Thursday, November 16, 2006


Jerry Kerrick wearing White Sports Coat and Pink Carnation and his date Pat Costella
(Photo Courtesy J.Kerrick Family Photo Archive - C. 1954-55)

Jerry Kerrick with Pat Costella and Mike Kuffel with his date Barbara Ceragioli
(Photo Courtesy J. Kerrick Family Photo Archives - C. 1954-55)
IN ‘LA NOSRA COSTA’ I WRITE ABOUT THE KERRICK FAMILY OF SANTA CRUZ and the Kerrick Laundry. Specifically, I write about the renowned Jerrill Kerrick of “Auntie Dear” fame. According to Carol (Costella) Swartz the future Professor Kerrick, of the University of Puget Sound, had a certain misadventure circa 1955. (This one is in addition to the ones I write about in the book.) Not even his White Sport Coat and Pink Carnation could save him.

Seriously, now that I have your attention, Carol makes certain interesting comments about that time period. And she also raises some unanswered questions. Perhaps you BLAGGA FANS could help her out. ivn0


I just finished your book. It was wonderful -- even though I wasn't from 'up the Coast', so much of the book brought back memories.

I wrote earlier asking if you were a friend of Jerry Kerrick's (which you were). I'm still wondering why there is a connection in my mind to you and my sister (Pat). I remember when Jerry asked my sister to the 1955 Senior Ball (or was it the Snow Follies and she asked him?) but I'm sure it was a double date and wondering if you went to either of those dances. I remember him picking my sister up with a white sport coat and a pink carnation!!! Maybe you went with her friend, Anna Cox? Anyway, my sister never forgave my mother that night as my sister was supposed to be home by midnight and was so mad that my mother called Jerry's mother to find out why they were so late. Guess it caused a lot of embarrassment or whatever because they never dated again -- broke my sister's heart (for a moment, anyway).

And, when I read the name Hodgie (Wetzel), I knew it had to be the "Hodgie" that dated Mary Lane. Her family and ours were old time friends and I remember her mother being upset about her dating Hodgie. I guess he did have some sort of 'reputation'. Mary was married a short time to someone named Erwin? or Swenson? She later married Al Negri who owned Bubble Bakery. She lives in Pacific Grove now. Is "Hodgie" still around?

One reason I was interested in your book was because my aunt, Gina (Jean) was a Bardoni before she married my uncle, Henry (Ric) Costella. And I thought the Bardoni's were growers up the coast, but maybe Pescadero? There was Silvio, Gina, and some other siblings. I know my uncle and aunt were best friends of the Fambrini's and I remember Margaret and my aunt being very close for years. Did you ever hear of the Bardoni's? I heard through my father that my grandfather was upset at first when he heard my aunt was a "Toscani" and not a northern Italian like he was. Similar to what some Italians thought in your book. My Italian side came from the Parma region.

So, again, thank you for taking the time to write such a wonderful book. I know many people will love reading about the 'old' days of Santa Cruz and so much of it will always be a part of us.

My husband, Don Schwartz, has similar memories of growing up in Live Oak -- tales of the poultry business and trouble they got into as kids --- definitely the good old days. He retired from Santa Clara City as a Capt. in the fire department so maybe somewhere your paths crossed? He worked from the 70s until 1997 -- first in Santa Cruz and then, luckily, transferred to Santa Clara City. We also live in Scotts Valley (off of Whispering Pines). We built our house in '71 and maybe we bumped into each other at Ponza's wonderful Camp Evers store or at Gordon's Chuck House.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your book and good luck in the future. Carol Costella Schwartz


Ivano Franco Comelli said...

Carol: I know that Hodgie is no longer with us. Also I believe that the Bardoni's did farm in Pescadero. I moved to Scotts Valley in 1970 and lived there until 1989. I remember all those places you mention. Circa 1963-64, I briefly dated a gal who was the Maid of Honor at Elaine Costella's wedding to Marvin Del Chiaro. I don't think she was a Costella. She later married a San Jose Police Officer named Gene Moss who has since passed away. Does that shed any light on the subject?? Unfortunately I did not date Anna Cox.

