Saturday, April 25, 2009

City of Prayer

If Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right, Try Three

The retired Clairtonian: Many readers of the Clairton component of this blog are retirees. The following story was sent to me by one of those types. You know - the ones who retire to Florida and attend the annual Clairton reunion where they meet former classmates and other alums and lie about how cute their grandkids are. Well, be sure to share the one about the retired couple and the traffic cop:

What Do Retired People Do All Day?

“Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make their days interesting.

Well, for example, the other day my wife and I went into town and went into a shop. We were only in there for about 5 minutes.

When we came out, there was a cop writing out a parking ticket.

We went up to him and said, 'Come on man, how about giving a citizen a break?'

He ignored us and continued writing the ticket.

I called him a Nazi bastard.

He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn tires.

So my wife called him a shit-head.

He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first.

Then he started writing a third ticket.

This went on for about 20 minutes.

The more we abused him, the more tickets he wrote.

Personally, we didn't care........ We came into town by bus.

We try to have a little fun each day now that we're retired. It's important at our age.”

The Ghost of Clairton Past: Clairton celebrated its Silver Anniversary in 1947. The event was commemorated with the publication of a book called, “Memories of the City of Clairton – 1947” and is available at the Clairton library as well as in the private collections of several of my readers. One of the interesting facts has to do with the number of churches. We all remember the sign “Welcome to Clairton, City of Prayer,” that was displayed prominently in the opening scenes of the “Deer Hunter” movie. Our City is so called for good reason. The Silver Anniversary book of 1947 lists some 20 congregations including:
 Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, corner Walnut Avenue and Fourth Street
 St. Paulinus Roman Catholic Church
 First Presbyterian Church
 First Methodist Church
 United Free Gospel Mission, corner Park Avenue and Reed Street
 First A.M.E. Church
 Wilson Presbyterian Church
 Clairton Christian Church, I.O.O.F. Hall, Pennsylvania Avenue
 St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church
 Morning Star Baptist Church, Shaw and Boundary Avenues
 Pine Run Methodist Church
 The First Slavish Roman Catholic Greek Rite Church
 St. Clare's Roman Catholic Church
 Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, 908 Vankirk Street
 Christian Missionary Alliance, 337 Shaw Avenue
 Mount Oliver Baptist Church, 439 Park Avenue
 Church of God in Christ, 439 Park Avenue
 Greek Church, 431 Halcomb Avenue
 Serbian Orthodox Church, 336 Wabash Avenue
 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 145 New Jersey Avenue

A review of data shows the following active churches in Clairton today:

St Clare of Assisi Parish Elm & N 4TH, Clairton, PA,
Morning Star Baptist Church 307 Shaw Ave, Clairton, PA ,
Pine Run United Methodist Church, 901 N 6th St, Clairton, PA,
First AME Church, 177 Mitchell Ave, Clairton, PA,
First United Methodist Church, 500 Thompson Ave, Clairton, PA,
First Presbyterian Church, 501 Mitchell Ave, Clairton, PA,
Gethsemane Church Of God In Christ, 200 Crest St, Clairton, PA,
Kingdom Come Ministry, 241 Maple Ave, Clairton, PA,
Morningstar Baptist Church, Boundary Ave AT Shaw Ave, Clairton, PA,
Church Of Jesus Christ, 508 Reed St, Clairton, PA,
St Anthony Greek Orthodox Church, 424 Miller Ave, Clairton, PA,
Episcopal Church, 447 Halcomb Ave, Clairton, PA,
Ascension of Our Lord Church, 318 Park Ave, Clairton, PA,
Mt Olive Baptist Church, 451 Park Avenue, Clairton, PA,
St Mary's Serbian Orthodox, 524 3RD St, Clairton, PA,
Come Ministry, 411 Mitchell Avenue, Clairton, PA,
Wilson Presbyterian Church, 400 N 4TH St, Clairton, PA,
Living Hope Assembly, 901 Worthington Ave, Clairton, PA,
Living Waters International Church, 337 Shaw Ave, Clairton, PA,
Bible Baptist Temple, 1415 Worthington Ave, Clairton, PA,
Jefferson United Presbyterian, 716 Gill Hall Rd, Clairton, PA

Looks like the City of Prayer is still praying – the same number of churches but with half the population.

More Clairton Stuff: Readers of this blog frequently ask me where I uncover the trivia and other items for the Clairton blog posts. Many suggestions come from readers who tell me about Clairtonians they remember or accomplishments of those with whom they’ve gone to CHS. Others have been kind enough to forward resumes, news clips, and photos of current and former Clairton citizens. There are also several websites that include Clairton history and current topics. includes many photos and discussion topics. is an active site maintained by Jim Hartman and includes a wealth of information about the area including Clairton. Old photos and interesting facts abound at their site. Current news stories and forums can be found at another website, The City, School District, and Library all have their own websites. There is lots of neat stuff about Clairton floating around in cyberspace.

Clairton Juggler: Finally today we’ll talk about Clairtonian Howard Mincone. Howard still lives in the area although he works venues across the country and he walks on water – well, actually he performs on cruise ships. He’s a comedian, magician, and juggler as well as a corporate seminar speaker. Howard not only juggles his schedule, but during his corporate workshops and seminars he demonstrates then teaches the fine art of juggling objects. It is a natural analogy since corporate executives need to juggle workplace activities from budgets to human resources. The seminars result in improved communication skills, productivity and morale, as well as providing self-confidence and problem-solving abilities, according to Mincone.

Although Mincone did not graduate from CHS – he went to Catholic school in McKeesport - he spent much of his time working in the family grocery store in Clairton. His philosophy of life is reflected in learning to juggle – when you start a task you drop a few balls. But through focus and practice, one soon becomes proficient. Howard Mincone, Clairton boy.

A little blogging music Maestro... “My Hometown” by Bruce Springsteen.

Dr. Forgot

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