Voices from Duquesne – Part 5

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. ~Albert Schweitzer

I came across this quote by Albert Schweitzer and thought that IT clearly put into words, just how writing this blog has helped me to rekindle my own spirits. As we all began our various careers, we were all focused on trying to provide the very best lives for our loved ones and for ourselves as well. As we continued to strive to improve our lives and move forward, our memories of people and places left behind became less vivid and eventually faded with time. However, many of us now realize that  turning around and looking back to what we left behind, although bittersweet to some extent, provides enormous comfort, joy and kindling of our spirits. 

Personally, being able to reconnect with those who shared  my life and my experiences as I was growing up, has provided happiness beyond measure. Bobby Chermonitz, Geno Sabolcik, Debbie Abbatangelo (Stewart), Denise Hudak (Ventura), Louie Andriko, to name just a few, as well as some of my own extended family are now in my life again! Thank you to anyone who passed along a my blog link to someone that eventually brought us together.

From the comments you all have written, it appears that so many of you who share that love for our childhood “village” are reconnecting with people you probably haven’t thought of for decades, as you were busily moving on with your lives.

Please take a few minutes and click on the link to the right that reads “#1 CLICK HERE TO LET US KNOW WHO YOU ARE, WHO YOU WERE AND WHERE YOU ARE LIVING!!” and fill out the form and click send. If you are fortunate, you might connect with someone who was an important part of your childhood.

Now, in the meantime, here are some responses from some of our Duquesne friends! Be sure to scroll through and ready them all, I’ve also placed a special link to a group celebrating 60 years at the end!

What is your married name? = Carol Yasko

Maiden name = Graham

Years in Duquesne = 1939 to 1987

Where do you live now? = Katy, Texas about 35 miles west of Houston

Comments = My husband, George, and I got an e-mail from a friend of Linda Gibb. Thankfully your writings are spreading all over the USA. We both enjoyed all of the comments by past and present Duquesners. Both of us were born and raised in Duquesne, went to Crawford school: Duquesne Jr. High and graduated from D.H.S.

I lived on Chestnut St. which is at the top of “unforgettable” Center St. George lived on High St. which was in front of Pine Alley and faced Crawford St. We both had many friends from Burn’s Heights Project and would sure enjoy reading reminiscences from anyone from there.

We appreciate all of your efforts in bringing back the memories. Thank You.


 What is your name? = Tim Stepetic

Email = tstepetic@comcast.net

Years in Duquesne = 1940 to 1962

Where do you live now? = Albuquerque, NM

Comments = Jim – thanks for putting this blog out there and keeping it up as you have!! It’s really addictive and it gives me the opportunity to remember Duquesne as it was and not what it’s like now. I still get back there from time to time to visit Betsy, and I hope we might have another cousins get together one of these days. You seem to hit every one of your subjects right on, and the comments are themselves priceless. I’ve gotten in touch with a lot of my past in just the last couple weeks with your blog and find something interesting and important every time I go through parts of it. I wonder who else remembers the Zemps games at Polish Hill – our Uncle Sam and his brother, Neill, played. Or some of those early Little League games in the field below the High School. Thanks again, Jim … a real kick … Tim


What is your married name? = Jane Pocsatko

Email = dpocsatko@tampabay.rr.com

Maiden name = Fulmer

Years in Duquesne = 1946 to 1967

Where do you live now? = Trinity, Florida

Comments = I like a chance to recall old friends and old times that bring back happy memories. You have given us this opportunity. And it’s fun !!


What is your married name? = Becky

Email: bsavanigilbert@comcast.net

Maiden name? = Fox

Years in Duquesne = 1968-1973

Where do you live now? = Woolrich, PA

Comments = Just happened upon the Kennywood blog from McKeesport memory page…what fun…thanks for brightening my day(evening) I moved to Duquesne my junior year in high school and graduated in ‘71. Great looking back.


What is your name? = Bob Chermonitz | cherm08@yahoo.com

Years in Duquesne = Duquesne Place 1954-1974

Where do you live now? = South Park, Pa.

Comments = Holy Name ‘65 and DHS ‘69. The more I read, the more things I remember. Hindsight is always 20/20 but, all things considered, DUQUESNE was a great place to grow up. Keep this site rolling, Jim


What is your name? = Bill Kountz

Years in Duquesne = 1940 to 1958

Where do you live now? = Milwaukee Wi

Comments = Great documentary about Duquesne


What’s your name? = Justin Gibb

Email = jgibb77@comcast.net

Mother’s maiden name = Luptak (mother’s)

Years in Duquesne = 1977-1993

Where do you live now? = Bethel Park, PA

Comments = My uncle sent me a link to your blog, and wow, so many memories! I lived on Wool Street (above Burns Heights), went to St. Joes, then Serra Catholic. I still miss going to St. Joe’s summer fair, hitting Newmyer’s Hobby shop, running over to the Hills next to Kennywood, and so many other things. Keep up the good work!


What is your name? = Tony Chepanoske

Email = tony.chep@comcast.net

Years in Duquesne = 1945-present

Comments = I just heard about this in church.


What is your married name? = Linda Flister

Email =Lflister@aol.com

Years in Duquesne = 1949 – 1970

Where do you live now? = St. Augustine, Florida

Comments = I can’t believe how many people that I know have responded. This is great fun! I’d love to see more pictures. The memories are wonderful. During high school my friends and I hung out on the corner of Seventh Street and Kennedy Avenue. We were often chased away by the police, but had a great time just being together.


