“Through good times or bad, you can always count on a West End brother to make you smile.” Evan “Mad Dog” Madoff first came to West End House Camp for 4 weeks in 1975 from Marblehead, Massachusetts. His brother Alan had been coming since 1970. Their dad had a friend, Sammy Zoll, and his mother had a cousin, Mort Zabel, who were West End alumni and agreed to sponsor the Madoff brothers. Evan was proud to mention that West End legend, Alex Berger, was his Senior Counselor 3 times as a camper and current Board Member, Dr. Evan Hack, was his SC another year. Mad Dog was on staff for 4 years and has been to camp almost every year since 1975. The Waterfront was his favorite place at camp as he got his WSI (Water Safety Instructor) certification and was Waterfront Director his last year (1984).
As a 9 year old in 5A, camp did not start well for Evan. After being in the woods, Evan woke up one morning with poison ivy on his face. The next day it was all over his body. For a week, he was so uncomfortable he ate meals in the “walk in ” freezer because the cold felt good on his skin. There are no longer activities in the woods.
At the waterfront Evan learned how to sail, canoe, and waterski. He would sneak down to the old “T Dock” at the end of 2nd activity period to see if he could get in on another round of waterskiing. Current Camp Director, Steve Lepler, was a leader at the waterfront. “Steve ran the small crafts and taught me to sail.”
Even though Evan was a Waterfront guy, his favorite memory took place in the Rec Hall. “We had a counselor game vs. another camp. I came in and scored 2 baskets at the end to a standing ovation. I wasn’t good.” As a counselor, Mad Dog also remembers fondly the socials with Camp Huckins.
Color War was memorable for Evan. He was on the Raiders, Pioneers, Dragons, Convoy, Calvary, and Buccaneers as a camper. His first war seemed to be his most memorable as a Low Junior for the Blue Raiders. “We were down 6-1 in Waterpolo and my coach put me in. We came back and Jamie Klingsberg and I were destroying them. We tied it at 6-6 and in sudden death I scored. The head coach (Mike Cataldo, Jr.) called me out in front of the team as the Co-Captain of the Low Juniors. He called me “Mad Dog.” It’s one of Evan’s many nicknames today. As a coach, Evan won his first time as a counselor on the highly acclaimed, 600 club White Union. “As a 1st year coach I went 5-1 vs. Ralph Santosuosso, Jr. in Waterpolo.” However, he lost his last war as a coach on the White Alliance in 1984.
When Alex Berger was his counselor, he stressed the importance of a clean bunk. Evan was very proud to mention that he learned how to clean up, make his bed, organize his locker, and clean the bathroom at camp. “If we won inspection, we could go on a trip and we would go eat at the Hu Ke Lau (aka the “HuKee”) at the Maine Mall, then we went to Portland to see the wrestling matches and see wrestlers like Chief Jay Strongbow.”
Related side note: 15 years later, during Gottlieb Trip, the group went out to Portland for dinner and ate at the Great Wall Chinese Buffet. They ran into legendary WWE wrestling manager, Mr. Fuji, and his 600 pound star, Yokozuna. Tim DeGrande (1995 SWAT team captain) asked Yokozuna for a picture, to which he replied: “Can’t you see I’m eating?” Apparently, there were matches at the Portland Civic Center (this has been fact checked). Who knew Portland was a hotbed for professional wrestling?
Evan Madoff is the proud owner of “Evan’s New York Style Deli ” in his hometown of Marblehead. He was appreciative of all his West End friends who have come in as customers including Abbott (Al Sands), Smitty, Aaron Leppo, Peter Gosule, and Kenny Klapman. Brett Barenoltz and Bobby Ryter are loyal customers. “Brett Barenholtz walks in for some pastrami knishes. I have catered his business parties too.” Evan’s accountant, Board of Directors member, Bobby Ryter, orders from him as well. “In Wellesley, we catered an order of soups, bagels, creamed cheese, smoked fish, and more.” Evan was appreciative of the publicity he received through the Phantom Gourmet, which is owned and operated by fellow West Enders, Dave, Mike, and Dan Andelman. “We’ve been on the Phantom a bunch of times since 2013. Our episode has been on like 70 times and we get a bunch of new customers from that.” Dan Andelman had Evan on the show and his deli was also mentioned at the end of a segment in which Dave Andelman was asked “Is there a good New York style deli anywhere in New England?” There sure is one in Marblehead!
Evan is the proud father of 6 year old daughter, Brooklyn, who was named after his late mother, Barbara. The name is perfect because it is also the place in which he first met his wife. He was proud to say Brooklyn knows the House Song! She attends the Tower private school, which Evan attended in his younger days. He was at an event for Brooklyn and surprisingly ran into Jimmy Klapman, who also has a child who attends that school. “Jimmy was one of my campers!” he told the confused school administrator.
Evan is quite fond of longtime Executive Director, Bill Margolin. “Billy gave his life to the West End, he bailed me out of trouble. He’s a good man.” Like most of us, Evan is impressed with Bill’s encyclopedic memory of zip codes and addresses. “He still knows my old address, 18 Ralph Road.” He grew up on the same street as Steve Lepler’s uncle and first cousins!
Evan’s love for the West End House Camp is as large as his famous corned beef reuben sandwich. “I made relationships you don’t make anywhere else.” It’s the camaraderie that keeps Evan coming back to camp. “I’ve known these guys since I was 9. The fondest memories are at West End. Family, these guys are my brothers.” He loves to talk about his buddy, John McEachern. “We ran the barbecues; it was our show.”
Thank you, Evan Madoff for “Remembering” West End with me. WWE Live is actually in Portland, Maine on August 31st. Who wants to hit up the “HuKee” beforehand?