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Thanks to these brothers for responding to our recent alumni email survey! If you’d like to submit an update of your own for publication in an upcoming e-letter or a future edition of our alumni newsletter, email us your updates and photos at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

 

Hartwell Davis ‘59

I am 61 years out of college, still working, Same job last 50+ years. Love what I do and the people I work with. The most important thing about Sigma Nu are the great experiences at college with brothers, and the life-long friendships. Skimmer Day was so much fun, on the Schuylkill in Fairmont Park. Spring had just really warmed up, lots of beer, dates, and boat races just incidental.

 

I remember on an everyday basis, going out back of the house and up Sansom Street alley to 39th Street to Sansom’s Deli (between Sansom and Chestnut) for a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich.  Gosh, I wish I could have one now.  We’d go over between say 10 and midnight in the middle of “serious study” at the house.  Actually, I cannot imagine myself eating like that in the middle of the night now, but back then Sansom’s was owned by the son in law of Phillie’s mob boss, Blinky Palermo.  It was said that Blinky set Carlos up in that business to run illegal profits from the rackets through.  We were told Blinky said that he never knew a straight-up honest business could make money on its own, the mob guys didn’t understand how that happened— great food, reasonable prices, great atmosphere for us college guys to relax and hobnob with the mob and their dolls. One spring we even had a soft ball game, Sigma Nu vs The Mob.  The deli supplied the beer and dogs.  Their 2nd baseman, among others, never took his bulging coat off.

I would also run over to the V A, across 39th on Walnut.  The V A was the Virginian Bar.  We’d pick up quarts of cold Schmidt’s of Philadelphia, come back to the house and play cards while enjoying the beer, by the quart.  Being a Southern boy, I had the novel experience of being able to keep beer ice cold by putting it on the outside window sill, had to do it upstairs, otherwise the Sammys next door would steal it.

 

 

Michael Cantelmo ‘67

As for me. I'm retired, do a little gardening, do a little trip every now and then, and enjoy painting watercolors. I have 9 grandkids and 2 great granddaughters. I’ve Had 2 watercolors accepted by the Ohio Watercolor Society for their annual Show and may seek Signature Membership next year I'll attach a couple. Check out MVARTISTS.ORG look for my name under our artists and their work. Most of my stuff is shown there. I paint them. Scan them, make some prints and cards and sell a few if I can find a sucker to buy. I've sold a few originals and a few prints and cards. It's challenging and gives me a reason to travel a bit. The sea view is a view of Vieste, Foggia, Puglia, Italy, the town my paternal grandparents immigrated from in 1900. The photo I used for reference was taken by my brother in law in 2010. His family also came from there. We had hoped to visit there last March, but you know the rest of the story.

 

I've found my life during my college and work experience since, interesting, challenging, somewhat exciting and quite satisfying, though by some Penn standards it’s probably downright boring. I am the son of one of our city's maintenance department employees I was excited to have the opportunity to go to a prestigious Ivy League school as opposed to driving daily to nearby Youngstown State as a commuter. At first, I thought Penn was Penn State, but I soon learned the difference. I received a scholarship, NDEL loan and job in the Housten Hall Dining Service as a waiter for their required freshmen meal. As payment we got our evening meal and meal tickets for breakfast and lunch, I believe it was $1.10 and $2.35.  We could use them like cash at any of the school’s cafeteria except there was no change. One Saturday evening after studying for exams my roommate (also on meal tickets) and I pigged by buying out all the liverwurst sandwiches (8) at the faculty dining room. (That was just before they closed and that's all the food they had left.) First and last liverwurst I ever ate. I was recruited to play football and fully intended to do so, but after our first freshman practice, where the coach called out 11 names and said, "Just random names, nobody’s got a spot yet, but we'll look at some plays." (I thought, there's the first team.) I went to work, then back to dorms and lay on the bed when my roommate waltzed in laughing. He grabbed me by the stomach and my shoulder popped out of place. Following first classes in English Composition and Calculus and a shoulder displacement, I decided I wasn't going to graduate if I played long ball, so I dropped out of football."

Being at Penn during the Vietnam era, there was the constant cloud of academic failure leading to being drafted and sent off to war. I had no problem with serving, but I feared that Penn was a once in a lifetime opportunity and that given the gift of financial aid if I left for any reason, I might never have that opportunity again. Get the education, then whatever, enlisting preferred to being drafted. The next 2 years were always on the edge until I got into my engineering curricula. After that, my grades improved and I finished with my BSME a semester late. But except for Sigma Nu, Housten Hall, Pagano's across from the dorms, Corkey and Lenny's and the Towne School Engineering library, there were no favorite places in Philly, traditions, or much else. I regret that I didn't partake of the evening meals at the house because of my job, but I did do lunch there. I did enjoy helping redo the basement tile floor, our pilgrimage to Lexington, pledge prank. Ask Mike Lawrence about our trip to Lexington and the raid on the Annex if you haven't heard that story.