MEMORIES

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Memories were solicited and compiled by Norma Jean Mountain Haywood and Robert Roule for the 50th Reunion Souvenir Book.  The many comments will take you down memory lane and surely bring a smile to your face.

COMMENTS AND SHORT STORIES

If God allowed me to pick my time of life, it would remain the same. Especially the “50”s.

-Elaine Freycenet Edie   Dec 29, 2008

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Thanks to all the committee for all your hard work and allowing us to reacquaint and to walk down memory lane again.

-Clara Sue Wall McCann

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God bless everyone and I hope all of your dreams were fulfilled.

-Ron Marcase

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I am so thankful to have been a part of the 50s.  What a wonderful time to be growing up!

-Linda Gayhart Heimbuecher

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Try heading west – beautiful, LOW humidity always.

-Marilyn Gregory Labuda

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What I’ve learned through the years is to avoid worrying about the little things and to just be happy!

-Verna Villers Haywood

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Take the time to share all the good memories while we still can!!

-Donald Pender

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I was happy when I entered high school and much happier when I left. In between, I experienced the hormone-driven emotions that teens endure as they change from a child to an adult.  My problem was that I was shy at the beginning and even shyer when the metamorphosis was complete. If I could go back today, I’d have a hell of lot better time.

-Bob Roule

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I don’t think there will ever be a period of history when so many huge changes have taken place….as witnessed in our lifetimes. Wow….wasn’t it a great ride?

The kids may now have computers and Ipods, but we went from walking to 1st grade to a man on the moon.

-Dennis Yerkey

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Live every day to the fullest.  You don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

-Regina Zatorsky Clingerman

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Strolling down Main Street, Monongahela, Pa in 1958.

Many times after school, we decided to walk “down town”.  Our first stop was usually Greyshock’s Bakery to buy a piece of pizza for a nickel.  Yeah, pizza at the bakery.  They made the best cakes in town.  Remember their filling?  It had nuts and fruit in it.  Across the street was White’s Candy Store where we would sometimes buy one piece of candy as it was expensive.  White’s was only open in the winter as its building wasn’t air conditioned.  We would pass Pulaski’s sporting goods and news stand which was across the street from Miller’s Drug Store (Jack’s dad).  And of course, up Fourth Street, a short distance was the old Junior High where Herb Cooley watched over us.  At the next corner was McGregor’s, which sold men’s clothing.  Across the street was the taxi stand owned by Gerry Pinetti’s and Darlene Stephenson’s dads.  Down the street we would stop sometimes at Zeaman’s to look at the clothes in the store window.  Then off to the Anton Theater where we all loved to go.  Of course, before we got to the movies, we stopped at O’Delli’s to buy all of our candy.  After the show, we may have stopped at Schwartz and Shaver’s for a coke flavored with vanilla, chocolate or cherry.  Yum!  Of course, who could forget the Skyscraper Cones from Isaly’s?  Remember when rainbow sherbet came out?  Again, Yum!  While walking down the street, we may look in Traversari’s windows to see who was in the pictures they had displayed.  Then off to Abel’s Department Store to catch all the new styles.

We also had three jewelry stores in town.  They were Rushton’s, Mallory’s and Berty’s.  I don’t know if they were related to Mr. Berty, our teacher.  We only looked in the windows because who had that much money to spend on frivolous things?  Near them was Book’s Shoe Store (Melvin Mountain worked there).  We also had Endicott Johnson Shoe Store.  Not too far was the two five and dime stores.  I think their names were Woolworths and McCrory’s.  Gee, you could buy anything in them.  Regina O’Hern worked in one of them.  I remember that Elva Yohe and Donna Coulter also worked there.

We may stop at Peter’s Restaurant (George’s dad) for a hot roast beef sandwich.  Their gravy was the best.  On some days, we would back track to Friend-Lee Bakery for a cookie.  I always looked forward to payday as Dad always stopped there and brought home pastries.  Paydays did not come often enough.  Then off to Span and Taylor where Mary Louise Hoff worked.  We also might have hit the Bentley Theater after trying on shoes at Reilly’s (Paige) Shoe Store.  Our parents may have gone to Matthew’s (Bonnie) to buy appliances.  Across the street was Slops, where we would spend our Friday nights dancing after the football game.  Our parents may have also gone grocery shopping at Pizzutelli’s Super Market, Frye’s Grocery or Ralph Affinito’s Food Market.

-Linda Gayhart Heimbuecher

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Sorry, I am unable to attend the reunion.  I wish you a fun time.

Carol Eckels Eakins

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We have been living in Florida for over twenty years. Sorry, I will not be able to attend the reunion. I viewed the pictures on the web site and recognized most of the girls. To me, the men have changed more than the ladies. Good luck for a successful reunion.

Emily Tesznar Battaglia

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I was really looking forward to our 50th reunion, but I started a new job and will be unable to attend.  I wanted to see everyone again, as I have not been in Pa since I left in 1961.  The last time I saw many of my classmates was 1957.  Please send me the souvenir book and photos.    Thanks for keeping me updated.

Judy Solomon Russell

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Please send me the book and pictures.   I am still working a full schedule, so it is difficult to get a weekend off.  John and I have 5 children, 9 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.  We wish you good luck.

Agnes Perunko Magnone

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Sorry, I will not be able to attend the reunion.  I now live in California and would love to hear from any classmates.

Jean Immel Hahn

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I had originally planned on making it to the reunion, but some things came up to prevent my attendance.  I know it is going to be a great time. I regret missing it.

-Mary Kay Leeper Qualls

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I hope the reunion goes well and that everyone has a good time.

-Lana Forsythe Halstead

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I found this in the comments to a New York Times article by Dick Cavett. I thought it might by nice for the reunion.

CLASSMATES

They are still sleek and confident. Doubts are for other people. They know how the world should be run and for all I know they are right. Gathered tonight in this reassuring club they can point to achievements or modestly let others do that for them.

But onto some of these forthright faces a shadow has crept.  They have seen death come close and sense they are being stalked.

Time and madness of the world …relentless…take their toll. And none of us forever shakes off that question… What have I really amounted to?

Tom Greening May 1995

-Submitted by Julia Stoffel Schack

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I didn’t mean to take so long to answer.  I am just the type to put things off.  LOL. Anyway… What I want to note is that I must be either the worst judge of men in the world or the hardest to please.  I notice everyone is just about still married to the same guy or maybe just changed once. WOW!  I must now hold the class record for being married 5 times. I don’t know if that is good or bad.  Just a fact. I’m looking forward to the reunion.  It is so great that the committee has taken the tiome to get this together. Thank you.

-Christine Skinkis McNees.

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There are too many great memories to choose one – except for having to study and do homework.

Christine Skinkis McNees

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When I was in my teens, I can remember my parents saying, “Boy, I wish I was your age again, knowing what I know now.”  I thought they were crazy.  I couldn’t wait to graduate and be old enough to get married, drink and vote.  Now I am beyond their ages and I understand their wishes.  I look back and realize how much fun we had in school and all without drugs, booze or sex.  So, I tell my grandchildren the same wish now and they look at me like I’m crazy.  I miss those days of yore and I want to thank all my friends, especially Connie, Carol and Judy and all my classmates for so many good memories while at MHS.

