Tuesday, April 13, 2004

When I read of the passing of Pete Constantine, I of course remembered the gang of the, "Telecine Maintenance," group and the wonderful camaraderie of those fine men.
We had two Asst. Supervisors while I was assigned there, Tony Tobias, and then Frank Pollack.
Staff was comprised of Dick Locke, Angelo Guardino, Pete Constantine, Frank Neilis, Leonard (Jerry) Jeromack, and Val France. On occasion, Mike DeIeso, Barry Yuzik, Bob Dorman, and myself played some parts in that group.
The stories that abound from that elite cadre could fill a book. Thinking about Pete, I remember him telling a story about his Uncle and father that owned a bar in Yonkers or Westchester (I plead senior lapses.......or embellishment, wherever my recollection falters)
It seems that during prohibition the beer was controlled by a nemesis of the law named Dutch Schultz. For whatever the reason, he had the two men executed.
Pete also filled us in on a story about the gutter system along 57th street. Apparently, the conduits were not used for the sewage, but to transport the illegal beer to a plant on 57th street and 10th avenue. This later was used by a milk company, (Sheffield Milk Farms?), and then subsequently by CBS.
When I was assigned to the Paul Hille Midnight Elite corp, we went looking for this subterranean passageway. We found what looked like an oval construction of cobblestone walls. One only has to let the imagination play a game and all sorts of stories can be projected forward.
Pete was a kind and gentle man. He lived on City Island. He had a house with those red-orange clay tiles on it. He always worried that he couldn't replace them if they were destroyed by the elements.
There isn't many more of that Telecine group left. Perhaps, they are working in a place where all former CBS people will go,.......The big assignment room in the sky.
Peace be with his family.
Tony Cucurullo