Where Are Albert’s Friends? – Duquesne High School Classmate

It’s time to pull together and pull all of our resources to find classmates for a Duquesne High School graduate. Some months ago, I was contacted by a young lady who was trying to find some of her grandfather’s high school friends. Here’s the information I have:

  • Amanda Opalko is looking for friends of her grandfather ALBERT OPALKO
  • ALBERT OPALKO was part of Duquesne High School’s Class of 1952
  • ALBERT will be turning 80 years old on his next birthday.

I was able to locate the list of graduates in the Class of 1952 from an article published in the Duquesne Times on June 5, 1952. If you were a member or know anyone who was, please encourage them to respond to this post and send some Happy Birthday greetings to one of Duquesne’s native sons. (If you click on the image below, you should be able to see a larger version.)

OpalkoTHANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR HELP!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALBERT!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

July 4th Aftermath

I hope that everyone had a safe and FANTASTIC 2014 July 4th! Here on the Eastern Shore, we crossed our fingers at the start of the day and were lucky enough to avoid any impact from Hurricane Arthur aside from some strong morning winds and a bit of rain. By mid-morning, the sky cleared and we had a beautiful day for the remainder of the 4th.

Colleen Byrne Travis, one of our Duquesne buddies that has shared her thoughts with us several times, suggested that I occasionally repost some past posts if I ever am feeling “blocked.” (I feel fairly confident that Colleen was referring to “writer’s block!!!!”) I decided to heed her advice and repost something I wrote three years ago and hope that you enjoy re-reading it.

Here’s to remembering the cherry bombs, lightening bugs and Kennywood fireworks of our youth!

The 4th of July, when I was growing up, was always a special day for our family. Dad would close his shop and spend the day with us as we traveled about. Usually, the day meant a big picnic at either our house or one of our aunt’s and uncle’s backyards. I honestly cannot remember the day ever being rained out. It seems that it was always a bright sunny and HOT day.

My last post highlighted the 1951 Duquesne Homecoming Celebration that began on July 1st and ran through July 7th. Since I was still a “bun in the oven” and about three months from being “hatched,” needless to say, I don’t remember the celebration. The more I thought about it, by the time I was old enough to remember events of that nature, not much in the way of a city-wide celebration for the 4th of July was occuring, as in years past.

The snapshots of memories that I do recall about the day, are those of blowing up tin cans with cherry bombs, lighting strings of firecrackers on Thomas Street, and of course, sparklers. I remember how Mom would yell at Dad every year for buying fireworks. The theory of “you’re going to blow off your hand” was very prevalent in her warning to my brother and I. To tell the truth, I was always a bit too little and timid of the fireworks, so the lighting of the fuses was normally one my brother Steve or my dad would perform.

The picnic would be the typical Hunky gathering of every first, second and third generation relative in one place. Every aunt would bring their specialty, which would have been defined and assigned as a result of previous gatherings. Somehow, in addition to the traditional hot dogs and hamburgers, a container of stuffed cabbage would invariably be on the menu as well. All the ladies would busy themselves with preparing the various side dishes while the host of the event would carefully build the “perfect” fire for the barbeque. Of course, every other adult male would be gathered around the pit rendering opinions and vocalizing unsolicited suggestions on how to do it better. Undoubtedly, an argument would ensue, “colorful” names would be called, another round of beer would be served, and then all would be good again.

Before long, everything was ready to begin the feast. The food was wonderful, comforting, plentiful and prepared with love. What could be better? All of my aunts and uncles would finally kick back and just enjoy each other’s company once again. If we were at my Uncle Gary’s on Kenny Street, there would always be an intense horseshoe tournament and we kids would somehow busy ourselves doing much of nothing!

Just about the time the sun finally set, my dad or one of my uncles would spike a huge sparkler into the middle of the lawn and a bucket of water would be placed next to each parent’s supply of sparklers. At just the right time, the big sparkler would be lit to begin the fun. We would each go to our parents for a sparkler and then rush to the giant one to light it. What occurred in the next few minutes was magic to us. We would whirl around in circles, draw shapes in the air, and enjoy the experience to the fullest. Once our sparkler would burn out, we would return to our parents, drop our burnt out sparkler into the bucket and then reload and being the process all over again. This went on for at least an hour. NO matter how long it lasted, it never seemed long enough.