Phyllis Rankin Hahn

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Dave Saunders was my best friend during our years at MHS.

Milton “Dink” Diaz

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I am sorry I will not be attending the class of 1958 reunion. Please send my regards and best wishes to everyone there. A little bit about myself – I married my best friend – we have two sons and four grandchildren, who are the joy of my life.

Nancy George Kennel

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I was hoping to make the 50th reunion, but last year I made plans that turned out to be the same week – I’ll be in Arizona.  I’m doing great – I have 2 children and 2 grandsons.  I have a fun job at a gated golf community, which is nice because I like to golf.  Thanks to the committee for all of their hard work.  Sorry I can’t be there for the fun, but wishing all health and happiness.

Joan Johnston Paolini

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I want to thank my lovely wife, Lola, for presenting me with a boy in 1994.

The question is…..do I win a reunion prize for having him at 55 ?  I plan to talk to the reunion committee about this.

NO PRIZE.  THEY DIDN’T THINK IT WAS A BIG DEAL.  THEY THOUGHT I WAS NUTS AND WANTED ME TO SEEK HELP !

Dennis Yerkey

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I am really sorry to miss our 50th reunion, but I have an important  business meeting that is on that weekend.  I hope everyone has a great time!

Gary Wassel

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My Memories of Good Old MHS

It is wonderful to think of getting together again after so many years. This will be the first class reunion which I have been privileged to attend. It has been a pleasure to think back on those years.

My husband, Keith Kerry, and I left the Mon Valley in1962. We returned in 1998 to be close to my mother. In the interim we lived in Pittsburgh, New York and the Davenport area of Iowa. When we returned to Monongahela we felt befriended and valued by just about everyone we met. It is just the way people are around here. That is how I felt in High School.

Looking back, there were many social “cliques” or groups which evolved for various reasons. But any sense of excluding others seemed to be overridden by the fact that we were ONE FOR OUR ALMA MATER (remember the Friday afternoon pep rallies) and ultimately were there for each other. When we weren’t there for the one there seemed to be a sense of guilt. At least that is how I felt. I was the lone “Mormon” in the class, and I always felt that my choice of faith was respected as much as the next person’s. It was a pleasure to be classroom chaplain for several years. Thank you for that memory.

I loved school. Growing into adulthood and becoming a teacher, wife and mother, I drew upon memories of the faculty of MHS for important role models. There were many wonderful teachers, but these had the greatest impact.  Miss Hickman (Algebra I) taught the importance of having an organized, simplistic life and to treat others with respect and decency.

Miss Severance taught Geometry, but perhaps more important, to be diligent in putting forth one’s best effort.

Miss Burke was so kind. She called us Mr. or Miss or Class. World History was the subject, but what do I remember? Look for the good in others as you encourage them.

Mr. Watkinson, the Band Director, was a true gentleman. He helped us feel that when we were part of an organization we should put forth our best effort so others wouldn’t be held back. He effectively taught the joy of being involved with good, uplifting music. Band was my favorite class and arguably had the most impact on my life.

It seems that we were known as the “Rebel Class”.  The administration thought we had problems following directions. Personally, I thought that was an unfair assumption. However, they seemed to get the game point at Commencement. We girls wore full petticoats under our dresses, as was the fashion in the 50’s. This made it a little difficult to fit into the closely spaced chairs set up for the graduates. As I remember the scene, we marched in well enough, but sitting down with the full skirts presented a logistics problem which some solved by taking two chairs. Obviously, this created a seating problem. Mr. Conte, our principal, muttered something very unflattering about us as he reassembled the group. That done, we had a very nice commencement ceremony.

I wonder how many sitting there that night would have imagined what wonderful things the graduates of our class would achieve and how many of them would have permanent places in our hearts as some of the best people we have ever met.

-Bonnie Gay Matthews Kerry

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Walking to Lincoln School with Mary Lou Borello and Mary Kay Leeper.Living across Third Street from Jack Marraccini and next door to John Sylvani (?) the winter of 1950 (?) or 1951 and with three feet of snow on the ground, digging tunnels across Third Street.  The Magnolia tree that was growing in the center of the block between Third and Fourth Streets, Chess and Main Streets.  The early bloomer was the first sign of spring.  The “city” kids went to 7th and 8th grade in a building on the corner of Fourth and Chess Streets, while the “new” junior high was being built in the extension to the old high school. Going to the movies for 25 cents.  Having bus and taxi service and riding the trolley to Donora to visit family and Charleroi to shop.  Frankie’s Footlong Hot Dogs  –  Wish I had the recipe for that sauce!!  My cousin used to date Frankie but she never got the recipe.Slop’s Friday night dances and getting french fries with chicken gravy afterwards (but I can’t remember the name of the place).Going to Mineral Beach with Dolly Boal, Linda Gayhart, Paige Reilly, Mary Louise Hoff and Linda Bartolotta.Going on a “wild ride” one night with several friends to Ginger Hill in Dee Wallace’s car.  Going to the senior prom with Kenny Louttit.  Going to the skating rink most Saturdays.  Following the Memorial Day parade to the cemetery.  Working at the candy counter at Murphy’s 5 and10, or was it Woolworth’s?  Riding the bus to Pittsburgh to shop, walking to Kaufmann’s, Gimbels, and Hornes and getting potato pancakes and some kind of mustard flavored sauce at Donahue’s delicatessen to take home for dinner.  (Wasn’t I surprised to realize later in life, that you couldn’t drive my walking route as they were one-way streets going the opposite way.)  One of the department stores had a “Copper Kettle” restaurant where I tasted egg plant for the first time, cooked like french fries and with a dipping sauce.  Never have seen them like that since.Trying to learn to drive in high school in a pink ’57 Chevy, making very few mistakes while learning, panicking when the State Trooper got in the car (the uniform was imposing), so I stalled after stopping on the hill and couldn’t parallel park.  So I didn’t get my license.  It didn’t matter much.  We didn’t own a car but I thought a license would be a good ID.  I never wanted to drive another standard shift car, even when my ex-husband owned a TR3.  I finally did get my drivers license when I was 24 years old in a brand new 1965 Plymouth Fury 3 wagon.

I remember singing in the First Presbyterian Church choir where Kathryn Dornan was the director.  Sam Marra’s mother was the nurse with me when I delivered my second son.  Going to Joe and Olga’s Beauty Shop to get my hair cut.  Getting a lunch of home made ravioli and salad for $1 at St. Anthony’s Church on Thursdays.  Buying fresh roasted hot peanuts and an early edition Sunday newspaper at O’Delli’s on Saturday nights.  Isaly’s BBQ sandwich.  Walking most places.  Booster Club shows (minstrels).  Lois Crisafoli and Harriet Ford, teachers from Lincoln School.

-Barbara Williams Jackson

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Girls wore skirts or dresses to school and to other school functions.

