Part 3

Lois was a beautiful baby, she had reddish, gold hair and her eyes had just a hint of an Asian slant that I thought was enchanting.
Stella's youngest, sister, Ida Mae, who was about thirteen, was worried. She asked if there were any Chinese ladies in the ward who had just had a baby? She was afraid the babies could have been switched!
Lois' birth was a great happening for the family. She came at a time when the family needed a boost, and of course Stella and I were overjoyed.
We decided to wait a couple of months to see how things would work out in Duquesne and the baby could grow a little before we contemplated moving again. I liked my new job, and hoped it would last this time.
I had started in May at the beginning of summer, which is the busy season in refrigeration, both in sales and in service. Before the spring of 1936, when Frigidaire introduced a completely new line of refrigerators; all compressors were open models which can leak refrigerant at the compressor seal or at the many tubing connections which were flared copper and flare nuts. There were no soldered connections. The refrigerant was Sulphur Dioxide (S02), which is a noxious gas. A small leak could force a family from their home!
The compressor was driven by a belt, powered by a one fifth or one quarter horsepower motor. The motor required lubrication and the belt often broke. Gas leaks were the bane of a serviceman's life!
The now 1936 model refrigerator was much liqhter and better insulated. It had a hermetically sealed refrigeration unit. It didn't happen often, but if there was compressor [trouble] or I more likely motor trouble, the complete unit had to be replaced. The unit comprised [of] the motor, compressor, condenser and the freezer.
It was a one man job to replace, a unit and would take one and a half hours to perform. The unit was very reliable and considering the more than 15,000 that I've delivered, the percentage of units that needed to be replaced was very small.
Many owners have made the mistake of using, a knife or an ice pick to speed up defrosting; but after puncturing the freezer they never did it again!
Another plus that made my job easier in the beginning was that I was able to recruit many of the same helpers I had used at Liberty in McKeesport. It was much safer to use experienced help. When I first went to Liberty to work on the truck; I was the new guy! Some of the helpers had been working for some time and I had to learn from them the best and safest ways to make installations. The dead weight of those early models is hard to believe compared to our modern ones.
Some days there wasn't any deliveries, but a couple of the men would ride around with me all day while I made service calls, just in case something could come up. Also it was less boring than loafing at home or on the corner. At least they were riding around somewhere and seeing things.
In 1933 I had never heard of a Hero sandwich, but the men would chip in and stop in a store and buy a long loaf of French or Italian bread for a dime and another dimes worth of ham and cheese slices. They would have the butcher slice the loaf long ways, and have the butcher put in the ham and cheese and then cut it into three sandwiches. Many times I've seen the butcher laugh and throw in some extra meat.
Over the years I had many helpers; some for a short time, but others helped me for years. They didn't make much money, and sometimes it was really hard work, but they seemed to enjoy it, they said they were earning a little beer money.
Many of them are still my good friends, such as Fritz McWilliam, Roy Arnfield, Bill Horvath, Laurence and Joe Cibula, Walter Burda, and Cy Denne helped for a number of years. There are many who have passed away whom I will always remember: Steve Sapos, Moose (Pete) Janusek, Bud Noll, Ted Smith, Walter (Skinny) Manns, Mike Rasko, Snook Bailey, Tom Chizholm, Ray Pritz, Hoot Spangler, Jack and Emory Richards. I know there are more; I think we should at one time time have chartered a club!
Moosey (Peter) Janusek was one of my favorite helpers. He was just, a nice boy and wonderful company on the truck. Some, men such as Tom Chizholm could only grunt or make a remark every two or three days but Moosey would talk and argue continuosly and keep things stirred up. He played ball for the Duquesne Zemps in the twilight league. The games began at 6PM, so they could be finished before darkness.
Many afternoons we rushed to get finished, so that he wouldn't be tardy. Sometimes time would be so tight that I would have to take him home and wait until he ate his dinner (His mother always had it ready and on the table) and put on his uniform, and I would take him to the field. Sometimes I'd stay and watch an inning of the game. He was a good pitcher, but if he ever got a hit, he'd talk about it all the next day.
In September I started to look for a place to live in Duquesne. They were very scarce. During the depression, no new houses were being built, but of course couples continued to get married, and housing conditions were getting worse. Many newlywed couples were forced to live with their parents because of the shortage.
I couldn't find a house or apartment anywhere. Near the end of September, someone told me about a vacancy at 404 Carnegie St.. And when I went to check it out, I realized I had recently installed a new refrigerator there and they remembered me. Their names were George W. and Sally Morley. They were in their fifties and were without children. When they found we bad a three month old baby, I could see they had some doubts. But after talking it over, they decided to give it a try.
There were two large unfurnished rooms and a private bath. The house was only eight years old and was in good shape There was a double garage in the rear and Mr. Benovitz rented half of it for the new truck.
We moved in on October 1st. I know this is an old story. But a good one! The Morley's fell in love with Lois! Although we knew them for twenty or more years, and had three more children as far as they were concerned, Lois was our only child.
There was another small room that Mrs. Morley used for a sewing room. It had a large sewing machine in it. Mrs. Morley hemmed curtains and drapes for some of the local stores. She would take Lois into the room with her and the hum of the machine would put her to sleep. One thing I must mention is that Mrs. Morley had two tiny Mexican Chihuahua dogs that she loved more than her husband. If one should give a tiny sneeze, she would rush it to the vet. She was not nearly as caring about George. The Morley's were interesting people. George had been a minor league baseball player until he was in his forties, and then got a job in the steel mill as a timekeeper. He had played ball all over the country and must have been pretty good. Mrs. Morley had kept a scrap book and let me read it. George was primarily a pitcher but he had a good batting average. He could play any position and did so, except catch.
George loved to sing and thought nothing of singing a hymn at the top of his voice at three o'clock in the morning. He also had a cigar in his mouth constantly and Mrs. Morley smoked a lot of cigarettes. George would often carry Lois downstairs and outside for a walk. He would have made a fine grandfather! We lived there for two years and Lois had started to talk. She called them Morney and Joey, and to our family their names were ever thus.
Mrs. Morley was Pennsylvania Dutch and talked German fluently. She often talked in German to Lois who picked it up and could understand many of the words Morney used.
Lois also began her love affair with the piano there. Morney had a piano and often played it to entertain Lois. We had lived at Morley's a little over two years and Stella was pregnant again, so I began looking for a larger place. I was lucky and found one not too far away. It was an apartment with four rooms and bath on the second floor, over corner grocery store. A garage was also included for $25.00 a month.
There was also a very nice porch. The apartment was at 1701 Texas Avenue in the Duquesne Annex section. It later became part of West Mifflin Borough
The apartment was very nice and we were happy there. I don't remember any particular events happening there until Ginger's birth. Lois was an active little girl and could talk very well.
I remember she had a small table and chair set and would have tea parties with her dolls. I also remember she had nineteen dolls and I could remember all of their names!

Ginger was born on the, following May 25, 1939 at the McKeesport Hospital. Dr. John Porvaznak delivered the baby. This time it was without incident.Stella named the baby Virginia Ann, but it wasn't long before we began calling her Ginger. The name seemed to fit because she was full of it, and to this day, I don't know of a more active person than Ginger! She was the most athletic baby l have ever known. She could climb over any barricade we could build, and was finding her way upstairs before she was six months old. When she was very young, Stella and I would wake up and find Ginger in bed with us. It seemed impossible that she could get out of her bed and then climb into ours!
I just realized as I have been writing about several passing years, I have barely mentioned Stella at all. It is as though she was playing a back stage role. Of course it wasn't like that at all! Our little family revolved around Stella; she was the most important planet in our universe. Everyone knows how busy a young mother can be! And keeping house was a much more time consuming than it is today.