To cap off the evening, we would jump into our cars and head over to Kennywood’s parking lot to enjoy the fireworks show. Mom always had a blanket for us to sit on or we would sit on the hood or roof of our Kaiser sedan. The park always began the fireworks with a “spectacular” on the lagoon stage before the aerial fireworks. I only remember seeing the lagoon show one time. Mom said it was too crowded, so we were content thereafter, to just watch the aerial show from the parking lot. It was always so exciting and so LOUD!! Usually, by the grand finale when there was a frenzy of fireworks, I was about asleep and ready for bed. I remember laying on my mom’s lap as we drove home (pre-seat belt days ya’ know.) The day seemed to pass so quickly but obviously made an impression on this Duquesne hunky.

I thought you might enjoy reading about what was touted to be the biggest and best July 4th celebration in Duquesne’s history. It took place 100 years ago in 1911! There was an extensive article published in the Duquesne Observer describing the event and it is priceless. The journalistic style in that era was wonderful. It was colorful, captivating and almost read like prose as opposed to today’s cryptic news summaries. It is quite lengthy by today’s standards, but it does take you back to what it must have been like to be right there in the crowd. Enjoy:

Uncle Samuel’s eagle was shy several tail feathers when he concluded his visit to Duquesne last Tuesday night. But he didn’t seem to mind it, for he had witnessed one of the most interesting and successful Fourth of July celebrations that had ever been conducted in the Monongahela valley.

The fun started before dawn and it continued, without cessation , until after midnight. It was fizz, boom, bang all day long, and the fact that the mercury was playing around the hundred mark did not tend to dampen the ardor of the crowds. Everyone it seemed, took a hand in the celebration. The mills were shut down, business was suspended, and a good, noisy time seemed to be the idea of all. Many private homes and business houses were decorated, and nothing was lacking to make it an ideal holiday. Of course, there were some burnt fingers and tired bodies; but these were mere incidents in the day’s festivities, and fortunately no one was badly hurt.

Thanks to the Board of Commerce and the activity of its committee on public gatherings and conventions, the town was given one of its few set celebrations of the glorious day. At the ball park the Duquesne team played two games, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon, and on both occasions they took over their opponents in a most pleasing manner. The victim were the P.A.C. of Pittsburg and Baraccas of Knoxville. Prior to the afternoon game, some field sports were pulled off and added to the interest of the festivities. Among the winners were Allen, who copped the 100 yard dash and Hines, who won the long distance ball throw.

During the day, many of the people hiked off to the parks and to private picnics, while others visited with friends in other towns and cities. Most of the citizens however, remained about home and assisted youngsters in cleaning up supplies of fireworks.

The Evening’s Festivities.

But the big event of the day came in the evening, when a great fireworks display and band concert were conducted in front of the Carnegie library. This feature had been provided by popular subscription, and was one that will not soon be forgotten. All day long a committee consisting of E.J. Hamilton, T. Burns and J.S. Edmundson had labored hard to get the fireworks in readiness, and at dark they were still on the job, personally superintending the “setting off” of the display and in many instances, lighting the fuses themselves. They were capably assisted in work by J.E. Brown, D.C. Muir, M. Yoxenheimer and, S.J. Goodman. And too much credit cannot be given to Messrs. Hamilton and Burns and their assistants. It was a warm task, but they endured the heat and smoke that the people might be properly entertained.

An oh, what a crowd of spectators there was. The great lawn surrounding the library was packed. South Second Street was crowed and the library plan contained hundreds of others. Other spots in the vicinity offered points of vantage and they were occupied to the limit. Never in the history of the town had there been such an outpouring of people for any similar event, and the spectacle was a most beautiful one.

Viewed from South First street it was a scene never to be forgotten. As each bomb or shell would explode in mid-air, every face would be turned upward as showers of sparks, shooting stars of varied colors and golden wreaths were dropped from a great height, a chorus of “ohs” and “ahs” could be heard a square away. It was, beyond all question, a splendid exhibition of and so delightfully refreshing that thousands of people expressed the hope that the display might be made an annual event.

One old German woman from the western end of the Second ward grasped the hand of one of the Committeemen and informed him that she had never seen the like of it. She was profuse in her thanks for the happy evening. This was only a sample of what was seen and heard on all sides. The people were more than pleased, and they made no effort to conceal their appreciation.

