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Weber, Herk Lacrosse, and Mamma Leone's in Manhattan

Freshmen Lacrosse players in 1981 adopted, the thirty something short, graying, and dead head looking freshmen we called Weber from NYC. Weber, which was his last name, shared an apartment with some players and tutored a lot of us. John Houtenbrink (HCCC 84) says, “I think that he may have been a professional student,” having attended “Stanford and a couple of other schools first. He had never played [lacrosse] before coming to Herk, but I think that he was friends with Jeff Fagan and that might have been his introduction to the team.” By the spring of 1983 Weber caught the lacrosse bug and became one of the guys as best one could in their mid-thirties with no lacrosse back ground at all. That spring we played JUCO lacrosse powerhouse Nassau County Community College on Long Island. Weber’s father some believed worked as an executive with Chrysler at the time and he was happy that his son was part of the team. I don’t know who came up with the idea, but the Senior Weber invited the entire team to dinner at Mamma Leone's Ristorante in Manhattan. Back then the restaurant could be found in an old rambling three-story complex on 48th Street. It had an eleven room dinning complex with 1,250 seats. In the 1980s, many called it the largest restaurant in the city. Mamma Leone's became famous for its $23.95 seven course meal that included more food than one could eat. “When we sat down there was a huge block of mozzarella cheese in the middle of the table with marinara sauce to dip it into. The food never seemed to end, it seems like warm bread and salad followed and then we all got our entrees . . . and hot bread,” remembers Houtenbrink. The place was something to behold for hungry college lacrosse players. “I ordered the lasagna and I remember it being seven layers high and delicious,” says Houtenbrink. He adds, “I think they even gave us dessert, I'm sure none of us needed it, but I also doubt anyone refused it.” After all the great food, we ran with bellies throbbing to catch a cab with Mr. Weber again paying the bill. He gave the drivers orders to get us to Penn State before the last train left for Long Island. More than twenty years later, Houtenbrink maintains that was “definitely a meal that I will never forget.”

A Sit Down Meal in the West Point Dining Hall

Food and Away Games at Herk, Part II