They’ve all moved on, because of meeting the love of their life, a career opportunity, retirement, or another reason. But they have two things in common: an undying love of Bayonne and a strong desire to stay connected to the city where they grew up.
Dozens of former Bayonne residents have never quite cut the cord from their hometown. Some who leave stay in touch by subscribing to the Bayonne Community News.
Every Wednesday morning, copies of the newspaper begin their trek to New England, the Deep South, the Northwest, and other destinations. Copies are mailed to Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington State.
In New Jersey, residents of two thirds of the state’s counties, from Passaic and Bergen in the north, to Burlington and Ocean in the south, receive the newspaper.
Fran Revelt, Texas
For Fran Revelt of Missouri City, Texas, the subscription has been a longtime habit. She moved to the Houston-area suburb 32 years ago and has gotten the paper for the last 30 years.
“It was actually a birthday present my mother gave me,” Revelt said. “She always gave it to me as a birthday present. For 25 years she got it for me. Mom died seven years ago. I kept it up.”
She also keeps up with old Bayonne associates.
“There are two people, one who was an ex-neighbor and one who I worked with, who were ex- residents of Bayonne,” Revelt said.
Revelt still passes on each issue of the paper to her friend once she’s done with it.
“I’m a big reader. I love to read,” she said. “It keeps me connected.”
Bunny Bramson, North Carolina
Retiree Bunny Bramson of Charlotte, N.C., also feels she’s still connected through her newspaper subscription.
After moving to Bayonne at age five, Bramson lived here until 1991, and was the prototypical Bayonne resident, involved in politics, temple, and a professional women’s club.
“I’ve been getting the paper ever since I moved; I always had the subscription,” she said. “I wanted to keep up with my friends and contacts in Bayonne. I was pretty active on the local scene.”
Bramson moved only because she wanted to retain her job in the textile industry. She still has family here, and she uses articles she reads as a springboard to discussions with Bayonne friends.
“The Bayonne Community News keeps me in touch,” she said. “I wanted to be able to have something to talk about. When I see an article of interest, I use it as a conversation starter.”
Holly Grasz, Virginia
For Holly Grasz of Fort Eustis, Va., leaving Bayonne was also only about job security.
After positions at the Military Ocean Terminal and Fort Monmouth were discontinued due to base closures, Grasz, a civilian employee, wound up at Fort Eustis, near Williamsburg. Her interest in Bayonne has never waned, and she’s been receiving the paper since 2010.
“Obviously I’m still interested in what’s going on in Bayonne. I was born and raised in Bayonne,” she said. “There’s always something knocked down or being rebuilt, or some political turmoil.”
Grasz’s parents and a half dozen friends still live in Bayonne, and that’s the main reason she subscribes to the paper.
“I like to keep abreast of what’s happening in Bayonne,” she said. “Eventually I’m going to come back, after retirement.” For now, she’s content with keeping up with Bayonne happenings via the Bayonne Community News.
Walter Karpinski, New Jersey
Though only about 30 miles away from Bayonne, in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, Walter Karpinski doesn’t get back to Bayonne as often as he would like.
He does visit once a month to have lunch with friends at Café Bello or other venues, or to get his hair cut.
Since he left in 1975, his newspaper subscription has kept him in the know about his hometown. A graduate of No. 7 grammar school and Bayonne High School, Karpinski has been reading the Bayonne Community News since it started, and began his subscription when he first departed.
“This way I can know what’s going on,” Karpinski said. “I can see exactly what’s happening in the city. A very important thing for me as an out-of-towner is the obituary column.”
In fact, Karpinski said he found out about the death of two uncles by reading about them in this paper.
Joseph Passantino may be reached at: JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.