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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Going the Long Way by Judith Florian

Canonsburg Train Station

A colored postcard Originally was published in black & white.The platform looks like concrete, but it actually was red brick.

by Judith Florian

Just outside of Houston, one enters the beginning of Canonsburg, PA with Pike Street running all the way through Canonsburg. West Pike turns decidedly East, running almost parallel to Conrail's tracks several blocks off to the right. Pike comes down a slight grade at North Jefferson Avenue, which marks the old section of "downtown" Canonsburg. Here you will pass Sarris Candies, a famous place in this area, where delicious chocolate candies are made and sold. There used to be a Hardware store and a five & dime store in this section -- are they still there?

Up from Jefferson, the next intersection is North Central Avenue. Turning left here, one passes the Senior High Rise building, and begins going up the lower section of a very long, very steep hill that goes almost straight up without reprieve. In 1978, I lived at the very top of North Central, in a red brick three-story gigantic house that had been converted to apartments, three to each floor. Each apartment on the 3rd floor (where I was) was a one bedroom. Mine faced Central, with my bedroom on the side closest to Pike St. I didn't have a car, so to go for groceries or anywhere was a long walk down Central, almost pulled by my daughter's stroller. Walking down on the right sidewalk, we'd pass by numerous houses on both sides. One had a single tombstone in the front yard, which was recently featured in a story in the Observer-Reporter (they were searching for information about a person named Hudak* whose grave was located there). Often we'd cut across one of the side streets on the right to go over to Jefferson Avenue, which was flatter than Central, if I needed to go downtown. Or, I'd cross down streets to the left to go grocery shopping at the far end of Canonsburg. Coming up the hill was a very, very long trek, pushing a baby and stroller. I had to call a cab to go home with bags and boxes of groceries in tow. Then came the hard trek up and down three flights of stairs, still carrying a pre-toddler on my hip on each trip....up....and down...over and over... balancing baby in one arm and one bag in the other.

It was when I lived in Canonsburg that I learned how to drive, often making my way on I-79 south to Waynesburg where my sister lived (see write-up about McMurray PA). Since I only lived in the 3rd-floor walk-up for less than a year, I never got to visit the Town Park in Canonsburg or the other attractions of the City. For Easter that year, I visited Sarris Candies for my daughter's first chocolate bunny. And, my daughter had her very first emergency room visit at Canonsburg Hospital after she drank a 1 oz. bottle of lavender perfume I'd just bought (ever see a baby drunk? It's kind of funny, and every breath was of obnoxious-smelling perfume ... but, oh so scary to a new mom!). The Canonsburg Police were so helpful that night, giving us a Police escort and waiting in the E.R. to see if she was okay. They joined the doctors in a few chuckles over the sweet-smelling "drunk" baby, and helped calm a very frightened mom that night.

The birthplace of: Perry Como, the singer/musician who died 2001, Canonsburg is full of the descendants of other immigrant parents and grandparents who worked, struggled and helped build the town. The glass/pottery plant and nearby mines where they had worked have long been closed, but the town continues to build its resources towards the future. Canonsburg has long been known as the antiques capital of SW PA, where the past is valued as an integral part of this Pennsylvania town. There's been a strong emphasis on education in Canonsburg, from the original Jefferson College to the continued successes of the Canon-McMillan School District and its graduates. Close to the location of the old Western Center, Canonsburg has benefited from the new community of Southpointe with its golf course, and retirement living built alongside stores, banks and medical facilities. The town is still small enough to carry forth the values of the citizens, while offering a variety of services needed for a growing community.

*Quoted from the Observer-Reporter newspaper: "The name carved into the stone, Hudak, is that of an as yet obscure person who was born in 1887 and died in 1915. Canonsburg officials hope to hear from any descendants who have information about the grave site."

Monday, April 27, 2009

CHS Pep Rally Memories?