The Fireworks Display

The display was bubbling over with variety and color and, for an hour or more, the heavens were brilliantly illuminated. In touching off the fireworks not an accident occurred and the program was carried out without a slip of any kind. The exhibition included the following features

  • 4 – No. 3 Aerial report shells, or cannon salutes
  • 6 – 2 pound Imperial salute bomb rockets
  • 8 – ½ lb Patent prismatic illuminators
  • 4 – Mammoth Piccalo or musical batteries
  • 24 – 1-lb Ideal exhibition, fancy assorted rockets
  • 16 – 2-lb Prismatic Dragon, fancy rockets
  • 6 – N. 9 Klondyke gold mines
  • 6 – Anaconda silver mines
  • 18 – 3-lb Ideal exhibition, assorted rockets
  • 8 – 4-lb Japanese festoon or lantern heavy fancy rockets
  • 8 – 4-lb Golden wreath, heavy fancy rockets
  • 8 – 4-lb Liberty or screaming, heavy fancy rocket
  • 8 – No. 4 Dragon nests or successions
  • 8 – No. 2 Volcanoes or eruption of Mt. Pelee
  • 12 – 8 lb Superb assorted, heavy, fancy rockets
  • 6 – 5-lb Old Glory, extra heavy fancy rockets
  • 6 – 6-lb Peacock plume, extra heavy, fancy rockets
  • 6 – 9-in. Aerial display shells assorted fired from mortars
  • 4 – 8-lb Telescope repeating rockets, extra heavy, fancy
  • 4 – 8-lb Weeping willow, extra heavy, fancy rockets
  • 6 – No. 2 Rainbow batteries
  • 6 – Mammoth, fiery comets
  • 6 – Extra large illuminated fountains
  • 6 – Extra heavy whirling deverishes
  • 4 – 13 ½ inch A.L. Due’s Special display shells, assorted
  • 6 – Extra heavy, Electric cascades
  • 6 – Extra heavy, Golden cascades
  • 6 – Large, Surprise boxes or whistling Jacks
  • 6 – Large Devil amongst the Tailors
  • 4 – No. 3 Bouquet bomb shells
  • 2 – Mammoth exhibition display batteries
  • 4 – A.L. Due’s mammoth serial display shells, 18 inch fired from mortars
  • 1 – No. 2 Aerial bouquet or flight of rockets
  • 12 – Port fires for lighting grounds and firing display.

The aerial bouquet consisted of a large number of assorted colored rockets assembled in a flight box, fired simultaneously crossing and intersecting in their flight and forming a gigantic bouquet.

The Band Concert

But the fireworks display was only a part of the treat that had been prepared for the entertainment of the crowds. Seated at the entrance to the library, the Star of Liberty Band of Wilmerding gave a superb concert. The band is undoubtedly one of the best concert organizations in Western Pennsylvania and, by its clever work in this place, added many new friends and admirers to its staff.

The director is Thomas Scott, and the president Peter J. Levell. The program was made up of popular and classic music, and it seemed as if the people could not get enough of it. They crowded about the band throughout the evening and frequently interrupted the festivities with liberal applause. At the conclusion of the program many persons rushed forward and congratulated the organization upon its clever work. Not a few of them expressed the hope, also, that the band might be heard here again. The program was as follows:

  • 1. March – Faust
  • 2. Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Old Black Joe, Suwanee River, etc.)
  • 3. Poet and Peasant
  • 4. Ciribiribin Waltz (enjoy the music of the times below)

  • 5. William Tell
  • 6. Remek’s Hits No. 8 (all the latest songs.)
  • 7. La Czarina, Mazurka
  • 8. Il Trovatore (incidental solos by Messrs. Oliver and Levell)
  • 9. Overture “Mermandie”
  • 10. Duet from Norma by Messrs. Levell and Biase
  • 11. Wedding of the Winds Waltz
  • 12. “Uncle Sam” (including national airs.)
Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

The Parting of a Wonderful Man of God

I received some very sad news today. For many of us, we lost a part of our religious life, our religious past on Sunday, June 29th. Father Robert Turner was called by our Heavenly Father to be with Him in heaven.

I was an altar boy when Fr. Turner arrived at Holy Name Parish in July, 1963. I remember serving early morning weekday Masses with Fr. Turner, and that he was always smiling a happy, even at 6 a.m. Mass. Like Fr, Shaughnessy, Fr. Turner would always make I was scheduled to serve Mass with him on All Saints Day. He too, would make sure he mentioned that I was born on that day, and that I was special as a result.

Fr. Turner will always hold a special place in my heart. He came to our home on Thomas Street the night that my mother had the heart attack that took her from us. I wasn’t in my parent’s bedroom when Fr. Turner gave the Last Rites to my mother, but I remember my dad saying how much Fr. Turner was able to provide comfort during such a heartbreaking tragedy. I’m sure Mom was one of the first in line to welcome Fr. Turner to the Kingdom of Heaven.