Hilltop Drive-In.

Friday night dates.

-Rose Campbell Kukovich

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Covering your steady boyfriend’s class ring with miles and miles of string or dental floss and painting it with nail polish so it would fit your finger.

-Norma Mountain Haywood

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Due to the class of 55’s overzealousness with whipped cream, we were not permitted to celebrate Senior Day in the auditorium.  We were permitted to a set period of time on the football field, though.  When we were ready to return to classes, the gate to the field was locked and all of the senior class was held prisoner until teachers began to wonder where all the seniors were.

-Norma Mountain Haywood

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On graduation night, we were all sweating in the gymnasium as the speaker — I can’t remember his name — droned on and on. (I haven’t a clue as to what he said, either.) There we sat — boys in black and girls in white — alternating like a giant human checkerboard. If the speaker would have talked any longer, we would have melted into a gray mass on the gymnasium’s floor.

Sitting next to me was Regina O’Hern. Quiet Regina. Never-rock-the-boat Regina. She said to me, “You know what might be fun?” “What?” “We could switch tassels.”

The idea appealed to me, but at the time I decided that it would be best if I went with the program, got my diploma and left. (Read that:  I was chicken.) Here it is, 50 years later and I’m sorry that I did not get my diploma while sporting a white tassel.

-Bob Roule

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A fond memory of mine is the Senior Washington DC trip.

-Don Pender

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Does anyone remember this?  We used to make a “cup” with our right hand, raise our right leg, hit it and it made a funny POP sound, then say “take a sneak.”  Who started that and what did it mean?

During lunch hour when Dolly Boal and I didn’t have much money, we would walk around the school.  Dolly would look for little underclassmen.  She would tell them she would kiss them if they gave her a nickel.  They couldn’t get their money out of their pocket fast enough!  When she gathered enough money (which didn’t take long), we went back in and purchased potato chips.

-Linda Gayhart Heimbuecher

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Sandlot baseball used to big in the area. My father said John Conte was a heckuva good second baseman, but I never saw Conte play. I did go camping with him once when he and Lou Razzano were leaders in a Scout troop sponsored by the Transfiguration Church.

In those days, the Roman Catholic Church said eating meat on Fridays was a nono. I was the only Protestant in the troop and the Friday night meal was spaghetti.  I was the only one who ate meatballs. Ah, life was good!

-Bob Roule

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Most of the drag racing that I knew of took place on Route 70 west of Speers. In the 1950s, the road ran between Centreville and New Stanton so, as the story goes, that Bill Lane, majority leader of the state Senate, could get to Harrisburg easier. When 70 was designated as part of the Interstate system, it went to Washington and beyond. One night Guy Albro challenged Dennis.   Route 70 was lined with cars and watchers.  A police officer arrived on the scene at the wrong time and the race began prematurely. We got away, but I don’t know what went on at the starting line after we left in a cloud of burning rubber. That was my one and only drag race.

-Bob Roule

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My Dad bought an old hearse and took us kids in the back of it to the drive-in movies when you could get in for $1.00 a carload.

Norma Mountain’s parents had a 54 Ford that had a fuel pump problem.  In hot weather a vapor lock would form that would stall the car.  I was with Norma and her Mom one Saturday in Mon City when the car stalled at a red light.  The man in the car behind us began to blow his horn impatiently as Mrs Mountain raised the hood of the car.  She calmly walked back to him and sweetly said, “If you would like to restart my car, I will gladly sit in your car and blow the horn.”

-Mary Ann Pohle Walters

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Crinolines, voting for our class ring, pegged pants, crewcuts, toga parties, our band playing rock and roll, DA haircuts, snake dances and bonfires after some of the football games.

-Norma Mountain Haywood

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My fondest memory was the laughter and fellowship of true friends.

-Verna Villers Haywood

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Dik (his new spelling)  Plymire used to work for my Uncle George at the Atlantic station at Fifth and Main. Sometimes he and I would get into a grease fight, using the pneumatic grease guns in the lube room. We were ahead of the curve when it came to paintball (greaseball). I don’t remember ever having to get grease out of my clothes. I suppose it was because we missed a lot more than we hit. I’ll bet George wondered where all of his grease went.

Going out Park Avenue toward Bentleyville, there was a train trestle spanning the valley. It had to be at least 300 feet high. It was built by the Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railroad and was used by the Donora Southern Railroad to carry material to Sudan, where there was an interchange with the P&WV.  One time Frank Gigolotti, George Necchi and I had a hot dog roast in the middle of that trestle. We also launched small glider airplanes into the valley. Today, I’m uncomfortable standing on a six-foot step ladder. I often wondered how I managed to live through my teen years.  Frank Pansino and I started swimming toward the middle of the river and both of us were waiting on the other to say lets turn back. We finally realized that we were both tiring and that were closer to the other shore than the one we left. We waded through the blue mud and then decided that we would walk back, across the bridge, rather than attempt to re-swim the river. Fortunately, we ran into a friend with a car and he carried us back to Rocky Beach and our clothes. Nope, we weren’t nude. We were wearing swimming trunks. I suppose if we were nude, we would have plunged back into the Mon and returned to Rocky Beach…or drowned trying.

Robert C. “Bob” Roule

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In 1956, most of the Gastonville gang skipped school and went to the Union Twp picnic at Kennywood.  Of course, the school called and those of us whose mother didn’t lie got detention during finals.  I did better that year on finals than any other.  Maybe I should have repeated playing hooky to go to Kennywood.

-Priscilla Davis Webb

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Does anyone else remember walking to the Anton Theater from the high school to see the movie, “Julius Caesar”?

I also remember walking to a local polling place for a “mock” election.

-Norma Mountain Haywood

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Don Sampson, Ron Guyden, Bob Cannon and I would cruise Eat n Park on a hot afternoon. We would then go out to Pigeon Creek to wash Don’s old Chevy.

-Don Pender

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I have a number of memories about my school “daze” and Mon City. Some aren’t printable and others, well, you just had to be there to appreciate them.

Among my fondest recollections are going to Kennywood on a train, eating pizza at Angelo’s, marching with the high school band on summer mornings on Try Street, swimming at Rocky Beach on the Mon (head way out of the water to keep an eye out for what may be floating by), walking Marcia Papak home after school, playing miniature golf at Sweeny’s, going to Henry’s Henry, or, if it was a really big occasion, to Twin Coaches. (Wow! How those white shirts fluoresced).

Harking back to good ol’ Williams Elementary School, I remember trying to climb Walnut Street after a snowfall. There were times I thought about just turning around and sliding home rather than trying to crawl up that hill. It was one step forward and two slipping back. But unlike Sisyphus and his rock, I seemed to have always managed to make it to the top and to school just after second bell.

-Bob Roule

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So many good friends.

-Marilyn Gregory Labuda

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Who could forget Glenn McMahon running up the staircase waving a sword and yelling “Charge” when he portrayed Teddy “Roosevelt” Brewster in “Arsenic and Old Lace.”

