Duquesne Trival Pursuit

I have been busy reading through all of the comments that have been posted by former and current residents of Duquesne since I began this blog back in November. There have been a lot of blanks that have been filled in for me about people and places throughout Duquesne. I was very excited to receive this information and I am eternally grateful.

Occasionally, I’d like to toss out some random thoughts and recollections for you to embellish with your own memories. Let’s dig deep into our memory bank and see if you can add to the following non-related thoughts and questions:

  • If I am not mistaken, wasn’t Adler-Green’s located nest to Avenue News on the corner of S. First and Grant?
  • Didn’t the Alder-Green site convert to a Johnson the Florist after Adler-Green relocated to the corner of 2nd Street and Grant?
  • Wasn’t Johnson the Florist originally located on the corner of S. First and Grant across the street from Alder-Green’s original location?
  • Weren’t Adler’s and Green’s separate stores at one time?
  • Where was Benovitz’s located? I remember the name and I think they sold appliances, but I am not sure.
  • Does anyone remember Dr. Sebastian, the female dentist, located near the First National Bank building on Duquesne Blvd? She eventually relocated her office to Duquesne Place. I believe it was on the 2nd floor of her home then. Does anyone remember her?
  • My dad used to talk about a friend of his who used to live above Adler-Green’s on the corner of S. First and Grant. My dad always called him Pop Arms. Does anyone know anything about him?
  • Every two weeks, we were marched down to Ideal Barber Shop on Grant Ave. Frank Gigliotti was the owner and occupied the first chair, closest to the front window. There was another barber there, I believe his name was Bob, who always cut my hair. Does anyone recall Bob or his last name?
  • I had a friend who lived on Priscilla and 3rd or 4th Sts. Here name was Denise Hudak. She would have graduated in 1969. Does anyone know anything about her or where she is now?
  • Avenue News was always called Elsie’s as long as I can remember. However, I don’t remember anyone named Elsie there. Am I wrong?
  • Do you remember Jerry Reed’s Insurance Office next to Holy Name Grade School? Wasn’t there a dry cleaners next to his office on the corner of 1st Street and the alley behind Avenue News?
  • Did you know that Port Authority’s 61C bus route is still active. The cost to go from Duquesne to Downtown Pittsburgh is now $2.75 (if I am reading their fare schedule correctly.) I remember snowy days waiting for the bus inside the little coffee shop on the corner of Grant and 2nd St. It was always so warm and smelled so good in there! I have no idea what the name was.  Any thoughts?

I certainly hope that this has stirred up some memories! I hope someone has some answers to my questions. I am most anxious to find out about the mystery man “Pop Arms” and my friend Denise Hudak. Don’t forget to comment!!

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141 Responses to Duquesne Trival Pursuit

  1. Rick Burton says:

    My Dad (Bud Burton) and my Grandfather (Harry Burton Sr) would always drive downtown and pick up Elsie every Friday night during high school football season and take her with us to all the DHS games —both home and away games. Elsie always brought huge bags of fresh roasted peanuts for everyone. She was a big DHS football fan as was my entire family. Great memories!!!

  2. Donna Colella says:

    I’m reading this years later, but enjoyed hearing all of the memories. I remember Elsie and Dom at Avenue News. I don’t remember Elsie as being mean, but maybe she was older and mellowed out when I met her. My aunts, the Colella sisters, operated Capitol Cleaners, which was located in between Avenue News and Sally Fashions. I believe Tom Markides (not sure of spelling) owned the shop. We would spend Saturday mornings at the shop, sweeping the floor and running errands, one of which was running to Elsie’s for Copenhagen Snuff for my uncle.

  3. Jerome "Jerry" Dittman says:

    I remember Dr. Umholtz as he drilled and filled most all of my teeth up until the 40’s. His office at that time was located on the second floor of the building, upper side of 5th St., across from Gallagher’s drug store. He also had a son, Wayne who graduated from DHS with me in 1945.

    Talking about the Umholtz store at Kennedy and Wilmot reminds me of the winters we would sled ride; first it would be on Kennedy from the top to Catherine St. until they would slag the hill. We would then move over a block to the street, can’t remember the name, but, it ends at Wilmot at the Umholtz store. Being a “T” intersection it required a sharp turn at the bottom to keep from hitting the concrete retaining wall holding Wilmot. As with all good things familiarity breeds contempt, many successful runs made me cocky and it finally caught up with me when I failed to make the turn and hit the wall head on. Needless to say that ended my sled ridding down that hill; I was 7 or 8 at the time. The sleds we used had steel runners and were steerable, not the plastic junk that passes as sleds today.

  4. Dave Gaydos says:

    The “Bob” barber some folks are mentioning is Bob Arendas

    • michelle odonnell says:

      Bob was my neighbor in North Versailles. He knew my family, as I am from Duquesne also. He passed away a few years ago. My Maiden name is Mckee.
      Michelle O’Donnell

  5. James David Murzyn says:

    In response to the Duquesne Ironmen Football Team, my neighbor up the street (in Homestead Park) use to own them in the 60’s. My family would go see them practice and play. As a little one, I would want to get right in with the player during practice exercise. So, not to kill me, some the players would have some change and give me some money to go down the candy store on Kennywood Blvd. I would walk back and eat the candy and then someone else would give me some change. Again, I would go to the candy store, etc. Some of the players would go to Bud’s house and they would pick on me. Recently, I had a client from Duquesne and I asked him if he heard of the Duquesne Ironmen, his response was “I was a Duquesne Ironmen”. I told Bud’s nephew about this and his wife said he has a Duquesne Ironmen shirt that is falling apart and he won’t let me throw it away.

  6. Guy Achtzehn says:

    I believe the barber you refer too back then was Bobby Katush (pronounced Ka-toosh). He work with Joe Guadanola first. He did have the slicked back hair, really cool guy.

  7. Rick Burton says:

    Paul,
    You got the right Burton’s. My dad was president of Local 1256 steelworkers Union for 12 years. I have 3 sisters – all younger — Janet (class of 72), Debbie (class of 74) and Laurie (class 0f 80). I think I have their graduating years correct.

    • Leslie Moffat Cox says:

      My family and I were members of
      First United Methodist in Duquesne on Kennedy Avenue. The Jacobs family We remember the Burtons from Sunday School. Loved that church and sunday school.

