In Memory

Clem Riccobono

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09/17/14 03:47 PM #1    

Patricia Reid (Walgenbach)

So sorry to hear about this.  He was one of mine and Dean's best friends.  So very sad.



09/28/14 08:00 PM #2    

Marty Eichorn

I remember Clem from the band, the Lazy Eggs, where he played with my friend, Duane Michno.  Rest In Peace, Clem.

09/29/14 06:18 PM #3    

Sharon Pointe (Burkett)

I remember Clem very well - he practiced in my basement almost every night with the Lazy Eggs.

My brother played guitar in the band and my friends and I were L.E. groupies.  Clem was

a very good egg and it was a pleasure knowing him - he always had a BIG smile on his face!

06/08/15 12:13 AM #4    

Robert Ambrite

     “Strawberries, strawberries, three quarts, a dollar!”  Those were the words, spoken with a thick Italian accent, emanating from the dilapidated rooftop speaker on the old, red pick-up truck as it slowly worked its way from Haverhill to Bonita. The old Ford truck, stacked with crates of fresh berries, bananas, peaches, tomatoes, Michigan corn and a vast array of other fruits and vegetables, maneuvered its way through the eastside neighborhoods of Detroit bringing all of us  our weekly fix of vitamins in their purest organic form.  After my mother slipped me a couple of bucks from her Winkleman’s “designer” handbag and instructed me what to purchase, I ran to the street and had the pleasure of my first meeting with Clem Riccobono. Clem, a wiry-haired, eight-year-old boy sat in the front seat next to a relative assisting him with the peddling of nourishment to Detroit’s blue-collar families throughout the hot, muggy summers. The families appreciated the convenience of this service and the avoidance of the A&P hassle and expense. This was 1950’s Detroit’s eastside and most all the families were struggling to show their kids a better way, a way out of the factories. With what seemed like the confidence of a thirty-year-old, I heard, “Hi, I’m Clem.”  I mumbled, “Hello” back and placed my order. “You go to Wayne?” Clem asked.  “Yeah,” I replied. “Well, maybe I’ll see you around.” Thus, my friendship with Clem began. 

     Throughout my years at Wayne, Clem and I always ended up on the same softball, basketball or kickball team. He was not the world greatest athlete, but he had a hell of a passion, a great smile and I always enjoyed his enthusiasm. I can remember sitting across from him in the Wayne Elementary School cafeteria, which was actually our gymnasium with brown Formica tables that pulled out from the walls. Clem would not just eat his peanut butter and jelly sandwich – he would devour it. In fact, some days it was like he wanted to wash his face with SilverCup Bread and Peter Pan Peanut Butter. The fragrance of peanuts stayed with him like the scent of English Leather or Canoe. I could still smell his sandwich as we walked down the hall making our way to Mrs. Mallard’s music class. It was in music class that Clem really came alive. Unlike Kenny DeYoung, Dennis Zuk, Billy Wiseman and me, Clem participated, listened, and learned.

     After junior high school, I did not see or hear much of Clem. I was sent to Notre Dame to “get straightened out” (I was a discipline problem.) After two years at Notre Dame, I was requested to leave their hallowed halls (I was a discipline problem.) Now at Denby, I tried to keep to myself, behave and maintain a very low profile. During that two-year period, I cannot recall interacting with Clem. That changed a few nights after I returned from Vietnam and some friends took my paranoid self to Doug Miller’s Red Carpet on Warren Avenue. Imagine my surprise to see on stage a fully electrified, Jimi Hendrix style, Clem Riccobono. He played a sweet riff on his guitar, smoking a Kool and slowly sipping a Jack on the rocks. Oh, Clement had grown up! I gave him a hug and we shared some conversation. That was the last time I saw Clem. I moved to New York City shortly afterward to change my own lifestyle.

     Later, I heard that Clem’s life journey had followed the path of many of our eastside musically gifted that played the likes of The Roostertail, Sexy Sadie’s, The Grande Ballroom, The Sewer, The Surfside and The Cass Corridor. Like shooting stars, the fast life led to the early passing of greats like Terry Kelly, Billy Landless and the bass guitarist for the Lazy Eggs, Clem Riccobono. No one at Denby ever taught us that excess was not rebellion.  I raise a glass of rye whiskey to you, Clem, wherever you may be. And, in the words of Bob Dylan, our generation’s poet laureate, May your heart always be joyful, May your song always be sung, And may you stay... forever young."


06/08/15 03:32 PM #5    

Arliss Manson

What a wonderful tribute Bob!

06/09/15 11:55 AM #6    

Nancy Gould (Gomoll)

Beautifully written Bob.  You have a true gift with words.  

06/09/15 04:36 PM #7    

Anne (Oswald) Miner (Oswald)

So enjoying your posts Bob . They really bring back the past  living and growing up on the East side. Each post is like reading another chapter.

06/09/15 05:17 PM #8    

Sharon Stringfellow (Hopkins)

Hi Bob,

I didn't know either of you or the last person you wrote about as I went to Burbank, BUT by reading your elegant words you bring these two people back to life. You let me know these people including yourself. God has given you a true gift!

Thank you for the insight.

Sharon Stringfellow Hopkins

06/10/15 04:32 PM #9    

Mary Stankiewicz (Goerke)

Clem sat behind me in 9th grade typing class. I did not know him well, but I remember what a truly "nice guy" he was. I came from a catholic grade school to Wayne and Clem made me fell like I fit right in. I do remember the wiry hair.  Didn't he have a white streak in the side? I can't tell you anyone else in that typing class, but I do remember Clem and felt sad to hear of his passing. What a beautiful tribute Bob, we should all be treasured by friends like you.

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