R.I.P. FATHER ROBERT TURNER

1931 – 2014

Fr. Turner

FATHER ROBERT TURNER of Munhall, died on June 29, 2014, age 83. 

Father Robert Turner was born on February 12, 1931 in Pittsburgh, PA to Joseph and Elizabeth Turner.  He attended St. Peter School and St. Michael High School, both on the South Side.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1959 from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA.

Father Turner was ordained on May 30, 1959 by Bishop John Wright at St. Paul Cathedral on Oakland, PA.  He celebrated his first Mass at St. Peter Church, his home parish. His first assignment as parochial vicar was at St. Basil Parish in Carrick, PA where he served from June 1959 to July 1962.  He then moved on the serve as parochial vicar for Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Bellevue (July 1962-July 1963), Holy Name Parish in Duquesne (July 1963-June 1966), St. Agatha Parish in Bridgeville (June 1966-May 1972), St. Paulinus Parish in Clairton (May 1972-September 1972), St. Scholastica Parish in Aspinwall (September 1972-November 1974). He was named pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Duquesne in November of 1974, where he served as pastor for 20 years until February 1994.  He then was named pastor of Resurrection Parish in February 1994 and served as pastor there until his retirement in June of 2006.

Although retired, Fr. Turner remained very active in both St. Maximilian Koble Parish in Homestead and Holy Angel Parish in Hays, offering weekday and Sunday Mass as well as confessions.  On May 30, 2014, Fr. Turner celebrated 55 years of being ordained in the Holy Priesthood.  A Mass honoring him was held on Saturday June 28, 2014 at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church. Some of Fr. Turner’s most memorable aspects of his ministry were taking care of the elderly, hearing confessions and administering the Eucharist.

Fr. Turner is survived by his sister Theresa (Robert) Whelan of Boston, MA and his brother Paul (Mary) Turner of Pittsburgh, PA.  He was predeceased by his siblings Joseph Turner, Clara Miehl, Charles Turner and Loretta Turner.  He is also survived by several nieces and nephews as well as many friends.  A visitation will be held on Wednesday 2-4 PM at the SAVOLSKIS-WASIK-GLENN FUNERAL HOME INC., 3501 Main Street, Munhall, PA.  Translation service will be Wednesday, 7 PM at Resurrection Church, West Mifflin.  Visitation will be held in church Thursday 1 pm until the time of the Funeral Mass at 3 PM.  Burial will be private.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions may be made in Fr. Turner’s memory to a parish of your choice.

JesusChristWelcomingHomeaChristianiEternal rest, grant unto him O Lord

And let perpetual light shine upon him.

May he rest in peace.

Amen.

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed,
Through the mercy of God,
Rest in peace.
Amen.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Where’s Waldo in Duquesne??

Hey people! I hope all of you are doing well and enjoying the summer weather! I have, once again, been rather derelict in my writing duties over the last month. I certainly hope to do better, and I appreciate everyone hanging in there with me.

Thanks to Duquesner JOHN BERTA, I have a treat for you. A few weeks ago, John forwarded several pictures to me to share with you. One of those pictures was a magnificent panoramic view of Duquesne that was taken in 1938. Although some of you may have seen this photograph before, the quality of the one that John sent to me was so great, that I was able to dissect it into several smaller sections to try to identify some of the buildings, structures and areas. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to identify many of the items and decided to ask for your help. Due to the size of the images, it may take longer than normal for the pictures to load, but be patient, they’re worth the wait!

As my daughter’s were growing up, there was a series of books that were published called “Where’s Waldo?” The point of the book was to try to find this tiny cartoon character in  a rather cluttered picture. Well, Waldo’s looking for his hunky roots and has visited Duquesne, so can you help him (and me of course) identify 20 Duquesne sites? If you can help, please write a comment and share your Duquesne expertise with all of us!

This first picture is the panoramic photograph that John sent to me:

DuquesnePanoramic1938 (3)If you click on the image, you should be able to see a larger version of the panoramic view.

The following five photos show various portions of Duquesne. Some buildings are easily identified, others, not so much. In the first photo, I was surprised to know that my father’s business, located directly across from the Holy Name Rectory on South 1st Street, didn’t exist in 1938. It appears to be a parking lot, which it eventually returned to! If you can identify any of the the “# – ?” items, please comment!

Wheres Waldo- 1

Again, to see a large version of any photo, just click on the image.

