Voices from Duquesne – Part 2

I continue to get many comments and roll call information from people who are reading this blog. I’ll continue to publish the names, comments, etc. as long as they are being sent in. I have provided a link to the contact information form under BLOG ROLL in the right hand column of this page. Please, we’d love to hear from you and about you! Also, I have included a line for you to provide your email address in the event you would like to hear from old friends. It isn’t necessary to provide the email address if you are uncomfortable, but the option is there to use. I will consolidate the addresses into a directory that you can use to find your friends. I should have that posted within the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, enjoy reading some comments and reviewing information from former and current Duquesne folk and as well as people who just enjoy reading about life in Duquesne.


Lori D. Achtzehn

Years in Duquesne = 1958 – 1986

Where do you live now? = White Oak, PA

Comments = I love going back in time. Holy Name was the greatest school ever.  I had Sister Joan Marie in 1st Grade, Sister Annette (later Sister Virginia) in 2nd Grade, Mrs. Higgs in 3rd Grade, I think Sister Mary Sarto in 4th Grade, Sister Virginia (formerly Sister Annette) in 5th Grade, Sister Clementine in 6th Grade.  In 7th & 8th Grade we merged into Duquesne Catholic and I, VERY RELUCTANTLY, I had to finish my years at Holy Trinity School on S Third St.  We used to go to Elsie’s on W Grant Ave near S lst St all the time. I so remember lining up outside of school to say the Pledge of Allegiance before going into school.  I remember playing “Peanut Heaven” on the church steps and “Red Rover” etc. at lunchtime. I remember helping to dust erasers on the back steps, clean the chalkboards, & put up the bulletin boards after school.  I also sold supplies in mornings (going room-to-room with a cart) and candy at lunchtime on the convent rear porch.  I was a safety patrol member when I got older and can very well remember being tackled in the alley buy a bunch of boys playing football with “Deacon Dennis Buranosky”.  I remember going to church all the time and having Kleenex put on our heads if we forgot a hat.  We said “The Angelus” at Noon and blessed ourselves if we heard any type of siren go off.  I could go on and on.  We need to have a reunion of all Holy Name students.  It would be a blast!!!!


Maryanne Lasko

Maiden name = Matusovic

Years in Duquesne = 1945 – 1976

Where do you live now? = Jefferson Township, Pa/Southport, NC

comments = I loved reading the various articles on your blog, especially the one about your house and how it impacted your life.


I lived on the other side of Duquesne – Arch Street, which was off the lower part of Crawford Avenue.  I attended Crawford School and Duquesne High School.


It is so very sad to see what has happened to Duquesne over the years.  We had moved my parents from our family home in Duquesne to Munhall in the early 80’s since the neighborhood had gotten a little rough – break-in’s, etc.  We sadly sold “our house” which my grandparents had originally built.  So many memories.  Four generations of our family had lived in this house.  Unfortunately, the people who bought the house did not take care of it and eventually abandoned the house.  Several years ago we learned that the city had leveled the house.  It made me very sad when I heard that.  My mother had always asked to go back to take a look at the “old house”.  I never had the heart to tell her it was no longer there.  So sad.


Maybe sometime in the future I’ll share more of my thoughts about life in Duquesne.  Duquesne was a great place to grow-up.  Have you had any other responses from the “other side of Duquesne” -streets off Crawford?


Thanks for taking the time to create this blog and share your thoughts and memories of good ole Duquesne!


John Dillinger

Years in Duquesne = 1950 – 1968

Where do you live now? = Lower Burrell, Pa.

comments = Memories and contact from other Duquesne residents


Margaret Soboslay

Maiden name = Carr

Years in Duquesne = 1932 – 1965

Where do you live now? = Pittsburgh, PA (Sq. Hill Neighborhood) comments = It’s fascinating reading the comments. Pittsburgh started the Steeler Nation. Now you are starting the Duquesne Neighborhood.  This brings back a ton of memories, of those people who worked in the Duquesne Works, school mates through the forties, great neighbors and friends, all who add to the tapestry of the city.  Driving through Duquesne I see it as it once was, built by hard-working men and women proud of their traditions, faithful to their religions. How fortunate we are to been rooted in this fertile soil.  Please continue writing, Jim.


