Glassport, Pennsylvania


Memories of Glassport


This page is for the posting of stories and memories of Glassport as it was in the past as told by Glassporters and former Glassporters. These stories may include persons, places and events that occurred either in Glassport or related to Glassport. These memories or oral history of the town would be of such a nature as to give the visitors to the web site a flavor and taste of what life was like in Glassport back then.

The memory should include rough dates and will be credited to the person that submits the story. The stories can be very short or very long.

Memory stories can also repeat memories of Glassport that you heard as a child from either your parents, who lived in Glassport or other senior people at the time of your childhood. Stories especially about named periods of time would also be welcome. Such periods of time might include: World War I or II, Roaring Twenties, Great Depression, the Fifties and Sixties, etc.

To send in a memory story , e-mail to glassportpa@comcast.net and indicate that it is for the memory page. The story will be put on the page just as you send them in. E-mail addresses will be added so that people can get in touch with you about any submission.


Began January 29, 2012

Memories of Glassport on Facebook


Posted April 7, 2013

I remember as a kid of 6 or 7 years old swimming in the dirty Monongahela river with all of the industrial waste and raw sewage floating down the river. As a young boy, what did my friends and I know about sanitation. It's a wonder we didn't contract some disease or illness. However, after swimming behind the Stallings plant, we would go to the garage of the building and inside sometimes there would be day old bakery and some ice cream that we could get for free. This lasted for a year or two before they shut down the facility. Then I remember a Thorofare super market opening on the property. Over the years there were several business that came and went on the property. Woodys Pizza shop was there and I recall in the late 50's, students from GHS would go there for lunch. Now the laundramat, Dollar General and Mama Peppena's pizza shop occupy the space.

Submitted by Carl Zoscak


Posted January 2, 2012

In Front of the Judge

Jimmy Weiss and I were very good friends in the late forties and early fifties. In fact, we still are. I call him and he calls me about once very couple of years.Jim is the son of Sammy Weiss, a well-known Glassporter in those years. Many of you probably remember him.

Anyway, Jimmy and I decided that we wanted to get some bubble gum. So, Jim says, my Dad and Mom keep some in their closet downstairs in the cellar.

That's all I needed to hear, off both of us go Jimmy's house, snuck in through the basement door, and took a couple of boxes of bubble gum from the closet.

We had a great time chewing it, and when it wasn't quite stale, spitting it out and taking another three or four pieces.

After that, both of us went home, all of the bubble gum chewed and spitted, somewhere in an empty lot, next to my house on Second and Mon.

A few days later, Jimmy comes knocking on our door. He says, "Rich, you'd better come quick, my Dad wants to see the both of us, right now."

So I go with Jim, and when we get to his house, we knock on his Dad's office door. Jimmy's Mom, Jeannette hears the knock and says to the both of us, "The Judge has someone in there right now, come and sit in the living room. I'll always remember Jimmy's Mom with her sparkling and smiling blue eyes, with a little "I know about you guys in them."

After about an hour's wait, or so I though at the time, we entered the Judge's Chambers. Very cordially, we sat in the big leather couch, and he said, "do you guys want to tell me something." We of course said no.

He said, I have some bubble gum missing. Then one of us confessed, I'm not sure who. Well, the lecture began. We didn't say much or remember much of what was said, except that stealing was wrong, and only bad boys steal.

That was my day in front of the Judge. And at that time he was Judge in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

R. Uher 1/2/2012

Posted October 9, 2011

It was June, '63. I was 15. Two of my friends, John and Tony tapped on my bedroom widow about 2am. I crawled out the window and we walked about 2 blocks down Spruce Ally and found a '56 Pontiac. with the keys in it. The other two said they didn't know how to drive but I'd driven a tractor on my Aunt's farm so I got in and started it up and we took off.

One of the guys said that someone had seen us so I decided to drive out of town. We headed up Glassport-Elizibeth Road and over the bridge in Elizabeth on Rt. 51. I thought by that time that things had gone too far and that we'd better take the car back where we found it. I found a place to turn around. I think it was the exit to the South Hills Drive-Inn. I got the car turned around and it died. It wouldn't start again. I looked and I saw something coming at me. As it got closer, I saw headlights and the "gum-ball" machine on the roof and realized it was a police car. Yep, it was the state police. I had all the answers ready.

The officer approached the car and started firing questions. "Who's car is this/" "My Dad's." I said. "How old are you." he asked. "16." (I was on a roll. lol) "Ok," he said. "Where'd you steal it?" "Glassport." I said without thinking. "Oh, shit!" They took us to the state police barracks and called the Glassport police and asked what they wanted the state police to do with us.

The cop in Glassport either didn't know us or didn't want to be bothered so he told them to take us to Pittsburgh. They got us down there by about 9am. So I sat in a holding cell at juvenile court in Oakland for 24hrs until my Father came to get me. (They called him at work.) He signed me out and took custody.

Needless to say, he was pissed. When we walked down the stairs from the 3rd. floor he said. "You go down first, I don't trust you to walk behind me." That hurt more than the strapping I got with his leather belt that I got when he got me home.

To this day, I have never taken another thing that didn't belong to me and I believe that if kids were disciplined today the way I was, there'd be a lot less crime. As it tuned out, the car I stole belonged to the sister of my Dad's friend and the engine had to be rebuilt.

My Father rebuilt it in our garage and I was grounded for the rest of the summer. No swimming pass or going to the Friday night dances at the American Legion and for a 15yr. old, that was terrible.

Chuck Burkett chuckeyb52@yahoo.com


Posted May 25, 2010

Reading over some of these stories brings back fond memories of the Glassport Pool. When I was dating my husband, Rick, back in 1983, we spent a lot of time there. As newlyweds living in Glassport, one of the first things I did every summer was to buy a pool pass for myself. We rented a little house off of Babe and Bruce Cross, and sometimes I'd even walk down or ride my bike to the pool. On my days off, I would spend time hanging out there and met many people from my new hometown. There were lots of folks whose names I never even knew, but we all recognized each other every summer. It was sort of like a family reunion! Rick and I had moved to Port Vue by the time our kids came along, but I still bought a family pass every summer and would take the kids swimming on my days off from work. I'd pack a cooler with enough food and drinks for a long day, gather up the beach towels, & even take a beach umbrella to shade them from the sun - I remember I ruined one of my husband's best screwdrivers using it to gouge a hole in the dirt for digging the umbrella pole into and we still have one of the beach towels that has small round holes in it from using it to "pad" the end of the umbrella when I pounded it into the ground with a hammer LOL We moved back to Glassport in 1998, and I was thrilled to be able to buy my pass and put "Glassport" on the address to get the lower rate. I wish I could remember the older lady's name who sold the passes every year - I got to know her over the years and she was always so nice to my kids and me. I know most people prefer their own backyard pool these days, but I really miss the Glassport Pool. My house doesn't have a big enough yard for a pool so I wish it was still open or would open up again. It makes me sad to see it all overgrown with weeds and sitting empty. Even though my kids are almost grown now at ages 20 and 15, I'd still come to the pool if it were to open again, maybe just for the memories of how much fun I had there with them. My husband used to get mad because the kids and I would be at the pool every chance we'd get - supper would be late and the house would be messy - but I'd always tell him "Oh, be quiet. The kids won't remember what we had for supper or how clean the house was - but they WILL hopefully remember that their mom took them swimming A LOT!!"

Jen Szmyd, Glassport


Posted May 24, 2010

Boyhood in Glassport May 24, 2010

Glassport was my childhood base of lore,
Full of laughter, fun and games galore,
Buck-buck and Release the Peller were games in vogue,
Merry were those days of old-
happy now as memories unfold;
Bygone are those days of old,
But cherished from the inner soul;
I remember Herky, Skinny, Bimbo and Bobby,
and all of the other Red Row buddies;
We knew not then what the future brings;
But lasting bonds though distant miles;
Happy were we and cared not why,
even though our pockets dry;
Kaslov's took our labor of love,
A penny for a bottle,
a dollar for a load of iron;
Rewards were sparse but not to deny,
A Stallings ice cream cone a nickel would buy;
The Red Row hill where shacks we built,
And the Mon riverbank where we swam and thrilled;
Those days of old are memories past,
But are parts of history that cannot be recast;
I'll remember those days till the end of time,
For cherished they are, as those friends of mine-------------
Richard Paoletti

Submitted by Richard Paoletti


Posted May 18, 2010

I got to thinking the other day about my father Bill Somerville who worked for Copperweld Steel for most of his life, and decided to write a poem dedicated to him, and all of the other steelworkers, who worked in the Mon Yough Valley plants. These were indeed special men who received little or no recognition, which they richly deserved in my view. It's simply titled "Dad"

" Mostly I remember, the twinkle in his eye,
he laughed so many , many times at things I had to try.
Early every morning, off to work he'd go.
So the pain of having nothing, we would never know.
His work was very, very hard, this man who worked with steel.
He walked to work through rain and snow, so we wouldn't miss a meal.
Now in looking back across, those many, many years,
I think of what he did for us, my eye's get filled with tears.
Because this man was not afraid, to give his very best,
His children now have what it takes, to face each of life's test's.
Every day I'm thankful, and yet a little sad,
this man's now gone out of my life, this man that I called Dad."

Respectfully submitted, Bill Somerville Jr.


Posted May 16, 2010

(More on Nellie Green)

As I remember >>>>

Nellie went to live with her Sister ( I believe) Mrs.Bickerton. The house sat in the alley off of Delaware. Between 824 and 830 >> I can’t seem to find a picture on the Allegheny Housing Site.

Her sister had a boy with Down Syndrone ( or some disability ) and she would watch him also. Her sister’s husband had a Garage in Clairton near the Elizabeth bridge – I think it was the last street to go up the hill to town.

Dorothy ( Biega ) Henderson

Posted on Glassport Unofficial Website on Facebook 2/27/2012


Posted May 2, 2010

In the forties through sixties, Nellie Green was a fixture at St. Cecelia church. She was a woman who was trusted by Father O'Hara and who in later years took the collection money to the bank for him. She would also run other errands for the parish.

I probably begin noticing her when I was in the Sixth grade as an altar boy. She alsways wore a bubushka when in church. Women covered their heads in church in those days. Her one standout feature is that she would be the last one in the line to take communion. She managed to get to the communion rail just before the final person knelt to receive it. Another trait that she had is that she would always walk through alleys, rather than on the main streets of Glassport.

When I was in the seventh grade, my altar boy partner, Harry Witt, and I found out her birth date and decided to give her a birthday card from the both of us. At that time, she lived in Hemlock Alley (between Monongahela and Ohio avenues) between Fifth and Sixth streets. I'm not sure of the address, but it would be the back of the building around 531 Monongahela avenue. We knocked on the door and another woman answered, and we asked for Nellie. She came to the door and we handed her the birthday. She was very appreciative.

When my birthday came, she walked down to Second street and Monongahela avenue and knocked on my door. She had a birthday card for me.

Later, in one of my several conversations with Father O'Hara, I found out that he had a very high regard for Nellie. He told me that she was an extremely intelligent woman who was very religious and very well-read.

At some point in the future, I had heard that she moved in with a relative around Broadway, but other than that, I lost track of her. I often wonder what happened to her. If anyone knows, please post.

Richard Uher uricharda@comcast.net

Posted on Glassport Unofficial Website on Facebook 2/27/2012


Posted March 29, 2010

I will never forget the time I spent in Glassport. When I was born my folks lived on Maryland Ave. We then moved to Ohio Ave. next to the Baptist Church and then to Hemlock "Alley" as we called it. My best friend was Harry Sutman and he and I threw coal through the windows of the Presbyterian Church when we were about 5 or 6 years old. Jimmy Thomas was the policeman that came and asked us if we knew who broke the windows out. We told him we did. I remember going to Economis's shoe store and played with Tommy Economis in the Alley; Saul Darling and his dad ran a grocery store on Monongahela Ave. and when our family went through a rough financial time Saul allowed us to run up a bill, with just a promise to pay for groceries which we did. I remember when I worked at Darlings later on stocking shelves going in the back of the store and watching old Mr. Darling cutting meat, with a stogie hanging out of his mouth. He could really handle a knife. Up the street was Papernicks Grocery and I remember playing with Arnold Papernick . Some of my friends were Joe Shellacci [he managed Six Flags in So. Cal.later on] Billy Prettyman, Joey Tarl, Buddy Booth, Val Kachuba, Jay Richards, Octavian Pechar to name a few. Glassport had many characters who we all loved. "Manny", Mutcheck, Frankie Oliniak (affectinately know as "Fatso") Ronnie Betzner. I remember tripping in front of De Falcos Market on Ohio Ave. and going through their front store window (still have the scars) Working at the Star Theater cleaning it out and getting free entrance to the Saturday serials. Sitting on the curb eating a big bag of french fries from Treggassers Restaurant. Getting dreamsicles from the Purity Dairy. Going to "the Paper Store" and smelling the cigar smoke from Al Michaels cigar. Being afraid of "Lemons Urbanski":>) Living in constant fear of what "Buzzie" West might do next:>) Glassport will always have a special place in my heart. I'm sure things have changed some, but the times we had living there will always remain in our memories.

Bill Somerville 369chief@gmail.com

Posted on Glassport Unofficial Website on Facebook 2/27/2012


Posted October 23, 2009

The picture of George Hays' store brings back some thoughts from the 1950 era. I was a youngster of 5 or 6 years and lived in the 800 block of Delaware Ave. I would go to Hays' store to buy penny candy. Sometimes there was a guy sitting outside on the bench called "Myers". He had some kind of physical and possibly mental problem. He would sit there and at times it appeared as if he was choking himself. Don't know what he suffered from but he was crippled and walked with a cane. I remember that if you walked to close to him, he would try to grab you by the neck with his cane. Scared the hell out of a 5 year old. Remember Corky Tacik and others playing poker or some other card games for money in the back room. Remember old man Hays would pound his chest, bite his tongue and throw a punch for no apparent reason. Across the street was another small store. I remember the name "Boobaks". Spelling? Boy, there was many small stores on every corner in Glassport during that era. Reflect back and still cherish my childhood years growing up in that little town.

Carl Zoscak canch@copper.net


Posted May 10, 2009

My mom and brother still live on Monongahela Ave. and so does my sister and her family. We have been there many times to visit since I was married in 1970 at St. Cecilia’s and then moved away. First we moved to Miami and we have been in Houston since 1978. I met some of my best friends in life back then, and we still look forward to being together whenever it is possible and keeping up with each other’s lives.

It was great to be a teenager in Glassport back then. My family felt like we had moved to the big city after living in Liberty Boro until I was 12. I was the girl with the green suede shoes in 7th grade who no one knew except for Kathy Cox. My dad and his brother bought our house for their parents during WWII and we moved in with my grandmother when I went to 7th grade. I would stay with her for weekend vacations before then and we always took a walk to the Memorial Fountain and Clarene’s corner for an ice cream after we went to the library. My grandmother would let me get books from the adult section! I remember the wooden floors of the 5 and dime store and just looking at the Evening in Paris perfume and cosmetics they sold there. It was so much fun going to the movies, skating, swimming, American Legion dances, Bingos, and buying my first ruby birthstone ring at the store at the end of the street for $5,my eighth grade graduation gift. It was beautiful and I still wear it. I met my husband who is from Port Vue at the pool the summer before I was a junior. He was going steady with the girl who sat in front of me in Mrs. Porter’s English class, Joni Ejchost. I had heard about him all year via Joni.

I have always told my girls that we seemed to have had a much more carefree and fun time growing up than they did. I guess that is a sad commentary on the times we live in. Our grandkids have even less freedom to wander and explore. I can remember walking home at Midnight through the alleyway on Monongahela Avenue and not thinking twice about it. Just being worried about getting home late! I knew every family it seemed on our street and everyone was always out to say hi and knew who you were also and what you were up to!

Submitted by Marie Miller Hado

Facebook 11/2/2012


Posted January 4, 2009

Between the ages of about 12 and 16 (from about '60 to '64), I worked in both the bowling allys in Glassport. There was Morrow's on 6th and Mononghehila, between Phile Econimo's shoe repair and The Glassport News Depot. Then, up on 9th across from Ferrie's restaurant was Marino's. A man with the last name of Hirocheck ran Morrow's and Jazz and Helen Marino ran Marino's.

Younger people today don't know what is was like setting up bowling pins before the automatic pin setters. I'll try and describe it as accurately as I can. First, you worked from about 6:00pm to about 12:00 or 12:30am at night. It was tough on a school night because you didn't get home until 1:00 or 1:30am. (For a while, I also had a morning paper route and had to be at the paper store on 6th St.. I started at 6th and walked a mile and a half to Otto to deliver 31 papers. A kid named Rusty Nolfi did the other end of town.) Anyway when setting up pins at the bowling ally, you sat on a bench above the end of the ally. When the bowler bowled, you had to jump down and clear any knocked down pins. When the bowler went to the next frame, you hopped down again, rolled the balls back and put your foot onto a pedal at the end of the ally. This brought up ten little steel pins from below the end of the ally that the bowling pins fit over as the bowling pins had holes in the bottom. Even for a kid, it was a back-breaking job. But the $10 to $15 that you got a week was worth it.

I made a lot of childhood friends working these jobs. Jerry Muic was the oldest of us and some others I worked with were Bob Wible, Billy Urbansky, Jerry & "bubba" Metz, Bill & Bob Rushe, Bill Grimm and kid we called "Unteck" that I was told meant Anthony in Polish. I think his name was Anthony Warren.

One of the funniest things I remember from those days was when a lady came rushing around the corner on 6th st. and right in front of Morrow's she slipped on the ice covered sidewalk and went down. One of the guys turned around and like a baseball umpire called; "Safe!". We helped her up of course.

Working as early as we did as kids never hurt any of us and in a time when a lot of fathers were out of work, we always had a little spending money.

Submitted by Chuck Burkett


Posted September 19, 2008

My earliest memories World War II began after our family moved to Glassport in 1941. I cannot recall the exact dates of my WWII memories, since I was just 2-years old when we moved from my grandmothers house on Beacon St. in McKeesport. Thus during the period of the war that we lived in Glassport, I was between 2 and 7. We lived at 227 Monongahela avenue. All my years in Glassport were spent at that home.

We had air raid drills. I can remember the siren would go off in a weird and spooky way. All of the lights in our house had to be off. Our air raid warden was a Mr. Broder. He would come to our door with a white helmet if my parents forgot to turn all of the lights out. He would say or my mother heard him say that we must keep everything dark, because we lived so close to the foundry, so that the German planes could not bomb the foundry. Those times were scary and left vivid memories.

I can remember rationing; especially, sugar, gasoline, tires for automobiles. In order to buy sugar, my mother would have to present cupons when she went to the store on Fifth street and Monongahela Avenue.

I can also remember flyovers by planes in formation. That was also scary, even if they were American planes. I remember one particular incident, where it seemed to me that much of the sky was filled with fighter planes moving from west to east.

Mrs. Null lived next door to us at that time at 229 Monongahela avenue. She had a son, Kenneth Null (GHS'36) in the air force. He was killed in action. I can remember the day that she heard the sad news. My mother spent a great deal of time with her, trying to console her. She took it hard for several years after that.

My Dad would be worried that he would not have enough gasoline to go to work, so we didn't go anywhere during that time.

Richard Uher


Posted September 17, 2008

I forget what year of high school I was in when this happened. Probably between '64 and '66.

As some of you may recall, Plum Alley dead ended into 3rd st. across from the auditorium steps to the high school. Some of us kids, Bill Urbansky, Tom Palipinto, Greg (Whitey) Seaman, Norman Booth, Billy Santucci, Jerry Metz and a few others would hang out about half way between 3rd. & 4th Sts. in front of an old garage, waiting for the bell that told us we had to go to class.

There was a warning bell to get into the school and then a final bell that we waited for that said we had five minutes to get to our home rooms.

Bobby Stasack, who I always thought of as our "Fonzie", had an early 50's Chevy and one day he pulled up to where we were all standing. The first bell went off and a bunch of us piled onto his car and rode the 1/2 block to the high school. When we got to 3rd. St., everyone jumped off but someone told me it was only the 1st. bell. I was sitting on the driver's side on the front fender of the car, holding on to the radio antenna and thought, hey, I got another 5 minutes.

Bobby put the car in reverse and started back up the alley. I waited until he got back to the garage where we all hung out, and decided to jump off. As my feet hit the pavement, I knew it was the wrong move. The car was going to fast. So I hung onto the the antenna and was crouched down beside the car with my feet dragging. In those days some of us wore "cleats" on our shoes. These were little pieces of metal that were nailed to the heels on the bottom of our shoes that made a "click, click" sound as you walked. Of course, to be "cool", I wore them. So, as Bobby was dragging me back up the alley, he was looking back over his shoulder and didn't know I was still there. He was only doing about 20-25mph but I couldn't let go!! I looked back as we passed the garage and saw the sparks flying from the "cleats" I was wearing. I was scared to death!!!! He was still in reverse and stopped at 4th St. and I let go.

I looked back at my "buddys" and they were laughing so hard, some of them were on the ground, holding their' sides. I would've been killed if I'd let go and went under the wheels.

I realized years later that when you're a kid, you got more guts than you do brains. lol

Chuck Burkett

Note from R.A.Uher: Tom Palipinto passed away this week.

Facebook 11/15/2012


Posted July 6, 2008

After reading Dee Clark’s memories of Glassport this week, I was inspired to write something of my own. Thank you Dee for helping me remember all the things I had forgotten about Glassport. Like Dr. Cibrick. I don’t know him, but I do remember hearing the name when I was a kid. Also, I had forgotten that the Honor Roll had a fountain that changed colors! Now I remember that! OK, here’s what I came up with – these are MY memories of Glassport:

I grew up in Glassport in the 60’s. I was born in 1956 and I remember way back as a baby and toddler napping in my crib with the hum of the fan on low in my bedroom window and the sound of the kids playing at the pool in the background. I remember hearing the lifeguard whistles blowing and thought I could even hear my big sister’s voice! Mary Kay was a lifeguard at the pool at that time. I was so proud that my sister was a lifeguard – I adored her. I was fascinated by that pool and I remember looking off our second story back porch and watching the kids jump off the diving boards. We lived on Delaware Ave. and you could see so much from our back porch! I finally grew up enough to start going to the pool and I remember walking up the hill with our towels all rolled up and our pink pool passes in hand. The pool was my second home. I’d get there when it opened and swam til 4 or 5:00 when it was time to go home for supper. Everyone staked out their territory on the terrace – each blanket had a transistor radio tuned to KQV and a bottle of Johnson’s Baby Oil! (If only we knew about skin cancer back then!!) The frozen Zero bars were the best. I LOVED them! I’d try not to eat anything at the pool because we’d have to wait a half hour after eating so our stomachs wouldn’t cramp up! I didn’t want anything to interfere with my swim time! Remember those foot baths you had to step through as you walked from the terrace to the pool area? The water was always warm and yucky. I always walked on the edge so I wouldn’t have to step in that murky water!

