A Slow News Day

I cannot believe that it has been over two weeks since I’ve posted on my blog! Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! My excuse however is the amount of time that I spent in preparation for my daughter Abby’s wedding on September 21st. I suppose that’s understandable and forgivable, however, the time since has been a period of recovery and laziness on my part. I was, and still am, somewhat drained of creativity. I promise you that I’ll rekindle my creativity and work past my current “writer’s block” soon.

I am planning a trip back to Duquesne in a few weeks, from October 13th through the 20th. During that time, I’m sure that I’ll recharged, and full of stories and recollections to pass along to you. In the meantime, I thought I’d share some tidbits from the Duquesne Times that you might enjoy and find interesting.

Let’s just say that it’s a slow news day on my blog right now. ….


Burns St. 1918

THE TIMES – 1951

Baseball 5-31-1951

As you can see, the caption is not real clear, but the names of these little sluggers from a 1951 edition of The Times are:

Richard Prokop, Tony Peck, George Ragan, Richard Butler, Richard Whitman, Paul Manns, Herman Daniels, Joe Michaels Jr., John Petrisko Jr., Richard Ivory, Charles Leech, James Faust, Dennis Layton, and Robert Brown. Assisting Mr. Foremsky in running the team are John Moran, “Cubs” Opalko and “Red” Mure.

There was an edition of The Duquesne Times published on my actual birthday, November 1, 1951. Here’s one of the photos from that day’s edition. Recognize anyone or anyone’s name?

Senior Class

I found the following photograph and ad very interesting and amusing! You know it had to be a REALLY slow news day when one of the front page photographs pays homage to a shipment of SOAP to Mann’s Brothers! To add even more “local charm” to that day’s edition of The Times from October 11, 1951, is the full page Mann’s Bros. ad that appeared in the same edition! Gotta love free press! Take a few minutes and check out the ad. It has been a LONG time since I’ve seen some of these brand names……

First, the front page photo and story…..

Manns PhotoAnd now, turning to page 7…..

Manns Ad 3And so, with memories of the scent of Spic and Span, Duz Detergent, and Woodbury soap racing through my mind, I promise renewed level of creativity on my part!!

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32 Responses to A Slow News Day

  1. aopalko says:

    on the picture with the boys second to last name “cubs” opalko any insite on the first name?

  2. Barry Long says:

    There was a “Clabby” Daniels DHS1953 but I can’t find him in the year book. He played sports but not in the “ECHO”for 1953.

  3. Barry Long says:

    TEDDY WEBER is class of 52 right side of the back row getting the $3000.00 for the class. Charles Burstin is an M.D. & in California last I heard & is directly behind the sales chart.

    • Ken Denne says:

      Also in California is Art Ellish. Both he and Chuck Burstin played BB for the Dukes in ;51 and;52. Art went to Brandeis and I believe was a president of Whittier College..

  4. Dave Forgash says:

    Every time I read a post on Little League in Duquesne it brings back many memories that I and many others have commented on about our experiences and good ball players that have come out of Duquesne and surrounding areas.
    BUT… I don’t recall any comments about one of the BEST players from the the CIO Cardinals. This versital player
    hit with power, (home runs too) could play all positions (including catcher) and was a ball playing inspiration, leader, and pioneer who was eventually forced out of Little League due to discrimination. Undeterred this player turned to fast pitch softball and played
    past the age of 50 and one season batted an incredible .750 while
    playing shortstop and managing the
    Pittsburgh Diamonds. Never heard of the Diamonds, they were/are an all woman’s fast pitch soft ball team and the player, none other than Duquesne’
    own Sally Morini. We should be
    proud of this trail blazer.
    Oh! And her brother Billy was also a good player.

    Dave Forgash

    • sally morini says:

      I have been following the Duquesne Hunky for sometime, reading all the articles about Duquesne Little League. You are the first to mention me, I have been waiting for that.
      Thanks for the kind words and compliments……

      • Bob Chermonitz says:

        Sally, as a former Duquesne little leaguer, and a former high school boys and girls coach, I apologize. I never knew. You were awesome. Wish I had met you. And thanks Dave for sharing. ⚾️

      • Tom Lane says:

        I was always in awe of your ability Sally. Made me feel pretty inadequate as a ball player, but you were always a great person. glad to hear of your accomplishments. tom

    • John aka Jack Berta DHS '62 says:

      Thanks Dave, don’t ever remember hearing of Sally’s accomplishments. Sure would have been great encouragement for my daughters when they played.

    • Ken Denne says:

      That;s some resume for Sally..Congratulations, Sally!!!On a similar note there was a girl, Conroy, I believe Kate, who lived near St. Joseph;s Church, who was known back then in the 40;s and 50;s as a “tomboy” She was a pretty girl who could “duke” it out with the boys. Too bad we didn’t have women sports in the schools…

  5. Jack Schalk says:

    The tallest person in the back row I believe is Jack Oyler.
    I graduated with his two younger brothers in 1954 and they all looked very similar.
    All great guys.

  6. The article about Burns Ave was interesting to me because I llived on Burns Ave and had no idea that is how it got its name, as they say I guess YOU DO learn something new everyday…Thanks Jim

    • Lou Andriko says:

      How things change. Look at the Google map today and Burns Avenue runs from the city line at Mifflin St. east down to Thorn Alley at the boundary of the now razed Burns Heights project. Pirl St. now extends from Mehaffey, is cut off by SS Peter & Paul parking lot, then crosses Crawford Ave. only to end at an unnamed alley along another edge of Burns Heights. Not sure of date of the article, Jim, but when Carnegie Land Company sold their property, that hero also was remembered in the name of that area of housing. I recently asked Mom what happened to the plan to rebuild single family housing on the now demolished and fenced in site, she related that they were unable to proceed as the area was atop an abandoned mine site and funding was cancelled. I wonder how the Carnegie Land Company (by then a division of US Steel?) was able to sell the property to the Allegheny County Housing Authority so they could build all those homes….