-Bob Roule

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It was either January of ’59 or ’60, Daily Republican Sports Editor Vince Leonard and I set off on a Sunday to take pictures of the winter’s first snowfall. We got pictures of ice skaters on the frog pond and of soccer players somewhere near Speers shoveling snow off a field so that they could play. We also caught Gus Brickner taking a dip in the Mon at Speers. What I remember most was listening to the sound his feet made as he walked across the wooden dock. You could hear them sticking. He chipped away some ice that had formed along the river’s edge and then plunged in. It was so cold that the shutter on the Speed Graphic froze up. The cold didn’t seem to bother Gus.  It did me.

-Bob Roule

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Among the early Elvis impersonators was Dave Burya.    Davey, with eye-brow penciled sideburns and a guitar, portrayed the king during an Elvis Presley halftime show staged by the Wildcat band.  Despite the enthusiastic cheers from the crowd, Dave scrubbed off the sideburns and remained a oneshow hit.

-Bob Roule

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Slop’s Dance

It was 110 degrees in the Italian Citizens Club at Monongahela, but as long as you were dancing with a “hottie,” the hall’s temperature didn’t matter at all.  It could have been 210.

The dances, held at ICC hall by Francis “Slops” Delmastro, began long before those at the Jumpin’ Jive Bee Hive at Charleroi and the Stockdale Fire Hall. Slops Dances drew people from all over the mid-Mon Valley area and admission was only a quarter. One of the highlights of Slops Dances was a black rock ’n’ roll group (I can’t remember the name) that would  play a tune called “The Bug.”  As they performed, they would pretend to toss a big bug to each other. They would gyrate, shake and act afraid. Everyone went wild.

Delmastro graduated from Monongahela High School in 1947 and he died in April of 1998 at the age of 69.

Another hot spot was the Italian club at Monessen. One night at a dance, I watched a big football player harassing a small, skinny guy.  Growing tired of being picked on, the skinny guy reared back and threw a punch which cold-cocked his tormentor.  Dancers were as stunned as the football player, who was sprawled on the floor knocked out cold. As the little guy swaggered out, I heard him say to his buddies, “The first punch always counts.”  What he didn’t tell them was that he reached into his pocket and grabbed a roll of quarters before he threw that punch.

-Dennis Yerkey

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Taking part in the Class Play and Senior Play was a lot of fun, but sometimes being in a high school play called for more than just time, work and memorizing. It took some sacrifices and not just for the play participants. For one play, we took all the furniture from my parent’s living room and put it on stage for our set. We had nothing to sit on at home for a few weeks. I was placed in a corner in second grade. My sin: talking to Lois Roscheck.

– Jane McNamee Lengyel

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How about the old Central High School at Fourth and Main Streets?

Beatrice Christina Bradford

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How many of you remember when the cowboy named Lash Larue was in Monongahela?  He was set up across the railroad tracks.  I think there may have been a carnival there at the time.  Not sure about that.  He put on a show, lashing his whip, which we all thought was great.

Linda Gayhart Heimbuecher

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At some time between grades one and three at Waverly School, some of the boys – Sam Marra being one of them – would chase the girls down Jackson Street.  If a boy could catch a girl, he was allowed to kiss her.  That would surely result in harassment today.

Beatrice Christina Bradford

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All of the stores would close in Mon City on Kennywood day. You could go there on the train.

Linda Gayhart Heimbuecher

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Remember Sadie Hawkins dances, the skating rink in New Eagle, Jay Michaels dances, Porky Chadwick, Blue Waltz perfume?

Norma Mountain Haywood

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I remember DJ Terry Lee Trunzo and his late night love music albums.   Porky Chadwick was about 28 and driving a Cadillac when we listened to him. How about WAMO – black music from Braddock?  I remember street cars to Charleroi rocking as they crossed over the high bridge in North Charleroi.  Street cars would turn around at the end of Donora.

You all heard about driving through Donora on the inversion death fog day on Oct 26, 1948, but I was there.  I was with my father on that Saturday and thought it strange that we couldn’t see across the street.  2008 was the anniversary for the killer fog.

No cars had FM radio in those days.  The only FM station was WDUQ from Duquesne University (My school).   I remember opera on Saturday morning on a huge radio in the living room.   I also remember frequent Pigeon Creek floods before flood control.

-Dennis Yerkey

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This is how Jim Ellis got the nickname, “Ziggy”.  We all played at the Lincoln School playground.  When there was running and chasing involved, Jim would zigzag so no one could catch him.  We started calling him “ZigZag” which was later shortened to Zig or Ziggy.

-Linda Gayhart Heimbuecher

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I will always associate the song “A Thousand Stars” with the high school talent show.  It was performed by a girl trio.  (June Porter and the Moore twins?).

I remember our wonderful 16 pc dance band which played Glenn Miller music for the dances.   Ferrari, Plymire, Wood and Yerkey were in it.  It  was an excellent sounding orchestra.

-Beatrice Christina Bradford

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Remember how all of the store windows were decorated with Halloween paintings by the art students from the high school?  I’m not sure but I think there was a prize for the best one.

During the summer we would frequent the baseball fields to watch our Little League win the State Championship in Williamsburg, Pa, and our Pony League win the championship in Washington, Pa.  Members were Ed Kikla, Ed Fabin, Gary Wassel , Rich Sacane, Jim Voelker, George Peters, John Stuyvesant, David Caldwell, Dee Galiffa, Larry Sasselli, Frank DeRosa, David Statlander, Ron Bertolina, Milton Dias and William McCall.

-Linda Gayhart Heimbuecher

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I can still remember the great “Glen Miller sound” of the dance band.

Dennis

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Rose Campbell and I went to see The Creature from the Black Lagoon at the show in Finleyville.  James Donovan was sitting right in front of us.  At the scariest part of the movie, James jumped up, turned around and yelled, “BOO!”  If I remember correctly, he was invited to leave the theater.

Gene and I double dated  with Tom Mautino and his date when we went to one of the drive-ins to see Psycho.  Gene and I were in the backseat and just at the crucial moment in the shower scene, Gene ran his finger across the back of Tom’s neck.  I thought Tom was going to remove the steering wheel when he grabbed it as he gave a gigantic lunge trying to get out of the car.

Norma Mountain Haywood

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I suppose one of the thrills of being a kid in those days was being able to participate in the Halloween parade.  Participants received a free movie ticket.  Usually my friends would get a pass to the Anton and I had one to the Bentley.  We were too dumb to know that either theater would take the ticket.  One year, my group won a cash prize of $10.00.  When we split it 8 ways, none of us were in high cotton.

Bob Roule

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JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL  4TH & CHESS STREET (The fire trap)

Perhaps it was the first time I was with students from other parts of town,….perhaps it was because I was now going to school in the “big city”.   For some reason I remember things about the Junior High at 4th and Chess.

The building reminded me of something in a Munsters movie.  It was a wood fire trap with oiled floors.  The fire escape was pulling out of the building on the top floor.  I remember Principal Herb Cooley walking around with a scowl on his face and jingling change just like Humphrey Bogart clicked the balls in the Caine Mutiny (1954).

