Tag Archives: MC1957

JBLOGGER: Petrone, Louis S. “Key West Lou” (MC1957) tells us about Christmas


Christmas….A Legal Holiday

Posted on December 22, 2013 by keywestlou




Christmas….A Legal Holiday


On this wonderful Christmas Day 2010, most of us are sitting back happy with ourselves. In a joyous festive mood. Thankful for family and friends. Pleased by gifts and food.

And we might believe that Christmas in the United States has always been such. That Christmas as we know it always existed.

Shockingly, it did not!

Let’s go back to the Puritans. Those hearty immigrants from England to the shores of Massachusetts. Those who gave us Thanksgiving.

Christmas they did not give to us. In fact, they took Christmas away from us. The earliest Scrooges of record!

From 1659 to 1681, Christmas was outlawed in Boston. By the Puritans. They believed that Christmas was not consistent with their Puritan ideas and religious reforms. So one of their acts was to abolish Christmas!

Christmas remained a no-no through the American Revolution. The English influence in the colonies prevailed. Christmas could not regain its foothold.

A few years after the Revolution, the colonists, rid of the English influence, started celebrating Christmas. But it was not Christmas as we know it.

The early 1800s found Christmas being celebrated in a bit of a rowdy fashion. Much like Mardi Gras and Fantasy Fest.

Then came a couple of books which influenced the situation.

The first was by Washington Irving. In 1809, he wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon. It portrayed Christmas as a peaceful loving holiday. Many attribute Irving’s novel as setting the mood for present day Christmas.

Irving actually created with words Christmas Day as we know and celebrate it. He mentally conceived his concept of Christmas and wrote it on paper. Christmas to that point had not been as he portrayed it.

About the same time, there was another writing. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. This, too, captured the American imagination.

During the 1830s, several southern states legalized December 25 Christmas Day as a legal holiday. The first was Alabama in 1836.

The South continued to favor and celebrate Christmas up to the time of the Civil War. Whereas the North basically paid little attention to the day. Christmas had become a Southern thing.

Now comes the Civil War. Lincoln wanted to demoralize the Confederate troops. He wanted to show that the South’s Santa Claus was on the side of the North. He authorized a famous artist late in 1862 to do a drawing of Santa Claus watching over Union troops. The picture was the front cover on January 3, 1863 of a prominent national magazine. It was sort of God is on our side thing. Some believe it achieved Lincoln’s desired effect.

President Ulysses S. Grant is given credit for making Christmas a national holiday. I question the accuracy of the representation. In 1870 Grant signed a bill into law regarding Christmas Day. The new law read that Christmas “…shall be a holiday within the District of Columbia.”

The District of Columbia is not the whole of the United States. However, Grant is usually given credit for making Christmas a national holiday by that act.

The last state to legalize Christmas as a legal holiday was Oklahoma in 1907.

I suspect that it was the combination of Grant’s signing regarding the District of Columbia and all of the states legalizing the holiday that finally made Christmas Day a national holiday.

Christmas Day received a further boost by the 1897 editorial in the Sun of New York. We all know it. ”Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

Christmas was practiced and recognized as a holiday through World War II. For whatever reason, it received its most gigantic step forward recognition and celebration wise following World War II. Everyone got into the act after the war! Maybe because people were happy and grateful to have won.

Such is the story of the legalization of Christmas Day.

# – # – # – # – #   

[JR: And, I’d question why the Gooferment is involved in any “holy day”. Leave that to The People to sort out. That goes for “President’s Day” even more.]

# – # – # – # – #   

JEMAIL: Flynn, Bro. Gregory (MC1957) gives an Addis Hope update


Christmas, 2014

Dear John,

I hope this finds everything going well for you. You may be wondering
why you haven’t heard from me in a while; it’s because Ethiopian
telecommunications has been in the process of upgrading. As a result,
the network has been down for quite a while. I’m now racing before it
goes down again.

As we are an eastern rite Catholic Church our Christmas is January
seventh and our new year is September eleventh, following the Julian
calendar. No matter, we want to wish you a blessed Christmas and
joyous New Year.

All here at Addis Hope are doing very well thanks to the generosity of
our donor partners. During this Christmas season, I’m reminded that
many of our children live in terrible stable like conditions not too
unlike those of the Holy Family. Still, they are grateful for the
education they are receiving thanks to you. I had hoped to attach a
photo of the children expressing their joy and appreciation for all
they have received but it took almost ten minutes to download; thus
ended that wonderful show of gratitude.

Many thanks for your continuing generosity to our desperately poor and
marginalized children. Their daily prayers of thanks will continue to
be your reward.