  8. Rick, I thought you live on the corner of Catherine and Viola Avenue. Kitty Corner from the Fabians, Bud anf Tom. I lived on the corner of Auriles and Viola directly accross from Henry’s Isadore?’s store. Also, did you dad not run for the Union President at the Duquesne Works.
    Am I thinking of different Burtons? Thanks. Ps. Did you not have a younger sister?

  9. Iris Wisbar Marko says:

    My husband Ron Marko wants to know if anyone remembers the Hunky Village, and what meeting behind the garages means? (I really don’t think it was anything bad)

  10. Rick Burton says:

    There really was an Elsie that owned Avenues News. My grandfather (Harry Burton) and dad (Bud Burton) would pickup Elsie at Avenue News every Friday night during football season and she would go to every game – home or away – with us. She had the “shotgun” seat because she was a rather large lady. She always brought about 6 to 8 bags of hot roasted peanuts with her to every game.My family never missed a DHS football game home or away from 1947 to 1961. Then I played from 62 to 64 and my brother until 67 so we did not miss any games for 20 years. Great memories there.

    My dad started the Duquesne Colts Pony League Team and my brother, Billy Steele and I were the bats boys. I remember riding to many an away game in the trunk of my dad’s car with the trunk propped up by baseball bats. It was always a fun ride. My mother (Cubby Burton) was the teams official score keeper.

    Mr. Umholtz was the store keeper on Kennedy & Wilmont. His son was the dentist across the street. Jack Tiechert opened his funeral home catty-cornered from Mr. Umholtz’s store. We lived next door to Tiechert’s Funeral Home and played “hide and seek” in the casket room many times. That ended the day when my brother and I got caught hiding in 2 caskets while Jack was “showing” his caskets to a widow and Jack opened the casket and there was a “surprise” person very much alive in the casket. Can you say “SCREAMING”??? Jack was a great guy with a great sense of humor. When his daughter would not let my brother (Tim Burton) play in her new sandbox my brother simply retaliated by pouring cement and water into the sandbox!!! Jack thought it was a great lesson and laughed – then he bought his daughter a new sandbox that she graciously shared with all of us.

    Top of the hill on Kennedy was Jack’s store on the left with a great pinball machine — only a nickel. Across the street was Hilltop Grocery run by John Simko (sp).
    Remember Dr. Shink’s office on Grant Ave just across and down the street from Gallegher’s Drug Store – they made awesome milkshakes and great cherry cokes.

    Remember the Duquesne Ironmen Football Team??? I was their mascot when I was 2 to 4 years old – even had my own uniform with the number “0” on it – I still have that photo. They even had Bobby Layne (sp) play quarterback for them after he was cut by the Detroit Lions one year. Many DHS stars played after high school for the Ironmen over the years – many worked full time in the steel mills as college was not for everyone but football was for anyone who wanted to play. DHS football field was considered one of the finest “turfs” in all of Western PA.

    Did anyone else ever catch lighting bugs and a frog and put them all together in a big glass jar??? If not you have to try it with your grandkids and/or great-grandkids. The frog will eat the lighting bugs. Then let the frog loose and watch the frog “light up” as he hops away!!! Honest injun – it works. We did it many a summer night when I was a kid.

    • kwhit190211 says:

      My Dad, ( John J. Whitmore) always said that we were related to Buddy Burton, somehow. When I worked in the duquesne mill, I worked with a Bud Burton. But, I can’t remember if it was when I was a Millright helper or when I was a pipefitter. What department did your dad work in??

      • Rick Burton says:

        My dad was a pipefitter. I’m not sure what department that was part of as I only worked for 3 summers at the steel mill. we may be related through the Hunt’s side of the family or through your mom’s side (what was her maiden name).

    • Bob Chermonitz says:

      I recall the Ironman very well. My grandfather, John “Doc Green” Chermonitz was their trainer for some years, as well as being the DHS trainer. As a kid I often was with him on the sidelines. Later I recall your brother, Tim. I graduated in ’69. He drove (I believe) a ’65 or so Buick GS. I also played 1st base for the Duquesne Pony Baseball team. I believe my godfather, Happy Magdic, was the coach then or maybe it was Mr. Fagan. In my mind I get the Colts and Pony mixed up. Maybe “Happy” was the Colt coach.

      I recall a player for the Ironman, named DeRosa, who kicked the first drop kick fieldgoal I ever witnessed in my life! Sure it was common uo to the 50’s but this was in the 60’s. A big protest started on the DHS field but the officals ruled it good. Funny the things we remember. 🙂

      • Rick Burton says:

        I totally remember your grandfather Doc Green or Greenie as the coaches called him. He took care of me many times and taught me how to tape ankles, knees etc — I was the trainer at Clarion State Basketball team for 2 seasons thanks to him.
        The colts were the Duquesne Pony League team – my dad Bud Burton started it about 1949 or 1950. I was the mascot for the Duquesne Ironmen Football Team 1947 to 1949 — full uniform with the number 0, helmet and all. I remember the Derosa drop kicker – I think his name was Frank Derosa. My brother Tim lives in Greenock right on the river. Times were much different in Duquesne back then. When I was there in October it was very sad to see all the homes that have been leveled over the years. Not the same town I grew up in that’s for sure.

    • Maryalice Turocy Bendick says:

      I was just reading over this sight. It brings back so many memories of my dad, Albert Turocy. He grew up in Duquesne and never let me forget it. All the stories he would tell. He also played football for the high school and played for the Duquesne Ironmen. He went on to work in the mill for 40 years. He has been gone for 10 years but just reading the stories here makes me feel like he is still around. Thanks everyone.

    • Barry Long says:

      Rick:Whatever happened to Jackie Burton who lived with his Mom on Friendship St across from Ken Denne? He would be 80ish today. He & his Mom moved away in the late 1940s & we had been on many adventures together down on the Slag Dump.His yard backed onto the Burton home on Wilmont St(next to Margaret’s Grocery Store).Was he a relative??

  11. Jack schalk says:

    Eleanor, I remember you as one of the “artists” that decorated our home room blackboards at DHS that won us first prize as the best decorated room. I provided the Christmas tree from a woods in White Oak. That was in 1954.

  12. Gloria Adams Garbart says:

    Great website to find old friends.

