|The New Modern Pizzeria|
On Lincoln's Birthday, this past Saturday, February 16, 2013, the boys that grew up in New Rochelle in the '50s and '60s of the last century, had their latest Fellowship meeting at the Modern Pizzeria. I was going to attend, but I had previously agreed to help babysit my namesake grandson, so I had to pass this meeting up. I had mixed feelings about this meeting, because although we have been meeting at the Modern for years, it's different now. This was to be the first meeting since the original Modern Pizzeria on Russell Avenue, what we affectionately knew as PSA, or Pig Shit Alley, closed it's doors for the last time. The current owners said that the Pizza oven, which dated back to the thirties, was just too expensive to run anymore. It was originally a coal fired oven, but had been converted to oil some time ago. They had been casting about for another place for some time now. We had been hearing rumblings every time we came down for one of our meetings, every few months, but we never believed that they would actually do it. Where would they find a place that projected the same out of the past ambiance and nostalgia that our loveable old Modern could? To us, it was home.. a way to go back to when we were young.
|John Zaffino, Lou Vaccaro, George Ward, Jerry Trotta, Bob Sarvedio, Don Ward, Sam Mauro, Tom Annunziato|
|The Modern, Memorial Day 2012|
When I was released from active duty, after four years in the Corps, I came back to New Rochelle and brought with me my first wife. I moved back to the old neighborhood, and we would occasionally get pizza from the Modern, until the marriage blew up, and I moved north to Putnam County. I went on to marry again and raise a family, this time we managed to make things work out. Somewhere, in the early '90s, Jerry Trotta found me through classmates and asked if I would like to come down for one of their fellowship meetings, which they had at either the Modern, or the Thruway Diner. I went, and have been going ever since. We watched, with sadness as they announced and closed that one place where you could get a decent meal at 3 in the morning, the Thruway Diner. Who would have believed that? It was always busy. But they did it and put up a Walgreens in it's place. It was a sad time for all of New Rochelle. Some still cannot believe it.
|Great Pizza, Better Friends|
|My Birthday 2007|
|The South Side Boys.|
Bless you, my friends. We get older with each tick of the clock, and that last, fleeting piece of our youth, the Modern Pizzeria, is gone forever, but it remains in MY heart, in OUR hearts, forever.
John A. Zaffino, February18 2013
Kent, New York