I remember when most of the streets in Glassport were brick. My sister Mary Kay was 10 years older than me, and she’d take me for walks in the stroller. I remember going from Delaware Ave. down Broadway on the brick street and I’d test out my voice and giggle when it bumped along with each brick in the street. I think Wall St was just dirt and rocks at that time. Mary Kay pushed me all over Glassport and I got to know my way around from a very early age. As a little girl, I loved playing on the porch. I remember waking up each morning to a fresh dusting of soot from the mill and writing my name and drawing pictures in it! The porches had to be cleaned each day because of the soot. Pattie Bonner and I would spend hours playing with our Barbie’s on either her front porch or mine. I got my first Barbie out at a store called “Payday’s”. Does anyone remember that store? It seemed so BIG as a little kid and I just loved going there! Our front porch was a very popular place when I was a kid. Mary Kay’s friends would come over and hang out there. There were kids all over the place – sitting on the banisters and steps… I just loved it when they’d start singing – they were GREAT! Everyone knew their own part and I was fascinated by their harmony – Duke of Earl, Don’t Sweat it Baby, Lundee Dundee, etc. That was my introduction to music. Soon I had my own transistor radio tuned to “fun lovin’ KQV”! Do you remember the skating rink? Mary Kay would take me skating sometimes. She had her own skates with pom poms on top. She was the coolest sister! I was heartbroken to learn that the skating rink was flattened by the tornado.

On Sunday mornings my dad would go down to Michaelson’s (aka the “paper store”) and get a Sunday paper and some jelly doughnuts. They made the BEST doughnuts ever!! Sometimes I’d go with him and he’d buy me something that I had to punch out of a piece of thick cardboard with a metal “key”, then you’d unroll it and it would say something inside. I don’t really remember, but I loved doing that!! There were a lot of great stores downtown. The 5&10, Kills and Hornfeck’s where we’d sit on the stools and order cherry phosphates! What WERE they anyway? Remember the shoe store? I got my first pair of saddle shoes there, which were popular when I was in 6th grade and Junior High. The Glassport fashion was unique to that area. Cut offs and knee socks, penny loafers and bobby socks which later turned into saddle shoes and some kind of nobby off-white socks that everyone wore. We ALL had the same shoes, socks, and purses. Remember Baracuda jackets? You were really “IN” if you had a REAL Barracuda – the ones that had the plaid fabric extending all the way out to the zipper. Some of us who couldn’t afford the real thing had the ones where the plaid fabric came not quite up to the zipper. There was a huge cost difference between the two! I lived in the day of go-go boots, Nehru jackets, mini skirts, crocheted vests, and “bleeding madras”. So there we were in our mini skirts, loafers, knee socks, and Barracuda jackets! What a sight we were! And God forbid if we were caught with snow boots on!! Our legs would be red and welted from exposure to the frigid temps. It’s amazing what we had to endure for the sake of fashion!

On summer evenings, after eating supper, we had to get our baths and get into fresh underwear or PJs and we’d wait out front for the jingle of the ice cream man’s truck! I was madly in love with Jim, the ice cream man. I was about 5 and who knows how old Jim was, but he knew I liked him and he’d spend a little extra time with me. I was in heaven!! Those drumsticks and pushups and ice cream bars were my favorite and I had a hard time deciding sometimes. When we got older, we sometimes took walks in the evening to the Dari Delite for a soft serve ice cream cone. If we were lucky, we’d get the ones with the hardened chocolate shell around the ice cream. And when we got home, we’d sit on the front porch and watch the lightning bugs. I loved those lightning bugs and we’d run around with jars catching them. My friend Jimmy would pull off their lights and draw on the sidewalk with them. YUK!

I went to Third Ward school and Pattie Bonner and I would walk to school every day together. Sometimes we’d walk past Tacic’s store (and pick up fallen buckeyes) to Dale Jancic’s house to pick him up, then up Vermont past Milligan’s store to pick up Richard Stout. We had a lot of good penny candy stores back then. Mendy’s was on the corner of Broadway and Delaware and that was my introduction to penny candy. They had a HUGE glass candy case with a big old cash register behind it. We’d go there for little things like milk and bread. After lunch, we’d stop at Corky’s or Milligan’s and get candy before going back to school. I remember their squeaky doors and wooden floors. I had Miss Schlicting, Miss Carpenter, and Miss Hough for teachers at Third Ward, just like my sister had 10 years before me. I loved being in sixth grade at Third Ward because we had a pretty good view from the windows. I loved watching the storm clouds roll in. In the late Spring, just before we got out for the summer, I loved watching them fill the pool. Each day the water got higher and higher. Soon it would be swimming season again! I think it was full by Memorial Day each year. Those first days at the pool were so exciting, but the water was way too cold for swimming!! Summertime also meant fireworks in August! We’d bring all of our chairs out to the back porch where we’d have the very BEST view of the fireworks! We never had to leave our house to go see them. My sister would pop a couple batches of popcorn before the show. The grand finale was the best because it sounded just like the popcorn popping!

We also went to St. Cecilia’s church. Wednesday catechism. Fr. O’hara was still around, but didn’t do many masses any more. I remember Fr. Stack, and then Fr. Peterson. I do remember that some of the masses were still done in Latin, which I loved. It really felt like you’ve been to church! I remember some of the nuns….Sister Eugenia was my catechism teacher. I also remember Mrs. Jacobson – she wasn’t a nun, but she taught Catholic School. I loved watching her come into church – she was usually all decked out in fancy clothes, long gloves, hat, and jewelry. Us kids would snicker as she genuflected and made a huge exaggerated sign of the cross!

I am so fortunate to have grown up in Glassport. I still love coming back to the town and walking around, reminiscing. It’s not the same now, and the pool is closed – that is the saddest thing that ever happened in my opinion. I could go on and on about my memories of growing up in Glassport. These are just a few. I loved our little town. There was no place like it. We moved away in 1971 after my mother died, and we’ve lived in nicer places since, but there hasn’t been any town as unique or as special as Glassport. I returned to Glassport last summer for a visit after being away for 35 years! I still didn’t get to see it all, and I’ll be returning again this week – July 11 through the 16th. If you happen to see a 52 year old red head wandering around snapping pictures, it’s only me! And if you know me, please come out and say hi!

April Mraz (class of 1974)


Posted July 4, 2008

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU BOUGHT A GLASS OF LEMONADE? HOW ABOUT FROM CHILDREN SELLING IT BY THE CUPS ON THE CORNER? A LITTLE TABLE, A PITCHER OF ICE COLD LEMONADE, CUPS, A LITTLE BOX TO HOLD THE CHANGE AND CHILDREN HOLDING UP SIGNS SAYING "LEMONADE -.25 CENTS.

THEY WERE ALL EXCITED, JUMPING UP AND DOWN TRYING TO GET THE ATTENTION OF THE PEOPLE DRIVING IN THEIR CARS. FOUR LITTLE GIRLS IN DIFFERENT ATTIRE, SOME WITH SHORT HAIR, SOME BRAIDED, SOME LONG AND CURLY OR JUST STRAIGHT, GLASSES OR NOT. THESE LITTLE GIRLS WERE TRYING TO GRAB OUR ATTENTION AND THEY SURE GRABBED MINE WITH THEIR IMPISH SMILES.

AS I PULLED OVER, THEY ALL TRIPPED OVER EACH OTHER'S FEET TRYING TO GET TO ME. DID I WANT A GLASS OF LEMONADE? DID I JUST WANT ONE? LOOKING AROUND CONFIRMED WHAT I KNEW, NO ONE ELSE WAS IN MY JEEP BUT ME, SO THESE LITTLE ONES MUST HAVE THOUGHT I WAS THIRSTY. I JUST TOOK ONE GLASS OF LEMONADE THAT TASTED SO COOL AND WAS SO REFRESHING. SEEING THE HAPPINESS AND EXCITEMENT THAT I BROUGHT TO THEM MADE ME THINK THAT I SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT TWO GLASSES. I PAID MORE THEN THE ASKING PRICE OF A QUARTER, WHICH MADE THEM, SMILE EVEN MORE WITH LAUGHTER AND THANK YOU'S.

THIS LAZY HOT DAY OF SUMMER AND LEMONADE MADE ME THINK OF HOW FORTUNATE THESE LITTLE GIRLS WERE TO BE ABLE TO STAY AT HOME INSTEAD OF GOING TO A DAY CARE CENTER OR A BABYSITTER AS IS THE NORM THESE DAYS BECAUSE IT TAKES 2 PAYCHECKS TO MAKE IT WORK.

THOSE OF US WHO GREW UP IN THE FIFTIES WERE FORTUNATE TO HAVE OUR MOM'S AT HOME, TO BE ABLE TO WALK TO THE LOCAL POOL OR RIDE OUR BIKES TO THE END OF TOWN AND BACK.

AFTER A DAY OF SWIMMING WE WOULD HAVE DINNER, TAKE BATHS AND PUT ON CLEAN CLOTHES. THEN WE WOULD TAKE LONG LEISURELY WALKS IN THE EVENING. WE WOULD WALK DOWN TO THE HONOR ROLE WHERE THE WATER FOUNTAIN'S WATER CHANGED COLORS; THERE WE WOULD MEET OTHER KIDS AND SIT AROUND AND TALK. KID STUFF, LIKE WHAT TIME ARE WE MEETING AT THE POOL, DID YOU SEE SO N SO TAKE THAT DIVE OFF THE DIVING BOARD - HER NAME WAS PHYLLIS AND SHE DID DOUBLE TWISTS OFF THE HIGH DIVE, EVERYONE WAS IN AWE, MOSTLY THE REST OF US JUST HELD OUR NOSE AND JUMPED OFF.

HOW WE TOOK IT ALL FOR GRANTED JUST AS WE TOOK FOR GRANTED THE HIGH TOWER ISLAY'S ICE CREAM CONES THAT WE WERE ABLE TO BUY FOR TEN CENTS. IT WAS FOR SURE LIVING IN THE HAPPY DAYS OR MAYBERRY.

I LIVED IN AN ALLEY, WHEN I LOOKED OUT MY BEDROOM WINDOW I SAW THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR. IF I REACHED FAR ENOUGH I COULD PROBABLY TOUCH IT WITH MY HAND. GROWING UP IN AN ALLEY WAS FUN. OUR FRIENDS LIVED RIGHT NEXT DOOR OR JUST A COUPLE OF DOORS DOWN, SO CLOSE WE DID NOT HAVE TO CALL THEM ON THE PHONE BUT JUST HOLLER THEIR NAME FROM THE PORCH.

DODGE BALL, HOPSCOTCH, HIDE N SEEK, RIDING OUR BIKES. CATCHING FIRE FLY'S, PLAYING COWBOYS AND INDIANS WERE JUST SOME OF THE GAMES THAT I PLAYED WITH THE KIDS. I LOVED TO PLAY MUMBLY PEG AND HAD MY OWN PEN KNIFE TO PLAY THE GAME.

NO AIR CONDITIONING IN THOSE DAYS, WHEN IT WAS EXTREMELY HOT, MY DAD WOULD SLEEP DOWNSTAIRS IN THE LIVING ROOM AND WHEN HE WOULD - I WOULD TOO. SOMETIMES HE WOULD SLEEP OUT ON THE PORCH IN HIS SOFT OUTDOOR RECLINER, I DID NOT WANT TO BE BIT BY BUGS SO I STAYED IN OUR LIVING ROOM AND SLEPT, DOORS LEFT WIDE OPEN, NEVER LOCKED. SAFETY WAS NEVER AN ISSUE, WE DID NOT THINK TWICE ABOUT LEAVING OUR DOORS AND WINDOWS OPEN.

WE HAD DARLINGS MARKET RIGHT ACROSS THE ALLEY, I USE TO GO IN THE BACK DOOR, AND MR. SAUL DARLING AND HIS DAD WOULD BE BUTCHERING MEAT WITH CIGARETTES HANGING OUT OF THEIR MOUTHS. IT ALWAYS SMELLED OF BLOOD BUT AND I COULD NOT WAIT TO WALK INTO THE MAIN STORE. I HAD MY MOM'S SHOPPING LIST AND I HAD TO BUY FROM THE MEAT COUNTER WHERE A GUY NAMED JIM WORKED, HE WAS A BIT OLDER THEN ME BUT I FELL MADLY IN LOVE. I ALWAYS HOPED THAT HE WOULD BE THE ONE TO WAIT ON ME AND MY HEART WOULD DO FLIP FLOPS WHEN HE DID, NOW YOU HAVE TO REALIZE I WAS ABOUT 12 OR 13 AND HE WAS ABOUT 20 OR 21. IT NEVER TURNED INTO ANYTHING AND NOT LONG AFTER HE LEFT TO JOIN THE SERVICE.

MY MOM HAD ON HER LIST LAMB CHOPS OR DELMONICO STEAKS, PORK CHOPS OR GROUND BEEF, SHE NEVER HAD TO WORRY ABOUT THE CUT OF MEAT BECAUSE IT WAS ALWAYS GOOD, AND FROM THERE I WOULD GO OUT THE FRONT DOOR AND CROSS THE STREET TO THE PRODUCE STORE TO BUY WHAT EVER PRODUCE WAS ON THE LIST. BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAY I GREW UP ON LAMB CHOPS, STEAKS AND SUNDAY IT WAS EITHER PASTA OR FRESHLY KILLED CHICKEN.

SUNDAYS WE WOULD VISIT MY GRANDPARENTS OR AUNTS AND UNCLES OR THEY WOULD BE AT OUR HOUSE. NO MATTER WHAT HOUSE THERE WAS ALWAYS A GAME OF CHECK CHECK (POKER) BEING PLAYED AFTER DINNER. POLKA'S PLAYING AND COUSINS RUNNING IN AND OUT OF THE HOUSE.

BACK THEN THE DOCTOR MADE HOUSE CALLS AND OUR DOCTOR WAS DR. CIBRICK, HE CAME TO OUT HOUSE OFTEN. I HAD PNEUMONIA, MY MOTHER AND I HAD HEPATITIS, MY MOM ALWAYS GOT BRONCHITIS FROM SMOKING. HE WOULD COME FROM ACROSS THE ALLEY AS THAT WAS WHERE THE BACK DOOR TO HIS OFFICE WAS. HIS WIFE WAS HIS NURSE AND AT CHRISTMAS TIME MY MOM AND DAD WOULD ALWAYS GIVE THEM A PLATTER OF HOMEMADE DELICACIES, ALL ITALIAN COOKIES, THEY GAVE ME A BEAUTIFUL LACE TABLECLOTH WHEN I MARRIED.

MY MOM AND ONE OF HER BEST FRIENDS CLARA WOULD GET TOGETHER AND MAKE CHRISTMAS COOKIES BUT MY DAD AND MY MOM WOULD ALWAYS MAKE THE PIZZALES BY HAND ON THE STOVE. I CAN STILL PICTURE THEM IN MY MIND. AHH TO TASTE ONE OF THOSE TODAY WOULD BE HEAVEN SENT.

I WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD WHEN MY BROTHER WAS BORN AND FROM THAT DAY ON WE SHARED A BEDROOM UNTIL THE DAY I MARRIED. I DID A LOT OF BABYSITTING WHEN I WAS YOUNG, I BABYSAT WHEN EVER I SHOULD OF HAD A BABYSITTER!

GOING TO A CATHOLIC GRADE SCHOOL MEANT THAT WE WENT TO 8 O'CLOCK MASS EVERY MORNING. WE HAD TO SING AT THE MASS AND SANG THE SONGS IN LATIN, MASS WAS SAID IN LATIN ALSO, WE GIRLS WORE BABUSHKA'S TO MASS AND IF WE WENT TO COMMUNION WE PACKED OUR BREAKFAST AND ATE IT IN SCHOOL, THAT WAS WHEN YOU HAD TO FAST ALL NIGHT.

A COUPLE OF TIMES IN THE WINTER WHEN THE SNOW WAS HEAVY A FEW OF US GIRLFRIENDS WOULD SKIP MASS AND GO DOWN TO THE STADIUM WHICH WAS NOT FAR AND MAKE SNOW ANGELS IN THE SNOW AND THEN WE WOULD GO BACK TO CHURCH WHEN WE THOUGHT MASS WAS OVER, OF COURSE WE GOT IN TROUBLE WITH THE NUNS.

ON WEDNESDAY NIGHTS, OUR CLASS WAS TO GO TO ADORATION TO SING AT SEVEN O'CLOCK SERVICE, I ALWAYS HAD TO BABY-SIT ON THAT NIGHT BECAUSE MY DAD WAS AT THE FIRE HALL AS HE WAS PRESIDENT AND MY MOM WAS PLAYING POKER. (SHE LOVED POKER) AND SOME OF THOSE POKER HANDS WELL THE POT COULD BE A HEFTY. WHEN SHE WON, I ALWAYS GOT A TIP AND A GOOD ONE! THE KIDS (I GUESS YOU COULD SAY THE KIDS THAT I HUNG OUT WITH) KNEW I ALWAYS BABYSAT AND THEY WOULD ALWAYS COME DOWN TO MY HOUSE, MY BROTHER WOULD BE IN BED AND WE WOULD HAVE SUCH FUN, PLAYING SPIN THE BOTTLE,

I FELL IN LOVE WITH TOM THEN, HE WAS SUCH A FANTASTIC KISSER AND KISSED FOR A LONG TIME, THAT DID NOT GO ANYWHERE EITHER, WE WERE JUST YOUNG KIDS HAVING FUN, WHO EVER SPUN THE BOTTLE AND WHO EVER IT LANDED ON WOULD GO INTO OUR KITCHEN AND ON THE LANDING THAT WENT UPSTAIRS, THERE THEY WOULD KISS AND WHEN THEY WERE DONE COME BACK INTO THE LIVING ROOM WHERE THE GAME WOULD START UP AGAIN, THEY ALL HAD TO LEAVE AT THE TIME THE ADORATION WOULD BE FINISHED AT CHURCH SO THEY COULD GET HOME ON TIME, WE WOULD WRITE EXCUSES FOR EACH OTHER AND GIVE THEM TO THE NUNS THE NEXT DAY, I WAS THE ONLY ONE WITH A TRUE WRITTEN EXCUSE. MY PARENTS NEVER FOUND OUT WHAT WENT ON AT THE HOUSE ON WEDNESDAY NIGHTS.

FATHER O'HARA WAS OUR PRIEST; HE BAPTIZED ME, GAVE ME MY FIRST HOLY COMMUNION, CONFIRMED ME, AND MARRIED ME.

GLASSPORT WAS A SAFE, FAMILY TOWN TO GROW UP IN, MY GRADE SCHOOL YEARS WERE THE BEST

Submitted by Dee Clark


Posted June 27, 2008

A few weeks ago,I was browsing through the dvd bargain bin at the local Wal Mart ,and to my suprise,found a 26 episode package of " Victory at Sea " for $5. I had not seen any of these episodes since they were on the tube every Sunday evening many years ago. As I worked my way through the first 6 episodes,I finally came to episode #7,titled " Ring Around Rabaul ".The battle for Guadalcanal had just ended and the Marines and Army were being re-deployed to their next invasion destinations.The film shows the troops relaxing on the deck of one of the ships,some were reading and writing letters,wile others were sleeping or just thinking about home.As the camera pans across the deck,a most unusual sight is seen--a group of rowdy troops playing " BUCK BUCK "!!!! There most certainly had to be a Glassporter in that group. In my travels around the United States and much of the world,I have never run into anyone who has heard of such a game!!! I don't know if the kids in Glassport still play " BUCK BUCK " or not,but my school mates and I spent many hours trying to break each other's backs !! One more time in my life I would love to hear " BUCK BUCK--HOW MANY FINGERS UP " !!!!!

A Glassporter Forever

Buzzie "The Beak " West


Posted June 12, 2008

I had the distinct pleasure of attending 2nd Ward School for 7th & 8th grades.These years would have been between 1949 and 1951. I always thought of the school as a halfway house between 6th grade at 3rd Ward and 9th grade at Glassport High. The highlite of each day was getting excused from class to help old Charlie Gelsheiser(sp?) shovel coal in the basement.The usual volunteers were Mike Timko, Tim Lokash, my cousin, Earl, Frog Bernard, and yours truly!! We never learned much,but we had a lot of fun.During these 2 years, I had 3 fine teachers--Ms.Snyder( the school principal), Ms.Robinson, and Ms.Jenny Lane. Some how I managed to get paddled by all three. I guess in today's parlance you would classify this act as " A Hat Trick ". These, and all of my other days in Glassport,were some of the happiest of my life.

Buzzie " The Beak " West


Posted June 9, 2008

I went to kindergarden morning class in the mid 1950's at the Second ward school. Mrs. Earhart was our teacher. We had our class picture taken at the church steps across the street.

I remember the tall black wrought iron fence that used to line the property. We were warned that we could get impaled on the fence spikes that were on the top row.

In the sixties we had some competitive basketball games on the basket ball court. There seemed to always be games taking place there. Kids all ages and sizes would be there too.

Ken Michaels


Posted June 9, 2008

I entered 1st grade at 2nd ward school in 1932. There were no pre-school or kindergarten in those days.

The teachers at that time were: Flora Smith, (principal), Mae Gearing, Bertha Dietz, Jane Larkin, Violet Schlicting, and Ann Broder. I considered them all to be good teachers, but the one that still sticks with me after all these years is Ann Broder who was my history teacher. I remember we were learning about the Revolutionary war and she described in an animated way and in vivid detail a battle led by General Nathaniel Greene against the British. Her description of the battle made it come alive and very interesting. I have never forgotten that. There were no dry boring facts to remember. She was an excellent teacher.

The other thing I remember pretty well was learning the vowel sounds;. we would all be standing up in sort of a huddle and would repeat, after the teacher, the vowel sounds. It's funny how dumb little things like that stick with you..

I spent 5 yrs.at 2nd ward, but had to spend 6th grade at 3rd ward school because the School Board made a decision that anybody living from the 600 block and up (I lived at 618) had to go to 3rd ward .That broke my heart because that meant I would be losing my friends and not be knowing anybody from 3rd. ward. The irony of the whole thing was that after I got acclimated at 3rd ward, I liked it better. Caroline Hunt was the Principal there.

An interesting sidelight to that was that Miss Hunt lived in Otto and it was George Gorun who bought her house. Thats a few of the things I can remember about 2nd ward; These happenings were 76 yrs.ago, so the memories do become a little fuzzy.