  13. Claudia Repko Misage says:

    Tom——Are you talking about Tommy Repko from Munhall? If so he is a cousin. My brothers were Mark ( now he is Father Cyril OFM Cap.) is a priest in Papua New Guinea. He has been there for the last 45 years. Next is Kieran who became a teacher living in Brecksville Ohio and David who is a attorney and living in Solon Ohio, and believe it or not now working for the US Steel in Pittsburgh. When did you graduate from Duquesne????

  14. Claudia Repko Misage says:

    Bill Kennedy please e-mail me at jrmisage@aol.com I am NOT on face book Great hearing from you!!!!!!!

  15. Deanne Harris Seese says:

    Really enjoying this!

    • Barry Long says:

      Deanne, i think your sister’s name was Judy & you both played in our back yard with my brother John & sister Maureen. We lived 2 houses away on Kennedy Av. We moved to Pleasant Hills in 1953. Your family went to Sherman Av????

  16. Cathy Cardilla-Gallucci says:

    It’s Cathy Cardilla again.
    Escowitz’s was a Furniture store on First Street. I remember because my mom bought all of our new furniture there. I am related to Alexis Obsince, Richard Obsince, Greg Obsince and Bernie Obsince. They are all my cousins. If anyone wants to contact me I am ollie22801@msn.com. Hope to hear from some of you who remember me.

    • Iris Wisbar Marko says:

      Cathy,
      So great to read all you have written about the Duquesne area. I have thought about you often, wondering if you still lived in the area. I would love to ger together with you and your family sometime. It just gave me chills when you wrote about my dad, being a butcher at Benowitzs. Please contact me, irisjoy1@verizon.net

  17. Cathy Cardilla-Gallucci says:

    Cathy Cardilla here. I was in the class of 1960 but moved at the end of my junior year. I remember lots of stores on 1st street because I lived there above Vivirito’s Market on the 3rd floor. There was the bank on the corner, then Woody’s Drug Store the the Plaza theater. My Godfather Charlie Wisbar was the butcher at Beniwitz Market. The A & P was across the street as well as the Good Year Store and the State Store. Everyone should remember the Plaza Jewlery Store. Ceil Oliver put all the new graduates pictures in the front window. My mom, Maryanne Cardilla worked at Bud and Jerry’s Donut Shop and Butlers Drug Store across the street for St. Joseph Church. My Aunt Mary Yonkers had a Cleaning and Taylor shop on Second Street and my uncle Alex Obsince operated the P.J. Long Insurance Agency and also ran for City Council in 1960. My mom’s family lived on Viola Avenue.

  18. Bob Chermonitz says:

    Maz, Maz, Maz!!!!! The Ideal barber shop did have a barber named Bob. He was a really cool guy and reminded me of a Sammy Davis Jr. type. About the same size and wore his hair brushed back, too. He gave me a “special” haircut for my senior picture. Sal Napoli (Frank’s uncle) cut hair there, too. He left to become the manager at “Your Father’s Mustache” in the Monroeville mall. But why the MAZ stuff? In the famous picture of Maz crossing the plate with the winning homerun in the 1960 World Series, the balding man in the suit chasing him down the third base line IS Frank Gigliotti, himself!!!! You can’t make this stuff up. 🙂

    • Cathy Cardilla-Gallucci says:

      Bob..are you related to Mary Virginia Chermonitz? She lived in Duquesne Place. She went to school with me until High school and then went to high school at Divine Redemer Academy. Cathy Cardilla-Gallucci.

      • Bob Chermonitz says:

        Hi Cathy, Yes I am related to “VJ”. She is my dad’s little sister and my aunt. As I write I am awaiting a phone call from her saying she is home from Italy, after 6 weeks. We live about a mile away from one another, she in Bethel Park, Pa. and I in South Park, Pa. Now that I mention it, although I miss her dearly, I really miss her husband who makes wine. I’m almost out. 🙂

      • Cathy Cardilla-Gallucci says:

        Bob…please give VJ my best. We were pretty good friends and I remember that her brother was a lot older than her. I think 17 years. Your grandparents were the greatest and I always had a good time when I was at VJ’s house. I would love to hear from her after all these years. Please give her my email address – ollie22801@msn.com.

  19. Bob Chermonitz says:

    Dr. Sebastian did indeed build her office at the rear of her house at the corner of Harden and Overland in Duquesne Place. It was on the second floor and you had to walk up a fire escape type thing to get in there. Back in the day when a black cow sucker could pull out a filling in one bite I got to visit her , alot! Her son, Freddy, went to school with us and her older son was named John. I did not know of a third son.

  20. Carl Rumble says:

    Does anyone remember the Avenue Dairy on Grant and 4th ? I believe the owners were named Goldie and Soapy. Man that’s 50 some years ago. I think they had a dairy bar in front and a pool table in the back room.

  21. Jack Schalk says:

    I had a hard time remembering the owners of the small store at the corner of Grant and Wilmot Sts. It finally came out, they were the Geyers and the store was in the front of their home.
    I attended school with their son Larry for a short while and then he just disappeared. Some said he went to the monastery.
    This store was very near the Oates home on Grant. I used to play baseball with Paul but his family moved away about 1952. The Drotars lived near there and Jim was one of the regulars on the field also.
    If you’re like me, these memories come in flashes. Like the visions of the old buses that I took to McKeesport for music lessons. They had all they could do to get up our hills or just stopping on the snowy brick streets in the winter.

    • You mention taking music lessons in McKeesport. Would that have been Progressive Music? Do you remember Parker’s hobby shop? It was across the street from the library?

      • Jack schalk says:

        Indeed it was Progressive Music. Mr. Oliver was the trumpet teacher.

        I spent a lot of time at Parkers while going through various stages of hobbies. Planes and trains mostly.

  22. Carl Rumble says:

    Does anyone remember Wolford’s bakery truck ? He would drive around the neighborhood selling baked goods out of the back of his truck. I can still remember the aroma when he’d open the back doors. Or how about Burna’s the huckster. He would deliver fresh fruits and vegtables right to your door.

    • Sandi Algeri Bullard says:

      Hey Carl – I am sure you do not remember me, but I do remember you. Growing up I was Sandi Algeri. I remember the crush I had on you and you aslked me out to a movie and I was not allowed to go. I love this Duquesne site. It bring sback so many memories

      • Carl Rumble says:

        Sandi, sure I remember you. Hope I’m not senile yet. I agree with you about this site, it really brings back some memories. Especially when you see some of the names and places (slag dump). I’ve been gone for so long I have to pull up Map Quest and zoom in to get where the streets are.