In the summer, the girls would wear bloomers and walk to 5th St for exercise.

When Mr Watkinson recruited a bunch of us for the High School Band, we had to schlep to the high school to practice with the upperclassmen.  Clinton Griffith taught history on the third floor.

The gym room was like a jail…it had metal screens on the windows.

When not carrying a lunch,  I would eat a toasted cheese sandwich with Jim Voelker in a little diner next to the Taxi stand.

And then there was Miss Reefer in Junior High.  Wow!

Dennis Yerkey

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PROM MEMORIES

Following the prom our junior year, Dik Plymire and I went to the gym early Saturday morning to help clean up.

When we walked into the gym, there was Sam Marra, still wearing a dinner jacket and  sitting on a swing as if he was a leftover boutonniere from the previous night’s festivities.

Sam never gave us a good reason why he was there still dressed for the dance, but no matter. He pitched in and helped with the cleanup.

As for the prom, the previous night was a magical one.  If I think about it, I can almost smell the magnolias.

-Bob Roule

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I think my best memory was our Junior Prom.  It was so great to come up with a theme, decorate and see everyone have a great time.

-Linda Gayhart Heimbuecher

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For my senior prom, my friends got me a date.  When the music played slow, we walked slowly.  When the music played fast, we walked fast.  He then fell asleep at the Vogue Terrace post prom.

-Nelita Campbell Harbison

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Prom

The ladies were beautiful and the men were handsome.

-Dennis Yerkey

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Teachers

Times sure have changed!  I remember Roy Leffard, the phys ed teacher, giving me a dime to call him when I was 18.  Different from some of the teachers today, huh?

-Linda Gayhart Heimbuecher

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With his moustache twitching away, Tom barbero would ask me this question. “Yerkey….did you really break another coping saw blade?” He taught me woodworking at Hillcrest playground where I made more cat door-stops than we had doors.

-Dennis Yerkey

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Then there was time when we were winding up the seventh-grade year. Miss Reefer was standing on a ladder putting books onto a shelf in a cupboard.  About the time she was bending over to set down a stack of books, Dennis Yerkey, with his handy Kodak,  snapped a photo.  When the comely Miss Reefer saw the camera’s flash, a light went off inside her head, too.   It was then that she thought about the position she was in and showing her shapely legs — thigh high, really, really high — to the class.  She bolted upright and then turned toward the class.  The look on her red face was priceless.

After that, she had one of the boys do the book stacking.  As for Dennis,  he also took a picture of the comely Judith Martin.  Having never seen the photo, I don’t know if she too was showing a shapely leg.

-Bob Roule

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I remember Miss Reefer (21) in 7th grade.   Where’s my Brownie Hawkeye camera?

Jeanne Tucker (22) in High School…and is still looking great.

Bill, Sam, Ziggy and Bucky would harass her unmercifully.

-Dennis Yerkey

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Herb Coolee reminded me of someone out of a Frankenstein movie. He would jingle coins just like Lt Cmdr Queeg (Humphrey Bogart) in the Caine Munity.

John Griffiths – with a constant refrain to a lot of the boys. “When are you going to start working up to your potential?”

-Dennis Yerkey

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During my freshman year I was called to the band room by Mr. Watkinson. He was looking for band members and inquired about me playing the saxophone in the Gastonville and Finleyville bands that practiced in the fire hall. That led to him giving me some fundamental lessons in the band room as I really had no previous formal training. After each session as I left the band room I would pass another student coming in for his lesson. Over the weeks Mr. Watkinson would remind me that I was competing with the other student for a spot in the band, and that the other student was really doing very well. Some weeks later the other student who was Rube Johnson and I, met in the hallway and spoke for the first time. Rube told me Mr Watkinson was telling him that I was doing well and he should practice harder. He then asked if I was practicing. I told him, not really and he admitted he wasn’t either. Rube and I agreed not to practice in the future as well. I guess this was some form of immature bonding.  As it turned out, we both became band members, and being in the band and having Mr. Watkinson as my teacher was my best experience in high school. I developed a great respect for Mr. Watkinson and how he led our band and the opportunity he gave me to be a part of something of which I was very proud.

-David Burya

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One young man from the class of ’57  took Home Ec because he thought Flora Vigliotti was pretty.

A Tom Barbero memory:  He always said he belonged to the ITK fraternity (I Tappa Kegga).  And do you remember his physics question involving a convertible full of girls and a beer truck?

I have to admit that Martha Irwin and her Latin classes helped me tremendously with English.

Mr. Sterner’s biology class: (1) The class planted beans to show the effects of watering with good water vs polluted water.  One of the boys secretly added corn to his project.  When Mr Sterner saw two different plants in that  flower pot, he said, “What’s this?”  the student replied, “Looks like succotash to me.”

(2) Earthworms were used in some kind of project and they died over a long weekend.  This same young man made little crosses from toothpicks and when no one was looking, lined them up in the earthworm tray.

Remember when we had to collect all those fall leaves and put them in a scrapbook?  Mr. Sterner called on me to name each leaf as he held it up.  Every time I hesitated when I didn’t recognize a leaf,  Bill Patterson, who sat next to me, whispered the answer to me.  To this day I do not know why Bill helped me out.  I thanked him later and I think that was the only conversation we ever had.

-Norma Mountain Haywood

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Kathleen Furnier was probably one of my most influential teachers.  I goofed off a lot in my freshman and sophomore year and wasn’t doing well in typing — I made a D the first semester!  In front of the entire class, Mrs. Furnier said, “Rosemary, you will never amount to a hill of beans if you continue as you have been.”     Naturally I was so mortified and embarrassed, that was all it took to get me on the straight and narrow…I brought my grades up and did a complete turnaround!  THANK YOU MRS. FURNIER !

-Rosemary Bindi Sanderson

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Who could forget Ellsworth Dyer’s matching socks and neckties or the redacted (Gotta love that word. It puts lace on censored.) copies of the play “Yellow Jack” that we were reading in Lou Razzano’s English II class. Whoever decreed that  it was necessary to put pen and India ink to the work of playwrights Sidney Howard and Paul de Kruif  must have thought the worst thing we ever said or heard was “Oh fudge!”

During a college English class in our senior year, we were talking about books that we had read. Teacher Ellen Styche asked if anyone in the room had read the new book, “Peyton Place.”  “Peyton Place”? No, no one in the class had read it — yet. On my way home, I stopped in Schwartz and Shaver’s and bought the book. Two days later, you couldn’t find a copy on any of the paperback bookshelves in Monongahela. Miss Styche turned out to be as good a book-pusher as Oprah. Oh! The book? Tame by today’s standards. But then: Wow!

-Bob Roule

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A Junior High story.

Madeline Boyland was walking down the hall with some students when the elastic broke in her underwear.  She didn’t even hesitate, just stuck the toe of her shoe in the panties and gave them a kick whereupon they landed on the books she was carrying.  She continued on down the hall as if nothing ever happened.

Whether or not this is true, of course, I don’t know.  But it was sure fun to think that she would have the ability to do this.  I never was in her classes or associated with the drama department; but I would think she could have pulled that off without any hesitation or even an inkling of embarrassment.

