Dennis Polasky

Alexandria, VA

#423 Dec 19, 2012
Bucky,
To add to your wonderful list: Bard's Dairy Store,Donahoe's Market then Stoll's Drug Store then Smoot's Drug Store,Smitty's Bar then Pete Caruso's Dugout,Thorofare Supermarket,Peter Pan Cleaners,Gasper's Barber Shop, Rizzo's Saloon, Maffie's Saloon, Dr. Price the dentist, the Florist near Morry's, Rocco's Shoe Repair Shop.
At one time or another, I delivered the Press, Post Gazette and Sun Telegraph, worked at Stoll's, Smoot's and Bard's. Welcome to our forum, you already have popped some memory bubbles!
Bob

Bethel Park, PA

#424 Dec 20, 2012
Beechview seems to be making a comeback. My 30 yr old daughter is considering buying a home there. I don't live there anymore, but drive through several times a year just to "look around". It's nice to see homes being bought by Hispanic Families who add color and community again to Beechview.
I was a lifeguard for a couple of years at Beechwood Pool, I know it's been closed for a while, but recently, someone mentioned that they removed the pool and are using it for teacher parking.
What Beechview needs are more young families moving in and establishing roots.
Dan ODonnell

Colorado Springs, CO

#425 Dec 20, 2012
Hi, Bucky. Welcome. I'm a few years younger than you, born in 1937 when my family lived at 1210 Methyl St. and later moved to 1625 Methyl St. where I lived until I went into the Air Force, where I spent 22 years and retired.I remember Krogers very well. My Mom would send me there with a list of groceries, and I remember the butcher would use a hand grinder to grind beef and wrap it in paper. On the other side of the store, the clerk would use a long stick with some kind of device on the end of it that would be used to get items off the high shelves. All of the items would be written on a piece of paper and added up or later, on one of those push-button cash registers. During the war, there were restrictions on coffee, butter, cigarettes, and things like that, and you had to bring a coupon book in order to get your limit. I remember the name George Kaiser, but just can't place him with a face.
At Thorofare, I occasionally delivered groceries to people's homes, and got paid 25 cents a load(or maybe it was per bag).
At another time, I got paid more than you did at the astounding rate of $7.00 a week, working on Troiani's fruit and vegetable truck, and all the stuff I could eat.
Pop Gill was one of a kind. Again, I got paid more than you at 10 cents a line in his bowling alleys and pool room. Of the leagues that bowled there, one was the American Legion (I think)and they would get drunk and see who could hit the pin boys with the ball. I was pretty quick and always got out of the way. Pop was a short fat man, bald and always had a cigar in his mouth. I still remember the image of us teenagers with a cigarette in our mouths, pegged pants, or levis, a tee shirt, and shooting pool.
Olson's at Broadway and Coast was a regular stop for most of us on the way to St. Catherines, or on the way back.
You referred to Bank night. Was that at the Beechview theater? If so, I remember that clearly, where adults went to the movie, and had some kind of drawing to win money, in the evening. When us kids went to that movie for a Saturday matinee, it cost 17 cents. I did occasionally go to the bowling alleys under the theater.
Fred Cerminara was most likely related to Sam Cerminara, who owned Sam's cleaner and tailor shop. He eventually commited suicide, shot himself in the basemant of his home, which was directly across the street from me on Methyl St. John's, Babe's, Isaly's, Bard's, Stoll's, all wonderful places. And, of course, Maffie's for all the adults.
I may be getting Krogers and A&P mixed up, but they may have been in the same place at different times.
I don't remember that beat cop, but I do remember a patrol cop who drove a black 1954 Ford and was a really mean guy. His name was Nally, and his nickname was "Nails" because he was hard as nails.
Seems like every time someone else comes to this forum, there are new things to remember, and your contributions are just great. Love to hear from you again.
Dan
Pat Perfetti

Lansdowne, PA

#426 Dec 21, 2012
Bucky.... Thanks for writing, and I think it's great you still live in Beechview!!