What is your married name? = Jean Thomas

Email = jeanmarie55@ yahoo.com

Maiden name = Kosko

Where do you live now? = West Mifflin

Comments = A friend told me about it and I wanted to see it myself. Fr. Dennis mentioned on Sunday during his sermon! I worked in Duquesne on 708 W Grant Ave at Dolly Allen Beauty Shop. My Mom Anna Denne Kosko was born and raised there and talked so much about it!


What is your name? = George Kacey

Email = gfkc@rock.com

Years in Duquesne = Went to Duquesne H. S.–graduated 1960

Where do you live now? = Levittown, PA

Comments = Never lived in Duquesne, but graduated from Duquesne High School, class of 1960.


An Email=

Fri, 10 Jun 2011

Subject: Another old Duquesne Resident

I recently discovered your web site. I lived in Burns Heights from 1950 to 1960 and attended Crawford Elementary where Mrs. McGowan was Principal for 3 to 6 grade. We then moved to West Mifflin above Polish Hill. I attended Edison Junior High in West Mifflin then Duquesne Senior High where I graduated in 1959. I married Roberta Neslanik who had lived on Aurilles Street all her life. We got married at Saint Hedwig’s RC Church in 1964 and escaped to the state of Washington where we still live.

It is heart breaking to visit Duquesne and see the deterioration in the city. Luckily we still have many memories of the way things were.

Keep up the good work.

Fred May


Does anyone know the answer?


I was wondering if you could give me some information? I was searching online and found your website. I sell on Ebay and I picked up this ashtray and I like to write a small history regarding my items when I list them. The ashtray says Rogan Hauling Company – Steel Mill Hauling specialist – Michael Rogan, Pres. Duquesne Blvd.

Do you know anything about this company and whether is still exists, etc.

Thanks for your time.

Jennifer – JeniferC77@aol.com



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12 Responses to Voices from Duquesne – Part 5

  1. John (Jack) Berta says:

    Hey Tom! I also remember Mr. Denne. I hope he gets to read these. He replaced a female teacher that left in the middle of the 59-60 school year. The class was called “Public Speaking”. He made it so interesting and fun to learn. Thank you Mr. Denne.

    Mr. Denne, in a comment on another segment of this blog you mentioned playing basketball at the library with the Medich brothers and Alzo, some of the Duquesne Serbs. Alzo was my uncle. The Serbs were a great team back in the day. Thanks again. John Berta

  2. David Marks says:

    Jim –

    This blog is much loved because Duquesne was one of thousands of American communities with great God-fearing people. While the city has certainly changed, there are still some familiar faces left.

    Geno – Duquesne will never be the same without Ted!

    All – if I win the lottery I will pay for everyone’s plane fare for a gathering!

    David Marks
    DHS 1976

  3. Gene (Geno) Sabolcik says:

    Thank you so much for starting your blog. It is great to hear from, and about, people who were friends so many years ago. Whoever thought you and I would get back in touch after we took off down our different roads of life? Keep up the great work, and you may just find that you are the one rekindling some others.
    Take care,

  4. Linda Perhacs says:

    Hey Doogie Neslanik,
    Do u remember the Sunday evening car ride to 13 Bends, where you lost your car keys? Rick McLaughlin had to take you back home to get your other set, leaving a number of us stranded. You are correct with your spelling of Auriles.
    Does anyone else remember 13 Bends off Old Coulter Road in White Oak/North Huntington?

    One must laugh at the past to enjoy the future.

    • Paul Neslanik says:

      Hello Ms. Perhacs, Of course I remember the 13 Bend incident. As I recall, that didn’t work out as I planned. I would venture to say that 13 Bends is all developed with a planned housing sub division. I hope you are well. Feel free to E-Mail: neslanik@att.net

      • John Dillinger says:

        Doogie, 13 bends must have been a favorite for you. I remember going there with you and Denny and 3 of the hottest Duquesne girls at that time. Do you rmember this and who the girls were. Of course nothing happened because we were too intimidated.

  5. Paul Neslanik says:

    The correct spelling of Auriles Street in Duquesne is with one “L” not Two. I remember the Neslanik name quite well as I live near them. I recall a young man, Paul, I think, great kid!. Roberta and her sister were quite smart and accomplished musicians. I too love this blog and it brings back many memories. Also hung out at the corner “Seventh and Kennedy” with the young lady Ms. Flister. Doogie never forgets. Worked at Kennywood and at the Bi-Rite oil Company gas station. Graduated from DHS in 1965. Ps:Terry Lee from WMCK is pod casting his Music for Young Lovers show five days a week. Did you know Ron Christie “aka Rush Linbaugh” worked at Wmck and WIXI? early in his career.

  6. Linda L. (Negley) Gibb says:

    Fred May,
    Did your wife grad. from DHS in 61?

  7. Ken Denne 1937-63. Living now in N. Carolina, Taught in Duquesne..1959-63. Retired as principal in Punxsutawney says:

    Thanks for bringing back some fond memories from a city that had so many sentimental and positive reflections. Duquesne in the 40’s, 50;s 60;s was a utopia. Great schools, fantastic athletic teams, a place where so many continued their lives in far away places as successful parents, business people, lawyers, medical personnell. A tribute to fine beginning.

    • Jim says:

      Thank you for the kind words Mr. Denne, and THANK YOU for the BIG part you played in educating all of the future successful parents, business people, lawyers, medical personnel! Educators are America’s finest!

    • Linda L. (Negley) Gibb says:

      Mr. Denne,
      Do you know where Mr. Faris is? I’d love to get in contact with him & let him know that my marriage has lasted 50 yrs. He was my listening ear so to speak while I was @ DHS
      Linda Negley Gibb

    • tom lane says:

      I thought I recognized your name. I graduated in ’62 and you were one of my teachers. I was a pretty quiet student, but you were one of my favorite teachers. thanks. tom lane

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