-Priscilla Davis Webb

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Miss Powell.  How could we possibly forget her?

She was strange but loveable. There was a rumor floating around the halls of the high school that she used binoculars to spot submarines in the Monongahela River.  There was probably a thread of truth in the story, but I certainly couldn’t confirm it. The windows in the high school pivoted in the middle so that you could swing the windows horizontal to the floor.   On my first day in her science class,  she had the windows tilted in two different directions and told the class that the reason the windows were positioned that way was something that we would learn about later.  We never did.  Pass me the binoculars;  I’ll join the search for submarines.  Now….that would have been an interesting class!

-Bob Roule

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Someone once questioned how Miss Powell fixed her hair for school.  She replied, “I just take the curlers out and shake my head”.

-Mary Ann Pohle Walters

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Bill  Ermlick added a tad more to his classes then just teaching history. Ermlick, who obviously enjoyed his profession, would do and say things that would make me BLUSH — and then of course I would get teased by my classmates. Lots more blushing.

-Jane McNamee Lengyle

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Two of my favorite teachers throughout my high school years were George Watkinson and Bill Ermlick. Mr. Watkinson was the band director for many years and after going into administration was Mom’s supervisor when she was principal at Williams School. I liked Mr. Ermlick for his personality and demeanor.

Paul McCandless brings back memories I still laugh at. He drove a very small Rambler Metropolitan. How he ever got in and out of that car had to be a feat of contortion and amazement. On several occasions we would pick up the front or rear of the car and wedge it between two immobilized objects. We took it too far one time and he had to call Joe Lenzi to have the wrecker lift the car out. I also remember one band concert when we had four trumpet players switch to French Horns for one song that required each of us to hit a low note and build higher as each one joined in. I had the first note, George Necchi had the next note which he missed and went flat, and started laughing. I never saw McCandless’ face so red as he glared at George with fire in his eyes.

I remember him telling us how he memorized Harlem Nocturn when he played in the pit at the strip club so he could watch the action instead of reading the music.

-Keith “Don” Wood

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I designed the memory family flowers for Mr. Conte.  It was beautiful. I even decorated his golf clubs.

-Elaine Freycenet Edie

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I did not tell most people I was Miss McVicker’s niece, either at Lincoln School or later.  I did avoid having her as my teacher as my Mom and I moved to Third Street and I went to sixth grade at Waverly School.  In later years after my Mother died, when we would come to visit family, she would treat us at the Big Boy.  My sons really enjoyed the strawberry pie.

Barbara Williams Jackson

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Teachers we had while at MHS

John P. Conte – Principal

Thomas Barbero, Richard Barclay, Virginia Becke,r William Benedetti,

Ernest Berty, Madeline Boyland, Ruth Brewer, Alice Burke, John Cardella,

Harriet Craig, Sarah Crall, Albert Cree, Kathryn Dornan, William Ermlick,

Fred Fleming, Kathleen Furnier, Frank Hornak, Harry Johnson, Conrad Johnston,

Martha Irwin, Ernest Kahle, John Katusa, David Kipp, Alex Krill, John LaFrankie,

Roy Leffard, Frank Lignelli, Regina Lucas, Paul McCandless, Hazen Neill, Ruth Nevin,

Ruth Nuss, Andrew Onderko, Louis Razzano, Irene Robertson, William Rutledge,

Elva Severance, Mildred Sharpnack, Oscar Simmen, James Sterner, Margaret Stewart,

Ellen Styche, Anna Belle Sweeney, Jean Turri, Flora Vigliotti, George Watkinson

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The School

If any of you have had the opportunity to see our old high school, you were probably amazed to see the “little” desks…..but what really shocked me was how short the halls are.  What happened to them?  They were so l-o-n-g 50 years ago, weren’t they?

-From Linda Gayhart Heimbuecher

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Didn’t we have certain stairs that we could only use for going UP, others on the other end of the hall for going DOWN?

Remember the aroma wafting through the hall as we walked toward  the cafeteria on spaghetti day?   MMMMMM-good.

I remember one air raid (or maybe tornado) drill when we had to sit in the hallway between the gym and the boys locker room .  Talk about smell – old gym shoes and dirty socks – WHEWIE.

It was a dark and stormy night.  Oh, wait!  Wrong story. It was a cold, snowy day at MHS.  The school buses waited at the bottom of  “THE RAMP.”  No one had seen fit to clean the snow off the ramp and as people started down it, they were swept off their feet.  Kids, books, gym bags, all sliding toward the bottom, some ending up in the ditch along the right side, others sliding off into the vegetation on the left side.  I was “fortunate” enough to slide to the bottom of the ramp – minus books and gym case.  There were several boys at the bottom (I specifically remember Butch Walters and Chuck Nagy) helping people (especially the girls) to get back on their feet and collect their belongings.  I lost my Latin book and Miss Irwin had me on the carpet the next day when I told her I had lost it.  She was NOT sympathetic to the ride many of us had taken the previous day.

-Norma Mountain Haywood

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DATING

On a dark night in 1958, I was necking with a young lady on a quiet farm lane near Mingo Park.

A very sneaky cow stuck her head into my car and let out a long, loud moooooooo.

To this day, I can still visualize her head, big bulging eyeballs and bad breath.  Her moo resonated so loud that I almost had a heart attack.  And needless to say, it immediately destroyed the mood of the moment.

-Dennis Yerkey

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I was waiting while a friend dressed for our dates to pick us up at her house.  She complained that her hair was too frizzy.  Her mother replied, “Well, it’s this rainy weather.”  Later she complained that her crinoline was too limp.  Again her mother said, “Well, it is this rainy weather”.  Her father’s voice came from behind his newspaper, “Let’s just hope she doesn’t come home pregnant tonight or you will blame it on this rainy weather.”

I was “parked” in a pasture field with a local “farm boy” on his parents’ farm.  When it came time to take me home, we found the car was stuck in the mud!  He had to walk to the barn and get the tractor to pull the car out.

-Norma Mountain Haywood

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Every time John Conte saw Bill and me together in the hall, he walked between us and separated us.

-Judy Martin Leach

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I remember Don and me sneaking a quick kiss between classes.

-Thelma Wilson Lutes

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Norma Mountain had a pajama party at her house not long after I started dating Jay Donovan.  Jay crashed the party to make sure I was there and not out with someone else.

-Rose Marie Ambrose Donovan

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When a couple spotted a car with one headlight, one of them said, “Padiddle” and the other one owed him/her a kiss.  What they would now call a win/win situation!

-Norma Mountain Haywood

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SPORTS / BAND

I remember playing soccer for Coach Lignelli and winning the 1956 and 1957 WPIAL Championships.

