Voices from Duquesne – Part 1

You wouldn’t believe the number of responses that I received from former Duquesne residents and non-residents alike when I asked for your comments. Thank you so much. Its amazing to see how far our little hunky community of Duquesne, Pa has branched out across the nation! We are still fortunate to have so many who are still holding down the fort in the Duquesne area as well!

I thought you would enjoy hearing some of the responses from readers and former and current residents. Maybe you’ll recognize an old friend’s name. I will continue to periodically post these responses for your enjoyment and “re-connections.” If you haven’t complete a Roll Call response yet, I have reposted the link to fill it out at the end of this post. Have fun re-connecting!

Joanne Wazny

  • Maiden Name – Graham
  • Years in Duquesne – 1943-1961
  • Where_do_you_live_now? = Audubon, NJ
  • My mother was born in Duquesne. In fact we were both born in the same house at 15 Seward Street (which sadly is now boarded up and awaiting demolition) and attended St. Joseph School. She lived there until April 2009 when she came to live with me. I have been making notes of her memories for the genealogy I am doing on our family.  Your blog is great because it gets her thinking and remembering more stories and people. Since I left after graduation from Duquesne High, I also enjoy the trips down memory lane!

Colleen Travis

  • Maiden Name – Byrne
  • Years_in_Duquesne – Lived in West Mifflin but went to Holy Name
  • Where_do_you_live_now? = Mt. Washington, Pittsburgh
  • This blog is great!  A friend of mine passed it on to me.  I am so glad she did.  I have enjoyed reading every response.

Donna Connolly

  • Maiden Name – Ragan
  • Years_in_Duquesne = 1955-1981
  • Where_do_you_live_now? = Mentor, Ohio
  • I’m amazed at all the similarities in our childhood. I can relate to so much because I lived at “the top of Duquesne” and know well the landmarks you have talked about. So I know more about those places than the ones at the “bottom” of Duquesne. This has been so much fun; it certainly stirs up a lot of memories and feelings. I would say just keep doing what you’re doing, it’s great! I LOVE the pictures. Can others contribute with them? I went to Holy Trinity and would love to see pics like the ones from Holy Name. Oh, by the way, we loved lekvar pierogies and to this day I make them (potato also of course) from scratch at least twice a year!

 Note from Jim (Blog Author) – Donna, I would welcome ANY pictures anyone has to offer that would rekindle memories for my fellow Duquesner’s (is there such a word?) Please, if anyone would like to contribute a photo, the best way would be to have the photo scanned and then email to me at – jim@shamrockrealtygroup.com

Joe Derose

  • Years_in_Duquesne = 1939 thru 1967
  • Where_do_you_live_now? = Corry,Pa
  • Old times. How about the car drag races on Duquesne Blvd.  The Duke Resturant hang out & food.

Alan Hartman

  • Years_in_Duquesne = 1954 to 1964 and more
  • Where_do_you_live_now? = Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Hi Jim.  I lived originally at 818 Oak Street off of Center till 1964 when our family moved to West Mifflin.  Both of my brothers attended Holy Name School as did I till the second grade when we moved.  I then attended St. Agnes in West Mifflin.
  • I enjoyed reading about Elsie’s (Avenue News) and about U.S. Steel where my dad worked as a brick layer for near 40 years.  The article about the sights and sounds of the mill bring back HUGE memories of being lulled to sleep by the sounds of the Mill at night.
  • As a side light, my uncle Albert Pundzak and his brother Michael opened and owned Duquesne Cut-Rate on South Second Street he closed the store about 1969 I believe and retired.  I remember Mikes Market across from his store, the furniture store next to it and the club and gospel temple in the same area.  I came home for my uncle’s funeral and was shocked to see the state of S. Second.  Many of the houses are gone and my Uncle’s old store was boarded up.  I believe it has now been torn down.
  • An interesting article would be about the now gone Duquesne Carnegie Library.  Fond are the memories of browsing the stacks, swimming in the pool and watching the Passion Plays put on by the Steelworkers every year.
  • I would be more than happy to write an article about my Uncle’s store and the Library if you like.  It is sad to see Duquesne fall into the state it is in, but the memories of it will never fade and it is important that its memory live on in some fashion.

Note from Jim (Blog Author) – Alan, I would love for you to contribute a post about your uncle’s store. I would welcome any stories that people would like to pass along. Just email them to me at jim@shamrockrealtygroup.com. Also, I wrote a post about the Carnegie Library that I am sure you’d enjoy. It was called One of Duquesne’s Icons – A Cultural Playground. If you click the Monthly Archives arrow in the right hand column of my blog page, you’ll get a drop down menu that you use by clicking the month to review past posts I have written! The post about the library was written in January.