Where Waldo 2

Where Waldo3

Where Waldo4

Where Waldo5

Lastly, I was AMAZED at the size of the area and the number of homes that were located “below the tracks!” By the time I was born, or at least within the time I can recall, this area no longer existed. If anyone has any insight into this area or can identify any of the buildings, please comment and share with us.

BTT - 1938

Stay well my friends!

Posted in Uncategorized | 73 Comments

Ask and You Shall Receive

Bob Chermonitz & Lorraine Spade Fabrizi, both former Holy Name Grade School classmates of mine, shared a very interesting Facebook post from a gentleman by the name of Steve Herman. 

Being of “the age” where I am able to take advantage of some of the “perks” of being older, I feel compelled to share the information with anyone who may benefit from it. For those of you who are “of the age,” GO FOR IT! If you happen to not be old enough to take More Pleaseadvantage of any of there discounts, please, tell someone who is! 

I cannot confirm the accuracy of the information, but as the post suggests, just ask! And in the words of little Oliver, “MORE PLEASE!”

 

As I was waiting in line behind gentleman at Wendy’s recently, I heard him ask for his senior discount. The girl at the register apologized and charged him less. When I asked the man what the discount was, he told me that
seniors over age 55 …get 10% off everything on the menu, every day. (But you need to ASK for your discount.)

Being of ‘that’ age myself, I figured I might as well ask for the discount too. This incident prompted me to do some research, and I came across a list of restaurants, supermarkets, department stores, travel deals and other types of offers giving various discounts with different age requirements. I was actually surprised to see how many there are and how some of them start at the young age of 50.
This list may not only be useful for you, but for your friends and family too.

Dunkin Donuts gives free coffee to people over 55 .
If you’re paying for a cup every day, you might want to start getting it for FREE.

YOU must ASK for your discount!

RESTAURANTS:
Applebee’s: 15% off with Golden Apple Card (60+)
Arby’s: 10% off ( 55 +)
Ben & Jerry’s: 10% off (60+)
Bennigan’s: discount varies by location (60+)
Bob’s Big Boy: discount varies by location (60+)
Boston Market: 10% off (65+)
Burger King: 10% off (60+)
Chick-Fil-A: 10% off or free small drink or coffee ( 55+)
Chili’s: 10% off ( 55+)
CiCi’s Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Denny’s: 10% off, 20% off for AARP members ( 55 +)
Dunkin’ Donuts: 10% off or free coffee ( 55+)
Einstein’s Bagels: 10% off baker’s dozen of bagels (60+)
Fuddrucker’s: 10% off any senior platter ( 55+)
Gatti’s Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Golden Corral: 10% off (60+)
Hardee’s: $0.33 beverages everyday (65+)
IHOP: 10% off ( 55+)
Jack in the Box: up to 20% off ( 55+)
KFC: free small drink with any meal ( 55+)
Krispy Kreme: 10% off ( 50+)
Long John Silver’s: various discounts at locations ( 55+)
McDonald’s: discounts on coffee everyday ( 55+)
Mrs. Fields: 10% off at participating locations (60+)
Shoney’s: 10% off
Sonic: 10% off or free beverage (60+)
Steak ‘n Shake: 10% off every Monday & Tuesday ( 50+)
Subway: 10% off (60+)
Sweet Tomatoes: 10% off (62+)
Taco Bell : 5% off; free beverages for seniors (65+)
TCBY: 10% off ( 55+)
Tea Room Cafe: 10% off ( 50+)
Village Inn: 10% off (60+)
Waffle House: 10% off every Monday (60+)
Wendy’s: 10% off ( 55 +)
Whataburger: 10% off (62+)
White Castle: 10% off (62+) This is for me … if I ever see one again.

RETAIL & APPAREL :
Banana Republic: 30% off ( 50 +)
Bealls: 20% off first Tuesday of each month ( 50 +)
Belk’s: 15% off first Tuesday of every month ( 55 +)
Big Lots: 30% off
Bon-Ton Department Stores: 15% off on senior discount days ( 55 +)
C.J. Banks: 10% off every Wednesday (50+)
Clarks : 10% off (62+)
Dress Barn: 20% off ( 55+)
Goodwill: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Hallmark: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kmart: 40% off (Wednesdays only) ( 50+)
Kohl’s: 15% off (60+)Modell’s Sporting Goods: 30% off
Rite Aid: 10% off on Tuesdays & 10% off prescriptions
Ross Stores: 10% off every Tuesday ( 55+)
The Salvation Army Thrift Stores: up to 50% off ( 55+)
Stein Mart: 20% off red dot/clearance items first Monday of every month ( 55 +)