-Ron Marcase

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The football team was practicing for its game on Friday with Clairton.  The band was playing its new songs for halftime.  We majorettes were decorating umbrellas with crepe paper that we would use for the song “East Side, West Side.”  Friday turned out to be a rainy day, just miserable.  In our routine, when we heard East Side, we swung our umbrellas to the right (ladylike, of course), on West Side, we swung them to the left.  In “all around the town”, we twirled around and then brought the umbrella down in front of us.  Well, we had partners and Dolly Boal was my partner.  The music started, we started our routine.  It came to “all around the town” and I twirled around.  No partner.  I looked and there was Dolly sitting in the mud, her legs spread and the umbrella behind her back.  I got to laughing and she is hissing at me “help me get up.” Which I naturally did.  We were always told to smile and I bet I would have won as the best “smiler” that game as I just kept laughing when I thought of Dolly sitting in that mud.  She didn’t think it was funny at all!

-Linda Gayhart Heimbuecher

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How things have changed – a friend and I attended a basketball game at MHS and afterwards when we tried to enter the gym for the sock hop, we were turned away because we were wearing jeans.

Another basketball game memory:  One of the players received a hit to the tender area between his legs with a basketball.  As he bent over in agony, holding his arms over his midsection, the crowd was hushed.  My friend said, into the sudden stillness, “Oh, look!  He must have hit his crazy bone!”

-Norma Mountain Haywood

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Here’s a little trivia, which I’m sure you’ll find thrilling. George Necciai’s cousin, Ron, set a professional baseball record when he struck out 28 players while pitching for the Bristol (Va.-Tenn.) Twins. (The catcher dropped the ball on one strike out and the batter safely ran to first base.) Ron joined the Pirates and had his major league debut at St. Louis. He didn’t last but a couple of innings and after that, Ron was relegated to selling sporting goods at Myers & Myers. Donora had Stan Musial and Ken Griffey. Mon City had Ron Necciai..

-Keith “Don” Wood

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The pregame routine for the band never varied. Band members would march onto the field single file and line up in a block formation at the north end of the football field. Four blasts from Keith Wood’s whistle and the band would take off at 180 steps a minute playing “Hail to the Victors,” the University of Michigan’s fight song; march to the south end zone; do a countermarch, and then come to the center of the field to play the national anthem. The routine looked simple, but band members and, especially the majorette corps, had to worry about proper spacing. As head majorette I was always calling out to the other girls, “Far ‘part, far ‘part” to make sure the girls kept the proper spacing. At one pregame performance, I remember becoming tongue tied as I called out, “Par fart, par fart.”

— Judith Martin

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Long before the postseason proliferation of football bowls, the Monongahela Wildcats played all of its home games in the Dust Bowl. There wasn’t a blade of grass between the hash marks and the 30 yard lines. Between football practice and band practice there was little chance for grass to grow. Someone, like Harry Johnson, would take the time to line the field before each game, only to see his efforts wiped out by the warm-up drills of the football teams and the cloud of dust kicked up by the band during its pregame routine. If ever a field needed artificial grass, the Mon City High athletic field was among the top candidates.

-Bob Roule

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I remember playing on a WPIAL Championship in soccer in 1957 and having Fred Cox as my teammate.

During our senior year at MHS, I was the only senior on the basketball team.  I was truly looking forward to playing since I was a starter during junior year.  Mr Cree, the coach, informed me at the start of the season that he was preparing for the future and would start four sophomores and one junior.  He told me I could remain on the team and be the captain but my time on the court would be limited. I agreed to remain on the team as I felt the running would help me stay in shape for college football the next fall.  So, for several games I would shake the hands of the other team captains and sit on the bench for most of the game.  Usually I did not get to play except for a couple of minutes in the last quarter when we were getting trounced.  There were about three games left in the season, when, on Senior Night, Mr Cree told me a few minutes before the game that I would start and play the whole game.  We played Belle Vernon and were losing by one point with three seconds remaining.  Homer Greene, on a jump ball, tipped the ball to me underneath our basket.  I turned and shot.  The ball bounced around the rim and as the buzzer sounded, the ball went through the basket and we won by one point!  That event was special to me because my Dad came to that game.  Also, I had an aunt and uncle there.  My cousins, who were cheerleaders for Belle Vernon, were there also.  This experience taught me not to be a quitter and to endure hardship, realizing not everything goes your way in life.

-Milton “Dink” Diaz

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LOCAL HAUNTS

The luncheonette next to the Taxi stand.

Danny’s Pizza Stand in South Park. (Thin cracker crust)

Eating banana splits at Schwartz and Shavers.

Martello’s great hoagies.

The skating rink where Kay Podesta would hang.

Hot dogs and Hires root beer.

-Dennis Yerkey

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Most of us had part-time jobs.  There were the drugstores, the 5 & 10s, the bowling alley and grocery stores that needed stock boys and delivery boys.  If one wanted a job, one could be found.

-Beatrice Christina Bradford

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I remember Lenzi’s had curb service and Frankie’s was famous for their foot long hot dogs.  Where, oh where, did they get that hot mustard?

-Norma Mountain Haywood

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Frankies Hot Dog Stand!  Oh, yes.  That’s where my Mom and Dad took me after graduation to eat a hot dog and then took me home only to return to work.

-Nelita Campbell Harbison

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Running down the path to Martello’s for a 25 cent burger and a cherry or vanilla Coke, hoping you didn’t get caught!

-Regina Zatorsky Clingerman

 

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I remember, sophomore year, 3 or 4 of us Courtney girls went from our school bus to Martello’s in the morning before school.  The bus arrived earlier than most buses for some reason that year.  We went and played the jukebox and drank vanilla cokes.  Does anyone remember the name of the song that year that started out, “I need it when the moon is bright, I need it in the middle of the night………..”? HONEY LOVE

-Norma Mountain Haywood

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When it comes to packing away food, teenagers are in a class by themselves. Bob Roule and I were at the Starlight Inn in Monongahela, talking about food and playing Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” (The tune was almost five minutes long and we believed in getting our nickel’s worth.) Someone suggested an eating contest. Three foot-long hot dogs, two chocolate milk shakes and many burps apiece later, we decided to call it a draw.

–Richard  Plymire

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I remember walking home from school and stopping at  Miller’s Drug Store with friends for a chocolate Coke.

-Clara Sue Wall McCann

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Going back in time, I can remember when Eat n Park opened in Mon City and I was one of the first carhops that had been hired. Boy what a job!  I worked with one of the waitresses that I think only retired maybe at the most 10 years ago.  Maybe you remember her-Fran.  At that time it was a booming place. My oldest son was only a baby then. Tommy Mautino worked there too.  He was in the  class of 57. None of the other kids that I know of worked there.  I left there in May 1961 when I went to the DC area.   Of course Frankie’s was the favorite hang out.  Footlong hotdogs out of this world.  Cannot find them like that now.

-Judy Solomon Russell

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Gene and I often double-dated with his friend Tom and his girlfriend. I went to Eat ‘n Park with some girls one evening when Tom was working.  I took a huge bite of my Big Boy and discovered that he had put a big slice of lemon in the middle of it.

-Norma Mountain Haywood

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The curb in front of Schwarz and Shaver’s drug store was very high.  We girls wore long, straight skirts and stepping up was not an easy feat.  A few of us sophomore girls were going to the drug store and as I stepped up, my skirt would not let my foot hit the curb and I fell flat in front of several upperclassmen standing on that corner.

