The Good Life

March 26, 2016 was one of the best days of my life. Friends, family, and fellow historians joined me for the release of my new book “Staten Island’s Brewery Barons.”

SI Brewery Barons Cover FinalApproximately ninety people were in attendance to celebrate this three-year endeavor. Plus, we gathered at one of my favorite historic sites, the Noble Maritime Collection, an amazing museum and research center located at 1000 Richmond Terrace in Livingston, or as some call it, Snug Harbor.

Musician Bob Wright began the afternoon with two wonderful tunes. The first was “Stapleton Beer,” a song he wrote about the demise of the Stapleton based Rubsam and Horrmann Atlantic Brewery in 1954, and the subsequent use of the brewery by Brooklyn based Piels. Acquired by Drewery Limited, Piels departed with a quiet click of the lock in 1963. Bob followed-up with “When the Wild Geese Return,” a softly, stirring song about Irish soldiers who left their homeland to fight on the continent in previous centuries. I first heard this song when Bob and I participated in an Irish Heritage Month celebration at the College of Staten Island on March 10, 2016. This song touched some part of my being then and its continues to do so. I suggest a visit to Bob’s website. He is truly a Staten Island treasure.

Artifact Table by C Bontales 3 26 16 Noble Maritime L Hollyfield singing

Brewery artifact display from Cheryl Criaris-Bontales with Lynn Hollyfield performing.

My lifelong friend Cheryl Criaris-Bontales also participated in the event by setting up a fabulous display of beer memorabilia. Taken from her personal collection, on display were assorted beer coasters, a Rubsam and Horrmann (R&H) beer tray, beer steins, bottle caps, books, and her mother’s 1950 R&H Solicitor’s Permit that allowed her to sell alcoholic beverages while in the employ of the brewery.

A slide show and discussion on “Staten Island’s Brewery Barons” ensued.

“Staten Island’s Brewery Barons” is dedicated to four friends from Moore Catholic High School. They are Maureen Corrigan-Macdonald, Donna Fahey-Gomez, Kathleen Shanley-Bertuch, and Lynn Danischewski-Hollyfield. I had previously asked Lynn to perform a song at the event. In Lynn’s own words “I picked ‘Mostly Wild’ because it reminded me of where we were in our high school days, our appreciation of our roots (our parents) that brought us to where we are today–good and/or bad–and we’re all amazing people. And–I thought the lines…. ‘When I was good, I was very good, but mostly, I was wild’ were so fitting for the topic of your book…”

Kathy, Maureen, Pat, Lynn, Donna at ONeills SI 3 26 16

Kathy Bertuch, Maureen Macdonald, Pat, Lynn Hollyfield, and Donna Gomez, March 26, 2016.

Lynn quickly noted that the word “wayward” appears in the book dedication that I wrote and in her song “Mostly Wild.” A fact that was unbeknownst to her when she selected the tune. Learn more about Lynn and her music by visiting To hear “Mostly Wild” click on this link. You won’t be disappointed:

A special thank you to bartender extraodinaire Barbara Hemedinger for handling the beer station and a very sincere thank you to Gina Sacco for taking care of the book sales.

Shari and Pat 3 26 16 cropped webmaster Shari Schindel and the author on March 26, 2016.

In closing the evening was complete with dinner and drinks at O’Neill’s on Forest Avenue where a good time was had by all—especially by me.

I have a good life : )

Copyright 2016—Patricia M. Salmon


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share This