Tom Lapsley


Posted April 6, 2008

Bill Shandor - 828 Vermont Avenue (Formerly) 1928-1948/ To Florida in 1958

Reading about the memories of my hometown and birthplace evoked some reminiscing on my part and all my thoughts are pleasant. Glassport was a wonderful place to be raised. I would like to share some of my recollections:

1. As a previous writer mentioned, all Glassport boys spent some time working in the Glasshouse and fortunately I was paid well, $4.12 per day, 51 cents an hour.

2. Throwing pebbles at the Wendell Wilkie auto caravan in 1940.

3. Building fires to bake potatoes and other unscrupulous activities at Schoolhouse

4. Hill (Now the location of our swimming pool at 3rd Ward School)

5. Finally finding the location of our Lover's lane up the hill.

6. Living in the vicinity of these fine Glassport families, Hrehocik, Stasko,Gabauer, Tyskiewicz, Wagner, Hilko, Rovan, Milligan, Gragorick, Burton, Wawrzeniak, Kusak, Pasinsky, Tomedolsky, Marcanele, Dunkerly, Tudek, Faix, Mihoces, Martino, Rankin, Dennison, Papernick, Popovich, Murasky, etc.

7. I recall the many businesses in Glassport such as Raden's Clothing, Miller's Shoes, Myer Alpern's Market, Abe Darling's, The Mazur Hotel, Hornfeck's Pharmacy, plus 28 dens of inequity {Tavern's} (count them).

8. Remember our 2 great running backs Lou Kusserow and Ducky Melcarsky!

9. Playing Morah (10 fingers) for beers in the cellar of the Italian Club on Monongehela AVE.

10. Hanging out at Fuzzy's Pool Hall playing cards, (All games conducted and dominated by Tony (Banana's) Ivacocci guarded by Mike Deliman who kept Willy Donofrio restrained. At that time you could buy a cigarette for a penny.

11. Shooting 10 pound, foot long rats on the river adjacent to the PS foundry.

12. Climbing the girders under the Clairton Bridge and crossing over only on returning to the Glassport side being apprehended by Glassport police.

13. Swimming naked in the pristine Monongehela River and loving it. Did I say pristine, I lied!

14. My Dad buying gas for 19 cents a gallon and complaining about the high price.

15. Remembering Sisters Mary Grace, Mary Thomas and Irene at St. Cecilia's and their patience with me. Sweating out the confession line for Father O'Hara'

16. Without question, the most beautiful women were born in 1928 and they all graduated from GHS IN 1946. Just thought I'd throw that in!

17. Imagine, In the 40,s you could see a movie at the Star Theatre for a dime and on most occasions a double feature. Greg "Greek" Gorris's family owned it.

18. Teachers of some stature were Miss Birch, Caves, Truxell, Payne, Pratt and Mr. Iannotta along with Roy Hickes and Melvin Naser as Administrators. Seems that Roy was very skillful with the paddle! What a wallop!

19. And how about those afternoons at the Broadway Roller Rink doing your best to impress the ladies who, by the way, were not impressed. Dancing at the Fire Hall.

20. I am going to end this reminiscing with a confession. On a summer day in 1939, a Fire broke out on School House Hill across from Third Ward School. The Fire truck arrived and put it out quickly as I watched. The damage was negligible but the fire destroyed the grass and a few small trees. It so happens that I was the rascal who accidentally caused the fire after roasting a potato and taking off without dousing the fire. I sweated it out and did not fess up to the fireman then but my conscience is now clear. I told you I'd take care of it, Father O'Hara!

Any responses send to: william shandor

Posted on Facebook Site 8/30/2012


Posted May 22, 2007

My name is Thomas Weigand.

In reading Rich Pasinski's article about our goats , I could add a few thoughts. First , all of my family have passed away. I was the youngest, so I'm still around.

I presently live in Palm Harbor, FL. Yes. we had 4 goats which we fed on the hill behind our house at the end of Iowa Ave. We also had chickens, and a garden of about two acres.

The TV we had was a 7" screen Admiral. Yes we welcomed all the kids to watch. It was quite a full room who attended.

Glassport was a wonderful place to live, and I enjoyed it very much. I can be reached at tweig@yahoo.com.


Posted October 16, 2006

Being from Port Vue, I entered Glassport High School in the fall of 1959 for my junior year. It took about a month to begin fitting in. That occurred when I realized which groups, gangs and individuals to avoid. I wasn’t a fighter and at Glassport it took practically no effort at all to get into a fight.

Nearly every day after school there was a big fight in one of the back alleys down the block, and many times I missed the school bus to witness one of them. I couldn't believe that guys would fight over such trivial matters.

Once basketball practice commenced, I never went home after school anyway, opting to remain in Glassport until practice started. It wasn’t like nowadays when teams practice right after school. We never did that. Our practices began at 5:30 or 6:00, thus, I had two and one-half to three hours of free time. Why go home on the school bus, only to have to hitch hike back to Glassport for basketball practice and take the chance of not getting a ride? Rather than go through all that hassle, I elected to remain in Glassport.

Usually I walked to the far side of town with Nick Hruska. He lived in the “third ward” section of town and I soon became a “regular” at his house. In no time at all I became like a member of the family, often eating dinner with them. His mother was an absolute gem of a person. Nick and I spent a lot of time shooting pool in the back room of the “Hayes Grocery Store,” about two blocks down the hill from the Hruska’s. Old man Hayes was quite a character. He was the father of George Hayes, former Gladiator football coach and quite the local hero. George was around 50 years old at the time, I suppose, and his father was in his seventies.

The old man ran the grocery store and was famous for “throwing a punch,” and for a sharp, vulgar tongue with customers who upset him. “Throwing a punch” was just one of the many idiosyncrasies the old man had. How he developed it, or why, remains a mystery to this day. When he “threw a punch,” he didn’t actually hit anyone. Explaining how to throw a punch like old man Hayes will challenge my ability to word things so that the reader can understand it. You really had to see it to grasp the intricacies of doing it. You must raise a shoulder, bring your elbow up to shoulder height, and slam the side of your chest sharply with an open hand. Then you quickly extend that entire arm as far out as it will reach, and even quicker, bring it back to the original raised position (elbow up to shoulder height). You can end the “punch” there or you can extend your arm one more time and end it there. Then, if the situation called for it, you repeat the process.

How do you know if the situation called for it, you ask? Well, that depended on how irate old man Hayes was when he did it. If he was really upset with a customer, he may have done it two, three, or even four times in succession. We were shooting pool there one day when we heard him arguing with an elderly female customer in the front of the store. His face was red with rage as the lady chastised him over the staleness of a loaf of bread. He quickly threw her a series of three punches, while simultaneously exclaiming, “Get your bread and get the #$%@#&% out of my store!”

His usual docile demeanor changed drastically during times such as these. But he was a really great guy, a real "softie" if you treated him with respect. It cost ten cents a game to shoot pool on one of the tables in the back room of the grocery store, but there was no automatic ball return or anything - you simply take the balls out of the pockets, rack them and start a new game. We shot 20 or more games, then gave old man Hayes 20 or 30 cents on our way out.

Often, after going home for dinner, a few of our teammates joined us to shoot a game or two. When the time came, we walked the mile and a half to the high school on Ohio Avenue for basketball practice. I never incurred the wrath of old man Hayes as I always remained “low key” around him. The only time I’d talk to him was when I was leaving; I handed him thirty cents and said, “Here’s money for the pool games we shot.” It was best not to agitate him in any way. For some reason, he never gave us any trouble at all, even though we shot pool sometimes for two hours and gave him a fifth of what we should have.

But we saw him rake a few older guys over the coals on occasion. Once when they were departing and did not pay, old man Hayes screamed bloody murder at them - “Hey, you #$@%^&^%$#@&%, are you gonna pay for the #$@%$&# games or what?” He was “throwing punches” like a mad man at them.

Another time we heard him scream, “Ten #@$#@% cents? You were back there for over half an hour!” After several months of going there after school, I felt comfortable enough to throw an ever so mild punch at old man Hayes when I was leaving. He always stared at anyone departing the store until they were completely out of the store and out of view. After giving him the money and opening the door, one day I turned around and said, “Good bye, Mr. Hayes.” As I did so, I threw a punch. He just looked at me in bewilderment, as if I had disappeared into thin air right before his eyes.

I tried my best to talk Nick into throwing a punch at old man Hayes, but he was too afraid. He said, “If I throw a punch at him, he'll probably hit me with a baseball bat.” I jumped all over that, saying, We went to the Hayes grocery store nearly every week day night during basketball season.

Butch Marhefka, Class of '61 <HeyButchO@aol.com>


Posted March 15, 2006

When I was between the ages of 12 to 14, My parents, Nell & Ray Burkett bowled at Marino's bowling alley directly across the street from Ferrie's restaurant on 9th St.

Glassport was absolutly the best place for a kid to grow up in in the 50's & 60's. It was also the roughest town in the Pittsburgh area during the 60's. There was The American Legion Danceland every Friday night. Dick Smith was the Disc-jockey from WMCK, McKeesport and had the latest hits for us kids to dance to. Dick was really great with us and became a role-model and special friend to me. He was the reason I got into radio myself & I was a DJ for over 20 yrs.

Kids from all over the Pittsburgh area came to get in for $.50 and a stamp on the wrist. The dance was from 8:00pm to 11:30pm. It was the ONLY thing going on Fri. night for kids in all of Pittsburgh. So, you can imagine the animosity that ensued when the girls were there in mini-skirts from out of town and the boys from everywhere with their hormones in overdrive. Not to mention the rivalries in sports. I can't count how many fights broke out. But Glassport NEVER got beat. We ended up chasing those suckers out of town And kept the girls. lol

Chuck Burkett <chuckeyb52@yahoo.com>


Posted February 21, 2006

I have lived in Glassport all my life, and I must say it has really changed alot over the years. I always liked when we would have the Feast of The Assumption Celebration. When I was little, my two sisters, and my mom and dad would always sit in Third Ward School Yard to watch the fireworks. It was great because half of our neighbor-hood would be there watching them too. It was better than going into the stadium to see them.

Now that I am older, we started our own tradition of celebrating. For about the last 15 years we have a big party at our house. Since my husband and I live close to the stadium, everyone comes to our house to watch the fireworks. We have alot of fun. Everyone brings food to eat, and their own chair to sit on. We really have a good time, all the kids just sit in the grass on blankets, even our dog likes to watch them with everyone. We have done this for so long, that everyone plans on being at our house for the fireworks. Each year the party grows bigger, but we don't care, as long as everyone has a good time that's all that matters.

Beth Cadman (m.cadman@comcast.net)


Posted December 25, 2005

My memories of the Christmas Holidays in Glassport are many. I especially remember the Christmas Midnight mass at St. Cecelia Church during the period from 1948-53, when I was a student at St. Cecelia's grade school.

In the early years, when I was in fourth and fifth grade, I was part of a boys singing group, who would start off the service with the singing of silent night in our high pitched voices of kids of that age. In the fourth grade, we had Sister M. Hubert and in the fifth grade we had Sister M. Vivian. There were endless hours of practicing, because we sang this carol without any musical accompanyment. We were all given the advice to rinse our mouth and gargle with lemon juice mixed with water at home before we left for the service.

The walk from my home at second street to the church at eighth street along Ohio avenue was always memorable. It was cold and all the houses were decorated in Christmas lights. Once in the school, we assembled in our grades and then marched in order up the back stairs into the open room behind the altar. It was here that we were put into choir formation and once the signal was given we would sing two verses of Silent Night.

When we were finished, the girls choir, which was located in the loft above the end of the church, began singing a carol called "Celestial Harps", which started out as.. "Celestial harps ring through the night...". I know that this carol opened the midnight mass celebration for many years at St. Cecelia's Church, well into the eary seventies. Later it was recorded on tape by someone in the Martino family, but since has been lost as far as I know. I have never been able to find this song anywhere. If anyone knows anything about it, please let me know.

After the singing of Silent Night, I don't remember what happened to our group. We either went home and attended the children's mass the next day, or were allowed to stay for the midnight mass.

In the last two years, seventh and eighth grades, I was an altarboy and many of us served midnight mass. The church was always decorated to its finest, with the smell of pine everywhere. Our altarboy oufits were cleaned beforhand and we all were required to take a bath. The service was solemn and the church was packed with people, with many standing on the steps outside. All of the candles were lit, and since it was always a solemn high mass, the smell of incense pervaded the air throughout the church.

If anyone else has Christmas or Hanukah memories of Glassport, I'll put them on the web page during the holiday season. Please send them via e-mail.

Richard Uher uricharda@comcast.net

Facebook 1/13/2013


My Memory Of Trick Or Treat !

Posted October 30, 2005

Let me say first of all , since I have come to understand what the meaning of the Halloween event started by the DRUIDS celebrates, I don’t feel comfortable anymore.

BUT > I do have some very pleasant MEMORIES of the one home I fondly remember at this time of the year.

I was born in Glassport on Delaware Ave. on October 21st, 1938, and when I got old enough to go out with several of the neighbors and my Brother ( Brr udg ee I couldn’t say brother) we tried to remember the homes that gave out the BEST TREAT.

As we went around to many streets, I’m sure we enjoyed every treat we collected from Ohio Ave ( we had to go to a little store Contros ( sp ) on the corner of 8th street and Ohio to Delaware Ave.) There were homemade Popcorn bags , Apples , Cookies and the most desired of all CANDY.

I don’t remember what the home I best remember gave out but this home was special.

The folk that still live there looked at your costume asked your name and made a fuss over that special few minutes.

I tell my Children and my Grandchildren about my memories just about every year.

As you look at the home on the outside you may say , whaa , but I say AHHH

and smile real big inside !!

I may even drop by this Oct. 31st to thank the family at the Mr. Bill Kiraly home for a happy memory even after all these years.

Thank You to the >> Bill Kiraly family.

Dorothy Biega Henderson rich@libcom.com


GLASSPORT TRIVIA QUIZ III

Posted July 15, 2005

1. Name 5 streets in Glassport with State Names. Indiana, Ohio, Vermont, Delaware, Michigan, Iowa, etc.

2. What was the month and year of the tornado? August 3, 1963

3. Peach Way, Fern Way and Hemlock Way all have what in common? They are alleys.

4. Glassport's only optometrist. Dr. Feinman

5. The owners of Glassport's two shoe repair stores. Larry Manno and Philip Economos

6. The owner of Raden's Department Store. Stanley Podkul

7. Glassport's only chiropractor Julius Slafka

8. Nickname of heavily dressed vagrant who walked daily between Glassport and McKeesport. Mr. Coats

9. Name of the walkway that divided the shallow water from the deep water at Glassport Swimming Pool. The Catwalk

10. Tony Piotrowski's nickname PIO or Skippy

11. Mike Kurka's nickname. Iron Mike

12. George Gorun's nickname. Gege

13. Long Standing Police chief. Clarence "Lemons" Urbanski

14. Long Standing Tax Collector. Joe Witkowski

15. The name of the bowling alley on the corner of 9th street. Jazz's

16. Famous pool hall on Indiana and 9th street. Hay's/Corky's

17. The reason for the Glassport fireworks in August. To celebrate the Feast of the Assumption

18. Name a restaurant frequented by coaches and teachers and also owned by a teacher. Traegesser's

19. Name of the Glass Company. U.S. Glass Company

20. Famous beer and pop distributor (2 letters) F & L

21. Name the 2 funeral homes in Glassport. Wojciechowski's and Finney's

22. Name of the bridge between Glassport and Dravosburg.W.D. Mansfield Bridge.

23. Number of the streetcar traveled between Glassport and McKeesport. 99, 98

24. A high in the sky favorite lover's parking place. The Dump

25. Who was the purple bird at GHS? Mr. Seibert

Submitted by Theresa L. Piekut.


Posted May 5, 2005

That picture of Courson hollow sure brought back memories.I remember back In the thirties when I was in grade school at St.Cecilia there was a family named Conley, there was 2 boys and 1 girl who also went to the same school. The boys were about the same age as me.and we became frends. I had a little 2 wheel bike I would ride down to visit them.We had a lot of fun playing in the creek flowing nearby,catching crabs and minnows.Those three never missed school even in the snow or rain.

There were no school buses back then,they walked to school.Back in the 50's I hunted small game on both sides of the hollow with my little beagle named Shorty.

One of the worst wrecks I have ever seen happened at that intersection with river road 4 people died.

Ted Govola former Glassporter teddy9bear@msn.com


Posted February 24, 2005

I was recently reading the website on glassport when I came across the story of Pres. Kennedy driving through glassport in 1962. It mentioned how the pres. stopped to talk to two people who had just been married. That day will always stand out in my mind because I was in glassport that day and also shook hands with the president. You see my grandmother and grandfather lived in glassport. their names - Joseph and Annabell Gribschaw. They lived on Ohio ave . the first house up going to the clairton bridge from the westinghouse on the right hand side at the stop sign. I lived in East Pittsburgh.

That morning my mother was going to take my brothers and myself to see the president in McKeesport but we couldn't get anywhere near there. I was 10 years old then. So my mother knew his motorcade was going to glassport, so she drove down river road over the clairton bridge and down to my grandmothers house. We waited on the sidewalk for the motor cade to come through. As it did pass my grandmother's, the president stopped the car got out and shook hands with myself, my mother and my gradmother kissed him on the cheek.He got back into the car and the motorcade continued.

It was a day I will never forget in my life. Even today I drive through glassport 2 or 3 times a week on may way to elizabeth, when I come up to the stop sign in front of my grandmothers old house I can still see myself standing on the sidwalk in front of the house greeting the president.

This was something I thought you might find interesting. My name is Angelo Bordogna frrom East Pittsburgh. If you care to e-mail me my address is abor98@verizon.net


Posted January 28, 2005

HALLOWEEN WAS A SPECIAL TIME IN GLASSPORT.

THE PARADE UP MONONGHELA AVENUE TO THE STADIUM. THE BRIGHT LIGHTS WERE TURNED ON IN THE STATIUM TO THE EXCITEMENT OF YOUNG EYES. PRIZES WERE GIVEN FOR CATEGORIES OF DRESS. THE BIG TREAT WAS THE CANDY STORE ON MONONGHELA AVENUE! FOR YEARS, THEY PUT FREE DELICIOUS HOMEMADE CANDY APPLES OUT ON TABLES IN FRONT OF THE STORE FOR US TO EAT AFTER THE BIG PARADE. THEY WERE THE MOST DELICIOUS APPLES! THE TOPPING WERE COVERED IN WONDERFUL THINGS LIKE CRUSHED NUTS, CARAMEL, COCONUT . THE PARADE WAS TERRIFIC WITH THE HIGH SCHOOL BAND AND FIRETRUCKS & YOUNG KIDS IN COSTUME MARCHING ALONG. BEING A KID, WE THOUGHT WE LOOKED REALLY FANTASTIC IN COSTUMES. IT WAS AN AWESOME EXPERIENCE FOR YOUNG KIDS!

SNOW & SLED RIDING IN GLASSPORT WAS TERRIFIC FOR KIDS. THE HILLS WERE SO FANTASTIC TO SLED DOWN. THE POLICE WOULD EVEN BLOCK OF STREET LIKE VERMONT AVENUE...A FAVORITE STREET TO SLED. REMEMBER THE HOMEMADE TOBOGGANS? THEY WERE AWESOME TO GET A FEW KIDS IN AND FLY DOWN THE HILLS. NO REAL FANCY BOOTS EITHER. OFTEN WE WRAPPED OUR FEET IN LOTS OF SOCKS AND NEWSPAPER INSIDE THE RUBBER BOOTS! WE STAYED OUT FOR HOURS. KIDS GOT A LOT OF EXERCISE IN THOSE DAYS. WE HAD TO WALK EVERYWHERE.

Donna Titus DLTMSTR@aol.com


Posted December 21, 2004

More on Nanny Goat Hill

I have many fond memories of NGH when I was a child playing with my buddies Herky Hall, Bob and Tim Lokash and the Skinney Phillips brothers.

The second coal mine mentioned in the NGH article was owned and operated by Orin Hall and family. The Hall family home is/was located below the mine and at the south end (at that time) of Fern Alley. The Hall family worked the mine and transported the coal with the family 10 ton truck. I believe the name of the family business was Orin Hall Trucking. My boyhood friend Glen "Herky" Hall presently lives in Port View, I'm sure that he can add a lot of interesting information to the article about the coal mine.

The NGH article assumes that the hill is now overgrown with trees and shrubs because the goat pasture is no longer in use. A part of the custom of growing up on Red Row in the late 40's was to set the hill on fire during the summer months because one of the fathers worked for the volunteer fire department and would get paid for putting out fires. The fires would be lit, the kids would scramble to safety and wait for the fire whistle to blow and the fire truck to arrive, it was a part of coming of age for the local boys. No homes or personal property was ever destroyed by the fires, and the action incouraged new growth on the hill. I assume that the practice of clearing the undergrowth by fire was started by the coal miners that worked the four operating mines on the hill around the turn of the 20th century.

To reach the mines from Red Row the miners would develop paths from Fern Alley through the brush to get up the hill to the mines, i.e. the need to clear the brush. The NGH article mentions the large oak tree on top of the hill. We Red Row kids named that tree "the Big Tree" as a locater for meeting on the hill. My sister Mary loved the Big Tree swing that the older boys made of Bull Ropes stolen from the tug boats, that pushed barges filled with iron ore and coal used in the steel mills, along the Monongahela River.

Richard Paoletti ram_engineer@yahoo.com


Posted September 30, 2004

GLASSPORT TRIVIA QUIZ II

1 Where was the previous location of the American Legion?

2 How many Taverns (Bars) and Clubs can you name and locate?

3 Played AAA Pacific Coast League baseball at Vancouver?

4 Who were “Champ” and “Lemons” and what title did they hold?

5 What year did the Glassport High School open at 3rd St. & Ohio Ave?

6 He played pro basketball in the NBA?

7 What was the hill called before the swimming pool was built?

8 Name and locate some men’s clothing stores?

9 Name two or more national chain grocery stores?

10 A Policemen, a Barber and a Boxer?

11 Who were the P.V.L. Bulldogs?

12 Where was the Southwest Steel located?

13 On what street was a two- room schoolhouse located with grades 1 thru 4?

14 Who was the owner – operator of the “Paper Store”?

15 Name some major buildings destroyed by fire?

16 Where is Riverview Street?

17 Name 4 High School football teams that called our stadium home?

18 He is known by more people than anyone else in the area?

19 The previous location of the US Post Office?

20 A well known Educator, WWI Veteran and Methodist Minister?

21 A large well known chocolate candy maker?

22 The year of the last GHS graduating class?

23 What and where was the Coffee Pot?

24 Glassport’s most famous streetcar of all?

25 What municipality was Glassport before 1902?

26 Name two semi-pro football teams?

27 Name some nicknames - “Younek”, “Mutchek”, “Hambone”, “Meatballs”, “Bimbo”?

Frank Tarli -- GHS52 ftarli@yahoo.com


Posted June 6, 2004

The class of 60 was the best because I graduated with some wonderful people. I remember the club house that we had under the garage at Babe's house. The club members as I remember them were Tom (jums) Pasinski, Babe Economos, Larry Galeza, Peck, Kelly, Wayne Holten, Slim Zaleski, Many other classmates frequented the club: Tim Spanbauer,Red Eye, Jerry Nestor, Dave Humanick, Jerry Paul, Dave Gassor, and many more that I can't remember. We played pinocle, drank beer, listened to music, watched T.V. and a lot more that I can't write about. I can remember after the Friday night foot ball games that we would send Babe's Grandfather to the Rendevous bar to buy us quart's of beer so we could play cards to all hours of the night. I especially remember when Dolores Delicia brought some Dago Red, Home Made Wine to the Club and I really tied one one. I was sick for a week. Also I remember when we played "Hookie one day" and the Police raided the club, and took us to school in the Police car. We all got "paddled" that day. We never really did anything bad, but we always had a good time.

