The Random Thoughts of A Wandering Hunky Mind

Occasionally, I think I will post some random thoughts and questions to get everyone thinking about the ol’ home town. Some of these are self serving, since I have yet to get answers to a few of my questions posed in an earlier post; some are just random remembrances that pop into my head; and some are names, faces or places I’m drawing a blank on.

Before I move on to some of my questions or thoughts, I thought it might be fun to find out just who is reading these posts. For lack of a more original way of phrasing it, I would like to take a roll call of people and places. If you click on the blue words below, you’ll be connected with a form that you can fill out to supply your information. The form asks your name; your maiden name if you weren’t married when you lived in Duquesne (if applicable); the years when did you live in Duquesne (if applicable); where you live now (just city and state); and a space for suggestions or anything else you’d like to say. I hope you’ll share your information. Just click the “CONNECT TO ROLL CALL FORM ” words in blue below when you’re ready!


Now, on to those crazy random thoughts and images….

For those of you who attended Holy Name School in the 50’s and 60’s, I recently came across a photo that you might enjoy. The picture was taken in 1963 and shows one of the Holy Name cooks, Mrs. McConnell, and Fr. Hanlen. I also think that the other woman in the picture is Mrs. Napoli, but I could be wrong. I also remembered a little activity when I saw this picture. If you notice, there is a stack of folding chairs to the left of the stairs. I recall have to either fold and stack or unstak and fold those chairs for one thing or another. I don’t remember if we were assigned the task or if we volunteered. More than likely, the good sisters were imposing some form of mild punishment or torture for something I did wrong. God hath no fury like a sister’s scorn!

OK, I still need someone who knows who POP ARMS was. Apparently, he used to live over Adler’s and Avenue News on the corner of S. 2nd and Grant. I have no idea what his real first name was, but apparently everyone called him “Pop.” The entrance to his apartment was on S. 1st just past the alley behind Avenue News. I was never up to the apartment, but it was apparently very nice. So again, does anyone know of a man who was called POP ARMS!?!?!

Just so you know, I am patiently waiting until Spring officially arrives to begin reminiscing about one of my favorite Duquesne memories, Kennywood Park! Yes, I know it is “officially” in West Mifflin, but you know as well as I that it was always considered “ours!” More to come on that juicy topic! Here’s a topic that I need you to start thinking about in advance regarding Kennywood, Green Gables Bar and/or Inn that was owned by the Longcaric’s (spelling). It was located right at the end of that rickey ol’ brindge between Duquesne and West Mifflin. It was on the West Mifflin side, across from Kennywood. It is rumored that they sold the land to McDonalds for over 1 million!! I have lots of questions, but will patiently wait to address them.

Speaking of Duquesne Place, I recall finding a never ending supply of fossils and arrow heads with my friend Gene Sabolcik when we were mere lads. There was a great place that we searched along what I believe is Clonmel Ave., close to Hoffman Blvd. Of course, my memory is rather “iffy” on this and I hope Gene reads this and corrects me. There used to be a lot of shale rock in the area and we spent hours and hours digging and searching. To this day, whenever I took my daughters on the train in Kennywood that showcased the Native Americans that inhabited the immediate area, I thought about finding those arrowheads.

I wonder if they still have a Little League in Duquesne. I was never good enough to play, but my brother Steve, was a fantastic pitcher. I remember watching the games in the field between Duquesne High School and City Hall. I assume that that area was at one time a school stadium before it was relocated to Duquesne Place, but I’m not sure. I always wondered what that gate that lead into the side of the hill in front of the high school was used for. I’d love to know more about that area. Any idea? Also, I remember going to Polish Hill to watch the ballgames too. I guess I have spring fever right now.

Be sure to take some time and join our roll call. I’d love to hear from you and know how far Duquesne Hunky roots have spread. Keep reading my friends!

This entry was posted in Church and School - Holy Name, Duquesne Public Schools, Kennywood. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The Random Thoughts of A Wandering Hunky Mind

  1. Bobby Fierst says:

    I lived in burns heights and me and Jeff Cale, Blain Lynn, Dave Marson, The Pommer brothers and others run Stone Quarry and the burning mine ” Smokys ” we called them…. I fell in it and had to be pulled out when I was about 10 yrs old LOL…. I still hunt that hill…… Great times…..