Jim Herron (Pittsburgh, PA) wrote
at 3:52pm
I have a memory of a pep rally with a fire in front of the fire department on Greenside Avenue. An effigy of Wash High, brought in a pick-up truck with signs on it, was thrown in, and the students joined the cheerleaders in school cheers and songs. The Daily Notes does not mention this. Is it a false memory? A rally from an earlier season? If it occurred, surely someone else will remember it.
I also recall that it was traditional to have just an assembly the Monday after a victory over Wash High. Did this actually ever happen? It certainly didn't when we were in high school; we lost all four years.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Papa Terlingo

Sam Fragapane's Barber Shop - East Canonsburg
Rich Terling's grandfather sitting on the left, a young Perry Como, standing, almost on tiptoes, cutting the hair of an unknown gentleman seated on the right.
Time of picture: 1010am
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Canonsburg Friend Passes

Date: April 22, 2009
Publication: Observer-Reporter (Washington, PA)

Donald F. Polinski

Baldwin-Whitehall School District teacher
Donald F. (Don) Polinski, 69, of Canonsburg, died unexpectedly Monday, April 20, 2009, in Hillman Cancer Center, Shadyside.
He was born April 8, 1940, in Canonsburg, a son of Gilda Scarsellato Labutis.
Mr. Polinski graduated from Canonsburg High School, Class of 1958, and received a bachelor of arts in education from California University and later a master's from the University of Pittsburgh.

He worked as a teacher in Baldwin-Whitehall School District.
Mr. Polinski was a member of St. Patrick Church, Canonsburg.
He lived most of his life in Canonsburg and Mt. Lebanon.
Mr. Polinski was a great sports historian and enjoyed golf and running.
He was a devoted son, husband, father and grandfather.
Mr. Polinski leaves behind his beloved wife, Rosalind Hrabchak, whom he married August 8, 1964.
Also surviving, in addition to his mother and wife, are four children, Craig (Pamela) Polinski of New Stanton, Dawnlyn Diehl of Pittsburgh, John (Laura) Polinski of Pittsburgh and Danielle (Noelle) Polinski of Pittsburgh; four grandchildren, Michael, Nicholas, Jacob and Anna Polinski; and a brother, Joseph (Wallie) Polinski of Smithfield, Va.
Friends are welcome from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday in Salandra Funeral Service Inc., Joseph P. Salandra, owner/supervisor, 304 West Pike Street, Canonsburg, 724-745-8120. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at noon Friday, April 24, in St. Patrick Church, Canonsburg, where friends can meet the family at 11:45 a.m. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Leukemia Society or to Hillman Cancer Center.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Two Blocks of Pike Street

On Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 6:19 AM, LINDA GOWERN CARTER wrote:
Dick, I did not join Canonsburg Friends at Facebook yet, however, I did read some of the entries that you and Jim were sharing and I want to let you know that there were 4 Shoe Stores:  Pollock's, Jackson's, S & S and Kirby's.   Pollock's  was at the other end of Canonsburg of which you can see in Jim's Sulkowski's painting of the Street Car and Alhambra Theater.  Good Luck on your 50th Reunion!

Dick Garboski
9:37am Apr 20th
From Facebook
West Pike Street, Canonsburg PA
Hi, Linda,  thanks for remembering Pollacks and I sure do remember it,  It was were the expensive shoes, like the Bostonian brand were sold.
  Hard to believe, even back then,  the town could support 4 shoe stores?  I guess the same could be said of the two 5 & 10s, three drug stores, two movie houses, five bars and at least  seven clothing stores in the same two block area. 

On Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 10:34 AM, LindaGowerCarter  wrote:
Exactly!  When I worked in Pittsburgh, years ago, people always asked about that great restaurant in Canonsburg called Colaizzio's on South Jefferson.   We had a few good restaurants/bars for a little town now Canonsburg can hardly support one.  Times change.

On Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 12:24 AM, Dick Garboski 
<> wrote:
I didn't realize Colaizzio's was so acclaimed.  Back then, I was also partial to the Royal Grill with their french fries with gravy, and if if you sat in a back booth, with the right waitress you could get, now 
please don't tell my Momma,.....a Carlings' Black Label to go with it.
Dick Garboski

On Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 1:23 PM, Linda CARTER<t> wrote:
Yes, I agree!  Nothing better than French Fries w/gravy.  A delicacy for sure!!  Yes, I think I was into CC and soda but that was long ago and now it is just Yuengling or an Import Beer.  I know I hung out at the Royal Grill from 1958 - 1962 on Saturday Afternoons.  I guess that was a step up from George's.  Life was good then and it is now except those memories were the best. 
Pictures of the Royal Grill (Click to Enlarge)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Meadows Racetrack & Casino

4/14/2009 3:33 AMEmail this article  • Print this article  

Media tour unveils casino's amenities
This article has been read 1568 times.

By Michael Bradwell, Business editor

MEADOW LANDS - With more than 3,700 slot machines and 350,000 square feet of space, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino is about to open what will be one of the largest casinos on the East Coast.

But Bill Paulos, a principal of Las Vegas-based Cannery Casino Resorts, which owns The Meadows, said Monday that the $175 million project, which is scheduled to open to the public on Wednesday, is much more than a gambling hall.

During a 90-minute tour for media members Monday morning, Paulos said the new venue, with everything from harness racing to eight different restaurants, a soon-to-open 24-lane bowling alley and plans to offer live entertainment from an outdoor stage, is destined to become a major entertainment center for the region.

"This is an entertainment destination," said Paulos, who also announced Monday that The Meadows will add a hotel to the site within the next couple of years.

Judging from the line of people that began forming before 10 a.m. for an 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. test run, many were anxious to see the improvements the permanent casino was expected to offer over the temporary casino that opened in June 2007 and closed early Monday.

"More restrooms, more restaurants," was the wish of Janet Jones of Allenport, who was waiting outside with Kathy Lassooy, also of Allenport, and Danielle Mitchell of Charleroi.

They were among the more than 10,000 people who were invited to try out the new facilities in advance of Wednesday's 10 a.m. opening. Monday's proceeds from the test run were to be donated to local fire departments.

The turnout jammed Interstate 79, Route 19 and Racetrack Road from shortly after 11 a.m. through early afternoon.

Meadows spokesman David La Torre said about 1:50 p.m. that many invitees who were turned away earlier by police were coming back to the casino.

"The bottom line is that this is a historical day for The Meadows, and a lot of people want to be part of it," La Torre said.

Mark Ceppaglia, senior project manager for LP Ciminelli of Buffalo, N.Y., which has spent the past 18 months constructing the new casino, said the building, which offers a variety of architectural highlights and focuses on connecting the casino with The Meadows tradition of harness racing, will open with about 3,200 machines, adding another 500 to 600 in May when a second portion of the casino will open. He also showed a new high-limit area with 80 machines just off the main casino floor.

Also coming online Wednesday will be eight restaurants, including the 452-seat Terrace Café, featuring traditional American Cuisine and local specialties; a 327-seat food court with five different mini restaurants; and the 200-seat Bistecca, an upscale steakhouse on the second level that features hand-cut steaks, authentic Italian specialties and seafood. In the wagering area is Delvins, named after Meadows founder Delvin Miller, featuring sandwiches and drinks.

Also opening is the 94-seat Pacers, a main bar that sits just off the center of the casino floor. Adjacent to the bar is a glass-enclosed elevator that will take people upstairs to Bistecca and numerous VIP areas that offer panoramic views of the racetrack.

Paulos said the casino will have four private VIP suites for parties of up to 200 people. It also will have eight private dining areas for receptions and parties of up to 40 people. The areas will be catered by Bistecca or the Terrace Café.

Opening in May will be a 24-lane bowling alley just off the wagering area on the ground floor. Paulos said the bowling area will include two "VIP lanes" that can be reserved for bowling parties.