 Gary Trbovich

  • Years_in_Duquesne = 1952 – 1975
  • Where_do_you_live_now? = Jacksonville, Fl
  • comments = You hit all the good memories of Duquesne.  Of course we tend to forget the bad stuff but its fun to remember.  Keep up the good work.  I occasionally share your blog on facebook!

 Donna Jackson

  • Maiden Name = Gavlik
  • Years_in_Duquesne = 1948 to 1973
  • Where_do_you_live_now? = Cranberry Township
  • comments = It brings back a lot of memories. I forgot the names of a few places but have been reminded of them through this blog. Very interesting.

 Linda Perhacs

  • Years_in_Duquesne = 1947 – 1972
  • Where_do_you_live_now? = West Mifflin, PA
  • comments = I’ve enjoyed the “brain strain” to remember the details…names of people and places.  The 1st time I read the articles, I wiped away a few tears and smiled constantly.

 Anne Lofstrom

  • name = Harrington
  • Years_in_Duquesne = 1932-1953
  • Where_do_you_live_now? = North Huntingdon, Pa
  • comments = I enjoy the memories that your stories and pictures bring back.  I also was a Holy Name graduate (?) in 1946. Since I still go to Duquesne, as my brother still lives in the family home on Lincoln Ave., some of yor pictures so vividly bring back what used to be there or how is used to look.  Keep up your blog.  I look forward to it.


Dick Bowen

  • Years_in_Duquesne = 1936-1943        1947-1952
  • Where_do_you_live_now? = White Oak,PA
  • comments = You have brought back many memories of things that I had forgotten.I have enjoyed reading all of the events that you have written about.Keep up the good work. I was born in Duquesne and we lived at various places : Wool St , Texas Av.,6th St.,We then moved to a place right by Kennywood for a year. My dad bought a house in Riverview plan in Dravosburg, and I started school there. When I was in the 5th grade we moved back to Duquesne, 1014 Sherman Av., were we lived until the end of my soph. year. My dad then bought a house in White Oak, but I continued to go to school in Duquesne instead of McKeesport. I graduated from DHS in 1954.

 Rebecca Woolsey

  • Maiden name = Wahly
  • Years_in_Duquesne = 1947-1969, 1997-2000, 2002-present Where_do_you_live_now? = Duquesne PA!
  • comments = It’s fun to remember all the old things that made the city great and some not so much – like Wednesday mornings when the smell of the rotten-egg sulphur made it almost impossible to concentrate in Mr. Bullion’s or Mr. Ondrey’s classes!

 Duane Kelley

  • Years_in_Duquesne = 1954(birth) to 1972
  • Where_do_you_live_now? = Lakewood, Ohio
  • comments = Hi Jim, Thanks for this fantastic ride down memory lane!! You may or may not know my brother Skip(Conrad) who graduated from DHS in 1969. I graduated 3 years later in 1972 and joined the Air Force that summer.  I have lived many places over the years but will always consider Duquesne and the Pittsburgh area my real home!!  My Dad was your typical happy-go-lucky Irishman and worked in the Duquesne #5 Mill.  Mom was Slovak (maiden name — Bilohlavek) and like your Mom, she died of cancer at a young age (43 in 1971) –God rest all their souls! She was very much the fabric of our family existence bringing all the traditional values and yummy foods that have been mentioned or implied here.  Your blog has reinforced in my mind what made Duquesne such a wonderful place to grow-up, and at the same time how complex a world we live in nowadays. We led simple lives learning the lifelong importance of hard work, traditional family values, and God and Country.  I enjoy the randomness of your blogs and look forward to future readings and commentary.

 Jane Pocsatko

  • Maiden name = Fulmer
  • Years_in_Duquesne = 1946 to 1967
  • Where_do_you_live_now? = Trinity, Florida {Tampa Bay}
  • comments = This is so much fun to be reminded of things  I’ve forgotten.  I love having grown up in Duquesne at the time I did.  Never locked the door, keys better be in the car when Dad was going to work the third turn at Irvin Works. Watching the boys play basketball up at the watertank. My sister Susan met her husband there when she was in 7th grade and they are still married. Great neighborhoods. All the neighbor women baked for your wedding. Good people. Happy times.

 Jim Hartman

    • Years_in_Duquesne = 1945 – 1960 Mother’s side arrived in 1908 (Slovak)
    •  Where_do_you_live_now? = West Mifflin (near the airport)
    • comments = Enjoy the blog and brings back many early memories of my growing up in Duquesne.  Presently I am the founder and president of the Mifflin Township Historical Society www.mifflintownship.org We currently have all the Duquesne, Clairton, Cloverleaf Bulletins and working on finishing the Homestead newspapers at our reference room in the West Mifflin Borough building.  If you should need any information, pictures, etc. please feel free to contact me at jhartman15122@gmail.com or 412-600-0229.

