Tube City Almanac

June 27, 2005

We Get Letters

Category: default || By jt3y

It's too hot to think, so at least for once, I have an excuse. Instead, we'll open up the old mailbag and see what crawls out.

Judy from Tucson, Ariz., writes:

Hi ... I (like others) have stumbled onto your Tube City Website, and have enjoyed reading about my hometown too. My five sisters and I grew up on a dairy farm in Elizabeth Township ... but we claim McKeesport as home. I left the area in 1970, and now live in Tucson. I have fond memories of St Mary's German Church and school, Sam's Chili Dogs, Isaly's chipped ham and Klondikes, the windy road (was it Renzie Road?) leading to the Youghiogheny Country Club, and the big beautiful library downtown. Thanks for the memories!

The windy road is indeed Renzie Road, and thank you for writing, Judy. But I'd be surprised if they didn't have Klondikes out there in Arizona. They're not just for Pittsburgh any more!

In fact, if you visit the Good Humor website (they now own the Klondike bar, along with Breyer's ice cream and Popsicle), you'll find that Albertson's right there in Tucson carries Klondike bars. They don't give you a free one if you find one with a red center, unfortunately. In fact, if you find one with a red center, you'd better be eating one of the Whitehouse Cherry ones.


A reader who would like to remain anonymous, and who's a social conservative, wrote regarding my rant a few weeks ago about Ann Coulter's syndicated column in The Daily News:

Believe this or not, I agree. Conservative I like. Smartass I get enough of from some of my relatives.

I don't know if I ever posted a review of Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, nor do I know if anybody cares what I think. Briefly stated: I didn't expect to like it, but bought it because it was 30 percent off at a certain large, chain bookstore in Monroeville. To my pleasant surprise, it is frequently very funny (mostly because of Franken's self-deprecating humor) and relatively well-researched, although it's (what a shock!) very, very partisan.

My point (and I do have one) is that two of Franken's most devastating chapters are on my girl Annie. (One is called "Ann Coulter: Nutcase" and the other is "How to Lie with Footnotes.") He documents many, many instances in which she has deliberately manipulated facts or distorted quotes to make an argument.

Franken claims that Coulter often puts "footnotes" on her assertions, presumably to make it seem as if her books are thoroughly sourced. According to Franken, when the source material is checked, the material that she's using is nowhere to be found. Apparently, she assumes that no one will ever check up on her --- and she's right.


S.F., no address, writes that she's selling her family home in Our Fair City, and is looking for someone who would be a responsible caretaker. She asked if I wouldn't post a message here about it. I've edited a few things out to protect her privacy and for clarity's sake:

My father and his family were relocated due to the construction of the overpass to the Duquesne-McKeesport Bridge. My grandfather, a foreman at National Tube built the house on Soles Street. My father, who worked at Duquesne Works for 39 years, and my mother, who grew up on Packer Street ... literally carried the furniture from Packer to Soles to share the house with her new husband and mother & father-in-law ...

My whole family has graduated from McKeesport Senior High and I have the rings to prove it. I love the rich history of McKeesport and have visited your site for quite some time, and if I didn't work so far away would live in the house myself. I would love someone to have as rich of a life as I did living amongst those walls.

If you'd like to get in touch with S.F., who still lives in the Mon-Yough area, please email me at jt3y at dementia dot org.


Confidential to the guy who wrote to me, via U.S. Mail, to ask for information about Berarducci Brothers. For crying out loud, fella, what part of this didn't you understand? To wit: "Please do not write asking for information." And next time, if you're going to ask me something for which there's an answer already available on the website, then at least enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope.


Finally, Jeremiah Ostrosky of JereMusic and Steel Valley Radio writes to send along two restaurant reviews and to report that he recently took some last photos at Eastland Mall:

I made a few attempts to get photos of the dilapidated inside and extremely poor roof that leaked water everwhere, but was chased away by an old man asking what I was doing and saying "You can't do that! The boss is watching!" and pointing at the ceiling. Who knows why.

He was pointing at the ceiling? Maybe his boss is God.

Incidentally, the demolition of Eastland won't begin before July, informed sources tell the Almanac. Beer World is scheduled to vacant the old J.C. Penney space by June 30, and will be relocating somewhere else in North Versailles Township. (This makes me very, very happy, by the way, because I'm a big fan of Beer World.)

I'll be adding the reviews to the restaurant page and the photos to the Eastland page very shortly.

That's assuming I have any brain cells left. Did I mention it's too damned hot?

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