1954 Duquesne Retrospective

There are times that I really struggle with post ideas. It seems that I have covered every inch of my childhood memories. However, whenever “writer’s block” occurs, all I have to do is peruse a few issues of The Duquesne Times to discover new things about the city we love or to gain inspiration.

With that said, I started to dig into the 1954. 59 years ago, Duquesne was on the cusp of some dramatic changes, and hints of things to come were in the wind. However, life as WE knew it was perfectly normal. Little League was happening, Kennywood was open (made you check guys, didn’t I?), and some new fears had surfaced.

So, take a few minutes, place yourself in the 1954 frame of mind, and enjoy a quick trip to a moment in time………………

Nov 1954 Baseball Champs


Front Page Murphy's Ad

Library's Birthday!

This tidbit of information took me by surprise. I never knew they were even considering a drive-in theatre in Duquesne!!

Drive-inMay Queen

DUKES final


I hope you enjoyed reading through these bullets in time. Let me know if you would like to see more. I am to please!!! Many, many, many thanks to Jim Hartman from the Mifflin Township Historical Society for supplying me with copies of the Duquesne Times to use!

This entry was posted in Duquesne Carnegie Library, Duquesne History, Duquesne Public Schools, Kennywood, Life in General, Springtime. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to 1954 Duquesne Retrospective

  1. Ken Denne says:

    A member of the Queen;s court was Jean Ann Rinkacs, who I was fortunate enough to marry!!!

  2. Ken Denne says:

    That :54 football team was undefeated until the last game with Clairton. Sad to say the only first team players still living are Danko,Lalaeff.. Patty Greso, Miss Magyar, a member of our :55 class, was Miss Patty of Romper Room for several years….

  3. Frank Mullen says:

    Of course, it’s wonderful that Kennywood is still there. Can you imagine how different – and it’s waaaaay different as it is – Duquesne would be without the park’s presence?! And it’s in West Mifflin!

    Also, during a nostalgia trip (Class of ’62’s Reunion) back, which included an obligatory visit to Duquesne Place, of course, I noticed how UNchanged it is. I swear, some of the lawn/porch furniture is still the same. I think I actually saw a “glider” in a yard! Maybe, what has helped keep The Place so clean, sturdy, and neat has been the brick? And no graffiti!

    Of course, I looked for old faces, but naturally, none were to be seen: Mrs. Ann Seaman; Joe and Marie Capristo; the Ehrenworths; the Soffers; Mr. and Mrs. Mandel (in the white apts. on Miller Ave); the Choates; Selznicks; Weibelts; Mackeys; Mrs. Benowitz. All gone. As are the Mullens.

    Thanks, again, for this place to go and still hear of places and people still cherished in the heart, Jim. May many blessings be upon you for the blessing of this site.
    Frank Mullen

    • Jack Schalk says:

      I can help with the Soffers. I went to work for them after leaving the Bettis Atomic Plant.
      I sold real estate in Pgh until they asked me to move to South Bend to manage some real estate holdings they had here. They were great to work for.
      The last I saw or heard of any of them was a pix of Don Soffer that was in a boating magazine circa 1970. It showed Don on his Cigarette boat with James Caan, the actor, on a canal in Miami. It’s a far cry from the Monongahela.

  4. Lou Weber says:

    Jim, great post. I don’t remember the Enchanted Forest. Some of the names of politicians and school board members jumped right out there at me. I always enjoy reading your articles, keep them coming. Thanks for your work.

    • Bob Chermonitz says:

      Lou, I hope you are doing well. Do you recall the trip you, me and Paul Palestra took to Washington, DC. In the fall of 1969? We drove in my dad’s ’63 Chevy Impala, just the three of us. Stayed in the Congressional Motor Inn in Arlington, VA. Met three girls from Akron State University. Mine was named Karen. Don’t know how I remember that. If you recall I got mugged along the tidal basin while Karen held my right arm so tight I didn’t have a chance. All the guy got was the 75 cents I had in my left jacket pocket. And I learned a lesson in life that I haven’t forgotten to this day, never trust a girl named Karen and always keep 75 cents handy! 🙂

  5. Karla says:

    “Kennywood is open” – good one, Jim! I remember that totally. I still say that to this day. No one knows what I mean, so I let them walk around with their fly open.

  6. sally morini says:

    great articles, enjoyable reading. Where do you find these articles and photos

    • Jim says:

      Sally, the articles and photos are courtesy of the Mifflin Township Historical Society.

    • Frank Mullen says:

      Sally Morini, Were you in Eight Grade with me at Holy Name School? If you are that person, I remember a very cheerful smile always on your face and lots of curly blonde hair as part of your very positive image.
      Frank Mullen

  7. I love reading the history and stories about Duquesne. I was curious did they ever end up putting a drive-in in Duquesne? Growing up in Duquesne i was not familiar with one being there that is why I ask.

  8. Tom Lane says:

    I really enjoy the old clippings and looking for names/faces. I remember several on the little league photo. thanks. tom

  9. Clarence John says:

    Your math is slightly off. It’s 59 years ago.


    • Jim says:

      John, YOU”RE RIGHT!! The good sisters at Holy Name would be VERY unhappy with me!!!!

      • Bob Chermonitz says:

        Jim, the good sisters would forgive you as you (and I) will be reaching the mandatory age of retirement (62) set forth by the Duquesne City School Board in the clipping shown above. Where did the years go?
        Several things, from your post, jumped out at me and brought back memories. The Enchanted Forest scared the daylights out of me! You may recall there were trees that came alive and talked, as in the Wizard of Oz, while reaching out to grab us kids. I had nightmares about the place. Ironically, the Enchanted Forest eventually became the Ghost Ship, after being the Tornado, and I worked in that building. In the darkness of the Ship I often looked over my shoulder to see if one of those trees were still stalking me!
        Perry Como hailed from Canonsburg, Pa. as did Bobby Vinton and, I believe, at least some of the Ink Spots. Today there is a Bobby Vinton Boulevard. A statue of the late Perry Como stands in front of the Canonsburg town hall while his songs play daily in the
        background. 🙂

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s