“His Last Name Was Paterno”
After reading of our esteemed President Lou's failing Forgery 101 at Erasmus Hall H.S., I figured another Brooklyn tale was in order since our schools were rivals. In1943, my Brooklyn Tech was undefeated NY City Champs and in '44 selected to represent the city in the Bond Bowl game against an upstate team at Ebbet's Field. We won 25 to 6.
Our coach, Adam Cirillo, was contacted by Mr. Everett "Busy" Arnold, an Alumni of Brown, who was interested in "sponsoring" some 6 players for Coach Rip Engle at Brown. Coach selected Al Veling, our H.S. All-American fullback, who shattered Sid Luckman's season record 78 points by racking up 144, my subway companion Ryan, wide receiver, Traub our back/punter. and myself. He also selected Herb Lyons center/linebacker from our Bowl opponent and lastly Joe a Qb/Db from Brooklyn Prep, a Jesuit school we scrimmaged twice a year.
During Xmas break, we all boarded a parlor car at Grand Central and met Mr.Arnold, a leading publisher of the major comic books in those days. At Brown for three days, we were given campus tours, had interviews with Coach Engle, and took entrance exams.
January was graduation for our eight starters and we all decided to enlist, seven going Navy, one Army. Ryan and I got the same reporting date and once again took the same train, but to Sampson NY not Queens. During Boot Camp we both were offered the chance to take the V-5 Program exams. Shortly after, we learned acceptance letters from Brown arrived at our homes, but I was headed for the V-5 unit at Dartmouth in October.
After Boot Camp, I was assigned to the Base Provost for temp ships company. With SP arm band, .45 side arm and keys to a Harley 76 and patrolled the base. Every two weeks I was part of the escort team taking a graduated company to NY on Friday, returning on Monday with a new group of recruits. Free trip home, and per diem to boot. This all ended in Oct., along with S2/C pay. It wasn't long before the Holloway Program signed us up and with a variety of bumps in the road finally led to Pensacola.
Of the group that went up to Brown, only one actually played for Engle. It was Joe from Brooklyn Prep, who also followed him to Penn State. His last name was Paterno.