    • I think wolford’s truck was driven by Jimmy Davies’ dad. Jimmy was 58 DHS grad. There was also an egg man who delivered eggs.

  23. gary dillinger says:

    poarms was the guy that used to walk up and down grant hitting himself in the face

  24. Barry Long says:

    The store on the left up the hill from Umholtz’s was the “HILLTOP DAIRY” [circa 40s & 50s]. It was on the corner of Kennedy Av; & Peter St. Later it would take the owner’s first names, like John’s,Joe,s etc. By the way, thanks for the photo of the fountain. It must have been moved to City Park when the Library was built???? It sure would have been better for my childhood pride if uncle Hud would have been holding the rifle.

  25. Barry Long says:

    Umholtz’s store was on the left going up Kennedy Ave. There was also a DR. Umholtz but I can’t recall where his office was located. The owner of the candy store was “older” & lived in a brick home next to the wooden store. The buildings were attached & the cross street was Wilmot. Today there is a funeral home catty-corner on Wilmot.

    • Paul Neslanik says:

      Ok: Umholtz store was directly across Kennedy from Umholtz the Doctor. I now know the store and the Doc’s home and office across the street. Doc’s office was on the right going up Kennedy. There was also a small store a block up Kennedy at the top of the hill on the left. I got my morning Post Gazettes there to deliver down the hill and on the side streets of Kennedy. I also turn my paper collections into the manager of this store. He was a distributor for the Post and had about 15 boys delivering for him. Can anyone help with the name of the store. It was kitty Korner from a larger local food store not unlike Manns Brothers on Auriles street.

    • Jack Schalk says:

      The owner of the candy store at Wilmot and Kennedy was Ben Umholtz. He became one of my most unforgettable characters. I spent many hours just talking to him.
      I was a close friend of his grandson Bill Craft of Doney St.

      • Barry Long says:

        Hey Jack: Just typed what I’m doing now but it evaporated??? [Not too literate on a computer] Ben allowed us to aim his Savage hunting rifle when we came in the store during hunting season & he always had a story.

      • Jim says:

        Barry, unfortunately, all comments are sent to me first for approval and sometimes I don’t get to them right away. I do this since I have had people post pornographic things on my blog and try to spam it. So, to keep it clean and enjoyable, I opted to approve anything that is published. Sorry about the delay, but believe me, we look forward to your comments! Keep ’em coming!

  26. Barry Long says:

    Sydney’s candy store was on Kennedy & 5th. The BELL rang anytime you entered & I swear he was always at the table eating in his kitchen because the door to it was open so he could see who entered. He knew I was only good for 5 or 10cents so he usually had a bite or 2 more before he got up & came back into the store to get my candy choice. Other long time candy stores were UMHOLTZ’S on Kennedy & Wilmot & GEYER’S onGRANT Ave; at the other end of Wilmot. MARGARET’S Grocery store was also on WILMOT near SHERMAN.

    • Paul Neslanik says:

      Help me out here. Umholtz on Kennedy and Wilmot? Wasn’t there a Dr. Umholtz on that corner? I seem to recall he was a dentist and I went to him when I was in grade school? Any help out there. Thanks.

      • John Dillinger says:

        Yes, that dentist’s name was Umholtz. He also had a daughter named Margarite. Danny King dated her when I knew her.

    • Ed Kozarian jr says:

      I grew up three doors down from Sydneys and He would leave a box of donuts for us. Thanks for remembering that store.

    • Jack schalk says:

      Barry, Margarets store was the only subterranian meat market I ever shopped at. It’s a good thing no one knew about claustrophobia in the Kennedy Ave. area.

    • Leslie Moffat Cox says:

      Went to Syd’s every day for penny candy. His wife’s name was Shirley. Loved the box of pumpkin seeds with the indian head. I loved Duquesne.

  27. I worked at Adler Green, which was originaly two seperate stores, Adlers was at the Cornor of 1st. and Grant and Green’s was across and down Grant Ave. George Adler & Henry Green were related and merged. After George’s death his wife Marion took over the store with Henry. One of their employees was Dave Slussinger and the Tailor was Betty Bonacci. Across the street was Vargo Insurance, O’donnells Coffee and candy shop, the Honey’s Bar and Hirshburger
    Furniture Store, then across the Alley was One Hour Cleaners, the Sally
    Fashions, newer location, originally it was next to Isalys across first and grant next to a ButlersDrug Store, Next to sallys was Schultaberger’ Diner and then Daniel’s Shoe Store and I think First National Bank was next. Across the streeet was a bar on the corner of Grant and Duquesne Avenue.
    Going down the side the Bank onDuquesne Avenue was the American Legion, Leonetti’ boats and a Gas Sation and a
    Schreibers Car dealership. I’ tell you more the next time I sign on. I still live in Duquesne and I work for the City in the Water Department. I can list most of the stores on first street. The Ideal Barber shops other barber was Frank’s Brother Leo.
    and the shop next to it was the Vogue Beauty Shop.
    Next to Jerry Reed was Giansanti’s Cleaners.
    Avenue News had an Elsie, Elsie Iring was her name. Next to her was a Cleaners then years ago there was a movie theater called the Grand, at least I think that was the name, then it became a Super Market, I think it was Acme, and next was One Hour Cleaners then the alley. Across Grant was and Army Navy Store, on the other side of the Alley was Eagle Drug Store. Below Adlers was Novak’s Tavern then Suchans Bakery and Kings Jewelry Store.

    • tom schultz says:

      Hi Jeanne:
      My name is tom schultz and we had the restaurant next to First National the next entrance to the unstairs of the bank where mr. stacey who was a lawyer in town had his office-then Daniels shoes –next to that was King’s Jewelry store–Sally’s–right on up. And originally Isaly’s was located there but they moved up Grant Avenue across the street.
      Boy this is great that the old hometown is being brought out and so many people are responding

  28. David Kracinovsky says:

    does anyone remember Sydney’s store on corner of 5th and grant. How bout Manns brothers on aurilles

  29. wasn’t sallys fashons next to avenue news on grant ave?? i remember going there with my mom after we picked the paper up at avenue news every day???