We always had a lot of company. Agnes and Ida Mae seemed to take turns staying at our house. Ida Mae went to Duquesne High School for her entire Junior year, but decided to return to Steubenville and graduate with her Senior class.
It wasn't long after Ginger's birth that things began to become difficult for us, or rather more so for Stella. Our landlord sold our building to a man who also owned another grocery store down in Duquesne. We had never had a problem with our previous owner. Stella washed and dried clothes in the basement where the cartons of cans and food supplies for the store were kept. Of course, Stella never touched anything and storekeeper never worried that she did. But the new owner was not so trusting and built a fence around Stella's wringer washer. and she had barely room to wash and rinse the clothes, but all of the clothes would have to be hung outside to dry, regardless of the weather. This was years before disposable diapers came into use and with a new baby there were lots of baby clothes to wash. The new owner's next move was to raise our rent $5.00 a month and to take away the garage. If I wished to continue to use it another $5.00 was necessary.
Another Problem was that our hot water tank was in the basement. It was the standard tank of its time without a thermostat to to control the temperature of the water. A valve had to be turned by hand to turn the heat up, down or off. We had no access to basement when he was not there. He was of the old school when you washed clothes on Monday and took a bath on Saturday and turned the tank off the rest of the week. No allowances for baby.
At this time we had never heard of a rental lease. No one we knew had ever signed one. The second month the owner brought one for me to sign. He told me it was for my protection. I asked how that would work and he explained he would have to give me thirty days notice before he could make me move. I asked how much notice I would have to give him; and he said thirty days, so I said "I'm giving you notice right now!"
I'm sure I may have regretted my rash statement, because as I have written before, finding a place to move was a tremendous challenge. My work, which took me all over a wide area was my greatest asset, I never forgot to ask if anyone knew of a vacancy in their neighborhood. That is bow I found out about a house that had not been lived in for several months because the wife was seriously ill and and she and her family were living with her parents. They bad continued paying the rent but the, lawn grass was over a foot high. The rentor told me he had decided to give up the house because his wife was showing no improvement in her condition, and gave me permission to try to rent it, which I did immediately. He also told me, it was a nice house and very livable. At the real estate office, I found the house was owned by the HOLC, a government agency that was set up in the Depression to refinance homes to give owners a second chance when a bank was foreclosing on their property. Evidently this owner was still unable to make his payments and the HOLC was forced to foreclose. They then put the house up for rent. The agent showed me a letter, just received from the HOLC, stating that whenever a rental property became vacant, they were not to rent it, but to hold it for resale.
Stella and I knew this was a wonderful opportunity for us tobuy a home. My mother also thought we should buy the home. She had just recently sold her home in Steubenville, and moved to Detroit to make her home with my sister, Virginia, and her husband, William Hackson. She offered us the loan of the $330.00 down payment, without interest. She did think the Borough tax on the house and lot of $94.00 was exorbitant
I have written about buying the home earlier in this book. Fortunately we were able to move before my thirty days notice had expired. I know we owe the landlord for almost forcing us to buy a home! It was one of the best things we ever did.
The home was at 202 Ford Street, West Mifflin Borough. It was just a block from the Morley's house, in fact I again rented half of their garage for my truck.
It was a great area to raise children. Of course it is all built up now, but then there was a lot of open space to play and very little traffic. It's still a nice place to live. It's on the top of the hill and there's a great view up and down the Monongahela River and across the river to McKeesport.
It was about this time in 1939 that I feel the Depression finally ended. Hitler's war in Europe had started and orders for supplies were coming to our mills and factories. President Roosevelt called for a draft for a Civilian Training Corp for young men, to serve for twelve months and then it was extended to eighteen months.
As money became more plentiful, people started buying the many things they badly needed and had done without though the years of the great depression, and now jobs were becoming plentiful.

September 17, 1940.
When Ginger was about seven months old, we were surprised to learn that Stella was again pregnant! We never planned for Stella's pregnancies, and it was a little sooner than we would have liked it to be, but God had been very good to us. There were no complications and we again were going to use the services of Doctor Porvaznak. Late one night in the first week of September, Stella began to get regular pains and I called the Doctor. He said take her to the hospital and he would meet us there. He never came, and Stella and I walked the halls of the hospital for about three early morning hours until the pains stopped. They said Stella had been having false labor pains, which were not uncommon and we may as well go home until they started again.
We hadn't known that Doctor Porvaznak's health had been deteriorating, both physically and mentally, since Ginger had been born. Since coming home from the hospital, Stella had made up her mind that she wasn't going back and that her baby would be born at home. I tried but I couldn't change her mind. NO ONE COULD!
Mrs. Miller, who lived near us was very experienced in home care and I hired her to come and take care of Stella and the baby. The only one who wasn't told was the Doctor!
Early on the morning of September 17th, about ten days after the false pains; they began again, but this time they were real. I called the Doctor at his home at 6AM and he said he would meet us at the hospital. When I told him that Stella refused to go, he had a fit! He said he hadn't delivered a baby at home in years and didn't intend to any more! All I could say was that Stella says she won't go, and she means it!
It was very foggy that morning, at least it was on our hill top, and I really prayed he would come! I had called Mrs. Miller and she came promptly. The Doctor's brother lived near us, so I knew he shouldn't get lost. He came in about 45 minutes, which wasn't bad, and I don't think he was there longer than 30 minutes, He had got there just in time! I don't think he spoke a single word to us, but he was nice to Mrs. Miller whom I think he knew. I was truly surprised when a boy baby was born. I was so used to having two little girls that I'd never thought much about a boy. Even Stella, who was very psychic, hadn't said she thought it would be a boy. Stella named the baby Charles Hayes. The Hayes was for her uncle, F. Hayes Worstall, who was married to her Aunt Stella, her father's only sister.
We never heard from Doctor Porvaznak; he never called or came to visit Stella and he never sent a bill. Stella and I never forgot we owed him some money, but we waited just to see if he would relent and send us a bill, but he never did. About two years later, I was at the house of his next door neighbor and decided to go talk to his wife. She told me the Doctor had been in a sanitarium for months and wasn't getting any better. (He died soon after my visit). She checked his records but could find no record of Stella giving birth. I insisted that we owed something, so she charged us $35.00, which I guess was the price of a birth at the time.
Aunt Stella and Uncle Hayes were two of our favorite peopleand we were fond of them. We used to visit them in Morgantown
until they moved to Florida. After Hayes died, Aunt Stella moved back north. She lived for a while with her brotber, and
lived with us for the last year of her life. She was buried in the Saint Joseph Cemetery in Duquesne.
The first time I met Uncle Hayes was on a summer afternoon, after we had arrived at their cottage at Cheat Lake, near Morgantown, W.Va.
Stella and I were on the porch talking to Aunt Stella, and we could hear a man's voice coming from down the road yelling, "TO ARMS! TO ARMS ! THE BRITISH ARE COMING"
A man who was wearing pajamas and a mountaineers type of fur hat with ear warmers, and with bare feet, was riding bare back on an old plough horse, stopping at every cottage on the road and repeating his cry as he came.
We think he must have first sampled a bit of mountain dew to sustain him on his brave, wild, ride
Uncle Hayes was a lot of fun. He had a great sense of humor. We would usually visit them on a Saturday night and return home on Sunday evening. Hayes would get everyone awake and out of bed before 7AM and after he got us thoroughly awake, he would sneak back into bed. Before we would miss him, he'd usually get another hour or so of sleep.
WE know Hayes was pleased and proud that we have a son bearing his name.
We liked our new home and enjoyed living in it a lot. We made a vegetable garden in the back yard. There was also a grape arbor with a front porch type of swing hung beneath it. It was a nice shady place to rest- more for adults than children.