I laughed when you said your mom reported the incident to Jerry Kerrick's Mom. That certainly would have done the trick. She (Jerry's Mom) probably was the one who broke things up. ivn0


LNC said...

LNC: Received following info from Len Klempneur:

Hodgie died some years ago. He later became a Santa Cruz police officer. Then he ran a concession stand on the Boardwalk. Check with the alumni association about his death.

mike kuffel said...

thx Ivan, have no idea who these people are---keep up the good work?

Derrill Kerrick said...

Regarding our "Auntie": You may recall that all three of the "Brothers K" (Kerrick bros) stayed with Auntie (Eunice Sargent) because she had what we now think was Alzheimer's. Whatever the case...after Jeremiah did his stint (Merrill before him), then I took over. One night Jerry beeped his horn (either his Mercury or Plymouth Fury) and I crawled out the window. We went to a party, got woozy, and then Jer (aka Jerrill) drove me back, I crawled back through the window, then lay on the bed and then prayed that the room would stop spinning. I still cringe when I think about what would have happened if Auntie fell down the steps, had a heart attack, ran away (etc., etc.) while we were out sewing our wild oats. Brrrrrrr.

LNC: Derrill, all I can say is that we were all lucky. After all I knew what was going on and I didn't discourage it. Some one was watching out for us. Or was it your "Auntie" that was being watched over.

Also the story about Pat Costella, your brother and the two Moms, brought back memories of the story you told me about your MOM and what she did when she caught you in a similar situation. Might put that story in my 2nd Edition. ivno

aldo penniman said...

Carol is my second cousin, she has a sister Pat and brother Jack. Their parents were John and Freida.....John, the father, had one brother Enrico, he had two daughters, Betty and Bonnie. Carol's Nonno was Egidio and my Nonno was Tranquillino. They lived side by side on Emeline St.

There were other Costella's in the community... the Costella family owned the Garibaldi Hotel downtown Santa Cruz by the river, Costella and Caiocca Hardware store and Costella's Chalet, that's Elaine's family. Elaine went to Holy Cross with my sister Cynthia... In traveling to Italia, to the small village of Gravago located in the Emilia Romagna region, I saw a number of Costella's in the cemetery, so I suspect that we are all related somehow... Aldo

Ivano Franco Comelli said...

Lori: Yes, I believe I did. On Page 102 in "La Nostra Costa" I write that the Landino Moving Company moved our house from the Coast to Bulb Avenue in Capitola where it still stands today. I think your grandfather was "Il Bosso" of that Company. Am I right?? ivn0

jerrill kerrick said...


White jacket and pink carnation? Pink jacket and white carnation? Isn't that Pee Wee
Herman's favorite outfit? Looking back I can understand why Mrs. Costella called my
mother! That is the kind of outfit one would wear to a halloween party these days.
Did they actually allow me into the dance?

Do you remember that you signed Pat Costella's copy of your book at the FIRST book
signing? That was, of course, the better of the two book signings. You received a
"proper introduction" at the Agnus Dei Bookstore! It is the job of the introducer to
start the process of shoveling pattume before the main speaker does, and he did a darn
good job of it. I was so focused on roasting you that I didn't recognize Pat when she
approached me. It has been more than 50 years since her mother called my mother.
I had completely forgotten until reading about it in the blog.

I remember borrowing my great grandfather's (William O. Kerrick) 1947 Cadillac for
a double-date at one of the dances. That was a great car. It was powered by a flat-
head V8, had a manual (column-shift) transmission and a 4-door Fleetwood body.
Questions: 1) Did we go to the dance in that car Pat? 2) Who were the other couple?

Jerry Kerrick

Bob Lemmon Jr. said...

Ivan et al,
> Marty Robbins wrote "A White Sports Coat and a Pink
> Carnation" in late 1956 or early 1957 & recorded it in
> New York in Jan 57.
> Here's a link to a web page with the lyrics.
> ....
> ....
> And here's a link to a bio of Marty Robbins.
> ....
> --
> Bob Lemmon Jr
LNC: Thanks Bob. And what a great song it was (is). ivn0

Anonymous said...

