Remember New Ken nightlife

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Frank Phillips

Herndon, VA

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#1003
Feb 18, 2009
 
My Town wrote:
<quoted text>
I think the garage in the alley was Clem Lanzino, maybe the stuff was just warm.....Hmmm...his brother Sam was a manager at the Bachelors Club for years. Remember Jack Black, the doorman at the Bach?
And the Mannerino house..I guess you mean the one up on Highland Avenue by the nurses residence? maybe Georgia Mannarino knows the answer to that one?? Georgia????
And Valos moved from 5th avenue in Arnold to Drey Street by the #2 Fire station and now has a store on Freeport Road, it is a purple and white house....and the candy is still Great!! John Mandak bought it quite a while ago?
I am just now starting to read backwards in this blog, and came upon this post. So, someone knows Clem Lanzino! The two Lanzino brothers were friends of my fathers. In the early sixties my childhood buddy Sammy Lanzino actually lived in the KenMar Hotel--kind of a fleabag joint. Sammy lived there with Clem, but now I am not sure--was Clem his father or his uncle? Both seem to ring a bell. But if Clem's brother Sammy was in NK why did not "young" Sammy live with him instead. And if Clem was the father, did he name his son after his brother? I don't remember any mom involved. I never knew what Clem did for a living, but selling hot goods sounds extremely plausible. Of course, I didn't know what a lot of these folks did for a living. It seemed all these guys spent their days drinking coffee in the KenMar cafe or coffeshop or restaurant or whatever they called it. It seemed to me to be the place that had the most New York City feel to it.
Frank Phillips

Herndon, VA

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#1004
Feb 18, 2009
 
Parsecsam wrote:
<quoted text>
I knew you were a DG red drinker! I sure miss it. See you at the Super Bowl
Wow, please inform me. This term Dago Red, referring to wine. I always thought my mother had made up the term, which she would slip into conversations even in her seventies. I think she liked being able to refer to Italians as Dagos, her being 100% Italian. Vivian DeMarco. I've never heard anyone else use the term. So, what pray tell is Dago Red? Is it a homebrew or an actual brand. I gotta get me some. I assume it was both tasty and cheap.
Frank Phillips

Herndon, VA

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#1005
Feb 18, 2009
 
oops, I should have read further back. I see Dago Red has already been discussed. Did Italians call it that too I wonder
Frank Phillips

Herndon, VA

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#1006
Feb 18, 2009
 
I remember now, the nicest restaurant around was the Skyliner which sat by itself somewhere 'tween NK and Tarentum. I think it had Art Deco pastel lighting on the facade. An even bigger treat was the Holyday House perhaps in Monroeville. I saw the Three Stages there once. I think it was a dinner theater.

We used to go in the summer to swim in the river to a place called Braeburn beach. I wasn't able to locate it on Google Earth. Most likely no one goes there or would even consider swimming in that river. I remember thinking what a crappy place it was. The river was polluted as hell, the "beach" was stones, some parts had thick muck on the bottom--so you swam rather than waded. It was a reedy place, almost swampy, yet hundreds of people would swim there in the summer. Of course there were a few swimming pools. The one we went to was segregated, and while I was going there, the law changed and they had to let in people of color--much to the horror of us (what we now call) racists. In may have been on Greensburg Road. I think there was a drive-in out that way too, perhaps called the Family Drive-in.
Frank Phillips

