Voices from Duquesne – Part 3

Once again, I am thrilled to be hearing from so many current and former Duquesne area residents. As always, I invite you to click on the first link under BLOG ROLL (in the right hand column of this page) titled ATTENTION! CLICK TO CONTACT JIM, THE DUQUESNE HUNKY .”

As promised, I am still working on compiling an email directory of those who have written comments and responded via the contact form. It’s a time consuming process, so be patient, I’ll get there soon.

 In the meantime, please enjoy the following thoughts and updates from our friends:

Laurine Emert

Years in Duquesne = 1953 (when I was born) to 2003

Where do you live  now? = (moved very far away – LOL) West Mifflin, PA

comments = I love the ideas you have had already.  I love the old photos of Duquesne and McKeesport, too.  I remember you dad’s business because it was there for a while when we moved from 1st to Kennedy.

Maybe you could talk about DHS when it was in its prime. . . I graduated in 1970. 


Bernadette Lucas

Where do you live now? = Dillsburg, PA

comments = A blast from the past! Eliciting some fond memories.  Would love to hear from long-lost friends and acquaintances.


Barbara Ruhe

Maiden name = Fodo

Years in Duquesne = 1938 – 1959

Where do you live now? = Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

comments = What a trip down Memory Lane!  My brother, Steve, sent me the link today and I haven’t been able to tear myself away from it.  My husband Jim is a Duquesneer also. He lived on Karl Street and I lived on South First right across the street from Pirhalla’s corner store.  Later known as Joe’s Luncheonette.  We both graduated from DHS 1953, 1955 respectively and were married 51 years ago in St. Joesph’s.  It was great to read so many familiar names and the pictures brought tears to my eyes.  I tell my grandchildren what a great place Duquesne was to grow up.  They can’t comprehend being able to walk everywhere we wanted to go — even Kennywood and do it safely.  What a wonderful life!


Rosemary Denne

Maiden name = Curran, my dad was a Dentist here

Years in Duquesne = I have lived here since 1936 and still do

comments = I am so excited about this.  I am the city Treasurer and Tax Collector for the City of Duquesne and use my computer here at city hall.  I am very busy now, since the Real Estate taxes have just gone out, but I want to keep getting these pictures and comments.  I don’t know whether anybody still remembers me, as I am 83 years old.


Claudia Misage

Maiden name = Repko

Years in Duquesne = 1943 thru 1963 and again in 1967

Where do you live now? = Austin, Texas

comments = What I enjoy about this blog, how is EVERYTHING?

It is just fantastic remembering all those good times, can not remember too many bad times except the Christmas Eve I had a car accident almost right in front of the police station and my cousin was a police man and he was the first to come to me and I did not have my drivers license on me and could not tell him I was seeing a boy friend who I was not allow to see. Boy that was really something, could remember it like it was yesterday.


Amy Trettel

comments = Hi Jim, I am Joanne Carr’s daughter.  She’s been reading your blog posts and has asked if I could get your address (snail mail) so she can write you.  I can’t find a way to get a hold of you thru your blog.  I hope this finds you.  Amy


Robert Salopek

Years in Duquesne = 1941 to 1963

Where do you live now? = San Francisco and Albuquerque

comments = I grew up on Auriles Street, right across the street from St. Joseph’s Church and School.  The school was torn down some years ago.  I did a lot of mechanical and electrical projects, and so my favorite store was Schinck’s Hardware.  Boy, you could go in there and buy 3 little screws for maybe 7 cents.  Gone are THOSE days with everything now in bubble wrap for 4.99 !

 I owned a 1940 Pontiac there, once owned by the Tutero family on Auriles, and then Richy Plastino, who was one year ahead of me at Duquesne High.  The Plastinos had a taylor shop on Kennedy.

I would like more pictures of ALL the businesses on First Street.



Eileen Phillips

Maiden name = Chorman

Years in Duquesne = Born 1945 – in Duquesne until 1966

Where do you live now? = Ocala, FL

comments = I enjoy everything about this blog.  I lived in Duquesne Annex (West Mifflin).  I went to Church, Catechism, and piano lessons at Holy Name. I went every Sunday to the Plaza Theater.  I married a Duquesne Boy who graduated Duquesne High in 1961. I was the fist to go to North High when it was built.  We got married at Holy Name Church and had our “hunky” reception at the Slovak Club.

Just last Wednesday, we met three other couples from Duquesne at “Katie Belles” restaurant at “The Villages, FL” for dinner. I took a print-out of this blog, and they really enjoyed reading what others had to say. 6 out of the 8 of us were Duquesne Hunkies (the two that weren’t were married to Duquesne Hunkies. I would like to read more about other people and their memories of Duquesne, and where they are now.



Bob Hrozencik

Years in Duquesne = 1958-1979

Where do you live now? = Boone, N C

 Bill Larkin

Years in Duquesne = 1951-1973

Where do you live now? = Albuquerque New Mexico

comments = I love this blog it brings back many memories of childhood days and reminds Me of the many fine people that had an impact on my life.