James Lalley

Years in Duquesne = N/A

Where do you live now? = Springfield, OH

comments = A friend of mine sent me a copy of your blog and I wanted to share that my parents Charles and Mary Lalley lived in Duquesne from 1956 to 1959. My father taught in the Jr High from 1955 to 1967 and returned to help with the school in the mid 1990’s. My parents rented from Nick Williams on Duquesne Blvd. I grew up in Elizabeth township and worked at Kennywood during my high school years in the 1980’s. I remember passing that mansion every day going to work. My parents still live in the township and still talk about the years they spent in Duquesne.


Michelle Sullivan

Years in Duquesne = 1948 – 1967 or thereabouts

Where do you live now? = Fayetteville NC comments = I’ve lived here in Fayetteville NC about 15 months working at the VA and kinda miss Pgh (where I lived for the past 12 years and have lived in Pittsburgh off and on my adult life except for stints in Philly, .Washington, DC., L.A., etc. (don’t ask!)….You probably know some of my siblings (Sullivans) or members of DHS Class of ‘65.  I’m also a Holy Name Graduate and although Irish I’m an ‘honorary Hunky’ Keep up the posts, they are wonderful!


Maryann Smith

Maiden name = Stavor

Years in Duquesne = 1950-1987

Where do you live now? = Allison Park, Pa comments = Remembering my childhood days. Seeing pictures of Duquesne in its hey days. My dad, Joe, grew up in the 20’s, graduated in 1940 and returned after WWII to marry, work, and raise his 4 kids there. Dad is 91 now and lives with many friends in an independent living home in West Mifflin.


Paula Niedoba

Maiden name = Manns

Years in Duquesne = 1953-1976

Where do you live now? = Unity Township, PA

comments = Everyone brings their own experiences to the table but we all have the one common thread of our Duquesne roots.

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

comments = 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 = Donna Ragan

Years in Duquesne = 1955-1981

Where do you live now? = Mentor, Ohio

comments = 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!


Jerry Johnston

Where do you live now? = Cincinnati

comments = Jim, I have thoroughly enjoyed all your posts. You need to combine them with photos and publish a book. Even though I have never been to Duquesne, I can relate to the time period and it brings back nice memories for me. Keep up the posts!


Dan Bonga

Years in Duquesne = 19? then off to college and back home for awhile Where do you live now? = Wilkinsburg

comments = I like it all! Keep it goin!


Steve Kracinovsky

Years in Duquesne = 1957 to present

Where do you live now? = Duquesne

comments = The thoughts and descriptions you write about takes one back to their childhood and usually easy and happier times in ones life …..the younger years.


Joe Haver

Years in Duquesne = 1942-1967

Where do you live now? = Monroeville, PA

comments = Wonderful memories of growing up. Went to St Joes and rode bicycles all over Duquesne. Remember Zemps field, where there were ball games almost every night? How about Polish Hill? Businesses on First St? First National Bank? The Library? Rock n Roll shows? Kennywood Park swimming pool? Walking up and down the hill to go to high school, and coming home for lunch. And it was only up hill one way !! Drug stores?

Pizza shop, first one I ever saw on Grant Ave just below 6th St. High school dances in the gym? Thanks for doing this, it is great !!


Joanne Matthews

Maiden name = Carr

Years_in_Duquesne = 1942-1962

Where_do_you_live_now? = West Sunbury,Pa

Jeff Volk

Years in Duquesne = West Mifflin (53 2/3) years

Where do you live now? = Same 3 blocks from Kenny St

comments = I enjoy reading your all your articles. You have great way of writing & bringing back some fantastic memories of your Dad. I wish I knew your Mom better & probably recall Aunt Mary’s & Lou’s get-togethers better at her house with my parents. Sorry I can’t remember any thing about the city of Duquesne (I was raised in Homestead at Baba’s Streamline restaurant & went to school at St Mike’s)but I do recall the great times with our family party’s & also the Sunday visits with grandpa Volk. I also looked forward to everyone meeting when Uncle Mike & Uncle John came in from Maryland & Niagara Falls. Keep up the Great work!