Directly behind the grape arbor there was a cherry tree and some of the grape vines grew up into the tree. When looking up into the tree, it appeared to be bearing both cherries and grapes.
I think everyone who was alive on the afternoon of Sunday, December 7, 1941, remembers where they were and what they were doing when the news bulletin came over the radio that the Japanese had just bombed Pearl Harbor. I'm sure many people did not know where Pearl Harbor was located.
Haven and Anna Alexander and their daughters, Betty and Anne were visiting us. Haven and I were in our living room listening to a football game being broadcast on the radio when the local announcer said they were breaking for an important news bulletin. Then there was just the terse announcement of the bombing and that they would break again as more news came in.
I think we all realized from this minute, our lives were going to change. We all stayed glued to the radio and were dismayed as more shocking news came in from Hawaii about the terrible loss of men, ships, and airplanes.
The next day, Monday, December 8th, hundreds of young men rushed to enlist in the armed services. Later in the day came the news that President Roosevelt had declared war on both Germany and Japan. A great wave of patriotism swept the country and families were forever changed as they were forced to break up as men departed for the service or moved because of job opportunities in the war effort.
My brother, Frank, served in the navy in the South Pacific and my sister, Helen, served in the WAC's in Leyte and the Philippine Islands and New Guinea. She served for four years and received two battle stars. She served on General Kenney's headquarter's staff. When she came home I tried to tease her about the battle stars, but she stopped me very quickly by telling me that General Kenney had also received them and that she had been just as close to the fighting as he had been!
The production of domestic goods was halted and our mills and factories were geared to manufacture war materials. Factories worked a seven day, 24 hour week and as more and more men were called into the armed services; women took their places. They did many kinds of labor that women had never done before; welding, carpentry work and mechanics and did them well.
After the end of the war, many women, having proven what they could accomplish when given the opportunity, were loath to return to house-keeping and remained in industry. It forever changed women's rights and their independence and self sufficiently were established.
On the home front, people had to "make do" with less of everything. Ration stamps were needed buy meat, butter and many other foods. Stores ran-out of many items and lines would form when a store received a supply of a badly needed food item. Gasoline required ration stamps also, and most car owners could purchase three gallons per week. Gasoline was hoarded as were many food items. Many people were loath to share with others. Car pooling as a way to save gasoline was widely practiced and was very essential. No new cars could be bought until after the war was over and parts were sometimes difficult to obtain.
The same was true of refrigerators and other appliances. Most stores such as where I worked A were forced to close when their stock was exhausted, because it could not be replaced. When the war began, I was 31 years old and had three young children. Some men were drafted who were older and had more children than I did, so I just didn't know where I stood as to going into the military service.
In 1942, 1 became an employee of the Firth-Sterling Steel Co. in McKeesport. They produced stainless steel and tungsten carbide dies and steel cutting tools. Tungsten carbide is the hardest of all metals. A diamond is the only thing that is harder and is used to cut and shape tungsten carbide.
My job was making the points of armor piercing artillery shells. These points preceded the explosive in the projectile and when the shell was fired at tank or ship, the tungsten carbide point would blast a hole and the shell would explode inside of the armor.
I was called up for the draft in 1944 and passed my physical examination, but the company asked for and received a deferment for me. I was classed as a "cemented carbide technician." I had a hard, dirty job. One of the ingredients used in mixing a batch of tungsten carbide was lampblack. The black dust permeated everything. The company provided coverall suits which were changed daily and cloth dust masks that were changed frequently. At the end of a work term, a shower was a prime necessity.
I did perform some service calls during-the war years. The time used in trying to obtain the parts was a lot longer than that used in making the repairs and the shortage of gasoline made it difficult to get around. Many times the client had to provide my transportation.
I usually walked to work. It was about two and one half miles, and I climbed up and down the steep hill from our house down to the river road. The hill is almost a precipice in places and very dangerous in wet or freezing weather. At night I depended on the light provided by the Bessemer furnaces across the river at the USS steel plant, so that I could safely see the path. I still had to walk the bridge over the Monongahela River and then almost a mile downstream to the plant. Of course climbing the hill when going home was a little more difficult.
The old Bessemer process of making steel is now in the past, but those who lived near the mills will never forget them. We could actually read a newspaper on our back porch and the children could see to play in the yard.
An airline pilot once told me that at cruising altitude, in good weather they could see the light from over one hundred miles away and had no need to navigate. The mill is about five miles from the Allegheny County Airport, which in those days was the principle Pittsburgh airport.
Everything had been running smoothly at home through these years of the war. Stella was busy with the house and the children. In 1945, Lois was in the fourth grade at the Emerson School; Ginger was in the first grade and Chuck was in the kindergarten class. All three were doing very well at school and at home. They all could read before starting to school and had a superior vocabulary for their ages.
The year of 1944 was a presidential election year. Franklin D. Roosevelt was running for an unprecedented fourth term. There were also candidates for congress, judges, and for other state and county offices. In West Mifflin the election had added excitement because our township had just become a borough and all of the political offices were to be voted for the very first time and there were many candidates vying for them. These offices included that of the burgess council members and the school board members. There were also at least five important proposals that had to be voted on and passed for the start up of the new borough.
A new housing complex had been built in our area, There were eighty buildings and four hundred and fifty families. This complex was named The Riverview Homes. This large influx of new voters made it necessary to establish a new voting #4 precinct and Stella was asked to serve as the new judge of elections and she consented. Her three clerks were also new and inexperienced. Stella accepted the job as a challenge she thought she would enjoy, but it turned out to be a very grueling job.
The voting was on paper ballots and each voter must have carried ten ballots into the voting booth to be marked. The number of votes cast in the new precinct broke all records in the borough, about 850 as I remember, but you must multiply that by ten to realize how many ballots had to be checked and counted. The polls opened at 7AM and closed at 7PM on Tuesday. The ballot count was finally completed after midnight on Thursday morning. Of course it was unprecedented --the huge amount of paper! Stella and the clerks (who were all women) understandably could not stay awake that long, and although the rules didn't permit it, they all had to go home for short breaks after the polls closed. Stella and I took the ballot box and the records to the Allegheny Court House in Pittsburgh about 3AM on Thursday morning.
Stella kept the job of the judge of elections for twenty years. I'm leaping ahead in time, but I should relate that Stella also worked for several weeks as an agent or inquirer on the 1960 United States Census, which is taken every ten years.
Many people gave no or insufficient information on some of the questions. Some thought it was no one else's right to know when asked about the amount of wages earned and other questions about things they thought were personal, such as their age.
Stella enjoyed the work. She liked to meet and talk to people and her friendly manner elicited otherwise hard to obtain information, She had to cover a lot of the Borough to find people at home to get their census return finished. It took patience and time. Many evenings when I finished work, I would drive her to the more distant homes so she could get them completed.

The WAR IN EUROPE ENDED MAY 7, 1945 when Germany surrendered unconditionally. The Japanese had been been driven from the Philipines and Okinawa and off many of the other islands they had formerly occupied But it was only after the U.S. dropped two atomic bombs; one on Hiroshima and one on Nagasaki, that they also surrendered unconditionally on AUGUST 14, 1945 AND WORLD WAR TWO WAS OVER!!!
Just one week after the war ended, I lost my job! The company Was forced to lay off workers when the War Department canceled all orders and there was no other demand for tungsten carbide in the amount we had been producing.
It was just a few days later when I was again hired to work at the Irwin Works of the U.S. Steel Company in Dravosburg. At least transportation would be much easier for me because special mill bus from Duquesne came up Crawford Street, just block away from the house and a weekly pass cost one dollar.