Another thing that's great is you, Dan and Dennis are actualy older than me! hahaha That's almost a miracle nowdays, as anymore it seems I'm older than almost everybody around me!

Bob and Bucky --I'm happy you guys found this forum ..
Bucky Bianco

Pittsburgh, PA

#427 Dec 21, 2012
Hi Pat,
Apparently, you now live in Philly. I knew some Perfetti's a few years back. Are those your relations. I think he was Dominick and wife of Anna.
They would now be mid eighties.
Pat Perfetti

Philadelphia, PA

#428 Dec 22, 2012
Dear Bucky.. I know there was a "Perfetti Woodworking" in Beechview and that a young friend of mine, Joe, actually worked for them, but all our relatives were in Philadelphia and New Jersey. My parents were born in Phila. My dad didn't know the Perfetti's who owned the woodworking (cabinets, etc) company. But said we could have been related and didn't know it. Who knows? It's not really a common name, and it definitely has a home base in Italy.. lol

Hope you have a nice holiday and a Happy Healthy New Year!!...

(Same sent to all our friends on this forum.) Pat
Bob

Bethel Park, PA

#429 Dec 22, 2012
Fred Cerminara owned the Beechview Hardware in the 70's after the original owner died. The original owner, can't remember his name, lived on the corner of Dagmar and Crane Ave. Fred owned the store for a while and then his son, also Fred owned a hardware store on Brookline Blvd. during the 80's.
I lived a few doors away from George Haggerty, the pharmacist and owner of John's Drug Store for many years, he lived on Glady's Ave.
Bucky Bianco

Pittsburgh, PA

#430 Dec 22, 2012
Hi Bob,
I've always known that George Haggerty lived upstairs of the John's Drugstore in a very elaborate apartment on the third floor. He only left the store when he passed to a grandson or nephew named Haggerty. The relative didn't do well with it. He sold the rights of the store to Eckard's and emptied it out and took it all down to Banksville Avenue and latter sold that to Rite Aide.
The hardware store which was Cerminera's was an A & P
store back in the forties. Just a couple stores down from Krogers.
The hardware store was maybe a Rizzo or Caruso before "Eggie" Cerminera. "Eggie" or Fred as was his real name used to own a litte shoeshine store and number joint under Rizzo Bar or Nick's Bar with the entrance to Hampshire.
Just a little of color from those old Beechview days.
Bucky Bianco

Pittsburgh, PA

#431 Dec 30, 2012
How about some more Beechview stories?
Pat Perfetti

Philadelphia, PA

#432 Dec 30, 2012
Here's one for my older Beechview friends:

Didn't they have dances at the Beechview movies location on Friday nights around 1957 or so? I remember definitely going to those dances several times, but I'm wondering how they cleared out all the seats from the movie theater.... So it must have been upstairs of something (the dance)... that is IF there was an upstairs at the Beechview Theater. It definitely wasn't the dance at Babes across the street. I only went there one time. The Beechview Movies dance I went to several times.

My friend Susan's dad, used to work in the Hardware store, part time as he had a regular job at the railroad. His name was Lou
Bucky Bianco

Pittsburgh, PA

#433 Dec 31, 2012
Hi Pat,
The American Legion then was across the street from John's Drug Store in the big building. Babes were underneath. That's were the dances were. Ralph Cerminera was the Commander at the legion then. i think one of his brothers, Al, ran the dance. It was great. We were all teenagers.
We bought homemade dago wine from Troiani's at fifty cents a quart bottle(used quart milk bottlea) It was some tough wines. Then we went up to the dances. Never got into any trouble though. We just needed a bit of nerve to dance with all the good lookin' Beechview and Brookline girls. You were probably one of those good lookin' girls we were dancing with. We had a lot of good times.
Bill McMahon

Hawthorne, CA

#434 Dec 31, 2012
About those dances, both my parents met at the dance, my dad, home from the war, was left off in Pittsburgh with a bunch of army buddies that were all getting out the same time. He lived in Dormont at the time. Stayed in Pittsburgh since the war. Nice start, the dance.