Herndon, VA

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#1007
Feb 18, 2009
 
NKoldtimes wrote:
<quoted text>
Abe Zeid (AKA) Al Ross lived on or very near Paige St. in Lower Burrell when that was an all new section along with his wife Norma and son Frankie. He made trips back and forth to Vegas and perhaps Cuba and thought to be a collector for Sam. In the Grand Jury of the late 50's he was called to testify on his involvement with the boys. Since he was an illegal alien they were holding deportation over his head. He told my Dad he would never live
to testify. The first attempt was unsuccesful and they dumped what they thought was his dead body on Greensburg Road very near the Gateway drive-in in front of a restaurant/club (The Frontier???). The second attempt was succesful and his body was found tied to a tree and shot in a county down in southwestern PA. He never testified and never made it to Florida.
As I've mentioned, my mother and father were perhaps Al and Norma's best friends. Yes, Paige street, I remember the house well. And Frankie was my best friend. Frankie Talllarico, named after Norma's first husband. Al and Joe Merola definitely were friends. Norma, also had an affair with the married Joe in Miami, after Al's death, for many years. I guess she had a soft spot for gangsters. I hope Frankie never finds this blog--he would probably be pissed for me talkin about his mom. I haven't seen him since the 70's. But I thank Norma for inviting us to live with her in Boca Raton--it got me out of New Kensington and is a far brighter city.Yes, shortly before Al was killed there was an assasination attempt on him, which I think was at Villela's motel on Greensburg road, which I think was owned by Dick Serventi. That's the story Al gave anyway, but I think the reality is that he was shot while trying to rob a jewelry shop in Pittsburgh. Joe was one of those hybrid guys, both mafia and cia informant. Mostly the same kinds of guys that the cia used in the bay of pigs invasion. I saw one of Joe's sons, Tommy or Denny online trying to get information on his late father. There is even a nice picture of Joe somewhere I ran into online in a site about the assasination of JFK.

I see that it was the Gateway drive-in on Greensburg Road. Where was the Family drive-in? Between the two of them I must have been there 100 times. They always had double features. First a family movie then after, a film for the parents. By this time the kids would be asleep in their (our) pajamas. When I was small enough they would carry me into my bed asleep. Later, I got rudely awakened and had to walk up to my room. Ah, but that was 1/2 a century ago. Oh I suppose it wasn't so bad growing up in New Ken.
Frank Phillips

Herndon, VA

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#1008
Feb 18, 2009
 
Does anyone remember my aunt Rose(mary) DeMarco? She lived in NK all her life. She was married to "Lish" aka Geoge Leishman, my very large uncle. Later married to Sam Gaona and lived on 7th Street right across from Trzeiak's market for 30 years.
Tom R

Medina, OH

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#1009
Feb 19, 2009
 
WillyBJammin wrote:
...Not to be confused with Slicker's Variety Store(s) across from Old Parnassus High (Later the first Penn State Extension University - "PSUNK"). Slicker and his brother Henry (now there's a story there supposedly!!) before it
relocated to another old gas station a couple doors down the street (Corner of Main and Third by the RR Tracks)... More
later
There is discussion of "Slicks" store earlier in the thread. There was also a little butcher shop near Slicks. I think the Health Department closed it. Also, there was a bakery up by the Bank in Parnassus that sold the best cream filled pastries. I forget what they were called.
xnewken

AOL

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#1010
Feb 19, 2009
 
Frank Phillips wrote:
Does anyone remember my aunt Rose(mary) DeMarco? She lived in NK all her life. She was married to "Lish" aka Geoge Leishman, my very large uncle. Later married to Sam Gaona and lived on 7th Street right across from Trzeiak's market for 30 years.
I recall your aunt Rosemary from the Eagles Club in N.K. They were very active in the club. Very well liked by the membership at the club .
Frank Phillips

Herndon, VA

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#1011
Feb 19, 2009
 
xnewken wrote:
<quoted text>I recall your aunt Rosemary from the Eagles Club in N.K. They were very active in the club. Very well liked by the membership at the club .
Yep, that would be her. She was my favorite aunt. She couldn't have kids but was very loving to her nieces and nephews. Sam still misses her terribly. She had such a strong personality. A very funny feisty woman. She was a heavy smoker but who quit after a lifetime of smoking. But sadly 5 years after quitting she still got lung cancer. A warning for all you smokers. Thank you for your response.
radman Cranberry PA

Mars, PA

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#1012
Feb 19, 2009
 
NcKean Plan....The mkt at Orchard & Catalpa was Keller's mkt. Can't think of the name at Taylor & Catalpa above Sam's Tavern.
radman Cranberry PA

