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Life & Lyrics- “Freehold”

Published on July 9, 2013, by in LeeLee Blogs.

I was born right here on Randolph Street in Freehold

I remember running up the street past the convent to the church in Freehold

I got a good Catholic education in Freehold

In my hometown back in Freehold

 

Bruce Springsteen

 

This past 4th of July weekend was an extremely memorable one. Lots of delicious food.  Great times and laughs with family and friends.  A magnificent boat ride on the Hudson to watch the Macy’s fireworks.  And…a trip down the shore.

Although the fireworks were truly spectacular…(especially up close)… going down the shore was the highlight of the weekend.  Anything linked to Bruce just brings a smile to my face. And to share a day down the shore with my boys and husband is extra special.  Surprise, surprise…I decided to give them yet another lesson in the education of all things Springsteen.

A Springsteen Lesson

A Springsteen Lesson

 

In my hometown back in Freehold

 

We approached the township of Freehold around lunchtime so I thought it appropriate to visit Federici’s Family Restaurant.  Federici’s has been a Freehold institution since 1928 and Bruce still frequents the place. I didn’t expect to bump into my local hero.  He’s on tour in Europe. Plus, I’m not a stalker! I would never do that to my Boss! However, I did act like a tourist.  Since I’m not shy at all, I asked if I could take photos of the restaurant. While clicking photos, I met the owner, David Federici. He was so kind and generous with his time. We spoke for a while about Bruce, thin crust style pizza, Italy, and the different beach towns that make up the Jersey Shore. The boys enjoyed admiring the photos hanging on the wall…great photos of the Federici Family with Freehold’s most famous resident- Bruce Springsteen.

Bruce with the Federici Family

Bruce with the Federici Family

 

FYI- The pizza was so delicious! We devoured 2 pies in just minutes. Yummy!

I was born right here on Randolph Street in Freehold

I remember running up the street past the convent to the church in Freehold

After lunch it was time for another part of the Springsteen lesson… we drove to Randolph Street and looked at a church parking lot. The boys weren’t too fascinated.  I can’t blame them. What’s so great about a parking lot?  They wondered why on earth I was pointing it out. I quickly explained that on this very site a home once stood…the first home of Bruce Springsteen.  I went on to tell them that unfortunately, it was demolished to make room for more church parking.

Speaking of the Church…We walked into Saint Rose of Lima.  Bruce’s childhood church.  I told the boys to make 3 wishes. Not foolish ones but 3 practical wishes. It’s a tradition my Mom passed along to me…3 wishes every time you walk into a church that you’ve never visited before.  

St. Rose of Lima Randolph Street, Freehold

St. Rose of Lima
Randolph Street, Freehold

 

I got a good Catholic education in Freehold

 

As any good Catholic would…we walked in…made our wishes and said our prayers. While looking around the beautiful church, I couldn’t help but think of how Bruce’s Catholic education in Freehold influenced his career and storytelling.  The Catholic and religious themes are so apparent in his lyrics. Bruce always refers to sin, temptation, life, death, forgiveness, faith, and hope. 

Against proper church discipline, I laughed out loud while sitting in one of the pews. I thought of the Catholic education horror stories Bruce passed along during live concerts…how he served as an altar boy but fell down on the altar…or how a nun stuffed him in a garbage can and told him that’s where he belonged!

I can relate to Bruce’s Catholic education, drama, and guilt.  I attended Catholic school from the age of 5 until 18.  I served as a Church Lector and a CCD teacher.  CCD…ha! My children refer to it as Catholic Children’s Detention.  LOL God Forgive Me.  See…the Catholic guilt never ever goes away!

Bruce himself told the UK Telegraph in 2012…

“ I got brainwashed as a child with Catholicism.  It’s like Al Pacino in the Godfather.  I try to get out but they pull you back in.  Once a Catholic, always a Catholic.”

Visiting Randolph Street and Saint Rose of Lima just confirmed my strong connection to Bruce and his storytelling. I understand the effects of a Catholic School education and how it shapes your life. You have to live it to understand it.  First Friday Masses, Morning Prayer, Afternoon Prayer, Dismissal Prayer, Communion, Confession, Confirmation, Choir, Catholic Youth Organization, May Crowning of the Blessed Mother, Lent, Advent, the Rectory, the Convent, uniforms…and on and on…

I got a good Catholic education in Freehold

In my hometown back in Freehold

 

Thank you Bruce for sharing your hometown!

Xo,

LeeLee

 

Ps- Of course, the boys had the beach on the brain and rightfully so.  We enjoyed the beautiful weather, the sand, and the waves in nearby Asbury Park.

 

 

One Response

  1. theresa martin

    OMG!!!!
    So awesome and jealous – no one will travel with me to these things…..do you need a maid to go with you?? I’m a good cook and cleaner – after all I live with 3 boys!!LOL
    Keep it up – you rock it sista!