  7. Marc Daniels says:

    I am the son of the great Herman Daniels and I’m trying to find his football stats at Duquesne high school I do believe the year is 1954 or1959 I’ve searched every where he was a very good football player.. can you please help me …

    • Jim says:

      Marc, I sure will try. In the meantime, I’m sure someone is familiar with him and will probably leave a comment or two to help you out!

    • Ken Denne says:

      I believe it was Mike Daniels in 1958.. Went to Penn State..
      Ken Denne Class of 55

    • Dave Forgash says:

      Afraid you are not going to easily find
      High School Statistivs on Herman Daniels. In 2013 we have become accustomed to Sports Statistics.
      Fact is Duquesne High and most High
      Schools back then did not keep track of individual statistics from year to year so the performance of Duquesne High School offensive football players like Herman Daniels, Mike Daniels, Dave Maurer, Robert Green, Sonny Hughes, Steve Edwards, Tom Dudley, Sudzina, Genito, Madey, JerryKosko, Keith Crouse, Jones, Gedman, to name a few are are non existent. As you know the Duquesne High School has been closed for a few years, but no
      one was charged with keeping individual statistics from year to year.
      And with an increase in total games played over recent years, what would you compare it to. For example Stevie Edwards played more games per year than your dad.
      You might spend a couple weeks at the Daily News researching old sports stories on Duquesne games, but I think that would be futile.
      In fact many small colleges did not keep statistics until recent years and the same issue of total games played per year year has increased which would skew the numbers.
      Sorry I don’t think anyone on this blog will be of help. I don’t know if your Dad went to a BIG college or played semi-pro or military football there could be some stats in those archives.
      Maybe some who played with your Dad can relate some details about some individual highlight of his years in Duquesne High School.
      Something like the time Duquesne was playing Eliabeth Forward and John
      Donelli in locker room before the kick off said those boys will be fired up soon the first play so we will run is KF 93 Quick Trap with a pulling guard and Tom Dudley raced about 80 yards for the TD right up the middle
      and the Dukes win 34-0. I was sophomore at the time and thought it was the dumbest first play to call. John Donelli had been coaching a long time and turns out he was a lot smarter than some lowly sophomore. I am sure your Dad played for John Donelli.
      Good luck in search of your Dad’s
      statistics and I admire how proud you are of your Dad.

    • Paul Duffy says:

      I have no idea how to find the dude (or if he’s even still with us), but around that era, perhaps a bit later, there was a guy known as Deuce who was quite literally a walking encyclopedia of WPIAL sports. And if the stat wasn’t in his immediate recall, he also happened to keep his own meticulous scorebooks. Deuce was from North Braddock, but I can’t recall his real name. If you can track down Deuce, you’ll have a fighting chance of finding what you seek.

      • Dave Forgash says:

        You offered a good idea so I spoke with the Deuce, AKA, Lawrence Skurcenski from BRADDOCK PA.
        He said he had nothing on Herman Daniels and I got the impression he has very little in the way of STATS on Duquesne High Football. He is now 71 and slowing down just bit as he suffered a stroke in 2011. But according to all accounts he is the stat man as you suggested doing a lot of score keeping work at Woodland Hills

      • Ken Denne says:

        Duece:s forte started in the 60;s. You are absolutely correct. When he would see me he related the score of my game with Canevib, who was the high scorer, who won the league. He would attend a football game in the AM, followed by none in the PM then a game at night. Last I heard he wASN;T DOING WELL…

      • Paul Duffy says:

        Thanks, Dave and Ken. I had a very faint memory of his name, Dave, but as your note documents, I was safer not trying to recollect that spelling (I wouldn’t have gotten close to it).

        I guess it was a bit of a long-shot; his era was a tad later. I first encountered Deuce, the WPIAL savant, when playing with Stevie Edwards and Bobby Madar under the immortal Kope. Deuce was lurking along our sideline, both home and away, at pretty much every game. He was almost a mascot, of sorts. And, as you note, Ken, our game would seldom be the only one he took in on any given day.

      • Ken Denne says:

        Talked to Deuce last year when he was in the hospital. He had a stoke. One of my classmates at Slippery Rock, Bob Ford, was with him last week and said he is walking and dragging his foot. Other than that he doing OK…

    • Ken Denne says:

      Herman was in my Speech class in my first year teaching in Duquesne. He warned everyone not to give me any trouble. He was a super kid..

  8. Lou Weber says:

    Any article you post is always a welcome respite and always brings a smile and a chuckle. Thanks for all you do to keep the old memories alive.

  9. Diann Topley Torrey says:

    Jim, even if you never write another column you have reminded me of how wonderful it was growing up in Duquesne. Congratulations on your daughter’s wedding!

  10. Bob McCabe says:

    My Mom shopped at Mann’s. What I remember most is the box of receipt books for putting it on your tab. Even during the mill strikes, Mann saw to it their customers had food on the table.

    • Ken Denne says:

      Related to the Manns..Anyone with the name of Denne, Manns, Gruber, Ruhe were all related. There were 51 first cousins!!

  11. Rich Ivory says:

    I remember the picture being taken. The names are not in order .For example I am in the front row on the far right end.
    Rich Ivory

  12. sally morini says:

    Good reading, keep them coming

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