Mars, PA

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#1013
Feb 19, 2009
 
Frank Phillips....Was your aunt Rose's farther Tony DeMarco?
Frank Phillips

Herndon, VA

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#1014
Feb 19, 2009
 
radman Cranberry PA wrote:
Frank Phillips....Was your aunt Rose's father Tony DeMarco?
Indeed!! Anthony or Tony DeMarco. Was married to Phyliss Conti and had 3 girls (Rose, Francis and Vivian) and one boy, also named Tony. He always lived on a farm in Lower Burrell. He was what you would call a tenant farmer. Free farm to live on if you maintained it. And he did, supplying his kids and grandkids with tons of delicious produce all through my childhood. He may have been born in Italy. He was a poor man basically, but I liked him a lot. His second "wife" was named Helen and they had a daughter who rode horses, named Nancy. I'm surprised you knew his name as he rarely came into NewKen. Of course I don't know what he was up to before about 1956. Sadly all are deceased. I figured more people knew my other grandfather Frinkie, as he was somewhat of a big shot in New Ken--running that big gambling casino in the Garibaldi building.

I just may have to visit NK again soon. The last time was for my mother's burial 4 years ago, but before that it must have been 25 years or more. It didn't change much, really.

Peace to all. This is such a cool site for me to have stumbled upon. I'm not used to a blog where everyone is friendly. Usually there is a lot of name calling, especially on political blogs.
WillyBJammin

United States

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#1015
Feb 19, 2009
 
Frank Phillips wrote:
<quoted text>
I figured more people knew my other grandfather Frinkie, as he was somewhat of a big shot in New Ken--running that big gambling casino in the Garibaldi building.
Frank:
Which one is/was the Garibaldi building there is a building on the 900 block of 5th that has a tile (small ornate with pillars) tht I thought had been the ALHAMBRA Theater? I knew one of the guys that had some of the old "vest pocket" slots in a few places along with "bonus music" jukeboxes... Coin amusement to use the vernacular!!
Sam:
Yea! Me too, thru elementary school. Warren Shaner and wife, Maude Yeakle, Ed Vargas (he was a NewKen policeman around the same time probably as Blacky Calabrese and I think his name was Frank Perriello,) The Blacks, The Posts too many more, just some neighbors all on Ridge Ave.
Now for just a stream of thought:
The Bakery in Parnassus was also Princess Pastry (the real bake shop was located in a converted garage, I think I was told once the building had been either a Kaiser or Hudson dealership long before my time) although I can NOW say that used to be a Oldmobile or an American Motors (AMC) Dealer soon we can say that used to be a Saturn dealer!!!
I think it was Ray’s Barber Shop at the bottom of North Street
The First Pizza shop in NewKen was Luigi’s on 4th, the second North Star beside the Circle Theater on Fifth. The first pizza I ever had was hand made at some festavel at St Joes... Little Old Italian ladies baking there...
Coney Island Luncheonette on 10th St across from the Pool Hall, Mustard, Onion, Sauce. They grilled natural casing hot dogs on a flattop what seemed the size of a aircraft carrier, in the front window. The aroma wafted out into the street from a vent fan over / under the grill. I can taste on NOW!! They had good hamburgers and cooked your typical breakfast stuff too. I don’t think they ever closed?(as long as Alcoa was open anyway) Kind of like the old days of the Rustic Inn and KenMar Hotel “dining room”
The Western Pennsylvania Fireman’s Association conventions and the “Tent City” they used to set up. The number of those patrons who were “over served”. The parades!! The Fire Trucks!! Hopefully still going strong?
Connor’s Hobby Shop – the guy had a problem!!
Dick Serventi I think owned old Villella’s after it became the Frontier. Dick moved with his family to Detroit and bought a Bowling Alley.. Did he have to get out of town? Great Groups there CeCe and Company, The Fenways, Jaggerz, The Racket Squad, Howard Vokes at Hereda Hotel
The Skyliner sat across from the NewKen reservoir and it was a art deco pastel bldg. Best Crab Imperial and huge steaks. A combo most weekends in the 50’s and early 60’s. It’s said that Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners (then just the Skyliners) named the group for the bar / restaurant. Owned by the Landis’ burnt down a couple of times (like Gonella's next door)(Ya think they'ed have an extinguisher handy)
Annie moved into the old Pink Pig in Lower Burrell for a while after Art died. I think the old building is still there now maybe the Elk’s?
Google Pictures:
http://maps.google.com/maps...
On the corner of 9th Street and 5th Ave
The center of the universe! If you haven’t seen this before it will probably make you queasy seeing NewKen as it is today!
Out here
WillyBJammin