Marilyn Boca

Maiden name = Thomas [Tamas]    [Mother] Rinkacs

Years in Duquesne = 1945-1950 & summers thereafter

Where do you live now? = Meadville Pa.

comments = I’d forgotten a lot about Duquesne even though I still have family in the area. I was recently in Holy Name church and St. Joseph cemetery with the death of my Mom’s sister. My Dad is buried there as will be my Mom when the time comes. My sister is into genealogy and we did the cemetery from top to bottom two years ago. I’ve enjoyed your pictures too.


Patty Furman

Maiden name = Stavor

Years in Duquesne = 1952 born until 1974

Where do you live now? = Pottstown PA, East Vincent Twp

comments = Love the blog.  Great Duquesne memories even though I went to Crawford Elementary (JFK in later years) and lived up on Maryland Ave above Burns Heights many of the feelings (hated pigs feet) are the same.


Ron Zeigler

Years in Duquesne = 1952-1971

Where do you live now? = Chambersburg, Pa

comments = Memories- memories- memories. A lot of what you blog about just brings back good memories of Duquesne. Many things you’ve talked about, I remember well. I’ve lived all over the U.S., but if anyone asks where I’m from, it’s always Duquesne, Pa. I recently heard a woman talking about center St, and making a roller coaster like motion. I ask if she was talking about Center St in Duquesne. Turns out she was. Once while watching the Steelers in a bar in Davenport IA., there was a young girl standing next to me. When the Steelers scored, she cheered. I asked her were she was from, she said West Mifflin, but her mom was from Duquesne. Turns out her mom and I went to school together I’ve tried without success to explain to people what it was like to grow up in Duquesne.

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25 Responses to Voices from Duquesne – Part 2

  1. Brian says:

    I lived in Burnsheights five c and 3b from 1977 until 1990. My dad Larry Kamauf aka the can man lived in Duquesne from the 60s until 1990. It was not an easy life at that time. We suffered economic hardships I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I got jumped beat up all the time. Life changed and got better when I left Duquesne. But I loved the lessons I learned and the families I grew up with. The candy store, R and M, my first job setting pins at the moose 75 on grant. Playing baseball and most of all the Kamauf and Cale families

  2. Audreyanne L Palyo says:

    Graduated DHS 1951 Now live in FL out of the snow. Great reading about Duquesne. Have visited my old neighborhood each time I was in the area. Watched the homes disappear over the years. Lived at the T intersection of Camp Ave & S. 2nd St. Now even all aspects of the mill are gone. Have lived in CA, KY, VA & now FL. The feelings and the flavor of living in an ethnic, caring neighborhood grow stronger as I grow older.

  3. Carl Rumble says:

    Patty Stavor Furman, Would your husband be related to Kitty and Ed Furman of Stowe, Pa. ? I seem to remember the Stavor’s on Maryland Ave. I lived on the corner of Wool St. and Burns Ave. Moved out of Spring City about 5 yrs ago. And hate to say that our son-in-law was just killed in a motorcycle accident on the 9th of April on Rt 724.

  4. Linda L. (Negley) Gibb says:

    Some of my fondest Duquesne memories were the Porky Chedwick dances at the Am. Legion Hall. I’ve always been a big fan of Porky & my Mother always sends me any newspaper articles about him. Our class had him as a dj at one of our reunions & it was great seeing him again. We are celebrating our 50th reunion this summer & I sure hope they have old Porky back again.

  5. Michael Bashista says:

    Lived in Duquesne 1944-1965. Like you Jim am pure Hunky and as my parents said related to half of Duquesne either thru Basista or Kacey side.
    Spent most of my early years[til 6th grade] on Aurilles St where my parents owned the confectionery store on Aurilles and Smoker Alley. Then moved to 5th Stabove Walters store near Crawford School. Finally parents bought a home on Pricilla right betwwen the Slovak and Russian Clubs next to Ashbaugh’s gas/service station.
    School was public all the way – Kindergarten thru 8th at the Duquesne Elementary/Jr. High on 6th St, then to DHS til graduation in 1962. Spent a few years at Penn State and then joined the Navy for 8yrs, then retired from Reserves after 22 years total. After Navy worked in the computer industry in Akron/Cleveland, OH; Hartford, CT; San Jose, CA; and finally Atlanta, GA.
    Been married to same CT. girl for 39 yrs next month with 4 children and 6 grandchildren.
    I have been back thru Duquesne over the years although less and less since all family/relatives have died or moved away, but it has been saddening to see how much the city has declined and never recovered from loss of the steel mills.