  2. tony reno says:

    does anyone have a picture of green gables across from kennywood?

  3. Mary Thomas says:

    We could always find our parents at Green Gables having a drink or two. Those were some great days.

  4. Mary Thomas says:

    I had a random thought and wanted to see what came up about Green Gables. When I was younger and went to Kennywood with my parents when we ran out of money for tickets we could find them in Green Gables having a drink.

  5. Colleen Byrne Travis says:

    Gene Sabolcik! I remember you! I was in the class ahead of you at Holy Name. I was good friends with Cindy Simko, Ellen Steel, Patty Curtz etc. etc. etc. I lost touch with those girls. I went to West Mifflin North and they all went to Duquesne.

  6. Barry Long says:

    Every one I knew worked in Kennywood. Near the end of the school year if you had a job there you were let out of school early [a few hours] so you could get there ontime. Could you imagine that today? Some also got out early to go to Polish language classes at the Church on 5th & Kennedy Av. We got 44cents per hour. A hotdog-25c & coke-10c in 1950. I worked at the TOWER one year & Kiddy-Land another. Several times they sent us to the Dance-Hall to sell soft drinks & clean tables. For 2 summers I worked for the School District. I got a phone call From Mr.Dambaugh the maintenance Supt; of Schools. My father was on the School-Board & I was to tell him they needed another temporary worker. I asked how much they were to be paid & he announced-$1.25 an hour. I showed up the next day with my lunch bag & loved the paychecks after tripling my income. My mother was my confident & we kept my new job from my Dad until Mr. Dambaugh complemented my good work to him. My Dad asked me how I got the job & I told him I applied from a note on the Bulletin Board at school. He told me to keep up the good work because he was on the School-Board & didn’t want to be embarrassed. That is how i know where the two doors lead from under the steps in front of the school.They open to a tunnel witch leads to the boiler room & I’ve seen everything from ashes to construction debris stashed there. The “Rickety Old Bridge” was the”Kennywood Bridge”when I lived in Duquesne. I know the guy[DHS-52] who accidentally fired a 22 rifle bullet through the window of a trolley going across the bridge. He later became a Foreman in the US Steel Mill. We dug our fossils & looked for arrow-heads, at a place called the’ Stone Quarry’ down by the Duquesne McKeesport bridge. Rome Sikora used to trap down there by River Road. Freddy Moran trapped also & wore a coon-skin hat to school.

    • Lou Andriko says:

      What you called the “stone quarry” was actually a small cave, used by natives. I have a cigar box of flint arrows and blades my father collected as a child in the 30s. He/I grew up on Maryland Ave. just above Burns Heights. He told me a small seam of coal was found and as a boy, he and others would go there and collect coal for home use; the seam caught fire and the cave was blasted shut, but it continued to smolder for decades. I remember smoke/steam venting thru holes at the playground there as late as the 60s. I believe Holy Trinity actually looked as the site for their new church, but core drillings showed the land could not support the structure as the smoldering coal seam had honeycombed the hilltop.

    • Jack schalk says:

      You and I ran in tight circles with the same friends.
      I can still remember going to Freddy Morans house to see his trapping stuff. He opened a small bottle and said, smell this! I immediatelt fell to my knees. I didn’t know about female fox scent in those days but it will be something I will never forget.
      Where did Rome Sikora live? I just can’t place his home.

  7. Denise Tovlin says:

    Staisey’s had a bar next to the Dairy Queen that is now Matta Florist. I believe the Loncarics owned the Green Gables.

  8. Gene Sabolcik says:

    You are absolutely correct! We used to hunt for fossils and arrowheads over the hillside off of Clonmel and Herman Ave. We had a lot of fun in those days, digging in the dirt and rocks. I still have the stuff that we found all those years ago.

    I have some stories about our Holy Name “activities” that I’ll make sure to pass on to you. I also have a few of our “official” Holy Name class pictures. I’ll have to dig for those, but I’ll get them eventually. Definitely remember folding and stacking those chairs in the cafeteria. I hated doing that, especially when it cut into my lunch time play time.

    Take care Jim, and keep up the great blogging!

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