United States

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#1016
Feb 19, 2009
 
Which one is/was the Garibaldi building there is a building on the 900 block of 5th that has a tile (small ornate with pillars) tht I thought had been the ALHAMBRA Theater? I new one of the guys that had some "vest pocket" slots in a few places along with "bonus music" jukeboxes...
Sam:
Yea! Me too, thru elementary school. Warren Shaner and wife, Maude Yeakle, Ed Vargas (he was a NewKen policeman around the same time probably as Blacky Calabrese and I think his name was Frank Perriello,) The Blacks, The Posts too many more, just some neighbors all on Ridge Ave.
Now for just a stream of thought:
The Bakery in Parnassus was also Princess Pastry (the real bake shop was located in a converted garage, I think I was told once the building had been either a Kaiser or Hudson dealership long before my time) although I can NOW say that used to be a Oldmobile or an American Motors (AMC) Dealer soon we can say that used to be a Saturn dealer!!!
I think it was Ray’s Barber Shop at the bottom of North Street
The First Pizza shop in NewKen was Luigi’s on 4th, the second North Star beside the Circle Theater on Fifth. The first pizza I ever had was hand made at some festavel at St Joes... Little Old Italian ladies baking there...
Coney Island Luncheonette on 10th St across from the Pool Hall, Mustard, Onion, Sauce. They grilled natural casing hot dogs on a flattop what seemed the size of a aircraft carrier, in the front window. The aroma wafted out into the street from a vent fan over / under the grill. I can taste on NOW!! They had good hamburgers and cooked your typical breakfast stuff too. I don’t think they ever closed?(as long as Alcoa was open anyway) Kind of like the old days of the Rustic Inn and KenMar Hotel “dining room”
The Western Pennsylvania Fireman’s Association conventions and the “Tent City” they used to set up. The number of those patrons who were “over served”. The parades!! The Fire Trucks!! Hopefully still going strong?
Connor’s Hobby Shop – the guy had a problem!!
Dick Serventi I think owned old Villella’s after it became the Frontier. Dick moved with his family to Detroit and bought a Bowling Alley.. Did he have to get out of town? Great Groups there CeCe and Company, The Fenways, Jaggerz, The Racket Squad, Howard Vokes at Hereda Hotel
The Skyliner sat across from the NewKen reservoir and it was a art deco pastel bldg. Best Crab Imperial and huge steaks. A combo most weekends in the 50’s and early 60’s. It’s said that Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners (then just the Skyliners) named the group for the bar / restaurant. Owned by the Landis’ burnt down a couple of times (like Gonella's next door)(Ya think they'ed have an extinguisher handy)
Annie moved into the old Pink Pig in Lower Burrell for a while after Art died. I think the old building is still there now maybe the Elk’s?
Google Pictures:
http://maps.google.com/maps...
On the corner of 9th Street and 5th Ave
The center of the universe! If you haven’t seen this before it will probably make you queasy seeing NewKen as it is today!
Out here
Frank Phillips

Herndon, VA

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#1017
Feb 19, 2009
 
The word remember is used quite a bit here. Perhaps it needs an abbreviation, like re.

Anyway, re when Charles Chips trucks would prowl the neighborhoods. You could set up a regular delivery service with them, or just do it a la carte as they drove around. I'm sure they had a bell or a tune of some kind. Whose screwy idea was this, to have a pretzel delivery company, one wonders.

Mister Softee trucks would come by every night in the summer, playing that dippy tune non stop. And there were those ice boxes on wheels that did the same schtick--called the Good Humor man, who of course was quite surly and always in a hurry.

And don't forget the local farmers who would drive around, and stop every half block in their trucks and sell you fresh produce daily. He, or they, had no names--known to all as "the huckster". To my ears, the term seemed to connote that he might be trying to cheat you...or perhaps even poison you, so I really didn't like, as a kid, these grubby farmers comin' around in their beat up trucks with their dubious scales. Now of course I would love to have a huckster come by the house.

I re when milk delivery service finally faded out perhaps circa 1960. Everyone had those small aluminum boxes on their porches to keep it all cold until the latchkeys came home. I didn't like that either. It made me nervous that someone would steal your milk, or worse, perhaps poison it.