    • Tom Lane says:

      Hi Mike, nice to see what you have been doing all these years. I still have our 2nd grade class picture in front of the 6th st school. Living in Columbus Indiana now after a stint in the Army during Viet Nam, on to working for the Air force in Dayton, and then to Cummins engine co here. Left after 10 years and was a self employed consultant on world class mfg. Been retired from that for almost 10 years. Married for awhile but decided early that I did not want children and that was a deal breaker. Have had an amazing life and got to travel all over the world. see you at the 50th. tom



  6. John (Jack) Berta says:

    I grew up on Hill Street in the shadow of the Crawford School. Went to Holy Trinity School and Duquesne High School. I remember Maryanne Matusovic, Donna Gavlik, Steve Piskorik and so many others from the Crawford School Gang. Who else can share some memories?

    Jack Berta

  7. Bob Salopek says:

    Jim … are you a relative of Steve Volk of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and/or David Volk of Florida, both sons of a Joanne Volk (deceased) of Homestead?

    Bob Salopek

    • Jim says:

      Bob, my father was Stephen Volk and my brother is also a Stephen. However, neither are affiliated with the Philadelphia Inquirer nor a relative of Dave Volk of Florida or a Joanne Volk. My Confimation sponsor in Duquesne was Walter Salopek, wife Mary, daughters Sandy and Donna.
      Jim Volk

      • Robert Salopek says:

        Hi Jim … I remember the name Walter Salopek very well, but NOT the person ! My older family mambers do though. My father, George Salopek Sr. served as president at one time, of the Duquesne Croatian Club when it was on Hamilton Avenue at 1st Street back in the 40’s & 50’s.
        ~~Bob Salopek

      • Bob McCabe says:

        Are you the Bob Salopek that lived on Aurilles St and had a younger brother David? If so you and I were great friends in the late 40’s and early 50’s.

    • Bob McCabe says:

      This is a voice out of the past. We spent almost every hour of the day together. Do you remember Green Hills, sled riding on Kennedy Avenue, bowling in St. Joe’s, trick or treating, submarine in your fatherls workshop. Oh so many memories.

      I would like to get intouch with you.

      Bob McCabe

      • Robert Salopek says:

        Bobby McCabe !! WoW … so that WAS you who had linkdin send me an email. I don’t do social media. Just email. I remember you alright, but not that we spent so much time together. Activities in my single digit years is very vague for me. What I do remember was that your Dad was transferred to Gary, IN, and you left after being friends for not too long. One other memory I have, was when your Dad, upon seeing me cry over something, allowed me to play with a 1950’s toy Porsche model, white w/red interior, and the steering wheel worked !! Right there in your living room. Holy mackerel, what year was that, do you remember? Here’s my email: b_oss@juno.com. I’m in San Francisco at the moment. A retired Cable Car Gripman. ~~Bob

  8. Barry Long says:

    Is this HOODOO Ziegler who was in the USMC ? Lived up on the HILL?

  9. Barry Long says:

    born 1935 in Duquesne & moved to Pleasant Hills by the Clover Leaf in the fall of 1953.Lived in different countries 6&1/2 years out 11 & was married in Gibraltar.I’ve lived in Kirkland Wa; since 1968. I live in Honolulu HI; 7 months & Kirkland 5 warm months,June-Oct. Class DHS1953. I thank Dick Bowen for e-mailing this Duquesne Blog & Jim Volk for creating it. Pres;Harry Truman said,”Never forget where you came from.”I never have & have returned for many class reunions organized by our Class Officers every 5 years since 1953. Our way of life in Duquesne prepared us well for going out into the world.

    • Michelle Adams Kennedy says:

      Michelle Adams Kennedy,
      I lived for a short time in Duquesne, but fond memories. I have 6 sistes and 4 brothers who lived there much longer than I did. I went to JFK Elementary School. Does anyone know what happened to it? And what the address was?

      • John (Jack) Berta says:

        Michelle… JFK School was demolished several years ago. It was at the corner of Crawford Ave. and Hill St. A few new houses were built on the site. I grew up on Hill St. across from the school. Are you related to Doris Kennedy?

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