    • Claudia Repko Misage says:

      Hi there, yes Sally Fashions was next to the Avenue News BUT that was its second location. It started out on the same side of the street but down further in the next block. I do believe that a Isaly’s was on the corner or maybe it was the second store down but Sally Fashions was down there when they first opened. Boy oh boy, love reading all of the articles regarding Duquesne but you all sound so very young. I graduated from Duquesne in 1960. Anyone out there my age?????????? Always caught the Duquesne Place bus at the corner there where Adler’s was. Could remember standing way inside there big entrance trying to keep warm in the winter. Just cannot remember what was there before Adlers? Also waited on Hamilton Avenue for that bus . It always left you off in front of the Plaza, then you had to walk up the street and thru the park across from the high school to get to school. In the winter time is was really slippery because the street was made of bricks. Oh those were the days.

  30. Barry Long says:

    Jim V. mentioned the Sycamore tree in his back yard. Duquesne had Sycamore trees up Kennedy Av; Catherine, Sherman,old Wilmot, & most of the numbered streets 4th, 5th,6th Aurilles[sic?] etc. In summer the streets were cool in shade. I came back to a reunion & drove my old paper route to find Catherine St; had turned into a street that reminded me of streets in”THE LAST PICTURE SHOW.”You could see all the telephone wires & everything looked STARK. I was told the city got federal money for a tree blight & hired local unemployed to cut all of them down. Ray Thomas on Lincoln Av; went out & refused to allow them to cut his trees. It was several years later & he still had his 2 trees. A windstorm has since blown down one. My Uncle Bill S; would often say,”Nothing lasts forever.”The things that built us last as long.

  31. Colleen Byrne Travis says:

    By the way, there was a dry cleaner on Grant Avenue near the alley behind Holy Name. I worked there during my high school years. The owner was Morris Weiss. It was called One Hour Martinizing.

  32. Colleen Byrne Travis says:

    Benkovits had a few stores. The appliance store, the children’s store on First Street near the Plaza theater. That was Earl and his mother was Sally of Sally Fashion. Does anyone remember Finkelstein’s on First Street? I think it was near the A&P. Does anyone remember the A&P? Finkelstein’s was a dry goods store. “Finky” sold everything from asbestos gloves for working men in the mill to regulation gym shorts for Duquesne High School to damask table cloths. By the way I remember my mother buying many a wedding gift at Finkelstein’s for those hunky weddings. He never used bags. Wrapped everything in brown paper and tied it with string. When we got out of Holy Name at 3:00 every other Tuesday, mothers would be waiting for their kids. Dads came out of the mill. They went to the bank, cashed their pay check, payed their utilities, went to the A&P. My brothers and I hated that.After bills were paid, there was always a trip to McKeesport coming up to shop at The Famous, Cox’s and Jason’s and maybe a movie at the Memorial Theater. Of course a stop at the McKeesport Isaly’s.
    Remember Isaly’s? That”s when hot chocolate was made with real milk. Those sky sraper cones were great. And when did chipped ham start being called chopped chipped ham? When I attended West Mifflin NORTH, we used to hang out at the Isaly’s at Duquesne Village in additions to Jim’s Hot Dogs.

    I feel like it was yesterday. It certainly wasn’t. I was born during that big snow on November 24, 1950. I like to think that 60 is the 2011 40. I call it “SEXTY”

    • Tom Ohrman says:

      I worked at the Isaly’s in Duquesne for a few months in 62 then transferred to Duquesne Villiage until late 64.

  33. Colleen Byrne Travis says:

    I went Holy Name. Avenue News was called Elsie’s because a BIG FAT LADY named-Elsie owned the store. She was mean. I saw her hit kids many a time for messing up the stacks of five cent candy bars. When I was in 7th grade I had Sister Mary Immaculate. She was nice and funny. However, Elsie called the school and reported us for being bad in her store. We were never allowed to go “down street” after that. I remember waiting for my dad to come out of the mill gate. Elsie stayed open after 11:00 in case the men had to pick up a quart of milk of a news paper. I had Sister Mary Daniel in 8th grade. She was so sweet. I kept up with her for a long time after leaving Holy Name. Does anyone remember Sister Agnes Eugene? Kids called her Aggie Baggie Blue Jeans. I could go on and on. Those were the days. I grew up in West Mifflin but spent eight great years at Holy Name. In fact, my father would be almost 100 and he went to Holy Name when it was a high school.

    • Jim says:

      Colleen, you must have been one year ahead of me in grade school. I have posted a picture of Sister Mary Daniels, Sister Agnes Eugene and Sister Incarnata in previous posts. Check them out!! Keep reading!
      Jim, a Duquesne Hunky!

    • I rememer Sister Mary Daniels

    • Bob Chermonitz says:

      I remember Elsie. She was a real big lady alright! Rumor had it that when she died they buried her in a piano box! Yikes!! 🙂

    • Tom Ohrman says:

      My grandmother was friends with Elsie. She never seemed mean to me. My grandfather used to send me to Elsie’s for pipe tobacco. I must have been 7 or 8.

      • Paul Neslanik says:

        Tom, Don’t think I know you, but just wanted to add. Everybody thinks someone is mean or wrong at one time or another. Truth is, most of us are human and have good and bad days. Fortunately we all have more good than less good.

    • Gloria Adams Garbart says:

      Colleen, I remember Sister Agnes Eugene, she was the principal at Holy Name. I graduated High School in 1963 and my brother, Richard, in 1958. He also went to Holy Name and is the Chief of Police in Duquesne..

  34. Tina Estochin Hull says:

    Does anyone remember Ivan’s store near Burns Heights???

    • Duane Kelley says:

      I remember Ivan’s. We lived at 7A Burns Heights (right across st. from Ivan’s) from 1959 until we moved to S. 6th St.(3 doors up from the Moose) when I was 10 yrs old in 1964. Mom would send me over to Ivan’s for “50 cents worth of chipped ham” or “jumbo”. But of course the BIG treat was on occasion being permitted to buy some penny candy, or if I was lucky enough to find a quart pop bottle laying around, I might be able to turn that in for a nickel candy bar–wow, talk about being in 7th heaven!! What was the lady’s name who worked there?? Was it Irene? I remember I’d play baseball with her son Michael on occasion.

    • Paula (Manns) Niedoba says:

      I remember Ivan’s. Another great little Mom & Pop corner store.