I do not miss the weather..........the cold..........
Bucky Bianco wrote:
Hi Pat,
The American Legion then was across the street from John's Drug Store in the big building. Babes were underneath. That's were the dances were. Ralph Cerminera was the Commander at the legion then. i think one of his brothers, Al, ran the dance. It was great. We were all teenagers.
We bought homemade dago wine from Troiani's at fifty cents a quart bottle(used quart milk bottlea) It was some tough wines. Then we went up to the dances. Never got into any trouble though. We just needed a bit of nerve to dance with all the good lookin' Beechview and Brookline girls. You were probably one of those good lookin' girls we were dancing with. We had a lot of good times.
Bucky Bianco

Pittsburgh, PA

#435 Jan 2, 2013
Any memories from the forties?

Bucky
Dennis Polasky

Alexandria, VA

#436 Jan 2, 2013
At the Legion Hall dances, at one time or another,Barry Kaye, Jay Michaels and even Porky Chadwick were guest DJs up on the balcony with the record player. A lot of us learned to dance there and in later years, went on to Linden Grove, Sully's and Mancini's.
Pat Perfetti

Philadelphia, PA

#437 Jan 3, 2013
Hi everyone:

No, I only went to the dance above Babes once or maybe twice at the most. I KNOW there was another dance at the Beechview Theater location, small potato dance for us kids... but it didn't last for years..maybe just a couple.

I was at the Grove Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday nights -- at least one or two of those nights every week. I went to Sully's as a 15 or 16 year old a couple times (my dad would drive and pick us up).. but once I discovered the Grove, that was where I went... up to the time I moved from Pittsburgh. No booze.. some great dancers... and cute looking guys. lol the music was great... all records...great sound system... fast and slow dances!! I liked the pavillion style of the building... the circular dance floor.. and the location in South Park... IT WAS PERFECT. If need be, the Castle Shannon streetcar left us off right below the Grove at the stop there... My dad would lend me his Olds sometimes, or my girlfriend would occasionally borrow her brother's car. I understand the Grove is still there... and even has older night dances for the kids who grew up into "senior citizens".. lol I know this because one of my Pittsburgh friends still goes to dances, and the Grove is one of them.
I don't remember much about 40's, Bucky, except that I was a little kid playing hopscotch, riding scooters, climbing trees, going to school, etc Many of those earliest memories are written about in this forum in our early pages, and Dan wrote many posts about those days, as did Dennis, me and Bill..
Bucky Bianco

Pittsburgh, PA

#438 Jan 5, 2013
Hi Pat,
Guess I'm a little older than you. I graduated in 1949, St Michael High School, Southside. Seeing there was no high school in Beechview, all the girls and guys went to either South Hills High, Conley Vocational, or the Catholic Schools, St Michael, St Justin, St. Marys, Canice, St George etc. We all had to take the good ole orange street cars to get there though. No buses then. We all came through the South Hills Junction. We paid for the passes from the Pittsburgh Railways. I think it was fifty cents a week. A lot of the kids would slide their passes through the center door on the streetcar to get a discount. Some fun, huh. There was lots of fun on those old 42 Dormont orange rickety streetcars.
Pat Perfetti

Philadelphia, PA

#439 Jan 5, 2013
Bucky, Yes, you are older by about a decade, but let's not sweat the small stuff. lol We are from the same era.... a great one it was. Do you still live in the same house as always in Beechview? Well, you live in one of the most beautiful parcels of land in Pittsburgh... even if a lot of it is old and some run down ... Still, the ground itself is amazing. Just something about it... I don't remember the streetcars being "orange". I don't know why... I remember streetcars being cream color and red I think. Lots of them were nice inside... and when they rode, they were quiet and smooth.. Maybe the orange ones were on their way out by the time I went to highschool. I think I remember the "basket weave" type seats in an old one. Up to highschool, I walked to school, or my dad drove us to school. Only time I rode streetcar before highschool is if my mother took me to downtown Pittsburgh. I thought I remembered a weekly pass in Highschool was $1.25.. but I could be wrong.. Maybe it was more.:) Pat
Dan ODonnell

