The past week has been very hectic for me, so I apologize for not posting anything to my blog. However, in my feeble attempt to make-up for my lapse, I thought that it would be fun to take a look back to events that were happening in Duquesne during this week in September.
Thankfully, The Duquesne Times has provided me with a wealth of history and trivia about our hometown. For instance, did you know that 100 years ago, the citizens of Duquesne had a local football team – The Thunderbolts??? I haven’t been able to find out if they were school or league affiliated, but I’m working on that.
So enjoy the following articles and moments in time……………….
Thought this to be interesting. My father, video by my brother ….
Forgot to mention: This was taken back around this past Labor Day weekend (2012). It is posted on Youtube.
Thanks so much for posting this account of young John’s journey across an America most of us never knew. I look forward to your articles Jim. They always make for an enjoyable read.
Thanks Tom, I find it amazing how many adventures and wonderful stories were in our own backyard!
Does anyone out there remember my uncle, Julius (Cy) Andriko? He was an electrician at the mill in Duquesne for many years. Family lore has it that he too hitchhiked and ‘rode the rails’ across country and back as a teenager during the Depression and ended up in California, working on the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. Unfortunately, I have no living relatives who can tell me more or confirm this story.
In late April of 1971 this writer hitchhiked from the Belle Vernon bridge on Rt 70 (near California State College) to Washington, D.C. and back for reasons that have little meaning here. However, upon reading about young John Bonosky Jr’s adventure some 40 yrs earlier during the height of the Great Depression I am totally amazed! This young man had the stuff of which legends are made! I wish I could find out how his life turned out. And all of this 9 years before the Greatest Generation went off on the greatest adventure of their lives, WWII. Could it be that all of the stories he read about in school or all of the stories he heard on the radio set him off on the greatest adventure of his life? The point is he acted upon his desire to know for himself. Good Lord! What would happen to such a child today in our over protective society? We all grew up dreaming of cowboys and Indians, deserts and camels, knights and battle, or whatever—but young John acted upon his dreams and lived to tell about it. Wow!! I can only admire him from 2012 and hope that such young men or women still exist, for they are always in short supply. We are only passing through and should grasp all this life has to offer. I can see this in the September of my life but John
saw this in the May of his. God bless you, John, wherever you are. As for me, I have a new Duquesne Hunky Hero!
Bob, Your response to the John Bonosky story peaked my interest and I did a few searches for his life after his adventure.
There was a Phillip Bonosky Duqesne, Pa whose life very, very closely parallels Johns. As a matter of fact, I feel they could be the same person.
Phillip had the same birth year and his father worked at Duquesne Works.
He was a writer in later years with leanings toward the Communist Party. He also spent a lot of time traveling, living off other hosts, and doing the free things that a traveler like John would have known.
Verrrry interesting as Artie Johnson would say.
Well, Jack, I’ll have to reconsider my new hunky hero. First Jim uncovers the Klan at work in Duquesne and now you’ve rooted out a possible commie. What other sinister characters lurked in the heart of Duquesne? Perhaps only the Shadow knows! 🙂
Bob, point well taken. Don’t forget about our gangsters too!
What memories! “Sudzy” Sudzina, “Head” Medich, and Genito – the heroes of the small boys when they were in between playing “hucklely buck” and “release the prisoner”. Ray Vogt was a RUNNING back when he played for Duquesne and part of the touchdown duo known as the “touchdown twins” in the Daily News. The other half of the duo was Patty Gedman who went on to star at Indiana and then to the pros.
Hi Jim, You picked some hum-dingers to showcase in this issue. The story about the team called the “Thunderbolts” made we wonder if that is why the roller coaster at Kennywood was eventually named the Thunderbolt? Makes sense, doesn’t it? Also, the story of John Bonosky, the kid who traveled cross country and back in 1922 without a penny to his name thrilled me. He sure had plenty of adventures! Riding the rails, the California State Fair, sleeping with hoboes, Legionnaire’s Natl Convention – yikes. He had more adventures (and learned more about our country during prohibition) than some people do in a lifetime. Then he comes back from his trip to go to school. Wait, what??? NINTH GRADE??!!! So that makes him fourteen years old? Fifteen? Holy Smokes. These are wonderful stories. They paint a very different picture of our nation and it’s people — people seemed more adventurous back then and more willing to TRY things without knowing the outcome, the very definition of adventure. Thanks so much for posting these, I truly enjoyed them.
Thanks for the wonderful feedback. The adventures of Duquesne’s traveler really brough home the fact that in today’s world, a child would be in so much danger with the predators that live among us now would have dramatically changed the outcome of the story!
It would be wonderful to find out what happened to John Bonosky. I had to read the article twice, in disbelief that he was not harmed or molested or injured during his amazing adventures. He even smoked the “Mirawannah weed” (!) which makes him seem more like a hippie from the late 60s than a youngster in the 1930s, doesn’t it? I’ll see if I can scour the Pittsburgh Post Gazette archives to see more about this incredible young man who set out to see as much of the country on his own. Thanks for posting this!