John attended St. Clare’s School in Rosedale where the Sisters of St. Joseph prepared him for attending Monsignor McClancy High School. Other than the change in curricula and being with new people, the taking of a bus to the subway and either another bus or brisk walk was a very large departure from the short walk to St. Clare’s.
John made many life-long friends at McClancy, both classmates and Brothers, and secondary to his education, are his most valued gifts.
Leaving McClancy, John started in Baruch College with a concentration in Business Administration. As with most people plans do not always go to plan and the early 1970’s was no exception. And so, John left Baruch and New York.
John has always had a great interest in music. He played several stringed instruments, primarily guitar. At home on Rosedale, he played with similar musically minded friends and at McClancy he would often be found playing guitar at what we called “Folk Masses” back then. If fact, he played at the Mass for Brother Robert Ziobro’s taking of his final vows. Still a cherished memory.
Having left New York for Macon, Georgia, to working for a band out of London and eventually winding up in LA, John married and was blessed with his son, Zane, and daughter, Marin. Having two small children, constant traveling was no longer an option and working in Hollywood in a club was not conducive to parenting.
While studying for an FCC license with an eye on a career in radio or TV he took a job with an audio retailer, leveraging his background in the live music industry. This led to a forty-year plus career in retail management most of which in audio/video. While his professional life was successful, the marriage was not, and he was on to new adventures. Moving to Charlotte, NC he found himself in a similar position of looking for a job and finding one in audio/video retail management. It was during this time, John reconnected with a former girlfriend and through the Grace of God he married his Barbara in 1996.
In late 2000, John received a call from Don Holden, the director of the Alumni Development Department. Don asked him if he would be interested in assisting in finding classmates with the goal of organizing a reunion. John agreed, not knowing the challenges. This was before most of the internet being a receptacle for private information. With Paul Lucci and Joe Ferdenzi, they were successful in finding more than half the class. Enough interest was created to set a date for the class’s twentieth reunion. That date was September 16, 2001.
One day John received a letter from his dear friend, the late Brother James O’Grady asking him to join the capital campaign committee. John spoke with Brother and asked why he was selected, as he was already on the Alumni Development Committee and Annual Appeal committees as well as involvement with the Knights of Columbus. Brother said: “If you want something done, ask a busy man.” He understood that to mean that a busy man does not have time to put something off, it has to be done now. He agreed. From that point on, John was the self-designated scribe for the Class of ’71 sending out aperiodic updates, requests for contributions to a variety of McClancy efforts, mustering the troops to attend the President’s Dinner, invites to gather for dinner or drinks or just a howyadoin’.
John lives in Massapequa with his lovely wife, Barbara and their Chocolate Lab, Huck. His son Zane lives in San Diego with his wife and two daughters, his daughter Marin lives in Turlock California with her son and two daughters, and his stepson Ben lives nearby in Massapequa.
John is still working full time and enjoying designing audio/video/home automation systems. After unsuccessfully being proficient enough a golfer to make the pro tour (his handicap is that he thinks he can play golf) his main pastime is either listening to music or his constant upgrading and tweaking his two-channel and surround sound systems.
John is thrilled to still have contact with so many of his classmates after over half a century, and many, many of the Brothers hold a very special place in his heart. It proves that McClancy is the school that makes a difference.