From the chair to a sitting judge
Nov 21, 2017 | 16208 views | 0 0 comments | 1538 1538 recommendations | email to a friend | print
We ran this undated photo from our archives over a month ago asking our readers for help identifying some of the people in it and possibly even the cause of celebration.

We got several responses about the four men on the right. Staring from the end are the late state senator Leonard Stavisky, the late assemblyman Ivan Lafayette, then-Parks commissioner Henry Stern, and Councilman John Sabini, who would go on to serve as state senator.

We didn't hear much about the photo again until a couple of weeks later. Several people recognized the man standing next to Sabini as Thomas Raffaele, including one very special reader: his wife.

Ellen Raffaele was one of several people to contact us about Mr. Raffaele, but she was by far the foremost authority on the matter! In fact, the young boy standing in front of Raffaele in the photo is the couple's son, Tommy.

Raffaele is now a Supreme Court Justice, but at the time of the photo he was chairperson of Community Board 3 in Queens. Mrs. Raffaele guesses the photo was taken in the early 90s and was a celebration of the completion of renovations to Travers Park in Jackson Heights.

She would likely have a good idea of Sabini's whereabouts and public appearances, because during his time in the City Council she served as his chief of staff, just to bring this whole thing full circle.

Thanks to Mrs. Raffaele and all the others who responded after they also recognized her husband in the photo.

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