We left the door unlocked at night, and also when we went out (that may have stopped circa 1960 too). The car keys sat in the ignition, or if you were parking downtown, you put them under the mat, no one would look there. And NK had the politest cops. When you did get a ticket, you could curse at them and shout all kinds of obscene epithets, without the cop caring in the least. I only have the example of my father to verify this.

One of the funniest things I re was when the city decided to build a little park across the street from the Loblaw's (which I re had big glass electric eyes to open the door for you). It was to be called the New Ken Parklet. So cute, so tiny. The plot of land was about 20 feet by 50 feet. We thought, who needs it, who cares. Before they started building it they erected a giant wooden thermometer to measure how the funds were pouring in for the construction. It may have been entirely funded by donations now that I think about. It took forever to get the thing going and finished. When it was done it was totally anti-climactic. It consisted of 20 by 40 foot concrete pad, painted green with perhaps two benches bolted to it. No grass, no fountain, no kids, no fence, no light, and no point. We kids just thought it was the funniest damn thing. It could not even rightfully be called a glorified bus stop.

Everyone had those colored aluminum glasses made of course at Alcoa. Not fond of metal glasses, or even using aluminum with food (does the Alzheimer's-aluminum link still stand?) but I would like to have a set now for nostalgic purposes. We had quite a few pieces of Kensingtonware, which was polished aluminum dinnerware made to mimic silver pieces. Trays, platters, gravy boats, salt and pepper cellars, covered dishes, candy dishes, butter dishes, etc. I wonder if they have some on Ebay.
Frank Phillips

Herndon, VA

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#1018
Feb 19, 2009
 
Thanks Willy for all your insight. I learned a lot. Thanks for the Google link too. I was right there so I strolled up a block and scoped out the New Ken parklet. Loblaw's is a library and the parklet is in full glory, with attractive retro street lamps and some kind of monument. I think there may be three benches now. My remembered dimensions were off--it looks more like 15 x 60 feet. And atleast when the Google man passed, still deserted. Now maybe it's not the Spanish Steps or the Trevi, but it sure looks grand to me.
McKean Plan

Redmond, WA

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#1019
Feb 20, 2009
 
Frank Phillips wrote:
The word remember is used quite a bit here. Perhaps it needs an abbreviation, like re.
Anyway, re when Charles Chips trucks would prowl the neighborhoods. You could set up a regular delivery service with them, or just do it a la carte as they drove around. I'm sure they had a bell or a tune of some kind. Whose screwy idea was this, to have a pretzel delivery company, one wonders.
Mister Softee trucks would come by every night in the summer, playing that dippy tune non stop. And there were those ice boxes on wheels that did the same schtick--called the Good Humor man, who of course was quite surly and always in a hurry.
And don't forget the local farmers who would drive around, and stop every half block in their trucks and sell you fresh produce daily. He, or they, had no names--known to all as "the huckster". To my ears, the term seemed to connote that he might be trying to cheat you...or perhaps even poison you, so I really didn't like, as a kid, these grubby farmers comin' around in their beat up trucks with their dubious scales. Now of course I would love to have a huckster come by the house.
I re when milk delivery service finally faded out perhaps circa 1960. Everyone had those small aluminum boxes on their porches to keep it all cold until the latchkeys came home. I didn't like that either. It made me nervous that someone would steal your milk, or worse, perhaps poison it.
We left the door unlocked at night, and also when we went out (that may have stopped circa 1960 too). The car keys sat in the ignition, or if you were parking downtown, you put them under the mat, no one would look there. And NK had the politest cops. When you did get a ticket, you could curse at them and shout all kinds of obscene epithets, without the cop caring in the least. I only have the example of my father to verify this.
One of the funniest things I re was when the city decided to build a little park across the street from the Loblaw's (which I re had big glass electric eyes to open the door for you). It was to be called the New Ken Parklet. So cute, so tiny. The plot of land was about 20 feet by 50 feet. We thought, who needs it, who cares. Before they started building it they erected a giant wooden thermometer to measure how the funds were pouring in for the construction. It may have been entirely funded by donations now that I think about. It took forever to get the thing going and finished. When it was done it was totally anti-climactic. It consisted of 20 by 40 foot concrete pad, painted green with perhaps two benches bolted to it. No grass, no fountain, no kids, no fence, no light, and no point. We kids just thought it was the funniest damn thing. It could not even rightfully be called a glorified bus stop.
Everyone had those colored aluminum glasses made of course at Alcoa. Not fond of metal glasses, or even using aluminum with food (does the Alzheimer's-aluminum link still stand?) but I would like to have a set now for nostalgic purposes. We had quite a few pieces of Kensingtonware, which was polished aluminum dinnerware made to mimic silver pieces. Trays, platters, gravy boats, salt and pepper cellars, covered dishes, candy dishes, butter dishes, etc. I wonder if they have some on Ebay.
Frank, you sure do bring back a lot. I always thought your aunt & Lish were the perfect pair, My father-in-law & John Shrigs took over the City Club from your grandfather. Then to Bob Martino & then Smokie. When I got out of the army myfather-in-law left the club & went in partnership with me opening the Sunoco gas station on 8th st. Your Aunt Rose & your mom had me put chains on their car one sunday. They were going to Lewisburg. I convinced them not to go alone & if I remember rightly they got either Jack Wilson ro Johnny Fee to take them up. I could go on & on of your family. Your Aunt Rose ordered police uniforms & tailored them for the local police dept. Yes, great days in NK
Tom R

