Memory Lane... who had which


Boxing Gloves
Mark Medal's Junior Middleweight Championship Belt
A Tire Iron
A Large Rabbit
A Shovel and a Sweater


Allen Manzo, who lucked into star billing on the ballot for the 1992 special election for mayor, was charged with hitting Rudolf Contey with a tire iron the night before the polls opened. Contey, 66, was in the process of putting up a poster of Allen's brother Louis, also a candidate. Allen, 49, claimed self defense. At the trial, Contey, now an expert on such matters, said the tire iron shown as evidence was the wrong one. Some people really perform under pressure.

Louis Manzo strapped on Mark Medal's Championship Belt for a photo used in a campaign mailing.

The winter of 1992-1993 found Jersey City buried under an uncommonly thick comforter of snow. Many residents were unable to hire the team of sherpas necessary to navigate their new environment, and complained about the slow cleanup. Some received tickets for failing to move their cars out of the way of plows, which merrily cleared roads and reburied more cars. In the midst of this, Louis Manzo pulled a now-famous sweater over his head, grabbed a shovel, and called a photographer, prompting former mayor Gerald McCann to comment from prison "That was stupid, amateurish." McCann was a regular Dear Abby behind bars, also giving Manzo the unsolicited advice that "He should grab some woman and put her on his arm and do it fast."

William O'
Dea, evidently confused about whose mascot was whose, appeared in a newspaper ad a few humans to the right of what appeared to be a large rabbit.

Marilyn Roman, once and would-be future mayor, appeared in campaign literature wearing a pair of boxing gloves and sporting the bossy slogan 'Make Marilyn Mayor'. Or else?

Another Roman titbit: Lacking a suitcase of endorsements, she took to pulling rather pedestrian quotes ("Mrs. Roman ... earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education...") from the New York Times for her campaign literature. Sometimes restaurants will laminate their own newspaper ads and stick them in their front windows, too.

Dan Waddleton, a former city councilman easily confused with Joseph Rakowski (although they're several weight classes apart), was the one who seemed at times physically incapable of completing a sentence without a reference to basketball. We know you were the captain of your team at St. John's, Danny. Life goes on.

Some stray notes on Jersey City's public personalities:
Many are teachers or school administrators, thus setting a poor example for our youth. Very few if any are gadflys-made-good. Most of the others are on the public payroll in one capacity or another. Whatever their background, some elected officials are so thankful for the franchise that they start treating Jersey City as one. We as citizens get what we deserve, and often much less.



Light Reading