Submitted by "Thomas 'Jums' Pasinski" <tompas@worldnet.att.net>


Posted May 27, 2004

I am originally from Glassport. My dad was a great football player for Glassport (ducky Melcarsky).I was raised in Glassport by my Grandmother along with dad have a brother Dennis Melcarsky ( who is blind).I remember walking the polish hill (6th street) and Clem’s store, especially when there was a meat delivery, in the summer when grandmother send me to Clems, our dog Skippy would go into the store and Clem would give him a bone ( he thought he died and went to heaven),today the health department would get involved. I remember the horse on the hill, and the bakery across from the Polish Club on 5th street. The smell of those donuts and they were delicious, I remember Grandma Melcarsky sending me and my cousins to Wentz Hardware for dark green paint ½ gallon. As we were walking up the hill by the bakery, I told my cousins I could throw the paint in the air and catch it. Well, you guess it, I missed it and the paint was on the sidewalk for years and years to come (at least 15).They still to this day would like me forget it and to make up a story to tell grandma what had happened. All I heard was swearing. Remembering the nuns at Holy Cross School, I remember thinking how hot they must have been in those habits, not allowed to wear pat and leather shores, and always going to church and had to have something on your head. I remember the best Kielbasi made by Mr..Trepinnoski who lived on Delaware. It was delicious, and Clem would sell it. I remember moving to White Oak, and my son at the time was one, and I was thinking, they don’t have sidewalks and I really missed the sidewalks. The people would invite you in for coffee and would not worry if the floor got washed etc.I remember the old timers and now I think they were angels and how hard they worked. I remember the one gentleman who always wore a suit and I would see him driving on Monongahela Ave in his old car which was probably an antique back in the 70s. I did not know who he was, but through he was such a good looking fellow for his age (60-70)., his car stood in my mind. The 5 & 10 store, I visit once in a while going to the donut shop and think of many people who have passed on. One thing for sure, I want to thank everyone who was so kind to my brother Dennis and me, memories are treasures.

Submitted by Diane Newhouse (Melcarsky) White Oak, Pa Diane.Newhouse@court.allegheny.pa.us

facebook 12/29/2012


Posted May 21, 2004

Enjoyed the picture this week of 5th. street. It brought back a lot of memories. Here are some memories that I have of 5th. Street.

1. The Police Station: When I was like 3 or 4 yrs. old I would walk in my sleep. (I lived at 510 Vermont Ave.) just 4 houses from 5th. St. Anyway, they tell me that one night I got up and walked down behind the police station, and fell asleep on the railroad tracks that ran just behind the station, that's where they found me, sleeping on the train tracks. Police station 2: Years later when I was 9 or 10. I was brought into the staytion by the police, I remember Officer Walter Klemet, I think his name was, was questioning me about some broken windows at the Holy Cross school. (which was right behind my house). They actually had me under bright lights, and tried their best to get me to confess. But I had seen to many James Cagney movies at the Glassport theater. They could not break me.

2. The sidewalk in front of the Presbyterian church. (what was the Presbyterian church). In the winter the kids would make a ice track down that side walk. When I was 9 or 10, I was sliding down the track, there were a lot of kids there, someone tripped me, and I awoke in the McKeesport hospital, I had myself a concussion I spent about 3 days in the hospital, and they sent me home, I guess I was okay.

3. Cypress alley to Erie ave. I believe that almost all the kids that walked to ghs. who lived above Ohio ave. would walk down cypress alley between 5th. & 6th. st. and cut down to Erie ave. for the last 2 blocks to ghs. From about 1946, when My uncle Bill Milligan was a sr. I would watch kids from my back yard facing cypress alley. They of course would return the same way at the end of the school day. (it seemed to me at the time that all the kids in Glassport walked [...]

Submitted by Babe Milligan milligan111138@msn.com


Posted March 26, 2004

A History of early Glassport as remembered by Nick Martino

I was born at 8th and Ohio, about two blocks from where we now live. The family lived there and that time was probably 15 or 20 years before children were born at the hospital. The date of my birth was August 23, 1917, five days before my mother's 18th birthday on August 28. My brother Ralph was also born in Glassport, I'm not sure exactly where, but I do remember that my brother Joe was born in Elizabeth. So that means that by April 1921, we lived in Elizabeth. I remember two places that we lived there in Elizabeth on two sides of my mother's family. First up on the main road, and then we moved to the other side of her. By 1923, October or November, we moved back to Glassport. Our youngest brother Anthony was born in Glassport on January 5, 1927.

Our mother was Ottenbrina Elizabeth Dippolito Martino, born August 28, 1899 in Yonkers, NY. Our dad was Louis born in Italy - the province of Abruzzi, the village of Chiavatella della Monde, which to me sounds like "of the mountain". He came through Ellis Island in 1911, which history says had the greatest number of people migrating through there to the U.S. They were married on January 24, 1916.

On October 12, 1927 the local Sons of Italy lodge held a Columbus Day Celebration. The parade featured a float, a replica of Columbus' Santa Maria ship, but it didn't have any sails on it. The wires crossing the street from the Electricity poles were too low to the ground. They hired the East Liberty Band to play the parade and concert. The director was Professor Alfredo Sturchio. The local members of the SOI Lodge, not too long removed from Italy, enjoyed the Italian music and decided to start the local Sons of Italy band. That would have been in the winter of 1927-28. They hired Professor Sturchio, who must have done a good job, because the following spring, for a Memorial Day celebration, we played a local parade, and later that summer, we traveled to Grindstone for an Italian Day celebration. At that time, we lived in the 800 block of Monongahela Avenue, which was a solid Italian neighborhood. In fact, I think at least ten musicians came from those families on the block.

The gang from our block goes like this: first, John D'Angelo who played E flat clarinet; his younger brother Anthony "Chuck" D'Angelo who played alto horn and later graduated to tuba; Frank Morinelli, who played alto horn; Julius "Scamp" Campano who played clarinet; Frank Ferri who played E flat soprano sax; Pete Tatalaro who played clarinet; then across the street, the Martino boys, the three of us. Later on Fiore DeJulius moved in next door to us and he played alto horn. Also, the first Guy Borelli who played tenor sax, I believe, then up the block and across the alley was Nutsy Sinatra, who played clarinet. So that was a good part of the band right there in our block.

The Prohibition era and the Great Depression

One story is that as kids, we often heard of a raid in the alley, and we would run to the location and watch as the Feds emptied aluminum five gallon cans into the gutters in the alleys. We always believed that some may have been moonshine and some may have been water, we didn't know. But that was one form of our entertainment, rushing to see a raid.

One day Ralph and I were on the sidewalk playing about a block away, when we heard a shot and I remember looking up and seeing a man jumping off a running board. He had shot another man who died and they were both people who we knew. It turned out that we suspected they were both involved in bootlegging or something and probably had a disagreement. One died and the other went on trial, but it was declared self-defense. So as far as I know that was the end of it.

I have been asked how did the Depression affect our family and it did, quite a bit, of course. I was 12 years old in 1929, Ralph was 10 and Joe 8. Tony was only about 2 and I don't know if he would remember it. But it did affect us. I understand that my dad had worked at Clairton mill for awhile, but then I think he had some problems due to his party registration. I think he was fired from there and he worked for a while with the WPA (Work Progress Administration) on the Glassport-Elizabeth Road. When he worked at Clairton mill, he had to walk to Bellebridge and across that bridge. We were fortunate in a way, because my dad had a job during most of the Depression. He was on the Glassport police force from 1931 until he quit in January of 1937, so it was at least 5 ½ years that he was cop. He quit in 1937 to go to work in the Copperweld. At the time my dad started, being on the police force was not civil service, it was an appointed job. And he was appointed by the Glassport Burgess and the Council, both of whom were Republican. My dad was registered Republican and he was first under Dominic George as police chief.

During my dad's time on the police force, he was supposed to become a motorcycle cop. I'm not sure how much training he had or what, but evidently he drove from the police station on 5th Street up to 8th Street where he lost control and crashed into a pillar at the doorway of Tomedolsky's bar. That is the bar that is across from Dairy Delight - it has had a dozen name changes, I'm sure. I guess he ruined the motorcycle, ruined the pillar and that was the end of his career as a motorcycle cop.

As far as the police, they didn't always get paid on time. Most of the people not working or working very well didn't always pay taxes, so the Borough didn't always have the money to pay. But my dad was often paid in script, which was OK, because we could take that script and go to the butcher shop or grocery store and buy some meat and other food- it was just like money. I imagine there was a central bank place where it was all redeemed so that it must have had some monetary value.

Play Ball !!!

Baseball was big in Glassport during the Depression. The Griffin Oilers were one of the top Semi-Pro teams an this part of the state. One player, Jack Snyder, had made it to the majors, catching for the Boston Braves for a period of time. Several players had been to the Minors. There was a great rivalry with the Tube City Brewers from McKeesport.

Most important were visits each summer by both the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords to play the Oilers. I believe the Oilers beat the Crawfords once. The ball park at that time, before the current High School football stadium was built, was plenty big enough to hold those legendary batters. Probably 400 feet down both lines. The crowds would be tremendous, upwards of 2,000 people lined all the way around the fences. It was a treat to see such legends as Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige and Oscar Charleston playing ball in their prime.

Submitted by John Martino jcmnk@ps-c.com


Posted February 4, 2004

GLASSPORT TRIVIA QUIZ

The following is a trivia quiz. Who knows the answers?

1 The location of the Coke Works? ___________________________

2 Nine consecutive GHS section championships were won in this sport? ___________

3 Location of the P&LE RR roundhouse? __________________________

4 Name a Glassport newspaper? ________________________

5 Name four NCAA All-American football players? _________________________

6 Name three Congressmen? _________, __________, ______________

7 A large Bakery & Ice Cream manufacturing complex? __________________

8 Name some Medical Doctors of the past? _____________, __________________

9 Name the last Dairy and location? __________________________

10 Locate the permanent traffic controller? _________________

11 What were the Garrick and Star? __________________________________

12 Locate the previous homes of the two Fire Companies? __________________

13 An aircraft signaling station? _____________________

14 The name and the locations of three Pharmacies? ______________

15 A Canadian Football League all pro player? _______________________

16 He coached the NFL L.A. Rams, Green Bay Packers and The Detroit Lions? ____

17 Name and locate four hardware stores? ______________________

18 A ladies and children’s wearing apparel shop? ____________

19 A Bicycle parts and repair shop? ____________________

20 Captured many enemy troops in World War II? _______________

21 Name and locate ten gas station? ________________________________

22 A Pittsburgh Steelers football player? _______________________________

23 Where was the “Bucket of Blood” located? ___________________________

24 Where is “Red Row?” ______________________________

25 How many food markets can you name? ____________________________

26 The name and location of the areas most popular skating rink? _____________

Frank Tarli (GHS 52) - Glassport Senior Citizens Assn. - “Memories forever.”

Facebook 11/23/2012


Posted January 18, 2004

Here is a list of some of the memories that I have from Glassport....some are repeated.....

There are many more....these are the few that I was able to pull from my memory stores, for now.

Submitted by Kim Yuhas fullflow@adelphia.net


Posted January 18, 2004

The Paoletti family has lived in Glassport since the 1920's. Presently my brothers Vince and Bob still live on Red Row, Ernie lives in Bell Vernon and spends 1/2 of the year in Florida with his wife Phyllis; I live in LA.

As you may know, the Paoletti family and the Larcinese/Quintana families were very close throughout the 20th century. Theresa and Tony Quintana were godparents to my brother Ernie. Billy Quintana and Ernie were best of friends. Tony and Cindon Larcinese (Theresa's brother) and the rest of our piasane helped hand dig, with pick, shovel and wheel barrow, the cellar at our home at 25 Erie Ave. There were many occasions when the piasane would pool their resources and share in the slaughter of a pig, goat or calf that was butchered in that cellar.

The Paoletti's purchased all of our Italian food products from the Larcinese grocery store. My job was to go to your G. Grandfathers store and buy a case of tomato paste and cheese when our supply ran out. We had credit at the store, but all of the piasane grew most of what each family needed to live on in their home garden. Life was a lot tougher to make ends meet than it is today; however, the piasane lived a very happy and simple life style. Your G. Grandfather was always sitting in his chair when I entered his store, he would serve me. Your G Grandmother was always in the back preparing something or another. My dad must have already spoken to him because he always knew what I needed.

Every 2 years we would brew 2 (50 gallon) barrels of Dago Red and a crock of wine vinegar for our dinner salad in our basement. Salad in those days consisted of dandelion that was picked from the side of the hill or salad from our Victory garden. Most of the wine that my dad made was given as present to piasane and neighbors on holidays and special occasions.

Cindon Larcinese helped build the second Paoletti house at 26 Erie St where brother Bob and family live today. There were many occasions when our families would spend the evening together---men playing cards and drinking Dago Red and women discussing woman talk. Each of the piasani would bring a bottle of their best home made wine, during the card game each would go through the ritual of comparing his wines clarity and purity with the rest of the wine on the table. The men would all laugh and joke and say something "dirty" which got the attention of the women, who would also laugh and go along with the joke! This was before television was invented so us kids would huddle around the radio listening to the "Green Hornet, The Shadow" and numerous other radio programs of the day.

Marlene Quintana visited our home many times as we were growing up, my dad was always negotiating with Tony Quintana for the hand of Marlene for me when we children grew up.

I could go on for hours on this discussion, but I'll close for now. I suggest that you visit my brother Bob on Red Row and ask to see my dads picture album; you may find many pictures of interest to you. When my parents divorced, my mother burned most of the family pictures that related to my dad and our piasani.

Keep in Touch

Richard Paoletti

Submitted by Richard Paoletti ram_engineer@yahoo.com in reposnse to an inquiry by Matthew W Larcinese <gessopalena@comcast.net> who wrote:

I enjoyed your submission to the Glassport web-site. I am on a research mission to find as much information as I can about my Great Grandfather (Francesco) and his store Larcinese Grocery. He raised his family Egilda, Anna, Theresa (Quintana) Joesphine (Conlon) Mario, Dominic, Albert(my Grandfather) above the store. I am looking for any stories or photos etc.. of that time to add to my research. Any information stories or otherwise is appreciated. Thank you-

Warm Regards- Matthew Larcinese


Posted November 6, 2003

I'll never forget those days of slidding down Annie-Goat Hill on cardboard, swimming at the Pool, playing baseball at the ninth street field and looking for a basketball game at either 2nd or 3rd Ward School playgrounds. It was a great time and place to live where you could walk down the street and know something about who lived in almost every house and before you put a foot in your home, your Mom knew where you where and what you did. ( I want to apologize for us rolling the car tire down the hill, we thought it would have stopped long before it bounced on the road and landed on someone's noisie aluminium awning. We climbed the hill fast that day thanks to the yelling and pointing fingers from the folks below. How my Mom didn't know- still amaizes me.)

Ken Michaels - ken32950@yahoo. com


Posted August 22, 2003

Some more Glassport nicknames from the 1960’s.Spits,Deets,Governor,Frenchy,Bonzai Charlie,Upstreet Pete and Matty.

Submitted by John Evans <jevans@dli.state.pa.us>

Posted on Facebook Site 5/25/2012


Posted June 29, 2003

I remember a Dr. Richards who practiced for years in Glassport. His office was on 5th & Ohio when I knew him. Dr. Francis Conlon was under the store at the corner of 5th & Monon. Ave. Dr. Damich was the dentist, as well as Dr. Feick . Dr. Damich had offices above somewhere on Monon. Ave. about 6th to 7th St. He was a 2nd floor dentist. Dr. Feick had his office above what was called then The Bank of Glassport, and it had two floors. It was owned by the Kearneys. There was another dentist, Dr Schaner who was located on the second floor of a building next to where the post office used to be. The post office used to be the 3rd building on the right side of Monon. Ave. driving from McKeesport. It was there for many years.

There was an Irish church (St. Cecilia's) and a Polish church (Holy Cross). The Polish church was at the top of 7th st. and the convent was at the corner of 7th & Indiana Ave. There was some rivalry between the churches. I myself went to St. Nicholas in Mckeesport. It was a Roman Catholic, Byzantine Rite church. Since I was born in McKeesport, and my family went to that church, (and there wasn't any Byzantine church in Glassport) we just kept going there, but with my girl-friends went to St.Cecilia's. We (my family and I ) moved to Glassport in 1934 on my 8th birthday. I went to 2nd Ward School, then to Glassport Jr.-Sr. High, and graduated from there. My husband was born in Glassport, lived on Indiana Ave. between 8th & 9th St., and then at 614 Eighth st. Both his parents and mine "lost" their homes during the depression. We are an entirely different breed of people having gone through the depression, plus all of the technological changes that have come to be.

My husband worked his first job at the Glass House. I think every young man over 16 worked there at one time. He received 40 cents per hour. He said there were three cars on the block when he grew up. One was owned by Harry Alpern (who owned a grocery store),the Goretsky's, and his own folks. There were grocery stores (some very small) on just about every block.-such as Papernick's, Tyskiewicz's, Orlandos Fruit Market, Katz's grocery, 2 A & P's, a Clover Farm, a Purity Dairy on 7th near Monon. Ave where you could get a gallon of buttermilk for a quarter, but you had to bring your own container. We had one 5 & 10, as well as the Star Theatre. I worked at the 5 & 10 (owned by G. Seach & Sons) and made 20cents an hour, also at Miller's Drug Store (between 5th & 6th on Monon. Ave.) where I made 20 cents an hour too. When I graduated, Mrs. Truxell sent me to an interview at Tube City Iron & Metal Co. as they had asked for a secretary. I got the job, and was paid 40 cents per hour - not bad I thought. I stayed with Tube City until I had my second daughter (l952). I worked part time for awhile, but when daughter #3 came along, I was done for good. They are still in Glassport.

Well, Glassport has changed much. After all, it was a long time ago when my husband and I grew up there. We knew everyone and where they lived. The post office moved, most of the people moved. There are a lot of people there that I don't know. The ones that didn't move, died. Fran still has one brother living in Glassport -on 8th St. his name is Gerald. I am the daughter of George Zeleznik and Sophia Petros. It's another whole story, re my parents, etc. Anyhow, my little sister was killed by a gasoline truck in l940. She was coming home from school (In 2nd grade) and I feel certain that she ran in front of the truck. We never pursued any claim against the driver, tho I remember his name until this day. I did have four brothers and two sisters. Now I have two brothers. Richard (who was a judge in the court of common pleas- now retired) and Kenneth (a retired electrical engineer). Dorothy, and Lillian are gone, as well as Dennis and Robert, and of course, my parents. Francis, my husband, has lost his parents plus a brother "Buddy" - real name James Raymond. Fran never went to a public school anywhere. He went to St. Cecilia's and then St. Peter's. He rode the street-car (which we called them in those days). It was a No. 99. and they ran every 20 minutes. It cost 10cents to ride to McKeesport (which we did every Saturday night), or 3 tokens for 25 cents. And you could buy a pass too, but I don't remember the price.

I do believe remembering something about the original purchase of the Zeleznik property at 707 Indiana Avenue, and because my grandfather's name was Nicholas, and he was from somewhere in Europe , I think if you analyze the name of the original purchaser it comes out like someone who had a problem speaking English at that time, and therefore it would be Zeleznik, Nicholas....(Not that it makes any difference now).

Florence Zeleznik Wagner fwagner@libcom.com

Posted on facebook site 7/12/2012


Posted May 26, 2003

On Memorial Day, I remember Glassport. I think we called it Decoration Day back then; that was back in the 1930's. The only war casualties we knew of were those who died in the First World War. We lived in Otto and seldom got up near 5th or 6th Street except on Memorial Day, the 4th of July or Armistice Day ( I'm sorry, I mean Veteran' Day); on those days there was always a big parade. My Dad was usually in the parade, he played a bugle in several of the drum and bugle corps in the area, and he was a very active member of the American Legion in Glassport. His name was Fred Clague. He lived in Glassport almost all his life.

Getting back to the parades, they were the highlight of these holidays. There were always several drum and bugle corps, high school bands, junior drum and bugle corps, some floats, and always a very moving ceremony after the parade at the Honor Roll near where the old American Legion building used to be on Monongahela Ave. to honor those who died in WW I. Everyone in town turned out for these celebrations, and they all stayed after the parade for the ceremony to pay tribute to those who didn't make it back from the war.

I was born in Glassport in 1925 and lived there until I joined the Navy during WWII. I get back to Glassport once in a while. I always stop at the Honor Roll between 4th and 5th Street, both my Dad's name and mine are there along with the names of lots of old friends.

I'm looking forward to being back in the area in September this year, 2003. You see, there is going to be a Glassport High School Class Reunion, the class of 1943, our 60th. It's been fun remembering Memorial Day and Glassport, it was a great community to grow up in.

George W. Clague, now living in Florida


Posted March 14, 2003

Method Evans and I used to spend a lot of time at the river near 3rd St. One winter I ventured out on the ice and the ice broke and I fell in. Got out and as we walked up the bank to the tunnel under the P&LE tracks, my clothes froze solidly. Went back to the shore where a watchman had a fire going in a steel drum. Mecky went to my house and got dry clothes including a wool bathrobe for me. I changed clothes at the river and walked home in a bathrobe with great embarassment and fear of the punishment I was to get.

Merrill Snyder (GHS'36) magicmerrill@megahits.com


Posted February 21, 2003

Here's a strong warning from a Glassport man who knows from experience that walking and playing on river ice can be life-threatening, even fatal. George Michaels recalls that as a boy he and friends would play hockey or just romp on the ice near shore when the Monongahela River partially froze. "Mid-stream would be open because of moving tugs and barges but the ice would be solid a good piece out," Michaels said. "That made it a temptation to test it and play on it if it felt safe."