Lou Andriko, RPh

Years in Duquesne = 1951-1979

Where do you live now? = Elkins WV

comments = My father’s father built the first house in the 900 block of Maryland Ave. in the early 1920’s. My 85 year old mother still lives there; I visit her 6-8 times each year. I went to St Joseph’s School, then Serra HS, then commuted to DU. for Pharmacy School. I worked as delivery driver for Morris Gordon at Eagle Drugs on Grant Ave in HS, pushed countless tots on the swings at the Polish Hill playground, then the mandatory stint at Kennywood for four summers in college (yep, I’ve got stories), got my degree and plied my trade in Christy Park, Elizabeth, Port Vue and West Mifflin (at Penn Taft as a floater)and  moved to Meadville in 1978 when the mills began to close, met my wife and within 2 years moved back to 1100 Maryland Ave. By 1984, steel hit rock bottom, and we moved to West Virginia, opened and closed my own pharmacy and now practice for a Big Box in a little town in the next county ….but always kept coming back to Duquesne. So very sad to look at the Google map and see all the green spaces where homes, stores, churches, factories once formed a safe, vibrant community…. This blog has been bittersweet and I keep telling myself I’m not going to post anymore, but here I go again.

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22 Responses to Voices from Duquesne – Part 3

  1. Tammy Chonko says:

    Hello to Bob Hrozencik! Another Lutheran carrying on the hiking traditions of our youth, I see.
    Good to see you are happy and thriving.

  2. Alan Belancik says:

    Jim, You mentioned your brother, Steve, in the context of baseball. I remember he played for the Serra varsity. A more vivid memory has to do with the names Paul Svirbel and Dennis Stanko. We all played on the Holy Trinity CYO softball team (1966). We younger guys would play the regular season in order to get into the playoffs, then the older boys, like Flip Kontul and the Galvanek (sp?) brothers would show up to “beef up” the team. We played or practiced at the Nick Lee Hollow field at the Duquesne end of the Thompson Run bridge. I used to think it was “Nickley Hollow” but today I saw a picture entitled Nick Lee Bridge, Anyone know who Nick Lee was?? Thanks. Alan Belancik,,,Steeler/Penguin fan in New Hampshire

  3. Bob Aronson says:

    Bob Aronson graduated DHS in 1955…surprised to find so many that are not in
    rest homes.

    • Ken Denne (55) says:

      Hope this note finds you in good health. Living in Wilmington, NC married to Jean Ann Rinkacs. Also living here..Zack Janusek.
      How about an update???

  4. Lois May Lydon Ray says:

    Linda Negley Gibb notified me of your blog and it is wonderful. Love hearing about people from Duquesne and West Mifflin. I lived in Duquesne from 1943 till July 1950 (611 Grant Ave.) when we moved to 219 Mellon Street in West Mifflin. My brother, Jimmy Lydon, and myself played on Thomas Street and in St. Joe’s cemetery. We also did a lot of sled riding there. I remember Raymond Snyder because he was a friend of my brother. Rosemary Curran Denny, I do remember you and that you lived across from the Kropriver’s home. My father, Jim Lydon (1908-1984) was a friend of your dad’s. We attended St. Joseph’s school and then Edison for 9th grade. I continued at Duquesne to graduate in 1961 (last graduating class which included West Mifflin students). I have lived in Plum, PA since 1970. I have two children, Beth and Rick, from my first marriage to Richard John of Blairsville. In 1983 I remarried, Edward Ray from Penn Run, PA, and have raised my step-son, Mike, since then and had a daughter (Kristy) at 41. For 31 years I worked at Westinghouse Electric Corporation and at several other business prior to Westinghouse. I am a grandmother of 8 and really enjoy my family. So glad to read all the comments.

    • Jim says:

      Lois, I remember your brother Jimmy very well. He and my brother Steve Volk used to play ball in the cemetery all the time. Others that they played with were Paul Svirbel, Dennis Stanko, Mike O’Malley and Ray Snyder. I was the little brother who would get to watch.

    • Ken Denne (55) says:

      As a teacher in Duquesne in the early 60’s , I remember Lois Lydon as a very pretty and charming girl…

  5. John (Jack) Berta says:

    Ralph; I remember you were a member of the great 1960 basketball team that won the section title that year. We got robbed at the Pitt Field house, losing to Stow-Rocks.

    Milly & Tina; My sister Cathy went to Holy Trinity School and DHS with your sister Edie. We lived on Hill street. She lives in West Mifflin.

    Maryann; Your dad was one of Duquesne’s finest. I remember he became the police chief after Walt Weir retired.

  6. Rosemary Curran Denne… my mother, Irene Buchleitner (Schmidt) remembers you visiting your Aunt Rose on Seward Street when you all were young girls. She was delighted to hear that you are doing well.