The mill rolled steel slabs into coils or sheets. This mill never paused in it's production because this steel would be in immediate demand for automobile bodies, appliances and many other products which the public had not been able to buy for over four years or more.
I was put to work in the labor pool in the hot strip mill. This was in a huge building that was over a half mile long and one hundred yards wide. The steel slabs were actually produced at the Edgar Thompson plant in Braddock and transfered the-few miles to the Irwin Works by the railroad.
The slabs were made into many different lengths, widths and thicknesses according to the orders, were loaded into furnaces to heat to the proper temperature needed, to be rolled.These rolling mills were the most modern ones in the world, (at that time) and could roll steel as wide as eighty inches. There were ten stands of rolls and when a slab entered the first stand, the steel would be moving about three miles an hour, but when it exited from the tenth stand, it would be moving over thirty miles an hour!
It depended on the size of the slab and the thickness of the gauge, but a ten foot long s lab could be rolled down to become a ribbon of steel that would be several hundred yards in length, and rolled into a coil like a roll of paper towels that could weigh five or six tons.
On my first day I worked with a crew sweeping the floor of this huge room. When I had first walked into the department, I had been impressed by how clean and shipshape everything appeared, and found myself working mostly with a broom or a paintbrush for my first couple of weeks.
The hot mill worked three eight hour turns and required fifty three men to be present to fill all the positions. These were the furnace men, Depiler, furnace Chargers, rollers (who adjusted gauge), Speed Operators, Coiler operators, Inspectors, Banders, Markers, Weighmaster, ETC. There had to fifty three men!!!
When a man was absent on the eight to four turn, it was no problem because they would use a man from the labor pool he would work on the bottom job, a Bander, and all the others on the crew moved up one notch until they reached the vacancy. There was a continuity; every man knew and could do the work of the man who preceded him in the chain. It was always necessary to carry an extra man or sometimes two, on the four to twelve and the twelve to eight turns. There had to always be someone there to take over, because the mill never stopped rolling steel when the turns changed, the relief man should be there to take over on every position.
After I had worked there for several months, I began to get turns working on the mill crew, usually as a Bander and sometimes as a marker. When I had shown that I could do the work, I was being picked to be the extra man and worked the other turns.
I earned ninety cents an hour in the labor pool, but working as a Bander, I earned almost double that amount. The difference was mostly because of an incentive or bonus earned according to the number of tons of steel rolled by the men on each turn.
When I began working more turns on the mill, I was earning more money than I had ever earned before. I worked steady all through 1946, but early in 1947 the steel workers called a general strike with demands for higher wages and concessions. The union won, but we had all lost six weeks work and wages.
There was an immediate raise in the prices of goods, food and services, and an escalation that continued even until today. In passing, it's interesting to note that in 1931,1 bought a brand new 1930 Chevrolet Sport Roadster with a rumble seat and all the-trimmings for $650.00.! In 1947 1. believe a Chevy sedan sold for about $3500-00, and now in 1992, for $13000.00 dollars. The buying power of a dollar has certainly shrunk.
Stella and my finances, were about to take a tumble, too I had just returned to work after the strike ended, when getting off of the bus at the Irwin Works, I slipped on some ice and broke my right ankle. I was taken to the mill hospital where a plaster cast was put on my ankle and I was given a pair of crutches to get around with. After about two weeks, I was told by the legal department of US Steel, that it was decided that since I was not injured working at my job, I was not eligible for compensation; but since the accident occur red on US Steel property, they would be responsible for my medical treatment.
I was on crutches and in a cast for six weeks. They changed the cast twice. I returned to work the day after the cast was removed, but my ankle was badly swollen for a week or more. I lost a total of three months wages by time lost by the
strike, and the fracture, and it really hurt us financially.
During these past months, men who had worked in the mill before entering the armed services, were returning to their old jobs. It wasn't long until I was off of the mill crew and back in the labor pool again. My pay check was much smaller! Our new home had only two bedrooms, and we had two daughters; so I know we weren't looking very far into our future, because after only living there a year, our son Chuck was born
The house was fine while the children were small, but as they grew older we realized two bedrooms were not enough. When Chuck became five years old, we gave it some serious thought. We called a contractor to find what it would cost to add another bedroom and he said to make it feasible the bathroom would have to be moved, and the cost would be almost as much as we had paid for the house and lot. So we dropped that plan and turned our thoughts toward finding a three bedroom house.
Stella and I talked a lot about it, but she wanted some action! One night when I got home from work, She said, "You will never guess what I did today, Honey!" Of course I said, I had no idea.
"You would never guess anyway," she said, "I SOLD OUR HOUSE!"
After I had gotten over the shock, she explained what had happened. She decided to call a real estate agent to find what our house would be worth on the market, and the agent visited within the hour. He said he knew of several people who were interested in buying a home in our area, and would it be alright if he could bring them to see the house? He came back in the afternoon with a man named Robert Kinney. To make it a short story-- Mr. Kinney bought the house for $5500-00 dollars.
So it was back to house hunting again ! Stella found the house this time ! I'm not sure if Stella had some knowledge of a home in our neighborhood, but I know that I didn't. Two young sisters who lived in a house across the street did some baby sitting for us. Rose and Arlene Dzuik (pronounced Zook) were their names. They were nice girls and very dependable. When they learned we had sold our house; they told Stella that their parents were going to sell their's too, and they were moving to Butler, PA, about sixty miles away.
Stella inquired an found it to be true. The house was a three bedroom, brick, very similar to the Morley's home. Our home had been of frame construction. We were able to make a deal with the Dzuik's and bought the house for $7000.00 dollars. We had bought a nice three bedroom, brick, house for less than we could have renovated our other house!
It took over two month to get moved because the people in the house the Dzuik's bought were taking their good old time about moving and refused to be hurried. There were four families involved, each waiting for the other, and all anxious to move.
The moving was simple; just across the street; we didn't even need a truck. It was a lot of work however -moving is purely hard labor and I'm a veteran mover. At one time I calculated I had delivered over six thousand refrigerators. I'm not going to try to count the washers, dryers and furniture In 1947, all products were coming back on to the market.
The 1947 model automobiles were for sale and there was a long waiting list for deliveries. The few cars that had been sold in 1946 were a continuation of the 1941 models. Because of the big demand for new products, there was. plenty of work, and money to spend.
Mr. Benovitz had been calling me to come back to my old job, but I had turned him down. I was" enjoying working on the mill crew, the pay was better and I liked the regular hours. It wasn't long however that I began to see the- "handwriting on the wall," and realized the men returning from the service had a lot more seniority than I, and made my chances of returning to the mill crew in the near future, very remote.
Mr. Benovitz countered with a better offer and promised a year end bonus. He later reneged on the bonus and I learned the truth of the old adage: "An oral contract or promise isn't worth the paper it's written on!"
I finally decided to return to the store. There were many things I did like about the job. I liked the variety of the work. I enjoyed solving problems and repairing appliances. I also liked meeting new people every day, although sometimes they were angry. I have found that many people think appliances are never supposed to break down or wear out. They will think nothing of buying a new car every few years, but a washer or a refrigerator should last for a lifetime. Just before the war, a big selling item in the store was a radio. Not just the small table models, but the large floor models with more tubes and a 'larger speaker. They were a piece of furniture and occupied a prime spot in the living room such as a television set does today. We sold Zenith and RCA models. These were in the years before the large networks of stations were established and an antenna, or an aerial, as they were called then, was necessary to bring in the more distant stations. I put up many of these aerials, but a lot of men installed their own..
After the war, by 1947, television was the rage. Everyone wanted one! Everyone was interested and a display model in our store window would attract a crowd of watchers. We sold RCA and Dumont in the beginning.