He recalled that one day in 1936 he and his friends walked on the ice after a pick-up hockey game, down to the Youghiogheny and came upon rescuers on the scene. "We were told that someone had fallen through the ice and that made us scurry back to Glassport, staying as close to shore as possible," Michaels said. He offers this tale, he wrote, because of the bitter cold we've had this winter and that if rivers and creeks freeze, children may think it's fun to walk on the ice.

So this is my advice to them: "Don't do it!"

Taken from Daily News Article Here and There by Don Dulac dated February 19, 2003

Posted on Facebook Site 7/12/2012


Submitted by Ida Long - February 6, 2003

Nanny Goat Hill was owned by Joseph DiGiacomo. It was purchased in 1935 or 36 from Abe Darling.

I grew up there at the end of Oregon Avenue. My grandfather owned goats. I remember it being called Nanny Goat Hill but never knew why other than our family owning the goats. My father Mario, knows every inch of the mines and hills. He also told me that a skeleton was found in a mine where one of the miners had died. My Grandfather also mined coal for himself and had a mine and coal car accessed from inside the cellar into the hill.

I have great memories of growing up there. We never locked our home or worried about anyone bothering us. The DiGiacomo family still owns the hill and lives there.

Ida Long lanmar@bedford.net


Submitted by Dr. Carl L. Vollmer (GHS'35) January 4, 2003

My big memory. Miss Broder was my 6th grade teacher in 1928 at the 2ond ward school. I can still hear her pleading words, "to stay in school and be a member of the first class to attend and graduate from our new Glassport Jr. - Sr. High School. I was one of approximately 95 students that graduated from G. H. S. in 1935. Since then, following WWII, I earned three (3) college degrees from the University of Southern California, thanks to the G. I. Education Bill! At this stage of my life (86) it seems unbelievable, especially since my parents or three (3) older brothers never attended high school.


Submitted by Richard R. Paoletti August 4, 2002 ram_engineer@yahoo.com

I remember Glassport in the 1940's; I have many fond memories of the 1st Ward School in Otto and of Erie Avenue, (a.k.a. "Red Row"), where I grew-up. Miss Christie Hudson was the 1st and 2nd grade teacher in the two-room schoolhouse and Miss McGovern taught 3rd and 4th grade. Can you imagine any teacher today teaching two classes simultaneously and not filing a discriminatory lawsuit? I can imagine that most Glassporter's today aren't aware that Erie Ave between Harrison St in Otto and 2nd Street was called "Red Row" for many years. The following story is true and is the basis of the name Red Row (pre Erie Ave.). This story and other similar conditions throughout the eastern U.S. is what precipitated the song "16 Ton's" by Tennessee Ernie Ford------ for you that are old enough to remember the song):

I was born on Iowa St. in Glassport in 1935 and by this time, the homes on Erie Ave. were no longer red. The following story was told to me as a child: The hill behind Erie Ave. had 4 working coalmines. A mining company built the homes and rented them to the miners and their families. Each house was partitioned as a fourplex that housed four miner families. The name Red Row was derived from the red color the company chose to paint the row of houses on Erie Ave. One of the houses also doubled as a Company Store and an infirmary. The miners rent, groceries and medical expenses were deducted from wages earned in the mines and if any balance remained, were paid in Company Script instead of U.S. dollars. This essentially made the miners captive to the coal company. Eventually the mines were no longer productive and the coal companies sold the properties to individuals. The name Red Row remains a part of the 1930's generation dialog, (those that are still with us). In 1935, my father (George Paoletti) built a home on a vacant piece of property on Erie Avenue that he bought for $25. The lumber used for the home came from the Lyle Blvd redevelopment Project in McKeesport. Buildings were torn down to widen the boulevard from the 10th Ward district to the Duquesne Bridge. The recycled lumber cost $50.00 and were sufficient to complete the existing two-bedroom home at 25 Erie Ave. The Paoletti family remained in that home (periodically) until the new home at 26 Erie Ave was completed in 1950. Although I left Glassport in 1950 and return periodically to visit family members, I still refer to Glassport as my hometown. Glassporter's are welcome to visit me at my home in southern California when they are in the area.


Submitted by MARIE (MARY) DICHIERA CAMPITELLE July 4, 2002 ( grammy-c@msn.com)

IT IS SO WONDERFUL TO BEING CONNECTED VIA E-MAIL TO OUR LITTLE TOWN OF GLASSPORT. I WAS THE FIRST BORN THE SAME YEAR MY DAD (PIETRO DICHIERA) BROUGHT MOM (ROSE MARY), MY BROTHER FRANK AND MY SISTER THERESA FROM ITALY IN 1924. DAD HAD THIS STORE FRONT HOME AT 339 MONONGAHELA AVE. AND WE RESIDED IN THE UPPER PART. JUST BEFORE THAT DAD HAD A LITTLE STORE SELLING ITALIAN FOOD FROM THERE. HE WENT ON TO WORK FOR THE FOUNDRY SO HE COULD MAKE A BETTER LIVING. THEN IN 1926 MY BRO. JOSEPH WAS BORN AND IN 1927 MY BRO. PETER. DURING THOSE 2 YEARS DAD BECAME ILL (FROM THE SANDBLAST AT THE FOUNDRY) AND THE DAY AFTER MY BRO. PETER WAS BORN HE PASSED ON. HERE MOM WAS - FRESH FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY, NOT KNOWING THE LANGUAGE AND LEFT WITH FIVE CHILDREN (PETER JUST ONE DAY OLD). WHAT A STRUGGLE SHE HAD RAISING ALL OF US WITH ALMOST NO RESOURCES AT ALL. BEING THE HONEST PERSON THAT SHE WAS AND THE HARD WORKER WITHIN HERSELF SHE MANAGED BY TAKING IN LAUNDRY, CLEANING OTHER PEOPLE'S HOMES AND GROWING GARDENS ON ANY PLOT OF GROUND SOMEONE OFFERED HER - SHE RAISED HER FAMILY AND SHE PAID HER BILLS. IN THE FALL SHE WOULD CAN EVERYTHING SHE GREW AND IT FED US THROUGHOUT THE WINTER. SHE WAS ALSO A VERY CHARITABLE PERSON AND SHARED SOME WITH OTHERS. I ALWAYS SAID, "WE MAY HAVE BEEN POOR BUT WE WERE KEPT CLEAN AND NEVER WENT TO BED HUNGRY AS WE LEARNED HER STYLE OF LIFE." I FEEL I AM A BETTER PERSON TODAY BECAUSE OF THE THINGS I WAS TAUGHT. THANK YOU MOM! AS CHILDREN WE ALL HAD JOBS TO DO AND WHAT WE EARNED WE WOULD BRING HOME . THIS IS WHAT LIFE WAS ALL ABOUT AND STILL IS IF WE WOULD ONLY PUT IT TO GOOD USE. I ATTENDED THE 2nd WARD SCHOOL AND THEN ON TO GLASSPORT JR.SR. HIGH SCHOOL FROM WHERE I GRADUATED IN "1943". I CAN STILL NAME ALL MY ELEMENTRY AND HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS. IT SEEMS S-O-O-O LONG AGO. I CAN SAY I REALLY HAD TO STUDY HARD BECAUSE I HAD NOBODY TO HELP ME AND FURTHERMORE I WORKED AFTER SCHOOL AT THE GLASSHOUSE UNTIL 10:00 PM AND ON TO THE WEE HOURS OF THE MORNING WITH MY BOOKS. I HAD THE DETERMINATION TO STAY ON THE HONOR ROLL AND ENDED UP GRADUATING 12th OUT OF MY CLASS. THANK YOU GOD!! HE SURELY SAW ME THROUGH THE TUFF THINGS IN MY LIFE AND STILL DOES. WE WERE RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF WORLD WAR 11 AND OUR CLASS - THE CLASS OF 1943 - WAS THE ONE AND ONLY CLASS THAT DID NOT HAVE A PROM. MR. R. HIKES TOLD THE CLASS THAT WE WERE LIVING IN SERIOUS TIMES . SO THE PROM WAS OUT BUT HE DID LET US HAVE A SENIOR DANCE INSTEAD. THANK YOU ROY - BUT IT WAS NOT THE SAME. MY BROTHER FRANK ALSO HAD A SMALL CONFECTIONARY STORE AT THE 339 MON. ADDRESS. THEN HE WENT INTO PLUMBLING AND HE HAD A SMALL HARDWARE AND PLUMBING SHOP THERE AT THE SAME ADDRESS UNTIL HE SOLD THE PROPERTY AND MOVED DOWN THE STREET AT 5O8 MONONGAHELA NEXT TO THE OLD POST OFFICE (WHEN STAMPS WERE ONLY 3 CENTS.) HE WAS THERE UNTIL HE PASSED ON IN 1970. IT WAS CALLED, "DICHIERA BROTHERS" AND IT HAD A DRIPPING WATER SIGN DISPLAY. MY BROTHER PETER ALSO WORKED WITH HIM. IT WAS AN END OF AN ERA AS WE ALL MOVED IN OTHER DIRECTIONS AFTER THE WAR BUT GLASSPORT WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED AND SO DEAR TO MY HEART.

Facebook 9/20/2012


Submitted by Eric Buczynski March 17, 2002 (emax4@yahoo.com)

I live in Glassport now and have so for about five years. I was born and raised in McKeesport but spent many weeks during the summer over at my grandparent's house in Glassport. They were the ones who would take me to the Glassport Depot and got me hooked on scratch-off tickets. Whenever my pap would take me to the ballpark, it wouldn't be long before I would play on the swings or the merry-go-round. When we would go home, I would always walk on the left, and that way I would pull him over to the left so we would "just happen" to go by the ice cream stand.

I recall going to Pater's Pharmacy with my grandparent's and heading straight for the toy section. The only other toys I knew of in Glassport were the ones on the rack in Fuzzy's and Geary Distributing. I always have hated the fire whistle, and even when I moved here it still gave me the willies. Sometimes in the afternoon I would go to the pizza shop by the florists and use my allowance to play video and pinball games. I also recall having a crush on the owner's daughter, who was older than I. I also liked walking down to Bud & Angie's bar with my aunt Jeannie (Marsico) to pick up pizza. When my grandparents were into making homemade candy, we would always get the molds from the candy supply store on 5th & Monongahela. Sometimes I'd sneak by to John's Hardware just to get a few pieces of chocolate licorice

In the morning I would go to the old school (before they turned them into apartments) and practice basketball. That's where an older kid taught me how to play "Two Bounce", the same place where I fell in love with a blonde girl who lived across the street, the same place where I learned to ride a bike. I recall seeing an old person sitting against the wall of the Glassport Depot. My pap, John Marsico, would say, "See that guy? He keeps all the alligators out of Glassport". Bewildered, I would say,, "...but there are no alligators in Glassport", and he would reply, "Then he's doing his job!". We would go to Open Pantry for odds 'n' ends, but we'd always go to UDF (now a used car lot) for the gallons of milk.

Sometimes I like to take walks in Glassport late at night just to see how much has changed. Nonetheless, it'll always be a part of me that I'll never forget.


Submitted by Jim Amber February 11, 2002 (jamber@firstcomonline.com)

Perhaps one of the most amazing and memorable qualities about growing up in Glassport was the sense of community and security that seemed to permeate the entire little town. As kids growing up in the 50's and 60's, Glassport represented simple values; simple pleasures and easily amused good times. Things were really black and white; shades of gray were not permitted- parents knew too much, people watched over kids in the "Port".

Predictability was a virtue in the town. Everyone knew what the Sons of Italy Parade and fireworks on the feast of the Assumption would be like- but it always thrilled the bystanders. All the Santa Claus visits to the Polish National Alliance were predictable but much awaited. Even simple recess at the local elementary schools held unending promise for massive doses of fun. A game of "buck/buck" consisting of leaping on the backs of another team until they crumbled could easily be traceable to your father's time on the playgrounds.

People seemed to walk around the Port for no apparent reason- they just liked to be out and about and commiserating with other Glassporters. Bicycle rides all down Ohio Avenue to "Otto" were relaxing and invigorating. The simple things gave Glassport its complex hold and attraction. The Dravosburg bridge glistening after a summer rain and pointing up to a rainbow inspired as if …. The Golden Gate Bridge- but only in the eyes of the Port native- and those sights and experiences do not easily take shape in words, memories or stories. Only in the minds eye upon driving into Glassport after a very, very long absence do the pictures of the past there start to materialize and take hold. And then we miss it more than ever.

Jim Amber


Submitted by Brian Cosgrove August 26, 2001 (bcosgrove74@yahoo.com)

Being 27 years old, my memories of Glassport are coming from a younger perspective than most here. I’ll also apologize in advance for spelling a few names and places wrong. As a child I remember waking up on summer days and my grandmother walking me down to either the Stadium Restaurant or Babi’s Restaurant for breakfast. She would meet with friends and let me walk to the paper store to buy my baseball cards and wrestling magazines. The thrill of riding my bike down Fuzzy’s hill. Playing stick ball outside of Lance Tacick’s father’s store on Indiana Avenue. We’d always lose the ball in one of the corner sewers and struggle to bring the ball back up to continue playing. Getting beat up by Tina Bernath because Ed Stetz and Aaron Mordecki bullied me into throwing her bike in the creek up by Delaware Avenue. Being put in the sleeper hold (and hey it really works!) by Chester Stone on the school bus.

My teenage years were especially memorable and not always for the right reasons. Attending my first beer party up Zep Rock on the pool path with Mike Kalkbrenner. My parents briefly owned Glassport News next to Uni Mart which was a fun time. I’d help them maintain the store and managed to swipe my share of heavy metal, wrestling and adult magazines which probably put them out of business. Late night walks to meet friends at Combo Mini-Mart, grabbing a chilli cheese and onion hot dog and walking up to the St. Cecilia’s steps to eat, hang out and smoke. Building a fire and partying down the river. Sitting alone down at the pier by the tennis courts when I needed thinking time. My first underage drinking citation at Roman Norwicki’s going away party up the ‘dump’ which was the closest thing my life will see to the party scene in the movie Dazed and Confused. There were just so many people and here came the undercover police. People scurried as I stood getting written up. Particularly funny was Brian Deliman running while carrying a keg of beer. The summer before senior year when me, Carl Inks, Steve Klacick and Greg Baker build a cabin in the woods up by the old 1st Ward school. This place was awesome! We had a concrete floor, window, skylight, living room furniture and electricity powered by a car battery. On a winter’s night you could see the place lit up from all the way down La Ramona. The good times I had working at Shop ‘n’ Save or playing pool at the Corner Pocket.

I still come back to town to visit my family and get my hair cut by Virgil and John at the barber shop. On a good day I’ll get to see Matty and Lance on the street. I’d like to see more businesses in town. For the longest time I wanted to buy the old Vasquez Building and put a small music, novelty store there or even a little relaxing coffee place but the town has to pick up before something like that can be done. I’ve always been jealous when I hear stories of how Glassport used to be such a great place with movie theatres, dance halls, skating rinks, etc. I wish there was an effort to bring that back to the community. Put together a huge flea market or farmer’s market. I must say, the Glassport Thrift Store is one of the nicest kept thrift shops I’ve ever seen but does anybody driving through town know that it’s there? There are so many unused properties along Monongahela Avenue. Give the people and kids some places to go and then maybe the younger people like myself will want to come back, buy a home and raise a family.


Submitted by Bill Somerville August 9, 2001 bsomerville@cardone.com

I remember well Darlings Market and the kindness of those folks especially when the steel mills were on strike and we needed groceries. They never once refused to carry us when we needed it the most. I worked at Darlings as a young man stocking shelves and I can still see in my minds eye old Mr. Darling cutting the meat and chewing on a cigar and Saul flirting with all the ladies which made their day for sure. I live in California now but will always remember Glassport because that was where I learned what really comes first in life, family and friends. Went to the Star Theater to watch Flash Gordon, Tarzan and The Lone Ranger serials that left you hanging on the edge until the next weeks installment. Going to Treggessers Restaurant and getting a big bag of fries couldn't be topped or stopping by the Purity Dairy for a popsicle or dreamsicle was cool. God only made one Glassport and I for one am proud to call myself a Glassporter. I lived at 632 and 1/2 Hemlock Way [or alley as we called it] from 1946 or 47 until Dec. 1953 along with may brother's David and Doug and my sister Kieren. My dad worked at the Copperweld and my mom, Gladys kept us all on line.

Posted on Facebook Site 4/16/2012


Submitted by Gus West June 30, 2001 gwest@butler.com

For the past eight years I have been returning every year to Glassport from California to visit my one hundred year old aunt, who was a patient at Southwestern Nursing Home. Unfortunately, Mary Barnes died on March,13,2001. During these visits I would always manage to look up a lot of old friends still living in,or around Glassport.

While we were laughing and re-living old times, the question of meeting celebrities here in California would always come up. My reply was that if you consider actors and actresses (I refuse to call them "stars") celebrities, yes, I have known several--most of whom I wish that I hadn't. My idea of celebrities , while I was a young boy growing up in Glassport, were people like Steve Orlando, Ray Hornfeck, Harvey Kill, Sammy Weiss, Phil Economos, and all of the volunteers through the years who manned our fire trucks. These were all real people who gave more to their community than they took from it. If you want a long list of celebrities,take a walk to The Glassport Memorial on Independence Day. Spend a little time there. Read every name. This is a list of real celebrities, especially the ones with a star next to their names.

Facebook 10/27/2012


Submitted by Jim Amber February 15, 2001 jamber@firstcomonline.com

How many of these brief images make you smile or remember and think of Glassport of the 50s and 60s?

Posted on Facebook Site 4/16/2012


Submitted by Don Gary October 3, 2000 dasg@yahoo.com

Just a Brief Memory

I was quite young when my parents moved from 825 Vermont Avenue but I can remember walking to Shorty's Store and buying candy and walking up to the pool and looking through the fence at everyone having the usual good time.

I can remember visiting my grandparents on Harrison St. and walking up the hollow to 'explore' for treasures that can be found only by the young. Usually on the same day as our visits, we would stop at the uncles gas station at the bottom of the hill or visit their bar at the other end of town.

When we moved, I could remember going back to St. Cecilia's with my brother and uncle to the boy scout meetings with Mr. Penny and even on a couple of occasions, Dad would get the company steak truck and take the troop to Camp Alaquippa for their camporees. Glassport does hold some childhood memories for me and I still enjoy listening to Uncle Frank spin his yarns of 'the good old days' in Copperweld when we do get the chance to get together.

Facebook 10/11/2012


Submitted by John Martino August 21, 2000 jcmnk@ps-c.com

Memories of a well-worn Front Porch

Like most other Glassporters of the '50s, 60s and 70s, I was born in McKeesport Hospital and raised in Glassport. It was a small town then; still is in a lot of ways. As part of the Baby-Boom generation, there were plenty of kids our age growing up at the same time. It seemed as if every block had ten or eleven families on it, and our block, the Six Hundred block of Vermont Avenue, was no exception. Talk about celebrating diversity! We had Italians, Germans and more Polish names than I ever knew existed; Anuskiewicz, Tyskiewicz, Dzurko, Szmyd, Zyra, Wesoloski, Wojciechowski; the list went on and on.

Our home was right in the middle of the block. We had a big wooden front porch and that porch slowly evolved into our version of Grand Central Station. There wasn't a pick-up football game or pinochle tournament that didn't evolve from plans made on that porch. And if nothing was going on that day, well, we just sat on the porch anyway, drinking 12-cent bottles of Pepsi, (only 10 cents if you drank it in the store, an extra 2 cents for take-out) and talking about nothing and everything.

And what a view we had from that big porch! When you're situated between Fuzzy's and Wojie's Funeral Home there's always something going on that required your immediate attention. Balls flew into neighbor's yards, never to be seen again. Tag football games that knocked a few mirrors off the car doors. So many other memories; · Christmas Eve nights at the Zyra's next door, listening to the cousins and Aunts and Uncles sing the most beautiful Polish Christmas carols that I had ever heard, all in perfect four-part harmony. · Forming a football "League", the VIPs, to play 2-man tag football between the telephone poles. · The summer we spent painting the house. It took all summer because my brother and I would paint for 2 hours and then leave to play tennis. · Borrowing a "For Sale" sign and planting it in the mean neighbor's yard, hoping they would get the hint and move out. · In keeping with the Glassport tradition, we had our own nicknames for the gang; "Moose", "Dose", "Geeno", "Sack", "Fee", "Neme", "A-to-Z", "Grib", "Major", "Bird", "Wes", "Chuck"(his name was Duane, that's what made "Chuck" a nickname). · Tracking the years going by with the advances in Car stereos; FM Converter; 8-track player; cassette deck; a cassette deck WITH an FM radio. · My parents tear down the old wooden porch and replace it with a brick one. The guys from the gang come to the house and want souvenir pieces of wood to remember it by.

Eventually everyone got older; notice that I didn't say they grew up, just got older. We all moved on with our lives. But those years spent on the front porch are memories that I will always have with me.

Posted on Facebook Site 8/15/2012


Submitted by Dave Deliman August 12, 2000 ZED506@webtv.net

MORE NICK NAMES

I WOULD LIKE TO INCLUDE SOME MORE GLASSPORT NICK NAMES IF I MAY.

PUTZER, ANTEK, SHMOE, WHITEY, LANK, LU-LU, TOMATOE, PEACHY, KIKE, FATS, BEANS, EDGE, OZ, MUTT, BUCKY, BUTCHER, GOOMPS, WILLOW, OGG, BIRD DOG, ROUNDMAN, PENCIL, WALLIO, CHOOKIE, T-BIRD, HOOKEYE, VADEK, GREEK, HEAD HEAD, BLACKIE, CORKY, BOOKIE, JOJO, YEZHAY, SPIKE, SEEMO, NUZZA, POOGIE, KOOB, NIPPER, CAVEMAN, PEENIE, TINK, PURP, TWIGGY, CHICO, MONK, PRUNE, DAYO, DUCKY, HOPPY, ROPES, TIPPY, BUGGO, GLENTO, KUKIE TOES AND CHOPS TO NAME A FEW.

DAVE DELIMAN

Posted on Facebook Site 5/25/2012


Posted 8/12/2000 with the permission of Ed Muztafago muztafago@juno.com

I never lived in Glassport (except after my Navy sting for about 3 weeks) but had a brother who did. (He still does live there.) Anyway... I spent more than a few night there as his house guest. I wonder if anybody recalls the old location of the Pump station that was at the top of 7th. street hill.....Then there was a very high stone wall that began where 7th. street met Maryland (I think that was the name of the street on the very top of the Hill?) Anyway.... I'd play with the locals back then---guys like "Dittles" Wiernicki--who--to ME---had about the easiest-going Father a kid could ever want! Mr. W. never seemed to get rattled. Often he'd spring for the cost of sending both his son and me to the local movie theater down on the main drag there. And once I recall Dittles and me falling asleep in the theater and waking up way past 11 PM (or so it seemed that late) Anyway we snuck into his house and crawled into bed---quiet so as NOT to wake anybody--but not too long after that , his Dad turned on the light and read us both the riot act for not being HOME when we said we'd be! The only time I saw him mad!