May God bless and keep you,


Flynn, Bro. Gregory (MC1957) 

# – # – # – # – #  2014-Dec-21 @ 09:07  

JFOUND: Petrone, Louis S. “Key West Lou” (MC1957) sees Jack Kelley



*** begin quote ***

In spite of no food, the evening was good. Ran into a fellow Manhattan graduate. Jack Kelley. He and wife Sabina used to own a home in Key West. Sold it. Still visit. Their full time home is Washington, DC. Jack is retired, Sabina still working.

*** end quote ***

Petrone, Louis S. “Key West Lou” (MC1957)

# – # – # – # – #  2014-Dec-18 @ 11:17  

PRAYERSREQUESTED: Colon, Philip J. (MC1962) adds Key West Lou to the list



Good Afternoon All,

John Reinke has shared a request from fellow Jasper Lou Petrone ‘ 57, (Key West Lou).

PRAYERSREQUESTED: Petrone, Louis S. “Key West Lou” (MC1957) on a life change


Please raise the Prayer volume once again for Lou’s dear Friends during this very difficult time. Thank you.

God Bless. 

Phil Colon

Colon, Philip J. (MC1962) 

# – # – # – # – #   

JEMAIL: Dans, Peter E. (MC1957) on Wikipedia’s list of notable Manhattan grads


[JR: Delayed due being flagged as spam?]

Nov 23 

Hi John:

I would think that the Admissions and Alumni offices would be interested in updating and populating Wikipedia’s list of notable Manhattan grads. It might be a good work study project for a student.

The overwhelming number of grads on the list are athletes. Maybe it’s because their feats are easily recognizable whereas criteria for other fields are harder to define beyond the more famous ones.

One caveat is that all graduates might say they are noteworthy and it might be considered elitist and exclusionary to be so designated. A conundrum!

Keep up the good work.


Dans, Peter E. (MC1957)

# – # – # – # – #   

[JR: Agreed but I have no input to Alma Mater and its workings. There’s always a bell shaped curve. There’s an Athletic HoF. Would seem that there could be others. “Elitist”? Like Cooperstown? I would think it would be obvious.]

# – # – # – # – #   

PRAYERSREQUESTED: Petrone, Louis S. “Key West Lou” (MC1957) on a life change


FROM a blog post from Petrone, Louis S. “Key West Lou” (MC1957)


Posted on December 6, 2014 by keywestlou

*** begin quote ***

I am down this morning. I just heard about a dear friend in Utica. Her husband e-mailed me. She has been diagnosed with cancer. Everywhere. Breasts, lungs and spine. Plus a mass in the pelvic area larger than a softball. The doctors are still testing to determine if the mass is cancerous.

A sweet woman. Never hurt a soul. Her husband my best friend.

In a split second, the world turns. Life changes.

*** end quote ***

Sad when “bad things” happen to good people.

(I always say tongue in cheek with a wry smile that I have a long list of villains deserving of such. Luck for the world, I’m not in charge of anything but me. And, I’d never wish ANYONE ill. Karma. But still … …)

I’m forwarding this along to Colon, Philip J. (MC1962) for the prayer list.

Hope all the readers can spare some good thoughts for this lady, her family, and friends like a down “keywestlou”.

# – # – # – # – #  2014-Dec-06 @ 11:39  

JEMAIL: McEneney, Mike (MC1953) finds a picture in the NYT


Dear John,

On Monday, October 27th, page A22 in the print edition of The New York Times, there is a picture that accompanies an Article entitled “Generations of Lawyers Gather for a Reunion Like No Other” about a reunion of current and former members of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. There is a Manhattan connection in the Picture – On the left end standing is Otto Obermaier, ’57, on the right end is Judge John Martin, ’57, both former U.S. Attorneys for the Southern District, and in the Center Standing, is James Comey, Director of the FBI, son of J. Brien Comey Class of 1953! (Rudy Giuliani, ’65 is also a Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, is not in the picture as he appeared via TV).

An impressive group of JASPERS!


McEneney, Mike (MC1953)

[JR: Thanks, Mike. Much appreciated.]

# – # – # – # – #   

Comey, J. Brien [MC1953]

Giuliani, Rudy [MC1965]

Martin, John [MC1957]

Obermaier, Otto [MC1957]

# – # – # – # – #   


2014 Oct 30 27REUNION master675


# – # – # – # – #   

[JR: I’ll make no comment on your reading tastes! The Old Grey Lady has fallen off the wagon, imho.]

# – # – # – # – #  2014-Oct-30 @ 11:23