GROCERY :
Albertson’s: 10% off first Wednesday of each month ( 55 +)
American Discount Stores: 10% off every Monday ( 50 +)
Compare Foods Supermarket: 10% off every Wednesday (60+)
DeCicco Family Markets: 5% off every Wednesday (60+)
Food Lion: 60% off every Monday (60+)
Fry’s Supermarket: free Fry’s VIP Club Membership & 10% off every Monday ( 55 +)
Great Valu Food Store: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
Gristedes Supermarket: 10% off every Tuesday (60+)
Harris Teeter: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
Hy-Vee: 5% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kroger: 10% off (date varies by location)
Morton Williams Supermarket: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
The Plant Shed: 10% off every Tuesday ( 50 +)
Publix: 15% off every Wednesday ( 55 +)
Rogers Marketplace: 5% off every Thursday (60+)
Uncle Guiseppe’s Marketplace: 15% off (62+)

TRAVEL :
Airlines:
Alaska Airlines: 50% off (65+)
American Airlines: various discounts for 50% off non-peak periods (Tuesdays – Thursdays) (62+)and up (call before booking for discount)
Continental Airlines: no initiation fee for Continental Presidents Club & special fares for select destinations
Southwest Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
United Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
U.S. Airways: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
Rail:
Amtrak: 15% off (62+)
Bus:
Greyhound: 15% off (62+)
Trailways Transportation System: various discounts for ages 50+

CAR RENTAL:
Alamo Car Rental: up to 25% off for AARP members
Avis: up to 25% off for AARP members
Budget Rental Cars: 40% off; up to 50% off for AARP members ( 50+)
Dollar Rent-A-Car: 10% off ( 50+) Enterprise Rent-A-Car: 5% off for AARP members Hertz: up to 25% off for AARP members
National Rent-A-Car: up to 30% off for AARP members

OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATIONS:
Holiday Inn: 20-40% off depending on location (62+)
Best Western: 40% off (55+)
Cambria Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
Waldorf Astoria – NYC $5,000 off nightly rate for Presidential Suite (55 +)
Clarion Motels: 20%-30% off (60+)
Comfort Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Comfort Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
Econo Lodge: 40% off (60+)
Hampton Inns & Suites: 40% off when booked 72 hours in advance
Hyatt Hotels: 25%-50% off (62+)
InterContinental Hotels Group: various discounts at all hotels (65+)
Mainstay Suites: 10% off with Mature Traveler’s Discount (50+); 20%-30% off (60+)
Marriott Hotels: 25% off (62+)
Motel 6: Stay Free Sunday nights (60+)
Myrtle Beach Resort: 30% off ( 55 +)
Quality Inn: 40%-50% off (60+)
Rodeway Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Sleep Inn: 40% off (60+)

ACTIVITIES & ENTERTAINMENT :
AMC Theaters: up to 30% off ( 55 +)
Bally Total Fitness: $100 off memberships (62+)
Busch Gardens Tampa, FL: $13 off one-day tickets ( 50 +)
Carmike Cinemas: 35% off (65+)
Cinemark/Century Theaters: up to 35% off
Massage Envy – NYC 20% off all “Happy Endings” (62 +)
U.S. National Parks: $10 lifetime pass; 50% off additional services including camping (62+)
Regal Cinemas: 50% off Ripley’s Believe it or Not: @ off one-day ticket ( 55 +)
SeaWorld, Orlando , FL : $3 off one-day tickets ( 50 +)

CELL PHONE DISCOUNTS:
AT&T: Special Senior Nation 200 Plan $19.99/month (65+)
Jitterbug: $10/month cell phone service ( 50 +)
Verizon Wireless: Verizon Nationwide 65 Plus Plan $29.99/month (65+).

MISCELLANEOUS:
Great Clips: $8 off hair cuts (60+)
Supercuts: $8 off haircuts (60+)

NOW, go out there and claim your discounts – - and remember — YOU must ASK for discount —- no ask, no discount.
I Know everyone knows someone over 50 please pass the one on!!!!!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Honoring Memorial Day

As you prepare for all of the Memorial Day festivities that await you, take a moment to remember all of the brave men and women who have served or laid down their lives in the defense of our great nation. On behalf of all of the grateful citizens from Duquesne, THANK YOU and GOD BLESS YOU!