There was a lot to learn about television. There was no problem getting the sound, but there was often locations where such as in a valley or other low altitudes, the picture would be a very poor quality or nothing but some wiggling lines and snow.
The terrain in our area is all hills and valleys. We had learned by knowing a prospective buyer's address whether he was likely to have a problem. Sometimes a higher antenna would help.
We only sold television for a year. We learned they required a lot of service and I wasn't knowledgeable about the electronics I would need to know to repair them. I told Mr. Benovitz that he would have to hire a TV repair specialist, and they were hard to find at that time. Mr. Benovitz couldn't understand why I could not repair TV's, because I could repair everything else that we sold. I know that electronics was beyond his comprehension The store was now selling in addition to refrigeration, washers, dryers, ranges; ironers, and other appliances as fast as they came onto the market. I certainly had enough work to do now, without television!
Beatrice had married and left the store. Her sister Edythe took her place for the next year or so. In the early 1950's Mr. and Mrs. Benovitz went to Miami Beach for several months, in two consecutive winters, and I had the store to myself. I closed every day at 5PM and worked several more hours on service. There was no refrigeration calls and others I couldn't handle, I would call into Pittsburgh to take over the service. Of course I had arranged for my experienced helpers to make all of the deliveries.
I had never been busier in my life in the store, and although I didn't realize it at the time, I was going through a fine period of training that would be invaluable in a few years. I know that I did very well and I didn't loose many sales. I was always glad to see the Benovitz's come back though and I could get into service again. One reason was the time seemed to pass so swiftly, and I could go home!
It is a known fact. that in the Spring, some rain must fall. Stella must have been standing under her own little thundercloud! She had to undergo three major operations in just a few years. In 1947 she suffered from pain in her abdomen and it was diagnosed to be from a cyst on an ovary. Her doctor, Frank Bondi said it would have to be removed surgically, and she would be in the hospital for ten days. However there were complications and a blood clot was found in her lung and she remained hospitalized for thirty one days!
The children were all in school. At the time, Lois was 11 years old, Ginger 8, and Chuckie was 7. The kids were all great and Lois was in charge some of the time. Stella's sister, Agnes, who had met and married a local boy whom she had met on one of her many stays at our house, would often stop in after school to check on them. Agnes' husband was Sylvester Denne, known by everyone as "Cy". They lived a few blocks away in the Riverview Homes.
I would always try to get home early to prepare dinner and get over to the hospital to see Stella. We were so happy to see her come back home!!
Her next operation was for a ruptured spinal disc, performed by Dr. Michael Micklos. The injury was the result of a fall she had when she fell down our basement stairs. The operation was a complete success and she had no further trouble. The third operation was for the removal of her gall bladder and it was also very successful.
Our new house has become a very happy home for the f amily. Lois, Ginger and Chuck grew until they reached their teen years in this house and it became a haven for their friends, who knew they were always welcome. I brought an old upright piano home, just for the price of hauling it away. Of course we never dreamed it would be the beginning of two musical careers, by Lois and Chuck.
I also later brought home and installed in the basement an ancient, reed parlor organ, that was pumped by foot pedals. I found that the leather bellows which supplied the air had rotted away from old age. I was able to substitute an electric hand sweeper to supply the air, and all the kids in the neighbor enjoyed playing it!
We also had a ping pong table in the basement and the house was usually filled with the sounds of music, noise, and laughter. We were very fortunate in finding a good piano teacher. She was Miss Meridith Hayden, whom we learned was a graduate of the Julliard School of Music in New York City, and was also the organist at the Central Presbyterian Church, in McKeesport.
Miss Hayden came to our house to teach, and for us it was a bonus, and her charge; at least in the beginning, was only one dollar. She came to our house for many years, as the children, in their turns, received lessons from her. She was a good teacher and a very fine person. I believe Lois was about eight when she began to play and was the best student of the four children. She was the only one who didn't need to be reminded TO PRACTICE!! I sometimes forget that Ginger took lessons for over seven years and can play very well, but she was the only one that playing music, was not part of her life.
Chuck was the worst student, but later I think I could understand how he felt about the piano. Lois, Ginger, and all the other piano students that he knew, were girls! He had to repeat many lessons and Stella was often very much disturbed about it, and I'm afraid I wasn't much help at the time.
Miss Hayden had a waiting list of students and didn't need Chuck, but she always insisted that "There's music in that boy! She was right, but it wasn't piano music!! But he had learned from her; to read music and keep time and many other things I'm sure were invaluable.
When Chuck was about twelve, he became a member of the Duquesne Annex Volunteer Fireman's Band. His friend, Jim Palestral’s father was in the band and Jim was learning to play a trumpet so that he could join. They needed a bass player and they had a tuba, so Chuck volunteered to play it. He was in his element!
He was playing what he considered to be a man's instrument. Girls didn't play tubas. To be honest- a girl who was his age isn't strong enough to carry a tuba in a parade. I'm not sure how he HE did it, but he never quit. When they gave him a uniform to wear and let him march,that did it! He marched and played the tuba in his high school and college bands. At the time of this writing, he has been teaching instrumental music in high and elementary schools for over thirty years. He is still marching!! Chuck has earned a Bachelor and Masters Degrees.Lois has been teaching piano almost as long, in her studio. I'm sure the student who selects her for their teacher is very fortunate. Lois has a Bachelor and a Master degrees in piano. She is very progressive and uses the newest techniques in her teaching, including the computer.
I think this proves the old adage is true, as with Lois and Chuck and later with Dennis; "as the twig is bent, so the tree will grow!"

BORN AUGUST 25, 1950
Stella and I had three children and it was now almost ten years since Chuck was born. We were very satisfied and happy with our present family, so we were truly surprised to learn that we were again going to become parents!
Stella had been freed from diapers, formulas, bottles and nipples for eight years (she had never been able to nurse our babies). The children, who were now fourteen, eleven and ten, were very excited when they heard the news.
Our new family doctor, Howard Schink, had chosen this time to go away on his vacation! So his chosen alternate (whose name I have CHOSEN to forget), delivered the baby at the McKeesport Hospital. There were no complications with the birth, but as happened with the others --Stella wasn't able to nurse it. The Doctor insisted that she could. He said all fur could suckle their young, and insinuated she could too, if she really wanted to do it. I couldn't seem to make him understand that this was our fourth baby and Stella hadn't been able to nurse them either.
On the third day, the head nurse told me that she was worried because the baby was becoming very dehydrated. I immediately discharged the Doctor. I said I would assume responsibility and ordered her to give the baby a formula, which she seemed happy to do. His condition almost immediately started to improve.
Stella and I gone through the same experience when Chuck was born, and we had to try several formulas until we found one that was satisfactory. This happened after Dr. Porvaznak abandoned us, or rather washed his hands of us.
Dennis, of course, was named for Stella's father, and as you may have guessed; the George was for George Morley.
Dennis was a good baby, and he grew to be a handsome, blond, curly headed boy. As he grew older, his hair became darker and now it is as black as his mother's. He was a happy, good natured, boy, with three doting siblings who all baby-sat with him at times in the next few years without much complaining.
Stella had joined The Emerson Women's Club that held it's meetings at the Emerson Elementary School. The club was first organized in 1942, and it's purpose was "to aid in civic and defense projects in the community". This was in the war years which gave it a broad base for it's activities.
The club's activities gave Stella an outlet for her energy and her abilities to plan and organize, which I don't think she had known she possessed until then.
I had learned to never be surprised at the many new talents that Stella would disclose throughout the years of our marriage! She was always truly amazing to me, and I know with a proper education, she could have accomplished anything she wanted to do.
I always think of her as a most successful woman in any capacity- as a wife; mother; friend; or associate. She could bring out the best from her associates and she seemed able to make work seem more like fun, and everyone liked to work with her.
