Raising a Cup with Russ

Russ at the Frenchtown CafeAt some point during the inception of American Public House Review I was tasked with coming up with a catchy phrase that would suitably define the mission of our fledgling magazine. During a rare moment of early morning clarity the words came to me.

Glasses Raised…Spirits Lifted…Journeys Shared

It is my hope that these words not only adequately define the purpose of our publication; but that they also represent the greater viewpoint of mankind. In each of us there resides the power to acknowledge and lift up the spirit of our fellowman, and to share with him that which has purpose from our own personal journey.

A couple of weeks back I spent an afternoon drinking coffee with my dear friend Russ Coen at the Frenchtown Cafe. He is a gentleman who totally embodies the editorial philosophy of American Public House Review. Recent personal losses in both of our lives had left us in a mutual state of melancholy that no amount of caffeine could overcome. We spoke at length about the powerful impact of those that had touched us for just a brief moment in time, and then sadly, had passed on leaving an unexpected void.

Bob Dukiet

Bob Dukiet

For Russ one of those souls was the late Bob Dukiet. He shared a story that occurred many years ago about an interlude at Neilley’s Long Bar in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. Here are his own words from a posted remembrance of  the  Boston College basketball great and former head coach of the Marquette Warriors, Bob Dukiet.   

My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Bob Dukiet on his passing. It was 38 years ago that I met Bob through our mutual friend, Joe Walsh, at Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. A rainy afternoon in July found us discovering an old honky-tonk piano up against the back wall of Neilly’s Long Bar.Neilley's Long Bar Within minutes, Bobby brought that piano to life with his signature cover of  Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire.”  The Beatles “Oh Blah Dee, Oh Blah Da” andWhen I’m 64″  followed as a large crowd gathered (ages 21-80+). For many hours, he handled any request from every generation, including the World War I era, “Over There” and the “Marine Corps Hymn.” In spite of my less than admirable guitar playing, we were offered a job for the next weekend and a cardboard sign was placed in the window to that effect. Unfortunately, we had to decline. What a day that was!! Thank you, Bobby. I am sure a crowd will gather around the piano wherever Bob may be, and I hope to some day be there enjoying many more songs and smiles once again. He truly bridged the ages with his many gifts and talents. Thank you, Bob, for sharing them unselfishly.       Russ Coen – Frenchtown, New Jersey

Glasses Raised…Spirits Lifted…Journeys Shared 

Point Pleasant Beach - Photo by Christine Aber

Point Pleasant Beach - Photo by Christine Aber

Broadway Bar and Grill - (Formerly Neilley's Long Bar)

Broadway Bar and Grill - (Formerly Neilley's Long Bar)

Editor’s Note: Many thanks to Christine Aber for her photo of Point Pleasant Beach, and to Vinnie Mattia for providing the image of Neilley’s Long Bar. Also, we thank bricktownlive.com for the photo of the Broadway Bar and Grill

Posted by: Chris Poh     


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