Medina, OH

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#1020
Feb 20, 2009
 
I had excellent ears for the Mr. Softie truck. It didn't play music, just a "ding." I remember Menzies Dairy delivery and my aunt used to get those big cans of Charlie's Chips. YUM! I also remember up on the hill (behind Martin School) the candy apple man. He drove a red Willies station wagon and sold the best candy apples. Guaranteed to pull the fillings out of your teeth or remove the loose ones. The streets we lived on weren't paved then, every summer they were graded and "oiled" or tarred. You were in trouble if you got caught on the other side of the street after they tarred them. We used to make little dirt paths across the street so we wouldn't track the tar into the house. Anybody play P-G ball? We put tape on plastic golf balls (thus P G) and use broom sticks for bats. Great for playing stick ball on small areas. Lots of fun.
ANDY

Oklahoma City, OK

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#1022
Feb 20, 2009
 
good blog, I lived there from 61 to 66 went to
ridge avenue and the to ken hi. live above milano's. went to conners hobby shop (never alone), ate french fries and gravy at the rustic
in after the football games, sold sunday papers
on saturday night with mouse evans.i hung around
with jim warsing. we set pins at the bolling alleys got in plenty of trouble.we hung out at luigi's pizza all the time. we used to take the short cut after school at ridge avenue and go thru herman's nut shop to get on 5th ave. climed
boquet hill thru the caves plenty of times, fished under the 9th street bridge. thanks for the memories.
WillyBJammin

United States

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#1023
Feb 20, 2009
 
Hucksters: I Remember Andy Perrillo an old Italian guy. He had a farm out around Markle, He and his wife would go door-to-door in the Summer selling mostly veggies and a little fruit strawberries, apples, peaches. Sold out of thier green 1948 Chevy pick-up (even into the early seventies.) The stuff was wrapped up in the back under tarps and cool as a cucumber even on the hottest say. they had already washed it and it back at thier spring house and it was clean enough to eat! I remember paying around a dollar and getting a big bag of stuff. The other guy drove around in a old converted bus. I think he ran his business from back by the NEW 7th Street Sportsmans Club (across from Linden Ave) Anyone remember the big explosion at Burrell Const back in the mid-60's I think it was a asphalt storage tank that exploded. Another explosion down at Logans Ferry and the Aluminum Powder Plant (I think Olin Arms and Chemical ran that plant)?

I remember sitting on the steps to the OLD Elks club on the corner of 4th Avenue and 7th Street and listening to the Elks Mens Choir practice. Those guys could really sing!

Some intresting photos of NewKen and other locales
See Web links below:

http://www.coalcampusa.com/rustbelt/pa/pa2.ht...
http://flickr.com/photos/shane613/sets/721576...
http://flickr.com/photos/shane613/sets/721576...
http://flickr.com/photos/shane613/sets/

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