Saturday, September 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Weekend Neighborhoods & Festivals

Ethic heritage and neighborhood celebrations

Weekend Neighborhoods & Festivals

On Saturday I covered the the unveiling of a statue of a South Philly fighter who reigned as world middleweight champion from 1963 to 1965. Joey Giardello, really Carmine Orlando Tilelli, died at 78 in 2008, the year before he was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.
But, as Inquirer writer Bonnie L. Cook says in her story, his memory lived on in the stories of the old sparring partners and training-camp buddies. 
The best thing about covering a story like this one is not showing what the statue looks like - though I admit it's really important to do that. No, it's getting an opportunity to recognize and celebrate all the different kinds of people it takes to make a city like Philadelphia such a vibrant community.
I some neighborhoods they play basketball, some baseball, others half ball. In the South Philadelphia neighborhood Joey fought in, they box. 
So on the day that would later say Bernard Hopkins (at age 46) became the oldest fighter to win a major world championship, fighters, cut men, trainers, sparing partners and others came to the little triangle where Mifflin and 13th Streets meet Passyunk Avenue

On Saturday I covered the the unveiling of a statue of a South Philly fighter who reigned as world middleweight champion from 1963 to 1965. Joey Giardello, really Carmine Orlando Tilelli, died at 78 in 2008, the year before he was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.

But, as Inquirer writer Bonnie L. Cook says in her story, his memory lived on in the stories of the old sparring partners and training-camp buddies.

The best thing about covering a story like this one is not showing what the statue looks like - though I admit it's really important to do that. No, it's getting an opportunity to recognize and celebrate all the different kinds of people it takes to make a city like Philadelphia such a vibrant community.

In some neighborhoods they play basketball, some baseball, others half ball. In the South Philadelphia neighborhood Joey fought in, they box. Still do.

So on the day that would later see Bernard Hopkins become the oldest fighter (at age 46) to win a major world championship, fighters, cut men, trainers, sparing partners and others came to the little triangle where Mifflin and 13th Streets meet Passyunk Avenue, to pay tribute to one of their own.

Before and after the unveiling, it was stops for two other weekend heritage events:

In the morning I went to the Asian Pacific American Heritage festival in Franklin Square. Chinese dancers stretched around a tree, as Korean dancers waited to take the stage.

After the scupture unveiling, it was off to the Delaware River waterfront for an Armed Forces Day visit by sailors and officers on the USS Kaufman. The frigate is docked on Penn's Landing for Philadelphia Navy Week. The US Navy Blue Angels will perform Memorial Day Weekend at the Millville Wheels and Wings Air Show in New Jersey).

From their website: "Navy Weeks are designed to show Americans the investment they have made in their Navy, A Global Force for Good, and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence." That's the battleship New Jersey in the background.

Tom Gralish Inquirer Staff Photographer
About this blog

Tom Gralish is a general assignment photographer at The Inquirer, concentrating on local news and self-generated feature photos.

He has been at the paper since 1983, photographing everything from revolution in the Philippines to George W. Bush’s road to the White House to homeless people living on the street right outside his newspaper's front door. For his photo essay on Philadelphia’s homeless, he was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize and the Robert F. Kennedy Award.

His weekly newspaper column, "Scene Through the Lens," takes a look at Philadelphia's urban landscape.

Gralish, along with Inquirer colleague and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael Vitez, spent a year visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art to capture the stories and photos of "Rocky runners" who come from all over the world to climb the steps - just as Sylvester Stallone did in the Academy Award winning film, Rocky. Their book, Rocky Stories: Tales of Love, Hope and Happiness at America’s Most Famous Steps, was published in November 2006.

Reach Tom at tgralish@phillynews.com.

Tom Gralish Inquirer Staff Photographer
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