I know how sad Stella would have been, had she known that now in their Golden Anniversary Year, 1992, The Emerson Women's Club held their final meeting and banquet and disbanded.
The reason given was that because of the changes in lifestyles, women do not have the time for so many outside the home activities anymore. Most women work at jobs today for needed income and their homes and children didn't leave them enough time they felt they could devote to the club.
Before Stella and I were married, we attended our separate churches. She went to the Holy Name Catholic, and I to The First Methodist Episcopal Church. We never had a problem about our different religions. My mother had also had been a Catholic and my father a Presbyterian and there had never been any friction in our family. At the time, many families were split over mixed religious marriages. It is wonderful that our families were so broad-minded and tolerant.
After our marriage, we were back in Steubenville frequently and attended our respective church services. After starting our family and the children were small, we seldom attended a church. We really were not familiar with the churches. in our new area. When the children became old enough, the Dzuik sisters began taking them along to their Sunday School every Sunday; but Stella and I seldom attended church service.
John Moyle, a very good friend, was urging us to attend the service at his church. He said he was sure that we would like it.
John and I had tried to start a business in 1946, not long after the end of the war. John was a licensed electrician and could also repair radios. We rented a small store in Duquesne for about six months and he repaired radios and I serviced refrigerators, but my work was always in a home, but we had to establish a base of operations because we had applied for several different franchises to sell radios and appliances. We both had retained our regular jobs because we knew it would take some time, We finally had to give up because we realized the stores which still held franchises from before the war were still having problem getting enough merchandise to sell. Our PROBLEM was lack of capital. When we had to present a financial statement when seeking a franchise, we just did not have the monetary backing they thought we would need!
John and his family were members of The First English Lutheran Church in Duquesne. The pastor was Dr. Charles Baker, who was a friendly, outgoing type of man. The congregation numbered over a thousand, and there was a large Sunday School for all ages.
Stella and I decided to join the church. By so doing we would both be making a big change -She more than I, but I never heard her ever complain. We knew we still worshipped the one and only God, and His son, Jesus Christ!
We both became active in our new church, and I later taught a class in the Sunday School, of boys and girls of junior high school ages, for more than eight years. I also served two terms on the church council.
Stella was also busy in the church throughout these years. When you are willing, there is always plenty to do and she was always a part of the action! Stella, and I, together, had the Sunday evening young people's service for over a year. That was really a tough job, trying to always have an interesting program.
As the years went swiftly by and they did pass so quickly! I would love to relive those wonderful years! So as the years passed by, the children entered into the life of the church and remained active until they went away to college.
When Lois was in high school, and after taking some organ lessons from Miss Hayden, she became the organist for the 8 AM church service, and she sang in the choir at the 10:45AM service. Lois has a nice alto voice.
Occasionally, Lois would receive a call from another Lutheran church in the area with an emergency and I would drive her to the church. While she played the organ for the service, I would sit in the pew and enjoy! "HEY EVERYBODY! THAT'S MY DAUGHTER, LOIS!"
It seems to have been the custom at that time to have hymns sung at funeral services. Lois and two of her friends, Grace Binkney, and Ida Mae Herder, were often called to provide this service. Until recently, I always supposed they received some renumeration for doing this, but Lois said that she could only remember that they would enjoy the break from school. The Gregris Funeral Home was just across the street from the high school.
Lois graduated from Duquesne High School in 1954, with degrees in College Preparatory and Commercial. She was offered several jobs, but opted to take one at the Westinghouse Atomic (Bettis) Plant in Dravosburg. She began working as a secretary in the sector that had been building the reactor for the first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus. She also registered and took courses in the evenings at Carnegie-Mellon University, And later at the University of Pittsburgh.
While working at Bettis, she met the young man who would become her husband. He was an engineer, named CHARLES JONES, and was from Long Meadow, Mass. He was a graduate engineer from the Worcester Polytechnic University.
Charlie was actually an employee of the Duquesne Light Power Company, in Pittsburgh, and was assigned to work at Bettis on the reactor for the world's first public nuclear electric power plant, which would be built on the banks of the Ohio River, at Shippingport, about 25 miles north of Pittsburgh.
I should have stated that just before being reassigned to Bettis, Charlie had been discharged from the US Airforce when he returned from Korea. He served as a lieutenant in command of a radar installation on a mountain top in Korea, for two years.
He also took an active part in the tests on the new reactor which were conducted in a bleak, windblown area in Idaho, He worked there for six months and I'm sure Lois was happy to see him return!
Soon after construction began on the plant at Shippingport, Lois and Charlie were married. They were married in our church in Duquesne by Dr. Baker. They began their married-life in Freedom, but moved to Beaver about a year later, which was several miles closer to the plant.
Charlie had a very responsible job and worked long hours at the new plant, and Lois, not one for idle hands, got a job as the secretary to the president of Geneva College. As an employee of the college, she was able to take courses very reasonably, and did so.
In the next several intervening years, they bought a home, and their first born child was a cute, red-headed girl, whom they named Barbara Anne. Two years later another baby girl joined the family. This was a blond haired baby and they named her Carol Jean Jones.
When the nuclear plant was finished and in operation for a year, Charlie was promoted to a vice-presidency in charge of engineering and was moved to an office in their building in the "golden Triangle" in downtown Pittsburgh. For most of the next year, Charlie joined the army of commuters, riding the P&LE train morning and evening, between Beaver and Pittsburgh.
We were all so proud of Charlie! He had accomplished so much and Stella and I thought he was "fixed for life", using an old fashioned term. So it is easy to understand how shocked we were to learn that he had resigned his job and was launching a completely new enterprise. We learned that on many weekends, Charlie was working as a consultant with engineers from other power companies. They were asking his advice, based on his knowledge and experience in the operation of the new nuclear power plant. These various companies were not competitors of Duquesne Light Company (I thought I should insert this bit of information).
Charlie realized there was a need for a company to provide information and training that would necessary for companies and workers, and he and nine other experienced engineers, formed one.
They named the company, Nuclear Utilities Services, or NUS. They organized and started business in Washington, D.C., to be close to the Atomic Energy Commission, with whom they would have to work very closely. The company was organized in 1962.
The family rented a house and moved to Bethesda, Maryland for a year. Barbara was four and Carol was two years old at this time. After living a year in Bethesda, they moved again to Chevy Chase, where they had bought a home-, just six miles from the White House.
When both of the girls were in elementary school, Lois enrolled at American University and earned a degree in music. She scheduled her classes so that she would be home before the girls got out of school. It wasn't easy, but she persevered.
Lois earned a Bachelor Degree in Music History, and her instrument was the Piano.
Ten years after Carol was born, They added a son, Charles Harris Jones. When he grew older, he wanted to be called CHUCK. Lois continued with her musical education after Chuck started to elementary school. She earned a Masters Degree in Performance, and again her instrument was the Piano. Lois graduated from The University of Maryland, and we are very proud of Lois.
In the mean-time, Chuck continued to grow until he reached 6 feet, 5 inches tall. He is now attending Connecticut College in New London, where he is majoring in History and Art.
Carol also graduated from Connecticut College, from their Eugene O'Neil School of the Theatre, with degrees in Drama and Education. It is an honor to be selected to attend the Eugene
O'Neil School because the number of students must necessarily be kept to a minimum. Many apply, but few are chosen to attend. Carol and her husband, Daniel Glynn, and their cat and dog live in Niantic, Ct. Dan is an architect and a fine chess player.
Carol is self employed and works principally in State of Connecticut sponsored projects. She also works as an entertainer and is a fine mimic and has a good voice. She can do it all!! Carol can play the flute and piano.