When I'd stay with my brother I'd sleep on a cot down in his cellar. No windows! But pretty neat none the less....like being on a camping trip! I remember several occasions when the Fire whistles would start blaring in the middle of the night! I did not know at first what that strange sound was---"Scairt Me!" could have been an AIR Raid!---I DO remember having THOSE type alarms even in OUR Pigeon Holler.. But not for FIRE......

But that was a strange thing I thought....Imagine! Volunteer firemen! and they called them all together with that shrill alarm....what was this world coming to? One night it seemed to go on and on and on! My brother told me there was some kind of meaning about the number of blasts and duration....to give a location. Forgot now.

Tom and I were discussing the Old Dump road too. Says he and his wife lived up near that way. I recall it? Anybody else? We'd walk up those hills and play on the slag heaps up there.....did they ONCE DO strip mining of Coal or something up there? Anybody know? I always thought that Dump was the most unique place--we had Nothing like it in our neck of the Holler of Boston....so a trip over to G'port usually had me wandering off from my brother's house to go check out what's happenin.....

Anybody also remember Glassport had an enforced Curfew? I do! Now THAT was a novelty also! But late in the evenings there would be a patrol car drive up that 7th Street hill and come looking for those Stay-outers....like Dittles and me....and a few other brave souls. actually--those kids were a bad influence. They introduced ME to a thing called "Carbide" that had the strangest properties....It looked like bits of whitish crushed rock---and smelly....but If you put a little bit of it into a tin can, like an old coffee can with a lid...and spit on it...and then capped it, and touched a match to a small hole drilled at the bottom of the can.....

WHAMMO! It's a wonder they didn't take off the toes! I'm sure they were very illegal for us kids to be playing with that junk--and I'm not even sure now where I got any of the actual carbide...somebody gave me a bunch....but I DID get hold of it and recall one night staying up very late and blowing off a few..... (Now HOW did I ever manage to find that LID again in the dark? Must have had super vision---kind of fading now....)

Maybe those cops were looking for ME....?? I'd hear 'em coming and skedattle up over that hill and up towards my brother's house....

Be interresting to hear similar stories from y'all....I'd sure you raised some heck too. But that was about the extent of ME menacing your nice city of Glassport......after ALL...My wife came from there and most of HER family....and I still consider it very much a PART of MY HOME NOW....good Old Glasssport ..... Thanks for the memories.....And Goodnight for now...

Posted on Facebook 7/18/2012


Submitted August 4, 2000 by Merrill J Snyder magicmerrill@juno.com

Sledding Down 3rd St. from Erie to Monongahela Avenue

In the early 30s before the house at the top of 3rd St. at the hill was built. We used to have a ice path down the hill above Erie. We would station lookouts at Ohio and Monongahela Avenue. Sledding down the slide, almost like a toboggan slide, and then getting airborne for the 8 to 10 foot drop onto 3rd Street. Then down 3rd and if the lookouts yelled that no cars were coming across Ohio, across Monongahela and then down the hill to the underpass under the RR tracks. Many a sled runners got broken if you did not make the "jump" onto 3rd Street smoothly. As far as ice sliding with shoes, we used to have great icy tracks on the sidewalk along 5th St. just above Erie and the 2nd Ward School.

Some of my contemporaries from the 3rd and Ohio Neighborhood who played together, were Method Evans, Kenny and Donny Null, Carl "Butts" Volmer, Walter Feick, Ernie Ruhland.

Poste on Facebook Site 9/6/2012


Posted 6/26/2000. Written by Mary Louise Martin Fey mgfey@alltel.net

(This story first appeared at the Glassport High School Site. For access or membership get in touch with Babe Milligan and the e-mail club)

Piekut's Grove

"Do you remember when old-time family picnics were held at Piekut's Grove (presently Washington Blvd.)?"

Wow! What a flood of memories came rushing out of my memory bank! I sure do remember those picnics.

The clearing that was cut up through the woods, to the Grove, was almost directly across Washington Blvd. from the garage in front of our house. The garage is long gone but the home, that my family lived in, is still there. I was about eight or nine years old, (1947- 48), when my mother would permit me to go to the Grove very early in the afternoon. Not many people would be there. Mostly they were older gentlemen; sometimes a few who were younger with one or two of their children. They'd be helping to set up for the crowd that would begin filtering in by mid-afternoon. Many of the people, perhaps most of them, would walk up Pacific Avenue to get there.

Should it have rained prior to the picnic, I wasn't permitted to attend even the early festivities. That clearing, through the woods, was nothing but - pure - slippery - mud! Mom was always afraid that I'd fall and get hurt, get muddy, or both. On those days that I had to stay at home - oh how sad I'd be. I can remember sitting on our front porch, (that's gone too), listening to the music filtering down through the trees. Sometimes there would even be a wonderful whiff of hot-dogs and sauerkraut. I'd vividly remember my previous visit to the dance floor, (at the Grove), and hope and pray that it wouldn't rain the following week. I'd listen to the music - it was much louder in the evening. I'd wonder if it was a real band playing or not. I never did find out. I'd dream of what fun I would have, one day, when I was older and permitted to stay until early evening. That's when I imagined that the fun really began.

Through the eyes of a child the dance floor was gigantic. It probably wasn't. As I remember, it was built of lumber and had railings around the outside. There was always polka music playing early in the day. Was it from a radio or a record player? I don't know. What I do remember is that a couple of the older gentlemen, who arrived early, always treated me as they would have treated their granddaughter. These men loved to polka and were anxious to teach me, a little Irish girl, how it was done! And teach me they did! Oh what fun!!

Unfortunately, for me, my family moved to Port Vue and I never returned to Piekut's Grove. I had to wait for over two years before I was to get on a dance floor again. As soon as I was old enough to go to school dances there was no keeping me away. The efforts of those wonderful Glassporters certainly weren't wasted on that little girl. I don't know that I ever knew any of their names. I've never had the opportunity to thank them for triggering my love affair with dancing.

Oh how different the times were then. Mom trusted that no harm would come to me at the Grove. That Grove, where they not only served scrumptious hot-dogs, piled high with mouth-watering sauerkraut, but where beer flowed on and on. She knew, because I told her, that I was being taught to polka by men that she didn't know, but this didn't frighten her. The people of Glassport were trustworthy.

At the end of the evening, when the Grove closed, many of those who were leaving for home, were really happy, some were feeling no pain. There were nights that their jubilance would awaken us from a sound sleep but never do I remember my parents being concerned for the safety of their family or their property.

Just like when I was a little kid, I still have questions. Only more of them.

Some of the things that I wonder ~

Were any of you there in the early afternoon? Might one of your relatives have helped to teach me to dance? Did you learn to dance there? Did anyone ever take any pictures at the Grove? If so, do you have any? Was that live music in the evening?

I know that a lot of people were there in the evening and I still wonder what it was really like.

Facebook 2/9/2013


Submitted June 26, 2000 by Bob Davis RDAVISJR@woh.rr.com

The Building at 200 North Monongahela Ave.(presently the La Romana Lounge)

During the 1950's, the building was shared by "Pete and Ginny's" and the "Otto Grocery" store, owned by Milo Trbojevic. The bar and lounge occupied the left side of the building, while "Milo's," as the grocery was affectionately referred to, occupied the right side. The Trbojevics lived in the second story apartment. I remember the building quite well. I worked for Milo between the ages of 14 and 15 as a "delivery boy." The position involved a variety of chores: delivering called-in grocery orders to residents of Otto; sweeping and saw-dusting the floor; stocking the shelves with canned goods;killing and dressing chickens; controlling the rat population in the outside garbage area; and answering the phone for BOTH grocery orders and the then illegal numbers game. For fifty-cents a day (along with tips from customers), it was quite an experience.


Submitted June 8, 2000 by Gus West gwest@butler.com

INDEPENDENCE DAY ---- GLASSPORT STYLE

Back when I was a kid,around 1949 or 1950, when the 4th of July meant more than a day off from work, the 7th Street gang was ready for action. Hudzy Nolder's brother, Snazz, usually came up with a great assortment of cherry bombs, 2 " salutes, repeating bombs, and Roman candles. Unfortunately, these were gone before the day was out, or at least until half the garbage cans and mail boxes in town were demolished. But, not to fear !!! Being the innovative geniuses that we were,we needed to look no further than the roundhouse for our next supply line of dynamite caps ( torpedoes ) and carbide. These materials were acquired either by " midnight requisition " or by "smoothing over " some un-suspecting soul on duty.

The dynamite caps were exactly that - a 2" X 2" square by ½" thick,paper wrapped bomb. They had a thin, ribbon shaped piece of lead, about 4" long, running through the thick paper cover. These torpedoes, as they were called on the railroad, were placed on the tracks with the ends of the lead ribbon wrapped around the track to hold it in place. These were used to alert the engineer to activity ahead. The number of torpedoes used meant different activities to be expected. When the engine ran over the torpedoes, they exploded like a small stick of dynamite.

The carbide compound that the railroad used looked like crushed, gray rock. This was used as a fuel to illuminate the lights in the switches at night. If you suspect trouble coming, you're right !!! For many days before july 4th, we would search the neighborhood for one and five gallon empty paint cans. Next,they had to be cleaned well to allow the lid to pop out.and then a small hole was punched in the bottom of the can. The next step was to dump in a few ounces of the carbide, place a finger over the hole in the bottom, pour in a few ounces of water, place the lid on tightly. With the finger still covering the hole, the can was placed on the ground-with one foot on it. A few seconds were allowed for the gas to build up inside and next, a match was lit and placed at the hole in the bottom of the can. The explosion was awesome !!! The lid usuall flew about 20 feet and the flame shot 5 feet out of the can. The one gallon can equalled 2 cherry bombs and the 5 gallon can was deafening !!!!!

The torpedoes were less complicated. We removed the lead strips and placed them on the street car tracks, usually in front of Niedermyer's store or Duke's tv shop, sometimes 3 or 4 in a row. This explosion probably equalled 50 cherry bombs. My belated apologies to those people both on the street car and those at the corner of 7th. Street waiting.

The most dangerous blast came from a device that a railroader had made for my brother, Howard. It consisted of 2 large,threaded bolts,perhaps ¾" in diameter and 4" long,and a very large nut. We then cut open one of the dynamite caps and removed the powder. One bolt was then partially screwed into the nut,leaving space for the powder to be inserted. Next,the other bolt was carefully screwed into the opposite side of the nut,s nugly, but not tightly !!! To detonate this device was a real trick. Dropping it on the end of one of the bolts from a high place was the only answer. Would you believe that Howard and I had the perfect spot. At the time, we lived on the 3rd floor above Skodol's bar. At the rear of the building there was a concrete slab at the first floor. Remember now, this was the first time that this was ever tested. We had no idea what to expect. Howard leaned over the railing, took good aim and dropped the device. It was lucky for us that we took cover because when the bolt hit the concrete it exploded with such force that it blew the threaded bolts out of the nut,one of which flew up past our 3rd floor porch. I think every drinker in Skodol's bar set a world record for evacuation out the front door.We may have set the device off one or two more times, but decided finally that while we still had 10 fingers, we should quit. My recommendation for you parents in Glassport this year is to take your kids to a safe and sane fire works display at Renzie Park, unless, of course, you would prefer to learn the tricks of our former trade !!!

Posted on Facebook Site 7/26/2012


Submitted April 9, 2000 by Richard Uher uricharda@comcast.net

In the late forties, when I was 8-10 years old, the kids from my neighborhood used to play on Ohio Ave. between 2nd and 3rd street. I still remember the names: Gerald "Sip" Sedney (GHS57), Harry "Witt" Witt, Ronald Kendal (GHS55), Lee Wiesenthal, Murray Weinberg, Irwin "Hogan" Ehrenreich (GHS59), Harry Sutman (GHS59). This was the area around Glassport High School.

Next to the high school, there was a large field, extending from the corner of 2nd street and Ohio avenue to the high school. In later years, this field was turned into a baseball field, but in the late forties, it was used by the local people for raising vegetables. There was a lot of water in this field, probably either fed by springs or from drainage from "Nanny Goat" hill, which was directly east and above the field. The water was diverted by the gardeners into small pools, from which they could then draw it to water the gardens. These pools were teeming with life, and I remember catching crayfish, salamanders and garter snakes, there.

Of course, I wasn''t allowed to go into this field, orders being received from my parents as well as the gardeners. But I did anyway. I would help myself to a vegetable or two, and I can remember both tomatoes and kohlrabi. I can remember coming home with muddy shoes and clothes a few times, from tramping around in the field.

In the winter, the field was used for sled riding. I would sled ride in two places. I'd start near the top of second street in the field, and ride down to Ohio avenue. Another favorite place was the third street hill, between Ohio and Erie avenues. If the snow was really good, one could come down third street from Erie avenue almost all of the way to Monongahela avenue. Generally, one of us would stop cars at Ohio avenue when the rest of the sledriders would come down third street.

Another favorite winter past time for me in those years was shoe sliding on the snow and ice. I can remember making tracks on the northeast side of the high school. These tracks became solid ice and it was quite a feat to remain standing as I "shoe slid" down them. Of course, as I became a teenager, this activity was too tame and I joined the older companions in sliding holding on to the back of cars up and down Ohio avenue.

There was also another field at the corner of Monongahela avenue and 3rd street, that was also used for growing vegetables. It was located on the site of the present funeral home, and at that time, across the street from Klob's Atlantic gasoline station.

In the summertime, when I wasn't skinny dipping in the Monongahela river or climbing and exploring Nany Goat hill, I could be found at 2nd street and Ohio avenue, playing curb ball. This sport had similar rules to baseball, except that the batter would bounce the ball off the curb into the field of play, which was on the street in the intersection of 2nd street and Ohio avenue.

In the fall, tag football games on Ohio avenue between 2nd and 3rd streets were common. There was quite a range of ages in the boys who played. Two team leaders would pick up by tossing fingers on odds and evens, the winner having the first pick. The youngest were generally the last to be picked. During one of my walks in Glassport last fall, I found that a similar thing was occurring, only it wasn't tag football.. it was street hockey.

Posted on the Facebook site 9/6/2012


Submitted April 2, 2000 by Paul Visyak (GHS56) GlassportGrad@aol.com

Here is one other tidbit in regard to my "Memories of Glassport."

Those of us who lived in the area of Monongahela Ave. and 1st Street would have occasion to witness these events. Nina (Class of 51) and Fay (Class of 59) Siefried lived in a house on Monongahela Ave. at 1st Street. From the front of their house they had a clear and unobstructed view to the River. Nina and Fay's father was one of the riverboat Captains who plied the Monongahela pushing those coal barges. When Mr. Siefried came to that portion of the River where he could see his house he would ring the boat's bell and blow its whistle during the daylight hours, and if it was nighttime, he would also light up the entire front of his house with the riverboat's spotlights. That was quite a sight to see.

Facebook 9/27/2012


Posted 3/21/2000 with the permission of Ed Hunt yedyed@webtv.net

I was just going over the memories stories on the home page site. I was enjoying the story by Buzzy West about the river days and hopping cars on Ohio Ave. Howard West is Buzzy's big brother. At that time (1943-45) I lived at 618 Ohio.

During WW2 My dad was an air raid warden and we had the command station for sixth street in our basement. My dad had been a medic in the first world war. He gave first aid and splint applications for broken bones classes. Me and my brother Pat used to sit on the cellar steps and watch.

Pat was GHS 50. I was GHS 52. Howard "Sonny" or "Maxie" West graduated in 52 with me. Getting back to car hopping: We would hide and then ride! Sometime we'd have so many kids hanging on a bumper the car just couldn't move. It just sat there and spun it's wheels. The driver would get out swearing and yelling and we all ran. By the time the poor guy got back in and started to move, we'd be right back on that bumper again. We couldn't wait for a wet snow that packed nice and hard on Ohio Avenue.

On the river days. I could go on for pages. So many great times for us young guys. We were lucky though, We only lost one boy in the river from our era. That was one of the LaChapelle twins. He drowned up at Coursin Hollow .

After the war my family moved to Arizona and then came back. I finally returned to Glassport to start my freshman year at GHS, graduating in 52. My river days started in the spring of 48. They were great times for me. I really loved it It gave me enough water confidence that I went on to be a SCUBA diver and teacher. I now snorkle in the Gulf of Mexico at every chance I get .


Posted 3/12/2000 with the permission of Betty Muztafago muztafago@juno.com

Glassport Bakery (more)

I remember the bakery because I worked there when I was 13 for about a year. After school (St. Cecelia's at the time), I went in to fry donuts and put the glaze on them or the sugar. Remember we used to have that sugar donut that wasn't powdered sugar.On weekends I did odd jobs like helping to ice cup cakes, etc. I used to get scolded for putting too much jelly in the donut. We used a pump and instead of pumping once, I did twice. While I worked there they had a small fire in the building one weekend but resumed business in a few days. In later years, the place completely burned down and the last time I saw the area, the lot was empty. The name of the place was "Glassport Bakery". It was owned by a family. The father (Mike) made the bread, the son (Mike) and his wife (Blanche) did cakes, the owner's wife ran the business side (ordering and money stuff). Their daughter Chookie was about 3 years older than me worked there part time too. They had one other worker named Helen. Sorry I don't remember anyone's last names.

My father got me the job by asking the owner if he needed anyone. I guess they were drinking buddies at the Polish Club which was across the street from that bakery. That's how I got to work without working papers. At first I cleaned pans and trays Ugh. I hated the big vats they mixed bread in. I most certainly had dishpan hands. During the summer, someone must have been on vaction or something because I was asked to come in at 3 am to help out for a week. That was the most miserable job I ever did. I had a hard time with getting up that early. I'd guess this took place in '51 & '52. I believe I made $.30 an hour at that time. After that job at 14 I went to work at the Glassport News Depot -- next to the bowling alley on Monongahela. I worked there 3 years for Al Michaelson. It was interesting and I enjoyed that I could read the magazines and comic books free during my lunch break on days I worked all day - like weekends. During summer vacations I worked full time. Again, I think I started at $.25 and hour but got raises over the years. Can't remember what I went to but recall getting $.35 an hour during that time.

Enough nostalgia for today. Bye.

Posted on Facebook 8/22/2012


Submitted March 7, 2000 by Paul Visyak GlassportGrad@aol.com

I lived at 33 Ohio Avenue in a house that my dad had built in 1941. During World War II I remember the blackout drills that the City had and that my dad was part of a Civil Defense team that would gather in formation in front of the High School. Members were issued a helmet, first-aid kit, flashlight, and a hand-pump fire extinguisher to keep with them. I attended First and Second Ward Schools and GHS. At the First Ward School there were two classrooms on the first floor. Grades 1 & 2 were in one room and taught by Mrs. Hodson. Grades 3 & 4 were in the second room and taught by Mrs. Murphy.

Milk, at school, cost 5 cents a pint.

The girls and boys restrooms were in the basement and because the building was so old no one was permitted to use the second floor rooms for fear the floors would not be able to hold much weight. The bell was also removed from the belfry for fear it could fall through. Years later, one second floor room was turned into a weightlifting room (how ironic) and the other was used as a meeting room for the Boy Scouts. I was present when the, soon to be weightlifting room, door was opened for the first time in many years. There were hundreds of fly skeletons covering the floor and window sills. The kids in our neighborhood referred to the stretch of Erie Ave. above 1st Street as "Red Row." Stories had it that when the coal miners lived there all of the houses were red in color.

We referred to the wooded area behind my house as 1st Hill, the hill behind Erie Ave. was known as 2nd Hill, and the hill behind First Ward School was known as 3rd Hill. Most of our hiking and playing took place on 3rd Hill for it was the biggest and most wooded of the three. Part way up the path on 3rd Hill there was a natural spring where we could get a drink and fill our canteens. At the top the path would split and you could go either left or right. If you went left you would come to an area we called "The Cannon Ball Patch," an area with allot of depressions in the ground as if it had been shelled with cannonballs. The path to the right would take you to the "Shooting Gallery." This was a caved in mine entrance that was in the shape of a U. Shooters would set there targets on the three walls then retreat to a fallen tree about 200 feet back and use that tree as a rest for their rifles. When there were no shooters around we would dig the lead from the walls and look for whatever lead we could find on the ground.

We also looked for lead from exploded torpedoes along the P&LE Railroad tracks between 1st & 3rd Streets. Torpedoes were small explosives that were strapped to the rail with pliable lead strips and their use was to alert the yard of an approaching train. On one occasion we were so intent on looking for these strips that a railroad cop was able to walk up behind us. Needless to say we took of running. When diesel engines were starting to arrive the old steam engines would be coupled together and parked on the tracks behind the Stallings store. We would search these engines for any torpedoes that may have been left behind. We approached a diesel switch engine that sat idling and the engineer asked us what were we doing out here on the tracks. We told him we were looking for lead, he then proceeded to strip the lead from the torpedoes he had and gave them to us. I melted what lead I found and formed it into ingots. I still have one ingot.

One way we would earn some spending money was to sell scrap steel and copper to Koslov's scrap yard at Harrison St. and Monongahela Avenue. The Copperweld would dump slag piles in the field area next to the river behind Stallings. We come to find out that we could find globules of copper in those piles if we dug through them. One other way we collected copper was to gather the scrap pieces of wire that fell to the ground during the construction of the new Dravosburg Bridge. I don't think anyone in Glassport had a better sled riding track than what we had at Harrison Street and its gravel extension that ran the hollow between 2nd & 3rd Hills. How brave you were was determined by how far up the hollow you would go to start your ride. The farther up you went the faster you would be coming out at the bottom. The City would scatter "reddog" at the base of Harrison St. so that you couldn't slide out onto Monongahela Avenue. The City would also place barricades on the side streets to stop traffic.

And let us not forget those Fireman's Day parades. Fire trucks from various cities would stage on Ohio Ave. along on my block. It was fascinating to me to see all of the different types of fire fighting apparatus. During hot summer days the fire department would hook up a hose to the hydrant at First Street and Ohio Ave. and shower us down.