Colorado Springs, CO

#440 Jan 6, 2013
Hi, everyone. I just happened to think of it, but in just a few days, it will be FOUR YEARS since I started this forum. When I did that, I never really expected any responses, but now there have been 437!! It's been fun.
Yes, there were orange colored street cars before the red and cream colored ones, and they did have those basket weave seats, and if I remember right, at one time there were a few green ones. The orange colored ones did rattle along and bounce and make all kinds of noises, but they did get you to where you wanted to go. I am sure, at one time, the fare was ten cents, went to twenty cents, and upward from there. Although I don't remember the cost of street car school passes, we had
those to ride to the "junction" where we then climbed the steps to South Hills High School. On days when we skipped school, we could use our passes to go just about anywhere in Pittsburgh, and would sometimes spend the day just riding around until it was around the time we were expected to be home from school. I can remember that the pass was carried in a folding red paper or cardboard case. The old 42 Dormont was a real clissic.
Referring to the 40's, I do remember a lot from those days, that some of the others in here might not. President FDR in his radio addresses, and after his death, Harry Truman. Truman had a very distinctive voice, and when you heard him, you always knew who it was. Although I was very young then, I remember some things about the big war. There were "Air Raid Exercises" where everyone was supposed to turn out all their lights at home and in businesses, just as a practice in case enemy bombers were approaching. Air raid wardens walked the streets, to make sure all lights were out. When that happened, I would sit at my upstairs bedroom window and watch for the Air Raid Warden, who would eventually walk by on Methyl Street with a flashlight and some kind of metal helmet. My uncle John was the only one in the family at one time to have a car. It was a 1939 Plymouth, 4-door with two additional folding passenger seats. That was SO long ago, that they called it "Uncle John's Machine". Most of us, at least until our family started to gradually get cars, went wherever we were going by walking or taking the street car. I don't remember busses, if they existed at all in Pittsburgh. We would wear out the soles of our shoes from so much walking and would take them to the shoe repair shop, on Broadway, near Olsen's. I went to St Catherines School with the son of the man who owned the shoe shop. I don't think anyone ever gets shoes repaired anymore. They just throw them away.
In some ways, life was a lot like the movie that we see every Christmas, called "A Christmas Story" complete with Daisy Red Ryder BB guns, and someone always saying "You'll shoot your eye out".
Radio, in a big console was the center of entertainment, and all of us kids would gather around and listen to Superman, The FBI, in Peace and War, Inner Sanctum, and all of those wonderful programs. And Dick Tracy in the Sunday comics in the Pittsburgh Press.
I guess I could go on and on but some of the others in here have already heard those stories....but the memories are great.
Dan
Dennis Polasky

Alexandria, VA

#441 Jan 7, 2013
Dan,
That was Rocco's Shoe Repair shop. One of his kids was in my class at St. Catherine's. His name was Eugene Frediani. I think there were a couple of brothers.
Dennis
Bucky Bianco

Pittsburgh, PA

#442 Jan 7, 2013
Dan,
The shoemaker close to Olsen's Market was Rocco Prallaggo. Rocco married the widow and mother of all those children. He came from the old country and married Mrs.Frediani. The children, as I might remember, were Olivia, Mario, Eugene, Adolph and there might be more. The family lived in a big house on the corner of Fallowfield and Coast. I just saw Mario the other day. He is a CPA but retired and did very well.
I jus wanted to add that bit. I still lives in Beechview, down Shadycrest. Remember the little bus that rode from Broadway and Fallowfield down to Shadycrest?
Bucky

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