Barbara has been a writer since she was a small child, and I enjoyed watching as she and Carol staged plays Barbara had written and made scenery for. They used as actors, marionette puppets that they manipulated on strings on a stage that Stella bought them for a Christmas present. She has a lot of talent and a great imagination!
Barbara graduated from Yale University with a degree in Literature and earned her Masters degree from Columbia University.
Barbara is a published free lance writer and writes book reviews for newspapers and magazines.
Barbara has twice been invited to the MacDowell Colony in Sweet Briar, Va. The Colony invites talented writers to come where they can write undisturbed in an atmosphere they hope will promote great writing. Barbara lives in New York City and plays the piano and violin.
Our son, CHUCK graduated from high school in 1958. He played the tuba in the band and also sang in the chorus. He has a bass voice. In his senior year, he was the drum major of the band.
Mr. Silajgie, the band director, was endeavoring to send students who were intending to major in music to Morehead University in Kentucky, where the head of the music department was a good friend and a former college roommate.
Chuck did well in his first year in college, but he didn't like Morehead. There was a population of one thousand and to a big city boy, that was just not enough people –or girls.
He went to West Chester State College for his sophomore year and he liked it there. West Chester was a much larger city and was very close to Philadelphia. There were also plenty of girls,
and he met a very pretty student who would become his wife in a year or so. Her name was Carole Kohr, and she truly was a beauty pageant winner. They had and still have, many common interests particularly in singing and music
Chuck had taken a real interest in singing at West Chester. He studied voice for three years, along with his major in instrumental music.
In his senior year the musical, "Oklahoma" was produced, and Carole sang the female lead of Laurie, and Chuck played the part of Jud, who was the villain, and he was a mean one! They both did very well, but when Chuck made his first entrance,- I didn't even realize it was Chuck!!
In all the years of their marriage, they have always sung in choirs. Often, Carole was the organist and Chuck the choir director.
Carole also majored in music and has a fine soprano voice. I love to hear Carole and Chuck sing duets, because their voices blend so well together.
Carole teaches piano and voice lessons in her home studio and Chuck teaches instrumental music in the Bensalem High School.
Chuck has a Masters degree from Trenton State University in Directing and a Doctorate Equivalency from Westminster Choir College and Princeton University in Music Arranging.
Chuck sang with the Robert Shaw Chorale at Lincoln Center and St. Johns the Divine Cathedral in New York City last year (1990) and he sang with the Princeton Pro Musica, which is a symphonic chorus of 120 voices. They sang several concerts and finished their season by singing Handel's Messiah in a Christmas concert at Carnegie Hall in (1991). He will be singing with the Pro Musica this year (1992), as well. He derives a lot of pleasure from singing with such a superlative group.
Chuck and Carole have three sons; Brian, who two years ago also received a degree in Instrumental Music from Lebanon College. He is beginning a teaching career.
They are also blessed with twin sons! Jay, who graduated from Gettysburg College this year with a degree in Computer Science. Their son Jeffrey graduated from Ursinus College with Degrees in History and English.
Their daughter, Emily, is thirteen and has been blessed with many talents. She plays the piano, and sings. She is also taking lessons in ballet. She is a very pretty girl.
The three boys are all musicians and play a variety of instruments and Jeffrey has a talent to compose. At the time of this writing, and since the boys are all out of school –they have organized a group or a small band to play for dances and have some fun!! Good Luck! That is how Laurence Welk made his start!
I'm sure anyone reading this and who is not a member of our family, must have noticed that everyone in our family whom I've written about )was a musician or singer –or both! I'm not sure where their genes came from, but there were musicians in both Stella's family, and mine. We both enjoyed music, but if we possessed any talents, we never had the opportunity to pursue them.
I feel that our Lord has blessed them all with these wonderful talents. To be able to give pleasure to others while also deriving pleasure and satisfaction themselves is very rewarding.
I'm sure they must get their high IQ's from Stella. I've written earlier about her 135 IQ at age 75 ! When it was my turn to be tested, I was in a no win situation. I didn't want Stella to top me, but on the other hand , I would have hated to better her score–so at least my IQ was high enough to tell me to refuse to take the test. But I will always wonder what I would have scored. I would still refuse to take the test today!
It has just occurred to me that while our family are not all giants --people do have to look up to us!! There is one female (Barbara Jones) and ten males who are six foot tall or more in height. I'm the shortest man in the group. I was 6ft.1" , but I know I've shrunk a bit. These numbers may not be precise, but they are close enough. Charlie Jones is 6ft.3", and his son, Chuck is 6ft.5 1/2", Ben Brinton is 6ft.3", my son, Chuck Smith is 6ft.3", Chuck's sons, Brian, Jay and Jeffrey are all about 6ft.5". and my son, Dennis is 6ft.5", and his son, Gregory is 6ft.5 1/2". His two younger sons Tim and Paul are almost six foot and may be in a couple of weeks at the rate they are growing. I don't think they are still growing, but Ginger and Carol Glynn are 5ft.10", How about that!!! It's a little scary when you try to imagine how tall our next generation could be!
Dennis is ten years younger than Chuck and when he had reached the age of nine, the three older siblings were gone from from the house and Dennis was an only and lonely child. He benefited and suffered because of this age difference. Ginger and Chuck, whose births were only fifteen months apart, were always company for each other in their younger years. Lois was only three years older and the three always seemed to get along well together and they had fun .
Stella always welcomed the children's friends to the house, and after school hours, it was usually a noisy, merry, place.
When we moved across the street to the former Dzuik residence, the basement was especially nice for the children. Because our lot sloped down hill to the rear of the lot, the outer door was at ground level and the children could go in and out without
going through the house. They enjoyed the ping pong table and the organ. The boys practiced playing their bugles, and later with Dennis, the Cub Scouts had their meetings with Stella and Peggy Carr. When Chuck became interested in drum corps (he still is!) I think sometimes the noise level (music!) reached a very high decibel, but the neighbors never complained.
Chuck's friend, Tim Cappola, practiced almost every day and Stella asked him why he never practiced at home, and he said, It I can't, because my father can't stand it!"
This should add some stars to Stella's crown! I missed a lot of the action there, because unfortunately, I usually worked until the fun was over.
Dennis also took some piano lessons from Miss Hayden,- she came to our house for years, but Dennis didn't take to the piano any more than Chuck did. When Dennis entered Edison Junior High School, he started to play the French horn. He played it through high school and it was his instrument in college.
I want to write about our going into business later, but Dennis was about twelve years old at the time and I think it cheated him out of the fun at home that the other three children enjoyed. We encouraged him to come to the store after school when there was nothing for him to do at home and he sometimes did, but his heart was never in it. He did do some of the chores, for which Stella paid him.
We worked many evenings in the store until nine or later, so it is easy to see how different Dennis' life 'at home was compared to the other three children. Of course Stella's and my life had changed greatly too.
A business is like a garden, if you don't weed, water and fertilize it, it will wither and die! It takes all of your time.
Dennis graduated from West Mifflin High School in 1968, and majored in music at Findlay College, in Ohio. He was active in the band at school and in the summers he marched and played in several different corps, both in junior, and as he matured, in senior corps. A drum corps bugle is about as close to being a trumpet as you can get. About the only difference is that it has two valves instead of three, but it also has an adjustable slide and I think you can play almost anything on it that you can on a trumpet It is a very nice instrument.
Drum corps took a lot of his time and during their competitive season in summer, and on weekends; it often took him to cities far from home. He did get to see a lot of the country. He marched for several years with the Pittsburgh Rockets, which were sponsored by The American Legion. It was one of the top-drum corps in the country.
He has put drum corps behind him now. Dennis has a nice tenor voice and sings and often directs choirs.