I have to thank our shop teacher Mr. Roberts for helping me land my first job in drafting. During my senior year I did not care to take wood shop for a grade and asked if I could take drafting instead. Mr. Whirl said there was no provision for this at present but he went ahead and had my request approved. Mr. Roberts lived next door to a designer who worked at Pittsburgh Engineering and Machine Company, which was located on the other side of the railroad trestle at Third Street. The designer mentioned to Mr. Roberts that the company was looking for a draftsman and Mr. Roberts then told him about me. During class, Mr. Roberts told me to meet with a Mr. Peterson after school let out. I was hired and started working on March 1 after school, and on Saturdays. I was put on full time after graduation. I left the company in September 1959 when I got married and moved to California. I have been drafting and designing machinery ever since. Thank you again Mr. Roberts.

Posted on Facebook Site 10/18/2012


Posted 3/6/2000 by Mary Louise Martin Fey mgfey@alltel.net

What pleasant memories came rushing to the forefront while I was reading about the Glassport Bakery. I can smell the aroma of yesteryear. My family lived on Washington Blvd., below Piekut's Grove, and most of the baked goods my family enjoyed, (other than homemade), was delivered by a baker's truck. Perhaps from the same bakery.

As a little girl, in the third or fourth grade, I remember walking past this bakery, looking in the window wondering what those tubes filled with white stuff were. Finally, when I was in the 5th grade in 1948-1949, I was permitted to walk to and from the Broadway Skating Rink even when my big brother Willie wasn't going along. Those of you who skated there surely remember the races we took part in, three-legged, etc. The winners were rewarded with small denomination coins. Sometimes I was lucky enough to win more than one race. Well, without Willie along to tell mom that I'd won money, I didn't have to put it away to help pay for next weeks roller skating trip. It didn't take me long to find out that I really liked these stuffed tubes called Lady Locks. I remember stopping on the steps, at the top of 6th street, and making sure that there were no tell-tale signs of powdered sugar clinging to my clothes or on my face, before continuing on up Pacific Ave.

I never told mom my secret of hiding my winnings, and how I spent them, but everytime the bakery truck stopped by the house, I'd hope that she would buy Lady Locks. She never did but that was probably due to the fact that they weren't available on the truck. She always bought maple topped baked goods. A favorite of mine to this day.


Submitted 2/21/2000 by Tom Sholtis Sholtis243@aol.com

I remember when I, along with about 25 other boys, were summoned to appear in Harry Grove's Court (real estate office) on Monongahela Ave . Harry Grove was the Justice of the Peace in Glassport.

The summons was issued to me at my home as a result of being stopped by a railroad detective while crossing the railroad tracks one Sunday afternoon. I was with my cousin George Anthony, a GHS basketball player, (several years younger than me and not as prepared for such a confrontation as I was), and we were just going to look at the new bridge and we wanted a better view of it by heading down to the river.

This was at a spot where my brother George, my next door neighbor Ernest Smith and I often crossed the tracks South of the Round House) to go skinny dipping in the river,(our own private area for the three of us) and we agreed to give ourselves fake last names in the event we were stopped by the railroad detectives. We all chose our same first names. When George & I were stopped and the detective asked our names, he asked my cousin first, and George gave him his correct name, and when he asked me for my name, I gave him my right name too. I didn't dare give my fake name (Tom Flynn) because George would have given me away.

When I appeared at Harry Grove's court, the place was crowded, and most of us were there for the same reason. One by one, Harry Grove fined each one of us $2.00 or the night in jail. Those were rough Depression Days, and I was prepared to spend the night in jail. However, my Dad & my Uncle George Anthony appered and paid the fine. They had just quit working at the Glass House (both of them were glass cuttersJ). I didn't tell Dad about the summons but Mother must have told him and I was real surprised when he and Uncle George appeared and paid the fine.

That spot in the river has many memories for me. We would go there very early in the spring while we were still wearing long underwear, and before any of us could go in the water, we had to gather our "puds"(pieces of wood) and build a fire and then place our clothes salong side of the fire so that when we came out of that cold water we would have the fire to dry us off and the warm clothes to wear. One time, my long johns caught some sparks from the fire and burned badly enough that we threw them away. And Monday morning, Mother was counting the dirty clothes before washing them and she discovered my underwear was missing. That took a lot of explaining by my older brother because my Brother George wasn't allowed to take me to the river. Mother thought I was too young for the river.

We had a lot of fun in the river. At first, none of us could swim and we would find a big log that would float and we would push out into the river and hold on to the log and kick ourselves out in the river. Eventually we all learned to swim before we ever knew what it was like to wear swimming trunks.

That location always held memories for me. A few years after the bridge was completed, a friend and neighbor of mine who liven on Indiana Ave., Leonard Dulac and I took a walk out towards that new bridge when a car stopped by and asked us if we would like to go for a ride. It was Frank another neighbor of mine on Ninth St and he was driving a coupe automobile and had his small younger brother with him. So Leonard got in the car and sat in the middle and held the youngster in his lap, and I sat at the window passenger side. Frank drove down the grade past the bridge and as he approached Coursin Hollow, the steering seemed to stick and as he jerked on the steering wheel to his left, we mad almost a U turn and the car flipped over on its side. The first thing I though of was a fire. The window on the drivers side was open but my side was closed. I landed on my right side and I pushed with all my strength to get the others out through the driver's side window, and then I climbed out and the glass on my side didn't break until I stepped on it to get myself out. When I crawled out I could see the rear wheel still spinning.

We all started walking back towards the bridge when a car came by and asked us if we wanted a ride. Frank & his kid brother went, and I think that Leonard went too, but I didn't. I was just too glad to be able to walk home. None of us were injured, but the next day the right side of my body was very sore. I never told my parents about the accident. I don't know how Frank made out with his Father. Frank was too young to have a driver's license and he just "snitched" the car. I don't know what happened to the car that we left behind.

One other thing I remember about that road. Again, it would be Ernest Smith, his older brother Robert, my brother George and I would walk all the way to the Bellbridge (the railroad bridge that crossed the river), climb up that steep hill to the top where the coal came out of the abandoned mine and we would pick elderberries in a sack and then sit on the tracks listening to the crows while we shelled the berries into a ten or twelve quart galvanized bucket until it was full and then we would walk it all home. We enjoyed that and Mother would make elderberry pies or jelly. And sometimes when she had enough, she would tell us, please don't go for more.

A few years after the skinny dipping yers, I remember that Glassporters would go swimming at the foot of Seventh Street. This was what one might call a public beach. As you approached the river, on the left side there was a wall formed by large round grinding stones about the size of an automobile wheel, and they were the sharpening stones for the abandoned Wheel & Axle Factory. There were no life guards at this public beach and a couple times I remember when a boy drowned in the river, and I can still see several row boats in the river dragging with large grappler hooks to recover the bodies. I remember one time that a body was recovered at the next river locks.

Another swimming spot in the river was down in Otto and it was sort of private for the boys(men) who lived in the Otto section. I remember visiting there one day when the much older boys than me were drinking home made beer and I hung around with my brother George long enough that I got awfully thirsty. There was no drinking water in the shack they built up on shore but they had some black coffee. I was so dry that I had a cup of that black coffee without sugar and that was the only way I drank coffee in my life.

I swam across the river from this spot one day just by myself and when I got to the Dravosburg side, the two Campbell sisters were sitting there resting after their swim across. These two girls worked for Mae Dobbins at the paper store when I delivered papers. After delivering my papers, I often hung around and did little chores for them, like on a Saturday when Glassporters would come in and buy old newspapers that were stacked in the cellar and pay a penny a pound for them. They used them for covering their kitchen floor after washing the lineoleum floor. The girls were afraid of going into the cellar for the papers because they thought the rats were nested in the papers, so they would send me. I never saw any but I didn't stay down there too long either. But I sure had my hand in that Hershey chocolate kisses jar.

I delivered papers, and was standing in front of Mae Dobbins store when the news came out with Lindberg landing in France.

Facebook 10/4/2012


Posted 2/11/2000 with the permission of Raymond (Babe) Milligan

GHS/56 E-MAIL CLUB: Dear Member,s: My next report might be called far-fetched, or reaching. But here goes, I'll give it a shot anyway..........In the sports page of the Denver Post this morning, there was a small article that the Post had picked up off of the wires from the Post Gazette. The story was that Dan Rooney of the Steelers was upset in 1949 when he did not make 1st. team quarterback on the All-Catholic league football team in Pittsburgh, Dan Rooney had played for North Catholic, the guy who beat him out played for St. Justins, High School, his name was Johney Unitas. Now for something (far-fetched, or reaching), I will attempt to tie that story into some Glassport History, concerning 2nd. ward school, and the following classes at ghs., 33, 48,49,50,51,and 52. Using my Glassport CD, which I bought from Rich Uher is a big help, because I can look at all the senior picture's from the above mentioned classes, and refresh my memory, as to names & faces. In the fall of the year, (football season), sometime in the mid 50's, I saw the Christy Park Panthers, (a semi-pro football team play on a sun. afternoon at Renzie Park in McKeesport. The team they played was from Pittsburgh, I believe they were called the Bloomfield Bombers, the reason that I remember them so well is that all their players were black, except for their quarterback and he was white. His name was Johney Unitas, and he looked real good to me. One of the lineman for the Christy Park team was John Pazur, (not sure of 1st. name), he was a relative of Jack Pazur, Jack Pazur lived in Mckeesport, he was the grandson of Charlie Gelzheiser, who for many years, (when we were going to school) was the janitor at the 2nd. ward school. Charlie was well known & liked by the students at 2ns. Ward. Charlie lived in the big apt. building near 6th. & cypress alley, directly across the street from the big Catholic Church at the top of 6th.street hill, or between Cypress alley & Michigan. (will someone please tell me the name of that Church) I lived just down the alley from it, and I watched it being built, piece by piece. Is it Holy Cross, like the grade school? Anyway Charlie would walk down the alley (Cypress) every morning, (to get the big old coal furnaces going) , he would walk right by my back yard, and for many years as a kid, I would see Charlie walking by in the morning, and then walking back home at night. The ghs/33 connection: Charlie's daughter (Jack Pazur's Mother) was in the class of 33. her name was Helen Gelzheiser. The GHS/48 connection, The twin brothers, Dominic & Joe Brylanski, lived near 6th. & Cypress. Their house faced Cypress Alley. The GHS/49 connection: In the summers before they built the swimming pool in Glassport, they would turn the outside showers on in the 2nd. ward playground, (right next to the basketball court) they would turn the showers on for a few hours during week, it was a lot of fun for the little kids. Gus Peter Hapsias, GHS/49, worked for the school board or someone, he would come and work with the kids. Gus was a really good gymnist. ....... The GHS/50 connection: 2 members of the class of ghs/50, were Henry "Nash" Kudla, and his brother John Kudla. The Kudla's lived right next to the 2nd. ward playground, they could walk out their kitchen door, walk down 3 or 4 stairs, jump a 3 o 4 feet fence, and they were on the basketball court. (they were very good at playing basketball at the 2nd. ward playground.) ......GHS/51 : Connection: Ron Saire, ghs/51 lived in the same apt. building as Charlie Gelzheiser. John Minicucci ,ghs/51, John's father, Mr. Minicucci owned & operated a cleaners, directly under Charlie,s apt. on 6th. street. Raymond Babe Tudek, ghs/51, If you would walk down cypress alley from 6th. toward's 5th. street, (the way Charlie walked going to work for many years.) you would come to Babe Tudek's house, Babe Tudek's house faced cypress alley, at least the back of the house did. Babe Tudek's family lived in the same house that John Streza's family had lived in before they moved to Canton, OH. ..... GHS/52, connection: Tudjo kudla, ghs/52 , like his brothers Tudjo, lived by 2nd. ward, and he spent most of his life (at least while we were going to school) playing basketball at the 2nd. ward playground . Tudjo was very good. Al Jaskolski, ghs/52. When I was a real little kid, Al and a bunch of the bigger kids from up on Indiana would play football in the field, (where the church is now) at 6th. 7 cypress. I can still remember Al punting the football really high, and I would catch the ball. Al was always amazed at how such a little kid could catch those punts. ( I always had real good eye & hand coordination.) Probably right in the middle of what is now the chapel of the Church is where I would catch Al's punts. Don Schillaci ghs/52 (last but not the least) when I watched the Christy Park Panthers play at Renzie park, their halfback and their kickoff return man was Glassport's own Donny Schillaci, I have always maintained that pound for pound Donny was the toughest kid ever to play football at ghs. When he returned kickoff's for the Christy Park team, he would run full speed, he would not slow down one step if he thought he was going to get hit. When he would make contact with somebody, the impact could be heard all over the field. Well that's my little story for today, I hope it wasn't to far-fetched. My wife wants m eshut this thing down and go to Wendy's and get her a chicken Pita. So here I go, I have to ride of into the darkness, please wish me Happy Trails. Babe


Posted 2/6/2000 with the permission of Raymond (Babe) Milligan

GHS/56 EMAIL & NEWSLETTER CLUB: Dear Members: To start my story I would like to go back to the fall of 1952. That was our class ghs/56 freshman year. In Ghs. football there was a rigid (rule) whatever the starting lineup was on the Junior High team, It was almost a forgone conclusion that when that class was senior's it would be the same starting lineup as it was in the 9th. grade. Some of our classmates played for the Glassport Midget football team that fall, some of our players were, Richie Lucas, Hudzy Nolder, Pete Frobouck, Tom Auslander, Steve Marcus, to name a few. (that Midget team was coached by Regis Pater & Andy Kurta. When the midget season was over some if not all our players who were in the 9th. grade tried out for the junior high team. They still had a game or 2 to play. I was so small, that they did not have a uniform to fit me, and I had to use my midget uniform. In the fall of 1953 we were in the 10th. grade., a few of us got to play in the varsity games, but most of us were targets for seniors during practice. I was just telling Tommy Evans earlier today that I remembered tackling Ray Looney and Felix Zabroski, and if you did not hit them 2 guys just right, you would be doing a pancake impersonation on the ground. Our junior year, the fall of 1954, is the year that Glassport beat McKeesport, I remember someone saying that is was the first time we had beaten McKeesport in 25 years. There was a lot of celebration in Glassport that night. I think it was a minor miracle that ghs won that game, I believe they won it in spite of our coaching staff, not because of our coaching staff. 2 things I remember about that team, we had to learn a system so complicated, you almost had to be a math major to understand it all. Bobby Sherman was the quarterback, and I don't think they used a huddle at all, I think Bobby had to call ever play from under center. They used a spread formation that covered the whole field, I think that was the year that they started using the stupid plastic face mask's, we did not use them in practice, and they were hard to see out of, and they made breathing difficult. Glassport had it's usual good team, I think the thing that made that team special, is they had 2 very special players, and they were Bobby Sherman the Quarterback and Richie Lucas a halfback. Richie was the best defensive player that I ever saw play for any high school, I believe he played defense and Offense at Penn State. Richie was a very good runner, very strong and very hard to bring down, he was also a very smart runner. I only saw the glassport teams of the 50's, say 50 thru 55. And if someone were having a poll on who was the best quarterback in that period, I would say Bobby Sherman, I saw both the Looney brothers play and they were awful good. My vote for the best overall player offense & defense, would be for Richie Lucas, my vote for the best fullback would be for Ted Pupa Ickiewics, and my vote for the best lineman would go for Earl McCaslin. There were 2 awful good centers, one was Delio Carneval, and the other one was Al Lobue. My vote for kick off return guys would be John Decolate and Roland Davis. and my vote for the toughest player pound for pound would be Donny Schillaci. I can't remember seeing Donny's older brother Danny play, but Im told he was very good also. I know that Joe Schillaci ghs/59 was a very good player also, it must run in the family. Now i would like to take you back to aug. 18, 1955., That's the day football practice started for our seniors ghs/56. For some reason it was the first time we did not spend 2 weeks climbing the hill by the high school (twice a day) to get to Babayak field on top. Someone should write a story about going up on that hill. in the 2 years our class went up, in aug. of 53 and aug. of 54. The big thing I remember is that no water was allowed during the 2 or 3 hours of practice. (I wonder if the coaching staff ever heard of dehydration) or heat stroke. There was also this little game the coaches liked to watch. They would get one player that they thought was goofing off, and they would make him block each member of the team one by one. It would go on until the victim, broke down, either crying or just collapsed. Getting back to aug. of 55. When I showed up for practice, I weighed 165 lbs., 5ft. 8in. tall, not very big, but a lot bigger than I was in the 9th.grade when I could not get a uniform. The things that set me apart, was that I had 19in. arms and could bench press 400lbs. I don't think any of my teammates could bench press over 200 lbs. There was nothing special about me, the reason I was so much stronger than anyone else, was that for 3 summers I carried hod for my grandfather's bricklaying crew, and that job will either kill you or make a man out of you. The 2nd. thing I did was, for 2 or 3 years I worked out with the weights at a gym Walt Raszewski built for us, for a year or two we used a room at the old 1st. ward school (upstairs) and then in 56 I think, they made Walt move his gym to the 3rd. ward school. (basement) Walt was one of those guys like Phil Econmos, who just liked to help kids. It seemed like Walt was always fighting with the school board or someone to get us kids a place to work out. Because of my strength, nobody could handle me during practice, and the coaching staff had to break tradition and put me on the starting team. In fact I was made the team captain for our big game with McKeesport, I played offense and defense, most of my teammates did also. My job on defense was to call our defensive formation, which meant that we either had a 6man. line or we had a 5man line, in the 5 man line I would just go from the guard position to a linebacker position. Do you know how much coaching I had at calling the defensive signals, try none. By the way I think our coaching staff had revised that complcated system our team had used the year before, but we still had those stupid plastic face mask's that made it hard to see and breath. McKeesport had their usual good team, or lets say 2 or 3 teams, they always had so many players (and good ones) while Glassport would have only one team, our team would usually play McKeesport real tough in the 1st. half, and then in the 2nd. half, I think our guys would get tired and McKeesport would send in fresh guys all the time. In our game in 55, McKeesport had a quarterback named Ross Fichnter, he went on to play at Purdue and with the Cleveland Browns as a defensive back. They also had a good line,led by Vic Patera's cousin John Ginnandria. Ross was very fast, and he seemed to be able to run on us the whole game. I don't think they passed at all hardly. Rich Lucas played his usual great game, he always played great ( a lot of heart and a desire to win) When we got back in class the following week after losing to McKeesport, the coaching staff had us sit in a room and watch one segment of the game, over and over and over, that segment showed me running backwards on defense. It was quite obvious that they were putting the blame of our defeat on me. I was just a 16 year old kid, and I have had to live with that memory my whole life. In retrospect, I wish I would have stood up, and told the coaching staff, that yes i will take the blame for losing the game, but there is some blame to go towards the coaching staff, we had no idea how to defend against their great running quarterback, I don't even remember anyone mentioning him at all. Oh and one more thing, the year before our team had beaten Mckeesport, One of the main reasons our team beat Mckeesport in the fall of 54, was that Bobby Sherman was giving the ball to Richie Lucas and letting him run with it. The next year our great coaching staff decided that Richie should be playing quarterback, they were not smart enough to realize that when you have a runner like Richie Lucas on your team, you get him the ball and let him run with it, you don't have Richie giving the ball to other players. Passing was not a big part of our game plan. Oh well, I guess that's about it for now, just remember if you are ever asked why Glassport's football team lost to Mckeesport in the fall of 1955, you can tell them that Babe Milligan accomplished that all by himself. Good night members & Friends, I hope all your trails will be happy trails until we meet again. Babe

Followup story posted 2/6/2000:

GHS/56 EMAIL & NEWSLETTER CLUB: Dear Members & Friends: I just wanted to touch on a few things that I forgot to mention in my short story about ghs football. First off, the main point I was trying to make, is that our coaching staff spent way to much time on complicated (play system) when they should have been teaching us the fundementals, such as blocking and tackling, and what kind of defense's that we could have used to perhaps stop McKeesport's running game. It's funny when you think about Tom Sholtis's story about one of our coaches (in 55) had been a spy for Glassport in 1932. Yet we had no info. on the McKeesport team that beat us in 55. I believe that McKeesport had a lot of info. on us. Im quite sure that Vic Paterra had told his cousin John Ginanndria (who was their best lineman) about us, I remember having two McKeesport blockers on me most of the game, and that was no accident, Im sure that it was a preplanned idea. Also, something I had forgotten to mention about the midget football team that we had in the fall of 1952. There were about 4 or 5 kids from Elizabeth who played for our team, (Elizabeth had no midget team) they were all good football players, one especially stands out in my mind, and his name was Nuggy Nolder (a cousin to Hudzy Nolder ghs/56), when our team played Elizabeth at their stadium in 55, it was rain filled day and the field was all muddy. Nuggy Nolder was their quarterback, they also had a real good runner, he was a big fullback that nobody could stop, I can still remember watching Richie Lucas making tackle after tackle during that game, unfortunetly by the time Rich made the tackle their fullback was already 5 o 10 yards into our backfield. Their fullback was a kid named Libscomb, we had played midget baseball against him years earlier. He reminded me of Jim Brown, the runner who played for the Cleveland Browns. We lost that game, Rich Lucas again played a great game, for some reason his teammates did not seem able to help him much in that game. Rich had a special way of tackling someone, I call it a block tackle, Rich would get ready to meet the runner and then throw his whole body at the runners lower legs, it was very effective, I don't know where Richie learned to tackle that way. I sure wish someone would have asked Rich to teach his teammates how to tackle like he did, If they would have taught us, perhaps we could have helped Rich in the Elizabeth game. Our coaching staff was not into teaching however. Well that's it for now, this is Babe signing off for now. Take care and have a nice weekend. Babe


Submitted 2/3/2000 by Tom Sholtis in E-mail to Raymond (Babe) Milligan

Dear Ray: In your first mail to me, you asked me to tell you about myself since 1933 so here goes: You said you lived around 5th. & Vermont. I walked a neighbor of yours home from an old clothes dance we had at the Vets Hall and her name was Lillian Colson. She lived on the upper side of that slanting Vermont ave with all them steps to climb. Also, I was close with John & Paul Hart and a customer of theirs at their Standard Oil Gas station in Otto. In the summer of 1933, George Saffa & I thumbed our way up to Syracuse University where we both were offered a full 4 year scholarship and were asked to report for football practice September 1. .... We bumbed a ride with Bill Richards in the back end of his truck all the way to Buffalo, N.Y. where he delivered battery jars from the U.S. Glass Co. From there we thumbed our way to Syracuse. We were stranded about half way there at night time when a farm lady came out and told us that we would never be picked up at that spot at night and she offered us to join her small son in the tent in the back yard and we took her up on the offer. We made Syracuse the next day. ..... We checked into the basement of old Archibald Gymnasium where there were a couple Army cots. Before retiring, George who was a couple years older than me, washed our white duck pants and hung them up to dry. In the morning we went to see the Director of Admissions and had a little chat and then we departed and hit the road again..... We had a tough time getting rides and by night time we were only in Batavia. George wanted to go down to the freight station and sleep on the dock and when we took a look at that, I was afraid and I said let's go to the police staytion and sleep in a cell. When we confronted the Chief Of Police, he told us we were too clean to sleep in one of his cells and asked us if we could afford a couple bucks that he could arrange for a nice room in the local hotel. George didn't have a dime on him and I had $10.00 bill so I told the Chief that we had three dollars and he arranged for us to have a very nice room with one double bed...... The next day as we approached Erie, PA. George told me about some of our girl classmates who were vacationing at Geneva on the lake and that we should go visit them. We arrived at their cottage in the darkness of the evening and the girls asked us to go to the dance hall with them, which we did. I was so tired and sure didn't feel like dancing. After we danced a few times, two of the girls walked us down to the beach and it wasn't long until I fell asleep for the night...... In the morning, George told me that a friend and neighbor of his lives in East Cleveland and we should go and see him. Doc Poker (Dr. Pokropsky) was a Glassporter and had lived on Indiana ave. between 7th.& 6th. So we thumbed our way to his home in East Cleveland and his sister was visiting with him and he was taking her back to Glassport the next day and he invited us to go home with him if we were willing to sit in the trunk of his car.... He also invited us to go out and have a couple beers at a night club. Prohibition was just lifted. At the pub, the waitress came over and Doc. and George ordered a beer, so I ordered a beer. I never drank beer before. When the big mugs came, I noticed that Doc. put salt in his beer, and so did George. So I did the same. They drank theirs and they ordered another one, but I couldn't finish mine..... We slept on the couches that night and in the morning, we rode the trunk of the car with the hood overhead and our legs sticking out and over the bumper in the back. I was dropped off at 7th. and Indiana ave. and I walked the two blocks home.....That's enough story for now. I will continue again with more. Can you believe what tough days they were. Best Wishes Tom Sholtis

Facebook 11/10/2010


Submitted 2/2/2000 by Joe Schillaci

KENNYWOOD REVISITED As a youngster growing up in Glassport, one of the really special events of the year was a trip to Kennywood. I still remember those yellow Kennywood "finger signs" all over town pointing the way to fun and adventure. On many occasions, the annual trek to the park was part of a school outing with my classmates from Third Ward School. However, some of the best trips were with my family. My mother would pack a picnic basket full of great things to eat that we would take to the special pavilion area in the park reserved for this type of event. Typically, these trips to Kennywood in the late 40's and early 50's were made with my brothers, aunt, uncle and cousins. We would stake out a table in the picnic pavilion and this would be the gathering place to eat and also served as the "go to point" for the family to check in through out the day. We weren't alone…….. the entire pavilion area would be full of families gathered to eat the home made prepared food contained in their individual picnic baskets. The closet thing to security might be a tablecloth draped over a basket. The most amazing thing is that you never worried about someone else taking your food and/or the table you were using.

