57, Hall of Fame honoree was an amazing football, basketball and baseball athlete.
The yearbook quote under his picture is "As president of our senior class, Al wasn't one to let things pass."
Al was the Club founder of Les Strokes Golf Club Association and he and Ed worked tirelessly with the other members, including Richard P. Vallejo, to collect about $8,000 a year for the Woman’s Center, Kelly Center, Bristol High School Scholarship Fund, The Bucks County Opportunity Council, The Boy Scouts of America, and Today, Inc. The 21st Annual Les Strokes Tournament is June 28, 2009 at Rancocas Golf Club in Willingboro, NJ. Call 215.788.3131 to join this “grassroots” function.
Besides donating his time and expertise, Ed bought, installed and illuminated the BHS football field with new $130,000 stadium lights and donated a first-class PA system with high-quality sound.
Kindness has no boundaries and his generosity has proven this.
Per Sidney L. Taylor, AAHCSBC President, “Ed gave us a sizable donation. He picked up the beautiful 6’ tall bronze statue of Harriet Ross Tubman from Lancaster County. Harriet and the plaque, [initiated and advanced by the African American Historical & Cultural Society of Bucks County] was stored in the Tri-State garage for 3 months.”
Ed also installed EP Henry pavers around the Tubman monument, donated the original lighting and recently redid the lighting fixtures. “Harriet is well lit! The lighting is magnificent. Lights up the whole area. Ed Long volunteers and actually does it! Ed is in favor of the Cultural Diversity Center.”
Tri-State was founded with the simple assumption that a great reputation, the cornerstone of their company, sells itself. Their reliability and expertise has provided their customers with the best service at a competitive price. Tri-State Telecommunications is the premiere leader in the communications industry and they strive to be on the leading edge of technology, providing the best design and installation without sacrificing industry standard. Whenever you are thinking of communications wiring, be it a new Building Distribution System (BDS), Outside Plant Construction & Installation, Phone System Installation & Programming, Plant & Maintenance Contracts, Design Consultants, or Video Surveillance (Design & Installation) think Tri-State first.
But remember, stop and take the “Long” way about town. Charity begins at home.
Tri-State Telecommunications, Inc.
100 Wood Street
Bristol, PA 19007
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