Note from Jim (Blog Author)- Jim I certainly plan to take you up on your offer, and I hope that you and I could meet on my next trip home! I have placed a link to your site on my Blog Page under “Blog Roll.”

 Sandi Kaselonis

  • Maiden name = Tovlin
  • Years_in_Duquesne = 24
  • Where_do_you_live_now? = Wabash, IN
  • comments = These posts have truly taken me down memory lane.  I enjoyed all of them. Sam Rickard who knew my parents sent me the link, and yes, I am a hunky girl.  I was making bread for Easter one year when my husband told his sister that I am the last of the good, hunky women.  We all had a big laugh over that. I graduated from DHS in ‘65 and moved out of Duquesne when I got married in 1971. 

Paul and Dianne Kasten

  • Maiden name = Dianne Buczynski
  • Years_in_Duquesne = 1948-1971
  • Where_do_you_live_now? = Waldorf, Maryland
  • comments = We love everything about this blog.  It has brought back so many memories.  I’ve been telling my father-in-law, Paul Rush, who lived in Duquesne most of his life, all about it.  He has really enjoyed hearing (no computer)and adds lots of his own memories.  He remembers many names. Paul and I both went to Holy Name School and we met years later at Holy Name Church.  My family belonged to the Polish Church, St. Hedwig. My brother, Henry Buczynski, lives in McKeesport and enjoys the blog as well.


Note from Jim (Blog Author) – Paul, you rocked as the organist at Holy Name. (Ooops, can I say that about the Church?)

I would like to continue taking 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 THE ROLL CALL FORM ” words in blue below when you’re ready!


This entry was posted in Feedback From Our Friends. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Voices from Duquesne – Part 1

  1. Laurine E. says:

    Jim, do you remember the Halloween parades? I remember my grandma making costumes for me and my dog, Brenda. I think they were held in Duquesne Place but I can’t remember for sure. Maybe someone else does.

  2. Bob Nelis says:

    Not having grown up in Duquesne, I still have fond memories of visiting my Great Uncle Tom and Aunt Katie who lived on N. 2nd St. for decades. They had 5 lovely daughters named Gertrude, Peggy, Loretta, Kathleen & Betty. Our family used to make Sunday trips over there and sometimes they let me spend a couple days in the summer. I’ve lost track of the daughters, and of course my uncle and aunt passed away years ago. If any of you remember any of them, I would love to hear about them. I did work one summer at the Dravo Works. Good memories of the truly good old days!

    • Martin Imblum says:

      Bob, my sister found this site and directed me towards your comments. Betty (Imblum) Lynch was my mother..one of the five “lovely’ daughters. We were so thrilled to read your entry,thank you. Yes my grandparents Tom & Katie have been gone some time now and unfortunately just one of the sisters is still living,(Loretta in W. Mifflin). We were just in Duquesne about a month ago for Margaret’s funeral she was 96…one strong woman.Kathleen(Canton) had 2 children and lived near Cleveland,Oh.,Gert(Ohrman) had 2 children and lived in Mckeesport and Elizabeth lived in Warren,Oh where I was raised and had three children , Loretta (Murray)had one child. Loretta’s son is the only one that still lives in the Pittsburgh area (Carnegie). The old house on 2nd street holds a lot of fond memories for me…the steel mill out the back window..the smell of my grandfather’s and my U. Luke’s pipe tobacco and many posed pictures with everyone arranged in and around the couch and other things around town….Center St. , Manns’ smoked sausage,and as a kid the narrow alleys that ran between and behind the houses.Like much of Duquesne that we knew..that house is gone about ten years. So if my grandfather was your great uncle…who was your father, what is our connection? Your name was familiar to my sister, she is almost ten years older than me ,it sounds vaguely familiar to me. Once again thanks for making our day!

      • Linda L. (Negley) Gibb says:

        Cousin Marty Imblum, are you getting senile?? Your Aunt Gert lived in West Mifflin.

    • Linda L. (Negley) Gibb says:

      Betty’s hubby was my mother’s brother. My mother is Rosemary Imblum Negley.

  3. Margaret Kopasko Shandor Miles says:

    My Kopasko grandparents lived on Catherine St. where mom grew up. I lived in Duquesne until about age 6 when we moved to Baldwin. We lived on Crawford St. in a triplex. I remember that it was destroyed by a gas explosion soon after we moved. I remember (and have photos somwhere) of an annual parade with floats that went down (or up) Crawford St. We would sit at the curb and watch. I loved the paprika aroma of the Hungarian butcher shops. My grandmother used to walk me down those steep hills to shop downtown. She always bought me something, usually shoes that soon had a hole in the sole.

    Now I live in Chapel Hill, NC

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s