  7. Barry Long says:

    I’m starting to see some names from my era. Barb Fodo Ruhe, your husband Jim used to” store” my 22cal; rifle at his house because my parents forbid me owning a gun. He would give it to me if i played HOOKY & went to the Union Woods. Bob Salopek,was John your brother? He came to one of our reunions [DHS1953] when he was very ill, just to say goodbye to some of us he knew. Was DODO your older sister? Rosemary Denne, I came in City Hall & gave you a small framed photo of Mayor Phil Krivacek, myself,Bob Hanks & George Braun, taken at Duquesne Golf Club’s bar.[1998?] I asked that you give it to the Mayor & we were his favorite Lobbyist. In 1947, while sledding down an alley connecting 6th & 5th I ran into a stopped car driven by a Mr.Denne. He picked me up & took me to a doctor then to my home. I wasn’t hurt but he was a nervous wreck. Did you ever hear that story among the family? Jim, I asked Mike Sabol if he remembered Volks at Kennedy & 1st & he said he had worked there. His computer was goofed up when his grand kids visited but he wants to see your BLOG which i sent to him. Keep up the[ NOSTALGIA NETWORK] Duquesne Hunky because Mike lived in HUNKY VILLAGE, which was a dead-end off Catherine & ended below GOLDSTROM LANE. He might get you by phone.

  8. Tina Estochin Hull says:

    Martina (Tina) Hull

    Maiden Name: Estochin (Bros.: Ed, George; Sis.: Edie, Milly)

    Years Lived in Duquesne: 1957 to 1971

    Where Do You Live Now: Fayetteville, NC

    Our family lived in Burns Heights, Edith Street, then Ferndale Ave. next to Veland’s Market. Graduated from DHS in 1970. Our family attended Holy Trinity church and my siblings and I attended their elementary school. I met my husband at McKeesport Little Theater, got married, had two children. Husband went into the AF during Vietnam and we moved around for 5 1/2 yrs. Afterward, we settled in McKeesport. When the steel mills started puting my husband on rate retention in the late ’70’s, he went back to school for 4 years, then we moved out of state. My mother and siblings still live in the area. My mother, father, and two brothers were in a country western group (Milly and Her Country Buddies) and they performed initially at The Russian Club on the corner of Fifth St. and Priscilla St. They branched out from there playing in bars and clubs in the area.

    My husband and I recently moved to NC but we return once a year for my family reunion.

    It is wonderful to relive the memories, Jim, and I thank you for this blog.

  9. Denise Ponist Tovlin says:

    Just want to tell Bob Salopek that Schink’s is still in Duquesne although you probably can’t get anything for 7 cents anymore. It’s still great to go there where you can not only find just about anything you’re looking for but they know exactly what and where it is and even get it for you.

  10. Ralph DeRose says:

    I continue to enjoy your blogs. I was your Aunt Rose’s little worker many years ago. Glad to hear of the Carr Family relationship. It was great to see Joanne is still in the area and see her daughter respond today. We are trying to spread your blog to many of our graduating Class “60”
    Thank you for all your fine efforts in connecting soooooo many of us.

  11. Milly Estochin, Tina's sister says:

    Graduated from Duquesne High School in 1968. Now living in West Mifflin. I will pass this on to a few others that I keep in touch with too.

  12. Lou Andriko says:

    Glad to hear your dad is doing well, I knew he had moved when your mom died; great to hear from you, stay well. The “Andriko House” may actually stay in the family another generation if I move back when I finally retire. Mom is going strong at 85, still working as I keep repeating here. I’m coming to see her this weekend, the cat needs to go to the vet. In so many ways, I’ve never left….

  13. Colleen Byrne Travis says:

    I love the laundry story. We call it “laundry” our mothers called it “the worsh”. We always knew what was for dinner on Mondays. It would be something like chile or beef stew, maybe stuffed peppers. Something that they could cook and reheat later. No microwaves to nuc. Of course, no ordering out of the house. According to my mother “only lazy people went out for dinner. My mother had a bottle with a sprinkler top. She would bring the clothes in from the “worsh line” and sprinkle the things which needed to be ironed. She would roll them tightly, put them in plastic and iron all day on Tuesday. Those pictures of the altar boys remind me of her ironing those white surpluses. I don’t know how those boys moved on that altar with all of that Argo stiffening those garments.

  14. Louie: Please let your mom know my dad Joe is 91 now and living at Arrowood independent living in West Mifflin by CCAC. He lived at 929 until 2005 when my mom passed away. He lives with old timers who lived in Duquesne so he’s never bored. Great to hear from a neighbor. My youngest brother Jim Stavor lives by St. Agnes. Bob,my oldest brother lives in Key Largo, Florida. And Patty lives in Pottstown,PA.

    • Milly Estochin, Tina's sister says:

      Hello Maryann. I just received this e-mail today. Hope many more will add their names and some day we can all get together.

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