About 40 years later, I found myself in a much different situation when I visited Kennywood . I was, at the time, part of a senior management team that operated a major nationwide chain of theme parks with responsibility for the firm's largest operation located in Southern California. Several years earlier at an industry trade function, I had an opportunity to meet Carl Hughes the venerable chairman and Henny Henniger, president of Kennywood. Henny's family was one of the original founders of the park in the late 1800's and their ownership continues today.

On this particular trip to Kennywood in 1990, my son Mike accompanied me. Mike was born in Pittsburgh but basically had grown up in Southern California. This trip was intended to be what I called a "cultural fix" so he would have some insight into what it was like growing up in Western Pennsylvania. When Mike and I arrived at Kennywood, Carl and Henny were there to meet us and take us on a private tour of all the improvements and new additions that had been made over the years. As we walked by the picnic area, I shared with my son the experiences we had there some 40 years before and commented on the fact that back then, you could leave personal items on the table undisturbed. I also said something to the effect….can you imagine doing that at Six Flags Magic Mountain ? At this point, Carl Hughes said…."what do you mean the way it used to be…it's still the same…you can still leave your picnic basket and no one will take it". I felt so great that the old traditions and values were still in place and that my son could see the way things ought to be, were still in existence.

Facebook 11/30/2012


Submitted 1/29/2000 by Ray (Babe) Milligan

GHS/56 EMAIL & NEWSLETTER CLUB: Dear Members & Friends: Recently in a multi/email that I sent out to members, I asked if anyone remembered Barney and if anybody had worked at Barney's setting up Pins. Here are some excerpt's from email's members sent. Ed Zalewski writes: I nominate Ed Nemeth for the best Duck Pin Setter, and Rich Dean for the best Ten Pin Setter. Ed asked this question: Has anyone seen Duckpins at a bowling alley other than Glassport? //////// Rich Dworek writes: I worked at the bowling alley. I was a one lane pinsetter. I could not compete with Sammy Mendicino. I had my first restaurant french fries after setting pins and stopping at Tragessers. I must have been about 12 years old. Now kids get weaned on large fries at MacDonalds.///////// Jerry Bittner GHS/55 writes: Not only did I set pins at Barney Morrows Bowling Lanes, I did a tremedous amount of duckpin bowling there. I mention duckpin bowling around here (North Carolina) and people look at me quizzically. They don'td have the faintest idea what rubberband duckpin bowling is. I still carry some bruises from flying ten pins and duckpins from days of setting pins. I still say that was some of the hardest work particularly hard on the back. Handling two or three lanes all for the magnificent renumeration of 5 cents a line for duckpins and ten cents for ten pins. Wow, well earned money.///////// Joe Schillaci GHS/59 writes: I got your note on Barney's and had a good laugh. It must have been the Glassport "rights of passage", but I like most 13 to f14 year olds. set pins at Barneys and shined shoes at the Greeks. I'm not sure who was the fastest pin setter.... I remember practicing some of the various techniques employed by the "old pros" and really felt pretty good about myself when I was able to hold three pins in each hand. Do you remember John Adamcik? When he bowled, his ball had the highest velocity coming down the lanes and just exploded pins. After getting hit by the flying pins on several occasions, I learned you better jump over several lanes to avoid getting nailed. I can recall those nights when you jumped lanes and the aches and pains afterwards...... waiting to get paid while Barney would figure out how much he owed you..... one eye closed due to the smoke from his cigar creating a perpertual gray cloud in his face.... those were te good old days!//////// Jim Cross (Dave's brother) write's: Barney Morrow was the man that ran the bowling alley, you could tell Barney from all others because he was the one with one of those Italian cigars sticking out his mouth. I worked there sitting up pins when I was 14 and 15 years old. Well that's it for today, I will sign off now, Happy Super Bowl game tomorrow & stay on the Happy Trails. Babe

Posted on Facebook 9/14/2012


Submitted 1/24/2000 by John Truby, Jr.

I remember in the 8th grade receiving the news our wonderful little school was being turned into a jointure with Port Vue-Liberty called South Allegheny. I was in Mr. Hays' Science class and in the middle of one of his colorful lectures he stopped and started talking about the huge school we were about to become. Most of us were feeling low about the new school because our parents had graduated from "dear old Glassport High" and now we were not going to continue the tradition. Mr. Hays also told us that the beloved mascot was going to be determined by the outcome of the football game between PVL and Glassport. I knew PVL was the Bulldogs and I was astounded that not only were we going to have to attend their high school but we were going to be Bulldogs as well. Well the "Glads" won the game and subsequently we became the South Allegheny Gladiators, a small but cherished victory in those dark days that ended GHS's long glorious reign. But to this day, I wonder was Mr. Hays just trying to fire up support to give us one last hurrah or was the decision truly based on the outcome of the game? If anyone knows for sure I'd like to hear about the specifics concerning the game and how the Gladiator was chosen as the mascot for the new school.

Facebook 12/7/2012


Submitted 1/23/2000 by Richard Uher

Nanny Goat Hill - Revisited

In the late forties, there were two favorite haunts for the some of the young boys, who lived between Harrison St. and Fifth St. These were "up on the hill" or "down at the river". Very rarely, some of the girls would appear there. Of course, we were never allowed to go there, which made it all the more fun.

Nanny Goat hill was one of these places. This adventurous part of this hill extended from Harrison Hollow on the North end of town to about between 3rd and 4th street on the South end. Further south on the hill were houses, so we didn't go there. At that time, most of this part of the hill was grass and scrub, with some trees, here and there. There was a patch of trees, between 2nd and 3rd St. about halfway up, between Erie Ave. and the top of the hill. This patch was called the Orchard. There were several fruit trees there. I can remember cherry and apple trees, of which we would partake in the summer.

Inside the Orchard was the source of the 3rd St. creek, which seemed to come from and old, abandoned mine. The water was bitter and we referred to it as "sulfa" water. One couldn't drink it. The creek flowed down the hill, slightly north of third street, entered a sewer somewhere above Erie Ave. and ended up in the river at the end of the 3rd St. "Tunnel". Of course, by the time it reached the river, there was a lot more in it than "sulfa".

Slightly to the south of the orchard and partly down the hill, there was a spring. It would have been located on a line with 3rd St. We drank from this spring and so did the goats. Around the area of the spring were usually two or three goats. Some were nanny goats while others were billy goats. The nanny goats and some of the younger billy goats would always let us pet them, while some of the billy goats were a little nasty. The goats were tied to stakes in the ground, with about 20-30 feet of rope, so that they could roam to get water and grass. I often wondered who owned these goats. If anyone knows, please let me know.

To the north of the Orchard at a location slightly noth of second street, there was another abandoned mine, which was also closed or "caved in" at that time. Below this mine, was a large "mine waste" or slate pile, which extended about halfway down the hill. A "sulfa" creek flowed out of that mine as well. That creek is still visible today at Fern alley between 1st and 2nd St., near 2nd St.

To the north of this mine, there was another abandoned mine, at about the location of 1st St. This mine was open and we would go in it and explore. I can remember that just beyond the entrance to the mine, inside the tunnel or shaft, one would go up a slight hill and then down into a pond of water inside the mine. If my memory serves me right, the pond was about 4-5 feet wide and 3-4 feet further into the mine. The water was about 1-2 feet deep. This water was a barrier to us and kept us from exploring the rest of the shaft. If anyone crossed that water and explored the rest of the tunnel, please let me know.

At the top of the hill, above this mine was a large Elm tree. It was visible in many pictures of Nanny Goat hill, that people took at that time. I have one or two pictures of it in my collection. These were usually pictures taken of something else, with the hill in the background. The tree was struck by lightning and destroyed, sometime in the sixties. It used to be a favorite place at the top of the hill.

Further north along the hill, and down on the slopes toward Harrison hollow, there used to be mine fires underground. Parts of the hill would have smoke coming out of the ground, with the smells and cracks in the ground common to underground mine fires.

The hill today is completely covered with large trees, which have grown up since the goat pastures were abandoned, and people no longer used wood or coal to heat their homes. I'm sure that in this forest are the landmarks that I described. Someday, I may try to find them again.

[Added by Richard T. Pasinski 1/23/2000]

Those goats were owned by the Weigand family. They lived in the last house at the end of Iowa Avenue. I don't know if any of the Weigand family still live in the borough. They were very nice people. I remember they owned one of the first TV sets in Glassport in the late 1940's or early 50's. They used to allow all of the neighborhood kids to come over their house to watch television, especially wrestling.

The Hill started to become overgrown with trees in the late 60's and early 70's. I wonder if there is any relationship between the sprouting of this new plant life and the closing of the steel mills in Glassport and the Mon Valley; i.e. the sharp reduction in smoke emissions and pollution with the closing of the plants.

Facebook 3/2/2013


Submitted 1/15/2000 by Richard Pasinski

I really enjoyed reading the "Unofficial Glossary of Glassport Nick-Names" compiled by former Glassporter Darwin "Buzzy" "Beak"West. And I agree with his recommendation that Glassport parents should keep up an old borough tradition and give their children a colorful nick-name. His Unofficial Glossary was a good start but let me add a few more to the list. Most date back over 50 years. How many do you recognize?

Unofficial Glossary of Glassport Nick-Names (Additional)

A to Z Baloney Bananas
Bolt Brudgie Buns-Eye
Diddles Dudey Dynamite
Fuzzy Hunchy John Balone
Jums Meats Mole
Mutchek Ore Pincy
Polish Prosey Puggy
Rupp Satch Shunda
Sip Sketch Stack
Traits VaVa Village
Wojey Ziggy

Richard (No Nick-Name) Pasinski, Liverpool, NY

Posted on Facebook Site 5/25/2012


Submitted 1/10/2000 by Babe Milligan

In the memory story submitted by Gus West on 1/6/2000, Gus mentions how we would "Hop" cars up and down Ohio Ave. in the snow. Here is a little more details on Hopping cars on Ohio Ave.

The area for hoping cars was usually from 4th. and Ohio up to 8th. and Ohio. The technique was to wait until a car stopped for a stop sign, when the car was stopped, 3 or 4 or as many as 8 kids would jump out of their hiding places and grab on to the cars rear bumper. (Cars in the 50's had extended rear bumpers that were easy to hold onto. When the car started moving the kid's would squat down and while holding on to the bumper and have a nice ride to the next stop sign. It was a lot of fun and nobody ever seemed to get hurt. (The exhaust fumes were bad however), and like Gus told us, you had to watch for the Police. Some of the kid's (this writer included) took Hopping cars to another level. We would Hop cars when there was no snow on the ground. The extended rear bumpers would allow 3 or 4 kid's to sit on the bumpers and ride the car to the next stop sign.On my last ride "sitting on the bumper", myself and 2 other kid's (I don't remember there names) Hopped a car at 6th. and Ohio and headed for 7th. and Ohio. Well as it turned out the driver of the car knew we were sitting on his rear bumper and he decided to teach us a lesson. He did not stop or slow down his car at 7th., 8th. or 9th. street, in fact he did not slow down until he was getting ready to make his right turn at the Clairton bridge. When the driver slowed down to make his turn, we jumped off, no one was injured, but like I said, it was the last time I ever sat on a rear bumper for a joy ride.

Posted on Facebook 3/7/2012


Submitted 1/6/2000 by Gus West

Recently I was telling my office staff in Huntington Beach,Ca. about our adventures as a kid in early 50's Glassport. I was explaining how we would "hop" cars up and down Ohio Ave. in the snow, and how the cops would chase us away. Usually it was Lemons who showed up. "Lemons" my staff asked?? Yeah,I replied!! Sometimes it was Chi Chi who showed up instead of Lemons. " Chi Chi ".," Lemons "they asked ?? Next, I had to explain that Glassport was a town of nick-names, the origin of which no one is really certain. I began to rattle off the names as I could remember them ( it has been 42 years since I left town ). By this time everyone in the office is rolling on the floor. So, I decided to compile " The Unofficial Glossary Of Glassport Nick-Names "..My apologies to those I missed !!

Unofficial Glossary of Glassport Nick-Names

Ants Funzie Pupa
Ass Gadfo Puddin'
Babe Giggy Rabbits
Banjo Hambone Rats
Beak Hawk Rum
Beaver Herky Sambo
Beano Hobo Scarecrow
Bimbo Hogomo Shits
Black Apple Hong Konk Skeets
Bobo Hozzle Skinny
Boobie Hudzy Skippy
Boom-Boom Iggie Skutek
Bubba Jaggers Slim
Buffalo Jazz Snake
Bull Jocko Snazz
Bunchy Kutchy Sours
Bunky Lemons Spider
Chabbers Lip Spongy
Chi Chi Meatballs Stove Pipe
Chicken Moose Tishie
Chillers Mouse Toothy
Choch Mutsie Tuby
Chum Nooky Tucker
Coke Nunny Tumba
Crackers Nutsy Turds
Duke Panko Turk
Dunnie Pay Day Tut Tuts
Dutchy Pepperoni Utchie
Flick Pork Chops Warthog
Foodle Pretzel Bender Yummy
Footy Pudduck Yuntz
Frog Pudgy Yunko
Punchy Yushak

I guess someone would think these are unusual names, until you consider we had Damach, the dentist, Mash, the chiropractor, and Kill, the druggist !!!! For all you young Glassporters----KEEP UP THE TRADITION, give your child a colorful nick-name !!!! Happy New Year to all from Darwin " Buzzy" "Beak" West.

Posted on Facebook Site 5/25/2012


Submitted 11/24/1999 by Gus West

On any given hot, muggy summer day during the early 50's,the "gang" ( not the same meaning as today ) would gather at the corner of 7th street and Hemlock Alley to plan the day's activities. The "gang" was comprised of Bob Sherman, Mike Timko, the Detman brothers, the Tomedolsky brothers, Hudsy Nolder, Jimmy "Hawk" Hawthorne, Spyder McCracken, yours truly and anyone else who wanted to join in.

On this particular afternoon we decide to go swimming in the river at the pier at Harrison Street. After a long walk down the P&LE Railroad tracks, we are ready for action. A few volunteers jump in to splash around to make the greasy water flow away from the base of the pier. Next, we throw the children's life preservers into the water, climb to the top of the pier(a height of perhaps 20 feet ) and dive 20 feet down through the small tubular preservers. Quite a feat when I think back on how daring we were then !! After a few rounds of high diving, we would look up and down the river for the next steam boat. Would it be the "Sailor", the "Homestead", or the "B.F.Fairless" ??

Someone ( usually myself ) suggests that we swim across the river to the large water outlet pipe coming down from the Irvin Works. Up through the 8 foot diameter pipe we go, while the hot,greasy water rushes between our legs.We can only walk straight ahead until we reach the point where the tunnel elevates to around 30-40 degrees. At this point we place the plastic tubes on our butts, jump up and do a 180 degree turn in mid-air, landing with feet stradling the rushing water below. From this point, it is a steep backwards walk up the tunnel for maybe another 75 feet. Now comes the excitement. The low man in the tunnel yells GO, and drops butt first into the water, shooting like a torpedo out into the river. Hopefully, everyone else will go in the same order. If not, we will look like bowling pins at Jazz Marino"s bowling Alley !!!

After we all shoot the tunnel, we spot a steamer coming. It's the "Homestead" !! We swim in close enough to touch the huge coal barges as they pass by. Next comes the most dangerous part -- keeping far enough away from the boat to avoid being sucked in. As the huge paddel wheel passes by, we swim into the water dropping from it and ride the "Rollers" following behind. Surfing at my home in Huntington Beach, Ca. does not begin to compare with the excitement we experienced behind the steamboats. After our "Waterworld" and "Surfing Glassport Style" exploits, we would swim back to the pier, open the valves on the gasoline pipes,a nd wash off all the grease that covered us. As we walked past Stallings Bakery on the way home, the scent of freshly baked bread was too much to resist. We sometimes" relieved" them of a few loafs as we continued homeward. Usually the discussion on the way home was "what do we do tomorrow" ?? Whatever we decided upon was sure to be fun and exciting. But,before the day was through -- with any kind of luck perhaps we could have one more game of BUCK BUCK !!!!!

Posted on Facebook 3/15/2012


Posted on Facebook as Glassport Memories 1 (Below) December 29, 2011

Submitted 11/19/1999 by Luann Marsico-Weisenburg

Hi, I'm Luann Marsico-Weisenburg, I currently live in Winchester, VA with my husband Bill and my two children -Joshua and Sarah. I've lived in Glassport for 25 years, then moved to McKeesport before I moved down south.

Glassport holds so many memories for me : The bowling alley where the Handi-mart sits now, Fuzzy's (my sister Sandi worked there for years) and the "dance place" that used to be across the street from the R & W Bar, Second ward school when it was a school that I attended and of course, Glassport High School when it was the Junior High School.

Just thought I'd give some of the things I remember. My parents just sold our family house this year, so the Marsico's will have one last family gathering during summer to say good-bye to the area.

If you'd like to reach me here's my address: 545 Baker Lane Winchester, Va 2201


Submitted: 10/22/99 by Edwin R. (Ed) Pater

My childhood in Glassport; mid to late fifties by Edwin R. (Ed) Pater

Like anyone else, my childhood memories are the most treasured memories. Those non-threatening times combined with the peace and serenity that Glassport offered, allowed me and my companions to roam most anywhere in town....crossing Monongahela Ave was not permitted.

A favorite refuge of mine was Nanny Goat hill as we used to call it, and maybe the younger generation there still does. I would venture there with some of my friends to play cowboys and indians, army, or to become adventuress gold miners. We would pick a spot on the hill somewhere and commence digging to reveal any rock or stone that, via the imagination of a child, became instant GOLD !

Nanny Goat hill also served as a risky sled trail in winter...something that I was not permitted to participate in. I was supposed to ride a sled, any sled (as I didn't have one of my own) close to home and away from any velocity induced danger. But I had to try it at least once, and that's when I zipped right through a briar patch face first. I must have looked like I was just learning to use a fork, for Mom noticed my misfortune right off, and informed me that I was never to attempt that stunt again. There after, I remained true to my word, I never tried a sled ride down the THE HILL again. Thinking back, I suppose this was one reason that my parents never bought me a sled.

Other enjoyable times included playing ball at the high school ball field, riding home-made carts down 3rd Street hill, and riding bikes to the swimming pool to spend the better part of the day. And you didn't have to worry about someone making off with your bike while you were busy having fun. I wasn't allowed to go any deeper than three feet of water, and I often found that this level was sufficient to cause near drowning, which I attempted on numerous occasions. And why does swallowing and inhaling large quantities of water cause such ravenous hunger? When I left the swimming pool, I couldn't wait to get home to eat at least two and sometimes three chipped ham sandwiches.....man that was good eating!

The nights were much fun and safe also. We would play hide and seek or some sort of game up and down the block and through the back yards and alley ways. I lived at 337 Monongahela avenue. It seems such a vast area in my mind today, and it was mine, free to roam and play in.

All this activity made for good sleeping on those warm summer nights. Sometimes the whole family would sleep on a pallet of blankets downstairs in the living room with all the windows open. Never a worry or even a thought of an intruder.....it was too peaceful and calm back then. And that peaceful nights sleep brought on a new day to embark on new adventures.

I am so fortunate to have had those childhood days of bliss that I can now relive. Every child should have them. Do all you can as loving and responsible parents to insure your children will have these same treasures. I hope my daughter will enjoy the same fond memories of her childhood as I do of my good, old days in Glassport.


Submitted: 9/28/99 by Richard A. Uher

I remember the holy hours at St. Cecelia church in the early fifties. There was never a requirement that the older students (6,7 & 8 grades) of St. Cecelia's school go to the holy hours on Thursday evenings, but there were strong suggestions that we attend, especially by three of the nuns who were teaching there at the time. These nuns were Srs. Godfrey, Corona and Mary.

After the holy hour, there was a gathering at Pater's drug store in the 500 block of Monongahela Ave. Many of us who attended or did not attend ended up there having cherry, lemon, chocolate or regular cokes with bags of potato chips. These holy hours turned out to be great social more than religious events.


Posted on Facebook as Glassport Memories 1 (Above) December 29, 2011

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