  35. Tina Estochin Hull says:

    Does anyone remember Mary’s or M & M’s down by the playground at the bottom of Catherine Street? I loved going in there to purchase penny candy. They were nice ladies also.

    • Lou A. says:

      I walked home from St Joe’s every day past that little store and would stop in regularly; the sour apple hard tack was my favorite.

    • John Dillinger says:

      Mary was a nun at one time

      • Tina Estochin Hull says:

        Really????

      • betty jean chase says:
        Your comment is awaiting moderation.

        March 9, 2011 at 12:05 am
        hey
        hi john i dont know if you would remember me but i remember you very well. i used to babysit your kids with gary when we were in high school. i think you lived near chips hotel in duquesne. it was many many years ago back in the late 60′s early 70′s maybe. my name was betty jean chase, and i was with gary every day. i haven’t seen him in years. i hope you all are doing well. i live in fla. now for the past 7 years. i love it here. well it was nice talking to you please write back. bchase1306@aol.com my e-mail address

  36. Tina Estochin Hull says:

    Does anyone remember Veland’s store on Ferndale? We lived next door and were able to purchase items on a “tab.” Mr. Veland seemed like such a hard nose but was a very soft-hearted man. I loved watching him put together his own sausage, etc. Their milk and cheese were delicious!

    • Barbara Ruhe says:

      Veland’s was a Hungarian butcher shop. It was originally on South Second Street. I can remember Mr. Veland with his hat on, cigar in his mouth and butchers apron on. The sausage was called hurka. I loved it until I found out what the ingredients were! Mr. & Mrs. Veland were very nice people.

    • Jack Schalk says:

      Barb,
      Tell Jim I said hi. I’m not too sure he will remember me but I have always thought about the 50 Ford custom he had.

      • Barbara Ruhe says:

        Jim certainly does remember you. He doesn’t bother with the computer so I print all the Duquesne memorabilia out so he can read it at leisure. Where are you now? Jim’s e-mail is JamesRuhe@comcast.net if you would like to get in touch. He sure spent a lot of time on that 50 Ford. It was his pride and joy! I remember riding down Grant Ave, up first street, back up Grant, down again, a zillion times before heading for the slag dump! I’m surprised no one has mentioned that infamous lovers lane. Or they don’t want to admit that they frequented the area!

      • Jack Schalk says:

        That car was a showpiece and seemed to take forever to complete but when it was finished it was something to behold.
        Oh the magical slag dump!!! Much occurred there but was spoken of in hushed tones. Another spot was at the back of Kennywood, in their upper parking lot, or the area near the incinerator. I was told about these places and have no intimate knowledge that I will own up to.
        I live in South Bend, In and have been here since 1959.

    • Mel Monkelis says:

      Mr. Veland bought our house in 1968 on 516 Cochran Street, believe it sold for like $16,000 back then. About 5 years ago, same house for sale at $3,000. wonderful store, went there almost every day.

  37. John Dillinger says:

    Help me out here. If you stand on 1st street and look up Grant wasn’t the First National Bank on the left with a barber shop next to it then Schultz’s restaurant next to that? If you remember Hamilton Avenue the trolley would make a right at Nickliches (store or bar) and wind along the trolley only road to Kennywood. I played at the Carnegie Library everyday when I was young. The library had a flat sloped walk that ran all the way down one side. We used to slide all the down that walk. I remember the day the “pig machine” building in US Steel blew up and killed some men. I remember meeting my first girl friend behind the library and nothing happened. Does anyone remember “Berry Hill”?

    • Dot Kraus (Craig) says:

      I remember Berry Hill very well I lived on Catherine St and my brother Chuck lived on Barbara St. and the name of the coffee shop on grant and 2nd Street was Irenes Coffee Shop, worked there for a few years.

    • Paul Neslanik says:

      Hi Dish, Haven’t heard that in awhile, have you? Of course I remember Berry Hill. Buddy Fabian lived on Catherine Street on the corner of the step hill. Rick Burton lived kitty corner from the Fabians. I remember the Dillingers well. We played B Ball on Sixth Street playground all day long. You played High School Ball and were quite good. Remember Denis Wassel and sleeping out on his parent’s back porch. We would run around the city all night.

      • John Dillinger says:

        Doogie, I’ve been trying to get in touch with you through Facebook and Classmates.com.
        my email is jdillinger86 at comcast dot com. Give me a hollar.

  38. Claudia Repko Misage says:

    Wow Dr Sebastian—-she was great— her office was above King’s Jewlery store, and I could remember her giving you a little ball of silver to play with before she put it in your tooth as a filling. Does anyone else remember that little silver ball that would split apart and make a lot of little balls then would go back to one ball? Went to her when she lived on Harden Avenue and had her office upstairs. Her son Johnny was in the class of 1959 and Paul was the older son and then she had a younger one also. She never lost her accent for all those years living the the US.
    What about all the beer gardens right across from the steel mill. My aunt Annie Balombiny owned Al’s Hotel and beer garden there.
    Besides the Plaza theater wasn’t there another theater? I kinda remember one but not sure. I lived in Duquesne from 1943 until 1963 in the same house on Oakmont Avenue and my mom lived there until she passed away in 1996.

    • Becky Wahly Woolsey says:

      Dr Sebastian recently passed away. She was laid out at Skovranko’s on Commonwealth. Her three sons were there. Her oldest is a priest. Her father was also priest. Her husband was a college professor out of state.

    • Lou A. says:

      That ‘silver ball’ was more than likely MERCURY. The EPA, Child Protective Services and the ADA are such party poopers!

      • Bob Chermonitz says:

        Lou I remember you @ me working in kiddieland 1969. Do u recall. “Big Burt” our mgr then? I’ll never forget ur answer when she asked u “How’s your hammer hanging?”. I still laugh about it today 42 yrs later! I see you’re a pharmacist. I’m a PSS with Astrazeneca. Just 2 guys from the 60’s pushin’ pills. 🙂

    • Paula (Manns) Niedoba says:

      That little ball of silver was mercury! The same thing that caused the Hatter from Alice in Wonderland to be tagged “Mad”. LOL In my years as a dental assistant it was common practice to handle the amalgam after it was agitated. We rolled it in the palm of our hands to prepare it for the dentist to fill teeth. No wonder dentists have a high rate of suicide. I worked for Dr. Silberman, dentist, for about a year. He had an office on Grant Avenue, up from Gallaghers Drug store.