!B-z3I2w!mk~$(KGrHqIOKogEy+jC)otJBM9veyBZr!~~_12

When I’m Gone

- Mrs. Lyman Hancock

When I come to the end of my journey
And I travel my last weary mile,
Just forget if you can, that I ever frowned
And remember only the smile.

Forget unkind words I have spoken;
Remember some good I have done.
Forget that I ever had heartache
And remember I’ve had loads of fun.

Forget that I’ve stumbled and blundered
And sometimes fell by the way.
Remember I have fought some hard battles
And won, ere the close of the day.

Then forget to grieve for my going,
I would not have you sad for a day,
But in summer just gather some flowers
And remember the place where I lay,

And come in the shade of evening
When the sun paints the sky in the west
Stand for a few moments beside me
And remember only my best.

Dad

The book “Glory Years” by Pittsburgh author Jim O’Brien has a story of my father, Steve Volk, which I would like to share with you once again in his honor and as a reminder of how so many of our fathers were courageous members of the armed forces:  

Steve Volk “I’m 110 percent”

A light rain fell all weekend on the fresh grave at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in West Mifflin. It soaked a small American flag that had been stuck in the mound so that the flag soon stopped flapping in the breeze.

The flag signified that the decreased man was a military veteran, one of those we ought to remember and pay tribute to on Memorial Day.

A larger American flag was folded in a triangle at the top of the casket, and had caught my eye, during the viewing earlier in the week at the Gregris Funeral Home in Duquesne. It’s the favored funeral home for Croatian Catholics in the community, across the street from the high school, up the steep hill from where the U.S. Steel Works once dominated the landscape.

Steve Volk, my wife’s uncle, had lived most of his 84 years in Duquesne, and once owned an automotive repair shop there. He later managed an automotive repair unit of J.C. Penney’s. He died in May of 1999.

During World War II, Volk trained airplane mechanics for the U.S. Army at an airfield near Chicago. Like most men and women who were in the military service, he was not a decorated war hero. He simply served his country as best he could and when he came back home he got a job and raised a family.                             

Steve Volk was no big shot, just a simple man. He was about 5′ 7″,  but walker tall and was a sociable fellow. I didn’t know him that well, but every time I saw him at a family get-together he wore a hat and a smile. When anyone asked how he was doing, he would reply, “I’m 110 percent.”

He was the sort of man NBC newscaster Tom Brokaw wrote about in his best-selling book, “The Greatest Generation.” It dealt with individual men and women who came of age during the Great Depression and World War II and went on to build modern America.  “This generation was united not only by a common purpose,” wrote Brokaw, “but also by common values — duty, honor, economy, courage, service, love of family and country~ and, above all, responsibility for oneself.”

Steve was the oldest of eight children. He was survived by his sisters,  Helen Volk and Peggy Rusnica, and his brothers, Gary and Joseph. He was  preceded in death by his brothers, John, Henry and Michael.

Volk did a great job of raising his sons, Steve and Jimmy, now in their mid-40′s. Young Steve was just 14 and Jimmy 12 when their mother, Mildred Volk, died. They’ve always been good kids, and now they  have wonderful families of their own. Their dad taught them how to do  that.

Steve has been a big success in the insurance business, and Jimmy has done just as well in the retail business. They have fond memories of their father. He was a simple man who 
enjoyed hunting, fishing, golfing and smiling.

Seeing a movie like “Saving Private Ryan” makes one realize how lucky they were not to have been in combat. It’s the combat veterans who really rate our admiration. But people like Steve Volk did their best in a supportive way.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Kennywood’s Sunlight Swimming Pool

Mea Culpa

 

MEA CULPA

MEA CULPA

MEA MAXIMA CULPA

 

 

I am certain that for the majority of you, it must seem like I fell off the face of the earth. Indrop-off-face-of-earth_0 many ways, the days and weeks that have ensued since my last post on April 10, 2014 have kept me in a whirlwind! This has been the longest absence that I have had since I began writing this blog back on 11/29/2010 and I apologize for neglecting all of you!

