EAST BRONX HISTORY FORUM
HUNTINGTON FREE LIBRARY & READING ROOM
9 WESTCHESTER SQ BRONX, NEW YORK
 

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Bill Twomey Biography

BRONX TIMES REPORTER  -  JUNE 20TH 2014
William “Bill” Twomey, a lifelong Throggs Neck resident, Bronx historian, and the creator and author of the popular Bronx Times column “Do You Remember,” died on Friday, June 20 at age 73.
Twomey, who had a deep love for Bronx history, wrote several books on his favorite subject in addition to writing the column that helped get the Bronx Times off the ground.
“His column was part of the reason for the paper’s early success,” said Bronx Times co-founder John Collazzi. “He cared greatly about each column he wrote.”
 
Twomey enjoyed the process of researching and talking to people in order to learn about the East Bronx’s history, said his wife of 33 years, Carol, who added that over the years he acquired an amazing amount of knowledge about the area.
“I can’t think of any place he didn’t know something about,” she said.
His family said Twomey was constantly sharing that knowledge. When Twomey drove his daughter Erin to a friend’s house, she said she would get a history lesson of whichever street they were driving on.
His combined love of history and his neighborhood lead him to found the East Bronx History Forum in 2005, said friend Tom Casey, to help bring life back to the Huntington Free Library.
Under Twomey’s leadership, the Forum grew to more than 200 members, with about 50 people attending each meeting.
Twomey and Casey collaborated on historical research and explored the Bronx together. Although Casey met Twomey in 1999 through Bronx historian John McNamara, he said Twomey felt like a brother.   “I feel like I grew up with him, that’s the feeling he imparted,” said Casey. “Anybody who got to meet Bill walked away with the same feeling.”
“I feel like I grew up with him, that’s the feeling he imparted,” said Casey. “Anybody who got to meet Bill walked away with the same feeling.”
Twomey was also a member of St. Frances de Chantal parish, where he was involved with the Holy Name Society and the Nocturnal Adoration Society. He was also a commander of the Sea Cadet Star of the Sea Battalion at the church, his family said.
Twomey served for years on the executive board of the Throggs Neck Home Owners Association, and had a successful career in the law department at Con Edison.
Above all else, Twomey was a devoted family man, his wife said.
His daughter, Erin, called him “the best father you could ask for.”
The Bronx Times will continue to run Twomey’s popular column.
Along with his wife and daughter, he is survived by a son, Sean.

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Kristopher "Morgan" Powell Biography


Morgan Powell lived for Bronx history and its beauty. He spoke about everything from the borough’s parks, rivers and early settlers, the kind of people for whom streets and neighborhoods are named, including the waves of African-American and Latino immigrants who remade the area during the 20th century.

He paid the bills working as a landscaper and gardener. Morgan sustained his spirit with his love of Bronx history and his advocacy for the natural environment. He did his research on his own, sharing his knowledge and passion on blogs and free tours.

Mr. Powell, lived on Allerton Avenue, not far from the tree-shaded paths along Bronx Park East and the Bronx River. He had grown up in the area, attended Christopher Columbus High School and eventually became interested in horticulture through a program at the nearby New York Botanical Garden. His interest in history was piqued by a plaque he had spotted at the garden that referred to Joseph Rodman Drake, a poet and a member of a prominent early Bronx family.

Mr. Powell threw himself into the study of local history, combining it with his love of nature. In time, he developed walking tours that explored both the environment and the borough’s African-American past, which he detailed on his Bronx River Sankofa blog.  To his friends, Mr. Powell was intelligent, confident and unashamed of being gay. Active on social media, he lamented about the lack of a support group for closeted black men in the Bronx. It was one cause, he told friends, on which he would not take the lead.

Just before his untimely death in 2014 at the age of 40, Powell gave part of his archives to Fordham University. His book collection, known affectionately by friends as the Morgan Library.  The collection buttressed the late historian’s already substantial contribution to the Bronx African American History Project (BAAHP). 

The archives include material from his two primary interests: African-American history and local ecology. Along the way, Powell became as much of an activist as he was a tour guide. He lobbied for an African-American history collection at the New York Public Library’s Bronx Library Center and for a new master plan at Crotona Park.









Huntington Free Library
East Bronx History Forum Meeting
Dec 19th 2013

           Rich Vittaco      Mike Gupta   Tom Vasti    Jorge Santiago  Tom Casey       


Veteran's Day 2012 - Van Vest


Mike Cronin - NYPD Lecture
October 2012 - Three Wakefield Walks
Hank Stoobants- Mike Gupta
Sat. September  29th 2012

Van Nest Walk -
Richard Vitacco (l)
Tom Vasti (c) & Mike Gupta (r)





 
Sat. September 17th 2011

Richard Vitacco, 1940 tax photo of 593 VanNest Ave






Richard Vitacco and the Blessed Father Alfonso Maria Fusco
Sculpture at St. Dominic's Square
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May 30th 2011

Memorial Day - Van Nest





Memorial Day - E. 219th Street


Maxine Barrett, Tevin Green, Ryan King ,Joshua Creary, Matthew King,
 Aaron Daniel and Hank Stroobants

Hank Stroobants leading the 219th Street Memorial


 



ANGEL HERNANDEZ - EDUCTIONAL DIRECTOR - BRONX COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
2/16/2011 Presentation


     



       
       






 

 

     

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