    • Sandi Algeri Bullard says:

      Hey Claudia – You sound so familiar to me. I lived in Duquesne from 1943 – until I moved in 1964. I graduated in 960. Do you know any of the Algeri girls. I was one of them.

  39. Debbie Carr Gavlik says:

    I remember a store called Sally Fashions that was located between 1st and 2nd Street. I also remember running down to Avenue News after lunch (even though we weren’t allowed) to buy Beatles cards for me and all of my friends. Do you remember how they used to split the boys and the girls for recess? The boys between the school and the convent and the girls between the convent and the church.

  40. judy kray lochner says:

    Morris and Sally Benovitz owned Sally’s Fashions. There son Earl at one time owned a children store I think on Grant Ave. The Benovitz family lived next to me on Lincoln Ave.Earl was married to Riva Katzman. He father own Katzman’s ladies clothing store in McKeesport.

    • Becky Wahly Woolsey says:

      Benovitz’s was on First street down by Goltz’s market. My mother would buy clothes there for me. I think they were related to Newman’s in McKeesport.

    • Tina Estochin Hull says:

      I knew a Paula Benovitz from McKeesport whose father was involved somehow with Sally’s fashions. He was our landlord when we lived in those apartments down from the high school on 2nd Street. Very nice man.

    • Iris Wisbar Marko says:

      I remember your name Judy Kray, Don’t remember where Lincoln street is, but I lived at 1112 Kennedy until I was about 10 I think. Do you know my cousin Anita Bernosky?

  41. Micky Stammely says:

    I lived in Duquesne between 1971 to 1987. I remember going to get my hair cut by Frank though i wanted to go to the beauty shop next door, my brother sister and I all got our hair cut at the same time by the same people. I also remember going to Avenue News all the time for penny candy. When I went there a woman named Leona worked there mostly and the man ( I can’t remember his name just now ) would keep cream soda in stock for my sister and I. This went on even after Avenue News moved to the corner of 2ond and Grant across the street from the little restaurant, that was that time known as Irene’s ( not sure of the spelling) At about that time Duquesne had a few places by that name a pizza shop at the top of the hill just down from the gas station, and a hogie shop across from the hardware store. I also remember Sally Fashions and shopping in there when i got older. There was also a shoe repair shop in that area just up from Sally Fashions where i got my shoes fixed when i went through the bottoms.

    • pmmsbez says:

      The barber that worked for Frank Gigliotti was Bob Arenda. When Frank left his barber shop “Ideal”, to go to Century III Mall, Bob went with him, but only stayed 1 year. Then Bob came back to work at Tom’s Barber Shop at the top of Kennedy Avenue. Bob was from North Versailes.

  42. Barry Long says:

    1953 when I left town Adler’s had one name. Elsie was a red-head 300lb; woman whose micro-small store was dominated by a chrome peanut roaster. She had 5,10,& 25cent bags of peanuts, & the bargain was a penny pretzel stick.Elsie hardly fit behind the small showcase that held the peanut bags. There were 3 Benowitz familys. One on Library Place, & 2 on LINCOLN AVE. I lived on 1045 Grant Ave,& Harvey Benowitz [1955 DHS?] lived across the alley on Lincoln. Several homes up Lincoln there was another Benowitz family & I thought they owned the furniture store. Across the street on the corner of the alley & GRANT was TEFKY’S Workingmans Store. The corner of 2nd street & Grant Av; was anchored by[clockwise] City park,a bar[Popavich’s last owners?] JONES DEPT;store owned by MERWYN” MERT” LANDY’S Dad. MERT retired a Dentist near Chestnut Hill Pa. The Landy family sold the store & moved [circa 1948-49]from Duquesne. Across GRANT toward city hall was the bail bond offices of Wienstien & Stulginski.”Butch” Stulginski was married to my favorite aunt JEAN SKELLY….Dr.SEBASTIAN was married to John & they lived [rented] in my Grandma’s house, GRANT Av& Catherine. DROTAR was the corner then GRANDMA’S. Dr.Sebastian’s office was next to the bank by the mill gate on GRANT on the 2nd Floor. I’ve a photo of her in GRAM’S back yard [taken 1940s] in our family album. My aunt Jean lived there until she married & was a friend of the Dr.& her husband John. He was a vegetarian & looked like a walking cadaver.I remember him saying to her,”For dinner lets have honey & nuts”. My aunt Jean explained vegetarianism to me when she saw the expression on my face. I can’t make new paragraphs on this computer. Frank Gigliotti was still cutting hair at the County Airport in 2003 or 2008 when I went back for DHS 1953’s 50th or 55th reunion. Someone had a big newspaper article about it. When I have time in a few days i’ll write of the Hunky Weddings in my day. Rinky Janacek’s wedding at 1041 Grant Ave.lasted 3 days. Danny Janacek & myself drank so much POP those 3 days we wouldn’t drink any for the rest of the summer.

    • Jim says:

      Barry, unbelievable!! Your memories of Duquesne are so vivid. Thanks for sharing them with all of us! I LOVED your description of Miss Elsie and YES, I remember the smell of the roasted peanuts. Keep those memories coming!! Aloha Buddy!

      • Barbara Ruhe says:

        I remember being afraid to go into Elsie’s when she was behind the counter. I don’t think she liked kids! So many memories, most of them good. Keep them coming! Barry’s description of old Elsie was right on!!

    • Juanita Dittman Kollar says:

      “Rinky Janacek’s wedding at 1041 Grant Ave.lasted 3 days. Danny Janacek & myself drank so much POP those 3 days we wouldn’t drink any for the rest of the summer.”
      My sister and brother’s father was Rinky Janusek. He married Kathryn Rothbaur. After his death, Kathryn (my mother) married Leo Dittman. We lived 1055 Grant Ave. Our house was torn down recently.
      I remember my mom taking us to “Karen’s Shoe Store” to buy Buster Brown shoes and riding a rocking horse which was in the front window.

      • Juanita Dittman Kollar says:

        oops, we, the Dittman’s, lived at 1003 West Grant Ave. Don’t ask me why I typed 1055???? …me bad LOL!

      • Barry Long says:

        Rothbaur’s was across from Catherine St on Grant Ave; then a vacant lot then Turlicks house.