The second phase of the casino also will usher in the May opening of a 400-square-foot stage with an entertainment lounge, with lighting and sound that will feature local and regional live entertainment. Paulos also said Monday that The Meadows plans to offer occasional live outdoor entertainment from a portable stage that can be placed directly across from the new grandstand in front of the track's finish-line tote board on days when races aren't running.

Paulos noted that all of the food areas offer views of the racetrack, so that whenever anyone wants to take a break from playing slot machines, they can view racing action. The Meadows is reopening the grandstand after almost two years of construction and will host more than 200 days of live harness racing throughout the year.

Also new to the permanent casino is the addition of 60 electronic blackjack and three-card poker table seats, which Meadows management said earlier was being introduced in lieu of live table games, which are not permitted in Pennsylvania.

State Rep. Tim Solobay, D-Canonsburg, who toured the venue with reporters on Monday, said legislation is being written by the staff of state Rep. Bill DeWeese, D-Waynesburg. Solobay noted that Gov. Ed Rendell has asked that a table games bill be passed before he leaves office in 2010.

The Meadows, which will have about 800 employees with the opening of the new casino, said Monday that to date, in addition to the $175 million outlay for the new casino, it has invested more than $235 million in the community. According to a breakout, the investment includes $105.5 million in property tax relief for Pennsylvania homeowners; $50 million in state government fees; $37.2 million in racehorse community investment; $15.5 million in local government project development; $15.5 million in regional tourism promotion; and $12 million in highway improvements.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

That great hole - the 10th at the Masters

Jim, thanks I sure did!  and  what a nastalgic beauty it is hanging here in my office. 

BTW I watched another great Masters Tournament today culminating in another sudden death playoff  ending on this same great 10th hole


Dick Garboski

On Sat, Apr 11, 2009 at 8:06 AM,jim gohacki:  wrote:
Garbo............wondering if you received the print you ordered.
Sent over two weeks ago and haven't heard from you.
 Jim Gohacki

Worried about job security? Check out the 5 safest jobs in a recession.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Re: Mt. Lebanon Country Club

Click to enlarge

Hi Pat, thanks for your response, please check the blog for other caddy memories and the identity of the four holes previously pictured.

BTW we are setting up a golf outing at Mt. Lebanon CC on Friday, Sept 25, 2009, the weekend of the Class of 59 - 50th reunion. Would you like to join us?

Dick Garboski

On Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 7:34 PM, Pat McCormick wrote:


I can remember a couple of the holes, but can't name any. I sure do remember lugging those bags, which when I started caddying were taller than me. I also remember 'thumbing' a ride there from Canonsburg. It wasn't a problem in those days!

Best Wishes,

Pat McCormick '58

Re: Mt. Lebanon CC, etc.

Hi Augie, thanks for sharing some of your Mt. Lebanon caddy memories and the nostalgic 50's link below to your web site.

Good job on identifying three of the olde Mt. Lebanon golf holes, your guess of number 1 is the only one you missed.
As a hint, please review the picture and
from your memories' perspective does this look to be the third shot at the par 5 - 6th hole or the second shot into hole #2? Also I'm sure you remember the strategically located little pine tree at the edge of each of the fairways.

Could you please elaborate and provide some background on winning the caddy tournament?

Dick Garboski

On Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 12:14 PM, Augie Fetcko wrote:


Thanks for rekindling more memories from the past with the pictures from Mt.Lebanon C.C. I think the numbers of the hole are as follows: # 13, #9, #7, #1
Some memories I have of caddying there:

Winning the caddy championship and being snubbed by Russ Sherba at the awards banquet.
World class basketball games in the caddy pen
Hiding from Johnny Johnson when certain members' bags came out.
Getting a $100.00 tip from Mrs. Ryan ( husband started Ryan Homes) for college.
Shagging balls and trying to avoid getting hit by golfers who aimed at you.

Again, thanks for the memories.



Take a look at my website,
August Appraisers , under the 50's and 60' section for some interesting stuff.