In my defense however, the events that have transpired for me during the last 39 days have been unprecedented in my life. Let me explain:

  • On Friday April 11th, I drove from Ocean Pines, Maryland to Duquesne, 8+ hours on the road.
  • On Saturday, April 12th, I spent the day with my Aunt Peg. The purpose of my visit was to attend her 88th Birthday party to be held on April 13th, the actual anniversary of her birth.
  • On Sunday, April13, festivities surrounding my aunt’s birthday filled the day. In typical hunky fashion, about 50+ guests celebrated with Aunt Peg at Ciccanti’s on Route 51 in Pleasant Hills.
  • On Monday April 14th at which time I returned to Ocean Pines after an 8+ hour drive.
  • April 15th thru April 22, I moved into my new office in Ocean City, Maryland. A week or more of refiling, reorganizing and setting-up my real estate office. In addition, I had Holy Week and Easter to take part in.
  • April 23rd found me in the ER Department at AGH (Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin, MD) for CHF (congestive Heart Failure) and Pneumonia! Spent three days at AGH and then was taken by ambulance to PRMC (Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, MD) for 3 more days including an emergency heart cauterization!
  • Back home from the hospital(s) on the 29th and 30th, resting and taking my antibiotics.
  • May 1st, drove up to my oldest daughter’s place in Exton, PA (outside of Philly) for a BIG event on May 2nd.
  • On May 2nd at 9:01 a.m., my 2nd grandchild, a boy, was delivered via C-section at PaoliPap and MJ General Hospital in Paoli, PA. Weighing in at 7 pounds, 14 ounces, Mason James was a perfect new additional. Mom, Dad, brother and baby are doing fine.
  • Returned home to Ocean Pines on Monday night, May 5th, totally exhausted and ready for a few days of rest.
  • That was not to happen. By Wednesday night, May 7th, I began a 5 day bout with “the runs.”
  • By Monday, May 12, I was back in the ER at AGH. I was diagnosed with Acute Colitis and Acute Lower GI Bleed. Fortunately, after only 5 or 6 hours AND after being rehydrated and administered morphine for the pain, I was sent home. Since then, I spend last week just recovering.

Shore

 

And so, here I sit on May 19th, fully recovered and with a renewed focus on eating healthy and STAYING healthy. My new office is on the ocean side of Coastal Highway in Ocean City, MD between 81st and 82nd Streets. As a result, I’ve just been taking a stroll to the ocean each lunchtime to just sit, relax and unwind. I know that after Memorial Day, the madness in Ocean City will ensue, but being able to sit at my desk and just watch the “crazies” walk by is bound to prove very interesting!

 

Last week was “HOT ROD WEEK” in Ocean City, and the town was PACKED withcamp-0812-02-ocean-city-hot-rod-event-ss-camaro thousands of restored “muscle cars” from my youth. GTO’s, Roadrunner, Mustangs, etc. roared past my window all day long. The best part for me however, was not the noise, but the smell that permeated the town. There was a distinct, familiar aroma from the exhausts, hot asphalt and occasional grilling meat or Thrasher’s French Fries that brought memories of Kennywood’s Sunlight Pool rushing back to me.

1000x1000My childhood friend, Bob Chermonitz, recently posted a few Kennywood Pool pictures on Facebook that I really enjoyed seeing. Bob’s pictures as well as others that I have found over the years really bring back memories of the pool.

Aside from the distinct smell of fries, hot dogs and pizza being prepared and sold at the pool, there was always the distinct Sunlight Poolaroma of Coppertan Suntan Lotion in the air. Back in the days prior to common knowledge about the dangerous effects of over exposure to the sun, we all strove to get the as dark a tan as possible during the summer. If it wasn’t Coppertone that was being used, one would also catch the distinct sweet smell of Baby Oil from a nearby young lady. Had we only been aware of the dangers of unprotected exposure to the sun, I’m sure a lot of us would have led healthier lives. However, in defense of our actions, that then page 69lingering cloud of mill smoke and smog helped to shield us from the full brunt of the UV rays!

There was another part of HOT ROD WEEK that evoked memories of Kennywood’s Pool for me as well. It seemed that many of the cars totally embraced the era in which they were made by blasting the local Oldies radio station on their car radios. Sounds of Jan & Dean, The Beach Boys, Leslie Gore, Lou Christie, etc. drifted through the air along the beach. I remember how, while at the kenny8pool, we had stereophonic sound before it became popular! It seems that everyone had their own transistor radio tucked under their beach towel or beach blanket while lying around Kennywood’s pool. Just think of how many hours you would spend on that towel, eyes closed, listing perhaps to some Gene Pitney song and hearing the roar of the roller coasters in the park and the excited screams Poolof the riders! Could it have gotten any better???

And so, as we approach the Memorial Day weekend, as you sit on your deck, grill blazing and hamburgers sizzling away, close your eyes for a second or two and harken back to those wonderful days at the park and how excited you would get just seeing mJm-U3gHJdVNz5B_CnriPFAthat big ol’ yellow arrow pointing to the times of your life!!!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 32 Comments