      • Leslie Moffat Cox says:

        Juanita, I do remember you. I lived in Duquesne until fourth grade but my cousin, Cindy White lived there for years after that and I remember you as one of her friends.

  43. bob voros says:

    Elsies waslocated next to GRAND MOVIE THEATER, she adopted an italian boy, name Dominic Gizzi, he was in my graduating class. In the early 50’s THE GRAND closed it’s doors. Matenee on SAT. afternoons, 10,11,12 cents, big bucks then. Up from Elsies on the same side of the steet was Ackermans supermarket, not long in business. Accross the street,Grand ave., from GBU was Morans Bar, Freddy Moran and i were good friends. I grew up on Savey St. moved to West Mifflin in 1950, no high school in west mifflin then, i walked to DHS from near Skyline Drive, rode bike mostly, all downhill, coming home very tiresome, winters very challanging. i had a paper route, evening, post gazette, delivered to homes then sold papers in front of Islays on grand ave. does any one remember the endless convoy of Rogan trucks hauling SLAG from duquesne mills up grand ave. ?

    • Barbara Ruhe says:

      Bobby Voros — where are you? My parents rented from your Mom and Dad on Savey Street when I was born. Kolmy taught me to walk!! My e-mail is BarbaraRuhe@ comcast.net. Please get in touch.

      • Barry Long says:

        Barb: Bob Voros lives in Luling LA; (985)785-8969. He was widowed several years ago & likes to hear from folks. He was never able to get to any of our reunions. Have Jim give him a call, Bob would love it. By the way…tell Jim to send me the 6 1/2 cases of single malt SCOTCH & the rest of the money he owes me.

    • Barbara Ruhe says:

      Thanks Barry. Jim does not recall his debt to you. Chalk it up to old age. When you reach his age …… well, you know how it is!!

    • Sally Cusick Brown says:

      Hi Bob,
      I have to make one correction to your info about Dominic Gizzi. Dominic Gizzi was just an employee at Avenue News. He was never adopted by Elsie. He was the oldest son of his family and his siblings were, Ruby, Linda (Class of 1960) and Sammy. He married my friend and Class of 1960 grad, Joanne Siksa. Joanne also worked at Avenue News and that’s how she met Dom.
      Reading all these entries brings back so many memories and remind me of how wonderful and blessed we all were to grow up in Duquesne

      • Claudia Repko Misage says:

        Hi Sally,
        Just great hearing from the class of 1960. How are you? If you want I can be reached at jrmisage@aol.com. Sure remember you ——hope you remember me. Claudia

      • MaryAnn Luteran Westerlund says:

        And daughter Sandra. They were my neighbors. Mr & Mrs. Gizzi were the kindest, sweetest people I have ever known.

  44. Rich Ivory says:

    You mon is correct as to where Adler’s was located. The combination of Adler-Green came in the 50’s and competed with Kessler’s on 1st Street a short distance from the Plaza Theater. Yes there was an Elsie. She ran the place and would be there in the early morning. Dom Gizzi ran the place for her for many years. You are also correct on Benowitz. His store was on the corner of the alley between !st and 2nd and had a deep entrance way with display windows on both sides.He lived on Library place between !st and 2nd also on the corner of an alley just a short distance from the library. Dom’s was originaly on Grant avenue opposite from Galaghers just above 5th St.

    The progression of businesses going up Grant Ave was : Adler’s Grren, Elsie, Colletta’s tailor shop, Salley Fashion, Berkowitz, candy store, bar , another business (perhaps Insurance and an Attorney’s office on the corner of 2nd and Grant.

  45. Paula (Manns) Niedoba says:

    I think the “Bob” who cut your hair was Bob Arendas. (spelling?) He lives in North Versailles. I know this because his backyard was adjacent to mine when we lived there.

    • Paula (Manns) Niedoba says:

      How about the furniture store on Grant Ave. Rosensweig and Gross? Again, the spelling is probably not correct. When I was 21 years old my mother and I went there to purchase a “hope chest” for me. A Lane cedar chest, of course. : D The store was loaded with furniture and cooled by an oscillating fan mounted on one of the rafters. The saleswoman was determined to make a sale and we chose one from a catalog. Circa 1974

  46. Ellie (Ivory) Kovacs says:

    Yes, Elsie did exist. I remember her as Elsie Irene. I don’t know if Irene was her last name. I attended Holy Name School. We would take our report cards to our great Aunt Agnes Kelly who had a dress shop on Grant Avenue between First and Second Streets. She would give us a dime for each “A”. Then we would hurry over to Elsie’s to buy candy. I am working on the other questions and will forward this to my brother, Rich, who is so much smarter than I 🙂 🙂

  47. My mom is 88. Her memory isn’t what it used to be and she gets confused about time periods so I can’t say when… but, she remembers that Adler’s was a mens clothing store located on Grant Avenue below Alexander’s grocery store on the same side of the street. And although she isn’t sure of the time period, maybe 40s, Benowitz was a women’s clothing store, located near the bank between 1st and 2nd streets.

    • Iris Wisbar Marko says:

      Did you live down the street from where I lived on Sunset Drive?
      Iris Wisbar Marko

      • Joanne Wazny says:

        Yes Iris, Anne Wisbar and my mom were and still are the best of friends. We saw her and Janet a few weeks ago!

  48. Laurine E. says:

    I believe there actually was an Elsie, and she was the owner. Avenue News was forced to move across the street and above the alley beside where a drug store used to be and I think she started working in the store then. I remember the dry cleaner’s shop. The first step was a doozy if you were coming up from the alley, from the school side there was an extra step. Benowitz’s (?) indeed sold appliances but their furniture department was in the front of the store and was the bigger department.. They were located on Grant above where Sally Fashion was on the upper side of the alley. Mr. Benowitz lived on Library Place on the left hand side going up the hill, above the alley. I have also been trying to remember where Dom’s Appliance Store was. I know he wasn’t always in Duquesne Village.

    • Ellie (Ivory) Kovacs says:

      Mr. Gross lived on Library Place across the stree from us.

      • Barbara Ruhe says:

        You’re right, Eleanor. Gross’s were our alley neighbors and my brother was and still is good friends with Alan Gross. He was an attorney in Duquesne for many years, lives in Squirrel Hill and is retired. I think Jackie went on to be a dentist and Marlene a doctor but I’m not absolute on that. They were quiet but super nice people.

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