Tube City Almanac

April 28, 2005

Busy, Busy, Busy

Category: default || By jt3y

No time write complete sentences! No time make Almanac!

OK, it's not quite that bad, but it's bad enough. So, I'll keep this brief.

From the Praising-With-Faint-Damns Dept. comes Pat Cloonan's story in The Daily News about the move of Huckestein Mechanical Services from Sharpsburg to Our Fair City:

"I don't have any body armor."


So John W. Bouloubasis told partner Keith Staso when the Huckestein Mechanical Services co-owner suggested moving from Sharpsburg to RIDC Riverplace Industrial Center of McKeesport.

After Staso assured his partner that he was serious about the move, which would bring between 75 and 85 employees to the city and eventually mean up to 25 additional jobs, they sought out Mayor James Brewster. ...

"You sure this guy is the mayor?" Bouloubasis asked after that first meeting with Brewster and City Administrator Dennis Pittman. "He has a lot of creativity."

Ouch, ouch, ouch!

This is all-around a positive development for Our Fair City --- Huckenstein is going to invest about $3 million in the building and equipment --- but it's still distressing to see what the public outside perception of the area is.

Also in the News, Jennifer Vertullo had a nice article about the auction last weekend at Chiodo's.

In his syndicated "Movie Answer Man" column, Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times made a Bob & Ray reference that I appreciated:

Q. In your "Sahara" review, you refer to Bob & Ray's "Blake Dent, Boy Spotwelder." Bob & Ray fans near & far are, I'm sure, letting you know that it's "Matt Neffer, Boy Spotwelder" ("Over here behind the duck press, Todd."). With hundreds of hours of B&R indelibly etched in my brain, I cannot recall a Blake Dent in any context. --- Art Scott, Livermore, Calif.

A. You are absolutely correct and win a year's supply of Parker House rolls with rich creamery butter from nearby farms. I was delighted to learn that virtually the entire Bob & Ray archive is available at Not many people know that when you solve the Da Vinci Code, that's where it leads you, right there to the archive's friendly front parlor, where on a good day you might meet Kent Lyle Birdley, Wally Ballou, Charles the Poet, Dean Archer Armstead and Mary Backstayge.

Just the other day I dropped in and overheard a scintillating conversation:

"Golly gee whillikers, Mr. Science! What's that long brown object?!?"

"That's known as a board, Jimmy."

As anyone who knows me can testify, I have a large collection of Bob & Ray material, which I'll be glad to discourse on at length to anyone unlucky enough to wander past. Instead of going off on a tear, I'll point you to a lengthy Bob & Ray appreciation from Neil Schmitz, a professor at the University of Buffalo. Aunt Penny of "Aunt Penny's Sunlit Kitchen" would probably tell Schmitz to "dry up," but I thought it was interesting reading. (It's one of the few academic explanations of Bob & Ray's humor that actually captures the flavor.)

In fact, right now, the Webley Webster players are getting ready to dramatize Schmitz's essay: "It's three days at sea on the pirate ship now, and as we look in, we see the first mate and the captain ..."

(Here are two box sets that will provide a nice introduction to Bob & Ray, for those of you so inclined: Classic Bob & Ray: Selections from a Career, 1946-1976: (Volume One: 4 Cassettes, 4 Hours (75 Selections)); Bob & Ray: A Night Of Two Stars (Two Compact Discs--2 Hours) Remember, buying things at through Tube City Online enables us to keep this high-quality material coming your way. Ha! Ha! Ha!)

Until tomorrow, this is radio's highly regarded, blonde-haired "boy wonder of broadcasting," Wally Ballou, sending it back to the stu-

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