Ciao Ivano,

This Marty Robbins song I can remember quite well. (except for the melody for the second part)

A white sport coat and a pink carnation,
I'm all dressed up for the dance.
A white sport coat and a pink carnation,
I'm all alone in romance.

Once you told me long ago, to the prom with me
You'd go, now you've changed your mind,
it seems someone else will hold my dreams.
A white sport coat and a pink carnation,
I'm in a blue, blue mood.

Ivano Franco Comelli said...

The below posted Obit on Howard 'Hodgie'Wetzel was submitted by Carol (Costella)Swartz. I write about "Hodgie" and his infamous 'fight' with Ray Fambrini on the Laurel School Playground in the mid-1940s. (LNC Pages 280-81)Adio, "Hodgie" ivno

October 9, 2001

Howard ‘Hodgie’ Wetzel dies; brought corndogs and fried artichokes to Beach Boardwalk
Sentinel staff report

SANTA CRUZ — Memorial services will be Thursday for Howard "Hodgie" Wetzel, who died in his Santa Cruz home Saturday. He was 68.

A lifelong Santa Cruzan, Mr. Wetzel introduced the corndog and fried artichokes to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk visitors through Hodgie’s, his food stand, which he ran from 1969.

He served as an Air Force radio operator during the Korean War, developing a lifelong love of world travel as he was stationed in Thailand and Fiji.

He returned to Santa Cruz and bartended at Adolph’s restaurant and later worked as a meat-cutter in San Jose. From 1959-1969, he served on the Santa Cruz police force as a motorcycle officer, receiving a citation of meritorious service from the local American Legion post and facing down an armed robber in a Westside shoot-out in 1962.

In 1971, he made an unsuccessful bid for Santa Cruz City Council.

His widow, Barbara Wetzel, said, "He loved it here, he never considered leaving."

When Wetzel bought Ruth’s Hamburgers on the Boardwalk in 1969, he made it his own, changing the name to Hodgie’s and introducing batter-fried vegetables, made with his Castroville grandmother’s recipe. It started with her recipe for batter-fried artichokes. He later began serving fried zucchini and mushrooms.

He was the first on the Boardwalk to offer corndogs, and soon his menu expanded to include clam chowder and deli sandwiches.

Mr. Wetzel grew up at the Boardwalk, where his mother sold tickets for the Giant Dipper.

Charles Canfield, owner of the Seaside Co., which owns the Boardwalk, said Hodgie had a large heart.

"There is great sorrow, and we will miss him at the park," Canfield said.

Mr. Wetzel was a member of the Santa Cruz Elks Lodge, Native Sons of the Golden West and the Marconi Club. He was a San Francisco 49ers fan and enjoyed fishing and hunting.

Copyright © Santa Cruz Sentinel. All rights reserved.


For more online stories from the Santa Cruz Sentinel visit:

Jerrill Kerrick said...


Ivano & Mike (Kuffel),

I am not completely sure but we may(?) have a resolution to the "A
white sport coat and a pink carnation" mystery. Barbara Ceragioli
Hanson (and others) had thought that Ivan accompanied her to that
infamous dance (double-date with Pat & Jerry). Ivan has always
claimed it was someone else, not him. I could not remember who it
was, and I'll reluctantly admit that his memory may be better than
mine EXCEPT when it comes to boxing matches. During F/A's (Jim Ceragioli) party in
Redding last year, Barbara told me she had pictures at home
(Bellingham, WA) confirming her recollections of the event.

At least twice a year Jim(F/A) travels from Redding to Bellingham to
visit Barbara, and he stops at several places along the way to visit friends. A while back he called from his sister's home in
Bellingham. F/A wanted to meet for lunch at his favorite Olympia
restaurant, Casa Mia, on his way home. I spoke with Barbara. She
reviewed the photographs and discovered that her dance date was Mike Kuffel, not Ivan! The following pictures are from my archive, not
Barbara's. They don't shed any lignt on the mystery, do they?


Ivano Franco Comelli said...