-Judy Martin Leach

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I started working at Swartz and Shaver’s Drug Store when I was 15 years old, making 35 cents an hour. I loved every minute, especially when the kids came in after all the games. That’s  how I got to meet a lot of the upper classmen, and, best of all, meeting my husband and best friend, John Lengyel. He was a sophomore at Washington & Jefferson and I was a sophomore in high school when we first met. We  have been married for 48 years.

-Jane McNamee Lengyel

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One Saturday afternoon, after seeing a movie at the Anton theater, three or four of us girls were walking up to Schwarz and Shaver’s  for sodas.  There were several upperclass basketball players standing in front of the store.  Trying to be cool and sophisticated, I sashayed my way to the curb, tripped and fell flat on my face and found myself looking at Joe (Coke) Sacane’s shoes.  He did help me to stand up again while everyone laughed at my expense.

-Norma Mountain Haywood

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There are a number of things I remember about my high school years, from playing miniature golf at Sweeny’s to sliding on cardboard down the iced-over alley next to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.  I sharpened my English skills playing eight-ball at Jim’s pool room over the A&P market and spent many an hour sitting on the abutment of the bridge over Pigeon Creek. This hunk of concrete was known as “The Pier” to the Catsburg crowd. That made it and the adjacent Pete and Bertha Lenzi’s Starlight Inn home away from home. (Dik played Bariton Sax in the Dance Band)

-Dik Plymire

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PRANKS

Due to the class of 55’s overzealousness with whipped cream, we were not permitted to celebrate Senior Day in the auditorium.  We were permitted to a set period of time on the football field, though.  When we were ready to return to classes, the gate to the field was locked and all of the senior class was held prisoner until teachers began to wonder where all the seniors were.

That may have been the same day two senior boys took down the American flag and replaced it on the flagpole with a very large bra!

-Norma Mountain Haywood

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On one of those junior high days, James “Ziggy” Ellis brought a washer bomb to school.  A washer bomb, for those not familiar with the item, was a bolt, several steel washers and a nut. You would put a roll of caps — the kind that went into our toy pistols  — between the washers and then you would tighten the nut on the bolt.  You would toss the washer bomb into the air and when it came down and strick a hard surface like concrete or asphalt the caps would explode. The resulting bang was not nearly as loud as those given off by the Silver Salutes or Cherry Bombs that we used to buy at the Jungle Club, but it was loud enough to startle you if you didn’t know it was coming.

A group of us was returning from our shop class at Lincoln school to the old junior high.  The old building is but a memory now, but in the  days we walked through its halls, we all prayed that the clock crowning the red-brick structure wouldn’t fall to the basement taking us with it.

To continue the story: Frank Pansino, Jerry Foytik, William Thornley and I were about two-thirds the way down the stairs the led from High Street to Fourth Street. Ziggy, Sam Marra and some others, whom I do not remember, were at the top of the stairs.

I don’t know who threw the washer bomb, but it hit the Fourth Street pavement, went “bang” and then bounced into the left, rear hubcap of a car coming down Fourth.  I  can still see it today — in slow motion –and hear the clunk it made when striking the hubcap. The driver pulled to the curb.  Uh oh!  What came next was something Alfred Hitchcock might have filmed. A Hollywood writer couldn’t have scripted it better.  We stood on the steps with our eyes wide and our mouths open.  “Oh, S#@t!”  Stepping out of the car were principals Herb Cooley, John “The Chin” Conte and superintendent Dr. John Griffiths.

It was like hitting the terrible trifecta of bad karma, bad luck and bad timing. There we stood, like deer caught in headlights, while the “holy trinity”  glared at us for tossing something at their car.

No one ’fessed up to throwing the bomb, and no one ratted out the tosser either. The upshot was a week’s detention for all of us. And for all I know, that washer bomb may still be laying in the gutter or in the storm sewer along Fourth Street. No one wanted to claim “it” as his.

-Bob Roule

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There was one incident during our senior year, when the chemistry club was on a field trip.  Tom Hoon and I were in the Chem Lab with a student teacher and a few others who were not members of the club. We were just wasting the period away. In a prior Chem Lab our instructor at the time (I can’t recall his name) had the class make up Hydrogen Generators. During the exercise each of us would fill a test tube with hydrogen gas , cover the end with a thumb, place it next to a bunson burner release the gas and it would pop. Tom and I decided to make a generator. The student teacher was just looking at us with a look of, “I think I should stop these guys”. He didn’t. We made the generator and were popping the gas when Tom said lets pop the gas coming out of the generator and carry it around the room and pop it. Great idea. I picked up the generator, Tom got his Zippo cigarette lighter out of his pocket, lit the exhaust of the generator and that’s when the explosion occurred. The stopper, glass insert tubes, and anything else in the generator hit the ceiling of the chem lab. The instructor nearly had a heart attack. Some of the faculty and the principal from the floors below came running into the room.  We caught a little hell that day! The next day we had to face the instructor. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be , in fact he was a bit reserved about it and just said let this be a warning about your actions.

Tom made a note of the incident in our year book.

-Wilson Walters

 

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TSK TSK

Mr. Barbero’s physics class. The sign-up sheet has gone around the room. Mr. Barbero scans the sheet and sees an unfamiliar name. “Who’s Peter Burns”? he asks. Pete Donina in the back of the room shouts out,….”Not mine.”

-Norma Mountain Haywood

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I remember that there was more playing around in the back of the band bus than on our instruments at halftime.  Tiddy-boom!

-Dennis Yerkey

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I know of someone who would tell her Mom that she was going to Mineral Beach for the day…..but never actually made it.  Instead, she would spend the days with her very close friend. All summer long neither of them got a tan and remained as pale as the moon.  To cover their tracks, they would soak their bathing suits in her “friend’s” sink in an effort to lend credibility to their story for her Mom.

-Rosemary Bindi Sanderson

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I remember when Bill Barkey, John Gerboc, Bob Roule and I would buy our favorite Friday night beverage,…..a 7 oz. green bottle in a 42 bottle case. Of course we had to go through the kitchen of a distributor in Fryes Station to do so.

-Don Pender

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Mon City Speak. You are from Mon City if you recognize the following words and phrases.

Yinze-Boosh-Crick-Still mill-Axst- Samich- Git Ahta Cummin-Juke-Redd up- Warsh & Arn- Stold- Tramp- Cigret- Unloosen-Whaddya mean- Jaggin me- divy up- Babushka Dahntahn- Nebshit- Gumban- Forbes Filled- Jagger boosh- Shinny- Tellypole- Rill good-Lookie- Gine igle- Sliberty- Susside- Liberry- Lawnmore- Figgered out- Huntup- Unthaw- Okey dokey- Picksburgh- Stillers-C’mon- Jist- All dolled up- Include me out- Bone up- Headin’ on out- Sitch In the road (in the way)-false face- punkin- Halloweenin’ Gimmi an Arn  (Beer)