Dennis and Susan Erickson, She was always called Sue, were married in 1971 when Dennis was twenty one years old. They started their married life in Duquesne, and after a couple of years they bought the house on the corner, next door to us.
I have neglected to note that Dennis came to work in the store with us, in the year before he was married. The house they bought was on a corner lot. It was an attractive white brick house with a garage in the basement, with a rear entry.
GREGORY CHARLES, their first child was born before they made the Move to the new house. He was a cute, chubby baby. PAUL ERICKSON, was born two years later, TIMOTHY CHRISTOPHER entered the scene about two years after Paul. They are all big, healthy, handsome, boys and all are talented. Gregory plays the trumpet, Paul plays the violin in the orchestra, and the trumpet in the band. Paul was also blessed with a nice singing voice Timmy plays the tuba and is learning to be a percussionist in the band. Dennis told me that it is easier to learn to play the trumpet than the drums! This surprised me, because I thought like many others do, that you just keep time with the drums. The next time you attend a concert, pay some attention to the drummer, and you may be surprised, as I was.
At the time of this writing, Gregory is a sophomore at Slippery Rock University, and is majoring in communication. Paul is in the ninth grade at North High School, and Timmy is in the seventh grade at Edison Junior High School.
I know Greg better than the other boys, simply because he spent more time with Stella and me. He made his first visit to Florida when he was five. When we picked him up when he got off the airplane,it seemed all the passengers came over and said goodbye to Greg. He had traveled the aisles and talked to them all on the ride to Tampa. I think he was the most self assured five year old. He wasn't a smart aleck, but his knowledge and vocabulary were outstanding, and he could hold his own in conversations with adults when he was five years of age.
Unfortunately Dennis and Sue's marriage failed, and they were divorced. Sue retained possession of the children, but Dennis pays for child support and has remained close to his children.
About two years after his divorce, Dennis met and then married a divorcee with a daughter and two sons. Her name was Patrica Scott and we all know her as Patty. They have been married for five years and Dennis has adopted her children legally, and they now use the name of Smith. The daughter is Valerie, who is twenty and is attending Community College. There is another Chuck in the family now! Chuck is the elder son, who is sixteen and in the tenth grade. And Christopher, or Chris, is in the seventh grade.
Dennis is an agent for The Prudential Insurance and is doing well. Patty also works in the office of a construction company near the Allegheny County Airport.
They recently purchased a home in North Huntingdon, just east of McKeesport-The family's activities seem to be more and more centered about the hub of their church, and it's members.
While Ginger was attending Marietta College, she worked through all of her summer vacations. Ginger had learned some clerical skills in high school and could type 100 words a minute.
At the end of her freshman year, she found employment in the main office of the American Car and Foundry Company in Manhattan. They did not hire seasonal or part time workers and gave Ginger their standard tests of skills before employment. Ginger became a minor celebrity in the office when she passed the tests with highest grades that had ever been scored!
At the end of the summer, she quit the job and told them she was going to go to college. The manager congratulated her and said that was exactly where someone as bright as she was, should be going.
The second summer she found employment in the office of the United States Steel plant in Homestead, which is only about five miles from our home and performed clerical work for the summer.
In her final summer vacation, she found work at the University of Pittsburgh. She worked at a variety of jobs. One was processing applications to the School of Dentistry, and another was in the laboratory of the Medical School where she met the man who would later become her husband.
He was Dr. Charles Brinton, who was a Bio-Physicist and a very brilliant man. He had been selected as the "Man of the Year" in medicine, and had made several significant discoveries in his field of medicine.
Charlie was an interesting man. He was dominating, physically. He was six feet and five inches tall and weighed about 250 pounds, not a fat man –just big and he had a big voice! He was a man who liked to win. I remember how upset he became when Dennis, who was just a beginning chess player, beat him at his game. He could hardly wait until he could play him again.
He owned and flew a small airplane and Ginger was the only girl in Marietta whose boyfriend flew down to keep his dates.
After graduation, Ginger worked at Magee Hospital in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh; near the University. She was able to find and rent a room not very far from the hospital.
I should have written this first; When entering Marietta and selecting anelective class. She chose chemistry. She had not studied it in high school and she thought she would enjoy it and benefit from the knowledge gained. She was an Art major and was talented. She had attended art classes at Carnegie Museum for several years. Her grades in chemistry were excellent and her counselor advised her to change her major to Biology. He said it would open more doors for her. She could go into medicine, research or into teaching. A career in Art was more limited, and more avenues were open to her in Biology.
Ginger was fourteen years younger than Charlie, but it never seemed to make any difference; both had strong personalities and a lot-of confidence in their own abilities.
They were married on Dec. 8, 1962, at the Heinz Chapel, on the Pitt University campus. They were married by the Rev. Donald Moore and it was a lovely wedding.
On the previous, day there had been a thirty inch deep snow fall. I should have said a blizzard! The weather was terrible! Considering the weather and the almost impassable roads which made traveling very hazardous, the wedding was performed with out a hitch.
After the passing of the New Year, Charlie and Ginger traveled to Europe and honeymooned for several months.
After returning home, Ginger with time on her hands, returned to college at Pitt and earned a Masters Degree in Education and received a certificate to teach. She taught some classes at Carlow and Chatham Colleges
Because her husband was a member of the faculty at Pitt, Ginger was able to take classes just about as she wished, and did so over a period of years.
After finding Ginger could not bear children, they decided to adopt a baby because they both wanted a family. They soon became the parents of a two month old son, whom they named SAMUEL FRANKLIN. And two years later they adopted a cute, little, two month old daughter, whom they named AMY ELIZABETH.
I'm sure they thought their family was complete, but three years later an opportunity presented itself which they could not refuse and they soon had the addition of a THREE day old little boy! They named him BENJAMIN CHARLES.
All three children were healthy, bright, active children. We hear at times many arguments about the Pro's and Con's of adoption. In our family these children are never thought about any differently from our natural born grandchildren and they are loved the same and as much!
It has really opened my eyes and my heart too, and with hope that other childless parents would take this route. They should find it to be rewarding.
I have written about Ginger as a baby, and how active she was as a little girl. I had forgotten then what an active, athletic, girl her daughter, Amy, was, and still is! When small, she would greet us at the door with flips and cart-wheels and go through a repertoire of tumbling. She grew up to be one of the best divers in Pittsburgh, in the school Aquatic Competitions.
It is with regret that I must report that Ginger and Charlie's marriage ended in divorce, in 1979.
The following year was a very difficult one for Ginger. I believe in her haste to get her life back on an even keel, and without enough thought of the possible consequences, when she met and then married a Dr. William Andrew Piper, who was a psychologist.
It was our family's candid opinion that personally, he was in need of a psychiatrist! I have nothing to report about this marriage, because nothing good was accomplished by it, and the subsequent divorce was a relief to our entire family.
In 1981, Ginger and the children moved to Winter Park, Florida., which is a suburb of Orlando. She Found a very nice house on Lake Pearl, which is a fair size lake. She Found employment in the public schools as a psychologist, working with troubled children. Many of the problems were caused by conditions at home. Parents are facing much pressure in today's hectic world.
Both Sam and Amy graduated from high school and also from the University of Central Florida. Sam earned a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Amy has a Bachelor Degree in Health related course. After high school, Ben went to Pitt University for two years. He says he intends to go back and finish, but now he is having fun as a ski instructor at the large Seven
Springs resort in the mountains near Somerset, Pa. and in the summer as a medic on an ambulance service.
I have reported on all the members of our family and on some of their activities I up to the end of 1992. 1 would have liked to have been able to stick around for another twenty years and check out our great grandchildren. But since I have always felt that Stella has been watching over me, maybe WE will be able to do the same for all of you. I pray our Lord is willing!

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