Jerrill 'Professore` Molto Vecchio'

That sure looks like Barbara Ceragioli Hansen in the Photo with you and Mike. Wonders never cease.


Carol Costella Swartz said...

Ivano, thank you for sending this email -- it looks like the mystery is solved! Neat pictures. Not sure whose house that is in the first photo -- not ours. You might send this email on to my sister . I'm sure she'll get a kick out of it. Thanks for keeping me updated and good luck on your next 'story'. Carol

aldo costella penniman said...

Grazie tante.... Carol & Pat and their brother Jack are my cousins. Their Nonno and my Nonno were brothers. Both cement contractors here in Santa Cruz. You can still see their stamps in concrete around town.. my Nonno.. TF Costella and theirs EG Costella.
On another note, geez, that Jerry Kerrick used to be a good looking guy, in fact all the Kerrick boys were good looking.. must be that Bregazzi (Mary Bregazzi Kerrick was their Grandmother) blood they have in their veins.
You know that Hodgie died a fews years ago..he married Barbara Sola from Davenport..
Again, thanks..


David Landino JR said...

Ivano: Tony Landino was not the Boss of Landino moving company that would be his brother Gene Landino.My granfather was a well driller like my father and uncle are we have only been up the Coast about 60 years,I see you said to my cousin Lori you remebered him? apparently not All the farmers on the Coast know are family.They use to call him "Paisano" at Gilda's on the wharf. Just finished your book interesting. David Landino JR

Ivano Franco Comelli said...

THANKS DAVE FOR YOUR COMMENT AND CORRECTION. One of the purposes of this blog is to keep the history of La Costa as correct as possible. I went to Laurel School with Gene Landino (probably the son). And I believe you drilled a well on the Comelli property near Manresa Beach, in Santa Cruz County. Is my memory correct?
Now that you have found the lnostra-costa "blagga" , I hope that you will frequent (and comment) often. On the front page of the blog (left had corner there is a search space for the blog. Type in any name or phrase (such as: Landino) and any artilce having same will pop up.
BTW: You can contact me direct at: . Looking forward to further comment. ivano

Anonymous said...

Ivano out of all the Landino grand children i think it is fair to say,That i spent the most time with my grand father and learned very much from him,my uncle Brad and my Father David SR.I really feel blessed to have spent the time with him i did. He taught a lot about life in general and heavy equipment.I still remember a lot of the stories he told me about the Coast people and i really miss being around them.Gene was not his son his brother.Yes i have worked on most of the ranches on the Coast and all over Santa Cruz,Watsonville,Monterey as far as LA and Vacaville and all over the bay area and the whole state in general. As a teenager and adult many, many long nights out on those Damn drill rigs, and pump rigs. There is a lot of history up that Coast and It is a part of me.I cannot explain the feeling when I am Home on our Ranch. It is breath taking. David Landino JR

Carol said...

Hello, I am Tony Landino's daughter. My father owned Landino Well Drilling Company. My nephew David Landino, Jr. was a little confused about the house movers in the family. My uncle John Landino (Tony's older brother) started the company and trained his son, Gene. Later Gene had his own business. Both Pop and John have passed on. My cousin Gene still lives in Santa Cruz.
I have such fond memories of time spent on the coast, at the Scaroni's, eating root beer Popsicles; visiting the Wilder ranch in all it's splendor; listening to Pop talking to one of the farmers about well problems.
I can hardly wait buy your book.

Carol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ivano Franco Comelli said...

HELLO CAROL: WELCOME ABOARD THE LNOSTRA-COSTA BLAGGA TRAIN. With continuing effort we will get the Landino's and their moving company in their proper historical place.

I know as fact that the Landino Moving Company moved the two houses "su per la costa" that stood side by side on the Gulch Ranch. (LNC:Pages 101-102). The Gemignani Family, Argentina,Aladino,Costantino,Lido,
and Joe live in one; the Comelli Family, Valentina, Bronco,John, and Ivano lived in the other. The Landino Company moved the two houses to 1505 Bulb Ave., Capitol, where they still stand today, side by side, as the did 'su per la costa'. ivno

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Trish Stratus said...

This is a nice picture. kept to its original form.